Best Decision Ever....Best Doctor! - Chesterfield, MO

A huge "thank you" to all those who contribute to...

A huge "thank you" to all those who contribute to this site. The knowledge and insight I gleaned from all the stories and reviews, gave me the courage to get my implants removed. I’ve read and re-read so many inspiring stories. Pictures were a tremendous help. Doctor reviews were very important. This site gave me hope. I felt empowered that I was finally doing something about these darn implants that I despised.
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!

3 Week Post-op Mark....Yay!

Three weeks post-op and feeling and looking better every day! I am posting some updated pictures. The biggest change I noticed this past week is that I am getting used to my “new” body! It feels natural. I am doing things, reaching for things, bending over for things (really freaked me out) without thinking. Getting dressed a lot quicker! Basically, I am becoming less obsessed about them and getting on with my life! I am me again! I am so grateful for this site. It gave me the courage and knowledge that empowered me to make this decision. Thank you “realself” ladies!

4 Weeks!

4 weeks--Yay! Hard to tell in the pictures, but I continue to see tiny changes in them everyday. Ever so slightly they are retracting and firming up. The human body is truly amazing! Probably the last pictures for awhile. Good luck to all the ladies on their explant "journey"!

1 Month!

Full month today! Feeling very grateful. When I had my implants I used to wish "for just 24 hours" I could have my old body back without implants...just to know what it would feel like to not have them inside me. I would wish this all the time! Can't believe I am actually free of them, and it's forever! I feel really blessed and happy today!

2 Months Post-Op

Time flies by when you are on the other side of surgery! Before surgery, not so much! Glad to be at 2 months. Now I am at the point where I feel I can do anything physical without any restrictions. I was very cautious about taking enough time to heal, probably too much because now I am having trouble motivating myself to workout! But when I do, I feel wonderful, strong and free! I am extremely happy with the results and with my recovery. I haven't had any complications (yet) and I am very grateful for that. My breast don't look much different than they did at my one month mark, but what has changed is the firmness of them. They aren't as squishy. Hard to explain it, but when I touch them there is more density(?) to them or something! Anyway, I am very happy with them. Almost forgot to mention bra shopping! Nightmare for me as far as finding something cute and sexy and with a little push-up. Tried on several at V.S., Macy's and Dillard's. I couldn't find bras before my BA, after my BA, and now after my explant! I have come to the conclusion that with my tiny, yet wide-set breasts and my asymmetry I am just going to have to be happy with my stretchy, lightly padded, no wire bras! At least they are cheap, look really good under clothes and are super comfy! I also thought I would be very self-conscious around other people and whether they would notice my much smaller size. Especially my daughter's friends...13yrs old and they seem to notice everything... but I don't think anyone has noticed! And, honestly, I don't care at this point because I love my tiny breasts and feel much sexier and confident with my natural self! I want to thank all the ladies for sharing their courageous stories and pictures. I am amazed by all the beautiful, fabulous results and most importantly the support of all the wonderful women on this site! Good luck to all of you!

3 months!

Feeling Great! Feeling Strong! Couldn't be more happy. Love being small and natural. The human body is truly miraculous in the way it repairs itself. It's really unbelievable that we can recover from all the trauma we put it through and actually come out looking pretty darn good! I feel blessed that I got a second change at being "me" again! One of the BEST parts of my journey has been meeting the wonderful women on this site. I feel like we have all become friends and have this very special bond. Soooo many explanters in April and I've been thinking and praying for all of you! I continue to be amazed by the strength of everyone on here. Finally had a Spring-like day here today and it felt wonderful and gave me the energy I have been lacking lately! Found a couple of swimsuits that fit and it was the first time in 20yrs that I actually looked forward to shopping for them! Maybe not the sexiest, but hey I'm 54 years old, so give me a break!!! I will continue to check in with all the wonderful women on here and if anyone has any questions for me, please feel free to message me. I feel like I repeat myself all the time--but yes everyone looks fantastic and beautiful to me after their explants no matter how big, small, firm or saggy, lift or no lift they look tremendously better with their natural selves! Exciting times ahead for all of us!!! xxx
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

Absolutely loved Dr. Kofkoff and his whole staff including the St. Louis Surgical Center. His patient coordinator Teresa was a tremendous help along the way. Handled the all paperwork and made sure things ran smoothly. Dr. K is not only a skilled and talented Surgeon, but a kind and caring doctor. I felt I couldn't of picked a better surgeon to meet my needs. It was an honor to have him perform my surgery! First class all the way! Highly recommend!

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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