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Las Vegas plastic surgeon talks breast implant illness, FDA warnings

Breast implant illness: The sickness behind the rising number of women getting 'explants'
Posted at 10:24 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 14:39:42-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas valley woman is sending out a warning to others after she says her breast implants made her ill.

Kayla Klapperick got breast implants in 2013. Five years later, she experienced migraines, pain in her breasts and rashes on her eyes, face and neck.

“For a good year and a half I thought I was going crazy. I was like, what is going on?” Klapperick said.

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After years of unanswered questions, several doctors and lots of research, she landed on breast implant illness and decided to get her implants surgically removed.

“My surgeon went in and discovered that my capsule was attached to my collar bone and my rib so that’s why I was having all that pain on my left side,” Klapperick added.

Several weeks out of surgery, Klapperick says she’s already seeing major improvements in her health.

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Before and after Klapperick got her breast implants surgically removed.

“It was a hard decision, but I knew in the end that my health is way more important than how I think I need to look,” Klapperick said.

Dr. Jeffrey Roth, a board certified plastic surgeon in Las Vegas, says breast implant illness isn’t common but he does remove implants for patients who request it.

“It’s this amorphous constellation of symptoms which means it’s kinda a hard to diagnose and treat. There’s not one test you can get and go, oh! There it is,” Dr. Roth said.

Dr. Roth says right now breast implant illness isn’t recognized by most as an official disease, but medical studies are in the works.

“Those studies have just started recently, so hopefully in the next few years we’re going to have more data to say hey is this a real entity? And if so, what’s really causing this entity and of course get in front of it,” Dr. Roth added.

There is a specific type of implant that the FDA says can cause cancer. The organization finalized its guidance, recommending but not requiring a boxed warning.

It says certain textured implants have been linked to Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or ALCL. It can be deadly, but Dr. Roth says the risk is extremely low.

“What the FDA is trying to do and what the different groups are pushing the FDA to do is making sure people know what they’re getting into and actually getting informed consent and going forward,” Dr. Roth said.

Dr. Roth says if you’re not sure if implants are the right decision for you, have a conversation with a board certified doctor. He’d rather have patients spend 20 minutes with him than 20 hours on the internet.