Preparing for Breast Implant Removal Surgery [Episode 7]
Many women suffering from BII have been feeling terrible for a very long time and just want to feel better. Hear how Dr. Whitfield helps prepare patients to bounce back as fast as possible after surgery and rule out other conditions that could be contributing to chronic illness.
In the weeks leading up to surgery, Dr. Rob’s comprehensive pre- and post-op program investigates for other issues like Lyme disease, environmental exposure, or micronutrient deficiencies, and tests for thyroid conditions and hormonal imbalances.
About our Breast Implant Illness series
Since 2016, more than 500 women have asked Austin plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Whitfield for help removing their breast implants.
This series is a journey through Dr. Rob’s experience with breast implant illness, from the first shocking discovery through hundreds of unusual cases and surprising clinical breakthroughs.
New episodes are released every Thursday. Subscribe to our private BII email list for updates and case reports at https://holisticandscientific.fireside.fm/bii and follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts.
Speaker 1 (00:04): Welcome to the Holistic and Scientific Podcast with board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Whitfield, Austin's natural choice for plastic surgery and the expert in Smart Laser and Energy treatments.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (00:20): Today we're talking about the unique process we follow in the weeks or months leading up to breast implant removal surgery. We'll cover the why first and explain the reasons for this process. Then I'll tell you how it works and what's involved. So as mentioned previously on podcasts, we have a discovery session. So in that session, we want to actually drill down and find root causes to how you're feeling. Because if we just concentrate on one aspect of it, say, the breast implant is causing everything in terms of how you feel, we may miss, or just bypass other things that are causing or contributing to chronic illness. Things like toxicity, maybe something like an environmental exposure. We may have other issues like Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a very complicated issue that takes a lot of work to both unearth and then to treat.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (01:15): There may be things that are specifically related to our diet. So it is more than just one thing that's being evaluated in a discovery session with me regarding breast implant removal. Part of the bigger picture in helping you recover after surgery is identifying these either chronic illnesses, or dietary deficiencies, or nutritional deficiencies, separate like micronutrient deficiencies. Prior to actually undergoing a procedure, if we don't identify those and we just perform a procedure, then although you may recover from that particular portion, maybe the implant is very, very stimulating to your immune system, but if we haven't taken steps to uncover other aspects of toxicity, or auto immunity, or food sensitivity, things that really contribute to the overall toxic burden in your particular situation, you will not recover to your optimum. You will not recover as fast as you could. It won't be as efficient as it can be without taking those steps prior to surgery.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (02:20): So for instance, if we had a patient undergoing a complicated fat transfer after an explant, and we're doing this at the same time to give them optimal results, we want everything in their diet, everything controlled to the point where we're going to decrease inflammation. We're going to increase the amino acid availability to enhance recovery. So we want to know the foods they're putting in, which is the fuel for the patient to recover on. We want to make sure those are all things they can absorb without sensitivity. And we will make sure the right kinds of foods we want, say, meats or poultry that are pasture raised, grass fed. We don't want them to have vegetables that have GMOs in them, because that increases glyphosate levels, which has lots of downstream effects and can increase your disposition towards leaky gut and lack of absorption of nutrients.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (03:13): If I feel that in your history, as we discuss what's going on with you from an environmental standpoint, if you live in an area or had a recent home renovation or had a big water leak, then you're very at risk to have had a toxic mold exposure. That in concordance with a genetic predisposition to really limited detoxification ability, either through limited glutathione metabolism, limited DNA methylation, limited at the mitochondrial level superoxide dismutase to handle oxygen for radicals.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (03:51): If you have that kind of disposition that I recognize during a discovery session, then we're going to add more genetic testing to your pre operative situation so that we figure out both upfront how you're going to handle and detoxify, so that on the back end, we're managing all of that more appropriately. It may be modification of nutraceuticals so that we have supplements that can really help you detoxify more efficiently because you shouldn't have glutathione, or you should have things that help you methylate better. Hormones are really underappreciated in terms of recovery, whether it's your thyroid function, your estrogen, your progesterone, your testosterone, your cortisol levels. All of these are really important to having an adequately prepared patient and then a patient that's actually going to recover efficiently afterwards.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (04:51): So when we're looking at hormone levels after we've established we're concerned about that, thyroid function is important. Now thyroid function can be affected by many situations. Several of my clients have had autoimmune issues. So you can actually have antibodies causing you a hypothyroid situation called Hashimoto's. And that as well as other kinds of situations with the thyroid are not simply corrected by adding more thyroid hormone to the situation. It's more about evaluating maybe the toxicity level that's going in and making the hormone receptors less responsive. So if the car needs more gas, is it more efficient to pour the gas all over the car? Or is it more efficient to put it in the gas tank so you can actually use the car more? So obviously we put gas in our gas tanks. We don't pour it all over the car. So if you keep giving more and more thyroid hormone to someone to establish a normal laboratory level, are you really helping them? If in fact that hormone that you're giving them never gets inside the actual cells it needs to.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (06:09): So the important part is to establish whether or not their hormone receptor is working properly. Then if they need more thyroid, give the appropriate treatments for that. When it comes to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, so I have the majority of my clients of the 9,000 they're between the ages of 35 and, we'll say 55. So they're all pre and perimenopausal. And then a small amount of them are already postmenopausal. So the majority of them are peri, if you look at a bell shaped curve. And in a perimenopausal patient, they will have on typical laboratory analysis, estrogen, it's lower, but in the normal range on laboratory analysis. They'll typically have FSH that's normal. And then they'll have the testosterone will be typically in the lower 25%, the total testosterone.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (07:11): Then the bioavailable testosterone and the free testosterone, those will all be really, really low. So in this situation, what's the right answer? Is there a hormone receptivity issue? Is there a lack of hormone being produced? And in many of those situations, it's a lack of hormone production. If we feel it's a receptor issue, we have a different supplementation profile for that based on how you enzymatically break down your estrogen and testosterone. That's actually figured out through DNA testing.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (07:46): So if we think it's simply that you don't have enough based on those bioavailable free and total testosterone and conjunction with your estrogen, then I do my own bioavailable hormone replacement using pellet therapy. So I know this is a large amount of complex information that we provide to patients in the discovery process. But my team are always here to answer questions either through our Symplast health app, through email, I can have as usual follow ups both virtually and in person to really reassure you that we'll get all of these taken care of during the process.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (08:25): And we never leave anybody looking for more answers on the internet because it's a dangerous place. After discovery session, I'm asked frequently how quickly they can get on my surgery schedule. And in the current environment of dealing with COVID, our limitation is not how quickly I want to get your procedure done, it's what availability do we have to actually get to a surgery center to get your procedure done. Now, typically I'm one to two months out, and this gives us time to pause, reflect upon what we learned in the discovery session with you, we get our laboratory analysis done, put you on the proper diet.
Dr. Robert Whitfield (09:06): If we need to balance hormones, we have opportunity to do that. So there's typically that lag of at least a few weeks. And that gives me time to get most of this information either accumulated or completely analyzed prior to a treatment. On our next episode, we'll talk about the actual pre-op appointment, the things I find most important before the final step, surgery.
Speaker 1 (09:31): Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment, or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more.
Speaker 1 (09:45): Dr. Robert Whitfield is a board certified plastic surgeon located in Austin, Texas, near 360 and Walsh Tarlton in Westlake. To learn more, go to drrobertwhitfield.com, or follow Dr. Rob on Instagram @drrobertwhitfield. Links to learn more about Dr. Rob's Smart procedures, and anything else mentioned on today's show are available in the show notes. The Holistic and Scientific Podcast is a production of The Axis, theaxis.io.