Like Tisdale, others have also felt their breast implants may have had a negative impact on their bodies and overall health. While there is not enough evidence to fully support these claims, there is a growing effort to make sure patients are well-informed before choosing to undergo breast augmentation. In October 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a proposal for manufacturers to include warnings on the labeling for saline and silicone breast implants to help better educate patients on potential risks with the surgery and medical devices.
At times, patients have felt they weren’t adequately notified of the potential risks associated with breast implants. As patients have advocated for themselves more, the term breast implant illness (BII) has gained more traction. According to breastcancer.org, BII refers to an array of symptoms — joint and muscle pain, breathing problems, chronic fatigue, and more — that patients may feel after their breast augmentation surgery. Los Angeles-based board-certified plastic surgeon Andrew Cohen tells Allure that while many who get breast implants report no adverse side effects, those listed above (and some others, as listed on breastcancer.org) are a possibility following surgery.
“[Breast implants] have been studied worldwide for decades, and the scientific literature shows no causal relationship between implants and autoimmune diseases,” Cohen says. “This is not to say that a patient could not have a negative reaction to the medical device. If a patient desires to have their breast implants removed and feels she is having symptoms [including] fatigue, muscle joint pain, memory and concentration problems, [and] skin rashes, then I have removed the implants for these patients.”
For surgical removal, Cohen says that both the implant and the capsule the body forms around it are removed. Sometimes it can take more than one surgical procedure to ensure that the patient is happy with the final results.
Whether you feel that you are experiencing BII after getting breast augmentation or want to remove your implants for another reason, he encourages patients to always chat with a board-certified plastic surgeon to understand your options and next steps. For Tisdale, the choice was clear, but each patient’s experience is different and should be guided by expert advice and sound research.
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