Woman gets toxic breast implants removed and becomes boxing champion

Woman, 38, claims illness caused by ‘toxic’ breast implants left her sleeping up to 20 hours a day and too weak to brush her hair – and says she felt better within HOURS of surgery to remove them

  • Emma Thompson, 38, from Manchester had a boob job in 2006 
  • Said the implants caused heart palpitations, panic attacks and muscle weakness 
  • In 2019, she flew to Netherlands to have her breast implants removed
  • The procedure cost £4,000 and made her feel like a different person instantly
  • In October this year, she won a Thai boxing match in Bristol

A recruitment director claims her ‘toxic’ breast implants left her too weak to brush her hair and sleeping up to 20 hours a day.

But since whipping them out has a new lease of life and even scooped a boxing title.

Emma Thompson, 38, from Manchester, decided to have a boob job in 2006, boosting her A-cup to a C-cup, and said she instantly loved her new look.

But while she adored her new-found confidence, within a few years the former DJ began to suffer with severe heart palpitations, panic attacks and muscle weakness.

Her extreme symptoms then spiralled further, leaving her in pain when she brushed her teeth, sleeping for up to 20 hours a day and even having to take breaks while climbing the stairs.

Aged 29, she began to collapse at home and after numerous trips to her baffled GP and a brief stay in hospital, she says she was left unable to walk and facing a bleak future.

Emma Thompson, 38, from Manchester, post-surgery in Netherlands after spending £4,000 to have her breast implants removed

The 38-year-old has now found strength and happiness in her life after undergoing surgery to have her implants removed

Fight for this love: Thompson training for her first boxing match, pictured here with her partner, Jade Burden

The implant from 2006 that changed Thompson’s breast size from an A-cup to a C-cup. When the implant was removed, it was only half full because silicone had been leaking out 

Despite initial suspicions glandular fever, Emma never felt fully recovered and, desperate for answers, Emma turned to a functional medicine practitioner.

Emma was told she had Breast Implant Illness as her body was reacting to silicone that had been passing from her implants into the surrounding tissue ‘and beyond’ – a process called ‘bleeding’.

In 2019, more than a decade after having her breast op, Emma flew to the Netherlands and forked out £4,000 to have her implants removed and claims she was a ‘different person’ within hours.

Now, sporty Emma has regained her energy and has celebrated a spectacular boxing match victory – just 15 months since the debilitating symptoms had left so weak she would struggle to even brush her hair.


Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a term sometimes used by people to describe a variety of health problems they associate with their breast implants.

The reports often describe symptoms like ‘brain fog’, fatigue, anxiety and joint pain. These health problems are very concerning for those experiencing them. There have also been reports of a serious medical condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body (autoimmune disorders).

Some people have reported their symptoms improve once their breast implants were removed.

However, it has not been proven that there is a link between breast implants and the reported health problems, because there is no single disease which could explain the symptoms some people are reporting to their clinicians.

Taken from Gov.uk  

Emma, who has since moved from Manchester to Douglas on the Isle of Man, said: ‘When I had the implants out, I instantly looked like a different person.

‘As soon as they were out, I was on my way back up. I was walking better on the day I had the surgery than the day before.

‘I looked like a different person. The black eyes had gone, I was still on morphine but I had a sparkle in my eyes.

‘The FDA has recently put a black box warning on implants. It’s the highest level of warning you can get.

‘[Breast implant illness] can’t be denied any longer. I want to raise awareness.’

Emma first had her implants while working as a DJ in the music industry and claims many people she knew had them as they were seen as ‘glamorous’.

After the initial excitement of her bustier cleavage, Emma began to experience bad skin, panic attacks and feel exhausted no matter how much she slept.

This continued over several years resulting in her fearing she’d suffered a stroke when she collapsed at home.

Emma said: ‘I felt so much more confident and loved them but in the first few years my skin started to change.

‘I’d always had immaculate skin and all of a sudden I had sh***y skin. My anxiety got horrendously bad. I was having panic attacks every night.

‘This is all linked to producing cortisol so that the body could continue to fight what it perceived as a foreign object.

‘Sometimes I’d sleep for 20 hours a day then it would switch where I’d have that same level of exhaustion but couldn’t sleep.

‘I had some blood tests and the doctor said it might be my glandular fever reactivating. I just thought it was that but then a month later, I started collapsing in my house.

‘It was terrifying. I thought I was having a stroke. I didn’t understand what was happening.

‘I rang my mum and she rushed down the motorway. We went to A&E and I was in hospital for three days.

‘I left that hospital unable to walk through the doors because it was too far. I could barely get to the toilet.

‘They did loads of blood tests and told me there was nothing wrong, they just dismissed it.

‘That was my life then for seven years. You feel a bit crazy because you know there’s something physically wrong.’

The ex-DJ, pictured just before her surgery to remove the implants, claims that her life has been turned around, but for decades she could not figure out what was wrong with her. She would sleep for up to 20 hours and be in pain when brushing her teeth

From 2013, her symptoms  worsened leaving her weaker day by day until she finally read online that the cause of it all was her breast implants that she had gotten when she was younger to become more ‘glamorous’. PIctured: In hospital on the day of her surgery to have the implants removed 

From 2013, Emma’s symptoms worsened meaning she was forced to take time off work and had to even buy a new automatic car as she was too weak to change gears.

Emma said: ‘I couldn’t even brush my own hair. I was exhausted. I used to have to use my left arm to hold my right hand in place to brush it. I had to shower sitting down.

‘It was a case of when I was brushing my teeth, it was exhausting and painful.

‘My legs used to burn so much by the second step of the stairs. I’d have to stop half way up.

‘I had to get an automatic car because I couldn’t change gears. My legs would get exhausted on the clutch. My wrists would hurt trying to change gears.

‘That was it for a solid few years, I was in a really bad way. I couldn’t walk the dog and had a lot of time off work.

‘I also got really pronounced wrinkles on my head.

‘It was hell. I lost everything that made me me. I was stuck in the house and felt like I went crazy to be honest.’

In desperation, Emma then appealed to friends online and was put in touch with a functional medicine practitioner who over time helped explore what might be causing her health problems.

‘I’d always had immaculate skin and all of a sudden I had sh***y skin. My anxiety got horrendously bad. I was having panic attacks every night,’ Emma said. Right: She flew more than 400 miles to the Netherlands, where she underwent a five-hour operation to have her implants removed in July 2020 

After eliminating every other possible cause, Emma claims they were left with one explanation – her breast implants.

Emma said: ‘I saw a functional medicine practitioner and he told me my body had been fighting something for a long time.

‘I had no white blood cells and my gut was decimated because of its attempts to break down the implants.

‘My implants were ‘bleeding’. Your body is full of silicone molecules which is not good. We could see everything going on in my body.

‘There was so much physically wrong with me it was very frustrating that someone tried to tell me nothing was wrong.

‘There is clear, real-world evidence. It’s been suppressed for so long.’

After coming to the conclusion her implants were causing her illness, Emma flew more than 400 miles to the Netherlands, where she underwent a five-hour operation to have her implants removed in July 2020.

Emma said: ‘They were half full when they took them out. When she [the surgeon] showed me, she said ‘look how much has bled into your system’.

‘[After my implants were removed] all of the panic stopped, all the palpitations stopped. It wasn’t just physical symptoms. They were toxic.’

Since her operation Thompson has found a passion for sports, where she has now the energy to be active 

After experiencing an incredible recovery, Emma flew home and spent months recuperating before returning to her passion for sport.

Over time, she gradually built herself up, from running a slow 1km to attending Thai boxing once a week.

Earlier this year, Emma was able to start training intensely for her first Thai boxing match and in October, she won her first Muy Thai fight in Bristol.

Emma said: ‘It was a very big process from then. I had to slowly build up.

In for the kick: The recruiter from Manchester (right) in the ring for her first boxing match after recovering from years of poor health

The 38-year-old’s passion for sports finally paid off when she won the Muy Thai fight in Bristol

In the ring: Thompson won her first Muy Thai fight in Bristol after months of training and making a spectacular return after her breast implant surgery

‘By the end of October 2020, I started going back to Thai boxing. That was my thing, it was my love.

‘It was hard as my muscles had wasted. I’d been in a really bad shape.

‘I slowly plugged away at it. I wasn’t sure if I could do it because I couldn’t get fit enough.

‘I was ill up until they came out in July 2020 and I started training properly within a few months.

‘The [Thai boxing] win was great but it wasn’t about the win. I knew I’d won and done well and that’s brilliant, but that moment was about everything. It was about everything that’d happened in those eight years.’

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