If you spend much time online, chances are you have come across at least one story where someone claims that they got breast implants and then became severely ill. These stories have motivated many women to rush to have their implants removed. But is breast implant illness real?
What Is Breast Implant Illness?
In truth, breast implant illness does not exist. There is no official diagnosis with this name, and the term was coined by people on message boards.
The concept of breast implant illness is based on the various symptoms that some women experienced some time after getting breast implants — whether that was instantly or years down the road. These symptoms are wide-ranging, covering everything from chest pain to chills to hair loss.
Correlation vs. Causation
No one should panic over the idea of breast implant illness. Implants are generally safe if they are FDA approved.
The problem here is that there is no proof that the implants are the source of these symptoms and nothing to support that breast implant illness is real. No scientific studies have confirmed this, while many have shown breast implants to be safe.
This is not to say that people did not develop their symptoms after getting implants. However, correlation does not equal causation. All of the symptoms associated with breast implant illness are also caused by numerous other diseases, including hormonal imbalances.
Not All Breast Implants Are Created Equal
This is not to say that no breast implant has ever led to illness. Users should approach breast augmentation safely, and that includes making sure they are getting quality implants that have FDA approval. There have also been implants that have been recalled due to safety concerns.
However, the vast majority of implants are safe, especially when you work with a reputable plastic surgeon. So if you have breast implants that are FDA approved and no recall has been issued, then there is no need to have them removed.