Two former Playboy models have come forward following removal of breast implants that may have made them sick. Kimberly Holland and Karen McDougal recently spoke to People Magazine in an effort to educate other women who may also be suffering due to “breast implant illness.”
“I would get sick every couple of months and be sick for six to eight weeks at a time,” McDougal said. “It just never went away.”
Now 45-years-old, McDougal underwent breast augmentation in 1996 to boost her self-esteem. Seven years post-op, she was sick constantly and had developed thyroid and adrenal problems, as well as severe allergies. Things got even worse in January 2016, when McDougal began having vison disturbances, blacks out and dizzy spells. By July, McDougal’s symptoms were so severe, she was afraid to leave the house. Eventually, she heard about breast implant illness from a friend’s wife. McDougal had her devices removed on January 31st.
“I noticed right away that I had no more blurry vision, I wasn’t blacking out or passing out, I didn’t have the severe migraines, my joint pain was gone, my sound sensitivity was better,” she says.
Kimberly Holland initially received breast implants in 2004, but told People Magazine that she hadn’t experienced any problems until she had those replaced with “gummy bear” implants in 2012.
“I remember even that day and that whole week when I got back from surgery, I felt like my body was on fire,” the 34-year-old registered nurse said.
A month after her surgery, Holland broke out in a recurring viral rash. She also experienced chronic dental infections and was diagnosed with Reynaud’s disease. After researching her symptoms, Holland began to suspect that breast implant illness was behind her suffering. She underwent an explant procedure earlier this month.
“I felt compelled to come forward because I think other women need to hear about this,” she says. “I think it’s wrong that the cosmetic surgery industry is just blowing this off.”
Holland and McDougal may not be alone. Just last month, Bloomberg News reported that Mentor Worldwide was facing two breast implant lawsuits filed on behalf of women who were allegedly sickened by MemoryGel silicone devices. Plaintiffs claim that Mentor failed to provide patients and doctors with adequate warnings regarding the risks associated with the implants, and they assert that the devices were never subjected to proper safety testing as mandated by U.S. medical device regulators.
“We believe the problems with Mentor’s silicone implant are pervasive and may have harmed thousands of women,” an attorney for one of the women told Bloomberg. “This suit may be just the tip of the iceberg.”
That prediction could prove dire for the industry. Silicone breast implants were the subject of massive litigation in the 1980s and 1990s, after thousands of woman claimed that the devices had caused autoimmune disorders and other problems. The litigation was eventually settled for billions of dollars, but not before Dow Corning was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Mentor, Allergan Plc, and Sientra Inc. are the only three companies that have received clearance to sell silicone breast implants since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) lifted a near-ban on the devices in 2006.