WHY I REMOVED MY BREAST IMPLANTS
(Written September 12, 2016, updated September 2, 2019)
First off, here is my general beef with breast implants: They are not forever.
They are recommended to be replaced every decade or so, and in the meantime you’re supposed to get MRIs and other scans to assure that there are no complications, and insurance doesn’t cover them because it’s an elective procedure. This means that you’re getting major surgery every 10ish years for the rest of your life, and that’s assuming there aren’t any complications. Due to common complications, many women end up having to have another surgery within the first THREE years to correct things like capsular contracture, “double bubble”, displacement, or implant rupture. Fortunately if you have a rupture, most manufacturers guarantee their implants for ten years… so they’ll cover the replacement of the implant, but you’re stuck with the surgeons fees, hospital or operation center costs, and anesthesiologist fees. I was lucky because I only had implant & explant, all in all I spent $14,800 on surgery (THIS DOESN'T INCLUDE ALL THE MONEY I SPENT ON OTHER MEDICAL BILLS DUE TO THE PROBLEMS I HAD). Some of the women I interact with online have spent UP TO $50,000 ON REVISION & REPLACEMENT SURGERIES ALONE by the time they remove their implants.
Saline implants are safe though right? Aside from the fact that they’re in a silicone shell and can also cause autoimmune issues, just in the implant removal groups that I’m in, I’ve seen quite a few women get their saline implants removed, sent to pathology, and test positive for mold or pathogens because the valves used to fill them were faulty. If bodily fluids get into the saline it basically just turns into a creepy petri dish, which leaks out into your body if it ruptures or if you have a doctor who is nice enough to deflate the “harmless” saline into your body when they remove/replace them.
“New silicone” cohesive gel implants are sold as COHESIVE and doctors will cut slits in them to show that the silicone all sticks together even if it has a leak. Here’s a link to my friend’s surgery video that shows her “safe cohesive gel” silicone being vacuumed out of her chest cavity. They also had to vacuum it out of her back, and she lost part of her pectoralis major to necrosis caused by the silicone (GRAPHIC)
But the solid GUMMY BEAR silicone implants are fine, right? They can’t leak! Yeah except that there’s not enough data (literally, look it up) to show long-term what happens to them as they break down.
Oh and textured implants? They've been recalled now.
Don’t take my word for it though, here’s a list of the risks & complications of breast implants from the FDA.
Now, on to my personal story.
I got breast implants for funsies at age 23 (I was a bikini bar dancer, a lot of my coworkers had implants, I figured if I was going to do this job I wanted to also make more money dangit). I did a ton of research but nothing I read really talked about the negatives other than capsular contracture or leaking. I worked with a dancer whose implant deflated & she had to work with one deflated boob while trying to raise the money to get it fixed. I wouldn’t have gotten saline for that reason but I found out there was this new silicone and it was "SAFE". What’s really sad is, I didn’t even really care about changing my body. I just considered implants to be like part of a work uniform, AND I stopped dancing less than two years after getting them. Fun fact: my first consultation for removal was at the end of 2012, but I let the doctor I went to scare me out of it because he told me I would have NO breast tissue left after implants and that I would look SO DISGUSTING unless I replaced with a smaller implant (it seems like most plastic surgeons, especially male, are really into negging women to try to sell them on additional procedures) that I didn't do anything because I knew ultimately that's not what I wanted. It’s good though because he wouldn’t have removed them properly anyway, more on that later.
Starting almost immediately after implant, I began to feel unwell. By month three, I had developed anxiety and digestive issues, then joint pain, then chronic sinus infections so bad I had to have surgery, then crazy hormone imbalances & ovarian cysts, then hypothyroid, then random food allergies, then my adrenals went haywire. I have recurring Epstein-Barr virus that I never had before implants. I had trouble concentrating, brain fog, fatigue. I had almost constant soreness in my chest, especially on the left side. By the time I explanted I was having heart palpitations and trouble feeling like I was getting enough oxygen when I worked out, even doing simple stuff. My left nipple stopped working and my entire left breast was numb within a couple of months of implant. I didn’t realize that my pectoral muscles would be CUT off of my sternum to place the implants (that’s why they looked so NATURAL), so I lost almost all of my upper body strength pretty much immediately. I had to give up pole dancing and any hopes I had of being able to do aerials. COOL.
At the beginning of 2016 I decided that I didn’t want to feel so AWFUL all the time and I surely didn’t want to have to take thyroid pills every single day for the rest of my life, so I started looking up ways to heal the thyroid naturally, how to overcome autoimmune disorders, if it was possible to heal from celiac disease… and I ended up stumbling upon a bunch of women with breast implants who had THE SAME EXACT PROBLEMS AS ME. Check out http://healingbreastimplantillness.com/breast-implant-symptoms/ for more info.
While science hasn’t officially come to terms with “breast implant illness" yet, there is something called ASIA Syndrome (Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants) as well as the existence of biofilms that have been scientifically proven, but whatever the cause there are THOUSANDS of anecdotal stories of women with breast or other implants having the same symptoms as me or worse, who without any real answers from medical doctors, have decided to explant. Most have felt at least somewhat better immediately, and many have been restored to almost full health after explant. STILL, DOCTORS *STILL* DENY THAT BREAST IMPLANTS COULD CAUSE ILLNESS despite all of these women who became sick with unexplained autoimmune conditions after getting them & get better after removal. Some of them are aware though, which includes my primary care doctor who, after a round of visits to her for my illnesses and without knowing I had scheduled removal, called to ask me if I’d ever considered taking my implants out for my health. When I told her yes, that I would soon be having it done, she was so relieved and confided in me that SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW THEY ARE STILL LEGAL.
Of course, not everyone who gets implants gets sick, but playing roulette with your health sucks. If I could go back and do it all over again I definitely WOULD NOT DO IT. Nothing is worth my health… not viral videos or money or whatever. Those things are fun but not worth a fraction of all of this, they didn’t “make” me a model or a better dancer or who I am today, other than the fact that I had to learn to overcome a metric boatload of adversity to get to where I am while suffering so much. Hooray for character building!
On August 31st 2016 I had surgery to remove my 6.5 year old Mentor brand 500cc cohesive gel silicone breast implants. I chose to use Dr. Chun of Newport Coast Plastic Surgery for the procedure as he came highly recommended for doing the full capsulectomy (removing all of the scar tissue capsule that forms around the implant), something that is necessary if you're experiencing autoimmune symptoms from breast implants. I also chose at the time to have a MASTOPEXY to remove the excess skin caused by the implant, which is why I have the incisions that I do, the scars from which have faded to near invisibility since the surgery.
Since explant not only do I feel much lighter, with improved posture just from the weight of removal, I also have more energy and feel better overall. My brain is less foggy, I managed to type all of this and cite sources in like an hour instead of the entire day it would have taken me previous to this, ha. Oh, and both of my nipples work as a team now! No more lazy/numb left nipple.
I have only continued to experience better and better health, I love my new and improved body, and will continue obnoxiously spreading the please-don't-get-implants gospel with anyone who will listen because I don't want to see a single human being have to go through what I did. As of early 2019 I was still having to go to physical therapy to try to fix muscular issues caused by this whole ordeal, but even with that, I would say I'm a solid 80% (or more) better than I was across the board. If you're considering removal I 100000000% recommend it, and if you're considering implants, my advice is... don't.