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What Can Be Done About Breast Implant Illness (BII)?

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There are many reasons women may want to get breast augmentation with implants, such as loss of breast volume after having children. With the latest implant options combined with advanced surgical techniques, breast augmentation is now safer and more effective than ever. At Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX, we are proud to help patients get the natural look they want while improving their body image and self-confidence.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe and his team are also passionate about educating patients about the risks and complications involved in plastic surgery. This is why many women have come to our facility asking about Breast Implant Illness (BII). BII is a collection of symptoms some patients face following augmentation with implants. Symptoms range from chronic pain to sleeping problems to memory loss. Though BII is not currently recognized as a medical condition, the symptoms are very real to those experiencing them. To learn more about what can be done about BII, call Dr. Dauwe today and schedule a one-on-one consultation.

Am I at risk of getting BII?

First, patients should know that experiencing an adverse reaction to a silicone or saline breast implant is very rare. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the risk of complications due to implants is about 1%. Known complications include breast pain, changes in breast sensation, implant rupture, or tearing.

Just like with other complications, medical organizations and researchers are closely monitoring the existence of Breast Implant Illness. For instance, a study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery concluded that there is no known link between breast implants and the symptoms that are often reported. In 1999, The Institute of Medicine Committee on the Safety of Silicone conducted a review of silicone implants and whether they were linked to any systemic illness. These studies have also shown few to no links between breast implants and any disease.

While there is currently no diagnostic test for BII, patients should see a physician if they have questions about their breast implants. This includes concerns about their appearance, pain level, or other issues.

Symptoms of Breast Implant Illness

BII encompasses a very wide range of sometimes vague or chronic symptoms. Women often list chest pain, depression, chills, chronic pain, hair loss, trouble sleeping, sensitivity to light, hair loss, headaches, rash, unexplained fatigue, and other symptoms. There are also many online chat groups and social media discussions where people share their symptoms and stories of BII. We believe this may contribute to the number of patients self-diagnosing Breast Implant Illness.

Though BII is not an official medical diagnosis, we do not mean to minimize the real pain women are experiencing and describing. It simply means that the medical community is still trying to understand Breast Implant Illness and does not have enough data to connect breast implants and the reported symptoms. The FDA and other trusted organizations will continue to provide the public with helpful information about BII as it is discovered.

Breast implant removal

Any worrying symptoms experienced after breast augmentation should be brought to the attention of a medical professional right away. At Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery, we offer a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms to see how we can move forward. Since Breast Implant Illness cannot be diagnosed by testing, physicians often use the process of elimination to determine if BII is a possibility. Ruling out other diseases could save you the time and resources necessary for removing breast implants if this isn’t required. In some cases, patients receive a diagnosis for another condition and can begin the needed treatment.

Patients who do not test positive for other conditions may want to find a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Dauwe to perform a breast implant removal. While the removal of silicone or saline breast implants does not guarantee that symptoms will disappear, many choose to have them removed for their own relief or peace of mind.

Reach out to Dr. Dauwe

Dr. Dauwe specializes in cosmetic and plastic surgery for the breasts and body. He is known for taking his time with each patient to address their concerns while creating a personalized treatment plan that achieves their aesthetic goals. He understands that, as with all surgeries, there is always a risk of complications or issues. When coming in for your breast augmentation consultation, he will review these issues and answer your questions about Breast Implant Illness.

At Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX, we perform numerous procedures such as breast augmentation, breast implant revision and removal, and breast lifts. Our staff is held to the highest standards when it comes to patient comfort and safety. When you are ready to have a discussion about Breast Implant Illness or if you have concerns about your breast augmentation, reach out to Dr. Dauwe and his team in Dallas today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.