Ramblings- from "itty bitty titties" to explant... Part I - Big BUST Bliss

July 8, 2019

Have you ever heard of the term  "explant"? 

 

I had never heard of the term explant, until 2018, but now I don't go one day without hearing it. I want to share what I've been experiencing for a decade, so that maybe it will reach one of my friends and open their eyes the way mine were opened. 

 

In a twisted way, I am privileged to now belong to a unique group of women, maybe millions of women, whose main goal is to pursue explant because they suffer from health issues caused by their breast implants. I've heard that it's now a fad to get implants OUT. There does seem to be an onslaught of talk about the health risks lately. AND sometimes it seems that we don't actually notice what is going on around us, until it is somehow related to us. Wouldn't you agree?  

 

There are so many causes to get behind. So many fundraisers in the community. So many gofundme requests to help individuals with issues. It's tough to be in a position where I cannot donate to all. In fact, my time is already pretty dedicated to a few things that need my attention daily, so it is hard to squeeze in other causes. First and foremost, is my family, which drives me and my work from home business income.  Secondly, my personal health, in which I am involved in mental health and veteran communities and also dictates what and how much I can handle in my family, business and extracurricular life. AND to be honest, I've been really tired and lethargic for quite some time, so just getting through the daily grind is taxing. 

 

So EXPLANT... I'm a word nerd, so bear with me...the dictionary definition of explant is to take living material from an animal or plant and place it in a culture medium. I had never thought and don't think that my breast implants could be living material. They are little man-made silicone or saline filled silicone shells. However, anytime you take a foreign or man-made item and place it inside any body, it must assimilate. Heck, our bodies reject living human tissue and organs all the time so I can only imagine placing a man-made object. Even my earrings irritate my ears if they are coated in cheap metal, so we do react to all kinds of materials and toxins.  I think that this definition of explant will take on a new meaning in the plastic surgery world soon. A little bit about that assimilation in a minute. 

 

Gonna cut right to the chase. In 1994, I just wanted boobs. I was a size A cup.

Who remembers this catchy phrase? 

 

"We must, we must, we must increase our bust

The bigger the better,

The tighter the sweater,

They boys depend on us"

 

 

I didn't want to be president of the "Itty Bitty Titty Committee" anymore. I wanted to be in the big boobie club. You know, the clubs that get you out of speeding tickets, the ones that men pay attention to in the bars, the ones that fill out those cute outfits, sexy bras, and bathing suits, the ones that other women look at and secretly wish they were blessed with. I really thought there was a special club. Sounds very superficial, but I often I felt like I was invisible. Like I could go from brunette to blonde and my life would change. Padded bra technology wasn't really a big thang then. I mean, I was an expert and could take ordinary shoulder pads (thank goodness they were in style then) and make a rack, but I wanted real cleavage. So I cashed in my savings bonds that I purchased in the Navy and went shopping...

 

What the one and only plastic surgeon that I consulted with told me, was that to implant (def: to insert or graft (a tissue, organ, or inert substance) into the body) while it would make my breasts larger, that they wouldn't look like the picture I brought him from the Playboy magazine. He also told me I needed to lose weight (I was actually an ideal weight of 165 for my height of 5'8".)  However, with my wide chest, I felt that they would make me feel more proportional. In reality, I felt that it was going to give me more confidence and perhaps not feel so invisible. I was going from an A cup to a C cup. Not like porn boobs. The only thing I was worried about in 1994, was what others might think of me. It never crossed my mind that I could get very sick. 


What the surgeon didn't tell me was that they may rupture, or that I may get sick and be in a lot of pain. I don't recall him saying that my implants would need to be replaced every 7-10 years due to loss of integrity or shell disintegration, or that I could get chronic toxicity symptoms from the myriad of ingredients actually found in implants.  Oh, the ingredients that are in the implants are vast, but here is my friend Christina's blog (Thanks Christina for being a warrior in this) and a list of materials/toxins found ON implant shells that have been taken out. These were inside our bodies right? TOXINS LIST > Click here

 

I didn't see an ingredient list anywhere in my paperwork, and I didn't even ask...

OOOOOO sign me up right? Well, yes I did sign though. Many are so concerned what they eat, or put on their skin, but what is in these implants floored me, to say the least. 

 

Another thing I didn't want or would ever wish for is capsular contracture (CC) a response of the immune system to foreign materials in the human body occurring mostly in context of the complications from breast implants and artificial joint prosthetics.  Remember I used the word assimilation earlier?  THE Capsule is a membranous sac or integument enclosed around an object. It will happen, and don't let any plastic surgeon tell you it won't.  It becomes a part of your body and some capsules keep growing, take on a life of their own, and oftentimes have actual blood vessels. Picture an egg yolk as your implant and the white is the capsule. The doctor's office showed me how to massage the area around the incisions and the breast post- augmentation to prevent hardening. They showed me how to pinch the scar tissue to make it pop like bubble wrap in order to stop scars from forming.  I thought I did it. I heard popping, and it hurt a lot.   What I didn't know is that a capsule is the body's way to protect a foreign object, and that no matter how much massaging you do, or how healthy your are, your body will always form a capsule of tissue around the implant. AND who knows if that capsule will be thin or thick. Who knows if it will calcify or grow bacteria. Who knows if it will grow tightly against your ribs, in close proximity of your lungs, or move to your armpit.  Who really knows if it will happen in 3 months, 3 years, or 3 decades. Who was told that they could possible have 40 or 50 different ailments or conditions? Some including a tight chest and problems breathing as a result of the CC and chemical toxins these implants are made from. There is a CC grading scale that determines the degree of CC one has. I have grade 3 CC in my left breast, and grade 4 in my right. Yes, it has been 25 years, but there are women with grades 3 or 4 that have had implants a very short time. 

 

AND those who have textured implants as opposed to smooth, could be at higher risk of CC, and a very rare lymph cancer only found growing in textured implant capsules called BIA-ALCL. Mine are also textured. When I found this out, I got worried.  Below is a picture of  a textured and a smooth implant from my plastic surgeon's office. 

 

 

 

***The BIA-ALCL info is borrowed from a wonderful group of very knowledgeable advocates and website is www.biaalcl.org

 

 

I highly doubt if any plastic surgeons really warn any women about all these risks, and the big C word. They have a verbal consultation, and they hand out standard literature. They ask for a down payment so they can schedule a surgery, and women would say "where do I sign"?  I did sign, without knowing risks. AND in 93/94 there was no social networking like we have now. I was just going on word of mouth and others I knew that had implants and they looked great. Not one person said their implants made them ill. 

 

So, ya, they look great, but what many do not realize is that doctors have been removing these failing implants for decades now; from sick women, from women with the "rare" cancer, and the doctors did their due diligence by reporting to the FDA. Whether or not these doctors truly believe in the illnesses or not, they did the right thing. However in June of 2019, it was found that the FDA had hidden nearly 6 million faulty device reports, of which breast implants comprised nearly half a million injuries and malfunctions. FDA ARTICLE  > Click Here

 

Show this FDA article to any women who is considering a breast augmentation, and think very seriously. Now that you have ready anything I've typed above, including the symptoms list, would you still consider getting breast implants? 

 

Due to some symptoms over the past ten years, of course in hindsight, I do believe I have been suffering from BII. However, due to some very specific symptoms, I am in the category that is at risk for this very rare BIA-ALCL. More info here https://biaalcl.com/ as I do have a rupture and seroma fluid in my capsule. When I say my ruptured breast is big, I don't think people believe me, so here you go... 

 

 

 

 

My surgery for explant is this week July 12, 2019 - a mere -25 years after the initial implant. Soon, I will not worry about going to bed in a tank top and wake up with my big boobs hanging out, or the boob sweat. OH the sweat, gawd. And those horridly uncomfortable bras will be a thing of my past.

 

The surgery is about 3-4 hours, and it is much more complicated than the initial implant surgery. Not to mention, explant surgery comes with it's own risks and side effects. Some of which leave women looking and feeling worse than they were pre boob job. AND explant surgeries are extremely expensive. 2x, 3x what augmentation cost. 

 

AND if you want some price points to consider before decided to implant...

- the real cost of breast augmentation > Click here

 

Of course, I will  have specific pathology tests ran to look for markers of ALCL.  I will have my results within a week - I HOPE. If I test positive, my next step will be with oncology and to advocate and empower other women. If I test negative, my next step will be to advocate and empower women to make the best educated decision they can prior to signing on that line for breast augmentation. I belong to a fantastic group of women who are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL and are ready to help me through this journey, if needed. Worldwide, there are approx 688- cases, and in the US there are 270 cases. This is an emerging health concern, so these numbers will grow as does education and outreach.

 

Now before you place your opinions or judgement on me, or anyone else for that matter, for something I chose to do 25 years ago, just know that no one could be harder on me than I've already been on myself. I'm a 50 year old woman with a young child and I have a lot more to lose now than I ever did at 25 years old.  When I was 25, I did not have any inclinations of what my life had in store for me in five years, nor 25. AND I never thought that my seemingly random symptoms over the years were ever connected to my implants. Me and about a million other women out there, we know we are not alone. 

 

I am not looking for sympathy. I am asking you to share this information with anyone you care about. Let's let the true power of social media do its work. 

 

SOOOOO What comes next? In my article below, I explain how the symptoms presented and what happens when an implant is ruptured in

 

LOOK FOR UPDATE JULY 12th...

 

Ramblings- from "itty bitty titties" to explant...... Part II - Big Bust is a BURST!

 

 

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Ramblings- from "itty bitty titties" to explant... Part I - Big BUST Bliss

July 8, 2019

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