I had breast implants provided by the Harley Medical Group in June 2000. At my consultation with the surgeon I opted for saline implants as I had had two recent breast surgeries to remove fibrocystic breast tissue that had hardened and made wearing a bra impossible. I was told that the implant I was choosing was good for twenty years and was very safe. Implant surgery was the safest way of dealing with the breast tissue loss I had and less invasive than an uplift.
I started to become unwell in 2011, initially with fatigue problems which I attributed to my twin pregnancy and caring for young twins. By 2016 I was in seriously poor health with numerous chronic fatigue symptoms, I had been given a Mirena coil to help with heavy periods and two iron infusions to help with low iron levels. I had also been prescribed Sandrena a HRT oestrogen gel in June 2016 by a private women’s health specialist. My health took a serious nose dive. I returned from a holiday in France feeling nauseous and I had breast pain. My request for a breast scan was declined by my GP surgery, I was told there was no point as I was taking HRT.
With hindsight I can see that my health problems began within weeks of my implant surgery in 2000. What I have discovered since they were removed in September 2017 is shocking. I was fitted with PIP implants, not the saline implants I paid for, and I am not the only patient to have been placed in this situation. My test results show that I have silicone circulating in my blood stream (intended to be pumped into mattresses) and I have high levels of heavy metals in my test results. Even my children’s test results show they have been exposed to heavy metals at toxic levels.
Jean Claude Mas PIPs Managing Director was imprisoned for four years for fraud and fined 750,000 euros. He is facing systemic poisoning and manslaughter charges.
The most alarming elements I have been exposed to are thallium and chromium 6. Thallium was banned in the USA in 1965 as there were too many instances of accidental poisoning. It was banned from all manufacturing processes in 1975. It’s use is very restricted in the UK and it is simply unobtainable. Chromium 6 is the subject matter of the film Erin Brockovich film. Both are carcinogenic and cause congenital birth defects and health problems.
In January 2017 I disputed my chronic fatigue diagnosis with my GP surgery, I had my Mirena coil removed as an emergency as I had developed a tremor and could not sleep and I had crippling anxiety. I had absolutely no reason to be anxious. I asked my GP if there could be a connection between the silicone Mirena coil and my breast implants, I explained they were not silicone but saline, but that all implants contained silicone. My request for a breast scan was declined again and I was told that if I had a rupture there would be more pain.
At this point I was referred to the “Unexplained Illnesses team.” Great I thought, they can test thoroughly and get to the bottom of the problem. To my dismay two days before my appointment I had a confirmation letter and established they were psychiatrists! I was so ill that I went anyway, perhaps I there was a psychological solution to my problems? I also made a complaint to the Customer Services Manager of my GP surgery about this referral and with the GP who referred me, I requested a breast scan a third time. A specialist I was seeing privately also wrote a complaint letter requesting I be properly diagnosed before being referred for a psychiatric assessment. The GP surgery did agree to make a referral to an Endocrinologist, this was a private appointment that I paid for mind you! The endocrinology tests also revealed nothing abnormal. I didn’t get the breast scan. The Endocrinologist also requested the breast scan. I still didn’t get it.
In May 2017 I told my GP surgery that I had symptoms of chronic poisoning and not chronic fatigue. I was seriously unwell, I had been losing sight, I had muscle spasms, I was nauseous and I couldn’t go out in the sunlight. I had explained to my GP in February that I had memory problems, numb arms and legs, and that my hands were tingling. This was ignored.
In July 2017 I requested a breast scan a fourth time. My GP agreed to give me a breast exam, she told me to book an appointment for three weeks time by which time my endocrinology results would have returned. After this appointment I was finally referred. I made it to the Breast Care Centre on 14th August 2017.
My ultrasound revealed that I had a ruptured silicone implant and that it had migrated into my right lymph node. I explained that my implants were saline and I had used the Harley Medical Group who I believed were a reputable company. He obviously knew straight away that I had been given PIP implants since The Harley Medical Group were “well known for littering British women with cheap PIP implants and then liquidating their company to avoid any responsibility for them” to quote another surgeon I saw at a subsequent appointment.
I had my explant on 25th September 2017. The surgeon provided me with the serial numbers of my implants and made it possible for me to join a lawsuit with Hugh James Solicitors in Cardiff against TUV Rheinland. I joined 500 other women in this law suit which went to pre trial on 9th November. We joined the 20,000 women already in France in litigation against TUV.
I contacted The Harley Medical Group and quickly established that they had liquidated their company leaving behind nearly 14,000 former patients with PIP implants. They recommenced trading the next day in the same premises, with the same phone numbers and with the same name. Defaulting on £700,000 of UK taxes. On my third and final phone call the Clinic Manager put the phone down on me when I said I would take this to the press. She stated that “it’s been there before and we’re not worried about that.”
James Farquarson their CEO has been kind enough to write to me and explain that they are no longer the same company that gave 14,000 British women PIPs and to impugn them in wrong. Their Youtube marketing states that they have been established for over 35 years, it doesn’t mention them going into liquidation in 2011 of course. They also were able to confirm my payment details and date, why is a “new” company holding the financial records of a “bankrupted” company?”
I tried to get a toxicology referral from the 15th August 2017, they day after discovering my breast implant rupture. Fortunately we had some private medical insurance that paid for me to be tested privately. I also began screening my children for heavy metals to see if they had been affected during my pregnancy or through breast feeding. I did not know when my implant had ruptured.
I will explain my test results below:
Heavy metals are used as fixatives or preservatives in the casing of implants. The presence of heavy metals for preservation purposes is causing much consternation with vaccines and causing many parents to boycott vaccinating their children.
Heavy metals and toxins are all around us. It could have been argued that my results relate to “background or environmental exposure” but the discovery of thallium in my faeces has closed that door and there are too many of them. Thallium is not in our environment. I am also highly exposed to silicone, industrial grade and intended for mattresses of course!
Faecal Metals – Faeces shows what your body is currently exposed to. My poop flew to America and was screened for heavy metals, to my dismay these came back showing very recent exposure to thallium. This is highly poisonous, banned in the USA and is only available in restricted supply. It is not extracted any longer, but supplied from existing world stocks. I also have raised levels of beryllium, nickel and antimony. My copper levels are high in response to inflammation in my body.
Hair Mineral analysis – My hair also flew to America and this test shows I have above average levels of arsenic and silver. Hair results show what the body has been able to push out of your system.
Lymphocyte Sensitivity Test Metals – This test shows what the body has been exposed to and measures the lymphocyte response to specific toxins. My results indicated borderline sensitivity to mercury, titanium, chromium 6 (the toxic type) and tin. The mercury may be from amalgam fillings I have had in the past.
Lymphocyte Sensitivity Test Silicone – This test shows that I have silicone circulating in my blood supply. My silicone sensitivity results are distinctly raised. I have a particularly high level of sensitivity to the common from of silicone used in implants called Dimethicone. This means that an immune response has been triggered. The physician interpreting my results recommended the site www.healingbreastimplantillness.com for a list of symptoms. I had found this amazing site with it’s 25,000 Facebook members the day I discovered my ruptured implant.
Urine analysis – My urine metal results do not show evidence of toxicity. Chronic poisoning (slow and long standing) does not show in blood and urine samples as the body pushes metals into the tissues. Faeces is a very accurate diagnostic test for chronic exposure. Acute poisoning (a one off event exposing at very high levels to a toxin) would show in the blood and urine.
The toxicity of any substance, in your case silicone, is due to interaction of the poison with normal processes in the cell blocking normal cell metabolism/function.
Sensitivity to a substance is caused by the body’s immune system attacking that substance. Silicone can adhere to body cells and when the body attacks the silicone it triggers damage or inflammation to the tissues where the silicone is stuck. Any inflammation can alter the bodies proteins making the immune system think that the body’s cells are toxins. This can lead to the immune system attacking its own body, which is known as auto-immunity. Silicone is known to trigger autoimmunity.
Your silicone toxicity results indicate that some silicone, but not a lot, is present in the blood stream. This may therefore be creating a toxic effect. It may also reflect that you are eliminating the silicone which you think might be happening anyway as you are seeing yellow discharge.
Your silicone sensitivity results are distinctly raised. You particularly have a high level of sensitivity to the common form of silicone used in implants called Dimethicone. This means that an immune response has been triggered and may be causing some of your issues. This link, which I am sure you are aware of, lists symptoms that are associated with silicone: http://healingbreastimplantillness.com/breast-implant-symp…/
Toxic metal sensitivity
The silicone used in implants is contained within a plastic-like cover. The manufacture of these covers are frequently associated with metals, particularly platinum (Pt), tin (Sn), chromium (Cr), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), antimony (Sb), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu). It is important to note, however, that these and other metals are found as common environmental pollutants and toxicity so sensitivity may be due to sources other than implants.
It is considered that some people suspicious of silicone toxicity are reacting to the metal toxicity therefore it is sensible that metal sensitivity testing is done concurrently when testing for silicone.
Your results indicate borderline sensitivity to mercury, titanium and possibly chromium (the toxic environmental toxic type VI) and tin. The mercury may be from amalgam fillings you have had and the others just background pollution.
It is considered that the body does not have detoxification mechanisms to remove silicone from the body. There is some controversy about this, as anecdotal evidence suggests that people with silicone toxicity who have gone through ‘detoxification’ not only feel better, but also have shown test evidence of reduced or removed silicone levels after treatments. You, like many, seem convinced, silicone is being excreted.
You have shown no sensitivity to the mold, yeast or fungal markers tested which are usually associated with such infestation. It is unlikely that this is a big issue for you.
Urine toxicity and Essential Element profile
Your urine metal results do not show evidence of toxicity. Caesium is at the top end of the population reference range but at that level is very unlikely to be creating any issues.
Your urine profile suggests a deficiency in selenium, chromium (the healthy type –III) and phosphorus. Low sodium may simply be a reflection of your good water intake and a lack of Vanadium mail may not be an issue at all. Selenium may be being displaced by silicon and chromium VI is displacing the healthy chromium.
It is important to note that you have no urinary toxic levels of Mercury, Titanium , Chromium IV or Tin which would suggest that your metal sensitivity was due to exposure in the past.
We need to await your faecal metal test results before making a final comment.
My results show that caesium is at the top end of the population range, it suggests a deficiency in selenium, chromium (the healthy type 3) and phosphorus. Low sodium may be simply a reflection of my good water intake and a lack of vanadium may not be an issue. Selenium may be displaced by silicone and chromium 6 is displacing the healthy chromium 3.
Blood metals – These results show that I have high but not toxic levels of silver in my blood stream. I was surprised my blood results showed anything at all as I am a case of chronic poisoning and not acute poisoning. It confirms high levels of copper and calcium which indicate inflammation in my body and low levels of selenium.
My children’s results
My daughter’s My son’s
My son’s hair mineral analysis shows that he has been exposed to high levels of arsenic.
my son’s resultsMy daughter’s results
My daughter’s lymphocyte sensitivity results show that she has been toxic with chromium 6 (the toxic type) and nickel.
The good news is that their bodies appear to have been able to get these dangerous toxins out.
We have been able to find an excellent physician who has prescribed a detox program for my family.
Thirteen weeks after discovering my ruptured implant and six months after informing my GP I was suffering from chronic poisoning. I have still been unable to obtain a referral to a Toxicologist.
We are funding our own medical care. I have returned to work part time as I am self employed, with constant abdominal pain and green puss leaking from my right breast wound.
Believe it or not this is coming from Facebook and Google. The “UK Breast implant healing and support” Facebook Group and also www.healingbreastimplantillness.com which has 25,000 members. 3,000 more members since I joined it three months ago.
We moved to a new GP surgery in October 2017 and requested a number of tests, several were declined but I was able to get a CA125 blood test (ovarian cancer) and an abdominal scan. In November I was made an urgent referral to gynaecology to investigate a large mass on my right ovary and elevated CA125 levels.
Did I mention the two A and E admissions after my surgery? One the day after surgery with an irregular heart beat and my entire body twitching which I believe was in response to toxins disrupted during my implant removal that reached my nervous system causing a response. And the second in an ambulance with severe abdominal pain a week after surgery when I was treated very poorly.
I thought I had liver or kidney failure. It has now been established that I definitely have a mass in the right of my abdomen. This is below my ruptured implant and could possibly migrated silicone irritating my organs and in particular my right ovary. I am hoping it is not ovarian cancer.
My right breast wound has re opened along its entire four inches and lymph node wound is also leaking fluid. I have a staphylococcal infection.
What about the 40,000 women left with PIP implants?
Quite a lot of them are in law suits in France suing TUV Rheinland who were PIPs medical auditor for twenty years. TUV have already been ordered to award 63 million Euros to 20,000 women in “interim” payments. This equates to approximately £2,100 for each women and many of them are still waiting for this payment. It is insufficient to pay for surgery to remove the implants but many women have used it as a deposit and booked explants surgery.
This litigation has been running for SIX years.
Not all of them are in a position to join law suits, you have to have your paper work in order and the cosmetic surgery industry is not always comprehensive in it’s provision. Many women do not know they have been given PIPs, many women do not know their serial numbers. Many women are ill and do not know why. Some are too ill to consider litigation.
I thought I was the last women to get on the train to France to sue TUV Rheinland. I celebrated for a few minutes when I was told I had been accepted as a claimant (it was touch and go and I had to prove I did not know I had PIP implants) and then my phone pinged with a message from a women in one of the facebook groups.
“Can you help me, I have had two miscarriages, I have fibromyalgia and I have lost my job I am at home caring for my surviving child who also has severe health problems. How can I get onto the law suit”
I placed one post on a PIP facebook site asking how many former Harley Medical Group patients still had the PIP implants. Seventy women replied within less than an hour. One woman needs a carer 24/7, another had one ruptured implant removed in emergency surgery but the other implant was left in. In what universe is that OK?
These former patients include the women who has lost her job, is diagnosed with fibromyalgia and is now a carer for her surviving child.
As the days went on I searched for more women left behind. “I am at home on disability benefits; I have been on morphine for a year. I am still trying to get my PIPs removed. How did you manage it? My local surgeon has declined to remove my scar capsules, so I have to pay for a private consultation and then try and see this surgeon at another hospital.”
The “scar capsule” is the tissue around the breast implant that the body forms, it contains toxins (most probably the ones evident in my test results) and if it is left it in will continue to poison the patient. I have spoken to one woman whose scar capsule was left in by the NHS three years ago, she now has migrated silicone in her abdomen that has formed into granulomas or lumps. Another woman forced onto disability benefits and who had to undergo a second surgery to remove the capsules. “Can I sue the NHS do you think?” she asked me.
“My hair is falling out, I have been declined by the surgery team for explantation. I never dreamed at the age of 33 that I would barely be able to walk. My poor son he is only 3 years old and I can barely play with him. The specialist I am seeing is basically saying he won’t do anything because he believes the NHS shouldn’t foot the bill.”
“I have been declined explants on the NHS and I both of my PIPs are ruptured.”
“I have COPD and chronic pain, my GP wants to focus on clearing my respiratory problems first and we never get onto discussing my implants in the appointments. I am at the surgery weekly. I am at my whit’s end and want to give up.”
“I had my PIPs replaced six years ago, I am still ill, how do I find out if my scar capsule was left in?”
“I am really ill, how do I find out if my implants are PIPs, the cosmetic surgery I used have lost my records.”
I have had conversations with women from America, Australia, South Africa, Belgium. There are thousands of women left with PIP implants seven years after the scandal broke. Both France and Venuzeula removed PIP implants from their countrywomen in 2012. NHS wales also offer free removal and replacement.
Declining in health, suffering unnecessarily, forced onto disability benefits, unable to work and costing considerably more public money than actually offering them surgery to remove the PIP implants and adequate medical care.
If the NHS cares for people who drink too much, smoke too much, eat the wrong foods, are violent, drive too fast and play dangerous sports. This is all part of the collage of a society. Why will it not help women who are victims of medical negligence? This is the largest case of medical fraud in history.
Whilst my experience with my GP surgery has not been good, I was very lucky to have received excellent surgical care on the NHS. There are some good surgeons and GPs out there, but there is a lack of Government directive to deal with the PIP problem.
Basic maths and the Government wasting public money
I had a quote for private explant surgery for £3,800 from a Birmingham Bupa hospital. The middle rate of Personal Independence Payment is £2893 per annum. If you are entitled to Tax Credits and are able to work part time you receive an additional £3,000 payment which is called a disability element. The Disability Living Allowance payment for a sick child are the same as these amounts and you receive a disability element if you are a tax credit claimant. Surgery to remove PIPs is cheaper than benefits.
Of course many women in deteriorating health are barely able to work, some are on disability benefits full time. Surgery to remove PIPs is cheaper than losing tax payers to the benefit system.
Women with PIPs are presenting with severe health problems. These are being dealt with within Primary Healthcare and emergencies are then referred to secondary healthcare. Surgery to remove PIPs is cheaper than spiralling primary and secondary healthcare costs.
In my humble estimation, the private cosmetic surgery industry, who liquidated their “tree” of limited companies to escape litigation from their former patients at the heigh of the PIP scandal, defaulted on £20 million of UK taxes. VAT, income tax, employers contributions and local authority taxes. Surgery to remove PIPs is cheaper than tax evasion and insolvency.
I am dismayed that a Government, who has been promoting austerity and focussing on cost saving exercises for almost a decade, could be making an financial error of this magnitude.
I am drafting an NHS England complaint about my former GP surgery. The decisions to keep me away from secondary healthcare have led me to catastrophic health consequences. This delay has certainly not saved any public money.
Many surgeons seem unprepared for the type of surgery required to ensure recovery. GPs are declining to refer women for scans and surgeons are declining to perform explant surgery. There appears to be no medical care for these women available. Mothers are also being advised to breast feed with PIP implants. None of this is acceptable.
I have contacted Jeremy Hunt and Philip Dunne, Ministers for Health and Chris Skidmore my local MP who kindly forwarded my correspondence to parliament.
I have had a reply from Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords). His reply is posted on this site. I particularly like his final sentence “lessons have been learned.”
Lessons have clearly not been learned and my story is my response to Lord O’Shaughnessy.