Saline Implant Removal After 17 Years - 38 Years Old - Vancouver, BC

Hi! I’m a 38 year old mother of two boys (5 and...

Hi! I’m a 38 year old mother of two boys (5 and 7 years old). I had saline implants placed under the muscle 17 years ago. I believe they are 300ish cc’s but I really can’t remember the exact size. For about the last decade I have been waiting and waiting for something to go wrong. Until last December, I had not experienced any problems. In December, I started to have pain in my right breast, mainly when I was lying on my side sleeping. For a couple of weeks, my breasts were also tender. I decided to make an appointment with the plastic surgeon that performed my initial implant procedure. I finally saw him in April (super long wait). He basically said that everything seemed fine. I just had minor tightness in my left breast. No rupture, leakage, etc. He sent me for a mammogram in May and everything came back ‘normal’.

The pain I experienced in December scared me. Although the pain was not severe, it just confirmed the decision I made years ago not to have my implants replaced. I do not want to be a grandmother or 80 year old women with breast implants! I also want to get them out while I can still hide my bad decision from my kids. I really do not want them to know!

So here I am now, a 38 year old mother of two beautiful boys, embarrassed that I did something so foolish. This might sound strange but I am not the type of person that would get implants (now). But I’m stuck with these plastic bags in my chest. None of the people I have met in the last decade or more know I have implants. I am too embarrassed to tell anyone and they really don’t look obvious. I have even had men and women talk poorly about women with implants right to me….they have no idea the secret I’m carrying. I think I would shock a lot of people if they found out, especially some of my girlfriends.

When I went to see Dr. Pugash in April, I had already decided that I wanted the implants out. The pain I experienced in December was coming and going….nothing significant. I had so many questions/concerns at the appointment and I really had not done my research and didn’t know what route I wanted to take (drainage, removal, lift, etc). He tried to answer all my questions but I was still confused when I left his office. I ended up making an appointment to get my implants drained on Oct 8th and to have them removed with a lift on Nov 13th. At the time, I thought I wanted them drained first so I could decide whether I wanted to have a lift after the implants were removed.
Now I’m not sure what I want. I really do not want to another procedure (lift) but I also do not want to feel terrible when I look at my post-explant boobs. Honestly, after looking at pictures of breast lifts on this site, I think the idea of going through another procedure and having significant scars on my breasts would make me feel worse than having empty, saggy breasts. It’s so hard to make a choice when you can’t really see what the end result will be. That is why I thought drainage first would be a good option. Again, it’s another procedure and I’m scared of how my body will react to having 17 year old saline dumped into it. My surgeon also wanted to start me on antibiotics before the deflation. Why would I set myself up for potential problems?

After writing this, I feel like having the implants removed without drainage or a lift is what I would feel best about and is the most ‘me’. I still don’t feel like I’m ready to commit either way though. I can always decide against the deflation and lift and cancel the appointments but it would be hard to get the appointments rebooked if I cancel them and change my mind. I’m just going to leave it as is until I feel 100% about my decision.

Just over two months to go!

I finally decided not to have the implants drained and not to have a lift at the time of removal. I really think it's best for me to wait and see the result before I go through with any more procedures. I can always have a lift later if I am truly unhappy. I cancelled the extra appointments/surgical time and now have my preop on Oct 8. I have lots of questions for the Dr and can't wait to have them answered. He mentioned no drains at the last appt but we didn't even discuss incision sites, capsule removal, bandaging/compression, local vs general, etc. This site has taught me so much and really helped me decide what is best for me. I'm very thankful to everyone that has shared their journey :)
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

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Hope all works and and goes well. Keep us posted.
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Well good. You made a decision. Now that tension if over. So you can focus more on explant with revision now. I understand ABOUT the MONEY issue. Plus one time goung under anesthesia. Thats also a positive point...ok ..you go girl!
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Hi forme14 I think that you are doing what you need and are thinking things through. I too was scared of the sag potential and wondered about an earlier deflation and then explant. I decided to go with explant, no capsulectomy and no drains. The surgeon could not get the textured implants out whole so she did deflate inside but there was only about 100cc's that went inside and/or trickled down my sides. I was fine with that and happy about my choices to trust my body. It sounds like you have a fair amount of natural breast tissue if your implants are 300cc's. Trust what you think and what you want, and trust your body. Don't follow anyone's path if it doesn't seem right for you. I just wanted to share my path with you. Feel free to look at my pics and see the result after 10 days. There is some sag but I wouldn't change a thing. I know the fear and indecision that comes right prior to explant. Take a deep breathe and ask your surgeon lots of questions. You will do great and be natural soon. No more hiding, or pretending needed.
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Hi! I did check out your results and, wow, they look great. I would be totally happy if I had your results. What a difference in such a short amount of time! Was your original surgery done through your areola? If so, do you know why your PS decided to remove them under the fold? I am concerned about removing mine through the areola (my original incision site) and I'm hoping my PS recommends removing them from the fold. I have lots of questions for my PS!
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I can feel your fear..I think k it would be better to remove the implants...wait a few months until you are back to normal...then decide if you want a lift....im going to do that...with all the bras now with push up padding in them...wearing one after your explant may make you appear the same size before explant...hope this helps
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Yup...definitely fear! I'm a control freak and hate the unknown. You are probably right to wait and see how things turn out before jumping into another procedure. It would be cheaper to do it all at once though...and we really can't afford to spend a fortune to fix this 'mess' I have created. My husband is totally supportive though, which makes it easier.
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I read doc comments and also mine said.give yourself 6 months to heal and see what breast really looks like so lift will more accurate. That gives tge trauma of implants and explant to settle down..fluff up again without the imflamation. .but hey. Do what you feel is your gut feeling... its YOU that its about. xXxX im glad the husbeast is on your side too..yee haa
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I gather from reading the stories here, that the breasts rebound pretty well after explantation, even without the step of deflating the implants. I am concerned myself with the silicone shell material breaking down and contaminating the scar tissue envelope that forms around the implants. That can cause pain and autoimmune reactions. I am planning an explantation surgery next month and will have all the scar tissue removed as well. There is now a procedure where the surgeon can use a needle to take fat from the belly and inject it into the breast after the implants are removed, to give more form to the breast. I may have that done. You might want to consider that, if it is available. I have also been advised to have antifungal medication given if any antibiotics are used, as it is common for fungus to grow in the saline within the implants. It can leak out during the procedure, and cause another set of problems with fungal infections in the lymph glands. The surgeons are not always well informed. Look at Dr. Susan Kolb's interview on UTube to learn alot more. Good luck to you!
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Thanks for that info! I will check out the video.
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I'm curious to follow you on your journey. I live in the Seattle, Washington area. The idea of going to Vancouver for surgery doesn't sound like a bad idea!
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I understand about the confusion in what to do! I have been debating the decision for over a year to have mine out. At one consult the doctor told me that I could always just get them out and see about a lift after I explant and wait awhile to see what they look like. I thought this was good advice and then you aren't rushing into another procedure. It was my idea to drain first neither doctor I consulted with even said it was an option. But I am in the same boat as you. Hardly anyone I know or work with knows about them and I don't want it to be a shock to my daughters (although they might be too young to notice). I thought if I drained them then it would be a gradual change. We'll see. Good luck with whatever you decide!!
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You are totally right that it will be less obvious to others when they slowly drain. I'm all worried about others noticing but I bet no one will even notice the change in my breasts, esp with a good bra! My boys are another story. I wish I had taken care of this when my boys were younger. I could tell them a much simpler story and they would believe it. I have no idea what I'm going to tell them...definitely not the truth!! They also still run in when I'm showering, changing, etc so that will have to change.
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At first they might look funny to the boys.but after a they reform they will just look smaller...just say..you lost some wt.. that would be e truth..
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I'm more worried about the actual procedure and healing...what to tell them about that. How am I going to explain going to the hospital, being sore, bandages, etc.?? I hate not telling the truth but I don't want to tell them what is really going on.
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How old are your son's? I told my daughter about my implants when she was 18, and explained why I got them. I was more embarrassed to have to explain to men I dated that I had them, then my daughter who actually took it pretty well. Perhaps because she's female, and knows girls or their mother's who have them?
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Thank you for sharing your experience with your implants so far. I feel honored that you shared your thought process with us. Please let us know what you decide to do. And your breasts may not end up saggy and deflated. Lots of women on here have been happily surprised with their results.

Good luck with your decision!
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