Is My Chronic Pain Related to My Silicone Breast Implants?


Is my chronic pain related to my silicone breast implants?


While breast augmentation remains the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the United States, breast implants come with numerous risks and complications that affect at least 1 percent of patients, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Complications the FDA has warned may arise from breast implants include capsular contracture (scar tissue that forms around the implant), breast pain, changes in nipple/breast sensation, rupture, and in some cases, lymphoma (cancer of the immune system). 

Due to potential complications and in response to testimony offered by women who have experienced breast implant related illnesses and complications, the FDA is now recommending a “black box warning” on labeling materials for breast implants. In October of 2019, the FDA released draft guidance which aims to help patients better understand the risks and benefits of breast implants. This guidance is not yet in final form and has not been implemented. 

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your body, there is a possibility it may be related to the insertion of breast implants. Silicone breast implants are associated with a number of health problems. Within two years of having silicone breast implants inserted, women reported experiencing signs and symptoms of connective tissue disease such as increased muscle weakness, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. These symptoms may explain the chronic pain that is being experienced. 

The National Women’s Health Network believes there is not enough evidence on the safety of silicone breast implants and as a result, many women are experiencing chronic pain. Consult your primary healthcare provider and seek a second opinion if you are not getting the care you need. You can report problems that you are experiencing with your breast implants to the FDA and we encourage you to do so. 

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Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.

Read more from Evita Almassi.

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