My name is Julie and I’m from Quebec Canada.
I had Mentor smooth cohesive gel implants from 10 years.
When I decided to get breast implants, I knew every surgery had risks and that
implants could rupture or cause contracture.
But my surgeon said that the newest generation of implants were impossible to rupture, and the cohesive gel would never leak.
Implants transformed me from an athlete with a full-time job to a full-time patient.
3 weeks after getting implants I noticed the first changes in my health.
I experienced extreme exhaustion, rapid weight gain, paralyzing brain fog, and in
tolerance to sound and heat.
Nine months after getting my implants, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.
Later on I experienced muscle pain so severe I had to stop exercising. My hair was falling out and I was always thirsty. I was also diagnosed with asthma.
I then developed food intolerances and allergies. My throat was closing up after each bite and my gastro-intestinal issues became so severe that I had to stop working.
In 2016, I read about Breast Implant Illness. I had been searching for the cause of my health problems for 10 years and it was right in front of me: I had 2 polymer bags inside of my body. I had my implants removed in January, 2018.
A month after surgery, I sent my implants and capsules to be analyzed by Dr. Pierre Blais.
My capsules were 100 times thicker than what he usually sees and were covered with granulomas.
But the most shocking was the fact that one of my implants had a small rupture of longstanding origin that had leaked silicone OIL into my body for years.
After my explant surgery, several of my long-term symptoms disappeared almost immediately.
Today marks 14 months since my explant surgery.
While some of my symptoms still remain, I am healthier than I’ve been in years. My implants greatly compromised my health and it may take years to recover.
I decided to create the first French-Canadian support group for women affected by breast implants. The group immediately got to over 800 members an growing very day. And these members are actually 800 patients.
I stand in front of you because women are literally dying from their implants and no one believes them.
We NEED more long-term research studies on the complications from breast implants that focus on symptoms and not just on diagnosis.
I stand in front of you because I see women fighting EVERYDAY to get proper testing for BIA -ALCL.
Health care providers need awareness on the latest developments about diagnosis, pathology and treatment of this cancer.
I stand in front of you because every day I see women who have no clue what make or model of implants they have inside their bodies.
We NEED national registries that track all health complications and not just re-operations.
I stand before you because I know the FDA can lead the way and be the role model we need.
This meeting is FDA’s opportunity to listen to what patients are saying about their experiences with implants so that public health agencies make decisions that will help shape the future health of millions of women around the globe.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Julie testified at the FDA Advisory Committee Meeting on breast implants in March 2019.