Explant Scheduled 4/23 - No Lift, No Capsulectomy, Still Breastfeeding - Jackson, MS

I had 350cc (I think) smooth saline implants...

I had 350cc (I think) smooth saline implants placed under the muscle in 1997. I had just turned 20 and was not even an A cup. I was convinced I was deformed after being teased mercilessly about it in junior high and high school (until I discovered padded bras and changed schools). My stepfather even teased me about it. Blech. So, although all I wanted was to be a natural full A or small B cup, I ended up with full C's. I had only one consult. Fortunately, the surgeon did an excellent job, and I haven't really had any issues until more recently. I enjoyed having them at first, but always hated that they weren't real. The funny thing is I got them thinking I would finally be able to wear sexy bras, but once I had them I was only comfortable in sports bras 24 hours a day. i couldn't even sleep without a bra on until I started breastfeeding and had to. I would consider removing them through the years, but thought I'd be worse off than before. I started researching it again in 2010 and decided to get them removed after reading stories on another forum. My fiance,now husband, was totally supportive and happy that I wanted them out! So, in 2011 I was researching surgeons, and what do you know, I end up pregnant :) That brings me to now. When I first started to breastfeed (which i am so, so grateful I've been able to do) I finally truly realized what our breasts are here for. Our society has sexualized breasts so much, it's ridiculous. If only I had known. My 17 month old still nurses frequently day and night. I really want them out now, but I think I am going to wait at least a few more months to see if she reduces her nursing frequency. I have major issues with plugged ducts and have had 3 bouts of mastitis. I am now taking evening primrose oil, lecithin and b complex and have been avoiding processed food (following a modified Eat to Live program) since my last round of mastitis. I also have constant tightness in my upper back that started in 2009. I am sure this is implant related, although I think stress triggered it. I cannot wait to get these things out! I will update with pictures in a few months when I actually have a surgery date. Thank you to everyone that has posted their stories!

Some pictures

So, I have had at least 4 episodes of plugged ducts since December 22. Not fun. Fortunately, no progression to mastitis, which I attribute to taking raw garlic as soon as I start to notice a plug now. I wish I had some topless pre-pregnancy pictures. They have definitely gotten saggier. I also developed a vein-y road map on my chest in my last trimester. The stretch marks happened right after I had them placed. I am actually okay with how they look. If they were real and comfortable, I would be totally happy with them. Oh well. So, although my daughter still nurses every two hours (sometimes more frequently!), I am going to start actively looking for a PS. At this point, I'd be happy with just having them deflated and removed later, although I know that's not the ideal way to do it.

Consult with original surgeon

I saw my original surgeon today. He was much nicer than I remembered. I was surprised that he seemed okay with doing the explant and did not try to talk me into anything else. He was mainly concerned about the effects of the anesthesia on breast milk. The only problem I see is that he has not done many (1 other) removals without replacement and was not comfortable using local anesthesia, which is the type I'd prefer. So, I have a consultation with another surgeon next week. Has anyone else had an explant with a surgeon that hadn't done many of them? He seems to be good at everything else. They also made me some copies of my original pre op pictures. Sad that I thought I was so deformed and lopsided at the time. They're not my ideal, but they weren't that bad. I think I was a 36AA. I'm 5'8".

Scheduled Explant for March 26th!

I had a consult with a surgeon in Jackson last Friday. He seemed nice enough, has done several explants without replacement and costs about $1000 less than my original surgeon. So, I think I'm going to go with him, even though he seemed really rushed during our consultation. He was pretty cavalier about the whole thing and didn't spend much time with me. He didn't try to talk me out of it whatsoever. I think he could tell my mind was made up, so there was no point in trying. He also doesn't have a problem with me breastfeeding still. Yay! I asked him about compression afterwards and the nursing, and he said that he actually prefers not to bind/compress very tightly and that he would rather have a seroma develop (and just drain it in the office) than to risk the tissues adhering together while healing. He explained that the fluid build up acts as a bit of a cushion, and when it is naturally absorbed by the body, it's not a big deal. His nurse told me that I'll be in a surgical bra after surgery, but that I could bring a loose sports bra. It's kind of different from what I've read on here, but his seroma theory does kind of make sense to me. He does a lot of breast reconstructions, so I will trust his judgement. He agreed to do local / twilight for me, since that's what I prefer. I'm definitely nervous about the outcome. They are going to be lopsided for sure, but I hope that resolves after weaning. I am so used to having C-cup or more breasts, and I have a wide-ish ribcage and broad shoulders. I have to work on feeling feminine without boobs. Wish they didn't matter so much! I am really going to have to get serious about getting the rest of my body in shape now. I've let things slide and my breasts have given me a way to hide the fact that I definitely have a belly! By the way, in case anyone else out there is having problems with "mummy-tummy" or anything, really, I highly recommend Katy Bowman's book Alignment Matters and her blog KatySays. It's not exactly a quick fix, but it is full of excellent information and advice!

Should I postpone?

I'm scheduled for sx next Wednesday, but thinking that maybe I should postpone until April. I have been under extreme stress the past couple of weeks. My dad had a major heart attack on March 10th and has been in the ICU. He's still not 100% responsive, but he is slowly improving. My sister and I drove 7 hours and stayed for several days, but had to come back home. Now I have a cold, and I rarely -like never- get sick. Plus, my husband is now saying that he's going to miss my current breasts. He even compared it to having his penis amputated! :( When we first talked about it, he was all for it. I'm going to do it, no matter what he says, but should I wait a few weeks until I'm less stressed? Is riding in the car for 7 hours a week or so after surgery a bad idea? We will be going back in the next couple of weeks. I guess I'll make my decision Friday, since I have to reschedule 48 hours in advance to avoid a fee. Ugh.

Rescheduled for April 23rd

I decided to reschedule my surgery after my last post. Sadly, my father ended up passing away shortly after that.
I'm feeling pretty nervous - not about the surgery itself, but the outcome and recovery time. My main concern is being able to take care of my insane, demanding, constantly nursing toddler! :) Also, my stepdad does not know I have implants, so my mom has to figure out a way to help me without lying and without telling him what's going on. I know I'm 37 and should be able to deal with things in a more adult way, but I don't want him to know. My husband works out of town, so I have to rely on my mom and sister for help.
So, anyway, here are a few things that I hope improve after explant: constant tightness between my shoulder blades, melasma (started in 2009 and got worse after pregnancy), stubborn white coating on back of my tongue, and some digestive issues. I also had joint pain and all over fatigue for a few months last year (it was physically difficult to get out of bed in the mornings), but changing my diet seemed to have cleared that up, thank goodness. Also, I kept having problems with plugged ducts, but I finally realized I just cannot sleep on my right side. It must be the way the implant presses against my breast tissue.
I will try to update somewhat regularly after explant, because these reviews have helped me so much.

They're out!

I just got home from surgery a little while ago. I feel great, but I'm making myself rest. I think I probably overdid it already. It's hard to restrict movement when I feel fine. So, my surgery went well, although the doctor really didn't want to do it under just local. That made me kind of nervous. He was afraid I'd freak out. He also mentioned something about how sometimes he liked to tack up the tissue, but he couldn't do that under local only. I told him I didn't want anything tacked, so he grudgingly agreed to do it how I wanted it done. I didn't freak out, although my teeth started chattering, and I was kind of shivery. I managed to hide it for the most part. ( I think I did that after I gave birth to my daughter, as well, so maybe it's some sort of nervous reaction, or maybe it's just because it's freezing in medical buildings. ) From what I've seen, I'm happy with my results at this point. They are very saggy, but they have a better shape than pre-implant. They are definitely larger than pre-implant right now, but that is probably because of the saggy skin and missing a couple of nursing sessions.
I found a number to call to check to see if medications are safe for breastfeeding. I kept having doubts about nursing soon after breast surgery, because the lidocaine is injected so close to the breast tissue. Most of the literature I found referred to dental work, in which case it's fine to nurse right after. I did another search this morning and found the Infant Risk hotline 806-352-2519. It is great. You can just call in, and they will tell you what to do. Unfortunately, they said that I need to wait at least 2 to 4 hours after I get feeling back in the incision area to nurse. So, I'm going to have to wait until this evening. Darn. Really hope I don't get a plugged duct or anything.

pics

Very saggy and small. Day of surgery.

Antibiotics?

So, I was given an Rx for a round of prophylactic antibiotics. I really don't like the idea of taking them, but don't want to end up with an infection. Is there anyone that did not take antibiotics or wasn't prescribed them? Do you regret not taking them?
I'm putting off taking any pain meds until the pain is worse. Right now it's just kind of an uncomfortable / mildly painful feeling.

Felt like Christmas Morning!

After my post yesterday, I decided to just go ahead and take the antibiotics, load myself and my toddler up on probiotics, and hope for the best. I feel great today. Discomfort around the incisions, but nothing major. I bought some Tylenol, just in case, but haven't used that. (I'm very anti-meds, if you can't tell :) Nursing feels fine, but it's a little awkward. She nurses as frequently as an infant. She doesn't seem bothered by the size of my boobs, or the stretchy-ness. I did kind of terrify her, unfortunately. I saw Winrinda's review where she had cut holes in her sports bra to prevent nipple retraction. I thought that would be a great idea for nursing, so I'd still have compression while my baby nursed. Well, she saw that and totally freaked out. Sobbing and trying to get away from me while screaming "nurse-nurse". Poor thing, but it is pretty funny in hindsight. Anyway, I've just been wearing a Fruit of the Loom front-close bra. It's a 38. 36 fits too, but the pressure on the incisions is irritating. I am so, so happy that I've done this. I'm pretty flat/concave from the side, but I really don't care.

6 days post

I had my follow up appointment today. Unfortunately, although I think my surgeon was a good surgeon as far as skill goes, he is lacking in the helpfulness and concern category. My appointment lasted less than 5 minutes. I haven't gotten much in the way of post op instructions other than what I've thought to ask them. I don't know what I would do without this website. After 2 weeks, I can apparently do whatever I feel like doing, according to him, but I will continue to be careful. I think I will just start walking again and do that for another month before any upper body work?? I don't know. It also sounds like different people start doing massage at different times. I guess I will wait until the 2 weeks is up and start massaging with grapeseed oil. I used this during my pregnancy and had no stretch marks. I really attribute that to the oil, because I developed a lot of stretch marks on my hips during puberty and my breasts after the implants. The only problem with it is that it made my clothes smell rancid even after washing multiple times, so be careful if you use it. Coconut oil and olive oil never did this, but they don't work as well for me.
So, right now my breasts are still very flat and saggy. He said I did have a little fluid build up in them, but not enough to cause any concern. I'm supposed to pull the steri strips off in about 5 or 6 days and if a suture is poking out at the end, go in and have his nurse snip it. After that, he said to put gauze between my bra and scars to help keep them dry. It's warm and humid here and hard not to get sweaty!
I have been wearing cotton tank tops under the sports bras. It's much more comfortable that way.
The only pain I have is that the incision and underside of my right breast is sore sometimes. That's it. I keep reaching up too high or carrying things that might be a tad too heavy, because I keep forgetting to be careful. It's hard when I feel fine!
As far as sleep goes, I have been sleeping on my back, which is surprisingly easy. It felt uncomfortable sometimes pre-explant. I wasn't given any instructions to do this, but it seems like the safest position. Can anyone tell me how soon I can sleep on my stomach? I can't wait. It's been almost 17 years...
I also can't wait to do yoga poses that I always had to be careful with before!
As you can see in my pictures, my nipples are kind of weird. I have to fold them upward in my bra. Yuck, I know, but hopefully temporary. If not, oh well. My areolas were pretty stretched out, plus my toddler is not the gentlest. She has been nursing the same as ever. I keep hoping she will cut back at some point, but I will miss the closeness. The good news is that I was able to go 8 hours with no nursing after surgery, and I did not get a plugged duct. With the implants I couldn't go more than 3 or 4 without getting a bad one.
I am still thrilled that I've finally done this. My sister said I look so much better and that my body looks less "strained."

Some things for healing..

I forgot to say that I've been taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C to speed tissue healing and eating plenty of fresh pineapple for the bromelain in it. I've also been trying to stick more closely to the nutritarian way of eating. I was kind of slacking during March due to all the travel and stress. I tend to overeat all day long as a way to procrastinate and relax. It is usually super healthy food, but it's still more than my body really needs. I hope to make some positive changes regarding this. I feel like getting the explant was the first step.

2 weeks post

Everything is going well. I've been doing my usual household stuff minus anything that requires heavy lifting up until now (unless you count obese cats :). I started picking up my daughter again and went shopping alone with her today for the first time. She is able to crawl onto my lap and get into our bed on her own, so I've been able to avoid lifting her. Went for a walk for the first time yesterday.

My breast tissue seems about the same. They're tightening up a little, but hard to tell. The right definitely has more tissue than the left, but it's not something that bothers me. I had a coworker that had a 2 cup size difference between her breasts, and I never noticed it until she pointed it out to me, so I figure it's not something that anyone will realize, and if they do, so what :)

I'm wearing a tank top under my sports bra (now most comfortable in size 36 FOTL) with another one on top of that most of the time. I have to have a layer of something between the bra, plus it is better for discrete nursing, if necessary. I also fold a gauze 4x4 and place it on the incision area.

The nurse told me to not rub any oil on the incisions or to use Scar Away until after my 6 week check up. I have to go in tomorrow to have the stitches removed, since they're kind of poking through my skin. Doesn't hurt or anything, I can just feel them.

I am still so happy to have these things out. I was worried that I might be depressed, but it is the exact opposite. In fact, I've been thinking a lot about how sad it is that young women feel the need to have larger breasts and older women to have perky 20 year old breasts. How sad it is that we are programmed by the media and society to think that breasts equate femaleness. How sad it is that we willingly undergo a major surgery, not without risks to hyper-sexualize a part of our body in order conform to this unrealistic, transient ideal of femininity. (And we are so brainwashed that we convince ourselves that it is to make us feel better, not for anyone else. Ha!) It is one thing to reconstruct a body part that has suffered injury or malformation, but it is a totally different thing to take perfectly healthy and functional body parts and cause them to be less healthy and functional for the sake of looks. I can't believe I did that to myself, but I am grateful it has taken me to the place I am in now. And that's my rant for the moment :)

Almost 6 months post

I've been meaning to update for awhile now. The boobs look about the same, fluffing a bit (maybe) a bit of droopy skin on areolas, and still some skin wrinkling when I raise my arms. They feel firmer than they did, but still way jigglier than with the implants, which is a good thing, I think. Nursing is still going great. No problems after the explant at all other than how weird it felt to have floppy, stretchy boobs. I ended up wearing my sports bra most of the time for the first month, although I'd fall asleep nursing with it unbuttoned, so I was sleeping most of the time without any support. I now just wear cheap cotton bralettes from Walmart when I'm going somewhere and generally go braless at night or at home. Same as the ones I was wearing with implants. I'm not a fan of underwire, and haven't felt up to figuring out cup sizes. I haven't been working out like I planned, but the times that I have done planks and push up type exercise, I have felt great. I am still very pleased with my results and how everything went.

I haven't been using any scar treatment or massage. Too lazy :) Fortunately, the scars are fading fine on their own. I haven't had any resolution of previously mentioned medical? conditions other than that the tightness between my shoulder blades is much, much better. I think if I would just do yoga or something on a more regular basis, it would finally go away.

One thing that the PS told me on my final post op appt, was that 80-90% of women's right breasts hang lower than the left. There's the same amount of breast tissue, but the right side of the chest is narrower. Interesting! So, I'm not concerned about the right one looking a little saggier than the left.

If anyone out there found this because they were looking up removal while breastfeeding, please be sure to read the reviews by Bloem, NewGirl74 and MissPixie too. All of us had successful implant removals while breastfeeding.

I probably won't log on to update much unless anything of interest occurs, but feel free to ask any questions.
Was this review helpful? 12 others found this helpful