Many women with breast implants use the term breast implant illness (BII) to describe symptoms of illness they believe result from breast implants. Some feel their breast implants whether saline or silicone, textured or smooth, could be creating a variety of symptoms.
These symptoms can include anxiety, body odor, brain fog, chest pain, chills, chronic pain, depression, fatigue, hair loss, headaches, hormonal or neurologic issues, photosensitivity, rashes, and sleep disturbance. For several decades, millions of women worldwide have had breast implants with minimal knowledge of their lasting effects on the body. Many women have found their health improved after the removal of their implants.
Women have been using social media to find support among 100,000 members on Facebook in such groups as Breast Implant Illness, and Healing and Breast Implant Victim Advocacy. In 2018, some members met with FDA officials to encourage the organization to provide information and push for scientific studies regarding health issues related to breast implants.
Breast implant illness has not been formally diagnosed as an official medical condition. There has not yet been formal diagnostic testing, but some tests, particularly for autoimmune diseases, can help evaluate a woman and the cause of her symptoms.
There are many ongoing studies exploring possible links between implants and women experiencing these symptoms. Some studies indicate there may be an improvement in a woman’s health after her breast implants are removed. In 2013, one study published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine suggested that most of these symptoms disappeared in 69% of women after their implants were taken out.
Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), is a cancer of the immune system that involves the growth of lymphoma cells in or around a breast implant scar capsule, possibly leading to fluid and/or tissue concerns. It is a treatable form of lymphoma within the scar tissue around the breast implant.
BIA-ALCL usually develops after several years of being implanted with early signs including swelling and painful feelings of hardness in the implant. Once diagnosed, the breast implant should be removed as soon as possible. Check for any unusual changes in your breasts, including the growth of a lump, different sensations like firmness, redness or lesion on your skin on or near your breast, breast growth or asymmetry or any unusual pain.
Here are some symptoms to watch for:
En bloc capsulectomy removes a breast implant and part or all the breast implant capsule. This procedure withdraws the implant and the capsule simultaneously, giving time for the breast tissue and muscles to settle back to their original position. It not only gives women a softer feeling for their breasts but also provides for a more natural appearance.
As long as you are in good physical health and ready to have your breast implants removed, you are a candidate for an En Bloc Capsulectomy procedure. Some women become dissatisfied in the appearance of their breasts, have seen a shifting of their implants, or experience complications from the scar tissue around them. It may also be necessary due to a breast cancer diagnosis or a rupture or deflation of the implants.
If you have decided to go ahead and remove your breast implant, there are several options available. The main procedure for en bloc capsulectomy removes a silicone and textured breast implant and its capsule as one unit without causing any contamination to your body.
The implant is kept inside the capsule while being removed to prevent chemicals and bacteria from leaking inside your body. A partial capsulectomy corrects capsular contracture and removes only part of the scar tissue.
A total capsulectomy takes out all the scar tissue, including the ones around the implant along the ribs and lungs, and removes the implant first followed by all the capsule tissue.
Capsulotomy can be performed opened where the capsule is partially or completely removed through an incision within the breast area or closed in which the capsule tissue is broken down while leaving the implant in place, which poses the risk of a rupture of the implant.
There is also a non-surgical option using ultrasound to soften the scar tissue through sound waves which increases blood supply to the breast area.
Following your procedure, you will have to decide how to deal with sagging issues because your skin has been stretched since the implant was originally inserted. You can get new implants, have a breast lift performed to take out excess skin and reposition the nipple and areola, or use fat grafting to replace the volume in your breast.
Your breasts may be wrapped in a compression garment or bandage after your procedure. Any drains will be removed about a week following your visit. You can expect your breasts and chest area to be tender and swollen for a few weeks. There will likely be some swelling for the first month after your surgery.
For at least three weeks, you should avoid any activities like strenuous exercises, especially in the upper body, that increases blood pressure. Try to limit the use of your arms and chest for two to six weeks.
You can expect your scar to fade over time into thin lines. If you experience any bleeding or infection in the breast area, be sure to consult your doctor. We will go over all the details during your consultation and following your surgery.
At Transformations Plastic Surgery, your safety, comfort, and satisfaction are our top priorities. That is why we offer only proven, state-of-the-art cosmetic treatments and procedures designed to deliver outstanding results with a minimum of downtime.
When you come to us for En Bloc Capsulectomy or any other procedure, you will get the care, professionalism, and respect you deserve as a valued client of ours. You deserve to experience life without the worry and symptoms associated with Breast Implant Illness. Call us today to schedule your consultation and find out whether an En Bloc Capsulectomy is right for you.