Surgeon on Crusade to Warn Women About Breast Implant Dangers
Dr. Shaher Khan, Michigan plastic surgeon, is on a crusade to warn women about the dangers of breast implants. Breast implant illness is real, he says. It is a real problem with real answers – It causes joint pain, fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches.
Yet no one wants to talk about, he says, adding that no one wants him to talk about it. Khan specializes in removing breast implants.Read More »
• A survey in 2021 of around 200 women in Utah found that almost all had negative symptoms that they linked to their implants.
• The Federal Drug Administration published a warning in 2022 on its website on the link between breast implants and Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
• Survivors of breast cancer face a risk of different ailments and cancers as a result of the implants they receive after mastectomies, according to Khan.
Implant Surgery Remains Popular
In spite of warnings and data, implant surgery continues to be extremely popular in North America, Khan says. The number of implants is predicted to increase in 2023 over those of last year.
The market for breast implants around the world is estimated to have grown from $2.10 billion in 2021 to $2.25 billion in 2022, according to a report by ReportLinker. The market is expected to grow at 6.5% a year and to reach $2.9 billion by 2026.
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North America was the largest region in the breast implants market in 2021, the report says.
Implants, which are built of a silicone outer shell and filled with saline or silicone gel, are used to change the shape, size, and form of the breasts.
They are surgically placed under the breast tissue or chest muscle to increase breast size or to replace breast tissue lost due mainly to surgery as a result of breast cancer.
Breast Implants is a Lucrative Surgery
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Khan has performed only one breast implant surgery. He was required to undertake it as part of the requirements for becoming a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Khan says he refuses to take advantage of one of the most lucrative and safest surgical procedures. Instead he is one of only a few medical professionals warning women of the many negative results of silicone and saline breast implants, including implants that are linked with squamous cell carcinoma, an aggressive but rare cancer.
Khan wants women to know and to understand the risks linked to the devices before they decide to obtain implants.
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Warnings have been issued by the manufacturers and by the FDA, he says. “Countless” numbers of women are suffering from breast implant illness, yet surgeons tend to gloss over these risks when a patient wants an implant.
Implants also are the current practice for women who have had mastectomies. They are not offered an alternative, Khan says.
Key to Helping Women
The key to helping women identify whether they have breast implant illness is to educate primary care physicians because they often are the first medical professionals to hear of a patient’s symptoms, Khan says. They can identify the symptoms and then refer patients to a specialist, he explains.
The symptoms are many. Among them are:
• Cognitive dysfunction
• Fatigue or chronic fatigue
• Anxiety and panic attacks
• Skin rashes
• Muscle aches and pains
• Chronic neck and back pain
• Weight gain or loss
• Frequent urination
• Digestive issues
Many of the symptoms imitate those of other illnesses, especially autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Khan says. He suggests that women research those studies that demonstrate the links between illnesses and implants. They also should share with others their stories in order to avoid other women suffering.
Khan, who specializes in the removal of breast implants, provides a range of reconstructive surgeries.
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