Did breast implants make Valley woman sick?

A Valley woman thinks her breast implants made her sick.

Three years ago, doctors diagnosed T.K. with renal cell carcinoma and removed her right kidney.

"The doctor told me I was cancer free but I wasn't feeling better," said T.K.

Shortly after that -- doctors realized her right breast implant was leaking but they didn't think it was the reason for her pain.

"I was tired and achy," said T.K. "The vision in my right eye was blurry and I couldn't hear out of my right ear."

T.K. says she found an oncologist in Mesa who suggested she remove her implants.

"I had these removed December 23rd -- so that's not long ago and I feel 150 percent better."

Dr. Lu-Jean Feng is a well-known plastic surgeon in Ohio who specializes in explants.

Dr. Feng has seen patients with fatigue, neck and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in fingers, increased difficulty taking a deep breath and decreased upper extremity strength.

"I've seen so many patients get better after the implants are removed," said Dr. Feng. "If your symptoms occur very soon after the implants, it's much easier to diagnose. If the symptoms occur much later, it's much more difficult.”

Feng adds many of her patients have certain genetic mutations called MTHFR.

“These are patients who have difficulty or have reduced activity of the methylation detoxification process,” said Feng. “So it's very possible that toxins can build up much faster in these patients than others.”

Currently Dr. Feng won’t put saline or silicone implants in any patient.

“I cannot continue to do implants realizing most people can get sick from it,” said Dr. Feng.

Dr. Feng believes more long-term studies need to be done to look at the long-term effects.

The FDA lists the potential risks of breast implants on its website. However, T.K.'s specific cancer and illnesses were not listed.

T.K. and other advocates say more information about potential health risks can be found at Breastimplantillness.com.

 

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