More and more women are experiencing breast implant illness, and celebrities aren’t immune. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), breast implant illnesses are linked to a rare blood cancer and a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Experts also believe that there’s a link between autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Disease and breast implants.
Here are 10 celebrities who had their breast implants removed for health reasons.
After she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, former model and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid had her breast implants, fillers, and botox removed.
On an Instagram post, she wrote, “Living in a body free of breast implants, fillers, botox, extensions and all the bullshit I thought I needed in order to keep up with what society conditioned me to believe what a sexy woman should look like until the toxicity of it all almost killed me.......... Your health is your wealth so please make educated decisions, research the partial information you’re given by our broken system before putting anything foreign in your body.”
After her implants were removed, her doctor discovered that the silicone from one of her implants had leaked into her body. According to Mayo Clinic, ruptured silicone implants can cause pain and swelling.
Former model and widow to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, Crystal Hefner, had her implants removed in 2016 after she was bedridden with pain. She claimed her implants were “slowly poisoning her.”
She opened up about her symptoms on a Facebook post, where she wrote, “Intolerance to foods and beverages, unexplained back pain, constant neck and shoulder pain, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), stunted hair growth, incapacitating fatigue, burning bladder pain, low immunity, recurring infections and problems with my thyroid and adrenals. The mildest of those symptoms started a few years back. The aches, the bladder pain, brain fog, fatigue. I ignored it, labeling myself a hypochondriac, despite truly worrying that there was something wrong with me.”
Hefner continued, “I joked about losing my memory to age, and about getting ‘lazy’. I began to cancel appointments and shoots because everything exhausted me. Before everything went downhill I was at the gym five days a week, and always shooting and working. I've had days in 2016 when I couldn't get out of bed. I’ve felt such despair knowing life was happening all around me but I couldn’t participate.”
Unlike some of the other women on this list, Chrissy Teigen didn’t experience severe health issues, but the fear of breast implant illness terrified her. She said, "I think you’re supposed to replace [implants] every 10 years. But when you have kids, you think about [the risks] of surgery and I think, 'This is not the way I want to die, in boob surgery’."
She also experienced discomfort with her implants, as she wrote on Instagram, “I’d like to be able to zip a dress in my size, lay on my belly with pure comfort!”
Former Disney star Ashley Tisdale had her breast implants removed after experiencing food sensitivities and gut health issues.
On an Instagram post, she wrote, “Prior to the surgery, I constantly felt my body was less than, and thought this change would make me feel more whole and more secure about myself. And for a short period of time…it did. But little by little I began struggling with minor health issues that just were not adding up — food sensitivities as well as gut issues … that I thought could be caused by my implants. So, last winter I decided to undergo implant removal.”
Tisdale’s health improved after her explant surgery, and she’s currently expecting her first child with husband Christopher French.
Melissa Rycroft Strickland
Former Bachelor contestant and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft Strickland had her breast implants removed in July. On an Instagram post, she wrote, “I’m officially a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee again - Implants are OUT. After one reconstructive surgery, and one implant that refused to settle right (even after reconstruction), my body was telling me they didn’t want these implants in!”
Heidi Montag famously had ten plastic surgery procedures in one day when she was on The Hills, including breast enhancement surgery. She got her implants removed in 2013 and spoke about her experience with People. She said, “They were so heavy they were falling through the skin. It was just too heavy for my body and I was in pain and uncomfortable all the time. I thought, ‘What do I need this big of breasts for?’ I think it’s important not to pigeonhole yourself in past mistakes but to learn from them and move on.”
Sharon Osbourne had her implants removed in 2011. On her daytime talk show The Talk, she said, “One morning I woke up and one of my boobies was kind of much longer than the other…So I’m thinking, this isn’t right.” Her doctor told her that the implant had “leaked into the wall of my stomach,” and she had explant surgery shortly thereafter. She’s relieved to be back to her natural breast size, saying, “I don't feel like I have a waterbed laying on my chest anymore.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage got her implants removed due to her Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. She told People, “I feel strong and healthy and for the first time, I feel like I am doing something to regain and reclaim my life and health. I want to be here for a long time to be with my children, my husband and to see my grandchildren. And my breast implants were certainly impeding my chances of that.”
Visage hopes to use her experience to educate women on the health risks of getting breast implants. She believes her implants played a factor in her Hashimoto’s symptoms: “I kept coming back to the fact that when you get implants, you sign off, and on the paperwork, it says that complaints of autoimmune disorders have been reported but there is no conclusive evidence that implants cause this. It felt like they were just negating everything they have heard over and over.”
Cookbook author and actress Ayesha Curry got breast implants after experiencing postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Ryan, in 2015.
In a recent interview with Working Mothers magazine, she said, “I didn’t realize at the time, but after having Ryan, I was battling a bit of postpartum that lingered for a while. It came in the form of me being depressed about my body. So I made a rash decision. The intention was just to have them lifted, but I came out with these bigger boobs I didn’t want. I got the most botched boob job on the face of the planet. They’re worse now than they were before.”
Curry was unhappy with the results and claimed that her implants made her "feel sick." She had her implants removed last year.
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal got breast implants in 1996 “to boost her self-esteem,” but her self-esteem faded when her health began to deteriorate. She developed thyroid and adrenal problems, and things hit an all-time low in the summer of 2016.
McDougal told People, “I started having vision disturbances, blacking out, dizzy spells. Then July came, and it just became so bad that I was passing out, and I was afraid to leave the house. In October 2016, I was on bed rest. I couldn’t drive, I was having panic attacks, I couldn’t see. I had hearing sensitivity, I couldn’t stand noise, I couldn’t tolerate light, I had joint pain, brain fog — the list goes on and on.”
Even doctors didn’t know where her new health problems came from, so a friend recommended McDougal research breast implant illness. She got her implants removed in January 2017, and her health has improved.
Although it’s unfortunate that the majority of these women got very sick, it’s also important to note that many of them experienced the same symptoms. This goes to show that there’s a strong possibility that there are illnesses linked to breast implants, making it even more important to educate women about the health risks before they go under the knife.