Bionic rejection is a possible complication of a "bionic" replacement surgery. It can manifest itself as a psychological or physical reaction to the electronic and mechanical implants. As with heart-lung or other transplant recipients, bionic rejection is expected to occur in some cases. Physical symptoms may include twitching, involuntary movement, and excruciating pain, while psychological effects may lead to drastic personality changes. Treatment options are limited.
Although the first two human bionic recipients, Steve Austin and Barney Miller, suffered from the psychological effects of losing multiple limbs, there was no indication that either experienced any form of a physiological rejection of their bionics. The first, and most extreme instance of bionic rejection transpired following Jaime Sommers' bionic replacement surgery. The immunological responses developed when her body resulted in a massive amount of white blood cells to fight off something foreign in her system. As a result, a blood clot formed near the primary bionic control in Jaime's brain, with the underlying pathological mechanisms yet unclear.
Dr. Rudy Wells feared that if the condition was not treated in time, it could create intermittent pressure on nerves, which would have serious neurological implications. Surgery was deemed necessary to relieve pressure. Unfortunately, as the medical team began the procedure, there was a cerebral hemorrage, which led to Jaime's apparent death.
It was later revealed that Jaime underwent a cryogenic process pioneered and and performed for the first time by Dr. Michael Marchetti, which allowed Rudy to re-proceed with his operation. Despite the perceived success of the procedure, Jaime suffered from amnesia. Her situation was further complicated by flashbacks of the events surrounding her accident and the pain associated with the rejection. Rudy and Michael performed a second surgery to restore her memory. Nevertheless, Jaime continued to experience partial memory loss, yet no longer felt the physical pain associated with her past.
Jaime also began rejecting her bionics a second time after being badly beaten by Franklin's fembots. It was revealed by Rudy (to Jaime) that any serious injury had the potential to restart her bionic rejection cycle again. He then confirmed to Steve (at Jaime's bedside) that she was 'beginning to reject her bionics again'.
The bionically enhanced dog, Maximillian, was suspected of suffering from an age related variant of bionic rejection due to his erratic and violent behavior. As such, he was due to be euthanized and dissected in order to assess his condition, and any possible threat to the human cyborgs. However, Jaime believed that Max's true problem was a deep-seated pyrophobia owing to his experience as a young puppy of being caught in a dangerous fire. Jaime was not only able to help the dog overcome this psychological difficulty, but also to convince Rudy and Oscar Goldman that Max was in good physical health after all.