I received my saline breast implants when I was 19.
I graduated college at the age of 20, played every sport in high school, and was the epitome of health until I received my implants. I thought that my body was too “bottom” heavy. I was a “barely B” and I told my plastic surgeon to make me “perfect”. Unfortunately, to him, “perfect” meant going from a size B to a D. I thought this man knew everything; after all, my friend had been working for him for 12 years, just got saline breast implants herself, and said no one had ever complained of problems because after all, “they are just salt water.”
Immediately after surgery, I began experiencing weird, shooting arm pains. Then slowly, every joint/bone/muscle in my body was in excruciating pain. I was exhausted all of the time, had no energy, experienced hair loss, and had pains in my chest, heart, and ribs. I had trouble remembering things and thinking clearly. The list goes on and on-before implants, I just had allergies. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the neck and spine), fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. My doctor thought silicone was the problem. I lived in doctor’s offices, I was bed-ridden, and I was disabled. (I’ve got the handicapped parking pass and am waiting on my lawyer’s appeal for my disability claim).
My “safe” saline breast implants cost me everything. The surgery to put them in cost $4500, and to take them out was the best $6,400 my parents could have spent. Yep, my parents helped me, because I was still paying the cost to have them put in.
I never thought about my implants being dangerous. Almost all of my doctors agreed that my health problems were not related to implants. The fact is, these saline implants are encased in silicone, and silicone can be harmful to your body! The silicone shell is enough to cause autoimmune diseases and various health problems. I was tested for silicone poisoning, and I came up positive.
My breast implants were removed when I was 21, and my health has improved dramatically. I feel like I will eventually get my life back, but it won’t be without a fight and a continuous struggle.
I have seen what saline breast implants are capable of, and I have decided to do whatever I can to warn other women of the dangers. I just finished working with MTV to do a segment on the dangers of plastic surgery and also a British documentary. I wish I would have found websites like Yahoo’s Saline Support Group and www.breastimplantinfo.org two years ago. I wish I had known what I was getting myself into. If women knew about all of this stuff, there is no way that breast implants would be in such high demand.
I’m not totally against plastic surgery; I’m against implanting foreign objects into your body (especially if they are silicone) It’s not natural, and unless it’s absolutely necessary to live, I wouldn’t do it again.
Maybe there is a way to see if a surgeon would be able to work with the breast tissue a woman already has in order to enhance their appearance. There just has to be a better option.
After my breast implants were taken out, my bra size is a 36C. Yes, a whole size larger than before the surgery (to recap: 34B before surgery/34D after surgery/36C now). This may have to do with the fact that our breasts still grow in our late teens and early 20?s (I didn’t know this one either) and it may have to do with the fact that I had an awesome explanting, thanks to the plastic surgeon who took them out, Dr. Melmed in Dallas, TX.
Although many of my symptoms have disappeared since my implants were removed, I still have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I will live with forever. I give myself an injection once a week to help manage my symptoms and stop joint damage. I am able to work full time now in education and am no longer on disability. I’m now married, and my husband, Danny, has been an influential part of my life post-implants. He happily picks up the slack for me, since I am not able to do things like cook and clean like I would like. He also chose to work for a company with excellent health benefits so I can have the best care and afford the expensive medication I need to have a good quality of life.
The course of my life has been forever changed since I chose to get breast implants. My future health is uncertain. I realize that now are the “good years” and try not to think about how arthritis may change my body in the next 50+ years to come. I focus on the fact that I am lucky to get a second chance at life thanks to getting my implants removed as soon as I realized the implants might be causing my health problems.
If anyone is considering implants or considering having them removed, you can contact Breast Implant Information through firstname.lastname@example.org.