Breast Implant Illness: What is it and what do I need to know?

15 Apr 2020 by Sonya Lovell
Breast Implant Illness: What is it and what do I need to know?

You may have heard the term ‘Breast Implant Illness’ or BII, and wondered what it is and if it’s something that you should be concerned about if you’ve undergone a mastectomy and implant based reconstruction, either as part of cancer treatment or for preventative measures.

But when it comes to things BII, it’s a term and condition, which the wider medical community are continuing to learn about as women present with varying symptoms; hence it has become a topic that is often reported on inaccurately, and is often clouded in confusion making it difficult for women to sort the fact from the fiction.

To help debunk the fact from the fiction, Pink Hope teamed up with Dr Samriti Sood, a Sydney-based Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, to provide our community an opportunity to hear more on the topic and to ask her any questions that they have about Breast Implant Illness. View the recording from this live event that was held in April 2020..


What is Breast Implant Illness (BII) and how common is it?


BII tends to be a capture-all phrase used by women with a variety of symptoms that may be experienced after having breast implant surgery as part of reconstruction or augmentation. It is a very uncommon condition that is poorly understood.

Symptoms attached to BII are often described as fatigue/low energy, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), headaches, joint and muscle pain, hair loss, recurring infections, swollen lymph nodes and swollen glands, rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, and even problems with the thyroid and adrenals.

Women that experience any or, all of these symptoms may feel that their implants have caused a toxicity within their body.


What can cause BII?


Given BII is not currently a medically recognised illness in Australia, proposed causes of BII include:

· the body’s inflammatory reaction to a foreign object

· the body’s reaction to specific components of breast implants, such as silicone

· the body’s response to particular approaches to the insertion of breast implants and surgical techniques


What should I do if I think I may be suffering from BII?


It’s important to remember that all of the symptoms outlined above can be caused by a number of different imbalances in the body, however, if you are concerned about your breast implants you should seek medical advice from your Breast Surgeon.

There are also scientifically validated, and well documented issues associated with breast implants such as the rare BIA-ALCL, which is associated with textured implants and some women may experience physical symptoms that are due to scar tissue. Again, we recommend that you seek advice with your Breast Surgeon if you have any concerns.


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