Tampa woman recalls years of unexplained symptoms after breast implant surgery

A Tampa woman says she had her breast implants removed after years of dread, knowing something was wrong. 

Kaeli Alva, 31, made a now-viral post on Facebook describing what happened beginning the moment she woke up from surgery in 2014.

"When I first woke up, I could not breathe," said Alva.

After that, Alva says her immune system was weakened, and she had unexplained migraines and rashes.

"I literally thought I was dying. It sounds so dramatic, but it's exactly how I felt," said Alva.

On Facebook, Alva connected with tens of thousands of other women who said they were experiencing similar symptoms. 

"I became obsessive, I had to read everything," Alva recalled.

Dr. Dan Greenwald, a plastic surgeon in Tampa who does not know Alva or the specifics of her case, said every patient is different. 

"I believe breast implants are safe, but nothing is without risk," said Dr. Greenwald, who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has more than 30 years of experience. 

According to Dr. Greenwald, the material of the breast implant is crucial -- and so is the surgeon's level of experience. 

"Our obligation as physicians, surgeons, or doctors is to educate patients so they can make good choices," said Dr. Greenwald.

In Alva's case, she wishes she had known more and is using her experience to inform others. 

"I just want to talk about it all the time because I want people to know," she added.