Explanting but Not Anti-Breast Implant - Pittsburgh, PA

For the past month or so I've been on this site...

For the past month or so I've been on this site reading your very personal experiences and am grateful for all the information you have provided. There has been a wealth of knowledge about the explantation process, pros and cons, complications, methods, additional procedure options (such as lifts), etc. available to me to try to make an educated decision with the assistance of my PS. Since I found the site helpful beyond words, I decided to share my story as well in hopes that it helps someone as you all have helped me, so here I go.

After reading numerous reviews, I've noticed that I feel rather differently than most about having breast implants. I don't regret mine nor do I hate them. I had my breast augmentation in April 2002 and after over ten and a half years of having them, I wish I didn't have to have them removed but I am. I had Mentor round saline implants (300 cc overfilled to 320cc if I recall correctly) placed under the muscle through periareolar incisions taking me from a 34A to a 34C.

After having my implants for around five years, I began a quick weight gain of around 65 or 70 pounds and lost it again in the past couple years. It seems that towards the end of this weight loss is when the shift began. Until around two months ago, I had no real issues with them at all but now my left implant is starting to shift outward towards my underarm. Now I can feel it when I move my arm, try sleeping on my side or rolling in my sleep and basically even just sitting around it feels awkward. Slightly sore but mainly just strange. It has also caused an excessive thinning of the skin under the left hand side of my left breast. The implant can be felt more than usual and significantly more than my right implant.

I decided I couldn't ignore the issue and scheduled consultations with two local plastic surgeons - one at the recommendation of my former plastic surgeon (who has since moved across the country) and one at the recommendation of a close friend who has had some work done as well. I was explained the options and have decided to have them removed entirely, at least temporarily. The thinned skin would likely require some extra work to have the desired results if I were to simply replace my implants and have them resituated. I have decided to let my body heal up for at least six months, see if I am okay with myself and the results and make a final decision then. I can always leave them alone if I'm okay with them or have new implants put in or a lift if they don't bounce back. It seems like most people here are extremely happy with their decision and have had lovely results. Fingers crossed I will feel the same.

My surgery is in two days but I wasn't ready to write until now. I will try to keep posting along the way to get a full and accurate recovery process.

Gut reaction after just having had surgery a...

Gut reaction after just having had surgery a number of hours ago - I can't believe they are gone. They are really gone. Gone gone. I don't feel like me.

Yes I know this will change and it needs time to really sink in but figured I'd put my first reaction out there. I'll give a more in depth post about today's surgery sometime tomorrow.

Day of Surgery - The day of surgery did not go...

Day of Surgery -

The day of surgery did not go as smoothly as I would have liked but overall I can't complain much.

I should start of by pointing out that I opted out of anesthesia because of issues I had with my breast augmentation. They had trouble getting me out from under and once I was awake my body would not cooperate with excessive vomiting for hours and shaking (and this was after telling them beforehand that our family had a history of issues with this and them trying to handle it accordingly). Knowing my bad reaction, it did not seem necessary for the half hour surgery this time around. Therefore, I was given some Valium and Percocet beforehand as well as local and was fully aware of everything going on the entire time. Here was my day...

My surgery was scheduled for 1 pm with arrival around 12:30 so I could take the pills beforehand and let them kick in. I arrived to find out that the doctor was running behind an hour and a half to two hours because his first appointment of the day had been late and thrown off the entire schedule. They tried to call me but because I live about 45 minutes away and always insist on being slightly early, I had already been in the car driving and didn't get the call. I tried to stay calm and not get mad but I was. I was already beyond nervous and upset and now I had to sit around for almost two hours extra dwelling on it?! That essentially doubled our time there but nothing I can do about it but move forward. My parents, husband and I went down a floor to the family of patients waiting area and I began my wait. A little while after I was originally scheduled for surgery I was given the pills and I was very thankful. Nothing was phasing me then but I felt wound up and talkative rather than tired.

About 45 minutes later the doctor came down to see how I was doing and decided another Valium would probably help. A woman escorted me upstairs to a consultation room where I changed into my gown, was given a second Valium, the doctor marked me for incisions, injected me with the local and I was left to lay down for a short time. Later I was escorted down a short hall into the operating room. I was laid out flat, my arms lightly fastened to outstretched boards, antiseptic products swabbed all over my breasts and chest, and paper coverings strategically placed across my chest and body. The ladies prepping me talked with me a little to keep me relaxed and I was allowed to pick my type of music, so I opted for 80's, my favorite. Soon we were ready to roll and the doctor came in. You all know the basics but I was aware of everything going on. In hindsight, I am questioning my decision to stay awake a little. I felt pain here and there but nothing major, it was more of the knowing what all was happening that was nerve wracking. Feeling the pressure from the cuts and pulling open, the draining of the implants, insertion of drains, stitches. I could distinguish each step easily. I was done in the half hour or so they expected and there were no major surprises or concerns. I requested to see the implants which many may find strange but they nicely obliged. They did travel along with me in life for over ten years after all. After they took all the paper sheets off, the ladies bandaged me up in an Ace bandage with large foam sponges to put pressure on them and help prevent liquid from collecting. Moved across another hall into a recovery room where I stayed for about a half hour, some alone and some with my family. Got my post op prescriptions and a sheet of recovery rules and was wheeled out to roll on home. Finding it hard to sleep as my right breast is fairly sore but overall I am doing fine.

Day 1 After Surgery - I did well through the...

Day 1 After Surgery -

I did well through the evening after surgery, ate a bit, not too much pain and was in okay spirits overall but sleeping wasn't ideal. I officially woke up around 5:45 am and had woken up every 15 to 45 minutes throughout the course of the night. I threw up about 2 hours after waking up and decided to give the doctor's office a call for suggestions because that was fairly painful and wanted to avoid a repeat of it. They called me in an anti-nausea and suggested eating a bit more before taking another pill. I had some potato tried the antibiotic at that point and a few hours later before getting the anti-nausea, I threw up again. So the morning didn't go quite as planned but after I got the nausea medication things panned out much better. I slept on and off throughout the day eating and drinking along the way but not really doing much else. In the evening I decided to take the bandaged picture I posted and took a bath of sorts. Not allowed showers but figured that a bath in about an inch or two of water could be navigated with assistance as long as I didn't get the bandages wet. The water felt good. I wish I could have just stayed in the there to recover because I love water but I know that isn't possible. Either way, felt better cleaned up and am looking forward to my first checkup on Thursday afternoon. Thank you for the all the comments everyone! :)

Day 3 After Surgery - The Big (Or Little Depending...

Day 3 After Surgery - The Big (Or Little Depending on How you Look at It) Unveiling!

It is Thursday and I had my drains removed today at my checkup. I saw a PA in the office today who helped the day of surgery as well as prescribed me my nausea medication the day after. Basically just had the bandages removed, the foam pads peeled off and gauze removed. She then cut out one stitch from each side to remove the drains (I believe they are called penrose drains if you want to learn about them, sort of look like a piece of an exercise resistance band), replaced the padding on the wounds and wrapped me up again in the Ace bandage. I felt the drain on the right coming out a bit but that side had been more tender than the other for some reason but didn't feel a thing with the left.

I am allowed to take the wrap off now to shower but am to keep wearing it until my next checkup on Monday. They will be removing the rest of my stitches at that point. I can honestly say I didn't look much while I was in the office today because I was nervous and found myself being fairly protective of the wounds while the bandaging was removed but I did allow my husband to take some pictures. Once I got in the car I did a quick peek through the pictures and am feeling fairly okay about it. She had said everything looked good so far and I guess I'd agree. A couple of my first observations were that my nipples seem to have become remarkably smaller in the couple days since surgery and they point outward a bit like they did before I had the augmentation in 2002. When I got home I went back to sleep for a couple hours and was able to sleep a bit on my side which I thought was a nice bonus.

Day 4 - Tears I was allowed to shower today. ...

Day 4 - Tears

I was allowed to shower today. It was the first time I really looked at myself straight on rather than through pictures and as soon as I took the wrap off I saw myself in the mirror. I started to cry. I cried uncontrollably for at least twenty minutes but it felt like so much longer. The rest of the night was met with periodic outbursts of tears as I glanced down at my bandaged chest. Even though I couldn't see them, I could picture them. Upright for me simply equals upset. I know it is only day four but it feels like day forty to me. I am grateful that my doctor did not pressure me into getting more work done but I also better understand why so many strongly suggest replacements, lifts, etc. over sole extraction. This is emotionally draining for me. I watch TV to pass the time and all I keep thinking (and sometimes blurting out loud) is "she has boobs". I reread reviews, comments and look at nice post surgery pictures and just wish it would happen sooner rather than later. I will post upright pictures on Monday after stitch removal no matter how I feel.

One Week I had my stitches removed today which...

One Week

I had my stitches removed today which is nice. They were making the incisions feel pretty raw and were rubbing a bit. I seem to be able to move more easily now but still some discomfort reaching particularly up to my head. Ace bandaging is done with so hopefully I will stop slouching excessively like I have been. Just some sort of natural reaction I was having with it even when I took it off. Moving onto a sports bra for now until I heal up a bit more. Posting upright pictures today as I said I would. I wish one wasn't hanging lower than the other. It just needs time for now I guess. Everything healed up properly so far and unless I see something strange I am good for three months.

25 Days I'm feeling more comfortable with...

25 Days

I'm feeling more comfortable with myself but after a round of clothes shopping for my smaller size, I'm feeling really out of proportion. Posting some new pictures to show the healing process a bit. They are definitely getting smaller but they seem to be lifting along with it a bit. I wonder what they'll look like after three months? Only time will tell. :)
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Comments (40)

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omg you are stupid not to like your breasts. i dont know what more do you want. they look 10 times more beautiful than with the implants and are some of th ebest explanted breasts i have seen gorgeous. can you please post new pictures and update? please do not put new implants in you have gorgeous breasts !
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Wow you look great. I just had mine removed along with breast lift. I hope I turn out like you.
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wow you look amazing! your scars are so small, how did the implant come out? was it saline? you will look even better after 3 months id say ;)
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Thank you Ana. They were saline so my doctor decided to drain them a bit when he went in so he could try to pull them out through a smaller incision.
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I see, I never had that choice, mine were silicone! I have pretty big scars :(
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I think you look amazing! Xxxx
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You look so incredible post op!!
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Um...WOW...you look amazing.
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You're looking so good, and the scars are healing very nicely too!
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As i sit here wrapped in my ace bandages healing, your pictures are giving me some hope. I had mine removed with no lift. You look fantastic!!! Your last few pics show real progress and fullness. Best wishes to you and thanks for sharing your story. I hope you find some peace without the implants :) I am not "anti-implant" either, but as much damage as they did my body, and the need for repeated surgeries that implants carry, I think I'm exhausted and will love my body as is.
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I hope your recovery is going well and am looking forward to seeing pics of the new you! :)
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Look good!
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You look good, and you're only a week out!
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You look GREAT!
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I think you look amazing, and I'm not just saying that. I saw your most recent picture before I saw your post (especially about the one where you were crying uncontrollably), and my first reaction when I saw the photo was, "I hope my results are that good." I really think you look fabulous, natural, plenty of breast tissue ... and you will continue to fluff and tighten up. Hugs!
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I think you look beautiful :) I sooo wish I would of had your outcome :) you look AMAZING :) it will Take a bit to get use to but give yourself some time. I think the majority of us have had a lot of out bursts of crying but after a bit of time it will get better :)
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We had surgery aroun d the same time, but i unfortunately had complication on my right breast developing a hematoma so my recovery has been slower. Still on drains until monday... Went out today for the first time, but still taking it easy. Cant help to look at other women and see if they are endowed or not... I need to get over this overrated bust thing! : /
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This has been the hardest part for me, seeing busty women when I go out, and fake boobs all over TV. I am already anticipating girls with big boobs walking by and catching my husband's attention. I hope that I can get over the fact that our world is obsessed with perfect.
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Wow, looking great!
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Looking good!!!
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Wow! It looks like you are going to have great results! Rest up and good luck in your healing!
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As the other ones have said, you look fine! Really fine young-looking boobs in my opinion. Good luck to your healing!
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you look really beautiful! i know it takes a while to adjust, but wait until you see how much thinner and taller you look in clothes! rest up and happy healing!
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YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!!! You look totally normal!!! :-) Give yourself a little time, things really do look totally different after several days! I'm at day 14 now, and am amazed at the subtle changes happening daily. REST, REST, REST!!!!
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Aaahhh, I hope the nausea stays away and you're able to rest peacefully. I'll be wishing you speedy healing!
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