6 weeks and counting post explant in MA-picture update

I too, have been stalking this website for many...

I too, have been stalking this website for many months now. My story begins in TX where 15 years ago I had saline implants below the muscle placed. At that time, I had felt self-conscious and "inadequate" due to my smaller breasts. I felt like I was incomplete and in my mid 20s, found a surgeon and had the BA. I had always been very sensitive about the topic, so only a few friends and my parents even knew about it. I went from a 34 A to smaller 34 C.
Fast forward 9 years later and I am married and looking forward to the birth of my daughter. I struggled to breast feed her and then figured out with the 2nd daughter that the one breast with mild capsular contracture had a decreased let down response. I finally figured out a technique with my lactation consultant, but it was a ton of extra work-not the easy "bonding" experience with my then baby I had hoped for.
I'm now 40 years old, parts of my body are getting older, but I have the breasts of a 25 y.o.! They don't fit with my body, my personality or my life's values and I am now even more self conscious about being "found out" and avoid bathing suit opportunities (back to where I started!). I also am now the mother of 2 young girls and I want to be a better role model for my girls. They are a good motivation! :)
I'm in the medical field and contacted my PCP who CC'd me on an email to the head breast PS at my hospital. He gave me the name of another PS at a practice outside my hospital system and the consult went pretty well (was expecting the worst). Looking at removing both implants, no capsulectomy (scar tissue is fairly thin to the left CC) and no lift-I feel like I've tortured my breasts enough already and a little 40 y.o. sag is not the end of the world! I also had my first mammogram post BA. For those of you considering removal, a mammogram with implants is VERY uncomfortable-I was so sure they would pop during the procedure with all the extra views they had to do. And now I will have to do this every year (recommended after 40)?!
Do I regret having them done originally-no, but they are not what I want now in my life and I wish I had been more informed of the long-term issues/conflicts with BA. I'm waiting for the final quote and then will schedule surgery date and post pics. This website has given me the reassurance and the confidence to move forward with things...thanks!

One of my big anxieties is my husband-he met me...

One of my big anxieties is my husband-he met me post implants & his previous girlfriends were aways busty. He is going along with it, but isn't exactly excited-not sure if it is because of smaller breasts or the expense. Time will tell...
I'm beginning to get really nervous about the clothes-will I still be able to wear things that flatter my "real" figure? I'm amazed & saddened at how many women on this website were teased about their small chest growing up-you rarely hear of boys or men being teased for their small penis (or dare make fun of themselves). I hope my girls will be tougher & smarter...

I had a follow-up/pre-surgery consult with my PS...

I had a follow-up/pre-surgery consult with my PS today. I have to say, I like him even better now that at the first visit. He came highly recommended and seems to know the procedure well (thanks for all your education, ladies!). Reassuring, because as a nurse, I had my own set of questions :)
Shared some of the visit details with my husband this PM and was a little disappointed that he didn't show more interest. I am getting really nervous about the amount of breast tissue that will be left and will I be able to pull this off without completely changing my wardrobe or having to come clean to with co-workers (where I spend most of my time outside of family). It will be what it will be...
Thank you to all the women who have so bravely shared their stories, their triumphs and their sorrows. I will be closely checking in to the website as the time draws closer.

It's done! What a mix of emotions over the last...

It's done! What a mix of emotions over the last few days-less anxious about the implants & more about the removal. came across some other Websites about breast implant complications which was pretty scary. It should have reassured me that I was doing the right thing, but it also made me more worried about the surgery.
I had propofol for induction & then gas to keep me under. Felt some burning for a bit, but then took a Percocet & seems more dull now. I'm disappointed about the lack of breast tissue, but will need to keep thinking positive.
Just relaxing & taking it easy until my kids come home w/ hubby. I made it!

I finally know what was used for implants (didn't...

I finally know what was used for implants (didn't give me a card 15 years ago). McGhan, 230 ml overfilled to probably ~260+. I'm a nurse, so I'm kind of curious & will drain out my little "souvenir."

Help! I am having some "buyer remorse." I am...

Help! I am having some "buyer remorse." I am definitely on a roller coaster of emotions. I was SOOO excited about getting the explant done and getting rid of these foreign objects, then terrified right before and now disappointed with the lack of breast tissue. I am so afraid of this not being a subtle change and having to explain to co-workers, etc. what I have done.
I know in my head I have done the right thing, but I think my heart is taking a little longer. I see my husband and kids having to juggle things around me which doesn't help with the guilt factor. I pray that the fluff fairy does visit me and that I slowly find more acceptance with my decision.

72 hours post explant-very little soreness...

72 hours post explant-very little soreness (primarily in the AM), so just taking Tylenol as needed & Percocet before bed (might as well use them up!). Going out to run some easy errands & back to work in 2 days.
Hubby checked in w/me last night-had a little cry. I had to explain to him that I have gone from a C to an A cup-very little weight gain since pre-implants. I have a sis in law w/cancer, so I'm trying to keep everything in perspective. This was for my health & the self-esteem of my daughters. Used the time off to get taxes done. Yippee!!

Thank you to all the wonderful feedback-I'm...

Thank you to all the wonderful feedback-I'm grateful I am not the only one going through this :). I'm on Day 5, no pain issues & really recovering quite well. I wish what I saw in the mirror was the same as what I see in the picture.
I went back to work today in my tight jogging bra & ace wrap. I haven't really noticed any swelling (I've been pretty faithful w/the regimen) & trying to limit upper extremity movement. It looks like the skin has retracted some, so a little less droopy, but I have completely lost the upper breast volume. I'm going to go for an official measurement in a few weeks & plan on spending some decent $ on good bras. The emotional recovery is definitely a bit slower...

One week update-I'll keep this short as my kids...

One week update-I'll keep this short as my kids are home. I'm faithfully wearing my jog bra (with some padding) & Ace bandage. Feeling really good w/no pain & slightly sore in AM (often felt that way w/implants) but resolves without intervention. I'm having quite a bit of difficult w/the transient wardrobe (completely flattened out w/bandage), but trying to keep focused on one day at a time. I even tried on one of my old bras to imagine what I would need with my "new size." A little disappointed, but not as much as previously.
Amazing all the great resources out there nowadays! I saw links from this website for http://www.shop.ittybittybra.com/
With lots of great options. I will try to post useful info as I come across it.
PS-I tried the bounce test earlier-I really jiggle now when I jump-they look REAL!!

Hi everyone, I am waiting to update my my "worth...

Hi everyone, I am waiting to update my my "worth it" status after I am out of compression & a little further along. It is tough going back to small breasted, but it will be easier to adjust when I can wear a real bra & have hubby's feedback (post explant & period now :)
One thing I am noticing is increased sensation or awareness-I almost feel like a frequent, mild let-down reflex from breast feeding. Anyone else relate? I am day 11-I feel like I could go out for a jog, but this is a good reminder that there is till some healing to take place & still laying low (except for work & a few errands). I see PS next week for 2-wk check-up. Interesting...

I am SOOOO excited! I went for a shopping trip &...

I am SOOOO excited! I went for a shopping trip & it went REALLY well! I went in armed w/new shopping advice-as someone had quoted from "What Not to Wear"-more important to "find clothes that flatter your body vs. your body flattering the clothes." So I did it :)
I went in looking for tops that had ruffles or volume at the bust (including pockets). I began to notice my slender long neck & narrow waist-not surgically enhanced! I like clothes, but not shopping, so I tend to do a lot of on-line shopping & realized that trying them on (in bulk) makes a huge difference. I usually wear a medium, but the smalls fit better-as well as across the shoulders, etc. I probably will be wearing things that actually FIT better. I'm sure this is the same as my large-busted explant friends who spent years "hiding" their chest.
I tried them on minus the bra to make sure they looked OK-I figured they could only look better. I did buy 1 push-up 34 A bra that helped when I put my tight fitting sweater back on. My handfuls jogging bras arrived & they look great! All very reassuring now that I am a smaller size-options are good!!
I highly recommend a wardrobe "reassessment" post explant. I went to Kohls as I intended to buy in bulk-had no idea you can spend >$300 there! Investment in my explant confidence :)

What a journey! What an eventful 6 weeks-surgery,...

What a journey! What an eventful 6 weeks-surgery, death in the family, family trip...I need to catch my breath.

CONs to Explant:
1) Adjusting to changing body image. I wasn't prepared for how little tissue I would have and the concavity of my upper breasts (found out after it was d/t fat atrophy from the saline implants-ugh!!).
2) Guilt and anger that if I had left my breasts alone, they actually might have been bigger on their own
3) Getting over disappointment and moving forward

PROs to Explant:
1) I'm free! No more worrying about people realizing I have implants and worrying about it every time someone hugs me, hug my kids, touch my chest, etc.
2) No more worries about them accidentally deflating at an inopportune time
3) No more worries about the trauma of mammograms
4) I now know what MY breasts feel like-wasn't always sure with the implants
5) After feeling a bit self-conscious, sex is great! Skin on skin minus the chest bags feels AWESOME!

Since I obviously didn't come to terms with body image before implants, I've started repeating a mantra every time I start to have negative thoughts..."I'm healthy, I'm feminine, I'm beautiful..." etc. I'm getting there, and I don't have to worry now what kind of role model I will be someday when my girls are older.
In the beginning, I needed this website every day, but I'm doing better now. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone.
Good luck to my explant sisters-it is worth the ride :)
Richard Montilla, MD

I went into this experience assuming I would have to convince the plastic surgeon into taking out my breast implants. My first consult visit with Dr Montilla was fine-he listened to my concerns and questions and didn't pass judgement as to why this was so important to me. Anina, his M.A. was also great. The 2nd time I saw him he seemed even more personable and I was really impressed. He seemed to know the procedure well and spent a long time with me discussing the world of BA. One of his office staff who handled the billing/paperwork portion was a bit difficult to contact, follow-through, etc. or I would have given the entire office/surgical experience 5 stars. A difficult and emotional journey to take...

4 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
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 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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Great Review!! I just explanted today and it helps to read someone's complete journey! you look great!
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Perfect words...I'm healthy, I'm feminine, I'm beautiful. Keep up the positive thinking! The great thing about being in our 40's is confidence and wisdom. Big boobs don't make us sexy. The way you carry yourself and that happy look in your eye are what's attractive.
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God bless you!! Thanks for that so true!
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Thank you for your update Bronwen! You've really summed it up well and the most difficult thing I've found is managing expectations. I have 7 weeks on Monday to go and I can't wait but the only thing I will miss is the size of mine so I'm hoping I'll do ok adjusting. I'm hoping the sheer relief of getting them out will be more powering that missing the size. I think also its difficult to determine how you're going to feel. I've felt there's endless possibilities! I've been hoping for the best, expecting the worst, but trying not to hope for the best too much incase I'm disapointed in what I have left arrrgh! Hehe. Thank goodness for this site. I do feel ready and much better in myself than when I first joined thanks to you lovely ladies. I'm sorry to hear of your loss too and I hope you and your family are doing ok under the circs. Much love and well done for coming so far xx
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Very powerful words, Bronwen--thank you! It is definitely a journey that most of us never thought we'd be making. And, as you pointed out, hindsight is definitely 20/20. I don't remember it ever being explained that the pressure of implants might cause our breast tissue to atrophy and maybe it's because the PS's and we, as patients, assumed we'd have these for life. Thank goodness we're taking these steps toward a healthy and natural life!!
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I think we hear what we want to hear...I wasn't too worried about what would happen 10-15 years down the road-I just wanted bigger breasts (1998). Now, I think I was so determined with the explant, I rationalized any drawbacks. I'm hoping that now 15 years later, I really begin to accept and embrace my smaller self & begin to let go of the boob obsession. At least I'm not focusing on my thighs anymore! :)
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It really is about taking the plunge and having faith in yourself,isn't it? I see this as a great opportunity for growth and hope that I adjust well, too!
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Hey Bronwyn. So glad to hear you're adjusting well. It took a while to get my head round the new me as well. Onwards and upwards. As you say, we are healthy, we are beautiful and we are feminine. X
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Glad to hear this is part of the explant process...just checked out your pics (I think I had seen them previously :) and am amazed at the changes over time. I never had much swelling, so I too worry about further shrinkage-especially now that I am working out again. "I am healthy, I am feminine... :)
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Thank you so much for your inspirational posting. The items in your pros and cons list are things that I'll keep in mind as I continue on my explant journey. I appreciate your honesty. Sounds like the past 6 weeks have been packed full of things to deal with. I hope that you can take a break and finally breathe!
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I just posted on your wall about dealing with my kids. This has been my journey/burden, so I felt my kids were young enough to where it wasn't necessary to share a bunch of details with them. I hope I will have the opportunity to share when my girls are older...
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I just read and replied to your post. Thanks so much! I really appreciate the insight.
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You look wonderful...isnt it amazing to see how resiliant the body and skin can be!
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I'm jealous of your "cleavage" line-I'm going to start working on my pecs (now that I can again) and see if I can create maybe a little divot :)
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How r u doing, Bronwen?
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Doing better :) It has been a rough emotional 6 weeks, both due to body image issues and the death of a family member. Best of luck to you and your upcoming surgery. I'll keep my fingers crossed that some of your symptoms abate over time...
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I'm so sorry to hear of the family death--loss is so difficult and has only added to the stress you've been under. BUT, it sounds like you feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted literally and figuratively from your chest! Thanks for your support--five days from now, I will be natural again!! Yea!
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Yay! So happy for you. I went shopping recently and loved how everything fit. Just gets better and better. You look fantastic :))))
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So good to hear you had a positive shopping experience. I have been having fun trying on clothes in my closet that I never would wear because they looked bad.....now they look good!
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Isn't that funny! I realized that I was wearing the wrong size all along. Now if I could only get my pants to cooperate...that I ALWAYS had to buy in the store. I'm glad you are doing so well from your posts :)
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Good for you, Bronwen! I guess I've been watching a lot of What Not to Wear lately, eh? But what they say is so true, regardless of our body type. The issue is always the clothes, NOT us. :-) Glad to hear you had a successful shopping trip and are feeling better about things. When I get my surgery scheduled, I was thinking of buying a couple of the Handful bras--which ones did you buy?
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I think I like the adjustable one the best-bought the original one, adjustable and the cami. Super comfortable and flattering to the shape-yay!
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I'll definitely order the adjustable one--that's the one I was thinking about. Do you think the cami will work well for working out at the gym?
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Oh girl you're getting me excited to go shopping!!! I can't wait!!!!! I'm glad you had fun and got cute stuff!!!
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You look great! Nice and perky! :). I have quite a scarf collection (ann taylor has nice gauzy ones as the weather's getting warmer) and have been wearing them to help mask my transition while I'm at work... My mom says that as the weather gets even warmer that people will just think I've lost weight... LOL :). Padded bras will likely help too. The emotional/mental recovery truly has been the toughest, but I believe we'll all get past it. Hang in there! :)
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