When a woman experiences adverse side effects and symptoms due to breast augmentation, it is called breast implant illness or BII. If you are considering breast implants or have them, it is important to know the symptoms and signs to look out for.
Breast augmentation is and has been the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedure since 2006. This was the year that the FDA cleared new silicone implants for use in breast augmentation. In 2018 alone, the National Plastics Surgery Report stated that 331,000 women had breast augmentation surgery and the numbers continue to climb.
Even with the ‘blessing” of the FDA one cannot help but wonder if breast implants are safe. After all, looking at the numbers, it is obvious that a lot of women are choosing breast augmentation and implants.
There are risks associated with any surgery. Each woman is unique and many have no issues at all but there have been women who have experienced side effects after breast implants. Some reported having symptoms soon after having their implants inserted, and others did not until years later.
Signs of Breast Implant Illness
These are symptoms of breast implant illness that have been reported and you should be aware of:
- Memory and/or Concentration Issues – forgetfulness, brain fog, loss of memory, and finding it difficult to concentrate.
- Ongoing Fatigue – having virtually no energy all day long.
- Imbalance in Hormones – menstrual cycle irregularities; skipped menstrual cycles; early menopause; weight gain or weight loss; excessive body odor; losing hair; low sex drive; thyroid and/or adrenal issues (e.g. hyper function or hypofunction).
- Digestive System Issues – Metabolic changes, constipation, gastrointestinal issues (leaky gut), which often signals an autoimmune issue.
- Sleep Issues – Not being able to sleep at all or stay asleep.
- Changes in the Breast – Change in shape, size or color, redness, discharge, swelling, rash, or pain could indicate a leaking implant.
- Skin Problems – Eczema, pigmentation changes, freckling, rashes, or allergic reactions.
- Dry Mouth/Dry Eyes.
- Weakened Immune System – Easily catch common illnesses such as flu or cold, achy muscles, prolonged healing time for superficial wounds, sudden food allergies and intolerance, dizziness, migraines.
- Mental Health Issues – Mental health issues can be caused by lack of sleep, hormone imbalances, continually feeling weak and sick can cause anxiety, depression, mood swings.
- Autoimmune disorders – Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Wondering If You Have BII?
Breast Implant Illness symptoms can be different and random; therefore, they may not fit into a category and may be misdiagnosed. There are no tests that are commonly used to identify it.
Breast implant illness is poorly understood and there has been little research done, and no studies or numbers are available regarding how many women have experienced the illness.
On social media, women shared their stories and the illness gained notoriety. Some new research is being developed and funded by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation and The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
When considering breast implants, you should speak with your surgeon about your own and your family’s medical history. And of course, you should pick the most experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Angelina Postoev to complete your procedure.
If you currently have breast implants and feel you may have symptoms of breast implant illness, do not hesitate to contact our office for a consultation.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer breast augmentation for women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.