Breast Implant Illness: My Decision to Explant

breast implant illness

Life is a journey. Its about figuring out what brings you the most joy. Its about “creating your cozy” in home, business in being. Hence why I converted my blog and pages into just that. Not just about my Scentsy business, Social Media, decorating or wellness. Its about getting to place in all that you love that makes you feel content.

Many of you are following my breast implant illness journey on Instagram. Although a very personal situation, so many have reached out thanking me for sharing my experience. Many might want to skip on by the story, but if it helps just one person, than that is what matters to me. This is one of those posts that I know some people will want nothing to do with but after 20 years of experiencing all of it, its my responsibility to educate those that are thinking they need to alter their bodies to try to make themselves or someone else happy.

By writing this blog post, I am subjecting myself to criticism and judgement. I mean I have had this sitting in my drafts for weeks but in the end I know that those risk papers you sign when you go in for surgery don’t give you the full story and I can do that for someone.

I moved to South Florida in September of 2002. By March of 2003 I already had a surgery center chosen for my first set of implants. My choice? Yes, but I also had a partner in my ear very eager for me to have the surgery done. Over all, they were OK. They lasted 13 years and overall…. they looked good. But in 2016, I noticed the left breast was flat. Like pancake FLAT! I didn’t give my options a second thought. I immediately began looking for a surgeon to replace them.

After the rupture in 2016 and the new set inserted a few months later, I have constantly had weird symptoms. Some of those symptoms included:
Rapid weight gain with no lifestyle change, inability to lose weight, chronic fatigue, extreme drowsiness, severe anxiety, severe bowel disturbances, painful bloating, hair loss, dry skin, dry eyes, decline in vision, hypothyroidism, hormone imbalances, metallic tastes, night sweats, severe sensitivity to sound and light, headaches, chest heaviness, depression, symptoms of auto immune disease, memory loss, loss of appetite, ear ringing, digestion issues, severe/chronic heartburn, severe inflammation, & cognitive disfunction. 

I saw multiple doctors multiple times in 8 months to hear nothing was wrong with me. Told to see a psychologist because I was creating issues in my head. Then after my cousin passed away from a rare cancer. I found myself looking for answers. Looking for the connection between implants, inflammation, the silcone capsule and cancer.  My continuous need for answers didn’t let up.  I stumbled upon #breastimplantillness. The things I read were shocking. I looked at my boyfriend and said, “When did all these weird things start happening? He said around August of 2016.” Yup just 4 weeks after the replacement surgery. Through my reading, many women complain of the same issues with the second set. They state that their body seems to reject the new set and then the craziness begins.  I continued my research non stop and by the end of 2017 I made the the decision to remove them. Finally after 2 years, many surgeon interviews and continuous ongoing weird symptoms, I have chosen my doctor and the surgery date is set for 12/3/19.

So 12 days from today is eviction day. No more silicone bags, no more heavy chest, no more putting my health at risk because someone told me that I would be better with “boobs”. Am I scared? Yes! Will I feel botched, saggy, deflated, uneven, ugly, deformed, have regret? hate myself? I don’t know but I keep telling myself, “Jill this is where you learn to love you no matter what the outcome is.” I am emotionally and physically ready to see the NEW “old” me, but mostly excited to remove these toxic things and start a new chapter.

Finally after 2 years, many surgeon interviews and continuous ongoing weird symptoms, I have chosen my doctor and the surgery date is set for 12/3/19. I have chosen Dr. Drew Schnitt of Inspire Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Drew sat with me twice for a long period of time. He answered emails, all of my questions and was pretty blunt when it came to my expectations and requirements. He took his time and made sure I had everything answered.

Be careful of groups and doctors capitalizing on breast implant illness and explanting. My issue with a few doctors is that they literally spent no time with me and I felt as though I was on an explant conveyor belt. Yes they explant all day every day, but I didn’t want to feel like a number. I wanted someone to treat me with respect , answer my questions and focus on my case in particular. The connection you have with your doctor really matters. You need to feel comfortable and make sure you are doing what is best for you, not what a Facebook group tells you is best.

Our scars don’t just tell a story, they ARE a story! They remind us of what we have endured, survived, the strength we had and the things we have overcome mentally, physically and emotionally. More than one surgeon told me I would look terrible, that I would hate the outcome and not to do it. A couple surgeons acted as though they had no time to even bother with me.  Finally I found the one who answered ALL of my questions and assured me, I was making the right decision for me.

What is next? Well I am pre-op mode. I am cleansing and putting all the things that will help me heal into my body. I will be documenting the process on Instagram and of course coming back here to update you all. Here is the beginning and the middle of this long process. It has been emotional and long. I didn’t do the research I should have when I was 26 but this time…….I have gone above and beyond.  Thank you so much for reading and for all of your kind and heartfelt comments as I go thru this. Each one of us has a choice and we all need to do what is right for each of us. I’m thankful for you being here and continuing on your quest for creating your cozy and supporting mine.

Stay tuned for the surgery, healing and post op process. Got questions? Feel free to DM me on Instagram.