Explant @ Tribeca

As a woman I can’t even begin to let you know how many times I have thought or voiced that if something like gynecological exams, periods, breast cancer, the chance of blood clots due to birth control pills, or other female related issues were experienced by men then they would have been improved or cured long ago. That being said, it should not come any surprise that health issue have come out of breast implants.

Breast implants. They are huge business. Starting in the 1960s, when breast implants were developed, they have regularly been the number one form of plastic surgery. While some women get them after undergoing mastectomies due to breast cancer most get them optionally. Meaning they think they look better or more attractive to men with bigger breasts. Many strippers also get them as a sort of business investment. Of the 400,000 who get them per year 75% get them for purely cosmetic reasons. That is a whole other documentary, isn’t it?

This documentary is titled Explant as that is the word used when women take their implants out. More and more women have started to do so because of the much maligned breast implant illness. Thousands of women who had breast implants began to display a myriad of symptoms or types of illnesses. After being disbelieved or outright dismissed by their physicians, the women still insist that what they are going though is due to their implants.

One of these women is the well known celebrity Michelle Visage, a former member of the girl group Seduction, radio dj and judge on the uber popular RuPaul’s Drag Race. After having breast implants in for a couple of decades she began to believe that all her symptoms could be attributed to them. After making no headway with her doctors, Visage did not give up the fight. She decided to make a documentary. A documentary which would cover topics like a short history of breast implants, interviews with women who got early implants and a variety of medical professionals. Along with filming her road towards taking her own implants out.

Medical cover-up is not a new thing. It basically comes down to money. Companies who are making money do not want to give up their cash source. Breast implants is a billion dollar business. Especially for a company like Dow Corning. The company developed the first silicone breast implant and then when health issues began to crop up they switched to saline. But the external part of the implants remained silicone. Over time the silicone leaches into the body and causes health issues in some women. The implants come with warnings on the box, but the problem with that is only the surgeon/doctor sees it and not all share the warning with their patients.

Throughout history women’s health has not been taken seriously. In a very personal story, Visage proves this continues today. Much of what goes on here is shocking to say the least. How can the companies making breast implants continue to produce a product which goes into women’s bodies which then causes them health problems including auto-immune issues? On top of that, how can the medical establishment keep saying that breast implants are completely safe? You cannot believe they are anything but unsafe when Visage goes for tests, including blood, which show that silicone has leached into her blood and hair. Makes you wonder what else the medical profession is keeping from us.

All this from a woman who is known for her double-D breasts. She is not taking them out because she wants to, but because she has to for the good of her health. The story is an important one. One we can no longer turn a blind eye to. One which started with women who were suffering turning to airing their illness on social media. Soon there were thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands.

A world premiere for the documentary directed by Emmy Award-winner Jeremy Simmons. It is a big eye opener.

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