Recently, race car driver Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race and the Daytona 500, became public about her experience with Breast Implant Illness and her breast implant removal surgery. On Good Morning America, Danica spoke out on the subject.
What is breast implant illness (BII)?
While BII is not an official medical diagnosis, it has become a catch-all term to describe a collection of symptoms among women who have breast implants including brain fog, short term memory loss, anxiety, depression, hair loss, skin rashes, chronic dry mouth and eyes, weight gain, digestive issues, muscle and joint pains, headaches, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and chronic infection.
In search of answers, many see multiple doctors and are put on more medications including steroids, methotrexate, hydrochloroquine, antidepressants, and antibiotics, without improvement in their underlying condition and overall wellness.
“I tried so many different things to feel better, to look better, all the things, and nothing worked.” - Danica Patrick
How long after breast augmentation surgery can BII appear?
BII symptoms can occur at any point after breast augmentation or breast reconstruction surgery with any type of breast implant.
Danica Patrick got her silicone implants in 2014 and started experiencing what she described as concerning health issues in 2018. She spent four years in search for answers to symptoms she was experiencing, including weight gain, inflammation, menstrual changes, and thinning hair.
Is it breast implant illness or something else?
BII symptoms are commonly confused with other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, toxic mold exposure, Lyme disease, and a host of other autoimmune disorders. Ruling out these other conditions is an important part of the diagnostic and consultation process, and requires a doctor with experience treating BII.
If you believe you have been experiencing symptoms associated with BII, you are encouraged to seek an expert on it, a plastic surgeon, or a functional medicine provider for further evaluation in or treatment.
If you decide that explanting would be best for overall wellness, seek a board certified plastic surgeon with specific experience with explants as well as pre- and post- surgical protocols for pain, nutrition, and decreasing inflammation.
Where should I start if I want my implants removed?
At his private practice in Austin, Texas, Robert Whitfield, MD, provides unique care for patients experiencing BII. Schedule your free 15 minute preliminary call to decide whether you would like to move forward with a consultation, or discovery session, as we like to call it. The one hour discovery session is an in-depth exploration of symptoms and potential causes of breast implant illness. The purpose of the discovery session is for women affected by this chronic illness to get much-needed answers.
Having consulted with over 1000 patients, Dr. Whitfield is well-versed in the patterns and symptoms affecting women experiencing chronic illness. Thorough and cohesive, the discovery session addresses a range of conditions including brain fog, GI issues, diet, and autoimmune disease, eliminating the need for multiple specialists.
Dr. Whitfield devotes as much time as needed to understand each individual’s unique situation, ensuring the path forward is effective and delivers much-needed healing and a speedy recovery for patients.
Tune into Dr. Whitfield’s podcast to learn more about his method, approach, and experiences with BII. pod.link/holisticandscientific