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Smith&Lesson

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 #1 
Just wondering if anyone with Lupus here has breast implants and what your experience has been.
  • Did you get them before or after diagnosis?
  • Any issues (flares, new symptoms or necessary surgical revisions)?
  • Would you do it again?
DeBartolo

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 #2 
we've had several threads on this topic over the years, don't recall anyone thinking it was a good idea, if for no other reason complications following any cosmetic surgery on SLE patients are pretty common




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Smith&Lesson

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 #3 
I searched " breast implants" and "augmentation" before posting and nothing came up -weird!  Would've loved to read those as I got mine before lupus diagnosis and have had so many problems.  Had I connected the dots and thought that I had SLE, I would have never done it. A big reason I posted this was to see if there were any ladies contemplating this so I could share my horror stories and hopefully prevent someone from going through a similar nightmare. 
DeBartolo

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 #4 
this board software is relativly new, so can imagine your search here produced zip

the prior board which began in 2008 had the several discussions referred to; sorry.




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bmartino

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 #5 
I had a revision last March due to a rupture and my first joint problem began in July (or was it June, I have to check my calendar).  I had my previous implants (saline) for over 20 years and my new ones are silicone. I dug thru medical records and lab testing from years ago and found 2011 I had a positive ANA. Those labs are really hard to read and the positive ANA is all I know.

My labs in July (or June) show my positive ANA speckled patter 1:1640.  I have not been diagnosed with lupus, but inflammatory arthritis.  

I certainly have no idea if my issues are related to my implants but I did live many years with no problems for the most part.  I was bothered with flu-like symptoms for many years without having the flu and it would come and go.

I just wish I knew what to expect and the best approach to making sure things don't get worse.  I need to find some time to figure out what the UVA1 treatments can do and how the heck to do it! I never have a lot of time to sit and read about it and the few minutes that I do aren't very productive.

Tell me about your story Smith&Lesson if you don't mind [smile]
Cakelady

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 #6 
Honestly I would not put my body through that
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Smith&Lesson

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 #7 
Got implants Feb 2013 when I thought our family was complete, then 1 month later had an ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy w/ fusion).  I was off birth control pills because of the last surgery and ended up pregnant 6 mos later. I breastfed this baby too and had lots of problems with that before giving up when he was 4 months old.  Ended up with capsular contracture and had to do an expensive revision with strattice bilaterally about 6 months later. [I'd had to start taking Doxycycline before this revision and ended up getting esophagitis twice, followed by pericarditis, also, I suddenly couldn't eat anymore due to really bad nausea, which I thought was from the antibiotics... Of course, i was suffering severe fatigue and joint pain all the while] It was so hard to recover from this surgery, and because of the strattice, there were so many physical restrictions (like not being able to pick up my baby for 6 long wks or lift my arms overhead). Of course I regretted ever getting those damn implants and felt incredible guilt. Anyway, right after surgery my left breast was acting weird and looked different than the right, it rode higher and just felt strange all through the healing process; I thought it was immediate capsular contracture again, despite the fact that I'd specifically gotten the strattice to prevent that. Surgeon said to wait until 6 months post-op to really see what's going on, but I could tell she was concerned too.

I'd been on antibiotics for at least 9 months at that point and when my left breast started getting red and warm she prescribed Bactrim on top of the Doxycycline, and I had an awful reaction to it. My skin started intensely itching and burning in spots on my legs, arms and genitals, and ended up with a huge palmer lesion after only 2 pills! Thank God my husband got home when he did so I could show him because I thought it was from the new muscle relaxant the surgeon prescribed; he insisted I not take another sulfa drug, and my others docs agreed that it was the Bactrim that caused this. [BTW, we called it Steven Johnson's Syndrome, but now rheumy thinks it may have been the lupus reaction.]

About 5 months after the revision I ended up having emergency surgery on the left breast when a red lump appeared outta' nowhere and quickly grew from a dot to at least 1.5" lesion in 36 hrs.  My husband thought it was an abscess that just needed to be drained, my PCP thought vasculitis, and the breast surgeon had no clue what kind of infection it was but it had to be surgically removed immediately.  Normal protocol in that situation is implant removal for 3+ months, and I was horrified at the thought of having only 1 breast, and what I'd look like after losing so much breast tissue in the revision, in addition to the large amount that would be lost in emergency surgery. I had 1 hr to decide what to do. I opted for a new experimental procedure that my surgeon had only done 1x before and came outta' surgery with 2 breasts. This last surgery was about 5 months ago so I am praying that everything continues to stay okay. [Any of you that pray, I'd appreciate a lil' mention because I don't think my body can handle anything more right now: recovering from 2nd bout of pericarditis and in a major flare again.] 

Yeah, had I ever even suspected Lupus, there's no way that I would have done this to my body. It feels ridiculous to have undergone 3 surgeries now for some fake titties, all that precious time, energy, feeling awful, and money...  Thanks for listening guys, it feels great to get that off my chest. [wink]

bmartino

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 #8 
Oh my gosh, I cannot imagine going through what you have! You are one strong girl!  So good that you have a husband like yours that is obviously very supportive and aware. Did you have problems at all before implants?

Don't beat yourself up for your decision. There was no way for you to know the what outcome would be. By going through everything related to being a mother you certainly don't need to feel bad about wanting to make it better. I am sure you wish you could go back and not have the surgery.  If everything had gone correctly the first time you would not have had the other 2 [frown]

Hugs!!!
Smith&Lesson

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 #9 
Awwwwh thanks! [smile]  I did have problems before the implants, but not to this current extent.

Smith&Lesson

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 #10 
New problems with the girls [frown]  My chest has been hurting occasionally and been feeling lotsa' pressure again at times; breasts have been feeling different and weird, some pain but nothing over the top.  Over the last few weeks, I noticed that the skin on breasts was getting tighter and a different appearance of overall breast shape from before --and now noticeable bilateral rippling!  Arggghhhh!  I did mention it to rheumy today and he suspects it's serositis, and that my lupus is wreaking havoc all over right now.  God willing, we can get this under control.
Cakelady

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 #11 
With the amount of information out there regarding breast implants and auto immune diseases if I was you I would just take them out.
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Smith&Lesson

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 #12 
i've thought about it, but also thought of reasons not to.  I definitely cannot handle surgery right now and think cervical spine has dibs when I am able...  As long as issues seem to be only slightly uncomfortable and hopefully just cosmetic, I think I have some time to do a bit more research.  Just hoping anyone with lupus considering these will be convinced that it is horrible idea in the meantime [wink]
bmartino

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 #13 
I am so sorry you are going through all of this.  [frown] Please keep us posted on your progress.  I sure hope things start getting better!!
meg

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 #14 
Thank you for opening up on this topic.  This is a great thread for anyone considering implants if they lupus.  I think surgery + lupus, especially in an active flare, can be dangerous.  Just one other thought.. have they done recent bloodwork on you to check for an infection? I don't know a lot about implants, but that would almost seem like a first step.

Good luck to you and the girls [smile]

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Smith&Lesson

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 #15 
Just bumping this up since the topic came up in another thread.

Update:  I discovered that the emergency breast surgery on my left breast took place 2 days after sun exposure.  While I still cannot be certain that it was the sun that caused this problem, seeing the correlation was enough for me to take sun restriction seriously!  I recently bought my new "bathing suit":  long swim pants and a long-sleeved rash guard, along with 6 new mineral sunscreens to try :)
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