Breast implant illness may refer to a number of conditions that develop after the placement of breast implants. Many physicians are dismissive of breast implant illness and no peer-reviewed studies have been able to verify its existence, but for the women who experience symptoms of breast implant illness, there is no question: the condition exists and demands treatment.
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While several symptoms have been attributed to this mysterious illness, the most common symptoms of breast implant illness are:
- Brain fog
- Memory and concentration problems
- Anxiety and depression
- General fatigue
- Joint and muscle pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Sleep disturbances
- Hair loss
- Dry mouth and dry eyes
- Rashes and dry skin
If you have breast implants are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to meet with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brenda Schiesel to discuss your options. Please call us at 918-518-5144 to schedule your consultation today. Located in Tulsa, we serve all surrounding communities.
Causes of Breast Implant Illness
The exact cause of breast implant illness is unknown. This is made more complicated by the fact that many women experiencing symptoms of breast implant illness do not have an easily diagnosable disorder. However, because there are no lab tests or clinical criteria with which to diagnose the illness, doctors are limited in their methodology. There are currently a number of studies looking at breast implant illness to try and uncover its cause and best treatment options.
While the exact cause may be unknown, working theories about the cause of breast implant illness include autoimmune responses brought about by:
- Residue from heavy metals used during the implant manufacturing process
- Immune reactions stimulated by silicone
- Bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implant
It is entirely possible for an autoimmune response to trigger symptoms without an underlying diagnosable cause. If you are experiencing symptoms that you suspect are related to your breast implants, please use the contact form on this page to schedule a consultation right away.
Is Breast Implant Illness Real?
Breast implant illness is not currently recognized as a medical diagnosis. There are no tests, no codes, and no established forms of treatment. To some, this indicates that the illness is not a true illness. We disagree.
Hundreds of women who have suffered from the symptoms of breast implant illness have found complete relief through the removal of their implants. This indicates that the issue is, in fact, very real.
At South Tulsa Plastic Surgery, we believe that women are capable of assessing their own experiences. If you have breast implants and are struggling with any of the symptoms of breast implant illness, we are here to listen to you, provide honest information about your options, and guide you towards the treatments that may be able to restore emotional and physical comfort.
Treating Breast Implant Illness
The only known treatment for breast implant illness is explantation. A majority of women who undergo treatment for breast implant illness also choose to have a capsulectomy. In other words, the removal of breast implants along with the scar tissue that forms its capsule is currently the only way to address symptoms related to breast implant illness.
Women who undergo explantation and capsulectomy are typically advised against future breast augmentation procedures unless fat grafts are used instead of implants. However, some women simply choose to have another type of implant placed. During your time in our care, we will help you determine which option is best for your needs.
The En Bloc Capsulectomy
The most popular implant removal method for breast implant illness is the en bloc capsulectomy. This technique allows the implant and capsule to be removed in one piece, which may help prevent bacteria and other substances from leaking into the body. There are, however, several techniques that may be utilized depending on your specific needs.
Outcomes from explantation and capsulectomy are quite promising. Studies have found a near 90% improvement rate in symptoms among women who have undergone the procedure. It is important to remember that surgery alone may not fully correct the issue; some dietary and lifestyle changes may be necessary as well. We will discuss all of this with you during your initial consultation to help ensure you are receiving all of the information you need to make the best decisions for your body.
How Can I Tell if I Have Breast Implant Illness?
Breast implant illness is marked by several different symptoms. These may include physical issues, such as joint and muscle pain, chronic headaches, frequent skin rashes, dry mouth, red and burning eyes, gastrointestinal problems, and hair loss. Chronic fatigue, insomnia, and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, may also occur with breast implant illness. In addition, some women experience respiratory problems when they are suffering from this condition.
There are more than 100 symptoms that have been linked to breast implant illness. If you have breast implants and are experiencing issues that have no other medical explanation or if treatment for other issues has proven unsuccessful, talking to our board-certified plastic surgeon may help determine if you are suffering from this rare ailment.
What Should I Do if I Have Breast Implant Illness but Like the Appearance of My Implants?
The only way to treat breast implant illness is explantation – the removal of the implants. This may be performed with or without a capsulectomy, in which the tissue surrounding the implants is also removed.
Having implants placed again may result in further complications and is not recommended for women suffering from breast implant illness.
Fat grafting breast augmentation may be an option for some women who desire a larger bust but still require implant removal. Talking to Dr. Schiesel about your ultimate goals will allow her to provide you with information and her medical opinion as a board-certified plastic surgeon about the benefits and potential complications of future breast enhancement procedures.
Will My Symptoms Go Away Immediately After Implant Removal?
Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health suggest that nearly 90 percent of patients who have undergone explantation with capsulectomy experience an improvement in symptoms within three months. However, results are faster for some women, while others may not experience any relief even after implant removal.
During your time in our care, Dr. Schiesel will discuss what you can realistically expect from explantation to help you plan accordingly.
Why Does Breast Implant Illness Affect Some Women and Not Others?
Science does not currently understand what causes breast implant illness or why it impacts only some women. There are theories about its underlying causes but no hard evidence to support them. This has led some medical professionals to believe that the condition does not exist.
Dr. Schiesel believes that women can assess their comfort and identify issues impacting their bodies. In addition, she believes that breast implant illness is both real and treatable, and is here to listen to your story, provide unbiased information about your options, and help you choose the best path forward.
Why Should I Choose Dr. Schiesel to Help Me With My Breast Implant Removal?
Dr. Schiesel is one of very few female board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Compassionate, attentive, and thoughtful, she takes time to listen to women and believes what they have to say about their experiences, hopes, and desires.
A skilled, trusted, and reputable practitioner, Dr. Schiesel is committed to helping women achieve their goals and feel comfortable in their bodies. She welcomes the opportunity to meet with you for a private and confidential consultation where she can help you find the best solution for your specific concerns.
Contact South Tulsa Plastic Surgery to Learn More
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of breast implant illness, even if another physician has been unable to actualize a diagnosis, please call South Tulsa Plastic Surgery at 918-518-5144 to schedule a consultation with board-certified, female plastic surgeon Dr. Brenda Schiesel. Honest, approachable, thoughtful, and effective, Dr. Schiesel is here to listen to your concerns, offer real solutions, and help you look and feel your absolute best.