Danica Patrick on Breast Implants: 'Get Them Removed'

That's the NASCAR star's advice after her own 4-year ordeal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2022 5:55 PM CDT
NASCAR Star Shares Implant Ordeal: 'The Wheels Came Off'
Danica Patrick is seen before an NCAA college football game between Wisconsin and Notre Dame on Sept. 25, 2021, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

When Danica Patrick got breast implants in 2014, she thought it was her way "to have it all." Eight years later, the 40-year-old former NASCAR star is revealing the harm to her body she suffered as a result, and warning other women of the dangers. Patrick says she originally jumped at the chance to get the implants, because she thought it would "make me feel more feminine and sexy," she tells People. "I got them because I want to have it all," she revealed in a late April post on social media. "I was really fit, but I didn't have boobs." She noted that the procedure went off without a hitch, and "I was happy with them." That is, until early 2018, when she noticed hair breakage and that she'd gained a little weight that was hard to lose.

She attributed it to a hormonal imbalance, until late 2020, when "the wheels came off," she wrote. She explained how her menstrual cycle by then was all over the place, the weight gain and unhealthy-looking hair worsened, and even her face changed shape ("weird I know," she notes). She then "went down the rabbit hole" and started getting various tests, which unearthed even more symptoms and conditions—hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, heavy metal toxicity, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes in her neck—but no answers. Earlier this year, however, Patrick happened to see a series of videos online about breast implant illness, or BII—and a light bulb went off.

BII symptoms can kick in right after breast implant surgery or not until years later, and "for women experiencing BII, their system is just not working as it should," Patrick's plastic surgeon, Dr. Shaun Parson, tells People. "It wears your body out." Patrick had the implants removed in March, and she said the change was instant: Just "hours after surgery," the dark circles under her eyes started to fade, her face started regaining color, she could breathe better, and her energy levels surged, she wrote in her Instagram post. In terms of how she feels now, six months later, she says "on a scale of one to 10, I'm probably a six." But she adds she's improving daily, and that "I actually like how I look better," she tells People. She also tells other women who are experiencing similar symptoms after breast implants to "get them removed, and see how you feel." (More Danica Patrick stories.)

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