Oh! The pressures of being an American Woman. Having a career, maintaining a home, being a mom, Staying at a perfect weight, having big boobs… The pressures women face today to have that perfect career, the perfect relationship, perfect home, and perfect body are no longer the goal, they’re the expectation! Remember when a Size B bra cup was considered normal and not tiny and something to be ashamed of? The size A and B are a thing of the past and size C, D, and DD’s have taken over! As a woman in her 30’s and an unfortunate A cup I’ve been embarrassed about all my life, I certainly can say I’ve looked into Breast Augmentation. I met with a plastic surgeon a few years back for a consultation as I was sure that a boob job was what I needed to feel better about myself. After all, my best friends and many of my family members (about 8 women in total) had all gotten theirs done and raved to me how awesome it was and how great they felt in their clothes, naked, in the bedroom, you name it! All of them, except one. One of my dear friends went under the knife at 18 for those perfect set of ta-tas only to come out of it with a sickness that has never seemed to go away.
Once I looked into this, I was actually very surprised to see that Breast Implant Illness absolutely does exist and affects nearly 25% of women who get breast implants, according to a recent study performed by the Mayo Clinic. There are always many risks associated with any surgery but unfortunately, more often than not, they are not talked about, are hardly known, and many women have no idea what they could be in for when they make that appointment to “fix” their body.
Breast Augmentation is the #1 Surgery in the US and has been for over a decade now. Approximately 300,000 women and teenagers undergo breast augmentation in the US each year. It is estimated that nearly 5-10 Million breast augmentations are done yearly worldwide!
Along with the normal implications and risks to any surgery, doctors and plastic surgeons have been finding out that these 25% of women who are affected with Breast Implant Illness (BII) are experiencing many other awful, debilitating symptoms that are keeping them sick and in pain for many years to come, and of course, very negatively affecting their lives in many different ways!
Analysis of the shell of an implant placed in the body during breast augmentation surgery, reveals a toxic medley of chemicals, heavy metals, and neurotoxins, which may begin to migrate throughout the body upon implantation. In fact, there can be up to 30 different substances per implant. This migration into the breast tissue signals the body to respond with a ‘foreign body reaction’ and the body then starts going into overdrive to fight it. The body may become swollen and inflamed in the area of the breasts, puss may even form, mold may grow on the implants, and all sorts of other ailments could be in full force as the body works to try to remove the foreign substance. Although Implants have been designed and tested to be relatively safe. The fact remains, that permanently implanting anything into the body should be considered high-risk, especially considering there is always potential for these implants to rupture or leak into the body at any given point in time.
Symptoms of Breast Implant Illness (BII)
The implants provide a continuous source of stimulation for the immune system, which can lead to a cascade of autoimmune related symptoms. The body may become overwhelmed and the immune system dysfunctional. Opportunistic bacteria and viruses may begin to take root. Yeast and candida are no longer regulated. Detoxification can be increasingly impaired as the liver and kidneys struggle to remove biotoxins. The body is working hard to keep up with what is happening on the inside, that its only effective measure is a system- wide chronic inflammatory response impacting the endocrine, digestive, neurological, and metabolic systems.
Other symptoms include but are not limited to: Chronic Fatigue, cognitive dysfunction such as memory loss, brain fog, difficulty concentrating. Muscle and joint pain, hormonal imbalance, poor sleep or insomnia, slow clearing of flus and colds, fungal infections, yeast infections, sinus infections, vertigo, cough, difficulty swallowing, premature aging, hair loss, dry skin and hair, hypo/hyper thyroid and/or adrenal symptoms, digestive issues, fever, night sweats, skin rashes, and many more. See a list of BII symptoms here at HealingBreastImplantIllness.com
Treatment of BII
Yikes, suddenly those big double DD’s aren’t looking so enticing! When speaking with my friend who has been suffering from BII for the last 15 years, I’ve asked her what can be done, if anything? The obvious is getting rid of the implants through an extraction process. Removing the source of toxicity or ‘foreign body’ allows the body to recover and return to its normal function. There are studies demonstrating the positive impact of implant removal, or explantation, on patients with both silicone related complaints, including autoimmune and inflammatory responses. But as my friend had heard from others in her facebook support group for BII, this isn’t always effective either. There still exists a void in supporting the body’s recovery and continued detoxification.
Many patients are so weakened by BII, that a surgical intervention may not be even an option at that time. Before surgery can take place, it is often necessary to stabilize a patient’s health and help restore the detox pathways. Also, the choice of surgery is important. According to Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, a leading expert in the field of cosmetic and plastic surgery, “The only way to effectively perform implant removal is using the ‘en bloc’ method. This helps retain the integrity of the capsule surrounding the implant to reduce the release of bacteria or toxins into the breast pocket. My program is designed to offer women with Breast Implant Illness a way to regain their health.” His BII Recovery Program combines a protocol of integrative health optimization and stem cell therapy combined with the European ‘en bloc’ method of implant removal.
Dr. Hovsepian has been routinely performing the ‘en bloc’ explantation procedure for almost a decade. Even before this procedure gained more widespread recognition, his innovative nature made this the safest and best method to remove breast implants. Dr. Hovsepian has extensive experience in the treatment of breast implant illness and is frequently sourced to advise on content for television, leading health & beauty publications, major magazines, local and national newspapers. He has been featured across leading national and international media channels including The Dr. Oz Show, Entertainment Tonight, Fox News, Women’s Health, and Life & Style. His research and development of cutting-edge surgical techniques combined with autologous cell therapies have made him one of the leading authorities on breast implant illness.
Dr. Hovesepian’s 5 step treatment to helping the body regain normal function through his En Bloc Treatment of BII:
Step 1: Immune Modulation. This step involves bringing the ratio of the different immune cells back into balance to enable the immune system to function correctly. Unlike simply stimulating the immune system, this treatment involves completely restoring healthy immune functions for effective treatment for those suffering with chronic degenerative diseases.
Step 2: Detoxification. This step involves removing harmful substances and optimizing detox pathways of the body. This step is very important as the body needs to be rid of the toxins in order to improve metabolic function. This can even include a dental assessment.
Step 3: Substitution. The body may have become more vulnerable to disease thanks to mineral depletion and lack of vital substances. In this step, important vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements are introduced to the body to promote healthy function and healing of the body. This can have an immediate impact on the body’s immune system and metabolism.
Step 4: Disease-Specific Treatment. This is a step that directly attacks the disease through both conventional and non-conventional methods. Dr. Hovsepian believes a balanced approach to therapy is key. Autologous cell therapy is a cutting-edge medical treatment which is integrated as a disease-specific therapy in this natural approach in order to treat chronic degenerative diseases.
Step 5: Mind Body Medicine. In this step, patients receive guidance for recognizing patterns in their life that have made them susceptible to disease. Through forms of bodywork, the body’s own perception and inner balance is increased, internal stress is released, and the self-healing powers of the body are stimulated.
Ask anyone who has ever suffered from BII, and they will likely tell you the same story. Their symptoms were often ignored by doctors and friends, being told it was all in their mind. While often times this can happen, it is certainly not always the case, and as studies have shown, many women are indeed affected with many of these negative symptoms after undergoing Breast Augmentation.
The seasoned BII patient oftentimes has to learn to manage themselves, manage their lives, manage their appointments, manage their meds, manage their diet, manage their strength and worst of all, manage their treatment and doctors. They have turned themselves into Google PhD’s and are knowledgeable on all levels of what they need and what they want. This is the perfect survival technique. Unfortunately, this is not the best recovery technique and the transition from survival to recovery can be a rocky path of distrust and disappointment.
Dr. Hovsepian’s En Bloc Treatment is not about finding the perfect management strategy for a set of symptoms, but instead addressing the foundational causes of the symptoms. This is the shift from a survival strategy to a recovery strategy. Changing the strategy can be challenging for both the doctor and the recovering patient. According to Dr. Hovspeian, “What remains is for us to work closely together to develop a relationship based on trust and confidence and despite inevitable set-backs, to keep moving forward towards recovery.”
To learn more about Dr. Hovsepian and his En Bloc Treatment for Breast Implant Illness, visit his website at rhmdplasticsurgery.com or visit his office in Beverly Hills, CA.
Have you been affected by Breast Augmentation or Illness or know someone who has? Let me know your story in the comments, I love hearing from you!