Far from Perfect but at Least They're Mine (Had Explantation on 14/11/12, 12 Years After Silicone Implants) - Wales, UK

The road to boob job and now explantation has been...

The road to boob job and now explantation has been 12 years in the making. I've read a lot of the reviews on here and looked at loads of before and after pictures, which have helped me so much in making the decision to remove my implants and go natural. I hope my story can help someone else.

When I was younger I hated my boobs. I didn't even need a bra until I was 13 and then it was only a 32AA. Over the next few years my boobs grew a bit but I only ended up being a disappointing 34A. I might have been able to live with my small boobs if they had been a nice shape but they looked a bit pointy and were spaced too far apart in my opinion. In hindsight they were probably fine but I thought they looked horrible on my 5ft 7" size 10 frame, especially if I was feeling bloated because my tummy stuck out more than my boobs!

I got married in 1998, when I was just 21, and my husband was vehemently against me getting a boob job because he hated "fake" boobs. Even though it was something I really wanted to do I went along with his wishes as I was lacking in confidence. A few years later my marriage fell apart and although it was a really difficult time I came through it with the determination to make the necessary changes to my life and finally do the things I wanted to do. So in 2000, at the ripe old age of 24, I booked in for a boob job! I only wanted to go up to a C cup but somehow I ended up with 300cc teardrop shaped saline implants above the muscle, which took me to a comparatively massive 34DD/E.

For about 10 years I loved my new shape, even though it was bigger than I had wanted to be, and felt much more self confident and flaunted my cleavage whenever I could. But over the last two years the effects of age, weight gain/loss/gain, breastfeeding etc. have all taken their toll on my boobies. They began to look and feel like heavy appendages which were not a part of me. I also developed capsular contraction in my right breast which distorted its shape and gave me some discomfort. In short I no longer loved my big boobs and longed for smaller ones.

In 2000 I was told by my surgeon that my implants would need to be replaced after 10-15 years but that seemed like centuries away to a 24 year old girl. Exactly 12 years after my original surgery (July 2012) I realised I needed to get them changed before the capsular contraction got any worse but I felt concerned by the prospect of having new implants. The thought of needing them replaced every 10-15 years began to terrify me as I worked out how many operations I would probably need over the course of my life. I wondered what it might be like if I just had the implants removed but I couldn't imagine what my implant-less boobs would look like. Would they be horrific? Would I be disfigured? Would I need reconstruction? The more I thought about it the more explantation seemed like the right thing to do but I wasn't 100% sure. While I was on holiday in September I started doing some internet research looking for explantation before and after photos so I knew what to expect. I stumbled across this brilliant realself website and began reading the reviews posted by the brave and beautiful women who were going through or had been through the exact same thing. I am so very grateful to everyone who shared their stories, photos, anxieties, positive and negative experiences which convinced me explantation was definitely the right thing for me to do.

When I got back from holiday I made an appointment to see a surgeon at a private hospital close to where I live and was so impressed with him that I booked in with him for surgery on 14/11/12. It was short notice and may seem rushed but by this point I had given it a lot of though and done a lot of research so I felt I knew what to ask him and was very pleased with his answers. Normally I would meet with more than one surgeon before making such an important choice and would urge anyone to do their research before agreeing to any procedure but I liked him at once and was very keen to have the surgery as soon as possible.

It is now the early hours of day 1 post explantation. I can't sleep because I really wanted to write this all down before I forgot how I was feeling. The surgery was done as a day case and I was allowed home yesterday afternoon, which was brilliant for me as I have a young daughter and didn't want to be away from her for too long. So far I have had very little pain and no nausea post op and feel much better than I did after the augmentation surgery. I have had a look at my new natural boobs (photos to follow) and I must confess I'm not entirely thrilled with the immediate results. But I feel so much better without the heavy silicone mellons stuck on my chest. Without my sports bra on they look saggy and deflated, which I expected, and there's very little volume at the top of my breast but I'm hoping things will improve and fluff out over the next few weeks/months. I do like the way my new boobs look in the sports bra though (I'm wearing a 34B at the moment) and I can't stop looking at my side profile and grinning. I look slimmer without my giant boobs and perhaps people will look at my face now instead of my chest! Even if my boobs don't improve in appearance at all I think I can live with the way they look now. My only concern is that my husband (no 2!) hasn't seen them and doesn't want to just yet. He is incredibly loving and supportive and I know he will love me no matter what but I think he is having a hard time imagining what my body will look like after such a radical change (he didn't want to look at before and after photos). I think I'll wait a few weeks before showing him, when hopefully they'll look a bit better. Looking forward to trying on some outfits tomorrow. Might need some new clothes to flatter my new body shape...

Day 2 post explanation. Feeling good in myself. ...

Day 2 post explanation. Feeling good in myself. Still minimal pain but my sports bra feels like it is digging in around my ribs, even though I've loosened it quite a bit. ARGH!!! Took it off for about half an hour (blessed relief!) and had a shallow bath, making sure I kept my dressings dry. Keep forgetting I'm not supposed to lift anything and I'm finding it really hard not picking up my baby girl (10 months old) but my other half puts her on my lap and we have a cuddle, which is lovely until she tries to climb up over my tender boobs! My breasts look a bit smaller today which I was told to expect as fluid/swelling goes down. My right breast is slightly larger than my left but it always was so that's not a surprise. They don't look quite like they did before I had the BA - they are wider and a bit bigger. Obviously they are less perky but I imagine they look something like they should for a woman of my age who has breast fed. I am going to get some bust gel today and try putting that on to see if it helps firm them up a bit Can't hurt...

Well it's day 3 and I'm shattered. I've been far...

Well it's day 3 and I'm shattered. I've been far too cavalier and done too much and now I'm exhausted. I'm not in pain but my ribs ache where my sports bra feels like it's digging in. I'm sick of wearing a sports bra. Haven't posted any pictures today as I don't think much has changed since yesterday.

I'm supposed to be going to a dear friend's wedding party tonight and I'm wondering if the dress I intended to wear will still fit me or if it will be too baggy on top. I'm also wondering if anyone will notice that my boobs have shrunk! I haven't told many people about the explantation surgery, only a few friends, my parents and my husband (obviously). It's not that I'm embarrassed but I am quite a private person (says she writing on a public website!) and my BA was not something I publicised. So even though I realise many people will know about it through gossip or speculation I'm not exactly sure who does know that I had implants. Therefore, I don't want to make a big public announcement that I've had them removed. I'm hoping that by the time my maternity leave ends and I go back to work next month nobody will notice my boobs or they'll just assume I've lost weight.

Lots of my clothes now look wrong on my new figure. I've spent the last decade dressing to flatter and accommodate my large boobs and now I need to reeducate myself. But on the plus side I can fit into a few tops which used to be too small for me because of my enormous norks :-) Feels and looks like I've dropped a dress size. Happy days!

Hope everyone else is doing ok, whatever stage of the journey you're at. A huge thanks to everyone who's sent me messages. I am really feeling the love and it feels SO GOOD!!!!! Thank you all. xxx

I have my post op check tomorrow. Hopefully PS...

I have my post op check tomorrow. Hopefully PS will be pleased with my recovery. Can't wait to get my sports bra off and get some proper bras on, although I'm not sure when that will be. My scars are itching SO much but I suppose that is a good sign. I'm feeling very pleased about everything. My other half has finally seen my new boobs. I flashed him after I'd been in the bath and he seemed pleasantly surprised. Not sure what horrors he was expecting!

Everything went well with my post op check. I was...

Everything went well with my post op check. I was told to wear my sports bra for another week and now I have done that I am wearing a nice bra for the first time in what feels like AGES!!! I am surprised to find I am in a 34C and my bosom is only just contained. Guess there's still some fluid and swelling to my breasts. But I am incredibly happy right now. Pictures to follow. Lots of love to all you ladies out there pre and post explant. xxx
Mr Hiew

He didn't try to force me into replacing the implants or to have an uplift. He listened to what I had to say and respected my wishes.

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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Comments (42)

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I think they look great. Not sure what your worried about?
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You look really good and have a lovely shape to your breasts, I'm sure that they will not change too much more and that the size you are now will be the end result. Congratulations on doing the right thing for your body.xxx
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Gorgeous!!! You look amazing! Real and soft and feminine and beautiful! Enjoy this sweet time of healing and take good care of yourself! I'm about a week behind you {10 days post-explant} and am just so happy I could pinch myself! XOXO!
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You look great! Believe it or not, what you (and probably I) look like is what women are SUPPOSED to look like! We're not supposed to be big, and extremely firm and non supple! You look natural and you will like it better every day! I am approx. 4 1/2 wks and still love the new (old) me! Like you, my BA was not public knowledge. I have been wearing push up bras when going somewhere public. No one has commented (most likely a very private thing people will not comment on!). I don't love the push up bras as I still feel like I am falling out of them. Need to repossition once in a while. Like you, I think I am a bit wider, probably from stretched skin. My bras compress skin under my arms I didn't have issues with before, but once again, no one sees as I have clothes on! So enjoy the new you!! I have to believe it just keeps getting better, and don't you just love being soft again!!
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Im so glad that I came across your post. I also had an under the muscle saline breast augmentation 12 years ago going from a 34A/AA to a 36 D/DD. They were supossed to be a large C. I have thought that they looked rediculous from day one. After doing a lot of research I have scheduled an intentional deflation leaving the shells intact on Dec. 7th. I really like the way your natural breasts look. The photos you posted 15 days pre op almost made me cry with happiness. You look amazing and I pray that I heal as well as you have after 15 days. I can only imagine what you will look like in 3 months. My procedure on Dec. 7th can't come fast enough. Im very tired of these heavy, hard, silly implants and cant wait to hug my child without the balloons in the way. Congrats on your results, I think you're very lucky.
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Hi Heather, your comment made me so happy. I'm really pleased you found my post helpful. I found this site extremely helpful when I was considering explantation as I had no idea what to expect so I am really pleased to have been of help to someone else. I think I have been very lucky with the way my boobs have turned out. I was expecting much smaller, flatter boobs! But then I have been told to expect some reduction in size in the next few weeks/months. All the best for your procedure on 7th Dec. I hope you're pleased with the results. xxx
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It's finally over. My procedure took around 5-10 minutes. I sat up to see them and I was overjoyed. They looked like yours at 15 days, nice size and shape. In the next few months, if genetics are on my side, they will contract a lot more. Even if they don't, I am happy with them the way they look. It's a Christmas miracle. I came home and hugged my son for the first time without a barrier and I almost cried. After a few months have gone by I am going to post my pre and post surgery photos and story. There isn't much out there about intentional deflation, so if I can help even one person the way you helped me then it will be worth the time it takes to post my experience. Thank you for the peace of mind you gave me with your pictures going into this. I appreciate you a lot.
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That's great Heather. I'm so glad you're happy with your result. xxx
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You look amazing. How many sizes smaller did you go after removing implants? I had mine removed on 29 nov bt I am in tight bandages and have been told to remove the bandage after 72 hours. Should I continue to wear the bandages? Were you told to wear anything to keep breasts tight to avoid fluid accummulation?
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Hi, I was told to wear a firm sports bra to prevent fluid build up. I've been wearing it for just over 2 weeks and have to wear it for another week. I was 34DD/E with implants and now I think I'm 34B/C but I was told they will probably get a bit smaller in the next few weeks/months. Pre implant I was 34A so I'm not sure how much the size of my boobs without implant is due to fluid, swelling, weight gain etc. I guess only time will tell what size I end up. Hope you're pleased with the results of your explant when the bandages come off :)
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Thanks champagnecharlie101. Thanks for ur reply. I'm pleased with my results but I will need a lift at some stage, I'm happy to be my own body again. You must be thrilled to be able to buy smaller sizes of bra again. I just bought 36C size sports bra. It's tight but I hope I will go smallers. After ages I bought a C from a DD and DDD.
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Your boobies look like they are tightening up real good! I bet you are thrilled!
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Thanks. I'm very pleased with how they look so far :)
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Hi champagnecharlie 101. Reading your review has lessened my anxiety. I had silicone implants 12yrs ago I went from a 34A to 36C cup. I'm due to have them out on the 4th Dec with a capsulectomy has i have developed CC grade 3, although they are hard their not distorted. I feel the same way has you regarding replacing the implants but am fearful of what I will look like when their out, suppose will just have to get used to having small boobs again its better than having coconuts stuck to my chest. Glad you posted a review as its really made me feel better. If my breasts turn out similar to yours i wont be disappointed. x
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Hi mcal42, I'm really glad my review has made you feel better. I was nervous about what my boobs would look like post explant but I have been pleasantly surprised. My boobs are bigger now than they were pre implant so maybe yours will be too. Good luck for your explant on 4th Dec. xxx
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Best of luck. I had mine out 29 Nov. Have not built gutts to see my results bt will remove my bandage tomorrow. The feeling of having your own body back is the best. You will do fine
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Have fun at your friend's wedding tonight and I must say, you look brilliant! You have plenty of breast tissue left. Make sure your sports bra is supportive enough to mould your new shape while your tissue adheres to your chest wall. Don't overdo things - I think most of us "explantees" have done that at some stage. All the best for your recovery.
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Thanks Loobeedoo. xxx
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Glad to hear I am not the only one with small child. When did your ps say you can pick your child up.How many weeks?
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I have an 8 month old and two year old. I was told absolutely no lifting for first 72 hrs am them if I needed to pick up baby to scoop her rather than use chest muscles to lift. I'm 2 and a half weeks in now and can lift but not hold her like I used to. I have to 'balance' on my mum tum and hold her facing forward, luckily she likes it. If I have her facing me, first thing she does is smack boobs!!
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Ha ha! My little girl is forever trying to climb up my boobs or manages to punch/kick me in them. She's so wriggly it's hard to not get smacked in the chest.
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Like Mrs West I was told strictly no lifting for 72 hours (oops!) and then to avoid it as much as possible for the next 2 weeks. I get my other half to lift her in and out of the cot for me and he will put her on my lap so I can scoop her up for a cuddle. I'm lucky to have him home to help me so much as he works nights mostly so is around during the day
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You look fab in your pics, I know how hard it is for baby cuddles (I have 8 month old) but we manage, am looking forward to proper cuddles soon. We are the same age, but I had a lift as knew explant alone wouldn't be enough for me. Hope you continue to heal well.x
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MrsWest you look fab post lift :) sorry your recovery hasn't been plain all sailing so far. I'm sure things will get better now they've drained the abscess (ouch!). You were very brave, I am a total baby when it comes to regular needles let alone great big cannulas. Lots of love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. xxx
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You look beautiful. The concaveness above my right breast greatly improved at about 4 weeks after explant. Give it time! First they seem to shrink even more as they start healing but then they start regaining tone and shape overnight.
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