A TIKTOK star has revealed the shocking reaction she had to breast implants – that were left rotting in her body for years.
In 2002, Melissa Lima, ex-wife of Baseball legend Jose Lima, had a boob job.
While married to the Detroit Tigers star, Melissa said that life spent in front of the camera made her "insecure about [her] body".
The American mother of two, tried boosting her own confidence by getting a boob job.
But just eight years later, the now internet sensation began to experience weird joint pain, unexplained inflammation and even depression.
In a video, posted in TikTok, Melissa showed videos of her face at the time – which was severely swollen and spotty.
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Other parts of her body were also swollen and covered in a rash.
In the video post, which has since garnered over five million views, Melissa explains that doctors could not work out why she was so sick.
"After visiting hundreds of doctors I gave up," she said.
"As a single Mom, I couldn't get out of bed to cook for my boys and would often wonder if they would be better off without me," she added.
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One day, a friend told Melissa to research breast implant illness (BII).
BII is not an official diagnosis, but some women who believe they have it say they returned to full health after having their implants removed.
Many doctors are unaware of BII and so are unlikely to diagnose it, meaning lots of women are left with horrible symptoms for years.
Some symptoms include joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue, memory and concentration problems.
In October 2020 – almost a decade after she first began experiencing symptoms – Melissa made the "lifesaving" decision to have her implants removed.
Doctors discovered that one implant was full of mould, which had seeped out into Melissa's body and poisoned her.
After the surgery, Melissa's face and eyes depuffed within "hours".
"I finally felt like me again and now I'm living my best life," she said.
"And best of all, my sons have their Mom back," she added.
Many viewers of the video thank Melissa for making them aware of BII.
"Wow your inflammation went away immediately after!
"I've had mine for ten years and always thought they could be causing some of my issues," one viewer said.
What are the symptoms of breast implant illness?
Symptoms of breast implant illness can vary from person to person.
Common symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Muscle weakness (myopathy)
- Anxiety and depression
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Trouble concentrating
- Autoimmune condition symptoms or diagnosis
- Chronic pain
- Dry eyes or low vision
- Hair loss
- Skin problems such as rashes
Another said: "I've just sent this to my mom, she’s been swelling up like a balloon and got really sick within a year of having implants and no one can figure out why, then I saw this – thank you."
Other users discussed experiencing similar debilitating symptoms after having breast implants, however, they don't have the funds to have their implants removed.
"Wow I wish I could afford to have mine taken out. I would love to know if that’s what’s going on with me.
"I have all the same symptoms," one said.
Another user added: "I wish I could afford an extraction on a teacher’s salary! My side effect is a horrible body rash!"
One woman said: "I truly feel I am experiencing this. I am being treated for autoimmune issues.
"However, I have no insurance after losing my corporate job."
Tens of thousands of women on online forums claim they have suffered BII, of which there is currently little scientific evidence.
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Surgeons, including from British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), previously called for more research.
The MHRA says there have been more than a million breast implant operations in the UK, and surgeons say most patients are happy with the results.
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