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breast implant illness

Here's why Michelle Visage is talking about 'breast implant illness' on her Insta story

She’s preparing to go under the knife once again.

MICHELLE VISAGE MADE an announcement on her Instagram this week, which may surprised some of her die hard fans.

The TV judge and LGBTQ+ ally revealed she would be having her breast implants removed as she believes she they have been making her sick “for 20 years” – unexpected that they have becoming synonymous with the reality star throughout her career.

“This is the last time you’re going to see me with these,” she said, gesturing at her chest. “I know, they’re a national treasure.

But I believe for the past 20 years, these breast implants have been making me sick.”

She continued by saying she would be documenting her journey on social media and will be undergoing surgery this week to have them removed.

What exactly is ‘breast implant illness’, though?

A growing body of scientific research links breast implants to autoimmune disorders and a rare form of cancer that has claimed more than a dozen lives worldwide. Despite this, it is not recognised within the field of medicine and there is no test to diagnose it. 

Autoimmune disorders are conditions where immune cells attack your body. Immune cells usually help our bodies fight off infections and foreign substances. However, these immune cells see silicone as a foreign substance, and that can cause the body to start an immune response.

In some cases, the immune system launches a big enough attack that it starts attacking the body, which could lead to symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, mental confusion, dry eyes, and hair loss. Some women with breast implants report a wide range of symptoms that do not fit into one specific condition. Over time, some women develop a pattern of symptoms that are diagnosed as lupus, scleroderma, fibromyalgia, or other conditions. 

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s brought silicone implants back on the market, following an earlier decision to approve the less-commonly-used saline-filled implants. Leading manufacturers Allergan and Mentor lobbied for silicone implants to be restored, assuring regulators that the myriad of ailments reported by breast implant patients were concerns of the past. (It’s recommended that breast implants be changed every 10 – 15 years.)

In the U.S., as many as 20% of women who receive breast implants for augmentation have to have their implants removed within 8 to 10 years. 

One advocate for explant surgery – the process of getting your implants removed – is social influencer Karissa Pukas.

Pukas revealed in a YouTube video that she struggled so much after getting her breast augmentation with side effects like brain fog, acne, hair loss, and fatigue that she decided to have the implants removed this year.

Pukas said her implants made her “feel like I was living in a 90-year-old’s body.”

Karissa Pukas / YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Following the removal, Pukas said she felt as if she’d “got her life back”.

I can’t explain what it’s like to seek medical professional help and for them to tell you, ‘you’re fine’, and for you to deep down know that you’re not fine and that you’re dealing with things everyday … It felt like no one believed in me.”

Prolific Instagram comment creeper Sia Cooper – aka Diary Of A Fit Mommy – also had her breast implants removed as she believed she had the illness. Copper struggled with brain fog, headaches and fatigue following her breast augmentation.

Diary of a Fit Mommy / YouTube

Can’t see the video? Click here.

In an interview with Allure magazine, North Carolina-based double board-certified surgeon Peter Capizzi who has over 15 years of experience in the field said that Pukas’ experience was “not typical” for someone who’s undergone breast augmentation. 

“In my opinion, the fifth generation gel implant is the safest and best available on the market today,” he said, while recommending patients find a trusted plastic surgeon with outstanding qualifications, engage in multiple consultations and not to cut corners when it comes to cost.

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