WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
A model who has had nine breast augmentations has had to have her implants removed after one started "forcing" itself out of her chest. Bobbi Billard, who has spent nearly $100,000 on cosmetic procedures, noticed one of her breasts was beginning to swell, turn red and was warm to the touch.
The 43-year-old claims she was dismissed by doctors for six months and given antibiotics before her symptoms intensified last summer. Billard, from Las Vegas, Nevada, eventually went to see her surgeon who told her she needed to have the implant taken out immediately.
The medic also removed the fluid that had built up inside her breast and sent it to a lab, but after multiple tests experts were unable to determine the type of infection.
She believes she was suffering from an unknown autoimmune illness and opted to have her implants out for good.
Billard had her first breast augmentation in 1993 aged 18 in the hope it would further her career as a model and actress.
She went on to have a further eight surgeries to try and fix a complication she had developed known as capsular contracture, which causes scar tissue around the implant to tighten.
"I felt like I was being poisoned from the inside out," Billard said. "After over two decades of having breast implants, I think my body decided enough was enough. I'd spent a small fortune over the years, $100,000 as I was constantly trying to correct my capsular contracture. Each surgery cost no less than $10,000 but I made my money as a model which required me to look a certain way and had no choice but to keep getting surgery to fix them."
"But by 2019, which was 26 years after my first operation, I decided to have my implants removed after years of suffering from an unknown autoimmune illness," she said. "I had no energy, dark circles around my eyes, chronic neck and back pain, joint pain and itching eyes just to name a few."
Billard said she began researching her symptoms online and read about Breast Implant Illness (BII), something medical professionals have not recognized as a condition.
"Breast implants are made from toxic chemicals," she said. "If water bottles can leak chemicals into the water we drink, then why is it a stretch to think that breast implants can leach chemicals inside of our bodies and enter our bloodstream? There was no doubt that my mystery illness was being caused by my breast implants."
Billard said that she is still recovering from the latest surgery, after going from a DD to a B cup.
"For the first time, I am happier, wiser and on the road to being the healthiest I have ever been," she said. "I'm not going to lie, my breasts do look like shriveled raisins but I am learning to love and embrace my new figure."
Billard claims she was not aware of the dangers of breast surgery despite undergoing nine operations in total.
"I cannot recall one plastic surgeon telling me that breast implants can cause problems if they haven't even ruptured in the nine breast surgeries I had," she said. "It's up to the patient to keep track of the devices put into their bodies which many are unaware only last 10 years, they don't last a lifetime. As I continue to heal, I continue to research more and more about breast implants and the illnesses they can cause.
"No one really knows what chemicals are used to make implants or the implications these have," she said.