London

Tits Up : PIP Implants – The Worry and the Truth.

Hi. My name is JJ Miller, and I have fake boobs. I am not ashamed of this. I have mentioned it before, and will probably do so again.

All happy with that? Great. Then let’s move on…and start by clearing up a few things about breast augmentation:

 

  1. Not all (in fact very few) women who have their breast “done” do so because they wish to be Porn Stars or Lap-dancers. (Not that, in my opinion, there is anything wrong with Porn Stars or Lap-dancers. Each to their own.)
  2. Most women do not choose to have them because they are vain.
  3. Having “fake” breasts does not make you a fake person.
  4. Many women who opt for breast augmentation do so due to huge self-esteem issues, illness or injury.
  5. They don’t always look fake.

 

OK. So now I’ve got that off my chest (don’t excuse the pun…), I will continue.

I didn’t have implants because I wanted bigger breasts. I had always been happy with my shape & wouldn’t have altered a thing. I only chose to have the operation after my car accident damaged my skeletal and muscular system, changing my body in many ways that weren’t fixable. Choosing to take control over the one thing I could fix, is something I will never regret. From the moment I had it done, I felt more confident, more “human”, and a bit more like the old me again. For me, it was the only option, and I was incredibly pleased with the results. My D cup was increased to a DD, and my boobs looked perkier, completely natural and suited me well. No complaints, back then.

Because I had been through so many operations already due to my accident, I was very careful about my research. I chose to go with a clinic and surgeon a friend had used and was really happy with. I made sure there was a guarantee. I had no worries about the safety of the implants. I had no reason to doubt what I was being told. The implants had been approved by the government, so must be safe, right?

Wrong.

It seems (although it is yet to be 100% confirmed, 5 weeks after I originally asked for my records to be released) that I received PIP implants, like 40,000 or so other women in the UK. It also seems, after checking the symptoms, that my implants have ruptured. I am booked in to check this with my GP, have a scan and find out for sure next week.

This is extremely stressful, on many levels. Firstly – the waiting is horrific. Not knowing is a horrible thing. This is our health we’re talking about, not something to be flippant about. The fact that I have waited 5 weeks (so far) for clarification on whether I even have the defective silicone (lets call it mattress filler, as thats what it is) in my body is unacceptable. That the government ever approved non-medical grade silicone to be used in womens bodies in the first place is an absolute disgrace – and needs to be investigated further. And for someone who has had numerous operations since the hit and run, the thought of having another one is not very nice at all.

I know many of you are bored of hearing about PIP’s. I have read the Twitter comments, accusing the women affected of being vain. There have been countless digs, lots of talk about leaving your body in its natural state. Some people are saying this shouldn’t even be in the news. Why not? We trusted the medical profession with our bodies. It wasn’t only private clinics using PIP’s, the NHS did too. This is costing the health service thousands – and driving many women who may have head severe body issues in the first place over the edge. That’s news, as far as I’m concerned.

The messages we’re receiving are mixed and confusing. The uncertainty is awful. The concern over how much it’s going to cost, what we’ll look like, whether it may cause cancer or other problems is ever-present. No-one is giving us any reassurance. It’s just all a waiting-game.

I have spoken to many women who had PIP implants for medical or mental health reasons. They feel like they’ve been built up, only to be knocked down again. To be told your implants will be removed but not necessarily replaced free of charge it HORRIFIC – we can all imagine what that would look like, and for people who have had the original (very expensive) procedure for reasons of self-confidence or health, this can trigger emotional break-downs that can be extremely dangerous.

Even leading Surgeons agree. Professor Laurence Kirwan recently stated;

“How can we suggest that women have their implants removed without replacing them?” “Quite often the reason for breast implants has a lot to do with self esteem, dignity and femininity. To have them removed, without a guarantee that they will be replaced will leave them damaged both mentally and physically. This completely counters the reason they had the procedure done in the first place”.

Professor Kirwan is offering removal and replacement free of charge to any of his affected. Many clinics are refusing to replace the faulty implants and are charging thousands to correct a mistake that was no fault of the patient. I for one, find this kind of greed unacceptable.

I’m not necessarily asking you to understand what it feels like to be let down my medical professionals you trust. I’m not asking for anyone to feel sorry for us. All I’m asking you to do is hold back on the judgements and sweeping statements. There are many reasons people change their bodies cosmetically – its not always as straight-forward as you think.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Alex C
    February 11, 2012 at 1:32 am

    See, this post is all about two of your best features.. (no, not those bad boys) your bravery and your spirit.

    For a lot of people, the above would be something hidden deep and left to eat away at souls and dim once bright stars.

    Not yours.

    What inspires me and I hope a lot of others is that you rise to meet the difficult times in your life head-on, you don’t shy away or shut down or forget. You rise. You say “Here I am, Here it is” and burn brighter, packing even more event and adventure into your life.

    You’re a fighter JJ, and I know that whatever the outcome this won’t beat you, because I don’t think it’s possible!! We all have our weak days, our moments of self-doubt, I hope all affected by these implants have the same spirit and integrity that you are showing.

    Hope your scan yields good news, know that a lot of people have a lot of time for you, and whatever you need, name it.

    x

  • Reply
    JJ
    February 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    What a beautiful thing to say Alex – thank you – that means so much.

    I will be fine, whatever happens. I have to be. Love to you and yours xxx

  • Reply
    JJ
    February 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Quick update on this. PIPs confirmed. I have large lumps, which could be silicone leaks – lets hope so. Scan this week, results next week. Quite a lot of pain around the armpit and chest. This isn’t fun, at all…

  • Reply
    Paul Kennedy
    February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Firstly I agree totally with the 1st comment. From a male point of view, I would of hoped there would of been some effort to reassure the women and there partners that something was going to be done sooner, and to take the hours of worry and uncertainty away. It seems the government has wiped there hands clean of any wrong doing, and as always they and the surgeries are more worried about who would pay for it rather than put quality of life first.
    I can’t even start to imagine what this must feel like ,but all I can say is that I wish you a healthy and speedy recovery so you can restore your life back to some sort of normality. X

  • Reply
    JJ
    February 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks so much Paul. I (finally) have my scan tomorrow – so am hoping that they can give me a clearer idea of “what next” then. If not, I’m back to see the Consultant on the 8th.

    The more I talk to people affected, the more this whole thing concerns me. I am in some discomfort but have heard from women who have literally been wiped out, thanks to the ruptured silicone leaking and travelling through their bodies, trapping itself in lymph nodes and other areas, where it has to stay as it is unsafe to remove it. At the moment, we are being told there is no medical evidence to say this will be dangerous to our long term health. No guarantees tho…and all I can say is its obviously NOT going to be good for us either.

    However, and I never thought I’d say this – I pray that the lumps they find ARE “just” silicone, and not anything worse.

    All such a mess. Thank you for your support though guys, and all those reading this who have been so kind on Twitter (@love_london). I just hope all women out there in pain or with ruptures are able to get satisfactory help. As you say, so many people are washing their hands of it, or passing the buck. Horrible state of affairs.

  • Reply
    Paul K
    February 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    When I see your picture and read twitter, and see the laughter and enjoyment your having and to think all that is going on inside, you will overcome this hurdle through happiness, determination and all your close friends being there to support you, I hope all other women have the same strong will, determination and friends as you. No need to pray all will be fine 🙂 …And good luck for tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Gel
    February 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Thinking of you… Stay strong & Keep us posted. X

    • Reply
      JJ
      February 28, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Love you Gelly x

  • Reply
    P Kennedy
    March 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Hope you get your results this week and fingers crossed all will be good for you and you can be on the road to recovery at long last x

    • Reply
      JJ
      March 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      So lovely of you – thanks! Hopefully more news this week – writing an update and will let you know what happens next….

  • Reply
    P Kennedy
    March 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Great article.Also great to know you have a partner that sticks by you and gives you all the support needed including sending you funny pictures,sometimes you have to laugh or you would cry. Admire you straight up approach to the issue, so many would say nothing and we would be none the wiser. Let’s hope and pray for you and others this gets resolved and lives can be rebuilt and confidence regained to live a normal trouble free life.

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