Kayla Lochte has been vocal about getting her breast implants removed because of breast implant illness (BII), a condition that she says caused her to have a series of heath issues. Now, the former Playboy model and wife of swimmer Ryan Lochte is sharing photos of her surgical scars on Instagram.
“There isn’t a pretty way to take a photo of scars but there is a beautiful message for them being there,” Lochte, 29, wrote in the caption of a post shared Thursday that shows her covering part of her breasts with her hands.
“There is much more awareness and talk regarding explant surgery and I am so happy so many women are deciding to put their health before their image. It is not easy,” she continued. “I am/have been peeling back years of the ‘critique layers,’ fixated on an image of perfection created by myself, agents, agencies, society, generational curses, etc.” (Explant surgery, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is surgery to have implants removed.)
Lochte said that she’s been “trying to discover who is at the inner core of my being before being told who and what I needed to be to succeed.”
“But I question if could go back in time and tell my curvy blonde 20-year-old self who quit her corporate job to pursue her dreams in the modeling industry, I would tell her that it’s okay to embrace what God has given you,” Lochte said. “It’s also okay to work on yourself while learning to love your insecurities. We can still have insecurities while working on them. You will never obtain perfection. God created us imperfect for a reason.”
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Lochte then addressed people reading her post. “Your health will always be valuable and priceless. Finding a healthy balance in between the extremes, embracing our natural beauty while nourishing our health is where it’s at ✨,” she said. “I know our idea of beauty is always evolving but it’s really encouraging to see a lot of women loving themselves in their own skin and honoring their health ♥️🌱.”
Plenty of people cheered Lochte on in the comments. “So relatable!! Thank you for sharing ♥️♥️,” one said. “👏 So proud of you for posting this,” another wrote.
Lochte has been open about her decision to have her breast implants removed. “2020 was a scary year for my health and mental wellness which I pray to never relive again,” she wrote on Instagram in March. “I tend to be open about my struggles [and] I kept a smile on as much as I could but I felt a lot of shame and embarrassment to have so much to be thankful for — yet I was drowning. I was afraid of myself, my thoughts and didn’t know how I could continue to live feeling the way that I was.”
Lochte said that she struggled with fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, joint pain, dizziness, reoccurring illnesses, abrupt food allergies, insomnia, bladder issues, swollen lymph nodes, common feeling of a hangover without having alcohol, inflammation, night sweats, vivid dreams, trouble breathing, feeling weak, low libido, bruising easily, vision issues, intolerance to cold, ringing in ears or pressure, and worsened PMS, which she later attributed to breast implant illness or BII. “I have seen multiple doctors, array of blood tests, allergist, ENT, dentist, acupuncture, ultrasounds, mammogram, chiro, supplements, therapist and medication which all led me closer and closer to considering an explant of my implants,” she explained at the time.
Breast implant illness isn’t a definite medical diagnosis, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled last year that breast implants should have a “black box” warning to help women make “informed decisions” about potential risks associated with breast implants. That includes BII, which the FDA calls “systemic symptoms.”
“There is hope – do not give up,” Lochte wrote in March. “There are valleys and there are mountaintops and I am currently on the climb.”
Lochte also shared this message on her Instagram Story after her most recent post: “I show my scars because I want someone else to know that it’s possible to heal and level up in the process.”
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