Plastic surgeon discusses the serious risk of breast implant illness

Wayne State alum Dr. Shaher W. Khan says breast implant illness is a real issue and covers a variety of ailments.

Dr. Khan

Dr. Shaher W. Khan

What’s the downside of too much plastic surgery, if any at all? Every year, about 15 million Americans get some sort of plastic surgery and almost 20 percent of those procedures are breast implants.

But what are the risks with implants? Wayne State University alum Dr. Shaher W. Khan is a board certified plastic surgeon who says doctors have vowed to do no harm and that’s why he performs explant surgery. He joined CultureShift to talk about the seriousness of breast implant illness and why doctors should take plastic surgery more seriously.

Related: Plastic surgery has real consequences [TRANSCRIPT]

In September, a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration addressed squamous cell carcinoma and lymphomas forming in the capsule or scar tissue around breast implants.

Dr. Khan says breast implant illness is a real issue and covers a variety of ailments.

“Almost every organ system of the body [is affected], from the hair follicles down to the vision problems, migraines, anxiety problems, psychological issues, emotional instability, suicidal ideations, neck and back pain, dermatological problems, fibromyalgia-type symptoms, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, along with endocrine issues, auto immune issues amongst the many others, again, encompassing all organ systems of the body, and very clearly highlighting what the FDA has mentioned.” — Dr. Shaher W. Khan

Dr. Khan says the en bloc procedure performed to remove breast implants makes sure to take out every inch of compromised cells and tissue due to leaking implants.

“Patients are presenting with what is the gel bleed phenomenon, where the outer shell of the implant itself starts breaking down and starts leaching and slowly releasing the silicone not only in silicone implants that are ruptured, but also intact silicone implants and also saline implants.”

Khan says women whose implants are older than seven years should take special precautions because that is about the lifespan of the implants before most patients begin experiencing health problems.

Khan wants to urge doctors to take plastic surgery more seriously.

“We have to do no harm, no one should get a plastic surgery procedure where you compromise your function and your physiology and affect all these organ health systems.”

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.