Breast Implant Illness, Breast Explant Story
December 2019 was pretty scary for me. On 3rd December I received the results for an ultrasound of some lumps I discovered under my arm. The ultrasound described a “silicon snowstorm” and breast implant rupture. I had breast implants inserted 11 years ago and my surgeon, who is now 8-years retired, told me they were a cohesive gel, they would never rupture and last a lifetime. This ultrasound came as a huge shock, I was in disbelief of the reported rupture until I found out the implants I had inserted were manufactured by a French company, Poly Implant Prothese, a brand that no longer exists.
Some of the implants manufactured by PIP had been found to contain industrial grade silicone and somehow these implants were allowed in women’s bodies without passing through the TGA and without the company having insurance. The TGA is the Therapeutic Goods Administration and is the regulatory body for therapeutic goods in Australia. I spoke with the retired implanting surgeon when I received the ultrasound report and it seems he was also too trusting in regards to “safety”.
An MRI revealed the right implant had ruptured, that silicone was leaking inside my chest cavity and lateral chain of lymph nodes, and some of the lymph nodes infiltrated with silicone. The surgeon I had been referred to said that this rupture happened some time ago, at least two years prior.
This certainly explained the health issues and symptoms I was having a hard time figuring out – Amenorrhea, Autoimmune symptoms, Psoriasis, Digestive Issues, Food intolerance, Candida, Edema, Fatigue, Headaches, Sore Muscles/Joints, Low libido, Low lymphocytes, Anemia, Anxiety and Brain fog.
I discovered through a Facebook support group that all of these symptoms, and more, are related to Breast Implant Illness. There are millions of women worldwide impending lawsuits in direct relation to the safety of their breast implants and not just the PIP brand. In Australia the safety of breast implants is less regulated than other countries. Some implant manufacturers and implanting surgeons are still selling breast implants here in Australia that are banned in other countries. It makes no difference whether the implants are cohesive gel, saline with silicone shell or silicone - ALL implants impair the body’s systems. When there’s something in the body that shouldn’t be, our immune system will fight it, and this then affects all other systems, organs and their functions.
I’m eternally grateful for the Facebook support group. There were many times that I thought that the decision I made as a much less aware being was going to end my life, and through the support group I received information, and the light of hope. Social media certainly has its positives.
Thankfully, after a very stressful few weeks an outstanding surgeon, Dr Quoc Lam, looked over my MRI and immediately made space in his fully booked until end of April schedule. On 18th December, only two days after our initial consult, he took care of my situation performing surgical explant of both right and left implants, enbloc total capsulectomy, and removed 9 silicone infiltrated lymph nodes. I’m very grateful for Dr Lam, his assistants, the Anesthetists, and Nurses, I couldn’t have asked for a better team.
It was such a relief to get that out of my body!
Finally, on 3rd January, I received pathology results clearing me of lymphoma. It was very challenging to sit with the anxiety over the Christmas and New Year period. I did my best not to bypass any emotions that needed to be felt and transmuted, whilst also remaining optimistic. I’m so grateful for the love and support of friends, family and community.
I love my smaller boobies, I have more energy and I’m very pleased with my healing. Brain fog, headaches, fatigue, psoriasis, joint and muscle pain have all completely subsided. Anxiety has decreased and my eyes are clear and white again. I’m looking forward to detoxing my organs and entire body to rediscover absolute health and wellness, and see all the other symptoms subside. I’m also going to have a go at detoxing the traces of silicone that’s infiltrated and still remaining in my upper lymph nodes.
I was 27 years old and competing in the fitness industry when I had breast implants inserted. I had always had small breasts and often felt like a flat chested teenager compared to other women. I was still recovering from disordered eating and training when I made the decision to get implants. At the time I thought that the implants helped me feel like a woman and gave me more confidence. I had no idea it would cost my health!
There were times when sitting with plant medicine Ayahuasca when traveling back and forth to Peru years later, that I became aware that I didn’t need the implants to feel like a confident woman or to love my body. I had worked with Self-love enough to see the absolute beauty of my true natural self. I looked at small-breasted women and saw gorgeous perfection, however this wasn’t enough to get me back to a surgeon and have the implants removed. I kept telling myself, they’re not doing any harm, I paid a lot of hard earned money for them, they’re going to last a lifetime, I was just going to have to live with this decision, and I assumed it would all be okay.
What was I thinking! And it was even more expensive to have them removed!
I share my story in the hopes that you will share with others, especially the young women who feel they need to alter their bodies, and maybe it’s a loving wake up call that women with implants need to hear. This information was not available for me 11 years ago. It made no difference when my Mum and Dad said they loved me just the way I was, and that I didn’t need implants, I had already made up my stubborn and far less conscious mind. No one was aware of the damage these toxic balloons could cause back then. I certainly know now and I’ve learnt a lot in the process.
Please share this with a woman you love who needs to see this.
If you’d like more information or if you’d like to join the Breast Implant Illness Support group please send a private message or email. Please note - the support group is for women only.
Warning - some graphic images below.
Photos - Dr Quoc Lam, Specialist Plastic Surgeon