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There are women who have had breast augmentation with implants that have complained of certain symptoms. This group of symptoms has been termed breast implant illness or BII. Although breast implant illness is not recognized as a medical disease, it cannot be discounted as a health concern. Dr. John Anastasatos and our medical team at Los Angeles Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills offer breast implant illness treatment for our patients with symptoms.

What is Breast Implant Illness (BII)?

The first breast augmentation with silicone implants was done in 1962. Breast augmentation is considered to be one of the most popular cosmetic procedures sought after by women worldwide. Breast augmentation changes an entire appearance of a woman, making her feel more confident and feminine.

However, just like with any surgery, there are potential risks that need to be considered before undergoing breast augmentation. “Breast Implant Illness” (BII) is becoming a widely used term to describe a wide range of symptoms and complications that can develop after getting breast implants. BII can develop with any type of breast implant, including silicone gel-filled, saline-filled, smooth surface, textured surface, round, or teardrop-shaped. Breast implant illness is comprised of many different symptoms.

Severe capsular contracture &
ruptured silicone breast implants

Severe capsular contracture & ruptured silicone breast implants
Compared to the implant volume, notice the small size of the capsule that was around this implant . Because of this, the patient experienced breast tenderness and pain. Breast capsule was completly removed before replacing breast implants.

Symptoms of BII

The complaints from women who have self-diagnosed breast implant illness include a group of specific symptoms. A woman could have any combination of the following symptoms that may or may not be related to their breast implants, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Rashes
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Depression

These symptoms can also be linked to many other conditions and may not be caused by breast implants. Since there is no known link to breast implants and any disease, it is not possible to test for breast implant illness. Those with these symptoms should see their primary care physician to be tested for other possible health conditions that could be causing their illness.

 

What are some of the common complications that may contribute to BII?

Capsular Contracture: Breast implants are considered to be “foreign objects” when placed in our bodies. Therefore, a woman’s body reacts to this foreign object by forming a capsule of scar tissue around the implants. Capsular contracture forms when this capsule tightens and becomes very hard. As a result, it can cause the breasts to become very hard or deformed, as well as causing discomfort and/or pain.
The true cause(s) of capsular contracture is not known. But, it is established it represents a reaction of the body against the silicone content of the breast implant.

severe capsular conracture that caused breast asymmetry
Severe capsular contracture that caused breast asymmetry, noticeable difference between implants placement and cleavage deformity. Capsule tissue that has formed around old breast implants. Notice how rigid and thick the tissue was. It was responsible for constant pain hardness of the breast.

Breast Implant Rupture: With time, the longer a breast implant is in place, the more likely it is to break. Unfortunately, women may not know when their silicone gel breast implants break, because there experience no visible symptoms. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the rupture is diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Contents from ruptured implants may spread within the capsule surrounding the implant, and it can even migrate outside of the capsule to other parts of the body. The longer this problem goes untreated, the more likely it may cause a patient to develop BII.

Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implant
Ruptured silicone breast implant that was removed during the breast revision surgery. Patients may be unaware of the rupture and have no symptoms, due to having gummy-bear breast implants that do not leak and maintain their shape.

Removing Breast Implants

Breast implant illness treatments are limited due to a lack of evidence and testing to prove the condition exists. One option for treatment is removing the breast implants. However, this has had limited success in relieving symptoms of BII for those who have been self-diagnosed with this condition. Other treatment options can include breast lifts and fat transfer, which can offer relief for some patients.

If you are concerned that you are having symptoms of breast implant illness, contact us at Los Angeles Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills. We can schedule an exam and consultation with Dr. Anastasatos, who can ensure your implants are in good condition and discuss your treatment options.

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Beverly Hills Location

WhatsApp/Viber: +1 949 584 2860
436 North Bedford Drive Suite 215
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Greece Location

WhatsApp/Viber: +30 694 064 4031
Palas Kefalari
Kolokotroni 23
Kifisia, 145 62
Athens, Greece
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Beverly Hills Location

436 North Bedford Drive Suite 215
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
WhatsApp/Viber: +1 949 584 2860

Bakersfield Location

4909 Centennial Plaza Way
Bakersfield, CA 93312

Greece Location

Palas Kefalari
Kolokotroni 23
Kifisia, 145 62
Athens, Greece
WhatsApp/Viber: +30 694 064 4031