The title of my review is a reference to the...
The title of my review is a reference to the hilarious show Arrested Development. Anyone who has seen it knows exactly what I mean! I have had implants for 24 years and they have been redone twice. I was a 34 AA or A, 5"3, and 115 lbs. and went to a 34 C. They looked good and I was happy. The first BA I had double lumens, over the muscle, and I got capsular contracture and ripples after a few years. It could have been due to a mammogram or a needle aspiration for a cyst (or just faulty workmanship.) Who knows, but I had to get a replacement at 14 years.
The two doctors I interviewed for the second BA said, "You need a lift." It's true that my nipples were pointing down, not a good look. But I didn't want anyone cutting into me for any other reason expect to replace them so I did not get the lift.That BA cost me $9300, an excessive amount for someone on my income and I should have shopped around, but no one was talking about BA. I just didn't have a clue so I went with my neighbor's doctor since she confided she had a BA. The doctor said he had to make my boobs bigger because I was droopy. Well, they WERE bigger, under the muscle, and they never dropped so it was as if my boobs started at my neck. I felt like I had to wear high necklines or I would look like a porn star. The same in swimsuits, and I could not hide that look in a swim suit. I'm sure Pamela Anderson would have said I look just fine, but I didn't think so.
A couple of weeks ago I was in bed and for some reason, my little voice said, "Touch under your right breast." I was shocked to discover lumpiness and rippling. That little voice always knows what it's talking about! I went back to my doctor and he said it was probably nothing and the implants seemed fine, but I was at the 10 year mark and it was time to replace them. He also said, "You need a lift." Yeah, I heard that one before and I said no again. I went home and all this got me to thinking, "Do I want to keep doing implant revisions every 10 years? I'm not made of money you know. And do I want to go under the knife every 10 years?" I never even like these implants and they were practically sitting on my stomach. Oh, by the way I am a DD now that I've gotten older and these huge boobs with pointed down nipples is not a turn on for anyone I am sure!
So I found this site and read a million reviews about explant, something I had never even heard about before. All the stories and photos gave me the confidence to make a decision that I wanted an explantation, too. Also, several women had their operation with a doctor that is in my local area. I went to see him and he said, "You need a lift, and if you don't get a lift you will look like one of those natives on the cover of National Geographic." I said no, I'll be fine. (Hey, if I look that bad, at least I know where I can get a modeling job now!) Got my explant yesterday and I am happy. Here are some photos and I'll write more later.
The Incredible Lightness of Being
Yes, I feel lighter. Yesterday I was 121 lbs. and today I am 120. (I thought those bowling balls would at least give me a couple of pounds off, though.) Here's what happened in case you you have an overactive imagination and are a worry wart like I am. I did have a nightmare before doing this. I dreamed that I was at the office the day of surgery but the office was now at the doctor's home. It was in his den with a leather sectional sofa, a pool table and dart boards, etc. The nurse explained it was more cost effective for him to work from home. There was a surgical bed in the room, too. My doctor came in and he wasn't the doctor I had picked. He looked entirely different and had a foreign accent but he insisted he WAS the same doctor. The nurse put me on the bed to get ready for the operation. Then the doctor bent over me and said, "Now, for the local..." Then I saw this huge needle and he poked it in my bellybutton. That's when I awoke, sitting straight up!
Next, I worried about what would happen if the implants were ruptured, or black, or covered with mold or slime or who knows what. My breasts actually started to feel weird for a few days.
The day of the real operation, at the real clinic, my friend came with me and held my hand until I had to go in. I had made a will, by the way, the night before and just hoped I would survive this because I couldn't face having an obituary that read: Local woman dies getting breast implants out.
I took the Valium I was supposed to take 20 minutes before surgery. I thought, "Hey, this is not doing a thing for me." Then about 10 minutes late I felt like I had thrown back a couple of very strong margaritas and felt good and dizzy. The nurse took me to the OR and that's when I remembered the note I had written with final questions for the doctor, but I had left it in my friend's purse. I couldn't quite remember what I had written, but it was about what if they find something bad when they open me up. So in my margarita state I asked them what if they find something in there.
"Like what?" the nurse asked. I said,"I don't know...like a small flashlight, or a golf ball, or a tootsie roll?"
The doctor numbed the breast areas where the incisions were being made and that was painless. I felt a pang of pain once and he numbed that area more. Luckily my breasts were too big for me to see over, so I could not inspect what they were doing. Five minutes later the first implant was out and put on a table. I could see it was clear and looked just fine. He did say that was way too big an implant for me! It was a Mentor 475cc. Another five minutes and the second one was out, and it was clean, too. All that worry and I had no ruptures! I was so grateful. He stitched me up and the nurse put a roll of gauze around my chest. The operation was 15 minutes, tops!
My friend and I had to go to CVS to fill the pain prescription. The new rule is you have to be there in person to sign and show your license to get the meds. There was a Panera's next door and we decided to wait there while the script was being filled. She held my had all the way over. What a sweeheart! We had an orange scone and coffee. Yes, right after the operation! So, I am telling you this to ease your fears if you decide to get breast removal done. Everyone's stories on this website gave me the courage to do it and I am so grateful to all of you!
Day 3 and 4 Coming Along!
I have been taking it easy the last couple of days even thought I feel fine. I know my tissues are busy healing and the best thing I can do is rest. It's confusing what kind of support bra to wear. The white one I had on for an hour and suddenly could not wear it anymore. It was so tight and arm fat was squishing out the sides. Then I put on the purple one, which was a bit tight at the bottom of my breasts but too loose on top where I still have a flat upper pole. Putting in rolled washcloths seemed to do the trick to compress a little more. I just don't know how much compression is actually needed but probably a lot. I think the issue is that I hate tight bands around my rib cage. I finally put on an old sports bra yesterday, and that helped but I still needed the washcloths. Today I wore another bra I bought called "Barely There," which seems like an appropriate name for this type of operation. It fits better at the upper pole than it did yesterday so my boobs must be bouncing back a bit. And it's nice having real cleavage as opposed to that wide, echoing valley between two mountains that I had before.
Day 9 Post Op
Hi Everyone! I am feeling really good and still so happy I explanted. Finally found a couple of bras I'll share with you that I liked. They are both from Walmart. The grey one is called Simply Basic size M. It has removable pads and I removed them for better compression but will use them later. It is a thicker, better fabric than some others I've seen with the front close and it was only $6. The black one is Danskin Now and it gives a lot of shape. I have it in 36 B in black and a white one in A (only because I couldn't find both colors in A) but they are pretty much the same size. They are $13.
I have been feeling strange things like twinges and firings, nothing at all painful, and the nurse said it was nerves reconnecting. I am sure it is just the healing process. At night I found putting a pillow on either side of my chest, pushing it close to my body and using it like an arm rest really helps take pressure off my healing breasts, so you may want to try that.
I am glad I did not get a lift because I just knew my nipples would return back to normal and stop facing down and that's exactly what happened. Also I thought if the doctor removed more tissue for a lift, I would be flatter. Yes, my upper pole is flat, but slowly filling out some. There is a dent in the upper pole of my right breast but that is the one that had all the rippling and the lumpy feeling.
I dropped 4 pounds right away, only 1 pound of them being my implants. I really have issues for years with my stomach bloating and now I don't want a stomach that sticks out further than my breasts. I had a flat stomach until my mid 40s and I never watched my weight or did much exercise. That got me thinking I should do a cleanse since I am not ready to exercise yet. I am on day 5 of the 7 day Raw Cleanse. It has been fine and I have not really been craving my regular foods (chocolate, chips, wine, cheese, bread, pastries.) Now as I read that list, I can see how I piled on 10 pounds on a small frame. I am actually 2 pounds away from my target weight (I had lost a couple before the surgery) but I still bloat!! Even with the healthy food. I think having implants all those years causes a lot of inflammation in your body and it takes time to readjust. I suppose I will have to keep track of what causes the bloating and actually start doing ab exercise at age 58. I am now very motivated and that's good. Anyone else have bloating with their BA?
By the way, my breasts are definitely bigger now than 24 years ago before BA and a better shape, too, so don't worry that you will be smaller than before. You will be better.
Week 6 Update
Hi Everyone! I haven't updated lately because very little seems to have changed in the way I look since the first week. I do think any swelling I may have had has gone down and my upper pole has filled out slightly because I can feel it in the sports bra that I sleep in. I tried to get a picture of my scars but my selfie skills are not as good as other people here. I will say the scars are barely visible with no bumps or redness at all. My surgeon did a great job on the scars and I am thankful. My right side has an indented area on the upper pole and that side is also smaller in a bra. I can't remember if that side had the capsular contracture the first time around or not, but it probably did. But I am not complaining and am very happy. After 24 years of having implants I am just thrilled to have my own boobs back, safe and sound.
I attempted to go for a run last week, fully covered with two sports bras, but half way around the block I felt a pang in my left breast and decided I wasn't ready. I have been very tired and taking over an hour nap after work daily. I don't know if it's work or recovery or the capsules. Been doing so much reading about the effects of having implants that I am a little worried about not having the capsules removed. Time will tell, but our capsules are obliviously filled with scar tissue and gel bleed and who only knows what as the capsule is the body's way of walling off the invading implant. Not good stuff and all of that will need to be expelled by the body somehow. I should have read this before I decided to go ahead and get the explant without capsule removal, but it's done now. If anyone out there did not get your capsules removed and have still recovered well, please let me know because I need some reassurance!
I am enjoying wearing low cut tops that I could not wear before without looking like I had two giant grapefruits coming at you. I bought that leopard swim suit this week. The funny thing is that I have been shopping for new bras and for fun I tried on one of my old 34C bras that I always wore with my implants. It fit! That made me realize that all this time I was in denial about my size when I had implants. I had asked for a C and those were obviously more like DD, but somehow I could not believe it. I wore those bras for all these years and they did not fit. Good thing I did not throw them away. They are Warner's by the way, and I found some more Warner's that fit me well called Blissful Benefits Wirefree. I almost always use wirefree for daily wear and I like a little padding coverage for the nipples. I have very little fat at my rib cage and wires seem to cut me and feel uncomfortable.
I really appreciate finding this site and all the support from everyone. It's because of all of you that I had this operation and I haven't even met you, but you've been my angels.
3 Month Update
I am at 3 months after explanting in April . I feel great and look about the same as I did the first few days. If anything my breasts have gotten a bit smaller. I was measured at Nordstrom’s as a 32 D and that is what I have been wearing. If it’s a padded bra then I wear the 32 DD. I don’t look like I would wear a D, but I suppose size 32 band is small and makes the cups smaller, too. My under bust measures 28.5” but I am not going to go on the hunt for size 30 bras. I wear bras with no underwire for daily wear because those are most comfortable and use the underwire ones for going out at night.
I’m still trying to lose a few more pounds but it would help if I just stop making desserts like homemade tiramisu and start lifting those weights that presently serve as under –the- dresser decorations. I started running after 2 months and have not had any breast pain with that. Recently I felt guided to drink distilled water and I think it helps with the bloating I have had. It’s better because viruses aren’t killed by chlorination but they are killed by heat in the distillation process. Also, metals and contaminants are removed. Any trace minerals I need are in the vitamins I take.
Oh, an interesting fact I learned is that most women's left breast is larger than the right one. That has been substantiated by woman (that a friend of mine knows) who worked as a mammogram tech for over 30 years. She saw this in her vast experience. So, ladies, know that you are absolutely normal to have one larger breast.
I do still have a dent on the top right pole and it looks like that may be where the other doctor took out tissue when I had a rupture on the first set of implants. It’s not on his report but that is what I am figuring. I asked my doctor about doing a fat transfer there (and get rid of some back fat in the process) but then decided that I have done enough. I need to appreciate what these poor boobs have been through and let them be. I can get rid of the fat the old fashioned way by working out. Walking down the doctor’s office steps, back to my car it dawned on me that what I have been seeking, and probably most of us that go through the plastic surgeon’s door, is a way to become perfect. In that moment I also realized it is an exhausting and impossible task. Seeking perfection keeps us from enjoying the life we have now and we'd all be better off just lightening up and having more fun.