Happy to Have Explant Surgery and Be Natural Again - Durban, South Africa

I had my implants put in under the muscle 20 years...

I had my implants put in under the muscle 20 years ago. They were silicone. 5 years ago I noticed a lump in my left boob. Went to the plastic surgeon who did the op and he said everything was fine. Had a scan. Had a biopsy. Everything was apparently fine. In the meantime the pain got worse and the lump got bigger. I had a routine mammogram 4 weeks ago and they picked up a possible rupture. Went to see a PS who confirmed it and also said we need to get the lump out although he did suspect a siliconoma. I had my implants removed last wed, 29 Feb. The left implant was ruptured. My PS removed half of the left capsule but had to leave the posterior part of it as it was stuck to my ribs. He left the capsule on the right side in. He removed the lump and sent it away for a biopsy and it came back negative and confirmed his suspicion of siliconoma. I am very relieved to have the implants out. No more constant burning nagging pain and I will get used to how they look over time.

It's been seven days since my op. I've been...

It's been seven days since my op. I've been sleeping a lot and trying to heal properly before I go back to work in two days. I had my drains out on Friday and will have the plasters taken off tomorrow. The cuts are itching and besides the odd twinge of sharp pain now and then I am pain free. I have kept my boobs well supported with a gym bra so haven't looked at them much lately. It will take a bit of getting used to having little boobies again. One thing I can say - I do not miss my implants at all. The sense of relief I feel that they are gone is wonderful.

Day 7- Went to the doc today to have my plasters...

Day 7- Went to the doc today to have my plasters removed. Was really excited. He had to drain about 100 ml of blood from my left boob and I left his surgery with both plasters still on. I am so bummed. He said I must keep an eye out for redness or a hot feeling which would indicate an infection. I have to go back in a week for him to check if any more fluid has collected. Oh well. I suppose nothing always goes according to plan. I'll just have to be patient. Starting work again tomorrow but I will still take it easy. I really don't want anything to jeopardise my recovery. He was surprised to hear that I didn't have as much pain as I expected because he said when he was scraping the capsule from inside it looks really nasty and sore. Yuk. Imagine?!!!! Anyway, all's well for now. Wishing you all a good week and healthy recoveries. Hugs xxx

Day 9 - plasters are still on. cuts feel sore and...

Day 9 - plasters are still on. cuts feel sore and sensitive. left breast (where the capsule had ruptured and my PS had to do a whole lot of work) is sore today and looks a bit more swollen than it did the other day. I'm thinking that maybe I still have a fluid build up there. I do have to see my PS next week but it the pain continues I will go back sooner so he can check if he needs to drain any fluid. I have a big swollen lymph node under my left arm which is aching. All in all - I'm not a very happy camper today. I guess we'll have those days. In the beginning even with the pain I was feeling really good but as the days have worn on no two days are the same. Oh us women are such complex creatures. I guess that's what makes us so unique. Take care all of you and keep in touch. Hugs xxx

2 weeks since my surgery and at this very moment...

2 weeks since my surgery and at this very moment my left breast looks like the implant is back in it's so swollen. I phoned my PS this morning and he can only see me tomorrow afternoon and is planning on putting the drain back in. I have been back to him 3 times to have blood drained and it's starting to freak me out. My right boob in the meantime is really small and looks so insipid next to my left. Poor little thing. Anyway, I know I must give it time so I am not going to worry about that. I just want my left boob sorted. The last thing I need is an infection.

2 weeks and 3 days since my surgery - in the last...

2 weeks and 3 days since my surgery - in the last week I have had blood drained again from my left boob - that's a total of 1 litre since my surgery. My PS reopened my incision on the left and reinserted a drain which will stay in until next week. My house doctor recommended that I strap myself up tight as it will apparently stem the bleeding so I have done that. Am feeling more comfortable since the last drain because my left boob blew up like a balloon and it actually looked like the implant was back in and the right boob was looking all forlorne and sad next to the left one :-) I see a light at the end of the tunnel and am holding thumbs that by next Tues when I see my PS the bleeding will have stopped and I can have the drain removed. Hope you are all doing ok. Thinking of all you girls who are recovering from recent surgery, those who are about to be operated on and those who are well into their recovery. You are all in my thoughts and whatever it is that you're going through I am sending positive energy your way with lots of hugs and love. Have a great weekend girls. xxx

Hello girlfriends!!! Hope my post finds you all A...

Hello girlfriends!!! Hope my post finds you all A ok at whatever stage of your process you are. I have a question and welcome a response from anyone - WHY DO SOME DOCS STRAP AFTER EXPLANT SURGERY AND SOME ONLY PUT PLASTERS ON THE INCISIONS??? My house doctor is adamant that because there is a cavity left behind after removal of the implant it is imperative that the breasts are strapped to promote blood clotthing? I am so confused and I am currently sitting with a drain in my left boob after almost 3 weeks post op and I am strapping myself. My drain is not oozing very much at the moment but my left breast is slightly swollen again. I am really confused.

Hey Girls - long time no "chat". I've been off...

Hey Girls - long time no "chat". I've been off the air for a while. Update is that I had my drain remove yesterday because it was not working and I was still retaining fluid. My left breast (this is the one where the implant had ruptured and the capsule was stuck to my ribs) had swollen up and started going hard. Rushed back to doc and he took drain out and said I have a seroma (a fluid-filled sac). Went back to him today and he inserted another drain. He made a new cut in the side of my left boob. Luckily this time he gave me locals although the locals are just as freaking painful. He inserted the drain and it's one of those with the bottle at the end of it so I had to go back to work with by bottle in my moonbag. I am really hoping this works now because I am now officially in constant pain which I wasn't last week. Even with the fluid retention I had no pain. Now with my boob being so hard (apparently the muscle is in spasm) it's so sore and because he had to reopen my incision last week to put the second drain in (the first drain being the one they put in when I had the op) that hurts too. Now with the third drain going into my boob from the side I have a new area that hurts. Oh woe is me. Don't worry girls. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I know there are people a whole lot worse off than me. I'm just updating you and telling you how it is. I am maintaining my sense of humour and I know that it will all be fine in the end. I'm thinking of you all and hoping that wherever you are in your journey, whether it be contemplating removal, recovering from removal, etc, you are in my thoughts and I send you positive energies all the way from sunny South Africa. Take care. Lots of love and hugs xxxx

Hello girls. Hope you are all doing ok. Went...

Hello girls. Hope you are all doing ok. Went back to the Doc today. Still walking around with a drain. It's almost a month since my op. The drain is working well and no more blood is draining, only clear liquid. He checked the drain and I have to go back on Thurs. Have a haematoma under the skin wish is quite painful but got drugs which help. Hee hee. Boobs are almost symmetrical now that the drain is working and not building up with fluid. It'll be a month on thurs since my op. Can't believe how time has flown. Just want to be 100%. No matter what my boobs look like, I just want to feel normal again and not have to carry this drain around with me. I am grateful that I am healthy and that things are looking up. Wishing you all lots of love and hugs and hope that wherever you are in your journeys that things are going well and that the support of this website is helping you all. Lots of love. Carolyn

Hey Gals. Hope you're all going ok. I finally had...

Hey Gals. Hope you're all going ok. I finally had my drains out on Thursday and it's such a relief to be drain free. On Saturday morning when I was cleaning the incision on my left side (where all the problems have been) some fluid ran out of the whole that is still in my incision left from the drain. Other than that, all seems to be going well. My left breast is still slightly larger and harder than the right but my PS says that that will take 3 months to settle down because of all the work his had to do in partially removing the capsulte and scraping and cleaning the cavity. So I am a much happier girl today and look forward to a visit from the fluff fairy coz right now she has not been very present in my life. My door is open for her to come on over and work her magic. Take care now and look after yourselves. Lots of love Carolyn

Hi Girls. It's been a month since my last update...

Hi Girls. It's been a month since my last update and 2 months since my surgery. I would say that I am almost 100% healed since the surgery and the drama with my seroma. I have another check up on 7 May and am sure it will be the last time I have to see my PS. The scar on the left side where the drain was in for two weeks doesn't look great. It's quite thick and arched shape and it looks like there's a hole in it but I think it's still healing. I am going to start applying vitamin E oil to see if that helps. As far as what my boobs look like now is concerned, they are very soft and small and quite "empty". They right looks different from the left - the left being the affected one and the one that had the ruptured implant in it. Because it was bigger and more vascular than the right, it's a different shape to the right one and I am holding thumbs that with time it will turn out like the right one. When I am ready I will post final pics but I'm not at that point right now. I have ordered some wedges from Silicone Sally to insert in my bras to give me a bit more volume but generally I wear padded push up bras which look great and give me a cleavage. After all is said and done I am very happy that I explanted and the feeling of being truly natural is like no other. I love the feel of my breasts and would not change my decision for the world. My husband has been so supportive and his support has made a huge difference to my recovery. Thinking of all of you who are recovering from your surgery or approaching a surgery date or are considering explant surgery. Lots of love xxx
Dr Paul McGarr

My experience with my doctor, the hospital and the nurses who took care of me was fantastic from the word go. I was very scared and very upset about having to have this operation and they comforted and reassured me.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (91)

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Wholie!! Age/length of time you had implants in aside... your breasts look amazing for just a few days post explant!
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Hi, Im also in South Africa and my implants are 23 years old. I have planned to have them out on the 23 July. Yours look so great! I am so confused as every doctor I have seen tells me another story!
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WOW you look GREAT! I can only hope that after 30 years of having implants that I could look half as good as you do. don't know why you had implants to start with....you look beautiful!
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Hi! its good to hear your doing great. Good luck on the 7th. Are wearing a bra yet? and What size are you?
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another question, did you have them done on a medical aid scheme? Was it hugely expensive? Unfortunately R/$ is a factor for me. I have sent an email to the Dr in JHB and am awaiting a response with regard to cost.
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I'm have exactly this problem! I had my implants 20 years ago in JHB and have enjoyed good health and had no problems. Recently I had a routine mammogram and the implant ruptured. My right breast is very hard and sensitive, not really painful, just twinges and a burning sensation. I struggle to sleep comfortably and one boob is too large for my bra!
We live in NZ now, and its really not easy getting this sorted if you don't have a lot of $! I can (hopefully) have them removed on the national health system but there is a waiting list for serious more breast issues. I'm considering flying back to SA to have them removed there as the costs work out a bit better.
Its great to hear about your experiences, I'm sorry you had problems along the way, but you sound upbeat and I need to hear this as I am absolutely petrified! I've never had an operation again since having them done 20 years ago and back then ignorance was bliss!
XX
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Just got back from the doctor. She thinks it is a hematoma, but not to be too concerned. She told me I need to stop doing things! We are moving this weekend and I have been trying to help, obviously too much. Thanks!
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Yes the hematoma was very very sore. Not tender. Best you keep an eye on it Hun. Keep me posted xxx
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I'm sorry you had such an ordeal with your surgery. The drains are really horrible, I can't imagine having to have them put back in. I'm glad that you are now recovering. You look great by the way. The itty bitties are a novelty, huh?
When you had a hemotoma, was it a hard, tender lump? I'm afraid I might have developed one.
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You're looking beautiful now! But if you want more fluff, fingers and toes crossed that you'll get it. Thanks for sharing so much of your journey with us!

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Hi Carokfer,

How u doing hun? read your last update and glad to hear ur drains r out now and u r happy about things. Keep praying and well done for staying so positive. Keep updating.
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Hey Honey. I am doing much better. No more pain, no more oozing and I feel almost like my old self. Because of the blood loss I am now anaemic so have been feeling a bit unwell because of that but the iron tabs have kicked in and I can feel the difference. How are you?
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hey, just reading ur latest update sounds like you've been through a rough patch ! eek poor you , just keep thinking it will all be a lot better in the end, and you can look forward to a healthy you in a few wks time when its all healed. keep smiling :0)
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Hey Honey. Yeah it's been quite a rollercoaster ride but I am feeling so much better now. I became anaemic because of the blood loss but my iron tabs have kicked in and feel so much better. I am looking forward to getting back to gym and life going back to normal with my itty bitty little titties. Hee hee. HOw are you?
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Thank you for the encouragement. You are very heroic!...I'm not as anxious now, after hearing your story. I had 35 year old implants, removed five weeks ago. They were ruptured and encapsulated. Now my breasts look great, but I'm having some swelling on the left outer breast and discomfort on the right, where there was a lot of scar tissue removed. I'll go to doctor today. After reading your story I think I can handle this better. hugs, moonriver2
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Hey Carokfer,

Me again. Just checked out your story. So sorry you've had such a hard time of it with the boob tubes. They really suck, no pun intended! Seriously, they are awkward and miserable enough without having to go through what you're having to. My sympathy is with you.

On the plus side, your breasts look amazing, really gorgeous. Once all this medical stuff has past, you'll never have to deal with this again. Good for you. You are becoming so strong and wise too. Your story will help so many other women. I happened read yours before I went it and It helped me.( Didn't realize you were the same person who commented on my review today.) So I'd like to say a sincere thanks.

Hope you are feeling good today.
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Hey there. You are welcome. I love the support on this site. Complete strangers making such a difference to each other's lives. Awesome. Well my ordeal is pretty much over and I am looking forward to life getting back to normal. I will go back to gym next week. Can't wait. how are you doing?
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I'm doing great. I'm up and around though I think I'm over exerting myself a little bit. I keep going shopping.

I tended to buy loose fitting clothes when I had Ds. It's just so exciting to buy tight fitting tops now. All the adorable B cup bras out there too. Oh la la, I can not resist.

Glad to hear you are feeling better. It must of been really hard. Well now you have so much to look forward to. Huurah!
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Hi! So glad you're feeling better and I'm sure that fluff fairy will stop by soon. You've earned it! Big hugs for your continued recovery. x
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Thanks so much Honey. Yes I am feeling so much better and am getting more used to my new look as time goes by. It's almost like a novelty at the moment - shopping for new style bras and looking at different clothes too. It's quite fun. I have an identical twin who had implants put in about ten years ago so I have sent my "old" bras to her and she's bought me new little ones. Quite funny actually. How are you?
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Carokfer,
Maybe once the drains are finally out you could strap yourself up and see if that helps. I wore 2 bras, (killed my scars) but the fluid didn't come back, don't know if this was coincidence or not. Wore them night and day.
Also are you on antibiotics?
Good luck for tomorrow hunny x x
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Hey Lisa Lou, I was on antibiotics which luckily kept infection away because the doctor was poking into my left boob with needles every second day and it was a worry. It's such a relief to have the drain out and I am currently in no pain and feel really good. I became anaemic because of the blood loss but am taking iron tabs and they have kicked in because I feel almost 100%. Back to gym next week. Can't wait. How are you doing?
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Hi Carokfer,

All I can say is that Im proud of u for the way u r handling yur situation n staying positive. Keep us posted and look after yurself.
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so glad things are slowly getting better for you, you sound a lot brighter too and more positive which is great. keep recovering, resting and looking after yourself - fingers crossed your appointment tomorrow goes well and the drains can come off. xx
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Hey Honey. I am feeling so much better since the drain came out. I am being treated for anaemia because of the loss of blood after my surgery and the tabs have kicked in so feel almost 100%. I am slowly but surely getting used to my new look. How are you?
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