Does Removing Implants Make Breast Implant Illness Go Away?

Breast implants help give women confidence in their appearance. They have been in use for many years all over the world for breast reconstruction and augmentation. Unfortunately, women with breast implants can sometimes experience symptoms that affect their health. Doctors refer to this as breast implant illness.

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What Is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness (BII) is a variety of symptoms a person with breast implants may experience. The exact or primary cause is not yet known. However, it often relates to inflammatory or autoimmune responses. BII has other names like silicone implant illness or breast implant disease.

Individuals with breast implant illness experience the symptoms with either saline or silicone-filled implants. They can begin immediately after their breast implant procedure or years later. Any person who gets breast implants can get BII. Over 400,000 individuals in the United States get breast implants every year.

Symptoms of BII

Breast implant illness symptoms can vary from one individual to another. There are over 50 symptoms reported that affect the overall body, musculoskeletal system, and ability to focus or think. Below are the common symptoms:

  • Myopathy or muscle weakness

  • Muscle pain

  • Joint pain

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Memory loss

  • Fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Skin issues such as rashes

  • Low vision or dry eyes

  • Chronic pain

  • Autoimmune condition diagnosis and symptoms

Causes of BII

The exact cause of breast implant illness is not yet known. However, some scholars suspect that one can get BII due to biofilm infection, which is the growth of bacteria on the implant surface, which leads to sickness. Inflammatory or autoimmune reactions to various parts of the breast implant, like silicone, can cause BII. Researchers also suspect that reacting to the breast implant surgical procedure can lead to illness.

Does Removing the Implant Treat BII?

There are no tests commonly used to help in the diagnosis of breast implant illness. Your medical provider will inquire about your medical history and symptoms. They may have to order some tests to help rule out conditions like Lyme disease or arthritis, depending on what you tell them about your signs and symptoms.

Removing the breast implant has proven to treat BII. Surgeons often treat the illness by making incisions under your breast fold or around the nipple and then removing your implants. They can also remove any scar tissue formed around the breast implant. They will finish the procedure by closing the incisions they made using stitches or skin adhesives.

Some patients have their implants removed for treatment, opting to replace them with a different type of breast implant. For example, they switch from silicone-filled implants to saline-filled implants. While this approach can improve their symptoms, it can also carry more risk if BII symptoms return with time. It is vital to consult your surgeon about the benefits and risks of the surgery before the treatment.

How Soon Can You See Results After Treatment?

Some studies show that patients experience improvement immediately after the surgeon removes the breast implants. However, everyone does not show similar improvement. Sometimes, patients experience relief after a month following the surgical procedure. A study showed that patients experience improvement within 90 days of removing their breast implants.

​​​​​​​For more about removing implants, contact Aesthetic Surgical Associates at our office in Metairie, Louisiana, also serving New Orleans. Call 504-226-8200 to book an appointment today