Breast Implant Illness – Can removing your breast implants improve your health?

Today I saw 2 women both of whom reported a remarkable increase in their health and wellbeing just 6 weeks following removal of their breast implants. Both women had silicone breast implants with a coarse (or macro) surface texture.
There has been a lot of publicity recently about the risk of women with these implants developing a condition known as Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) which is a low grade cancer of the capsule surrounding their implants. The current risk of this condition developing is believed to be 1:1000. What is not reported however is the far greater risk of developing generalised ill health.

My first patient was in her mid-20’s. She’d had her breast implants inserted 4 years previously and began to feel unwell 2 years afterwards. Her main symptoms were fatigue, anxiety and depression. She also suffered from foggy thinking, constant headaches, chest pain and a generalised sense of weakness. She also reported muscle pain, memory loss and night sweats. All of these symptoms were gone at her 6 week review. She said that she felt that removal of her implants had been “life changing”.

My second patient was in her mid-40’s. Her breast implants had been inserted 12 years previously and she said that her symptoms began very soon after her surgery. Not only did she feel that her breasts were too large but she had a high level of fatigue and weakness as well as headaches and foggy thinking. Also scoring high on our questionnaire were joint pain, muscle pain and tingling in her hands and feet. She was finding it difficult to work.

Once again she reported that her symptoms improved rapidly following removal of her implants. In her case in order to maintain an attractive volume and shape, removal of her implants was accompanied by an auto augmentation using her own fat.

Although we don’t yet know the precise cause of what has become known as Breast Implant Illness, it is not difficult to understand that having half a litre or more of liquid gel silicone inside your body may not be optimal for your health. In fact these implants are often surrounded by thick rubbery capsules (see photos) – a sign that the body has mounted an intense rejection response.

It is likely that as awareness of this condition increases, that more and more women will request removal of their breast implants in order to recover their health.

Examples of thick, rubbery capsular tissue surrounding textured breast implants