PHOENIX - From the pages of Playboy to the operating table -- is there really such a thing as “breast implant illness?”
One noted plastic surgeon is questioning the claims made by a Playboy Playmate who said her breast implants made her ill.
The chief of plastic surgery at John C. Lincoln tells 12 News while there have been tons and tons of studies done on implants, nothing shows to have any kind of existence of breast implant illness.
Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal from Phoenix recently got her implants removed, because she thought they caused her to have blackouts and dizzy spells, severe allergies, and vision problems.
She says she noticed an immediate improvement and is sharing her story to help educate other women.
“Studies have shown… there has been no causal effect of these type of illnesses,” said Dr. Pablo Prichard, Chief of Plastic Surgery at the John C. Lincoln.
Dr. Prichard says there’s no such thing as breast implant illness.
“I’m not saying that they are lying about symptoms,” he said. “It’s important to know what’s the cause of these symptoms. Sometimes we don’t know.”
He says a number of things can cause symptoms and sometimes the timing is just coincidental. Something that does exist? Psychosomatic disorder.
“You can actually think of symptoms and they start to occur in your own body,” he said.
That’s not to say implants are without risks.
“There are always risks of infections, there’s risk of implant exposure,” said Dr. Prichard.
He says sometimes they can be masked as infections and your body reacts to contamination, which can lead to pain or irritation. Implant ruptures are also possible.
“The silicone bleeds out of the membrane,” he said. “The body can react to that.”
“But is it truly the implant that is causing the symptoms? I would say in most cases, no,” said Dr. Prichard.
So what about allergic reaction to the implants? The doctor tells us the likelihood is extremely low, but not impossible.
And that in some cases, implant removal is the right thing to do.