Healing, Personal Stories

Why I Removed My Breast Implants

How one woman’s decision to remove her breast implants after eight years has not only transformed her own life but informed others about the risks associated with this type of body enhancement. Long-time RedLily contributor Tanya Smith, professional beauty and boudoir photographer from Canada, has agreed to share her personal story on our platform; and we are so glad she did. Even if you don’t have breast implants, maybe you know someone who does. Either way, Tanya’s story resonates with all of us in the spirit of knowing when to listen to your body and take action for your health.


“Why I Removed My Breast Implants”

By Tanya Smith


WARNING: Long and personal post coming up but critically important!


I found out my breast implants have been recalled.

Yes. Something that I paid to put INSIDE of my body has now been recalled.

I found this out by pure luck through the power of social media back in August of last year (2020).

I was not notified by the company or the surgeon who put them in… even though my address and phone number have not changed since I had them put in in 2012.

The particular implants that I had put in were recalled because they have a “higher than normal” chance of causing a particular type of cancer.


Finding this out was unsettling, to say the least, BUT when I started investigating I found out so much more.

First, the reason I got breast implants….was honestly… because I wanted them.

I was always an A-cup (and that’s being generous), and I have always known that eventually, when I could afford it, I would be getting implants.

I did my research, I chose the “best” implants at the time, which also were the most expensive, but obviously I was not going to cut corners on price when it was something I was putting in my body, right?

So I paid more. I bought the “safest” ones.

I asked all the questions and was ASSURED that there was “nothing to worry about” and “millions of women” get implants. Complications were “very rare”. and I would be very happy with the results.

Now, after finding out that these implants are recalled because of the risk of this particular cancer called ALCL, which is a cancer of the immune system.

I have been once again “assured” that it is “very rare” and “hardly anyone” gets the cancer from these implants. I was told “that it will be fine” and there is “no need” for me to have them removed.

Huh?! Then why the hell have they been recalled??

Oh, and if I DID want them removed, they would pay for the cost of new silicone gel implants… which sound the same as the ones that I was told in 2012 were “not as safe” as the cohesive gel implants that I choose.

Um. No thanks.

Honestly, I had no idea my implants could be causing all the strange things that were going on in my body.

Looking back, I don’t know HOW I could not know.

I was healthy, always was. I worked out at least 4 days per week, since I was 18 years old. I ate healthy, hardly drank, and yet…

Things were starting to happen to my body.

My body was trying to tell me that these bags of silicone were not good for me.

But, I was told they were safe. They must be safe because hundreds of thousands of women were putting these into their body.

They must be safe, because anytime I went to the doctor for these new “ailments” I was never asked about my implants.

Could be normal aging, could be hormonal, maybe you are stressed, injuries happen even if we don’t notice it at the time (??!)

So many reasons that DIDN’T make much sense, and didn’t sit right, but never was I told that MAYBE, just maybe the silicone inside my body was slowly poisoning me.

Over the last few years, I have been having multiple health issues… things like, severe joint pain (sometimes I feel like I am 85 years old), sever hot flashes and unable to regulate my temperature, vision problems, hair loss, brain fog, unexplained weight gain, migraine headaches, chest pain, I had BOTH my shoulder freeze for almost 3 YEARS! I couldn’t raise my arms up or behind me. FOR. THREE. FRICKIN. YEARS!!





I have been tested.

I have gone to specialists.

They have never been able to give me a reason why I was having these issues.

I knew something was not right. I did not feel “right”. I told Mark, I was “too young to feel this old.”

They figure it must be “menopause symptoms” but going to a menopause specialist did not help. She gave me every medication possible and was baffled as to why nothing was helping my symptoms and they seemed to be getting worse.

After hearing about the recall, I found out about something called Breast Implant Illness. BII is very common in women with implants.

And we were NEVER told about it.

After reading about BII symptoms, I cried. I just KNEW in my heart THIS is what was happening to my body.

My body was in constant inflammation. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SINCE 2012.

I have gone through a lot of emotions since finding out:

  • Happiness and relief to find out about BII, and know that I am NOT crazy
  • Embarrassment and shame for doing this to MYSELF
  • Anger at not being told what could happen and how common BII actually IS
  • Sadness at having to say goodby to my new shape, that I was really starting to get used to… a shape that I have always wanted and now have to say goodbye to.

I found out there are warnings on the box that the implants come in, but I was not provided with this information. No patients are. I downloaded mine a few months ago and I was shocked to see that everything I was going through was right there in black and white.

No breast implants are safe.

I was told the cohesive gel implants (aka “gummy bear implants”) were safe because they don’t leak or seep into your body if they rupture. There are thousands of photos showing that they do, in fact, leak, seep, deteriorate, calcify, and even rupture.

Any implant can leak, and even saline implants have a silicone shell, and there are many documented cases of women with BII symptoms with ALL types of breast implants. They have found leaks, ruptures, and even mold (!!).

I have my explant surgery scheduled in 10 days.

My surgeon is an expert in the proper removal of implants and he has asked me to be a part of his study on Breast Implant Illness.

I am in good hands.

I will keep you posted on how everything goes. I have a positive mindset on this (most days) and I am happy to have these “toxic titties” (as I am calling them), out of my body so I can move forward and take control of my health.

Am I worried?


I am a bit worried, but I think that is pretty normal and to be expected, and I am trying not to let negative thoughts build up when they arise.

Mostly I am looking forward to getting them out.

Feeling better. And getting on with my life.

Yes, there is a chance that getting them out may not result in me feeling better. That it MIGHT not have been the implants that are causing my symptoms (even though I know in my heart that this is what is happening to me) but I know that at SOME POINT I will need to have these out anyway… that breast implants need to be replaced after 10 years or so (which I was also NOT told.

In fact, I specifically asked that question and was told “I will have the best boobs in the old folks home” and “there is no need to replace them if they still look good”).

So I am getting them out and going back to natural, albeit with more scars.

I am sharing this because I think people need to KNOW about the dangers of breast implants.

Because if I can help ONE person who is considering implants to KNOW what they are getting into.

To know the risks.

Because I did not know.

If I did I would never have paid to do this to myself.

And now I have to go through another invasive surgery and painful recovery.

Photo is of the kind of implants that have been recalled and that I have. Textured, cohesive gel implants. This was the image I was shown when I was choosing. Showing that even if they are cut, they will hold their shape and will not leak- which we now know is not true.

If you have symptoms, reach out.

If you are thinking of getting implants, reach out.

Feel free to share if you think it will help someone.


Contributor photo


About the AuthorTanya Smith is a women’s portrait photographer. She specializes in boudoir and beauty for everyday women. Tanya likes to promote and empower ladies through a healthy dose of femininity. She encourages more self-love and less self-sabotage through her work. To contact Tanya or to book a session, visit www.tanyalsmith.com.

Not in her group? Click here to Join the Evolution and once you are in, add your female friends as well. Also, follow her on Instagram and Facebook group. Don’t forget to tag yourself!




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