Breast Implant Illness is an uncommon indication for the replacement or removal of silicone breast implants.
Breast Implant Illness (BII) is an uncommon indication for reoperation in women with silicone breast implants. Breast implant replacement and removal procedures due to local complications, such as capsular contracture, are much more frequent. This is demonstrated by research conducted by Nivel, Maastricht University and the Dutch Breast Implant Registry (DBIR), of which the results were published in the open access journal JAMA Network Open.
Breast Implant Illness receives a lot of attention in the scientific literature and in the media. Breast Implant Illness is a collective term used for various non-specific health complaints, such as headaches and fatigue, that are linked to silicone breast implants. Little is known about Breast Implant Illness. As a first step, Nivel estimated the magnitude of Breast Implant Illness as a reason for replacing or removing breast implants, using data from the Dutch Breast Implant Registry (DBIR).
Five percent of all cosmetic replacement and removal procedures performed because of Breast Implant Illness
Approximately five percent of all cosmetic breast implant replacement and removal procedures were performed because of Breast Implant Illness. Local postoperative complications were much more common as a reason for breast implant replacement or removal. Most replacement and removal procedures were performed because of capsular contracture or a ruptured implant.
About the study
We used anonymized data from electronic patient records of hospitals and private clinics that contribute to the Dutch Breast Implant Registry (DBIR) from 2015 to 2020. We analyzed data on almost 70,000 breast implants (more than 37,000 women).
This is the first study within a research project focusing on silicone breast implants and health complaints, which Nivel is conducting in collaboration with Maastricht University and DBIR. In subsequent studies we will examine the relationship between breast implants and health complaints. We compare the complaints that women experience before the placement – or removal – of breast implants with the complaints they experience afterwards. The research is being carried out on behalf of the RIVM and is financed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. More information about the entire research program can be found on the RIVM site Onderzoeksprogramma gezondheidsklachten van vrouwen met een siliconen borstimplantaat.