Former UFC challenger Cat Zingano opens up about breast implant removal and BII struggles

Ken Pishna
MMA Weekly
Cat Zingano - post BII photo shoot - instagram
Cat Zingano - post BII photo shoot - instagram

Former UFC title challenger and current Bellator fighter Cat Zingano recently opened up about her struggles with breast implant illness and her ultimate decision to have her breast implants removed.

Posting a photo from her first shoot after having her breast implants removed, Zingano accompanied the picture with a lengthy comment. Her statement explains her dealings with breast implant illness and how she came to the decision to have her implants explanted.

"This is my first photo shoot since I had my big surgery. I sensed and researched #BII a couple years ago but I didn’t believe in the severity and didn’t want to risk the change in vanity until I was watching it start to really kick my ass. I got sick, so sick, without explanation," she wrote.

"I went to @drlujeanfeng and saw/met both men and women suffering from the same implant toxicity. Some had had implants for decades, some had had implants for months. Although I loved my curves, and I don’t regret the decision to fix my breasts after I had my son, if I knew then what I know now, I’d have made different choices. I have felt so much better since the explant.

"I’ve seen first hand how much worse it can get and I was extremely supported by my friend and fellow patient @shuriecremona who can inform you much more intelligently about it. I’m still rehabbing my lungs, ribs, endocrine system, muscles and some other related issues, however, my close people and I can all agree that I’m doing much better than they have seen in a long long time."

Zingano recovering from BII, prepping to fight for Bellator MMA

Zingano was released by the UFC in August of 2019, having gone 1-4 in her last five fights in the Octagon. A couple months later, she signed a contract to fight for Bellator MMA. 

Though Zingano has yet to set foot in the Bellator cage, that day might not be far off now that she is on the mend from having her implants removed.

"My training has improved ten-fold (just watch my videos) and I feel so much improvement overall. I’m told there’s so much more recovery to come too!" Zingano said, obviously excited about her future in the fight game.

TRENDING > Tito Ortiz’s win over Alberto ‘El Patron’ Rodriguez inexplicably changed to no contest

Zingano may be the unofficial spokesperson for this unofficial medical condition

Not yet officially recognized as a diagnosable medical condition, breast implant illness and it's cancerous counterpart, breast-implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), have become much more widely discussed, studied, and diagnosed over the past few years.

Many people believed to have breast implant illness complain of symptoms ranging from fatigue, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), muscle aches, joint pain, hair loss, dryness throughout the body, recurring infections, gastrointestinal and digestive issues, rashes, problems with thyroid and adrenals.

Numerous medical associations and non-profit research organizations are providing support for patients who struggle with these symptoms and others that may be related to implant surgeries.

The evidence surrounding breast implant illness and BIA-ALCL has mounted to a degree that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested a recall of a specific implant by one company. If the amount of scientific evidence continues to grow, there could eventually be an official diagnosis for BII.

Whether the diagnosis is officially recognized or not, Zingano is a believer in its existence by way of her own experience and the numerous individuals she has met en route to her explant surgery. She now appears to be at least an unofficial spokesperson for this as yet unofficial condition.

"This photo shoot was about TRUE LOVE for my body and TRUE FREEDOM for my health. Thank you for being supportive. This was a big and intimidating decision and something that I encourage anyone with random, stubborn and undiagnosable symptoms to look up. It’s not just breast implants f***ing people up, it’s an immune system attack because of foreign objects being placed inside the body... look it up and see if and where it fits. Some people are completely fine with implants, some people end up dead. The FDA is now required to label implants with this caution of health risk. Do your research. Much love. Wear your scars," she concluded.

What to Read Next