We have dedicated Today as
Breast Implant Survivors Day
Cathy's Story & Questions
I wrote to you a while back before I had my implants removed. I have
had autoimmune hepatitis for 8 years. I told my doctors that I had
implants but they said that had nothing to do with my problem. I was
down to 1/4 of my liver and counting when silicone implants became
FDA approved for 'safety,' so I began reading all the articles I saw on them.
I had them for 20 years or so and didn’t think about them much. I always got mammograms regularly and was never told I had to do anything else.
The doctor that put them in told me I would be an old woman dead in my coffin and my implants would be sitting there as good as new after I had decomposed. I thought that if you had a rupture you would know it, like a flat tire. An article about the return of silicone
implants on the N.O.W. website showed a photo of a woman from neck to waist with a caption that read that she had one implant ruptured. I was surprised because you couldn’t tell she had implants and the only visible clue of the rupture was that one breast was slightly smaller than the other, hardly noticeable. I found out from my nutritionist, of all people, after all the doctors I went to, that the only way to know you had a leak was an MRI.
I went to a plastic surgeon and told him about my illness and that I
wanted an MRI because one of my breasts was slightly smaller than the other. He asked how my mammograms were and I said fine so he said that it been totally disproved that silicone caused autoimmune disease that diabetics get as much in their insulin shots and they don’t
complain of anything and he basically said no I didn’t need an MRI and acted like I was a little pathetic for grasping at straws regarding my illness. He also gave me a web address that he said gave the facts and beliefs of the people of science as opposed to the hysterics. I
told him I didn’t know anything and I was not a scientist and maybe I
was crazy and ridiculous but could he please humor me and write me a prescription for the MRI and he did. When he called me up to tell me they were both ruptured he didn’t acknowledge that he had almost prevented me from getting the test. I went back in and he said they had to come out and encouraged me to get new ones put in. I asked since they were so safe and so benign why even take them out when they were ruptured and his scientific answer was “Just because.”
I tried to get an appointment for removal with a doctor that believed
implants caused health problems but I couldn’t get in before 6 months
so I went back to my original plastic surgeon and made him promise
that he would take out every shred of silicone he could find. I did
not put any implants back in. This was in February. In July I had a
biopsy and now my liver has completely grown back. If this is placebo
I’ll take it. My liver specialist told me he is sure this has nothing
to do with the implant removal. He feels that the immune suppressant
drugs I’ve been on since 2002 have finally kicked in and could very
well be publishing his brilliance in a medical journal at this moment.
I opted out of the Dow settlement and I don’t care about suing anyone
at this point. I been constantly going to doctors for the past 8
years and I am still on a cancer causing immune suppressant drug
because my doctor thinks that is what is helping me. I plan to ask
him to support me in tapering off the drug and testing my liver
enzymes frequently to make sure nothing regresses. If he won’t do it
I will find a doctor who will. The question for you is how can I use
my experience to help other women. I want whoever takes statistics to count me as one who got better from implant removal. I went to a rheumatologist at one point who told me he had 5 autoimmune patients who he knew about who had implants and had them removed and none of them improved in any way. I will be getting back to all my doctors and let them know my outcome. What else would you suggest I do.
Thank-you for your work on this.