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Breast Implant IllnessBreast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Illness and Implant Removal Resurfaces on Bravo

The topic of Breast Implant Illness (BII) resurfaced with two Bravo TV reality stars this month.

Last week, Mia Thornton, a star on “Real Housewives of Potomac” revealed on the reunion show that she had been suffering from health issues and a cancer scare. She said she worked with her doctors to rule out sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by foreign objects in the body. Sarcoidosis is one of the many symptoms of BII. She acknowledges that if she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis that it would likely have been associated with BII since that is a cause of the disease.

Breast implant illness is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that some women with breast implants experience, including chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, hair loss, and autoimmune symptoms. In rare cases, implants are linked to cancer. While the exact causes of breast implant illness are still being studied, some believe that the body’s immune system may react to the presence of the implants as a foreign object, leading to inflammation and other symptoms. In other cases, leaking or old implants could be the cause.

While Mia is not removing her implants at this time, there are at least five women who starred in the Housewives franchise who have made the decision to put health over aesthetics and have their breast implants removed due to health risks.

  • Dina Manzo, former Real Housewives of New Jersey star, revealed in a February 14 Instagram post, that she is removing her implants due to “unexplained inflammation in their body” and “autoimmune symptoms”
  • Tamra Judge, Real Housewives of Orange County star, explanted in 2021 citing Breast Implant Illness as the reason
  • Emily Simpson, Real Housewives of Orange County star, explanted in 2020 stating Breast Implant Illness being behind the decision
  • Yolanda Hadid, former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, explanted on the show in 2016 citing autoimmune disorders and revealed that her breast implant had a very bad rupture and silicone had leaked into her body
  • May Zilba, former Real Housewives of Vancouver star, explanted in 2019 citing health issues and now works to raise awareness about Breast Implant Illness

These women’s decision to remove their breast implants is a brave and important step in raising awareness about BII and the health risks associated with breast implants.

While not all women with breast implants will experience BII symptoms, it’s important for women to know the potential risks of breast implants and to consult with their doctors to rule out all cancers and risks associated with them.

As a plastic surgeon who exclusively removes implants (and never puts them in), the majority of my patients report “complete resolution” of symptoms of breast implant illness with implant removal surgery, without replacement.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to breast implant illness, it’s important to speak with your doctor and seek a diagnosis. By raising awareness and sharing their stories, women can empower themselves and others to make informed choices about their health.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaher Khan.

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