Women who are considering undergoing breast augmentation surgery should be made aware of the risks of Breast Implant Illness, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
While Breast Implant Illness is not currently recognised as an official diagnosis, surgeons are calling for more research following thousands of women sharing complaints on online forums, such as the Healing Breast Implant Illness group.
Characterised by chronic pain and extreme fatigue, women who made the decision to have their implants removed discovered that their symptoms disappeared.
Consultant plastic surgeon of BAAPS, Nora Nugent, said: “Surgeons should be warning patients about breast implant illness. Patients need the most up-to-date information possible, with the caveat that breast implant illness is poorly understood.”
In an interview with the BBC, fitness instructor Naomi Macarthur said: "I remember getting severe pain in my stomach and the tiredness was like I had run a marathon and dug a million trenches and I hadn't done anything. Writing with a pen was too tiring."
Four years after having her breast implants inserted, Ms Macarthur had them removed and the symptoms stopped.
However, there is little evidence currently available to support an official diagnosis of the condition, and it faces some scepticism from the medical community.
The UK's National Secretary for the International Society of Plastic Surgery, Naveen Cavale, told the BBC: "As far as some of my patients are concerned, breast implant illness is a very real thing for them, and I have no reason to doubt them. But, to me, as a doctor, it makes no scientific sense.”
"Breast implant illness isn't something we used to always talk about - but the proper plastic surgery associations such as ourselves, have started advising we do so, which I think is a good thing for patients to make more informed decisions."
Ailments attributed to Breast Implant Illness include fatigue, chest pain, hair loss, headaches, chills, photosensitivity, chronic pain, brain fog and sleep disturbance.
Allergan textured breast implants and BIA-ALCL
This is not the first time that health concerns relating to breast implants have hit the headlines in recent months.
At the end of 2018, it was announced that textured breast implants made by the manufacturer Allergan were to be withdrawn from the UK and European market.
The implants were removed as it is believed that they are linked to a rare form of cancer called Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). In July 2019, the United States became the latest country to effectively ban the implants after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked Allergan to voluntarily recall the affected models.
BIA-ALCL typically presents swelling and pain in the breast between three and 14 years after implantation.
If you received Allergan textured breast implants between 16 July 2016 and 19 December 2018, and were not given adequate warning about the associated risk of BIA-ALCL, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Get in touch with us today to find out if you could claim for Allergan breast implant compensation. Our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. Call us on 0808 256 1297, or arrange for us to call you back by using our online contact form.