When Anne Ziegenhorn started experiencing extreme weight gain, vision loss and body sores, her doctors couldn’t come to an accurate diagnosis.
The symptoms were blamed on everything from Alzheimer’s to lupus to thyroid problems. However, it was something completely different: mold in her breast implants.
The realization came after the Shalimar, Florida, woman went to visit breast implant specialist Dr. Susan Kolb. “My experience in doing this for thirty years is that eventually everybody will become ill from their breast implants, unless they die sooner from something else,” she told WHAM. The doctor added that she’s not anti-implants — she has them herself — but that women need to be better educated on their implants and the fact that they need to be replaced every eight to 13 years.
Ziegenhorn had her implants in for two years when she started experiencing her symptoms. “I felt like that was it, I was gonna die, and the doctors were gonna let me die,” she said. The mold was visible when her implants were removed and, though it’s not necessarily common, Dr. Kolb said she’s seen many women with similar problems.
“All the neurological symptoms… the burning, numbing, stabbing, shooting, electrical shocking pains throughout my body went away immediately,” patient Amanda Gilcrease said of the relief she felt after having her own implants removed.
Ziegenhorn, Dr. Kolb and other women have formed The Implant Truth Survivors Committee to get their experiences out there and force the FDA to listen to their concerns about the dangers of implants.
“I literally willed myself to live and willed myself to get this message out here. This is my purpose, this is why I’m here,” Ziegenhorn said.