Can My Breast Implants Make Me Sick? Understanding Breast Implant Illness

As an experienced, highly trained and sought-after plastic surgeon, Tom Pousti, MD, FACS, of Pousti Plastic Surgery wants patients who are concerned about breast implant illness to know that he is here to help them. Some surgeons may tell you that breast implant illness is not real; Dr. Pousti has an open mind, has seen many of his patients improve after breast implant removal and doesn’t rule it out. 

What is breast implant illness?

Breast implant illness is a self-reported collection of symptoms that some women with breast implants have noticed. Those symptoms include, among others: 

Dr. Pousti has treated patients with these symptoms who suspected they had breast implant illness with many patients reporting significant improvement in many (if not all) symptoms. Dr. Pousti asks patients to get 2nd and 3rd opinions from other specialists, such as neurologists, rheumatologists, and other doctors, and sometimes find that they have unrelated, but treatable conditions.

What does the science say? 

The research on breast implant illness has been inconclusive. Studies are underway, but for now, there’s just no hard, conclusive evidence connecting the breast implants to the symptoms being reported

The most common theory is that in some people, breast implant illness has to do with a complex interaction between your immune system and your implants. Many of the symptoms associated with breast implant illness are also hallmarks of various autoimmune disorders. 

That’s one reason Dr. Pousti encourages patients with symptoms to seek second and third opinions from experts in different specialties. You may have a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis — or any of numerous other autoimmune disorders — instead of breast implant illness. 

If you have a family or personal history that includes autoimmune disorders, or you’re concerned about breast implant illness, Dr. Pousti advises against breast augmentation surgery. If you’re surprised that a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation would recommend avoiding breast implants, you should get to know Dr. Pousti. His dedication to his patients’ health cannot be overstated. 

Removal of breast implants

Dr. Pousti has worked with women who chose to have their implants removed. In many cases, their symptoms went away after the removal. But this cannot be guaranteed, so it’s a decision to undertake very carefully. 

For one thing, breast implant removal with capsulectomy can have increased risks. One example would be if the breast implants capsule is densely adhered to your rib cage, you may have a greater risk of bleeding. Your best tool for mitigating those kinds of risks is to work with a highly skilled surgeon, such as Dr. Pousti. 

Highly personal choice

Choosing to have breast augmentation is an extremely personal decision. You should discuss and understand all of the potential risks and complications before undergoing the procedure. 

If you’ve already had breast augmentation and you’re experiencing the symptoms of breast implant illness, consult Dr. Pousti, as well as your primary care doctor and any other specialists they recommend. 

If you’d like to learn more about breast implant illness, book an appointment at Pousti Plastic Surgery. Our staff is happy to answer your questions, as well as help you evaluate your own risk. 

Scheduling is simple. You can book online, or call us at 619-466-8851, and we’ll be happy to set up your appointment.

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