Breast Implant Illness: A Cautionary Tale for Women Considering Implants

Only three short months after getting breast implants I would experience such severe and crippling symptoms that nearly cost me my life. This is not just another unsatisfactory online review.
BY Michelle Betancourt
PUBLISHED June 12, 2019
I am sharing my journey will all of you because my story shouldn’t be repeated due to the lack of information within the medical community. The uninformed decision I made would cost me in a short period of time my health, lifestyle, sanity and almost my life.

I’m a young businesswoman, mother of three magnificent girls and wife to a wonderful and supportive husband. I fell in love at an early age with the practices of a healthy lifestyle. Every day I was up before 5:00 A.M. to be at my gym for a rigorous work-out. I would come back home to get myself and everyone ready, prepare breakfast/lunches consisting of the most nutritious and healthiest food and set off for a productive day.

It was then when I decided to get breast implants. Only three short months after getting them I would experience such severe and crippling symptoms that nearly cost me my life.

At adolescence I developed natural D-cup breasts, so in my mind I had never grown wanting or thought about needing breast implants. This changed about a few months after I stopped nursing my third baby and started training for a marathon, I found myself seeing how I had lost almost all of the mass in my chest. There I was, a happy mother and wife, in the best shape of my life and working on amazing projects I was passionate about to help women in my community. And I had worked extremely hard for every single one of those things I loved so much.

But I felt so unfeminine and uncomfortable with accepting myself in this different shape. Like many women, I grew up surrounded with women who had breast implants. I did all my research to find the best doctor because I never wanted to run any unnecessary risks; but I never thought twice about any risk coming from the implants themselves.

I found myself getting implants on January 2018. The implant surgery went perfectly but by April of that same year, my nightmare began. I rapidly deteriorated regardless of the number of doctors I saw or lab tests I got done. I felt like a laboratory rat! No one could give me an answer as to why I was: so exhausted that getting out of bed was a crippling challenge, how my body was in complete pain, I had developed food intolerances and horrible digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, vertigo, brain fog, migraines, anxiety, loss of appetite. I started to lose my sight, my depression turned into suicidal thoughts and the list went on and on. How could I have found myself so ill in such a short period of time and not a single practicing/licensed physician I consulted thought about the fact that I had recently placed two foreign objects on my body?

I felt lost in this world trying to hide my pain, depression and frustration every day. I encountered a support group on Facebook made up of over 53,000 women (Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole) who were experiencing my symptoms with no answers from physicians. We all had one more glaring thing in common: breast implants. I specifically consulted with nine different plastic surgeons and asked them if my symptoms could be related to my implants and ALL of them said no. Until I found a doctor in Florida that confirmed that it was my implants that were killing me. I decided to explant (the procedure to remove the implants) right away!
  
I am not going to lie, many women from that same support group shared their explant stories of regaining their health right away, and sadly that wasn’t my case. I was feeling so ill from how I had deteriorated in such a short time, the explant surgery and starting the process of regaining my health. This period of having my body go through the detox of the substances that had been leaking into my system from the implants for months produced such a violent reaction, that no one could have prepared me for. I had developed PTSD and after months of professional for help and medication I’ve regained about 80% of my health.
 
Today I find myself happy to be alive to share my story. I’ve been comforted in hearing how sharing my testimony has dissuaded all kinds of women from getting implants they realized they didn’t need in the first place. I want any woman that reads this to know they are precious, irreplaceable, valued and beautiful just the way they are. Regardless of all we have heard throughout our lives, we are already good enough.
Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

$articleRelated$
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In