I was on my way to work when I got the call from my wonderful surgeon, Mr Haywood, to give me the results of the Histopathology report. These results would show the analysis of my scar tissue for Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) , a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, (which is a cancer involving the cells of the immune system), and also if any of the silicone had leaked out, even though the implants were not ruptured.
“Good News!” he stated. “ You don’t have ALCL” .
I was over the moon regarding this news. He then went on to give me the microscopy results…
They found silicone debris in my scar tissue.
OH. MY. GOD.
Here is the report..
I had what is known as Gel Bleed. Gel Bleed is where the smaller silicone molecules diffuse through the intact implant shell. However you ask where the silicone goes or how the body gets rid of it.. not one of the medical professionals I have asked have been able to answer that very simple question. No one actually knows.
From these results I had so many questions of my own.. What happens now? How can I get the silicone out of my body? Could this be the reason my body is so inflamed and developed an autoimmune issue?
Of course the first thing I did was sit down at my laptop and get googling. I wanted to find out as much as I could about silicone and what affect it might have in my body.
The first study I came across was by a rheumatologist Dr Frank Vassey. He studied over 2000 women with mainly silicone filled breast implants. He noted from his perspective that “The immune system activation from silicone/silica causes a unique fibromyalgia syndrome.” ( The New York Journal of Style and Medicine )
The symptoms I had completely matched up with that of fibromyalgia, even more so than my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and in fact many women on the support group also have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia!
He continues in this article…
“Usually local problems under the muscle occur first. The breast hardens and feels like a grapefruit or even a baseball (capsule formation). That is your macrophages in action. The immune system is responsible for wound healing and making scar tissue. The pain spreads into the muscles in the anterior chest, upper back and neck. Exercise tends to spread the silicone/silica debris making you feel worse. On the other hand, exercise makes psychologically-driven fibromyalgia better. “
Well, as we all know from my back story.. I also tick all the boxes for this. In my report letter (above), the histopathologist even states that there were focal foamy macrophages around the silicone debris in my scar tissue. If you are unsure what exactly macrophages do in our body, they are the cells of the immune system that circulate throughout the body and play a key role in an immune reaction. The good news is that Dr Vassey noted that the syndrome tends to stabilize and improve when you remove and do not replace the implants. He believes the systemic illness is a function of the degree of excitability of the woman’s immune system to silicone/silica (implants are about 20% silica) coupled with the amount of the material exposed to the immune system.
He wasn’t the only expert to think along these lines…
In 2016 Dr Kappel, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from the Netherlands, LL Boer and H Dijkman from Department of Pathology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, studied a patient who died in 2008 at the age of 56 and had been exposed to gel bleed from her silicone breast implants for 17 years. She had complained numerous times to her GP from 1995 – 2004 before her death about many different symptoms, from painful breasts, a burning sensation of the breasts, lymph packages in the left armpit, severe memory function disorder, walking function disorder, sleeping disturbances, complaints about bowel function and skin disorders. She described an overall feeling of chronic illness and complained of sudden numbness of the legs.
This is what they found at her autopsy…
We found 2 types of silicone material in multiple tissue and brain samples of this patient. The first is a droplet-like form. EDX measurements demonstrated that the droplets are composed of elemental Si. The second is a plaque-like form; these structures are comprised of elemental Si and Ti (Titanium). Occasionally we found that these plaques were located inside the tissue without a lining and sometimes they were located inside the lumen of blood vessels. The use of EDX analysis over light microscopic examination only, is now a contributing factor for the establishment of silicone bleeding and migration throughout the whole body in high amounts. ( Clinical Medical Review and Case Reports)
Okay, so I can hear the doubters..this is just one women out of thousands that have breast implants. But what an amazing women she was to donate her body to medical science to prove that her implants were making her ill. And lets not forget, this is full proof evidence that shows silicone has the ability to travel around the body, that it doesn’t just stay in the scar tissue.
Dr Sarah Myhill a UK Doctor also states on her website that..
” It is well recognised that the silicone bleeds out of the implants very readily and is widely distributed throughout the body by the reticulo-endothelial system.” (reticuloendothelial system a network of cells and tissues found throughout the body, especially in the blood, general connective tissue, spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow, and lymph nodes.)
Silicone is tough molecule which cannot be broken down by any biological enzyme system. It is a plastic – plastic bags do not even rot down in a compost heap! However, in some patients the immune system tries to break down the silicone. This causes inflammation wherever the silicone ends up. Because the largest part of our body is made up of muscle, connective tissue and skin, I commonly see symptoms here.
However, the long term effects are far more malign. This stems from the fact that silicone cannot be broken down by any enzyme system in the body, is engulfed by macrophages, carried to distant sites by embolisation and there it acts as an immune adjuvant, stimulating immune activity. This means that these patients may suffer from multisystem disease.
Therefore, we see disregulation of the immune system with:
- Autoimmunity, eg mixed connective tissue disease,demyelinating conditions such as MS, autoimmune endocrinopathies, vasculitis and myopathies;
- Chronic fatigue syndromes;
- Disregulation of the immune system leading to multiple allergies which may be to foods, to chemicals, to inhalants, or to micro organisms.
(Taken from Dr Sarah Myhills Website)
The Arthritis Trust of America (ATA) also published a report of Silicone Arthritis and Related Diseases back in 1994. Even back then they noted at the beginning of their article how women had been questioning their earlier decision to implant after suffering major disabilities as a result. When this article was first published, the FDA had placed restrictions on the use of silicone breast implants, which at the time was the nations largest class-action law suit for $4.7 billion as the result of implant damage to women. The report covers what they class as “slow leakage” or “bleeding” of the silicone gel from the implants, which over 20 years later, we now call ‘gel bleed’. This is what the authors had to say about what happens to the silicone….
There is slow leakage (“bleeding”) of the silicone gel from the implants through the semi-permeable membrane envelope and also into and through the capsule that surrounds the implants. This is picked up by the macrophages (scavenger cells) of our immune system and is broken down inside these cells which travel all over the body. The gel breaks down into Silica (SiO2) and Silicon (Si) which causes an immune system dysregulation. Thus there are antibodies produced against the silicon and also against the silicon and protein complex (organ systems) so that one suffers from an auto-immune illness.
There is also damage that is not related to the immune system because the silicone gel causes oxidants (damaging molecules) to be produced that directly damage our cell walls, DNA, and enzyme systems. All of this adds up to slowly developing chronic debilitating illness affecting every organ system of the body.
and there was more about the symptoms…
According to Stephen Edelson, M.D.2, Immune Disorder Symp- toms, sometimes occurring within months of implant, but often occurring 15 to 20 years after surgical implant, include the following: Peripheral Neuropathy (weakness, tingling, numbness, etc.), Central neurotoxic Neuropathy (cognitive difficulties, memory problems, hyperactivity, attention deficits), Cervical and axillary enlarged or painful lymph nodes, fatigue, malaise, weight gain/weight loss, joint and tendon pain, hair loss, dry eyes & mouth, flu-like symptoms, burning skin, constipation, dizziness, enlarged lymph nodes, depres- sion, thyroid problems, hair loss, night sweats, fibromyalgia (multiple tender areas), Myositis (painful inflamed muscles), abdominal pain, emotional instability, chemical sensitivity, food sensitivity, and Pul- monary Hypersensitivity (shortness of breath).
It is believed that these are only the most observable symptoms. Some patients are only moderately ill, while others suffer damage to more than one organ of the body.
Some people who have Silicone Implant illnesses have been diagnosed by their physicians with Lupus, Raynaud’s Sjogren’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Scle- rosis. (ATA – Silicone Arthritis and Related Diseases)
So yet another report that not only states that the macrophages can carry the silicone to other parts of the body, but seems to hit the nail on the head 22 years on with the symptoms. So what now… If your body can’t break down the silicone and get rid of it naturally, how do you get the silicone out of your body?
Unfortunately there isn’t any science based studies on the subject of detoxing silicone that I have found. Why? Because silicone implants are not seen as a problem within the medical world. According to the experts.. silicone is inert. I beg to differ.
Dr Edelson, who was one of the authors of the ATA report mentioned above, noted down a possible way of healing. A form of therapy from silicone gel bleed and to help the body recover. He states..
During the course of therapy, many different, often unique, approaches are recommended, usually of one or another form of antioxidant therapy, coupled with proper diet, exercise, and other treatments.
Also on the Healing Breast Implant Illness website is a whole page dedicated to detoxification of breast implant toxicity. This was put together by Nicole Daruda, a lady who has also gone down her own journey of recovering from breast implants and the illnesses it caused her. If it wasn’t for her dedication and beliefs that knowledge is power and she hadn’t collated all the incredible information she has found during her own personal journey by putting it into a fantastic website to inform other women, a lot of us would still be in the dark. Her immense knowledge and understanding of what is needed to heal from these toxic bags has been invaluable to me and many others alike. Thanks to Nicole’s website, I also found out about the chemical and heavy metal poisoning that implants add to the toxic load within our bodies.
Implants are made up of numerous chemicals. No one can get the lists of exactly what is in a breast implant, because the manufactures won’t give us the information. I’ve emailed them and asked, as have many other women.. and the response I got on email from NAGOR was this…
Please see the information regarding our Implants below:The Barrier Layer: All Nagor Implants are manufactured with high performance silicone elastomer layers to enhance shell integrity and have a unique 360o degree barrier layer to minimise gel diffusion. Texturing: Nagotex® is the unique silicone shell surface designed to encourage tissue adherence to promote a clean interface for a more secure fit.The Fill: Cohesive silicone gel.
Soooo informative !!
What we do know is that to seal an implant during the manufacturing process, they are are dipped in platinum, as noted by the FDA (The U.S Food and Drug Administration) website…
Platinum is a metal used as a catalyst in the manufacture of the shell and gel components of silicone breast implants. Because small amounts of platinum remain in the product following manufacturing, concerns have been raised that platinum may enter the body, either by diffusing through the intact shell or through an implant rupture, and cause adverse effects. ( FDA Backgrounder on Platinum in Silicone Breast Implants)
There have been numerous studies on this topic over the years showing that there have indeed been high levels of platinum seeping through implants, however the conclusion by the FDA is as follows…
Some studies have shown that small quantities of platinum may bleed through an intact implant shell and be present in trace amounts (parts per billion) in surrounding tissue. However, these results need to be confirmed using a larger number of subjects. Other studies have serious scientific flaws that raise concerns about the validity of their results and conclusions. Even if the analytical results of large, well controlled studies were to show relatively high levels of platinum in biological samples, the toxicological significance would still need to be determined.
Based on the existing literature, FDA believes that the platinum contained in breast implants is in the zero oxidation state, which would pose the lowest risk, and thus that the small amounts of platinum that leak through the shell do not represent a significant risk to women with silicone breast implants. FDA will continue to review and analyze the literature on the issue of platinum in breast implants, as part of its ongoing assessment of the safety of these devices. (FDA Backgrounder on Platinum in Silicone Breast Implants)
This however was not the case for Barbara Stanistreet, author of The Boobie Trap. Her book takes you through her personal 30 year journey battling with her debilitating health issues since silicone breast implants were placed into her body after a double mastectomy. She went through three sets of implants, the first set rupturing, the second set being PIP and the third set being banned by the USA because of serious safety concerns. One of the many doctors Barbara encountered on her desperate road to health was a Dr Harbut and he believed that she was showing symptoms similar to the profile of an individual being exposed to platinum salts. Barbara had tests done on her last set of implants by a laboratory in Tennessee and they confirmed the presence of platinum in both the shells and the gels but in far greater amounts than is permissible for occupational exposure! No wonder she was so ill.
So not only did I have to work out how to get rid of the possibly free roaming silicone in my body, I also needed to find out if I had any heavy metals and/or possible platinum in my body and try and get that out too.
Cue major detox.
Click here to find out what happened next….