In 2001, I decided to have implants after breastfeeding my son and ending up with saggy breasts. I met a woman who had done it with no problems whatsoever and this gave me confidence to book an appointment with her surgeon. I asked many questions and after being told that there was no risk of cancer and that these implants had a lifetime guarantee, I decided to go for it. I was also told that a rupture was virtually, impossible.
I was given over the muscle, 260cc implants (Perthese, cohesive silicone gel) under local anaesthetics. I was always very relaxed, didn’t feel any pain and the surgeon looked after me really well. In fact, he did a fantastic cosmetic job as my boobs looked amazing and you could see no scars at all after they healed.
My problems started after I had my daughter in 2007. I felt extreme fatigue, headaches, joint pain, brain fog and many other symptoms. GPs put it down to having a baby. I felt desperate but insisted because I knew other mums with babies the same age as mine and yes, they were also tired but my tiredness was another level of tired and I knew very well that it was not normal. I insisted and was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) by a rheumatologist 10 years ago.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been suffering with debilitating symptoms, which now included breast pain, that affected my work and family life. I had breast scans but they always showed intact implants so, this, as a cause, has always been rejected by doctors so, I just accepted that I had CFS and that’s it.
About 3 years ago, I heard about Breast Implant Illness (BII) and found the UK group on Facebook. When I realised that there were thousands of women with the same symptoms as me and read their stories, I was shocked and just knew then, that I was just like them. BII is what I had.
After this, I did more research and found science based evidence that there is a connection between CFS symptoms and BII.
I decided to explant.
If there was even just 10% chance of getting better, it was worth it. I couldn’t afford to do it privately because I hadn’t been able to work much so I had to try the NHS.
I printed everything off and went to my GP who referred me to the breast clinic straight away. At the breast clinic, I had an ultrasound scan and a mammogram. Once again, they showed ‘perfect’ implants… However, the breast specialist I saw told me that she would still support my application for funding to have them removed because of the connection with CFS. I was very happy with this result and went back to my GP for her to apply for funding so I could have them removed.
Unfortunately, my application was rejected and I was stuck with a pair of toxic bags that were making me very ill.
A couple of months later, I had breast pain so bad that I ended up in A&E. After checking my heart and other possible problems and concluding I was fine, I insisted the sharp pain was coming from the bottom of the right breast and not the chest or heart. They finally agreed to scan the area that the pain was coming from and they found that my right implant’s edge was irregular and that would likely be causing the pain.
The events that followed were more than frustrating and ended up with me complaining about three doctors who were nothing but unprofessional and caused me a great deal of upset as a result. I ended up at the breast clinic again and told once again, that my breast implants were intact and they could not help me.
I was still suffering and I couldn’t take it anymore so, my husband and me decided to do this privately using a credit card. We found a reasonably priced surgeon near us who would do enbloc explant and I booked it.
I explanted on March 24th and would you believe that the breast pain I had been suffering from for so many years completely disappeared straight after?! Maybe it had to do with the fact that my right implant was RUPTURED and the left one was LEAKING? I was so glad to get rid of them!
Another symptom that disappeared straight away was the horrible feeling of a massive hangover I woke up with everyday. These implants were literally poisoning and killing me slowly! My back pain was gone!
Three months after explanting and I can honestly say that I’m 85% better in general and I know that this number will go up as my body slowly detoxes from all that poison that was leaked into me. I’m in debt as a result but getting my health back is absolutely priceless.
I know that I should never have had those implants but had I known that they would make me so ill, I would not have. I truly believed that they were completely safe and make my life better, not worse. I was a very young woman looking to feel more secure about the way I looked. Looking back, I now know I had nothing to worry about but I know a lot more now than what I did then. If I can save one young woman from making the same mistake I did, I’m happy.