Good morning, my name is Julie Lykins, and I am from California.
In 1990, after nursing two kids, I decided to get McGhan, now Allergan Biocell textured silicone implants.
I was happy and fairly healthy for the first 20 years, except for allergies, sinus infections, joint pain, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Like most women, I was never advised to replace my implants.
According to a survey from over 1,000 women that I conducted in the support groups, only 13% were aware that they were supposed to get an MRI every 2 years, but the bigger problem is that most doctors are not educated on what the symptoms of a ruptured implant are.
My ruptures were not silent. I had symptoms of a rupture that are listed on the FDA website, including pain, tenderness, tingling, numbness, burning, and change in breast shape.
My doctors never ordered an MRI of my breasts. I suspected ruptures, but they were undetected by mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, over 15 medical professionals including four plastic surgeons.
For 5½ years, I suffered and was at the doctors several times per week, including visits to urgent care, the emergency room, and even hospitalized. I was tested for many autoimmune diseases, heart attack, and stroke.
I am thankful for Nicole Daruda’s group and website, healingbreastimplantillness.com, where I finally learned what was wrong with me. Silicone injections to the breast are illegal, so how can it be safe to have any silicone in our bodies?
Upon explanting 3 years ago, I learned that my implants had been ruptured for over 10 years due to shell failure. I’m now approximately 85% better, but I’m still experiencing symptoms of BIA-ALCL such as weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, rashes, fatigue, pain, and night sweats.
Or could these symptoms be from silicone that has migrated throughout my body?
My textured implants caused severe Stage IV capsular contracture, calcification, and double capsules.
None of my inner capsules were tested for CD30. Therefore, I do not feel I have been properly tested for BIA-ALCL.
How many thousands of other women have not been properly tested?
This is called rare, but it is not being tested for, it’s underdiagnosed, and it’s underreported.
The FDA needs to immediately ban and recall textured implants. What benefit outweighs the risk of cancer?
The FDA needs to send letters to all medical professionals informing them of symptoms and risks of migrated silicone from ruptured implants, gel bleed, or texture flaking off.
Why are studies not being done on the over 70,000 of us that have become ill from our implants?
[Open public comment given by breast implant recipient Julie Lykins, at the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel, FDA White Oak Campus, Building #31, Great Room, on March 26, 2019. The title of this article does not constitute part of the speaker’s presentation to the FDA Panel, and any hyperlinks within the text or text appearing in brackets were added for clarity or ease of use by editors.]