A Texas woman says she suffered with unexplainable physical and mental health issues for 10 years — then she got her breast implants removed

Melissa LimaMelissa Lima
Melissa Lima told Insider that she has suffered from a number of complications caused by her breast implants.
Lima said she's suffered from severe inflammation and depression and more for the past ten years.
Doctors removed her right breast implant, which was covered in mold.
A Texas woman said she was shocked to discover her breast implants were causing life-changing health problems for at least a decade.
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Melissa Lima, 49, the former wife of the late MLB baseball player Jose Lima, said eight years after getting breast implants, she began feeling ill with a series of severe symptoms that interfered with her daily life. In 2020, she would find out that the implants were molded.
Lima is among a growing number of women who have spoken out about health complications after breast implants and how to alleviate them. She first opened up about her health in a viral TikTok that has amassed over 5 million views in hopes of helping women take action "sooner than later" when it comes to symptoms they may experience after onset could feel from implants.
"Because the longer you wait, the more damage you've done to your body, which is irreversible," she told Insider.
Lima received breast implants in 2002, at a time when a record number of women were undergoing breast augmentation.
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"I was in the limelight at the time and I was the wife of a baseball player at the time. It was very popular to get implants, large breasts, a small waist and low hips. So I was like, okay, let's do this." She said.
Lima told Insider that in 2010, she began experiencing physical and mental health symptoms, including blurred vision, hair loss, depression, fatigue, anxiety, joint pain, inflammation, acne, weight gain, and rashes.
Many of the symptoms Lima described have been reported by thousands of women and include panic attacks, brain fog, blurred vision, insomnia, and other problems.
"And with all the symptoms I've had, I just thought, I'm aging and getting older, and maybe my hormones are changing because I'm going through menopause," Lima told Insider, "I've never had it with my breast in associated implants."
Melissa Lima before her implants were removedMelissa Lima
Lima said she also experienced depression and anxiety, which deeply impacted her daily life and her relationship with her children as a single mother. She would forget to look after her two sons.
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“I had so much fatigue, anxiety, brain fog. I forgot to make my son's lunch, or most importantly, couldn't get out of bed to make him lunch," Lima said, referring to her youngest son. who was in elementary school at the time. "It's all bundled into one and then it just spirals and you can't function and it affects your daily life and you don't care if you're happy or not, or if you're working for yours children are there and stuff like that. It affected daily activities, I didn't even care if I was there for my sons.
In 2020, about ten years after she first felt her physical and mental health deteriorating, a close friend of Lima's told her about another person who was experiencing similar symptoms and linked it to her breast implants.
After researching implant-related disorders, Lima went to see a plastic surgeon in League, Texas, Dr. Charles Poland.
Polsen removed Lima's implants and found that her right breast implant, which she had for nearly 20 years, contained mold.
Implants removed during Lima's explantation surgeryMelissa Lima
Polsen said people who have had their implants for 20 years or more will most likely need to have them removed.
"Sometimes during surgeries, the surgeon can stick their finger right through the implant — it's almost dissolved," Polsen said.
According to a 2011 update from the Federal Food and Drug Administration, "The longer silicone gel-filled breast implants have been in place, the more likely she is to experience local complications or adverse outcomes."
"Up to 1 in 5 patients with primary augmentation and 1 in 2 patients with primary reconstruction will require implant removal within 10 years of implant placement," according to the FDA.
Polsen said patients can choose "to have their implants replaced at their 10-year follow-up or to have screenings like ultrasound or MRI done to determine the condition of the implant."
After Lima's explant surgery, which lasted 3 hours, her face returned to normal almost immediately. But while she's recovered from most of her symptoms, Lima said some of them appear to be permanent.
"My inflammation is gone and my joint pain is gone and things like that, but my Hashimoto's isn't going away," Lima said, referring to an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. "And my eyesight isn't the same."
Six months after her explant, Lima said 90 percent of her symptoms had disappeared.
While thousands of women have said their breast implants are making them ill, their condition is not officially recognized or diagnosed by the medical community, Insider previously reported.
Experts have said the disease requires more research before conclusive diagnoses can be made. Meanwhile, the topic has been a contentious one in the plastic surgery community for the past three decades since the FDA banned silicone implants for most patients from 1992 to 2006.
"Breast implants and the issue of breast implant disease is an issue that has come up a lot lately," Polsen said. "There are ongoing studies in our society and we are actively collecting and submitting data."
He added, "I see patients every day, and often a patient doesn't need an implant and can opt for what's called a breast lift and go without the implant altogether."
Lima told Insider that she isn't speaking out against implants, but wants those interested to be aware of the possible consequences.
"My advice would just be if you've already made that decision and already have it, just listen to your body and be aware. And be open to the idea that it could be the implants," Lima said.
Read the original article on Insider

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