First person: Insights about breast implant removal

  • GreenTemple
  • 1 year ago

We all have been in different places in our lives and made the decision to get breast augmentation. But what if you now want your implants removed? Here’s a little insight to assist you on your new journey and as a fellow explanter, I am speaking from experience.

My biggest fear before my surgery was how my breasts would look after surgery. I wondered if:

• I would have enough breast tissue left to lift

• my husband would still find me attractive

And yes, we have loved ones that tell us that they love us for us! But sometimes even that does not help to eliminate the fears!

My first step in conquering my concerns was to find a surgeon who is experienced in explantation surgery - without replacement. I did not want to choose someone who was likely going to try to talk me into more implants by telling me how terrible I would to look afterwards.

Also, I decided that seeing the same surgeon was not an option, especially since I basically lost confidence in my first surgeon. My advice - take your time and choose a Plastic Surgeon (PS) that you are comfortable with and one that will help you to decide on the right surgical procedure.

We all have various reasons for the removal:

• Change in life or relationship

• No desire for more elective surgeries

• Implants that have ruptured or capsular contracture or capsular calcifications

• Auto immune diseases.

With all surgeries there are risks! Breast implant removal risks include:

• Breast sagging

• Loose skin

• Infection

• Scarring

• Loss of sensation in the nipples

• Anesthesia complications   

Another consideration - you may need your implant capsule removed, which is called a “capsulectomy” or commonly referred to on the Realself site as “capsule removal.” This is often performed with implant removal or replacement. Whether the removal of the capsule is necessary or not is determined by your Plastic Surgeon.


Will I be depressed after my implants are removed?

An additional concern I had was the possibility of implant removal without replacement producing psychological distress. There are reports that state that some (but not all) women have go into distress due to the removal of their formerly large breasts which will be smaller. However, after a few months the skin over the breast tissue often does contract and the breasts fluff up and will appear fuller. Of course this varies from person to person. But I can say that your life will change for the better - your breasts may not look the same as with implants, but they will be your breasts. I cannot stress enough that not everyone will have psychological issues.

There are many “explanters” that are relieved and happier without them. I am! Just the pure joy of being able to hug someone is worth the explantation! After your procedure, I will warn you - you will need time to heal properly. Therefore, plan on relaxing at home the first two days after your surgery. You may take pain medication during this period of time.

After the first few days, most people are up and around, off all prescription pain medication, and usually have resumed basic activities. It is important to avoid all exercise, heavy lifting, and other more strenuous activities for the first three weeks. You will feel great within a couple of days of recovery but don’t over do it – its still major surgery. Compared to getting implants and having them removed – it's different!

I felt fantastic and unfortunately realized the hard way that I still need time to heal! If you go to work, expect to be more tired during the first week and sore by the end of the day. If your work involves a lot of moving of your upper body, take the entire first week off.

Bottom-line: Breast implant removal is an important decision. It brings drastic changes that can be a positive or negative. Keep in mind this is about you, for you, so take your time and take care of YOU. There are many emotions that will go into your decision from start to finish, but this is your journey, noon else! You will see your body change over night! Many women are elated after removal. They feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders. One of the pros to removal is that you instantly look 10lbs leaner!! This is for you, about you and no one else. Having your family support you is important but not necessary – the most important person during this process is YOU!

Comments (277)

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Thank you, GreenTemple for your input and great advice. I think most of us have the same fears you mentioned, but it's nice that you wrote everything out for us. As you mentioned, it is very important to remember that we are doing this for US and no one else! We shouldn't let anyone deter us from what we need to do for our sake! It's our body and we need to take care of ourselves, if we no longer want these foreign bodies inside of us. Even though I had made the decision to have my implants removed, after I scheduled my appointment for April 11, 2014 and felt really happy I was finally going to do this, the next day I started having serious doubts all over again. I couldn't believe it! It was very frustrating to feel that way. Luckily, I found this website and spent days reading everyone's comments and looking at the before and after pictures. I don't know what I would've done if I hadn't found this site. No one understands how I'm feeling except for a person who has experienced what I have. It's made all the difference to have someone to talk to who has been through what I'm going through now. So, thanks to everyone, especially you for your contribution to this site! Of course, I am still going to have some fear, but that's normal for anyone who's going to have surgery. But, I definitely want my implants out for good! I had my implant surgery in 1991 and they hardened after only two years. I also lost sensation from my lower nipples down to the bottom of my breasts due to the areolar incision. I knew there was some possibility of nerve damage, but my PS assured me it would only be slight. That wasn't true. I have almost no feeling in my breasts at all. As I'm sure most women would agree, losing that sensation really was a bummer sexually. Combining the lack of sensation with my breasts feeling like baseballs really did a number on me and I began to hate them! The only positive thing was that I felt like I looked good in a bra, at last and I felt more womanly. Sexy. I even felt a sense of power, as weird as that may sound. I think that came from feeling insecure about myself as a woman, because I was flat-chested. It's funny what society does to us and what we do to ourselves when we think almost every other woman in the world has normal breasts and we don't. Why do we do that to ourselves? Anyway, I also began to have auto-immune issues two years after my implant surgery. I have fibromyalgia and have to take three different medications to get through the day and to be able to stay asleep at night. I have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly because of brain fog. I have a lot of fatigue and I get depressed often. I can't blame everything on my implants, but I definitely feel they are the reason for many of my health problems. I was in my 30s when I had my implant surgery and I was a very healthy person before then. So I don't think it's a coincidence that these problems happened after my plastic surgery. I am 61 years old now and I really regret I had the surgery. I wish I could tell every young woman or any woman that having bigger boobs just isn't worth it!
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Has anyone had Saline implants after a complete removal of breast tissue because of cancer scare--not a cancer diagnosis?
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I am wanting my implants removed for fear of breast cancer. It runs in my family. I also have calcification and capsular contracture. I have health issues as well. I really hope I can get my insurance to help pay. How long have you had your implants? I've had mine since 1997. I'm 40.
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Hi- I had the exact same situation. My insurance paid the removal portion of capsulectomy, I had to pay the portion that was putting new implants in. Sadly, I have now developed cc again and don't know if my insurance will pay to have them out again. Not sure what I am going to do at this point.
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Can anyone recommend a explant surgeon in the San diego, or Los angeles area?? I need to get these out. Have been living in chronic pain now for 2.5 years and I'm beginning to think they are my breast's. Thank you! also has anyone had them removed and have gotten better?? I have Neck, headaches, upper stiff neck pain constantly. thank you thank you thank you in advance!!
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UKmommy, I would tell you to contact Dr. Pousti in San Diego. I wish that I had spoken with him prior to my explant. My results are not "bad", but I think they would have been better if I had seen this man. I have since visited him and have discussed further revision. He is ethical and honest! Please, at least see him for a consult. He is well worth it.
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I am going to see my Ps on Thursday can anyone recommend a good Ps in mi? I am not too sure about want ? To ask and I do want everything out.
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I have silicone implants since 2009; this is one of the dumbest things I ever did. I have anxiety, headaches, fatigue. I want them out. I feel so stupid I pray that I will be ok after they are out.
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Can you recommend a good compression bra? My explant surgery is scheduled for 02/04/14 and I'd like to buy everything I'll be needing before surgery. I'm a size 32DD with my implants, before implants I was barely a B cup so I don't have a clue what size bra to wear after surgery.
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Did you have surgery? Please email me. I'm 27 1 kid want to remove my 32dd implants! thank you! Good luck!
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I have not had surgery yet. I am still in the UK, we are planning to relocate this summer and will look into removal then.
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Hi. Great post! Thank you. I am scheduled to have my giant 36ddd removed on april 28th! Can't wait. I'm also doing a lift and fat transfer. I've have my implants for about 20 years I think I previously was a small c. Its funny cause not to long ago I always thought large breasts were attractive, now I think natural is so beautiful. Is amazing the thought of plastic balls in my chest grosses me out! Where before, I loved my breasts! So weird! I was watching (how to lose a guy in 10 days) last night and when I saw the main blond girl in the movie who is literally completly flat chested, I became jealous and envious. They were beautiful and she looked so feminine and pretty. So I Google her to find out her bra size lol just out of curiosity, and don't ya know. ... The girl gets implants. I think her name is Kate Hudson. Just thought id share. Im so glad your all here. It's like having a bunch of girlfriends who are going thru the same thing! So cool.
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I had mine removed as I felt it would be the "healthy" thing to do after over 20 years. I had not had problems as far as I could see or feel they were soft but they were silicone. My advice is to make sure you find a surgeon who has done many explantation/lifts and to ask if it's possible to cause edema in breast from scar tissue or injury to glands. You don't want to be in worse shape than you were when you began. I am so scared that I am now faced with lifelong edema of my breast and torso. It is not in my arm. Good luck to you all.
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Thanks so much. Your post was very helpful. I'm fairly new to this site and at the beginning stages of getting my implants removed. I know that I will want the capsules removed if I'm going thru the procedure. Do you have any advice on if my PS wants to leave the capsules in?
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Hi Violet214! Welcome to our site! As far as the removal of the capsule that varies from PS to PS. My advice is to discuss your options with your Ps and go from there. I did have mine removed but there are several other ladies that did not. Again I think this is a case by case basis / decision. Best wishes to you and happy healing! GT
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I had mine taken out. If you have symptoms and feel ill please tell your doctor to do the enbloc procedure. I told my doctor what I wanted and she did the procedure I asked for. She had to scrape lots of scar tissue off of my rib cage. Ladies please take a look at and saline support group, yahoo. Lots of information on those sites too.
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Thank you, that helped build my confidence in my decision.
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Thank you Kristy
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Dont think thats appropriate here :(
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This should be removed.
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I believe Jesus the answer to my prayers. Your post is Inappropriate for this site. You are kind to want to give help. But find another site . Utube May be what u need. God Bless.
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This raises concerns about privacy on this site. I do not want men viewing my pics, or anyone posting inappropriate content contrary to the purpose of this site. I will be deleting my account.
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1mauigirl, please don't let this individual cause you to walk away from all this support. We can all report this and have THEIR account removed. Lets stand strong together and get rid of this person.
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I had removed all my pics months ago. But still ask questions and make comments. These gals on this sight practically have all the answers. Stick with it, just don't expose yourself as you wouldn't share personal info on Facebook.
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