Assessing Long-term Outcomes in Breast Implant Illness

The Missing Link? A Systematic Review

Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.; Justin L. Bellamy, M.D.; Brendan Alleyne, M.D.


Plast Reconstr Surg. 2022;149(4):638e-645e. 

In This Article


A Medline search was conducted by two independent investigators to locate previously published outcomes studies related to breast implant illness or related conditions, including adjuvant breast illness and autoimmune syndrome induced by adjuvants. Search keywords included "breast implant illness" and "silicone breast implant explant." Cited studies within identified articles were also queried for articles missed on the initial screen. The abstracts of each resulting study were then reviewed by the same independent reviewers to specifically identify outcomes-oriented studies. Original research articles focusing explicitly on outcomes related to breast implant illness and/or explantation for breast implant illness were identified for further analysis. The full texts of these outcomes studies were reviewed. We extracted data on study design, results, study limitations, and final conclusions.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria were established a priori. Inclusion criteria for selection included all human studies with the primary topic being breast implant illness (or historic equivalent), with direct outcomes-oriented study within this population, published in English-language journals. Exclusion criteria included case reports or studies with less than 10 cases, studies focused primarily on BIA-ALCL or other breast disease entities, or those focused on breast implant explantation for reasons other than breast implant illness.