My Story–look for a Bay Area Surgeon Referral - San Francisco, CA

Hi, all - 1st BA was 13yrs ago at 24 after being...

Hi, all - 1st BA was 13yrs ago at 24 after being teased for decades about being too thin and flat chested. I nursed my baby and was 32AAA just nipples, really. At the time even VS did not carry pretty bra/panty sets or uplifting bras that worked with my figure. I spent about $4800 on the surgery, most of which came from my tax return. Initial placement was done by Dr. Chun in Newport Beach, CA. a referral. He said I should have gone larger than the 375 cc round saline implants I chose and promised I'd be back inside a year for re-sizing. I didn't want to look 'done' I just wanted to buy clothes that fit and to look balanced. A month post op, I still hated how BIG they were and constantly slouched my shoulders and wore oversized clothes to camouflage them. Never did feel comfortable as a 32 C-/D+ on a petite frame. Backaches and posture suffered tremendously!

I began researching almost immediately for surgeon to do my revision: Dr. Garth Fischer in BH took my check for $250 for a 10 minute consult, discussed fees with me, and later said he didn't think he could manage my expectations. I had bottomed out and the scars from the inframammary placement were showing on the curve of my breasts. I did not think it was that complicated and I wasn't asking for a miracle. I saw several other surgeons who asked 25-30k for a capsule revision and implant exchange. It was awful - I was willing to pay it but not confident because I felt that they were taking advantage of me.

I waited a few more years and then in 2006 chose Dr. Frederic H. Corbin (LA & OC) for my procedure. I had went as small as I could, 250cc silicone implants. I would have gone smaller but was advised that the result would not look as natural if the pockets were not filled and my new implants were too far apart. I had no complications post op and they are much more 'natural feeling' than the saline. That put me at a 32 B+ and well balanced. The second procedure was $12,875 I weighed 120 lbs at 5'4" and felt comfortable and pretty with the revision.

However, I lost about 20 lbs 3.5 years ago and have not been able to put it back. The implants stand out more and do not blend as naturally into my body. While I'm not bottoming out, they once again feel out of sync with the rest of me, and I think now, at 38 that I am ready to just be done with them. My BF has seen me at both sizes and he's very supportive, either way I choose. He did empathize with possible aesthetic issues (concave breasts, inverted nipples, stretch marks) but says that how I feel about my body is the most important. It will be a pity to say goodbye to my lingerie, and psychologically to see the deflated cups of bras makes me worry that I will get depressed.

However, when I see other women running, at yoga or pilates and they are natural and merely perky, it just looks so dainty and healthy. I had very little breast tissue before and I will not have any after the explant. I have seen four surgeons so far and done a great deal of research online - thank you so much for bravely sharing your stories. It gives me strength to know I'm not crazy for wanting my natural body back! The main reason is to make peace with myself and to love the body that I was born with. I have not had any other PS but I don't think it's made me an emotionally healthy person to continually struggle with my breasts. The idea that you can buy self-confidence by having a surgeon stuff a foreign object into you is kind of disgusting if you're honest. We've all seen video clips of the surgeries - they're pretty rough.

I have promised myself to do the explant before I turn 40. The consults I've had so far in SF have been for about 13k which means I will have spent a well-equipped VW Jetta on my breasts, and a souped-up BMW if you factor in the lingerie! The surgeons I've spoken to have been warm, honest and not pressured me at all, one way or another. I do think that another $13,000 to just remove the implants is a bit much; there was no mention of the capsules or doing any other procedures. I did ask very specifically and use clinical language - and I cannot figure out where the expense is justified.

There are also three intermediate options: A) Put in a gel liner to soften the lines of my current implants so they look 'softer'. +/- $4,000 B) Remove the implants and do not replace - $ +/1 $13,000 C) Remove implants, place liner and smaller implants - +/- $27,000 I had never considered re-re-revising and I think the risks far outweight the benefits. This also doesn't achieve my goal of having my natural body restored and never dealing with this issue again. I don't think I can justify spending that much money (even over the extended period of time) on my breasts. It seems like everyone here who's removed their implants is glad they did. I don't have pre-op pictures handy but I do have a low-res copy of the revision... although it is kind of gross to see how bottomed out those things were. http://thebreastexpert.com/breastredos/photo_redo_start.htm - my pictures from Dr. Corbin 4/06

My implants (saline 6/99 and silicone 4/06) were placed below the muscle. The second incision was peri areaolar and healed beautifully with no scars and full sensation. The inframammary scars from the first surgery are hidden by the smaller implants and tucked into the fold. I'm rather concerned about whether or not they'll show with explant. Does anyone else have multiple surgery scenario with two different incision sites? Thanks, all!

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Comments (1)

Thank you so much for sharing your story in the implant removal community! You've been through a lot! Sadly, there's no way to predict if your scar will show or not. It depends on how you heal and if you have any skin/fat overhang after your explantation.

There are ways to minimize scars for sure, so you could look into that if they are a problem for you.

I know that some ladies in the community and your local area have gone to Dr. Lee for their explantations.

Please keep us posted as you get closer to the big day!

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