Breast implant illness symptoms like brain fog, fatigue and hair loss have been reported by several women from all over the world.
Breast Implant Illness Symptoms
Reported symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, headache, sleep disturbances, photosensitivity, chest pain and many more. There have been reports of various other kinds of troubles like fibromyalgia, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and scleroderma.
Breast Implant Illness – a Real Experience!
Debate swirls regarding breast implant illness and both physicians and patients get bewildered by various confusing facts. A fairly unknown condition with a lack of evidence, breast implant illness is a condition that many physicians refuse to give credence to. But the numerous women who have suffered from the problems and have reported them emphasize that they have real experiences.
In spite of many physicians being skeptical, some of them acknowledge that several women have actually experienced the phenomenon and hold the opinion that patients should be warned even if the situation is not well understood. As Dr. Nora Nugent, a surgeon with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, has rightly told the BBC that, “Surgeons should be warning patients about breast implant illness. Patients need the most up-to-date information possible, with the caveat that (it) is poorly understood.”
The Case of Naomi-A Real Case Study
Naomi M., the fitness instructor, reported to the BBC that she had the “most horrific symptoms” like extreme fatigue and severe abdominal pain after her breast implantation in 2014. She felt pain as if she “had run a marathon and dug a million trenches, but hadn’t done anything”. She found even daily tasks, like writing, holding a pen etc., quite difficult.
Some sufferers report the symptoms to their physicians so as to dismiss their immediate concerns. Naomi was told that her symptoms were not related to her breast implantation. She was forced to look for some help from online forums dealings with breast implant problems. After finding out that other women are also there who have faced similar issues, she had her implant removed surgically. Within a few days, she started feeling better and the symptoms were no longer disturbing her.
The FDA Conference
In the US, the FDA held a two-day conference regarding breast implant illness in March, 2019. After thousands of women reporting breast implant illness symptoms, numerous patients, researchers, advocates and industry stakeholders participated in the Conference. The FDA’s statement following the conference was that, “While the FDA doesn’t have definitive evidence demonstrating breast implants caused these symptoms, the current evidence support that some women experience systematic symptoms that may resolve when their breast implants are removed, referred to by some patients and healthcare professionals as breast implant illness.” FDA further added, “We believe women considering a breast implant should be aware of these risks”.
Breast Implant Illness Associated Cancer-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
The FDA has also played eminent role in warning recently about breast implant being associated with a unique type of cancer which is called the Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The cancer generally forms a scar capsule around the breast implant during the process of healing. It is a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and it develops in and around the tissue that surrounds the breast implant. It results in symptoms like accumulation of fluid around the implant, swelling or redness. Though women with textured breast implants have higher number of reports of such symptoms, the women with smooth breast implants are not full exceptions.
It is, however, tricky to diagnose such a condition as it is the cancer of the human immune system rather than an actual breast cancer but warnings can be taken as signs to be aware of. In February, 2019, the FDA sent out an alert on breast implant to physicians, their associates, nursing staff and so on to take certain presented symptoms on a much more serious note. The awareness also focused on the various side-effects of breast implant but mainly on the symptoms of BIA-ALCL that includes identified lumps, inflammation or any new pain surrounding the implant, no matter how long the patient has had them.
However, no increased risk has been identified in diagnosis based upon the implant filling or any surgical intervention, that is, both breast augmentation and reconstruction patients have suffered from this alarming condition.
Thankfully, removal of the breast implant with the capsule helps in curing this condition. There are very rare cases where radiation or chemotherapy is needed. Confirmation through the testing of fluids is the most critical process.