What Is Breast Implant Illness?
Breast implant illness (BII) is a term that is used to refer to a wide range of symptoms that can develop after undergoing breast reconstruction or cosmetic augmentation with breast implants. It is also sometimes referred to as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). BII can occur with any type of breast implant, including silicone gel-filled, saline-filled, smooth surface, textured surface, round, or teardrop-shaped.
BII impacts each individual in a unique way. Symptoms can include:
- joint and muscle pain
- chronic fatigue
- memory and concentration problems
- breathing problems
- sleep disturbance
- rashes and skin problems
- dry mouth and dry eyes
- hair loss
- gastrointestinal problems
The symptoms can appear any time after implant surgery. Some people develop symptoms immediately, while some develop them years later. In many, but not all cases, surgery to remove the breast implants and capsule improves or resolves the BII symptoms.
How does explantation for patients with symptoms of Breast Implant Illness differ?
Patients with symptoms of Breast Implant Illness have expressed unique needs that we address with their explantation procedure.
When Dr. Laliberte performs explantation with total capsulectomy for BII patients an attempt is made to remove the entire capsule in one piece, intact around the implant. This is called “En-Bloc” total capsulectomy. This type of removal is not guaranteed and is more difficult if your implants are placed under the muscle due to the capsule being tightly adherent to the ribs. Whether en-bloc is achieved or not, the entire capsule is removed every time.
Photographs are also provided from the pre and post-operative visits as well as intra-operative photos of the implants and capsules.
Dr. Laliberte performs swabs for bacterial and fungal infections at the time of surgery and washes the inside of the breast with 3 different antibiotics to ensure you are returned to your natural state.
All photographs, laboratory and operative reports are given to you at your follow-up visit on a secured USB key.
Patients that request to have their implants returned can pick these up in Calgary after they are examined by pathology approximately 6 weeks after surgery.