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Diseases From Silicone Breast Implants, Breast Implant Helpline

Connective Tissue Disease And Overlap Syndromes that are the result of Silicont Breast Implants

Silicone from silicone breast implants cause certain connective tissue diseases. These include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus),
  • polymyositis-dermatomyositis (PM-DM),
  • systemic sclerosis (SSc or scleroderma),
  • Sjogren's syndrome (SS),
  • vasculitis.

An Overview of these Diseases

  •     Women much more effected than men.
  •     They are a side effects of Silicone Breast Implants
  •     They are side effects of silicone toxicity from roptured leaking Breast Implants
  •     They are "multisystem" diseases, and affect  the function of many organs.
  •     They "overlap" with one another, sharing certain clinical symptoms, signs, and laboratory abnormalities.
  •     Blood vessels are the most common target of injury in all of these diseases.
  •     The immune system  is compromised  and accounts,  the observed tissue damage.


Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis

In lupus, joint pain (arthralgia) is common. Joint swelling (arthritis) may be present in some cases, but the majority of those with lupus experience joint pain without swelling or only intermittent swelling. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), joint swelling is always present and pain is common but less prominent. Because rheumatoid arthritis is more likely than lupus to cause joint deformities and bone destruction, joint replacement or reconstructive surgery is more often required in RA than in SLE. If a person with lupus develops severe arthritis with joint deformities, he/she should be considered to have rheumatoid-like arthritis. In some instances, the physician might have reason to believe that both diseases — SLE and RA — have occurred in the same person. When arthritis develops in the course of lupus, treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), low doses of cortisone, and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) are usually helpful. People with lupus who have typical rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed the standard forms of RA treatment. These include methotrexate, sulfasalazine and in some cases, more potent drugs to suppress joint inflammation.


Many persons with lupus have muscle pain (myalgia), but a few have muscle weakness due to inflammation (myositis). The "muscle weakness" that people with lupus report is most commonly due to fatigue or high doses of cortisone. In polymyositis-dermatomyositis, the primary problem is muscle weakness due to muscle inflammation. In myositis, weakness especially affects the hips (inability to rise from a chair or toilet seat, or to climb stairs unassisted) and shoulders (inability to lift a weight onto a high shelf or comb one’s hair). Typically, there is little or no pain associated with the weakness. People with myositis have increased blood levels of creatine kinase (CK, a substance that leaks from injured muscle), abnormal electrical activity of muscles (seen in an electromyogram, or EMG), and muscle cell degeneration and inflammation that is found in a muscle biopsy. Prednisone or other cortisone-like drugs are most often recommended for the treatment of myositis, and may be used in combination with other immune-suppressing drugs. Cortisone itself, in high doses, may actually cause muscle weakness of the hips and shoulders, very similar to what occurs in myositis. But in this condition, called "steroid myopathy," the CK, EMG, and the muscle biopsy do not suggest inflammation, and recovery of strength promptly follows reduction of the cortisone dose.

Lupus and Scleroderma

The hallmark of scleroderma (SSc) is thickened skin (sclero=hard, derma=skin) which affects the fingers, and often the hands, forearms, feet, and face. If skin thickening is widespread, it may extend to the upper arms, thighs, chest, and abdomen.. The variety of skin rashes seen in lupus are due to inflammation, rather than fibrosis. These include the facial "butterfly" rash and photosensitivity reaction (rash, hives or blisters immediately after exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light). The latter is limited to the skin surfaces exposed. An exception is discoid lupus, which consists of spots or patches of rash, mostly in sun exposed areas (face, ears, extremities), which typically cause scarring and skin pigment changes. The appearance of scleroderma and discoid lupus are entirely different, and should be easily distinguished from one another by your physician. These are all side effects of silicone Breast Implants. Silicone is a toxic substance and even small amounts leaking into the blood stream can create havoc on ther immune system.

Other Complications Include

  • scarring of the lower portions of the lung (pulmonary fibrosis);
  • difficulty in swallowing solid foods such as bread or meat;
  • and heartburn or indigestion from stomach acid "refluxing" (coming back up) into the esophagus.
  • Difficulty swallowing sluggish and uncoordinated motion of the muscle layer of the esophagus (esophageal dysmotility).
  • finger and hand deformities
  • skin thickening,
  • arthritis,
  • tendinitis and tenosynovitis
  • (inflammation and scarring of tendons and their lining tissues).
  •  limited movement of the fingers
  • .Raynaud's phenomenon
  •  fingers turn blue or white with cold

If you or a loved one has these symptoms and has silicone breast implants you must see a physician immediately. Your health is first priority. If you have filed a claim with the Dow trust or another facility and need assistance with documenting disease or you have received a notice regarding an MDL-926 deficiency contaact the breast Implant Helpline immediately to preserve your legal rights.

You are not alone