Breast Implants: Can They Make You Sick?

Women with questions regarding breast implants.

Breast Implants Blamed for Memory, Hair, and Energy Loss

I’ve had a recent upsurge in phone calls from former breast augmentation patients in Columbus, Ohio, regarding their breast implants. Often, these patients have seen a news story or a social media post that has them questioning their own breast implant situation and feeling quite confused. The social media posts generally state that breast implants can cause a whole host of symptoms, including memory, hair, and energy loss.  Even though my patients may not have any symptoms, this type of information makes them wonder. Maybe they are more tired! And what about the hair in the brush—it seems to be increasing!! And Monday mornings are tough….!

Patients’ Symptoms Are Real

To complicate the situation, the patients that have symptoms really do have them! They are not crazy, and they legitimately have fatigue, brain fog, and thinning hair, to name the most common. These patients are frustrated that they do not have a real answer. For these patients, they have been searching for a cause. They have seen their family physician, and they have tried many strategies to feel better. So, when these interventions have not proved successful, it has led to a diagnosis by default. The last variable to try to eliminate has been their breast implants. And when the breast implants were removed, many have felt better.

Scientific Evidence

While the scientific evidence is lacking, the stories from patients stating they have found relief have resonated across the internet. With our new connectedness to social media, an idea can become “truth,” even while scientific evidence is scant. The bottom line is that if a patient’s symptoms are relieved after implant removal, it could be a placebo. On the other hand, if they feel better, that is wonderful. The problem is if the symptoms do not resolve completely, and now the implants are out. Then what?!

Are all types of implants involved?

Any type of implant, saline or silicone gel, is theoretically able to make a patient feel ill. And making things more confusing, the length of time the patient has had the implants can be short or long. The whole scenario can be a jumble of implants, too. Many patients have had a couple of breast augmentations in their past. There is no one exact cause, and thus there is no one exact answer.

What should I do?

The breast implant patients that are calling my office in Columbus are looking for answers and a path forward. Since the patients’ histories are so varied, the best thing to do is come in for a personal consultation. At this time, we’ll explore all the factors and consider all the options. There are many other reasons a patient may consider breast implant removal or a change in the type of implant they have, and you can read more about some of those options in this related blog post.

Some of my patients have had their breast implants removed and did experience relief. So I believe that, as a physician, we do not know everything about each person’s unique body chemistry, and each person is an individual. For sure, these patients have real symptoms and have been searching for answers. They understand that their symptoms are vague but nevertheless real. And since they are searching for relief, they must go down the path and try the option of removal.

Types of Removal Are Many

There are many options for breast implant removal. These include taking out the implant only or removing the implant and the capsule and then deciding what to do about what is left! Often, the patients are worried about the cosmetic result, and this is a valid concern. The skin can be loose and stretched out from the implant, and the scar tissue/capsule removal can lead to even less remaining tissue. Again, each case must be evaluated separately—and often, there is no need to do a lift or any other procedure. The skin will slowly shrink back—almost to the same as it was before the implants, in many cases. You can see some of my patients’ breast implant removal results in our gallery of before-and-after photos.

The A-team Is Here for You!

Many, but not all, patients have been happy with their breast implants overall. Many are conflicted about this new information. We completely understand. Some members of my A-team also have had their implants removed and will share their own journeys with you.

The first step is to come in for your appointment. When you do, please bring all the information you have (IF ANY!) about the type of implants you have. You can schedule this initial appointment using our online contact form or by calling our office at (614) 569-2649.

There is hope, and we have answers for you.

Breast Wishes!

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