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Killer Fillers: One Model’s Story

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Breast implants are increasingly common in women. In fact, breast augmentation has been and continues to be the most commonly requested form of plastic surgery in the UK. But could breast implants be causing grave health issues? Here, model Candice Marie Litchfield shares her story.

By Candice Marie Litchfield

My story began eight years ago, when I had a breast augmentation to correct my uneven-sized breasts. I was told that the surgeon would be using French made Cloverfield PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) implants. They came highly accredited and recommended, so I had absolutely no reason to question the UK’s National Health Service‘s (NHS) decision, so I went ahead with the operation in the hopes that I would feel less imbalanced and more attractive.

I was informed that the surgery went well, although after the operation I had drainage complications with my right breast.  It seemed to be releasing an unusual amount of fluid, which meant that I had to stay in the hospital until the breast was draining at a much lower rate.  This ended up taking over a week, and throughout this I was in an excruciating amount of pain, but I was continually pumped with morphine and hourly tablets to help relieve this.

For the next six years I suffered from extreme fatigue, weight gain and an array of other illnesses, with no real explanation from the medical profession.  Then, in February 2011, I was found to have CIN2 abnormal cells on my cervix, which I then had LETZ surgery to remove.  Shortly after, having just got home from my honeymoon, I found a lump over my right collarbone and subsequently was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I went on to learn, to my horror, that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my chest and my right lung.

Saline Filled Silicon Breast Implants

Ironically, I had no actual complaints with my breasts themselves. Soon, however, I noticed my breasts were decreasing in size, which I had initially been putting down to my weight loss leading up to and after my cancer diagnosis, but with some daily self examination I soon started to realise that it was the implants themselves that were shrinking in size.  In 2012 I was also diagnosed with a benign liver tumour, but I didn’t understand how my young body could be so riddled ill health until I saw a current affairs program on TV at my home in my new husband’s country, Australia.

The show detailed the scandal of the now infamous PIP implants. I remembered, in a panic, that these were the same implants I had been given in my home country, the United Kingdom. I went straight back there to have them removed.

Prior to the operation, the surgeon took photographs of my PIP implants, which showed that the right implant was completely blood stained; he explained that this indicated that I would’ve been internally bleeding at the time of the operation, hence the excessive drainage problems.  The surgeon also noted that both implants were soft and seeping/bleeding through, which would account for the decrease in size, just as I’d suspected.

The NHS are taking no responsibility for any PIP related problems, and the Poly Implant Prothèse company has now (surprise surprise) gone into liquidation. Of course, I cannot be 100% certain that my health problems are directly caused by my having the PIP implants, but I would be a fool not to question their contribution to my health woes. I have started living a completely organic lifestyle, which I believe has strongly contributed to the shrinking and disappearance of my tumours, so it makes sense to me that their cause was likely a toxic substance being present in my body; namely, leaking breast implants.

I feel a responsibility to myself and other women who have had these implants to learn more about their long term effects, and have dedicated myself to finding out more information. If you have had a similar experience or would like to learn what I have about these, please visit or contact me at any time at [email protected]

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