Breast Augmentation Was a HUGE, EXPENSIVE Mistake! - La Jolla, CA

As you can tell by the procedure date shown, it's...

As you can tell by the procedure date shown, it's been 15+ years since my augmentation. If you're considering augmentation with ANY doctor, please read my reviews and read the many reviews on Breast Implant Removal on this site. Don't rely solely on the reviews of women who have only had their implants for a year or two... look at the long term satisfaction of augmented patients. You may just save yourself loads of money, and unnecessary debilitating health problems. More and more women are choosing to have their implants removed, due to severe health problems. I regret, so badly, having these toxic bags put in my body.

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.

My Backstory:
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.
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...

The health issues:

The health issues:

About a year after I got the implants, I started noticing health problems. I didn't connect them to the implants... and neither did doctors, of course.
---I got my very first migraine a little over a year after implantation. I didn't think much of it. The migraines became a frequent thing, and I still get them occasionally. - Doctor recommended prescription meds... but wasn't concerned about the cause.
---I had odd weight fluctuations – losing weight (to a very noticeable degree), then out of nowhere I'd gain a noticeable amount of weight, without any drastic dietary changes. It went back and forth for years. - 2 Doctors noted thyroid levels were slightly off on blood tests. I went on meds... nothing changed, so I went off meds.
---My complexion has suffered as well – noticeable breakouts that would last months and months... then clear(er) skin out of nowhere. - Dermatologists & aestheticians recommended an expensive facial regime, and laser treatments with chemical peels.
---I developed cherry angiomas on my body, as well as keritosis pilaris on the backs of my arms. - Doctor said “it's common.” Internet searches show it could be caused by autoimmune issues.
---I look at photos of myself, and sometimes my face looks so puffy, it's shocking.
---I have been exhausted – to an extreme. A 1-mile walk would leave me couch-ridden the rest of the day. I feel 90 years old most days. I can't work, I can't really leave the house. When I do leave the house, it's a big ordeal and I'm exhausted for days afterwards. Stress makes the exhaustion worse. - I've seen quite a few doctors over the years, regarding the severe fatigue. EVERY blood test came back 'normal'. One naturopathic doctor said I had adrenal fatigue (without doing any bloodwork on me), and I needed to work on my stress. Primary care physicians, endocrinologist, and Internists said “It's stress. Do yoga, find ways to decompress. Avoid stressful situations. You're depressed – take antidepressants. See a therapist.” etc etc etc. I wasn't depressed, I wasn't overly stressed. The only thing making me slightly stressed/depressed was the fact that I feel like I'm slowly dying and NOT ONE doctor believed I had a medical issue, but rather a mental issue. I tried antidepressants/anti-anxiety meds 4 different times. My body HATED the meds, and things only got worse.
---I do suffer from anxiety – even as a child I suffered from mild anxiety. The anxiety got worse, and worse the years after implantation. I would now describe myself as extremely anxious. I suffered my first panic attack about a year or so after implantation. The anxiety became debilitating. It didn't help that I physically felt awful, and couldn't find answers or help. I heard the word “hypochondriac” more times than I can count. The unknown, regarding my health, launched the anxiety to a ridiculous level – add onto that the many doctors who kept telling me “You're fine. Bloodwork is completely normal.”
---My hair falls out like crazy. It's everywhere – in the shower, on my pillow, on the floor throughout the house, stuck in every brush/hair band... it's surprising I have any hair left. I used to have healthy, strong hair... those days are long gone. My hair is thin and brittle.
---I have a sensitivity to all prescription meds. My body doesn't even tolerate birth control (I've tried several types, until my ObGyn finally said “I don't think your body will ever accept a BC pill.”). Every anti-anxiety/anti-depressant the doctors recommended (to help my “stress and fatigue”) gave me a reaction.
---Brain fog became a big problem. My memory didn't seem as strong as it used to be, and most days I felt groggy and 'off'. I tried to convince myself that's just what happens as you get older.
---I'm very sensitive to smells, sounds, temperature, and light. Strong perfume, candles, or chemical smells gives me an awful headache/migraine within minutes. I never had that problem before implants – I worked in a department store, and used to love smelling all the perfumes at the nearby counter.
---I developed endometriosis, uterine fibroid, and ovarian cysts. I had surgery for that almost 9 years after implantation.
---Odd issue, but worth noting... my left breast developed a mild capsular contracture. On that same side, I've noticed in the past few years, that armpit has a much stronger odor than the right armpit.
---I developed food allergies and sensitivities. I can no longer eat gluten, and have been gluten free for 4+ years. I have a very sensitive belly, and have to be careful of everything I ate.

These are just SOME of the issues I've dealt with in the years since implanting. None of these health issues started before implants. Take some time to research Breast Implant Illness, you'll see that many, many, many women have suffered these same ailments (plus more) after implanting. It doesn't matter if the implants are silicon or saline – women's bodies are reacting to both types of implants. Breast Implant Illness is REAL.
Explant surgery is on the rise, in a BIG way now! More and more women are linking their unexplained illnesses to breast implants. The silicon is toxic, and is negatively affecting our bodies. (Saline implants have the same silicon shell as silicon/gel implants. So although they are deemed "safe" because they are filled with saline solution... the silicon shell is still toxic to many).
I'm 10 days away from explant surgery, and I'm praying I'm one of the lucky women who sees some health improvement after the implants are removed.
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

I regret rushing into a decision choosing Dr. Lori Saltz. At the time of augmentation I felt like she had all the right answers... now I regret having the augmentation. I can see how vulnerable, impressionable patients are easily led to believe the procedure is a positive thing.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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