First person: Insights about breast implant removal
Byon 06 Aug 2012
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
• 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!