News 5 Investigates: Are your breast implants making you sick?

News 5 Investigates

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Silicone breast implants returned to the market in 2006 after lawsuits claiming they were causing health problems, and not since then have breast implants in general gotten so much attention.

Women around the world are getting sick again, getting their implants removed, and in many cases, getting relief. WKRG News 5 investigates– Are your breast implants making you sick?

Thousands of women and counting say they explanted and feel like themselves again. You can find them throughout several breast implant healing groups on Facebook, full of women curious about explanation. One is a private group called ‘Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole,’ which has more than 135-thousand members. Some local women, sharing their stories online of life-altering implantation, and later explanation.

“I had always been insecure about my breast size,” said Missy Britt.

Missy Britt’s story is like so many. Her insecurities about her breast size led her to get breast implants, and she feels her implants led to her health problems.

“I started feeling fatigued and brain fog and I started getting sick more often and that probably started around year three, and then it progressively got worse after that. I started having really bad panic attacks. I was on a prescription for two antidepressants for depression and anxiety, and a sedative for insomnia. I was on a medication for acid reflux. I took Aleve like it was candy because everything just hurt all the time.”

Missy Britt

At first, Missy chalked it all up to “getting older.” But that little voice inside her kept telling her, that wasn’t it. So she started doing some research. Almost all of it pointed to her breast implants.

“Once I discovered breast implant illness, I probably had my breast explant surgery within four months. I knew in my heart and I knew in my gut that once I discovered this illness that that’s what was wrong with me.”

Missy Britt

Because the breast implant industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers them safe, not all doctors believe in breast implant illness, and won’t remove the implants because of it.

“Something was really really wrong and I knew it but every doctor I went would just give me a prescription for that ailment.”

Missy Britt

But Dr. James Koehler really started listening as more and more women began asking him to remove their breast implants because they felt like those implants could be the key to their unexplained illnesses that just kept being pushed aside.

“There are studies that indicate that there can be increased incidence in potential autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, things like that.”

Dr. Koehler with Eastern Shore Cosmetic Surgery.

He says he’s keeping up with his explant patients and finds that symptom onset varies.

“We’re seeing people that present many many years after implants, and then we do see some people that within 6 months they’re noticing symptoms.”

Dr. James Koehler

Dr. Koehler says when implants are surgically inserted into the body, the body forms a scar capsule around each implant. If you decide to have your implants removed because you think they’re making you sick, it’s important to have the surgeon remove not only the implants but also the scar capsules around them.

“If the scar tissue’s in contact with the implant, the thought is if there’s any kind of contaminants in the manufacturing process of the implant, Or let’s say it’s an implant that’s leaking that’s in contact with that tissue, that if you don’t remove that scar tissue that potentially some of those contaminants may remain behind and so even though you may have removed the implant, you haven’t removed all of the source of the problem.”

Dr. James Koehler

That’s what Missy did, and says she feels completely different.

“I have way more energy than I had in my 30s. I feel amazing, and I don’t feel like I’m an 80-year-old woman anymore and I feel like my hormones have leveled out and I just feel a lot better. My mind is very clear too.”

Missy Britt

Missy says now, she just wishes she wouldn’t have put her body through the stress of implantation.
“If my doctor told me the risks that I was facing I would not have gotten implants. I wish looking back that I was just happy and confident with my body and myself,” said Missy.

Today, she is. And she’s trying to give other women the information she now knows, that she wishes she had known then, and the confidence to love our bodies, no matter your breast size.

This is not only a health burden but also a financial burden for most women because of the debate of if Breast Implant Illness is real. Because of that, in most cases, insurance will not pay for removal.
Attorneys across the globe are heading up lawsuits for women whose breast implants are responsible for BIA-ALCL, or breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Some attorneys are now also working on cases regarding breast implant illness.

Watch the full story below:

LINKS TO LEARN MORE:

FDA: What to Know About Breast Implants:
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-know-about-breast-implants

FDA Requests Allergan Voluntarily Recall Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Breast Implants:https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/fda-requests-allergan-voluntarily-recall-natrelle-biocell-textured-breast-implants-and-tissue#list

FDA Issues Final Guidance for Certain Labeling Recommendations for Breast Implants: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issues-final-guidance-certain-labeling-recommendations-breast-implants

See if your implants have been recalled:
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm

Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole:
https://www.healingbreastimplantillness.com/?fbclid=IwAR2BDX9WuOe8Rb1f5s6xiDLQMl9dCyvYWElUTKkfkxJ5K7RmE8kuzxYJdao

Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Healingbreastimplantillness/permalink/2500674693484787

Possible symptoms of BII:
https://www.healingbreastimplantillness.com/breast-implant-symptoms/

Local breast implant attorneys:

–Megan McBride: (850) 860-1677
–Virginia Buchanan, Levin Papantonio Rafferty: (850) 435-7023
https://www.levinlaw.com/attorney-profiles/virginia-buchanan
–Amanda Summerlin, Taylor Martino, P.C.: (251) 433-3131

Explant Surgeon:

Dr. James Koehler: (251) 973-6150
https://www.easternshoreplasticsurgery.com/

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