Q: I want to have breast implants done. I am not happy with the way my breasts look. But I have lupus and am not sure that I can have this procedure with this medical condition.
A: Whether breast augmentation with the medical history of lupus is a good idea would depend on what the extent and how symptomatic this autoimmune disease is in you. Do you have any known healing problems as a result of your lupus? Have you had surgery in the past and did you have any problems with healing or infections after surgery? Are you on any steroids or other immunosuppressive medications? What symptoms do you currently have from your lupus? What are your titer levels of ANA and other blood tests from your doctor?
Ultimately, what your doctor or rheumatologist would say about your lupus condition would have a lot to say about the adviseability of breast augmentation for you. Despite the past allegations that silicone breast implants cause autoimmune disease from the 1990s, that has now long been disproven.
The issue is are you more prone to breast implant complications from your lupus? Infection risk in the short term and capsular contracture in the longer term are the issues. If you have skin problems, such as banding and contractures, than you would be likely to get problematic breast implant capsules. If not and your lupus is stable and relatively asymptomatic, then breast augmentation may be a satisfactory procedure for you.
Dr. Barry Eppley