Ashley H.'s Story
“Within a few hours of my recovery, the whites of my eyes could be seen, and the ocular inflammation was down. I no longer had any heart palpitations & the fever was miraculously GONE. Within a few weeks the joint pain was completely gone, and I was no longer hunched over scooting to the bathroom like a 90-year-old woman. My skin color changed. I could take a deep breath again.
Within a year, all my symptoms are gone. ALL OF THEM.”
Tell us about your explant journey.
What a year it has been. This time last year I felt I was on my death bed. I tried to “fake it till you make it” for soooo long. I spent over $20K at least in medical costs from surgeries to doctor visits to blood work and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I saw all sorts of MD's...primary, urgent care, ER, cardiology, hematology, oncology, gynecology, etc. I had multiple labs, hormones tested, EKG's, halter monitors, Chest X-ray, Echo, Ultrasounds, you name it. The doctors had no clue. One said I may have cancer, and another said I needed to go to a therapist because it was probably just “anxiety”.
I had heart palpitations, a fever for over 6 months of unknown origin, complete fatigue as I was in my bed more than anywhere else. I couldn’t move without feeling like my feet were broken & hips would shatter. I had such brain fog and I felt I wasn’t putting my sentences together. My hair was falling out, memory loss, new food intolerances, recurrent sicknesses, vision changes worsening, weight gain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, depression and more. A total of 27 symptoms to be exact.
It started 21 years ago as a “flat chested” aerobics instructor decided I wanted to feel more feminine. I was teaching 23 fitness classes a week, all muscle and didn't feel very "pretty". Sadly, I fell victim to the societal beliefs that I needed "boobs" to be beautiful. I didn't do a ton of research but went to the doctor where everyone else at work went to. At 25 years old, I didn't know what questions to ask and just nodded my head. Whatever you say doctor. I was ready to feel like a real woman. The Dr. placed the implants behind the muscle. The recovery was awful and he “stretched me as far as he could with my athletic figure”, he said. But it was all worth it, right? They did exactly what I wanted them to do. I thought at the time they gave me “confidence” and I felt more like a woman with curves. I continued to teach aerobics for the next 10 years without any real issues. At least maybe I didn't realize some were lingering. You know, those symptoms you think are "normal" as you age over the next 18 years.... temperature intolerances, hair loss, dry skin, sharp pains in breast, autoimmune symptoms like muscle pain, inflammation, IBS, just to name a few. But normal right?
In 2016, I was experiencing some additional chest pain, breast pain and some hardening, along with those continued "getting older symptoms" such as vision changes and fatigue. I had a consult with another local plastic surgeon, as mine had retired, and it sounded like an easy surgery. In & out boom. And that's exactly what happened. It was easiest surgery ever with very little pain. He did confirm there was encapsulation in both implants, so he replaced them with new ones.
But that has now all come with a cost.... the new implants didn’t make anything better. In fact, I became worse. My health had been deteriorating for the last 20 years and especially the last two. Lucky Gary.
I became SO SICK of being SICK. I then came across a friend of mine, Akemi Fisher's, random post in my FB newsfeed one day (I still think it’s a God thing) and seeing her face that day... it reminded me of her own story when she had taken out her implants several years ago. At the time I thought she was “crazy”.....it definitely couldn’t be implants making her sick! The procedure she had is called “explantation with en bloc encapsulation”. I started to do my own research.
Could THESE implants be the reason I'm sick? Why wouldn't they? Did you know there are over 40 chemicals used in making an implant? 8 are neurotoxins and 4 are carcinogens. YUK!!! It makes me sick just reading the list. Your immune system goes in to override to protect itself when you have a foreign invader sitting right on top of your heart, lungs, lymph nodes for all those years. And then on top of that the capsule that forms around this foreign object is what is causing even more symptoms! Any plastic surgeon can take out the implants but SO many leave the capsule inside. That’s what is making many women continue to be sick.
Once I found & joined one of many incredible FB groups on called Breast Implant Illness. Who knew that was really a thing? I discovered TEN of my friends were on there too. WHAT?!!! I ended up going down a rabbit hole reading some of the over 91K women of that page (now there are 127K) having the SAME if not, similar symptoms I was having. I contacted the 10 friends and learned 2 had already explants and felt immediate relief after surgery. Their symptoms have gone away!! The other 8 are planning their surgeries or doing more research of their own to have an explant. I was in shock! I also learned from that group that only a couple dozen physicians in the country were doing the full en bloc procedure, so I made sure I found the best! Dr. Dev from AquaPlasticSurgery is THE BEST! That entire practice is so good in fact, a few of them don’t even do implants anymore because they know the dangers it is causing to women. People were flying in from other countries for these guys…I knew they were my people. I knew this was worth taking a chance on. Was I scared this may not be the reason I was sick? Heck yeah. But I was willing to take the risk & after reading all the stories, including my friends’ testimonies, I had to get these implants out.
The wait was long, but it was exactly ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, Oct. 25th, 2019, that I feel like I began living again. It took 5 hours to get the capsule out of my armpits, chest, ribs, etc. It was invading my body and I’m so thankful he got 100% of it all out! (I even have the video of him inspecting the implants /capsule after if anyone wants to see it) He provides his patients with these to show you the job was done & put your mind at ease.
Within a few hours of my recovery, the whites of my eyes could be seen, and the ocular inflammation was down. I no longer had any heart palpitations & the fever was miraculously GONE. Within a few weeks the joint pain was completely gone, and I was no longer hunched over scooting to the bathroom like a 90-year-old woman. My skin color changed. I could take a deep breath again.
Within a year, all my symptoms are gone. ALL OF THEM.
The FDA has admitted that ALL breast implants can cause BIA-ALCL cancer as well as autoimmune disorder symptoms – something my original plastic surgeons failed to ever follow up on with me.
If you already have implants, not everyone will be sick, but I do encourage you to stay informed & do your own research. Don’t assume the “symptoms” you may experience are related to getting older. If you don’t have implants but are considering them, please look within and I pray you can learn to love your beautiful body..the one God perfectly designed for you. Even if the "girls" are a “little off” or “uneven” or small. It took me 21 years to realize that there is more to life than we what look like on the outside. Isn't that what we always tell our kids that? I do not regret this decision for a second. I feel 1000% better!
So there it is....this is probably the scariest, most awkward post I have ever done. The more I thought about it though...it shouldn’t be private. Some women out there are hurting like I was and I’m so thankful Akemi shared her story, so I can now share mine. The Heal is Real ya’ll. If it can help just ONE woman or friend out there then this post served its purpose. Please share with anyone you know that may need to hear this.
Now I'm going to go hide under my covers for the day!
What type of implants did you have?
Both. Saline 1999 Silicone 2016
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr. Dev with Aqua Plastics/Jupiter & Miami
What was surgery like for you?
A great experience with Dr. Dev. His nurse Beatrice came to my AirbNB and took great care of me until I traveled home. As a RN I appreciated his concern & taking care of me like a family member. I see many MD's burned out or treating you like a # and that wasn't the case with this practice.
How are you doing now, after explant?
Living life...feeling free :)