Breast implants are the most popular form of plastic surgery in the United States. Katie Krug’s followed a botched breast reduction.
“There were quite a few people that asked me when I was in a bathing suit if I had open heart surgery, so it was something that I was really self-conscious about,” said Krug. […]
“About a year later is when I started noticing some really small symptoms. I was tired a lot more, started having some brain fog, started being really sensitive to smells, and then it just seemed like every year it got worse,” said Krug. […]
Both women say they went to doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong, all while new symptoms were developing. […] and after doing some research found a Facebook group of 35,000 women, all claiming similar symptoms.
The women in the group believe they are suffering or had suffered from something being called breast implant illness, although experts say it’s a symptomatic reaction rather than an actual disease. […]
Miller and Krug consulted with a local plastic surgeon who performs explants and had theirs removed. They say they immediately started feeling better. […]
[…] The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says around 550,000 women last year received breast implants, but the FDA published a report this year linking a rare cancer to the implants.
So far, there have been 359 reported cases globally, including nine deaths.
The risk is low, but one in 30,000 women with implants could develop it, including one patient who says she is battling the disease and her insurance company, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.
Kimra Rogers was shocked to find a tumor under her arm. […]
Then she learned it was cancer, possibly connected to the cosmetic breast implants she’d had put in 17 years ago. […]
It’s called breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer the FDA says can develop following breast implants, something doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have been studying for five years.
“This is a type of lymphoma. It is not a breast cancer. It’s actually a cancer that develops in the scar tissue around a breast implant,” said Dr. Mark Clemens. […]
But insurance companies don’t always agree to pay. Rogers says her insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, denied payment for removal of her implants three times, telling her it was a contract exclusion because her implants were cosmetic. […]
But Dr. Clemens said, “We can’t wait months or years till an insurance company say, ‘okay, we’re gonna cover it.'” […]
But if you notice any changes in the implants or your breasts, such as swelling, head to your doctor’s office as soon as possible to have any problems checked out.
As a former Playboy Playmate of the Year, her career is built on beauty and fitness, but McDougal says her health deteriorated to the point she felt like she was going to die.
In January, McDougal made the decision to explant & have her breast implants removed.
McDougal says she battled health problems – issues she now believes stemmed from her implants — for more than a decade. Her health issues began eight years after she got her implants. McDougal said she would get sick for six to eight weeks at a time, get better for a month or two and then get sick again.
It became a running joke among McDougal’s family and friends that she was the “healthiest sick person.”
For a decade, doctors failed to diagnose the cause of her sickness. She said one doctor told her she was suffering from depression. Another told her that her implants looked great there was no need to replace them. […]
I talked to Dr. Diana Zuckerman, the president of the National Center for Health Research in Washington, D.C. She has a long history on breast implant safety.
“From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Zuckerman worked as a Congressional staffer in the U.S. Congress, working for the House subcommittee that has oversight jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the FDA,” according to her biography on BreastImplantInfo.org. “She was responsible for more than a dozen Congressional investigations and hearings on a wide range of health issues, including the first Congressional hearings on breast implants. It was Dr. Zuckerman’s congressional investigation of breast implants that first raised questions about the lack of safety data, which led to the FDA requiring safety studies of silicone gel implants in 1991. When the companies did not provide evidence that implants are safe, the FDA restricted their availability in 1992.”
Zuckerman said many studies over the years have been funded by organizations representing plastic surgeons and implant makers, all of which have a financial interest in making implants look safe.
She says the companies and organizations sometimes help shape studies with results that are not scientifically valid.
Zuckerman also said some studies might have been manipulated in a number of ways.
“I’ve spoken with some of the women in some of the studies who said as soon as they started complaining to their plastic surgeon about how sick they were feeling, suddenly they stopped hearing from the plastic surgeon about coming in to continue the study,” she said. “Suddenly, they weren’t in the study anymore. One very effective way to have studies proving that a product is safe is to just get rid of the patients in the study who aren’t feeling well — just stop talking to them and stop asking them how they are.”
Zuckerman said there are additional problems with some studies, including basing data on hospital records when most symptoms of chronic illnesses, such as fatigue and hair loss, do not require hospital stays. Also, many studies are done over short periods of time, between two and five years after the implant surgery, when illness may not start showing until several years later.
Zuckerman says if a woman decides to have her implants removed, there is a specific procedure. The implants must be removed with the scar tissue that forms around each implant, the capsule, still in place.
Crystal Hefner, formerly Crystal Harris and the 30-year-old Playboy model and wife of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, announced the recent removal of her breast implants by […] sharing a post on Facebook that began, “My Breast Implants Slowly Poisoned Me.” She rattles off a litany of health problems that she says she suffered from the implants such as:
Intolerance to foods and beverages
Unexplained back pain
Constant neck and shoulder pain
Cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss)
Stunted hair growth
Burning bladder pain
Problems with thyroid and adrenals
Days when she couldn’t get out of bed
She explains that at first she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and toxic mold, but then learned via social media that her symptoms resembled “breast implant illness.”
After visiting a breast implant illness website and Facebook group with almost 3,000 members, she realized that her symptoms matched. On June 15th, 2016, plastic surgeon Dr Lu-Jean Feng removed Hefner’s breast implants. […] Her Facebook post continues: ”Instantly I noticed my neck and shoulder pain was gone and I could breathe much better. I know I won’t feel 100% overnight. My implants took 8 years to make me this sick, so I know it will take time to feel better. I also have other illnesses to address, but with the toxic bags removed, my immune system can focus on what it needs to.” […]
Chloe Tejada, The Huffington Post Canada: July 21, 2016
[…]On Tuesday, Crystal Hefner posted an update to her social media accounts, revealing to her fans that she removed her breast implants after they caused several major health problems and bad side effects. […]
“My Breast Implants Slowly Poisoned Me,” she titled her post. “Intolerance to foods and beverages, unexplained back pain, constant neck and shoulder pain, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), stunted hair growth, incapacitating fatigue, burning bladder pain, low immunity, recurring infections and problems with my thyroid and adrenals,” she wrote. Hefner went on to explain that symptoms started a few years ago but she ignored them, despite the fact that she was not feeling well.
“The aches, the bladder pain, brain fog, fatigue. I ignored it, labeling myself a hypochondriac, despite truly worrying that there was something wrong with me. I joked about losing my memory to age, and about getting ‘lazy.'”
As the negative side effects worsened, her work as a model and DJ suffered […]
After announcing that she had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and toxic mold, commenters said her symptoms were similar to the effects of those suffering from Breast Implant Illness.
She became a patient at The Lu-Jean Feng Clinic in Ohio, where, after discussing it with Dr. Lu-Jean Feng, she had her implants removed.
“Instantly I noticed my neck and shoulder pain was gone and I could breathe much better,” she wrote about how she felt after the surgery. “I know I won’t feel 100% overnight. My implants took 8 years to make me this sick, so I know it will take time to feel better. I also have other illnesses to address, but with the toxic bags removed, my immune system can focus on what it needs to.” […]
Here’s to wishing Crystal a safe, and healthy recovery.
Actress Stephanie March, best known for playing an assistant district attorney on “Law & Order: SVU,” has opened up about a dangerous reaction she experienced after undergoing breast augmentation.
March, 41, described the episode in a candid essay she wrote for Refinery29. The actress said she decided to have the surgery during a painful time in her life — her split from her then-husband, chef Bobby Flay. […]
March wrote that just two months after the surgery she experienced complications and learned her right implant was infected and the seams of her scar on her right side had burst. Her surgeon removed the implant and sent her to an infectious disease doctor.
“I [had] a hole in my breast for 6 weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics. I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall,” March wrote.
March said she came to the conclusion that her complication was not something anyone could have prevented but that, “I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple. My body did. Not. Want. Them. I kept trying to ‘fix’ my body, and it kept telling me to leave it alone.”
The actress, whose divorce from Flay was finalized in July 2015, ultimately had her implants removed. […]
March told ABC News in a statement she is “overwhelmed” and “very moved” by the “positive reaction” to her article.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief women’s health correspondent, said today on “Good Morning America” that even common plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation are “not without complications.”
“You need to know about these possible complications and they do differ based on the type of implant used, the approach used, the incision and generally the skill and the expertise of the surgeon, although these can happen with the best surgical technique,” Ashton said, adding that March noted in her Refinery29 article she did not blame her own surgeon.
Ashton recommends that patients ask their doctor the following three questions before undergoing plastic surgery: Are you board-certified in plastic surgery? How many of these operations you do per year? What is your complication rate?
“If you think that having cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, it’s not,” Ashton added. “And there’s no such thing as minor surgery. You get a complication, it becomes major real fast.”
The mammogram technician added it’s more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breasts when a woman has implants, to which Dickinson replied, “Take them out! Take them out, cut them out! Just take them out now!” Luckily, she doesn’t need to undergo a mastectomy, and instead will begin radiation treatments next week. If she had to do it all over again, Dickinson said she “would have never gotten breast implants in the first place. […]
Though breast implants do not appear to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, there may be a link between implants and an increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). In 90 percent of breast cancer cases, women find a breast lump themselves and bring it to the attention of their doctor. With implants, it can be a little more difficult to recognize changes in the breasts. According to one study, 55 percent of breast tumors were missed in women with implants compared to 33 percent of tumors in women without them. […]
For women worried that a mammogram will damage their implants, Bevers said not to worry: The benefits of a mammogram far outweigh any small risk of implant damage. But if women do have them, they should tell their clinician so that it’s easier for them to spot any unusual changes that may be taking place. Regardless of implants, though, the best defense against breast cancer is to be familiar with your breasts and to attend screenings regularly.
Overall, Dickinson herself doesn’t plan on slowing down. It’s not a “big pity party,” she said. “I am living and I am happy.”
Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press: December 5, 2005
Breast implants in women who have undergone mastectomies often result in complications that require more surgery, a study in Denmark found.
Over a period of up to four years, about one-third developed at least one potentially serious complication, including thick, tight scarring and infections, the researchers reported. Implant ruptures were rare, with only five reported among the 574 Danish women studied.
Overall, about 20 percent of the women studied required surgery to treat the problems, according to the study by Danish Cancer Society researchers and scientists at the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md.
One surgeon said in an accompanying editorial that the numbers are “alarmingly high and arguably unacceptable.”
The study appears in the December issue of Archives of Surgery. It was paid for by the institute, which receives funding from the Dow Corning Corp., a former maker of silicone breast implants.
Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, said the complication rate for implants in mastectomy patients is actually much higher than the study suggests.
Most participants got implants several weeks after breast removal surgery, whereas most U.S. mastectomy patients who choose implants get them when their breasts are removed, Zuckerman said. That method, involving a single round of surgery, is often easier psychologically because women wake up from their mastectomies with refashioned breasts, but it is also more stressful on the body, she said.
Also, she said the participants in the study did not undergo MRI scans, which are the best way to detect ruptures.
“This study is really missing the boat,” said Zuckerman, whose group has opposed efforts to return silicone implants to the market.
All of the women studied got implants, most of them made of silicone.
Silicone implants have been restricted in the United States for over a decade because of fears that ruptures and leakage might damage women’s health. But some mastectomy patients have continued to receive them.
The American Cancer Society estimates more than 200,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. At least half will have mastectomies, and Zuckerman said about two-thirds of those patients choose some type of reconstructive surgery. […]
As a kid, Kacey Long would escape her hometown of Ennis, Texas, by imagining herself as a professional businesswoman. […]
At 19, Long decided to get breast implants. “I was all about doing anything I could to improve myself,” she says. […]
In 2003, almost 336,000 teens 18 or younger had some kind of cosmetic surgery or procedure, a 50% increase over 2002.
Patient-safety advocates believe that many of the teens having surgery are unnecessarily putting themselves at risk of injury or even death. Teens face different obstacles in making a decision like this, experts say. They are often insecure and naive about medical risks. And they literally are not always finished growing up.
Plastic surgery, like any surgery, can go wrong, as it did for Long. […]
Although research has not proved that implants can cause serious diseases, Long says she has been diagnosed with systemic silicone poisoning from the shells surrounding the saline implants, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. […]
Nobody tracks deaths or injuries caused by plastic surgery, but one study found that one in 50,000 liposuction surgery patients die. […]
“The big problem with adolescents is they are being operated on at the most tumultuous time in their bodies. They may not recognize the permanence of what they’re doing,” says David Sarwer, a psychologist at the Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. […]
“You’re not going to have too many plastic surgeons saying you don’t really need this,” says Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families. “Once you get in the door, of course, the doctors are saying everything they can to persuade you to have surgery.”
Zuckerman wants rules to protect girls from plastic surgery.
“Breast implants are not approved for anyone under 18, but any doctor can perform the surgery legally,” she says. “I’d like to see the American Society of Plastic Surgeons have a policy saying we think our doctors shouldn’t do this onanyone under 18.”
Experts disagree on whether teens are too young for surgeries such as breast augmentation.
Zuckerman says girls should be encouraged to develop more before having surgery. “A lot of teens gain weight during their freshman year in college,” she says. “If they had just waited a few years, they might have been less flat-chested.[…]
Jennifer Moore had been “very, very conscious” of her bust size for years, and this summer the 24-year-old decided to do something about it. It cost her $6,000 and a few days of pain and swelling, but the woman who was a 32A is now a 34C, thanks to her new breast implants.
“I just love how it looks, and my boyfriend really does, too,” said Moore, a sales clerk from Frederick. “My mom said that if she was my age again, she’d do it, too.” […]
At first slowly, and now quite eagerly, many American women have turned to the saltwater-filled alternative to silicone implants. The two breast implant manufacturers in the United States recently reported record sales and profits for their spring quarters, and cosmetic plastic surgeons say the operation has reached a level of social acceptance unimaginable not many years ago. And not only are more women choosing implants, but they are choosing ever-larger models — from an average of 250 cubic centimeters in the 1980s to about 350 cubic centimeters today.
But some public health advocates and physicians remain alarmed about implants of all types — especially now, with their resurgent popularity. Additional research, they say, has confirmed that planting a device in a woman’s breast can cause serious, predictable and often costly complications, and they say the FDA is not providing American women the information and protection they need.
The most recent data presented to the FDA showed, for instance, that almost one-quarter of all cosmetic saline, or saltwater-filled, breast implants will need to be followed by another operation within five years, and that few implants can be expected to last more than 10 years. Studies have also found significant levels of internal infection, hardening of the tissue around the implanted device and implant leakage and deflation.
“This is a cosmetic operation with serious health consequences, and the FDA is just not treating it with the seriousness it requires,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families and a longtime critic of the breast implant industry. “The benefits are so small compared to the very real risks, so it should be getting more scrutiny, not less.” […]