Breast implant illness encompasses a very wide range of often vague or chronic symptoms, from redness, swelling, and discharge, to the development of symptoms of autoimmune disease. It can occur any time from within days of having a breast implant to as long as 10 years after the fact.

What causes breast implant illness, or BII?

Having shapely, proportional breasts can enhance a woman’s appearance and improve both her confidence and self-esteem.

Breast augmentation, using either saline or silicone breast implants, is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, with more than 300 thousand performed in 2018. It is generally considered a safe procedure but, as there is with any surgical procedure, does have its risks of potential complications. One of these is breast implant illness. Recent studies have revealed that women with textured implants have a slightly higher risk of developing BIA-ALCL, or “breast implant associated large-cell lymphoma.” This condition can usually be treated by removing the implants.

The exact causes of certain symptoms of breast implant illness in Los Angeles are unknown, while others are being debated and studied. Infection is, of course a known risk with any surgery but, for example, the relationship of silicone implants to the development of autoimmune disease is controversial.

What are the symptoms of breast implant illness?

Any changes to the breast or breast tissue should be cause for concern, and you should call for a consultation as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary. These changes may include:

  • Breast discomfort (although a certain amount of bruising, swelling, numbness and discomfort are quite common for a week or two after surgery)
  • A buildup of scar tissue
  • A change in the volume or shape of the breast
  • Blood clots
  • A discharge from the nipple

These are fairly noticeable, but breast implant illness can affect virtually any gland or system in the body, from endocrine and neurological to gastrointestinal and, depending on the system affected, the symptoms can vary widely.

How is it diagnosed?

These far-ranging effects can make it difficult to diagnose, but the most common, early symptoms that warrant investigation are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog and memory loss
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Thyroid and adrenal problems
  • Joint pain
  • Recurring infections

How is breast implant illness treated?

If you notice any possible symptoms of breast implant illness in Los Angeles, the most important thing to do is schedule an appointment with Dr. Teitelbaum quickly. Many women seek out the advice of general practitioners when they are not feeling well, which is understandable. The problem is that as capable as your doctor may be, he or she may not have the vision or expertise to view the symptoms as potentially the result of breast implants and offer solutions could mask symptoms without addressing the the root cause.

The first thing that must be done when breast implant illness is diagnosed is the removal of the implant(s), which is called an “explant.” This extraction takes away what the body perceives as a “foreign invader.”

Why select Dr. Teitelbaum in Santa Monica for the treatment of BII?

Double board-certified in both plastic surgery and general surgery, Dr. Teitelbaum:

  • Received his medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine, did his surgical residency at Harvard, and completed his plastic surgery training at USC.
  • Has lectured around the world, as well as contributed to many professional books and articles.
  • Has been accepted as a member of virtually every national and international plastic surgery society.
  • Currently teaches final-year plastic surgery residents at UCLA.
  • Has more than 20 years of experience dealing with implants in his private practice in Santa Monica.

This virtually incomparable academic and professional recognition and history means that he is in a position to diagnose and evaluate BII in cases in which other practitioners may not be.

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