I had my breast implant surgery when I was 38...
I had my breast implant surgery when I was 38 years old. My silicone implants hardened after two years, but I lived with that because I felt sexier and more womanly. Fast-forward many years later and the hardness factor became more annoying and painful to me. I also developed fibromyalgia along the way and I feel the implants contributed to that. My implants are so hard, I hate them! I just want these foreign objects out of my body! Reading everyone's posts on this web site has been very helpful, because it's somewhere to discuss my experience, fears, ask questions, find the support I need and where I can hopefully help others, too. I started looking for a plastic surgeon in 2007. I belong to Kaiser and my primary physician told me that Kaiser would remove my implants for free or at very little cost. Yay! I saw two different plastic surgeons at Kaiser; the first one in 2007 & the second one in 2011. I had issues with both of them; nothing awful, but to save time, I won't go into detail. Mostly, I was too worried about the end results to go ahead with the surgery. So, I waited. About six months ago I started experiencing more pain in my left breast. That worried me, so I started thinking about getting them removed again. Now, after researching other plastic surgeons at Kaiser, I made an appt for a consultation with one in Santa Clara, CA which is about 30 minutes from my home. This plastic surgeon is the Chief of Plastic Surgery, who specializes in breast reconstruction and he has great credentials, etc. I am a VERY OCD person when it comes to being well-informed about my doctors as well as any procedure I'm considering. I spent two days, perusing the Kaiser web site to read about every plastic surgeon in my area, for starters, then I compared each one and made sure they were board-certified in plastic surgery, plus I wanted one who specializes in breast surgery. I saw him on Friday, 2/8/14. I had a LOT of questions written in my little notebook! First, we talked a bit, then he had me stand up while he examined my breasts. He told me to get dressed, because "people tend to remember details better when they're comfortably clothed and not sitting in a gown". I loved that! How considerate and he was right! LOL. First, he explained the procedure he recommended for ME and explained why. He was calm, factual and not rushed in any way. After he explained what his recommendations were, I told him I had a lot of questions for him and he said that was fine by him and encouraged me to ask away! First, I asked him about his credentials to confirm everything I'd read online, I asked if his anesthesiologist was also board-certified and the answer was "yes". He told me that ALL of Kaiser's plastic surgeons are required to be board-certified, and the anesthesiologists are too. I will have the surgery in the OR as an outpatient, with general anesthesia. He said this surgery should take about 2 hrs. My left breast is harder than the right, especially along the bottom of the breast. They are very firm. To me, they feel like hard oranges/grapefruits! Some days they feel like baseballs when I hug someone or lie on my tummy for a back massage. Embarrassing and uncomfortable! The plastic surgeon said that he will first check to see if my implants have ruptured (he looked at my mammo X-rays and he said they look intact--the left side
MAY have a small rupture at the bottom from what he saw) while he makes the incision. He said he'll be looking for any gel from a rupture and if he sees any, he'll be sure to remove the entire capsule, to ensure none of the gel escapes into my body. He will also carefully remove any excessively-hard scar tissue. If there's no rupture, I think he said he would keep the capsule in, which is part of my body, so I would be able to retain as much breast tissue as possible, so my breasts would not be as sunken in or flat. That's only if the capsule is thin and not hard. If it's hard or too thick, he'll remove the capsule. He explains that the capsule is a normal response to the body whenever a foreign object is put inside of our bodies. If it's a thin shell that was formed, it's our own tissue, so nothing left in is toxic, which is what I was worried about. I want anything toxic to be removed! I really feel that this doctor is an excellent choice for many reasons, besides his credentials. He was factual, but friendly, very approachable, kind, patient and he had a sense of humor, which is something I need. He never made me feel stupid and I didn't feel rushed in any way. He said this time with him was for ME and that he wanted to be sure all of my concerns and questions were answered. I really liked HIM and that part is huge to me, especially when I knew his credentials as well. I told him of my fears and concerns. He addressed every one of them. Okay, now for what I can expect for MY results...I think he honestly gave me the worst-case scenario, so I wouldn't get my hopes up. I am not expecting great results; NOT because of his expertise, just because of the way my breasts are, to begin with. My breasts were always small and I didn't have a lot of breast tissue on the bottoms of them. My nipples aren't the kind that are up high or even in the middle. Not the cute, perky kind of nipples, in other words, darn it! If they were, I probably would have been okay with smaller breasts. Maybe. Sooo....he said my breasts may not end up being symmetrical, one side may be more concave if he has to remove more scar tissue in that side. With implants, the breast tissue stretches out, so I should expect loose skin and droopiness. Oh, goody! Ugh...but that's what I've been expecting. He, of course, will be striving for the best possible outcome for me, but he has to be sure he's removing anything harmful, too. I will get to go home about two hours after the surgery. He said he's going to insert a drain in each breast that usually stays in for a week, but it could be longer if necessary. I'll be wearing two Ace bandages, snugly wound around my chest for a week, so I can only take a sponge bath. He said I could very carefully take a bath in shallow water to wash my bum, if I want. I'll have to measure the fluid in the bulbs at the end of the drains left in and empty it afterward. Yeah, kinda gross, but I can handle that. Then, he'll see me a week after my surgery, if all goes normally. I'm discouraged about how my breasts may look after surgery, but I still want to go ahead. I have a lot of aches in my body, not a lot of energy, brain fog and I feel like all of these symptoms began two years after I got the implants. I hope and pray the symptoms disappear eventually once the implants are gone. I am feeling good about this surgeon and that's the very important first step in this whole process. A few days later...I have been freaking out a bit about being disfigured. What if I am? Can I handle that? I've enjoyed having boobies and being able to wear sexy bras! I love knowing I have some cleavage to show if I bend over and someone may have a little peek of "boobage" instead of a flat chest. LOL. Little moments of pleasure and confidence I didn't used to have. Oh well. I'll just deal with it. My surgery is scheduled for April 11th and I know I'll still struggle with the loss of my normal-looking breasts, but I feel like I'm making the healthiest decision for me. I'll post before pics soon. Sorry this is so long!!
Should I have this done?
I've been thinking my implants have been causing me to have health issues, mostly with auto-immune issues, that I decided to get them removed. It's not fun having hard boobs that hurt, either, especially the left side. It has started hurting more lately and something just feels "wrong", besides the hardness. But, I almost feel like I'm volunteering for a mastectomy, because that's what I feel like my breasts will look like after I have them removed, other than the big scar that a mastectomy causes. Maybe it's better that I just live with my normal-looking breasts and cope with the hardness! I'm very worried about how they'll look after surgery. What if I look disfigured and lopsided? I'm really starting to second-guess myself! I feel like I found a qualified surgeon and I was already to go, but now I'm really worried about how I'll feel post op.
Before implant removal surgery
No more pain in left breast area
I posted earlier that I was having pain on my left side and was thinking it was my implant. I saw a doctor because my primary physician was not in the office that day. After the x-ray, blood work, and EKG all came back normal, I was relieved but still concerned about why I was having the pain. I was able to make an appointment with my primary physician but for some reason almost as soon as I made the appointment the pain was almost completely gone! What?? I almost canceled my appt but decided to go ahead and see her anyway since I have been having the pain for so long. During my office visit, she pushed and prodded all around my implant and chest area then on the left side of my rib cage and under my arm and around my back where I have been having pain. During the examination, I was feeling sore and having pain, but in the end, she didn't feel that my implant was the cause. We talked quite a bit more about my upcoming explantation and by the time we were done, since I wasn't having a lot of pain anymore we just decided to wait and see how I feel. Believe it or not, I don't have any pain at all anymore! I have no idea why, but I'm just glad the pain is gone! Why are our bodies so strange sometimes? It's kind of frustrating!
I HAVE to stop being afraid!!
I wrote this in reply to someone else, but I wanted to repeat it here because I need to keep telling myself this:
I've almost changed my mind about going through with my explant a few times, because I'm so afraid of what I'll look like. I'm afraid I'll be disfigured or that my chest will be sunken in. I grieve over everything I've been through--feeling inadequate because I thought my breasts weren't womanly enough, then getting the implants, having them harden, getting sick from them, feeling like I had to live with them that way and being angry for ever getting the surgery, and now worrying what I'll look like after I have them removed. Looking back, it would be easy to get really depressed about how much I've tortured my body and mind all because of what I told myself what "normal and/or sexy" was! I don't know what I would've done without all of you lovely ladies here on realself. I'm so thankful I found this forum before I had my surgery. I'm going to STOP being afraid! I know I can get through this because I'll have your help! Thank you, thank you, thank you! XOXO
8 days to go! Wondering why I need general anesthesia?
Well, the time is getting close, at last! I'm a little nervous, but not so much anymore. Your updates, post-op REALLY make a huge difference because they are so positive! So many of you seem to be having your implants removed with just a local, I'm wondering why my doctor said I have to have general anesthesia? I wonder if it's because it's a Kaiser hospital? When I asked if I could have a local or twilight, he looked shocked and said, "Oh, no; you have to have general!" Idk why I didn't question that, but otherwise, I really feel confidant and happy with him because of his excellent credentials and overall wonderful demeanor and caring attitude. Maybe I'll email him about it. Just wondering how many of you had general anesthesia, too.
Just 4 more days till explant! I need more info re: sports bras & scar treatment info, please!
The countdown begins-4 more days till explant! I'm excited, impatient, anxious, nervous, stressed & feel some grief. The thought of losing my boobies that looked so nice in sexy bras and my swimsuit makes me sad and kind of depressed. I'm trying to just let those thoughts go and move forward with all positive thoughts of being healthy, natural and soft again. Sigh...I'm not trying to be a downer here. I have a feeling everyone can relate completely. That's the best thing about writing my thoughts here! Thank you for listening!
Now I need to figure out what compression/sports bras to wear after I get to stop wearing the Ace bandage my PS told me I'd have to wear for a week. Ugh. I will also have drains for at least a week. I KNOW I will go a little nuts dealing with those drains. I didn't expect to have any; it never entered my mind! Oh well, I will cope!! I've read about some of the compression/sports-type bras that some ladies have bought, but I'd like to be sure I find one that gives me good compression. That sounds like the most comfortable and safe option. The thing is, I am not thin and a lot of sportsbras tend to roll up from the bottom and that creates a tight, thin roll of elastic beneath my breasts, right where the incision will be! I've worn an "Ahhh" bra and it was so comfy for my breasts but the bottom rolled up and it was torture! My PS recommended I buy a few zip up or snap-type bras to wear once I can take the Ace bandage off. Any recommendations? Also, are there any other supplies I should have on hand? I've read that most of you take Tylenol once you stop pain pills, but Tylenol doesn't help me, usually. I take ibuprofen instead, but I'm not sure that's allowed. Some ladies mention vitamins, lotions, oils, scar treatments, too. I think I need a list! I'd appreciate any info from you all!! Thanks so much!!
Compression Bra I Bought Online & EBay website for Cute Bralettes
Less than 24 hrs till my surgery!!!
I can't believe the date is almost here! I'm part nervous, part excited, but I'm just trying to breathe and think of how good I feel after my surgery! Whenever I start freaking out a little bit, I just think of all of my friends on RS and how you've all been through the same thing! I just tell myself that you've made it through your surgeries just fine and I will too! I don't know how I could've done it without you! There were days I was so nervous I thought I was going to jump out of my skin, but talking to you lovely ladies has truly been a lifesaver. My husband is a real sweetheart and very patient, but there's no way he can give the kind of support another woman can. So, a big THANK YOU to each one of you for listening to me vent here and for your very caring, loving, kind replies. It means more to me than you could ever know.
Surgery time changed! BOO!
Well, it happened. My surgery time has changed, darn it. I was told at 8:00 PM that my surgery is now around 1:30 PM instead of 9:30 AM. The hospital has to put any patients with diabetes before anyone else, so guess I lose! All of a sudden, THREE patients have diabetes so now I'M going to be my PS' LAST surgery, but I guess 1:30 isn't too bad. I just wanted to have my surgery EARLY because the PS would be fresher and I wouldn't have to have even more time to feel anxious. I could stress out about this, but it wouldn't change anything and I just need to find my happy place and not let anything stress me out. I have been gone most of the day, so I didn't have a chance to reply to a lot of your nice comments of support and encouragement. Sorry about that!! I appreciate each one of you and I will check in tomorrow before my surgery if I can. I will let you all know how things went, once I get back home!! I'm actually sleepy so I think I'll go to bed early. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers on my behalf, everyone! I'm almost "on the other side"!'
Today's the day!! IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE!
11 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
Hi everybody, my Sisters and Support Group Extraordinaire! I woke up at 8:00 this morning and I slept like a LOG!! That's NEVER happened the night before surgery! I started feeling anxious as soon as I went to bed, so I just prayed that God would take away all of my anxiety and that I would sleep well. As soon as I finished my prayer I fell right to sleep. So awesome! I have good feelings about this!! Time to get ready to go!! Idk what time I'm supposed to be there yet and I'm surprised no one has called me to let me know, so I'm going to call them. Sheesh! I'm starving right now, but that's no biggie. I appreciate all of your well-wishes and prayers on my behalf! I just know I'll feel all of your positive energy surrounding me before and during my surgery today! Thank you so much! Here I go! Xxxx
At the hospital!!
11 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
Hi everyone!! I'm all checked in and now I'm just waiting for my surgery, which should be around 1:30. There's a little farmer's market going on outside and I'm tempted to go look, for distraction sake. Lol. That's me, the shopping lady!! I'm not too nervous, so far. Usually by now my heart would be beating really hard and it's doing okay. I have little butterflies in my tummy but I think that's pretty normal. Yay, today is finally here!! I'm feeling good. I hope I don't have to wait any later than 1:30!! If I have to wait past that, I'll be screaming, "Give me that pre-surgery sedative!!" LOL. Okay, that's going to be it for now. Thanks again for your prayers!!
I'm heading home!!
11 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
Hi everybody! I'm heading home now. My surgery took about four hours instead of two and he took out the entire capsule because he was pretty sure my implants were ruptured. I have a picture of my implants I will post when I can. I woke up feeling very nauseous and in quite a bit of pain, but I didn't vomit and they gave me meds to take away the pain, so I'm feeling much better. He said I was going to be wrapped in an Ace bandage, but I didn't have one on when I woke up. He must have decided against doing that, but I don't know why. I will send him an email when I feel up to it. My boobies look very flat, but I don't care. I was able to drink some water, eat some applesauce and get up to pee. Yay! I'm not in a lot of pain. I am very curious as to why he didn't put it an Ace bandage on me, because I think it might feel better. I am thinking that, because of what I've heard some of you say about how nice it was to feel more snug. They gave me two ace bandages to take home, because I felt like I might want or need it later. I'll ask my doctor first, though. I am so relieved and happy to have those foreign bodies out of me! The doctor, anesthesiologist and everyone who took care of me were so awesome! It was a very good experience, overall. It feels so good to be on the other side at long last!!
Saturday afternoon-1st day post-op!
I'm feeling so much better! I've been drinking a bunch of water and had a bowl of chicken noodle soup, some applesauce, a small orange and yogurt. I'm not nauseated after eating. My drains aren't bothersome at all. The fluid is usually between 20-40 cc's. I took a Norco after having graham crackers and I had a nice 2 hr. nap. Everything was so much easier than I expected! I
am putting my pics on here, as well as my implants. I'm hoping I'll fluff up more and firm up too! These pics are kind of embarrassing, I'm crossing my
fingers that they'll improve! Here goes nothing!!!
Day #3 Update
Hi ladies! Last night I went to sleep around 11 PM and then I woke up at 5 AM because I had to use the bathroom. I was able to get up on my own and come back to the couch without any help. I still haven't put that Ace bandage on or a compression bra. I don't know why I haven't. I'm not sending any pictures of me every day, because I feel like my breasts look exactly the same. I woke up this morning and I'm not in much pain, so I may switch over to an over-the-counter painkiller. Tylenol doesn't usually work for me, so I'll have to call Kaiser to see what they suggest. My chest was feeling very hot and achy last evening, so I put a very soft, padded ice pack that's kind of U-shaped and it laid down flat on both of my breasts. In the middle, I put a gel ice pack, but all of the ice packs were on top of the blanket. I wanted to be sure that my bandages or skin didn't get wet. That felt very good! Yesterday the tape around my drains felt kind of irritating and sore, but today they feel fine. I'm sleeping very well on my recliner couch. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but the day after my surgery I started getting a sore inside my upper lip and I thought I'd been cut during surgery, perhaps by the breathing tube. But, as the day progressed I could tell it was a cold sore! Ugh! Fortunately, the cold sore is just inside my lip and no one can see it. And it seems to be healing very well. Yay! One negative; yesterday I started getting a headache and today I still have it. The Norco doesn't seem to work on my headache at all. I would think that Norco would knock any pain out anywhere my body! My nose feels kind of stuffy, so maybe I have the beginnings of a sinus infection. Looking back, maybe having surgery on a Friday isn't so great because the doctor isn't around during the weekend. I know I can reach him if I need to, but I hate bothering him! I can call another department and they could probably answer my questions. If not, they can try to contact him for me. So, that's it for now. Talk to you later!
Adding pics from Day 3-Ugh!! I am so fat and flat!!
I am going to bite the bullet and post today's pics. I wish I knew how to post them in the "split screen" so we could compare them each day. How do I do that? I put the compression bra on and now I have some bleeding under my left incision, showing on the tape. I'm not sure if the bra caused it or if it would have happened anyway. I took the bra off because idk what to do!! I think I liked wearing it better than not having any compression at all. I can't wait to hear from my PS tomorrow!!
A few more pics Day #3 Post-Op
I decided to take a few more pictures to show some close-ups of the bandages around my drains and some other areas. I haven't taken a pain pill today, just Naproxen. I've heard that Day 3 can be the worst day of all, plus it's my first day alone. My drains feel kind of pokey and irritating today. I tried a compression bra but the band felt too tight. I tried the Ace bandage, and it seem to put too much pressure on the drains. I even tried loosening the ace bandage, but I ended up taking everything off! I'm just feeling kind of crabby and irritated all over today. I think I'm going to give in and just take my darn Norco and let it kick in. I'm not sure if I'm repeating myself, but I received an email from my doctor and he said the reason he didn't wrap me in the ace bandage after all was because my implants were very close to my skin and nipples and he didn't want my breasts to look sunken in. That's kind of confusing to me, because I thought wearing an ace bandage would push my breasts up closer and would make me less sunken in. I don't know. All I know is that I think I'm the only person on here who doesn't have an ace bandage or some kind of compression bra on after surgery. Guess I'm not going to worry about it.
More Pics Day 3 cont'd.
Oops all of the pictures were supposed to be together. Here are the rest.
Can't seem to get comfortable with ANY bras or tops!
Yesterday I wore what I thought would be a comfy snap-front bra to my first post-op appt to get my drains removed. Well, the band just irritated everything! It wouldn't stay down. Last night was my first time sleeping in bed and I slept with nothing on because I couldn't tolerate wearing anything. I slept awhile, off and on lying on my sides. My breasts were achey, but I just had to get off my back! This morning I felt like I just HAD TO find something to give my breasts some kind of support, so I wrapped myself up with the wide Ace Bandage the hospital gave me to try. I tried to wrap it tightly, but I had to keep pulling it up. I went to Walmart to buy the 3-pak of bras some of you recommended. By the time I got to my car, I was exhausted, feeling faint and as soon as my hubby and I got home,
I ripped that bandage off!' I've been trying to not take any pain meds for two days but I just had to take on when we got home! Everything I wear just rubs on my drain opening and the sutures under my breasts! I found as tight a tank top as I could, then flopped down onto my recliner sofa, waiting for my pain meds to kick in. I've been comfy since then, but idk what to do to feel comfy and compressed tomorrow! No matter what bra I wear, the band rolls up and just tortures me. Everyone on RS seems to be fine with wearing SOME kind of compression and it sounds important to keep my breasts bound tightly while they heal! But, my PS didn't even put anything on me after surgery, so how important it is for ME to wear something? Ugh, I feel so frustrated and whiny about all of this!! If I don't wear compression while walking around, my breasts feel unprotected and uncomfortable. I can't just keep medicating myself and sit on my butt all day! I'm afraid that if I don't compress my breasts ASAP, I won't get the healing results I should be getting and there's only one chance to get this right. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to call or email
my PS. Only thing is, neither he, nor his assistant who removed my drains yesterday seem to think I need to wear any support! ??? I'm feeling very frustrated and alone. How can I feel so blue at my age??!! I'm 61 yrs old, for crying out loud!!
ONE WEEK Post-Op Update + Pics
Okay, I won't lie, the last few days have been rough, as you know. I couldn't seem to find some kind of bra or top of any kind that was bearable, due to my incisions and the openings left from the drains being removed. Well, I decided to try a snap-front bra I had tried before. As many of you suggested yesterday, I got out some pantiliners and exposed the adhesive and stuck the adhesive part to the band of my bra, where my incisions and drain holes were. I cut one of the pantiliners in half to cover the drain holes. Then I went to bed. To keep my upper body elevated, I have a foam wedge I've owned for a long time. I placed two pillows on top of the wedge, one under my back at the bottom of the wedge and one for my head at the top of the wedge. I slept very comfortably all night long! The bra stayed put and was comfortable, so I woke up this morning in a much better mood! Thank you so much for the hints about adding pads under the band! I remember reading about that hint before I had surgery, but I had forgotten about it. To be embarrassinglyhonest, as I mentioned before, I am very overweight so my abdomen sticks out further than my breasts. When I put on a bra, even with the wide band, my abdomen keeps the band from lying flat. That makes the band curl up into a round, tight tube and it felt like it was cutting right into my incisions and cutting me in half! Very frustrating! By the way, I was able to take just a Naproxen to sleep and I felt fine all night. I know I'm only one week out, so maybe I'm expecting too much, activity-wise. But, I feel like I should be able to take a short walk or perhaps by a few things from the store or wash a few dishes and not feel so dizzy. I think after three days after my BA in 1991, I was doing better than I'm doing right now, but that may be because I woke up after surgery with a special bra on and I was thinner back then. I was also 23 years younger! Plus, I was excited about finally having BOOBS and I couldn't wait to get out in the world and show them off, I guess! I mean it was an entirely different emotional experience, if you think about it. The BA surgery was possibly more painful than an explant is, but we had something exciting to show for it! Even though we're having these unnatural, fake boobs removed by choice, I have to admit that I'm a little depressed about losing my BOOBS, because I felt sexier as a woman. I don't think that's ever going to change. Maybe it will once I heal and can wear a padded bra. But it won't feel the same as having boobs. That may not be how any of you feel, but it's how I feel, even though I absolutely do not regret having them removed, for health reasons--I can't stress that enough! I knew myself well enough to know that I would feel sad about losing my boobs. I also know that this is a process and not one that can be resolved in just a week. For me I can only describe it as grief. I had the BA because I did not feel womanly or sexy. As soon as I have the BA, all of that changed and I felt like a complete woman at last. I really did! But, then the CC happened and many years went by until I couldn't live with the idea that I had something toxic inside of me and my breasts were SO hard they were painful. Plus, it was embarrassing to hug someone feeling like I had rocks in my chest. So, I am going to be dealing with the emotional issues for a while. Okay, enough of the doom and gloom! On a more positive note… I am going to start working on serious weight loss and doing exercises, so that I will TRULY in good health once again! That excites me VERY much! Once I lose the weight, I feel having smaller, natural, soft breasts will change my whole attitude! I think thin women with smaller breasts are absolutely sexy! So that is my goal, no matter how long it takes! One day at a time, right?!! I'm sorry this is so long, but this is kind of like a journal and I think I needed to get everything out. "Off my chest" so to speak!!! This is a journey that each one of us is going through right now and someday we can go back and read how we felt, then we can all see how far we've come!!
Oops, I didn't mean to post the above photos yet – here's more from Day 7
A few more things – Day 7
I think I keep forgetting to mention that my sutures are internal, so I don't have to have them taken out. Plus my PS used some glue on the outside of the incisions, then put the narrow surgical tape on top of the incisions. After having the drains removed a few days ago, I can take a shower and eventually the tape will loosen up and I can try to remove it if it doesn't loosen up on its own within two weeks. Another important thing...I don't know why my breasts look spaced so far apart on my chest in the pics. They are not really that far apart, not are they sticking out to the sides that far! I think they look much better in person! I am losing some of the indentation on the left breast so when I cup that one, it does round out better than before. The right side still kind of dents in when I try to cup it and lift up a bit. I've been trying to cup my breasts and lift them up a little bit, so that I can imagine what they may look like in a slightly padded or push-up bra in the future. I know only women on RS will understand this, but when I cup my breasts, it feels so good to feel how soft they are now! I have forgotten how nice natural, soft breasts feel! My husband likes them better too! Yay!
HAVE A BLESSED EASTER EVERYONE! BY THE WAY, I'M FEELING AWESOME TODAY!!
I feel that yesterday was a huge turning point for me on Day 8, post-op! I felt almost completely normal, for the first time. I didn't need any pain pills, I am able to take a shower comfortably, blow my hair dry, get dressed, etc. My breasts didn't really ache much at all! I've never had a lot of pain, just some irritations and trouble with finding a comfortable post-op bra. I know a lot of that was because I am overweight. The darn bands on the bras just wouldn't stay put! But, I found a comfortable bra now and my breasts are just feeling more comfortable, overall. I know it just takes time to heal on the inside too. My implants were very hard and I had a four hour surgery, so I have to realize I've put these boobies through a LOT!! From the looks of my implants once they were removed, I'm pretty sure it was difficult to get them out!! My left breast is filling out nicely and I think it looks the same as it did 23 years ago. The bruising is going away on that side. The right breast, which, funny enough, never really caused me much trouble, is still caved in a bit on top. I never had beautifully shaped breasts to begin with. I am going to be thankful for what God blessed me with and be happy with what I have, because they are NATURAL and they are SOFT again!! No more hard rocks or possibly toxic foreign bodies any longer! I see that as something to celebrate, don't you?! I hope you all have a very blessed, enjoyable Easter celebration. Thank you for your extra loving support these last few days! I really needed it and appreciate you all so much! Xxxx
Day 11 Post-Op
Oh boy, it's odd how one day is so different from the one before! Sunday night I slept without any support, other than a tank top. Yesterday I was absolutely lazy all day and stayed in bed. Still, with just a tank top on. Bad idea! I just started to feel kind of sick all over and very cranky! I tried putting on each one of my post-op bras and one would feel comfortable for a while, but then the band would start to hurt. Then I tried on another one and my sides started aching. I thought about trying to wrap myself up with my ace bandage, but it never seemed to really help in the past. By the time my husband got home. I was beside myself! I finally grabbed my ace bandage and pulled it tight so that the sides of my breasts felt supported. They felt kind of puffy and hot, so I felt like I needed something tight up against them. Then I just tied the ace bandage in a knot between my breasts and let the ends dangle. The ace bandage helped my sad boobies feel a bit supported and I was trying to pouf them up a little, with nothing touching the incisions. I haven't been taking prescription meds for a couple of days. Maybe three days now. I've been taking naproxen about two times a day. Last night I was really wanting to take a Norco, but I really wasn't in a lot of pain so much as just feeling out of sorts and uncomfortable. I couldn't seem to get comfortable, no matter what. I finally dragged out the old ice packs and put them against the sides of my breasts and on top. I had a thin towel over the ice packs to protect my skin a little bit. That seemed to help most of all. I went to bed around midnight, which is usual for me. I just kept the silly ace bandage on because I felt like I needed to have support while sleeping. It looked like an ugly, flesh-colored scarf wrapped around my boobs, tied in the front with the ends dangling down. Lovely. But I woke up feeling okay. I am not making the mistake of lying in bed all day with no support today! I'm not sure what bra to try today because it seems like my rib cage is growing and now the bands are tight on all of the bras! Oh, and I have to confess that after I got in bed last night, I bawled my eyes out! I think it's the first time I've cried since my surgery. I was feeling frustrated and alone yesterday. My sob story… I was missing my sister yesterday, because she was someone I used to call and could say anything to. She would've been very supportive during this entire journey and now she's gone. She had just turned 59 before she passed away on Nov. 3rd and I'm still trying to get over the loss of my baby sister and best friend. I could have really used her support yesterday. Oh well, I think I just needed a good cry and my husband held my hand and listened to me boo-hoo. You know how men are, they always want to "fix" things, but I told him I just needed to cry. Our poor guys; women are such a mystery to them! So, I had my cry and then I fell asleep. Sometimes a good cry is better than any pain pill! To be honest, I am kind of upset with my PS, because I feel that I should have had some kind of compression and support of my breasts all along. I don't know why I haven't called his office to ask more questions about this. I mean, if I'm just left "hanging" out here, with no compression, how are my breasts supposed to heal properly? Once the implant is gone and the capsule is removed, then there's that space where the implant used to be, shouldn't that space have some pressure up against it so that I don't have a big caved-in breast? I feel that post op healing isn't just about our incisions healing, in other words. What happens inside our breasts since there's that space where our implants used to be? I guess it's time to write a list of questions and call my doctors office! I don't know what to do about the discomfort of my bras now. Is there any way I can lose 10 pounds overnight, so they're not so tight, you think? LOL! Forgive me, I know I'm sounding very bipolar with all of my ranting today!! On a good note, I think the softness of my breasts is awesome!
Update on Photos – 11 days post-op
Well ladies, I decided to update my photos again. This is a good way for me to keep a record to have some comparison to refer back to if I want to, later on. I don't think there's a huge change in my breasts. The bruise on my left breast is lighter, the drain openings are closing up and some of the tape is coming off underneath my breasts. The drain openings and incision areas look a little red and angry, but they don't feel sore at all. I'm not sure why they look so red. For some reason, everything in the pictures look worse than they do in person. Even my breasts look better in person, to me. In the pictures, they look kind of "swoopy- doopy" and skinny. In person they don't look that way to me! Maybe I'm kidding myself! But, I don't think so. I'm trying to make sure I have my cell phone at the proper angle to get a good picture, so I don't know what's going on. This is the best I can do, so here goes!
My explantation was done two weeks ago today!
Well, I can't believe that two weeks have passed since I had my implants removed! It certainly has been an interesting journey so far. You've all been so kind and helpful to me during this time, so thank you very much! I'm so happy that my implants are gone at long last! Here's where I am at this point in my journey… some days I feel good and others, I feel uncomfortable and my breasts ache. They don't really hurt, but the sides of my breasts feel a bit "strained" and puffy. I feel like they need to be held up and supported more than I have been able to do. None of the sports bras have much side support for me. I'm surprised I need any support at all, because my breasts are small! Some days I wish I could slide some kind of firm, but padded insert into the sides of a bra that would squish my "side boobs" inwards a but because they ache from lack of support. I don't really remember having "side boobs" before, but the implants might have pulled the skin tight, so they weren't apparent to me. I wish I could push that tissue forward so I'd have more boobage! LOL!
Today it's been two weeks since my surgery and I'm a bit surprised that I can't do housework and everything I did before by now. Yesterday I took my 91-year-old mother-in-law to a women's luncheon and we were gone for about four hours. She has moderate dementia and I have to help her in and out of the car, get her walker from the back of my car and fill her plate up for her, etc. In other words, I have to follow her around quite a bit and help her when she gets confused. By the time I got her back to her assisted-living facility, I was exhausted! I think she wasn't tired at all and I was ready for a nap! I came home and put on some comfy clothes and rested for a few hours. I was supposed to get a massage at 5:30, but once I told the massage therapist I had had surgery, I was told by one of the girls at the front desk that they require some kind of permission from my surgeon! They were very adamant, to say the least! I was very disappointed and SO looking forward to my massage! So, I left, but wasn't very happy about it. My husband was on his way home from work, so I called him and told him I'd meet him at Chili's for dinner. I decided I needed a margarita! It was my first cocktail since my surgery! I emailed my surgeon from Chili's while I was waiting for my husband to arrive, but I haven't heard back from him yet. I think his Fridays are pretty busy with surgeries. I do hope I hear back from him later today, because I really want a massage! I know I can't lie on my stomach, but I don't see any reason why I can't have other areas of my body massaged. I was determined to get SOME kind of massage last night, so I laid down on the couch and put my feet in my husband's lap and he massaged my legs for me. I almost fell asleep, it felt so good! Today the "side boobage" is still aching, so I took iit easy this morning, but I'd really like to get some work done around the house before my husband gets home! I guess I'll try one of my other bras on again! On a positive note, I was able to cut away most of the tape under my left breast yesterday! The other side is still sticking fairly strongly, so I'm leaving it alone. I'll post a picture of what my incision looks like under my left breast today with most of the tape removed. One down, one to go! LOL!
Viva La Boobies! 7 Things to Know About Breasts!
Something informative, uplifting and nurturing to read about breasts. I saw this on Facebook and thought I'd share it. xoxo
The Sports Bra That Fits Me the Best!
I've come to the conclusion that there's only ONE style/ brand of sports bra that works for me and it's one I found online at:
dreamproducts.com and they also list a website: reliefandremedies.com. They are located in Chatsworth, CA. The Style number I found on the tag inside of the bra says Style 85451 for the Nude Color, Size 2XL (46-48). The Black Color is Style 81456. I decided to buy one size larger than what I'd normally wear, so I would be sure it wouldn't be too tight in the band area. If you are thin, I would say that the band area rests away from your incisions, for sure. Here are pics of me in both colors. (I think. I will have to look and see if I still have the one me in the Nude Color. If not, I think I posted it in my other pics.) Not that I really need to post it in Nude, but I'm anal about things like this! LOL!
Price & link to bras I like
Believe it or not, the bras I like the best only cost $9.99! Amazing! Here's the website if you want to take a look:
17 days POST-OP! Feeling almost like my NORMAL self
Sorry, I've been busy the past few days so I haven't posted lately nor replied to some of your comments yet. I'll do that soon! Hey ladies, there is life after surgery! The past two days I have almost no pain or discomfort at all! It doesn't seem to matter whether I wear my sportsbra or not at this point. Before, I either had to wear one for a while to feel comfortable or I had to take it off for awhile because it was uncomfortable. Yesterday I didn't wear a bra at all; just a tank top with spandex in it. I felt pretty darn wonderful all day! I even cleaned my very overcrowded, messy closet out. I enlisted the help of a friend who could reach the higher areas so I wouldn't have to lift my arms over my head too far or do too much stretching. We also cleaned other parts of the house because it had not been taken care of since I had my surgery. We worked for five hours, with a few rests for me, during that time. I was pretty tired after five hours, as you can imagine, but not in any pain. I feel pretty stoked about that! I sent an email to my PS asking him a few questions about massaging my breasts and what oils, vitamins, aloe, etc. I should use. This is a excerpt of his reply, for your information: "At 3 weeks out from surgery, if you have no problems with your incisions, you can take a bath. No jacuzzi, public swimming pool or ocean/lake swimming until you are 6 weeks out from surgery.
You can use Mederma if you already bought it, but if you have not bought it, don't waste your money. I does less than time and massage will do.
Silicone scar therapy is much better if you want to do that, but most people do not need to do anything and their scars will heal fine and will fade to nearly inperceivable by 8 to 14. (Note: I'm not sure if he means weeks or months here??) Silcone scar therapy and/or massage can shorten the time that it takes for a scar to "mature" or fade. And you can massage the actual scar/incision at this point.
Vitamin E oil and baby oil has been shown to do nothing, although massaging the skin is an effect of putting the oil on that may improve the time until the scar matures as stated above. (Note: I think he's saying that it's the massaging that's helping, not necessarily the oil used)
You can sleep on your side if it is comfortable for you to do so.
You can use your arms normally but no strenuous exercise with that arm until 6 weeks out from surgery.
I have a busy day ahead of me, so I will reply to your comments from the past few days as soon as I can. It feels wonderful to not be thinking about my breasts 24/7 as of the last two days! I'm still being careful not to stretch too far to reach things and I'm not lifting anything heavy. I know I still have a lot of healing to do and I'm not going to forget that! Oh happy day, though! I'm singing Pharell's song in my head, "Cuz I'm happy!"
18th Day Post-op!
Hi everyone! I had a very busy day yesterday. I'm still being careful, but I'm now able to get up and out to run around, feeling much more comfortable than before. Yesterday I had my monthly hair "maintenance" appt, bought groceries (making sure they were divided into light loads to carry into the house), went to the bank, then I returned DVDs. BTW, I watched the movie "About Time" with Rachel McAdams. I really enjoyed it! So, those of you who are loading up on DVDs to watch after your surgery, I highly recommend that one! Then, I got home around 5 PM and relaxed the rest of the evening. I didn't wear a bra all day and that seemed to work out well for me. I started out wearing one of my "compression" bras but I had to take it off. The band just felt too tight. Again, I felt uncomfortable because of my weight problem. Sigh. Oh well!! Moving on! When I get into bed at night, I rub some Bio Oil in the palms of my hands and then I massage my chest, sternum, breasts and sides, under my arm. Since my PS gave me the go-ahead, I included massaging the incisions for the first time- gently and lightly. As I'm massaging, I'm envisioning the blood flowing into my chest wall, which is how the healing begins. There are areas of my breasts which feel firmer around the edges and on the side boob parts, so I just gently put pressure on all of that and use a circular, upward and forward motion. I am imagining that all of the tissue will soften and spread out to fill in the less full areas. I'm sure that's just wishful thinking, but I think any positive, healing thoughts can't hurt! I still can't get over how nice my soft breasts feel to me now! After my BA, my areola and nipples changed. Since the incision for my BA was placed in my lower areola, that caused loss of sensation and the usual changes due to cold or sexual stimulation/response. Well, surprise surprise; since my explant, my nipples are now puckering up again! I still have the numbness, which is a bummer, but I'll take anything that returns to what used to be normal for me! "One day at a time and just being patient is my mantra for now".
Bra Shopping at Nordstrom
It's my first time out, looking for a "normal" bra. When I got to the department store, a young woman waited on me and asked very loudly what size I needed and then what cup size, in front of other customers. I wasn't sure what cup size so I said "A" and she looked SHOCKED and very confused as if that wasn't possible! Yeah, I know. She found one size 44-C without underwires. Too tight in the band. Boo! When I went into the dressing room I told her I had had surgery. I didn't go into any details, because I didn't really like her. When I went out to give her the bra, she mentioned I had surgery to another sales associate, in front of a line of women. The other associate came up to me and took me aside to discretely help me, thank God! I told her what kind of surgery and I asked if they had pads or some kind of insert. She came back with three items. One that covers the breast and is a silicone-type of material with a nipple. One was more of a silicone half-pad, like a push-up pad. The last one was just a small pad that looked like it had no shape that would enhance anything! None of them comes in a set of two and each ONE costs over $100!! I am in an upscale mall, because that's where Nordstrom stores are located, so I had to walk a bit to get to the store. I rarely go to malls anymore. I'm POOPED!! I would try Macy's, but it's on the opposite side of the mall. Kind of discouraging. I really was hoping for something that made me look better with tighter tops on. It's really hot here and I need to wear some sleeveless, cooler tops. On a good note, I had a lovely 90 min massage and told my massage therapist about my surgery. After she was massaging my arms and we had talked for awhile I asked if she wanted to see what I looked like. It was very non-weird. I told her to check it all out if she wanted, so she did and I could tell she was pretty intrigued by everything. She was very kind and professional. A very nice person. Anyway, she started massaging my lumpy parts and she thinks my right "side boob" area that's been sensitive may have fluid built-up in it because its more swollen than the left side. Or, perhaps it's just swollen! All this time I've been thinking and I had more breast tissue on that side! Damn! So she massaged that area and basically my whole chest and just under the breasts, but NOT on my incisions. She did my ribcage in front and then around my sides and in back. She said everything was so tight! I'm glad I had her do that because she could reach all of the areas I couldn't. Besides that, she's a pro and knows everything about bodies, so I felt she knew what she was doing. I left feeling really great! Oh, and I was able to tolerate lying on my chest, even though she was pressing on my back fairly firmy. I didn't have any negative after-effects, so now I know I can lie on my stomach! I'm a little concerned that I may have some fluid on the right side of my boob, though. I was hoping I could dodge that bullet! I see my PS on the 5th, so maybe he will have to aspirate some of that fluid. At the very least, he can tell me what's going on over there. Well, I'm about 30 minutes north of where I live and the traffic gets pretty heavy around here, so I think I'll head home. I'm ready to take off my sports bra and kick back for a while! Maybe I'll get out an ice pack to put on my right side while I'm relaxing. Friday is "date night" for my husband and I, so we usually take in a movie. I've got to be ready to go when he gets home! TGIF everyone!! xxxx
Found some bra inserts online
I've been wondering how I will deal with wearing a swimsuit after having the surgery, so I decided to search for some type of cup inserts. Here is one of the websites I found, just in case!
Four-Week Post-Op Update!
Hi Everyone!! Well, yesterday, the 11th was my one-month post-op anniversary! I can't believe the time has passed so quickly! One thing I want to say is that each day is different after the surgery, for sure. Some days the discomfort will be very light and other days you'll be thankful for your pain meds or a lighter form of pain management. Once in a while, even after four weeks, I'll have to pop about 800 mgs (or less) of ibuprofen! But that's usually only on days I've been really busy and have done too much. Yep, we never know what we're going to get when it comes to our post-op results! My left breast had a slight indentation on top that fluffed up and is now gone. Right after surgery, my left breast looked normal at the bottom, but now it has a slight area that has pulled up a tiny bit. Sigh. It would be nice if that would go away! My right breast had a larger indentation on top and it's still there. I must have had more scar tissue in that area that the doctor had to remove. I don't think it's going to change. The one thing I've noticed is that I seem to have more firmness in my breasts than when I was younger. Imagine that! Maybe it's just scar tissue that didn't harden as much as the other part did. It feels like a normal firmness, which is nice! The firmness is consistent on both breasts and not lumpy or anything like that. So that part is kind of cool! Yesterday, even though it was Mother's Day, I decided to cook an easy, early dinner for my mother-in-law, my husband and grandson at home. My mother-in-law has dementia, so going out in public is too confusing for her. So, I kind of overdid it a bit and last night I was really uncomfortable. I was hurting almost as much as I did right after surgery, in fact! But, I took my 800 mg of ibuprofen and two hours later I was feeling fine. Today I feel perfectly fine again. I do wish that both of my breasts looked a bit better, but I do not regret having my implants removed at all! I can't wait until I reach the six-week mark and I can wear a regular bra again. Once I can wear a bra with some padding, I will feel happier, because right now I am pretty flat-chested if I'm just wearing a sports bra with a blouse or casual top. I knew I was going to be pretty flat-chested after surgery, so that's not a surprise to me. I'm just happy to have it over with and am being patient with the healing part. Everything seems to be right on track with healing. I should probably take my four-week photos, too. However, I don't think I've changed much from the last photos I posted. In person, I think my breasts are smaller than they look like in the online pics. You can't really see the indentation on the top of my right breast, nor the "pulled up" area underneath the left breast. That part isn't too obvious, anyway. The incisions are looking better now. Before, they looked a little bit like round, ropey shoelaces, but now they are flat and smooth. Some days they are slightly red and other days they aren't. But there is no irritation or infection at all. So, I'd say things are looking pretty good, overall and I'm glad I am now implant free and continuing to give a lot of soft hugs!!
13 weeks tomorrow (7/11/14) since my explantation surgery!
10 Jul 2014
3 months post
Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I haven't taken the time to update my profile recently. I have been reading your updates and comments sometimes, but didn't feel up to sharing anything new. I was especially moved by one of your updates, so I replied to it and I've decided to just copy and paste it again right here. I'll update again in a few days...I had written something to ALL of you who have been with me along this journey, but I accidentally deleted it. I'll re-write it again in a day or two. I'll be posting some updated pics today too. Okay, here's my latest news! Soft hugs, ladies!!
I've had a LOT of ups and downs, some of which I've updated along the way, but lately I haven't. I REALLY wanted to remain upbeat and positive about my post-op results, because I AM glad that I no longer have painful, hard foreign objects in my body. I had mine in for 23 years and somehow, some way they never ruptured! I am glad I had my silicone, capsular contractured implants removed because they hurt, it was embarrassing to hug people with hard boobs and I was always worried what damage they may be doing to my body. So, yes, I'm glad they are OUT! But, at this point of my healing, I do get depressed about needing padded bras again. I have one breast that's sunken in on top, so that is harder to camouflage and it makes me upset and discouraged. I miss the normal-looking boobs I felt I had with implants, because they looked sexy in a bra and I felt womanly in my clothes. Mine were the perfect size for my body type. They never felt heavy and they didn't look fake. I still have more pain than I ever expected at this point. But, the pain isn't constant and it's pretty tolerable. I've had an abnormal amount of trouble trying to find ANY bra, sports or otherwise that felt bearable around the band. I attribute that to being overweight, though. The band always rolls up into the crease of my breasts so it irritates my incisions. I still can't find a comfy bra, not even a sports bra. The problem with being overweight, is that every store, online or not seems to think if a woman needs a 44 band size, then she has BIG breasts and that's not the case with me! I need an A/B cup size, especially because the right breast is dipped in. After my explantation, I woke up with nothing binding my breasts even though my PS said he'd put on Ace bandages. Since I didn't have any wrap or some kind of support on after surgery, I always felt like my breasts weren't bound up, so how could the chest wall heal together again? But, nothing wrapped around me felt comfortable at all or not for very long. I still only wear a bra for a few hours, then just go braless when I'm at home. But, I feel as though my breasts should have a chance to knit together and if I can't wear something kind of tight around them most of the time, then they're not going to. If I lift my right arm up to reach for something high, I feel a strange tugging feeling inside as if it's got a pocket in there and it feels like I'm pulling whatever is healing inside apart again. I have no problem with that on the left side. I have twinges in both breasts or a stinging/ burning sensation too. I know a lot of this is the nerve endings hooking back up or just healing. I have a pain on my right side, kind of by my ribs but higher up that feels like a sharp stick poking me. That's been the most irritating part for me. Some days it really hurt a lot and made me very cranky!! Just ask my husband! For about 10 days that pain disappeared and I thought that it was gone, at last. Well, it came back again and it's still with me. I don't know what the heck it is or if it will ever go away. I have read other women's profiles who had surgery before I did and I know it can take at least a year before everything is healed. So, I'm just trying to be patient. At this point, I don't think my breast shape is going to change, nor fluff up any more. The left breast is definitely smaller than the right one and it has a dent in the bottom of it. I don't mind that part so much, but the fact that my right breast has a big scooped out look to it does bother me. It's funny, because my left breast was the one that gave me the most pains when I had implants and it was harder than the right side. So, I expected my left breast to be the more "mangled" one! Very strange how that turned out! Maybe I'll just have to go get some kind of mastectomy bra because one side needs to be fuller than the other. I don't really want to have hot, heavy forms or cutlets on my chest, but I'm not having any luck finding bras that are padded enough in my size. I'm like you...I feel as though most ladies on RS had better results, but my natural breasts were always kind of a "triangle", funky shape to begin with! My nipples were always placed low on the breast, so that's how they are now. Yep, a lift plus a fat transfer would have probably fixed everything, but my insurance wouldn't pay for that and I wasn't sure I wanted to put my poor boobs through any more torture. Well, I didn't really want to spend any more money on surgery, either. I hope that my chest wall does find a way to knit itself back together eventually and that my side boob/rib pain goes away for good. IF I can find a padded bra that makes both boobs look even so my blouses look better on me, I'll be happy enough. I still think we all are better off with soft, natural breasts, even if we're not as happy with the post-op results as we hoped to be. At least I know from this point on, I don't have to worry about what may happen to my implants in the future. They are GONE and I don't have to think about them anymore!! That's a very good thing. :-) If you take a look at my pics, you'll see that my breasts are uneven and one is thinner than the other. I think my breasts are much smaller looking in person, especially from the top view. The upper pole area is very flat, even in a bra. Not great looking at all. But they're soft again and they're mine. The hard, painful rocks are gone at last. That's all I can say and I think having the silicone and hard, painful implants out of me is definitely worth it. :-) Good luck on your healing. I know it's not easy and the way our breasts look after surgery may not be the way we want, but at least we are implant-free and that's safer and healthier than the way we were. I know that may be small comfort if you are really unhappy about your results. I understand, because I feel the same way. Some days I feel okay and some days I don't. But, there's a lot of support here for you on RS. You can be honest and open about your feelings. There's NO need to pretend everything is fine if it's not. I know the other ladies will be here to talk to and to be supportive of what you are dealing with, physically and emotionally. That's what's so great about this site. They have been here for me and I don't know what I would have done without them, especially before the surgery. The info and encouragement they provided gave me the strength to get rid of those foreign objects and I'll always be thankful for that. I have no regrets.