31 y/o with Saline Implants for 8 Years... Ready to Be Me Again! - VA

Hi, I've been reading all of your reviews for...

Hi, I've been reading all of your reviews for months and have finally made my decision to explant! You are all such brave, strong women - thank you for sharing your stories. You help so many of us lurking out here!

I had my boob job when I was 23 - young and insecure. As long as I can remember I drempt of one day having boobs. I just wish someone had told me that although implants make you LOOK like you have boobs, they never really feel like YOUR boobs. Since having them done, I've been constantly aware of the fact that I have fake boobs. They don't feel like me, and I can't say I'm all that happy with how they look either. Though in all honesty, I'm not all that unhappy with the look either.

My husband and I are thinking about having children soon, and a big part of why I want to remove my implants now is that I don't want my future daughter to look at her mother and wonder when her body will start to look like mine, and have body issue because of it. I want to set a natural example for her, that being you is beautiful, no matter the size or shape of your breasts.

One question I have for you ladies is regarding the incision. I originally had them put in through the aerola, but since I would like to breastfeed my doctor recommended explanting through the fold. However, I'm worried that bras and swim suits will rub, and that the scar will possibly show (I swim a lot). Have any of you nursed after explanting through the aerola? Have any of you had trouble with an incision in the fold (below the breast)?

Thanks for your advice!

Pre-op surprises :-(

I had my pre-op appointment on Friday, and got a little surprise... my surgeon is recommending a full capsulectomy and drains along with my implant removal. At my first consultation, I thought he had said I wouldn't need a capsulectomy. Honestly, this news scares me enough to make me re-think having them removed right now. Mainly because when I had my implants put in, I lost about 80% of the feeling in my right breast, and lost about 60% in my left (I'm talking whole breasts, not just the nipple). I regained feeling in my left breast more quickly, but it took 6 years to regain almost all of the feeling in my right (which may have to do with my right one being filled more than my left during my original procedure but I'll save that gripe for another night). I'm really worried that doing a capsulectomy will re-damage those nerves, and I just don't think I can do that to myself again.
Sensation is like love - you don't always know when it is there, but you certainly know when it has gone! I don't think I adequately expressed my concern about the capsulectomy during my appointment, and now that I've had some doctors reply that a capsulectomy isn't necessairly necessary (which is an awesome feature of this site, by the way), I'm going to give my doctor a call tomorrow to see if he'll bend on that.

Those of you who didn't have a capsulectomy, how was your healing? Can you tell that your capsules are still there?

I'm attaching some photos, just because I found those helped me while I was doing my research. In every day life, you really can hardly tell my right one is bigger, but these photos really enhance that difference. My original doc filled my right one about 50cc more than my left - I will never understand why! I can't wait to get these things out!

photos

Oops - adding photos again.

Less than 10 days to go! Eek!

Well, it looks like I'm moving forward, and now I'm less than 10 days away. Eek! I talked with my doctor today, and he said he is ok doing the surgery with or without a capsulectomy - though he says he strongly recommends the capsulectomy with all implant removals without replacement. I'll be spending the next several days going back and forth on this, I'm sure. ha. I feel a bit strange wanting to go against what my doctor recommends, but it seems like the field is pretty evenly split on which is the best procedure (removal with capsulectomy, removal without), so I don't feel like what I want is totally from left field. I'm getting excited, but at the same time, incredibly nervous! I am sure I'll be so happy once this is over, but I know this will be a long 9 days!

Thank you ladies for all of your advice and support thus far! You've been a huge help to me!!

Postponed

Well, unfortunately (maybe?) I've had to postpone my surgery. My surgeon ordered a mammogram, and the results were suspicious. So the day before my big day, they called me in for more tests. Not to worry - I've already gotten the results back and everything is A-OK! I'm actually kind of glad this happened though because I was panicking about the capsulectomy. I really don't think it is the procedure for me, although my surgeon is pushing for it. Now I have some more time to think without the pressure of a date looming over my head. :-)

Rescheduled!

After going to two more doctors for consultations (for a total of 5 now) I've finally found one who I think is going to work out - and I made the surgery appointment today! She is also quite a bit cheaper than my previous doctor, which is a definite plus. She still wants to do some capsule removal, but it sounds much less invasive than what my original surgeon wanted. What I'm finding interesting/odd is that all 5 of the doctors I've seen have suggested at least opening the capsule up a bit. I'm not sure if this is a regional thing, but I just can't seem to find a doctor that is willing to leave the capsule in-tact.

Getting closer!

Well hello again – my apologies for taking so long to update. Since my last update I’ve gotten cold feet and canceled my surgery, and then a few weeks later rescheduled again.

So here is what happened. I started to worry. I worried whether I would miss my well-endowed state. Whether I might end up ruining my body. And whether I really want to undergo another surgery and risk the serious complications that could happen. In addition, my previously supportive husband actually started in about not wanting me to do it. He says I’m fine as I am. So with all of those doubts and fears creeping in, I postponed my surgery again. For some reason, this decision is so much harder to make than having them done in the first place.

But then, shortly after I canceled my explant surgery, I started wondering about whether I wanted to live with these water balloons for the rest of my life. And the answer is a clear NO. I started thinking of all the reasons why I want to do this: feeling like I’m laying on beach balls, discomfort when I wear bras, feeling self-conscious in a bathing suit or anything tight or revealing (which is totally ironic)… and the list goes on and on. I also pulled out old pictures from before my augmentation – and honestly I think my small boobs looked pretty darn good! What the heck was I thinking?

Dr. Buenaventura was very understanding about my cold feet, and had really great answers to all of my questions. So much so, that now I’m really excited about doing this again. We are totally on the same page with the capsulectomy, and says she won't do anything in there unless absolutely necessary. She totally understands my fears about losing feeling, and wanting this to be as minor a surgery as possible. And now, I’m feeling really good about this, and rescheduled for two weeks from tomorrow!

Thank you all for your advice on getting a second opinion… though technically she was my 5th opinion. :-) It just goes to show, there are so many ways to approach this procedure - you really can find someone who will do it the way that is right for you.

Here's hoping I don't get cold feet again - because I just paid in full! :-)

photos

All done!

Well, I did it! I just got home - feeling good. Very tired, and a bit of pain on my left side - either at the incision or drain - but otherwise this was much easier than having the put in. :-) I really feel happy I did this. Haven't peaked yet though... But no matter what I'm glad to be on the other side.

Day 2-3... so tired

I don't know about you ladies, but I've never been so tired. Don't know if it's left over from the anesthesia, or just my body wanting to rest after surgery. I'm feeling ok otherwise. No pain except around the drains - which are a HUGE pain. I'm easily woosie anyway, and drains are doing a number on me (honestly it is just the thought of them that bothers me most). I'm actually hardly producing any fluid from them (nothing collecting in the bulbs yet), but the physician's assistant said they can't come out yet. So disappointed, because Monday is a holiday which means I have another 3 days of this. I'm not feeling well enough to go for walks yet or anything, but I'm hoping that'll change as soon as I have the drains out and stop feeling so faint. I'm still not ready to look, but think I look better than I expected in the surgical bra.

The reveal - so happy to be me!!!

I'm flat and happy! They're a bit beat up looking - though hard to see in the photo they're not round in front - but I'm hopeful that will heal in time. I peaked the second day any my nipples were really shriveled, but now on day 4 they're looking a lot better already. I'm also feeling a lot more like myself too now. I do have some discomfort when I take off my surgical bra, but other than that, no pain at all. I really feel blessed this went as well as it did. I decided to explanat in the fold rather than risk sensation loss from going back in the areola, and so far that seems like it was a good decision. I have the same feeling I had before the surgery! I haven't seen the incision yet, but I'm hoping that will be well hidden in my new bikinis! I couldn't resist ordering a few with Memorial Day sales. I will post bathing suit pics once I have drains removed and feel ok trying them on. One thing I do want to mention, I've gotten some harsh comments from my mom. She has implants, and went with me to get mine at 23. The first thing she said to me when she saw me yesterday was "boy, you're flat." She even suggested I wear a padded pre-explant bra over my surgical one so people think I still have boobs. I just couldn't believe that came out of her mouth. It was hurtful, but I think it comes from a different generation (she grew up in the heyday of flight attendants) and her own insecurities. I told her that this was the right decision for me, and that I'm so much happier now. I've learned a lot about myself through this process, and I know that for me, I'll be much happier with my tiny boobs than I ever was with implants. It was a long journey to get here, but I have no doubt that this was the right decision for me. I just hope my story gives some of you out there the confidence and courage to be happy with yourself too.

2 weeks post!

Well, I'm just about 2 weeks post now - I can't believe it. My drains were removed last Tuesday at 6 days post, and man, it feels good to be done with them! I didn't collect too much fluid, but I definitely do see the value in them - a necessary evil. About two days post drain removal I started having some swelling and quite a bit of tenderness. I hadn't done anything too strenuous or hurt myself, so the mystery swelling and tenderness might be a seroma. Right side is doing just fine though! Tomorrow I'm going in to get my left side checked out. I actually think it is starting to heal itself. The tenderness is better, and the swelling is down. Have any of you had any symptoms like this?

Other than that, I'm healing really well. Incisions are small, and healing nicely. I also have to tell you, I think my surgeon was great - I can't say enough good things about her. She never once even suggested I replace with smaller implants, was great when I got cold feet, and had a great bedside manner in the operating room. She also told me she is a gentle surgeon, and I really think that's true. I had absolutely no bruising, and almost no pain up until this possible seroma - which of course, could happen to anyone no matter the surgeon. I'll keep you all posted on what this turns out to be.
Alexandria Plastic Surgeon

I originally had consultations with three doctors, and was so happy to find one I thought I liked. However, at my pre-op appointment he surprised me by saying I would need a full capsulectomy if I wasn't doing a replacement (at the initial consultation he said it wasn't necessary). My GP suggested I get a second opinion since I had a lot of trouble with sensation loss after my BA and didn't want a capsulectomy. So I went to two more surgeons, and found Dr. Buenaventura who has many positive reviews, and is almost $2,000 cheaper because she can do it in her office. She has been very nice, very positive - and genuinely seemed excited for me. Dr. Buenaventura never once suggested I replace with smaller implants - and in fact told me she thought I would be really happy with the removal result. She was also great when I got cold feet, and had a great bedside manner in the operating room. She also told me she is a gentle surgeon, and I really think that's true. I had absolutely no bruising, and almost no pain. I can't say enough good things about her! If you're in the DC, MD or VA area, and are considering this procedure, I highly recommend Dr. Buenaventura!

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You look great. Never mind you mom's comment. You don't look flat to me, it obvious you have breasts. I don't know why we out importance on "looking flat" when we have breasts. Good for you, I hope mine look half as good. I am having my surgery tomorrow and I am very excited . Cheers and happy healing!
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You look great! Glad you are happy :)
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Thank you! :-) Me too.
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Wow.. You look Amazing! I love your after boobies! I'm wishing mibe look like this if I do this. I want to so badly, yet I'm still so afraid.
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Thank you so much. I know what you're feeling well. I was so afraid before hand, I almost didn't do it. But now I couldn't be happier. Just remember - this is your body. If you're unhappy with the implants now after having them for as long as you have, you probably will be unhappy with them for the rest of your life.
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Looking great Hun x
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Thank you! :-)
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Congrats on your explant! You look good and it sounds like you feel good :) I thought it was interesting about what your mother said and how much our family's feedback affects how we see ourselves. You will be such a good role model to your future kids and help them grow with a healthy body image-so important (and tough) in this day and age. Best of luck to you...
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Thanks! It really is funny. Before my BA I thought I was abnormally flat. Now looking back at photos I really don't see it. I'm learning to love my body for what it is. It feels soooo good not to have implants anymore! :-)
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You look incredible! I'm seeing my surgeon in 2 days to discuss removal, still can't work out wether I want the capsules out or not!! 2 years from my original BA (had a revision for CC on my left at 18 months) ..my left breast feels NOTHING and it makes me so sad. Did you find out if leaving the capsule intact will give a better chance for sensation for the future? x
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Thank you! Sensation was really an important issue for me too, so my doctor suggested both leaving the capsules intact, and removal from the fold. Apparently there are quite a few nerves converging directly beneath the nipple and coming in from the sides, so leaving that area alone as much as possible helps decrease the chances for further nerve damage and sensation loss. She also said that some people find that sensation returns after the implants are removed because they are no longer pushing on the nerves. As I think I mentioned in my post, I lost sensation in my right breast for about 6 years after my BA. After those 6 years I started getting sensation back, and before my removal I was at 80% sensation. And now, I would say I'm at about 90%! Also wanted to mention, I met with several doctors (5) before picking my surgeon and asked the question on this forum, and each doctor had a different take on the capsulectomy. Two explained to me that it used to be common practice to remove the capsule, but now they the thinking is shifting as they are finding that it actually increases risk for complications and bleeding, and doesn't really have much benefit. The only real risk for leaving it alone is seroma, but drains and limiting exercise and movement for several weeks (4-6 was the rec from my doc) after the removal reduces that risk.
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You look awesome!!
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Thanks!
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So they left the capsules alone? I gather that from your review. You look great! Congrats!
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Thanks! Yep, she left the capsules alone - which was really what I was hoping for!
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Well, my last consult doc recommended leaving it alone. I think this is what I want to do too! I already scheduled with him so it's almost a done deal. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
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I think it is a good way to go! The less cutting the better in my eyes. :-) Our girls have been through enough as it is. I think you'll be happy with that choice.
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I think you look amazing! I don't think you look flat either. I hope my results are as great as yours!
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Thank you so much! :-)
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Congrats on crossing the bridge! You look amazing!
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I just read your story and wanted to tell you WAY TO GO for being true to your self! I know it for me it can be hard to be criticized from my Mother, but you are absolutely right her comments to you have to do with her insecurities and nothing to do with any truth! You look beautiful natural! Happy healing!
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Thank you! :-) I know she means well, but I'm learning mothers aren't perfect! Mothers - can't live with 'em, wouldn't be here without 'em.
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You look amazing already Hun...congrats and happy healing xxx
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Thank you! I'm feeling better and better!
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Got to say... First of all, they don't look tiny to me. And you don't look flat. I think you think that at least partly because of your mom's perspective. In my opinion, what makes breasts look attractive isn't the size as much as the shape and how proportionate to the rest of your body they are, and I think the shape of yours will be practically ideal when you're healed. :)
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