Cindy C.'s Story
“I am a retired NPC and IFBB figure competitor. 10 years of my life was based on aesthetics. I felt like I needed breast implants in order to be a successful competitor. However, I now wish I had never gotten them because of the years of pain and suffering they caused me. I am so grateful I went to the right doctor who urged me to get them out in order to heal.”
Cindy began experiencing breast implant illness symptoms within a few months of getting her breast implants. Suffering from fatigue, brain fog, extreme digestive issues, Thyroid disease and so much more, Cindy finally realized that she was dealing with BII when she visited an integrative medicine doctor who introduced her to the illness.
Tell us about your explant journey.
I began having bizarre and unexplained symptoms in February - March of 2013, around 6-7 months after having breast augmentation with silicone implants. Symptoms included excessive fatigue/low energy, flu-like symptoms, brain fog, extreme coldness, insomnia, tingling/numbness in hands/feet, severe headaches, hair falling out, extreme digestive issues. I thought it was a Crohn's flare (diagnosed with severe Crohn's disease in 2011). A functional medicine doctor I went to at the time diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, EBV, cytomegalovirus, rejection of my Crohn's medication. Now I realize I was rejecting my implants. I achieved some relief with his treatment but never felt great. I had emergency surgery in October 2014 to remove over half my colon due to a "Crohn's flare." I've been on every biologic treatment for Crohn's - humira, cimzia, remicade, entyvio, stelara. They all worked for a while and then I started rejecting the meds. Not until I went to an integrative medicine doctor in Clearwater, FL did I realize I had breast implant illness. I had my breast implants removed December 14, 2020 and discovered that my left implant was ruptured...it had turned a horrible green color! No telling how long it had been ruptured! It's only been a little over a month since my surgery but so many of my symptoms have already disappeared or improved. No neck or back pain, no headaches, no tingling/numbness, improved sleep, improved energy, improved digestion to name a few.
What type of implants did you have?
Initially saline (placed in 2003), replaced with Mentor silicone (2012)
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr Robert Chandler - Memphis, TN
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
6-7 months after silicone implants
What symptoms did you have?
Excessive fatigue/low energy
Tingling/numbness in hands/feet
Hair falling out
Extreme digestive issues
How did breast implants impact your life?
I am a retired NPC and IFBB figure competitor. 10 years of my life was based on aesthetics. I felt like I needed breast implants in order to be a successful competitor. However, I now wish I had never gotten them because of the years of pain and suffering they caused me. I am so grateful I went to the right doctor who urged me to get them out in order to heal.
What was surgery like for you?
I was SO ready to have the surgery! No fear, no anxiety, no apprehension about what I was going to look like afterwards. Just so ready to feel better. The first few days were rough but once I got the drains out, my healing and health improved daily. I'm a little over one month from my surgery and I have completely returned to everything I was doing prior to surgery...working, exercising, etc. No limitations!
How are you doing now, after explant?
SO MUCH BETTER! Many of my symptoms have completely disappeared or drastically improved.
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
Please explant. It will be the best decision for your health, I promise! And be kind with yourself and give yourself grace. Love your body no matter what!
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Thank you so much for creating awareness! So extremely grateful for your platform!