41 Year Old, SubMuscular Textured Saline Implants, Removal on 9/24 After 22 years

I really need the collective support of realself...

I really need the collective support of realself to get through my explant scheduled on 9/24/14. Here's my story:

I was a late bloomer, slim, and had an athletic build as a teen. My dad teased me quite often about my lack of breasts and then would follow up by saying that I could always get a "boob job." We'll, at the age of 19, that's exactly what I did. It makes me sick to my stomach now to think back on his comments. Who the heck says that to their daughter? I have a daughter and would never dream of telling her anything other than she is beautiful the way she is.

I can't remember the implant size, but I told the surgeon to make me proportional. I was a small b cup. I look back at pictures before the BA and I had lovely breasts. There was nothing wrong my size. When I came out of the surgery, I was quite large and the surgeon told me not to worry. The implants would drop and the swelling would go away and I would love my size. I had gone from a B to a double DD. The size didn't look natural and I looked out of proportion. The surgery was very painful. I woke up from anesthesia and immediately couldn't breathe, which I was told was normal and the chest muscles would eventually loosen. About 2 days after surgery, I started having issues with lactation. I had never been pregnant, but I started leaking breast milk. When I called the surgeon, he told me that my prolactin level must have elevated because of the surgery. Such a weird complication! I now know that prolactin levels can elevate in response to chest wall injuries. It's a problem that I've had to deal with off and on for the last 22 years.

About 2 months after the surgery, one of the implants started to slip. It was very noticeable in clothing. I went back to the surgeon and he replaced the slipped implant. I should have just had them both removed. The surgeon was still insistent that I was still not healed from the surgery and I would get my desired size. This never happened, unfortunately. And over time, the implants have shifted causing a wide presentation and uneven nipples.

After my second surgery, my sister was diagnosed with malignant hyperthermia. This causes a very serious reaction to anesthesia that is genetically passed. I grew to hate my implants, but felt that my now 50% odds of having MH made a 3rd elective surgery too risky. If I knew the implants could be removed under local anesthesia, I would have removed them years ago.

I've had 2 consults and feel confident with my PS. I'm very concerned about having an anxiety attack during the procedure. The dr prescribes a sedative, but said I won't need an IV. I think that rules out conscious sedation. I really really want the implants removed and I'm hopeful that will motivate me to face my fear about being awake during the procedure (such a better word than surgery!).

The procedure is set for 9/24/14. My breasts are soft and the dr doesn't recommend capsule removal or drains. I was told it would be a simple "skin surgery" with little risk of complication. I should be back to work in a week.

I'm not worried about how I'll look after the explant or the recovery period, my only concern is for the procedure itself. I could really use some support.

3 Weeks Until Explant!

Three weeks from today I will be implant free :)

My husband hasn't been very supportive of the removal. I think he's coming around, though he still doesn't believe my that there's a shelf life when it comes to implants. Strangely enough, the explant isn't a conversation I feel very comfortable having with him. We were dating at the time I got the implants and, I don't know, maybe there's a small part of me that blames him for not telling me I was perfect the way I was. I know I need to own the decision to get the implants. Nobody forced me to augment. It was a really stupid decision that I regret and am ashamed of. Definitely not anything I would ever do today.

Speaking of being ashamed, I have teen boys and am trying to decide if the surgery is something I have to tell them about. I'd rather keep this quiet and not discuss it. Any advice appreciated.

2 Weeks Until Explant

I can't believe I'm down to 2 weeks! Still feeling anxious about the procedure, but I'm feeling more determined the closer I get. If I have to start sedating myself a week prior, then that's what I'll have to do :)

I bought a front closure bra this week. I have my preop on 9/22, but have no special instructions to follow at this point. Everything I know about preop stuff really comes from this board. I will avoid aspirin/ibuprofen for the next couple of weeks. The last thing I want is to get to my preop and have the surgery rescheduled because I took something I shouldn't have.

I really appreciate reading through everyone's stories. It gives me the courage to get these bags out of me.

1 Week Until Explant

Next week at this time, I will be home recuperating. I can't believe I'm only a week out. Ack! Still feeling very determined and I know how important it is to have my implants removed. My pre-op is on 9/22 and I'll be very honest with Dr. Gabriel about my level of anxiety about the actual procedure. I may need the max amount of whatever sedative he prescribes :)

Things I'm looking forward to:
--No more worries about all my weird health issues and whether it's caused by my implants.
--Sleeping on my stomach.
--Sleeping on my side :)
--Wearing bathing suits without worrying about whether everyone knows I have implants.
--Mammograms that aren't intensely painful.
--Mammogram results that are clear and not difficult to read due to dense breast tissue.
--Showing and not just telling my daughter that the body we are born with is beautiful.
--Not having to disclose to every health professional that I have implants.
--Soft boobies :)
--Clothes fitting better.
--Exercising without my huge boobs in the way, especially in yoga class.
--Hugging people without worrying about whether they feel my implants.
--Getting rid of my chronic neck pain and spasms. Not sure if it's caused by the implants, but I've read so many stories on RS that explant helped.
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (52)

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Gotid luck girl. . The surgery will be over within 30 minutes .. some women fill very little during the procedure. Just breathe while its being done. . Its not horrible at all. .
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Thanks! I'll get through it one way or another.
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Hello beautiful! Wishing you a pain free procedure and recovery.... I have been implant free for just over 1 year (explant was on August 22 2013) I feel absolutely fantastic and my boobies tho much smaller then with implants are amazing ;) ....I can't believe how much more I love my body since I had my procedure...100% worth it!
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That's so great! Do you have any flex deformity after the implants were removed? Or did you have any muscle flex deformity while they were in? I'm thinking of getting my 275cc silicon under the muscles taken out after 3 years of having them.
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I had no deformity before or after. I was very lucky! I realize mine was a simple explant and my thoughts are prayers are with you all
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I just had my 10 yr old implants removed 3 days ago. I'm sooo happy!!! I feel like a normal woman again. Procedure was simple, I was awake and drove myself home. No pain just lil discomfort. I took one Tylenol the evening after procedure. All my old bras still fit too!!! What a bonus ;) I've got lots of pics if you're interested. You can do it!!!
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I can't believe you didn't need any sedation and drove yourself home! I'm so impressed with your fortitude.
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Can't wait to hear about your explant. Mine is Sept 29 at 12:30 (ugh wish it was earlier so I'm not starving and thirsty lol) mine is with a general anesthesia. One of my many reasons (outside if pain) has a lot to do with your list but especially having a daughter. I want her to grow up loving her body and I didn't know how I would be able to accomplish that when I had implants so out they go :) and I'm hoping the worries (especially about silicone breaking) and the pain will go away once the implants are gone. I'm soooo excited for you! Keep us posted
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OK --- so obviously I've never had implants removed (my surgery is scheduled for 10/02) but I have had 2 C-sections, for the second of which I was awake. I will tell you that you are going to be nervous, but it is absolutely going to be pain free and all you will feel is tugging. You are going to to great and just put these worries out of your mind. I am also looking forward to many of the same things your are looking forward to. Especially the yoga and hugging. No more side hugs for me. After surgery I'm going to bear hug everybody that will let me! You're going to look and feel great! Good luck and put your mind to rest! About the teen boys --- I have a 16yo and a 6yo. My teen would be absolutely mortified if I told him anything about my breasts. Every kid is different though. If asked, I won't lie about it, but I'm not going to bring it up. I can imagine in my head my son asking why I am going to the doctor and me starting to explain and as soon as I say breasts he would throw his hands up and say "NEVER MIND, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!" haha. But like I said, that is my teen, maybe yours isn't different.
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Pretty sure my teen boys don't want to know. If I have a tough time recovering, I'll just call it a female procedure and leave it at that.
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Sounds like a plan! Good luck.
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My preop is the same day as yours. We should def. check in with each other that day to compare notes. I am having local with a sedative. Twilight they called it. I agree with everything on your list. I haven't even had a mammogram on account if worrying about rupturing my silicone implants. Will be so relieved to be back to my natural breasts!
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I really thought my implants would pop at the last mammogram. It was pretty painful. One of the first things My PS asked about in the consult was whether I had a recent. mammogram. Given the difficulty of reading mine and the fact that they suggested I consider additional testing due to breast density, I'll probably look into it after I'm healed. I swear I was told when I first got my implant that mammograms are actually easier to read because they push the breast tissue forward. That has not been my experience, at all.
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I was told the same thing about mammograms being easier to read if the implant was above the muscle.
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Everyone reacts differently to the twilight sedation - some hear the conversations going on around them and feel the tugging. I did not hear or feel anything. I felt like I was in a restful sleep and had no clue the procedure was going on while it was going on. I also have no recollection of being moved in a wheel chair from recovery to my hubbie's car.
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I had twilight sedation for an IVF egg retrieval and remember nothing. Whatever they gave me worked well. I'll clarify on Monday, but I'm almost certain that I'm not having twilight sedation for explant.
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I love your list of things to look forward to! You are going to LOVE feeling the lightness that all of us who have explanted describe - it's just amazing! I'm looking forward to buying some cute, sexy simple bras that are comfortable! I'm very excited for you - keep us posted!
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Yes, definitely add cute and comfortable bras to the list.
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I had an explant under local with Dr Gabriel, it wasn't traumatic at all. He is an excellent Doctor, and the surgery itself for the explant was very quick and simple, they drape you so you aren't seeing the surgery happen, and Dr Gabriel and his assistants chat pleasantly with you. I'm pleased with my results from the simple removal, and if I were to have any future breast surgeries I would only go back to Dr Gabriel. Mainly plan on a lot of rest and "light duty" during the weeks after surgery. Give yourself a lot of time to heal physically and time to adjust mentally and emotionally. You can do this! Best wishes!
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Awwww, thanks! Your comment is exactly what I needed today. Dr. Gabriel is highly recommended. I have no worries about him, only myself and how I'll handle the procedure :)
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If you're doing it under local, you'll be very suprised at how easy, quick and painless it is. Things can always vary amongst patients but it's a general consensus here on RS that it's super easy and quick. I would do this again before I'd have another root canal! :)
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Super easy and quick is what I'm counting on!
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My surgery will be sept 11 also local anesthesia. .watch for my post..ill let everyone know what its like..im nervous myself. .im dreading the looks of my boobs at first...
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Good luck! I can't wait to hear everything about it.
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My surgery is scheduled a day before yours, so I'll send you good vibes! Making the decision to explant is a relief! The women here are very insightful and helpful with sharing their experiences, so be sure to reach out to us. It is scary and intimidating to think of altering your body (once again), but I think all the women who reach the other side are overjoyed with their natural self. I am looking forward to being back to my natural self. Gook luck and let us help!
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