One of the most discussed health concerns by women after receiving breast augmentation is Breast Implant Illness (BII). Women report experiencing different symptoms, including:
- Changes to the Breasts – severe chest pain, rash, abnormal shape, or swelling
- Decrease in Mental Wellness – depression, anxiety, moodiness, finding it tough to concentrate, “brain fog”, confusion
- Sleep Difficulties – fatigue and exhaustion, not staying asleep or unable to fall asleep
- Body Challenges – joint pain, chills, body odor, hair loss, migraines, healing taking longer than normal
Unfortunately, BII isn’t formally recognized medically as a diagnosis still after decades. One challenge is the symptoms can result from something else happening in the body. For instance, with the current pandemic, many indications sound like the signs of Covid-19 virus.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms and you have breast implants, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your general practitioner to rule out any potential causes like autoimmune and other disorders first. Knowing for sure will save you time, worry, and money. When those possible illnesses are not considered, then it is time to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to help find the cause of your undiagnosed discomfort.
Here we answer some of the more frequently asked questions about breast implant illness, so you have the facts.
Is BII a Legal Medical Diagnosis?
Even though women report symptoms going away with removing their breast implants, officially recognizing breast implant illness will take more fact-based evidence and time. Fortunately, perceptions are changing. As recent as August 2020, the U. S. Food & Drug Administration announced it reanalyzed the symptoms of BII, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), and Medical Device Development Tools (MDDT) used in the assessment of breast implants. The FDA went on to say, “An MDDT is scientifically validated and can be qualified for use in device evaluation and to support regulatory decision-making.” This announcement is good news because it means one step closer to medical recognition.
What Are the Causes of BII?
Because of so few studies examining the causes and risks of BII, it’s difficult for doctors to determine in advance who will be adversely affected by breast augmentation and who won’t.
The medical community does realize:
- The body’s natural inclination is to fight any object foreign to its makeup.
- Your body will tell you something is not right by becoming inflamed, discolored, tender, or painful at the foreign object’s location.
- The type of breast implant, whether silicone or saline, doesn’t matter when it comes to BII symptoms
- Everyone’s body reacts differently to trauma, and breast augmentation is an invasive procedure requiring the body to experience mild distress.
Does Everyone Experience Breast Implant Complications?
The answer is no. Not every person has an adverse reaction to breast augmentation. Be aware if you start to feel unusual breast pain, numbness to the breast and nipple, tightening of the skin, rippling of the skin, discoloration or scarring, unexplained changes in your health, or unevenness in the breasts.
Whether you’re experiencing these symptoms, think you’re experiencing them, or have elevated anxiety about the symptoms associated with BII, then you should see a doctor.
The Outcome of BII
As mentioned before, recognizing breast implant illness as an actual medical diagnosis will take more time. Still, the tide is changing as more clinical trials and studies are organized, and more patients continue to report symptoms. If you experience any abnormalities, see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid additional complications that can arise should you wait.
If your breast implants keep you up at night with worry, feel better knowing Dr. Barrett specializes in breast implant and explant surgeries. Our team will listen and support you on your journey.
Barrett Plastic Surgery is committed to you throughout your entire journey. Call our office to schedule a consultation at (310) 598-2648, should you have more questions. If you feel more secure speaking with our team from the comfort of your home, we provide virtual surgical consultations.
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