Dana Klassen has been living as a prisoner to her breast implants since she had them put in 18 years ago. She had them removed Jan. 30 photo: Contributed

Okanagan woman prisoner to breast implants

Dana Klassen has been experiencing breast implant illness for past 18 years

Dana Klassen has been a prisoner to her breast implants since they were put in 18 years ago.

The West Kelowna woman’s saline implants were placed April 10, 2001, the day she made the worst decision of her life.

“It’s been a nightmare, it is literally a toxic nightmare. I would have never gotten them if I would have known,” said Klassen.

Klassen says that her surgeon told her that the implants would last her lifetime and that she needn’t worry about any complications.

Since then she has experienced a long list of symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, chest pain, brain fog, limb numbness and tingling, heart palpitations to name a few of roughly 30 symptoms she has experienced. Klassen, who has been an athlete her whole life and is on a soccer team and hockey team said her legs have given out from underneath her before and she cannot drive because her arms are too weak now.

RELATED: B.C. YouTube sensation removes breast implants after years of illness

She also had her gall bladder removed three years ago in an attempt to find a cure, but she only felt worse.

Klassen went to several doctors, has been in the ER at least 30 times last year and no doctors were able to give her an answer.

She began researching her symptoms and found out about breast implant illness, the condition she believes she has.

“I went on Google and it came up instantly and it’s like a light bulb went off, this is what has been making me sick these past years. I was an emotional wreck, I bawled my eyes out. I was so happy to have an answer,” said Klassen.

Three years after the discovery, Klassen had her implants removed by Dr. Aaron Brown on Jan. 30. She found him on a list at www.healingbreastimplantillness.com, a website that was first published in 2013 and since has more than 60,000 women in its support group on Facebook.

The website offers information and insight to women that have breast implant illness but does not provide medical advice, only studies, lists of doctors and information about breast implant illness for women to use. The list has been compiled by women all over the world recommending doctors that will perform the explant surgery and add notes like “listens to BII (breast implant illness)” because several women report in the Facebook groups that they feel the surgeons do not believe them and will not listen to their concerns.

After realizing what was wrong with her, Klassen dedicated herself to sharing her story to help other women and try to steer them away from making the same decision she did when she got her implants.

“I swore the one positive thing I would get out of this whole nightmare is bringing awareness to all women. Women with mastectomies are putting these toxic poisons back into their bodies. I don’t want to see any young women putting these toxins in their bodies either,” said Klassen.

RELATED: Kelowna oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Nick Carr is one of the doctors on Klassen’s list. However, he does not advertise himself as an explant surgeon. He says he is a doctor who listens to the women who come into his office and if they ask for their implants to be removed he is happy to oblige.

“At the end of the day, it’s pretty simple. The equation is, if your implants are bothering you and you don’t have evidence to prove its (symptoms) connected, you want them out, we will take them out and see what we can do,” said Dr. Carr.

There is no scientific evidence proving breast implant illness. However, Dr. Carr said that even if removing breast implants has a placebo effect and women no longer experience symptoms, it is a positive experience for everyone involved.

“As a plastic surgeon, I have an obligation to see these people and talk to them. When a client is dealing with this, I think there is a likelihood that they really are experiencing these symptoms. You have to believe people, and there is a 50/50 chance they are going to get better when the implants come out,” said Dr. Carr.

Klassen will be launching her own website about her experience in February. Its launch will be announced on her Twitter @klassen_dana.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

West Kelowna reopens beach volleyball, new pickleball courts

The City of West Kelowna is asking residents to maintain safe distancing

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read