I'm 35 years old. I have smooth Saline implants, under the muscle for 15 years, 8 months. I don't remember my original bra size but it was small, maybe 34 (small) B. I'm now a 34D.
In February 2001, I got my implants. I had just turned 20, and big boobs were so 'in'! I had been flat chested my entire life. I was teased, and very self conscious. My friends all had bigger chests than me, and I was so envious. Of course, as high school boys do, the boys ALWAYS talked about which girls had the biggest boobs, which girls had zero boobs – and that was how you were valued, so to speak. The guys I was interested in, were interested in Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra – anyone with big, fake boobs. After high school I was determined to get implants, so I could feel 'normal'. At age 19 I went to my first consultation in Beverly Hills. The surgeon was a relative of a co-worker of mine. His fee was WAY more than I could've ever afforded. I felt discouraged, and didn't see any other surgeons for awhile. At the beginning of 2001 I set up a consultation with Dr. Lori Saltz at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre (La Jolla, CA). She said all the right things (according to my naïve 20 year old self). She was a woman who had breast implants herself. She said most of the women on her staff had implants. Implants are safe. There is nothing to worry about. Their number 1 procedure (at her facility) was breast augmentation. Saline implants were the 'safe' implants. The worst that could happen would be an implant would deflate - “but it's just salt water, and your body will absorb it. Nothing to worry about.” She VERY briefly mentioned capsular contracture, but followed it up with “although it's the most common 'side effect', it's VERY rare. I remember her saying “Some people choose to replace their implants every 10 years... but some women keep them for much longer. They are made from such durable material, they'll last much longer than 10 years.”. “Implants are totally safe, and most women you see around here have them”. I was working at Nordstrom at the time, and she said “Oh, I'll give you the Nordstrom discount ($125 off). I've done most of the implants on the girls at Nordstrom”. She said “You'll feel slightly uncomfortable for the first few days, but most girls are fine by day 3!”.
It all sounded too good to be true... how could I NOT schedule surgery right away?! This was going to be a breeze! (Ha!!!!!) I schedule my surgery during that same consultation appointment. My surgery was scheduled for about 2-3 weeks later.
The night before surgery I stood in my bathroom and cried. I was nervous, anxious, and scared. This was going to be my first surgery, and I was nervous about anesthesia, and everything that accompanies surgery. My mom said “you can cancel, ya know?!”. I didn't want to cancel. I'd waited yearrrrs for these boobs, and I HAD to have them. Surgery went fine, but as soon as I woke up in the recovery room I felt awful. I couldn't stop shaking. I was in tremendous pain, and my whole body (jaw to feet) was shaking uncontrollably. The nurses wheeled me out to my moms car, and we drove home. The pain never eased. The next morning I had a post-op appointment. I don't remember the drive down. I remember laying in the surgery center shaking & crying. I was in pain, I was nauseous, and miserable. The nurses took me to a back room, gave me a suppository (for the nausea), and told my mom I was either having a reaction to the anesthesia or the pain meds. To be safe, I was told to stop taking the pain meds and to only take Tylenol. Remember... I JUST had implants put in less than 24 hours before – no pain meds?! I got sick on the way home, I got sick at home, I was sick all day and all night. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get comfortable. Needless to say, the first week was misery. I remembered the Doctor saying it would be “uncomfortable” for a few days. What a load of crap.
THIS. WAS. HELL.
I needed help undressing for the shower. I needed help pulling my pants down to go to the bathroom. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest crushing me. I needed help leaning up in bed. I needed someone to put my anti-nausea suppository in my bum (wow, how embarrassing). I had to grasp my chest while riding in the car, as every minor bump in the road caused serious pain. Was all this agony worth it... just to have a larger bra size?!
My body healed, and I eventually went back to work.
Then the health issues started...