Possible That Body Is Rejecting Implant Due to Autoimmune Disease?

Due to a mastectomy, I had a breast implant. I have had to replace the implant 14x, my body rejects it, i get scar tissue and the breast gets very hard n painful. A woman with the same problem, had herself tested for autoimmune disease (thru DNA) results were positive, once treated, it's no longer an issue. My doctor has told me no more implants, he wants to do a muscle sparing pedicle trans abdomen - I want other options. Any advice n have you heard of autoimmune disease n rejected Implants?

Doctor Answers 4

Possible That Body Is Rejecting Implant Due to Autoimmune Disease?

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Firsat I would diagnose if you have an auto immune issue. Than recently the BRAVA expansion and fat grafting reconstruction in a series of operation might be for you. 

Autoimmune diseases

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There is no evidence that breast silicone implants or saline implants cause autoimmune diseases. Breast implants are the most studied  medical device on the market and especiall for autoimmune diseases and there is no evidence. Silicone is innert and there is NO REJECTION.

You can have infection, you can have  CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE. This is not rejection.

After 14 surgeries for what sounds to be capsular contracture, then you only options are

1: remove the implants and do nothing

2: remove the implant and do the reconstruction with a flap, and here you have many options.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Alternatives to implant breast reconstruction

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While there are no studies that anyone has 'rejected' saline implants, having an overactive immune system may affect how your body reacts to implants (but that is not 'rejection').  Given that you had so many repeat surgeries, chosing a non-implant option is certainly a good way to go.  However I would suggest that you seek out an experienced microsurgeon who performs DIEP flaps rather than TRAM flaps, pedicled abdomen flaps.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Breast reconstruction implant problems

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I am not aware of any documented cases of a true allergic reaction or "rejection" of breast implants.  However, based on your remarkable history, I would certainly agree with your surgeon that you are no longer a good candidate for breast implants.  There are certainly several options typically available to patients in situations where implant related complications have made that option no longer reasonable.  These involve moving tissue from one area of the body to recreate the breast mound, such as the procedure your doctor suggested.  Another exciting relatively new technique is fat grafting.  This involves liposuction from areas of the body containing unwanted fat and transferring this fat via injections into the area of the chest for breast reconstruction.  The procedure involves no incisions and is typically completed in several outpatient procedures.  The major benefit is that there is no damage to other areas of the body and in fact, there is a body contouring benefit! 

Good luck

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