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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v22.i1.50
pages 33-48

An Atypical Immune-Inflammatory Disorder Secondary to Breast Implant Exposure

S. V. M. Maharaj
Center for Research on Environmental Medicine, New Market, MD 21774

ABSTRACT

Objective: The objectives of this investigation were to determine a diagnosis and identify the underlying etiology. Case presentation: A 71-year-old female had experienced a constellation of symptoms stemming from the 1980s, including the following types: neurological, respiratory, gastroenterological, dermatological, skeletal, and ophthalmological. No correlation with an environmental (or other) factor could be found to account for the presence or exacerbation of unexplained signs and symptoms-except that the patient had been exposed to a series of silicone breast implants. Anatomical diagnosis: An atypical immune-inflammatory disorder caused by an originally exogenous noninfectious agent, i.e., breast prostheses, and diagnosed as prosthetic mammoplasty sensitivity syndrome (PMSS). Significance: This case study underscores the risks of breast implantation using prosthetic devices. It shows the potential for adverse health effects following breast implantation in humans. It highlights the impact of social factors that has adversely affected the medical treatment of this subgroup of patients, and documents postimplantation psychiatric morbidity attributable in part to adverse physical health effects from exposure to breast implants. Relevance to clinical practice: Patients that present with symptoms, have a history of breast implants, and no firm diagnosis of disease or disorder etiology attributable to their clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory, and/or imaging results must be considered for PMSS.