Know These 6 Breast Implant Illness Symptoms

The majority of women who undergo breast augmentation keep their implants for many years and are happy with their choice to get surgery. However, in rare cases, women may experience a collection of symptoms, ranging from joint pain and headaches to chronic fatigue and breathing problems. Collectively, doctors and researchers refer to this as breast implant illness — or BII, for short.

Breast implant illness is not well understood. For example, there is no blood test for BII. Medical professionals simply look at the range of symptoms a particular patient may present with, and if that patient also has breast implants (and no other underlying condition can be named), they will typically call it BII.

As a result, knowing the signs and symptoms of breast implant illness is critical if you have implants yourself. Below, we’ll outline six of the most important breast implant illness symptoms you should be aware of.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Implant Illness?

In actuality, there is no “official list” of symptoms for breast implant illness. There are actually more than 100 symptoms associated with this condition. Some, even, might fall outside of the general list released by medical professionals and can still be linked to BII. 

With that said, most patients complain of at least a handful of similar ailments. Below, we’ve listed six of the most common and serious symptoms to be conscious of.

  1. Chronic fatigue

Feeling very tired, even when you get full nights of sleep and naps during the day is not normal. Patients with breast implant illness often complain of feeling overly fatigued all day and not having the energy they used to have before getting implants.

  1. Trouble concentrating and remembering

Patients with this symptom often complain of “brain fog” or light, consistent confusion. They may have a difficult time with their short-term memory or be unable to complete multi-step tasks (such as baking or cooking something) without feeling lost at times.

  1. Hair loss

Some hair loss is normal. It’s not uncommon to find hairs in your hairbrush after getting ready in the morning or a few hairs in your drain after showering. But if you notice your hair coming out in tufts or if you’ve noticed an unusual amount of hairs in your drain or on your pillow when you wake up in the morning, this could be a sign that another underlying medical condition such as breast implant illness is the cause.

  1. Joint and muscle pain

Unfortunately, joint and muscle pain is associated with a multitude of illnesses and diseases. However, it’s definitely cause for concern if you have joint and muscle pain yet you have not strained yourself exercising or picking up something heavy, you didn’t sleep wrong and cause pain that way, and you haven’t changed your exercise routine recently. If you have implants, it could be BII.

  1. Dry mouth and eyes

Routinely dry mouth and eyes could be associated with breast implant illness as well. If you find yourself continually reaching for eye drops and without enough saliva in your mouth to feel comfortable, don’t ignore it. Other related symptoms include foggy vision, headaches from squinting, bad breath, difficulty swallowing, and dry and cracked lips.

  1. Depression and anxiety

In some cases, depression and anxiety from breast implant illness are simply associated with the challenging physical symptoms listed above — as well as others. Whether the illness itself is causing these emotional issues doesn’t really matter. If you are feeling chronically depressed or experiencing debilitating anxiety, it’s important not to ignore these symptoms and to seek help.

What Are the Symptoms of Silicone Toxicity?

Some individuals may have an inflammatory or autoimmune response to the silicone in breast implants. Possible symptoms associated with such a response include rashes, dry mouth, dry eyes, muscle weakness, general fatigue, and pain in the joints.

When Do Breast Implant Illness Symptoms Start?

There is no set time period during which the symptoms of breast implant illness generally start. Rather, some patients may experience symptoms after just a few months of having implants while others don’t experience symptoms for several years.

What Kind of Health Problems Can Breast Implants Cause?

Unfortunately, some cases of breast implant illness have been linked to other autoimmune disorders. It is unclear whether those with pre-existing autoimmune disorders later go on to develop breast implant illness or if those with a propensity for autoimmune issues are more likely to develop BII. There does appear to be some relation between these two conditions, however.

Likewise, no one wants to live with symptoms such as persistent muscle and joint pain, chronic sleeping problems, hair loss, and never-ending brain fog. These symptoms alone should spur you on to seek professional help and hopefully figure out if breast implant illness is the root cause.

Does Breast Implant Illness Go Away?

Generally, breast implant illness symptoms do not go away on their own. It usually takes the removal of the implants for symptoms to disappear. 

In some cases, certain symptoms will not go away or will only lessen without completely disappearing. In these cases, as long as the implants have already been removed, it is usually a matter of addressing each individual symptom and coming up with possible corrective solutions symptom by symptom.

What Should You Do if You Suspect You Have BII?

If you’ve been researching breast implant illness, monitoring your symptoms, and think this may be a condition you have, it’s important to seek professional medical assistance. The best place to go is to a board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Make the appointment, and note that you are seeking information on BII. Some plastic surgeons don’t specialize in BII, and you want to find someone with experience treating this illness.

Upon discussing your symptoms with your surgeon, the two of you will come up with a plan of action. As stated above, there unfortunately is not a blood test to diagnose breast implant illness. Therefore, you and your surgeon will be going off of your symptoms to determine if you indeed have this condition.

If you do determine that you have breast implant illness, most patients decide to have their implants removed as treatment. Implants are removed permanently, and no replacement implants are put back in. This is the most effective way to eradicate symptoms related to BII. For most patients, this treatment appears to be effective.

Set Up Your Consultation Appointment Today

If you suspect you may have breast implant illness, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Breast implant patients often choose to return to the surgeon who initially performed their augmentation, but it’s also possible to seek help with a different plastic surgeon such as Dr. Raja Mohan. 

Dr. Mohan understands how difficult it can be not to know whether you are experiencing breast implant illness or another condition. It is always stressful dealing with medical symptoms and worrying about what could be the source. Fortunately, Dr. Raj has direct experience working with patients who have developed BII. He can help you seek corrective treatment.

To schedule an appointment to discuss BII with Dr. Mohan, contact our office today.


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