Andrea K.'s Story
Andrea’s breast implant illness symptoms manifested nearly immediately after her breast implant surgery and got increasingly worse with time. Insomnia, brain fog, hair loss and memory loss were all attributed to external factors like her job, upcoming wedding and moving, but the symptoms persisted for ten more years. After delivering her son in 2018, Andrea’s health took a turn for the worse, and in March of 2019 she discovered breast implant illness. Three months later she made a decision that would change her life. She decided to explant.
Tell us about your explant journey.
In the summer of 2008, at a young age of 21, I decided that I was going to undergo surgery and have breast implants put in. At the time, I thought this was such a fun and amazing decision. Little did I know this was going to be one of the worst decisions for my health.
After I had surgery within those first two weeks, I immediately gained 10 pounds. I thought the weight gain was either from being on bed rest or from the comfort foods my now-husband was feeding me at the time. I had no idea that it was my body's first sign of rejecting them/not liking them.
In the years after surgery, I started to experience insomnia, anxiety, hair loss, brain fog and memory loss but said they were all due to other things like a stressful job, getting married, moving, etc.
Roughly three years later, my husband and I started trying to conceive, and we had no luck to conceive naturally. I know that infertility is not a symptom of Breast Implant Illness, but after reading more and more stories, I promise you that they must be related.
It wasn't truly until the year 2018 - exactly ten years later that my life flipped upside down. I started to have breast pain in my left implant while I was pregnant with my son and started to have panic attacks. I delivered him in July of 2018, and that's when everything went south. I started to have major panic attacks, insomnia, difficulty swallowing, candida flareups, choking feeling, ringing in ears, inflammation, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and more! We found out that year we were also living in a house with toxic mold. Going through all of this led me to my career as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love being able to help people understand what foods they should be avoiding and what foods they should be including due to their environments and what they've been exposed to.
It wasn't until March of 2019 that I found out about breast implant illness and had my explant in June of 2019. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I no longer have any major symptoms, and my life has forever changed.
To look back to my 21-year-old self, I would love to sit down with her and let her know that she was beautiful the exact way God made her. I would let her know that she didn't need to alter her body in any shape or form to become beautiful. She was already beautiful inside and out.
I share my story time and time again to help women understand what Breast Implant Illness is. Even if I can help change one person's life, sharing my story was worth it.
What type of implants did you have?
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr. Lewis Obi
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
Probably within that year of having them put in. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now looking back it is all very clear.
What symptoms did you have?
Sensitivity to light/sound
Ringing in Ears
Sharp Pains in Breasts
Shortness of Breath
How did breast implants impact your life?
For a long time, I thought that they made my life better - little did I know they were slowly trying to kill me.
What was surgery like for you?
The surgery went well. My surgeon was very experienced, however, the capsule was so connected to my ribs/lung area it came out in pieces on one side. Rather than that everything well wonderful.
How are you doing now, after explant?
I am one-year post-explant and boy oh boy do I feel so much better! Every day I am becoming more like my old self again.
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
If you have a gut feeling that this is what you need to do to help regain your health - please trust your instinct. There is a reason why you found out about Breast Implant Illness, there is a reason why you found out about The Heal is Real, there is a reason why you are reading my story. Just know explant can seem scary but I promise how you come out on the other side is 100% worth it!
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Know that flare-ups come and go after explant and that your symptoms will come back. When they come up during these flare ups they will be less intense and month after month they will start to fade.