For years, implants have been used for cosmetic breast enlargement and to restore the appearance of breasts after a mastectomy. The popularity of implants has grown in recent years, with thousands of operations being performed every day. Skilled plastic surgeons are supposed to carefully review the risks and benefits of implants with a patient before the procedure takes place. In recent years, individuals have raised some concerns about whether implants cause what is known as Breast Implant Illness (BII). This is a term used by individuals with breast implants and describes a variety of symptoms such as pain, chills, hair loss, photosensitivity, and brain fog, among others.
There is no means of diagnostic testing specifically for BII, but this is one of the areas of focus for Dr. Jaime Schwartz at his clinic. Dr. Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and an internationally known expert in breast surgery. As such, he has been called on to identify and correct issues that may arise from breast implant surgery, including the possibility of Breast Implant Illness symptoms. If you are seeking breast augmentation surgery and have questions about BII, Dr. Schwartz can discuss this topic with you during your consultation at his facility in Beverly Hills, CA. Below, we discuss some of the reported signs of BII and how treatment may involve breast explant or implant removal.
Reported Breast Implant Illness Symptoms
The scientific community has conducted studies to better understand the safety of breast implants. Overall, they have shown that there is no definitive link shown between implants and the often unrelated and subjective list of BII symptoms. These include but are not limited to headaches, chills, depression, anxiety, rash, and sleep disturbances. Many of these signs are anecdotal reports shared in online communities and groups. Many people believe these social media groups account for the rapid increase in patient reporting.
Since physicians do not recognize BII as a medical illness and there are no means of testing available, it’s hard to know if a patient is suffering from this condition and why. Some proposed causes of BII include the body’s reaction to the saline or silicone implants as well as the surgical techniques used. The FDA reports that patients who attribute their health concerns to BII sometimes experience relief from their symptoms through a breast explant. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms after breast augmentation and all other medical testing proves negative, you can consult with Dr. Schwartz about breast implant removal.
Treatment of BII Symptoms
Since BII is not well understood by the medical community, plastic surgeons may take different approaches when it comes to treatment. The process of implant removal is very different than the initial breast augmentation. Before surgery, Dr. Schwartz will conduct a thorough assessment to understand your medical history as well as symptoms. This may mean scheduling more than one consultation to discuss your available options. Patients should also understand that implant removal does not necessarily guarantee that the symptoms will cease. As always, we seek to educate and empower patients so they can make an informed decision for themselves. If you have decided that implant explant is the right way to move forward, our staff will schedule a date for surgery.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery
To complete the breast implant removal, Dr. Schwartz may make an incision along the crease beneath the breast. An en bloc capsulectomy is performed as necessary to remove any tissue that has developed around the implant area. Though anesthesia prevents pain during the surgery, you may experience some discomfort during the healing process, especially if you have scar tissue removed. Our Beverly Hills, CA, clinic will give you more information during your consultation if an en bloc capsulectomy is required.
After surgery, Dr. Schwartz or a member of his team will schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor your healing progress. You may get a compression bandage to make the healing process easier. Our clinic may give you specific instructions that include:
How to clean and care for the surgical sites following surgery
Medications that aid healing and reduce your risk of infection
Specific concerns to look for and when to contact Dr. Schwartz
Contact Dr. Schwartz About BII
At our plastic surgery clinic in Beverly Hills, CA, we understand that no two patients are alike. Upon evaluating your case, we can create and execute a custom treatment plan that achieves the most ideal outcome for you. To make sure you feel comfortable, our staff will be with you through every step of the way, from the initial consult to the last follow-up appointment. As an expert in breast implant removal, Dr. Schwartz will also be there to address any concerns you may have and offer guidance and support. To learn more about Breast Implant Illness symptoms, breast explant, and en bloc capsulectomy, contact us today to schedule an appointment.