So Ready to Do This!!! Want to Be Free, Light and Natural! - Portland, Oregon

A HUGE thank you to all of the brave women who...

A HUGE thank you to all of the brave women who have shared their stories on this site. Your reviews have helped me to actively move forward with getting my implants removed, even though I've been thinking about it for years.

I got my 350cc implants (under the muscle) 6 years ago right after I had my second child. I had my kids right in a row, so I went from being pregnant to nursing, to being pregnant again, to nursing again. I was an A cup, but with pregnancy/nursing, I grew to a beautiful B. I loved my breasts this size. Once I weaned my second son, for the first time in 2 years, I saw my little breasts again, and was unhappy. I thought breast implants were the answer and had the procedure done despite everyone around me telling me not to and that I didn't need it (sister, friends, husband). I thought I knew better. I asked for a "big B" and said I wanted to look as natural as possible. I ended up with 350 High Profile Saline implants and the change was dramatic. I am tall and thin, but had these perky and quite large (big C) breasts. I was embarrassed by them almost immediately, but thought I'd get used to it with time.

I am a fitness instructor and discovered right away, the awful feeling (and appearance) of when I would flex my pec muscles (in a push-up for example). My breasts would pull apart and distort. I absolutely hated the way this felt and was embarrassed by how it looked. The other thing that bothered me was, because I had high profile implants, they were spaced wider on my chest and I did not have much cleavage. It looked unnatural! Fake, like two baseballs under my shirt.

After about two years I did some research on ways to fix the problems, and I thought about explanting, but, at the time, I believed my results would be horrible, so I ended up having an implant exchange. My new doctor swapped saline for silicone and told me with a wider implant, I would have cleavage. He also cleaned up scar tissue saying my breasts would no longer distort with exercise. I now have 350cc (still under the muscle) moderate profile implants. Long story short, I still hate them. Yes, I have cleavage, but they look so WRONG on my body. They still distort, too!

I feel like a fool for thinking (not just once but TWICE!) that implants would be the answer. They are most certainly NOT. I am a healthy and active person and I have realized that these implants do not mesh with who I am. I want to be free of these weights that I have been carrying around on my chest. I want to be able to hug my children and not feel like there is something between us. I want to have the lean and sleek body that I was born with, and that my husband loved so much. But most of all, I want to move into the next chapter in my life...implant FREE!!!

I had my first consult today and it almost made me upset to the point of crying when both the nurse and the doctor spoke to me about exchanging the implants for a smaller size, or to go above the muscle instead. It took so much courage for me to get there and say (with all my heart), "I want these out, they are not for me" and to have the response be anything but supportive. It was disappointing. I have another consult (different PS) scheduled for next week.

My goal is to have the procedure done in late November or December... I am so ready for this!!! Looking forward to being on the other side!!!

Second Consult MUCH better!

I had my second consult this week and it was great! Dr. Gabriel and his staff were sensitive, caring and took their time with me (I think I was there for over an hour!). Dr. Gabriel also was meticulous about planning my surgery, as well as giving me hope for nice results. All in all, I felt cared for and supported, which was exactly what I wanted.

I hope to schedule my surgery for mid-December so that I can recover and take time off over the Christmas Holiday.

Thank you to everyone on this site for your kindness and support on my journey to being free of these implants! I feel a sense of relief having found such a wonderful surgeon, and now I am feeling even more ready to move forward.

Best wishes to all of you!!!

Explant Scheduled! December 19th!!!

I felt a huge sense of relief setting my appointment for explant this week. I also was able to secure about 2 weeks off work to heal and recover. It will be December 19th!! I know it's about a month and a 1/2 away, but I am hoping that time flies until then.

I feel so happy that I have gotten through the initial steps of having consults, finding the right surgeon, and setting a date. To me, those were the most difficult, not to mention, telling my husband about how I have been feeling and that I want to remove my implants. But now all this is done, I am feeling this huge sense of relief...and all I have to do now is wait and prepare myself emotionally and mentally.

I am sure I will start to get nervous as the date approaches (going under anesthesia, worrying about the results etc.), but I know in my heart that I am making the right decision. And I still feel so ready to move on past this chapter in my life.

Feeling hopeful today!!!

Worried about Muscle Distortion after Explant

Overall I have not had any major complications with my implants, but I do have horrible muscle distortion when my chest muscles contract. I have searched the internet for photos of other who experience this, but NONE compare to how awful and extreme mine is. My breast pull up and apart and invert at the nipple. It looks like a horror movie, no joke. And it happens with even the slightest movement, cutting vegetables (if I had a cleavage shirt on, you could see it happen if you were looking), opening doors, driving, pushing myself up from a lying position and, most obviously, with push-ups (where even wearing a tight tank top and sports bra an observer could see the deformed breast fold in half from the side). I am too embarrassed to even post a picture on's that bad.

But my question is to those who have had any kind of distortion with implants, if that continues to happen after removal. My doctor knows this is a concern of mine and is going to attempt a muscle repair (tacking down the muscle), but I am terrified that I will mess it up during recovery when I "accidentally" use my pectoral muscle (getting out of bed for example). And I am also worried that the repair just won't work, and I will be left deformed every time I move.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this??

Three More Days!!!

Well, I am starting to get nervous. My surgery is just three days away! I know that I am making the right choice, hands down, but honestly, I feel more nervous now than I did when I got the implants. I think it's because I don't know what the results will be and I am afraid my breasts could look bad or weird or misshapen. I am also getting nervous about anesthesia.....eeek. I am a worry wort :)

But I would not even be doing this if it weren't for the stories and support from all the women on this site. So thank you again for sharing and understanding like no one else can!!! Wish me luck!!!

Explant Done!!!! Yay!!!

Everything went very smoothly with my surgery today. I got to the surgery center at 6am, had surgery at 7:30 and then was on my way home before 11. Dr. Gabriel was wonderful and even though I was nervous, he made me feel at ease.

I have drains in and the doctor says they may need to stay in for a week or more. That isn't great, but I can manage. As soon as I started waking up after surgery, the first thing I did was touch my breasts (albeit it was over the bandage), and I immediately started to cry! I felt like ME again and it was an indescribable feeling of freedom.

I am definitely sore and have had to stay on pain meds throughout the day. The doctor sutured my muscle quite a bit and warned me that that would lead to more pain than normal. So, most of the day I have been resting in bed (next to my 8 year old who was sick today and home from school today :)

Just now I emptied my drains and took a quick peek at my breasts under the bandage and my first few thoughts are: whoa very very flat (even more than my pre-surgery body), but I am pleasantly surprised that they don't look like wrinkly empty balloons. I was expecting them to look more deflated with the skin having been stretched so much. I did notice that my left breast seems indented below the nipple, and I am not sure what that is about. My recheck is in the morning, so hopefully Dr. Gabriel can explain that.

I will post some pictures tomorrow. Thanks to all of you amazing women for your caring hearts and support!

3 Days Post-Op

Hello Ladies! I apologize to not have gotten an update on here sooner, but I have been resting a ton! I am doing well overall, just a bit constipated ugh! I stopped the pain pills today, so hopefully that helps. I don't have much pain, just feel tightly bound in this wrap, plus the awkwardness of the drains. The drains will come out tomorrow. I took a shower yesterday and snapped some pictures. The left breast in the photo has a definite indentation/puckering that has been there since surgery (both have it actually, but it's more distinct in the leftie). Does anyone know why this happens and how long it takes to release? Other than that weird crease, I do like my breasts and I am happy with the outcome. I know that I need to be patient and I will try to remember that.
I will post more pics after I am drain-free tomorrow.

Drains Out, Trying to Remain Hopeful

I got my drains out this afternoon (OUCH!). That hurt a lot, but now that they are out, I can stop wearing the tightly binding tube top. They told me to wear a tight sports bra or tank at least until my next post-op appointment next week.

So I still have indents under my nipples across the inner part of the breast. Not pretty. The doctor said not to worry and that we may have to wait for the internal sutures to dissolve (4-6 weeks) to see if that tissue will release. I will start massaging next week, which may help too. And my breasts definitely are not super soft yet, there are hard lumps near the incision (especially the leftie), which are tender to the touch.

Have any of you ladies had hard, painful lumps (scar tissue?) and/or indentations or puckering of the breast? And if you have, how long has it taken to dissipate (or did it?)? I am so anxious to hear a success story or two to ease my mind. I am going to look back into the archives tonight and see if I can find anyone with results like mine.

I am still working on remaining patient and hopeful :)

One Week Update

One Week Update

oops posted too soon that last one...
Feeling better every day as far as being able to use my arms, lift them overhead and drive. I also have very little movement with my pec muscle which is such a relief! Not that I have really pushed it, no push-ups or anything LOL. But previously I had movement with EVERYTHING, from opening doors to wiping down the counter. So I am quite happy with the muscle repair.

What I am having difficulty with (and, again, I am trying to be patient) is with the puckering of the left breast. It truly feels like the skin is being pulled in and is attached to something (scar tissue?). It seems like it hasn't changed at all since last week. The doctor said that it may take 4-6 weeks (for as long as it takes for the internal sutures to dissolve) to get better. But I just really need some reassurance from any ladies who have any experience with anything similar. I am scared that I am deformed now :(

There is also a bit of puckering at both the nipple incisions. I still have steri-strips in place. Does this get better once they are removed?

I feel happy (free, energetic and light!), but at the same time, disappointed. I wanted to feel such joy with my decision, and because my results are not ideal, I feel let down. I wasn't expecting this road to be easy, and I certainly did not expect my breasts to look great right after surgery, but I can't help feeling worried about whether this might not ever improve and I will be left looking like this forever.

Feeling down.
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (73)

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Hey vega, how is your healing going? I hope you are well.
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Hi there! How are you feeling today? I enjoyed reading your story and am sending healing vibes your way.
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I still have scar tissue hardness at 10 weeks. But I'm SO HAPPY and there are tons of success stories on here
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Awe, vega, I am sorry you are encountering complications :( Please don't despair, all of us have various degrees of funky things happen post op. That being said, yes in your newest pics I see your concern with the incisions themselves, its still early and hard to say exactly what is going on with the steri-strips over them. The "denting" or I guess what they might call "contour distortion" in your left - seems many girls have various degrees of this immediately after explant and it works itself out as internal sutures dissolve and the fat & breast tissue "fluff", so your first set of explant pictures showing just the denting looked pretty normal for early post-op. Your newer pics with the actual incisions, some girls get an unusual complication - like a scar healing issue with the peri-areola, such as Reed69 (mentioned somewhere else here in the comments) and also Elle1991. This is, like, a seemingly unusual complication and I don't think any of the surgeons have been able to say for sure why it happened to these ladies and doesn't to so many others (kind of like they can't prevent or predict keloid scars). It is not for certain at this point that you are developing that (where the boob appears to be "swallowing" the areola), but I do see your concern with where the incisions appear slightly puckered - you can check out these lady's reviews both were kind enough to post many pics and long term updates. Elle1991 had an amazing resolution without any scar revision - Reed69 had a scar revision and it didn't turn out as she hoped. I think it is really early to say how your final result will be, and even early to say whether you are truly having complications or are in a "normal" stage of healing that will work itself out over the next few weeks. Keep as positive as you can, and take it very easy so you can heal up - even if you are feeling very well and not in pain, the internal healing truly takes weeks and months so dont overdo things too early. Know that all us girls support you!
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Thank you so much for sharing your story. My story is similar to yours, I've had implants for a little over 6 years now, started wanting them out about 2 years ago, each day I want them out more and more. I was a little scared and I'm so glad that you were brave enough to share your story! I'm ready to move forward with making my first consult appointment to get implants out!
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Im booked in to have my implants removed in a couple of weeks and i cant wait to be rid if them. Reading about your journey has given me strength and the feeling that other ladies are experiencing similar feign as I. Thanks for sharing with us.
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I had crease (underbreast) incisions - yes they were hard and lumpy for weeks, as the internal sutures dissolve the incisions smooth out and soften. I think a lot of women who have areola incision get this type of faint "denting" that goes away with time, and I do think it has to do with the internal sutures. When you have crease incision the lumpy/bumpy/dented state of the fresh incisions aren't as alarming because you don't see it as much - but the area is definitely not "normal" and smooth for quite some time until its healed. Give yourself some time, I think you look fantastic and will end up very similar to your pre-implant boobs! Congratulations and make sure to rest and pamper yourself.
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I'm sorry that you are experiencing the same thing as me, its so frustrating, I massage twice a day w/bio oil but its still very hard underneath from all the scar tissue, ps say that scar tissue softens after 1yr, not sure wether to believe it. I have seen lil improvement in the areola, when I bend down its a different view. My advice though from what I have seen is to not get it revised. Please correct me if I'm wrong but it seens your incision was done under the areola. If you check Reed69 she advises not to revise. I can tell you this though, it gets easier as time goes by, I pay less attention to it, I dont cry about it like I used to.
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Thanks for the advice. I will definitely be massaging as soon as I am allowed (next week). And I plan to wait it out for a long while to see how my body heals, so I am not looking to jump back into another revision. I think that positive thoughts and visualizing my body changing back to where it was pre-surgery can help. Mentally I want to stay strong and positive because I have come so far. And so have you!!!! You are far better off now, even despite the scars. Compared to all those girls out there asking "what cc do you have? I want some like that!", you are so much wiser!!! You understand the value of a healthy and natural body. I know our journeys are not always smooth, and our breasts may never be perfect, but every bump along the way helps us grow :) Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!!
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Hi. I had my implants out v on 14th December and I had an indentation under my left ( I think it was my left) boob but this disposed after a few days. I think this is normal and with time it will disappear for you to. You look much better explant free, congratulations x
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Thank you so much! Yes, I hope the puckering is just taking some time to release, though it's still pretty prominent with not much change 5 days post op. But the good far outweighs the bad right now. I feel like I can breathe deeply, my arms are not bumping into two balloons and I feel light and free! Congrats on your explant!!! Happy Holidays :)
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I love that you were so happy you cried
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Congrats!! Happy healing, please update us with the muscle distortion, I still have mine at 2mths post op they say after 9mths it begins to settle, I'm really hoping for this. The women who are a year out do not respond as to wether the muscle is still uncomfortable so I guess only time will tell.
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Thank you! I will definitely update as time goes on. Right now, my muscles are still very sore, as there was a lot of suturing done to them. But I have tried just small flexes and only my left breast pulled up in a small twitch. Much better than before and I am hoping, as the breasts soften and settle, that this will continue to improve. Best wishes to you on your healing journey and happy holidays!!
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Congratulations. I had my explant last Saturday and my right boob was indented under the nipple but that's already disappeared so I'm sure yours will over the next couple of days. Take it easy and I'll look forward to seeing your explant pics x
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You are going to look amazing...proportional again, beautiful, and amazing!
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Thank you, I needed that confidence booster the day before surgery :)
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In a couple of days you'll be on the other side of this and won't look back. I'm excited for you! As for the muscle distortion. I did have it when I had implants and I notice that my pecks still raise up the tissue slightly, but honestly now that there isn't any firm hard bags inside me the amount of distortion is hardly noticeable with my own natural tissue. Meaning, it's still there but to a much much smaller degree and it doesn't bother me. I'm not sure if with time it gets better or not, but it takes a long time to heal so time will tell.
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Thank you for your reassurance! I know things will never be perfect (like they were), and I know that our bodies are amazing in their abilities to heal. So I am going to trust that everything is going as it's supposed to go. Thanks for your kind words. Tomorrow I will join all of you brave ladies on the other side!!!
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Hi, best of luck on the 19th, I'm having mine out then too, I spoke to you a few weeks ago. I have written a review but it doesn't seem to be up yet, anyway I hope all goes well with your surgery catch up with you after :)
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Sarah-Best wishes tomorrow!! My surgery is early in the morning, so I will try to post something in the afternoon. I will send you good vibes tomorrow and hold your virtual hand :)
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I am thinking of you! You are getting so close now, and I am sure you and Dr Gabriel will both do fantastic! Regarding unders/muscle distortion... Once you have cosmetic surgery, the reality is that you can never go back to exactly your pre-implant natural boobs. The definition of cosmetic surgery (as opposed to reconstructive surgery) is to take normal/healthy body parts and surgically change them. Reconstructive surgery is taking damaged body parts and attempting to repair them back to normal/healthy. Once you get cosmetic surgery of the breast, anything after is "reconstructive". Overs v unders... I had overs, so did many girls. We have no muscle distortion, but we have a lot more tissue damage (from pressure/weight of implants) to the breast mound and resulting nipple/areola caving. Once you take nice, normal, healthy breasts and chop them open and shove big sacs of fluid in there - the damage has been done - overs/unders just means different locations of implant caused tissue damage. There will be some aftermath either way, overs or unders. 2 things I can confidently say are 1. Dr Gabriel is an expert at breast reconstructive surgery. If anyone can give you a great chance at a beautiful and functional muscle repair, he will do it. 2. The body and time heals. I am 9 months out and still healing subtly. Can we ever have our exact pre-implant boobs back? Unfortunately, no. But we can heal, we can repair, we can go back to a very normal and beautiful condition. I feel my breasts truly look "normal" now, except for scars I don't look like I ever had implants. Have high hopes, but realistic expectations. Part of this process is accepting that not every aspect of the original decision to implant can be undone. All of us struggle with that. It's a beautiful place to get over to the other side - rest up and I wish you a safe, uneventful explant surgery!
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Thank you so much for your post! I do trust Dr. Gabriel so much and have seen and heard such great reviews about how excellent a surgeon he is. Only a few more hours until my surgery (9!). I am excited, nervous, but most of all I feel READY to do this! I feel like I've been ready for a while. Whatever my results, I will absolutely be proud that I did this and know that my health is better without those toxic bags inside me. I cannot WAIT to hug my husband and boys with my real body and nothing squeezed between us. That feeling will be priceless!!! I will try to post tomorrow afternoon! Thanks again~
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Thank you for your detailed review. I get my implants out on 21st December and I'm excited but nervous at the same times especially since friends and family have questioned my decision - they think my implants look great. But like you I no in my heart I want v then out (only hope I don't regret it). Everyone one on this site that I've looked at, look so much better at ex plant. I'm sure you'll be fine and I'll be thinking of you on 19th. Good luck and I'll look forward to seeing your explant pics x
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