Fitness instructor needs implants removed after £5,000 boob job costs mum job
A fitness instructor who splashed out £5,000 on a boob job will now have to cough up a similar fee to have them removed.
Kate Michalkova still likes having the now-recalled implants but they are leaving her in agony.
The 44-year-old increased her A-cup chest to a 34D after breastfeeding and intense physical training left her with "non-existent" boobs, reports Gloucestershire Live.
They looked "amazing" and gave her the confidence to enter and win countless fitness competitions – but after four years she was hit by a cocktail of crippling illnesses.
A private clinic used textured implants by manufacturers Allergan – which were recalled worldwide last month due to alleged links to cancer.
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She is one of hundreds of UK women to develop a condition called breast implant illness (BII) – symptoms of which include chronic fatigue, pain, cognitive and auto-immune problems.
BII is not recognised as an illness by the NHS, but thousands of women with implants have reported symptoms like Kate, who is now saving up to have hers removed.
Kate has experienced chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, anxiety, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches , irritable bowel syndrome and swollen lymph nodes.
The daily agony for the past three years has cost Kate her job and she can no longer compete in bikini fitness competitions.
Kate, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, said: "I'm devastated that my implants have done this to me.
"I opted for the safest ones possible, and yet they've completely destroyed my body.
"I have been begging doctors for help for years and none of them connected my pain to my breast implants.
"It wasn't until I saw people talking about it on social media that I even heard of the illness, and after joining a Facebook group of women suffering just like me, I finally felt like I wasn't alone."
Personal trainer Kate was in the greatest shape of her life when she went under the knife in December 2012.
She said her new breasts gave her the confidence she needed to start entering fitness competitions in 2014.
Over the next five years, Kate placed top in 12 fitness competitions, taking home an impressive 9 PRO athlete cards and 12 trophies.
Kate said: "Breastfeeding and training in the gym had made my boobs non existent, and the breast implants helped my confidence soar.
"I loved my boobs – they gave me the proportion I was after and looked amazing in fitness photo shoots.
"They still look beautiful, but they're killing me and I feel like I have no choice but to have them removed."
Kate began experiencing symptoms of the illness in 2016, four years after her surgery.
The young mum has suffered with chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, anxiety, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and swollen lymph nodes for the past three years.
Desperate for answers, Kate repeatedly visited doctors for help but could not find a solution for her constant pain.
She said: "Doctors didn't know what to do with me. They sent me for screenings on my kidneys and liver, but it all looked normal.
"My heart was monitored due to my heart palpitations and I was even sent to a gynaecologist to see if I was going through menopause.
"They weren't finding anything, but when I suggested breast implant illness could be the cause, I was completely dismissed. It's so frustrating."
But as the illness took control of Kate's life, she was forced to stop competing in 2018 and give up full time work, and is now working part time as an online fitness coach.
Last month Allergan recalled their breast implants due to an alleged link to a rare form of cancer, hundreds of women have been left with the implants inside them.
Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphona (BIA-ALCL) is a rare but highly treatable form of cancer that can develop around breast implants.
Symptoms include persistent pain and swelling around the breast implant, with fluid usually developing eight to 10 years after the implant has been inserted.
Kate is now saving up another £4,500 to have the breast implants removed in a private clinic.
She hopes to have them taken out in October 2019 when she will also be tested for BIA-ALCL.
She said: "Doctors warn you that you could die on the operating table, but nobody told me that my implants could be linked to cancer.
"I have been suffering in pain with no help for years, just like many other women, and to now find out about this link to cancer is devastating.
"I paid £5,000 for these implants, and now I have to save it all up again to get them removed just so that I can try to live a normal life without constant pain.
"Breast implant illness is real and I suffered for years thinking I was on my own. Women need to know the risks of getting implants and that they don't have to live in agony."
The manufacturing company Allergan issued a worldwide recall on their Biocell textured breast implants earlier this months after being linked to BIA-ALCL.
The global pharmaceutical organisation recalled the implants after the US Food and Drug Administration released information linking them to the rare form of lymphona.
Links between BIA-ALCL and breast implants were originally identified by the FDA in 2011, but new information has pointed to a direct connection between Allergan's products and significant patient harm.
Allergen did not want to comment on Kate's allegations, but in a statement on the recall, the company said: "Allergan PLC today announced a voluntary worldwide recall of Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders.
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