Breast Implant Illness – The Genetic Link Explained by Dr. Lisa Cassileth

Authored By Cassileth Plastic Surgery


Beverly Hills breast specialist Dr. Lisa Cassileth has been treating patients with breast implant illness for over fifteen years. Many patients seek out her expertise when faced with symptoms of breast implant illness and capsular contracture. As new information about snp defects and genetics are available, it appears that certain genes may increase your risks of breast implant illness, and give guidance for treatment. Read more to learn about how breast implant illness may be linked to genetics and what you can do to reduce environmental inflammation below.

Why do some patients have problems with breast implants, and others are fine?

It’s all about inflammation. Breast implants can cause your body to react through inflammation. Inflammation may create non-specific symptoms (those that do not indicate a specific disease) such as brain fog, loss of energy, skin and hair changes, food intolerance, weight gain and loss, joint pain, and endocrine imbalances and non-specific inflammatory markers may rise including CRP, AMA, ANA, and other auto-antibodies.

What about breast implants causes inflammation?

While it may be simply foreign body response, it could also be biofilms on the present of the implant, as well as free silicone from ruptured implants. Either way, some patients seem more susceptible than others. SNP mutations in methylation cycle may be the answer to why some patient fare so poorly.

Detoxification systems rely on methylation to work. Homozygous defects can occur in the genes critical for methylation. Defects that slow the enzymes that are responsible for the methylation cycle can result in handicapping the methylation cycle, and slow the body’s ability to detoxify. There are many defects that can result in poor methylation, and have already been held responsible for elevated autoimmune and inflammatory markers. (Source:

What genes are commonly found in patients with breast implant illness (BII)?

Here are the genes that I see commonly that have defects with BII patients (again, homozygous has much more impact than heterozygous):

  • MTHFR : methyltetrahydrofolate reductase
  • MTRR : methionine synthase reductase
  • MTR : methionine synthase
  • BHMT : betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase

These markers, along with others, can be tested using the genetic genie option in 23andme and formal genetic labs. If you do carry homozygous mutations, you should reduce your inflammation from all causes, namely eliminate known environmental pathogens.  Help out your methylation pathway by supplementing the co-factors that allow detoxification to occur.

What supplements can I take to help reduce inflammation?

Here is a list of a standard list of vitamins known to help with methylation:

My top three favorite supplements:

  • Folate
  • B12 (Methylcobalamin)
  • Vitamin D

Other supplements to consider:

  • B6 (pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate)
  • B2 (Roboflavin 5’-Phophate)

The above is a good introduction to this subject, but as you start to search on this topic you will find a robust and inquisitive community with new discoveries weekly.

To learn more about surgical treatment options for Breast Implant Illness contact Cassileth Plastic Surgery schedule a consultation with Dr. Cassileth or Dr. Killeen by calling: (310) 278- 8200.

Cassileth Plastic Surgery & Skin Care

Contact Cassileth Plastic Surgery to learn more about anything you see in our blog. Send a message online to arrange a consultation, or call (310) 278-8200.

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