'My boob job ruined my life': Mother, 55, left scarred by TEN operations in 16 years after silicone implants burst and poisoned her
Julia Edgecox had A-cup breasts enlarged to C-cup after breastfeeding made chest sag
Five years later PIP implants burst, poisoning body with liquid silicone
Replacement implants also ruptured – now silicon lumps invading tissue
Describes operation as 'biggest regret'
16:18 GMT, 8 October 2012
A mother of two has spoken out to tell how her burst breast implants ruined her life – after undergoing ten operations in 16 years to correct them.
Julia Edgecox, 55, went under the knife in 1991 to boost her breast size from an A to a C-cup after breastfeeding left her with a saggy chest.
But five years later they burst and poisoned her body with liquid silicone – and the replacement implants also ruptured.
Julia Edgecox went under the knife in 1991 to boost her cust from an A cup to C cup after breastfeeding left her with a saggy chest
Since then Julia has undergone eight operations to drain silicone from her lymph nodes and is now dependent on antihistamines to control her body's reaction to the poison.
She said: 'They are my greatest regret – they have ruined my life.
'When my first implants burst it was awful, they were liquid silicone so it went everywhere.
'Doctors tried to mop up what they could but they couldn't get out what they couldn't see. It's like an oil spillage in sea.
'The rest of the silicone migrated around my system and from then onwards, there was no going back.'
Julia's second silicone breast implants were taken out following a rupture in 2003
Julia Edgecox in 1996, following her first breast enlargement surgery, on holiday in Cornwall. A few months after this picture was taken the implants ruptured
Housekeeper Julia, from Stratford-upon-Avon, had her first implants fitted at Warwick Hospital in 1991 after she was left unhappy with the shape of her breasts after breastfeeding her children.
The hospital felt her case was strong enough for her to be put forward for the operation on the NHS.
But five years after undergoing her breast augmentation surgery Julia experienced a searing pain through her left breast.
Worried, she returned to Warwick Hospital, where she was told her implant had burst.
Julia underwent another operation to replace the burst implants, but after having having the new implants put in, says she was left with what she describes as a crisp packet-shaped crease visible through the skin. Unhappy with how it looked, she begged her doctor to replace them.
The doctors at Warwick hospital didn't feel Julia's case warranted further surgery and refused to treat her further.
Instead, Julia transferred to the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton where a surgeon was prepared to replace the implants eight weeks later.
Julia believes that her breast implants ruined her life – saying they have been her greatest regret
It was then discovered that the left implant had burst again – and doctors were forced to give Julia a full breast reconstruction when she said she no longer wanted to have implants.
But the saga was not yet over. Following the reconstruction surgery, Julia noticed mysterious lumps appearing under her arms and went under the knife in Warwick Hospital to have them removed.
Doctors discovered the lumps contained silicone and drained them – but informed Julia that she may face the problem for the rest of her life.
The lumps have returned every two or three years ever since – her body's attempt to rid itself of the silicone – and has Julia has to undergo repeated operations to drain the fluid.
Julia claims she has spent the last 16 years being poisoned by her implants after two sets burst and flooded her system with silicone
In 2009 she had the lymph nodes under her arms removed completely but the lumps still appeared.
Doctors have recently diagnosed Julia with silicone granuloma, a skin condition that occurs as a reaction to liquid silicone.
Medics are baffled as to how they can rectify the problem.
Julia underwent two MRI scans at Warwick Hospital to enable doctors to work out why the silicone is migrating to her arms.
She is now due to undergo another operation at Coventry Hospital to remove yet more silicone, and doctors hope to use the MRI results to stop the problem.
She said: 'I feel a little bit like an alien now. I just feel like my body is not mine any more.
'It's hard to explain to people because nobody knows. Some days I feel OK and some days I feel like I have run a marathon.
'My body doesn't like itself any more it is so confused.
'I have to take antihistamines to stop it attacking itself.
'I get lumps every two to three years now. My body is desperate for these to be removed – they are a foreign object that my body doesn't like at all.
'Doctors have removed most of my lymph nodes now but now the silicone has n where to go any longer so it is depositing itself into tissue.
'I have two MRI scans scheduled to plan what they need to do to stop this, I don't quite know what they are going to do though, it is a bit scary.
'I am just sick and tired with the pain under my arm, it is just constant.'
Julia also believes that the stress of what she has been through has not only ruined her health but has also cost her her marriage of 25 years to husband Peter.
Julia recovered in 1999 after her first silicone implants were removed following a rupture but says she now feels alien
She added: 'My husband decided to walk out on me after 25 years of marriage with not even an acknowledgement that I was sick.
'I don't know if he was fed up with me because I got this problem. I had no support from him or his family.
'It was absolutely awful. At the same time I lost my sister and then my mother. I didn't know how I was going to get through it.'
Julia hopes her case can act as warning to others in light of the PIP breast implants scandal.
'It is really quite scary,' she said. 'The PIP scandal opened the issue up for a lot of woman, why should I keep silent forever Why shouldn't people know about this
'I really feel they should have some sort of warning on this – a post like on a packet of cigarettes so they can tell you.'
'I don't even dream of going swimming, I can't do things like I did before, it has affected my life entirely.'