I currently have 19 year old saline implants...
I currently have 19 year old saline implants placed under the muscle. I breast fed my now 3 year old daughter and am still nursing my 15 month old son. Besides the problems that are almost surely caused by the implants ( chest pains, numbness and tingling in both arms, back/neck pain) I've also been experiencing lots of strange symptoms. Severe adrenal fatigue, foot pain, and low ferritin (iron stores). I've been on iron supplements for a year and eat very clean food and my numbers haven't gone up at all. I'm at the point where I'm considering getting an IV iron infusion so I can stop feeling fatigued. I'm wondering if the chronic inflammation from having these foreign objects in my body is the root cause for all my issues.
I want to get these implants out sooner than later. I didn't even know that it was possible to have them removed (or I would have done it sooner), but thanks to you brave ladies I know what to expect. I'm hoping I can continue to breast feed during this adventure, but my health has deteriorated so much, I think I'd be better off just getting them out and healing so I can be present for my kids.
I have a consult with a PS on Oct. 6th and will update after I meet with him.
Questions I have for him:
1) Can I continue breast feeding?
2) Can the procedure be done with local anesthesia?
3) Is it important to remove the entire capsule?
4) Can the implants be cultured for bacteria and fungus?
5) How long will I need help? I have two young children and I'm not sure how I'm going to not be able to rest my pectoralis muscles!
Any other questions I should be asking? Anyone out there have experience with either mystery illnesses resolving post-explant? Anyone have experience continuing to breast feed post-explant?
Thank you for all your stories!
I just went to my first consult on Thursday. Dr. Sadove was pretty much game for whatever I wanted. Although he mentioned the possibility of replacing implants, as soon as I said I was done with them he didn't push at all. Although he preferred that I stop breast feeding before explanting, he said that really no breast tissue would be involved in the surgery site since my implants are under the muscle, and would do the procedure whenever I was ready. He wasn't very keen on using local anesthesia, but said he would do local with IV sedation, if that's what I wanted. He said he would remove the capsule if I wanted to, but my capsules seem to be very, very thin and he didn't think it was necessary. He also said he would be willing to send in a part of my capsule for pathology, as well as take cultures of the outside of the implant to check for biofilm if that's what I wanted to do, although he didn't think it was necessary. He did say he would place drains for 4 days, which seems like it would complicate continuing to breast feed. I think my current plan is to wait until the end of January (need to make sure I can get adequate help lined up). Also, I think by then I can probably have the baby weaned down to twice a day feedings. By then he'll be 19, almost 20 months old. If I need to wean I won't feel super guilty and if I can keep breast feeding then great.
New Consult and Surgery Date Set!
16 Mar 2017
2 months post
I went to another consult with a different PS. Dr. Gaines and his staff were very knowledgeable. He had no problem doing the procedure with local anesthetic only, and thought it would be pretty simple. Also, much less expensive than first consult, given the fact that I won't need an anesthesiologist or an OR. He doesn't require drains, which is a big plus with 2 small children. I set a surgery date of 4/5/17. I will post before and after pictures soon!
I'd love post-surgical sports/compression bra recommendations from anyone who loved their bra.
22 Mar 2017
2 months post
I'm so excited, explanat is scheduled for 2 weeks from now. My doctor says I will leave in an ace bandage, but I'm thinking a padded sports bra with compression would be more comfortable after a couple of days. Anybody have a bra they loved post-op? And how do I know which size to buy????
It's done! They're out!
Had procedure at 8am this morning under local. Wrapped up in an ace bandage, but so far no pain or discomfort. We will see what happens when the local wears off. The quick peak I got of my breasts wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Will post photos when I can shower Friday morning!
Almost 3 months post op!
27 Jun 2017
5 months post
I haven't updated in a while, but wanted to do my fair share to support everyone else who has posted or has thought about explant. DO IT!
There was barely any pain, I did a horrible job of following lift restrictions (because I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old), I immediately lost 8 lbs without doing anything else, full of energy.
Here's how my surgery day went:
I arrived at the office. They lead me into the surgical area, I gowned up, etc. I went back to the OR. Everyone was super friendly and easy going. I was totally awake, no sedatives. The Dr numbed the incision site and I barely felt anything. After they scrubbed me up I was cold and shivering so the nurse brought me warm blankets.
The Dr used a scalpel to make the incisions and I didn't feel anything. He used cautery to stop the bleeders and when he got close to midline I felt a little bit of "zapping" from the cautery, but it didn't hurt at all. I told him and he numbed the area a little more. He thought the cautery was jumping across the sub cutaneous fat. No big deal, it really didn't hurt at all. He stuck a needle in the implant and hooked it up to suction and sucked out most of the saline before removing the implant. There ended up being 450 cc's in each implant, which was way more than I expected (or requested!) No wonder they were so big. Pulled out the implant without any trouble, which felt a little bit weird, but also amazing at the same time. Sewed up incision site, repeat on the other side. The nurses bandaged me up with an ace bandage, but I got a quick peak first. The girls didn't look half as bad as I was expecting. I literally thought, if this is what I'm left with I'm OK.
That day I didn't really have any pain. I took some advil about 20 minutes before the local was supposed to wear off.
The only discomfort was laying down at night when I was on my side. It squashed the incision site a different direction. I slept great with just ibuprofen/tylenol.
I ended up having to work the next day. I drove without any issues, very little pain at all.
The second night I separated out the ace bandage just enough to get a nipple out so I could feed the baby. No pain with breast feeding and he went right to sleep!
The only real "pain" I had was in my neck muscles as they had to adjust to my body no longer having 2 lbs of extra weight up front.
I did look super flat while the ace wrap was on, but after I switched over to sports bras I feel like I looked totally normal.
And 8 lbs literally dropped right off. I changed nothing else. I waited patiently to do repetitive motions (ie lifting weights) - a whole month. I thought working out would be weird, but it's so much easier. I can do a push up for the first time in my life now that my muscles aren't stretched all weird over the implant. When the implants were first removed, there was a large distinct "dent" in my pecs. It's hardly noticeable now since I've been working out. At 2 months post-op I started doing aerial classes.
And I have so much energy now. I recently rode my bike over the most challenging hills in town, which used to leave me almost blacking out and breathless, and was fine!
I love my new shape! The girls are a little bit floppy, but I bet they would have been anyway after nursing two babies. They get a little bit better every day.