Danica Patrick is speaking out about why she had her breast implants removed.
The racecar driver took to Instagram Friday to share that she underwent explant surgery, noting that she first went under the knife in November 2014.
“I got them because I want to have it all. I was really fit, but I didn’t have boobs,” she wrote. “So I got them. Everything went well, and I was happy with them. Fast forward about 3 years to early 2018, and I noticed that my hair was not as healthy and was breaking off. I also gained a few pounds and had no luck losing it.”
She added that by late 2020, “the wheels came off” in terms of her health.
“I had cycle irregularity, gained more weight, my hair wasn’t looking healthy at all and my face was a different shape (weird I know),” she continued. “So I went down the rabbit hole to figure it out. I did every test that could be done.”
Patrick listed her symptoms, which included hypothyroidism, dry scalp, adrenal fatigue, face swelling, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, hair loss and a slew of other puzzling things she attributed to her breast implants.
“I had them removed on Wednesday,” she continued, saying that she noticed a difference within hours. “I could take a 30% deeper breath into my chest already, and I had so much energy when I woke up.”
"The condition that is not universally recognized is called breast implant illness," she went on to say. "There are a host of issues that women have dealt with and I have many, but not all. After watching over 100 stories on YouTube.... my belief is, it’s not if but when you develop symptoms. Some are right away, others are over 15 years later. Silicone is a foreign object and leaches chemicals (look up that huge list!) that’s why the body produces a capsule around it."
She concluded, "If this post helps just one get to the root of their issues, it did it’s job. I will share my progress as I go along."
Patrick received praise for her candor in the comments section. TV personality Catt Sadler wrote, “Wow Danica — what an important post! So happy you’re FREE and thank you for sharing this story ! Feel better.” Chef Serena Poon added, “So proud of you and so excited for you for this new chapter of health and vitality.” News host Jen Herrera, who has opened up about her own experience with breast implants and published the book Are Your Fake Boobs Making You Sick? shared, “Welcome to the club. Best decision ever. You will never look back. I was diagnosed with a crazy autoimmune disease- horrible rashes and joint pain. As soon as they came out symptoms gone. Congrats!”
Breast implant illness is not yet an official medical diagnosis, however, many patients have reported feeling a collection of unusual symptoms after their implant surgery. In 2019, the FDA held a conference on the matter.
Following the conference, the organization issued a statement, which said, “While the FDA doesn’t have definitive evidence demonstrating breast implants cause these symptoms, the current evidence supports that some women experience systemic symptoms that may resolve when their breast implants are removed, referred to by some patients and health care professionals as breast implant illness. We believe women considering a breast implant should be aware of these risks.”
Dr. Tim Sayed, a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs explant surgeries, previously told Yahoo Life that he has no doubt that breast implant illness is real. "Breast implant illness is a term given to a phenomenon where some women who have implants experience symptoms not localized to the breast," Sayed tells Yahoo Life. "So that means symptoms connected to other organs — symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, rheumatologic types of symptomatology, GI issues, rashes, hair loss and other things."
Patrick isn’t the only star to go public about removing her breast implants. Last year, The Bachelorette’s Clare Crawley said that her implants were making her sick as well. She, too, decided to have explant surgery.
"As much as I've loved having these [implants], I love my health more, I love my well-being more," Crawley said at the time.
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