Breast Implant Illness

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breast cancer model

Breast Implant Illness (BII): A Body of Evidence

If you have implants or have been looking into getting breast augmentation with implants, you may have come across Breast Implant Illness or BII. This is a term used by patients and doctors alike to refer to issues that patients associate with breast implants.

Breast Implant Illness has not been classified as an official disorder due to the lack of long-term research surrounding it, but that hasn’t stopped caring plastic surgeons like Dr. Chaffoo from taking their patients seriously and listening to their concerns. Dr. Chaffoo has procedures in place to assist patients who may be suffering from Breast Implant Illness. La Jolla patients who are concerned they may have BII will find an understanding listener in Dr. Chaffoo.

Implant Illness

Unlike previously known risks and complications that may occur, such as rupture, deflation, or painful scar tissue, BII often refers to a range of symptoms that can affect many other areas of the body including physical and mental health.

For years, women complaining of these symptoms have been sidelined or dismissed. However, in recent years, an increasing number of cases and the rise of BII-related social media groups have increased the visibility of the condition, prompting a closer look from the plastic surgery community. Now, doctors across the country are working together to identify best practices and treatment options, even as research is being conducted to find more conclusive answers on BII, its causes, and symptoms.

Signs of BII

How Do I Know if I Have BII

If you suspect your recently placed implants are giving you issues unlike the traditional concerns you are warned of, you should contact your plastic surgeon right away. Symptoms of BII can include:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Rashes and skin ailments
  • Anxiety, depression, and low confidence
  • Headaches; and
  • Gastrointestinal problems

La Jolla Breast Implant Illness patients of Dr. Chaffoo are invited to call our office as soon as symptoms arise so they can discuss the possibility of it being BII.

Treatment Options

If you are suffering from the symptoms of Breast Implant Illness, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Chaffoo is the first step to finding relief. Dr. Chaffoo closely follows the latest developments in BII. As a triple-board certified surgeon and leading voice in the field, he believes it is his duty to his patients and the community at large to be a source of knowledge and guidance on this issue. He provides patients in La Jolla Breast Implant Illness diagnostic and treatment options to help them regain their health.

Implant Removal

For most patients with Breast Implant Illness La Jolla surgeon Dr. Chaffoo recommends implant removal if their symptoms are severe and persistent. In many cases, women who suffer from BII have experienced full recovery from their symptoms following implant removal.

The reason for this is still inconclusive, but the leading theory is that BII is an immune response to the breast implants. Removing the implant removes the foreign object that prompts the response, and thus causes the alleviation of symptoms.

En Bloc Capsulectomy

An en bloc capsulectomy is a specific kind of breast implant removal that removes the “capsule” (the scar tissue that forms over the implant) along with the implant at the same time. When possible, en bloc capsulectomy prevents the possibility of foreign materials remaining in the body following implant removal through a puncture of the implant or leakage.

Implant Replacement

Because of the nature of Breast Implant Illness, La Jolla patients under the care of Dr. Chaffoo who wish to replace their implants are urged to consider implant replacement with fat transfer as an alternative.

The prevailing view among experts in the field is that if a patient’s body rejects the first implants, it will likely reject replacement implants as well. Since fat transfers use the patient’s own fat to replace the volume lost by the implants, the thought is that there is less chance for complications than if other capsule-based implants are used.

In this procedure, Dr. Chaffoo takes the fat from another part of the patient’s body (commonly the hips, thighs, abdomen, or flanks) and uses it to add volume to the bust. This can be done immediately following the implant removal during the same surgery to minimize downtime, or in a separate procedure.

Let Your Body Decide

Dr. Chaffoo believes it is important to listen to his patients and their bodies. If your body is telling you that it does not like implants, Dr. Chaffoo has solutions to still give you the shape you want, without the harmful side effects of breast implant illness.


How Do I Know if Removing My Breast Implants is The Right Option for Me?

During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Richard Chaffoo will listen to your concerns, evaluate your breasts, and discuss options that are suitable for your body, and bring you optimal results both in terms of feeling better, but also aesthetically.

How Long Will it Take Me to Feel Like Myself Again?

Your healing process will vary from other patients and depends on your uniquely tailored treatment plan. Keep in mind, you are also recovering from the toxic build-up of chemicals that led to your BII symptoms. Research indicates that it respectively takes a month for every year you have had your implants to recover from your Breast implant illness symptoms.

Does Insurance Cover The Removal of My Breast Implants?

Implant removal is not typically covered under medical insurance. We can provide procedure codes if you would like to submit a request for reimbursement from your insurance provider. However, La Jolla Plastic Surgery & Dermatology offers payment and financing options for your convenience.