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Diagnosis of Exclusion: Why this Polished "Diagnosis" for Breast Implant Illness is Problematic

Opinion Piece By Melissa Puryear 5/1/23 (photo creds Dee Hicks)

Diagnosis of Exclusion: Why this Polished "Diagnosis" that was Recently Suggested to Replace BII by the Plastics Society, Can be Problematic for Women Suffering from Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Radiopaedia points out the shortcomings of a diagnosis of exclusion... the weakness is "a true diagnosis of exclusion can only be used to apply to conditions that have no confirmatory test to prove that they are the diagnosis. Some conditions are actually verifiable but sometimes the rigmarole of doing so precludes it happening in the vast majority of real life situations." 1

In other words, a doctor would have to run EVERY SINGLE TEST to exclude what they may believe could be a potential disease to rule it out—even when the test is unnecessary. This is for the sake of covering all the bases they deem exist. That is problematic.


(1) it can require lots of unnecessary testing

(2) it can be costly to rule out every condition

(3) every doctor has a different set of ideas as to what to test for in the concluding process, leaving a woman to bounce from appointment to appointment, and doctor to doctor, just to determine she in fact DOES have Bii.

That's where we already are at this stage, except now we hand over the baton to a Plastics Society, that has proven itself resistant to our plight in the past, and who will now determine what the fate will look like for each of us? That is not in our best interest.

Where does this realistically leave women who are expressing the "classic signs" of Breast Implant Illness (BII), and short of a finished set of a thousand test diagnosis protocol, penniless when we are done, and the result disastrous should a doctor come up with a diagnosis that another doctor ends up ruling out?

It's that proverbial "Needle in the Haystack“and it serves only the best interests of plastics and industry.

When you send women out on a goose hunt for the golden egg, do you really expect her to find the golden egg, or just give her the illusion?

You know, it's the "tell her what she wants to hear" yet having no real intent to help her condition.

I think it's a clever way to hoodwink the Breast Implant Illness community, honestly. And call me a cynic, but do you blame me?

Let's look at what is suspect here. When you change the "diagnostic" name that the industry and women as a whole have called our illness, and invalidate Bii altogether, this is the same exact thing we've faced for decades as women battling illness after getting breast implants.


leave it to the Plastics Society to ink out their own acronym and the perimeters to acknowledging Breast Implant Illness (BII), but to shade it with a new set of rules and criteria that's serves—once again— the industry itself.


What needs to happen is the Breast Implant Illness framework has worked, and it should stands on its own merit! It doesn't get replaced by surgeons who believe their path is better. Collaboratively women in this space, advocates, and women groups who are there to protect the best interests of the ill, rely upon a very distinct set of rules. We get together to discuss the nature of what is taking place, and how that will look working together cooperatively with those who want to understand BII better.

If "they" are really validating BII, and want to acknowledge that it exists— as they seem to claim by proffering this diagnostic pathwayfor women work breast implants who are expressing systemic effects—it doesn't require changing the name to their terms. That alone is invalidating the harm we have been exposed to.

The fact that explanting clears up health problems is its own way of diagnosis of exclusion, in our opinion. And we don't need permission from the Plastic Society to explant when we know we are ill.

This is not a victory for women. This is a victory for the Plastics Society.

Ultimately, signing away the right to explant with enbloc or having to get permission that could be declined, begins with censoring our community's long struggle with Bii by replacing the verbiage. That cannot happen.

Let's not forget; this did not happen overnight, and therefore it cannot be fixed with one sweeping brushstroke, overnight.

If a real conversation is to take place it must not be at the expense of giving away any previously laid groundwork. We remain resolute, and we stand with women impacted by breast implants who suffer with BII.

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