Explant after 30 years of implants

I have no agenda to talk other women out of...

I have no agenda to talk other women out of getting breast implants. I know that many women are very pleased with them and I'm glad they have had good luck. But for me, getting breast implants was one of the worst decisions I ever made. I have had two expensive surgeries with multiple complications that have been painful, embarrassing, and distressing. Now I have a rare complication that I never expected (had never even heard of) and will soon have a third - but final - surgery.
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!

Told my husband, not the support I was hoping for

Told my husband about my consult and the extrusion risk and capsular contraction. That I've made up my mind to explant with no new implants. When we talked about it a few years ago I asked if he would still be attracted to me with them out and he said "I don't know". Now when I told him they are coming out for good he said he thinks it's the right thing to do - but nothing else. I asked if he could please reassure me and tell me he'd still love me no matter how it looks but he didn't. I even asked if he could just lie (pathetic I know). He hugged me with what felt like pity but silence and I just walked away feeling sad and alone. 20 years together. We've had trouble for a while and there was another woman. Which I forgave and have tried to forget. We are in therapy and I thought it was helping... I had really hoped for more compassion. Broke my heart but I have to love myself enough to do it and be brave.

Did you have explant under local anesthesia? What was it like?

So the first surgeon I saw about explant said he would do it with local only - injecting I guess Lidocaine? I thought they would do it under twilight, like they use for colonoscopy but it seems that most PS use local only. I do understand the risk of general anesthesia and that it should be avoided if possible. Everyone says it doesn't hurt but what is the experience like mentally? I can picture looking down at him pulling these bloody bags out and my boobs deflating and having a full blown anxiety attack. Do they block your view of the surgery? Did the PS describe what s/he was doing as they removed them?

Flat Pride!

Hey fellow explanters - I propose we start a Flat Pride movement! I am noticing and saving photos of women with small breasts and the more I see the more excited I am to get rid of my implants! One of my Flat Pride sheroes is Keira Knightley. Here's a photo from a shoot she did in which she demanded that the photos not be photoshopped or altered in any way because she loves her petite shape. Her statement about the photos was - "I think women's bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame."
The heartbreaking common thread in most of the reviews from women who explant is how terrible we felt about our bodies when we decided to pay someone our hard-earned money to slice them open and stuff plastic into them. When I made this body-and-life altering decision it seemed like I was the only woman with a flat chest and that I couldn't possibly be a real woman the way I was. That not only was I not attractive, I was defective. I was naturally very thin and muscular then. I was often saddened by phrases like "real women have curves" and hater descriptions of naturally small breasted women as "skeletons", "scarecrows" or "anorexic". It seems that it's socially acceptable to attack smaller women to help larger women feel better about their bodies, instead of just embracing our differences. The result has been devastating for many women. Have you ever read about the history of breast augmentation? It's gruesome - women's bodies altered with all manner of substances with horrific results including death. An early casualty of breast augmentation experimentation was Edie Sedgwick. A beautiful young woman, Edie was a style icon of the 60's and a Vogue model who became one of Any Warhol's Factory regulars, starring in several of his films. She was a sad and troubled young woman and despite her perfect proportions, she underwent the early form of BA in which her breasts were injected with liquid silicone. Her once lovely body became deformed and I cannot imagine the pain and health problems she must have endured. Tragically, she died from an overdose of barbiturates at the age of 28. I think of Edie as the patron saint of women with breast implants...I am honoring her memory by posting these photos of her as she was in her perfect natural form.

So, fellow explanters and friends, join the movement! Notice and celebrate the infinite variety of women's bodies and what really makes everyone beautiful: confidence, compassion, gratitude, happiness, love...

Rest in Peace Edie
XOXO

Second Consult for Explant - getting closer!

Had a second consult with a new PS today. Very nice and took time to answer all my questions. He said my capsular contracture is not bad - 1-2 - and will not need capsules out - yay! Said just novocaine to numb the skin and will be very quick and simple, they will just slide out. Will not need drains, which I was so happy to hear. He said my skin tone is very good and because the implants are not large I should not have a saggy result just "much less volume, probably an A cup" which of course I expect. I am only a B now with the implants. He said no need for a lift which is what the first doc said. He told me if I have new implants put in it will be cheaper than doing it later as a separate surgery but I told him I really wasn't happy having them anymore. He said it's very common for women my age to decide they are done with them, lifestyle and priorities change. I see my third PS next week and then will choose a doc and a date! Hoping for late Sept to early Oct...

Explant surgery booked - it is really such a simple procedure?

So I picked a surgeon, paid a deposit and scheduled my explant for December 8th. It is hard to wait but I am having foot surgery in November that will necessitate using crutches for a while and imagine that would be very bad to do post explant. Plus I need to save up sick leave. I really like the surgeon. He is at the practice where I had my revision done 4 years ago. My previous surgeon is retiring. I do not blame him for the problems I have had. I think my body just wants them out. One thing I worry about is this surgeon says I will not need drains and it will be a super simple procedure, just novocaine, cut open at my old incision sites and out they come. Can it really be as simple as that? It seems like most everyone who has explant has drains. I was happy to hear it but wonder why not. I do not need capsulectomy so maybe that is why? I do not have rupture and have fortunately have not had any of the overall health problems so many of you have had. He told me I need to take a week off from work and driving. It sounds like many women take much more time off. It will be really hard for me to even take a week off as I will have very little sick leave. I keep noticing how heavy and hard to open the doors at my office are. I also will have to lug a heavy bag with a laptop and files in it to meetings outside the office, sometimes a long walk from my car. I worry how I will go back to work and not complicate my healing process. I do not feel at all comfortable discussing with my boss. Did any of you who have been through explant get back to work and driving after as little as only a week?

Petite breasts in fashion

Have you noticed that many catalogs lately are including women with more modest breast sizes? Even Victoria's Secret is showing models who are small breasted now. I wish this had been the case when I was this shape pre-implant. I could not find any adult bras in my size 25 years ago and remember how depressing it was. I felt that I was not a "real" woman (ironic I got fake breasts to feel real...) I'm glad there are images of fashionable small breasted women and pretty bras in small sizes for girls growing up now.

Silicone - eeewwww

So I found out from Wikipedia that silicone is used for:
Caulk
Brake lubricant
Dry cleaning
Aquarium sealant
Oh, and breast implants
How creepy is that?? I am counting the days until I get this foreign matter OUT of my body. And I feel very guilty for these things going in a landfill only to outlive me by thousands of years...

Just say no to implants article (Preaching to the choir yet so reaffirming!)

I found this article online (Forbes magazine of all places...) and have copied most of it here below. For all of those on the explant journey it's just preaching to the choir, but I decided to share because it's so well written and reaffirming. I just hope some women who are on the fence about getting implants may read it and decide they are just fine without them thank-you-very-much.

If you are considering breast implants, ask yourself, why do you really want them? Is it because your boyfriend or husband wants them? Then maybe he should get breast implants himself or purchase a pair of silicone bags that he can keep in his dresser drawer and take on dates (by himself). If your significant other doesn’t like you without breast implants, then you may want to consider another surgery…removal of your significant other. If you feel that breast implants will make you more attractive, then ask yourself who you are really trying to attract? If you are trying to attract plastic surgeons to operate on you more…well then maybe this will work (plastic surgeons may have to perform several operations to correct problems with the first breast implant surgery, which is another potential issue with breast implants). As you know, physical attractiveness is highly subjective. No one is universally attractive. The entertainment industry tries to tell you what is attractive, but remember, these are just a fraction of the people in the world telling you what you should look like. If all of us were to base our preferences solely on these standards, then many people of different races, ethnicities, body shapes and backgrounds would be out of luck. Also, just look at how the “ideal look” has changed over time.

The FDA website lists the many problems that you could have if you get breast implants. First of all, remember: Breast implants involve major surgery. The joke is that unless surgery is performed on someone else, all surgeries are major, meaning that they bring serious risks. You have to undergo anesthesia, which is essentially putting you to sleep with chemicals and then requiring chemicals to wake you up again. You need a tube stuck done your throat and a machine to help you breathe during the surgery. Someone has to cut into your chest, meaning that you will bleed and could have an infection, scars and various body parts such as your nerves, lymph nodes, muscles and nipples damaged. Do you really want to undergo surgery if you don’t have to do so?

Secondly, someone is sticking a foreign object into your body…and not for just a few hours or days, but for years. The body and immune system does not always react kindly to such an invasion. Try sticking a splinter into yourself and see what happens. (Note: I am in no way advocating sticking a splinter into yourself.) And these foreign objects are not small splinters, but instead large bags…or really large bags depending on what you or your partner wants. If the surgeon does not know what he or she is doing (and a number of surgeons do fall into this category), these big bags could end up positioned incorrectly and lots of damage could occur.

Did I mention that you are sticking big bags into your chest? These bags are filled with some type of liquid (saline or salt water) or goo (silicone) to make them feel like real breasts (they really don’t). Any bag can leak or break. Like “love” based on breast size, no implant lasts forever. Typically implants will last 7 to 12 years, meaning that you will have to have another surgery to remove and replace them. But implants can leak, deflate, or rupture well before that time. When these bags leak, the liquid or goo leaks into your chest and can potentially travel to different parts of your body. Some have wondered whether leaking silicone (and platinum that may be part of the silicone implant) can cause immunological diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and mixed connective-tissue disease or even neurological problems. While scientific studies have not established clear links, some women have indicated that their symptoms of diseases have disappeared after removing their implants. It is not implausible that your body and immune system may react to breast implants…because you are, after all, sticking big bags into your chest. However, more research is needed.

There is still much to learn about breast implants. Scientific research is limited because many of the surgeons who perform breast implants just don’t conduct formal scientific research, many of the people who get breast implants do not participate in formal scientific studies, and many of the people who think about or encourage breast implants don’t think about formal scientific research.

Knowing all of this, do you really want to get breast implants? If you are considering breast implants simply because someone else is telling you directly or indirectly to do so, you may want to think about the potential problems before moving forward. Breast implants are a big deal…and we’re not talking about the 34DD sense. You would be undergoing surgery that you may not really need and putting…one more time…bags of liquid or goo into your body…that you may not really need.

In the end, whether you should get breast implants is a personal decision. But don’t overlook the seriousness of taking such a step. After all, getting breast implants is not like buying a pair of toe socks (which has its own set of problems) or even getting a piercing. Breast implants do require major surgery and…you guessed it…putting bags of liquid or goo in your chest.

Countdown to Explant!!

This time next Thursday I will be free!!
Exactly one week from today my implants will be gone!!
I have had several dreams in which I am so happy with them out. Hope that bodes well. But no matter what the results, I will accept myself as I am.

Surgery postponed to Jan!

So I had a foot surgery a couple weeks ago and the doctor had made it sound like I'd be getting around fine by now. Not! Tons of pain still! All bandaged up, can't shower and in an air cast 24/7 unless I'm in bed. Realized it would just be too much to add explant to my diminished physical state right now. So new explant date is January 26. All paid up!
Instead of my Merry Christmas will be my Happy New Year! Happy Holidays to all and see you on Explant Island in 2017!

Anyone tried MaxCleavage bras?

So I found an online store called MaxCleavage with bras that are supposed to double or triple cup size for women with A or even AA. Has anyone tried these?

Husband Still Cheating and Explant Next Week

So I caught my husband cheating back in the fall and he swore it was over (after I'd caught him before same woman). We've been in counseling and I thought we were working things out but I accidentally took his tablet with me to my house I live in during the week and I could not help but look...found out he has a secret gmail account (which I can't log into) and there is a recent photo in the gallery of this same woman in a bikini. He hasn't shown me any physical affection for months. I feel like an idiot...and my explant is next week. I need him to help me, I don't have anyone else. None of my friends here know and I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone. So tired of the lies. Depressed...

Saying goodbye and good riddance to implants - surgery tomorrow!

Posting one last picture showing where the implant is about to break through my skin. Yuck, can't wait to have these out. Can't believe how hard and ugly my boob looks in this picture. Not pretty...Tomorrow at 9:45 I will be free!!

One last picture

So for some reason my photo is posting upside down...

Implants are out! Early results are in - 5 hours post explant photos

So ladies I'm crying a bit cause it ain't pretty, looks much worse than I had hoped with my wishful thinking. But I must say physically it feels incredibly great to have them out. Just amazing. When he pulled the first implant out, I immediately felt a huge relief to have this foreign thing out of my body. Like my body took a big sigh of relief and said ahhhh. I am actually glad I was awake to experience that, it was quite powerful. The only discomfort was the novocaine which burned and took a few minutes each side. (I'm a baby about needles too.) The nurse squeezed my hand while he did the novocaine and distracted me by getting me to talk about my work, which was really sweet. They played relaxing music in the OR. The surgeon was very kind and chatted with me as he worked and explained what was going on. There was no pain at all with the removal and I have zero pain right now. They gave me a Xanax before but I didn't feel much effect of that. My implants were intact (I had over the muscle silicone). They were much larger than I pictured and made me wonder if I had insisted on smaller implants when I have revision 4 years ago, would I have had all the problems. But I did have Grade II capsular contracture and that almost always comes back no matter the size of implants. I did not have the capsules removed. I have dissolvable sutures and steri strips but did not need drains and they said I can shower in 4 days. The doctor said I have a "moderate" amount of my own tissue and that it was squashed by the implants and he expects things to retract and fill out a bit. But trying not to get my hopes up. I am what I am. So now it's onward and upward for this explant soldier. My birthday is in April and that would have been the 30 year mark of having implants so a good early present to myself.
Thanks to all the brave ladies that have gone before me and shared their photos and journeys, the ups and the downs. I could never have gotten the courage up without you all!!
(Despite our problems my husband was very kind and reassuring during the whole thing and told me I was very brave.)

I will continue to post photos on my progress...

I am everyone's worst nightmare

Just feeling devastated today. Facing the reality that I am one of those lucky (not) .01% of women who look worse without their implants. Trying to remember that at least I don't have to have chemo and radiation like a friend of mine who recently had a double mastectomy. I was deluding myself with positive thinking. Was not prepared for how this looks. Flat I can handle, freakish not so much. How do my sister.01% ers get on with life? How long did it take you to accept yourself?
I ordered silicone bra inserts. I just hope they will work so I can hold my head up at work in 4 days.

Pity Party is Over

Thanks to all of you who helped me through my first morning after explant. It was a rough one with lots of tears but now feeling grateful for good health and no pain. Will keep my sports bra on and not look or take pictures for a while. I know I have to give it time. Patience is not my strong suit. What I did not expect is that after the implants were pulled out of my body I was instantly thrown back to 30 years ago when I was in my 20's and dealing with depression. Brought up so many difficult memories. Just have to breathe, give myself a hug and move forward. I will post more pictures as changes happen. I think it's important to share my journey to help others no matter how my results turn out. It's part of being an explant warrior. Thanks to all! XOXO

Today I am a Ballerina

Today I realized that I am a ballerina and that I have been one all along under the implants. Now I am ready to dance. I have kept my sports bra on for 24 hours with no peeking so mother nature can do her thing. I tried on some tight tops and realized wow - I look so much thinner and graceful. Granted, some of my shape is still gauze pads :-) But once I can get back to the gym I think I can rock this.
Today I put on some makeup, went out and had my hair cut and shampooed which felt great after 3 days of no shower.
I am getting through that 30 years of buried self-hate that reared its ugly head again and I will get to the other side.

Three Days Post Explant - Progress!

Ok, so I ain't winning any wet t-shirt contests but there is definitely progress!! Dents going away -yay!! Not feeling so damaged. I can totally live with tiny and expect things to continue to improve. Thanks all you ladies who told me to just keep the bra on and don't look for a while. Best advice!!! XOXO

Smart ladies I want your opinion on another topic

So maybe this isn't the right forum for this but you ladies are so insightful I want your opinions. What do you all think about online/ texting emotional affairs? Have you experienced this? This has been an ongoing issue in my marriage for a couple years. The woman is in another state and he swears there has been no travel for physical hookup up (I'm not 100% convinced ) but they were texting and emailing constantly in secret for months - like all day long. To me this felt like cheating because he was totally physically and emotionally detatched at this time and keeping it secret. When I first found out and read the texts - not sexual but intense, cutesy pet names etc. - I flipped out and he said he'd break it off. Then a couple months later I looked at the phone records and it was in full swing again. Again he promised to stop. Then I found out he bought a second phone to keep talking and texting with her. He minimized it and said "I missed my friend, she's a friend like any of my friends". I said bullshit on that. I even sent her a cease and desist text and a letter but I found out she is emailing him still. She's also married.
So, what do you think?? Is this cheating even if they haven't had sex? It feels like it to me! How would you handle this??

If you are looking for padding - my recommendation

So I am fine to be sans padding at home but wanted something to wear at work at least for a while so I don't feel self-conscious. My pictures show what I can achieve with a lightly padded sports bra and silicone inserts. In clothes I look pretty much the same as before my explant. No one will be the wiser!

I've also included pictures of the bra pads and silicone inserts. I bought the inserts on Amazon - they are Braza Au Natural Bra Insert Pads and they were $20.00. Very comfortable and natural feeling. Hug approved! They feel about 1/2 inch thick in the middle and taper at the edges.

I also ordered some pricey inserts from the UK that I hope will be good for bathing suits and more revealing clothes. I will post about those when I get them.

Padding options

Hope these photos will upload

One week post explant progress photos

I had my one week check up with my PS on Thursday. Aesthetically things have improved quite a bit and I am feeling terrific! My tiny girls are dented little pancakes but they are soft, warm and plastic free! They feel lumpy but I think it's the capsule which will eventually soften. I would be thrilled if I get some fluffing and the dents fill in a bit more, but if this is what I've got, I can live with it. At the age of 55 after 30 years of implants and a full capsulectomy 4 years ago I consider it a miracle I have anything like breasts at all. I was completely flat - had zero body fat - when I first had implants at 26. I was a 36B with my implants. Right now I am a 34A bra size. (I'm not sure why the band size is smaller...?) In bras I feel completely confident about my shape. I wear a padded sports bra with silicone inserts to work and I look exactly the same size as before explant.

It's interesting - for as long as I can remember I've had a rash on the back of my arms and undersides of my boobs, it seems to be clearing up now and it makes me wonder if it was from the implants.

One thing I am wondering about - my nipples are flattened or slightly indented most of the time - is that likely to change? Will they wake up eventually?

Sunken nipples - is it permanent?

So while I am in general pleased with how my results are improving, I am distressed that my nipples are sunken and don't want to pop out even with touch or cold. One is worse than the other. Is this likely to be permanent? Is wearing a compression type bra making it worse? Is there anything I can do to help them wake up? Unfortunately with my first BA I lost all sensation in them but they were always responsive and looked pretty good.

Two weeks post explant

So this past Thursday was the two week mark of my explant. I'm posting more photos as promised to document progress. I think the dents are filling out a bit more. Still kind of a pancake shape but at my age and after all my poor girls have been through, they look better than I had expected. The best news is that my sunken nipples have woken up without any intervention except massage and a nighttime sports bra that I altered. I wanted to continue with the light compression at night to help skin retract, but I didn't like how it flattened my nipples. So I cut the nipple area out of a sports bra to wear at night. Works great! (I won't model because it kind of looks like bondage gear LOL)
I had hoped the pink rashy skin would clear up. Thought it might be from the implants but maybe just dry winter skin...
Feeling terrific! Best decision ever.
Have started back at spin class but can't lift weights for a couple more weeks. Dying to start working on my chest muscles for a bit more lift!

Three weeks - progress? Help for sunken nipples - Nipplette works!

Hi girls -
So as promised I will continue to post weekly update photos. I'm not sure I'm seeing any progress this week. I'm still hoping the dented areas fill in. My righty is the worst. You can see in the photo with the Nipplette how dented it is. Maybe it is adhesions? I am massaging some and it seems to help temporarily. What I'm not sure about is if wearing light compression is helpful or not? Would braless be better? I am still wearing a not too tight sports bra day and night. I'd be very happy if the dents resolve in the months ahead but I suppose they may be permanent. Still, I'm not complaining - happy with my little natural pancakes - better than I expected. I feel very confident around people in just a lightly padded bra. I think I am a 34A now. I ordered some bras from Gap Body and will see how those do. I am still not ready for the bright lights of store dressing rooms...

Two people have asked me if I lost weight. Which I love because though I am slim, there is always that stubborn 5 pounds you'd like to shed. I definitely feel more graceful and less dowdy implant free. My torso looks more elongated. Not to disrespect women who have implants and think they look good, but I can't believe in their before and after pictures how even the tiniest women look overweight from their implants. The other thing that I am amazed by is how implant free breasts look so soft in photos. Most breasts with implants are shiny and hard looking and reflect the flash in photos like well, plastic. They don't call it plastic surgery for nothing!

The Nipplette is a nifty device I bought on Amazon after reading a doctor on here recommend it for sunken nipples. It works like a charm! Although the directions said to wear them for 8 hours a day for several weeks, it seemed to help me after just a few days. I think the long time directions are for women who have had sunken nipples for years. My just needed waking up I think. They operate very simply - you just put them over the nipple and gently create suction with the syringe. Do note that you need a bit of vaseline to get them to stay on. They don't hurt, however my nipples are numb from nerve damage with my first BA so I'm not able to feel anything. You actually can wear them under clothes - with a lightly padded bra that is not tight and a loose top they are not visible.

Peace to all at whatever step you are in your journey! XOXO

Incisions

Forgot to add a photo of incisions at 3 weeks to my post above. I scar easily (which is why I wonder if CC was such a problem for me) and I've been sliced open three times. (Never again - yay!) I have been using Bio Oil religiously and hope it will help lighten them over time.

One month post explant - hope to see more improvement in months to come

It's been one month since my explant and it seems that my results have plateaued. I have dents/wrinkles in the middle area that don't see to be improving and are a littel bit discouraging. It looks worst when I am bending over. I hope that I'll be one of those who get more fluff in coming months. But I look ok in bras and I'm pleased I fill out an A cup. I am very happy with my size.
Before my explant I panicked and ordered expensive ($64) silicone breast enhancers from the UK. The company is called Max Cleavage. It took them a long time to get here and in the meantime I have become completely confident just wearing a regular t-shirt bra and prefer the way I look now to the size I was with implants. I definitely look slimmer. But I may use the inserts with bathing suits to give some cleavage. They fit into any bra or swimsuit top that has the openings for pads. They do add a full cup size. My old 36B bras fit with them. They are very high quality and natural feeling. So if you are looking for inserts these are good ones. I have posted a photo showing how they look in a bra compared to a bra without them.
I am still soooo happy to be natural and free! Zero regrets.

Me and Victoria

So I finally braved a dressing room and I figured why not go right to the most challenging store - Victoria's Secret. I discovered that they had almost no 34 A - lots of 32 DD, are there really more women that size than mine?? I was DETERMINED to find something in that store that fit!! They do have really cute sport bras that come in standard S, M, L and I found one that is super flattering. It has only thin padding but makes the girls look a lot fuller. I hope I can find a bathing suit that is this flattering!

Evolution - 30 years of implants to explant

These photos are a visual documentation of my 30 year physical journey from implants to explant. The emotional journey has been much less linear! I wish that I had photos of my original self before implants but it was so long ago the camera had not been invented yet lol! Truly, there were no digital cameras or smart phones so we only had Polaroid for private photos. You younger ladies may not know that if you took a roll of film to a store to be developed with photos like that on it, they would actually refuse to process them. Wow, that makes me feel old! I was completely flat chested when I got my first implants 30 years ago.
I hope this documentation can help give others encouragement. Also, this shows how bad it can look right after explant and how it takes time for your body to bounce back, so stay positive and have patience! I am so much happier now with my appearance than at any time with the implants. And how good I feel has no comparison. Zero regret, zero wish for implants every again. I still have a little wrinkling/dents in the cleavage area but hoping those reduce as the skin continues to retract. I found that it is worse in the morning so I went back to wearing a sports bra at night and it looks better in the morning. My PS did not tell me I needed to do this but I think it helps.
Best wishes to all on your journeys - stay brave and strong! I will post more photos in the months to come.

Photos

I have taken most of my photos down. Hope they were of help to some. Best wishes to all on your journey- stay strong and healthy, love yourself!

Helping others on their journey - photos of mine

As many of you other ladies know, the journey from implants to explant can be a rocky one - even under the best of circumstances. Many of us struggled with low self esteem, bad relationships and other problems that contributed to our decisions to alter our bodies in an unhealthy way. If anyone has read my story you know that my home life is difficult. I am separating from my marriage and moving ahead with my own life, but financially I am not independent yet, so I often feel stuck. Explant was a huge step forward for me in regaining my sense of self, and also for the possibility of seeking a new relationship in the future. Last week I had a bad night where I suddenly felt vulnerable and weak, began berating myself for being online too much and impulsively removed most of my photos from my profile. After hearing from women who had questions and fears about their upcoming explant I felt guilty for not being there for them as others had been for me. The photos and support others selflessly offered gave me the confidence and courage I needed to proceed with explant and to keep from being despondent through the recovery process. Also, I think that my photos are pretty dramatic in showing how bad your results can be right after and how much your body can recover. I hope that other women can look at my photos and realize that you have to be patient and wait for your body to bounce back. I never dreamed that after 30 years of implants, Grade 4 CC, capsulectomy, another pair of implants, Grade 2 CC and yet another surgery that I could end up with what I think are cute, perky little boobs. The healing power of the body is truly amazing and I am in awe now of the body I used to despise. So, I am again posting my 30 year evolution photos for all to see. Yes, I still feel vulnerable but realized I also feel proud and unashamed. If my photos help one woman on the path to a healthier life it's worth any discomfort I might feel about being out there in the world so exposed. I may not be online as much and might miss some questions or comments, but at least my photos will be available to help. Be brave, be strong explant warriors!! You've got this!! XOXO

Incisions 2 months post

I've been using Bio Oil morning and night. Think they are looking pretty good.

The lifetime cost of implants $$$$$

The True Cost of Augmentation
Health crunched numbers from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and patient surveys on realself.com. Here's what you might end up shelling out, given that insurance typically covers only severe complications.

Silicone breast augmentation, age 22: $6,000

MRIs (at up to $2,000 a pop) to screen for rupture at ages 25, 27, 29 and 31, as recommended by the FDA: $8,000

Revision surgery to replace aging implants, age 32: $8,000

MRI screenings at ages 35, 37, 39, 41, 43 and 45: $12,000

Explant procedure at age 47: $4,000

Breast lift accompanying explant (optional): $8,000

GRAND TOTAL: $46,000

Article from the UK Telegraph - The Era of Big Plastic Boobs is Coming to an End

Long article but fascinating (and from 2015 so they are really passe' now) -

The Telegraph
The era of big plastic boobs is finally coming to an end - but why?

Radhika Sanghani
26 JANUARY 2015 • 2:15 PM
In the early 2000s, big boobs were everywhere. Glamour model Katie Price seemed to go up a breast size every year, Victoria Beckham’s breasts were ‘up around her neck’ - to use her own words, and ‘boob job’ was the term du jour.

Until now.

New figures reveal that boob jobs have dramatically dropped in popularity, with 20 per cent fewer women opting for breast augmentation compared to last year, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). At the same time, breast reductions have seen a small increase of three per cent.

It all suggests that the era of Wonderbra's ‘Hello Boys’ boobs has finally come to an end – especially given that one of the women to undergo breast reduction last year was none other than breast implants’ unofficial poster girl: Price.

Back in November 2014, she underwent breast reduction surgery to downsize her 32FF chest to the natural 32B she had pre-surgery. Posh Spice too seems to have shed light on her changing chest (it looks much smaller now), dropping this hint to Allure magazine last year: “I don’t have them anymore. I think I may have purchased them.”

With these celebrity role models going back to smaller, natural boobs, it’s not surprising that British women have followed. What’s more surprising is that this trend for pneumatic, bouncing boobs every really existed.

“It was a fashion thing,” says Jackie Lewis, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS member. “It was the 'in' thing to be big breasted, this whole ‘I’m a Baywatch bimbette.’”

Sarah Pedersen, professor of communications and media at Robert Gordon University, explains that it’s just part of a fashion timeline. Larger boobs were popular back in the 1950s, after the hunger brought about by the second world war, and came back in fashion after the ‘heroin chic’ look of the 1990s, led by Kate Moss:

“We tend to have responses against what was previously in fashion. It tends to go in peaks and troughs. At the moment larger breasts are out though I’m sure they’ll come back. We tend to react to what went before.”

Porn and ads were to blame

Of course, most of the women who opted for breast implants probably felt they were doing it for their own confidence levels and self-esteem. But Natasha Devon, founder of the Self-Esteem team, says that the boob job trend showed how insecure we are as a nation, and how we respond to fashion and advertising:

“When you look at how breast implants are advertised, women are led to believe that having boob jobs would make them more attractive and popular. But obviously it can’t change that.”

She also thinks that the rise in boobs was fuelled by porn and images of large-breasted women such as Jodie Marsh and Price. Typically, young men watch porn from the ages of 12 to 16, and during that period of their lives, chances are the only naked women they’re seeing are either online or tabloid Page 3 girls.
“They end up thinking that all women not only have big boobs but are completely hairless,” she says. “That creates a pressure on young women because they overhear what men say. They think that’s what men find attractive.”

But now, thankfully, this pressure seems to be decreasing. Lewis thinks it’s do with a more positive social climate, where young girls have stronger feminist role models and are more aware of body image: “I think people are more realistic now. It’s the social climate. The Sun pulled Page 3 briefly last week, and it all shows there must be something in the social climate that has changed the way people think, especially how women think about themselves.”

'A boob job was like a new handbag'

She also thinks it’s do with austerity, where post-recession “people have decided there are better things to spend money on than cosmetic surgery.” Another major factor is the major breast implant PIP scandal that started back in 2012.

“I do think the scare did really bring it to the public awareness that there are downsides to breast augmentation,” she says. “I think people now are just a lot more careful. Before people were having a boob job like buying a new handbag and not thinking seriously about the consequences of what they were doing.

“But now a lot of the high street places that young girls went to for breast augmentation have closed.”

It all suggests a positive change, where women are thinking more carefully about the risks involved in such a serious operation, and rejecting social pressures to have larger chests. But at the same time, body image experts think that women favouring smaller breasts is still ultimately controlled by the fashion industry.

“One fashion has been replaced by other things,” says Devon. “Probably it’s just that smaller boobs are having their moment. It’s probably thanks to people like Keira Knightley.” She thinks that as boob jobs decrease, bottom implants surgery will increase as young women want to look more like Beyoncé and

“What young people in particular want is to feel special and get attention,” she explains. “The fact that so many people have boob jobs now is probably contributing to their diminished popularity. Probably a lot of young women, have mothers who had this surgery. They want to be different and special. They’ll move on to the next thing.”

The change could also be tied up with reality TV. For years programmes likeThe Only Way Is Essex dominated our screens, showing large-breasted, fake tanned women. But while they may have originally contributed to the rise in boob jobs, now they might be playing a part in the decline.

“We watch reality TV and we judge and say, oh my god look at her,” says Pedersen. “When you’re shown these people and told this is how they look and dress, then there’s perhaps a reaction to say ‘that’s not what I want to be like, this is not me.’”

All of these various factors have now contributed to the start of this new era, where smaller breasts seem to be in fashion, and breast reductions are the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery amongst women.

'They were weapons of mass destruction'
Hollie Maguire, 39, joined the trend in having her boobs reduced, when she had surgery to change her 38H chest to a 36DD. She tells me that her boobs were initially “part of her identity,” but they became “disproportionally big” to the rest of her body.

“It was like I was carrying a rucksack on my front. They were weapons of mass destruction. When you’re growing up they get attention from the wrong sort of men. I’d be leered at as opposed to admired. As a young girl it’s quite dangerous. But now I feel as if my body is my own.”

Maguire rejects the idea that her decision was part of a fashion trend – instead she says it was about feeling more comfortable in her body. But at the same time, she does seem to be part of a group of women who don’t want to “be leered at” for their big breasts, and so are joining women like Beckham and Price in reducing their breast sizes.

It’s a never ending cycle ultimately ruled by the fashion world, and Devon says that it’s one that will only end when one body shape is no longer presented as the most desirable; when there is no social pressure on women to look at certain way.

“The way forward is to have diversity and to realise that women are one of the only mammals to come in such a wide range of shapes and sizes,” she explains. “We have to accept them all.” Quite.

© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2017
Dr. Thomas Vaughan

Dr. Vaughan and his staff were very kind and put me at ease about my decision to explant. The surgery and recovery were completely painless. The nurse in the OR squeezed my hand while I was getting the local injections which helped me through the only uncomfortable part. They played soothing music during my procedure and Dr. Vaughan explained what he was doing each step of the way. My recovery has been very quick and painless. I was back to work in four days. I highly recommend Dr. Vaughan and his staff at Plastic and Hand Surgical Associates.

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