How do I know I have a chemical reaction to my implants? (Photo)
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Doctor Answers 4
Frightened by internet comments on implants
Thank you for asking about your breast implants.
- A lot of what you read on the internet is very unhelpful -
- Implants are not related to auto-immune disease.
- FDA approved USA implants do not appear to have chemicals to which we react.
- Although mold in the past has grown in saline breast implants, the new techniques of filling them has made this very rare.
- Most women get sick from breast implants either because the implants are clearly infected with swelling, pain and often a draining wound; or the implants are much too large for their bodies and cause neck and back pain, or a biofilm develops over the implants.
- Biofilm can cause hard-feeling implants or chronic pain that begins in the chest but in time spreads to the shoulders and even becomes a general aching pain.
- Finally a very very very rare cancer is associated with some implants and is usually detected by a sudden change, typically swelling of a previously normal looking implant.
- If you have any of these problems, you should return to see your surgeon.
- you should return for a year check in any case.
- If you feel fine, there is nothing to worry about as far as we know. You appear to have a lovely result.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS
Beware of negative information on the internet
Thank you for your question.
You see, we are naturally scared of things we do not know or things we do not understand. It is okay to feel concerned. There is NO conclusive evidence that proves that silicone breast implants CAUSE autoimmune disease. There is NO link between autoimmune diseases and silicone implants.
In fact, several studies implicate that there is no increased risk to develop autoimmune diseases after silicone breast implant insertion which is why the FDA lifted the ban on these implants in 2006. So, educating ourselves in this field is important so that we do not take things out of context. Please note that the immune system naturally forms a fibrous capsule around the implant thereby completely limiting the interaction of the implant with the body. With the new cohesive gel implants, even if the implant ruptures, the gel remains restricted within the capsule. So there is little risk of the implants' chemicals getting into the blood stream.
If you are reading through blogs and patient experiences, please know how easy it is to misconstrue the information. They may cite symptoms such as fatigue, fever, dry eyes, joint pain, or muscle pain. These symptoms are non-specific and can be caused by a multitude of things such as the flu, excessive stress, etc. You should be aware of the nocebo effect which happens when you associate pre-existing side effects or experience adverse effects due to something. This can be propagated when you internalize negative information from the media, internet, etc.
It is highly important to contextualize the information, and so, please share your concerns with your surgeon and they would be able to alleviate your concerns by going through studies with you in an educational session.
Hope this helps.
Chemical reaction to breast implants
Silicone is an inert substance and, presently, there is no scientific evidence linking implants with any systemic disease. I hope this is reassuring.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.