Implants of 13.5 Years Removed - Very Happy - Gloucester, UK

I had implants at the very young age of 19, with...

I had implants at the very young age of 19, with Transform in the UK. I didn't see a surgeon until my second consultation - I initially spoke to a sales person, then signed up to have the operation done. One of the 'pros' of implants that the sales person pitched: that they would help to protect from me breast cancer, as foreign objects (the implants) in that area would mean I would produce more anti-bodies. What a croc! And in my teenage state, I believed it. The sad thing is, my dad paid for the surgery and attended the consultation too - he never once tried to talk me out of it. I think he was trying to get one over on my recently divorced mother. Nice one dad!

I was then (and still am) 102 pounds, 5'3 and with a very slim build. Before surgery I was a 34B. I wanted to go up to a 34C, so had Allergan McGhan 300cc round textured silicone implants, over the muscle. If I'm honest, I loved it for about 4 years - I think it's a novelty more than anything - and for me, it was also being too young to really understand about self image and being comfortable in your own skin. After a couple more years, I had some rippling and could feel the rim of the implant on the bottom of both sides. Then five years ago, I began to notice a clicking sensation in the middle of my chest when I moved. Very hard to describe but it felt disgusting - like scar tissue was catching on the implant or something. Not nice. I also had a lot of random pains, terrible posture (when those bad boys are on your chest, you're not about to start sticking them out) and was generally just very aware and self conscious that these things did not belong to my tiny frame.

So, over the next 4 years I saw 3 surgeons in total - the first was NHS - as I was having some pain I wanted to get checked out. He had a good poke around and said there was nothing wrong, just a very thin capsule on one side. He said if I had them removed without replacement there would be nothing left as the implant had strectched out my tissue. So, that put at end to it in my mind - until - *fanfare* - PIP implants ALL over the news in the UK. God, I was so worried, I felt sick - at that time I didn't know what brand my implants were. And I didn't find out until 2 weeks later when I finally plucked up the courage to call Transform. Fortunately I wasn't among one of the women who had industrial grade silicon put into their bodies - honestly, these people. So little respect for fellow human beings! But it set me off on a journey of research about ruptures and complications and thankfully at 33, I no longer put vanity before health. Took a while!

I saw a private surgeon in Sheffield, who said if I had them removed with nothing in their place, I would be left with two "loose skin envelopes" - plus, he had no experience of explant surgery. I did a lot more research and then found James McDiarmid in Cheltenham - went for a consultation and was reassured. He assessed the placement of my nipples, the elasticity of my skin, asked about diet and lifestyle. Then gave me a realistic idea of what I could expect: I would look like a normal 33 year old woman, who had had a couple of children. I could live with that, so I went ahead with the surgery at the Winfield Hospital in Gloucester. I traveled 3 hours from Sheffield with my partner, who stayed overnight in a hotel while I was an overnight patient.

I went into theater at 10:30am and I was freaking out a bit - I cried as I felt the anesthetic kick in - what a wuss. The whole thing was over in a heartbeat - when I woke up I thought I was still waiting for the sedatives to take effect, then a nurse came over and adjusted my drains and I saw they were gone! It took about 3 hours to come round properly and my partner was allowed to come for a visit. I managed some food in the evening and was getting up on my own (carrying my drains) to go to the loo by about midnight. The hospital and staff were fantastic. Spotlessly clean ward and private room, good food and very attentive/friendly nurses.

I had dressings over my wounds but what I could see when I looked under my t-shirt was a big shock. I looked very empty and baggy and much smaller that before I had my implants in. I went home the following day with a big bag of codeine and paracetamol - not too much pain at all and with some very amusing anti-bloodclot socks on. I was well enough to have a cup of tea in the service station on the way home but sat in the back of the car with the seat belt over my waist and the top part of it behind me so it didn't touch my chest.

As I'm based 3 hours away from the hospital and clinic, my surgeon buried the knots and I changed my own dressings, which was a bit stressful. After 7 days, I removed the dressings and paper sutures and replaced them with micropore tape over the incisions for 6 weeks - which I changed every 10 days or so when it started to come away from my skin. I wore a soft sports bra to begin with, then a tight Macom surgical lifting bra 3 days after the surgery. I alternated this with a soft crop top type bra at night or whenever the tight bra felt a bit much. (I used the promo code mybreast on the Macom site and got 15% off, not sure if this is still an active promotion though).

I'm now 7 weeks post op and my breasts have "fluffed" a little - my surgeon did an amazing job and I'm over the moon with the result. They are absolutely tiny - like little bee stings and size 34AAA, but my skin has gone back really well and the size makes more sense for my build than those rock hard melons ever did. The micropore tape seems to have done a good job of keeping my scars nice and flat and I'm now using Fushi organic scar rebuild ointment - which my scars seem to like - and organic rosehip oil for some tentative massage.

I do wish I'd had more information post op about bras, when I could exercise again. My surgeon did a great job but was not so easy to get hold of post surgery - some kind of printed or online guide could have reassured me I was doing the right things I think, instead of feeling like I was guessing. In the UK, this surgery is not so common so it's harder to get good intel. Thank goodness for this site.

Apologies for such a long and laborious tale, but I wanted to reassure UK ladies (and all ladies) that no matter what some surgeons say, you can have them removed without replacement. The prediction I was given by a very reputable surgeon of "loose skin envelopes" simply was not true. I am so so glad I went for it - and I may have little bee stings instead of massive whoppers - but they're all mine.

United Kingdom Plastic Surgeon

Surgery, clinic and results were fantastic. After care and information given (as a patient who lives far from the clinic and did not return for dressing changes) was not so good. I would have liked more guidance.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hi! feelingood You look great!!!
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Thank you feelingood for your story. I wanted to hear from someone who also had implants overtop of the muscle. Mine are over the muscle as well but I have nursed three children long before getting implants and have a fair amount of stretch marks as my skin is not so elastic so I dont think my skin will bounce back like yours has, however it is really positive to hear your recovery has gone so well.
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Hey...no there aren't many UK sites. I am going to go shopping tomorrow so will have a look, but doubt I will find anything. I've had a look at the sites that are in the UK and they seem so expensive....why when there is less material??? Lol I am glad you are happy though. I will let you know if I find any good smaller bras. Was thinking of trying on some teen ones as they may fit?!!! Plus hopefully will be cheaper xx
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you look GREAT!! :)
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Thank you! xx
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Hey. Just read your review and think you look great. I also have bee stings..have you found any bras that fit?? I couldn't fit into a AA, although I am hoping they fluff a bit as only 16 days post surgery! Thank you for your story it helps x
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Hi Clare. Thank you :) I'm really pleased that this post has helped a little - it's important for women to know that some surgeons are give false advice, for whatever reason - they might do it in good faith and with no experience of explant surgery - but it's still a massive disservice. I've had a good look around on the net for smaller bras and the best UK site I've found is this: http://www.littlewomen.com/ - I think I'll be spending quite a bit of money in the next few months! Smaller ladies really aren't that well catered for though - did you find anywhere else? xx
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Hello Ana :) I know, the two surgeons I saw initially for consultations were very experienced, qualified and high up in their industry - but they couldn't see past their opinion - that women will be dissatisfied with their natural breasts, or that natural breasts cannot be as good as implants. Maybe if they actually had breasts themselves they might give better advice.

I can definitely recommend my surgeon, James McDiarmid - he works in 6 hospitals around the country so it may be worth getting in touch to see if London is one of the places he works? The consultation was £50, which I had in Cheltenham - it's very pretty there with some nice tea rooms - it took me 3 hours to drive there, but for the peace of mind I had of knowing that a) my surgeon has experience in this procedure b) he gave me an honest, realistic assessment of what I could expect and c) he didn't try to push further surgery on me - it was £50 well spent. I just realised as well, I made a mistake in my original posting - I was a 34A before the implants, not 34B - so I'm actually only a bit smaller than I was before I had them at 19 and I'm in my 30's now. Also, my surgery cost £3100 not $.

I say go for it - and find a good surgeon who knows this procedure. Good luck! I will post some more photos v soon xxx
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Hi feeling happy! i am so glad to read your review. I have deffinetly come across surgeons who meantioned my breasts will look horrible if i remove the implants, and it has affected me since. I even considered not removing them and coping with the horrible feeling of having these plastics inside me. But your review and many other proves they are wrong, you look amazing :) I am also thankful for your photos, I have very little breast tissue and most ladies on realself still have a lot of breast tissue when implants are removed, so your photo gives me a bitter idea of what i can expect.. and i like it :) good luck with healing, and update us x
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Thank you :) I am really thrilled. I think, just to have my natural body back as much as being relieved that it's over and that I'm healing now. The thing about being small is, some women have naturally small breasts - it's part of life that not everyone is the same. Have you noticed that most breast surgeons are male too? It's like some sort of conspiracy to get us to conform to the ideal standard!

Good luck with your surgery - are you looking forward to it? I was quite excited before mine - I made sure I had some little treats for the morning after too, like a big box of chocolates and a copy of Vogue xx
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Thank you for posting your story, I suspect I will be a very similar size to you when I have my explant. I was told that I have no breast tissue as my skin is thin around my implants, but like you I honestly do not care. I hope that once my explant is over that I have "bee stings" that look as good as yours. You must be thrilled with how natural and great you look xx
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Hi feelingood
You look great, why can't I see myself like that? I look horrible, anyway… I am too from Gloucester I had my operation on the 9th of August with NHS here in Gloucester Hospital. I was actually 30 when I had the implants put in with Transform as well but they were PIP and one did ruptured, luckily it didn't get to a liquid-ish state yet so there wasn't much free silicone in my breast, even though I have silicone in my lymph nodes. I just hope one day soon I will ignore them and get used to it. I don't think I will ever accept my real size but at least I will live by it. I am glad you are finally happy!!!
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Hello :)
It's hard to see from your photo but I think you great! Natural, soft lady parts! And thank god the silicone hadn't got any further than your lymph nodes. How do you feel in yourself - do you have any ill effects or just tired from the surgery? I just remembered, before I had them out I was having night sweats quite often, like I would wake up and be burning up - thought it was hormones at the time but it's not happening anymore.
Please please give yourself time to come around to it - it must be much harder to come to terms with if you liked the way they looked before and they hadn't changed in shape or texture. I think I was so sick of them by the time they came out, i was mentally (fairly) ready.
It's taken me a while to get used to it all and it's only in the last week that I've started to feel so happy and positive. Still haven't taken my bra off around my man much, but I'm working up to it. I went out on Saturday with my surgical bra on as I'd recently removed the tapes over my scars and it was the only thing that felt comfortable. I was so flat under my top, I looked like a boy! I soon forgot about it though and had a fantastic night, really enjoyed my friends' company and felt so lucky to have my health and support of my family and partner.
Please don't be blue, you'll get there. Big hugs xxx
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Thank you so much for your reply! The fact is I didn't have any problems or change in shape when one ruptured (I wouldn't have known without a scan) and I did like them, I don't think they were massive but just a good size. I will post more recent photo but I don't think they have changed much (like fluffing up and so on) and I don't think they will change! Never mind, I can't do anything about it, so I should shut up and get on with it and think there are more important thing in life then boobs!
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Yes! like chocolate, sex, Gossip Girl, walks in the snow, coffee, a good cold chablis, more chocolate... xx
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Actually, Gossip Girl may be up for discussion ;) - that can be substituted with ER, Lost, The Killing or some other televised time wasting device!
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This review fills me with such joy to read :) Your "little bee stings" are SO much better on you - and the way the skin has retracted back is excellent!

I too was 19 when I has mine done (with Transform too!) and I am nearly 30 now and for the past few years I have been on a journey of self discovery and my own natural self confidence has kicked in. But of course I feel like a fraud with these implants. I don't hate them. They don't look too bad, but I don't love them either.

Thank-you so much for posting your story and picture :)
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Oh I forgot to ask, what was the state of your implants when you removed them? Stll intact? Did you have any capsule removed or just the implant itself?
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Thank you, that means a lot :) They are not perfect - I found my nipples to be very odd and stretched out for a while but I think I'm used to them now. I guess that's to be expected when the skin has been stretched for such a long time. And when I slouch or lean forward, the right side is fine but the left side kind of caves in a little - I'll add photos of that soon actually. Onwards and upwards though! You're completely right, as I've got older I've started to understand that the way women are portrayed in the media is not realistic or natural. I'm sure cosmetic companies and surgeons do very well out of it though..
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As far as I know, they were intact. When I told my surgeon that my implants were McGhan Allergans, he said (after inspection) that they hadn't ruptured and that they may well last for another 10 years. There was a thin capsule on both sides but he advised from the start that he would expect not to remove the capsule unless there was an unexpected complication. He said that removing such a thin capsule would most likely cause more damage and remove more tissue with it - and that leaving the capsule in would not cause problems in this case.
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hi , you sure don't looked like a size AAA , that doesn't matter anyway, you look great . the last part of your story is so....true. :)
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Hello, thank you - that's very kind :) I got my sizing from measuring under my bust and around my bust - 30" and 32" which apparently equates to 34AAA - I wanted to get measured properly in Marks and Spencers (UK) but they don't carry bras at such small sizes. Maybe they would measure me anyway?!
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