When Beauty Turns Painful
By: William Wong ND, PhD, Member World Sports Medicine Hall of Fame
One of the most common elective surgeries these days are breast implants. Older women are having them put in to undo the shape changing and sagging brought on by breast feeding and age. Younger women are having them put in to be more sensual and attractive. Even young teens not fully matured or grown into their bodies are having breast augmentation for God knows what reasons. (They and their parents should go see a psychiatrist before surgeons agree to do the work as there are self image problems that will run deeper than a new set of boobs can fix). As we know from the prevalence of eating disorders and the various types of self image problems young girls face in the post Twiggy world, most women are very aware of their level of attractiveness against the given standards of the day. And the standard these days is to have the breasts of a 1940's actress on the body of a emaciated pre pubescent boy, (i.e. all bones with no hips or shape to speak of).
So it is safe to say that most of the women who have breast implants do it to improve their looks, sex life and their mental self image. The size of a woman's breasts, like the size of a man's penis denotes sexual ability. The breasts, being much more visible than a guys sexual member, get used a lot more to allure a sexual partner or mate. Breasts that are large and shapely get noticed and their owners become admired and sought after, or so the hope is. In anthropological terms large breasts and full hips denote good child bearing and child maintaining abilities and it is an instinctive trait that these qualities are sought after to perpetuate the race of man. Look at any ancient statue of Baals' consort Gaia and you’ll see large full breasts and equally large and full hips. In central Africa to this day girls are “fattened up” prior to their “debut” to accentuate their curves and make then seem more fertile to prospective husbands.
As long as the gals are over 18, fully grown into their bodies (which really does not happen until 25) and can fully comprehend both the advantages and possible problems of the procedure and the types of implants used, as a naturopath I’ve no problem with women getting the implants. Yes the oil and saline filled implants are healthier long term than the silicone regardless of what new pronouncement the FDA says about the safety of silicone. Even though the FDA had returned silicone to the market, there is no reason to believe that those implants are now safe. In the words of one US senator from Iowa, the FDA is just too cozy with the drug companies. Remember that former congressman and cabinet secretary Jack Kemp called the FDA the “Best government agency money can buy”! Nuff Said on that regard. Women must also be told that implants are not a forever thing and that they need to be replaced every few years due to wear, and leakage.
Now the beef I do have with MD’s doing the procedures is that very few tell their patients of the pain their implants will cause. I’m not referring here to the post operative recovery pains, but the pains some years down the road as the once attractive and full breasts that begged to be touched and loved, become so striated with scar tissue that they become hard to the touch and sometimes unattractive, so encapsulated with fibrosis that the breasts can’t stand to be touched by clothing much less fondled and handled during lovemaking! The only recourse surgeons have for this is to cut out the implants, cut out the capsule of scar tissue surrounding the implant and put in new implants. Of course all of this trauma produces more of the same side effects, only as gals get older the encapsulation will happen faster than it did before. But no one will tell you that; it’s bad for business. “Just come back when it happens again and we’ll fix it” they are told.
Why does breast implant encapsulation by scar tissue happen in the first place, what factors make it get worse and what if anything can be done to overcome the problem without resorting to surgery to fillet out this scar tissue? Good questions all, lets look at some physiology.
Physiological Point # 1: The body reacts to trauma via inflammation and inflammation breeds fibrosis. This course of events is undeniable. Every doc who was awake during physiology class remembers this point even if it’s tucked away far back in the memory banks. Trauma produces inflammation and inflammation produces fibrosis.
Most folks are familiar with post operative scar tissue (fibrosis) as occurs after other forms of surgery but few ever think of post op scar tissue in connection with breast implant surgery. Why should the breasts be different in their reaction from any other tissue. If anything their sensitivity, the larger number of sensory (feeling) nerves, the nature of thinness of the skin and tenderness of the tissue there lends the breast to a more severe reaction to the “trauma” of surgery than other tissue. Scar tissue grows fast after implant surgery and indeed surgeons depend on some small bit of it to hold the implants in place but over time the development of this fibrosis becomes excessive.
Once fibrosis encapsulation has happened the breasts become painful. And, 99.9% of all pain is caused by? You guessed it, inflammation! So here, again, we have new inflammation and with that inflammation, if had long enough, will come more scar tissue. Insult is added to injury, and things just get worse.
Physiological Point # 2: Estrogen is fibrinogenic. In other words, the 3 estrogen hormones that human women make, drive the formation of fibrosis and scar tissue. As women get older (i.e. 27 to 35 + ) progesterone and testosterone levels drop leaving estrogen to be the hormone found in greatest abundance creating an estrogen dominance. Even in post menopausal women where estrogen production has decreased, they are still estrogen dominant since by then there is ZERO progesterone or testosterone being made. Estrogen, though at lower levels than had before, is the only sexual hormone being made.
Estrogen is natures way of getting us off the planet with planned obsolesce. As we age, fibrosis grows through our internal organs decreasing their size and diminishing their function. Docs are taught in anatomy that this decrease in function is actually what winds up killing most of us. Please refer to the article: Fibrosis The Enemy of Life.
In both men and women this fibrosis formation is driven by estrogen. Yes it happens in men too, as most men over 40 have low testosterone production and have more estrogen flowing through them than their wives have! These days of xeno estrogen pollution, estrogen in pesticides, fertilizers, soy products, soy milk and formula have made this situation worse with 20 and 30 year old men having smaller penises, lower testosterone levels and lower sperm counts than previous generations.
As women age and their estrogen dominance increases the speed and amount of fibrosis deposition increases and breast implants encapsulate faster and harder. Ouch!
Physiological Point # 3: As the body does with the Tuberculosis bacillus, it wants to put foreign matter into capsules to segregate it from the rest of the body. It’s not exactly a form of tissue rejection as here there is no tissue to reject (plastic and silicone or oil are not tissue but foreign matter). So factor # 3 involves the bodies natural defense mechanism to encapsulate exogenous objects and things. While we may think the implants are a beautiful thing, the immune system sees them as a foreign invader and wants to protect the rest of the body from whatever ill effects the foreign invader may be bringing with it. In the case of the silicone implants the bodies reaction is wholly correct, it’s just a shame that the fibrosis encapsulation is porous and incapable of containing the silicone spilt from ruptured implants.
So now that we know why breast implants grow the nasty scar tissue, what short of filleting and scraping can be done to combat it?
We can deal with physiological point #’s 1 and 2 but not 3. We can firstly reduce inflammation that happens both immediately post op and then keeps happening at a sub clinical level afterward from the tissue insult of surgery. If the inflammation levels are lower the formation of fibrosis that inflammation causes will also be lower.
We can decrease the formation of the post operative scar tissue and yet not interfere with the small amount of scar tissue needed to fix the implants in place. The experience of plastic and general surgeons in Germany over the last 4 decades have shown this to be doable. Any place that has gone under the knife will want to grow scar tissue in response to the surgery for up to a year post op. We can short circuit this reaction.
We can manage the immune system encapsulating the implants with fibrosis with out having to suppress the immune system to do it.
And lastly, we can control estradiol formation and action in the body by reducing estrogen dominance. Estradiol is the most fibrinogenic (fibrosis / scar tissue forming) and carcinogenic (cancer forming) hormone there is.
Here are my suggestions for the treatment of breast implant fibrosis and encapsulation:
1. Zymessence Systemic Enzymes: 3 to 5 capsules 3 times daily taken in-between meals. Highly fibrinolytic proteolytic enzymes (naturally and without side effects) control both inflammation and fibrosis while speeding the healing of epithelial tissue (i.e. skin, muscle, internal organs and eyes). For systemic enzyme research go to www.enzymeanswers.com.
2. Myomin: 2 to 3 capsules 3 times daily after meals. Acts as an estrogen blocker with out the estrogenic side effects that the drug estrogen blockers have. For example the drug Tamoxifen (Novaldex) is an estrogen blocker in the breasts while acting as estrogen in the womb and ovaries. This has caused in increase in cervical and ovarian cancer in women who are using Tamoxifen to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer! Does that trade off make sense? Myomin is an herbal blend from the medical researcher Dr. Tsu Tsair Chi. He is a Chinese physician and Rutgers PhD biochemist, who used to head cancer research for a couple of major US drug companies until he discovered that the herbal blends from Chinese medicine worked better than the chemo therapy he was inventing. The Myomin also acts as an aromatase inhibitor to prevent the formation of too much estradiol by the body.
These two supplements can be taken at any point in the implant process, post op to prevent or slow down the encapsulation from occurring or years down the road after the encapsulation has already happened.
If the whole idea of breast implants is to improve their shape and appearance, improve sexual allure and create sexual playthings men will want to love, stimulate and make feel great, it makes sense to keep them from becoming so painful with scar tissue you won’t want them looked at much less touched! If they are already encased by painful scar tissue and you are facing further traumatic surgery to get rid of the nasty stuff, the natural treatment is worth a 3 to 6 month try. Surgery is just the road to more surgery down the line to get rid of the scar tissue that the last cutting produced and the cycle just goes round and round.
It is possible to have implants stay beautiful and not get bound down by scar tissue. It is possible to maintain the allure and the fun having attractive and sensitive breasts. It is possible to reduce or eliminate post operative scar tissue from implants and reduce scar tissues pain and discomfort. Breasts are made for looking good, feeling good and feeding babies, pain should not be part of their existence.