I feel better than expected immediately following my removal yesterday. No question that it was the best choice for my health, which is far more important to me than my appearance. I got 500cc gummy bear Mentors implanted over muscle 3.5 years ago going from 36B to 36D/DD after my consult discussing for 400-450s for a natural 36C/D. Oh well. Flash forward 2 years to increased back/neck pain and capsular contracture. I also had weird joint pain and swollen lymph nodes around my groin, but did not realize there could be a relationship to my implants. (Had not found realself.com yet) I went back for removal due to neck/back pain and my doc said ok, they would look almost the same but he was retiring and could not fit me in before leaving. I found another highly recommended surgeon nearby.
He recommended a capsulectomy and downsize instead of removal saying I would not be happy with the appearance, so I went for that instead. He did inform me that capsulectomy/reoccurrence was much more common once you have had one already as well as other complications. He implanted 375cc on non capsuled right side and 405cc on left side where there had been a capsulectomy and tissue loss, so I looked even. I appreciated that attention to detail. It was a longer surgery than planned but he took the time required. Unfortunately I woke up with severe sharp pain on the right side pectoral muscle near my armpit but the nurse assured me that was normal to have pain. During recovery, I was happy with the smaller size and soon after the procedure my neck/back pain subsided. Flash forward one year, right arm muscle is now a dull ongoing pain, left breast feeling hard again, numbness in both arms every night, joints and muscle pain increasing, lymph nodes consistently swollen, right breast pulling to the outside so I am physically holding it in place with my hand whenever people are not around to see me, and chronic fatigue leaving me too tired/sore to work or exercise. All of this outlasts my threshold for pain management so I took a medical leave and began my Internet research. Here I find realself and learn I am not alone in my symptoms and that my silicone implants may be at cause for many, if not all of them. I read the Sientra brochure cover to cover and find a small section noting joint pain may be a side effect, though their evidence is not conclusive. I then go back to my revision surgeon requesting removal once again and he complies after I mention the joint pain and how I feel like an old lady in my 42 year old previously healthy body.
I state that even a small chance of relationship between my symptoms and my implants is reason enough for removal. He agrees and seemed genuinely concerned. He did not charge surgeon fee for removal which I appreciate so cost was minimal. He and his staff seem very conscientious and were wonderful during the procedure yesterday and phone follow ups today. Removal was 30 hours ago and already I feel a surge of energy coming back into my system. I did not fully realize how much energy was being used to maintain these foreign bodies inside of me until now that they are gone. What relief! I already know this was the right decision for my health regardless of what I see under the bandages and do wish I had done it earlier, but my vanity got in the way of my better judgement. If you have any instinct telling you to remove your implants, I highly recommend you listen to them. I wish I had trusted mine sooner over doctor opinion. Even good/great doctors don't know what is best for your body more than you do. Your health is your best asset, not your appearance. I know that now, learning the hard way by experience. I'm already loving my littler, natural breasts, especially now that I feel like myself again and am excited to get back to my workouts once I'm done recovering. It's been over a year since I had the energy to go for a walk or jog, leaving me carrying an extra 20lbs now. Healthy diet and exercise are the only future alterations I have planned. Thank you to all who have shared their explanation stories on here. They helped me confirm explanating was the right choice for me, and also helped me feel less stupid for putting the darn things inside my body-TWICE! Live and learn....and pass it on. Before/After Pics to follow with updates in gratitude to all others who have bravely shared their experiences before me. It has been a troublesome road to go down. Nice to know we are not alone on it, and there is a healthy end in sight!