American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

Breast Implant Illness

I have done some research and came across a video of a girl that got silicone implants and suffered severely from them. She got her implants removed and all of her symptoms were gone proving it was breast implant illness. How likely is that to happen? How can I prevent that?

Procedure: Breast Augmentation
Location: Carlsbad, NM

Replies 5

J. Gerald Minniti
ASPS Surgeon

Watching a video about this is hardly proof that implant illness exists. For example, people get colds all the time, and frequently take antibiotics, certain that it helps their cold get better, having done that many times before. But in fact, antibiotics don’t work on cold viruses. My point is we need scientific scrutiny to determine what’s real and what’s not. Implant illness doesn’t exist: we’ve looked at millions of women involved in dozens of various studies over many decades. The internet is a treasure trove of misinformation. The concept of breast implant illness is as persistent as any other conspiracy theory, and will not die as long as people perpetuate the myth. Don’t worry, you’re safe with silicone gel implants.

Shashidhar Kusuma
ASPS Surgeon

Hello, I have had the opportunity and experience working with many women with this situation. There has been now some emphasis placed by ASPS on the topic as there are adequate women who have reported this condition. While there is no hard evidence to support or refute this condition, I believe that there is something there. With present day technology, it is not possible to screen patients for this condition. The percentage of women who experience this is however very small relative to the overall women with implants.

Of the many cases where i have done implant removal, some have improved and others haven't in my cases. Many have been thankful and relieved that they have eliminated another possible situation that may cause this problem.

As we continue to study this problem, I am sure there will be more we will learn in due time.

Susan Buenaventura
ASPS Surgeon
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Be careful about reading too much into a single video. At the same time, you are asking an important and reasonable question. There are many studies showing that there are no clear associations between autoimmune type diseases and breast implants. But if you do have implants and develop an illness, will you worry that it is due to the implants? If so, it may be best to avoid having implants placed until you are comfortable with their safety. If you already have implants, be sure to keep an annual visit with your plastic surgeon to keep updated on the current concerns and get a physical exam to check for capsular contracture or risk of leakage. Best wishes to you!

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. Though plastic surgery research has not been able to draw a causal relationship between implants and illnesses, the patients that feel as if they have it are very few in number. Hope this helps.

Jon Ver Halen
ASPS Surgeon

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!


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