I had implants installed in me by my parents in...
I had implants installed in me by my parents in 1973. I was 16. I was never asked. A Houston doctor, (Dr. Robert Wise) put them in me. I recall that he told me that I was deformed. I think my mom had him tell me that so that I would feel better about the surgery. They were silicone with dacron patches. They were put over the muscle. They encapsulated and when I finished college and got a job and made enough money, I exchanged them for newer silicone implants. I did not know what capsular contracture was, but I had hard breasts. And the nipples pointed in different directions so I thought my only option was to get new ones. The doctor (Dr. Peterson) in Houston who replaced them installed enormous silicone implants in me. Capsules formed almost immediately and four months later under local anesthetic I had the giant implants removed and smaller ones put in. This set also developed capsules, but I was stuck at that point. At least they were smaller, but they were hard as rocks. Dr. Peterson "cracked" the capsules in me twice by physically grabbing my breasts and breaking them. I was bruised for two weeks on both breasts both times. More than likely, he ruptured my implants and caused silicone to leak into my body. The second and third sets of implants were put in me when I was 26 (1983).
I got married and my husband liked the hard boobs. I hated them. So, finally, in 1993, I went to Dr. Gendler (New Orleans) who installed larger saline textured implants into me. He said that my skin was so stretched he had to put larger implants in me. He described the appearance of the implants he removed as having an unusual color and having what appeared to be pieces of angel hair pasta all over them. The new saline implants with the textured shell were supposed to prevent capsular contraction. My right breast developed a capsule and is full of lumps. My left breast is a water balloon. I can feel ripples and I can feel the "plug" under both nipples. I have no breast tissue. Any breast tissue that I might have had came out with the removal of the dacron patches in 1983.
Over the course of the years, I have been unable to play sports (I was great at baseball in junior high) because of the protrusions on my chest. I was a small athletically shaped girl that may have weighed 100 pounds at 16 when the breast implants were first put in. I weighed about 115 during the majority of my adult life until……I got sick.
First, my thyroid started to not produce enough hormone. I lost most of my hair when I was 30. I did not discover the thyroid condition fast enough, so my physician said that my follicles were likely " burned" and would not produce hair on my head again.
Next, I woke up one day unable to move my hands. I had worked in the yard a lot over a weekend so I called my doctor. He diagnosed me with lupus. I went to a second doctor who also did an ANA test and he too told me I had lupus. My physician told me to go to the library and look it up but that basically I needed to stay out of the sun. So my love for big hats and sunblock started. I decided to not tell anybody about having lupus except my husband who didn't seem too interested in it anyway. He never asked me a question about it. I was careful in the sun but I have had what I consider flare ups over the years.
Arthritis developed in my hands, arms, shoulders, knees, ankles and feet. I kept quiet about it. I wanted to feel young so I tried to act young. My mother always yelled at me to "Walk Young!". I never had a conversation with her about the implants she had put in me. She died 5 years ago.
Back in the 80's, I went back to school and got a masters degree. I am a scientist. Unfortunately, my brain fog is so extreme sometimes and I have a lot of memory loss. It is difficult to write scientific papers and lecture about my research and then not be able to remember the years of data collection, experimentation and study.
My thyroid has continued to get worse over time. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with diverticulosis and have great difficulty digesting food.
Fast forward, March 2014…I read about Dr. Roger Khouri and the Miami Breast Center. I travelled to meet Dr. Khouri and scheduled an explant and fat grafting. In the meantime, I had minor surgery and found out I am allergic to penicillin. Thank goodness I found out. I believe from the reviews I have read on Dr. Khouri that I would have been victimized like several Realself women who now are implant free, but suffering with pain of his methodology and his internal lift system. I think that the surgery he planned for me might have killed me or at least disabled me completely.
In July of this year, I had a major flare up with my autoimmune system. The doctors are now calling it fibromyalgia. I stayed in bed for over a month, took steroids and continue to take anti-inflammatory prescriptions. I have had tests run and found that my metabolism is very low. My body can sustain my weight with 1200 calories per day. If I have more than 1200 calories, I gain weight. I now weigh 155 pounds. My inability to digest has taken a toll on my body. I hired a personal trainer two years ago and worked out hard at Equinox at least three days a week. After a year and a half, I did not lose one pound.
I am sick of being sick. I found Dr. Melmed last summer, but had the autoimmune breakdown. So I have scheduled to have my explant on November 13th.
I saw Dr. Melmed again today. He says I will be very flat chested, but that I will not be deformed. He will do a benelli lift and a scoccia lift on me. In my particular case, he will modify the benelli lift. My nipples will remain attached during the surgery as in all benelli lifts. Dr. Melmed will cut around my nipples and remove the skin around my nipples. He will then remove the implants en bloc (capsule and all) from the area above my nipple. He will clean everything foreign out of me. He will then perform the scoccia lift which is an internal lift. From his drawings and conversation, I can tell that he will make very precise measurements. He told me he has done thousands of explants over the last 25 years. Eighty percent of the women have an improvement in their health.
I can not remember all the meds that I take, so I brought them with me in a brown paper bag to Dr. Melmed's office. I laid them out on his desk along with the fake hair I have invested in as I have very little hair anymore. There had to be at least 10 (more with the supplements and vitamins I take) bottles of medicine lined up on his desk.
Breast implants have nearly killed me. I can not wait until I am on the other side of this and pray to my Lord that I will be able to live better. I do not have a great support system. But I am still alive.
I learned about Dr. Melmed from this website. I will post photos of my breasts soon.
Thanks to all the honest women who have opened up their lives on this website. If not for these brave women, I would not have found my physician and would be moving to more helplessness. I will do my best to keep anyone interested posted.
I think I have had breast implants longer than any other woman who has blogged on this site. Let this journey begin and hopefully I will wake up on the afternoon of November 13th on my way to a new and healthier life.
Oh, and PS, Dr. Melmed told me that he had been working with another doctor in Arlington, Texas. They have done brain scans on women that show tiny bits of silicone plaque on the brain. No wonder so many women have "brain fog".
58 Year Old, 41 Years of Implants, Free at Last!
13 Nov 2014
Day of treatment
Dr. Melmed performed my explant and lift today. He was great as were the anesthesiologist and every nurse that helped me. The people who cared for me today were the best I have ever seen. One of the nurses told me that Dr. Melmed is her favorite doctor to work with because of how amazing his work is and his personality. Everyone at Medical City Ambulatory Surgery Center that dealt with me was top notch.
I have always been nauseated after surgery, but not today! I spoke at length with the anesthesiologist last night and explained that I had trouble with anesthesia in the past and that my trachea is not normal for intubation. So, he was prepared for me. Thank goodness Medical City has a "Glide Scope" so he could visualize where to put the tube in. Apparently, not all surgery centers have a Glide Scope so I was lucky they were so well equipped. It took between 30 and 40 minutes to intubate me and the anesthesiologist had to call in another anesthesiologist to assist. They got it done, but I do have a sore throat. But the greatest thing is that there was no nausea.
It turns out that both of my breasts implants were encapsulated. The right was worse than the left, hence the bruise you see on my photo. The right breast had two big calcifications that Dr. Melmed likened to " horns". They were growing and turning into bone and have been hurting me for years. He was able to remove the right one en bloc and it had plenty of nasty scar tissue on it along with the calcifications. The left implant looked new to me and the scar tissue seemed small. Dr. Melmed told me to get my implants out he had to use all of the tools in his workshop. He told me that my breasts look great and they are size A plus!
Tomorrow I go to his office to get the drains removed. I only have photos of my bandaged chest with the drains and large black bruise. Dr. Melmed kept the old implants and scar tissue so I will photograph them tomorrow. I can't remember how long I have to wear the bandage. It is tight and wet, as they soak it in saline water before applying it. I have a waterproof baby mat from Bed Bath and Beyond that I have between me and my bedding so I don't ruin the mattress, pillow or sheets from the wet bandage.
I am reserving my "worth it" answer until I get a little further down the road, but if the care I received is an example of the result, it will be easy to give it a big thumbs up.
Finally, I can not thank the "trailblazers" enough and realself for educating me and caring about me. You girls are all the BEST...so brave, strong, honest and smart.
72 Hours and I am scared
I think the pictures tell the story.
Again, let the photo tell the story.
INFECTION, hospitilization, emergency surgery
It has been a little over three weeks since I explanted with Melmed. My results have been disastrous. I have been to the Emergency Room twice, been hospitalized during the Thanksgiving holidays, had emergency surgery performed and been to an infusion facility to receive IV antibiotics. I have been on six different antibiotics to date. Do not believe the happy people on this site. Not only am I extremely ill with an open wound next to my areola, I will have to undergo surgery again to correct the gaping, weeping hole once I finish the IV antibiotic treatment. On the breast that did not burst open with pus, my nipple lays in a hole and the skin is puckered and dimpled....something like a smashed volcano with the nipple at the bottom of the crater. I did not have this surgery for aesthetic reasons. I expected professional results. I did not get them.
The cost of this on my life is not known yet. My new breast surgeon told me that I will be subject to repeated infections for the rest of my life. The infection is in my chest wall, throughout my remaining breast tissue and ended up on the surface of my skin covering about a 12 inch by 6 inch area on the skin.
Everyday I get more bad news. Today, I saw my new breast surgeon who did the emergency surgery on me. I have to pack and unpack the hole in my chest twice a day. She says I am doing it well. However, after looking inside my hole and putting two fingers inside down to my chest wall, she thought more intensive antibiotic treatment was necessary. I have already been on IV antibiotics in the hospital for three days. After the new surgeon examined my "progress", she sent me to an infectious disease doctor that put me on a high power IV antibiotic drip at an infusion center. I spent from 11:45 am to 5:15 pm there today. This is only the beginning I am told.
I have one particularly strange bruise that no doctor has been able to explain to me. It is between my waist and my hip and is about 6 inches in diameter (kind of a triangle). It is distant from my breasts. That bruise persists even now. It is painful but the least of my worries. I just can't figure out why a part of my body that is so far from the surgical site was traumatized so badly. Every doctor I have seen has commented on it wondering how I received it.
I will be paying for choosing to do this with this doctor for the rest of my life. I expect my bills will reach six figures easily for this one infection based on a few bills that have come in so far. And I am just at the beginning of this new nightmare.
I am thrilled for all you happy girls with success stories. My story is one of failure, pain and sickness.
I will post a few photos but none show how bad it really is. My ears are ringing constantly from the mix of antibiotics and pain medication. I stay nauseous. I have lost over 10 pounds. I can barely walk from bed to the bathroom. I can not drive. I am under strict orders to stay in bed. My autoimmune disease is bad, this is worse.
Also, the concept of the "fluff fairy" is mythological. No amount of cream or massage will pull my good nipple out of the crater. It would have to be surgically detached as it was sewn in too deeply into my tissue. No more surgeries for me unless mandatory. I will have to live with my grotesque reminders of my choice to use this doctor for the rest of my days. He kept telling me beforehand how good I was going to feel when the surgery was over.
I am happy to "private message" you if you want more details, but I am screening the private messages to make sure no employees or associates of Melmed are contacting me. My internist told me to never go back to see Melmed again.
I have decided the photos are too graphic to post. If you are serious about seeing what is happening to me, you can "private message" me. If you are for real, I can send you photos of the particular issues you are interested in from my case.
My "good" breast and my infected breast
The first photo is of my "good" uninfected breast. It gets smaller and "lumpier" every day. Dr. Melmed does not know how to stitch. My stitches are just gross. And check how there are hollows and lumps all over my butchered little breast...it is not smooth at all. It looks best in the upright position, while standing so you are seeing it at its best. I have decided to post two photos of my infected breast. One photo shows pus flowing out of my breast. This occurred after I had been in the hospital for three days because of cellulitis/mastitis. The IV antibiotic drugs I was given in the hospital reduced the redness on my skin and the doctors thought I was getting better and that the infection was clearing up. Unfortunately the infection continues to lie deep within my breast all the way into the chest wall. After my breast burst open with pus, I had an emergency sonogram that showed several large pockets and "fingers" of infection (abscess). After emergency surgery, I now pack and unpack the wound at least twice a day as you can see from my photo. The infected breast is still swollen with a hole in it so I have no idea what the outcome on it will be. Please do not risk using this doctor. I am proof that he does terrible work.
Breast Wound Packing after Explant Infection
I am told I have six more weeks of packing and unpacking my breast wound that occurred as a result of an infected explant.
I am posting my photos to show that results vary. I believed all of the positive remarks on this site and from my doctor and his staff. Now I am receiving private messages from women who tell me their explants aren't so pretty either.
I want to once again congratulate all the happy gals with the great results. I just am not one of you. Please play fair and let me have a voice without denigrating me. I really don't understand why anyone would "trash" me for my honesty and for my desire to post my true story.
Infection has taken a cosmetic toll, questions to ask yourself
I know I didn't explant for cosmetic reasons. But everyone posts such great outcomes. I guess that is why God put me through this...to show others that it isn't a 3 to 6 week thing and that unattractive (I need to just face it, UGLY) outcomes are a real possibility.
I have read so many posts of women who are back at work, exercising, doing all of the things of life 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. I am still in bed with an open wound. It is taxing in several ways. I have missed the season of my savior's birth, I have not been able to exercise, use creams or do any of the detox things the others have tried post explant. None of that is possible with an open wound. I have tried to find a facility to take me to help me through the healing. I just want three square meals a day to help me with nutrition as I have a hard time getting groceries and prepping meals. No facility will take me because of the wound. My husband is ragged from trying to run our business and care for me. I am mentally drained and physically weak.
I went to my new breast surgeon yesterday. My new incision where the packing wound is that looked like it would heal nicely at first has decided to heal awkwardly. My skin and areola are not coming back together well. The skin has overlapped the areola and is healing with my areola beneath the surface. Where the infection was, my breast has collapsed inward or downward depending on your perspective. The doctor told me there was nothing we could do about it but let it heal that way. Then when I get down the road, we will try to dig it out and get it to mend more normally surgically. The whole infected breast is like a moonscape. It has valleys and hills and one big bloody crater. The breast is significantly smaller than the uninfected breast too. Merry Christmas to me.
Anyone know of swimsuits to cover distorted breasts that are cute? I am a two piece rash guard girl (rash guards have sleeves and come high on the neck to prevent burning). I am sensitive to the sun (arms and chest and face are prone to actinoid keratosis...precancerous skin lesions from the sun) and I like to stand up paddleboard. Don't think rash guards are an option from here out...they do not have insert pockets for breast forms. The only thing I can think of is a long sleeved fishing blouse with UV protection but that will be pretty odd in the water with a swimsuit bottom. I am happy that I think I might be able to SUP this summer, it takes a lot of arm work, but I am not close yet....dreaming I guess...so much time on my hands. Anyone know of rash guards with bras inside that I could somehow fill with a breast form to hide my infected breast?
And just one more thing. Please, please consider explantation seriously. I thought I was prepared in every way for this. I did my homework (I thought) and communicated with several explant patients. You have to know that the women with bad results are shamed into not posting on this site. I am one of them but I'm still posting. I explanted because I wanted to live a healthier life. Maybe someday I will, but it will be at a tremendous cost both physically and mentally. You have to know these surgeries don't always come out right. That there is the possibility of a grotesque outcome with long term debilitation. If you are raising kids or have a job, can you take several months off because you become infected? Can you handle months of not driving, having others help you with hygiene and dressing, grocery shopping, preparing food and keeping house? Can you live with an outcome that no human being can stand to look at including yourself? Will a seriously negative change in your appearance affect your self confidence or your physical/sexual relationship(s)?
Nobody ever warned me of any of this before I had my surgery. There are few if any posts on this site about lifestyle after a bad result. You have to know it can happen and be extremely cautious in your selection of surgeons and facilities and frankly, if surgery is really your answer. If you see the tiniest red flag, STOP! I did see a couple of red flags before surgery but chose to believe the stories on this site about the doctor. The doctor's office was not pristine and one of the assistants asked me twice if I really cared what I looked like when the surgery was complete. She figured I was so sick that any physical outcome was better than living with the implants. I answered that it did matter to me. I should have run for the door.
P.s. My infected breast had a bad capsular contraction. The doctor said it was a Baker 3 but I think it was a 4. From his remarks post surgery and the bruising and infection, I know he had to "wrangle" the implant out of me. If you have a really bad capsular contraction, ask more questions.
Custom Bras and Swimsuits post Explant
My new breast surgeon told me about the Maddox Shop on Garland Road in the Casa Linda area of Dallas. This shop custom makes lingerie and swimwear for women with mastectomies and deformities of the breast. I can't believe that this is how it has to be for me after my explant. My breasts are lumpy, misshapen monsters that don't match. The shapes are so strange, nothing like breasts. I don't know what the doctor was thinking when he did my explant and lift. But, my breasts do not look like breasts. They are terrifying to see in the mirror. My husband is horrified by them. They do not look like anything human. So, I have to wear custom made mastectomy clothing for the rest of my life. I guess I am lucky the Maddox Shop can make things for me so I don't frighten people when they look at me.
As an aside, strange dark spots have popped up on both of my breasts and my nipples. My new breast doctor has no idea what they are. They look kind of like dark moles. Where Dr. Melmed aspirated my infected breast the first time, a hard knot of scar tissue has developed. The stitches still have not completely dissolved and my surgery was November 13th. And my nipples were sewn on at a strange angle. They are oblong and droop downward on each side. They are no longer circular. There is no sensation in my nipples or anywhere near them. I had sensation before the explant surgery. I still have an open wound on my breast from the emergency surgery for the infection. If all goes well, the hole will heal by March. And I will be physically well from the infection in March. The hole from the emergency surgery is healing oddly and if it continues to collapse, I will need additional surgery. I have pangs of pain in both breasts. I can not sleep on either side and am awakened throughout the night from random pains shooting through my breasts.
I have no idea why this happened to me when all I read about this doctor is that his patients are satisfied with their results and they are back to active lifestyles in no time flat. A few women have private messaged me that they did not get the glorious results that we all read about on realself.
Please consider my results when you decide to have explant/lift surgery or use this doctor. I hope I can save one woman from the horror that my life has become. I imagine my 30 year marriage will end because of the mess this surgery has caused.
And haters and employees of the doctor, leave me alone. I have enough on my plate. I am writing MY story....it is mine....unfortunately.
Up to $33,000 now for explant. Still sick.
10 Jan 2015
2 months post
As of December 12th, my medical bills were over $33,000. I have more bills coming in and have not received my hospital bill from Baylor yet so I suspect I am looking at $50,000. I am still under the care of a breast doctor and an infectious disease doctor. I will continue to update my progress.
I am sick. I no longer have the Staph infection, but my immune system is suppressed. I am weak and tired. I did not get out of bed today. I have developed a fungal infection that my internist told me occurred because my immune system is weakened from the Staph infection.
I went to my rheumatologist earlier this week and blood values are off. Doctors say they are not surprised because I am still in recovery mode from the infection.
I have included a photo that shows I still have an open wound that is healing oddly. It also shows how horrid my breasts appear. I have to live with them. You do not and that is why I am posting. Please make your choices wisely when you decide to explant.
I have a long road in front of me. My relationship with my husband is stressed. I am not "out of the woods" yet regarding my recovery from this disastrous explant surgery. I hope that someday I will have the energy and peace to return to a normal life.
Not the Only Dissatisfied Patient of this Doctor
15 Jan 2015
2 months post
I have located many women that are not satisfied with the results of the doctor that performed my surgery. Results are similar to mine. Out of respect for them, I will not use their "names" in my post. But if you private message me, I will private message you back with a list of names from this website.
My nipples and breasts are horrific. Six months later, and it only gets worse.
28 Jun 2015
7 months post
I was told to wait six months to see what my true result might resemble. Not only am I physically sicker than I have ever been and spend most of my waking hours going to doctors to deal with the repercussions of this surgery, but I am maimed. I have seen other plastic surgeons who are afraid to help me. The size of my areolas was reduced so I have very little tissue to work with, the sutures are hard and like knotted rings "around" the areolas and several of the knots are painful to the touch. My nipples sit in a depression. The things are nothing short of grotesque.
Ny breast skin in general has changed completely. I now have dark specs all over my breast, the skin is bumpy and there is a large brown mark that has appeared on the left breast. The areola color is now sort of greenish.
I followed all instructions, massage, never picked at scabs, did everything as instructed. I was infected and the doctor did not have a call center as backup when I needed to go to the Emergency Room. He was busy with his grandchildren over a holiday and only found my phone messages later after I was hospitalized. I have never heard of or encountered a physician without an emergency call number to use if a patient starts to have a problem. He prescribed me penicillin antibiotics within minutes of me telling him I was allergic to them. He did not clean my breasts with alcohol or use sanitary practices to aspirate fluid.
The result has been a long and painful walk with no end in sight. I believe I have been permanently disfigured and my health has been compromised permanently as well.
The breasts are ugly. I am posting photos of both of them.
Nothing Can Be Done to Help Me
I went to a knowledgeable plastic surgeon today to see what my options were regarding the deformity caused by my explant. He told me that there wasn't any procedure that could be done to help me. He told me " I pray for you not to suffer". It felt pretty final to me. Anyone considering a Benelli lift with explant needs to know, if an infection occurs, you have no options to ever look good again. You can't have more surgery. Be careful with your choices. If I had a traditional lift, I would have options. I have lost my womanhood from the explant surgery. I will never be a sexual human being ever again.