Breast Implant Illness: Can Removal Reverse The Sickness?

Angie Everhart
Angie Everhart

The following material contains graphic images of an actual surgery that may be disturbing. Parents are advised that these images may not be suitable for young children.

Some women say after getting breast implants they experience health problems like fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, and generally just not feeling well. The Doctors welcome a group of "explants," women who have removed their implants, to discuss breast implant illness.

Watch: Explants: Meet Several Ladies Who Have had Their Implants Removed

The Doctors are joined by breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk and plastic surgeon Dr. Ritu Chopra, who explains breast implant illness is a constellation of symptoms. "I have patients coming into my office saying, 'I feel like I'm going to die.' It's that severe," Dr. Chopra shares, noting that while this is not a formally recognized illness, he still feels it is a problem and should be addressed. 

Model Angie Everhart opens up exclusively with The Doctors exclusively about her experience with breast implant illness. She says she sought treatment from 40 different doctors and did not find any relief, treatment or diagnosis. She was also diagnosed with cancer, along with experiencing breast implant illness symptoms. She shares that after 5 surgeries, she removed her implants and is now also cancer-free, but she is still not feeling well. She says she experiences shoulder pain, brain fog, and general pain.

Former "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Eden Sassoon also decided to remove her implants after experiencing pain in her shoulder and neck along with head fog. She had a feeling that "something was not right" and decided to remove her implants. Now after the removal and being on thyroid medication, she says, "Everything is amazing" and feels much better.

Mom Talia also tells The Doctors that she began feeling ill after getting implants. She shares she developed adult-onset asthma, hair fell out, experienced dizziness, and developed sudden food allergies. She endured these symptoms for 10 years and says after removing her breast implants that 90 percent of her symptoms went away and she's now feeling "amazing."

Watch: The Doctors Follow a Woman into the OR for Her Explant Surgery

Nikki, also an explant patient shares she removed her implants 2 months ago and woke up "immediately feeling amazing." She says her headaches ceased and she is now able to exercise after years of not feeling like she could. She also found relief from her sudden food intolerance.

The Doctors do not want to create panic among people who have implants and note the majority of patients have success with this surgery.

Dr. Chopra tells The Doctors he feels the key is that plastic surgeons give patients "true informed consent" about implants, including the chance of infection and also information about breast implant illness and allow patients to decide what does in their bodies.

Go inside the operating room with Dr. Chopra and patient Terri, who was experiencing breast implant illness symptoms, and see how implants were removed and how he reconstructed her breasts. Also, in the video below, Dr. Chopra offers to help Angie with her ongoing symptoms.


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