My situation was extreme. It took 16 years of missed symptoms of rupture to get there.
Sixteen years after what I now know was the point of rupture my body was in serious trouble.
I was examined by many doctors, often specialists, during those years. I presented with multiple symptoms consistent with rupture. I think back now to being examined by specialists when I was a patient in the hospital, being told there was nothing wrong with me physically, it was all ‘in my head’. They missed the equivalent of a 5-alarm fire inside my chest. I was ill systemically.
The fact that my implants were 22 years old should have been a red flag in itself. I had Grade 4 capsular contracture, the worst there is. A chest x-ray showed calcification, but it was not investigated. I had what felt like a displaced rib. It was discounted also, as scar tissue that had become separated, but was actually a granuloma with an open end – a portal where silicone was passing from my badly ruptured left implant to the inside of my chest wall. I had masses and lymph nodes in, and around, my armpits. I had a lot of pain due to migrated silicone, acute inflammation, granulomas, necrotised tissue and infection. I have multiple autoimmune illnesses and neurological symptoms. I developed sensitivities to some chemicals and medications. Doctors just aren’t connecting the dots. The scenario is the same for most women with implant-related illness or rupture. Women who are seriously ill, being told their symptoms are in their head. It’s the same globally.
FDA and manufacturer guidelines recommend implanted women have an MRI 3 years after implant, and every 2 years thereafter. Not one doctor recommended I have an MRI, in fact I had to push for one.
I hope that women with breast implants will proactively and vigilantly pay attention to their ‘body speak’ and learn all they can about their breast implants and signs of device failure. I knew nothing about my breast implants until I learned they were ruptured, which is a common scenario. I mistakenly thought if the doctors weren’t concerned about my breast implants they must be ok. It didn’t occur to me that they knew nothing about them.
Sadly, I know of many other women who’s situations were equally, if not more-so extreme as mine. Women who’ve had their implants much longer than I had mine; some who had multiple sets. They’re all very ill. I shudder to think of how doctors have failed to investigate and diagnose often longstanding rupture.