Have the Explant and Not Revision

Hello my name is Jean and this is my first post. I...

Hello my name is Jean and this is my first post. I am distressed to say the least. I found out yesterday my left breast implant has leaked out. It is a low profile smooth implant 550cc. I saw my PS yesterday and she seems to think it is pretty much empty. I have no idea how or when this happened. The first I noticed was Saturday that they seemed a little off but thought it was do to a missing underwire in my bra. Then yesterday in the shower was the first big clue. They happened to have a cancellation and got me in the same day.

They are 13 years old almost to the day. My original surgery was Feb 1st 2000. I am of course worried that if I have new implants put in it could happen again and I can't afford a third go around if something went wrong again as this as everyone knows is not cheap. My husbands reaction was "Just get the dam things out!" He was never gung ho about it in the first place but since I wanted them he went along. He says of course he likes the way they look but could live without them. I am 51 years old and going over and over in my head if I should just get them out or have them redone.


I know they will not look the same I get that, they probably will look worse than I started with. At this stage is it really worth the fear it will happen again and I won't be able to a thing about it. I have always kept up on my mammograms but now not knowing for sure how this happened or when I will be even more nervous. I know that with the saline implants you usually can tell right a way if there is a leak but some have said it could have been a slow leak around the valve over a period of months. I tend to think it has been going on awhile because I have had some sensations in that breast for a few months I just thought it was peri-menopausal stuff. Now I am not so sure.


Any thoughts on if my implant is pretty much empty right now, how much different they will look with the implant out? You can tell the left is smaller right now but I still have some breast and I could live with that size since I always thought they were a bit big.


When I got the implants I did not weigh as much as I do now so that will have an impact too. Also the implants are under the muscle.


Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. After writing that sentence it is almost comical. Not really. I have to obviously make a decision soon, I just want to make the right one as you can imagine.

3 Comments

I'm 35, and getting mine removed without replacement. One of my thoughts is I don't want to have another elective surgery at 50 +/-. And then if I replaced again... Another revision breast job at 65? Then 80? Where does it end? Besides that, I'm in a different place mentally than when I got them. At age 23 I thought I was 'not attractive' because of my small breasts, i was insecure about my gorgeous youthful body but really I was fairly immature and vapid (like most young girls) and had no idea how nice my body was. 12 years later, I've aged a bit and had babies and my body actually has been banged up by life - but I love it because its mine and has taken me on life's adventure. I feel now there is so much more to me than boobs or lack of them, and I feel sexiness comes from confidence, experience and attitude -- not boob size. I am no longer in the mindset of 'casting a wide net' and being oogled by the general population of men -- i am more concerned with nurturing my marriage and on how my decisions impact my family financially and in terms of my long term health. Surely at age 51 you have so much attractiveness and sensuality to offer your partner, that comes from love and shared experience and implants are not required for that. Leave fake boobs to shallow young twits who want attention from groups of frat boys and have no long term realism of the health implications, possible rupture, capsular contracture, or just replacement surgeries that happen as the implants age. Just my opinion, but I think as you are transitioning into a new life stage that holding onto a media-driven self image of fake boobs will not end up meaning much to you or your partner over the next couple of decades. I'm removing mine in anticipation (and in embracing?) of my present middle-age and future peri-menopause/menopause. At my age trying to surgically emulate the fake breasts of 19 year old Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and Victoria Secrets angles is so low on my list of priorities that it doesn't even register... And trying to surgically 'fix' everything well into old age and ending up looking like Joan Rivers? A horrific nightmare in my opinion. If you are feeling torn about it, I think you should give yourself the chance to try natural again and you might be surprised.
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I think you've really answered your own question ;) and your comment on my review leads me to believe that you've made the right choice. Honestly, in my opinion (having had a rupture and also capsules), it's not worth the trauma on your body or your long term health - not to Mention the cost. They've been fun right? You've got some great pics of yourself with an impressive 'rack'? Good. Now get the leaky buggers out and feel better :)) Good luck with everything. We're here for you x
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I'm so glad you started your story on RealSelf! Choosing to have them out is a big decision, but you're right that new implants will possibly cause more expense down the road.

I hope you're able to come to a decision you feel at peace with soon. Looking forward to seeing your pics.

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After living with this news for almost a week now...

After living with this news for almost a week now I am more sure than before that I will have them removed. Now to have a lift or not is the question. When I see my PS for the official , what am I going to have done, appointment I will explore all my options again and see what she thinks. The first appointment was really to see if the implant had failed. We did talk about options and at first my thought was of course I am getting them redone. Now that time has passed I am getting more used to the idea of just getting them out for good.

I know this sounds crazy but I am thinking of having an explant party! Just my closest girlfriends and have a few drinks and snacks. Maybe throw darts at balloons. Only for the fact that this whole thing came about because of a leak with the implant not to poke fun at implants in general. Let me be clear I LOVED my boobs before this happened and am glad I had them done. The thing is this is my reality right now and always knew the possibility was there so I just have to go with it. I may hate the results, I hope not, I am thinking positive results.

If there was no chance that I would not have another problem of any kind I would for sure get them redone but there is no way you can be sure so I can only do this twice so I will have to live with my results.

2 Comments

Thanks for your reply! I am at age 51 and would be looking at this again and again! No thanks, I will be done with them here soon. I have made up my mind and it seems by your post that you read my mind before I could write it myself, thank you! I didn't get mine until almost forty and would have made very poor choices if I had gotten them younger for all the reasons you stated. Wanting to get attention and all that goes with it! I was already married and had my children and breastfed for three years! For the last 13 years they were fine but this leak is a sign that they have to go!
Yep they were fun while they lasted and I do have some good pics to remember them by! At times though I thought they looked huge, so smaller, little ones, ones that aren't leaking who knows what out will be a nice change. These are saline and I hope they were still sterile when it leaked but it is unsettling not knowing for sure.

Here is a picture hopefully more to follow

here is a picture hopefully more to follow

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Finally a picture hopefully more to come

finally a picture hopefully more to come

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It may not be that noticeable in the picture but...

It may not be that noticeable in the picture but if you picked up the left bread you could pinch it in the middle and there is not a whole lot left but floppy skin. The right you can't do that you still have a handful to content with. I don't know what they will look like with implant out but hope it is close to this. I can only hope but will deal, of course, with whatever come along! I do have another picture but when I send it from my phone it is not getting to my computer. Hope I am not sending my boobs to all my friends and family!!! That would not be good. :)

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I just called my PS office and picked the date! ...

I just called my PS office and picked the date! Feb 28th first thing in the morning. I have my final consult or visit before surgery on the 12th to finalize what I will have done. She picked a date that would allow for a lift if I go that way. She will be calling back here in a few with the prices of the different options. I got one for just the explant on my first consult it is for 4900.00 with the lift I am waiting for that one. Now that at least one picture is posted do you think a lift will be best. Mind you I did not have much from the start and have gained weight since 2000 and still not sure how empty the implant is. I could be thinking I may be good to go and decide not to do the lift and then won't be able to handle the results thinking since it was already deflated it would look similar and it didn't.

6 Comments

You have great shape and looks like you have breast tissue even with one deflated. You may be pleasantly surprised at simple explant results! Best of luck to you =)
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Hi again hon, gotta say I love the explant party idea. I was going to have a "Bye bye boobies" bash but I only had 3 days notice for my surgery. I may have an 'after party' when I'm recovered :) I think in regards to whether you need a lift or not, I would say you need to trust in your surgeon's decision. Be clear about the end result you're hoping to achieve and let them as the professional make that call during surgery. That's what my surgeon said to me :) I opted out of a lift as I didn't want any work done to my nipple area but it was discussed at length and the option was there. Good luck! x
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Thanks Neffy, it will for sure be a topic fully discussed at my appointment!

Just paid the deposit for my Feb 28th explant! I...

Just paid the deposit for my Feb 28th explant! I guess there are mixed emotions, excited to get it over with and a bit of sadness to see the girls go. Well one as I have said before one has left the building already so to speak! Just need to clean up her mess and give the other one a fond farewell!

18 Comments

I had my implants removed at age 53 just last Friday the 8th. They had just gotten too large with weight gain. Plus had this unnatural fullness that looked out of whack for someone my age. I am pleased with how they look so far. Surgery done via IV sedation and I do not remember a thing. Yes, they are saggy right now but nipple placement is fine...they are "looking" straight ahead not down. Ha that horrible fullness is gone.. I hope the skin will shrink and they will be firmer with time. From what others say here, I have to believe it will. I am wearing a tight sports bra. Told to wear it constantly for several months. I feel fine just 4 days post op. only taken two of my pain pills. No drains. compression only is what my DR. said. Just tender and time will fix this. Good luck! It really is a liberating decision! Oh i was a DDD cup and now seem to be about a B/C. Feels great! No regrets!
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who hoo may there is hope for my boobs post explant! Will ask again tomorrow at my appointment how drained she feels my implants are. I will post an update after I talk to her.
I think you will look very good once your implants are out. I had mine out 6 months ago after having them in for 30 years to the day... Yes, you heard me right. .30 years. Mine were under the muscle and i had put on a few pounds since getting them in. They changed so much day to day after the explant, all for the better with each passing day. I had no lift just the implants out. I is really amazing how the skin can bounce back after that long of a period.
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Just got back from my PS pre-op visit. Everything...

Just got back from my PS pre-op visit. Everything is all paid for, the before pics have been taken and have all my Rx's to be filled. She said that she does not think I will need a lift and the implant is pretty much empty and if I don't mind the look I have now after the healing has taken place I should be pretty similar! Whooo hoooo!

36 Comments

I got mine out yesterday. So far everything is great. No pain, no drains, no capsulation....It was easy..and smooth. I did do general anesthisia , I do not get nausea from it. All went great! I am wrapped in an ace bandage-I go back in on Monday.
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Congrats you decided to go through it. Bet you are glad you did! That's great that everything went smoothly...
You will be so happy afterwards and wonder why you agonized over it. I had mine taken out on 1/23 and like you have gained weight since I had mine done originally. My PS told me to wait on lift decision because I had breast tissue there and probably won't need one. Also, implants are not good for life - I know I didn't want to be going through surgery when I was 70. I have no regrets and have been following my PS's instructions to wear a good support bra even when I sleep. Mine are tightening up every day. I had silicone over the muscle for 24 years. I'm 47.
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Two days to go not counting today! I have all my...

Two days to go not counting today! I have all my meds filled. I am trying to not think about it too much, I am sure tomorrow the nerves will start to kick in. I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 am on Thurs the surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am. I am pretty confident the implant is empty for sure. My implants were low profile so I think they were spread wider across my chest than outwards, at least that is how it looks to me. Head on it doesn't look a lot different from the side that is still intact the width and upper fullness is for sure gone. The side view is not great but I don't look at myself from that angle much anyway. I have had time to adjust to the deflated one for about a month now, It will probably be somewhat of a shock to see the right one gone all at once. I feel good about my choice not to re-implant.

8 Comments

I agree about that side view. Head on, I look fine, but from the side, yikes! No more triangle bikini tops for me! lol. Good luck with your surgery!
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Thanks everyone for the well wishes! I will probably be on tomorrow to post last minute thoughts and nerves! Glad to hear that everyone is healing fast and looking good!
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Good luck! Excited for you :) I'm 4 weeks post-explant now and feeling fab! x
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So far so good, the pain is manageable. more of...

so far so good, the pain is manageable. more of a stingy sensation and it seems to be from the incision site and not the breasts themselves. I can peek at the tops of them only, they don't look that bad from that angle. Will find out more tomorrow. My appt is at 11:30.

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This is the morning after my explant. Had a...

This is the morning after my explant. Had a pretty good nights sleep. Still all of the pain is from the drain site and almost none at all from my breasts themselves. I can peek at the tops of them so I can't tell too much. The bandage is not tight at all, I thought it would be a tighter binding. Maybe that will come today at my appointment this morning. Glad I did it and glad it is over. The doctor gave me some Valium to take the night and morning before so there were no nerves at all which I am very glad for! I do feel lighter in the sence that now I don't have any fake parts in me. For me to really feel lighter they would have had to have been filled to a gazillion cc's Ha! Ha! I asked to have them and I hope they remembered. They said they would have to be sterilized and I could get them today. I didn't know it but my husband asked for them too. He said they gave him a weird look, heck he paid for them and is paying to get them out he sould get something for his money! When they first took me back to get my IV in he stayed in the waiting room he could hear everything he said, I had not idea he had that much sonic hearing. When he finally came back he thought is was all over. I am like "What!" he said I heard you say "I didn't feel a thing till you took it out!" I was talking about how the nurse could not get the IV in the first time and was saying I didn't feel a thing till she took the needle out to try again! He was like dang they just got down to business and pulled those suckers out!!!!! What a nut! I will post after my appointment and let you all know how it went.

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Oh yea the only other pain or discomfort I have is...

oh yea the only other pain or discomfort I have is my throat from where they put a tube down my throat. I keep thinking I am getting a sore throat the them remember duh, it's from the explant surgery!

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Just got back from my appointment. It went really...

Just got back from my appointment. It went really well. I got my drains out, whoo hooo!! Got to see them and they don't look that bad at all. I have taken some pictures and will post them soon. They don't look bad at all in my clothes, the bra thing is a bit empty on top as that was expected. There is kind of a shelf type look at the top of my breasts where the fullness in the top part is now gone. I hope that that adjusts in time. With a good bra at the end of the healing I will be happy I am sure. My daughter does not think many people would even know. I doubt that but it makes me feel better none the less. I could be in a much worse condition than I am. It feels great to have th drains out! I have to go back in two weeks to get the stiches out. She said I don't have to be bound at all. She is very pleased at how they look too. I am so glad that this is over. I am now glad that this was pre-empted by a rupture and had to be done because it needed to be done but I would have never just gone ahead and have done if nothing happed.

20 Comments

congrats! you look great!!!
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This post has nothing to do with my recovery, I just watched a bunch of explants on youtube. wowza! No wonder we look sunkin in right after. Thank goodness that changes daily. Mine were saline so when it deflated it all got absorbed into my body. It is really horrible to see the condition of the old PIP implants that have ruptured. If anyone still has these implants I would very seriously do whatever it takes to get them out ASAP! I watched some on the different profiles of implants and how they are used on different body types for the best results. quite informative stuff. Even though I am done with implants for good I feel much more knowledgeable about them. Better late than never.
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I agree....you don't look that much different from implant to natural....you are so fortunate! You will just get better every day! Gives me so much hope for good results when I become free April 12th. Happy healing :-)
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Tomorrow will be one week post explant! Sure...

Tomorrow will be one week post explant! Sure went faster that the week leading up to it! Everything feels great. I do have to be careful when picking up things, mainly my dog! She is not that big but picking her up from the floor and putting her on the couch or bed I am reminded about the incisions.

I had brought my best friend with me to my first appointment with my PS when I suspected that my left implants had ruptured for moral support of course.
We had both gotten our implants within weeks of each other. I went first then she did hers with a lift and some minor face and eye stuff done too. We had done all this together and bonded even more through all of it. Mine surgery went great and the healing process was easy peasy compaired to hers. She had to go into a second surgery the evening of her procedure because she would not stop bleeding, during all that the implant ruptured and had to be replaced. Her surgery going in was more involved than mine due to her having a lift. When my implant ruptured last month in my mind I am thinking she had got to be saying thank goodness it is her (me) and not her! When I decided not to get new implants I thought I would always look at her and be envious of her still full breasts. I am wonderfully pleased to report that I think I am the lucky one these days to not have those implants in anymore and won't be seeing that green eyed monster of envy! I don't have to worry about the things that can and do go wrong with them even if it isn't right away. I thought I was in the clear, how foolish of me, that since nothing had happened yet (13 years) that I was in the clear. I wasn't playing football or anything that would cause trauma to them. Sheez I could have been taking a nap when the darn thing ruptured it didn't matter and in reality the older they are the more likely they are to become a problem. The one thing I am grateful for is that since it did rupture that it was saline. At the time I got mine in silicone was not what was being used. I also think that the shape of my implants has played a role in my being happy with my explant results. Even though mine were big cc wise, they were 550cc in each, they were low profile and were spread wider across my chest and not as much of an outward projection.

Sorry to ramble on today, just posting my thoughts on how I thought I would always look at my friend and wish I still had mine and am glad so far I don't think that will be the case. She still has to worry about all those issues and I know she has not kept up on her mammo's and that right there is not a good thing!

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You had your surgery a week after I had mine. I'm still wearing drainage tubes!!! Oh well, follow-up appt tomorrow, hopefully they will be gone. I've done really well accept for an infection (cellutis) in the left breast. But it is clearing up. You look great. I was very pleased at how well my came out - not near as deflated as I expected. (At 57, I'm also done with implants.) I also went to youtube to watch how it was done but couldn't bring myself to watch the entire video. Yikes! Take care of yourself and thanks for posting.
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very well said about being better off now that they are out and you are not worring about what might go wrong. Congrats on being a week out -I am still a week away and literally am ready to climb the walls to have the date just get here already so I can start recovery.
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I tried on some bras at the store yesterday. ...

I tried on some bras at the store yesterday. Argh! Probably shouldn't have done it. I need to be properly fitted. It was not that I was too small in the cup part it was depressing the band size. Granted the bras I have at home have all been wore and washed and most as weird as it sounds still fit. The top volume is of course less but can still work. My really nice Victoria Secrets bra that had no padding at all I can't wear it is too empty at the top and is wrinkly. Used to have about five of them and they were so comfy. Everything I tried was toooooooooo tight around the band. What I didn't have in the front poked out the sides I had four boobs. Yuck. It was too soon anyway, don't know what I was thinking. I still have stitches and had no business even trying.
Breats are lookiing fine though and glad I didn't get new implants for sure. I still have to remind myself I am implant freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

4 Comments

It will be two weeks tomorrow that I had my explant. I got my stiches out today, everything is doing great. I picked up my implants too. They sure look big even though they are empty. Not much change in the way my breasts look, still like the results.
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I'm sorry you we're discouraged when bra shopping. I'm a certified mastectomy fitter and it has been my experience that most women wear the wrong size bra...so getting properly fitted is key. I have found that when fitting women I don't tell them the band size until they are comfortable with the fit. The number is secondary to proper fit, so pease don't be discouraged by the number....a good fitting bra will make all the difference in how comfortable it is. Wait until you have no swelling....I wait 6-8 weeks post surgery to fit women recovering from breast surgery. Be patient and kind to yourself....your healing has just begun. Yes, the most important thing is that you are implant free.
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Thanks for the encoragement! I did get stuck on the band size :( I can tell you for sure the ones I tried on were not comfortable at all!! What stores do you recommend?

Two weeks two days post explant! Feeling great...

two weeks two days post explant! Feeling great and now that the stiches are out even better! The scar looks good and looks better than the old scar did after 13 years! I guess my PS perfected her technique in the last 13 years whoo hoo!!
Last night we had a cold night here in Florida and my brother and sister in law were in town so we went out and I wore a new bra for the first time. Not padded but the fabric was stiffer than I used to wear. The pre-explant bras I word had NO padding or stiff material I did not need any extra help from a bra other that underwire. The new size is a 40 C the old ones were 38 D The older ones were of course worn and washed so to be as gentle with the band area I went with the 40 C. The cup is fill up nicely not a lot puffed up fullness, this is not a push up bra. Maybe sometime down the line after more healing I will get one just to have. My hubby's eyes lit up so that was a good sign. :) I have let him touch them a little bit as it feels good ( not in any sexual way) but like when you first get the implants and you have to massage them, and it feels good, that they way I mean. I don't think he has missed them for a minute except in his bank account, but even then he didn't miss a beat about saying to get rid of the things. My brother and sister in law, not that my brother would really look anyway, didn't seem to notice a big difference. My two nieces and my own daughter are very small chested as I was pre-implant. I of course have aged and gained weight so now I actually do have more breast tissue. Hurray! Only my daughter is still wanting implants. the other two have both had children and have breastfed and are older and wiser than my daughter. Like I have said before she won't be getting any anytime soon. If ever! Tonight we are all going to a street party for St. Patricks day and it will be my first time seeing my best friend who got implants the same time as me. Compared to be she is going to look huge! And round! I better stop! Her day will come at some point I guess. Any of you girls that have had a lift when they got the implants put in and now have had an explant did you have to have another lift or was it okay just getting the explant? Just wondering because she had a lift with the implants and I was wondering how that would work out getting them out. Still happy with my decision not to re-implant!

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Wow! You really look so much better and you have plenty of breast tissue. I am so happy that they are out too. So, your friend had another set put in. I was surprized to read that. One of the girls on here suggested infrared saunas to detox from the silicone. I had a treatment last week and am going another one this coming week. They really work!!! I'm sure in Florida they have this treatment. Have a wonderful Day!
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I am 6 weeks post explant and I notice now the swelling has gone down. I guess I did not realize I was swollen at all. But, i would not recommend bra shopping until 6 weeks at least after. I am happy with my smaller size now and their shape, which cont. to improve with time. Still wearing a sports bra day and night. Not sore any longer at all. All takes time.
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still happy after a year explant

I am still happy that I got the explant and did not get re implanted. I am still happy with the look and shape of my breast. I still hate to wear a bra and still wear those tank tops with the shelf bra in them like I used to. Sometimes when looking down and the tops of my breasts I don't see too much difference. There is to be sure but not near as much as I thought there might be. I think anyone thinking about getting explanted and not re-implanted should go for it! My choice was made for me pretty much because of the deflation to have any surgery to begin with but not getting new implants at my age was the best choice for me. I can not go through another implant failure the cost is too much. I had my implants for 13 years to the date practically and they were quite large 550cc's and my results are pretty darn good. I can not speak for someone who had a lift and the time of the first surgery. My friend and I have talked, the one who got her's done at the same time as me, and if this happened to her she would get new ones put in. For one I guess her husband is a total boob guy and the second is that she had a lift when she first got her implants so there was a lot more done to the look and shape of her breasts than just getting implants. I get her point. Where my breasts looked just the same only bigger after the implants were put in and they pretty much look the same but smaller now that they are out.

3 Comments

You look better without implants! Congratulations.
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Hi Jean, Your story is sooo helpful to me. Did you have a capsule and if so did they take it all out? Lisaroxy lcooley10@mac.com
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Your natural breasts are so pretty! You look so much better with out those things!!! Love how you said your husband "didn't miss a beat" in agreeing to get rid of them. -- I truly believe most men feel that way about prosthetics. lol. Real boobs for the win! :)
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Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

She is a very well known and respected surgeon it the area and she did my breast implants the fist time with excellent results until the other day and that was not her fault. I will try to upload some before and after photos. Quite disturbing with the deflated one, even though it not that bad, it is for sure smaller though Some I have seen have been quite different than mine.

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