Akemi Fisher Courtesy of Akemi Fisher
Women of the world, don’t implant before you’re informed. So says Tampa entrepreneur Akemi Fisher, whose recently launched nonprofit The Heal is Real educates women about breast implant illness (BII) and explant. Fisher’s online community exists to spread the message that augmented boobs can be toxic, she says -- and that those who suffer are not alone in seeking relief.
“Women exhibiting signs of breast implant illness need to know that there is a community of others who have experienced this health journey,” she says. “Whether a woman is considering augmentation or is on the road to explant, the educational information and support at The Heal is Real can change her life for the better.”
Anecdotal evidence for BII stems back decades, but only recently has the FDA officially recognized the general dangers of breast implants. It was October of 2019 when the agency released a warning that risks can arise from implants of any kind. Surgeons should be clear about the dangers, says the regulatory agency, and warnings should be clearly marked on packaging.
Fisher’s own journey from augmentation to explant (implant removal) was unexpected. She describes herself as generally a healthy person. And by all accounts, she was thriving. Through her agency Love & Launch, she was helping her clients achieve sales through Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce platforms. Her client list included entities as varied as startups and Fortune 500 companies.
But as her health declined, she scrambled to find a diagnosis. Test after test came back negative. Ultimately, Fisher stumbled upon information about breast implant illness and found clarity. She found near-instant relief with explants.
“Before the implants were taken out, I had insomnia and back pain, and my heart raced uncontrollably,” she says. “Exercise was impossible because I literally felt as if my heart would leap out of my chest.”
She awoke from the explant surgery with a clear vision: She would create a nonprofit to help others who, like her, searched for healing. The Heal is Real shares stories of women who have battled BII, an informative blog and more.
“I hope women who visit the site find hope that healing is possible,” Fisher says. “And for women who really think they need implants in order to be happy, I hope that they see that though the heal is real upon removal, the risks are real as well.”