There are many reasons as to why women choose to increase their breast size and enhance their overall shapes using breast implants. Most of them do it for either cosmetic reasons or reconstructive purposes especially after undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer. While breast implants can totally change your life for the better, of late a number of women have suspected getting ill from their breast implants. Most of these women have suspected falling ill from diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, sclerosis, and Sjögren’s syndrome due to their breast implants. While there is still no clear scientific evidence to prove the connection of this diseases to breast implants, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization have already discovered a link between breast implants and a rare condition known as breast implant illness. This is generally a condition that is defined by chronic negative health effects that result from implanting silicone breasts.

What causes breast implant illness?

Breast implants being very large foreign bodies interfere with a person’s immune system, weaken it, and trigger immune dysfunction. First, they stimulate a chronic foreign-body inflammatory response. Second, breast implants surfaces are prone to developing bacteria. Finally, the implants tend to have slow leakages of silicone, chemicals, and other heavy metals. When these products breakdown slowly and accumulate inside the body, they lead to overloading of toxicity. Since the implant shells are usually semi-permeable, they will slowly release the harmful products inside them into your body. It is the exposure to these toxic metals and chemicals that causes recurring infections, autoimmunity, allergies, neurological symptoms, and many more conditions.

What are it’s symptoms?

The symptoms of this illness tend to vary from one person to the other. This is often due to genetics, the type of implants, pre-existing autoimmune disease, progression of illness, trauma, and even use of mammograms. Some of the major symptoms of the illness include:
•Redness
•Swelling
•Pain
•Discharge
•Change in the shape and color of breast
•Fever
•Fatigue
•Numbness
•Weakness
•Muscle twitching
•Brain fog
•Headaches
•Seizures
•Cardiac arrhythmias

 

How is breast implant illness diagnosed?

Usually, there is still no single test that can be used to diagnose this illness. First, the doctor will observe you for any of the above-named symptoms. When the doctor suspects that you are having the condition, he or she will first run a variety of tests to try and rule out any other possible causes of your signs and symptoms. The tests will include conducting an ultrasound-guided aspiration of the fluid that is collected around the patient’s breast implant. The presence of an increased count of the T-cells in the fluid can be an indication of breast implants illness. Other tests include checking for thick scarring around the implant or an abnormal mass of breast.

How is breast implant illness treated?

If you get diagnosed with breast implant illness, your doctor will recommend you to undergo a PET-CT scan in order to check for any signs of lymphoma in your other parts of the body. For most patients having breast implant illness that is confined to those tissues that are surrounding either one of the breast or both, implant removal is enough to stop the disease from progressing. While there are quite a number of techniques that may be used to remove these implants, the en bloc procedure is regarded as the best. In the en bloc procedure, the capsule which is the scar tissue growing and enveloping the implant, together with the implant, is carefully removed so that there is no residue that is left behind. The main reason why the en bloc procedure is considered the best for treating this condition is that it ensures that the patient’s body does not get contaminated by the materials or fluids that may be left behind by the implant. Also, it allows the tissues and muscles of the patient’s breast to go back into their original positions which in turn restores their normal-looking appearance. The en bloc procedure is essentially a delicate and meticulous procedure that needs to be performed by a skilled and experienced breast surgeon. If you want to learn more about the en bloc procedure and the various options for removing breast implants, feel free to contact us today.