A former fitness competitor who got a boob job of £ 5,000 to boost her confidence in herself after breastfeeding was rendered at the agony by implants now recalled.
Kate Michalkova, 44, increased her breast with a 34D A cap after breastfeeding and intense physical training leaving her with "nonexistent" breasts.
They looked "incredible" and gave her the confidence to compete and win countless fitness competitions – but after four years, she was struck by a cocktail of disabling illnesses.
Allergan manufacturers used textured implants in a private clinic, recalled worldwide last month because of their alleged links to cancer.
She is one of hundreds of British women who has contracted a disease called breast implant disease (BII), which includes chronic fatigue, pain, cognitive and autoimmune problems.
The NHS does not recognize BII as a disease, but thousands of women with implants have reported symptoms like Kate's, who are now saving for her to be removed.
Kate has suffered from chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, anxiety, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and swollen lymph nodes.
The daily agony of the last three years has cost Kate her job and she can no longer compete in bikini competitions.
Kate, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, said: "I am devastated by the fact that my implants have done it to me.
"I opted for the safest solutions, yet they completely destroyed my body.
"I have been asking for help from doctors for years and none of them has connected my pain to my breast implants.
"It was only when I saw people talking about it on social media that I heard about the disease, and after joining a group of women suffering from suffering on Facebook, just like me, I finally felt that I was not alone. "
Kate, a personal trainer, was in the biggest shape of her life when she went under the knife in December 2012.
She added that her new breasts gave her the confidence she needed to start competing in 2014.
Over the next five years, Kate ranked first in 12 fitness competitions, winning an impressive 9 PRO cards and 12 trophies.
Kate said, "Breastfeeding and gym training have made my breasts non-existent and breast implants have boosted my self-confidence.
"I loved my breasts.They gave me the proportion I was looking for and had an incredible look in the fitness photo sessions.
"They are still beautiful, but they kill me and I feel like I have no choice but to have them removed."
Kate began to feel the symptoms of the disease in 2016, four years after her operation.
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The young mother has been suffering from chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, anxiety, vertigo, heart palpitations, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and swollen lymph nodes for three years.
Desperate to get answers, Kate repeatedly asked doctors for help but could not find a solution to her constant pain.
She said: "The doctors did not know what to do with me, they sent me for kidney and liver tests, but everything seemed normal.
"My heart was being watched because of my heart palpitations and I was even sent to a gynecologist to see if I was in menopause.
"They could not find anything, but when I suggested that breast implant problems could be the cause, I was completely fired. It's so frustrating."
But as the disease took control of Kate's life, she was forced to stop competing in 2018 and give up full-time work. She is now working part time as an online fitness coach.
Last month, Allergan recalled her breast implants because of a presumed connection with a rare form of cancer. Hundreds of women ended up with the implants inside.
The anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants (BIA-ALCL) is a rare but treatable form of cancer that can develop around breast implants.
Symptoms include persistent pain and swelling around the breast implant, with the fluid usually developing eight to 10 years after insertion of the implant.
Kate now saves an extra £ 4,500 for the removal of breast implants in a private clinic.
She hopes to release them in October 2019, when she will also be tested for the BIA-ALCL test.
She said: "Doctors warn you that you could die on the operating table, but no one has told me that my implants could be related to cancer.
"I have been suffering without help for years, like many other women, and it is devastating to discover now that this link to cancer is devastating.
"I paid £ 5,000 for these implants and now I have to back everything up to be able to remove them so that I can try to lead a normal life without constant pain."
"Breast prosthesis disease is real and I have suffered for years thinking I was alone.Women need to know the risks associated with implant placement and not having to live in pain."
The Allergan manufacturing company released a worldwide recall of its Biocell textured breast implants earlier in those months, after being linked to BIA-ALCL.
The global pharmaceutical organization recalled the implants after the US Food and Drug Administration released information linking them to the rare form of lymphone.
The links between BIA-ALCL and breast implants were originally identified by the FDA in 2011, but new information has highlighted a direct link between Allergan's products and the significant harms suffered by the patients.
Allergen did not want to comment on Kate's allegations, but in a statement on the recall, the company said: "Allergan PLC today announced a voluntary and worldwide recall of breast implants and tissue expanders textured of Biocell.
"Allergan is taking this step as a precaution after notifying the recently updated global safety information regarding the rare incidence of BIA-ALCL provided by the FDA.
"The FDA and other health authorities have not recommended removal or replacement of textured breast implants or tissue expanders in asymptomatic patients.
"Patient safety is a priority for Allergan Patients are welcome to talk to their plastic surgeon about the risks and benefits of their type of implant if they have concerns."
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