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.