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!
I had mine out in the light the nipple twice & did the explant in the fold. The doc said this would be better, because he didn't want to cut through the good breast tissue to remove them. Also healing time is much better. I personally didn't want to risk my nipples caving in, like I've seen with a few ladies on here. :-( Which ever way you go, you will be much happier having them out PERIOD! Congrats on your decision!
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Hi! Thank you for sharing your story! Well I had the sane issue, looked nice but didn't feel nice. I never felt them mine, hated that foreign feeling. I had my children before I decided to get them so I never experienced bread feeding or anything related with implants. I wonder how that feels with implants. Ok I don't really want to know because for me it already felt like this hideous object never mind having milk and the soreness from breast feeding etc on top of implant. Although there are many moms here who have experienced it and have a great story as well. So we may need a lift because of all boobs go through when breast feeding. I for whatever reason couldn't successfully breastfeed so I don't even know what it's really like. At first I had milk and it was so sore it hurt to let the water run in them and my nipples burned....then all of a sudden I was dry....it all left...I don't know what wnt wrong but I just couldn't breastfeed. Long story :) as far as incision mine is in the fold and it was great putting implant in and taking implant out. I just got mine removed on Monday. I feel I made the right decision and I LOVE THE NATURAL FEEL!! Y incision precisely was almost invisible, I healed very well even the dr who explanted me said it was remarkable. He went right over that one but even smaller! He said he only needed to make a very small incision, deflate, remove and out! So my new scar will be tiny. He removed old scar so I wouldn't have scar on top scar very nicely done. I would feel comfortable doing it in the fold if I were you, it's probably less painful than the sensitivity of our nipples?? Maybe a mom who did it that way can best guide you. But that's my take. Good luck!!!
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Pardon the typos
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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!
Hi there. I had mine removed "en bloc" last week. No lift, no replacement. My concern was silicone leakage. I met more surgeons who did NOT want to remove the capsule, let alone remove it it one piece (en bloc) . For me, I just couldn't understand the benefit of slicing open a capsule to retrieve a possibly leaking bag of silicone while it was still in my body, and THEN trying to scrape all the silicone off of my breast tissue. If I'm not mistaken, this is when some of your breast tissue would be compromised.Turns out they were both ruptured, so I feel I made the right decision. I did however pay more, and my recovery seems to be taking a little more time and effort. They were removed under the fold as opposed to through my nipple (they were placed through the nipple) for fear of the nipples collapsing like you mentioned. The incisions rub on EVERYTHING! It's been my biggest gripe, but my ONLY complaint. Well, not true, the drains were a huge pain in the ass but they are gone, so.. The incisions will be totally healed though soon, will stop rubbing, and I don't think anyone would be able to see them in a suit unless I walked around with my arms way up in the air, and even then, someone would have to look very, very closely. I'm pretty sure though, that if I had saline implants, I would have, almost definitely, opted to have them removed under local in the office! These girls seem to bounce right back in all aspects. And it's so much less expensive. This is a huge decision and you just have to pick what's right for you. Best of luck to you!
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Honestly, I would find a new doc. I've seen more complications post removal with capsulectomy & "reconstruction" type work than with people who just have a straight forward removal. As far as I know, you don't have CC, which means your capsule should be soft and therefore have NO reason to be removed. I would avoid a capsulectomy at all costs if you can. It can be VERY aggressive, and damage your healthy existing tissue. I only say this because I want you to have the BEST possible outcome!!! Also -- another avenue for removal could be the armpit, you don't have to have it in the fold. BUT if you do choose the fold -- I would deflate your implants before removal, that way you can see where your "natural" fold is in relation to the "fold" your implant has created. -- Meaning that if you decide to remove via the fold, your surgeon can pick the best possible most hidden spot! Additionally... although there are no guarantees, from my understanding most women don't lose sensitivity post removal, some in fact actually regain a little that was once lost. Keep in mind everyone is different, but I've read hundreds of removal stories, on RS and other sites, and more sensitivity if anything seems to be the trend post removal. Best of luck on your journey back to being all you!! :)
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Just curious, what is the reason your surgeon insists on having the capsule removed? I am keeping mine in as we suspect it's pretty thin and transparent because my breasts are very soft, I can actually feel my saline bag, gross! After reading a lot of stories here and doing some research, I prefer to leave my capsule in. I specifically searched for a surgeon that would allow me to keep it in. I was worried about losing breast tissue and having my nipples caving in. From what I see, unless you have capsular contracture or a leak there is no real reason to remove them, I'm no Doctor, but that's what I'm getting from what I read. As for the nipple, I had my BA done through the nipple and lost all (besides painful sensitivity) feeling and wasn't able to breast feed my son as the milk ducts were severed and the milk just wouldn't come out :( I'm getting mine removed on the 22nd of this month and doing the incision through the breast crease, I didn't want to go through the nipple again eeek! I also ready that a LOT of women had returned sensation to their nipples and lower breasts after the implants were removed, it was pushing on nerves and that's why there was no sensation and breast numbness, which I also have. I would ask your surgeon exactly why you must have your capsules removed. Good luck! and congrats on your decision to be implant free! :)
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photos

Oops - adding photos again.
Mine stayed in & no complications. I've been told the opposite. However if it makes you feel better,then by all means have it done.
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I kept mine too. Dr said walls will seal. There is more going on with capsulectomy, bleeding and other issues with that. I had absolutely no issues leaving pocket and if it seals over time I'm fine with it so essentially it won't be a pocket overtime. I'm glad I didn't remove mine. I was recommended not to by ps.
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You girls are amazing - thank you so much for your comments and advice. I don't have cc or any problems with the capsules. My doctor said that capsulectomy is simply necessary with all implant removal, otherwise it won't heal properly and increases the risk of seroma.
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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!!
As I commented easier, I left my capsule in. My ps said it closes itself over time. I'm post op a week and three days and I feel phenomenal. My ps said it was more invasive and more complications can arise by removing capsule. He explained it some more but I can't remember all the details I knew going in I didn't want to remove them. I also searched a bit and found that there is absolute no reason to remove if is soft. So unless you have cc or another issue there isn't the "need" to remove. You would be doing it unnecessarily and it will be longer recovery period (because it's more invasive). But hey whatever makes you happy. Just that it's something not needed so why do it? My ps didn't even have me wear a right bra or anything. No drains either. All ps have their own way of doing things so it's hard to know what to do very understandable. Thank goodness I'm doing very well and I didn't need drains or tight bra. I just saw him on Monday and it's all fine. No issues.
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*earlier not easier
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Congratulations on having yours out! I'm coming to the same mindset - less is more, in surgery and in boobs!
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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. :-)
Any updates?
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How are you making out? Did you decide to continue with your surgeon or see a different one?
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Hey there! I went to see two more doctors, and just rescheduled with one of them. :-) I couldn't bring myself to go with the doc who was gunning for a capsulectomy.
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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.
I enjoyed reading your story and I understand all of your questions and doubts. It really is hard to make an informed decision for ourselves sometimes! That's why everyone's comments here are so helpful. I can't answer a lot of your questions because each of us have different situations. One thing we have in common is that I had my implants put in through my areola as well. I lost sensation in the lower portion of my areola where the incision was placed as well as the lower half of my breasts. That was truly a bummer, because there I was with my sexy breasts and I couldn't feel anything, or not much anymore! Sheesh!! 2 years after my BA I developed CC in both breasts and I hated it! I had my implants in for 23 years and they were over the muscle and were silicone. The incisions to remove the implants and capsules are now in the fold of my breasts. I hated that I was going to have two sets of scars, but the ones in the areola were practically invisible and I'm sure the ones under my breasts will be white within a couple of years. I haven't had any changes in the sensation of my breasts, so hopefully yours won't get any worse either!! In my case, because I had ruptured implants and CC, my doctor did remove the capsules. I had a lot of scar tissue, so my surgery took 4 hours! If you check out my profile, I posted pictures of my capsules. Just be forewarned that they're bloody and look pretty awful! "Bloody awful", I guess you'd say! But, I am so glad I got those things out of me! Since they were ruptured, I was very worried about the toxicity and health issues. All of the silicone was contained within the capsules (or most of it), so I'm glad the capsules are out too. From what I've read on RS, if the PS removes the capsules, drains are almost always used. I had drains for a week. Just a note, even though I had mammograms, and ultrasounds as well as an x-ray to check out my implants, leading to a conclusion that they were NOT ruptured, Once the PS got in there during surgery, he saw that they were, in fact ruptured! I don't understand how all of those tests missed that! You would think that at least one of them would have shown the rupture! I hope some of my information can help you in some way. Like I said before, it can be a bit confusing and frustrating to know what the right thing is for YOU! But, I think you have the right attitude by questioning everything. From what I've read, if the capsule is still soft the body will just absorb it. I think I even read that from one of the surgeon's comments. LOL, now that I've written all of this, I forgot to look and see what your surgery date is or was! Maybe all of this is a moot point by now! Oh well, maybe it will help someone else! ROFL!
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Hi Petunia, Thanks so much for sharing your story with me! It really is helpful to me, and I'm sure others out there! :-) I am still questioning everything - haha! I should probably update my story, now that I think about it. A lot - and not a lot - has happened since my last post. I did find a new doctor that I really like and who doesn't think I need a capsulectomy. Yay! But I've also postponed my surgery with her because of cold feet! I know I want to have this done, I'm just really worried I'll be making things worse than they already are. Aside from that, my last big question is whether to do this through the aerola, or in the fold. My doctor said I probably won't lose any more feeling by going back in through the aerola - because that damage is already done. But I definitely think going through the fold has its advantages too. I'm really happy to hear you are on the other side and that you had the capsulectomy. It was definitely the right choice for you given the rupture! One thing I'm learning through this process is that doctors don't know everything. Of the 5 I've seen, I've gotten just as many different opinions. I think you're absolutely right - ultimately, we need to be the ones making the informed decisions about ourselves.
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What's wrong with the capsules that they want to open or remove them I guess. I mean it's not a negative to have them partially removed if there's build up or if it's just not good for you, my dr did nothing and the one I was starting to develope a capsular contractor but I guess each Ps is different.
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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

I asked about why they remove some (or all) of the capsule too, and my surgical team put it this way: the capsule is scar tissue that forms around the implant, thus creating a pocket. Just our body's natural response to any sort of foreign object in the body, regardless of where it is. For the breasts, you could leave it .. but there will still be that space there, and what the body does with space is normally fill it with fluid. If the capsule is thin enough, some surgeons just leave it alone b/c it should resolve on it's own. However, if there is thicker scar tissue, they like to remove what they can to encourage a better healing result. Mine was done under the breast with local numbing, and he cauterized part of the capsule after taking the implant out (that part of the tissue he could get to). Not super extensive, like if there was a lot of contracture going on that would require a more involved surgery (would be knocked out for that!). So I think you are fine for getting partial removed!
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And I did have drains! Was going to leave them in for a week, but didn't have much fluid so I got them in on day 3 :).
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*out of day 3
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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.
Congratulations! Glad to hear it went well.
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Yay!! So glad to hear you're in the other side and aren't hurting too badly!! Woo hoo, I know how awesome it feels to have your surgery over with! Thanks for letting us know you're done and on your road to recovery. I'm happy for you! ((Soft hugs))
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*on
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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.
I hated my drains too! They really irritated me, but I had a moderate amount of fluid coming out of them. If you don't have anything going down into the bulbs, I'd think they'd take them out, but I know that's up to them. What a bummer, though, especially over a long weekend! Let me tell you, I was very dizzy for quite awhile after my surgery. At least a week,(I think it was actually longer than that) but I tend to get dizzy easily. That was something that bothered me a lot. I didn't leave the house until my drains were removed, which was on the 4th day. I was fine while driving, but standing up was really hard because of the dizziness. Seven days after my surgery, my husband and I ran a few errands but when I went into the store and had to wait in line to check out, I didn't think I was going to make it! I think my dizziness lasted longer than usual, though. When I was at home, I remember slightly leaning against a wall a few times when I was walking from one room to another. I was also very tired, for quite a while. I think it took me about four weeks before I had much energy but I'm 61 years old so I know that has something to do with it! As a matter fact, I think my age was the reason it took me a while to recover in every way. So, just get lots of rest and listen to your body. Hang in there, Hun. It won't last too much longer. Today is my 6th week post-op and I cannot believe it's gone by so quickly!! xx
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I'm glad I'm not the only one! I practically begged the PA to remove them on Friday, but I have a feeling she wasn't allowed to. If I had been seen by the doctor, maybe I would be done with them already! :-) My dizziness is much better today. Thanks for your encouragement! Much needed and appreciated! :-)
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That's so "funny"; for my drain removal, my PS' office actually had me see his PA, so she removed them! I wonder why these PS' differ in some of their practices. Confusing. I'm glad your dizziness is better today. :-)
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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.
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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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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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.
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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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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