I will begin by saying that I found this website just 2 days prior to my explant surgery date of March 15th 2013. I read and soaked up all the reviews I could only to find my feelings confirmed and reassured by the many women who have had the same feelings and experience with implants. I am now 24 hours out (I had my surgery 8 am yesterday morning!) So here is my story in an effort to hopefully help others, support others and answer any questions that I can to help those who are about to go through this same experience.
I am 47 years old, had my implants at age 34 after having 3 children. I was a 34 B and a good one at that! However breast feeding (40 months total) and being pregnant in between breast feeding with my next child in a 5 year period left me at a 34A or AA and less than confident with my body and the changes it went through. I have always been a very confident individual, health conscious and fit, an avid exerciser, runner and in the past three years a 'yogi'. (Let me tell you when I was doing yoga poses I became disgusted that I ever even got these things!) After I made the decision to get implants I had many years where I was ambivalent about the decision I had made because of the way I felt about healthy habits. To think I went and electively allowed someone else to put something in my body that wasn't very healthy.
Over the course of the next 9 years I started to experience things that never happened before I had the implants like, rapid heart rate out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, pounding heart rate, optical migraines, and non-optical migraines, and about 2 years ago I started to notice my hands and feet becoming very cold (I was not diagnosed with Raynaud's). I also started to experience anxiety attacks. After many years and tests I began to think that it may be related to my implants (that was at about 9 years) even though both my primary care doctor and my PS did not think it was related, but did say that they couldn't be 100 % sure that it 'wasn't'.
I had my first consultation in September 2009 to discuss my explant, but chickened out because I just couldn't bear the thought of going under anesthesia (To top it all off I am a nurse and know way too much!). So I waited, I prayed, life happened and the kids kept me busy with sports, school and work. I dealt with migraines ( I was put on prescriptive meds at this point ) and the other ailments I stated above, however I kept focused on doing everything I could to remain healthy( eat right, exercise, get my sleep, etc.)
In August of 2011 I started a new full time job which consumed me (learning this new position for about a year), and in September of 2012 after much prayer and thought I made my appointment for my consultation to do the explant. I went back to my same doctor as I trusted him and felt he would listen to me and honor what my decision was. HE did! He asked my reasons for wanting them out (all those listed above) as well as telling him, I just don't want them and don't need them. A bigger reason I conveyed to him is that I have two daughters who are not very big in that area and then there I am, not being a good role model letting them know that they are beautiful however God made them. We all come into this world and whatever God gives us we are in our own right all 'beautiful'! I started feeling embarrassed and ashamed of them I told him. He really truly conveyed his understanding, which made me trust him and his expertise. He told me all the risks, the possibility of being even 'droopier' than before the implant and warned me about the potential for psychological distress from the appearance. He did ask me if I would think about smaller implants or a lift, but as he knew my reasons and my wishes I was adamant about not having anything foreign in my body anymore or anything else being changed ( a lift) with my breast. He did not push the issue and was very responsive to my desire to be implant free. Then came the examination: Upon examination of my breast tissue he did say that I had good elasticity still at my age and that giving myself a few months after the surgery he felt optimistic that I would have very good results and bounce back to close to what I was before the surgery. He said I may be a bit boggier from the stretch of the implant however he felt that I would have excellent results. I was so happy to hear that and so we scheduled my surgery date.
My first date was scheduled for Nov. 8th but wound up being cancelled as my husband had to go out of town. I did not want to do anything around the holidays so the first date I could schedule between my work, my husband’s work and the kids schedules was March 15th. And so girls here I am on March 16th! 1 day post op explant and I feel fabulous and empowered!!!! I am so elated that they are out and 'gone'!! Granted the first 24 hours were rough (nausea, no vomiting, little headachy...side effect of the anesthesia...but kept up with the pain meds and pain was the least of my worries) I will not lie (I am only 28 hours out right now), but ladies I am feeling better and it is so good to welcome my old friends home! I am still having tolerable pain. Keeping up with my meds, didn't sleep the greatest, but am feeling better each hour that passes by.
Surgery Day: March 15th 2013 8:00 am
Yesterday my nurse that welcomed me into the pre op area was great; she and the nurse anesthetist who started my IV were wonderful and very reassuring that everything was going to be ok. The doctor came in and spoke with me prior to the surgery. My intentions in our consultations were to go under the breast to remove the implants. I had the 'undies' or under the muscle saline filled Mentor implants with 400 cc's each that was originally done with a peri-areolear incision. Since I lost some sensation in the right nipple, I feared the chance of losing sensation he left nipple going in through the old incisions. He at that point told me that because we were creating a new incision ( infra-mammary or under the breast) to remove them there would be a better 'chance' of the possibility of losing of sensation in the new area rather than going through the old incision. This is the only decision I changed prior to my surgery (again because I trusted him). Then it was time they walked me to the OR, gave me a bit of versed after they placed me under a warming blanket, said breathe this oxygen Karen, and next thing I remember was waking up.
I was placed in a bra similar to the ones they give (sports bra type) when you get implants, and a triangle of tape around the areola with gauze over the nipples. So there you have it. It is a new day...a new beginning, the old me...but then the new 'natural' me...I already feel empowered, happy and yes I have looked at them several times and know they will be what they will be and I will be okay with whatever that is!