If you’ve been doing your research on breast implants, which you should before you go ahead with surgery, you may have come across the term ‘breast implant illness’, which is a condition that some patients experience after receiving silicone breast implants.
Some of the symptoms associated with breast implant illness include:
- Joint pain
- Hair thinning
- Poor immunity
- New food intolerances
- Reproductive issues
Is Breast Implant Illness a Real Condition?
Millions of people undergo breast augmentation every year and the majority of them are able to enjoy their implants for many years thereafter. So, are these symptoms actually linked to the implants or do they just happen by chance?
Many experts believe that if you had to follow up with a large group of breast augmentation patients several years after their surgery, there is a good chance that they will have experienced some type of medical issue but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s linked to the implants.
For example, pain, inflammation and fatigue are all symptoms of autoimmune diseases. This one example shows that it’s best to find more details about whether or not the symptoms are actually linked to a medical condition before you assume it has anything to do with your implants.
Breast Implant Illness as a Complication
There are several complications linked to breast augmentation surgery, some of which could actually be deemed breast implant illness.
Capsular contraction is one of the more common complications and occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant. Implant wrinkling and infection are two other side effects that can occur after breast augmentation but once they are treated, the symptoms will subside.
Overall, it’s quite difficult to pinpoint the possible cases of real breast implant illness. Everyone reacts differently to a foreign object such as an implant being introduced into the body. In most instances, silicone won’t cause any of the immune-related reactions such as fatigue, even if the implant happens to rupture.
Silicone implants were banned at one point because of the rumors about breast implant illness but after research was performed, there was nothing concrete to indicate there was a link between silicone and the harmful effects of breast implant-related illnesses.
Studying the long-term effects of implants is quite complex, particularly because patients are all different ages and come from different backgrounds. Surgical techniques are also continuously changing, which also impacts results.
The bottom line is that there is no real evidence that links breast implants to specific types of illnesses. If anything, any side effects that you experience after augmentation will be linked to another medical condition or an underlying complication such as capsular contracture.
Taking the time to find a reputable and experienced plastic surgeon can also lower your risks of developing complications following breast reduction surgery. If at any point after your surgery you are concerned about the symptoms you’re experiencing, it’s always best to see your surgeon or a doctor sooner rather than later.