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Breast Implant Removal and Capsulectomy

There has been a worldwide increase in the number of patients requesting implant removal for a variety of systemic symptoms that they attribute to their implants. This has been referred to as Silicone Incompatibility Syndrome (SIS), Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), and Breast Implant Illness (BII). In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has included systemic symptoms in a box warning that is required for all implants sold in the US which states, “Patients receiving breast implants have reported a variety of systemic symptoms such as joint pain, muscle aches, confusion, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and others. Individual patient risk for the development of these symptoms has not been well established. Some patients report complete resolution of symptoms when the implants are removed without replacement.”

Patients with self-described symptoms request removal of the implant and capsule, “en bloc”. Their concern is that toxins from the implant, such as heavy metals, including platinum, silicone, and/or bacteria and fungus, could be in the capsules and failure to remove the capsule would leave toxins behind and could preclude symptom improvement. For that reason, they seek out surgeons who guarantee total en bloc capsulectomy and this is perpetuated on some social media sites as well as by surgeons who promote themselves as “explant experts”.