Is breast illness implants real?
Breast implant illness is a term used to describe signs and symptoms like skin rashes, pain, fatigue, and anxiety that may result after getting implants.
Though many cases of breast implant illness have been reported, the diagnosis and treatment may remain obscure, with the condition itself failing to get acceptance as a real disease by the medical community, therapy or removal of the implants could help solve the condition.
Many Cases Of Breast Implant Illness Have Been Reported
Generally, the term “breast implant illness” is used to describe symptoms or problems that may be linked to the breast implant. Regrettably, there are no set diagnostic tests to confirm this is truly the root of the problem, nor is there any clear recognizable conditions of having this disease. Women in support groups online list these as the issues associated with what they’ve named breast implant illness
- Chronic pain
- Body odor
- Hair loss
- Neurologic abnormalities
- Irregular heart rate
- Endocrine problems
But The Medical Community Does Not Recognize Breast Implant Illness As Real
Plastic surgeons do hear of instances of this issue from their patients, but breast implant illness is not something formally recognized as a problem. There are reports of women developing problems after getting implants and those issues stopping immediately they remove the implants. However when the scientific and research community launched investigations, however, the results on the connection with implants haven’t always been conclusive.
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Evidence to Suggest Link to Autoimmune Disease Is Inadequate
Some oppose that breast implants may impact immune function and trigger autoimmune disorders or systemic illnesses like cancer or connective tissue disease. However, there isn’t enough evidence to support this theory either.
However, in spite of the lack of more broad studies, there are small ones that appear to indicate women who have silicone breast implants have higher levels of immunoglobulins like IgE. Elevated IgE is an indication that your immune system is reacting to what it sees as a threat and is noticed in those with inflammatory diseases, infections, and malignancies. This indicates a possible link to a risk of autoimmune and other diseases. However, nothing definite has come through yet.
There’s no evidence to clarify which type of implant causes breast implant illness
Saline implants or silicone implants, there’s yet no evidence to explain which type of implant causes breast implant illness. So if you are trying to reduce the risk of breast implant illness by picking saline implants over silicone implants or vice versa, you may need to reconsider. While there are benefits and downsides for each, not enough is known about breast implant illness in this situation. Saline feels less natural and may deflate with time. Silicone is also less likely to rupture than saline, but if it does rupture, it may cause siliconomas, whereas saline is naturally absorbed naturally and expelled from the body.
No Typical Treatment
There’s no specific treatment for breast implant illness. However, some researchers suggest that someone complaining of breast implant illness may be better served by behavioral medicine after ruling out any known causes of the symptoms. Stress or chronic fatigue could be to blame. There are also suggestions that some of these symptoms ascribed to breast implant illness could actually be the result of another condition in the body, like fibromyalgia. For instance, what some say is silicone-induced atypical connective tissue disease may actually be the result of fibromyalgia. This condition is also known to cause pain, tenderness in multiple locations in the body, fatigue, as well as heart palpitations, headaches, joint swelling and more.
While some symptoms may be connected to fibromyalgia rather than being a separate breast implant illness, you should know that having a ruptured silicone breast implant puts you at risk of developing fibromyalgia.
If you are struggling with symptoms of what you perceive as breast implant illness, try the following steps:
- See a doctor to run medical tests so as to rule out any other medical conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.
- Get a psychological evaluation with a psychiatrist to see if treatment could help you.
- Focus on managing the problem and recovery.
- Exercise can often help reduce some symptoms. If you are overweight, weight loss may help.
- Take up some stress management activities like tai chi, yoga, or meditation.
- Discuss the option of cognitive behavioral therapy with your doctor.
If your breast implant is causing you to experience pain, discomform and diminished quality of life, it is best to consult your surgeon and schedule a removal of the implant. Whatever be the cause or underlying pathology of the problem, what does seem to emerge as a pattern is that the explanation or removal of the implant seems to help ease symptoms for about 50% of the women who choose this action.
Most of the risks of breast implants come from the surgical procedure and its outcome. As the American Society of Plastic Surgeons points out, these may include:
- Poor scarring or tight scar tissue (capsular contracture)
- Persistent pain
- Wrinkling of the skin in the area of the implant
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Nerve problems: After breast implant surgery, some women experience less or more sensitivity in their nipples and breasts.
There are also the usual risks associated with a surgery like anesthesia risk, infection at the site and possibility of bleeding. Also, the implant may be placed wrongly or could leak or rupture, requiring timely intervention and possibly a second corrective surgery.
Implants Could Also Slightly Increase Risk Of Certain Cancers
According to one study, having breast implants could marginally raise your risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warns against a risk of developing this kind of cancer when you have breast implants.
Though the condition is rare, because only about 1 in 7000 women who get breast implants will develop ALCL by the time they are 75 years old, which means your overall risk of developing it is still low.
While no other cancer link has been publicized, a 2001 study found that women with breast implants had a higher risk of leukemia and cancers of the brain, stomach, and vulva.