What is Breast Implant Illness (BII)? Symptoms?

Updated: Sep 22

Written by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Nima Naghshineh, MD, FACS on July 8th, 2020.




Breast implant illness or silicone implant illness, often does not refer to a specific disease or problem and has not been formally categorized or defined by the medical community. Therefore, BII is more like an all-encompassing category of issues/symptoms that some women with implants have described.


BII has also been referred to as Silicone implant illness (2019), Human adjuvant disease (1964), silicone-induced human adjuvant disease, autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (2011), and silicone implant incompatibility syndrome (2013)1.


These are symptoms that have been reported by women with BII (Breast Implant Illness):1



Central nervous

Brain fog, memory loss, vertigo, headaches, migraines, tinnitus



Musculoskeletal

Muscle/joint pain, sore and aching joints, numbness/tingling in upper and lower limbs, fibromyalgia, neuralgia/burning pain, discoloration of hands/feet, slow muscle recovery after activity


Immune/inflammatory

Autoimmune disease – Raynauds, Hashimotos, RA, sclerodermal, SLE, Sjogrens, MCTD, MS, recurrent infections, toxic shock, fevers night sweats, slow healing and easy bruising, chronic fatigue, persistent infections, sudden food intolerance and allergies, tender lymph nodes



GI/genitourinary

Frequent urination, liver and kidney problems, reduced libido, UTI, reflux, gastritis, weight loss/gain, sudden dehydration, liver dysfunction, leaky gut, IBS, metallic tastes, choking, difficulty swallowing, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease


Integument/Skin

Hair loss, dry skin, dry hair, skin rashes


Psychological

Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, feeling of impending death


Cardiorespiratory

Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, arrhythmia, heart pain, cough, throat clearing





1. Adapted from: Breast Implant Illness: A Way Forward. Magnusson, Mark R. MBBS, FRACS; Cooter, Rod D. MBBS, PhD, FRACS; Rakhorst, Hinne MD; McGuire, Patricia A. MD; Adams, William P. Jr MD; Deva, Anand K. BSc(Med), MBBS, MS, FRACS. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: March 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 3S - p 74S-81S






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