Writing a review of my experience is more difficult than I thought. If it weren't for the deep appreciation I have for the generous women & doctors sharing here on RealSelf, I would be content to read & give a comment now & then. But it is helping me feel less isolated going through the deeply personal business of explanting. So here are the facts: At 28, 105 lbs @ 5'4", having the only 2 children I intended to, I made the decision to have a tummy tuck. During the consult the PS told me he did the same surgery for his daughter-in-law & balanced her breast size at the same time & she was my size (32A).
Found I was a 'perfect candidate'...and in less than a week I had 5 1/2 inches surgically removed from my tummy & beautiful 34Cs. I had been exercising like crazy to try to rid myself of the flab, so I looked better than I ever imagined. My 28 yr old self would have never believed that at 64 I would weigh 146, wear a size 10 - 12! But here I am. My breasts have changed along with the rest of me. No health issues have been traced to silicone & from what they can tell, the implants are still in tact. I have to mention that after a couple of years of getting implants, I started to resent the very attn. I had basked in after the surgery -- having until then always been the skinny girl with no boobs, but very nice long hair. Ah yes, queens of camo we become, yes? First to hide that we don't have, then concealing we do. My daughters & dils always buy me clothes-that-fit for my birthday and Xmas. lol Very few people know I have implants. I have to wonder how many women were like me & went to a PS rather than a counselor to settle their issues with their bodies. So much in life is a perspective thing.
Here's what may be helpful to someone else: I did everything wrong when I couldn't put off explantation any longer. I chose a PS quickly, had a consult without a plan, and agreed to do what seemed like the easiest way, quickly. Ya see, I don't want my body to change. I'd keep the implants forever if I weren't scared silly to keep them any longer. lol At some point common sense takes over. My loving dh of 33 years has wanted me to be explanted since the silicone issues hit the news (& my mailbox) in the mid-1990s. I set my deadline with the Dow Trust settlement ones & with Medicare. So I felt trapped to finally do something NOW. I just didn't know what something was. I took my surgical notes & images of my infantile scoliosis, in case my spinal configuration would be a consideration in creating me-the-next-generation.
I looked at photos, had my exam, and the vanity side of me was back 36 years ago thinking about the expertise of gifted surgeons who are dream makers. They smooth, they tuck, they correct nature and accidental mishaps. My superficial self went into overdrive along with Miss Vanity, and for a little while I stopped thinking about the reality of being a 65 year old woman & accepting that. Afterall, I'd been the queen of smoke & mirrors in 1 way or the other most of my life. lol So I walked out of the consult with a surgical date & a plan of getting the old ones out & new saline implants in -- presto change - o. I felt instant relief. No talk of pre-op, post -op, surgical details, or anything else other than my form of payment. Well that lasted about 4 hours. During a conversation with my husband, who I insisted stay in the waiting room (another mistake), I realized how opposed he was & questions he had I couldn't answer. Yep. For a woman who likes to think of herself as half intelligent, I blew it. Then I found RealSelf. I sat up late into the night with a cup of tea & candlelight reading story after story ... comments, questions, studied the photos. Real women. Real struggles & triumphs. Real. Real life -- my real life. My real situation. I said prayers of thanksgiving and started asking myself the real questions. Self-dialog is as important as talking things over with my husband -- honestly.
So fast forward...on the 27th I'm keeping my surgical appt. to be explanted. I settled in the decision not to get saline implants (there was something about "perky" and Medicare that didn't fit. The PS had advised a bit larger to fill in the top of the breast). Not getting the lift at that time. I read Dr. answers on questions re: lifts and realized I didn't have to make this decision right now. Something(s), someone(s) I have read about here has slowed me down to logical instead of emotional thinking, so I believe 1 step at a time is the best approach. Afterall, the mammogram is this afternoon & there still may be factors I don't know about at this moment. I will be counting myself lucky if the films show nothing unusual & am so glad this is the last time I will have to endure having my implants separated from my breast tissue for an additional set of films! Ouch!
This is far longer than I intended, but being a bit of a story teller, you're getting off easy.
So a quick re-cap (if you're still with me): mammogram this afternoon (23rd), surgery the 27th. After reading posts here I'm annoyed that the PS gave me nothing in the way of pre-op or post-op info. at the office or on the phone. When I called to drop the saline implant part of the procedure, it was clear she did not agree with the decision. I asked if I needed to come in to talk to the doctor or to re-do our financials, she said I'd get a call back. Very cool. This is not the friendliest group of medical professionals I've encountered. Only the receptionist smiles. But when I went for the consult, I wasn't smiling either. I'm not worried, as I have seen his work & know people he goes to church with. But yet again, I'll advise a person thinking of this deeply personal procedure to take their time, know their hearts & minds, and select medical people they feel are on the team. Oh yes, and let the people who love you join the team too.
whew!!! That was long!! I feel a Tiny Tim "god bless us every one" moment coming on. lol