Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the U.S., with more than 190,000 performed each year. While breast augmentation can help you achieve a fuller, rounder breast shape, not every patient has an ideal outcome from their implants. 

Some patients develop breast implant illness after augmentation. At Schoemann Plastic Surgery in Encinitas, CA, we offer treatment for patients who experience the symptoms of breast implant illness. 

What Is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness refers to a series of symptoms some women experience after breast augmentation. Sometimes, the body does not respond appropriately to breast implants. The following symptoms are common in these cases:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Photosensitivity
  • Chronic pain
  • Rashes
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Body odor
  • Poor concentration
  • Neurological concerns
  • Hormonal issues

While these symptoms can all be attributed to other conditions or underlying health concerns, they may be breast implant illnesses if they occur in the weeks following breast augmentation. Women who experience these after their procedure draw a link between their symptoms and the implants because they did not have these symptoms before surgery.

Breast implant illness is not recognized as an official medical condition or disease because the materials used to make breast implants have not been directly linked to these symptoms. Breast implants are made from either silicone or saline, both of which are hypoallergenic and body-safe materials. There has been no proven correlation between either of these materials and the symptoms that present with breast implant illness.

With that being said, research suggests silicone implants may be associated with certain autoimmune diseases. These studies indicate silicone implants may increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, or scleroderma. They may also exacerbate the symptoms of existing autoimmune diseases. This connection has not been distinctly confirmed, but studies are ongoing to determine the link between silicone implants and these conditions. The FDA has stated there is no clear link between silicone and autoimmune disease.

In any case, women who experience these symptoms desire resolution and relief from their discomfort. At Schoemann Plastic Surgery, Dr. Schoemann will work with you to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms and determine whether breast implant illness is the only connecting factor. He will then develop a unique treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms.

Treating Breast Implant Illness

The most common course of treatment for breast implant illness is removal of the implants. Dr. Schoemann provides breast implant removal for patients who are experiencing symptoms and no longer wish to have their implants. 

It is important to note that breast implant removal may not provide a complete and permanent resolution for breast implant illness. While removal resolves symptoms for many, some women still experience the symptoms associated with breast implant illness. In certain cases, there is temporary relief from symptoms, only for them to return later on. At Schoemann Plastic Surgery, we are straightforward and transparent with every patient. Before you undergo breast implant removal, we will discuss all of your symptoms and the possibility that removal may not eliminate them.

Dr. Schoemann understands that breast implant illness and removal are serious topics. The goal is to provide you with a comfortable space to go over your concerns and find possible relief. Dr. Schoemann will work with you to develop a treatment plan that can best meet your needs. 

For some patients, this is simply removal surgery. Other patients want to maintain their desired cosmetic goals. This will require implant removal and possible reconstruction or revision. Your combination of procedures will depend on your aesthetic wishes.

Candidates for Breast Implant Removal or Revision

Are you struggling with the symptoms of breast implant illness? You may be a candidate for breast implant removal or revision surgery. Before seeking these procedures, you must understand that there are certain risks with each surgery. 

The nature of your original augmentation may make it impossible to have either procedure performed. Scarring from the first augmentation can prevent a simple removal procedure, making your surgery more complicated. 

You should also consider that your removal or revision procedure can cause additional scarring, depending on how your initial augmentation was performed.

To determine whether you are a candidate for breast implant removal, you can schedule a consultation. During this appointment, Dr. Schoemann will evaluate your current implants and go over your presenting symptoms. Your relevant medical records will be reviewed as well as surgical notes from your original augmentation. 

This information is used to confirm that you are a candidate for breast implant removal. Patients deemed viable candidates for implant removal will be able to move forward with the process and schedule their procedure promptly. If you cannot have a removal, Dr. Schoemann will work with you to develop an alternative treatment plan. 

Breast Implant Illness Treatment at Schoemann Plastic Surgery

If you had a recent breast augmentation and are now experiencing symptoms of breast implant illness, you will need to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon. At Schoemann Plastic Surgery, we offer breast implant illness treatment for patients in Encinitas, CA. 

Dr. Schoemann can assess your breast implants and review your symptoms to determine whether you are suffering from breast implant illness. From there, we will work together to design a personalized treatment plan that may alleviate your symptoms. To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call (760) 487-2520.