Today, October 29, 2018, is my 5th explant-anniversary – the day my toxic silicone breast implants were removed from my body. I woke up from my explant surgery with the greatest sense of happiness and relief .. I REJOICED and haven’t stopped REJOICING!!!!!
I know I keep saying it every year, but this date is more important to me than my birthday. It was so important to me not to die with those freaking things still in me .. and surely if they hadn’t been removed I wouldn’t still be here.
I had RECALLED devices in me for 22 years (unknowingly) and had undiagnosed rupture for 16 years. Because I had such long standing rupture I experienced extensive silicone migration. My health is permanently impacted. The migrated silicone can’t be removed. All I can do is use my experience and voice to help prevent others from being harmed by breast implants.
A couple friends that watched me get sicker and sicker suggested many times that they thought it might be my implants that were making me sick. The doctors I presented to with symptoms said my implants categorically had nothing to do with what was happening – even localized things like enlarged lymph nodes and masses. Fast forward to when I found out my implants were ruptured, I connected online with some ladies that had walked this road before me. I was shocked to learn that I had classic symptoms for rupture and breast implant related illness. Women since breast implants were introduced in the early 60’s have become sick in the exact same ways .. YET, our REAL WORLD EVIDENCE has been denied by the very people who profit from them.
Now, as the truth is emerging more and more, there are doctors that are acknowledging the correlation. Many, before becoming fully convinced, simply ‘noticed’ as their patients improved once their implants were removed. A common statistic reported is 80%-85% of patients either fully regain their health, or at least experience significant improvement. Countless women have migrated silicone that can’t be removed, which continues to act as an antagonist in our body and undermines our health. In recent years there’s also been focus on ‘biofilms’ which can cause serious illness and even death.
Breast Implant Related Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BII-ALCL) has gotten media attention in recent years, though the industry tried their hardest to minimize the incidence rate. Now that they’re testing for it, more cases are being diagnosed. I think there’s zero doubt that women have died from this, and other forms of lymphoma and other cancers, without having been diagnosed.
Healing from breast implants isn’t a straight trajectory for most women. I still have some residual issues, but many things have either fully resolved or greatly improved. My lungs and kidneys are permanently buggered, and I have multiple silicone filled lymph nodes, lesions, and masses. I have silicone deeply within my chest wall. It hurts 24/7. The nature of the pain is acute. I have limited mobility / ability / strength with my arms and hands, especially on the left side. The worst way it impacts me is in my inability to hold my grandchildren for long, and some days I can barely pick them up. THAT breaks my heart. Every upper body movement hurts my ribs because I have silicone in the muscles between my ribs (some of the muscles were removed at the time of explant, as was part of my left pec muscle).
If you have breast implants and feel you’re not being impacted negatively by them .. I’m sorry to say, you are. Even in regard to chest wall destruction. NOBODY gets out of having breast implants unscathed. NOBODY. PERIOD.
Women with breast implants are not expecting the devices they’ve been told are ‘safe’ can ruin their health. Within days after my implants were removed the ‘butterfly rash’ on my face and rash on my torso and extremities were gone. NO-ONE is unscathed by breast implants – its a matter of degree.
What’s shocking is that even when I was virtually bedridden and manifesting a long list of health issues doctors still thought there was nothing wrong with me. Even localized lumps, masses and enlarged lymph nodes were discounted as ‘nothing’.
Since I was explanted in 2013 the medical community is slowly becoming more receptive to the negative impact breast implants can have. Its through us sharing our stories and photos that the shift is happening. Please keep sharing your experience!
Susan first presented with sudden swelling in her right breast in April 2017. Then in August 2017 her left breast swelled suddenly. She’d experienced swelling on the left side in three separate instances by the time her implants were removed in November 2017. On each occasion doctors failed to test the seroma fluid for Breast Implant Associated Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
I have walked with Susan through every step of her journey to find answers. The degree to which her medical care has been botched at every turn is simply staggering. The Canadian medical system has failed her completely. Every hopeful moment where she thought she might finally get answers was quickly dashed by another failure of the medical system.
It has been a roller coaster ride, with a cocktail of emotions. Its been agonizing, frustrating, disappointing, scary, angering, shocking, abysmal, and so much more.
When Susan’s breast implants were removed she was told they were smooth saline and she was shown a photo of implants that looked like new. Given when she’d gotten the implants in March 2006 she’d been told she had been implanted with textured silicone implants she didn’t believe they were hers and said so. Her experience of trying to find out definitively what implants she’d been implanted with has been as convoluted and sketchy as the medical ‘care’ she received. Freedom of Information requests from Health Canada produced conflicting documents. She missed her calling as a ‘sleuth’ IMHO. Pure tenacity and perseverance led to finally having her explanted breast implants returned to her, and discovering that they were: McGhan Intrasheil barrier – ‘special access’ implants. The silicone implants were obtained during the 10 year moratorium on silicone breast implants.
Nineteen months after the first onset of swelling, and through continued symptoms Susan still doesn’t have answers for what’s going on.
Recently Susan started making videos to share her story and educate others. Here are her first videos:
Please note: Silicone can migrate throughout the body, including to vital organs. An autopsy done on a Danish woman who’s implants were not ruptured showed she had silicone in virtually every part of her body. Women getting breast implants are not usually informed of this possible complication. When we get implants we don’t expect we can end up with silicone in lymph nodes, lungs, brain, liver, ovaries, chest wall muscles and surrounding tissue, to list a few places. Even when breast implants are removed many women are left with residual silicone which has migrated beyond the reach of a surgeon’s scalpel.