I am going to (try) and summarize my story. I know it’s still going to be long. I should have been posting as I was going through this journey, but I would get mesmerized by everyone else's story and had no time to post my own! Most of us have very similar stories and the bottom line is We Just Want These Implants OUT!!!
I am 54 years old, 5’0” 105lbs. I got 300cc textured saline implants under the muscle put in over 20 yrs. ago. I still can't believe I actually did it. It was so out of character for me. I was an athlete. I loved running and competed in marathons and triathlons. I was built to run...strong legs and arms and....NO boobs! I didn't know how lucky I was to have a small chest...until I didn't! I am not denying that I didn’t envy all the woman who had beautiful breasts, I did! As a teenager I hoped and prayed they would grow and then I just accepted (or so I thought) that I would always have very small and asymmetrical breasts. I didn’t plan on doing anything about it! I wasn’t self-conscious. I didn’t lack self-esteem because of it. The idea came about because a friend happened to mention in passing he knew this really good plastic surgeon. The thought popped in my mind that I could have my boobies fixed (the asymmetry was what bothered me the most)! Before I knew it, I had implants! I didn’t know anyone who had implants! It was very unlike and impulsive of me. There was no internet back then. I had very little information. Basically, I had NO idea what I was doing! I was 33 years old though and I SHOULD of have known better. I should have made a more informed decision on something that would change my life so drastically.
Today is different. There is so much information available on breast Implants. They have improved, surgeon’s techniques are better, etc. I admire the woman who love their implants. I really do. I admire how good a lot of them look. I couldn’t handle mine. They were just not for me. I do not have the physical or psychological attributes to have them. My advice to those who want implants—do a lot of research. Read the stories of those that have had them a long time. Calculate the potential cost in the long run. Look at long term effects. Nothing against them, just be well informed and well prepared!
I personally never liked my implants. EVER. They were too big, too high, too fake! Running became a chore instead of a joy. They negatively impacted my life in so many ways. The list is pretty much a duplicate of everyone else’s on this site.
I had major anxiety over them. What am I going to do if I wake up and one of them or both are ruptured? What if I am on vacation, at work, or at a ball game and they rupture? I was afraid to get a mammogram because they might rupture. My health was at risk because of these foreign objects. I had NO back-up plan. They were over 20yrs. old. I had to take action and do something. I had to gain control of the situation. So a few months ago, I started researching relentlessly. I found REALSELF! What a blessing!
This time I was going to make an informed decision! I am now 54 and too old to make another huge mistake. This is my life and I want to live it to the fullest! I need to be smart. I need to spend my money wisely. I need to find the RIGHT surgeon. I need to find the right kind of surgery. I read and re-read stories. Explanting only. Explanting with lift. Revision. Capsulectomy/no capslectomy. Enboc. Every possible option out there. Read doctor reviews/answers. Wow, I am amazed by the conflicting opinions of the surgeons. I looked at before and after pictures. The list goes on. The most frustrating part was that the surgeon’s websites rarely had pictures of explant patients. They rarely list it as a procedure that they can perform. I know Breast Augmentation is huge in the Plastic Surgery world, but the doctors already warn you it is not a life-time device. So why not have information on their websites to help those who no longer want them? Oh Well!
After digesting all the information I could, I decided I wanted to have an Explant Only. No Capsulectomy. No lift. No Revision. Drains—up to the surgeon. Anesthetic up to the surgeon.
Then I started reviewing all the surgeons in the St. Louis area. Wanted to have the surgery in January, 2016. Had it narrowed down to a few. Wanted to have at least 3 consults. Dr. Kofkoff was on the top of my list. I loved his reviews. I could tell the patients truly respected and liked him. Not only as a surgeon, but as a person. He was also a sole practitioner which I preferred. I read on his bio that he had trained at UCSF in San Francisco in 1987. My gynecologist was at UCSF and I had surgery (not my BA) there at the same time Dr. Kofkoff was training there. A sign! I felt a connection already! He had an opening in early December. One of the other surgeons on my list could see me in November. The third, another date.
Went to the first consultation. Very skilled in BA and reconstruction so he is probably an excellent surgeon. He had good patient reviews. He told me he could do an explant, but he hasn’t had many patients requesting that--I’m thinking none the way he says this. He told me he could revise them with bigger (yes, bigger) implants. I held firm. Then he said I would benefit greatly with a lift, because my left nipple was quite low and would be pointing to the ground if I just explanted. THANK GOD for this site. Because I knew with my breast tissue and nipple position, I would probably be fine without a lift. I couldn’t even imagine having a lift in my case. The patient coordinator gave me quotes for explant (very reasonable) and explant with lift---No Way! I was determined to go through explant only. My gut feeling was that even though he could probably do the explant fine, the price was good, but did I want him too? Would he be able to deal with complications that could come up with explanting, if he hardly performs them? Do I trust him? He is very cocky! I don’t really like him! Go with your instincts! Do not schedule surgery unless you are 100% sure.
Well I counted the days until I could see Dr. Kofkoff. I just knew he was the one. And I wanted this done in January. Did not want to wait any longer. I go to the consult. Immediately I like Teresa and Dr. Kofkoff. No gloom and doom from him. He said he thought I would be fine with explant only. Very caring and understanding. Many woman elect to have this done and they are usually happy with the results. Exactly what I wanted to hear! He said he recommended Explant Only. No Capsulectomy. No Drains, unless necessary---YAY even better! General Anesthetic. Very knowledgeable in explanting. Told me I should have no problems, pretty easy recovery. Wow! I felt like I was on cloud nine! I found a very skilled surgeon who I felt had my best interests at heart. So after the examination, I dressed and was taken into another room. He brought me in some coffee and we had a good chat! A little about the surgery, but mostly on other topics. He is very personable. I felt very safe and comfortable with him doing my surgery. I booked the pre-op, and set the surgery date for January 13, 2016. Yay, again! Did not bother with the 3rd consult. I kind of broke my rule on that, but there was NO way I was not going to have Dr. Kofkoff do my surgery!
He did not disappoint. I had my surgery at The St. Louis Surgical Center in Creve Coeur, MO. The Anesthesiologist and surgical staff were First Class. I felt calm and knew I was in good hands with the surgical staff and Dr. Kofkoff. The nurse, Caitlyn, I believe, made everything easy for me and the next thing (I remember) it was over and Jody, one of the nurses in the recovery room was asking if I would like a cup of coffee? That coffee was the best coffee I have ever had! I looked down and my chest was completely flat, but I felt amazing! Thanks to the Anesthesiologist because he recommended a patch behind my ear for motion sickness. I think it helped a lot. I never felt nauseated. My husband drove me home and I felt great the whole way. Never felt so relaxed. I am sure the drugs were still in my system! I pretty much just relaxed in a recliner for the remainder of the day. I was so happy and felt at peace. It was done! I felt free! I had a glimmer of the girl 20 yrs. earlier. It was the end of a very long journey. The first night I slept well. The second night I woke up with some burning pain in my left breast. Sat up took a pain pill and slowly it went away. The third night the same. Must have been a little fluid building up. Third and fourth day I felt mildly depressed which is pretty usual. I was told I could shower after 24 hours. No drains, so it was easy except I felt really weird with these tiny, saggy, deflated breasts. I was a little afraid to move without my bra on. I felt vulnerable. By day 6, I was feeling really good and had to remind myself not to over-do it. Had my post-op on day 8. Walked into Dr. K’s office with a huge smile on my face! He said “you were so over those implants, weren’t you”! Yes, I was! He did a fantastic job. He made it easy for me. He made it a positive experience. I am very happy with my results. I am tiny, I am asymmetrical, I am saggy, my right one looks more concave then my left…..but I am absolutely in love with them!
I am at week 2. I have resumed some light exercises. I walked on my treadmill for the first time. I rode the stationary bike for a few miles. I am preceding with caution. I want to recover fully before I start running or doing any vigorous exercise. I am not about to mess up my recovery. I am back to taking a multi-vitamin (had to quit before surgery and couple of weeks after). I am drinking a lot of water. I massage very slowly around my breast with Palmer’s cocoa butter lotion. Not sure if it helps the skin firm up and retract, but it feels wonderful on my breast. They are so, so soft. I am getting used to my boobs every day. I savor my long hot showers and no longer feel so vulnerable. I am drinking a vitamin packed fruit smoothie every day. My skin has a glow to it and so does my spirit. I would like to really thank Dr. Kofkoff, Teresa, Jaime and the whole staff at The St. Louis Surgery Center. You gave me a big part of my life back! I highly recommend Dr. Kofkoff! Five stars all around!