Breast Explant: One Year Update
Last month marked one year since my breast explant surgery. I've had a lot of questions throughout the year so I wanted to make a post to address those and share my thoughts on the entire situation. First, I'd like to thank those of you for stressing your concern for my health. Me sharing this part of my journey in life was never to seek attention or ask for sympathy. In fact, I loathe the attention. However, I really appreciate the thoughtful messages. As my health was declining out of nowhere and for no explained reason back in 2019, I began to search everywhere for answers. I read hundreds of blogs, watched hours of YouTube vlogs, and searched for stories on other social media platforms. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone and what steps I should take to seek help from professionals. As a way to give back, I feel like it was important for me to share my story in hopes it will reach the person it can help.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can watch my video
from last year when I documented my implant removal.
Before we dive in, I'd also like to thank those of you that sent questions in because it has helped me to reflect on the year and establish my true thoughts on Breast Implant Illness (BII) and whether or not that was my reality.
What made you take them out?
When I was experiencing that major health decline I had several friends send me to a BII Facebook community to see if my symptoms sounded like the thousands of women on there struggling with BII.
BII symptoms are all over the place from skin rashes to chest pain to nausea and more. However, after reading hundreds of testimonies from women all over the world after getting them out, I was willing to give it a try.
Do you feel any better now?
The implant on my right side created some muscular imbalances in my traps and shoulder blade area that I am currently still working through. Having said that I haven't had one crick in my neck since surgery (I was having at least one a month prior). Also, my knee aches and pains have been completely gone since surgery.
As far as my internal health goes, I am starting to understand what triggers my symptoms. (See more below)
Are you glad you took them out?
Absolutely!! Zero regrets. I do miss having more up top, but I feel more "in my own skin" now which gives me a lot of confidence that I wasn't expecting.
Who did your explant? Are you happy with the results?
Dr Bruce Rodgers in Katy, Texas did my explant surgery and breast lift and I could not be happier with my experience and my results.
Do you think you really had Breast Implant Illness?
I'm not 100% sure, but I do know I have less inflammation in my joints now that they're out.
Right before my explant surgery I read that most people can expect to feel better after one month of every year they had their implants in. I had them in for exactly ten years so I had really hoped that by ten months post-op I would be feeling good as new. Here I am a year after surgery and as much as I would love to tell you how wonderful and healed I feel, I unfortunately can't at this time. Having my explant surgery was just the beginning of a long health recovery journey for me. In the past year I have been diagnosed with two conditions: PMDD and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
Let's dive into each so I can best explain my symptoms and what I am doing to get healthier.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is essentially PMS on steroids. You'll know the difference between PMS and PMDD when you find that it disrupts your daily activities.
My most concerning symptoms are loss of interest in activities, thoughts in my head that I don't recognize, migraines, difficulty concentrating, and debilitating fatigue. This lasts anywhere from 3-14 days a month for me. The rest of the month, I am my normal energetic self; full of life, adventure and joy.
There have been a few things that I have found to help me manage my symptoms...
Taking more off my "to do" list and putting less pressure on myself.
Taking a nap if I feel fatigue setting in.
Breathwork. Stopping to take deep breaths multiple time a day.
Not waking up early to workout some days to allow myself more rest.
Making sleep a priority
Being a little more strict to eating a Mediterranean/Keto Diet (no gluten or dairy)
Basically, I focus on "less is more". This has been a challenge for me as someone I'm someone that thrives on being an overachiever. I've come to terms with the fact that I can't be it all and do it all all of the time. What I can do, I'll give my best, and leave God to do the rest.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which your body attacks your thyroid as though it were a foreign object in your body. It is most common in middle-aged women. It can be hereditary and often found in people that have already been diagnosed with another autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and many others. Exposure to radiation can be another risk factor accompanied with Hashimoto's.
I'll never forget how my jaw fell to the floor the second I read this list. I checked far more symptoms than skipped.
The ways I am managing Hashimoto's is the same way I'm managing my PMDD symptoms only now I am taking a low dose of levothyroxine, an antidepressant, and continuing to manage my hormones with blood work and other testings.
So, what is next for me? I'm currently waiting my results from a Dutch Test which should tell me a lot about what my hormones are doing throughout my 28-day cycle. I'll be doing a lot of blood work over the next year to monitor my hormones in hopes to see some improvements.
If you too are currently in a difficult season, I want to remind both of us that it is in fact just a season. This too shall pass. Establishing what it is that your body is currently challenged with isn't a death sentence, but rather a step in the direction towards healing. I am not an autoimmune disease and neither are you. But rather we are finding ways to help our bodies heal and become stronger than ever.
PMDD graphic https://www.thesoulfulsprout.com/journal/pmdd
Hashimoto's graphic https://moms-mimosa.com/hashimotos-symptoms/
My explant surgeon https://theartisancenter.com
My Endocrinologist https://www.endocrinecenter.com/provider/prashant-koshy-md
My Nutritionist https://finish1.net