New pics! 1yr postop / 400cc saline overs after 12+ years

I did a lengthy review under Breast Implants, so...

I did a lengthy review under Breast Implants, so anyone interested in why an implanted woman like me would HateMyImplants, you can check out my other review. Here I am going to try to keep it to a review of Explantation.

A little info: I'm 35, had implants 12 years. They are smooth, round, mentor saline implants. I believe they are 360cc 'overfilled' to 400cc. My incisions were inframammary. I was a cute 36A before surgery. Post surgery a bulging 36C, and after 2 kids settled at small 36D. Capsular Contracture in my Left. It's developed along over the past 4 years, and now is really noticeable and intolerable. I'll be looking to get these implants removed through my existing under-breast scars and capsulectomy. I am currently planning no lift. My goal is to have (relatively) symmetrical breasts again. Capsular contracture has really made the Left distort and move, and I'd just love to have a small matched set again.

I'll update when as I go through consultations and each step of the explant process. TTYS, girls.

I'm so glad you started your story on RealSelf! I do wish everyone who was considering implants would come over to this community first and read through some reviews.

Good luck on your consultations and please keep us posted!

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I read your review too and glad you took the time to write it. I want to put a review there too. The ladies considering implants need to hear some truth from women who have been living with implants for years. I swear, some of those ladies have perfect breasts and are so young to be shoving balloons into their chests. sigh. Anyhow, I am happy that you get to explant and will be looking forward to reading about your journey. Congrats from a fellow Oregonian!
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h, sorry to read about your health scare, but good to know docs are positive it is nothing serious! hope you get your surgery soon! will be following your posts.
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Hope all you ladies enjoyed your holidays. After...

Hope all you ladies enjoyed your holidays. After much research, I've narrowed down my top picks for potential surgeons to remove these implants. I am now scheduled for 3 consultations, and I hope to choose my surgeon by the end of this month and get a surgical date ASAP. I'm nervous, not about the aesthetic results of the explant - just nervous about going under general anesthesia and having surgery. I want these stupid foreign objects out of my body, but to get that done I have to let someone cut me open and fiddle around with my body... So it's sort of a mixed feeling.
I'm sure you will do great! I explanted yesterday and haven't had any trouble at all, no pain pills needed, nothing. I'm guessing you will have to remove your capsule, though, so that might make it a tiny bit more painful, but you'll be fine! Being natural is so great!
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Had an excellent consultation yesterday. The PS...

Had an excellent consultation yesterday. The PS and his staff were wonderful, and they listened to me first - then gave me options for my explantation. They NEVER tried to push me toward replacement implants or a lift! I really appreciated this, and felt they respected my wishes as a potential patient. What they DID do, after my breast exam, was explain different techniques and options for the explant - local vs general anesthesia; capsulotomy vs capsulectomy vs leaving the capsules in; what would necessitate use of drains or not; option of leaving the fibroadenoma in vs removing it; and how these different options would each effect both my recovery time as well as the price of the procedure. I am extremely pleased with the tone and thoroughness of this consultation. I felt the surgeon did not try to steer me toward what he wanted, but rather tried to respond to what I want (explant) and explain how his skill and medical expertise could be used to achieve my goals. I give the guy an A+, I actually chose him from extensive regional research. The only thing holding me back from signing up for the surgery date is that I have 2 more consultations scheduled next week... But I would be extremely comfortable using this surgeon, so I have at least one option! I will see what the other 2 have to say and what their demeanors are next week, and I think I will know for sure who to pick by then.

OH YEAH!!! This was in my review for 'breast...

OH YEAH!!! This was in my review for 'breast implants' but I think I failed to mention this so far here in my 'implant removal' review: in December 2012 I was diagnosed with a 2cm fibroadenoma. This is a common and benign breast lesion. Radiologist said I have the options of leaving it in place and getting mammograms every 6 months to monitor it for changes, or that I could get an excisional biopsy (where it is removed and sent for pathology) at the same time as my explant if the surgeon is willing to do so. This is why I have this added element in my explant consults - to find out each surgeons' opinion of either removing the fibroadenoma or leaving it in place.

So, last Wednesday I had 2 more consultations...

So, last Wednesday I had 2 more consultations scheduled. One of the PS cancelled on me day of, and flew away on a plane :( The other surgeon I saw (interestingly a female one) emphasized to me over and over again how flat, floppy, deflated and deformed I'd be... How I'm "not burning any bridges" and should expect to come back for a lift and/or smaller/silicone/under muscle implants in a few months. She went on and on as if she were trying to talk me out of some horrific self-mutilation for my own good. I just don't think she got what I was telling her about not wanting implants and thinking small natural boobs are just fine. And after about 20 min of this I was worn out and pretty much wanted to punch her in the mouth. And she quoted me over double the price of the first surgeon I saw who was supportive. Yeah, I had enough of all that. I'm going to Dr #1.

My only hesitation is that he believes my capsules should be left in, and that removing them could lead to distortion or permanent asymmetry because of how little breast tissue I have, and how my skin has thinned due to the stretching of the implants. I had really been thinking I'd have a complete capsulectomy, especially since I have CC, but the Dr was very against that surgical plan for me personally. He said since I have saline (no chance of free silicone leaked into the capsules) that the removal of capsules would be more for the sake of avoiding seroma in the short term during healing. He also thinks my CC is Baker grade 2, even though that boob rides high, by the 'squeeze' test he did not think the capsule is very thick, it's just contracted. My mammogram did not show calcification of the capsules. So, basically the capsules (even the CC one) can stay in and the CC asymmetry will resolve just from removing the implants. If I go with a simple explant, no capsule removal, then he will do my surgery under local anesthesia -- which appeals to me both because I'm scared to death of general anesthesia and because it lowers the cost by +/- $2000 (I'm paying for this out of pocket). If I am adamant about the capsule removal, he will do it under general anesthesia. This particular Dr is a dual specialist - he is a board certified plastic surgeon, and he also did a special fellowship in breast surgery (oncology, etc), so I think his surgical plan probably has more medical merit than mine. I have seen quite a few women on here who did not have capsulectomy and others who thought they were going to have a capsulectomy and then surgeon decides in the operating room not to do one. So maybe this is ok.
hey there lady! wasn't it fun to go through the "you won't be happy/ you'll look deformed, blah, blah, blah" speech, followed by "get smaller implants?" i remember this well and it was super awesome. :/ thank god for this site to show us that removal is possible! regarding your capsules, you have said elsewhere that your contracted boob is painful and looks "abnormal", which suggests more of a grade IV contracture. i am obviously not a boob surgeon, but i have read all the reviews before, and it seems that when you have a contracture, most girls have the capsule removed, or at the very least scored to help open the capsule up and promote better healing of the contracted tissues. i would think you might want to consider a partial capsulectomy on the contracted breast, where they selectively remove the hardest bits, and leave the majority behind. then you won't have to worry about feeling the ropey, knotty tissue that is left behind, especially given that you have a fibroadenoma as well. you should ask the drs here- you will get free opinions on what you should do! i know reed69 and afairman had capsulotomies, where the scar tissue was just scored to release it, and reed69's was under local (she had grade II), so you would still be able to go that route. i would just worry about the pain issue, since they seem to suggest that painful scar tissue needs to be removed or else the pain might not resolve, because the pain is the scar tissue irritating nerves in the breast. plasticnation wrote about this and her dr removed her capsules entirely (Same for laineylou). bhard is having a capsulectomy on one breast as well, and she has overs. you should ask her about it. flowersxx had pain in her right breast, had a simple removal, and the pain remained and she now faces a second surgery to have the scar tissue removed. i know how appealing it is to go the easiest route to save money and avoid general, but please, please, please make sure it's the absolute best one for you! i had partial capsulectomies in my breasts with remaining capsules scored. mine were thin but i felt it was the right thing for me. i have no lumps anywhere in my boobs, which i was a little worried about if i left the scar tissue in. i went on 4 consultations, and 2 drs recommended complete capsulectomies, one a partial w/ capsulotomy, and 1 leave it alone. it's so weird that drs have so many different recs! but it does seem that if you peruse the questions asked by other users about capsule removal, they nearly always recommend removing contracted scar tissue. i would just hate to hear that the pain didn't go away for you. keep us updated! i really think you should go to "nomoredsplease"'s dr. he did a capsulectomy on her contracted breast, and he even knew to tack the muscles back down to the chest wall. i wish he was in my area, i would have used him. she looks amazing! and not at all distorted or assymetrical! pretty awesome considering she had (i think) 5 breast surgeries!
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"asymmetrical," not assymetrical! lol
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Thanks for stopping by Girlie - you are one of my explant heroes! The plan is to 'score' the capsules but not to remove any of it. I have mammogram and ultrasound from Dec 2012, I have no calcifications. Also the 'ropeyness' I feel in my L is actually the crinkling ripples of the edge of the implant bag. I guess the scar tissue itself is not very thick. I'm over the muscle - so there will be no tacking anything to anything, lol. I do think D's Dr did a great job on her - especially with the lift he did in the surgery previous to her explant, they still look awesome without implants! But I also just feel the Dr I've chosen is good and I felt very confident and comfortable with him and his staff. Although I am happy to spend less (obviously) by doing local, in no way was cost a deciding factor in the suggestions the Dr made to me. I was open to spending for capsulectomy and general anesthesia. We will see how it all goes, but for now I'm thinking positive that this is the right path for me.
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I was going to ask a question about capsulectomy /...

I was going to ask a question about capsulectomy / capsulotomy and what happens to the pocket after explant if you don't remove the capsules... But it looks like another (understandably) confused patient beat me to it. The consensus of the Drs who answered sounds very similar to what my surgeon told me, so I think he is spot-on.

http://www.realself.com/question/breast-pocket-breast-implants-removal

In my case I have thinned skin (from stretching in pregnancy) and essentially no breast tissue over my implants (I can clearly feel both valves through my skin) and digging out the capsules could cause more distortion, damage and trouble than it is worth... Now, if I had silicone implants or calcifications then the distortion and damage to my already non-existent breast tissue might be worth it weighed against the migration of free silicone to lymph nodes etc. Also, if I had more breast tissue, it could be worth sacrificing a bit of it to dig those capsules out. In my personal case, it seems other surgeons might advise me the same as the surgeon I've chosen, so I feel better. Again, this just proves that 'one size fits all' approach to explant doesn't work - we all need individualized plans based on our personal situations. I am coming to believe there is no 'perfect' surgery - it is a matter of weighing one set of risks and possible complications against the other. In my case, I'm going to be looking out for a seroma, in order to spare what pathetically little breast tissue I have. I'm ok with that.
Halaluiah! Perfectly put ....I have saline and struggled with the partial capsulectomy my ps wants to do....we discussed if capsule is thin , leave it in...we also discussed an internal lift. I have some little breast tissue as mine are under muscle...during my mammogram , the technician was able to show me what was mine around the implant ,not a lot..I would say A cup. Have you heard or read about saline implants an there silicone outer shells can "sweat"
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I just read both your reviews! Your breast implant review was so helpful. I would love to have another baby and reading your experience with pregnancy and breast feeding made me all the more happy with my decision to explant. I am so looking forward to hear how everything goes with your explant. Much luck to you and thank you so much for sharing your experience!
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Please see the explant question from wisernow on Feb 25, 2013. Re: Saline implants, capsules & symptoms of autoimmune disorders such as raynaud's, scleroderma, celiac dis, etc. Anyone out there that had these problems & removed just the implants (not the capsules)???
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***ABOUT MY SURGERY*** I had essentially 2...

***ABOUT MY SURGERY***
I had essentially 2 seperate procedures done at the same time. I had a simple explant - no lift, no internal stitching, no capsule removal. I also had a lesion removed from under my left areola - this was an 'excisional biopsy' due to a lump in my left side which was probably a fibroadenoma (waiting on pathology to find that out for sure). Dr Gabriel did the biopsy immediately after the explant. I did all of this under local anesthesia, with just a 2mg Lorazapam pill (no IV sedation). I am an extremely calm patient, and preferred to NOT have general anesthesia (losing consciousness scares me) so I would not recommend it for everyone but in my case it was preferred. I walked into the surgical suite, was strapped down, draped, cleaned up, and then had injections of local anesthetic. They sting for a minute. Then Dr Gabriel began by cutting in my existing inframammary scars, he was able to make the incisions smaller than the existing scars as he drained the saline implants before pulling them out. You feel pressure, tugging, warmth and cold - but no pain. The only time I felt pain was a couple of times when the electrocaudery devise zapped me where I wasn't numb - felt like hot splattering bacon grease, really no big deal. After the bags were removed, it felt like Dr Gabriel used some sort of suction in the pockets, almost like what they use at the dentist office - I could feel the vacuum internally which felt odd, but again it was not painful. To finish up, he artfully stitched my under breast incisions closed, layer by layer. I should end up with a very small, fine scar. That is it for the $1500 local anesthesia explant. Took about 40 minutes total.

Separately, after my explant, my L areola was cleaned, injections of local anesthetic, small peri-areolar insicion and Dr Gabriel went to work removing my probably-fibroadenoma breast lesion. Again, I could feel warm/cold, tugging, and pressure but no pain. The lesion was directly under the skin, felt like a marble. If it were deep in the breast tissue this excisional biopsy would have probably had to be under general anesthesia, but I am so thankful to get both thigs done at once. After about 12 minutes of digging Dr Gabriel had removed the lump - about the size of a small grape. He took longer stitching the lumpectomy incision, explaining that he does each layer of tissues individually, and the lumpectomy went deeper into the fat layers and needed deep stitches to make sure it heals beautifully. I will have a separate charge for the pathology etc for the biopsy, not part of the $1500 explant BUT I didn't have to pay any additional operating room fees or fees for local anesthesia etc. I was on my feet and walking out of the operating suite after about 1 hour, feeling fine.

**** ABOUT MY PICS ****
Please ladies do NOT let my pics scare you! I know the 1 minute post-surgery pic looks like Snoopy's ears. I went through a lot with my implants - 2 pregnancies and breast feeding where they ballooned to ginormous proportions, plus I have almost no real breast tissue. My lack of breast tissue is part of why my surgeon didnt want to remove my capsules. I have stretch marks from my babies, thinned skin from pregnancies with over-muscle implants... And I am still hopeful that things will improve with time for me. So please, pre-explant ladies, especially those who never had babies with implants in, do not look at my 1 minute picture and grow faint of heart. I think they will improve, and will post weekly pics over this month, and then monthly pics over the next 6 months. Luv you girls. Xoxo
congrats on your explant....it feels good on this side, doesn't it? After waiting so long to get it done, it was such a relief when it was finally over. Yaaay! And the pic of your yummy snacks made my mouth literally water!! Good for you...keep us posted!
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Big relief! Congrats to you, BTW, 500cc removal and you look phenomenal. I think your days of wearing pasties at the river and flaunting your boobs aren't over by necessity, just by choice - because they still look great! LOL
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You look beautiful- congratulations on ditching the balloons! Wishing you a speedy recovery! I so admire people who can do this under local, way too hardcore for me!
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I feel great. ZERO pain, besides an occasional...

I feel great. ZERO pain, besides an occasional momentary 'shooting zinger' through my left side that had more work. Almost no bruising (faint) all 3 incisions are nice and dry and haven't been painful or oozing at all - not even nipple incision where the biopsy was done. I am sleepy and nap for hours, LOL. But other than being tired I feel fine.

When I changed the bandage I took a look and they have improved already in just 2 days. I am keeping on TIGHT binding... Double bras (tight sports bras x2, or genie bras x2) 24 hours a day, and ace bandage binding them over top at night. I plan to do this for a week - 2 weeks, and then graduate down to 1 bra.
Hi, mine looked like your after, I had capsules removed tho. Makes me wonder all the diff opinion on them!! I'm flat as a pancake and wonder if the capsules had been left in whether I'd be any bigger? I doubt it!! I'm so pleased to have them out if me, when I read your part about feeling the valves reminded me of how gross they feel. I could feel mine too. I'm still amazed when I lay on my front with no pain. I'm going to start building up my pec muscles as mine sag and I think this will put them back where they should be!! Happy healing. I enjoyed your review ESP the bit when you wanted the punch her! lol we've all Been there!! x
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You are a brave woman doing it with just local! I know there are a few of you brave souls here!! You are on the other side now whoo hooo!!!! I have to admit that your one mine after photos took me back a second. I had watched a youtube video so I knew from there that immediately after the implants come out everything just falls down but we know things don't stay that way for long, thank goodness. Hope everything continues to heal properly and your results come back with what you thought it was.
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I'm almost 12 weeks explant and still doing 1-2 sport bras at all times, sleep in sport bras, and when I wear a cute underwire one still feel like throwing a thin sport bra over it. It's helped so much - ALL the side boob armpit flab is gone and they are fluffy, not saggy. I say do it as long as you can (2-3 months) to keep them healing nicely against your chest. Mine are still entirely too jiggly to exercise without two bras. I'd wear 10 if I had to, just happy to be me! =) Been loving your story and updates, keep us posted as you heal.
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I have wonderful news! I had a post-op...

I have wonderful news! I had a post-op appointment and got my pathology back today. The lump was in fact an approximately 2cm fibroadenoma - no cancer cells, just a textbook 'normal' benign breast lesion. Yeah! I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be excited to have a tumor, but when you find out FOR SURE that the lump in your boob was a benign tumor and NOT CANCER you get really excited about having 'just a tumor'. Hope the grape-like thingy doesn't grow back, but for the moment I am lump free, cancer free, and implant free. I am feeling like a million bucks.

My neck and spine inbetween my shoulder blades feel AMAZING. I had no idea that the constant aches, pain and tension was the weight of my implants, but apparently it was. My boobs might look 20 years older, but my spine feels 20 years younger so that is awesome.

I cannot say enough about my awesome doctor! Through all this craziness that is one thing I am 100% happy about - I really think I chose the absolute best surgeon in my region for this. His surgical technique is meticulous, he is really a breast specialist, and I could not be any more happy with everything about the way my surgery was planned and executed - even his medical opinion of me leaving my capsules in has been absolutely correct (for my case personally). For how much he had to do, especially on my left breast, there is essentially no pain, no swelling, no bruising, no bleeding... And that scar placement for the lump removal in the nipple crease instead of the edge of the areola - genius. It is going to heal and be zero visible, and yes I have complete sensation in that nipple despite him squeezing a grape-size tumor out of that delicate incision (while pleasantly carrying on a conversation with me, LOL). The guy has skill and talent.

Of equal importance though has been his bedside manner and that of his staff (many of whom have implants!). Never have any of them made me feel bad about explanting - never have they tried to suggest replacement implants or a lift, I have been treated with absolute dignity and respect. I was given fair warning about thinned skin, stretch marks, sagging - but never told I'd be 'deformed' nor was I insulted, nor did I experience the dreaded 'scare tactics' that some PS seem to fall back on when faced with an explanter. They somehow toed the fine line between clinical honesty and still being positive and respectful of my body and choices. In retrospect I can understand why many plastic surgeons sort of 'freak out' or act weird toward explanters - we are essentially rejecting what they do, their life's work of 'cosmetically improving' people. The choice to be 'natural and imperfect' could be taken as an insult to some individuals in this profession. I really feel that Dr Gabriel has such a good character as a physician and never loses sight of his primary job as a healer, and that his staff is very well trained and professional. Today he told me my incisions are healing great and he also welcomed me to let them know if there is anything else he could help me with in the future, beyond the scope of what a good bra can do. haha. I go back in 10 days, and 6 months.
Hello! Thank you so much for this review. I'm in PDX, and called a few docs here for explant quotes, and they're $5,000+, , and won't do anything but general anesthesia, which I too would LOVE to avoid. (GA kicked my booty, with my BA, physically & emotionally.) Your doc name isn't listed at the top, but I gather from your updates it was Dr. Allen Gabriel, correct? If so, may I ask where he performed your surgery, & how long you were there post-op? Sorry to bombard you with questions, but until reading your review I thought I was going to have to go all the way up to Seattle. Naturally, I'd MUCH prefer to stay close to Portland, for follow-ups. I also have Mentor, smooth, saline, (but mine are unders), 500's filled to 580cc's. Again, thank you! I hope you're healing well!
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Just caught caught up on your status. Thanks for sharing your experience thus far; you give me hope for the near future. :))
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You look stunning! Beautiful, the real ones suit you much better ;-)
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*About Recovery* I think you can see pretty...

*About Recovery*

I think you can see pretty clearly in my pics what was going on (especially watch how my R boob changes) , but anyway... immediately post-explant there is a concave area we all talk about. Best way I can describe it is that over the years the implant pushes all your breast tissue to the edges and when your implant is removed you are left with a "doughnut" shape breast tissue - a ring of breast tissue with a nice center hole of nothingness (where the implant used to be) that caves into your ribcage. It is distressing. I had a few cries about it. Over time somehow things "knit" back together and the body starts closing that hole in the center. I will be very happy to be FLAT, and not to have concave "spoon" shaped breasts. We will see.

Week 1: Exhausted. Don't try to do anything. I was not in pain but I was SO tired and needed lots of sleep.
Week 2: Itchy. Internal itching. Incisions itching. Steri-strips itching. Dissolving stitches itching. Toward the end of week 2 I had resumed most of my daily activities (office work and children) but with needing extra rest than usual.
Week 3: Aches like I am going to lactate. Diffuse swelling, and localized bruising (which I had only where fibroadenoma was removed) have resolved. Daily routine is once again as easy as its ever been.
Week 4: Pretty much feel normal - so this is about the time I am tempted to "over-do it". I don't want any last minute complications so I am holding out on being lazy for the full 6 weeks.

I am still taking it easy. I have had a few rounds of crying and freaking out - during the first week. Overall I am thrilled to be rid of those implants. Currently I am OK with my results. The overall size is fine, even the droopiness is fine with me. My issue is that I have severely damaged stretch marked skin on my boobs. I may look into a Benelli-type breast lift in the future, mostly for the sake of removing the damaged skin. But, I am not going to seriously consider this for at least 6 months, and likely will not end up doing it. I would NEVER again consider prosthetic breast implants of any sort... so... regardless of what my future holds I am so happy to be natural and rid of those implants.
Hi Luv, looking super great! Happy for you...I am 5 weeks out today and still feeling like wearing a compression bra 24-7 ..how long did you wear yours? I doubled up on my genie bras you recommended and have 1 sports bra from kohls...my doc said to wear compression if I am comfortable for. 3 weeks..but I cannot seem to give it up as I feel still vulnerable, joe long did you wear yours?
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Hi sweetheart! My doctor didnt remove capsules or put in drains, so he told me straight up that after surgery I would have to stay in compression, stay away from a whole 'avoid' list of foods and drinks, and be on strict rest/light duty. He wasn't specific or picky about how I compressed (I picked my own bra and ace wrap) but I had to stay compressed full time other than showers for the first 2 weeks (I ace wrapped at night during this time period as well). At about the 3 week mark surgeon gave me the go ahead to wear whatever bra was comfortable in and the OK to sleep without a bra if I wanted. But like you, I was still not comfortable without basically 24 hour compression and wearing 1-2 bras at a time. I am at 6 weeks and now am ok with 1 sport bra at night, and 1 sport bra in the day but breast tissue still feels "vulnerable" and uncomfortable hanging naked and also I still feel not nearly secure enough in a regular underwire bra yet. One compromise I am using is wearing a genie bra over a regular underwire bra (underwire with a thin molded cup but NO push up padding as I am still scared to distort or "dent" the lower part of my breasts as they heal), this gives me just a little extra compression over the regular bra, but with the "lifted and separated" shape that isn't as flat as the sports bra or double genie bra - this is more attractive and 'normal' looking for under clothing at work. I plan to keep wearing the level of support that feels comfortable to me. I am looking forward to wearing a normal bra and not feeling like I have vulnerable bags of jello in the cups, LOL. Gets better every day, and I see no need to rush out of compressing them.
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Thank you luv!! I appreciate your reply. I am 6 weeks tomorrow.....I went to Victoria secret today and got a nice semi padded bra ...no under wire , very soft ..although not ready to wear it yet, ....it's funny my right breast fits the 34. A cup and the left breast wishes it could fit...it looks good with a t shirt. I am in wide ace bandage still at night , because this way it gives me a break from straps...and the genie bra...I took the pads out during day, and like you , I am not 100 percent letting it all go..lol!.. I agree with you...no rush out of compression and feel it will be better for us in the long run! Happy days! Hugs 00000!
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9 weeks Post Op with new Pics

I am still in recovery.

Week 5: I began a 12 week course of Mederma treatment on my stretch marked boobs. I am only lightly rubbing the stretch mark cream into the superficial skin layers. Some of you ladies start deep tissue massage right away, but I am just not ready yet.
Week 6: I forgot to take pictures, it was one of those weeks I didn't feel much changed. Boobs feel a little less "jello".
Week 7: When I crop these pictures to standard dimensions week after week my editing tool comes up as a grid. I have watched the nipples go from CC cockeyed on completely different lines of the grid to even and on the same line. It is official as of today the nipples are the same height, even though the boobs are not 100% symmetric and never will be this is a huge thing for me. Yeah! To me this is the point I can truly say I have recovered from the CC.
Week 8: the ridges and valleys of my stretch marks seem smoother. I was skeptical going into the Mederma treatment. It worked well on my stomach when I had fresh "new" stretch marks... But these ones on my boobs are the silvery/white "old" stretch marks. It even says that it won't work in old stretch marks.... Well, it DOES, at least for me. I am pleased with the results so far and will do a full 12 weeks.
Week 9: FINALLY I feel OK about a deeper tissue massage. The last of my dissolvable stitches "spit out" like little whitehead pimples. There has also been a sudden firmness change in my tissue, I believe this is what all you girls refer to as the "fluff fairy". Check out my pics - radical change in just one week between weeks 8-9. I have carefully palpated around where my "capsules" would be an I can't feel anything. My implants were over the muscle so I should be able to feel that capsule tissue if there was anything alarming but there isn't. I don't think I could tell the difference if I didn't know my capsules were left in place.

Finally, I am no longer thinking about any more surgery. I am dealing with my stretch marks through non-surgical techniques and once my 12 weeks of Mederma is over I will probably move on to things like Retinol, hyluronic acid, tca peels, and other things like that. I will keep you girls posted. As it stands now I am at 2 months post op and completely satisfied with my current result. If I didn't change any more at all I would still be happy! Great thing is I am still seeing huge changes :)
Hi Luv, its fantastic how you've put your photo's up. It really helps and your updates are always very informative. Thank you. Mine are over the muscle and you give me hope because you look beautiful. I really see the change from week 8 to 9. I think all being well my capsules are staying in. I have 6 weeks to go now. I've had a fair bit of changes in boobs too (with implants in) (I've waited 6 months since nursing before explant) so I'm hoping it'll be positives for me. I lost too much weight so I've had the time to regain before op. I'm trying to get myself prepared for the possible concavity too. Thanks again for your updates. Look forward to more as you continue healing. X
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Sorry for asking you so many questions. I still can't decide whether I want IV sedation on top of my local anesthesia or not. I have silicone implants, unlike you. But I'm probably going to leave the capsules in because they're very soft. What do you think? I am a nervous and anxious person though. I'm just afraid of the side effects IV sedation might give me.
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If I were in your boat, feeling unsure/anxious, and also having silicone (which means a larger incision for removal), I would go ahead and do IV sedation. You want to be completely comfortable, so that the surgeon can do their job for sure. Also, IV sedation is still much less dangerous than general anesthesia! On general anesthesia you stop breathing, they put a tube down your throat and a machine to breath for you - on IV sedation you are still breathing on your own. IV sedation is like a deep relaxation, where general is like an induced coma/semi-death state... So, as far as my "anesthesia fears" that made me NOT want general anesthesia, I don't feel that about IV sedation.
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Month 3

I am still seeing improvements in my skin, I skipped a couple of weeks of Mederma due to vaca - but I am back on it now. My L areola is still larger than my R due to the extra incision/lump removal.

Currently I am about 20lbs overweight. I am 5' 3.5". At age 23 when I got implants I was 115lbs. My "fit" weight after having children has been 125lbs. Since last Summer, I gained 20-25lbs, so I am now tipping the scales at a whopping 145-150lbs. Finally, I am ready to start working out again, and will be interested to see how weightloss effects my explant results.
First, you look fab! I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon re explanation. When I spoke to him I told him I may want the implants out totally or I may want a smaller implant. I know now I just want them out. I want to have another baby in a couple years (would love one now but I'm in nurse anesthesia school and there's no good way to have a baby while in this school) and he said to wait til after I have a baby to do this bc he said he would have to fix them again. We discussed basically deflating the implant, waiting a couple weeks then thru some taping,etc I can decide if I want a smaller implant or a lift,etc. he seemed to strongly believe I will need a lift. I am a DD now, was a small C before. Implants are saline 550cc, under the muscle. Do u ladies think I need to wait til after another baby? Or maybe explant then consider a lift after baby?
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If you aren't planning on another baby for a couple of years, now would be the perfect time to explant. Your breasts change after each baby and a lift after might be more effective after your next baby rather than before. No matter what you decide you have my support and best wishes :)
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Thanks!! I think the options are explant now, baby and possible lift in a couple years or just wait and do it all after baby. It seems like most doctors think you will need a lift but I'm seeing on this site that maybe that isn't always the case! (For the record I didn't breast feed and while they got larger during pregnancy, they look the same now as before pregnancy--I think anyways!)
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New Pics for the Curious and Fearful

Well, those of you who follow my little explant blog have realized by now that I am a little bit OCD. Here is another, different sort of comparison set of pictures for all you girls who are curious and fearful about scars and sagging! I had these fears too, pre-explant, and this is how my OCD mind has best dealt with the pre and post surgery stress. Having somewhat objective measures is helping me stay positive every day, and I hope that it keeps some of you ladies positive and hopeful of what is possible with simple explant! My inframammary creases have risen back to their pre-implant level approximately 1.5cm higher than where they were with implants (my natural crease was lowered for implants). My "pseudo ptosis" has improved as well - not as much of my lower breast hangs below my new higher crease! Implants DO NOT lift the breast, they only make the breast stick outward. Likewise, explant does not make you sag lower! In fact, according to Newtonian Laws of Physics, removing the weight of implants will likely give your boobs a bit of lift, as it has for me. X Luv X
Very encouraging. Only wish I'd had more ps's to choose from. Original ps is on mainland, I'm in Hawaii, and would have done it for free but everytime I walk in there I walk out with something I don't want, so it was worth finding someone here. Easier followup too. One month tomorrow! I will post new pics then. Based on yours, I see now I can expect more improvement over the next months too and that is exciting!
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Oh yes, I believe recovery is long term. When the Drs say "6 weeks" or whatever, that is only for the point where you are recovered enough not to injure yourself by doing normal life stuff. I think the total time for recovery as far as looks is 6 months to a year or more. I will try to get my skin treatment update posted for you.
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Thank you!
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Skin Care Regimen

So, my main post-explant issue is excess skin, and specifically very horrendous stretch marks. The extra skin of course makes the boobies saggier. The stretch marks and implant damage is what really freaks me out though. I have areas that are so thinned out and damaged that the skin was tissue paper... Reminds me of the back of a very skinny old lady's hands (like, tiny bird women in their 80s) where the skin is so thin that it is translucent. That is how bad my tissue damage was in some areas on my breasts. I have considered a Benelli type lift to excise this skin, but I am trying non-surgical stuff first. Here is my regimen:

1. At 5 weeks I started Mederma for stretch marks. I go with either the Mederma or generic Walgreen brand. The active ingredient is onion extract. It is clinically proven, and worked for me in the past on my stomach. 2x per day.
2. I like Roc resurfacing disks for my face. I used to cut the pads in 1/2 and use it for my face, now I use the whole thing to clean my face & boobs in the shower. I used the rough side on the boobs, because one of my complaints post-explant is how HUGE my pores were. In some of my early pics you girls can see the "goose flesh" texture - those are my stretched out pores on the boobs! The Roc pads totally rock, my pores have shrunk unbelievably in 10 weeks of use. I will be using these on the boobs long term. Forever.
3. Hyaluronic Acid - I love this stuff. It is the only thing that "plumps" out that tissue thin stretch mark damaged skin. I got pure 1% hyaluronic acid to add to my body butter.
4. Yes to Carrots body butter - this is my go-to extra moisturizing lotion. It has every amazing nourishing oil in it (olive, avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, carrot seed oil, almond oil and others) and many natural extracts, dead sea minerals, etc. Amazing ingredients for very reasonable price. it is very rich and kind of oily, but I prefer it to a straight oil (like coconut).
5. Derma-Life lotion. Oil free. Is 0.8% salicylic acid. Also has allantoin, antioxidants, aloe vera. Very pure, simple and super absorbant with no residue.
6. Roc Deep Wrinkle Filler. Little spendy. I found the 2 pack of the deep wrinkly night at Costco for much less. Same active ingredients, but slightly different. The magic is a proprietary blend of Roc Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid. I swear by this product for the face, and now I am indulging my boobs too.
7. Derma Roller. I am using a 1.5mm needle roller - basically a roller with hundreds of needles that puncture your skin. Yes, it freakjng hurts. Yes, it can draw blood. It also increases absorbency of products by 1000x and is the only thing clinically proven to stimulate collagen growth and elastin. The destruction of collagen and elastin is what causes stretch marks. I will be getting numbing cream for the next round of derma rolling. 1.5mm treatment only once every 4-6 weeks. For the less masochistic, 0.5mm can be used weekly just for increasing product absorption. Dermatologist / astheiticians use 2mm+++. 1.5mm is all I can take doing it at home, but I need to stimulate collagen in deep skin layers (where the stretch mark damage is). This is long term, I should see results in 1 year.

That is about it.
Daily: Roc resurfacing pads for cleansing. I do Mederma with massage 1x per day in the morning. At night massage again, and I alternate between derma-life/yes to carrots **OR** Roc wrinkle filler/yes to carrots applied in 2 layers.
Monthly: Derma Roller on both boobs (Not on areolas!) follow with Roc wrinkle filler (slathered).

The Onion Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Retinol as well as derma roller are all clinically proven, safe, and I feel comfortable using them long term. So far I am seeing a lot of improvement, and am willing to continue my efforts - the only alternative is surgical excision so any non surgical improvement is a victory compared to that.
Thanks for the skin care products pic!
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Forgot one thing!

The Roc products are totally worth it. Made in France, I don't trust Chinese made cosmetics, sometimes you get what you pay for. Yet, Roc is a bargain compared to many high quality boutique brands. Same for Mederma, it is made in Germany. Again, anything made in Europe is a little more spendy. However, when it comes to chemistry and specialized extracts I trust German and French chemists to get it right. Derma-Life is a very small brand out of NM, USA. The Hyaluronic acid I got is Swiss made.

I didn't mention the Jergens self-tanner. I picked that up on coupon and really liked it! This is not in the stretch mark treatment category - this is camouflage. My stretch marks are lighter than the non-damaged skin. Of course you should NOT get any sun damage (aka "Tan") to stretch marked skin you are trying to heal. Plus, the shrinking of my areolas has made them appear darker :( the self tanner gave me nice tone, I avoided the areolas so it made the contrast between the dark areolas and light no-sun-tan boob less noticeable. However, with all my other lotions and exfoliating, self-tanner doesn't last. If I were planning on getting laid, however, it would be worth it to me to do the self-tanner the day before. It does camouflage the stretch marks that much. I have no man though :( so the Jergens hasn't been worth doing on the regular, lol.
Your results are amazing. I hope I'm as lucky as you! My first peek at my boobs was a bit scary, but I knew to expect that. My PS also left in the capsule, as it was unnecessary to take it out. It was "tissue paper" thin. Today was my surgery date and for some reason I have so much energy. I have a follow up tomorrow with the PS, so hopefully I still have a good amount of energy then! :) Thanks for sharing your story, and for all the information regarding products and progression. I appreciate it!
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Scars look great! Jealous!
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RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR STRETCH MARKS & SCARS I'm currently running through some proactive research before my explant. (Thank you SOOOO much, by the way, for baring all on the world wide web. I appreciate it more than you know.) I have a "slow leak" in my left implant and plan to explant sometime in the next few weeks. The scar & stretch marks are my biggest fear...makes me cringe every time I think about it. I had no scars for the implant (went thru belly button)....so, I'm not at all looking forward to having a permanent reminder of what I did to my body in my infinite 19 year old wisdom, 10 years ago. I hadn't given much thought to the stretch marks.... But, hopefully this will turn out to be good news for you and me, both. Check it out... I started using Blue/Red Combination Light therapy for acne & acne scars. I kid you not, it WORKS!!! It is INCREDIBLE! And it was only $47 at amazon. Here's a link to the exact bulb I'm using: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Therapy-Treatment-Scars-415nm/dp/B0028P48BM/ref=sr_1_4?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1375752726&sr=1-4&keywords=red+led+lights Now, the RED light is the light which is said to boost collogen & rebuild new skin cells. I've heard TONS of good stuff about red light therapy with regard to wrinkles , sun damage, and healing. But, I've only started digging around for reviews on it's efficacy for stretch marks. It seems to make sense to me.... But, more research.... The best red-light I see on Amazon right now (just looked for 5 minutes) is this one: http://www.amazon.com/Infrared-Light-Therapy-Speeds-Healing/dp/B003VOVZZ6/ref=sr_1_22?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1375753463&sr=1-22&keywords=red+led+lights But....$200 for 120 LED lights seems....like they might be takin' advantage of our ignorance on this one. I don't know....going to look into it more. Just thought I'd share. Let e know what you think...what you come up with. :)
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6 months post op, in the calm eye of the storm

Quick update:

In August my dad was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I have spent the better part of the past 2 months by his side in the cancer center. Cancer is not pretty. Chemo is not fun.

Do you know women with implants (silicone or saline) are far more likely to commit suicide? Do you know women with implants (silicone or saline) are far more likely to develop a rare lymphoma called ALCL? And implants interfere with mammograms and ultrasound diagnostics? And implants interfere with the ability to feel lumps in manual exams? And all that can lead to advanced breast cancer?

Over my months in the cancer center, I have seen people in the ward one day, and the next their room is empty. No, they weren't cured. I want to scream from the top of my lungs for each and every one of you to embrace LIFE. It is so short. Best case scenario the average person has 25,000 total days on planet earth. All us bitches sit around here moaning about tits day after day.... Tick, tick, tick... Our days used up whining and self criticizing. You don't get more days than 25,000... You get that if you are lucky. Stop wasting your days on petty 1st world photshop-induced problems. "OMG, my upper pole could be fuller", "OMG, creating a new life in this world (aka a child) gave me stretch marks and sag". I want to tell all of us MYSELF INCLUDED to STFU.

Each of us made a choice to EMBRACE LIFE. Getting implants puts means you have a better chance at living a longer, healthier life. Now, stop wasting time and go live. Be happy. If you aren't happy I suggest you volunteer some time helping women with breast cancer, or children with Acute Leukemia (average age is 5). Maybe go to Africa where they don't have clean water to drink and children die every day of diarrhea. I am so sick of 1st world boob problems. I am going to stop the madness and nonsense in my own life, and channel that energy into making the world a better place.

My boobs are still changing at 6 months. Honestly, it's just a side thing. I have a beautiful, wonderful, blessed life to live and boobs are just part of this vehicle that I am traveling in. If it gets me to my final destination, I am happy.
Well, said.....even if strongly worded! Sorry to hear about your father's cancer. How is he now? You look fantastic! Thank you for the organized review.
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Wow! You're looking great, the changes are apparent, I definitely see fluffing taking place :)
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I'm so glad you're doing well
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Great year of health and healing!

It's the week of my 1 yr explant anniversary, and although I have moved on with life and haven't been around Real Self as much over the past few months, I felt I owed it to all of you wonderful women to post an update.

The past 6 months have been great, I have finally let go of my boob-obsession, have been hugging my beautiful children, started a new career, found bras that work for me, and started dating again. It's a blessed life I am living, not because of having perfect boobs (I don't have perfect boobs - nothing is ever perfect) but because I have come to love and embrace my body for what it is and have finally learned to stop the "stinking thinking" and start focusing on everything wonderful that I have in my life. I have my health, my family, good friends, enjoy peace and freedom in a 1st world nation, I have equal social and political rights as a woman, have a roof over my head, clean water to drink and good food to eat, a car, a job... So many women in this world are suffering without even basic necessities and conveniences in life, things we take for granted. Once I opened my heart and mind to realizing how fortunate I truly am, my former obsession with body image and boobs made me feel ungrateful and sad at all the years I spent in unhappiness over trivial body-hating BS.

Now, on to the stuff you'd like to know about post-explant... Over the past 6 months I lost the extra 25lbs I had been carrying. I am now at my healthy goal weight, and I feel awesome. Moving, stretching, exercising, and living are wonderful in my natural body. I now realize that I was created exactly as I was meant to be - my body is so functional and free without those sloshing, heavy bags of saline weighing me down. Weight loss did change my breasts a little, but life is all about changes and being able to go with the flow and adapt.

I am thrilled that I did not have a lift. Yes, I have a little bit of sag from having babies. All the creams and skin treatments helped during my healing process, but nothing every erases stretch marks. Honestly, I don't care anymore. The little bit of droop, and lines on my boobs tell the beautiful story of how I created 2 precious, wonderful human beings and gave them as a gift to this world. I wouldn't erase that story, or the lines on my body that tell it even if I could. This is me, and my children are the greatest contribution and legacy I will ever leave on this earth and something I am very proud of. Changing my thinking and my mind has been more uplifting and helped my self-esteem more than any type of body-modification ever could.

As for dating, I don't feel hindered by losing the implants. The only attention I am missing out on is unwelcomed "gawking" by strange men who creep me out anyway. As for men who would actually like to make eye contact with me, ask me out and get to know me, I think being natural has not hindered me at all. I did briefly start dating a man who I met after my explant. After we went out a few times, I told him my story of my explant, and he told me that it was "a shame" that I didn't get a replacement instead. He went on to say that he loves big fake boobs, and that his ex-girlfriend had great silicone tits. So, I immediately dumped him on the spot without a second thought, worry, or regret. In the past, I would have blamed myself and my small boobs and viewed this situation as a "defect" on my part... Now, I view it as a "defect" on the part of my potential partners. I am me, and if you want someone or something else then please keep stepping and don't waste my time. Interestingly, he called me several times and tried to back-track and continue our relationship, so apparently the love of big fake tits is not a deal-breaker for a lot of fake-tit-loving men, but it is now a a definite deal-breaker for me. Shortly after, I started dating a tall, fit, beautiful man who is over a decade younger than me. He enjoys me and my body just as it is, and probably largely due to the fact that I am now confident and comfortable in my own imperfect skin. Moral of the story - when you let go of insecurity and baggage, you make room for better things and better relationships in your life.

I finally found bras that work for me. I have a broad breast-base, but shallow cups. My breast tissue extends almost up to my collar bones, and across to my armpits, this is one anatomical variation that a lot of women have... Just as some women have narrow breast-base and deep cups (slang term "banana boobs"). I used to struggle to shove my boobs into bras that aren't designed for my breast shape, where the narrow underwires smashed into my breast tissues, and where I was forced into the incorrect size. No more. Bras are meant to serve my boobs, not the other way around. I have found that full-coverage, "minimizer" bras fit perfectly. Minimizer?! You may ask. Well, yes, because I can get the wider underwire I need to hug my wide breast-base and yet the cups are shallower. I also found I was wearing a too-big band size. My true size is 32D (yes, my smallish boobs are truly 32D, not 34C or 36B). Bali bras work awesome for me, and I no longer have that side-boob/armpit-fat problem that many of us complain about. I like traditionally sized Bali minimizer bra with non-stretchy, non-molded cups... And also their "cool comfort" bras which are easy to size in XS, S, M, L etc. I have found that Demi-cups, push ups, plunges, padded, and all that other crap is frustrating and I am sick of frustrating bras.

Overall, I am content to be me. I am not going to try to alter myself for relationships, societal expectations, or bras that don't fit. Instead, I embrace who I am and look for the people and bras that fit me and who I am.

In short, I have learned such a valuable lesson through this painful process of implants and explant: it is much more productive to change your "stinking thinking" than to surgically alter your body. Changing your mind to be positive and grateful for what you have is much more rewarding than dwelling on what you don't have and trying to change who you are.

I wish all you lovely ladies happiness and self-acceptance. Celebrate your uniqueness and count your blessings every day.

--Luv

Wrong bra

We are thankful for every day we have together. This leukemia is technically "incurable" so each day is a blessing we don't take for granted!
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Thanks bird, how are you doing?
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Thank you! Explant was the best medical and emotional decision I have made, and I am so thankful to be able to share my story. Bless you, best wishes.
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1 Year Photo Sequence

You define true beauty. Thanks so much for sharing your full story. I'm with you 100% - breast size doesn't matter. Societal expectations don't matter. Inner health and happiness is all we need.
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Wow..I read your whole story for an hour. .I love your additude.. I've not even looked at your pics yet but who cares I'm sure u look fine...well how is the relationship going? Cougar. Lol... Xxxx
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Wow - what a year - you look fantastic and much better natural - you give all us newbies lots of encouragement & hope - thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

Superb board certified Plastic Surgeon right here in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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