Women Band Together to Ban Certain Breast Implants

Playing Breast Implants Made Us Sick, Say Women Marching in D.C.

A growing sisterhood say they suffered painful and life-threatening symptoms from their textured breast implants, and now these women want the U.S government to ban them.

The women, who call themselves "breasties," got the implants for various reasons — some received reconstruction after mastectomies, others wanted cosmetic enhancements. But they're all saying the implants made them sick. And they're on a mission in Washington, D.C., to make sure other women don't have to go through what they went through.

Robyn Towt got her implants after having a double mastectomy. She told Inside Edition that "they took me down way worse than breast cancer ever did." She added that she experienced migraines, anxiety and insomnia.

Another woman claims she lost "half my hair in a year."

Others say the implants caused them to experience extreme pressure in the chest, be put on anti-psychotic drugs and confined to bed. One says her symptoms led her to attempt suicide at 25.

These textured implants have a sandpaper-like coating, designed to cause scar tissue to develop and stick to the implant. This coating is meant to make it less likely that the implant will move around inside the breast.

Some women have also associated the implants with lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. In fact, the FDA says on its website that anaplastic large cell lymphoma "occurs more frequently following implantation of breast implants with textured surfaces rather than those with smooth surfaces, and half of the reported cases were diagnosed within 7-8 years."

"Every year the symptoms got worse, and by the fifth year, I had to leave my job, my 25-year career," one woman said.

Now, these women are fighting for the Food and Drug Administration to ban this type of implant. The FDA opened arguments about the safety of the implants in Washington on Monday.

"This is about our voice, and women don't give up," the group said, adding, "It feels so empowering. We are making a difference."

Their message for any woman considering breast implants: "It's not worth it."

It's estimated that 12 percent of women who have had breast augmentation surgery in the U.S. have gotten textured implants. One manufacturer told Inside Edition that it questions the FDA's conclusions but welcomes ongoing research.

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