Well ladies....it's taken me 7 months to get to the point where I felt comfortable sharing photos along with my story. I have corresponded with many of you and read most of your stories. I found this site prior to my explant which was May 9, 2012. Many of you gave me a voice to explain exactly how I was feeling with implants......so, now it is my turn to share and hopefully help another woman out there that is struggling with the decision to explant.
I have always been small chested...maybe a full 32A during my youth. I wasn't overly self-conscious of my small breasts....they certainly fit my slight build and I loved that I didn't have any issues with them getting in the way of anything like some of my friends who were naturally VERY busty. My breasts served me well and successfully nursed two children over a year each...no problems with milk production from my teeny-weenies!! I actually quite liked their size when I was nursing...I could actually wear a 32-34 b/c bra for once! My husband and I decided that we were definitely done having kids when my youngest was about 3 years old. After surviving the "baby years" I decided I wanted to treat myself to breast augmentation (which I had thought about for years post nursing)..as my once youthful 32A's were quite "drained" and definitely deflated, what little was left!
My husband and I have been married for 16 years now, and he was supportive either way. He just wanted me to feel comfortable with myself, however that might be. I thought about it for another year, talked with quite a few work friends who had recently had implants and finally went for a consultation. My experience with my surgeon and staff was wonderful....very caring and supportive of my desire to have a fuller breast again. I told him I would love to have the boobs like I had when I was nursing...except without lactating!
So....during my Thanksgiving break of 2010 I had 300cc silicone high profile implants placed under the muscle. As you all know....the healing process takes some time! Yikes....my surgery went well and as expected, but I didn't realize how physically limited I would be over the next few months.
Fast forward....after 4-6 months...I started feeling more normal in my everyday routine. I was back at the gym, working in our garden, lifting my kids again....life was good. And my surgeon had given me exactly what I wanted...size was good for my frame, they settled well...and I could finally fill out a size small top!---I enjoyed the novelty of them...and so did my husband!---let's not lie!
I never had any complications, but after a year or so....I was still so "aware" of them all of the time. I think because they were under the muscle and I had very little tissue left, it bothered me to feel them moving when I was working out, or anytime I had to flex my pec muscles. Also, I would get strange "twinges" which were sometimes uncomfortable after working out. But, I became more self-conscious when I would hug someone....felt as if there was a ball between me and the other person....really didn't like that!!...too, I started to not sleep comfortably with them....I would sleep on my side or stomach and wake up aching. I kept all of these "inconveniences" to myself for the next few months thinking I just needed to get used to them. The best way to explain how I felt, was that I was always just "aware" of them....we even celebrated our 15 year anniversary in Maui...and I could never get over feeling self-conscious in my own skin with the implants in.--i just didn't want to admit it to myself.
Then one night I was on the internet and randomly read an article by Heather Morris the actress who plays Brittany on "Glee." She had rather small implants like myself, but just didn't like that she felt uncomfortable/pain while dancing with implants....and dancing brought her much joy!! It had never occured to me that removal was an option. Then my google search began....and I found this forum. What a blessing! Over the next few months I researched and read about explanting women like crazy!... and I felt so comforted to find that so many women out there were feeling just like me! I started to yearn for small breasts again...funny, huh?! I had a hard time with feeling like I had wasted money on implants that I didn't even really want/need anymore. I worked really hard, with the help of many of you women on this forum, to forgive myself for spending the money and altering my body....I needed to move on and chalk it up to a very expensive learning experience!
I met with the surgeon who did the augmentation and was extremely nervous that I would be made to feel crazy or stupid to undue a clearly good surgical outcome. Fortunately, I was supported by my surgeon. After listening to my story, he concurred that I would probably be more happy with a straight explantation instead of a replacement with a smaller implant. Whew!!
I knew that the decision to explant was right for me....but of course questioned myself brutally a few days before the actual surgery.
The explantation was quick and easy. I was awake for the whole procedure (with a little relaxer in my IV)...and talked with my surgeon before, during, and after. I was elated after the procedure to finally be done with the implants. I actually still have them....they asked me if I wanted them...and oddly I said yes....a souvenir of sorts!
I explanted through the original scar at the areola and left with a tight ace bandage wrapped around me for the next few weeks. At my week follow-up and removal of steri strips/stitches, it looked as if my right side was still "taped up" a bit. I was told to gently start massaging. Unfortunately...I never do anything halfway, so I massaged too much and caused some fluid accumulation in one side....so back in the tight sports bra and ace bandage for the remainder of the month.
I have just had my 6 month follow-up and discussed options to release my "tethered" scar on the right side. My surgeon doesn't think additional massaging at this point will make a ton of difference. The scar revision should be pretty straight forward, and he would like to harvest 15-20cc fat to transfer to prevent the tissue from adhering again. I would need to gain a bit of weight over the holidays to help out with this. Did I mention that I am a dietitian?--yikes! So, I am still on the fence if I want to spend yet more money on my boobs!---my surgeon has waived all of his fees for both the original explantation and now the scar revision....but I will still be out another $1500 to pay for the operating room/staff...to fix a scar. I think I will wait another month or so and see how it looks...and get through the business of the holidays :).
At the end of the day.....I am so happy to just be me again!!---the best feeling in the world is to hug my kids and not feel like something is coming between us!...working out, sleeping, feeling comfortable in clothes/bathing suits again....and just being "me" again....the "me" that God created........ALL worth it!!!--scars and all :)