PIP Explantation - Paris, France

Hello - I have PIP implants since 2006 by a top...

Hello - I have PIP implants since 2006 by a top breast surgeon to replace my ancient implants which had ruptured. I had my oldies for over 20 years. PIP implants were manufactured in France and hyped as the most natural looking breasts. Then, it was discovered that the manufacturer fraudulently used illegal chemicals to build them to save Euros. The official news release came out in 2011 with several reports of aggravated breast cancers reappearing and lymph cancer reported. I consulted with my surgeon who reassured me that there was no risk and no need to undergo unnecessary surgery unless I had a rupture. So......I lived under the sword of Damacles until July 2013 when a rupture was discovered on my right breast.

The MRI doctor as well as my breast surgeon immediately took the position that I replace and end of story. I was taken aback that no other option should even be considered. My breast surgeon said I would have regrets if I had them removed and I could have the new ones removed in 10 years or so. I pointed out that in 10 years I would be faced with retirement and a potentially weaker body. At any rate, I new that I would no replace them but when through weeks of anger, fear and resentment over all these crap. My mother originally had encouraged and then funded my first implants when I was too naive to understand the long-term implications. Of course, wanting to gain my mother's "iffy" love weighed very heavily into the initial implants.

Roll forward to the first rupture and my French, world-class surgeon convinced me that I absolutely must replace but could replace with smaller ones. I was highly skeptical and consulted my general practioner who said "he is the doctor; he knows best". I was stupid and had them replaced with this PIP implants. Now, am angry at myself, the surgeon and my doctor.

As an aside, I have experienced significant and sometimes crippling auto-immune problems since 2009 -- joint pain, tingling in hands and feet, fatigue, twitching muscles, etc. I can't confirm that this is not a result of the implants but would like to know if anyone noticed improvement in these types of symptoms after explanation.

I have my pre-op appointment on Friday, 13 September, with my surgeon to finalize that the implants will not be replaced despite that my breasts will not look the same. Currently, I am a 34C and will go to a 34A/B. Big deal. My surgeon is a good guy and means well but I really expected him to walk me through this decision instead of coming off as "I know best". I HATE how much stress these implants have put me through but will miss that I had breasts which were really perfect for me. I guess there comes a time when all things must pass.

Surgery is 24 September in Paris and have mixed emotions due to the pain and my new look but now that I have made the right decision for me.

Just some questions:
-- how can I build my body up pre-op and post-op?
-- what are good bra and swimming suit brands?
-- did autoimmune issues clear up post-op and how long afterwards?

I really appreciate your feedback and will put up photos when I have them.

Pre-Op Photos

Photo of my small implants to be removed. Expect to go from a C cup to a full A or small B cup. Keeping fingers crossed...

Had appointment with anathesiologist

Apparently, the surgery for a simple removal will be relatively painless compared to replacing implants. Will be in surgery one (1) hour and then into recovery. I will be most interested whether this will resolved my several hip joint and knee joint pain. I know I am making the right decision. I also looked at the possibility of lipo replacement as an option only if after one year I am just unhappy and miserable. I'll gain one-half cup size (not terribly significant) but the simple fact that there are options besides plastic implants gave me even more impetus. Anyway, surgery is in a couple of days (24 Sept) and then....well, we'll see... :-)

Surgery done, done, done!

Surgery was completed yesterday and all went well. Right breast ruptured but no silicone was absorbed into the tissue and my body had already put a capsule around it. This surgery is 10x less painful then replacement implants. Spent one night in the hospital, have sore breasts but nothing terribly dramatic. Have flat upper sides of my breasts but still have breasts and...guess what....they don't look half bad all things considered. Will update over the coming weeks but so far, so good. Also, the surgeon and his surgical nurse were EXCELLENT.

Week 3 Post-Op

Week 3 has arrived and suddenly hit by a hard fatigue and was a bit too optimistic about returning to work. Am lucky enough to be able to work from home until I feel better. I ordered a Maidenform sports bra on-line and am looking forward to this. I still experience some pain in the sutures but overall my breasts look fine. My doctor told me to start massaging with scar cream in about 3 weeks when the sutures have completely healed. My advice to anyone is to drink lots of water, take immune booster vitamins and eat loads of protein. In fact, I crave meat like never before. I still must take something to help me sleep but plan to reduce that dosage by start of Week 4 post-of.
Krishna Clough

Doctor Clough is a specialist in breast oncology and breast reconstruction. He is a well-respected surgeon and considered top in his field world-wide. He did a great job initially (I didn't have breast cancer, by the way.) and I respect his work and his human approach to his patients. Am puzzled though that most doctors assumed that a replacement of implants was the only option.

5 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
5 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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Comments (20)

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Hi RubyJean. Just after a bit of advice really. I am considering having my silicone implants removed soon. I am a c cup now, I was an a cup before the implants. I am a bit worried about the results, are you happy with your breasts now? They look good to me!! :-)
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I think you look beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing on RealSelf. :)

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I highly recommend having daily home nurse visits for at least one week post-surgery. The moral support and confirmation that all was well only amplified my good feelings about my new self, too!
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I recommend Dr. Clough without any hesitation. It is worth the trip to beautiful Paris and cannot say enough good things about his bedside and post-op care. He is absolutely excellent.
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Week 2 post-surgery. Relieved and at peace. My breasts swelled with water a few days after surgery but nothing surprising. Pain is almost 100% gone and now just struggling with the after effects of the anesthesia. I am so positive about these explants that am now making a plan on when to start jogging again. Life is more positive for the first time in almost 2 years.
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Your surgery looks like it went well. You look great! You asked about what you could potentially do for your body pre/post op. I'm not sure if you have read any of Dr. Kolb's articles, but she does a lot with people who have suffered from silicone toxicity. Here is a resource of supplements to help detox and strengthen your immune system from her website: http://www.plastikos.com/protocol_silicone.htm I'm not taking all of these supplements, but my own doctor recommended a lot of similar ones for my adrenal fatigue and estrogen dominance. I added a few more based on Dr. Kolb's list that made sense for me. Once I explant and healed, I plan on doing a deeper detox....my goal right now is to keep my immune system strong. I hope that explanting helps some of your health problems and you start to feel better. Wishing you the best.
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Thank you so much for this comment. I have started some detoxing and have some distance to go but my mental state has shifted for the better significantly. I hope my joints improve over the next few months so I can start to run and walk normally again.
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Day Two Post-Op / Second day following surgery and just slept. Felt some pain in the sutures but nothing abnormal. Noticed that one breast is dimpled and has a very hard scar tissue which follows the fold of my breast. I think massage is what is recommended. I do not regret at all removing these implants and, in fact, would have regretted a lot more had I replaced them.
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beautiful result, much much better than with implants!
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Wow! thanks...I appreciate that remark very much!
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You look great, congrats! Hope your recovery goes well :)
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You are going to just fine RJ:) your breasts are beautiful now, they will be even better when explanted! I experienced many autoimmune disorders for years before explant. Yet was told by doc not to expect any to go away with surgery. It has been one month since surgery and I cannot tell you how good I feel! Not ONE Bit of pain ( in areas that had bothered me for 12 years!) Listen to your gut and you'll be fine!
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We have the same surgery date :) Congrats on your decision to explant, I too cannot wait to be free of these things! Good luck!
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Good luck to you also. See in implant free next time!
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Just returned from my pre-op appointment with my surgeon. I walked in a bit stressed but left really confident in my decision. He listened to my reasoning and said that he guaranteed that I would be unhappy with my breasts post-of. I asked for options other than replacements. We discussed a procedure to use liposuction in order to give me a least more than a flat chest. The only risk was in case I had any breast cancer cells that the liposuctioned tissue would feed and accelerate the breast cancer. His opinion as an oncologist breast surgeon was that this was a low risk for me based on my MRI results and no history of breast cancer. His institute does this procedure several times a month using "cleaned" fat tissue from the thighs, stomach and hips. He said that I had the option of waiting post-op. I was intrigued. At any rate, the cost was about 9000 dollars which was way out of my price range. I guess I appreciated the discussion and his willingness to explore this as an option. I see the anesthesiologist next week and then it is surgery date!
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Congratulations on being strong in your decision to explant!! You have found, as did I, a wonderful site to help support you in your decision. I love the comfort of the zee bra (not the cutest, but comfy!!)...natori and calvin klein make some great bras for the small breasted woman. Also, my favorite bikini.....although pricey....is the bikini from voda swim. Even at a 32 AA...I fell like I have a little something :). Hope this helps!
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I checked into the Zee bra and it looks a great initial bra post-op. I like the idea that it has removable pads and it is not bad looking at all. Thanks for the tip! Found it on Amazon.Com and will order.
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Thank you for starting your story on RealSelf! As far as building up your body, make sure that you're really honed in on nutrition (lots of fruits, veggies, and lean protein). Lots of ladies swear by the herb arnica and also bromelain (which is an anti-inflammatory found in pineapple), but you should check with your doctor before taking these.

I'm glad you're feeling at peace with your decision. I hope all goes swimmingly for you on the 24th!

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Thank you! I really appreciate the support from this group. This can be a lonely process and is not an easy one at that considering the pain and risk of surgery. I'll know more tomorrow but the decision is final...out come the PIP implants!
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Interesting coincidence...a woman I happen to meet at a pharmacy told me that pineapple was really helpful on her breast surgery, too! So...added it to my list based on these two recommendations...
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