I consult with many patients throughout Newport Beach who suspect that they may have breast implant illness. The illness usually occurs in women who have undergone surgery and later struggle with symptoms such as; joint pain, chronic fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It should not be confused with breast implant associated acute large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC).
“Understanding Breast Implant Illness” was published in December 2021 in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. This was the first paper with solid scientific merit that explored cohorts of patients who self-described as having this illness. By studying these patients and their symptoms, their demographics, and tracking changes in symptoms once implants were removed, we start to see a clear picture of the nature of an ill-defined but seemingly omnipresent disease.
Unfortunately, Breast implant illness is not a formal medical diagnosis, and therefore there are no diagnostic criteria. This condition has no disease markers to track and there is not enough data to support implant removal, and the diagnosis is usually made by the patient herself. This, however, does not mean that there is no treatment for the symptoms of this illness or that it does not exist.
If breast implant illness arises from the body’s ongoing fight against a foreign body, symptoms should subside after removing the implant alone, and almost immediately. Regarding the second concept, the only heavy metal used in implant manufacture is platinum, and in its non-valent form. This form of platinum has no toxicity to the human body, making that theory less plausible. And were this to be true, implant removal would not cure BII as many of these toxins remain in the body for some time.
If you or somebody you know feels that they may have breast implant illness, clearly, you are not alone. Any board-certified plastic surgeon would be happy to discuss implant removal with you, and carefully weigh the pros and cons of more extensive, aggressive, scar-forming, and risky procedures.
My BII patients trust me to ensure their safety above all else when reviewing all available treatments before recommending the most appropriate procedure that will deliver the best results.