Happy to Get Real

In 2004, I went to Colombia to get silicone gel...

In 2004, I went to Colombia to get silicone gel breast implants. They cost a 1/3 of what they cost in the States and I was recommended to several excellent surgeons from many friends in Miami. I went with a friend a mine who helped me get around and visit different PS. I decided on on PS who I seemed to instinctively trust more than the others I met.

For the past 9 years, I have LOVED my new additions! Each year they became more "natural looking" and I was blessed that they looked so much better than most boob jobs I had seen. I have a lot of exposure to them, since it is incredibly normal and acceptable for most women to get breast implants done in Miami, South America, etc. All has been great until a couple of months ago when I felt a small lump on my left side (next to breast but a little closer to my armpit). I did some research and learned about lymph nodes and how sometimes when someone has breast cancer brewing, the lymph nodes get swallen as they attack the cancer. My maternal grandmother died from breast cancer around age 50, so I didn't take that lump lightly. When I went to my new doctor, she insisted it wasn't a big deal... even suggested my lymph nodes could be swallen because of excess caffeine consumption (?). I personally didn't agree with her lame diagnosis and insisted on getting a mammogram &/or ultrasound. I'm so happy I trusted my own instinct (after all, we know our bodies better than anyone - DON'T EVER FORGET THAT!). The results of the mammogram & ultrasound were negative for breast cancer (thank goodness!), but the MD delivered some not so great news about my "girls": both of my silicone gel implants had ruptured. My lymph node is swallon, because it has silicone gel in it (lymph nodes fight off things in our bodies that aren't supposed to be there). I was told it can happen without the person even knowing it and that it was possible that they have been slowly leaking for a year or so. My size hadn't changed much, especially since I know that implants tend to get a little smaller with time.

Anyway, I was highly recommended to a PS where I now live, in North Texas, who does a lot of breast reconstruction work and is really good at what he does. He was also known for being a compasionate man. Once I met him, I understood how the above could be true and agreed. He answered my list of questions with ease and offered additional information as well. I am excited to have my implants removed, so I no longer have to worry about how the silicone gel may effecting my health (or setting me up for problems in the future). Most of the articles I have read insist that there is no evidence that the gel causes problems... While I hope for the best, I know that these implants haven't been around long enough for anyone to know 100% what the gel can do to us internally. Either way, I have always been healthy and am not going to let some fake boobs weigh me down - literally and figuratively! : ) I wish you all the BEST of luck on your journey! If I could go back to the younger me, I would educate myself with regards to the insane amount of stress and money that is associated with the maintenence of breast implants (whether something bad happens or not)! While I've had a lot of fun with then thus far, I couldn't be happier to take them out and get back to the REAL me!! : )

I'm removing them and have no intention of replacing them. I went from an A to B/C. I'm also 32 years old.

Last, but not least, my Colombian surgeon called me the same day I emailed him regarding everything I was going through. He spoke to me for about 20 minutes reassuring me that the gel isn't harmful and that the removal is a farely simple procedure. He also had no problems emailing the extra info I wanted about the implants: size, serial numbers, etc. I don't know of many American MD's that would take such time and care with their patients.. I was treated with amazingly great care before during and even way after my initial surgery! Again, I've been blessed thus far... I'm just looking forward to getting them taken out ASAP!

I've been implant free for 24 hours now. I don't...

I've been implant free for 24 hours now. I don't really feel like posting photos just yet. My bandages were changed to day and I'm very happy with the way everything looks! My surgeon insisted that I get my swollen lymph node biopsied to make sure that there isn't anything other than silicone gel inside my lymph node. Where he had to cut is more sore than the insicions where the implants were removed. I'm feeling good, just anxious to heal and move forward!
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (26)

Sort by

Happy- who was your Colombian surgeon?
  • Reply
Congratulations to you. I hope your just laying around relaxing and enjoying the freedom of not worrying. Your breasts are going to change so much over the next 6 months. I had drains for a week then bound for a week and now I am wearing the geni bras and loving it. I went from an A to C back to an A and most of all I am healthy. Warm healing hugs to you.
  • Reply
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! Best of luck to you as well : )
  • Reply
Sorry you feel an American doctor wouldn't care for you as we'll as the Colombian dr. But may I share that the foreigners are in fear of loosing the American business which is their livelihood. That is why they are attentive and call and cooperate. Have you not been hearing the economy is poor because Of you Americans giving your business to foreigners. With that being said, be sure to get the results of your biopsie because chances are high if breast cancer is in the family. I hope I didn't upset you about your taking your business to Colombia. But the doctors there also worry about being sued, especially if he did not point out to you side affects of implantation. Good luck with your results.
  • Reply
Keep your political opinions to yourself and other opinions to yourself. Have you even left the US? People who have the most to say know, often know very little about the rest of the world! I don't care to respond to your comment any further...especially the fake good luck at the end.
  • Reply
Happy lee, sorry for upsetting your feelings. Just real frustrated about the whole picture. Really wasn't putting you down. I sincerely hope your biopsy results are negative. Good luck in the future.
  • Reply
Happy Lee, my pip's were placed in Colombia as well, but removed here in the states. Inhave been silicone free for 4 months and feel amazing!! Do not look great but feel great. Thanks to padding nobody has to know the difference, it's all good! Good luck with your surgery!
  • Reply
Where did you go in Colombia? I went to Medellin & loved it there. So much natural beauty & the fresh juices available everywhere were awesome! My PS was/is excellent & until now I haven't had a single problem - thank goodness! Congrats to you for going au natural : ) I think it takes extra strength, not to mention smarts for not putting yourself through future pain & worry with replacements - hiiiigh five! Thank you for your comment & the luck!
  • Reply
Well now, wonder why both of you had implants in Columbia and both of you had to have them removed. Could it be the quality of silicone implants is less than American made?? I wish you ladies much happiness with your ittie Bit ties and good health
  • Reply
For your information, the implants I had WERE offered in the States at one point, they were also sold throughout South America, and all over Europe. They were a French company. Also, where I want to do my breasts is really none of your business nor does it change the way I feel about my country!! Let me educate you even further: the plastic surgery industry is a multi million dollar one... one or 2 fewer BA will not effect any doctor's wallet, because A LOT of women get tons of work done all the time - nationally and internationally! AND, I have seen too many botched up boob jobs done here and have read about a lot on this site! Again, your opinion and commentary isn't welcome, so waste your time elsewhere, Missy! P.S. it is Colombia, not Columbia. I'd love for you to try to point it out on a world map! ha ha
  • Reply
-:- Message from RealSelf staff -:-

This comment does not follow our Community Guidelines and/or Terms of Service. We reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.
  • Reply
*Colombia
  • Reply

Thanks for sharing! I loved your story. It sounds like you're very comfortable with your decision and have found a surgeon you feel comfortable with as well. I hope you'll keep us posted throughout your journey. Less than two weeks to go!

  • Reply
Thank you for the welcome post & message! Yes, I am very comfortable with my decision and excited to move on & become an even healthier me. I'm thrilled this site exists! Reading other people's stories and posting my own helps with the questions & anxiety that come with the territory... It helps to have the extra support! I plan to share my progress & wish everyone plenty patience & strength on their journey : )
  • Reply
Most of the women in my family have had their implants (and other surgeries) in Colombia. They do look amazing, even one of my cousins who I thought needed a miracle looks 'naturally' beautiful. She was flat as a board and now has curves galore. Have to admit, the work they do there is usually better than the work I have seen done here on my friends. I'm having mine removed and like you, I had lots of fun with them but now I'm done with them. Also, like you, I'm trusting my instinct which tells me to let it go, no replacements. I'm the only one in my family and circle of friends going the opposite way. It's going to feel weird, but I know it's the right thing for me. Good luck to you :O)
  • Reply
It's nice that we share a similar story & Colombian experiences. The medical attention was amazing! It's a lovely country, too! Anyway, good for you to want to be real. It takes guts & shows true strength : ) Girl power!! Ha
  • Reply
hahahahahah Yup! Girl power ;O)
  • Reply
Good luck to you and enjoy without the extra weight and worry. Angelface1
  • Reply
Thanks so much for the luck! I appreciate it : )
  • Reply
Hello! I´m almost in your age (33) and have almost the same implant size. I got mine in 2002 and will remove them at the beginning of May. I never really had problems with my implants but since a year they startet hurting when they get touched...I just don`t have a good feeling having them in my body anylonger! Good luck for you :-) You will be fine!!
  • Reply
And you are wise since they are causing discomfort, to have them removed. Good luck and fast healing. Angelface1
  • Reply
Thanks for taking the time to comment! About 5 months ago, I had the idea to remove them after taking an anatomy class & getting grossed out by the thought of something foreign in my body. Now I HAVE to remove them... Anyway, it'll feel great to sleep on my tummy better! LOL. Best of luck to your journey! Living pain & stress-free is priceless : )
  • Reply
Good luck and heal fast. Enjoy the freedom.. Angelface
  • Reply
Good luck! This is why I and some allies decided saline is the way to go. I hope the best for you.
  • Reply
I have had Saline since 1974, and never had any problems at all. I agree their better but not as perkie after this many years. Angelface1
  • Reply