A Patient’s Story – Removal of Breast Implants and Replacement with Fat.

As a plastic surgeon it is very empowering to be able to offer an alternative to breast implants. This is especially the case when my patient, a young woman, has developed the symptoms of Breast Implant Illness after having had Allergan textured implants inserted 6 years previously. My patient story is of a young woman who had obtained a good cosmetic result following the insertion of her implants but who wanted them removed because of the symptoms that she had developed. These symptoms included severe fatigue, anxiety, foggy thinking, memory loss, night sweats and facial cystic acne. I performed surgery where her 260 cc implants were removed and replaced with 160 cc of her own fat.

How rewarding it was to see her 6 weeks following her surgery. Not only were her breasts softer and more natural with a far better cleavage, but she reported that she felt like a” new human being”. Her anxiety disappeared, there were no more night sweats and her cystic facial acne had completley cleared.

There are a lot of theories about the cause of Breast Implant Illness, but I believe that it is simply a matter of chronic inflammation.  Histological examination of the capsule surrounding breast implants always shows increased numbers of inflammatory cells. The surface area of these implants, even not accounting for the texture, amounts to at least 3% of the body surface area on each side. This means that woman with breast implants have an approximately 6% of total body surface area affected by chronic inflammation. This equates to about 2/3rds the surface of an arm.  Imagine if you had a chronic inflammatory condition such as eczema affecting 2/3rds of your arm.  Or imagine if you had an inflammation of the bowel such as colitis and the effect it must have on your general health.