Can Breast Implants Cause Illness?
If you’ve been reading up on breast augmentation surgeries, you may have come across patient stories of BII or breast implant illness. This is a condition which some patients report experiencing after getting silicone breast implants.
The symptoms of breast implant illness reported are often broad and can include things like:
- Joint pain
- New food allergies or intolerances
- “Brain fog” and/or memory loss
- Slower hair growth
- Reproductive problems
- Low immunity
Why do these symptoms happen? Is breast implant illness a diagnosed condition?
Currently, there’s not a lot of scientific evidence linking breast implants with these symptoms. But if not the implants, where do these symptoms come from?
One possibility: chance.
Over a million people have breast implant surgery every year. Most of them keep their implants for many years afterwards.
If you take any group of that many people, and then follow up with them for the next couple of decades, it’s likely that at least some of them will develop medical issues.
Autoimmune conditions can cause pain, fogginess, inflammation, and food intolerances – the same symptoms reported by some breast implant recipients.
When breast implant illness IS a known complication
Like any surgery, breast augmentation can lead to several complications both immediately afterwards and down the road.
Many patients experiencing “breast implant illness” may actually have a known breast implant complication.
Capsular contraction, in which scar tissue forms around the implant, rupture, wrinkling, infection or a seroma are all side effects that can come from a breast implant surgery. When these complications are treated appropriately, they typically resolve.
This reality can also make it complicated to identify possible cases of actual breast implant illness.
Is BII an Autoimmune reaction?
Everyone’s body is different, and it’s possible that some people do react negatively to the addition of a foreign object such as an implant.
Silicone typically does not cause immune reactions such as the connective tissue and chronic fatigue symptoms described, even if the implant ruptures.
In the U.S., following initial reports of BII (breast implant illness) silicone implants were briefly banned for everyone except reconstructive patients. But during that time, extensive research found no link between silicone and harmful side effects.
Silicone implants were put back on the market in the U.S. back in 2006. Since then, there still hasn’t been a clear link found between implants and any of the symptoms listed above.
The bottom line
Of course, it can be difficult to study the impact of implants long term – the population of people with implants includes people of all ages and backgrounds, and surgical techniques have changed dramatically over our lifetimes.
But silicone-based implants have been around in some form for almost sixty years. Despite how this history, there still isn’t evidence that indicates a link between breast implants and your risk of developing health conditions.
True reactions to breast implants that aren’t caused by another underlying condition are exceedingly rare.
Still, preventing and/or treating possible side effects of cosmetic surgery is one of the reasons it’s so important to go to a qualified plastic surgeon.
Your surgeon should provide follow-up support after your surgery and discuss any concerns that develop throughout the lifetime of your implants. Read more of the Latest Update on Breast Implant Illness – Symptoms and Treatment.
Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.
Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures.
Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.
Always Do Your Research
- Download our Procedure Guides to find out more about your surgery
- Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure
Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?
- A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
- Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
- Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral
Making The Most Of Your Consultation
- Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Scott
- You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner
- You can book your initial consultation with Dr Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.
Contact us or call on 1300 641 199 to arrange your consultation in Sydney or Newcastle.
Email us for more information: [email protected]