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How Do I Test for Breast Implant Illness?

Posted March 15, 2021 in Breast Implant Illness

3 Minute Read:  If you are researching breast augmentation, you have probably seen the topic of breast implant illness—especially on social media platforms. Even with the growing understanding and recognition of this condition (in some circles, at least), there is still significant confusion around breast implant illness (BII). Woman holding two different breast implants during a consultation with her surgeon. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), only about one percent of patients report having breast implant illness or experience complications due to their implants. This may be a grossly under-reported problem, so it’s important to be prepared—women undergoing breast augmentation should be able to recognize the symptoms of breast implant illness and know how they can test for the condition to keep themselves healthy and feeling strong.

What Is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness (BII) is an encompassing term that refers to a wide range of physical symptoms that women with breast implants have experienced.  Why some women get this condition—while others don’t—is still a mystery. Some speculate that it is due to inflammation or bacteria that develops when the implant is inserted; however, more research is needed to determine this conclusively. 

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Implants Illness?

As the condition can present itself differently in each woman, it can be challenging to diagnose. However, some of the overarching symptoms are:
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Photosensitivity
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Continuous infections

How Do I Test for Breast Implant Illness?

Currently, there are no definitive tests for BII. Typically, the onset of the symptoms mentioned above is the most significant indicator of breast implant illness. Still, most patients undergo lab testing to rule out other potential causes for the symptoms. This group of symptoms could result from a vitamin or mineral deficiency or some other condition, so it’s crucial to get a diagnosis. Some lab tests include (but are not limited to) testing vitamin D levels, hormone levels, iron levels, infections, liver functionality, and an ultrasound. Additionally, your doctor may order toxicity testing to test for silicone toxicity that can be caused by silicone implants that have ruptured.

How Do I Treat Breast Implant Illness?

Ultimately, if you believe you have breast implant illness, the best approach is to consider en bloc breast implant removal. You got your implants to feel more confident and better about yourself, not to get sick.  Doctors aren’t clear why some people get BII, while others do not. If you have BII, it’s best to listen to your body and remove the implants. Once you have BII, you can’t assume it will go away. Instead, the symptoms will likely continue to worsen until you proactively fix the problem.

Do You Think You May Have Breast Implant Illness?

Scultura Plastic Surgery specializes in breast implant removal. Dr. Strawn is board certified in plastic surgery with decades of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery experience. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Strawn can review your breast implant illness symptoms to ensure breast implant removal is the right step for you and answer any questions and concerns you may have. Book your appointment by calling 949-312-9073 or by filling out this form. You can also see previous breast implant removal before-and-after photos by visiting our gallery.  

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