I am suffering from breast implant illness.
Although, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I actually had a “title” for what I was experiencing.
I always thought the joint pain, fatigue, hair falling out, thyroid issues, liver issues, and hormone issues were all just “part of getting older,” or “being a mom.” At the age of 29, I should’ve realized that there was something wrong on a more holistic level.
I wanted implants for as long as I could remember. I always had decent-sized boobs, but they weren’t as perky and full as I wanted, or as society told me they should be. Thankfully, my mother-in-law at the time convinced me to wait until I had my first child. She said that our breasts will change radically after having kids.
And my god, did they.
I was depressed with how my body looked after having my first baby. I felt insecure; I was barely 22 years old and recently divorced. It wasn’t even Caleb’s first birthday before I decided to go under the knife, on January 10th, 2010. I got 480cc saline implants under the muscle.
The recovery wasn’t too bad and the surgeon did a phenomenal job. The implants looked like they were made for me. (Still to this day, a lot of people say, “Wait, what? You have implants?!?!”)
But then things started to go wrong.
>>Two weeks after the surgery, I was in the ER for a ruptured cyst on my ovary.
>>Four months later, I was in my doctor’s office getting diagnosed with Grave’s disease.
>>Fast forward two more years and I was diagnosed with a fatty liver.
>>Since the surgery, I have gained 40 pounds.
>>I consistently get random bouts of sharp pain in my left breast.
>>Joint pain is a new one that popped up in the last year and a half.
The issues kept popping up, and then resolving, and then coming back.
Not one doctor correlated my issues to my breast implants. They all were quick to write a prescription and send me on my way. I got tired of going to the doctor, paying for co-pays, and then paying for medication I didn’t want to take in the first place.
A few weeks ago, a girl shared her story with me. She had suffered from breast implant illness and was brave enough to get them removed.
The key is that you have to make sure the surgeon is committed to removing all the scar tissue (called a capsule) around the implant completely. Some doctors will tell you that you can remove the implant and it will be fine. That is far from the truth.
In order to do it right, it requires a specialized micro-surgeon to ensure that they remove all the scar tissue. Even though you go through this process to remove them, there is still a long road to recovery.
The process requires intense detoxes, lots of self-love, and tons of healing. It has been months since her explant and she was starting to feel somewhat normal again. It shows how toxic the implants are and how heavily those toxins affect our bodies.
I joined a Facebook group of over 15,000 amazing women who have similar experiences to mine. Some of them have had even worse experiences. These women share their stories privately in the group. They empower the rest of us to rise up. We want a better life for ourselves and we want to educate other women.
I learned that having saline implants didn’t mean that I was “safe.” (Even though that is what I was lead to believe and the whole reason I chose saline in the first place).
All implants are wrapped in a silicone casing that eventually breaks down in your body over time. Our bodies are forced to constantly fight that foreign object. This weakens the immune system and disrupts our endocrine system tremendously.
Some people have asked me, “Well, why don’t they have issues with other implants, like joints and butt implants?” The bottom line is that they typically do! The key difference with breast implants is that they are close to all your vital organs and therefore the effects are even worse. I’ve heard stories of women who have found sloughed off silicone in their collarbone lymph nodes.
Our surgeons tell us that the implants are safe. Even the FDA backed them saying that they are “relatively safe”—yet about 50 percent of implants rupture by 10 years and almost 90 percent by between 15-20 years.
Also, new studies are being released every day with more information about the risk of breast implants. The FDA recently correlated implants to a rare cancer (ALCL) that has already resulted in nine deaths so far.
Women, we need to educate ourselves.
Needless to say, I had a consult with my doctor to get the ball rolling with my explant.
I was feeling strong at the beginning of the appointment, knowing that I was doing the right thing. But when I removed the robe to expose my breasts, I started to cry thinking that they would no longer be mine.
It took some consoling from my amazing husband, confidence from the doctor, and remembering the incredible support system I have in the Facebook group. I wouldn’t have had the courage to even schedule that appointment without those ladies.
I will continue to share my story as things progress. As of right now, I am waiting to have surgery until summer.
If you have implants, I encourage you to review the symptoms above, take a good look in the mirror, and get honest with yourself about what could be making you sick.