We have dedicated Today as
Breast Implant Survivors Day
Perfect Health's Story
This is my devastating story of saline breast implants.
Hi, My name is Perfect Health, which is not the current status of my
health, but rather what has been robbed from me through breast
augmentation. I sometimes can't even believe the condition I am in,
as for years I worked out religiously and ate nutritiously, taking
pride in my health and appearance. After nursing two children, at
the age of 32, I felt the urge for symmetrical and slightly fuller
breasts. All my life I have been small, yet proportionate for my
body. Unfortunately I let the media and my drive for "perfection"
guide me into the dangerous world of breast augmentation.
I researched the risks associated with surgery itself, the risks
associated with saline implants and looked for the "right" plastic
surgeon. Time and again I was told or read that saline implants are
safe. My plastic surgeon told me repeatedly that there was no proof
regarding a connection between autoimmune disease and implants and I
wouldn't have to worry at all, especially with saline implants. I
was told that in the unlikely event that they would rupture, pure
saline would be absorbed into my body.
Unfortunately, the surgery did not go as well as hoped. I developed
a hematoma within hours after surgery and so they wheeled me back in
and put me under again. The weeks to follow involved some of the
most excruciating pain I have ever experienced, even with pills and a
pain pump! I seriously thought I might die. I was placed on heavy
duty antibiotics and a litany of drugs.
I eventually recovered (or so I thought) and six months later began
bloating every time I would eat. I thought this was odd as I had
never experienced anything like it before. I went to a
gastroenterologist who diagnosed me with IBS and said there was
nothing they could do, just eat more fiber. I asked him if this
could be related to my breast implants and he said no. So, for 6
years I struggled with discomfort after every meal, believing that
nothing could be done. It eventually got to the point that my body
seemed to be rejecting every bite.
I went to a different gastroenterologist, explained my symptoms and
asked if it could be related to implants, noting that my symptoms
occurred within months after surgery. He again said "Absolutely
not." It was determined that day that I had small intestinal
bacterial overgrowth and was lactose and fructose intolerant. I
became very strict with my diet yet was still miserable.
Within a month I developed anemia and from there everything went
downhill. I became so fatigued I couldn't get out of bed. I lost
vision in my left eye and felt intoxicated the majority of the day.
I didn't recognize myself at all. I went from an energetic woman
with a master's degree and wonderful job, to a woman who could barely
I fortunately found Dr. Susan Kolb of Atlanta, who said she would
explant me. One thing you should know about getting implants ... if
you at any time need removal, most surgeons refuse to explant unless
you get a replacement. Knowing full heartedly that my illness was
due to the implants and that I didn't want another set, I had no
choice but to go to Dr. Kolb 9 hours away.
Dr. Kolb explained that my intestinal problems were indeed due to the
implants, as she has seen that occur hundreds of times. She put me
on an antifungal, removed my implants and sent them for testing. The
lab report came back saying my valves were defective and my left
implant had degraded.
My bloating has now been explained to me in this way. I was told
that everyone has fungus and yeast in their body. Because my valves
were defective (a common occurrence), the yeast migrates up into the
implant where it has the perfect environment to breed. It then flows
back through the defective valve, invading the body. Fungus was
causing my bloating and the implants were the factories that were
mass producing it.
Besides losing my vision, my cognition, my soul and my energy, I also
became postmenopausal. Silicone shells are responsible for
increasing the cancerous form of estrogen which is now at a high
level for me. Because of this, I most likely cannot have another
child. Urine tests prior to explant also revealed high levels of
toluene and benzene, both carcinogenic chemicals. You can't imagine
the feeling of knowing these things may still be circulating inside
your body, wreaking havoc.
I have been explanted for 6 months and have literally cried every
day. My life has changed from being full of family, friends, work
and fun to a life where I am lucky if I have enough energy to get to
the grocery store. I feel very disabled and miss the old me. My
poor husband and children have suffered in their own ways due to the
hazards of implants. Don't think for a minute that your surgery
won't affect others. Had I known the horrendous affects implants
would have on my personal and professional life, there's no way on
earth I would have done it. For any of you contemplating surgery,
please think twice and learn from my treacherous mistake. - PH