There’s a long list of reasons why women choose...
Ironically when I developed at the early age of 11, I had the largest boobs in my 5th grade class. I should have noticed that having the largest set actually made me feel more insecure thanks to the awkward stares and the feeling that I was different than my female peers. I remember wearing large t-shirts to cover them up. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that while I had the largest breasts compared to my classmates, they were still relatively small breasts compared to those of adults, and as quickly as those boobies grew, they ceased to grow past age 11.
I was settling into what I believe was a full A cup, (that I later tried to pass as a B), but as I saw other girls blossom well beyond me, I began feeling left out and more and more insecure about myself. I didn’t seem to notice the pattern of feeling insecure about two extremes; being the largest and then the smallest. Hence, it was never about the boobs.
It wasn’t long before my friends began teasing me about being flat-chested because they themselves had their own insecurities and I assume picking on me temporarily made them feel better. While I never appreciated it, I take full responsibility for the continual down spiral of my self-esteem throughout adolescence.
It was impossible for me to see my own beauty as well as the non-physical attributes I had to offer and I remained fixated on this dire need for big breasts. I took water pills, tried exercises, and ultimately I decided to save up money so that I could buy myself implants later on. I was convinced that once I had a large set my self-esteem would escalate and I would no longer feel inferior to my fellow females.
At the age of 20, I stood in a plastic surgeons office as he demonstrated what my size D implants would look like post-surgery. He put two plastic balls in my current Size B bra and I covered them with my sweater so I could pretend they were already in. I smiled into the mirror and felt what I thought was whole, accurately balanced, more womanly. I noticed that my chest felt heavier and I liked it. The balls felt very foreign but I figured of course they did because they weren’t under my skin; the ‘real’ ones would feel like they belonged to me.
When my surgery was complete, I felt horrific, like I had been run over by a train. My chest was so sore, everything was tight and angry. It occurred to me that I just paid a man to rip the muscle off of my chest to put a large plastic pouch inside of me and I felt violated, almost in a panic about what I had done. Yet my emotions were ambiguous as I still had a sense of happiness about the fact that I was fully filling out my sweater.
While at first the implants were hard and looked terrible, they began looking more and more natural and I felt a certain sense of accomplishment. I noticed that they did feel very foreign to me still and I hadn’t yet regained my nipple or under boob sensitivity but I felt confident that with time I would be ecstatic about my choice.
I wasn’t fully aware that my insecurity hadn’t subsided because I was too distracted by the newness of the implants. So distracted that I didn’t notice how enormous they looked on my small frame. What I did become aware of was that I was embarrassed that I paid for fake breasts and I preferred that no one knew that they were fake…I thought the fact that they were fake advertised how largely insecure I was to get them in the first place. Maybe if people thought they were real I would feel better about them.
Over time they began to represent a feeling of shallowness and conformity that I was too weak to resist. If I wore tight shirts or revealing bathing suit tops, I noticed other women glaring at me and I continuously felt judged.
I found other things to be unhappy about as well…maybe I wasn’t thin enough or I had other body parts that didn’t match up to the ideal. Having the breast implants never once made me feel more whole or confident like I hoped they would. If anything I was more self-conscious about feeling fake, having these foreign balls in my body, and feeling noticed only for my breasts. I also never fully regained nipple and under boob sensitivity thanks to the pressure the implant put on my nerves.
I went through the next decade with a love/hate relationship with my implants. On one hand I enjoyed feeling like the world might think I’m more womanly because I had some major cleavage and on the other hand I felt like less of a person for them.
I noticed more and more how when I wanted to be athletic and adventurous they would get in the way, when I wanted to embrace people I loved through hugging and cuddling they were there in between us, when I slept at night I was uncomfortable with the way they moved around, and so on. The breasts I had wanted so badly began making me feel tethered to the superficial physically and emotionally.
Finally noticing that big breasts weren’t the ultimate answer to my unending insecurity, I recognized that I had major inner work to do to erase years of self-doubt and self-rejection. I began learning how to love and accept myself. I began forgiving myself and others and remembering that we are all humans with flaws.
As I got better with this practice I wanted less attention on me, I wanted to be a light in the world for others, to do something powerful and fulfilling. I sought advice on a career that could take me out of my own mind and into the lives of others and I began researching nursing school. I decided to believe in myself and do something I never thought I would be able to. With this extra sense of self-awareness and love, came an obvious insight; I really hated my breast implants. They felt like a betrayal to who I really was and who I wanted to be. It was increasingly evident that I either needed to accept them and the decision I made when I was 20, or I needed to have them removed.
I began looking at explant stories and photos. It hadn’t occurred to me that I wouldn’t be ‘ruined for life’ visually if I removed the implants. I figured surely I would have 80 year old looking breasts and hide behind large t-shirts for the rest of my life but what I saw was amazing and exciting. I saw stories of women my age in my same situation that had them removed without a lift or any reconstruction and they bounced right back to what they had been pre-implant. Could it really be possible that I could so easily erase the mistake I made 10 years ago and be me again??
I made an appointment with the amazing Dr. Marguerite Barnett and discussed my options. Thanks to the perkiness and nipple placement of my breasts, there would be no need for reconstruction and my surgery would be a simple incision in the armpit, (as they were placed), deflation and removal, all under local anesthesia resulting in a super speedy recovery. After viewing numerous pictures of women that had their pre-implant boobies back post removal, with no visible signs that they ever even had implants, I knew this was the right decision for me. I am consistently impressed with the human body's ability to bounce back after undergoing such trauma.
For anyone considering implants just because you have small breasts, I have to implore you to consider all of the downsides. In my experience, having large boobs is very overrated and getting breast implants was NOT worth it nor did it to anything to benefit my self-esteem. Also, your perspective of small boobs as well as anything else that you might find fault in about yourself can be changed and should be in order to enjoy a happier life. For instance, here are the many benefits of having small breasts:
1) Several studies have shown that women with smaller breasts have better sensation and more fun with their breasts sexually versus women with larger breasts. Reason being that the more fatty tissue you have, the less you can feel stimulation in your breasts. This alone gave me something to look forward to since my large implants were putting so much pressure on my nerves that I lost most of my sensation while having the implants.
2) Smaller breasts are way less likely to sag as you age thanks to gravity! Whoohoo
3) Having smaller breasts makes any athletic or adventurous endeavors much easier and more fun!
4) Having smaller breasts means more connection when hugging your loved ones...the less that is in between you, the better. ;)
5) Small-breasted women are sometimes considered to be younger-looking than larger-breasted women simply because small breasts stay youthful and perky and don't cause things like back pain, poor posture, etc.
6) If you have a small indented waist like I do, chances are you look better in clothes with a smaller chest because the shirt or dress fits your frame and doesn't stretch out far over your stomach to accommodate large breasts making your waist line disappear in clothing.
7) Lastly, should you choose to change your breast size via implants, be aware that they will always feel like a foreign object in your body, they aren't much fun to play with as you can feel the difference between the bags in you and your real breast tissue, and there are several risks in the surgery and even afterwards that are worth researching.
Overall I can't completely regret my decision to get implants when I was 20 years old because the whole process has taught me a lot about self-love, acceptance, and the valuable impact that your perspective has on your life. It is my wish that everyone learns these lessons in an easier way than I did so I hope you can find some benefit to my story. Cheers!
One week post explant
I have learned the importance of asking many questions during your consult to insure that you are choosing the right PS. My PS seemed experienced with the explant procedure but apparently she only operated via the breast approach and had not done many, if any, procedures via the axillary (arm pit) like mine. Due to this, my procedure was much more invasive than it should have been and there was way more digging around and tugging involved than any explant story I have read about. I felt butchered, honestly. (Nothing that won't heal and look normal soon, but still, unnecessary pain and a longer recovery time.)
What should have been a 30 minute simple procedure of her making the armpit incision, draining the implant, and removing, turned into an hour and a half. She numbed the area, stuck a needle in the side of my breasts to drain the implant, made the incisions, and THEN started looking for the implant bags which didn't make much sense to me as they would have been easier to find if she hadn't drained them before making the incision. I could feel my skin stretching all over the place and she man handled me and dug around looking for them and finally found them..it was pretty miserable and I don't say that to scare anyone away, but just to make sure that your PS is experienced with the type of explant procedure you would like to have.
The extra trauma of her tugging left me badly bruised, swollen, with what I believe is a hematoma or seroma that is trying to heal on my right side, and this has greatly extended my recovery time. After the first day I had these balls of fluid under my arms and a swollen chest, even my back was slightly swollen, so I was very uncomfortable and taking hydrocodone and 800 mg of motrin three times per day. That lasted about four days as I applied ice packs as often as possible.
I saw my PS 4 days post-op because of how uncomfortable I felt and she stuck an 18 gauge needle in the side of my chest moving it around to try to drain the fluid, (this wasn't pleasant), and could not seem to drain anything but told me to apply heat to help encourage the blood and fluid to break up so my body would just absorb it.
Luckily I have been off the pain medications for the last two days mainly because I'm stubborn and don't like to be on drugs but I have seen a decrease in swelling and things are started to feel better. I don't want to post pictures to scare anyone but do want to emphasize again that your PS makes all the difference in your post-op recovery so please don't make that decision lightly.
Before my surgery I thought the worst thing post-op would be waiting for my breasts to look normal again and generally that is the case for most of the people undergoing this procedure. I am very thankful that no permanent damage was done and that I am continuing to heal. I have zero doubt that as soon as I'm feeling well I will be absolutely ecstatic about the weight that's been lifted off my chest. ;) Right now I envy those that can carry their own groceries and sleep on their stomachs but I believe the post-op blues and discomfort will end soon and I'll be back at it in no time!
Healing seems slow but I'm feeling better everyday :)
I still have bruising and slight swelling near my underarms but the worst swelling is on my right side where the PS did so much digging and stretching of my skin and muscle. The chest muscle seems to be inflamed and pretty swollen and uncomfortable still so I plan on seeing my regular doctor about it this week.
Otherwise I am on the up and up and very happy to have the heavy sacs out! Hugging and sleeping is so much more enjoyable without implants! Ahhh :)
Slowly but surely healing
The doc said this hematoma was most likely caused by trauma to the chest muscle as I was being tugged on and because too much pressure was applied in the wrong areas during the implant removal process. (which was also my assumption even if my PS wouldn't admit to it).
Good news is that my body should absorb the blood clots and eventually the situation will handle itself so I don't have to worry about having it aspirated or surgically removed, etc. Whew.
Otherwise my breasts are still perky and my skin envelope continues to shrink up daily and is slowly 'fluffing' out on the top where it was squished by implants for 10 years. I probably have a few more months before things look normal but I'm thankful that it will be getting better with time and that I'm not deformed for life or anything. ;)
I also have noticed more sensitivity, (a little dance and cheer!), in my breasts and feel much lighter now that things aren't as swollen. I wore a sports bra and ace bandage 24/7 for the first 2 weeks and am now just wearing a sports bra 24/7. I may become a nudist when this is all said and done. ;) Happy Day!
3 weeks post
I'm really happy to see daily improvement and I should note my PS has been quick to answer follow up questions which I really appreciate.
I still feel like everything was worth it, I just expected a faster recovery. No pain no gain, right? ;)
I have to point out to anyone as impatient as I am that this whole process requires A LOT of patience as you wait for your body to heal and change, so don't get too discouraged or expect instantaneous miracles. It's well worth the wait and see. :D I'm dying to sleep on my stomach, stop wearing sports bras, and just be able to jump up and down throwing my hands in the air like a banchee but I suppose I'm having to learn to appreciate those as privileges that I will have once again down the road.
The theme of this whole process since the very beginning, before I even decided to get implants, seems to be the vital importance of appreciating what you have and not 'waiting' for something else to make you happy. I've just begun nursing school in the process of healing from this explant and I'm already acknowledging that life won't get easier or less stressful, I won't run out of problems just because I'm back to my pre-implant state or have become an RN, so might as well enjoy the season I'm in and be thankful for each day. I hope that will be the case for all of you in whatever phase you're in. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It means a lot. :)
32 B, it is
I certainly won't complain about having more breast tissue than I thought I had but the moral of the story is that I was perfectly happy in thinking that I was an A and I am equally as happy as a B. Could it be that I am potentially learning to love myself no matter what??? Gasp! ;)
2 Months post explant and happy!
4 Months of freedom!
I feel so free when I exercise, dance, jump around, etc. I can hug and cuddle my loved ones closely without a barrier in between us. I also no longer feel fake or untrue to myself. I sleep better and enjoy the way my clothing fits more.
Along with my physical journey, I have been working on myself spiritually as well and continue to find the inner peace I was searching for so long ago when I decided to alter myself. I have learned that self-love is a process that must be practiced daily. Instead of asking questions like how can I improve myself, why don't I look like 'her,' or what's wrong with me, I have learned to ask what are my greatest qualities, how can I help others, what am I good at, and how can I have fun today...the answers are way more exciting. ;) Happy physical and mental recovery to all!
The underlying issue
I hope everyone is doing well! Thank you again for all of your support! :)
Overall I am very disappointed with my experience under Dr. Barnett's care. She is a very lovely lady with a friendly staff but in my particular case she proved to lack the knowledge necessary for me to have a good experience. I received an ex-plant via the axillary (arm pit) approach and while she did state she normally does this procedure under the nipple, she said she could do the procedure just fine as long as I could handle a little extra tugging. A 'little' turned into me feeling absolutely butchered and bruised/swelling beyond belief for what should have been a simple procedure. I have seen several pictures of other women who have had great results via this approach so there was no excuse for this abuse other than Dr. Barnett not knowing what she was doing with the axillary approach and not admitting it to me so that I could find a more suitable surgeon. I am very happy to have my implants out but there was no reason for my recovery to be as hard as it has been. I developed a large hematoma on my right chest and armpit area right away and was told by my regular doctor that this was due to an error during surgery. I highly recommend finding a surgeon who is extremely experienced in the exact type of procedure that you would like to have before trusting them. However, I would like to add that Dr. Barnett and her staff have been very helpful to me during my post-surgery follow up. Even though I was not happy with the surgical procedure itself, they gave me a same day appointment on the day I was having the most trouble with a hematoma to check it out and they have also answered any questions about my follow up care via phone and email which I am very grateful for. If the actual procedure had gone as expected, I would give her a much better overall rating.