Breast Implant Illness (BII) has received a lot of media attention recently and some high profile personalities have spoken about their experience with Breast Implants online.
What is Breast Implant Illness (BII)?
BII is quite difficult to define; however it has been described as a period of sickness affecting multiple systems within one’s body, due to toxicity from the implant.
What are the symptoms of BII?
BII symptoms include, but aren’t limited to fatigue/low energy, cognitive dysfunction such as memory loss and brain fog, headaches, joint and muscle pain, hair loss, recurring infections, swollen lymph nodes and swollen glands, rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as problems with the thyroid and adrenals.
These symptoms are also very common in multiple auto immune diseases, as well as depression and anxiety.
Is it a recognised condition?
Whilst there is anecdotal evidence of breast implants causing issues for some patients, there has been no scientific research published in a credible medical journal.
There are also no definitive tests which can be conducted on individuals to diagnose them with BII. However, this does not mean that BII does not exist. There are some thoughts that BII is the body reacting to the implants, or a low grade infection. More research needs to be done on patients with these symptoms to find the root cause of their symptoms.
Who can I speak to if I think I have BII?
Your GP should be your first point of contact if you have any of the above symptoms, and are concerned you may be suffering from BII. Once you have spoken to your GP, he or she may refer you to have an ultrasound to check for a potential rupture with your existing implants, as this is what could potentially be causing you to feel unwell.
If you have Breast Implants, it is important to have a routine check every two years to check for ruptures. We have had patients who have had their implants removed after thinking they had BII and it turned out that the implant had a rupture that an ultrasound did not pick up.
What are my options if I already have Breast Implants and wish to remove them?
If you have Breast Implants, and would like to have them removed, Dr Murray is able to perform “Explant” Surgery (Implant Removal).
Do I have another option if I want Implants, but am worried about BII?
If you have changed your mind about wanting to have a Breast Augmentation, however still desire a larger bust, we recommend coming in for a consultation. Fat Transfer is an alternative option, however, it may provide more subtle results. Whilst a Fat Transfer won’t deliver the exact same result as a Breast Augmentation, it is a good option for someone who is put off by the idea of BII or does not want to place a foreign object in their body.
What to do if implant Is ruptured?
At Absolute Cosmetic we offer Implant Removal and Replacement, as well as permenant removal. If you believe that your implant has ruptured, it is important to book in for a removal as soon as possible. Breast implants that are aged, damaged or ruptured cannot be repaired. These implants must be removed, and can then be replaced. Manufacturers of breast implants recommend that they are replaced after 10 years.
How do I judge if an implant type is safe?
A rupture can happen in any implant, however, they are more commonly found in cheap implants, which may not be cohesive gel implants. At Absolute Cosmetic Medicine, we use POLYTECH Implants. Breast Implants are considered as a Class III medical device, meaning that they are amongst the highest controlled products on the market.
POLYTECH implants are manufactured in Dieburg, Germany, with each and every implant being subjected to extensive tests under strict controls. POLYTECH aims not only to meet and comply with international standards, but to exceed them.
Polytech are also filled with a cohesive gel, meaning that if the implant does rupture, the silicon should hold its form and not leak in to the body.
We also offer Polyurethane implants which are often seen as favourable over the old textured implants.
10 Questions to ask yourself about BII
Do any illnesses run in my family?
If so, are any of these illnesses autoimmune diseases?
Do I have a history of depression, anxiety or hormonal imbalances?
Are my implants good quality and was my Augmentation performed in a clean setting?
Are my implants textured?
Are my implants hard or painful?
Have my implants deflated?
Have I had any trauma to your implant, such as a car accident?
Have you had significant weight gain or weight loss?
Do I currently have, or recently had a fever, especially while travelling overseas?