All over the world, breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures among adult female patients. This is largely due to the fact that it has a very high success rate with little risk of complications. That said, there are some cases in which patients develop unpleasant conditions following a breast procedure. 

Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a condition that is characterized by several disconcerting issues, such as discomfort and pain, that sometimes develop in patients after undergoing a breast augmentation procedure. There is still much that is not known about what causes breast implant illness, and the symptoms seem to look different for every patient. For this reason, it is important for patients to know all of the potential symptoms that come with BII so that they can recognize them right away. 

The team at Lampert MD Plastic Surgery has years of experience in helping patients overcome symptoms related to breast implant illness. 

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What is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness is defined as a group of symptoms that can develop following a breast implant procedure. While it is common enough to earn its own title, there is no official diagnosis for it, which leaves many patients feeling frustrated. Some of the symptoms that occur with breast implant illness include fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, dry eyes, and others. 

How Do Doctors Determine That a Patient is Suffering From Breast Implant Illness?

As there is no official diagnosis for BII, there are no official tests that can be done to check for it. Generally speaking, a diagnosis of breast implant illness is reached after every other potential condition is ruled out through an extensive process of elimination. As such, tests will have to be done for other conditions, such as arthritis, Lyme disease, or thyroid problems, before they can confidently determine whether the patient is experiencing BII or not. Oftentimes the patient’s medical history is also reviewed in order to make sure that there are no indications of chronic conditions that could be at play. 

What Are the Signs of Breast Implant Illness?

Some signs that are indicative of breast implant illness include:

  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog and trouble concentrating
  • Issues with breathing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Skin rashes and related conditions
  • Dryness of the mouth and eyes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Persistent headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal issues

BII symptoms can develop at any time after a patient undergoes implant surgery. For some patients, BII symptoms manifest immediately following a breast augmentation procedure, while others won’t develop them until several years later.

Many of the symptoms that fall under the BII diagnosis are also associated with autoimmune and connective tissue disorders, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma. As such, some patients who have BII are also found to have a certain autoimmune or connective tissue disorder. However, not all do. 

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How is Breast Implant Illness Treated?

Treating BII typically involves removing the patient’s implants. According to data released from a study carried out by ASERF (the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation), approximately 94% of patients with BII noticed improvements after having their implants removed. This removal process is known as breast explantation and is often carried out by way of an en bloc procedure and total capsulectomy, protecting the patient from unwanted contamination. 

What Does a Breast Explant Procedure Entail?

The explant process is relatively similar to an augmentation procedure. 

  • Anesthesia is administered
  • The practitioner makes incisions in the breasts, giving them access to the breast cavities. This incision is usually made in the same location as the original one from the augmentation procedure. This way, the patient can have their implants removed without developing any new scars.  
  • The breast implants are removed from the breast capsule, which is a mass of scar tissue that develops naturally to encase the implant. In most cases, the capsule will also be removed. 
  • The incisions are then sutured shut, and the patient is prepared for their recovery process. 

Why Choose Dr. Lampert?

The team at Lampert MD Plastic Surgery, led by Dr. Joshua Lampert, MD, is committed to assisting patients in achieving their aesthetic aspirations and improving their quality of life. With years of experience serving patients in Miami and beyond, Dr. Lampert has enabled thousands of patients to boost their self-confidence and achieve total peace of mind. As a graduate of highly esteemed medical institutions, such as The Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Lampert employs his extensive expertise to create customized treatment plans that cater to each patient's unique needs and desires.

Patients who are experiencing breast implant illness symptoms can rely on our team to help them find relief and enjoy life again. Contact us to set up a private consultation and learn more about our breast explant procedure. 

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