49yo Athletic Mother of Two in LA - It's Time to Explant These 17yo Implants!

The mantra “Real Women Have Curves” is meant to ...

The mantra “Real Women Have Curves” is meant to be an inclusive stretching of the conventional spectrum of “acceptable beauty.” And rightfully so. Most women have curves in varying degrees of curviness, including me. But what if a conviction in one particular -- this particular – mantra, which is meant to unhinge the conventional box of beauty, simply creates another box for us to fit in?

From the moment my body busted into womanhood, I had curves; curves on an athlete’s body, which I’ve been my entire life. Unlike so many girls and women I knew, I did not feel much shame when it came to my body. I loved being an hour-glass athlete. I loved being a quirky thinker with curves. I did not feel contained by any conventions. I was breaking the molds, wasn’t I? But I’m almost 50 now and I’m realizing that while championing this particular female aesthetic – even though I do feel it's more inclusive of more women -- I didn’t bank on how I would feel when my curves started to straighten and droop and deflate. What if I had two daughters so powerful that they breastfed the volume right out of me? And shriveled half of my coveted curves to resemble dried fruit when I was only 31? No one told me about this! They just let me chant on about this real-curve business, not warning me about breastfeeding and varying degrees of fat loss and collagen loss and freaking age and other destroyers of curves. I was shocked, honestly, and for the first time in my life I became self conscious. After my second daughter, I wore a bra 23 hours and 35 minutes a day. When I took off my bra before showering, I’d look in the mirror and raise my arms over my head to stare at what looked liked thin, draped curtains over a valance. What the heck? I was young still and vibrant and sexual. Why had my breasts abandoned our perfect ship?

Eight months after my second daughter was born, I got a breast augmentation. I wanted what I had before. I think about how burned into my mind it was that a curvy look was the ultimate desire. I had put so much emphasis on how the confidence in my body brought me power, I lost sight of where real power comes from. At the time, however, I felt so fortunate that I didn’t have the same insecurities as most of my friends that I convinced myself that my body shape meant more than it did. But even if my body confidence was a bit misguided, how I felt shouldn’t be an anomaly. Every woman has the right to feel organically good in her own skin because this is simply the truth. More true is that our bodies and our looks are a fraction of our equation. Confidence in our bodies should just be, and our power is not reliant on one piece of the beautiful, complex puzzle. But alas, women’s bodies are talked and written about SO MUCH: how it should look, not look, how better looks help us feel more attractive (when we just are), tricks and detoxes and blah blah blah. No matter our shape, we’re made to feel that how we look is equivalent to our character and that it determines our worth. We know – even if it’s really bury deep down – that this is not true. We’re just constantly told otherwise. It’s hard to fight. Whether we’re thin, lean, fit, curvy, have some weight on us, hardly weigh anything – someone somewhere is telling us it’s not good enough. The least confident of us try to change to fit into a made-up mold. The more confident of us come up with new mantras about our own bodies that seem to empower us, until the mantra no longer fits how we look and we realize: it’s still only about looks.

Anyway, at 32, after I knew I didn’t want more children, the idea of getting a BA wasn’t a matter of if, but when. My curves must be maintained, I thought. Real women had them – even with fake boobs. My husband told me he didn’t care. He told me -- tells me still -- that he thinks I’m gorgeous and sexy in infinite ways. I was like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but my boobs . . . “ He shrugged and said, “Your body, your decision.”

I was a full C before my kids were born. After, they deflated to a B. After augmentation – even though I told the doctor I wanted to be what I was before -- I was a D/DD. They were bigger than I wanted but not so off as to be completely unhappy. But I found myself self conscious again. With the post-baby boobs I was self conscious naked. With post BA boobs, I was self conscious in clothing. The balance of my curves felt skewed. I am upset that I spent so much energy thinking about how to dress to minimize my DDs. I wear vice-like bras, often two, and cleavage-control shirts. Often my breasts feel over-the-top sexualized unless I contain them into submission. They feel matronly and aging on other days.

After 17 years of having implants, I believe it’s time to take them out. I have had no complications that I know of, thankfully. But I want to be proactive before the expiration date on these things takes a turn for the worst. Mainly, it’s time. Next year I turn 50, and because I am still very athletic my body fat has naturally gone down. The beautiful butt of my youth has lost volume, too, (what are you gonna do?) and these big, fake boobs are feeling extremely heavy, like they don't belong to me anymore. Maybe they never did. I think it’s also time to find a new mantra now that I’m wiser and older, one that that will resonate with the women here, with women around me, with my daughters and myself especially. Something like: my character is golden, my mind sharp, my body strong and able – the whole package is beautiful without labels or apologies.

I have a consultation on Tuesday, Oct 4.

I really would like to thank all of you who have shared on this site. Every word and photo regarding your own explants have spoken directly into my own personal realization. Your stories have given me courage to pursue this, which I have thought about for years. Sincerely, thank you.

Stats: age: 49, 5'7" 137lbs.
Round saline under the muscle, I think 375ccs one side and 400cc the other? 17years ago, no complications or notable health issues from implants.

Consultation Done - Procedure Booked!

My consultation yesterday with Dr. Eugene Kim went as well as I had hoped. I felt comfortable and heard. He understood what I wanted and didn’t inject his own personal opinion into my vision. He listened and gave me a couple solid options. He says I don’t need a lift, but if I’m worried about excess skin and wrinkling, we could consider a little reduction, which would leave the same scars as a lift. The other option is a simple explant with local anesthesia. “You'd just yank them out?” I asked as I gestured my pinched fingers down roughly. He laughed and said, “We have more medical terms, but basically.”

The thought of sauntering into his office as if I’m going to make a bank deposit and then 20 minutes later leaving without implants, not groggy, minimal pain or scarring made me feel like I was about to get a really good Christmas bonus. The thought of having rather sad boobs afterward seemed a distant, second thought in comparison to this excitement. Plus, I’ve seen your “explant without lifts” photos here on RealSelf and many of you look perfectly good, better even than with implants. I feel I should be mourning the pending loss of these boobs more. Or that I should be more worried about how I'll look without them, but mostly I'm just excited. Also, I’m not the same woman I was 17 years ago – the one who judged my deflated breasts so harshly. My breasts will most likely be perfectly good, too. Or they will be after a few months.

Don't get me wrong: I do experience pangs of vanity so I discussed the options with my husband. And with my daughters who are 21 and 17. They were perfectly supportive with their “whatever-you-wants.” My youngest, however, was more adamant that I do the more simple procedure. “I don’t want you going under general anesthesia,” she said. And that spoke to me. That weighed more on me than "it's your body/I'm happy if you're happy." I appreciated her concern; it resonated with my own. I said, “Yea, I think I’ll just get them yanked.” And I tugged at the air with my pinched fingers, and we laughed.

I booked the simple explant under local for Oct 26th, exactly 3 weeks from today. I could feel a giddiness building as I read my credit card number to the receptionist. I can’t stop smiling at the thought the freedom, like I'm escaping a long codependent relationship. I can't wait to purge these foreign objects from inside of me that often reduced ME to merely an object. I’m ready. I’m so ready.

9 Days Until Explant! Valium before?

The faster the day approaches , the more I get excited. I love that almost every update on here states that they feel lighter and more free after. It's exactly what my doctor said I would feel. I'm really looking forward to that. The more I see how explants without lifts heal after a month or so, the more encouraged I feel about my own decision. I can't wait for a natural look and a natural feel. I'm so ready to get these huge weights off my chest.

When I booked my procedure, the nurse asked me if I wanted Valium beforehand since I'm only going under local. My quick reaction was to say no, but now I'm wondering if it would be better to have it. It sounds like nobody has felt pain under local, but that it's just strange. Has anybody done a local procedure without Valium first?

Can't wait for clothes to feel better ...

I'm a personal trainer and work full time at a gym so I live in workout gear (yay). I only wear super tight bras, but still the DD always pull at my clothes tightly around the chest. I'm so over that I'll-fitted look. I'm also over feeling like they are in the way when I work out or run. I tried to find more photos, but I realize I've become a master at camouflaging them - or not posting photos where they are too noticeable.

P.S. I decided to go with valium:) Thanks for the input!

Laters Frumpville

Tomorrow is my explant- and I'm so excited, especially after seeing all of your results. Thank all of you!

I might have underestimated the recovery a tad. I'm a coach at a gym and I didn't think to get my Thursday morning classes covered until one of my friends (who works out at my gym) suggested it. Doh! I didn't plan on lifting or putting away stuff, but I got them covered last minute just in case.

Ok, so yay! See you on the flip side.

They're Oouuuutt! And Feeling Good.

Welp, the implants are out and I'm sort of on a high right now. I'm so excited I did this for myself.

The procedure was relatively fast, maybe about 30 minutes as I was under local. The shots to the breast were the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing though really not too terrible because he was fast. The tugging and the irrigating was just weird. I know my doctor outside of his professional life, so we literally talked the entire time. He put on music for me. And his nurse Jessie was fantastic. I felt calm and I definitely felt ready. I felt no pain whatsoever. He announced every feeling I would have before he did something. He said the implants were completely intact and my pockets looked very clean. I'm very grateful for that.

During my original BA I was told the implants were 375 to 400ccs. They were actually 425 and overfilled. Sigh. That's a familiar story for a lot of us, right?

I saw my boobs when I first sat up and predictably they are very deflated. But I have faith things will perk back up in the next few months. I'm wrapped up in an ace bandage now. This photo was taken maybe 10 minutes after the procedure when I changed back into my clothes. This is how I always imagine I look in my mind, but then I'd see photos with cleavage and big boobs -- or see them in the mirror and wonder: what are those doing there?? Haha. I'm elated to get back to my original, natural self.

I expect to be sore tomorrow, but right now I'm really happy with my decision and experience. I'm sending all my good thoughts to all the women who are about to go through the same thing.

3 Days Post-Op and Feeling All the Feels

Being emotional beings – and being told this constantly (like it’s a bad thing )– I think we as women often try to suppress all that we’re feeling for fear of being told we’re overemotional or overdramatic. I know I often hold my emotional cards close to my vest lest anyone lose sight of the fact that I’m a strong badass of a person. As feelings start to creep up about my post-op deflated breasts, I’m just going to give myself permission to feel all the feels about it. I don’t want to pretend that some old insecurities haven’t crept up when I first saw them. My logical and badass side tells me to be patient, they’ll get there – and perhaps they won’t. I am not my boobs for ef’s sake. But my vain side is mourning the curves. I’m not mourning the huge fake boobs because all parts of me are thankful those are gone – I’m mourning the natural roundness of my youth perhaps. I’m mourning pre-BA boobs, which were just slightly deflated.

I think it’s common for some of us to beat ourselves up for ever getting a BA in the first place even though most of us are just different and more mature people now. This degrading ourselves is almost a natural first-thought when we stare at the aftermath of a fresh explant. “If I had just left well enough alone …” But I’m going to fight this urge. Making myself feel badly for a long-ago decision isn’t going to help the unconditional acceptance of myself and my body that I work very damn hard to keep intact. It’s certainly won’t help my boobs fluff any faster. My boobs just are what they are, and they’ll improve from here. Maybe. I want to mentally prepare myself if they don’t, too.

I went to Victoria Secret yesterday. This ace bandage situation has got me me feeling convalescent, especially when we’re told to really wrap down the top part. When my doctor first wrapped me, I was like, “Dr. Eugene, why are you trying to push my precious little leftover boobs to my navel? This is not the direction I was hoping!” He explained why, and I’ve followed orders – expect when I went to VS because, ladies, I needed a pick-me-up with some lace and push up pads. I promised myself I would only try on a few styles to no overdo things, and mainly to see about what size I am. I’m exactly between a B and a C, which is adorable because I haven’t been a B since middle school. After my explant my oldest daughter, who wears a 34C asked my youngest daughter a (natural) 34D, “How does it feel to have the biggest boobs in the family now? Congratulations!” My youngest raised her hand and mouthed “thank you thank you,” as if accepting an award. So, I tried on this pretty VS black lace B bra by scooping my poor, almost-liquid boobs into the cup. Sigh. Once on, it was really pretty, and then I put my tank top over it, just to see, and I almost squealed in the dressing room with how cute it all was. Mixed emotions I tell ya!

The moral of all of this is: (Me giving myself a pep talk): Feel all the feelings. Acknowledge it all. Forgive yourself for (fill in the blank), and keep working that acceptance. WE ARE NOT OUR BOOBS. Lastly, stay patient because in no time I’m gonna be rocking the two super cute bras I bought yesterday.

Physically, I have felt no pain at all. I haven’t taken one pain pill. Every once in a while things feel “weird” as they’re trying to reattach to myself. The emotional work seems the hardest part.

Starting to Realize the Possibilities

I put on a zip-front sports bra yesterday for a couple hours and couldn't get over how cute it was and how great I felt in it. I felt unencumbered. I experienced that freedom everyone talks about. Dare I say I felt sexy because I feel like I looked like myself. I frantically tried on all my favorite tops (mainly workout/work tops), ones I used to feel self-conscious in. I'm over the moon about the decision to explant.

Tomorrow is One Week Post-Op!

To my ladies who are just freshly explanted or who are about to go through the shock of the look of being freshly explanted, I'm hear to say: Be patient. It will get better. In just the past few days, I feel more filled out and hopeful. Are they flawless aesthetically? They are not - and yet I still like them way better than the implant look. They FEEL exponentially better. I used to hate to touch the side of my implanted breast and feel the bag rippling and sloshing. It would creep me out. And now I love not feeling that. They're so soft, too. Head up, friends, and keep on your natural and freeing path.

Stitches Out!

Got my stitches out today and everything is healing well. No upper body weightlifting or push-ups or pull-ups for another two weeks, but squats, core, and low impact stuff is OK. He said I could run, but no more than 3 miles. He said he really didn't want much bouncing until he knows my pockets are completely closed and fluid-free. He said I really should just be wearing my sports bra only for the next two weeks , which is usually how I roll, but I was excited to wear my new bras. Oh well. He did say if I want to wear one on a night out, that's cool.

He said things looked good, but the deflation will probably remain the same. We talked a bit about a lift in the future, which would perk me way up and probably make me a little smaller. And of course there would be the scars. I don't know. We'll see. I hope to run the LA Marathon in March and wouldn't make any decisions until after that because I would have to take at least one month totally off. Lots of light to all of you guys.

The Not-As-Sexy Bits

And this is not to say that I don't feel sexy. I honesty and truly do. I am loooo-vvvving the smaller size of my breasts in every imaginable way. And I think they are healing great and looking pretty good. But I want to post the not-so-sexy bits for those of you who are about to explant or have just gone through one so you don't think that you're the one freak or the only one who is experiencing not-so-sexy bits. We ALL go through it. In general, I have a positive outlook on things, which sometimes comes across that I don't experience occasional attacks of raging vanity. For the most part, I've made peace with my vanity and now I don't succumb to her unreasonable demands, but every once in a while she gets in my head, just like any red-blooded woman.

So, to be clear, though I am 100% stoked that I exlanted and I NEVER want implants again AND I absolutely love my body and the way things are progressing along, here are my small insecurities as I heal:

1. Girl, don't ask me to bend over naked. Sometimes I feel the breast tissue is hanging on like a loose sock filled with just a little bit of sand. Yes I know the skin will continue to tighten up, but let's make a pact that you don't ask me to bend over naked except when I'm alone. And apparently when I'm taking pictures of myself for this site.

2. This one is sort of part of #1, but... floppy much? They just seem so delicate right now. Which also means I think of them as precious! But I do feel inclined to have them strapped down as much as possible until everything tightens up more. This is not out of my norm because when I had humongous fake boobs I always strapped them down. But with these little natural ones I feel over-protective of as they roam around my chest trying to find a place in this world.

3. The jello-y, loose tissue/skin around my armpit and under my armpit was a bit of a shock. It makes sense when my skin was so stretched out by those big ol' implants. You expect your breast skin to be stretched out, but you don't realize that the whole upper body including under your armpit is going to be stretched too. That skin has to come from somewhere! Anyway it sort of flops over opening of my tank tops, over my bra and I'm like WTH?? I want to drop and give myself 20 push-ups, but I have to wait a week and a half more for that.

All right. That's it. 1-3 above are still 1000x's worth the explant. Happy healing physically and emotionally!

2 Weeks Post Explant

2 weeks post and I almost feel 100% recovered- though I don't think I am. I went to go for a short run two days ago and it just felt weird so I stopped. I tried again yesterday with more success. I just shuffled along. I'll try again tomorrow. I'm not lifting weights though I did some planks which felt fine. My job in general is pretty physical even when doing "nothing." That all feels fine. I just can't wait to up the intensity and distance.

I really do love the look and feel of smaller breasts now. At first I was going to try to wear looser tops to work as sort of a transition period, but now Im wearing tight tank tops. I love it. It was 90°+ today in LA so not much to hide behind. But I don't care.

I can't tell if there's much of a difference in how they look though I do feel the armpit skin is starting to tighten up. All in all I feel great.

Bra Hunting/Obsession

So, I'm officially obsessed with bras ... Before explanting I thought I would really love every underwire pretty push-up bra that caught my eye, but my favorites so far have been plain cute sports bras with no wire and no push up. Who knew?! I've only ever slept in that kind of bra and never would have dreamed of going actually outside in one before. Ha. But now that I'm smaller (than before implants, too), I'm finding these are SO much more comfortable and I actually like the look better when wearing clothes.

It's Been Almost 5 Weeks!

You guys, I feel so great. It's almost like I never had implants- almost. I love being smaller so much. And I love the feel of them so much. Are they a bit deflated? Sure, but still ... SO MUCH BETTER! I did my first workouts with lifting the weekend before last. I didn't go too heavy and I felt just fine. I think I was anticipating a weird feeling more than there was. I've been running regularly, too, and that feels great. The under-arm fat/extra skin is not gone but it's better especially since I'm back to working out regularly. Best to all of you.
Dr. Eugene Kim

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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