I don't usually post things online, but I've found...
I don't usually post things online, but I've found this site SO helpful that I feel like I need to pay it forward for those considering implant removal. My ex plant is scheduled for next week and I'm terrified! I've had implant since I was 18 (with 2 revisions) and breastfed 4 kids, and am so worried that I'm going to feel deformed! I dont care about having big breasts, in fact I prefer a more athletic look, but am worried at my age and after having implants all these years that my breasts are going to be a saggy, deflated disaster. A recent MRI confirmed a rupture in the right implant, so I have to get them removed, and I'm sure I don't want new implants, but am so stressed about the outcome!
Surgery delayed until Friday! UGH!
Thanks for all the supportive comments! I feel so alone in this-I can't really talk to my friends and my husband is trying to be supportive but he doesn't really get it.
My surgery has been delayed until Friday, as my insurance company finally agreed to pay for the removal but I didn't get the preapproval in time for surgery tomorrow. I am really bad at waiting!!!
So thought I'd add a little more about my history. I got 220 cc silicone implants over the muscle at age 19, to correct tubular breasts. I'll never forget the PS saying to me "boy, you do need help!". Great bedside manner, huh? Anyway, the surgery did correct the problem and I was very happy with my result for many years. Around 2001 after breastfeeding my third child, I developed capsular contracture on one side (can't remember which one now), and after doing a lot of research, decided on a PS in San Francisco. I had several consultations beforehand, and all of them recommended a lift, but the PS in San Francisco told me that if I went a "little larger" that he thought I could avoid a lift. Mistakenly, I trusted him to use his own judgement on the size, and woke up from surgery with giant 450cc saline implants placed under the muscle!!! I was HUGE and it was awful, and finally in 2003 I found a surgeon locally who replaced the implants with 350cc silicone. Better, but ever since I have felt top heavy and out of proportion, and just plain matronly (I'm 5'7" and 135 lbs).
Last year I noticed some changes in my left breast, some burning and weird puckering in my nipple. I ignored it for a while, scheduled and cancelled mammograms several times, and then finally went and got a mammogram mid-February of this year. ANOTHER BIG MISTAKE. After the mammogram one side of my left breast appeared flattened, and the burning intensified. The mammogram came back "normal" but I knew something was wrong, and insisted on getting an MRI. Sure enough, the MRI showed a rupture. I believe that I had a rupture before the mammogram, but am convinced that the compression of the mammogram made the rupture worse, possibly even forcing silicone outside of the capsule (the MRI was inconclusive as to whether the silicone was contained within the capsule). Since the mammogram I've noticed a strange pea-sized hard lump just below my rib cage, and am so worried that it is migrated silicone!!
After two appeals, I finally got approval from my insurance company to cover the implant removal-only because I was able to document that the original surgery was to correct "tubular breast deformity" which is considered reconstructive, not cosmetic. That is a blessing, as I was considering getting the implants removed under local anesthesia to save money, which would have meant leaving the capsules in me. From what I've read, if there is a rupture it is important to remove the entire capsule to make sure all the silicone is removed. I've decided to just have the removal at this point and wait and see before deciding on a lift-pretty sure I'm going to need one but I think the removal is enough trauma for now. I can't wait to get them out, but I am so scared I will look and feel deformed-again.
I'm SO grateful that I found this site. I am both hopeful and worried--there are such varied outcomes!! I will post photos either way. Thanks to all of you for your support, until I found this site I had no idea that there were so many of us out there going through this! HUGS~
Surgery is in five hours and I'm a bundle of anxiety and emotions! I'm excited and nervous, and have no idea what to expect for an outcome. I've had implants since I was 19 and weighed 100lbs, now I'm 49 and 135lbs and have breasted four children! I guess we will soon find out! Thanks for all the support, I don't know what I would have done without this awesome community! See you on the "other side"!
In Pain now
Well I felt great last night until the anesthesia wore off! Woke up in the middle of the night in a lot of pain, especially the left side which was the side that was ruptured. The doc said it looked looks it had been ruptured for quite a while and there was a lot of clean up to do, and I can sure tell! He said the right side was easy, so ladies if you have silicone implants that are the older style ((before the gummiies) please consider getting an MRI regularly (NOT a mammogram) as you can have a silent rupture for years before it starts to cause problems! It makes me shutter to think of all that silicone gel that was bleeding into me for who knows how long!
I am bandaged quite tightly and can't take the bandages off until tomorrow, so will have to wait to see the initial result. Am very nervous as the doc said I have very little breast tissue. :( Ugh. With the bandages on I look flat as a board, but can tell the left side is very swollen (no drains).
I will post pics tomorrow when I can. I sure hope I don't look freakish. But at least they are finally out!
Took a quick peek tonight...feeling down :(
Had hubby re-wrap my ace bandage tonight, and couldn't resist taking a little look under the bandages on my non-swollen side. Very disappointed. I've seen so many great "after" pics and was hoping I'd be one of them...but it looks like I have very little there and the skin is very loose and wrinkly. I know I did the right thing for my health, and I have no desire for implants, but was hoping I'd be one of the lucky ones to have a good result. Now I'm feeling pretty down and dreading taking off the bandages tomorrow- not sure how I'm going to handle what I see. I'll post pics no matter what. Hope the little bit I have will at least firm up over time. *sigh*
2 days post op-Feeling deformed and depressed
My worst fears have been confirmed...my right breast is completely caved in and freakish looking...my left breast looks better but that's only because it was the side that was ruptured and it is still swollen and full of fluid. I want to feel happy and light and free like so many of you have experienced, but I just feel deflated and disfigured and old. I promised I would post pics no matter what so here they are. You can see my right side looks like there is a big chunk missing and is caved in. I'm sure the other side will look just as bad or even worse since it was the side that was ruptured after the swelling goes down. It looks worse in person than in the pictures. Sorry to be so negative, but i had just hoped it wouldn't be this bad. My hubby is trying to be supportive but I can tell he's shocked too and he tries to be comforting but says all the wrong things. I hope it gets better, and soon. I want to be strong but I can't seem to stop crying. This sucks. :(
Feeling a little better today, but still very, very disappointed
Yesterday was pretty rough...seeing my deflated, caved in breasts was such a shock. So many others have had such a great outcome after implant removal, but I think it's important for those who haven't yet been explanted to realize that not everyone has a good result. I know it's too early to tell what the final outcome will be, but for now I truly feel deformed. Maybe I'm unusual, or maybe those like me just choose not to post pictures. I feel traumatized by what I see and am struggling not to allow myself to feel hopeless. I know there will be options down the road- I'm definitely not getting implants again, but will consider fat transfer or a lift. In the meantime, somehow I'm going to have to learn to live with my sad breasts and hope they get better with time.
Thank you for all the encouragement!
I just wanted to say thanks for the kind, supportive comments from all of you. Self-acceptance has never been my strength and I am inspired by all of you who are able to love yourselves regardless of what your body looks like. I hope I can get to that place some day too. Hugs~
One week post explant
Had 3 oz of fluid drained out of my left breast yesterday, but it is still swollen and and very bruised. Because of the swelling it doesn't look quite as deflated or flat as the right side. Feeling good physically, still adjusting emotionally to the deflated appearance. Love how I look in a jog bra and clothes though!
18 days post explant...feel great, look awful
Feeling great and loving my look in clothes, but the saggy wrinkly skin on my breasts isn't retracting at all and I'm SO depressed about it. I can't imagine letting my husband see me naked. I've looked at tons of photos and haven't seen anyone else with skin that looks like this. As soon as I'm healed enough I plan to look at reconstruction options (other than implants) but not sure what can be done for problems like this. I've been massaging with emu oil and hemp cream but nothing is helping. I have no regrets about removing my implants, but am so sad that my boobs look like they are 90. :(
The swelling on the left side is finally going down. I've decided to get a fat transfer as soon as possible then will consider a lift if needed. Trying to be patient and stay positive!
You ladies are amazing!
I just wanted to say how awesome it is to have such support from all of you, who know what it is like to go through this. Thank you so, so much!!!
Five months later-breast lift!
I finally decided to get a breast lift, without a fat transfer. Yesterday was my surgery, and I had it under local anesthesia (with a few Valium) and it was so easy and almost painless! I'm very happy with the result so far- Dr. Michelle Spring is amazing! I'm posting some before and after photos and will upload more as I heal.
Day 2 after breast lift
Looking a little asymmetrical at this point, hoping this will change as I heal.
One week after breast lift
10 Sep 2015
6 months post
The girls are looking quite colorful! The left side is still noticeably larger than the right, which hopefully is mostly due to uneven swelling (the ruptured implant was on the left). Even with the asymmetry, I am very happy with the improved shape so far!