What is BII?

Breast Implant Illness

Breast Implant Illness (BII) is not a medically recognized illness. Those whom associate with having BII may have been first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as lupus or lyme disease. Their symptoms can range from blurred vision, brain fog, hearing and light sensitivity, chronic fatigue, joint pain to shortness of breath. Some woman struggle with finding a diagnosis of any kind or are accused of the symptoms being psychological.

We all have the right to live a healthy life. If you are experiencing autoimmune or unexplained symptoms and have implants like I did, then please consider that the implants may be part of the problem. I started my recovery to health by researching BII via websites, support groups and talking to “Breasties” until I found a Dr. who understood what I was experiencing and had the expertise to do my explant.

I hope you will find the information, personal stories and links on this page useful in your search for choosing what is right for you to live healthy and happy. – Karen

Symptoms Of Implant Illness


Women sharing their personal stories with breast implants and BII.


Media support for Implant Illness

Symptoms of Implant Illness

If you have implants and are having general chest discomfort, shortness of breath, pain, and burning sensation around your implant or underarm, schedule an appointment immediately with your physician.

Symptoms of Implant Illness can often be associated or diagnosed as chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, and/or toxic shock.

  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Choking feeling
  • Cold and discolored limbs, hands or feet
  • Cramping (muscles)
  • Decreased libido
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry skin or hair
  • Ear ringing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or chills
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel or bladder
  • Joint Pain
  • Liver / kidney disfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Night sweats
  • Limb numbness / tingling
  • Panic attacks
  • Recurrent illness
  • Ringing in ears
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Sharp pains in breast
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus infections
  • Slow healing
  • Slow muscle recovery after activity
  • Sudden food intolerance and allergies
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes
  • Temperature intolerance
  • Vertigo
  • Visual disturbance
  • Yeast infections / Candida

“Breasties” sharing their stories.

Fellow Breasties, please feel welcome to email your story, links and image to be posted here to share.


In 1996, at a age 25, I choose to have my breasts enhanced to feel more like a woman. My implants were smooth saline placed on top of the muscle. I loved having bigger breasts and defiantly felt I looked sexier but in time it cost me my health. After several years of chronic sickness and symptoms that matched others with BII, I decided being healthier was sexier then big boobs and had an explant on January 31, 2017.

Many of my symptoms began 7 years after getting the implants. They included hormone decline/disruption, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and migraines. I developed allergies to numerous things, my eyes were consistently red with dark circles and I got sick so much that it became a joke to those around me, ``You are the sickest healthy person I know”!

At the beginning of 2016, besides chronic illnesses, my symptoms increased to include blurred vision, daily dizziness, blacking out, restricted breathing, a choking feeling, chronic fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations and severe migraines.

I saw several Dr’s, including a neurologist and hormone specialist, but they could not find anything wrong with my health and suggested that maybe I was “depressed”. A friend suggested several times that I may have Breast Implant Illness, I had never heard of this and thought he made the illness up. I remember rolling my eyes and telling him, ``I've had mine for years, I'm fine``.

Extreme noise and light sensitivity were my newest symptoms in October 2016, along with severe panic attacks, blurred vision and debilitating migraines that kept me bedridden most days. I no longer went to the gym, nor could handle spending time with family and friends, I was becoming a complete recluse and felt like I had NO life! Implant Illness was now seeming like a realistic diagnosis for my declining health. As dramatic as it sounds, after laying in bed for several months praying to live and get healthy again, I knew I desperately needed those toxic bags out of me!

I chose Dr. David Rankin to do my explant because he knows the importance of removing the entire capsule that is believed to contain toxins from the implants. He took the additional care to remove the scar tissue that had grown into my breast tissue and ribs. It literally was scrapped off. Additionally, my cosmetic results were still important and I felt Dr. Rankin worked both as a skilled surgeon and an artist to assist me on my journey of improved health and feeling good about how I looked.


Explanted April 13, 2017

After my explant, my neck, shoulder & back pain were gone almost instantly. Other symptoms I “had” were joint and muscle pain, flu-like symptoms lasting only 24 hours (weirdest feeling ever), brain fog, Raynaud’s disease, allergies, chronic fatigue, migraines, very cold hands & feet, heart palpitations, severe chest pain, hair loss, body aches, and more if I think about it, all GONE!

In 2016, after a Breast Revision surgery from Saline Implants to Silicone Gel, I began to experience Capsular Contracture (hardening of the scar tissue around the implant) at 8 weeks post op and the above listed symptoms. I had been to many doctors, had many diagnostic tests and failed various types of therapy. My doctors just kept referring me to other specialists because they could not give me a specific diagnosis and did not know WHY I was in so much pain.

Immediately I stopped researching my symptoms. Instead, I searched for “breast implant removal” and I discovered this procedure is called ``EXPLANT”.

“I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and connected the dots of my symptoms to my implants”.

Next I learned about Breast Implant Illness, it's symptoms and who the top plastic surgeons were performing explants. I connected with woman on BII FB groups and confirmed through their stories that I had Breast Implant Illness. What a consolation this was during such a difficult time. ``This is real`` and I am not crazy if thousands of women from all over the country from all walks of life with similar symptoms/stories get explant and feel better.

What I was learning lead me to know my implants had to come out because PAIN is NOT normal and after 5 months of being sick, seeing multiple doctors without any diagnosis or explanation for all my symptoms and pain…I was DONE. Concluding my extensive research and interviewing leading explant surgeons in this country, I booked my surgery with Dr. David Rankin.

I'm happy I trusted my instincts and my body. I now fully understand WHY I was having these symptoms.
Our bodies give us signals, don't ignore your symptoms....it could be your implants.


Implanted 1987 - Explanted 2017
400 CC.

There was a time many women were getting their breast enlarged and I had lost so much body fat from working out that my breast got a little smaller, so I decided to give it a try. I was not informed of any danger to having them, it did feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest when I woke up.

I didn’t notice any issues the first few years of having my implants. However, I did notice my energy level was not that same as it had been before surgery and contributed it to working very hard.

In the last 3 years before my explant, my health did not seem right. I started having anxiety, weight gain, major pain in my joints, blurry vision and my cognitive was off. I could not remember anything.

I had such bad pain in my hips, knees and legs that at times it was hard for me to walk. I seriously thought for sure I would be dead in a year.

A woman I knew had her inplants removed because of more awareness that implants were making women sick, that made me pay more attention that my inplants could be what was making me so very sick.

It made sense to me that I had BII after a MRI showed that my left implant was leaking silicone throughout my body.

Ten months after explanting, I am slowly but surely getting better and do not suffer the pain I was in all day and all night, I am still healing and my energy level is getting better.

I am looking forward to continue getting healthier and to share my story so other women change their mind about even thinking of getting an augmentation.

Videos Supporting Implant Illness

Women complain that their breast implants made them sick
WPTV News | West Palm Beach Florida
May 8, 2017

Women complain that their breast implants made them sick
WPTV News | West Palm Beach Florida
May 8, 2017

Former ‘Playboy’ Playmates Have ‘Toxic’ Breast Implants Removed After They Make Them Sick
Inside Edition
Oct 27, 2017

Ex-Playmate of the Year says breast implants were killing her
AZ Family powered by 3TV & CBS5AZ
May 4, 2017

Breast Implant Illness
Dr. Manuel Faria
April 13, 2017

Playmate among thousands of women who believe breast implants made them sick. A look at decades of research.
AZ Family powered by 3TV & CBS5AZ
Feb 1, 2018

Breast Implant Illness: A search for answers
AZ Family powered by 3TV & CBS5AZ
Feb 1, 2018

The Doctors with Karen McDougal and plastic surgeon Dr. David Rankin
Apr 12, 2017

Articles Supporting Implant Illness