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Day 19 of Our 31 Day Series of How Medicine Got It Wrong

Uncovering the Truth Behind Breast Implant Illness: What You Need to Know

Breast implant illness (BII) refers to a collection of symptoms that some women report experiencing after getting breast implants. The history of breast implant illness dates back to the 1960s when silicone breast implants were first introduced.

Silicone implants were popular for many years until they were linked to a range of health problems, including autoimmune disorders, neurological symptoms, and connective tissue diseases. In the 1990s, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a moratorium on silicone implants, and they were only allowed for use in specific situations, such as breast reconstruction after cancer surgery.

However, in 2006, the FDA lifted the restrictions on silicone breast implants, allowing them to be used in cosmetic surgery again. Since then, many women have reported experiencing symptoms that they believe are related to their implants.

Symptoms of BII can vary widely from person to person and can include fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, rashes, and hair loss. Other common symptoms include anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Some women also report experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, and muscle aches.

The negative effects of breast implant illness can be significant and can impact a person's quality of life. In some cases, the symptoms can be debilitating and may lead to a loss of mobility, cognitive function, and independence. BII can also cause emotional distress and may lead to a loss of self-esteem and confidence.

There is no single treatment for breast implant illness, and the best course of action will depend on the specific symptoms a person is experiencing. Some women may choose to have their implants removed, which can sometimes alleviate symptoms. However, in some cases, symptoms may persist even after implant removal. Other treatments may include medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications.

American Frontline Nurses is working with specialists in BII and if you are in need of assistance, please reach out to us. If you are experiencing symptoms of breast implant illness, it is essential to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine the best course of action for managing your symptoms and can provide guidance on treatment options.

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  1. Breast Implant Illness: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment. (2021, August 4). Mayo Clinic.

  2. Breast Implant Illness. (n.d.). FDA.

  3. Adams, W. P., & Rios, J. L. (2019). Breast implant illness: a way forward. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 143(3S A Review of Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma), 74S-81S.

  4. Razdan, S. N., & Little, J. W. (2020). Breast implant illness: A narrative review. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 40(3), NP189-NP196.

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