Your physical and mental health are intricately linked. This is something that’s important to keep in mind when it comes to breast implant illness, a topic that many women don’t know much about, even though it can cause a big impact on your health.
At Brooks Plastic Surgery in Hollywood, Florida, our board-certified surgeon, Christopher Brooks, MD, specializes in many cosmetic and reconstructive treatments, like breast augmentation. Dr. Brooks believes in giving patients as much information as possible about their treatment options.
That’s why he and the team want to shed light on the connection between breast implant illness and depression. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about this serious illness and the ways we can help.
Unveiling breast implant illness (BII)
At Brooks Plastic Surgery, our team only uses implants that have been studied and approved by the FDA to ensure your safety. However, like all surgeries, breast augmentation comes with risks. Because breast augmentation involves the insertion of prosthetics, it comes with additional risks, including breast implant illness.
Breast implant illness (BII) is a term used to represent a range of symptoms experienced by some individuals following breast implant surgery. Symptoms may include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Breathing issues
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Mood changes (e.g., anxiety; depression)
It isn’t clear what exactly triggers BII, but researchers suspect it may be an autoimmune reaction, an inflammatory reaction, bacterial growth and infection, or a reaction to the surgery itself. More research is needed.
People can develop BII whether they’ve received saline- or silicone-filled implants. BII poses a challenge to the medical community because of its diverse symptoms and lack of definitive diagnostic standards.
The link between BII and depression
The mood changes, anxiety, and depression associated with BII can be as incapacitating as the physical issues the illness can cause, seriously affecting your quality of life.
Researchers are still investigating whether the physical strain of the chronic illness contributes to the mood symptoms associated with BII and how complex issues, like stigma and body image, may play a role.
Emerging evidence suggests BII could stem from a heightened immune response to materials used in breast implants, which might trigger widespread inflammation. For example, researchers have suggested a link between BI, a condition called autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), and certain genetic markers.
More research is needed to establish a definitive connection; however, there’s no doubt that living with a chronic illness, like BII, takes a toll on your physical and mental health. If you’re concerned about BII, don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Brooks about your symptoms.
How our treatments help you manage BII
At Brooks Plastic Surgery, we believe in taking a comprehensive approach to your health. Our team understands the potential mental health impacts of BII, and we’re committed to providing supportive care that addresses both your physical symptoms and psychological well being.
The primary treatment for BII is the surgical removal of the implant and the surrounding scar tissue in a process called explant surgery. This surgery involves careful removal of the implants, ensuring the least possible damage to the surrounding tissues.
However, it isn’t just the implants that need to be addressed. The capsule of scar tissue that naturally forms around the implants, known as the "implant capsule," may also need removal. This process, known as en bloc capsulectomy, is critical to reducing the risk of implant materials entering more of your tissues.
Dr. Brooks has extensive experience in performing these intricate procedures, prioritizing both your health and the aesthetic outcomes. Though every effort is made to minimize scarring, it's crucial to remember that the primary goal is to alleviate the symptoms of breast implant illness.
Although removing the implants and their capsules can significantly reduce your symptoms, the journey doesn't end there. Dr. Brooks understands the importance of feeling confident in your body, and he works diligently to give you options for maintaining an attractive breast shape post-procedure.
From simple procedures like a breast lift to more complicated techniques, a range of options can help restore your breasts' aesthetics after explant surgery. It's also worth noting that most women are advised to avoid replacing their implants to prevent potential additional negative reactions.
Concerned about breast implant illness and depression? Get the help you need today! Schedule your consultation online or over the phone with Brooks Plastic Surgery.