What You Need to Know About Breast Implant Illness and Removal

Breast implant illness or removal

You may have heard lately about Breast Implant Illness, or BII for short. According to the FDA, Breast Implant Illness can include symptoms such as the following after getting breast implant surgery:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Rash
  • “Brain fog”
  • Joint pain

Although researchers are working to try to understand the underlying causes of these symptoms, today, BII is not well understood. Unfortunately, there is currently no test for proving or disproving whether symptoms are related to breast implants. Some women have shown lessened symptoms when the implants are removed. I support any decision a client may make in relation to breast implant removal.

The Consultation

During your consultation, we’ll talk over your concerns, I will preform physical exam, and we’ll talk through realistic expectations about the surgery. We will thoroughly review the pros and cons of implant removal surgery.

Surgery Technique

I perform the procedure as outpatient surgery using general anesthesia, and place the incision in the same location used for the original surgery–unless it was performed through the underarm. Here’s a table to show the various types of surgeries that can be preformed.

The en bloc capsulectomy technique is preferred, however, if the capsule is too hard or firmly adhered to the chest wall, I may use another technique. A breast lift may also be preformed to reshape the breast, if desired. Surgical drains will prevent fluid from building up and in the pocket and promote healing.


Healing will take several weeks; swelling will continue to decrease during this time. I will give specific instructions regarding the drains and any follow-up care. Your breasts likely won’t return to the shape they were before breast implants. This is why some patients elect to have a breast lift along with removal. We can talk about your questions and concerns regarding breast appearance post-op during your consultation.


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  Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD