Sara B.'s Story
“I felt like I was dying, and the situation at home was a disaster. My husband worked and took care of our small children all by himself, and I was in bed all the time. One day I decided to google my problems, and suddenly a whole new world showed up.”
Like so many women, Sara’s experience with breast implant illness involved multiple unexplained and debilitating symptoms and visits to the doctor with inconclusive test results. After deciding to Google her symptoms, Sara was shocked to find a whole community of women suffering from the same exact issues.
Tell us about your explant journey.
I did my first surgery when I was 20 years old. By then, I had waited since I was 16 to get the operation due to a very tough teenage period with complex. After my first surgery, I was so happy for my new boobs, but after 6 months, I got my diagnosis with melasma pigmentation on my face, and it was a lot, then I started having problems with hives that I never had before. After a few years, I got pregnant with my firstborn son. Shortly after that, I got pregnant again, and we had our second son. After the kids, I wanted to make another operation to fix what pregnancy did to my breasts. I went up in size to avoid a lift, and the surgeon got me new implants.
After just a few months with the new implants, I started feeling dizzy, and one day I woke up and couldn't move or walk. We called 911 and went to the hospital, where they told me that my left balance nerve got permanently destroyed by a viral infection. After that, I could not walk for weeks and had to use a wheelchair. With the help of a physiotherapist, I was able to train my balance back. After that incident, I started getting sick really often, and it was like I never really got well. During this time, many other symptoms showed up slowly. I was often in pain, the headaches got worse, my skin was dry, I started to lose a lot of hair and it felt like I was getting old even though I was under 30. I went to a Swedish hospital, and they examined me in every way they could and couldn't find anything wrong with me. I felt like I was dying, and the situation at home was a disaster. My husband worked and took care of our small children all by himself, and I was in bed all the time. One day I decided to google my problems, and suddenly a whole new world showed up. I was shocked to hear about BII. I had never heard of it. I read about it for a few weeks, and then I decided to take them out. It was my last chance to get healthy.
I turned to the surgeon who had put in my implants. He was against it at first, but after some time, I got him to help too. He offered me a "special price" and said it was because I was his patient from before. He also promised me to do his best to get the capsules out, and we booked the surgery. I went in for explant surgery, and when I woke up, he told me that he wasn't able to take out my capsules and that he left them.
I felt so disappointed and sad. The whole surgery seemed more like a regular explant without the capsulectomy. I later saw that the surgery I underwent was priced at the same amount I paid on my surgeon's website, which made me feel really swindled. But I was lucky to get better even though my capsules were left in, and I got my life back.
The journey I had with my implants is something I don't wish on anyone, and I'm so grateful for my health today. I'm still in conflict with the clinic for how they acted, and only time will tell who wins that argument. I'm happy now, but I am still scared my capsules will cause more problems in the future. I try to spread the word as much as I can here in Sweden, and I will never give up the fight.
What type of implants did you have?
First time, Mentor 325/350 cc and second time Allergan 615 cc
What surgeon did you explant with?
Said Saidan, Proforma Clinic, Sweden NOT TO RECOMMEND
When did you begin to experience symptoms?
It started with my melasma pigmentation 6 month after my first surgery.
What symptoms did you have?
Always feeling sick
Pain in my body
Ringing sound in my ears
Dry and itching skin
Swollen and sore glands
Sore and burning chest
How did breast implants impact your life?
It turned my world slowly upside down, for a while I was in a wheelchair and I really thought I would die.
What was surgery like for you?
Extremely painful and scary. I would rather give birth again then to go through the pain after an implantation.
How are you doing now, after explant?
It's been two years since my explant and I feel like myself again, it's fantastic!
What would you like women who are considering explant to know?
I would want them to really research before explant so that everything will be done correctly, to make sure everything comes out. With that I mean that they should know about the right method to explant. Many surgeons just want to make money on you, most of them don't care about your health.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I can't think of anything more than to trust your own body, listen to what it tries to tell you.