There is significant chatter these days about textured breast implants and their impact on women’s health. Implants have been used by millions of women worldwide for more than 30 years.
Some women now believe their breast implants are making them sick based on symptoms including brain fog, chest pain, chronic pain, fatigue, hair loss, headaches, hormonal or neurologic issues, photosensitivity, rashes, and sleep disturbance. It has given rise to an awareness of Breast Implant Illness (BII), which may be caused by silicone or saline implants.
The surface of textured breast implants is rough, as opposed to traditional implants which have a smooth outer surface. A textured breast implant is designed to facilitate the tissue surrounding the implant to attach and adhere more easily than with smooth-surfaced implants. The idea is to prevent the implant from shifting or becoming displaced from the implant pocket.
There may also be an association between textured implants and Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Lymphocytic Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The FDA held a public advisory committee meeting in 2019 to re-evaluate all the approved breast implants in the United States. Some implants have been pulled off the market in Canada and France.
Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure that removes an implant from a woman because of pain due to symptoms of breast implant illness and a personal choice to have it removed and/or when the outside shell has broken down, causing silicone to leak and the scar tissue around the implant to harden.
The procedure takes between one and three hours using general anesthesia or intravenous sedation for comfort. The incision is usually made along the lower fold of the breast or around/below the areola. The implant and capsules are removed using one of three techniques:
Breast Implant Illness is a term used to describe women with saline or silicone breast implants that may be creating symptoms that cause them to become sick. Dr. Ritu Chopra describes it as an illness that can include different symptoms including fatigue, joint pain or brain fog with a feeling of not being well.
"Just because it is not an illness, and we don't have a test for it, it doesn't mean that it's not a problem," said Dr. Chopra. "In my opinion, if you have autoimmunity, you should stay away from all types of implants period because I think that can stimulate your immune system to rev up and then cause these very problems."
There are tests for autoimmune diseases that can be done to help evaluate you and the cause of your symptoms.
Click here to watch Dr. Chopra’s appearance on The Doctors discussing what breast implant illness is.
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a cancer of the immune system and involves the growth of lymphoma cells in or around a breast implant scar capsule. It can necessitate having your breast or implant examined for fluid and/or tissue concerns.
One of the first signs of BIA-ALCL is hardness and swelling in the implant causing pain. It is a treatable form of lymphoma within the scar tissue around the breast implant that has developed after a few years of being inserted. Symptoms to watch out for include thickening of the scar capsule around your implant, swollen lymph nodes, growth of a lump on your breasts, different sensations like firmness, redness or lesion on your skin on or near your breast, breast growth or asymmetry.
You should consider getting your textured implants removed as soon as possible if you've diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were almost 50,000 breast implant removal procedures done in the U.S. in 2018. The FDA reports patients who believe they are experiencing breast implant illness can often find a resolution to their symptoms by having the implant removed. Some causes could be related to the body's inflammatory reaction to a foreign object, specific components of the implants, the way the body responds to its insertion, and specific surgical techniques.
There are studies that indicate there may be some improvement in a patient's health after the removal of her breast implants. A study published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine in 2013 indicated that most of the symptoms disappeared in 69% of women after they had their implants taken out.
Dr. Chopra has observed the evidence first-hand after performing hundreds of textured implant removal surgeries in Beverly Hills. "90% of these women are getting better (after implant removal)," said Dr. Chopra. "They may not get better the first week, they may not get better in six months, but by a year, a lot of their symptoms are completely gone."
When it comes to your health, it is best to get your textured implants removed as soon as possible.
Besides the improvement of certain symptoms, there are other benefits to having your breast implants removed.
It will be easier for mammograms since the implants are placed above or below the pectoral muscle making it difficult to perceive the targeted area. Saline or silicone implants can also impact the results of a mammogram. Without implants, the results of your mammogram will be clear.
Substantial, heavy implants may be causing you discomfort in your back or shoulders. Breast implant removal may provide relief. With any breast implant, there is also the risk of capsular contracture where the scar tissue surrounding the implant can harden and contract, leading to discomfort or other health complications.
Breast implant removal may help boost your confidence and allow you to regard your body in a new light, especially if you are ready for a lifestyle change.
Removing your implants means no worrying about any future ruptures, which can be terrible. Ruptures can happen due to a defective or aged implant or physical pressure. Without the fear of ruptures, you can end up saving significant money as MRIs can be costly. It can become an unexpected out-of-pocket expense, especially if a rupture is found.
Once you decide to undergo our Beverly Hills textured implant removal surgery, you won't have to worry about your replacement, as all implants age over time with, and carry a recommendation to replace them every ten years. You'll no longer have to worry about being sick due to having a foreign object in your body.
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“Dr Chopra is the best Dr. out there! Dr Chopra is a Perfectionist, his bedside manner is warm, kind and very caring. If you are seeking a doctor to perform reconstruction revision or cosmetic surgery, You need to look no further.”
“Since then Dr. Chopra has done my implants and 2 fat transfer procedures. It has been 1 year and 9 months since my breast cancer diagnosis and in that time your surgical team becomes like family.”
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