Karrie Q.'s Story
“We all have a different healing journey. Please try not to compare yourself to others, and release all expectations. Reach out to other women that are entering their explant journey so you can offer each other support through the process. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and authentic. We are in this together.”
In 2019, Karrie was exposed to toxic mold and her health rapidly declined from there. Counting over 30 symptoms, she knew she needed to listen to her intuition and begin researching. During her research, Karrie came across a community of women who faced the same issues as her - the breast implant illness community. Immediately diagnosing herself with BII, Karrie was determined to reclaim her health and her life.
Tell us about your explant journey.
This is the most authentic and vulnerable experience I’ve ever had the courage to share, but if I can help at least one woman, it will be worth it. It is my job to serve others.
One year ago, I had an elective surgery to remove my breast implants. For many years I experienced random symptoms, with no explanation. After toxic mold exposure in summer 2019, my health went on a rapid downward spiral. By October 2019, I counted over 30 symptoms. When I finally listened to my intuition and dug deep into research, I came across a large community of women that were facing the same issues with their health. I quickly self-diagnosed with breast implant illness. My body was in constant fight or flight mode for nearly 13 years, it could no longer hold up in this battle with these toxic foreign objects inside my chest, where they rest over vital organs.
I started off 2020 with a plan and commitment to reclaim my health and wellness. I was prepared to do whatever I had to do to be ME again. On March 3, 2020, I had breast explant surgery with a full Enbloc Capsulectomy. One hour post-op, I noticed that some of my symptoms were already gone. The whites of my eyes were white, my vision wasn’t blurred, my skin wasn’t dry, I had no vertigo, I didn’t feel fatigued or irritable. I knew I made the right decision to remove my implants.
One month post explant, I began to look at my reflection with more love an acceptance than I ever imagined was possible. I will wear these scars with pride, as a reminder of self-forgiveness, because that is what self love looks like to me now. I have a forever reminder never to lose light of what’s important, my health.
I am not against plastic surgery, but I am pro health. It is a woman’s right to know what ingredients are in breast implants so they can make a well informed and educated decision for themselves. I place zero judgement on a woman if she wants implants or has implants and loves them. I just feel called to share my story as an advocate for other women, in case they too have unexplained symptoms.
I chose to lift my veil so I can see myself clearly.
I chose to remove my mask so others can see me just as I am.
What type of implants did you have?
Smooth saline, 220cc under the muscle
What surgeon did you explant with?
Dr. Dev Vibhakar
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
Five months, but I was in denial
What symptoms did you have?
Shooting pains across my chest wall and underarms
Foul body odor
Metallic taste in mouth
Dry eyes, skin & hair
Irritability & mood swings
Ringing in ears
Tender and swollen lymph nodes
Sudden food sensitivities
Slow muscle recovery
Tingling in feet
Flu like symptoms
Constant stomach bloat and fluid retention
Acne, chronic inflammation
Unexplained recurring pregnancy loss
How did breast implants impact your life?
Breast implants severely reduced the quality of my life. I was too exhausted to live life to the fullest for nearly 13 years.
What was surgery like for you?
Surgery was a complete blessing, it set me free. I had soreness on my rib cage for several weeks from the removal of the capsules. In addition to the discomfort around my ribs, the drains and compression bra were uncomfortable, but that only lasted one week.
My body had a huge sigh of relief as soon as the implants were removed, and that made any discomfort I experienced more easily tolerable.
How are you doing now, after explant?
I feel pretty great overall!
By allowing my body the time to heal and recover slowly, I felt pretty good around 4-6 weeks after. The hardest part for me has been the detox. I still experience waves of detox, but I face them as a reminder that my body is still healing internally. The heal is definitely real.
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
Please do your research on surgeons. Not every surgeon understands the importance of removing the entire capsule.
We all have a different healing journey. Please try not to compare yourself to others, and release all expectations. Reach out to other women that are entering their explant journey so you can offer each other support through the process. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and authentic. We are in this together.
I would also like to mention how important it is to establish a regular self-care routine prior to your explant. Focus on your heart and self-love, because some women have a hard time finding acceptance of their natural body. Heal from the inside. Know your worth. Forgive yourself. Give yourself grace.