Implant Removal, Breast Lift and Fat Graft - South Africa, ZA

First implants were done in 1983. I'm 5'10" and...

First implants were done in 1983. I'm 5'10" and always felt out of proportion because of my flat chest. Pencil test? No idea where to put the pencil! Happy with the results. Had baby in 1987 , I nursed for 14 months. My implants were on top of the muscle. I went for an abdominal scar revision in 2000, the PS pointed out that implants have a shelflife and recommended replacing them. They were replaced and all was fine until 2007 , the implants were "up" but my breasts had dropped down. Also noticed a funny lumpy bit every time I flexed my pictorial muscles. Consulted 4 doctors in total over the next few years. The original PS who said they needed to come out, 2nd PS who recommended a lift around the nipple only and to leave the existing implants alone. 3rd PS recommended replacement with saline, PS 4 recommended lift ( nipples) and new implants. Revisited the PS who had replaced my implants in 2000, he felt that Capsular contracture is caused by bio film infections, and recommended removal, "clean up" and a lollipop lift and fat grafting which would be facilitated by lipo from legs. Had the procedure done in march. Glad to be rid of the lumpy implants, the lift was done nicely, but I feel that my breasts are too small in spite of the fat graft. I don't want to be as big as I was, but I "need" more than I have ended up with. Am considering either additional fat grafting or smaller implants. I'm put off by potential implant trouble again, but not sure whether more fat grafting will "stay" as some of it does get rue absorbed by the body
Golly! Your lift looks amazing!

This was my "before"

Found my "before" pics

2nd "before"

I agree...your breasts look really great as is. Your before pics look like mine right now. I can only hope to have as good as an outcome as you without replacing my implants.
Hi Fixit, just read your story, you will be happy once they are out. Great that you are doing the lift at the same time. I'm happy I with my decision to remove them and happy with the lift but feel that they should be slightly bigger for me to be in proportion. My bust measures 91cm , my waist 75 cm and my hips 106. I'm 176cm (5.10. ") and 155 lbs. I'm not keen to have more implants and am leaning towards more fat grafting to add 1/2 cup size. But don't want to o through ll that if the fat graft gets re-absorbed. Meeting my PS next week to discuss what procedure to go for on 6 nov, same date as your surgery!
I can totally understand your fear about not wanting to deal with the additional problems that new implants might bring and your desire for more proportion. I initially wanted to do fat transfer but was told most would get reabsorbed so I decided against it, but this was back when I got my implants (over 6yrs ago). I was told this time the method of isolating the fat is much better....I guess the technology is better now. In any event, I wish you all the best on your upcoming decision.


Surgery booked for early nov. , meeting with my ps next week to discuss pros and cons of either procedure and make final decision. Reading through lots of other people's stories and find that very informative
I think you have a really nice result. I know how it feels to have inner conflict though. Since I had a complication within a year of my initial BA, I've already had surrounding opinions advising just removing my implants altogether. I actually debated doing that, however I was very self conscious about how they looked before. I'm extremely nervous about having another complication post revision, but am trying to stay positive. Good luck with your decision! Maybe take some notes from what you've researched about both procedures to your consult and see what your PS says. Sometimes it can clarify some misconceptions online, and ensure confidence in your final decision.
             i think your fat grafting came out nicely! did your ps say whether or not the fat grafting will be permant? 

Thank you for sharing your story on RealSelf. Sounds like you have a tough decision to make. I also like your breasts the way they are, but understand that you want to feel happy about your body. Let us know how the consult goes next week!


Decision made

Saw my ps. Decided to go for more fat grafting. Don't want the complications that invariably seem to come with implants, at some point or another they all seem to need to replaced and removed. Had 2 sets of implants in the last 30 years. Looked at my old " before " pics. Just too big PS reckons that I can expect 60 % retention Brava system not used here. Surgery in 3 weeks. PS wants specialist medical first. And lung function test. Protocol for patients 55 and over. Nervous about the fat harvesting. Whilst I am looking forward to trimmer thighs, hips and slightly bigger boobs, I'm dreading the bruising and that it will cause, and the fact that I will have to wait 6 weeks before I can resume my usual activities No gym, no cycling....

More thoughts

In the decision process over the last few weeks I realized that my "issue" is more about balance than about having bigger boobs. The way they are now would look fine if I was seen from the waist up only and had a petite frame. Some of you have kindly commented that they look nice and perky. Which they do if you look at the boob only pics. But my hips don't match the boobs! I will never diet those hips off, even if I lost weight I will still have the same proportions. At 70 kgs and 1.76 m I'm not overweight , I spend 8 hours a week either cycling, at the gym and then I teach fitness as well. So I'm hoping that my surgery will balance me out

Some pics prior to fat grafting

This is how it all looks currently. Will post pics after my procedure


I probably should have eroded that differently: I HAD fat grafting after my explanation 7 months ago, but am now going back for MORE fat grafting so the pics are not real " befores" but rather " in betweens".

Op next week

Saw specialist physician this morning who did medical and ECG. Have been given the all clear. Then saw PS for pre op visit. Content with my decision not to go for implants again. Done with those! Worried about lipo part of fat graft. But I'll get through it. Reading everyone else's stories has been helpful. Makes me feel less alone in this.

More fat grafting done 2 days ago

Had lipo an more fat grafting done 2 days ago, Being looked after by nursing sister who runs b & b for post surgical patients. Thighs more sore than boobs. Procedure took 3 hours. Quite groggy from pain meds. Will update in a few days


Hard to tell what the results will be for thighs. Because of swelling. Hopefully I'll be in better proportion


Forgot: P S put in 150 cc per breast
I think you look great! I'm really happy you are opting out of implants - its so not worth the hassle and risk to your health. You have a great body...I'm pretty jealous of your super-flat stomach! :)
Thank you, that's thanks to Pilates exercises. Really happy to be free of the implants. I enjoyed them for the years I had them, but once they started to look as funny as they did and then the research that u did, I realised they just had to go.
Sorry, typo, that happens when you type on a miniature phone and you don't have midget fingers. It was supposed to read: "the research that I did "

4 days post op

Back home now, taking less meds now. Wearing snug gym tights as compression pants and just a t shirt, no bra as per PS nurse's instruction , don't want to compromise the new fat grafts. Cannot sleep in my side , thighs and boobs uncomfortable in that position. Thighs bruised, particularly inner thighs, that bikini is going to have to wait a few weeks. Feeling quite doped up but that should improve now I'm on fewer meds. Post op appointment on Monday
Looks like the 2nd fat grafting went well. When do you start seeing what takes with the fat grafting? Meaning, how many days or weeks for your final result to set in?
Thanks! The final results I will only know around 6 months and will keep updating. Hope you are doing ok yourself....
Interested to see how your fat transfer goes. I am thinking of doing if I am not pleased with my final result. But so scared of Lipo pain! Please keep us posted on how you are doing! A speedy recovery to you!

5 Day post op appointment with PS

Saw my PS today who seems happy with the way things look. ( albeit green, purple and blue....). Told to start wearing a soft tshirts type bra, nothing binding or tight. Thighs seem to burn and am fed up with the tight compression pants but all this shall pass.... Have decided this is enough, whatever it is that I end up with boob wise, it will have to do, it's hard on the body and hard on the mind......just not feeling too great at the moment , was not able to drive today, just felt spaced out and tired.

Adding today's pics

Good decision

Woke up feeling much better today. This is how "things" look in a soft bra top and thirt. Measured. 94 cms. And more rounding on top even if that does not necessarily reflect in the measurement because that's just taken at the nipple. I think they look cute and they are mine!
Looks far so good!
Fingers crossed that it stays!

8 days post op pics

Tape is off

Ps: gone from 91 cm to 94 cm

That may go don't a little but hopefully not too much
Pink- I found your review by clicking on your name like you suggested. Thanks! Wow, you have a GREAT figure like many have commented here! I LOVE the shape of your hips esp since mine are so small now from being somewhat over lipoed. Your abs are great too! How are you feeling? Thanks SO much for sharing your review. How helpful to women with implant issues to know there is another option. You had lipo to the legs in the 1st transfer, where in the 2nd transfer? Are you 100% satisified w/your lipo results? Also, do you mind sharing your age, and your measurements around the breast, waist & hips? You look like the perfect hourglass! I think your 5'10 height gives a great lean look!
Hi Amelia, Thank you! I.m 56, I had VERY light lipo on inner and outer thighs the first time around, when my implant removal, lift and fat graft was done 8 months ago. 120 cc per breast was put in then, but in all honesty, I cannot say if it "stayed" or not, as I do not how much breast tissue I had left after the capsule/scar tissue removal. I was very tiny prior to implants. Acup. My bust measurement with implants was 97 cm. 6 months after removal, lift and fat grafting is was 91 cm. Now, 10 days post 2nd fat grafting it is 94 cm. wait is 75 cm, hips 105 cm. 2nd time around, the lipo is far more hectic, inside and outside thighs, knees and bit on flanks. I was not to keen on the inside knee, but he wanted a smooth overall result. I told him the lipo makes me nervous, I don't want loose, rippled or uneven dimpled skin. So far it looks good, bruised, but not lumpy I will have to wait for the swelling to go down to get new hip measurement, right now it is the same. But I think my legs are going to look really good when all is said and done. He put in an additional 150 ml per breast. I will post lipo pics as soon as bruising and swelling has gone down.
Wow, 56, you look 26! Now I just have to figure out how to convert cm to inches since we measure our body in inches here! LOL Can't wait to see your updated lipo & breast photos. Good luck!!

curious observation

I am noticing bruising at my shins and calves and other bruises that should not be there. (I only had lipo on my upper legs legs and a tiny bit of my flank, and no bruising where there should be bruising! That the boobs would have bruising is not surprising I asked my doc about it yesterday and he said that bruising after lipo often "travels" So long pants ...... Thank goodness we are having cooler weather....... Am now allowed to wear legging type tights rather than compression garment Yippee
Yes, it is true that the bruising travels. It happened to me in the knees, then shins, then ankles then feet then gone! Virtually no bruising on breasts, just a little for me. Soon it will be gone. I hope your lipo turns out smooth. Each day the missing chunk of the back of my butt/hip bothers me more & looks like a wave from the front but I try not to stare at it. It looked smooth at first and took months before I noticed it. Overall, I am still happy though. I am hopeful for you. You look great!
It is weird. I did not know that lipo results could hold " surprised" after several months..... I was anxious about any lipo lower than my bicycle shorts , as dents, lumps etc would be very obvious In the end I had to trust my PS's judgement, which I do. But time will tell. How many inches did you lose on your hips through lipo?
I know, it is weird. I don't know how many inches I lost from my hips b/c I never measured them pre surgery but they seem very small now. Right after surgery and for a while they measured 36 inches, now they are 37 inches. My measurements are 36-26-37 and I am 5'5.

Lipo pics

Several of you have asked for lipo pics, I was going to wait for all the bruising and swelling to go down, but here are some interim pics.

Lipo ps

Some have them came out quite dark, but look at the bruising of the inner thigh in the dark pic. I'm not standing very straight in the rear pic but as you guys probably all know, it's not easy to take pics of yourself of parts that you can't see without the hep of a mirror. Excuse the bicycle shorts tan as well. Overall I think it is going to look fine.

Another lipo pic

This one is not so dark
By the way, Pink, is that $6k for everything? Lipo, explant, lift & 2 x fat grafting & b and b? I presume abt R50k? If so, that is good!
Hi Hayley. That's scary, a surgeon who disappears a week later! Where did u have your surgery done in SA? I paid about R 50000 for implant removal, lift and fat graft 8 months ago. Then another 52 000 R now for lipo on upper legs inside knee and hips and flanks. That included surgeon, hospital and anaethetist and stay at a post op b&b as well as follow up appointments. I had hoped to have got away with one fat grafting but it was not enough So roughly r100000 ( $10000 us) for 2 procedures. Both took around 3 hours each.

2 weeks post op

Bruising is fading
Wow I think you look great! I know Deon and he is an amazing PS. I would always feel confident in his hands. He may err the the conservative side but rather that than have something too extreme. I trust him implicitly. Again you really look good. I think the lipo in this procedure is more that half the benefit... It just balances everything out a bit. So happy for you. Keep in touch :)
Hi Amelia, thank you. I do feel that all the women on this site have been brave enough to share their journeys and their pics and that has been so helpful to me, particularly as I'm on my own and did not have anyone to ask and have had no moral support So the least I can do is share my story as well in the hope that it may encourage others.
You look beautiful Pink! Thank you for being so brave to post full body shots. Many will not do that but it really shows both the breast results and the lipo results which is important. Thanks again for your bravery!! Enjoy those results!

4 weeks post op

Most of the bruising has gone, wore shorts yesterday for the 1st time. Still sore to the touch though. Have been walking but still off the bike which is big punishment for me...... But better do what I'm told which was no cycling for 6 weeks. Couple of little concerns, feel a small lump on my hip and one stitch that seems no try to work its way out underneath my right breast. Will see PS on the 17th

4 weeks pics

You look great!! Your breasts look fluffy and nice & natural! Your legs look nice and firm!

5 1/2 week update

Not missing my tupperware titties at all! Went for my first bike ride, up the mountain and then swam in the dam. It was great. I have lost some fitness but was still able to climb the 800 meters, but I did stop a few time to keep my heart rate from going mad. Boobies are fine, but one suture is bothering me, will ask the dr to deal with it when I go for my 6 week check up. Measurement went from 94 to 93 1/2 cm ( it was 91 before the last fat graft. So my " net gain" is 2 1/2 cm. ( for my North American friends, that's exactly 1 inch. Hoping that it does not go down more. Regarding the lipo; don't like the look of the scar in my right groin, it's raised and purple , all the other ones are far less obvious. Legs look good but feel that I have been left with some lumpy bits on my hips, right at the saddle bag area just below pantie line. They were always there most probably but now more prominent because of the trimmer thighs. Will discuss that too. May want a touch up there. My hip size has not gone down at all. My upper legs are slightly trimmer but it is all very subtle. Will update after next week's ps appointment. Leaving the lovely SA cape summer for winter in England :-( going to see family for Xmas
Thanks for continuing to update us. Much appreciated. Happy Continued recovery, looking well!

6 weeks post op update

Saw my PS for the 6 weeks post op appointment . Very happy with breasts. No lumps or bumps, they feel completely soft and natural. I pointed out the 2 identical lipo areas on my hips that appear a little lumpy. He agreed and will touch those up when I'm 3 months post op.
Merry Christmas!! Xx
Your results are fantastic!
Thanks Indy!

7 weeks post op

2nd 7 week update pic

Merry Christmas Pink! I really like your results, you look very natural and beautiful!
Thank you!
looking great pink! merry christmas!!!

10 weeks

Boobies have stayed the same. Just keeping my fingers crossed that they stay like this. Lipo: Not happy with the lumpy bits on my hips but PS said that he will fix that once I am past the 3 months mark. Seeing him on the 5th of February
Hey Pink - at 10 weeks how are your legs feeling? Do you still have any discomfort or numbness? I'm at 7 weeks and it's still uncomfortable to move beyond a fast walk. I'm hoping to get back to running within a month or so.
Hi, my legs are getting better, they were sore until about 2 weeks ago. Now I can go for a fast walk without discomfort. But I do wear tight fitting 3/4 gym pants, and that makes a big difference. How are your boobs, are you retaining the fat?
Just had revision breast implants with fat grafting 2 weeks ago I had had lipo over a yr ago with great results but agree that hurts more in the inner and outer thighs from where fat was taken . I hope the grafts "take" ! Very happy with second breast implant results ( I was born with a deformed breast but never knew it as it was so small ) hence first implant did not drop so revised it and fat grafted to help.

11 weeks

Looking good Pink!

3 months

Seeing my PS on Friday. Happy with top half. We will discuss the bottom half which needs to be fixed....

3 months follow up visit with PS

Went to see PS on Friday. Boobs look good and both him and I are happy. He will fix the lumpy bits on hips below butt on 28 March. Can't do sooner as I'm training for a cycle event that takes place 9 March. I laughed: the secretary said: we won't book it before because we don't want to compromise your... Healing. I finished her sentence by saying "Cycling" simultaneously I guess it's all about priorities. I am looking forward to smooth hips. Won't go in a bathing suit the way things look now. The cycling shorts are a little more concealing....
Your breasts look great!

Lumpy bits

Finally took the courage to take a close up of my upper hip / thigh area that needs fixing after lipo. Will be do happy to get this sorted out. Am apprehensive at the same time because I will be semi awake......
How are you Pink? Are you okay?
Hi Amelia, sorry for late response but somehow I do not get notified of new messages or comments unless I sign it. How are you doing? I did not get my thighs done at the end of March because I had to go away. Had consult with my p s and am going for 3rd fat grafting at which time he will sort out thighs. I decided that if I have to go through another lipo procedure, I might as well have some of that fat used for upper pole of my breasts. My 94 cm have stayed but upper part of boobs is very flat. Just waiting for date now, hopefully it can be before I return to Canada on 12 May for my daughter's graduation.
Good Luck Pink!! Keep us posted! Amelia ;-)

3rd fat graft breasts and hip lipo

One day post op. All went well, 100 min procedure done at 1.30 yesterday, discharged at 7 pm
Taking painkillers so "floating" a bit. Dr removed fat from each hip and upper legs area to smooth out 2 lumpy bits that were left after 2nd fat graft. Added 200 cc to upper pole mainly of each breast. It looks good albeit bruised and swollen. For the record I will summarize : explant, lift and 1st fat graft (120 cc per breast) in March 2013. 2nd fat graft (150cc per breast ) in November 2013. And now a final round of 200cc per breast. I was initially not going to bother with a third round but the lumpy bits on my hips left after the2nd fat graft bothered me and as that required anaesthetics to fix I thought I might as was utilize the fat. So here I am, sitting with a padded rear end that gives Jennifer Lopez severe competition as they padded it with what must be the thickest sanitary pads on the market. :-) Dr Linda van Der Westhuizen's anaesthetic was once again great: at my request I did not hear, see or feel anything, no nausea or sore throat, and upon waking, she was there to zap me with pethedine as I have woken up the last 2 times with a lot of pain. Dr Deon van Der Westhuizen saw me at 6 last night and told me all went well and promised me I would be happy with both hips and boobs! Assuming fat retention of 60 percent I estimate my total gain to be almost 300 cc per breast, enough to balance me out. Boobs look great now but I know the swelling will go down and what I see now is not what I'll ultimately get; however I'll be happy with this, it was my third and final round Will keep you guys updated. Before I forget, I can't remember who on this site, but a a lady who also had fat grafting and lipo done suggested the "go girl" which is a silicone device that allows ladies to pee standing up! This is great as sitting on a toilet seat after lipo is painful not to mention the padding sticks, or pulls off. So I'm in tight old gym shorts that come to the knee and are high wasted, and simply cut the crotch open, and wear ordinary panties over top I think it was a great tip from this lady so I hope she reads my update cause I want to say thanks. Will post updates
How are you feeling Pink?
Sore and blue but generally happy with outcome. I think the sausages on my thighs have finally been evicted! Leaving on Monday to go to Italy to meet up with my daughter, then on to Canada on the 23rd. I really appreciate you keeping in touch.
Congrats! Glad u made it thru doing okay. Happy Healing! Thinking of you, Love & Hugs! Amelia

5 days post 3rd fat graft

Sore and blue but it's all looking good
Pink you look absolutely awesome, thank you for detailing your journey. I'm interested that your Dr increased the fat each time, 120 - 150 finally 200cc. Do you know why?
Not sure why the increases each time: I do know that he said that small stages are better than doing one large one. I will ask him
I did ask ps about the increase each time. He said it is something that he plays by ear but generally he find that with each subsequent fat graft, he can put in more as the breast seem to "take" better

17 days post 3rd graft

Still quite bruised and sore but very happy with boobs!

Forgot the 2nd pic

1month post 3 rd fat graft

Bruising mostly gone.b happy with boobs. Fit into a 34C and it looks good Have picked up 2.5 kgs ( 5 lbs) because I have not been very active. 3 surgeries in one year have made me tired and recovery slow. But I'm back on my bike , going for 1 hr rides and am also walking again. So it won't take long to be back at my old weight Happier with my legs too, the bumps I complained about have gone. All in all it's been worth it.
You're breasts look awesome! They have the most perfect shape. And about your hips being out of proportion with your chest? We have a very similar body type although you are a little taller. I'm almost 5'8. I had very small breasts before and always had hips, no matter how skinny I got. And I was pretty skinny when I had it done---not as skinny now. Anyway, I've hated it all my life and am just getting to the point to where I accept it for what it is. It's just how I'm made. Anyway, you look perfect. Hope everything is back to normal for you and you can do all the things you love!
Your... meant to say your!
Thank you!

4 months post op

Hi Ladies,
Short not saying all is going well. Saw dr a month ago, he is happy with results. Will post pics in 2 months time, at the 6month post last surgery date
How are you doing Pink?
You look great. Your story is very similar to mine. I am waiting for my surgery...I hope my outcome is as nice as yours. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Pink, How are you doing? Are you happy with your results now?

6 month update

Saw my dr Deon v d Westhuizen yesterday. Both he and I are very happy with results. Will post pics within the week
For those ladies out there who are ex planting: don't despair, fat grafting is an excellent alternative, but you have to be prepared to accept that it is a longer process with possibly more than one procedure.
Hi Pink, I am glad you are happy. Would you mind posting a pic of how your lumpy bits got smoothed out. My issue is similar so I'd like to see how they turned out. Thank you.
Dr Deon van der Westhuizen

Excellent surgeon in Cape Town, South Africa who has been around for a long time. Very informed about the latest research around implants and the problems that come with them, travels overseas regularly to attend conferences and now does fat grafting as well. He often works together with Dr Linda van der Westhuizen who is a brilliant anaethetist. Have had 3 anaesthetics from her. No nausea or dry throat issues.

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 times
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