I’ve always had a very small chest (AA) and a large booty. For most of my adolescent and college life I wanted breast implants to balance out my body, to make my clothes fit better and for general aesthetic reasons. During college, I gained 60lbs and at my heaviest was 200lbs. I made a deal with myself that if I lost the 60lbs and committed to working out every day and eating healthy, I’d get myself breast implants as a reward. A year and a half later, I met my goal and had the surgery.
In the consultation and before the surgery, my surgeon went through the risks and options. We decided on textured, saline implants and went with a very moderate size. I didn’t want to look like I had huge, fake boobs, I just wanted balance. He explained that there were minor risks but that they were extremely rare and I was willing to tackle them in that moment. I was so happy after I had the surgery and haven’t looked back; everything was perfect!
Those breasts lasted me through 4 pregnancies, 4 rounds of breastfeeding and 13 years. I knew it was coming up on time to replace them but kept putting it off due to expense and having small children. Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been having unexplained pain just about everywhere. I’ve been to the doctor. They’ve run blood work, taken ultrasounds, done x-rays. Nothing was found. I’ve been injured in that time and the recovery was anything but normal. My fingers ache, my knees, my back, my neck, my ankles. I wake up in the morning and can barely get out of bed. I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I have no energy, can’t focus, can’t put words together. I have no warning when it happens, it just strikes.
BII (Breast Implant Illness)
A few days ago, I noticed some rippling on the side of one of my breasts. I had an appointment with my primary care for what I thought might be gall bladder pain anyway, so I brought it up and he told me about Breast Implant Illness. I had never heard of it but since that moment, I’ve been inundated with data and personal stories and friends who have friends that have BII. I never imagined I’d be sitting here trying to explain what is happening to my body, but here I am.
If you have breast implants and a myriad of unexplained symptoms, please call your doctor, especially if your implants are 10 years old (majority of BII symptoms are seen around this age). The doctor may put you on anti-inflammatory medicines, immune system boosters and recommend a breast-explant. As horrified as I expected to be about what is about to happen, I am looking forward to feeling normal again once the implants are safely removed.
Have you heard of BII? Share your stories with me in the comments.