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Breast Implant Illness with Dr. Robert Whitfield

Picture of podcast cover art with Christa Biegler and Dr. Robert Whitfield: Episode 338 Breast Implant Illness with Dr. Robert Whitfield

This week on The Less Stressed Life Podcast, I am joined by Dr. Robert Whitfield who is a sought-after expert for his treatment of Breast Implant Illness (BII) and for his surgical mastery for breast implant removal and reconstruction. In this episode, Dr. Whitfield tells us how he became interested in BII, the common symptoms seen with BII, modalities he uses to help with recovery when removing implants, and more! Dr. Whitfield hopes to inspire women to advocate for their own health by sharing his knowledge and expertise on BII. I think you'll truly enjoy how down to earth he is!

You can hear about Dr. Emily Gutierrez's experience in Episode 309:


  • Why is BII such an issue? 
  • Results seen in culture swabs 
  • What are common BII symptoms? 
  • Popularity of implants 
  • What is the lifespan of implants? 
  • Is there a proper way to remove implants? 
  • How do genetics and environmental exposures affect women with breast implants? 
  • What does recovery look like when having implants removed? 
  • Modalities Dr. Whitfield uses to speed up recovery 
  • What do you need to be aware of if you use a sauna and have implants?


Dr. Robert Whitfield is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 26 years of experience. He specializes in breast implant removal surgery, breast implant illness and advanced cosmetic procedures. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and received his medical degree from the University of Las Vegas School of Medicine. He then completed six years of surgical training, including a plastic surgery residency at Indiana University Medical Center.  After his residency, Dr. Rob relocated to Austin, Texas, where he has become renowned for his cosmetic expertise. He is committed to staying at the forefront of his field and regularly attends conferences and courses to keep up to date on the latest techniques and technologies in plastic surgery. He is also a sought-after provider for his Holistic Accelerated Recovery Program (HARP), which helps patients prepare and recover from surgical procedures by lowering systemic inflammation.

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[00:00:00] Christa Biegler, RD: Stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy, and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance have let a lot of us down. We're over medicated and underserved. At The Less Stressed Life, we're a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional Western medicine toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories.

[00:00:26] Christa Biegler, RD: Each week, our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home. 

[00:00:45] Christa Biegler, RD: all right, today on the less stressed life, I have a Dr. Robert Whitfield, who's a board certified plastic surgeon with 26 years of experience. He specializes in breast implant removal surgery, breast implant illness and advanced cosmetic procedures after his residency and schooling in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he grew up, he relocated to Austin, Texas, where he's become renowned for his cosmetic expertise, staying at the

[00:01:10] Christa Biegler, RD: forefront of his field. He's a sought after provider for his holistic accelerated recovery program, which helps patients repair and recover from surgical procedures by lowering systemic inflammation. So we'll talk about all these things. Welcome to the show. Dr. Rob. 

[00:01:24] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:01:25] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, so I just mentioned to you offline.

[00:01:28] Christa Biegler, RD: We had Dr. Emily Gutierrez. I don't think it's Dr. Emily Gutierrez, who is a wonderful PA or NP in the Austin area, serving in pandas and other conditions. She came on. Some time ago to talk about her story with breast implant illness, so she had gone to you. So I knew your name from that.

[00:01:49] Christa Biegler, RD: And it's so fun to now get the other side of the table. So it's an interesting niche very needed 1, but it's an interesting niche. So how did this happen that you got really interested in breast implant illness? 

[00:02:03] Dr. Robert Whitfield: My background is in oncology. So the first. Part of my career is spent doing reconstructive oncologic surgery.

[00:02:12] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So I would help with head and neck cancer patients, sarcoma patients, and then of course breast cancer patients. And I did what's called a deep flap reconstruction. So that takes the tissue from the lower abdomen connected to the blood vessels, but spares the nerves. And then you can reconstruct the breast that way with their own tissue.

[00:02:29] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So that's what I was known for, and I would care for patients with implant related issues, either from reconstructive issues, cosmetic issues, radiation injury, what have you, and use that technique usually to sort out. Those problems. I did develop fair amount of experience with just caring for patients with implant related problems.

[00:02:50] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Fast forward to 2016, I had a patient from actually the Atlanta area relocate to Austin like a lot of people do now and just didn't want to have a breast reconstruction anymore. She'd had one done with implants and just wanted to go flat. And it's more of a movement now to just go flat from the procedure itself, which is fine.

[00:03:13] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And I worked with her, did her consultation. went through all of her workup, her diagnostic studies, anything available. And she didn't have anything specific other than fatigue, which a lot of patients who went through cancer treatments have a lot of fatigue from bone marrow suppression. And that was pretty normal.

[00:03:29] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Everything else was within, limits that you would expect. So I did her surgery and for everybody listening, there's a lot of things written about the on block technique or total capsulectomy technique and from an oncologic standpoint, we always try to take everything out intact and for, obviously there's cancer recurrence, we try to be always very careful of that and then we're always looking at those devices to make sure there's not an infection or something like that underlying.

[00:03:58] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I did her surgery. And my routine was to see everybody at a week and then a month and at three month intervals. So I saw her at a week and went through her information and she had no evidence of recurrent cancer, which is obviously paramount in these cases. But she had on her laboratory analysis the culture swabs we did to look for bacteria, she had an E. coli and not just a little bit of E. coli, she had an E. coli infection. So based on the laboratory values for E. coli infection. And that was really startling to me. My sister's breast cancer survivor recently passed away, and I would have been mortified if somebody had missed an implant infection.

[00:04:38] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So I went back through all of my notes and everything. It's how did I miss this? And there wasn't a specific. tell. She wasn't red. She didn't have pain. She didn't have a capture contracture. She didn't have a laboratory analysis that was concerning. She didn't have fluid on some study that would indicate, there would be a problem.

[00:04:57] Dr. Robert Whitfield: It just was not, nothing added up. And so it was really still, very bothersome thing for me, to be honest. I treated her with antibiotics based on the pattern of sensitivity reported by the hospital. And what do you know, all of her fatigue went away. So this one lady had walked around for I don't know how long with this problem, and it was really an underlying implant infection.

[00:05:21] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So basically, I believe she got on social media and put me on some list of surgeons who would do explants because I did nothing and all of a sudden my office where I was working got calls for explant surgery and little concerned about what happened with that patient led me just to try to listen as carefully as possible and Try to understand these what seemed to be odd complaints at the time and things I didn't really I appreciate like brain fog was a little confusing to me when I first started, communicating with patients about it.

[00:05:57] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So I had to get it explained to me and, just like symptoms of chronic inflammation ended up being the towel for all of this with obviously an implant in place. And we've done a lot of work with genetics as part of my program, toxicity testing, gut health testing, food sensitivity testing, and hormone testing, just to try to round out a picture of what's actually going on with the patient and then help them.

[00:06:21] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, you can't unsee what you start to learn. And then as you start to ask people these questions, I bet it was popping up again and again, the same complaints. so let's talk about why the implants are getting infected. Just so we're clear. And then do you want to talk a little bit about these different procedures that can be done?

[00:06:38] Christa Biegler, RD: Because this reminds me my bad analogy is that this reminds me of having a filling taken out. There's probably a good way and a bad way to do this. 

[00:06:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah, 

[00:06:48] Christa Biegler, RD: happening in the breast implant illness? Like why is mold forming? Just have a lot of questions. Like, why was it common to always swab?

[00:06:56] Christa Biegler, RD: But the infection was unusual. I hear about mold being in issues. I saw a woman talk about her ex client with you and she said her saline bag deflated and she just felt like crap. Why would she feel, what's going on that she feels like crap when the saline deflates? What else is going on in the tissue?

[00:07:15] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I will, I'll clarify a couple of things. So the internet is obviously always champion in this, whatever you read on the internet, it's gotta be true. So basically we have the most PCR tested samples in the world regarding breast implant illness. That's And I've done them since 2019 consecutively.

[00:07:35] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So about 30 percent have a biofilm or bacterial contaminant. And that's predominantly the problem. Only a handful I think it's up to six cases out of 2, 000 of mine have had fungus. It's not a mold issue at all. So it's a bacterial contaminant typically, and the bacteria is usually cutie bacterium acnes.

[00:07:58] Dr. Robert Whitfield: It's found in our skin, obviously with the name acnes, it's an acne. But your face, your neck. Your chest skin, your shoulder skin, that's the predominant area where this is found in really high concentrations. So how does it get involved with the implant on its surface? And so there's really three ways to get biofilm contamination.

[00:08:24] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So biofilm is just a colonization of bacteria on the surface of a device. It could be a hip implant, breast implant, knee implant, dental implant, doesn't matter what it is. The way it happens is if someone were to hand a surgeon a contaminated implant, so they opened it and they contaminated it and hand it to the surgeon to put in, the other would be the surgeon somehow contaminates it on placement by touching skin or using improper technique.

[00:08:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And then the third, which is really the most common way, is by a bloodborne type. Bacterial infection or contamination. If you got a scan cut and got red and inflamed, that would have a bacterial component to it. If you had a cold, if you got a kidney a urinary tract infection, if you got a GI problem, those are all ways to get.

[00:09:09] Dr. Robert Whitfield: an infection. They've been around forever. So none of that's new. That's pretty standard. In terms of devices and infections. So this is a patient population that starts usually getting these very young in life. A typical thing is there's two peaks, it's right after people get out of school, that could be 18 or, up to 24, I guess we'll just pick, high school, college age.

[00:09:36] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I don't think any of us are terribly well equipped at that age to make a lot of complicated decisions about medical devices, and I was never a fan of that. Because my background's in oncology, I really wasn't talking to young people. Then the next peak, it's usually in the 30s. And that's basically after people have had their families and they've had children and they're trying to get some type of rejuvenation, whatever that, looks like for them.

[00:10:00] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And so that's obviously a different conversation because those people are older, they have more life experience. Those are typically the people I got faced with who are facing problems with breast cancer. So that's a little bit easier to talk to that group because they're in a different life situation.

[00:10:16] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So I think there's a lot of factors that go into this problem, and I've yet to discuss really the underlying problems with your genetics and your diets and everything else in your environment. 

[00:10:26] Christa Biegler, RD: So if we were big picture, infections happen with medical devices. That's what happens when you put a foreign body in your body.

[00:10:34] Christa Biegler, RD: So this isn't new. We're just putting more, we're shining more of a light on it now. And people have been walking around tired. Or other symptoms. What are the most common and less common symptoms that you're seeing from breast implant illness? 

[00:10:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: The most common things are really related to chronic inflammation in each body system.

[00:10:52] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So in their lives, yeah, that's the problem with it. So if you sit across from somebody or your GP's office, you can say, I got a headache. I feel like my heart races. I'm short of breath. My gut's a problem. I can't eat stuff. I'm sensitive to everything. I got nerve pain in my arms and legs and joint pain.

[00:11:10] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And they're just like, what? That doesn't make any sense. So that's, I feel like that's how a lot of people, it goes off the rails right there because you just named every body system and now you have a problem in every body system and that doesn't make sense to anybody. 

[00:11:26] Christa Biegler, RD: And rashes, right? And everything.

[00:11:28] Christa Biegler, RD: But yeah, I see a 

[00:11:30] Dr. Robert Whitfield: lot of skin stuff. Always like skin stuff. So when you start having skin symptoms, that's usually at the end of it. Intractable UTIs, bacterial vaginosis , all these things, when I hear them, I'm like, oh, now you've gone really down the deep end here because your body is just unhappy. And there's not a lot of recourse at that point.

[00:11:52] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Now, I don't, have to convince anybody to have surgery. People are, self selecting to come in and be seen and I just listen to them. And if it's, from a symptom inventory matches all the things or, basically what I just described, plus they have had devices and issues.

[00:12:09] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I let them, in an informed decision way, come to a conclusion that makes sense for them. 

[00:12:14] Christa Biegler, RD: For sure. 

[00:12:16] Christa Biegler, RD: I see people at that skin level where it's like the thing that pushes them over the edge where it's a visual problem. At that point. So I understand. So you just mentioned kind of the peaks of when implants are put in.

[00:12:29] Christa Biegler, RD: And I think, I'm looking at this with a biased view of, I don't really know did we pass the lands, the height of implants. I'm not from California, so I don't know, does everyone there still get an implant or is that becoming less popular? And you may not know this question either because it's not really your audience, but do you have any read on what you think the current culture landscape of getting implants is?

[00:12:51] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I get asked a lot people will, hosts will try to pigeonhole me about when I let my daughter get implants. She's about to be 16. First of all, my daughter's a Leo for everybody listening and you can't tell them anything. So it's pointless to try. Much like you couldn't get told anything when you were 16, 17, 18 years old.

[00:13:07] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I was right. I think implants will always get. And once again, it's more about trying to arm people with the appropriate level of understanding of the implication of having a medical device. It's not, you're not going to change behavior that way. So that's not the right question to even ask.

[00:13:25] Christa Biegler, RD: Inspiration or desperation. And on that note, do people come in as emergency sometimes or are you getting people that are usually there for a thought out planning to remove? Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:13:35] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I have a pretty deliberate group now that they've done a fair amount of investigation on their own. They've probably listened to my show and many other shows that I've been on and come to their own, conclusions about, both what they've been experiencing and maybe other interpretation of that experience by other providers.

[00:13:55] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And then. They'll come, see us or do some kind of discovery virtual session. And I try to listen to everybody and, make sure that I fill in, the appropriate level of context around what they're experiencing. But many people now are very educated when they come to me.

[00:14:11] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. Which makes your job a little easier, I would imagine. 

[00:14:17] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Parts of it, for sure. 

[00:14:18] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. It's hard to tell someone. Something that they don't think is a problem, right? Which is okay. What is the lifespan of implants? I thought it was 10 years. Is it not really matter at all? And as, are people counseled on this when they're implanted?

[00:14:31] Christa Biegler, RD: It probably just depends, but. 

[00:14:33] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Going back to my, training, we were very specific and had discussions between, both the longevity, we were always. Talking about 8 to 10 years for our cancer patients and evaluations and whether they're diagnostic, with MRIs or a physical exam and MRI.

[00:14:51] Dr. Robert Whitfield: We were always very like careful and I just treated my cosmetic patients the same way I treated my oncologic patients. So I wasn't parsing out how I took care of anybody, which always served me well. So I would have that discussion, relatively, soon. I saw people annually regardless of, what I had done for them.

[00:15:09] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So I would start those conversations. I honestly see a lot of people who never had any conversations about anything and didn't follow up. Maybe they moved or their surgeon moved or just to a host of. I would say not what I would call great follow up because if it's oncology patient and they said, oh, I'm moving to Chicago, I'm like, okay once you establish care in Chicago, we need to know the name and we'll send all the records to that group then you got to have continuity of care.

[00:15:42] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So that, that's I wish we did it the same way. I just thought that was a bit easier. I'm pretty easy to find. I had a lady find me. That I operated on in 2009, the other day. 

[00:15:55] Christa Biegler, RD: When you're all over it, when you got three social media profiles or four or five, 

[00:15:58] Christa Biegler, RD: easy to.

[00:16:00] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Usually they don't, unless they pass away or something, they're around, you can find them. 

[00:16:05] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. 

[00:16:05] Christa Biegler, RD: So what do you think is the lifespan of implants? You said 10 years tend to, you said that was normal in oncology to follow up within eight to 10 years, I think. 

[00:16:13] Christa Biegler, RD: Sorry. 

[00:16:14] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah, I saw all my patients that way.

[00:16:17] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I stopped putting implants about almost five years ago now, but I would still see everybody on that time frame. The devices from a structural standpoint are better. That doesn't mean people can't have problems. The larger issues, you can't pick your parents. You can't outrun a bad diet.

[00:16:36] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And your environmental exposure risks go up and up. So those are the things that really affect people in a bad way with any without implants, you can have problems. Totally. Yeah. So with implants, you can really get a lot of 

[00:16:48] Dr. Robert Whitfield: problems.

[00:16:49] Christa Biegler, RD: So we'll talk about genetics and environmental exposures next, but first one more question about being a surgeon, which is talk to us about the techniques of taking implants out.

[00:16:58] Christa Biegler, RD: And if someone is considering this, what do they maybe need to know about a better or worse way to do 

[00:17:03] Christa Biegler, RD: it? Yeah.

[00:17:05] Dr. Robert Whitfield: We do lots of explants, but mostly what I do now is explants with or without fat transfers to try to re volumize. So you can do breast augmentation with fat alone. It's easier to do when someone's had children or weight loss, weight gain, the skin's kind of stretched out.

[00:17:21] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So when we're a little bit older, not younger skin, obviously, everything's great when we're younger, skin's all tight and everything like that. But I try to take them out all intact. Because I've had a patient I've had two patients with cancer, one with a breast, one with a lymphoma. And then, as I said, about 30 percent have this kind of bacterial contaminant with a handful only of fungus.

[00:17:42] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I'm not trying to distribute that throughout the tissues. I'm trying to get it out without, if you want to think of it spilling or creating more of a problem. 

[00:17:50] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. Are you ever removing them if they've already gotten a hole? 

[00:17:55] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Oh, there's always leaking stuff. Yeah. That's pretty common.

[00:17:59] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I take out things that were from the eighties still, which is pretty funny. 

[00:18:03] Christa Biegler, RD: Wow. Interesting. All right. So let's talk about, as your practice really expanded, I feel like we're always just looking for answers. We want to help solve problems, but talk to me about how you're feeling about genetic and environmental exposures affecting your patient population.

[00:18:19] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah, I think the things that we didn't have insight into when I first started doing it in 2016, 17, 18, 19 was like, what are the snips or the single nucleotide polymorphisms in our genetic code that just predispose us to problems? And if we have limited detox capability in our pathways, that just sets us up for problems in general.

[00:18:45] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And we do a lot of functional genetic testing in my practice. I've been curious about genetics really since college, and I've had so many vendors now, and we're about to use a new one in Envision Labs that actually allows us to do pharmacodynamic testing so we can better adjust your anesthetic choice.

[00:19:01] Dr. Robert Whitfield: For us, we looked at things in your vitamin D pathway, things in the methylation pathway. People have probably heard of MTHFR. It's a common thing. So how you methylate your B vitamins, how you manage your glutathione and your antioxidant pathway and vitamin C is an antioxidant, so we're just familiar with that.

[00:19:22] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So if you have problems in those four pathways, you're going to be really more susceptible to what I see in terms of chronic inflammation. breast implant illness. I think that's pretty standard. But it holds true when you look at the patients and their genetic profiles. And then we look at a lot of toxicity testing to look for what exposures that people had and mold's a big problem in Texas.

[00:19:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And a lot of the patients have been exposed with okra toxin, aflatoxin being high and the majority of them. We don't see tons of heavy metals, although I had a high profile client with a lot of heavy metals presumably from leaching from a barrel sauna and then environmental exposures can be all over the place.

[00:20:06] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Honestly, triclosans, which are antibacterial glyphosates from the, crop desiccants that are associated with contaminants and food, the molds and food. Yeah. Moldy coffee, wine phthalates and plastic bottles. You can just go like laundry list up and down. And I've had people show up with all of them.

[00:20:28] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And they're all pretty startled when they see the reports. And, I used to take out devices with the capsules and do all this work. And some people get better right away. That's probably the third I described. With a biofilm and about two thirds would just take up to a year or longer to get better.

[00:20:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And I'd have to send them out to functional medicine providers and nutritionists and whoever could help us, take care of them. Now we have all that in house, we have our own detox program in house and functional providers and health coaches and a real good relationship with Psychologist, it's like a therapist Amanda Savage Brown, who wrote the book Busting Free.

[00:21:08] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So we run it now more like a multidisciplinary program, I would, for cancer care. 

[00:21:13] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, I understand why you do that, right? It just makes it easier and that way you can control the quality of that for your clients and see their positive outcomes and not just wonder if they got taken care of well.

[00:21:25] Christa Biegler, RD: So it makes sense. 

[00:21:27] Dr. Robert Whitfield: We're looking for folks to Get better and in our office, you're here for about a week as most of my patients come from out of state, honestly, and we have hyperbaric in our office, lymphatic massage with a balancer pro and lymphatic masseuse and red light therapy and a host of other things, stem cell therapy and peptides.

[00:21:45] Christa Biegler, RD: When you started adding some of that stuff were you seeing them recover? Because you're doing that for quicker recovery, generally a lot of that stuff, right? Better outcomes. 

[00:21:55] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah. 

[00:21:56] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Emily convinced me to get hyperbaric. 

[00:21:59] Christa Biegler, RD: She almost convinced me to get hyperbaric.

[00:22:01] Christa Biegler, RD: I love her for that. 

[00:22:03] Dr. Robert Whitfield: She did so well after surgery. She was just really. A couple of weeks ahead and so that's a huge deal, for me and so anything I can do to help, clients, recover faster, we give all this advice and recommendations on diets. If you come to my office and you're having surgery, you're pre op, I'm going to give you a gift card to the well, which is one of the only seed oil free, gluten free, dairy free restaurants in Austin because I want you to eat a certain way.

[00:22:31] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I'm not doing it. For any other reason than to get you feeling better quicker after surgery just like everything in my office is Engineered and the team's ready to help you if you don't put in the right things It's going to be really challenging for you from a nutrient standpoint afterwards.

[00:22:48] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So we give them all enzymes and, free form aminos and a powder. And we have liposomal formulations of my supplements to reduce inflammation pre op and post op. And we keep them on those for a year. And we use cell core for detox with our practitioners afterwards based on their toxicity profile.

[00:23:07] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So we're trying to. Do everything in a supervised way and follow up with repeat testing as needed so that people, aren't falling out to speak. 

[00:23:20] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, no, that makes sense. The less crap in the easier it is for your body to clear stuff out, especially in recovery mode, which is so nutrient dependent.

[00:23:29] Christa Biegler, RD: So you answer some of my questions about what you're doing pre and post op to reduce inflammation, which is great. A lot of tactical things they can do at home and in office. Like you said something that has come up lately that I've been seeing is talking about sauna being a contraindication during implants.

[00:23:45] Christa Biegler, RD: And then you brought up sauna and the leaching, the possible heavy metal thing. So I love sauna, but. There's, there's always like a double sided story. So talk 

[00:23:54] Christa Biegler, RD: about that. 

[00:23:55] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Oh, yeah. I've gotten in a bunch of trouble for this. I went on a show and I let's put this way.

[00:23:59] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Anything that has chemicals in it, you can leach out of at a certain temp or in a certain way. And barrel saunas can get up to 212, I think, or 220. They get extremely hot versus an IR sauna, which gets maybe. But tops like 150, 170, depending on which side, so although it's less likely with that, if you listen to patients, they'll report they feel unwell.

[00:24:25] Dr. Robert Whitfield: After a sauna, when they have devices in place what's going on? Is that, are they creating their own Herc's reaction, basically, using that? My sneaky suspicion, given the fact that I've seen two I don't know, probably 4, 000 patients with this problem and heard this story over and over again is Yes, they're causing themselves a problem.

[00:24:45] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So we just have our patients refrain from that once they, decide that they're going to work with us because I need one less thing out of my control. And then we just have them wait about 90 days. After surgery and then, like an IR sauna is fine. I wouldn't go straight into some hardcore barrel sauna but once again, the hardest thing to control is behavior.

[00:25:08] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I just, I got to give you the best possible advice about that. 

[00:25:11] Christa Biegler, RD: I don't think. We even have, do you have breast implants on our intake form? And that should be an automatic, I should just add it to my sauna best practices. Just don't go if you have breast implants, right? That doesn't make sense for you.

[00:25:24] Dr. Robert Whitfield: It doesn't I take so much stick over this, but I don't really care. The things you don't know, and asked this question to some folks. I said, do you think when the studies were done, they ever took all the patients and shoved them in a sauna just to do a little before and after and see what it was like?

[00:25:42] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Of course not. So how would you know? 

[00:25:45] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. 

[00:25:45] Christa Biegler, RD: And that's, how we learn things is through experience, right? Someone goes to this on and they say, I don't feel good to be honest. It's not a real, it's not a super common report if you're not really toxic inside. The most, that would happen from mold other things, but there's ways to mitigate it.

[00:25:59] Christa Biegler, RD: But I think all I always think like bad experiences are the most educational sometimes. They have the biggest 

[00:26:04] Christa Biegler, RD: impact 

[00:26:05] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I'm fine with taking stuff over. It's fine. 

[00:26:08] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. But for your client, they remember, I'm not going to go do that thing. 

[00:26:13] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Stopped a lot of trouble. It's headed off some things for me.

[00:26:17] Christa Biegler, RD: So you talked a little bit about nutrients and modalities before and after producing inflammation, but you've really expanded your testing toolbox. As you've supported your explant clients for me, it's, there's, I've used a lot of tests and I don't use a lot of tests as after a while, do you have things you feel like you are running on all of your ex plant clients, no matter what.

[00:26:45] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah, our strategic holistic accelerated recovery program runs those tests fundamentally. If I get somebody, we'll say, with no other integrative care, functional care, then we're going to look at their functional, their genetics, their toxicity profile gut microbiome, food sensitivities, and their hormones or a more comprehensive handle to get a really good picture of what's going on, and then put them on there.

[00:27:12] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Our inflammation support bundle, which is mostly liposomal, because I have a lot of people with a lot of absorption issues, probably just like you do. It's not a capsule based or tablet based formulation. They're mostly liposomal for glutathione, D3K2, methylated Bs, and vitamin C. And just that alone will help lower their inflammation because they're now trying to support their pathways fundamentally.

[00:27:36] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And then I tell them all, as, as much as it pains them that they're going to have to cut out gluten, cut out dairy, cut out processed sugars, don't eat seed oils, and just try to lower their inflammation. I wrote about this in my book that's coming out This year, and then you have all these other things like what's next peptide therapy while the FDA has gotten a little interesting about this but peptides work really well in recovery.

[00:28:03] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Things like PPC 157 or GHK, and I have patients call me, can we use this? I'm like, if you can obtain it and yes, I'm fine with that, but I can't provide it to you right now based on what's going on. And then we have biometric monitoring. We have people wear whoops. Other people have, their Apple watch.

[00:28:24] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Some people have mats and measure their HRV. We have a mesenchymal stem cell therapy so I can take your fat and give it back to you as your own stem cells or we can send it out and be banked and do it quarterly like I do. We are going to work with the company Energy for Life and have more biophysics in the practice to rebalance electrical field and reduce pain that way.

[00:28:47] Dr. Robert Whitfield: A lot of my clients use their own PEMF mats. This is much different. They'll have a wearable that helps measure your energy level and restore it. So that company is called energy for life. That'll be in my book that's coming out. So I think it's all, everything's positive. And I just look forward to moving ahead.

[00:29:05] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I feel like we're doing and offering a well rounded service for the patients are always trying to improve it. 

[00:29:10] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, it sounds like it. And it was a happy accident that someone put you on a map for X plants, 

[00:29:16] Dr. Robert Whitfield: my curiosity. 

[00:29:18] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. I'm curious. 1 thing we didn't talk about something that happens a lot is conventional providers move into the integrative and functional space after their own experiences and you.

[00:29:33] Christa Biegler, RD: Seem to fully embrace all of these integrative techniques and strategies and things that maybe some of your colleagues wouldn't embrace. Why do you think that is? Was that an easy sell for you? Or was there a little bit of, was there a resistance there? 

[00:29:48] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Both my daughter and I. Genetically don't metabolize gluten.

[00:29:51] Dr. Robert Whitfield: So she got really sick when she was younger. And I had always been like, unwell if I had the wrong thing. I ate the wrong thing. Never understood it. And I had a friend of ours, I trained with, I would get like sick if I had a beer and chicken wings. And feel terrible. He's he drank rum and coke, so I started drinking, that with him, not that's a great thing to drink with all the sugar in it, but that all stopped, and I didn't know that I was gluten intolerant or had non celiac gluten sensitivity, which is basically the problem, but That really affected my daughter when she was younger, so we worked with a functional practitioner and in fact, when I went into solo private practice in 2017, I officed with a functional practitioner.

[00:30:34] Dr. Robert Whitfield: He subleased space to me and I got to utilize their types of services and learn from them. And we were, I'm not been a, or I hope I've never been close minded to, anything that would help a patient. I don't feel like I'm that way. And certainly, There's a lot of things that, from a collaborative standpoint, would help patients.

[00:30:57] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Whatever we can do to help patients, I am all for. I always have a lot to learn. People probably think I'm way out there, but I know people who are a lot further out there than me in the spaces. 

[00:31:07] Christa Biegler, RD: You're in Austin. 

[00:31:09] Dr. Robert Whitfield: People like it and, they were going to come, spend time with us and try to get as well as possible.

[00:31:14] Dr. Robert Whitfield: And I have great friends all over the country who always are, telling me about new things. And when I visit them, I just visited Park City and heard about a bunch of new things. So I great time to be honest. 

[00:31:26] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. 

[00:31:27] Christa Biegler, RD: I didn't really take a dive down any of your. Videos or interviews too much before this conversation.

[00:31:34] Christa Biegler, RD: So I didn't know coming in that you'd be down to earth and you're operating. I have this lens. I operate through what's the best service to the client. And I feel like you operate through that same lens, really like I'll just keep making it better. 

[00:31:46] Dr. Robert Whitfield: I don't really care what anybody else thinks. I just try to do.

[00:31:49] Dr. Robert Whitfield: What I think is right for the patients, but everything else sort itself out. It's fine. 

[00:31:54] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. 

[00:31:55] Christa Biegler, RD: That'd be a good part of the Hippocratic oath. But this is maybe offensive to someone, but a lot of times surgeons have the stereotype of being egotistical jerks, especially in cosmetics, but you don't come from that background.

[00:32:04] Christa Biegler, RD: You come from this empathy driven oncology background, 

[00:32:07] Christa Biegler, RD: I would say. 

[00:32:09] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah. You can spend a lot of time patting yourself on the back and all you'll get is a sprained wrist. Things in cancer are incredibly humbling and I work with very bright people. Those were always the best environments when everybody had was very purpose driven in a multidisciplinary environment.

[00:32:26] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Everybody's very smart. They knew their lanes and they just tried to help take care of patients. So those were the best times of my career. So I miss those days at times, but I'm almost 55 and I don't do microsurgery anymore. Those times have passed me by. I think we have a lot to add in this space and help patients and that's priority.

[00:32:46] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah, 

[00:32:46] Christa Biegler, RD: it's a, it sounds like it was a good environment. Grow up in, in your medical education and early career. So what do you want to make sure people know as this conversation of breast implant illness, as we wrap up, what message do you want to be putting out there? It feels like you're living in your mission and purpose.

[00:33:05] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Yeah, I feel the help people I've done my show, not to just do a show, but to just highlight. Things that are confusing that you may read about or hear about breast implant illness. So you can listen to my show, Breast Implant Illness with Dr. Robert Whitfield. You can follow us on Instagram.

[00:33:21] Dr. Robert Whitfield: We post a lot of things to help that process of education. Just go forth and that's at Breast Implant Illness Experts. And then of course on our URLs, which are dr robert and breast and implant illness, as well as on our YouTube channel breast implant illness expert. We try to provide just as much educational content, as we can.

[00:33:41] Christa Biegler, RD: Yeah. 

[00:33:41] Christa Biegler, RD: Thanks so much for coming on today. 

[00:33:44] Dr. Robert Whitfield: Thank you for having me. I.

[00:33:45] Christa Biegler, RD: Sharing and reviewing this podcast is the best way to help us succeed with our mission to help integrate the best of East and West and empower you to raise the bar on your health story. Just go to review this podcast. com forward slash less stressed life. That's review this podcast. com forward slash less stressed life.

[00:34:06] Christa Biegler, RD: And you'll be taken directly to a page where you can insert your review and hit post. 

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