Brittany K.s Story
“For the first year I never felt better and more confident. I loved my new breasts. I loved the confidence I gained by feeling more womanly. I even told friends and clients that they should do this. They should get implants. I boasted about them and how deserving we were of them. I quickly realized something was wrong.”
Brittany’s symptoms began manifesting about one year after implanting and quickly worsened from there. Her symptoms varied in type and severity, including breathing issues, chest pain, anxiety and brain fog. After running multiple tests to determine what was wrong and receiving the same inconclusive result for each test, Brittany knew something needed to change.
Tell us about your explant journey.
Here it is, my story. MY BREAST IMPLANT STORY. The toxic bags of silicone that were killing me, literally.
I make the decision to get breast implants. After pumping and breast feeding for nearly a year I couldn’t think of a better way to gain my confidence back. I am told they are completely safe and encouraged by my surgeon that i am making a great decision.
Life is good!
I love my new breasts .... I have a new found confidence. I love them so much, I would even catch myself staring at my own boobs daily. They were perfect.
After only a couple months of having my implants, I am Diagnosed clinically with capsular contracture in both my breasts. I am assured it’s fine & can be fixed, nothing to worry about. They still look great, they are a bit firm , but hey I’m still in love.
February 2020 (less than a year after getting my implant)
Everything starts feeling “not right” . Pain started in my right breast, accompanied by swelling & loss of feeling partially in my right breast. This pain becomes more and more severe. I insist on having further testing but due to covid I’m on a long wait list.
I finally get an a MRI which shows swollen intramammory lymph node in my right breast. I am immediately sent to the breast health clinic to rule out cancer. I am given an ultrasound and mammogram. I am told I am to be monitored every 6 months for change. No solution or answers to my very painful breast and breathing issues. Or even swelling.
A month later, I started to notice my hair falling out. My fatigue has worsened, my vision feels blurred, I have achy joints and muscles, inflammation, light sensitivity, temperature intolerance and unexplainable headaches that are are almost constant. I have sharp pains shooting through my chest several times a day, the swelling has my breast almost double in size from the other. I am having difficulty breathing and feels like I have pneumonia in my right side of back and chest.
Multiple tests done again. Nothing, other than multiple cysts noted in my right breast which were not noted in previous exams 2 months prior. I am at a loss. I feel like I am dying and I feel like I cannot get help.
I buckle down and start researching. I start reading about breast implant illness and the dangers of breast implants. I check off almost every single symptom. I start researching my implants and I’m brought to a page of women on Facebook who all experience this illness from their breast implants ! I AM NOT ALONE. I am quickly welcomed into this world of women who embrace me and assure me I am not alone & I have support.
After much research in short time I decide to explant. I meet virtually with my surgeon Dr.Nicolaidis. We plan to explant in a couple months time.
My breathing worsens l, I actually think I’m dying and my consult and explant surgery gets bumped up immediately.
February 9th 2021
My Dad and I are headed to Montreal and I am preparing for explant and complete capsulectomy. I am scared, sad, nervous & grateful all at once.
I’m going to go to sleep, and when I wake up, my breasts will be gone.....
I wake up in recovery.
Dr. Nicolaidis confirms that surgery went well. 100% of my capsule is removed from my Body, however it had adhered to my rib cage and had to be cauterized off. A procedure that many surgeons around me were not willing to do because of the added danger. Dr.Nicolaidis also removed a mass from my right breast, above my implant and it has been sent away, along with my capsules to pathology.
From the moment I wake in recovery, my chest and back pain and trouble breathing was instantly gone. My blurry vision was gone. New energy gained. Headaches gone. Burning on chest gone. All instantly. Every day I am getting better and better. Symptoms are disappearing. I am on the road to recovery. I am learning to love myself, and my body, just the way it is.
This is a decision that I made that cost me SO MUCH physically, emotionally and financially.
It is my intention to empower and inform other women with information. I wish I did my research on breast implants & BII & Breast implant Related Cancers. Everybody deserves to know the truth.
JOIN A BII AWARENESS GROUP AND TALK TO REAL WOMEN AND HEAR THEIR STRUGGLES. I WISH I HAD .
What type of implants did you have?
Allergan, natrelle smooth silicone
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr.Stephen Nicolaidis from Montreal Canada
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
Just under 1 year I started really noticing changes in health
What symptoms did you have?
Crushing heat pain (closer to end)
Difficulty breathing deep
Joint and muscle pain
Extreme fatigue and foggy brain
Rashes on my chest
Burning sensation on my skin
Capsular contracture diagnosed on both breasts
Swelling and pain in right breast
Partial loss of feeling and numbness in right breast
Worsened digestive issues
How did breast implants impact your life?
For the first year I never felt better and more confident. I loved my new breasts. I loved the confidence I gained by feeling more womanly. I even told friends and clients that they should do this. They should get implants. I boasted about them and how deserving we were of them. I quickly realized something was wrong. Everything started falling apart 11 months after my augmentation. And it was a downhill spiral very quickly.
What was surgery like for you?
Scary. I was petrified. I had a million questions and emotions. I had started having serious breathing issues. Felt like I had pneumonia In My right side of my chest accompanied by extreme back pain when breathing in and I felt like when I went to bed I wouldn’t wake up. I quickly booked a consult based on reputation in Bii groups with Dr.Nicolaidis for Thursday jan 28th and I explanted 12 days later. I told the office I was seriously concerned about my health and needed these out. I was scared to leave my son without a mom, my husband without a wife. Everything happened really quickly.
How are you doing now, after explant?
I woke up from explant scared. I was concerned about whether we got all the capsule. Am I ok ? What do my breasts look like now? I cried... a lot. But Dr.Nicolaidis came and spoke with me. He explained he removed 100% of the capsule. He removed a mass from my breast as well and that both were sent to pathology. En bloc was performed on left breast but due to capsule adhering to my rib cage en bloc could not be performed on Right breast. But the capsule was entirely removed. My breathing is at 100% no back and chest pain anymore. I feel energized. I feel like I can think clearly , my vision feels better. I’m improving every single day and one by one these symptoms I assumed were just symptoms of stress and motherhood , started improving.
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
Research your surgeon. You are a client and don’t be afraid to ask any questions. My surgeon was kind, caring and extremely compassionate towards my feelings. He also believes in Breast implant illness a d is doing a study on it, so I didn’t feel crazy or alone telling him my story of implants and the negative impact I felt they had on my health. Don’t be afraid to travel. Get the explant down and get it done right the first time around, because you don’t want to repeat another surgery down the road or suffer silently with your symptoms post explant because the capsule wasn’t all removed.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
We can’t change that we weren’t made safe of the risks involved with implants. All we can do is help others become aware so they can make decisions best for them. If I had known the dangers associated with breast implants I would have never got them. Not a chance.