When it comes to breast implants, there are many things that women need to know. Unfortunately, many of them only hear about the benefits of getting implants and not the risks. In this blog post, we will be discussing some of the dangers and risks associated with breast implants. We will also be talking about breast implant illness, which is a condition that can develop as a result of having implants. If you consider getting breast implants, make sure you read this blog post first!
- What is breast implant illness?
- What are the symptoms?
- Causes of BII?
- The dangers and risks associated with breast implants
- What is BIA-ALCL?
- How to tell if you have BII
- Treatment options for BII
- How to get help if you are struggling with BII
- The importance of speaking out about BII
What is breast implant illness, and what are the symptoms?
Many women undergo breast implant surgery for several reasons, including breast augmentation and reconstruction. While the surgery is considered relatively safe, there are risks associated with breast implants. One such risk is breast implant illness, which can cause a range of symptoms.
One thing we need to consider with breast implant illness (BII) is that it is not currently a recognized medical condition in terms of diagnosis.
What is breast implant illness?
Breast implant illness (BII) is a collection of various health complaints that breast implants can cause. This condition can manifest as a range of systemic symptoms, including fatigue, joint pain, cognitive dysfunction, and more.
What are the symptoms of BII?
Those who have breast implants and suffer BII frequently express a slew of symptoms.
Among these signs are:
- chest pain and discomfort
- persistent joint and muscle pain (rheumatoid arthritis)
- hair thinning
- hormonal issues
- disruptions in neurological function
- sleeping difficulties
- light and sun sensitivity
- connective tissue disease
- inexplicable exhaustion or chronic fatigue
Most of these symptoms are based on anecdotal evidence, such as discussions in internet communities and reporting in news stories.
There are presently no diagnostic criteria for BII because, as we mentioned earlier, doctors do not consider it to be a recognized medical disorder.
Causes of BII
It is also difficult to say what causes this illness because doctors do not formally consider it a medical ailment.
Doctors, for example, do not know if people with certain medical disorders are more prone to develop BII.
Among the considered as probable causes of BII are:
- the inflammatory response of the body to a foreign object
- the body’s sensitivity to certain breast implant components, such as silicone
- the body’s reaction to various breast implant insertion and surgical techniques
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients who relate their health difficulties to BII typically find that having their silicone implants removed by a surgeon resolves their symptoms. Typically, the implant is not replaced.
The dangers and risks associated with breast implants
Breast augmentation surgery comes with several risks and dangers that you need to be aware of. These include:
- implant rupture
- breast implant deflation
- breast implant migration or displacement
- need for breast implant removal surgery
- foreseeable breast implant replacement surgery
- capsular contracture
- breast implant wrinkling
- changes in sensation to the breast and nipple
- formation of scar tissue around the implant causing pain, tightness, or an altered appearance
- delayed healing post-surgery
- breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
Each of these risks and dangers can have a serious impact on your health, so it’s important to be fully informed before deciding to get this plastic and reconstructive surgery.
What is BIA-ALCL?
This is an uncommon but treatable lymphoma (not breast cancer) that often remains inside the scar tissue around the silicone breast implants.
After the implants have been stable and in place for a few years, BIA-ALCL usually develops.
The first indication might be that the breasts suddenly expand or harden and become uncomfortable. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, people who have textured silicone gel breast implants are more likely to get this form of cancer.
Based on many reported instances and several fatalities globally, the current lifetime risk of BIA-ALCL ranges from 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 86,000, depending on the kind of implant and manufacturer.
When a doctor detects BIA-ALCL early, they recommend that the implant and scar tissue be removed.
According to the FDA, the longer the implants remain in the body, the higher the risk of complications. For this reason and others, around 20% of people with breast implants choose to have them removed within 8–10 years of their surgery, according to the
How to tell if you have BII
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to consult with your doctor to see if breast implant illness could be the cause. However, because doctors do not formally consider breast implant illness as a medical condition, it can be difficult to diagnose.
If you suspect that you have breast implant illness, there are a few things you can do to try and get some answers:
- Talk to other women who have breast implants and see if they have experienced the same symptoms.
- Browse internet communities or online support groups specifically for women with breast implant safety and illness.
- Consult your doctor and ask for information about breast implant illness and how to report any symptoms you are experiencing to them.
- Stay informed about breast implant illness and possible treatments for your symptoms.
Removal is not always necessary; treatment options will depend on your symptoms and their severity. It may be possible to treat breast implant illness with medication or lifestyle changes that will
Treatment options for BII
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating breast implant illness, as the treatment options will vary from person to person. Some of the possible treatments include:
If you are experiencing pain, inflammation, or other symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage them.
Making changes to your diet or lifestyle, such as quitting smoking or reducing your stress levels, may help to improve your symptoms.
In some cases where unexplained symptoms occur, surgery may be recommended to remove the breast implants and scared breast tissue.
If breast implant illness is causing you emotional distress, therapy may be a helpful option.
How to get help if you are struggling with breast implant illness
If you are struggling with BII, it is important to reach out for help. There are many resources available to you, including:
- Online communities and support groups for women with breast implant illness
- Your doctor
- The FDA
- Breast Implant Illness and Disease Awareness (BIIDA)
The importance of speaking out about breast implant illness
It can be difficult to speak out about breast implant illness, as many people may not even realize it exists. However, it is important to talk about BII and the symptoms you are experiencing to get the help you need.
There are a number of online communities and support groups where you can talk to other women who are also dealing with breast implant illness. These communities can be a great source of support, and they can provide you with information about the latest treatments for breast implant illness.
Your doctor is also a great source of support, and they can help you manage your symptoms and make any necessary lifestyle changes. The FDA also has a toll-free number (1-800-FDA-1088) where you can call if you want more information about breast implant illness.
Although breast implant illness is not considered an official medical diagnosis, the symptoms are very real. If you feel that breast implants have caused you serious health problems in any way, it makes sense to take control of your health and look into the possibility of breast implant illness more. You deserve to feel better, and there are ways of treating breast implant illness, including removal surgery for the breast implants themselves.
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What Is Breast Implant Illness?
Why the FDA is Ordering Stronger Warnings for Breast Implants
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What is breast implant illness?
Understanding Breast Implant Illness, Before and After Explantation