Breast Implant Illness Treatments

Introduction

Breast implant illness constitutes the various symptoms that women with breast implants, typically silicone implants, have been reporting. These symptoms may be caused by silicone elements migrating out of the implants with or without obvious implant ruptures and their subsequent leakage into systemic tissues and organs, resulting in various autoimmune symptoms, toxicity, neurological symptoms, endocrine dysfunctions, metabolic irregularities, and immune system dysfunctions. As a result, implant removal is identified as the safest breast implant illness treatment for patients experiencing implant illness symptoms.

How Silicone Implants May Cause Breast Implant Illness

Studies suggest that most breast implants last between 10-20 years, prior to demonstrating malfunction. However, breast implants may experience silicone gel bleeding. Specifically, this refers to the silicone elements migrating through the grossly intact solid implant shell. This process can occur even earlier than the traditional decades typically required for the implant malfunction mentioned above.

Once the silicone elements have crossed the shell barrier, they can migrate into the breast capsule. Specifically, the capsule is the scar lining that forms around the implant. Additionally, they can migrate out of the capsule, thereby interacting with the body. Unfortunately, women will be unaware that this process is occurring. In fact, silicone element migration can only be detected when the breast implant shell effectively tears. This results in the mass migration of silicone implant gel out of the shell. Moreover, implant rupture can be detected with magnetic resonance imagery (MRI), mammography, and/or ultrasound. Furthermore, the leakage and migration of silicone from implants may lead to silicone molecules being found in the lymph nodes, joints, and other organs, potentially causing implant illness symptoms.

Breast Implant Illness Treatments: Understanding the Basics

Treatment Considerations

If patients are experiencing one or more of the implant illness symptoms, they can consider breast implant removal. In addition, some may even consider removing the breast capsule, which is the normal scar tissue that the body generates around the implant, as this tissue may contain the next highest density of silicone molecules by virtue of its proximity to the implant. Unfortunately, the consequence of removing silicone implants with or without capsule removal will cause deflation of the breast mound volume. In most patients, implant explantation will result in unattractive sagging of the breast skin, thus compromising the breast aesthetics. The only effective method for countering this side effect is to perform a breast lift.

Treatment Challenges and Dr. Mowlavi’s Solution

When undergoing a breast lift, the most important consideration is ensuring nipple and areola viability. In order to do so, the nipple must receive a continuous blood supply. The nipple and areola traditionally have two blood supplies, with the first being a perpendicular flow via vessels exiting the chest and providing direct blood flow through the undersurface of the breast. Next, the second blood supply refers to the horizontal flow from a web of smaller vessels called the subdermal plexus. The nipple and areola can remain viable as long as one of the two above blood flow sources are kept intact.

The technical challenge for simultaneous implant removal and breast lift involves preserving the blood flow to the nipple and areola. After having undergone breast implant augmentation, patients will have eliminated the perpendicular blood flow by virtue of having created a breast implant pocket under the nipple and areola. Therefore, the main blood flow to the nipple and areola in breast augmentation patients is from the horizontal blood flow. The technical challenge thus follows the fact that all breast lift procedures compromise the horizontal blood to the nipple and areola to some extent. This challenge is addressed by Dr. Mowlavi and his “Best treatment for implant illness Protocol”, designed to provide patients with the ability to remove silicone implants while providing aesthetically desirable breast shape and nipple and areola positioning.

Selecting the Best Treatment for Breast Implant Illness

The ideal surgical protocol to treat implant illness syndrome must take into consideration two major patient desires, which include:

  1. Breast size desired – maximize breast volume size by only removing the implant, or satisfied with removing the implant and approximately 20% of the breast mound volume
  2. Whether the breast capsule will be saved or removed

These two parameters will determine the surgical staging and breast lift technique.

Breast Lift Technique

StagesBreast Volume

Capsule

Vertical Mastopexy

Single Surgery20% smallerComplete Removal
Inferior PedicleSingle SurgerySize maintainedPartial Removal
Inferior PedicleTwo SurgeriesSize maintained

Complete Removed

Types of Breast Lifts for Best Treating Breast Implant Illness

The first technique, referred to as the Vertical mastopexy, retains horizontal blood flow through a superior pedicle, providing the advantage of being able to remove the entire capsule. However, this technique requires approximately 20 to 30% of breast mound volume removal. Thus, for patients who would be content with a loss in breast volume removal of 20 to 30% alongside the loss of implant volume, this technique is ideal. Next, the second breast lift technique is referred to as the inferior pedicle lift and maintains horizontal blood flow through an inferior pedicle. This technique has the advantage of retaining nearly the entire breast volume but allows for only partial capsule removal. Therefore, patients who desire entire capsule removal may have to compromise on retaining breast volume by undergoing the vertical breast lift.

Finally, if you want to maintain your breast mound volume but still desire removal of the entire capsule, you will have to commit to a two staged breast implant illness surgery. Moreover, this process involves utilizing a modified inframammary crease approach to implant and complete capsule removal, which does not compromise the inferior pedicle. Subsequently, three months following the first surgery, patients will return to undergo an inferior pedicle breast lift. This delay allows the blood flow to the nipple to reorient so that an inferior pedicle breast lift can be performed while maintaining blood flow to the nipple even though the capsule has already been removed.

If you are suffering from breast implant illness and wish to receive the best treatment for breast implant illness syndrome, schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Laguna today!

Before & After Photos

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