39 Year-old with 13 Year-old Saline Implants over Muscle--3 Days Until Explant!! - Dallas, TX

I have suffered with unexplained medical...

I have suffered with unexplained medical conditions for at least 6-7 years. The list includes: muscle aches/weakness, fatigue, hair loss, loss of libido, non-production of female hormones, headaches, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, night sweats, hot skin, recurrent yeast infections, puffy eyes/eyelids, foggy thinking, shortness of breath (and I'm a fitness instructor!), memory loss, and insomnia just to name a few. I've been to heart and lung specialists, rheumatologists, psychiatrists, OBGYNs, and family practitioners. I have had every blood work-up there is and no one can explain my symptoms. Only once in the last 6 years did I question my implants as being the cause and that was after watching the saline breast implant episode of Monsters Inside Me. But, it was soon forgotten. Just recently, my fatigue and hair loss have worsened and I am often plagued with a feeling of hopelessness. I have turned to my faith during this time to help me through and I can truly say that divine intervention made me realize my implants ARE what is making me sick. In one day I decided to get these things out and just be myself again. This site has helped solidify my decision for sure. Seeing all of these strong women make the decision to just be themselves has given me courage. I have an appointment on Thursday for explant. I am excited and nervous at the same time. My doctor has warned me I have little to no breast tissue of my own so I know I will be small and perhaps saggy. However, I am ready for these results if it means getting my life back! I am ready to really LIVE and not just go through the motions. If I could go back 13 years ago, I would not have made the same decision. I will post pics after my procedure.

Today's the day!!

Getting ready to meet with Dr. Melmed for surgery this morning. Not at all nervous. Ready to see the old me! I'll post some before/after pics soon!

surgery complete!

Dr. Melmed and staff were amazing today! He is such a wonderful man. Genuinely caring and very thorough! He takes his time with you explaining things and treats you like a real person!
He ran into a complication today with my removal. The right capsule was adhered to the muscle wall. With saline implants the capsule usually comes out fairly easily... He had to use scalpel on mine. It was half calcified and twice the size of the left capsule. White milky stuff oozed out when removed!! So that side is a little more painful. Anesthesiologist was great and the nursing staff made sure I was comfortable because I did have nausea after. Janet and Linda in his office are awesome too! I'm itty bitty now but happy! Here's an after surgery pic. Will update tomorrow.

2 days post-op doing great!

Today is the second day after surgery. Very sore but already feeling more like my old self! Still can't stress how impressed I was with Dr. Melmed's skill and expertise! My explant was a lot more difficult than he expected. He had a very tough time removing the capsules that were around the implants. I had severe calcification of both but it had almost turned to bone on the right side! I got to see them after surgery... So nasty!! He said normally he can remove them with forceps but he had to surgically remove mine. When he cut into the right one white milky stuff oozed out... Has no idea what it was. So gross!! No doubt that was causing my arm tingling/numbness. I'm flat... Very flat and it's a shock to see for the first time because right after (even with a lift) they are very saggy. But he's assured me (and I saw many before/after pics in his office) that they will plump up over time. It's only two days... I'm not worried yet! The hardest part is doing nothing for the first four days except dress, eat, and wipe your bottom. Don't want to pull out any internal stitches! I'll post some pics later today after I get to shower for the first time. Please feel free to message me with questions! Also... My insurance ended up paying for the removal since it was a Baker IV capsular contraction and Dr. Melmed was kind enough to write a letter pleading my case. His office staff was excellent at checking up on it. It was approved two hours before surgery! Phew! That was a huge help!

symptoms

Wanted to post a few pics to document a few of my symptoms. Hair loss... Got progressively worse. This pic is what comes out of my brush about once a week. The underarm pic is the swollen lymph node that was around for the last year. My GP tried to tell me it was a fatty deposit! These are just a few that I could visibly document.

5 days post-explant--doing great!!

Everyday gets a little bit better (relative to soreness and looks). I've been following other women who do "fluff" up and I hope mine do the same! I am feeling sooo much better!! The debilitating fatigue is gone and my family says I have so much life back in my eyes. They aren't glassy anymore and the dark, bags are gone! my mind is clearer and my memory is already coming back. The depression has lifted and since surgery I actually look forward to interacting with people. I have a sense of humor again! No shortness of breath and my shoulders naturally go back in the position they should be!! It truly is amazing. For any out there with these problems thinking of explanting...do it!! While the sagginess bothers me a bit right now, I am loving being smaller! My 16year old daughter says I look much more feminine now--and that it goes better with my athletic build (she's right, why did I ever get those to begin with??!). I thank Dr. Melmed so much for giving me my life back. I feel like i missed out on so much --even though I was there in physical being, i was never really "there" mentally/emotionally like I should have been. So...here's what it looks like at 5 days!

Day 9 Post-op

Big improvement... At least to me! Fluff fairy working slowly, but still working!

14 days today... looking better all the time!

Well it's been two weeks. My left side feels great... No pain. The right side is still very sore, achey, and a bit swollen. Pain in the muscle when I breathe deeply. But... That's that's the side with the calcification that Dr. Had to remove from muscle so I'm sure it's just going to take time. Plus... I'm right hand dominant and even though I've been following post op orders, it's soooo hard not to do minor daily activities. Probably just over working it too soon. I'm telling you... Being inactive is the hardest part of having this procedure!!

day 15... need a pep talk!

For all my new friends on here who had severe medical/autoimmune disorders from their implants: is it normal to feel great after surgery, then regress?? I felt awesome last week after surgery, now this week (starting around Tuesday) I kind of feel back to where I was before surgery... Extremely fatigued. Last week I was ready to take on the world and get back to socializing which I hadn't felt like doing for some time and now I just don't feel it. I think more than depression it's the fatigue... Just makes socializing draining. I'm really not motivated to do anything but sleep :( I'm hoping it's just a result of the healing process. Can't wait til week 4 when I can detox.

day 18... worried about scar on left side

So... Day 18. Soreness is improving dramatically. Swelling seems to be getting better as well. I'm a bit worried about the incision under the right breast. That breast seems to be lifting better that the right or something and now the scar appears way too low. Unfortunately the incision is worse... Bigger... On that side also. These were the original sites of the incisions from the implants. They were barely visible after so I'm hoping they will get that way again because in pretty sure the left one will be seen in a swim suit at this point. Good thing i have winter to improve...Hoping this will improve with time. Still waiting for the surgical tape to come off so I can start doing cocoa butter or something on the scars. It is what it is.

Question...

Can anyone tell me when I can stop wearing a bra 24/7 post-op? When can I start sleeping without one? My post-op instructions just say 10-14 days but I want to make sure that's adequate.

3 weeks yesterday!

Thought I'd post a fully clothed pic lol. I'm really liking my new smaller breasts on my frame! Looks much better clothed than unclothed though!! Surgical tape finally came off today and I started silicone tape on the scars. Finally found a sports bra that doesn't look ridiculous but still has a little padding in it.. Had to wait until u could raise arms above head as it's a pullover but it's much more comfy than the ones I had!

5 weeks post explant

OK. so things are still changing in weird ways. As you can see the upper quadrant have fluffed out a bit which I am happy about that however one breast ( the right one) is larger than the left. I don't know if the breast lift took better on the left side or if I still have swelling in the right breast (I wouldn't think so after 5 weeks). but I have gone back to exercising a little bit more intensely. I do wear compression bra though when I'm exercising. I'm going to send these pics to Dr melmed today and see what he thinks. I haven't seen him in person since the day after surgery. Does anyone know if this is normal progression? I also started taking powdered college in about a week ago but the only brand I could find around here is neocell. Does anyone know anything about this brand? It has the same ingredients as most of the others. As you can see the scars are looking much much better thanks to the silicone tape! That stuff is amazing. The knots on my muscle on right side are getting better so stitches must be dissolving. I'm still losing my hair quite a bit but not nearly as tired! I did develop an ovarian cyst because I didn't ovulate during the month I had surgery because of the stress to my body. So the doctor put me on estradiol for a month. I'm only on day 3 but that stuff is making me feel horrible. So I think I'm just going to let it go and hope that it clears up on its own. I do really need to start looking into more aggressive detox but I may wait until after the holidays lol! I think the first of the year would be a great time to do that! Any advice/suggestions on that are greatly appreciated.

bras

For those of you who've asked, here are the two bras I'm currently wearing because regular bras still look horrible on me. The one on the left is a Barely There, no padding but offers good sorry for exercise. The blue one is by Athletic Essentials and looks really good on. Little padding that gives a natural rounded look. Can't wait to be able to wear a "real" bra! Also... Here's a pick if the collagen. Remember to increase vitamin C as that helps your body produce collagen.

collagen causing weight gain??

Anyone on here taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements, have you noticed weight gain??? I've been taking for about two weeks now and seem to keep putting on weight even though I'm now working out (not as strenuous as before surgery, but still!) Going to stop taking see if it helps.

4 months post-op--improving results!!

I haven't posted in awhile with holidays and everything. I wanted everyone to know I've seen since drastic changes in the last month. Swelling is finally all gone and breasts are starting to even out in size and shape. Looking more like real breasts all the time! I still look like a momma dog when I lean over (so I get not to if I can keep from it) but I'm happy with results standing up! No complications... Doing great! Here are some new pics.

One year anniversary today!!

So, today one year ago I explanted! What a journey to say the least. While I have improved in many ways, I am still having issues in some. For one, I have battled candida for most of this last year. Can't emphasize how important it is for saline implant explanters to get on some antifungals after explant. I did not. After having antibiotics for a simple infection in June I am still battling thrush. Anytime you have to be on antibiotics, take an antifungal with them!! better yet, don't take prescription antibiotics ever if you can keep from it. Use natural methods if possible. I'm slowing recovering my adrenals and sex hormones. Hair did start growing back about 6 mos after explant, but is falling out again (I believe due to DHT from hormone replacement therapy). I still have a lot of fatigue, but NO arm numbness at night anymore. No more back/shoulder pain!! I love being able to hug people, wear clothing that fits, and I get so many compliments from those who knew me with implants saying I look much more proportionate now. I still sag like a female dog that's had puppies when I bend over...HATE that part. I look ok standing. I haven't posted any new pics because honestly, nothing has changed much. I may even be a bit saggier than the last photo because I have lost a little more weight. I would love to look into getting another lift eventually. Wishing you all the best who have explanted or plan to!

new bra!

So, I have put on just a TAD bit of weight which has helped in the breast department but I love my new bra from Victoria's secret! Sexy plunge...I actually have cleavage!
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Melmed is excellent! He is so kind and caring and very humorous which takes the edge off of nerves. He spent a lot of quality time with us making sure we understood everything! His bedside manner is beyond any doctor I've ever had! He is so knowledgeable and is the epitome of what a doctor should be! His office staff is the best I've ever worked with. Linda and Janet made sure I had all the information I needed and went above and beyond to retrieve insurance payment for me. The anesthesiologist and nurses in post-op and recovery were excellent... Very kind and made sure I was comfortable. This was the best medical/surgical experience I've ever had. Highly recommend Dr. Melmed for explanting!

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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