want implants removed after double mastectomy

  • stellinator
  • Spencerport, NY
  • 3 years ago

After a double mastectomy, tissue expanders then silicon implants I want them out.  It has been 3 months since implants.  I always feel very rigid, uncomfortable and painful, specially under arms.  I can feel the implants moving around.  I also can feel very hard tissue on the sides (under my arms).  I want them removed.  I don't care if I have nothing.  Has anyone had any experience with this or know of anyone who has.  Can this be done?  I want to tell my doc to take them out!!!  but I want to know what I'm talking about before I see him as he does not have a very good bedside manner.    Thank you in advance. Stella

Comments (13)

Sort by

i hate mine. got them 6 months ago, after chemo and surgeries and everything else would love to just be rid of them! dont want to offend my plastic surgeon he did a good job. just dont feel natural, looks weird under my arm, muscels are in odd places, shooting pains.
  • Reply
They could possibly be too big. Happened to a friend of mine who then went to my plastic surgeon who confirmed that her implants were too large. Exchanged for smaller ones and she is good to go! Don't worry about offending your surgeon - sometimes a change and second opinion is the best. I speak from experience.
  • Reply
I had skin and nipple sparing surgery as well with the exchange surgery in May. My silicone implants are also very uncomfortable, painful, and hard still. Although I keep hearing "give it time to feel softer", I'm not quite sure what is going to make them softer. I have been going to physical surgery and stretching to no avail. Any explanations out there?
  • Reply
Hi Stellinator. My husband swears I wrote your comment! I am going through the SAME EXACT problems. It has been 3 months today since my silicone implants. I tried to explain my concerns to my Doctor. He also has a low bedside manner. Don't get me wrong, I do like him, and he did a beautiful job as far as how they look. I fell as if I am still wearing the expanders, have lots of pain daily, My left breast looks like it might have fallen (or something). It is sore between the upper cleavage area and looks like crape paper in certain light. I have a hard time talking to my Dr. because he seems to be "DONE" with me. He says they look great and that I need to be patient. I would think a Dr. whose "specialty" is in reconstructive surgery after mastectomy would be more sympathetic toward his patients. I don't want them removed with the fear of looking deformed, but I do want my life back! I don't know what to do. I am so depressed.
  • Reply
I forgot to mention that I had a double mastectomy in September with expanders and reconstructive surgery. I have had the implants for 3 months. I'm ready to take them out! Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
  • Reply
Hi stellanator, have you resolved your problem? I just posted after having my implants removed and fat transfer only. :)
  • Reply
I would be very interested in getting more info regarding your fat transfer. I will be having my silicone implants removed and am in the dark regarding what I will look like after since I had a skin sparing mastectomy
  • Reply
Hi N, I would be glad to answer any questions that I can, based on my experience. I had a skin and nipple sparing mastectomy with tissue expanders. Six weeks later, I had the TE's removed and replaced with the 424cc round silicone implants. Three months later, those implants were removed and replaced with the 595cc high profile gummy bear, or 410 cohesive implants. As I understand it, beginning with the TE's, the pressure and or weight of those and subsequent implants causes a concave effect, especially the longer they remain. From one of the pictures, after the 424's were placed, you can see the concave areas on both sides of my chest. In my most recent procedure, the plastic surgeon informed me that although I had enough fat, there was no way to predict the quality of the fat, how much of the fat would take/survive, or how much could be placed/transferred during one procedure. She explained that some fat is fibrous and watery - not good, but that some is a creamier, thick texture - good. Turns out, I make great fat! Thanks fried chicken:) The doctor suggested that I have a very small - 195cc - implant placed along with fat transfer initially. Approximately six months later, I could have an additional fat grafting and then have the implant removed, mainly for cosmetic reasons. I chose to take my chances, I wanted to be at least flat, rather than concave, anything more would be awesome. The fat was taken from below my breasts, abs, sides and backside of waist, a tiny bit from upper inner thigh, under arms and sides. I think the result was about 750cc of fat which was used for my breasts. Dr. C was very pleased with the quantity of fat that she could "lay" in one procedure. I am definitely more than flat, and more than pleased. It will take a few more months to see what percentage of the fat survives, it seems that is quite a variable, from 10-50% can be reabsorbed by the body. At that point, the decision to have additional transfer/transfers, is up to me. I also flew to Miami and had a consult with Dr. Roger Khouri. He was not interested in hearing what I wanted and told me that I could not go smaller, due to the previous mastopexy - the nipples would not survive. He said that I would not need the BRAVA system, because I had the implants in. He would remove the implants and then perform the first fat transfer. I was told that it would require several additional procedures over a period of several months. However, that was to achieve a much larger breast size than I wanted. I decided that I would place myself in Dr. Cassileth's hands.
  • Reply
Stella - I too experienced exactly what you are talking about on my left side (radiated side) and suffered for a year with horrible pain. Get a good PS who is an experienced in DIEP surgery and see if you are a candidate. Where do you live?
  • Reply

Hi Stella,

Thinking about you. How's that infection? Were you able to get things resolved? Please stop in to let us know how you are.

xoxo,

Beverly

  • Reply

Hi Stella,

You sound very frustrated and rightly so! It is a long and difficult journey through breast cancer. You have endured too much to give up now. Your current challenge could be one that is easily remedied. Trusting and partnering with your physician will bring you the best outcome. This will require you educating yourself (so glad you stopped by RealSelf), so you will feel comfortable discussing your options with your doctor. If you feel you are not getting the proper response and attention from your doctor, please get another opinion.

Please stay in touch. We are here to support you!

xoxo,

Beverly

  • Reply
You know something? Your response seems to me to be just so much pie-in-the-sky reconstruction promo. I refuse to be someone who has "endured too much to give up now." I am giving up after losing the first (and it will be the only) expander because of what amounts to a life-threatening staph infection.
  • Reply
Hi Stella, I agree with all the rest that you should NOT give up! I too am struggling, but everyone tells me it could take good year or 2 to feel a bit normal. I struggle everyday, and I have a lot of moments (especially during the night) when I just hate having them. I love the way they look, and have no complaints except for the hollow shapes above my implants...but, my Dr. (Andres) who is very experienced in this area, has guaranteed me he can fix this. The pain comes in spurts, but I am learning to deal with it. I pray you will hang in there...WE ARE ALL hanging in there with you. It sounds like you have gone through a lot, now....let's get you back to feeling normal again. Lots of Hugs to you!
  • Reply