Anna B.'s Story
“The health problems crept up on me and I ended up spending most days crying myself to sleep in pain and suicidal because I didn't understand what was making me so poorly. I tried lots of diet and lifestyle changes and nothing would help so I started looking into breast implant illness & knew it was the answer. Being so poorly really knocked my mental health into the gutter, and I felt like a 90 year old lady in a 28 year old's body.”
Anna began experiencing breast implant illness symptoms around 2 years after she implanted, and progressed from brain fog and fatigue to symptoms like hair loss and blurred vision. Her BII symptoms got so bad that she began to average only 5 good days a month.
Tell us about your explant journey.
I got my 375cc round silicone implants in 2016 to boost my confidence and to "fix" my slightly tubular breasts. I felt amazing for the first 2 years but slowly started to develop multiple symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, joint pain, low libido, constant sinus infections & UTIs, night sweats, physical pain, numbness & tingling in my limbs, hair loss, blurred vision, headaches & nausea etc. I explanted in August 2020 & felt almost instantly better. 6 months on, my hair is growing back in, I don't feel constantly sick or exhausted anymore, & I haven't had a single UTI, coldsore or sinus infection since my explant surgery. I fully believe that my implants were the reason for my ill health, as I'd always been healthy before that & never used to get sick, but it got to the point where I only felt well for maybe 5 days a month. The rest of the month, I was either poorly or recovering from being poorly. Since explanting, my breasts have retained a rounder shape than I had before, & my scars have healed really nicely & add the illusion of "underboob" so I'm happy with my new, implant-free breasts, but I wish I'd been able to love my body without having to undergo 2 surgeries!
What type of implants did you have?
375cc round silicone from Motiva
What surgeon did you explant with?
Mr Guy Sterne, West Midlands Hospital
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
Approx. 2 years
What symptoms did you have?
Constant sinus infections
Numbness & tingling in my limbs
Headaches & nausea
Sensitivity to light
How did breast implants impact your life?
They boosted my confidence for the first two years - I felt less self conscious & was able to explore my taste in fashion more. I always hated the attention they got from men, though, & I'd always try to keep them covered up to avoid being stared at. The health problems crept up on me and I ended up spending most days crying myself to sleep in pain & suicidal because I didn't understand what was making me so poorly. I tried lots of diet and lifestyle changes and nothing would help so I started looking into breast implant illness & knew it was the answer. Being so poorly really knocked my mental health into the gutter, and I felt like a 90 year old lady in a 28 year old's body.
What was surgery like for you?
I was expecting it to be painful but I had no pain, other than a bit of a bad back as soon as I woke up, but that was down to the angle I'd been lying at. I had a few issues with my blood sugar in the first week which made me feel a bit poorly for a while, but the surgery itself went really well and I healed nicely and with no complications.
How are you doing now, after explant?
Really, really well! I have more energy, I can eat food without bloating up or feeling sick, and it all tastes incredible again rather than like cardboard. My brain is sharper again and I'm able to stay awake and alert all day again now. I've had the occasional detox wave where I break out in spots over my face and chest and smell a bit strange, but it passes and I feel even better once it has. Explanting has given me my life back again & given me a new outlook on life and my body!
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
Don't be afraid, you can do this! Listen to your surgeon and follow the aftercare advice, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't worry about doing any fancy or complicated cleanses, detoxes etc. your body will do that for you. Your boobs might look fantastic or awful just after your surgery - don't get used to them, as mine didn't start to look "done" until the 2 month mark, and they've changed since then as well! Don't compare your progress to anyone else online, you'll heal in your own way and in your own time. The relief that you feel once you wake up will make the whole journey to explanting worth it!
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
This experience has left me quite anti-plastic surgery. I still support everyone's right to access cosmetic surgery, but I would always try to talk someone out of any unnecessary procedures now.