An INTERVIEW with AMANDA PORTA
In her recently released memoir, Pamela Anderson made a rather unexpected comment on her now infamous surgically enhanced physique by saying "... you may gain something, but you always lose something when you mess with mother nature". Since then there has been a seeming cascade of other high profile, celebrity silicone or saline breast implant recipients who have come forward to express their chagrin with a procedure that continues to draw women in large numbers- some 300,000 strong in the US alone.
What Pamela was warning was that while for some breast augmentation surgery might a necessary procedure, for her it was not and it left her for the most part with health issues requiring more surgeries, triggering a kind of vicious cycle that she now regrets. The 'health issues' that she is referring to now has a name: Breast implant illness. It refers to a wide array of usually long term chronic symptoms and ailments that afflicts those with either silicone or saline implants.
On the frontlines of this issue is Amanda Porta, holistic beauty coach and herself a survivor of Breast implant illness. Having explanted and healed herself she now acts as a patient advocate and educator in Beverly Hills, advising women who are going through their own explant journeys. We recently spoke with Amanda about her personal experience with BII - from early diagnoses, doctor gaslighting and social media censorship to what she would say to those women with implants today.
Looking back, what were some of the first signs that something was wrong health-wise and post implant?
I received my first set of saline implants in 2003. A year later, I developed capsular contracture on one side and had to have them replaced. My new plastic surgeon at the time talked me into getting the "new to the market silicone" to which I agreed. About nine months after the replacement surgery, I began noticing signs of what I knew to be hormonal disruption. When I mentioned this to my doctor my concerns were brushed off and explained away. Fast forward to 2012 (when I was in a fender bender incident combined with some other emotional upsets) my number of symptoms skyrocketed to 38. It started slowly with vertigo and then snowballed to include health issues ranging from hair loss to gut issues to neuropathy in both legs etc, etc.
What is the current FDA stance on breast implants? Is it still an approved product?
Yes, they are approved but they have made two recent announcements regarding the link between implants and the incidence of Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) in September of 2022 and March of this year.
Describe the moment when you realized that your implants were the likely problem and it was time to think about removing them.
In December of 2018 -as I was trying to heal myself- I went to have a colonic with a new practitioner. At the end of the session, the practitioner said "I know why you are sick". I said "you do?" She said "yes, it's your breast implants". I replied "did you see what I do for a living (on my intake forms)? I have worked in plastic surgery for years.....I haven't heard of an illness related to breast implants". She went on to tell me that she had eleven clients in the last year who "looked and sounded" like me and when they removed their breast implants they almost immediately got better. I was in shock and denial but it was resonating with me at the time because I had tried everything else and I was still sick. After our conversation and that same week, I would get multiple signs that what she had told me was in fact true. I could no longer ignore what was now likely the cause of my chronic illness and overall poor health.
You speak often about the role of the lymphatic system and how it is so often compromised in those who have had this surgery. Can you elaborate?
In my case, I knew I had lymphatic congestion because I had edema and excessive swelling throughout my body, I also wasn't sweating so I wasn't able to detox through this important elimination pathway. This was confirmed by a thermography scan where I was able to see that my 3 main lymph ports (clavicle, underarms and pelvis) were red and inflamed. I believe the implants acted as a "roadblock" to the natural water and energy flow of my body.
You have an active following on social media. Have you encountered any issues discussing these topics and if so what?
Yes. Since 2020, my account has been shadow banned, restricted, hidden and hacked multiple times, IG regularly deletes my followers so my numbers are always in decline. I generally only repost articles and share my own thoughts and photos of women who have explanted. I have never received a message with an actual violation they can prove.
Almost immediately. From the moment I was explanted I could finally get a good nights sleep. That was the first positive sign I had. After that, it was a heaviness that lifted (probably my lymphatic system kicking in), my hair stopped falling out as much and all of the inflammation and extra weight melted off. It took about 1 and a half years to feel "myself" again but I would have to say my overall health improved immediately.
Unfortunately I now see the same issues with patients that I once had myself. Extremely dry skin and hair. My hair actually felt like a Brillo pad and was so porous that it would soak in color leaving me looking like my hair was black. My skin felt like a desert and I looked like I was rapidly aging. After explanting I could see the oils come back, pretty quickly, in our patients I see much the same thing. My hair hasn't quite returned to its original thickness but given my age, that would make sense.
I have only seen one study in regards to breastfeeding with implants. What I do hear from other women who have breastfed with implants is that those children generally have more allergies than with those who were fed with 100% natural breasts. I do not have personal experience with this.
They said that "saline is safer than silicone". Would you agree with this statement?
If my breast implant ruptured, I personally would rather have saline in my body. than silicone. But as far as the outer shell of the implant is concerned they are both made of the same chemicals, heavy metals and silicone.
What would your advice be today to women who have implants?
Investigate what exactly is Breast Implant Illness and take inventory of any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you do have symptoms, have you had any formal diagnoses? Are any treatment protocols improving symptoms? Did these symptoms begin post implant? Don't be fearful but always know the potential risks and keep your lymphatic system healthy. I don't want any human to be sick and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I am not trying to remove implants from the market. I am not trying to take away any livelihoods. I am simply here to support any woman who has had the same issues I did.