A Roundup of the Newest and Most Surprising Stories surrounding Breast Implant Illness This Month
After the FDA held a hearing discussing the dangers of breast implant illness in March, news outlets ranging from the New York Times to E! News published numerous stories discussing the validity of the illness, various experiences of different women who suffered through breast implant illness, and even some doctors including renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Shaher Khan MD at Executive Plastic Surgeon who have chosen to stop the procedure altogether. Here are some of the biggest stories so far.
1. News of breast implant illness continues to spread across the United States. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported on the FDA’s decision not to ban any breast implants at this time. The FDA decreed that there was not enough evidence linking textured implants to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCA for short. During the FDA hearings in March, many women told their stories of breast implant illness, hoping to convince the members of committee to take immediate action. While they did not succeed in the ban, the FDA did agree that patients need more information on what they’re signing up for. The reporter explained that while disappointing, it was not surprising that they didn’t ban the textured implants completely, stating; “the agency has only banned two devices in its history — powdered surgeons’ gloves and prosthetic hair fibers.”
The FDA issued a statement, “ As we describe below, we are taking steps to better characterize the condition and its risk factors, and are considering ways to help to ensure women have all of the information they need to make informed decisions about whether to obtain breast implants or to remove existing breast implants in an effort to reverse systemic symptoms.” While many feel this statement is not enough, it is a step in the right direction to helping people make safe, educated medical decisions.
2. Canada and France banned textured implants nation-wide. While removal is not recommended for those without symptoms of BIA-ALCA or any other form of cancer, the health department has recommended anyone with the textured implants should speak with their doctors and pay close attention to any symptoms that may arise.
3. Insider shared the stories of five women with breast implant illness who had their implants removed. Interestingly, many women experience different symptoms, which is what makes breast implant illness so difficult to diagnose. Some of the symptoms include: Flu symptoms, migraines, tingling sensations, vertigo. blurred vision, hair loss, chronic infections, constant muscle aches, strokes, lesions, and full-body rashes. One woman gained 60 pounds, had inflammation all over her body, vision problems, early menopause, rashes, and ear ringing.
4. On the New York Times Editorial Board, they wrote about the faults of many medical devices, including breast implants between vaginal mesh and a birth control device, both of which have led to serious, sometimes fatal consequences.
5. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, Michelle Visage spoke out to inform women of the potential risk of breast implants. She had her implants removed last month due to her Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid disorder that can cause both weight gain and depression. She told People Magazine that while she had suspected her implants played a role in the disease, it was never confirmed for her. The article ends with a quote: “I am pro-plastic surgery and pro-women. If that is what you want to do to make yourself feel a certain way, do it. But If you choose to go down that path, just have the information. Be prepared. It might not happen to you, but you should know that it could. We have to be our own advocates.”
6. Inside Edition ran a story on Sunday about Fitness influencer Sia Cooper, better known as @Diaryofafitmommy who chose to have her breast implants removed last December and already feels healthier. Just as Michelle Visage explained, Cooper is not sharing her story to stop women from getting breast implants all together, she just wants to be sure they have heard and understood the potential risks.
With influencers and celebrities like this speaking out on a large platform, more and more women will learn about the impacts of breast implant illness, and hopefully will able to make educated decisions when it comes to their bodies. All six (6) of these stories continue to support what women have been saying for years—this is a real problem that needs to be acknowledged. If you or someone you know has suffered from Breast Implant Illness, know that there is help and support available to you. There are support groups all over the country, along with large Facebook groups and more. As always, if you feel something is off with your body, don’t ignore it—speak to your doctor today.