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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