Plastic and cosmetic surgery has become an increasingly growing trend in the world, especially where I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. It’s very sad to think that we are getting more insecure about ourselves and are turning to plastic or cosmetic surgery to feel better about the way we look. Why can’t we just learn to love our beautiful selves the way we are, flaws and all. This is something that I was caught up in at a very young age. I’m here to share my personal story with breast implants and how they changed my life.
I’m not writing this information to say that I think everyone who has breast implants should get them removed immediately, I am just speaking about my experiences with breast implants. I am hoping to spread awareness to women who might be sick from breast implants and have no idea what’s wrong with them, or warn women who are thinking about getting them done or have them done of the horrible side effects and health problems you might suffer from having these foreign toxic items implanted into your body. Information I wish I had of known before I had surgery. It could have saved me thousands of dollars and years of unhappiness and illness.
All of my life I was a very outgoing, fit, intelligent, bubbly, fun, positive and carefree person. I always have been mature for my age and quite a few years ahead of myself. In 2010, at 18 years old I was working in the promotions and modelling industry, which was all about self-image. My boss at the time was very nasty to all of her employees, including myself and told us of our flaws and what she thought that we needed to fix of ourselves to get anywhere in the industry. She drilled it into my mind that my breasts were small and not good enough. I had never thought of getting breast implants until one impulsive decision one day that I thought why not? Once something is in my head, there is no turning back. I know I was young but because I was working in an industry that was all about body image, a lot of girls that I knew had breast implants already and my boss wasn’t helping by making me think I wasn’t good enough the way I was. So at the time I was naive, insecure and vain and decided to go ahead with it.
Soon after, I booked in to meet with my surgeon about getting breast implants. I chose to get silicone implants placed under the muscle. When I asked my surgeon if they were any risks my surgeon told me that they were 100% safe. I asked him how long it would be until I needed to get them replaced and he told me that they would last a lifetime and I wouldn’t need to have surgery again. Of course I believed the surgeon, he was the one who does this for a living.
My surgery went well and I recovered quite quickly. As soon as I got them done, I hated them and thought that eventually I would get used to them – this never happened though. I think subconsciously my body knew that they weren’t right for me. Only 5 months after my surgery I remember quite clearly that after work one day I was walking around in a shopping centre and I had the weirdest and scariest feelings I had ever felt in my life. I couldn’t talk, breath, think and I felt like I was spinning out of control and going to die. I was having a panic attack but at the time I didn’t know what it was. I was having big weekends partying at the time – what a lot of 18 year olds do, so I thought that the big weekends must have been causing these feelings and it scared the absolute crap out of me. I was still getting these episodes for months, so I started going to doctors and getting blood tests and all sorts of other tests done and they eventually diagnosed me with anxiety and a panic disorder. I didn’t even know what anxiety was at the time because I was so care free before my operation that I didn’t ever have to think about stuff like that. I still put it all down to all of the partying, as I never in a millions years would of thought that my breast implants would have anything to do with it. Within 6-8 months after surgery, I also gained a lot of weight that I could never lose and all of my hair started falling out, which I thought was to do from the stress and anxiety.
I decided to completely change my lifestyle around and I stopped drinking alcohol and partying completely. I started to adopt a very healthy lifestyle, eating only organic and clean foods and cutting out dairy and gluten, thinking that this would have to help. I landed my dream job as a flight attendant and a perfect boyfriend. Changing my lifestyle did help a little but I still would constantly get cold and flues, fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks and in turn always have to have sick days. It was so frustrating as I had always been such a hard worker and a good employee but this was controlling my life and I had no idea how I got to this point.
I kept seeing numerous GP’s and having so many different blood tests, ECG’s, MRI’s, X-rays and scans hoping that someone new might have a different answer for me other than anxiety, but this was not the case. The regular GP’s I seen seemed to not care at all what I was going through and just told me it was all in my head and that it was the anxiety because nothing would show up on a test, but deep down I knew it wasn’t that. All they wanted to do was shove anti-depressants down my throat – which I would never agree too. This was when I decided to take the alternative path and started to see an acupuncturist and a naturopath. They would tell me that certain organs were out of balance and overloaded and they would treat me for them. It definitely gave me some relief to get through days but nothing ever worked for a long enough period of time. They were confused as to why their treatments were not working when they usually do for their other patients.
People would ask me “but how can you always be so sick when you’re the healthiest person I know?” and I had no answer for anyone. It would drive me crazy and it was hard to keep a positive mindset about life but I kept pushing on hoping that the universe would one day give me an answer.
Over 3 years, I had changed working for 3 different airlines and the third airline was with Virgin Australia. They were a great company to work for and it was a very stable job. I still was constantly getting cold and flues, fatigue, hormonal imbalances and never feeling 100%, so again I was using up all of my sick days. On my days home whilst I was unwell my partner and I started our own business from home so I could hopefully leave my fulltime job flying and work from home at my own pace whilst I was not feeling great. Our business is a recipe App called “Clean & Green Eating.” Luckily it was a success and I could pay myself a wage to keep staying at home and work when I had the energy. I then decided to leave my dream job as I couldn’t keep up with its demands and I still had no idea what was wrong with me. We expanded our business with multiple Apps, an online store and blog but I could still never give my work 100% effort because of the way I was feeling, which was so frustrating.
I ended up finding the most amazing doctor in my area by someone’s recommendation. He is a medical doctor from Germany but mostly treats people with alternative and natural medicine. I was seeing this doctor regularly for a whole year and over that time he found through specific testing that I had multiple food allergies, leaky gut, large amounts of lead and mercury poisoning, thyroid and hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue, pyrroles disorder and energy blocks from scars. As much as I was overwhelmed with all of the things that were wrong with me, I was so happy that this doctor was actually finding imbalances and actually believed me that there was something else wrong. I was looking forward to getting better after being treated for everything. I stopped eating the foods I was intolerant too and started to take different strains of probiotics to heal my stomach. This doctor had also put me on hormonal supplements to balance my hormones and treated my thyroid and scars with neural therapy. I started taking specific vitamins and minerals to treat my pyrroles disorder. I also was getting IV vitamin drips to boost my immune system whilst I was going through all of this. I then started to detox the heavy metals from my body with IV chelation therapy drips. This doctor was the most caring, knowledgeable and amazing doctor I had ever come across and he helped me immensely with everything he did. Sometimes I would feel almost normal again for a few weeks but again all of my symptoms would come back and nothing ever helped me for a long enough period of time. He was shocked and confused and told me that I was one of his hardest patients he had ever seen in his 40 years of being a doctor as all of his therapies he did cured most, if not all of his patients.
I then got a very bad strain of the flu that was going around and most people couldn’t recover from it for around 4-6 weeks. This flu hit me really hard and I think it was the last straw for my immune system. From then on I just started getting so much worse and a myriad of symptoms started. I ended up getting to the point where I was so bad and felt so unwell that I didn’t leave the house or get out of bed (unless it was a trip to the doctor or acupuncturist). This was now 4 years after my implants. I couldn’t drive or do anything, my partner had to take me to all of my appointments. I didn’t even feel like talking to people. I thought I was dying and was certain that I had some sort of Cancer (I had many blood tests for that). I ended up in the emergency ward at the hospital at night numerous times thinking I was having a heart attack from my heart palpitations or having a stroke from half of my face going numb. Again all of the tests came back normal and most people thought I was crazy (I even started to question myself). I couldn’t work at home anymore as I couldn’t think straight or concentrate from my brain fog. I would have severe headaches, chronic fatigue, muscle aches, dizziness and neck pain every day. I couldn’t exercise or do the things I loved to do anymore. I would wake up feeling hung over most mornings. I would feel irritable and have bad mood swings most days. My hair would fall out in large clumps. I could hardly eat anything as my body reacted to so many different foods. I also developed multiple chemical sensitivity, so if I wore makeup, perfume or was exposed to even minor chemicals I would have a bad reaction and feel even worse. I had so many more symptoms that I have listed below. I felt like I was 80 years old and I was only in my early 20’s.
The symptoms I had on a day-to-day basis were:
Muscle aches and pains
Dizzy and lightheaded
Sensitivity to light and sounds
Loss of self-esteem
Irritable and angry
Teeth grinding in sleep
Waking up feeling hung over
Ringing in ears
Difficulty thinking and concentrating
Multiple chemical sensitivity
Numb and tingly face
No motivation to do anything
Cold hands and feet
Heavy metal poisoning
Frequent colds and flues
Multiple food allergies
My life ended up being so boring and miserable and I started getting depressed. I had lost so many friends from this experience as I couldn’t go to anything, see anyone and had to cancel everything that I booked in. No one understands what you are going through either until they go through the same thing, as people only see you on your good days or just think you are making up excuses. I think that was the hardest thing for me, knowing that I didn’t really have a lot of support from people whilst I was going through the toughest thing I had ever been through in my life and probably will ever go through. Because there isn’t any information or knowledge out there on this issue, people are quick to believe that it’s all in your head and it’s also not an easy subject to bring up. The only person that really knew what I was going through was my partner as he seen me through all of my crazy ups and downs, but still he couldn’t feel the way I was feeling and sometimes he didn’t understand. I was so lucky that I had such a supportive partner and that he stuck by me the whole time, as I don’t think many other people would have. I am so grateful to have such a positive person like him in my life.
After 5 years and around thirty thousand dollars later seeing different doctors and specialists and getting hardly any relief or answers, I stumbled across a life saving website (www.healingbreastimplantillness.com) that was information about breast implant illness. Thousands of women were talking about the same symptoms as mine after getting breast implants and also getting better after they had them removed. I remember sitting there reading all of these posts and just crying my eyes out. How could this not have clicked sooner after 5 years of hell that I had been through? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. How could these implants be causing me to be so sick? So many of my friends had breast implants and had no issues at all, but all of the information I was reading made so much sense. It also helped me understand why everything I was treated for didn’t help me recover – because whilst I had these implants in my body poisoning me, there was no chance of me getting better. From this website I also found that there was a book “The naked truth about breast implants” written by a medical doctor who specialises in plastic surgery from America who actually went through the same experiences with her own breast implants. In her book she explained in detail as to why breast implants make you sick, stories from women who got sick and how to get better after getting them removed. She now runs a plastic surgery centre in Atlanta helping thousands of women remove their breast implants and helping them heal afterwards with specific protocols.
I learnt from the website and the book that the silicone in both silicone and saline breast implants (saline implants are made with a silicone shell) are made from 40 different heavy metals and aggressive chemicals. “Breast implants cause illness because they are large foreign objects which overwhelm and impair our immune systems causing immune system dysfunction and auto-immune symptoms. Immune system dysfunction allows opportunistic bacteria and fungi to grow out of control causing serious bacterial and fungal infections in our body, which produce large amounts of bio-toxins that overload our organs. In addition, implants are made of silicone (even saline implants) which is a chemical soup of dangerous toxins and heavy metals that when implanted in the body begin breaking down due to body chemistry and releasing and circulating particulates of silicone and neuro-toxic, cyto-toxic, carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals, contaminating tissues, organs, glands and body systems. Simply put silicone is a biologically active and toxic substance that causes bio-toxins and systemically poisons and impairs many functions of the body.” – statement from www.healingbreastimplantillness.com .
In the book, I even read of some women getting to the stage where they couldn’t walk and were in wheelchairs and after their explant surgery they could then walk again. The worst thing about this whole situation is that if you are sick from breast implants you will not get any help from most plastic surgeons or doctors about this issue because they will still tell you that the silicone is safe and probably try to make you feel like you are crazy. They will not acknowledge the fact that these toxic implants can make you sick because plastic surgery is a huge business and breast implants are their biggest source of revenue. I also learnt that silicone implants were banned in 1992 for 14 years after huge lawsuits from women, due to them causing health problems and now they are back on the market with more aggressive chemicals and it is happening all over again. It makes me so sick to my stomach that these things can ruin people’s lives and they don’t even give you these warnings before you go in for surgery, because they are too busy making millions of dollars. I wonder how long it will take for them to be banned again.
From the website and book, I read that when getting your breast explant, if you are symptomatic from breast implants that it is crucial to your health that you must use a more skilled surgeon who acknowledges the fact that breast implants can make you sick. The reason for this is so that they will remove the implants along with the whole scar capsule intact that had been formed around the implants. This procedure is called a total capsulectomy. It is vital to have this type of procedure done because particles of the toxic silicone are stored in the scar capsules so if you only remove the implants, then you will not have the best chance of recovering if you leave the contaminated scar tissue inside your body. Most plastic surgeons would normally not do this procedure for an explant because it is a more risky surgery and because they don’t believe implants make you unwell and think that this procedure is unnecessary. There were a list of (very few) recommended surgeons in Australia on the website that acknowledge breast implant illness and luckily there was one in my area. I made an appointment with the surgeon and explained my whole story to her. It was such a struggle for me to even go and see her for an appointment and I even had to lie down in her office whilst I was talking to her because I felt so unwell. She was very understanding and said that she had other cases of this happening to women and once explanted they felt so much better, which was promising. She agreed to do the total capsulectomy for me. I had a good feeling and got a good energy from her so I knew this was the right person to do my explant. It was a 3-month waiting list for surgery, which could not come soon enough knowing that I was certain that these things inside of me were causing me to be so sick and I couldn’t do anything about it. I also knew that there could be a chance of the operation not helping me but this was last resort and I had nothing else to lose.
When it came around to my surgery I was getting really scared and nervous but mainly excited to get my life back on track. My surgery went perfect and there were no problems at all. The week after my surgery I had noticed such a big improvement in myself already. From what I had learnt from the website, the book and other ladies that had already been through this process was that the most important thing with recovery was to have a very strict diet, eating only organic proteins and wholefoods and lots of fresh vegetables and pressed juices, steering clear from alcohol, caffeine, sugar and processed foods. This is a vital part to help your body heal, along with starting to detox your body from the nasty chemicals that had been circulating throughout your body. Most women got better and then worse again once they started detoxing but eventually got back to 100% within 1-2 years after explant. Everyone’s recovery sounded different though depending on how severe symptoms were before and how long the implants were in the body for. Some few women didn’t even recover. Within the first 2 months, so many of my symptoms had disappeared and I was very slowly getting better each week. My daily headaches, neck pain and muscle aches had disappeared almost completely. My energy levels were a lot better and brain fog was gone. I then started to detox my body with certain supplements. One thing I have learnt from my body through this experience is that I am a very sensitive person and that I have to learn to listen to my body. If I tried to detox too fast or took too much of a certain supplement my body would freak out, I would feel terrible and it would set me back for a few days or even weeks.
Currently I am now 4 months post explant surgery and I am feeling so much better. I am so happy with the way my breasts recovered and look now. It feels so nice to be natural again. I have up and down days but more good than bad. A lot of my symptoms I experienced before have disappeared, including my anxiety and panic attacks. Some symptoms come back after I have a bad detox reaction or if I eat the wrong foods but will then disappear again. I feel my best when I am very strict with my diet, sleep 9-10 hours and don’t have too much stress in my life. I still can’t do a lot of things that I could do before getting breast implants, like having a drink with my girlfriends or doing anything too strenuous. I feel like the boring, unsocial person most of the time but it is just not worth it to me to do the wrong things and it set me back for a few weeks. It is hard for me to go away on a holiday or go out anywhere to eat, as I still react to so many different foods and I need to keep on my strict diet to feel good. Healing my stomach is my highest priority at the moment. I still have insomnia some nights and get fatigue if I do too much in one day, but looking back before my surgery I felt like I was on my deathbed, so I have come so far within 4 months. I still have reactions if I am exposed to low levels of chemicals, so I have to make sure that all of my makeup, house and cleaning products, drinking water, perfume etc. is all certified organic and free from harsh chemicals. If I go to a shopping centre or somewhere with a large group of people with different smells of perfumes etc., it will set me off and I will get fatigue, headaches and brain fog. I am detoxing myself slowly with supplements and colonics and I am also doing acupuncture twice a week. It is a very time consuming and a mentally draining process to say the least but it is inevitable and something I have to do if I want to fully recover. I have also started to exercise again slowly which is huge for me, as I couldn’t do anything for 8 months before. I sometimes get very emotional about the fact that I haven’t fully recovered straight away but I understand that it won’t happen overnight as I had those toxic things in my body for 5 years, taxing my organs, tissues and body systems and it can take a long time for your body to heal. I can’t wait until I am feeling like a normal person again and not having to revolve my life around how I will be feeling on that day. I also will definitely not be taking my health for granted anymore.
As much as this was the toughest thing so far that life has thrown me, I am glad that I went through this experience. I have learnt so much about health, my body and myself and I am so grateful for that. It has led me to a career in the health industry and I have definitely come out of this experience a better person. My main aim in posting my story is to spread awareness about breast implant illness and hope that people can share my story to friends and family, so I can help women overcome their experiences with the same problem and hopefully stop some women going ahead with the surgery, because if I had read a story like this before my surgery and knew what silicone was made from, I wouldn’t have went ahead with my surgery. I am still not sure as to why some people get sick and some don’t, and this remains a mystery to me and many others. Maybe it is because of different genetics, lifestyle and environment. From what I have gathered from online websites and forums, it can take some ladies 30 years to develop symptoms, so it is a scary thought to think that eventually everyone with breast implants will get sick. I hope this is not the case but I urge anyone who starts to develop mysterious symptoms to get them removed before it gets to a debilitating state.
If you would like any more information on this topic I would highly recommend going to www.healingbreastimplantillness.com , http://www.thenakedtruthaboutbreastimplants.com and reading the book “The Naked Truth about breast implant illness” by Dr. Susan Kolb. Please share my story with as many people as you can, you never know whose life you might save. I will keep you all updated with my process as I go along and if you have any questions or anything you want to share about this topic, please feel free to write a comment below or you can always email me on [email protected]