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Women Open Up About 'Breast Implant Illness'

Women in Phoenix are speaking out after a plastic surgeon denied that "breast implant illness" is a real medical condition.

The story began when former Playboy model Karen McDougal reported that she got her implants removed because they were causing blackouts, dizzy spells, allergies and vision problems, according to KPNX.

McDougal says her condition has improved since having her implants removed.

But Dr. Pablo Prichard, chief of plastic surgery at John C. Lincoln Medical Center in Phoenix, told KPNX there is no reason to believe that breast implant illness actually exists.

"Studies have shown [that] there has been no causal effect of these type of illnesses," he said. "I'm not saying that they are lying about symptoms. It’s important to know what's the cause of these symptoms. Sometimes we don't know."

It's possible, he says, that these symptoms are brought about psychologically.

"You can actually think of symptoms and they start to occur in your own body," he explained.

Prichard does admit breast implants bring a degree of risk.

"There are always risks of infections, there's risk of implant exposure," he said, adding that the silicone can leak into other areas of the body.

"But is it truly the implant that is causing the symptoms?" he asked. "I would say in most cases, no."

Katelyn Svancara, who had her implants removed in 2016 after having seizures, blackouts and headaches for four years, has a different opinion.

"I just had to get them out," she said. "It started to become almost a panic knowing that I had this rupture ... I went and got MRIs."

"I can tell you the seizures stopped. The blackouts stopped, the migraines stopped, the nausea stopped ... it's incredible," she added. "I feel better and now I can be the mom and the wife that I have wanted to be for the last five years for my family."

Kristin Shramek said she has been struggling with medical issues since having her implants redone in 2010.

"Initially it started with me getting my gallbladder out, and before my gallbladder I was in the hospital for about four months numerous times," she told KPNX. "They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me."

"It’s been so overwhelming the past few weeks," she said. "Headaches, the eye pain, the dryness, brain fog, constant pain all over, stabbing pains in your chest area."

She added that it got to the point where she no longer feels comfortable leaving the house.

"I'm just scared to go out in public, not knowing what's going to hit ... if it’s going to be nausea or dizziness or feeling like I’m going to pass out," she explained.

Schramek is planning to have her implants removed in May and says she is eagerly looking forward to the procedure.

"Going in getting breast implants, I was all excited and I’m just going to be as happy going back in to get them out," she said.

Schramek and Svancara both belong to a support and advocacy group called Breast Implant Illness and Healing By Nicole, which has more than 14,500 members on Facebook.

Sources: KPNX (2) / Photo credit: FDA/Wikimedia Commons

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