Women from Spain, LatAm warn of health risks associated with breast implants

By Ricardo Maldonado Rozo

Cartagena, Colombia, Oct 11 (EFE).- Women from Spain and several Latin American countries came together recently in this Caribbean city to warn of a medical condition associated with silicone gel and saline breast implants.

Colombian actress Angelly Moncayo, founder of the ASIA Recovery project, headed up an international colloquium in Cartagena earlier this month to lend greater visibility to autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA), which is not yet cataloged as an illness but, according to medical research, may be linked to the development of “a type of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.”

Moncayo, who is just over 40 and is recovering from breast implant problems that left her with a spine as fragile as that of an 80-year-old woman, told Efe it is urgent for “ASIA to be recognized as an illness” and for governments to start passing legislation.

Most of the women said they decided to get breast implants because they were dissatisfied with their bodies and felt they were failing to meet society’s beauty standards.

Argentine photographer Angie Monasterio, one of the first Latin American women to open up about her situation on social media, also took part in the forum.

She said she has suffered recurrent urinary tract infections and other medical conditions that she blames on the implants.

“Hundreds of thousands of women worldwide have been victims of the breast implants scam. No one ever told us the implants were going to sicken us the way they sickened us,” Monasterio said.

She said she was just 18 when she got the implants and was not aware of the health risks associated with that aesthetic procedure. In 2021, she decided to undergo surgery once again to have them removed.

“When I (had the plastic surgery), silicone-filled implants were prohibited in my country, and I signed – like many other women – an informed consent agreement that said we were part of a clinical trial,” Monasterio said.

Puerto Rico’s Meliana Canino, winner of the 2001 Reina Mundial del Banano, a beauty pageant held in Ecuador that is restricted to banana-producing countries and territories, said for her part that she suffered serious health problems as a result of the implants.

“I went from being a super-healthy woman to a sickly woman with more than 30 symptoms … four of those symptoms persist today even though I had the implants removed a year and seven months ago,” she added.

In that regard, Colombian plastic surgeon Alan Gonzalez told Efe he decided to stop performing breast implant surgery, saying he suspects they are causing illnesses even though he still lacks the scientific proof.

Gonzalez said that when patients consult him about their symptoms and he suspects they are associated with the implants he recommends they have them removed.

“And it turns out that, to my surprise, the patients improve.”

According to the surgeon, one of the few doctors warning about these problems, that “is the story … of hundreds of thousands of women who have symptoms.”

Spain’s Monserrat Camacho, who lost her job as a member of the National Police force and still has not recovered from her implants-linked health problems, said ASIA is not talked about in her homeland and that learning about that syndrome on social media saved her life.

“The doctor who operated on me doesn’t recognize ASIA syndrome and they don’t believe you. You feel no support. It’s really a bit frustrating,” she said.

Moncayo said women’s insecurities are a big money-maker for the pharmaceutical industry, which “isn’t thinking about health as a final objective … Sometimes I think it’s thinking about making the population sick.” EFE


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