There could be a new solution for women struggling with breast implant illness

Reporter: Veronica Marshall Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
breast implant illness
Credit: Liz Lugo

There could be a new solution for women struggling with breast implants illness.

The symptoms usually give these women no choice but to remove their implants. But, once gone, it leaves a void.

Medical professionals have developed a new procedure that could give women their health and confidence back.

After switching from Saline to Silicone implants, Liz Lugo suffering from acne, memory problems and anxiety.

“I was so scared and so sad,” Lugo said.

It’s called breast implant illness or BII. While this surgery is the most common type of plastic surgery globally, almost no scientific research exists on BII.

“For such a long time, I didn’t believe in it,” Lugo said. “There’s no test to figure out whether you have breast implant illness, you just know.”

One study followed 750 women with BII and found that after removing implants, they felt significantly better immediately. Lugo took hers out soon after.

“My breasts are such a big part of who I am,” said Lugo.

But she wasn’t going to sacrifice her health. “My health comes first. And if I’m not healthy, there won’t be any me,” she said.

Dr. Joshua Lampert is a Reconstructive and plastic surgeon. “If they’ve had a larger breast implant and thin tissue, thin skin, and if you imagine you kind of remove that implant, there’s a large deflation problem. And a lot of times the skin does not retract,” said Dr. Lampert.

That’s why Lampert says fat grafting is gaining popularity.

“Fat grafting is doing low-pressure liposuction to harvest fat, it takes a little bit longer than regular liposuction, and then we process that fat and then we inject that fat into the breast tissue to get further voluminization and better shape,” Dr. Lampert said.

“A lot of patients have a little stubborn fat deposit somewhere that they wanted to kind of address with liposuction anyhow. So if we can use liposuction to harvest fat, and we can use that fat then to shape the breast, it’s kind of a win-win,” he said.

“They can still be beautiful without breast implants,” said Dr. Lampert.

Beautiful, healthy and heard is how Liz feels now.

“You tell someone who doesn’t believe in this stuff about it and they’re like, ‘You’re nuts.’ And that used to be me, but it’s the truth. My body is detoxing. I’m starting to feel like myself,” Lugo said.

And she’s glad that she could bring awareness to this issue.

“People need to realize that it could happen to anyone, and that if it is happening to them – it’s okay to remove them,” Lugo said. “I feel like I’m truly helping people. So maybe not everyone will go through with it, but at least I’m bringing awareness to something that could potentially happen to so many.”

Lugo documented her breast implant removal journey via her social media accounts. She says she wanted to let women know that they’re not alone and that they have options regarding implant removal.

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