I've had silicone breast implants since 1987 when...
I've had silicone breast implants since 1987 when I decide they might make me more attractive to my then-husband. I had always been self-conscious about my 32 A-/AA sized breasts but when marital issues arose, I thought this might help. About 10 years later when the marriage had not improved and I was still unhappy with the implants, I decided I wanted them out.
As many of you have described, the PS convinced me that I would not be happy if I removed them and told me I'd have even less breast tissue than prior to the implants. I did opt to go down a size from a 34 C/D to a 34 B which was what I had wanted in the beginning. Although the MRI was normal, he found that one of the old implants had ruptured so he had to clean me out before putting the new implants in.
Fast forward from 1997 to now... I began having problems with chronic fatigue, headaches, chronic aches/pains, dizziness, and mental confusion a few years ago. Diagnosed with Meniere's Disease and, most recently, with a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Currently, I'm on a ton of supplements for what may be Meniere's and also taking 70,000 IU of Vitamin D weekly. At this point, I'm coming to the realization that I may have an autoimmune disorder that is due to the silicone implants.
I have a consultation scheduled with Dr. Melmed here in Dallas on April 12th and am hoping to hear that I can have the implants removed but not look awful.
Getting more and more excited about my upcoming...
Getting more and more excited about my upcoming consultation with the PS on April 12th! Reading the stories of so many beautiful women on this website has been a wonderful experience and a huge help in my decision to undergo explantation.
I came across this song written for women healing from breast implant--it's on the right, lower side of this webpage:
I saw a neurologist yesterday and...
I saw a neurologist yesterday and apparently my neurological exam was not normal. He ordered a ton of bloodwork (15-20 tubes of blood) and I had X-rays of every bone in my body. Plus, he's referred me for an EMG because I have peripheral neuropathy--this is common for folks with diabetes but I don't have diabetes. He also reviewed a brain MRI report from another doctor last year and told me it's not normal for someone my age (56). He has ordered a new brain MRI and mentioned diagnoses including lupus, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumor. Great, just what I needed to hear at this time.
Question--did any of you develop peripheral neuropathy due to your silicone breast implants? If so, did it improve after explantation?
In addition to the ittybittybra website I posted...
In addition to the ittybittybra website I posted elsewhere, I came across these bra websites. I'm trying to stay positive and look to the future instead of crying and being upset about my latest health problems. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time not being upset today.
Hi everyone! Thanks to toomakeup, I have just...
Hi everyone! Thanks to toomakeup, I have just changed my user name to reflect the fact that I am definitely no longer "undecided." I'm incredibly excited about my appointment with the PS on Friday and can't wait to set a surgery date!
Yea! I had my consultation with Dr. Melmed this...
Yea! I had my consultation with Dr. Melmed this afternoon and what a great man he is! He is very sweet, caring and informative. He has completed more than 3000 explantations and shared some very helpful photos with me as he explained the problems that can happen with implants. His staff is also very caring and friendly.
He goes in through the areola so that he can easily reach to get the full capsule out. In addition, he does an internal lift (mastoplexy) through the same incision so there are only the scars around the nipple. Good news--he predicts that I will only be a half-size smaller than I am with my implants!! So, I'm guessing I'll be an A or maybe even a small B.
I mentioned that I would like to take a cab to my surgery and he said the hospital won't let me take a cab after surgery to home. So, one of his office staff will drive me home. :-) I scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st!!! They're going to go ahead and submit to see if my insurance will pay for the explantation. They won't pay for the lift but if they pay for the rest, that would be a HUGE help to me!! Thanks to all of you for your support as I have gone through this decision-making process. I will soon be small-breasted and healthy! Planning to post photos this weekend!
Non-breast concern... I found out last week that...
Non-breast concern... I found out last week that I am also Vitamin B-12 deficient and am on day 4 of seven daily injections plus I'm on oral B-12, Foltx, and thiamine. Still not feeling better which is really getting me down... I've missed so much work and am just tired of feeling badly 95% of the time. I just hope I begin to feel better at some point... :-(
Today is a good day! I moved my surgery date up to...
Today is a good day! I moved my surgery date up to May 13th to accommodate my work schedule and I'm so excited to have one less week to wait!!
Happy Friday everyone! I've had my pre-op lab...
Happy Friday everyone! I've had my pre-op lab work, chest X-ray and EKG so all set for my surgery on May 13th! Yea!
I decided to measure my band size so that I might order a couple of bras for post-explantation. What a shock to find out that I'm actually a 30! I had thought I was a 32 pre-implant and a 34 now. Guess this is why the majority of women are wearing the wrong size!! I'm guessing I'll be a 30A after my implants are removed which will definitely nominate me for the itty bitty club! :-)
I am over the moon! I found out that my insurance...
I am over the moon! I found out that my insurance (Blue Cross & Blue Shield) WILL cover for the explantation!! I will need to pay for the lift myself but this will be HUGE financial help to me. My PS submitted a letter to my insurance company with the justification for needing to remove the implants and they approved it. Yea!!
I've also come up with a new slogan for us, "We don't need no stinkin' implants." For those of us old enough to remember, this comes from Treasure of the Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart. :-)
The countdown continues--only 9 more days until my...
The countdown continues--only 9 more days until my surgery! I'm excited about it because I want to get these implants out once and for all. I'm scared that my health will not improve, even with them removed.
So far, I've seen a cadre of top-notch physicians at the medical school here in Dallas (UTSW) including a new internist and two neurologists. Next up (after my surgery) are a hematologist at the cancer center and a sleep expert. I've been diagnosed with and treated for both Vitamin D and B-12 deficiencies but I still feel awful most of the time.
My symptoms are primarily severe fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and brain fog. I think the neurologist is referring me to the hematologist to find out if I have a blood disorder or cancer. It is still my hope that my symptoms are autoimmune in nature and caused by the silicone implants. I figure I'll have the surgery, recover from that and then see how I feel before I see the hematologist in June. At this point, I just want to know what's wrong with me, even if it is cancer. Hopefully, if I have cancer or a blood disorder, it will be treatable, if not curable.
In only 48 hours, I will be either implant-free or...
In only 48 hours, I will be either implant-free or close to it! My surgery is scheduled for 9:00a.m., Dallas time, on Monday and I am ecstatic to finally be starting my new life without these toxic bags!! I'm busily cleaning house, doing laundry and preparing for my recovery period next week.
Thanks to all of you who have inspired, encouraged, and supported me as I started this journey as "Undecided Texan," then changed to "Explanting Texan." Soon, I will be on the lighter side of life and hopefully feeling much, much better physically. My goals include starting to work out regularly again and exploring the great city of Dallas since I have felt too poorly to enjoy this city that is new to me. I cannot wait to get back to some of the things I enjoy!!
13 1/2 hours until my surgery!! Yea!! The cab is...
13 1/2 hours until my surgery!! Yea!! The cab is scheduled to pick me up and take me to the surgery center first thing in the morning. Hopefully, I can get a good night's sleep tonight and not be too anxious.
Hi everyone! I'm back home and doing pretty well....
13 May 2013
Day of treatment
Hi everyone! I'm back home and doing pretty well. I had problems with low blood pressure both in the recovery area and then again at home. After eating and drinking several glasses of water, I'm feeling much better.
First, the good news! Dr. Melmed said that my implants were intact and showed them to me. Whew! He was able to get the capsules out although they were apparently VERY thick and difficult for him to get out. He said I could wear them as soles on my shoes they were so thick and tough.
The "bad" news is that I have MUCH less breast tissue than he anticipated, so rather than having what he expected, I am "flat." That's what I was pre-implants so I guess I'm not too surprised but had hoped to be at least an A cup. Based upon what he said, I'm thinking AA, at best. Time will tell...
More good news--the implants are out and I'm healthy again! I've got the drains in and will follow-up with him on Wednesday. Originally, he wanted me to come in tomorrow but because of the low blood pressure, he thinks it's best if I take tomorrow to just rest and refresh.
I will post a photo tomorrow when I'm feeling better so y'all can see how I look with the ACE wrap and drains. Then once I have on the sport bra, I'll post new photos.
My concern at this point is how to "hide" going from normal-looking breasts (34B) to a 34AA/AAA next week...
I forgot to add yesterday that Dr. Melmed told me...
I forgot to add yesterday that Dr. Melmed told me right before the surgery that he would make a decision on where to go in once he got into surgery. He decided to use the existing incision under the breast vs. adding a new scar to my long list. So, I know bras will be a bit irritating since the band will be on top of the new incision.
Drains are serving their purpose. I've emptied them three times so far and each had about 30 ml each time. Hopefully, this will slow down before I go in for follow-up tomorrow!
Also, you don't realize how many things in your kitchen are above shoulder level until you can't lift your arms! I have a step stool so that I can step up to get ice from the freezer, etc. :-)
I just got home from my postop visit with Dr....
I just got home from my postop visit with Dr. Melmed. He took off the ACE wrap and the drains out!! Now, I'm in the fruit of the loom sport bra. I have more breast tissue than he originally thought so I just might be an AA. I can take a shower in the morning but can't lift my arms above shoulder height.
He also told me that he had to dig out both capsules and the right one was attached to cartilage on my sternum! Yikes! So,it's a good thing they're out now...
Doing nothing is not easy!
I'm thinking that the reason my right side is more swollen than the left may be because I am right handed. AND, it's really difficult to not use your arms as usual! My right breast and down along the side of my body are swollen and tender. It's funny that I didn't realize this until this afternoon but I do think that may be the problem. So, for the next three days (until I go back to work on Monday), I'm going to primarily use my left hand/arm and do as little as possible... :-) I'll add new photos tomorrow so you can see how my left breast is looking pretty darn good!
4 days post-op
I've uploaded new photos so y'all can see my progress!
Back to work...
First day back at work--thank goodness I have a non-physical job! I did feel pretty exhausted and, at one point, wondered if I might need to sit down in a patient's room. :-)
I also have been very easily winded since my surgery a week ago and then I remembered that after a surgery in 1993 to remove ovarian cysts, I felt this way for 2-3 weeks and I was a lot younger 20 years ago. So, I'm hoping this will improve over the next week or two.
Right breast is still pretty swollen and the right side of my torso is much more bruised than the left. If the swelling doesn't significantly improve soon, I may wonder if I have a seroma. Hopefully, not. :-)
To all of you having surgery over the next two weeks, I wish you happy healing! Life after implants is so freeing!!
Glad I just re-read what I wrote because auto-correct turned seroma into sermon!! Wouldn't that be something? My right breast is producing a sermon? Haha...
Y'all have got to read this NY Times article:
Cutest bras ever!
Follow-up with PS
I saw Dr. Melmed this afternoon because the volume of the right breast was about twice that of the left. It wasn't a seroma, it is a hematoma. He aspirated about half of the old blood that was trapped in there. I go back in one week to have more aspirated. He said that the old blood will continue to liquefy which will allow him to get more out next week. Whew! He also told me it will look the same as the left so I am very, very excited!!
He also cleared me to take baths and not just showers! Yay! I love soaking in the tub while I read. :-)
Well, unfortunately, the right breast which was aspirated on Thursday is at least as big as it was, and possibly bigger. So, I'm wondering now if there's new bleeding. I'm going to see the PS tomorrow afternoon and if its new bleeding, seems to me that he might have to put a drain in. Does anyone know if this can be done under local?
Back from PS
Fortunately, it was not a new bleed. Apparently, the old blood attracts water which caused the swelling. He was able to get most of it out, perhaps all. It's much more similar to the left breast than it was so there's no pressure now. Icing it down right now and supposed to call him tomorrow. Hopefully, it's resolved and it can get back to healing!
2 1/2 weeks post-surgery
Here's some new photos! Had the hematoma aspirated for a third time. Looking better but still needs to get smaller.
I thought I'd try to measure myself so that I can order one of the cute wireless bras on www.littlewomen.com. I'm very confused now because the size 34 Zee bra is too big but according to a couple of websites I'm a 34 because my band measurement is 29. Also, using the guidelines on Little Women, I'm a 34AAA. Hmmm...
More on bra sizing
Just saw this in the NY Times--looks very interesting but I'm doubting they size for less than a traditional A cup.
I'm now 3 1/2 weeks post-surgery and went in to have more fluid aspirated from the right breast because of that hematoma. The good news is that its much closer in size to the new-normal small left breast. I am sore from the aspiration because even though he injects a local first, he then moves the aspirating needle around in there. Hopefully, it was the last time for that. :-)
I got the OK to wear normal bras and will wear the Handful bra I bought to work tomorrow. Looking forward to getting thr size 32 Zee Bras I ordered, too! I'm just so darn happy to have the fake implants out and be back to natural!! Yay!!
As you can see, the right breast is looking pretty beat up from the hematoma. Hopefully, it will settle down over the next few weeks to months.
4+ weeks post-surgery
I'm trying very hard to remain optimistic that my right breast will normalize. It's difficult at times because it doesn't seem to be improving. BUT, I love my new Zee Bras that came today!!
Dr. Melmed has done more than 3000 explantations and has found that more 80% of women with symptoms improve after explantation. He has also been part of a documentary titled, "Absolutely Safe" which is about breast implants. Total fee is $7545 (his fee, hospital, anesthesiologist) but with insurance coverage, it will be $2500 for me.