Don't look back! - Federal Way, WA

9 years ago I was a 31 year old single mother of...

9 years ago I was a 31 year old single mother of two when I decided to get breast implants. It seemed to me like I had always wanted bigger boobs and for the 30 months (total) that I nursed my babies, my boobs were a full 34C and I loved them. After I stopped nursing and lost the pregnancy weight (130lbs at 5'9"), I was both small and saggy and decided to get the implants that I always a thought I wanted. I got 360cc round smooth saline implants under the muscle with the incision under the armpit. My results actually looked very good and I ended up being a 34DD, which was a little bigger than I wanted. The problem was that my breasts practically levitated and they never felt real. The implants could be very easily felt through the skin and I had noticeable rippling on the sides. Worst of all, they were uncomfortable and I could feel the plastic whenever I moved. I kept my implants for so long because I didn't hate them right away and my new husband liked them and had never seen me without. Financially, I couldn't afford to remove them and my doctors always warned me that the results of removal without replacement would not be ideal.

This year I found a couple of lumps in my breasts and the implants made it difficult to assess the true nature of the cysts. After numerous exams and multiple mammograms and sonograms, I was told that my cysts were normal but that we would need to keep monitoring them. I knew when I got my implants that they wouldn't last forever and it just seemed like it was time to say good-bye to the plastic Barbie boobs that made me bounce off of everyone I hugged.

I did a great deal of research and decided to go with a reputable local PS. I asked for the most simple removal possible and was able to have both implants removed intact without a capsulectomy under local anesthesia. The procedure took less than two hours and I actually slept through the whole thing without general anesthesia (which was good).

That was two days ago and I am having doubts every day but I know it will take time for my breasts to bounce back. I will try to post pictures soon. Thank you to everyone who posts for giving me the courage to face this.

Pictures taken before and after implants.

3 days post-explant 8/3/13

Improving every day...

I feel better about the decision to explant with every day that passes. I am very lucky that I do have some breast tissue left to work with and I think my little breasts are cute. I really love how good my body feels without those big plastic balls inside of me. I have had very little pain, too. Getting breast implants was the most painful thing I have ever experienced--including child birth! So, I am glad that the reverse procedure did not come at the same price.

I found a comfortable and supportive sports bra that is lightly padded and I really like the overall result. The brand name is Athletic Essentials and this one is a size medium. I could easily go with a small but right now I am liking that the medium allows me to wear the band lower so that it doesn't irritate the incision areas. I'm going to look for more of these in neutral colors. I found this one at Marshal's so I don't know how easy that will be. Foe extra support, I wear a champion sports bra over this, if needed.

Right now I am dying to get back to the gym and paddle boarding but I am waiting because I don't want to overdo it. It is only day 5...

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. It has been so helpful hearing from all of you!

10 day update

I don't think the pictures really show how floppy my breasts are at this point but I am happy with how they have been "bouncing back." I have no pain on the right side at all now but some lingering pain and numbness around the incision and below the incision in the left side. My PS said it was healing fine and that everything looked good. So I am hoping that will improve with time.

I went shopping for some new tops and it is so strange to fit into a size small again. People who don't know about the surgery ask if I have lost weight. Since I have lost about 10 pounds in the last year, this a convenient explanation.

Overall, I am very happy with being implant free. I wouldn't mind if my breasts fluffed up a bit and I can't wait to get back into my physical activities full swing... Despite that, I feel lighter, both physically and emotionally.

One year post-explant--so happy to be implant free!

One year later, I still haven't quite figured out my actual bra size since it seems to depend on the brand and the style of bra. I'm somewhere between a 34 B/C and a 36B. Sometimes I find a little padded bra to give some extra oomph but I can honestly say I don't miss the DD's. I don't miss hearing and feeling the saline implants rubbing against my rib cage or the rippling that was always happening on the sides. My breasts have bounced back nicely and I'm surprised to say that after 18 months of pregnancy, 28 months of nursing, and 9 years carrying around 300cc saline implants--I think they look better than ever before! And I feel better too! I feel like I look so much younger and even my husband is very happy with my small natural breasts. My favorite part is that now when I hug him or my children, I no longer have two bouncy balls of saline pushing us apart. For anyone considering explanting their implants, I think it is important to find a highly qualified PS who will listen to you and respect your wishes while still giving you a realistic idea of the potential outcome. I was afraid that explantation would leave my breasts deformed but, as you can see, I am just lighter and free. It was an expensive lesson to learn but now I can honestly say that I love myself the way I was always meant to be...
Dr. Braden Stridde

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (29)

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Ittybittyme....you look absolutely fantastic!!!! Your breasts look beautiful and thank you so much for the one year update. This community gives us gals such incredible support, I love it! My implants have been with me quite longer than yours (19 yrs) and I am 10 years older than you...but oh how fortunate would I be to have mine look like yours!
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Looking great Hun all the best xx
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You look so great!
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You look great! I can definitely notice a little bit of fluffing going on.
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I think you look amazing! I hope to look very similar after my op this week and if I look as good as you I'll be delighted : ) Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you more fluffing if that's what you want, but you already do look fabulous! Have you looked into drinking fenugreek of fennel tea? They naturally have oestrogen in them that can help ;0) Thanks so much for sharing and all the best
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Thank you SO much for sharing your story and all your pics! I think we have a similar post-explant boob result :) I really appreciate seeing your pics because you had children before your BA, and it is so comforting to me to see that you are returning to your natural post-baby/pre-BA state. I got implants young, before children, and kept them for a lot of years -- so it has been very hard for me to "get to know" my post-explant mommy boobs. Having only memories of my young pre-BA boobs, I have wondered sometimes if this is what they are "supposed" to be like, or did the implants do this, have I been able to heal back to "normal" or what? I see so many young girls "bounce back" after explant, but it is SO immensely meaningful to me to see another mom "bounce back"! Thank you so much for sharing your story - it's brought me a lot of peace to see your sequence of pictures and be able to say to myself "yes, these are really MY boobs, they've healed to look much like they would have after kids, even if I never had implants, I explanted and they DID bounce back!" I wish you all the best in your recovery, and for a happy healthy life into the future!
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So happy for you!! You look great!!! :)))
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Congratulations! Mine looked very similar at 10 days, and now at 18 they look really cute and much more fluffed up...I thought I wouldn't be able to look at them without a bra and that my nipples would be pointing down but that is not the case at all. You will see. Was your incision right under the nipples? The incisions on mine are practically gone. It's wonderful to feel light and natural once again! I am very happy for you and for all if us who have gone through this procedure.
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You look awesome.. Congrats on the explant. Mine is Sept 27th, and I am doing just the simple explant as well. I'm a little nervous about local, so I'm happy to read stories like yours. My stats are just about the same as yours too, 5'9 140lbs, got 300s overfilled to 335/345. I hope mine look half as good as yours!!!! Can't wait to get this done :)
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Hi! I was uplifted by your story. it helped me to be happy with my decision..after reading your story, you seem very positive and emotionally accepting of your decision. I too recently had my silicone 375cc implants removed a week ago but i don't know if i'm 100% happy with the aftermath just yet. Honestly, If I didn't have so much discomfort in my right breast and and arm I probably wouldnt have removed them. however, there were times I did feel they were a little too big for me and I never got that comfortable with showing off my figure and tend to wear less revealing clothes. what was the point, right. I was very unhappy with my size and shape before. i was small, flat, and saggy. and very unattractive. I started off very small 34A, before my implants and needed a lot of help with bras to even look acceptable in clothes. this was one things i was glad i didn't have to deal with when i had my implants. but, when you're in pain, it doesn't seem worth it anymore.... anyway, you look great and i admire your courage and your positive attitude.
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Hi Annie, I know this support group is awesome and I just stumbled across it searching for information on explanting after I found I had a rupture. If I hadn't started having pain, because mine are silicone, i don't know that I would have noticed as one breast is softer than the other but other than that you can't really tell that there is a rupture. I had an mri and that is what showed the reality. I'm sixty four and have had these for 23 years, plus have been ill...I really think it is probably from these implants. I know that the cost depends where you are located but I think it's usually between 4 to 6 thousand. My disability insurance will pay for part of mine as otherwise couldn't get it done. Have you been looking for PS or have a consult yet? I went with the first PS I met with as he is wonderful and I hope you have the best of luck finding the perfect surgeon for yourself. I know with a local anethesia it is less costly. I have to do in hospital so will be much more. Keep us all apprised of your search and your plans. Gentle hugs to you
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Hi Deborah, Thanks for commenting. Interesting, I don't have any pain, but my right breast must have ruptured. It is much softer as of late. I am calling my PS today to set up a consultation. I will keep you posted. Thanks
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I think you look great, about like I did at 3 days. I have a picture posted on my profile. I feel so much better not having those huge things on my chest. They do look bigger in the before pictures because of the way my husband took the pictures but they were huge to me and caused my pain in my back to worsen. Also they left the small amount of capsule I had, he said there wasn't even enough to worry about. There are so many great women here that will help you out and even make you laugh. Glad you're here!
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I think you look awesome!! And for only 3 days, wow. You are only going to get better from here. I hope you love the feeling of being natural and implant free, I certainly do. I'm 2 1/2 weeks now and feeling great!!
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Thank you for sharing your experience on RealSelf! I think you look beautiful!

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You look great, and will only keep looking better and better!
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You'll be happy to have the implants in the trash where they belong. If you have capsules which I'm sure you do, it's best to get them out as the scar tissue can cause problems as well. So, I don't know if you'll want a local. I would get a few opinions first. The surgeon is key. :). Let us know how your doing. Blessings, TTBirdie
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You look awesome!
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Wow for only 3 days post you look amazing, they will look better and better each day..even 10 days post mine have fluffed up. I too was worried the first days they looked flat as a pancake...doesn't it feel good to be implant free?
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Eva- it feels very good to have those hard balls of saline-filled plastic out of my body. My breasts may be small but at least they are real.
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Your looking great for three days post! And so much healing still to occur in the days and months to come. Are you using anything like Bio Oil to moisturize? Are you wearing compression and/or sports bras?
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The doctor didn't recommend anything. I was thinking about using Egyptian Magic cream but definitely open to suggestions. The PS is pushing something called bioCorneum for the scars but he wanted me to wait till I got the stitches out.
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Well, all surgeons have slightly different approaches, but they usually have you wear sports bras of some type for compression, especially in the early days, and up to 2,4, even 6 weeks. Moisturizer of a natural kind, like bio oil (walmart has it for about $10), almond oil, coconut oil, even extra virgin olive oil is alright. Or, something like shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamin e oil can be used just to moisturize the breast area, not on incisions until they are well healed. Massage on the scars when they are ready with a little of any of these products are all effective at moisturizing and fklattening of scar tissue. My incision lines are not ropey and pretty flat already, so I am starting with what I just described. If I do purchase anything it will be Mederma which can be found at walmart also. I find plastic surgeons 'push' as you say, towards expensive creams, strips, etc. that have very little clinical evidence to support additional healing beyond what the basics do. I am definitely not using any of that stuff for $80. Also contents in a lot of anti aging face creams that you may have already can be used on your breast tissue. If you look into the ingredients of the Egyptian Magic Cream, the first ingredient is olive oil.
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My PS also recommended bio corneum. I bought it, very expensive. I used the whole bottle. Now I'm using a combo I make at home. 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 Cetaphil lotion. Works much better than the bio corneum did, and I don't feel bad for rubbing it on the incisions, on my breasts, a little on my shaved legs, etc.
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Thanks for the recommendation. I love hearing what kinds of natural lotions and creams have been working for everyone.
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