Memorandum by Mrs Laura Hayward (B 9)
I would like to draw you attention to my association
with Silicone Breast Implants and my ill health, and the treatment
I have received over the years.
I was first implanted in July 1981 at the then
Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in Woolwich. After a consultation
with my own GP, I was told that due to a lumpectomy at the young
age of 16, I was faced with the prospect of not being able to
breast feed any children I may have in later years. Then only
being 19 years old and in a serious relationship I was taken aback
by this sad thought, but was reassured that the situation could
be resolved by a simple breast reconstruction operation. I was
then referred to the above-mentioned hospital for an appointment
and later admitted. There my problems were to only just begin.
The op went well and after care visits were
said to be satisfactory, but I was aware that all was not quite
as it should be.
I was seen again in out patients in May 1984,
after successfully breast feeding my first born in April 1983.
I had problems with hardening of the implant and was told that
I had to have another operation to remove the right implant and
replace it with a smaller one, commonly known as open capsulotomy.
I was admitted on 14/10/84 for the operation the following day.
The op went as arranged but, I wasn't made aware
that they had in fact only removed the implant by cutting into
the old scar, performing the open capsulotomy and re-inserting
the old implant.
Then on 15/03/85 I was re-admitted for this
time a closed capsulotomy, as I was told my problem was because
there was "Too much projection".
On 01/05/85 I was returned for the outpatient's
appointment, the diagnosis was as follows: Left breast looks very
nice. Right breast a problem. The doctor then added my name to
the list for more surgery and exploration and new prosthesis may
14/08/85, operation took place, but only closed
capsulotomy of both breasts took place. O/P clinic on 15/11/85,
Dr states that the right breast shows a degree of ptosis compared
with the left, again my name on the waiting list!
03/08/86, Op the next day, this time the following
was performed: Elevation right nipple, ie My nipple cut off and
moved to the correct position!
Throughout these short years my breasts were
always hard and were giving me a lot of pain. I had also to endure
more breast surgery to remove breast lumps which had been discovered.
Again, later on I had a further breast clinic appointment as I
had discovered small lumps under my arm, the surgeon told me then
that this was due to the silicone implants and I could expect
to find many more in years to follow!
In 1994 I went to St Thomas Hospital where I
was operated on and both implants removed and replaced by what
I was lead to believe were saline filled. I was informed that
I had in fact suffered what is now known as a rupture and leakage
of the silicone into my body! Although I had been unwell in general
for many years I wasn't then aware that the cause was the silicone.
Shortly afterwards the new saline implants began to deflate and
I was left flat in what seemed no time at all!
Now my mental health was beginning to deteriorate
and I was paranoid by my shape and looks, being in a relatively
new marriage. I felt that my world had caved in. So my husband
agreed to pay for me to go private and have a new look. Little
did we know what death sentence I was signing! The op was for
1995, although I was led to believe that I had saline in the second
set, I was told by the surgeon that "whatever it was, it
wasn't saline". After some months, my health was getting
very much worse, I had severe pain firstly in the lower back area
then getting worse to the point of me having to give up my much
loved job in Feb 1997, to this day I have been too ill to return.
I eventually had the third set removed after
many months of fighting, humiliation and rejection from all avenues.
I was told that I could have them removed, but as Siliconosis
wasn't recognised and the operation wasn't considered necessary
I would have to wait anything up to 18 months, then they could
only remove the implant, and not the capsule formed around the
implants, which we now know to be the leaked silicone into the
breast tissue, as the theatre time available would exceed the
ten min op and take up valuable time where needed elsewhere!
I finally had them removed in March 1999, but
only after I was humiliated and made to look like a neurotic woman
by the surgeon concerned, stating that "his sister had implants
and there were no health dangers".
I didn't go to him for his family history! I
just wanted these things out of my body! The implants were removed
leaving me disfigured, flat chested and less like a woman than
I felt at the young age of 19 when I had small different sized
breasts! The removal is what may well be termed as "A double
I am now disabled, virtually housebound, in
constant severe pain; I have ME, (chronic fatigue). Have to rely
on someone to care for my daily needs, push me around in a wheelchair
when I am well enough to get up and go out. I have very poor short-term
memory, depression, weakness and pain in every muscle, bond and
joint in my body. I cannot cook, clean, dress or bath myself.
I am only 38 years old, I have recently had to have a stair lift
installed, as I cannot get up and down stairs safely anymore.
I spend most of my time unable to get up, let alone do anything.
Life is just awful, all because I was told that "Having a
breast augmentation would benefit breast-feeding my babies!"
I have had to fight for acceptance of my illness
and this disease, I have been dragged through hell and back with
regards to doctors disabled living allowance and incapacity benefit
claims, because this illness isn't recognised. My illness is very
real, like many women and we should be heard, understood and helped.
Not ignored, abused and left to pick up the pieces! We need these
silicone implants to be banned. We want acceptance from the Government,
doctors, benefit agencies and need action fast!
I have tried to keep this brief, but with everything
considered, it hasn't been easy. I am enclosing copies of my hospital
records where available, referring to the first set of implants.
I am also enclosing copy letter from Dr Sarah Myhill, 
with whom I visited in 1998, she diagnosed my ME, blood samples
were taken, results enclosed. Also test results for a positive
reaction to silicone and a silicone antibody count of 192.
For the record, I have also had to undergo a
total hysterectomy and various other female illnesses which may/may
not be linked to the silicone issue.
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