Jackie got her breast implants on a whim in her early twenties, but after having children she knew that she needed to remove them. Chronic fatigue, vertigo, depression, hypothyroidism and brain fog are just a few of the issues she dealt with over her 11 years of having implants, but it wasn’t until reading women’s stories that Jackie was convinced that breast implant illness was the root of her health problems.
Tell us about your explant journey.
I got my implants when I was 20 years old on a whim. I didn't put much thought into my health or long term consequences or upkeep of my implants. I enjoyed having implants in my early 20s, but eventually, I started suffering from health issues such as chronic fatigue, hypothyroidism, infertility, vertigo, brain fog, chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack symptoms, skin rashes, anxiety and depression.
After I finally got pregnant and had both of my children, I knew that I wanted my implants removed. I learned about BII, and after having my implants for 11 years, I knew I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting them removed. I'm now four months post explant and feel so much better! I would say 90% of my symptoms have resolved. I still have hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue, but I know that it will take the longest to heal. Those symptoms developed the same year I got my implants, and I've had them the longest.
What type of implants did you have?
Mentor 350cc Saline, under the muscle
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr Steely in Houston, TX
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
That same year, 2009
What symptoms did you have?
Hypothyroidism (diagnosed several years later, but have lab values to show hypothyroidism the same year I got my implants)
Shortness of breath
How did breast implants impact your life?
I was excited when I got them even though they felt too big for my body. I liked them for a few years, but then when I became pregnant and a mom, I felt super self-conscious of them. They were way too big for me, and I was disgusted by them. I knew after I had my second son that I wanted them removed. This was even before I learned about BII. I think my intuition was trying to tell me they were making me sick.
What was surgery like for you?
Getting implants and explanting were both relatively easy for me. I recovered well both times. I think getting the implants was harder to recover from than explanting. I also just had an explant (no lift, or fat transfer).
How are you doing now, after explant?
I feel great! I'm optimistic and hopeful for the future! I feel like I have my life back and I love the way my smaller chest fits my frame.
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
To do your own research and follow your intuition. It took me two years to finally explant after learning about BII. I was skeptical at first, but after reading so many women's stories that were just like mine really hit home for me. The medical community doesn't acknowledge our suffering. There are too many women experiencing the same thing for this not to be real.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Yes, I'd like to thank you for helping women during this challenging time and for making us feel validated.