30+ Year Old Implants Removed but Happy -Memphis, TN

Back in the early 80's I just had to have implants...

Back in the early 80's I just had to have implants. Seemed like everyone did. I was 25 and a skinny, slim young woman with AA breasts. My husband was fine with them but I was tired of being out of balance. Dresses, bathing suits did not fit right. I went through Military Boot Camp training in 1975 and while standing in the "dress" uniform, a drill sergeant pressed on my chest and asked me why "it was empty"! Memory says breast implants was always on my mind. In 1980, several friends of mine got implants one summer. Then I felt left out. I had to have them!
So we finally had enough money and I got a size "B". I actually wanted to go larger but the doctor said I would regret it because of my frame, etc. My doctor was "Dr. Billy" of Little Rock, AR. He was quite well known at the time for being a very successful PS. He appeared on Oprah's show that summer because he had been responsible for 'augmenting" several of that year's Miss America contestants.
I didn't ask a lot of questions before hand - I didn't know what to ask. I just wanted them.
Initially, they were incredible, the greatest thing. I was proud of them and wore clothes that placed emphasis on them - like I'm sure many of you did. But the problem was... I was never comfortable with them. Oh, I couldn't keep my hands off them and my husband (and later other male friends) loved touching them and often flattered me with compliments. It is ironic, but I had to go through 'self-esteem" questions before the surgery and counseling with not just the doctor but with a psychologist in his office. They wanted to make sure that I already a confident woman without self-esteem issues before the surgery. HA - I must have fooled them. I did have serious poor body image issues and the implants never did fix that.
I don't have any memory of any time that there wasn't some discomfort with them. I had pain if I laid on my chest, etc. Mammograms were horrible as they attempted to "move" the implants out of the picture (no body told me about that). As I grew older, I started gaining weight. I was told not to gain more than 20 lbs after getting implants, but I eventually gained 80 lbs. Even though I still received compliments on how great my breasts looked, I thought they were ugly. I could see the implants sitting up higher than they should have. I've wanted them out for at least the last 15 years. They had hardened so much, that I avoided hugging everyone for fear someone would yell out "you have breast implants". (I had a man do that to me about 6 years ago.)
I found out last summer that they had ruptured and I had silicon leaking into my body following an annual mammogram. Last year, about this time, I had a cyst appear right above the scar on the right breast. It stayed irritated and inflamed. My primary care physician had me putting neosporin on it and wearing a band aid to keep the bra from irritating it but it refused to heal. He finally sent me to the outpatient surgery center to have it cut out and that is when the doctors looking it over decided it was silicon trying to escape!!!  I had just had a mammogram and so they looked at it. Apparently the mammogram report for the past "several" years said they were ruptured but no one bothered to tell me about it. They probably figured I knew and yes I did suspect that something was wrong for the past 5 years.They had been ruptured for several years. I noticed about 3 years ago, that I had these hard knots forming and I had pain in my lymph nodes under my arms. I didn't have the money to do anything about it but this past summer the doctor said they had to come out. They said that they could be a cause of my constant aches in pain throughout my body and that it just wasn't healthy to have silicon running through me. So I scheduled an appointment and finally got them out last Friday, the 22nd. (Long story on why it took so long to get the surgery.) During the past 6 months, I have been visiting this site and others and reading and following people like "Plasticnation". I didn't know what to expect - I was afraid to look at them after the surgery.
But they look great! and feel even better. (still swollen). My PS did a fantastic job. He went in through my old scars and got as much of the silicon as possible without having to open me up more. My implants were above the muscle. He did a complete capsulectomy. He told me that they would look like a deflated balloon. He suggested I might want to consider having implants put back in later on and I said definitely NO!

Thank you for sharing your story and sounds so much like mine....I've had mine 31 yrs now, have rupture; and so afraid of having them removed.; mine were smallest made at the time; about a C; I'm small framed; think I will have the deflated balloon look; and scared of the pain; I have lots of pain with every place there are joints and I don't want any more hurting....... can I take care of the drain tubes by myself? I don't want anyone having to help with that..........you look great!......
Thank you. I was nervous about the drain tubes (no medical background), but it turns out it has been quite easy. Empty them into a measuring container and I write down the time and date and how much I got. The hardest part is having them hanging from my body. I'm back at work, so I have to figure out how to hide them under my clothes and at the same time make sure they don't pop open. (I'm getting them removed tomorrow.) I'm alone. So I asked an old friend if she would take me, etc. So I stayed with her for 3 days following the surgery and I've been back home all by myself ever since. I still have some pain, sharp spasms from time to time but I have no regrets! I'm looking forward to this new, natural body. I didn't want to be a 75 year old with breasts standing at attention! If they are silicon, I think you need to get them out. Good luck and keep us up-to-date on your decision.
I'm almost certain silicon or they would have "popped' yrs ago...not sure if under muscle or not....I've been to two PS, but wasn't too impressed....just been too busy to do this; but guess I need to pretend it's an emergency and make time....thank you

The cellulitis has cleared up. Tubes out yesterday...

The cellulitis has cleared up. Tubes out yesterday after wearing them for two weeks. YEAH!!!!! Still some tenderness and a few aches and pains. Last night I decided to go braless. Not quite ready for that. I felt every little "jiggle", so I put the sports bra back on and slept in it another night. My doctor surprised me and said I could go to the gym, etc. but to not over do it with weights and no swimming for atleast 2 weeks, until the holes where the tubes were are healed really well. I went walking with my walking group after work last night and wore two sports bras to keep the jiggling to a minimum - no problems (accept it is still cold here! LOL) I'm impressed with the sensitivity I have in the breast and in the nipples - that is wonderful. Yes, I have saggy 57 year old breasts but I love them. I'm so looking forward to feeling much better. Most of the swelling is gone, so I will get a new photo here soon. They are "flatter" than the after picture, but still fill a bra. :-)
Hi I called a talked to dr koo personally , he only does work for the VA too bad I'm not a veterain but my dad is lol. I feel the same way mine are too big for me .
Just read your story - congrats on good healing! I am amazed at how much pressure is on women to have bigger chests. I got my implants because a few friends did as well. Good for you for getting them out so they can no longer affect your health. And you look wonderful!
You look great!

4 months later

Still extremely happy that they are out of me. The scars were the drain tubes were are still tender to touch - don't understand that. I'm disappointed at how much scarring I have but I guess at my age, I can't complain. You can only see the scars when I lift the breasts. My friends are all amazed at how much breast I still have with the implants out. I was too, very surprised. I still have tenderness along my glands under my arm pits, etc. They tell me that is from the silicone leakage and that they got out as much as the could without doing invasive surgery. Others here have posted how much better they felt overall after just a few weeks of having the silicone removed from their bodies. I'm still tired and like I said, still have the tenderness in my glands and have joint pain. How much of that is caused by the breast implants versus my age (57), I don't know. I seem to have more joint pain than a lot of women I know my age. The doctors tell me it is arthritis and I just need to learn to live with it. (I'm taking various anti-inflammatory medications and supplements like "move free".) I'm exercising more and I hope in time that will help me feel better.

Bottom line - I am really freaking happy they are out! I can roll over on my stomach without chest pain! I don't feel those ugly scar lumps in my chest anymore - the girls feel nice to touch. :-)
You can barely tell you had implants removed. I guess that is a great benefit of having gained more breast tissue since you were a skinny kid ;) I'm very happy for you to finally be free! You look fabulous!
So glad you're doing well, you have a month on me but we are both lucky to be on the other side - only good things can happen for us from here on!
Hi,glad u are still happy with your decision and thanks for the update. I had leaking silicone in both breasts and into my lymph nodes. All of the surgeons that I saw including the one that I chose for my surgery, said that silicone will not harm the body, well how the hell do they know that, have they seen the huge list of chemicals that go into breast implants? I knew that mine was causing me pain in my axilla nodes so I had them removed and the pain went away so doesn't that prove something? Also I recently starting have pain/discomfort under my right arm and could feel a lump, the first scan didn't show anything but I insisted on a second scan this time at the specialist breast clinic and that showed not one but 3 new silicone filled nodes. I will save the money and get them removed at some stage but just now I am concentrating all of my efforts on getting well. Good luck with your healing and I hope that you see improvement in your level of joint pain as the weeks go by .xx
Dr. Jason Koo

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 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
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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