The Long Road to Recovery I went into the hospital in August, 1989 for a double sub-cutaneous mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction (breast implants).
I went into the hospital in August, 1989 for a double sub-cutaneous mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction (breast implants). I was told they were great; that after having this done the only problem would be a lack of sensation. I was never told of any risks because my doctor said there were none.
What a grave mistake this turned out to be!
I remember waking up in excruciating pain. A few days later, when the dressings were removed, I went into absolute shock. My breasts were bruised and red. I had a cut on the left breast that went from the nipple up about five centimetres. The right breast was up high. It was gross–nothing beautiful, as the doctor had told me. An intern tried forcing the implant on the right side to make it move down; this was very painful. The breast was hard, hot and red.
Over the next few weeks I had fevers and was in pain, but the doctor still ignored all of my complaints. By October 17, 1989, the implant was so hard he said it had to come out immediately or it would burst through the incision. He froze it, took it out and told me to put it in my bra so I would have some shape. I was still in a state of shock.
When the infection diminished, he put a tissue expander in and filled this with saline solution until my breast looked was the size of Dolly Parton’s. This was also very uncomfortable.
He then replaced the implant. I woke up from this also stunned–the left breast was smaller and I had an indentation across my right breast. This indentation developed into scar tissue.
I decided I needed a second opinion, which I got from a plastic surgeon. I had both implants removed and tissue expanders in both sides again, more implants and the indentation had to be surgically removed. I also had necrosis of the right nipple and breast.
The Ugliness of Implants
I sent the last set of implants and the tissue to be analyzed by Doctor Guidoin at Laval University. I knew one had leaked or ruptured because of the size difference in the breast. I was right. The silicone gel had oozed from both implants into the tissue. My lymph nodes on the right side became enlarged so these were also surgically removed and sent for testing.
To date I have had 17 operations. I also had surgery in 1998 to correct concaving in my chest. I feel like I’ve been mutilated and I’m very angry–I am no longer the same person, physically or emotionally.
My daughter has a hard time dealing with everything. She doesn’t understand what happened to her mom. How could she when I don’t even understand how something like this could be allowed to happen to any woman?
I am in constant pain, have autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders, burning in my chest, pain radiating down from my armpits down to my right hand, chronic headaches and abdominal and back pain. Doctors say breast implants are safe, but all I need to do is look in the mirror to know they are dead wrong. The biased studies on implants are criminal.
I have made a vow that I will not rest until these unsafe toxic medical devices are permanently banned. My dream was to file a class action lawsuit against the federal government. We did so, along with Merchant Law Group in Regina, in December 1998. This is the first action ever filed against a government as a class in North America. I hope other countries will follow suit.
The government is stalling. It told the courts it had 144,000 documents to file and this has yet to be done.
I have also decided that natural healing methods is the way to go. I am now on a course of vitamin therapy, which includes glyco nutrients and phytonutrients. These remove some of the stress and toxins in my body. I am taking all the vitamin Bs to give myself more energy. I also take milk thistle, and evening primrose. I found acupuncture is helping a bit.
I hope any woman even thinking of these implants uses her common sense and talks to someone like me. No one should have to endure what I did, especially with the knowledge we have. Please don’t let anyone convince you implants are safe!