Kevin Brenner, MD Q&A with Goop
Photo Credit Goop Article

Goop has been a great resource for me as I have been taking on my health and wellness journey. Founded by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008, Goop strives to have hard conversations, find different outlooks, and do all the nitty gritty research. I instantly fell in love with them! 

I came across this article from Goop, that discusses Breast Implant Illness (BII), with none other than Kevin Brenner, MD, who also happens to be my explant surgeon. Brenner is a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgeries. He is absolutely amazing (As he was my surgery who helped me get my life back after implants), and I pleasantly surprised to see him have done a Q & A with Goop! However, I am not surprised he is shedding light on the seriousness of BII, and how implant removal is making patients feel better. He has been a great advocate and has given me guidance, as we both navigate the uniqueness of diagnosing  BII. 

To begin the article, Goop asks Brenner what BII is. He goes on to describe certain symptoms that patients feel such as brain fog, muscle and joint pain, hair loss, and more. However, he does point out that these symptoms do align with other diseases, such as autoimmune or hypothyroidism. Therefore, claiming that BII is hard to diagnose, and there aren’t definitive symptoms that occur to prove that what the patient is feeling is technically BII. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t discredit the illness. 

In regards to how to treat it, Brenner essentially leaves that to the patient. This could mean having explantation surgery and then a lift or complete a fat transfer. He mentions that the number of patients coming to him with BII symptoms, and hope for an action plan, is increasing every month. 

Goop furthers the interview by questioning Brenner on the time period between removing the implants and the patient feeling better. It is important to note, and I am so glad Brenner did, that everyone’s recovery process is different. He mentions that some will feel five percent better, some 85 percent better. And the length of time that it takes, also varies. Some feel better immediately after removing the implant and capsule (scar tissue), while others it takes months to feel back to normal. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough data to show what can exactly happen when removing an implant and capsule from a patient

In regards to treatments, suport, and resources after the explanation, that is where Explant Liaison and myself come in! These extra resources can include how to detox the body and how to maintain up to date ultrasounds in order to keep up breast health. There is a whole team of real women, along with Dr. Kevin Brenner, that wants to help others feel safe, and back to their normal, healthy selves. 

Photo Goop article

A common question is, is BII the same thing or similar to breast implant associated lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Brenner emphasizes that they are in no way related. BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer, it is lymphoma, which is a completely different type of cancer. Patients affected by this had Biocell textured implants from Allergan, a pharmaceutical company, and their implants have been taken off the market. He suggests that although the cause of BIA-ALCL is off the market, it is important to watch for any fluid build up in the breast to make sure this doesn’t happen. 

It is important to know what type of implant you are receiving, and if there is a risk for capsular contracture. Scar tissue around the implant is called a capsule, and capsular contracture is when the tissue begins to act like a muscle, and then starts contracting like one as well. Brenner mentions in the article that bacteria can find their way into the space between the capsule and breast implant, which can cause inflammation and capsular contracture. Therefore, knowing the type of implant is vital. Brenner mentions that saline is less likely to have capsular contracture than silicone, as well as textured implants, are less likely than smooth. I, unfortunately, had capsular contracture that developed about 3 months after I got my implants back in 2010.

All in all, breast implants need to be monitored. Brenner mentions that much like car parts, they go through wear and tear as well. For example, if a patient has a saline implant, there is a chance of a rupture. He recommends his patients get an MRI every three years, which can be pricey. However, Brenner mentions that when you get breast implants you must know there are other costs for upkeep, which in the end are for the patient’s health. 

To conclude the article, Brenner goes on to describe the risks of getting a mammogram with a breast implant. He mentions that the radiologists will move the implant out of the way if needed, but the implant is behind the breast so usually, they can still see the breast tissue. However, the implant can still affect the imaging results. He then suggests that the implant will be perfectly fine during an MRI or ultrasound. Brenner does go on to say that if your implant were to rupture during a mammogram, it was most likely going to rupture soon anyway. Implants are very strong, but there is still that risk. 

I am so glad I came across this article with Goop and Dr. Kevin Brenner! I find it vital for women’s health that articles like this are seen to the public. Although we are still understanding BII, I can say that for me it’s a step in the right direction getting the word out talking about it and making people aware. If you have any questions about my surgery, why I chose Dr. Brenner (By the way he did my surgery long before this article came out) I am happy to answer them.