By Alyce Collins


THIS STUNNING personal trainer became suicidal and almost cut her breast implants out after they caused her severe symptoms, but doctors LAUGHED at her, refused to believe her and even tried to have her SECTIONED.


Personal trainer Melissa George (28) from Gold Coast, Australia, is challenging many people’s misconception that breast implant illness (BII) isn’t a legitimate illness, as she struggled with crippling side effects from her implants for three years, only to be laughed at by doctors.

Melissa’s breasts with the implants.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


With the fitness world being such an important part of Melissa’s life, a breast augmentation felt necessary as she was validated for her looks. So, in February 2015, Melissa had 450CC implants put in, taking her from a 32A to a 32DD.


Within months of having the implants, Melissa became constantly fatigued, regardless of how much she slept. She also became intolerant to many foods and she was taken to hospital on several occasions complaining that she couldn’t breathe.

Melissa after having her implants taken out.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


Other symptoms, which are frequently associated with BII, were body aches, inability to focus, memory loss and hair loss. However, every test came back normal, to Melissa’s dismay. Melissa spent almost £10K on specialists to work out what was wrong, but they only prescribed Melissa medication to numb the effects without finding the source.


While having implants, Melissa endured vivid dreams that she was dying and would wake up in tears. As no tests gave any explanation, but Melissa was adamant that something was taking over her body, she was hospitalised for severe anxiety five times and even almost sectioned because doctors refused to believe she was sick.

Melissa ten days after her explant.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


Melissa had her implants removed on December 4, 2018 and immediately felt healthier. She was able to breathe clearer than she had for almost four years, and her anxiety was gone.


“I felt happy and content with my body but also desired to be like other bikini models with larger breasts,” said Melissa.

Melissa in hospital after waking up from her explant surgery, already feeling healthier.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“It was something I didn’t hesitate to do as the sport was all about appearance on stage and I felt bigger boobs would help me. I was so into natural health and implants were the only toxic things I allowed into my body.


“After my breast augmentation, about three months post-op, once the swelling had settled, I began to notice a lot of nerve damage and they were completely the wrong size for my body.

Melissa pictured on the same day as her surgery, shortly after waking up.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“I noticed health symptoms around seven months after the operation. A major symptom being the fatigue and crippling anxiety. My anxiety led to panic attacks.


“No matter what I did and how much I slept, I was always tired. I never felt refreshed after sleeping. I was sensitive to so many more foods than before my implants. I couldn’t eat any form of gluten without extreme pain and bloating.

Melissa’s implants were causing her so many health issues over the course of the years.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“By the third year of implants, I was in the hospital more times than I can count, unable to breathe and needing to be given oxygen. Every scan and test came back normal though.


“In 2018 I was diagnosed with bowel polyps which needed to be removed, and stomach ulcers which needed treating.

Melissa thought breast implants would help her image as so many women in the fitness modelling world have them.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“Other symptoms were constant body aches, mood swings, muscle pain and soreness which lasted for weeks after training. I couldn’t focus, I’d lose interest quickly and forget things. I had no appetite, hair loss and brain fog.


“Everyone would ask me why I was sick again, but that was just how I woke up each morning and to me it was normal, so I learned to live with it.

Melissa holding up her implants after they were removed.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“The hardest symptom was the anxiety and depression which ruined my life. I was contemplating suicide, and as hard as that is to admit, it’s the harsh truth of the illness.


“I reached a point of total psychosis and I was going insane. I felt like my body was shutting down as the weeks went by and I thought that if no one would do it for me, I would just cut them out myself.

Melissa modelling, before having her toxic implants removed.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“I had such vivid dreams that I was dying, and I would wake up crying at the thought. My brain and body were taken over by my toxic implants. I became scared and before I knew it, I was hospitalised with severe anxiety.”


In 2018 Melissa came across a Facebook group which shared details of BII and allowed women to share their personal experiences with the debilitating illness. Melissa immediately contacted her surgeon to find out if she could go through with an explant.

In 2009 Melissa was naturally a 32C, before becoming a 32DD with implants.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


Melissa’s explant took place in December 2018, and as soon as the aesthetic wore off, she noticed some immediate improvements.


“Medical professionals laughed at me and told me it couldn’t be my implants. I stand firm that it most definitely was and I’m living proof,” said Melissa.

On the left is Melissa when she had implants, while suffering from ill health. On the right is Melissa pictured in January 2019.
MDWfeatures / Melissa


“I first considered explanting after seeing a Facebook group. I read through every woman’s post and my life changed because I found hope that I could get better.


“I was fortunate that my surgeon believes in BII and he listened to my every concern. The hospital staff were amazing after my surgery, but what I did find interesting was that a lot of hospital staff had no idea what the illness was, and I was educating them on the issue.

Melissa pictured the day before her explant, noting her poor skin, dark circles and tired eyes.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“Some of the effects happened immediately when I woke up from surgery. I could take a deep breath again and my eyes weren’t swollen or yellow in colour. I cried from happiness when I saw the instant changes in my face.


“My anxiety is completely gone and I’m not having any panic attacks now. I feel a lot more present in my body and I don’t wake up sore or suffering. I can now breathe deeply without difficulty. I can even eat food that I was never able to eat before.

The left is Melissa following her surgery, and on the right she is pictured just before putting put under for the explant.
MDWfeatures / Melissa Georg


“Looking back gives me goose bumps at how horrific I was feeling and how out of touch with my body I felt. I have always been so strong but suddenly this pain became so crippling that it led to suicidal thoughts.


“While I had implants, I became such a cold and bitter person who turned nasty. It was hard to admit that mentally I wasn’t okay.

Melissa two days after her explant, already noticing the differences in her complexion.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“I wasn’t in control of my emotions or actions a lot of the time. I lost jobs, friends and opportunities due to my lack of interest in anything.


“Sharing my story on Instagram has helped me to feel confident and happy in my choice and within myself. I’m so humbled to be told I’ve helped girls not to make the mistake of getting implants.

Melissa pictured in hospital after having her explant surgery.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“I believe all of us women who had explants are the future for this to be a medically recognised illness. The human body rejects anything foreign as it’s the natural response but so many of us women suffer in silence because we’re told it’s not our implants making us sick.


“Breast size doesn’t make you a better person or more of a woman. It means absolutely nothing but sadly we live in a world of vanity.

Melissa wants to highlight the illness which still so many doctors refuse to recognise.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


“This experience made me love myself more and my blog is there to educate others on breast implant illness.”

Melissa six days after her operation.
MDWfeatures / Melissa George


To see more of Melissa’s recovery, check out her Instagram @breastimplantblog.