My first BA was in the early 90's pre-Internet so there was nowhere to get advice or information and I just did it impulsively with the first surgeon I went to. I was depressed from a failed relationship with an unfaithful boyfriend and I was insecure from a lifetime of teasing and insensitive comments about my flat chest. I weighed around 100 pds and had almost no breast tissue - no bras fit me, I was 32AA or even AAA. Though I was athletic and muscular I was filled with self-loathing about my body and I thought that implants were a simple fix. I only told a couple friends, borrowed the money and scheduled the surgery. I did not read the fine print and I never considered what this decision would mean over a lifetime.
I had complications from the get go - after surgery my whole chest was completely numb. I eventually got some feeling back along the sides of my breasts but all these years later, between my breasts and my nipples are still mostly numb. I am aware of touch but it's not pleasant. A year or so after getting implants I developed capsular contracture which grew increasingly worse over the years. I did not have the money for revision and I was terrified of another surgery so I just lived with it. Finally, three years ago I was able to afford revision. My surgeon told me I had Grade IV capsular contracture and would need capsulectomy and either implant exchange or explant. I didn't even consider explant and decided to have smaller 270cc replacement implants. I felt certain that all would be great the second time around. Afterwards, I was generally happy with my results, My breasts were definitely softer and though not perfect, more normal looking. I had a lot of rippling but accepted it. Then, a few weeks after surgery I noticed a strange thing - under my right breast the implant formed a point under the skin. I could push it up into place with my finger but then it would just pop back out. I tried taping it for a week or so but it didn't help. I went back to my surgeon who didn't say much about it except "hmmm, that's odd". I am not a pushy person and I decided that they were so much better I had no reason to complain and I should just be satisfied.
Then recently, the spot became painful and more visible. My previous surgeon had retired so I finally went to another surgeon to see what could be done to fix it. He examined me and I was totally shocked when he told me the skin has thinned and weakened so much that it will eventually split and the implant will come out - a rare complication called extrusion. If I don't take care of it, I could end up in the ER with someone with no plastic surgery experience doing an explant. I had no idea that this was a serious complication, I just thought it was a cosmetic problem! He also told me I have capsular contracture again. I thought they were firmer than they should be but I had tried to convince myself I was imagining things. I was in denial, I just could not face it - cc again! He told me I can have a capsulotomy and replace the implants or explant, but that which ever I decide, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. I walked out in a daze, sat in my car in the parking lot and cried.
Now I have a thick gauze pad taped over the weak spot while I get a second consult.
I have already decided to explant. I'm done with implants. My body just does not want them. I am so tired of having expensive self-induced medical problems. I must admit, I am very afraid of looking freakish and grotesque without the implants. To make things worse, my husband and I are talking of separating. Adding an unexpected potentially emotionally devastating medical procedure to the mix is incredibly stressful. I haven't even told him yet that I am having them out. He was not supportive when I talked of explant in the past. I worry he will be repulsed by how I look and that will be the end of our marriage. I worry about feeling self-conscious at work and at the gym - only a handful of people know I have implants. But I realize that I must focus on being healthy and not on what other people think. Age has helped with that. Now that I have decided, I am very anxious to have them out but I am going to take my time and make sure to chose a surgeon I trust. I have another consult on the 23rd of this month. I am on a call list for cancellations so hope it may be sooner. I will continue to share my progress and appreciate all positive thoughts!