Implants making me sick. Many symptoms gone first day after explant, no lift or new implants! Dr. Feng is the best.

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*Treatment results may vary

Implants are 23 y.o. Capsular Contracture on Rt....

Implants are 23 y.o. Capsular Contracture on Rt. side Baker's grade IV, Lt. side soft and squishy, likely ruptured. Found a lump at 17 and had my first lumpectomy (of benign fibroadenoma tumor) by a general surgeon, (large Lt. lateral scar). 2nd large tumor grew back, same place, age 23. Not thrilled about being left with 1 1/2 breasts, decided to get b/l silicone implants at time of 2nd lumpectomy by plastic surgeon, this time: periareolar incision, subglandular (over the muscle), McGhan textured, round, silicone implants July 1991. Went from size 34B to 34C, very natural looking, no one knew. Rt. side became hard and round within a few years, but no big deal. (now hard and painful) Love my breasts, always have. I did lose some nipple sensitivity, and nursed my four children with a fair degree of difficulty. Lived with random chronic symptoms for past several years, but thought it was just aging. Symptoms progressed rapidly over last yr. Started aggressive treatment to restore my immune system and heal my body naturally w/ Gerson Therapy (juicing 10x a day/coffee enemas & intense supplements to push the thyroid, support the liver and kidneys, etc) It worked so well that my body tried to remove these foreign objects on it's own! (I was warned that it might do this) It was so painful, I had to stop. I began researching implant removal. When I saw the list of symptoms from others with implants, I fell over. 90% of my issues were on that list. I felt crazy when I actually sat down to write them out for the Gerson coach, but these were the symptoms I had listed: (severe foggy brain, high pitch ringing in my ears, joint pain (toes, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, hands), bottom of feet hurt, muscle pain/weakness, cold/blue hands & feet, can't get warm, shocking pain down arms, TMJ (jaw locks up), sinus pain/pressure, glands sore & swollen in neck and jaw, teeth hurt, ear aches, eyes painful, burning & red, vision sharply declining, headaches, back of head painful, neck pain (vertebrae catches/locks), fatigue, dizziness, exhausted with minor activity, hair falling out, colon sluggish/poor elimination time, foul urine odor, bladder inflamed& painful, pain &fullness across liver area, red pattern across nose & cheeks, breasts & underarms swollen & painful, stabbing chest wall pain, nodules on thyroid scan, fibroid cysts on ovaries & breasts, (same on uterus, had removed). They sounded like symptoms of hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, possible MS, but at least some sort of auto immune disorder. Hair samples and a cheek swab showed high levels of silicone dioxide deep within my tissues. I don't know how many of my symptoms are due to silicone toxicity, but I expect the breast pain to get better, and I can at least then proceed to restore the healing mechanisms in my body to take care of the rest. I am researching explantation with b/l capsulectomy, en bloc, no replacement implants, no lift, excision of all silicone granulomas diagnosed with ultrasound mapping. I hope to do this soon. I will update with my decision and a surgery date.

I'm doing this! Explantation details for Dr. Feng patients.

After much deliberation, I have made a decision and scheduled the explantation of my 23 y.o. silicone implants with Dr. Feng for Feb. 27, 2015. I feel confident that she is my best choice.
Here are all of the details to help others better understand the process and gather information to ask informed questions.
I live 7 hours away from Cleveland, Ohio so I will arrive one day prior to surgery, meeting Dr. Feng for the first time during a 90 minute consultation, followed by pre-admin testing (EKG, bloodwork, urine)
I will be having bilateral capsulectomies en bloc through the inframammary fold incision and excision of all silicone granulomas. Dr. Kahn at the Cleveland Clinic will do the Ultrasound mapping (one day prior, just before my consultation with Dr. Feng an pre-admin testing). He will draw on my skin to indicate the exact location of any silicone granulomas from under my arms, across my chest wall up to my collar bone. Dr. Feng will take four hours to do the procedure the following day. She will use drains that will come out in 2-3 days, depending on how much fluid is still draining into the bags. She has her own surgical facility and employees her own anesthesiologist, not a nurse anesthetist. They use fast acting anesthesia that leaves the body in six minutes so you wake up quickly without the hang over feeling. She sends vitamin supplements for you to take before and after. ("Recovery Support Program" by VitaMedica, formulated by an anesthesiologist to enhance would healing, support the immune system, prevent infection and minimize inflammation using vitamin A, C, zinc, copper, selenium, bioflavonoids, bromelain and quercetin, taken 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after. Also, Arnica Montana 30X is given right after surgery and until bruising or swelling subsides.) You will stop all supplements of your own during this time. There are certain foods and medications that interfere with the body's ability to clot properly after surgery that you will discontinue one to three weeks prior in preparation for surgery and three weeks after. I think that this is all very well thought out and makes sense to get your body ready to undergo surgery and gain the best outcome. Her office sends a detailed packet of information outlining everything you need to do, where to go and when, and how you will pay for it.
The breakdown of her fees may help you plan accurately if you decide to go to her: Dr. Feng's surgery fee is $4,000. (It may be different if you do not require b/l capsulectomies. I don't know.) This fee will not change no matter how many granulomas she has to remove or how much extra time may be required. It is a flat rate and includes her consultation, surgical fee, and all post-op visits forever, they said. Her facility fee (also non-time dependent) is $3,650 and includes all pre-admin testing, vitamins, anesthesia,O.R. time, etc. (She is known to have success getting your insurance to pay. You would still have to pay $150 up front for the consultation. Then Dr. Feng will write a letter of predetermination to your insurance company, but only if she feels there is medical necessity for you to have surgery. Then you wait the four or so weeks it takes for insurance to respond. Even if they approve it, you will pay for everything up front and have to get reimbursed by your insurance company, but at least you will know if they will cover it or not.) If you do not want to wait and want to book a date with Dr. Feng, you will be required to give a $1,500 deposit when you schedule your surgery date. It is non-refundable, so don't schedule until you are sure that you are doing this, that you want Dr. Feng to do it and you are sure about the date. There is a fee of $575 to change the date unless due to medical or family emergency and can be changed up to one year from date of deposit. You retain 100% of your deposit if you cancel 30 days in advance of your surgery date, but only 80% if you cancel less than a month, but as least two weeks prior. (If you postpone or cancel your surgery within 2 weeks of the scheduled date, unless it is due to an illness or injury which would interfere with you having surgery, you will forfeit the entire deposit.) You can pay for the deposit with a credit card, but not the balance unless you want to pay an additional 3%. Pay the balance with Care Credit or 2 cashier's checks; one to Dr. Feng for $4,000 and the other to The Lu-Jean Feng Clinic for the balance of $2,150. You will also need to be prepared to pay around $500, I'm told, for the ultrasound mapping done by Dr. Kahn, paid to the Cleveland Clinic and between $300-$400 for pathology, also paid to the hospital. The hospital will bill your insurance, but if it is not covered, you will need to plan for this additional $800-$900 in your budget.
My surgery is on a Friday, so I will plan to stay in the area until Monday or Tuesday, but that is not required. You can drive back home and return to have the drains removed, if that is more convenient.
My post-op instructions are "Do not push, pull or lift for 2 weeks". If I comply, I should be okay to return to normal activities, I'm told. (Maybe not lifting small children, if you have young ones. I do not.)
That is what I know right now. I hope that I got the details right. I took them from my information packet, but you might ask her staff personally, as some things may change or be different for your situation. I'm just going by what the paperwork says and my experience. I do not have insurance that will cover it, so I have not had that exact experience.
I will post more info as I go.
Hope this helps.

4 days Pre-Op

Taking my supplements since 2 wks pre-op, now. Stopped all meds and foods with blood thinning properties (salicylates) like apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapple, raisins, strawberries, grapes, garlic, ginger, etc. They send you a detailed list of what to stop and when. I start taking the Bromelain tomorrow that came in my pre-op package. (a powerful anti-inflammatory)
I feel pretty good about the surgery. My husband is super supportive and assuring. My friends and family all know and are also very supportive. So grateful. The kids all have families that are taking them for the week. We farmed them out to their best friends' for sleep overs. They're pretty excited about that.
I wanted to post some other important tips that I have found in preparation. Mainly just to ask the hotel for the hospital rate or special surgery rate if you are traveling to have your surgery. I am going to the Cleveland Clinic to see Dr. Kahn for the Ultrasound Mapping that Dr. Feng requires, so I mentioned the Cleveland Clinic to the hotel and they gave me a 20% discount for people coming in for testing or treatment. They didn't ask for details or anything, I just said, "Do you have a promotional rate for patients traveling to you for medical treatment?" and they gave it to me. My sister in law is a professor of nursing at a teaching hospital and told me about people coming in from out of town getting a special rate and that I should ask. What a savings. The Marriott "Residence Inn" in Beachwood gave me a code to use for booking online. (click on Corporate or Promotional Code when you are in "Find and Reserve" on, and enter P8J ) I think each hotel has it's own code. It saved me $50 a night!
Also, I don't think I mentioned that Dr. Feng and her clinic accept CareCredit as a payment option. Each doctor has their own financing plan. Her office offers 6 months with no interest, and 12 and 24 months with 14% interest. We were approved online for $1,000 and sent a CareCredit card. We will use the 6 months, no interest on $1,000 and apply it to the balance due for the Lu-Jean Feng Clinic fee. The rest we will pay with two money orders. Remember, she does not accept personal checks. Funds must be certified. No big deal, just be prepared.
We drive up on Wednesday, that's in two days. My appointments are on Thursday morning starting at the Cleveland Clinic at 11am, immediately followed by a consultation and pre-op testing with Dr. Feng at 1pm. She likes to do it back to back so she can see the markings Dr. Kahn makes on your skin indicating the silicone granulomas, and she can discuss the details of what she will be doing in your surgery.
The staff said that I don't need to purchase any special bras at this time, but just to wear a button up shirt on the day of surgery. They will send me home in compression dressing and some type of surgical bra that I will wear for a while. I was tempted to order bras online that everyone has talked about, but decided to wait until after the surgery.
I will post more info as I go to let you know what to expect.

I did it! I'm so glad. 4 days post op.

Everything went well. Better than I could have ever imagined. Dr. Kahn at the Cleveland Clinic was awesome. He allowed my husband to stay in the room for the Ultrasound. He found no silicone granulomas!! No silicone had migrated outside of the capsule. He said that there was fluid around the implant but nothing "extra capsular", meaning everything was contained within the capsule that my body had made around the implant. He confirmed capsular contracture with calcium all around the right breast, which indicates removal and total capsulectomy, but we already knew that and were prepared to have that procedure the next day. Dr. Feng said my implants were totally intact, with no ruptures! That is great news for me, meaning there were no granulomas to remove and my lymph nodes would all be fine. My best possible outcome. The surgery only took 2 hours, instead of 4. I am so glad that I got them out when I did. Here is what this tells me about silicone implants, though. Mine were intact, with no rupture. They did exactly what the manufacturer made them to do. They did not "fail" according to their standards and they might even say, performed quite well after 23 years of wear and tear (four pregnancies, nursing four children, occaisional impact, etc). However, there are extremely high levels of silicone and silicone dioxide in my body according to hair and cheek samples and I have an enormous list of inflammatory related issues common to other women with silicone implants, considered to be silicone toxicity. Dr. Feng said that it bleeds through the lining of the implant so even with no rupture, it is getting into your body. So, best case scenario, it bleeds into your body for years, day after day, and your body is on constant alert trying to reconcile the toxic soup of over 30 chemicals found in silicone implants . If you have any history of auto immune disease in your family, you are prone to develop more aggressive symptoms, or at best, be less capable of fighting normal attacks to your body's systems. My adrenal glands have been in a constant overactive state for years, making me exhausted all the time. (among many other systems that were out of balance) My brain fog and energy level already seems better! Wow. I know I made the right decision to have them removed. I can live without breasts, but I cannot live without health.
Now, about my choice of surgeons. It was a scary thing to even make the decision whether or not to remove my implants. I researched the internet daily for a few months. I checked out books from the library and read everything I could about implants. I read research articles, searched the FDA's website, called attorneys, watched YouTube videos and read RealSelf reviews every day. I have explained in detail in other reviews why I chose Dr. Feng in Cleveland, OH that you can read. Even with all of that legwork and solid research, I live 7 hours away and would have to rely solely on my phone conversations and online research. I would be driving to meet my surgeon for the first time ever, and having surgery the next day. I mean, I could certainly change my mind the night before, but I would lose all of my $1,500 deposit and travel expenses. I was nervous, but felt confident enough from my hours of asking questions and reading all of Dr. Feng's published research in peer reviewed journals. After meeting her and her staff, my husband and I went back to our hotel confident and secure that we were in the right place, and she was, in deed, the woman for the job. Her staff is first rate, her facility is state of the art and their service was five star. I have a medical background and worked for surgeons for years. This crew impressed me. They have done this thousands and thousands of times and have it down to a science. With master level nurses, anesthesiologists instead of nurse anesthetists, highly professional support staff and an impeccably clean (while comfortable and relaxing) stand alone facility, they make a difficult life changing procedure feel safe and assuring. She is a first class lady and top notch surgeon and surrounds herself with only the same.
Dr. Feng did the surgery on Friday from 1:30-3:30pm. I stayed in recovery for another three and a half hours, then went home to my hotel around 7pm. I had the drains removed on Monday at noon. They spent about two hours with me. They took their time. Explained everything they were going to do before removing the drains. They give a few shots of Lidocaine to each breast before removing the drains. It is still a little painful, but nothing terrible and it goes away in 30 seconds to a minute. Dr. Feng went over my pictures from surgery and discussed everything. She placed my steri-strips and dressing, then wrapped me back up in ace wrap and a surgical bra. I have to keep this on for 2 weeks post op, but get to take it off at 10 days, long enough to clean the incision sites and put it back on. No baths or swimming for a month. She will follow me for one year. She took copious notes and asked a lot of questions. She is very interested in you as a patient and gathering data from everyone's experience. This is one of the things that sets her apart for me. She continues to do her own unbiased research and cares about the truth more than how much money she can make doing implants. She has found other more fulfilling work she can do as a doctor and surgeon, committed to the health and benefit of the patient, not just her pocket. She has made it work and is obviously quite successful without capitalizing on implants, like we all know she could. She is the real deal. She is healthy and fit, herself. She has built a fitness center in her three story facility to promote the things that matter to her; health and wellness. She has an awesome line of healthy fresh soups and salad that people can order and pick up for carry out. She cares about which vitamins you need and treats you specifically. She gave me other supplements to help with my backed up colon, no charge. She is what I want in a doctor, someone who treats the whole self and seeks to "first, do no harm", get to the root of the problem and not just mask symptoms.
She was worth paying out of pocket instead of trusting my health to the local doctor on my plan with no clue about implants. She was worth the drive through the mountains between northeast Tennessee and Cleveland, Ohio, worth the 5 night stay in a hotel, husband's time off work and the bumpy 7 hour drive back home 3 days after surgery. And it was a sacrifice for us. We sold our mini-van, took on extra jobs, put $1,000 on CareCredit and family helped with the rest. It was that important. We have no regrets. We are so thankful.
Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories. You helped me gather information and prepare myself to do this. Your pictures helped me visualize what I might be left with. To tell you the truth, that is not even an issue to me, now. I will love my breasts exactly how they are, whatever they end up like. My husband feels the same. I am so grateful for his heart and love for me and my health above all else. It was the best decision for us.
I asked Dr. Feng about my friends and family with implants. She said if they have capsular contracture or symptoms, they need to have them removed. But if they are not having any problems, it's okay to leave them in. However, she will tell you that the longer they are in the more your body eats away the lining of the implant. The capsular contracture forms hard calcium around the outer shell of the implant and is a great risk for rupture, so that is why they take it out. There are so many reports of the many symptoms that associated with implants that even the FDA lists them as possible side effects. If you have the symptoms, my advice is get rid of the implants. At best, even if the implants do not directly cause your specific symptoms, you can be sure that your body will struggle to restore itself with the constant bombardment of toxic chemicals. That's my two cents. Just do it. Get them out and start healing.

Drains and bras with explantation.

I took pictures to show you what to expect and share the journey.

Random pics: FengFit food, Cleveland Clinic and The beautiful Lu Jean Feng Clinic.

They send you home with Dr. Feng's signature salad and whatever fresh soup they have prepared that day. It is delicious and nutritious and enough for two meals. I wish I lived nearby. It seems expensive when you see the menu, but it is a lot of food and very nutrient dense. I have prepared this kind of food and can tell you that it costs that much to buy all of those ingredients. It's worth it and it is healthy and healing, what your body needs after all of that trauma.

No nausea or hung over feeling after surgery. And snow makes the best ice pack.

I don't recall the name, but the general anesthesia they use in Dr. Feng's O.R. is very strong and effective, but short acting, so it leaves the body within 6 minutes and you wake up easily, with no problem. I never felt any nausea or light headedness. I did wake with a fair bit of pain at the incision site, so they changed out my bra with a larger size so it wasn't so tight and gave me Arnica for pain. It worked. I did fill the prescription for a few pain pills, but only took them at bedtime for the first few nights. I don't like the way they make me feel but mostly prefer to let pain be my guide (if it's not too intense) so that I don't overuse those muscles or do things that would cause injury and thus more pain when the drug wore off, like reaching or lifting because I forget to keeps my arms by my side. Without pain meds, you know not to do this because it will hurt or be uncomfortable enough to remind you. It is very bearable without anything for pain.
That's where ice packs come in. There was plenty of snow during our trip and this became my best friend. The refrigerator in our hotel room could not keep up with the ice, so my husband went outside and filled gallon zip lock bags full of snow. He removed all the air, flattened them out, punch a dent in the center and placed them on each breast. They were so great because they mold to your body, take a long time to melt, are much lighter than ice cubes and much more comfortable. When we got home to TN, the snow was gone, so he went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a snow cone maker. Lol. He is so cute.
More tips. Wardrobe post surgery: I have lived in this snug, stretchy zip up little Danskin jacket that I got at Wal-Mart! Of all the stuff that I packed, this was the deal. It's soft cotton/polyester blend with 5% spandex, and I bought a little bit smaller size, so it is nice and tight to stuff the snow packs into, then zip up for a firm, secure hold. It feels nice to keep them on ice and to have them stable and supported. A stretchy tank top over the bra keeps the ice off of your stomach, but I didn't even bother the first few days. When we ran out of ice, I found that frozen corn was the next best thing, but it slides around a lot more than the snow packs.

Symptoms update. What is better and what is not.

Pressure/pain across my rt. lower ribs was gone when I woke up! I thought this was my liver ready to explode for years, but Dr. Feng said it was likely that the capsular contracture on that side was pulling on that area right below the breast. The muscle and joint pain was also gone the first day. I don't have any hip or knee pain like I felt almost every morning. The bottoms of my feet do not hurt the moment my feet hit the floor. My Rt. big toe joint does not hurt any longer. I do not wake up with itchy, watery eyes or experience allergy like symptoms, which used to be daily. No more cold hands and feet to report. No urine odor, at all. No bladder pain or inflammation, burning, itching, urgency or frequency. My colon is working daily, which is new. Skin rashes are clearing up and almost gone. Brain fog is better, energy level is great. I don't feel zapped and exhausted. My teeth are not in pain. No shocking pain down my arms from my armpits.
My upper back and neck both feel sore since surgery but that is from sleeping on my back. I just started trying to sleep on my side last night. It feels weird for my breasts to shift, but my back feels better.
Who knows how much of this was a direct cause of the silicone, but all of it is at least less burdened now with foreign objects leaching chemicals into my system, freeing my immune system and healing mechanisms to function unencumbered.
I am still curious to see if my hormones regulate, now, and if my weight straightens out.
I feel great. I'm so happy that I had them removed.

Dr. Feng called me today with my pathology results.

Basically, no evidence of any cancer or anything like that, but exactly what you would expect to see from textured implants. The pathology from the capsules showed shedding of the textured implant lining into the capsule tissue of my body. It showed some other things that indicate calcium formation and moderate inflammation (and a few things I can't remember). She is sending the report to me, so I will better describe the exact findings when I receive it.
The biggest thing she explained was how the body's reaction to the foreign object is to produce lymphocytes to attack it, which move throughout your body and release other types of cells (like cytokines, etc) causing these inflammatory conditions and reactions that we associate as Lyme's disease, fibromyalgia, lupus and other auto immune diseases or even just simple joint, muscle or nerve pain. Like being sick with a virus, your body jumps into action to attack the intruder, releasing cells to fight it. This is constant and goes on with or without you noticing, from day one of getting implants (or any foreign object, I suppose). So before any silicone is even released into your body, your own body's defense creates cell reactions that cause you problems, like high levels of cytokines and such. And this is true, no matter what the object or if you get saline or silicone implants.
It makes sense. And I can just tell you that I am stunned every day that I wake up, now. My husband cannot get over how warm my hands and feet are since explantation. I could never get warm enough. My body might be on fire, but I would have to snuggle my feet under his to try and get them warm, all night long. He would constantly notice how bloodshot and painful my eyes looked. It looked like I had severe allergies, with itchy, watery eyes. My eyes are clear and allergy free since day one after the implants were removed. I have such better energy, brain fog was better right away. I knew what day it was when I went to sign the release for records at my 3 day post op visit to remove the drains!! I couldn't do that when signing the pre op papers or even the day of surgery. It was beyond my memory ability, even if I saw the date earlier in the day. Who doesn't know the date they are having surgery when it's all they've thought about and had scheduled for over a month?? It was frustrating, but now my mind is so clear, now. I can dial a phone number and not have to look back at the number every other digit in between dialing. It was that bad, before surgery. My skin is slowly getting better overall, but the rash on the outside of both arms and backs of my hand is gone already. Ear ache and sinus drainage cleared up within a few days. I have never felt the lymph nodes in my neck get this small and not feel sore for a very long time. The intense urine odor was there every day up until surgery and has not occurred since, not once. I have no idea what that was, but possibly toxins that my kidneys could not filter. My sluggish colon has been a problem for years, but now I go every day. My redundant colon has never responded so well to any treatment. Dr. Feng put me on magnesium and probiotics right away and now I go every morning. I'm sure this is due to the supplements, but nothing like that worked in the past and why did it take a PLASTIC SURGEON to figure that out and tell me about this remedy? My primary care doctor never mentioned it after watching me in pain and unable to go, not the gastroenterologist, not the colorectal surgeon (who saw my "severely failed sitz marker test" with over 75% of the markers remaining in my colon after 3 days) and not even my naturopathic doctor told me about it. Dr. Feng put me on it the first day she saw me and said "You MUST go (have a BM) every day!!" You have to eliminate waste and toxins every day. The ignorant Colorectal surgeon said it was no big deal that I went 10 days without a bowel movement, that my body would just absorb it. Wow. Dr. Feng is more on the ball than all of the specialists I have been to see for all these years. She has made a point to understand the body and all of it's systems, not just do surgery. I'm so glad that I found her.
What does that tell you when all of these symptoms disappear so fast once the implants are out???? I still can't believe it. No one should be able to get implants before they are given all of this information.

10 days post op pictures. First day to see incisions.

At 10 days you have to remove the compression bandages, peel off the Tegederm bandages and remove the gauze pads that were over the incisions under the fold of the breasts. You clean the incisions twice a day with alcohol rubbing back and forth over the stern-strips, put new gauze and tape back over the incisions, replace big gauze pads over breasts and re-wrap with ace bandage and put your surgical bra back on. I was not painful at all. There is absolutely no bruising, no redness or swelling or signs of infection. What I can see of the incision where some of the steri-strip is coming off, looks wonderful. The steri-strips fall off on their own, so even that is not painful. After 2 weeks post op, I can remove all of the dressing and just wear a sports bra. Can't wait.

Trying the pictures again.

12 days post explantation. Steri-strips fell off and incisions look good.

I forgot to share my implant info.
My implants turned out to be 270cc on each side. They were both McGhan, textured, round, silicone. The textured surface was a new thing that was supposed to resist contracture, but the opposite was true. They had a high rate of capsular contracture due to the textured surface. Mine "shed" according to pathology and particles were found throughout my capsule tissue.
I feel pretty great. The only thing I can even report is some tenderness, but it is not so much in the breast area as it is under my left arm and side, next to the breast. I think it must be a little fluid that shifted there when I started sleeping on that side more. It's not bruised or red or hot. It just feels weird. The compression dressing definitely pushes all of my fat up into my armpit, like a mushroom and that could be part of it. I tried loosening the ace wrap and even sitting for a while without it, but it is still there for about 5 days. I'm not worried about it, I just thought I would post it in case others experience it. They will know that it at least happened to someone else. I guess it's normal.
I have plenty of energy and no pain. I'm amazed. I did try driving yesterday, for the first time and that was a mistake. They do not want you to push, pull or lift for two weeks. They also say to keep your elbows by your side, like T-Rex, and not to lift them over your head. (I'm not sure if that is for the whole two weeks) But then I read that you can drive once you are no longer taking any pain meds. That seemed a little contradictory and kind of confusing, so I tried it. I felt it in my chest when I had to turn my head all the way around to back down my drive way. Then turning the steering wheel on my minivan seemed to employ many more chest muscles than I had expected. I ended up my 15 yr. old drive on the way back, the second he got his permit. Yikes. That could have been bad if I had any more trauma to the chest. Luckily, he did well. But don't try driving this soon, unless you just have no choice.
I still have to wear the compression dressing and surgical bra for two more days, but I get to take it off twice a day to clean the incisions. I still can't shower or take a bath. I just fill the tub halfway and sit in it, while I sponge off the upper body. I do take the bra and dressing off, just so that I can sit back in the tub and not get them wet. I manage to keep the breasts totally dry, including the incisions.

Questions to ask when looking for the right surgeon to remove your breast implants.

After much research reading books, published articles, FDA info and many phone calls to over a dozen plastic surgeons, here is what I learned was important to ask.
How many explantations have they done? (If it is a focus of their practice, they should be able to tell you. Dr. Kolb has done 2,000, Dr. Melmed 5,000 and Dr. Feng 8,000.) Do they re-implant? (Hopefully not, if they truly understand the health risks.) How many have they done without re-implanting? (Because if they are only used to replacing the implants, it is not likely that they are as skilled at putting you back together without the aid of an implant.) How many had symptoms? (Do they take the symptoms seriously and handle removal with care not to cause more illness?) Do they remove silicone granulomas or lymph nodes? (Some do nothing and others are too aggressive taking everything.) What diagnostic testing do they suggest to look for rupture and silicone that has migrated outside of the capsule? (Please don't say mammogram. MRI is okay, but Ultrasound Mapping is best.) Do they use Ultrasound Mapping, performed by a radiologist, who maps out the granulomas, by drawing on your skin for the surgeon to remove only precise granulomas, leaving as much of your unaffected tissue intact. Do they insist on en bloc capsulectomy? (Very important for proper removal. Especially with capsular contracture or potential rupture, but you cannot always detect rupture and should remove it all together to be safe. The top doctors who have studied this, remove the capsule so the tissue will heal back together better and to eliminate further symptoms (Like from particles of the implant left behind in the capsule tissue. That is what it does, it tries to break down the implant and eats away at the shell.) Which incision site? (Inframammary is best for proper access to deliver the implant and capsule en bloc. Peri-areolar is a tough way to get it out en bloc and often leaves behind capsule that must be removed later.) Will you have drains? (Anyone who knows what they are doing will use drains for this procedure. This will tell you a lot. A proper capsulectomy causes a lot of trauma and potential bleeding which would fill the pocket with fluid or air and prevent healing. They only need to stay in until the fluid from one breast slows down to 30cc in a 24 hours period. Usually only 2-3 days.) Do they use general anesthesia? (Yes, a must.) At a hospital or surgery center or their own O.R.? With anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetist? (Hospital usually, but even better if they have their own surgery suite and staff of doctors.) What do they use for anesthesia? (Short acting? Will you feel hung over?) How many hours will it take? (2-4. More if you are getting a lift.) Do they use any pre or post remedies, supplements or treatments? (Makes a big difference when your body is prepared and has support afterwards.) What do they use for pain and inflammation? (Natural is better) How many before and after photos do you see on their website of explantations they have done, with no new implants and no lift??? This is where you see their skill and their focus. Many doctors say they have performed a lot of explantations, but usually that is only to replace them with new ones, and it is not their main thing, evidenced by the fact that you don't see pictures of of it on their website and what it really looks like after explant with no lift. (Even if you are having a lift, how good are they? Can you see their work when no lift was done?) Have they done any independent research of their own regarding breast implants? Has it been published in peer reviewed journals? Are they currently conducting any ongoing research? Have they testified before the FDA with any of these findings? Will they be following you and your progress for a year post op, at no additional charge? Will they submit claims to your insurance to explain medical necessity and try to get your fees reimbursed? Do they take CareCredit? Do they require a deposit to schedule surgery? Is it non-refundable? Will the price change if the doctor has to do more than expected in surgery or it takes more time than estimated? Are there any other fees? Will they require pre op testing and is it included? What will they do with the implants once they are removed? Send them back to the manufacturer or send them to pathology? (The manufacturer will not take your findings seriously. Send it to pathology.) Will the capsules be sent to pathology? Is that included or does the lab file your insurance? Is the surgeon affiliated with any implant manufacturers or aligned with L.E.A.D.? It is a conflict of interest and they do not take the symptoms of implant patients very seriously when they are connected to implant companies. They can't, because they are making too much money from them.
Of course, this is just from my own experience and what I have found. You may find comfort with a surgeon who does not follow any of these standards. You will make that choice for yourself, based on research of your own, for your particular situation, trusting yourself and your findings. I just wanted to pass on some of the questions I learned to ask. Please record your own journey and share it here on RealSelf so that people have many experiences to draw from and can find the ones that best match theirs.
All doctors have their own methods and beliefs. I went with the one that best matched mine. I hope that you find the best one for you.

Toxic Soup. That's what they call the list of chemicals in breast implants.

Articles that I found when researching implant removal.

Toxic Soup
They say that silicone is an element of the earth but when they manufacture it for the use in implants they add chemicals as neuro-toxins. A toxic soup. A recipe for death.
ALL implants, saline and silicone are built with a silicone shelve filled with
different chemicals to keep it from rupturing, keeping manufacturing companies form being sued, as they were in the past. This has made the new generation of implants FAR more dangerous than the ones before. Here is a partial list of chemical found in silicone implants connecting deep into the body tissue.
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Isopropyl Alcohol
Denatured Alcohol
Poly vinyl Chloride
Lacquer Thinner
Ethyl Acetate
Epoxy Resin
Epoxy Hardener
Printing Ink
Chlorplatinic Acid
Metal Cleaning Acid
Talcum Powder
Color Pigmentation (Printers Ink)
Ethylene Oxide
Carob Black
Hexanone 2
Acid Stearic
Zinc Oxide
Methylene Chloride
Platinum Salt

Platinum salt was found in high concentration in hair, nails and urine of women implanted with the last generation of saline implants (2005-2007) when the study was done and presented to the FDA.

No action was taken by the FDA to remove the implants from the market.
This is a "unreported" BILLION dollars business!

On top of these chemicals, saline implants develop mold because in the body nothing can be kept bacteria free. Mold can never be removed, and it moves and get stored in all parts of the body.

Please keep her walking across the world
so that all people can be aware of the toxicity of silicone implants. TV show promoted by wealthy plastic surgeon and the manufacturing implants companies are portraying the implants as safe but nothing is further from the truth.

There are no cures to repair the devastating damages to the body, the immune system attacks its own body, women live in complete exhaustion, and worse of all, isolation and lack of financial support.

Hundred of thousand of women get implanted every year, under the false believe that they will have no side effects or consequences.

A large undocumented number of implanted women (there is currently no follow ups - although they make you believe someone will be there to check on you if there is a problem!) are seriously ill and stop working only to start a crusade of medical investigation from doctor to doctor with often no solutions. There are currently NO testing for silicon toxicity.

Operation after operation, because of capsular contracture,
necrosis, extrusion, mal-position, rupture, and finally, when health still permits, explant. DO NOT RE-IMPLANT, immune problem will get worse some women have reported, sadly. Surgeons have their own agenda.

Please, help young women fresh out of high school and college restore the love for the body they were born into. Implants will ruin their health at the start of their lives.

Let's demystify the fashion industry calling for implanted models.
And in closing...
The saddest part is that chemicals
cross the placental barrier,
children are born and suffer from
complications due to toxicity forced on them during pregnancy.

They could not protect themselves.

But now you can pass on this important message and break the wave of greed that made a group of people wealthy praying on women's trust and desire for a finer looking body.

Chemicals in the explanted breast implant shell envelopes and gels:
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Isopropyl Alcohol
Denatured Alcohol
Lacquer thinner
Ethyl Acetate
Epoxy Resin
Epoxy hardener
Printing ink
Lofol (formaldehyde)
Metal cleaning acid
Eastman 910 glue (Cyanoacyryiates)
Talcum Powder
Color Pigments as release agents
Oakite (a cleaning solvent)
Ethylene Oxide (ETO)
Carbob black
Hexanone 2
Antioxidant (rubber)
Zinc Oxide
Naphtha (rubber solvent)
Benzene-Known carcinogen!
Polyvinyl Chloride (Liquid Vinyl)
Methylene Chloride/Dichloromethane

5 weeks post op

Feeling great. Love my small boobs. Nipples still collapsed in. Trying tape to hold nipple up and prevent permanent dent.

Better pictures 5 weeks post op

Okay, I noticed that the selfies I took made my breasts look bigger than they are. Don't get me wrong, I love my small boobs but try to show accurate images of what you might expect. I did have some tissue of my own left but the center of my breats are mushy and caved in where the implant thinned out the tissue and basically left a crater that my body has to now fill in. I am totally so okay with exactly what they are even at this point. It was worth it a million times over and I think they will only get better. I am using tape to see if it will help keep my nipples from folding in. If not, oh well. I love my body and now it loves me back. : )

Try again. Updated pictures.

these are just a little more accurate. they did NOT download for some reason, so I am posting again.
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Feng uses ultrasound mapping performed by a radiologist, Dr. Kahn, at the Cleveland Clinic to locate and remove silicone granulomas and sends everything off to pathology. No one else even mentioned doing this. She has done 7,000-8,000 explants without re-implanting! She has her own, state of the art, surgery suite that only she operates in, with her personal anesthesiologist and highly qualified O.R. staff. She has a 0% infection rate. I feel like she is the most skilled at en bloc bilateral capsulectomy through the inframammary fold (best access to remove capsule intact) , excision of all granulomas clearly mapped out on your skin by Dr. Kahn during ultrasound, proper drains and holistic pain management. All without any lift. She is my best chance for renewed health and most experienced at explantation without exchange or lift. She continues to do ongoing research and is invested in your health and wellbeing, maintaining care for one year post op. She has testified before the FDA presenting data that should raise concern about breast implants. She continues to speak out about the truth. Now, 4 days post op, I can tell you that she is everything you could ask for. Read my full review under my profile for all of the details. Definitely the best in the industry for explantation. She takes it seriously, covers all bases, but is balanced and individualizes treatment to the patient, is not overkill taking more tissue than necessary or recklessly removing lymph nodes unless merited. Her price is even reasonable as she has her own top notch facility. When I priced a local doctor (with almost no experience with this), it was almost the same amount by the time you pay for extended Operating Room time, which has to be done at the hospital (can't be done at the surgery center, requires general anesthesia to do a total capsulectomy and is more invasive with more risks) pay extended time for anesthesia and the doctor's time, it came out to about the same amount. Research her website, print and read her own studies published in peer reviewed journals. She knows more about this procedure than Dr. Melmed or Dr. Kolb put together, in my opinion. She is worth the trip to Cleveland. She does a complete nutritional and whole body preparation, as well as follow up, for best possible outcome and support for your body to restore and heal quickly. I feel amazing after four days. Message me with any questions. I am happy to answer. For such a difficult decision, it is a relief to share that Dr. Feng and her staff make it the best it can be. I'm happy that I did it and I'm grateful that I chose Dr. Feng. I never had a negative feeling or hesitation once I met her and her staff. I felt nothing but excitement, feeling secure in her care and whatever the outcome. She really cares about the issues with breast implants and more importantly, about you.

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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