"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
~Jeremiah 29: 11-13
Many women with saline breast implants have experienced serious problems, including: multiple operations because of pain or other issues, severe hardening of the breast, loss of health insurance, and an increase in unexplained illnesses.
Kacey before breast
implants at age 17
Me with breast implants.
Me six months after having
My Breast Implant Experience
My name is Kacey. When I was 19 I decided to get saline breast implants. Every time I'm asked why I wanted implants, I say the same thing. I thought it was perfectly safe. I had a way to do it, and I thought it would be fun. I never thought that implants could be dangerous or harmful to my health. I thought that I was a little "bottom heavy" and I wanted to even my figure out. I thought that the implants would last FOREVER. So at 19 (not two months after I officially moved away to college for the first time), I made the first, big decision of my life...I got saline breast implants. And it BACKFIRED. BIG TIME.
Immediately after being implanted in July 2001, I began having weird, shooting pains in my arms. Slowly, every joint in my body was in excruciating pain.
Symptoms include (some have lessoned after explant):
- Chronic fatigue
- Hair loss
- Burning ribs
- Burning breasts
- Burning areolas (nipples)
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Bad foot pain (difficult to walk)
- Trouble thinking clearly, remembering things, and finding the right words
- Night sweats
- Cold hands and feet
- Stiffness in most joints (especially severe in the morning)
- Crawly feelings
- Changes in vision
- Intolerance of bright lights or sun light
- Muscle tremors
- Chemical sensitivities (medications)
- Weight gain (25-30 lbs)
- Calculation Difficulties
- Memory disturbance (short term memory loss)
- Shortness of breath
- Optic neuritis
- Severe muscle weakness
- Numbness and tingling in my feet, legs, hands, and arms
- Swollen, red, hot joints, especially in hands
- Problems with balance/gait
- Severe joint pain so that it restricts natural movement (arms, fingers, knees)
I was diagnosed with:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (autoimmune disorder)
- Ankylosing Spondilitis (autoimmune disorder – arthritis of the neck and spine)
- Fibromyalgia (connective tissue disease – soft tissue pain e.g. muscles and ligaments)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (debilitating fatigue and exhaustion)
I realize this might sound bizarre – that all of these things could have been wrong with me at such a young age and all at the same time, and believe me, I wish it weren't true. Getting sick changed my entire life. Before my implants, I was very healthy, athletic, and energetic. I only had allergies. I played every sport in high school and was involved in every extra-curricular activity imaginable. I loved stress, pressure, and deadlines. I prided myself on the fact that I never stayed home, that I was always on the go.
I was very fortunate to finish my undergraduate degree before I became too ill. In just two and a half years, at age 20, I graduated from Baylor University with a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management. I was hired before I finished college; however, I was only able to work for one day before becoming too sick to continue. I was in a lot of pain and I was constantly exhausted. I became bed ridden and saw one doctor after another. None of them knew why I was so sick, even though many of the symptoms I had were typical local complications reported by many women with breast implants, like the pain and burning in my chest. It took a long time, but I finally found doctors who believed that my saline breast implants could be causing symptoms like those I was experiencing.
After two years of illness, I had my implants removed in September of 2003 by a Dallas plastic surgeon who is very experienced with explantation. Usually when you have implants removed you lose some breast tissue and your breasts are smaller than when you started. In my case, while I'm smaller than I was with my size D implants, I'm bigger than I was originally because I WAS STILL GROWING!! I didn't realize that even though the rest of me was done growing, my breasts were still developing!
While I do feel better now that my implants are out, I am in no way healed. I still feel exhausted most of the day, I am unable to exercise as much as I used to, and find that little things I used to take for granted (like getting out of bed) now require a plan. I continue to need regular treatments and many expensive prescriptions and supplements. I am seeing a doctor who specializes in treating damaged muscles, nerves and joints. I also regularly visit a chiropractic and acupuncture specialist. While I realize that not all of the treatments I receive have been scientifically proven to work, I'm willing to try anything to get better – or just to feel better and these treatments are helping me. If you have implants and you're sick, what I'm doing for treatment may not necessarily help you, so make sure to talk through all of the options with your doctors and make decisions together.
I've made several appearances on TV and have been talking to the media about my experience with breast implants (earlier this year I taped a segment with MTV and also a British documentary) because I don't think women and girls are getting all of the information they need when making the decision to get breast implants. I certainly didn't know all of the risks when I decided to get them. And I am determined to tell everyone what I desperately needed to know two years ago: saline breast implants can be dangerous to your health.