Some breast implant patients develop symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, hair loss, swollen glands and IBS that can not be explained from a medical standpoint. While there is no proof that breast implant-related illness as a specific illness is real, Dr. Robert Whitfield believes that it is his job to take all of his patient complaints seriously. For many, this may lead to implant removal surgery.
Breast implants are one of the most studied medical device in the world. They are extremely safe, but breast implants, like a hip or chin implant, are still a foreign object that is placed in the body. While the science of safety exists, other, less noticeable but still relevant complications could potentially remain to be discovered.
If you feel that you health has dipped since having a breast augmentation, Dr. Whitfield will consult and educate you on breast implant removal surgery.
Breast implant removal surgery involves the removal of both the capsule and the implant in their entirety. Dr. Whitfield believes strongly that it his duty, and his privilege, to take care of his patients in whatever way possible. Part of this is trying to understand the underlying “why” behind these unexplained symptoms.
Post removal, he cultures each individual implant pocket to help determine whether or not bacterial or fungal contamination is present. In addition, the capsules are sent in for pathology. If it is determined that bacteria is present, the patient will be treated with antibiotics.
Breast implant removal surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgery center.
Breast implant-related illness is a blanket term for a cluster of symptoms that some patients may develop after getting breast implants. The most common complaints are:
While there is no medical proof that these issues are caused by breast implants, Dr. Whitfield has seen enough patients with unexplained symptoms to give the idea some merit. Cultures taken during the implant removal procedure from the breast pocket will help determine if there has been an infection that is contributing to the issues. In multiple patients, Dr. Whitfield has found infection which can easily explain many of the symptoms that his patients have described.
In addition, Dr. Whitfield has found significant amounts of scar between the pectoralis major and minor in the superior and axillary portions of breast implant pockets. Once he removes this scarring in conjunction with the capsule of the implant, many of the issues related to arm, shoulder and back pain resolve. In each case a complete capsulectomy is performed, the capsule sent to pathology, and cultures are taken of the breast pocket. If there is fluid it is sent for culture and analysis to rule out ALCL. Any breast lesions or abnormal tissue is sent to pathology.
Recovery time is going to vary based on the patient. Since many women come in with their immune systems already suppressed due to potential breast implant-related illness, it can take longer to heal. In general, recovery from breast implant removal surgery will take anywhere from 1-4 weeks. Symptoms related to autimmune disorders take the longest to recover. Many options will be discussed regarding treatment of other underlying medical conditions once the implants have been removed.
The cost for breast implant removal surgery typically averages $4,075.
To find out more about breast implant removal surgery with Dr. Robert Whitfield, call us today at 877-785-2382 or schedule a consultation at any of our three Austin locations: Lakeway, Round Rock or West Lake Hills.