Explant on 5th October: 17 years of subglandular plus 5 months of submuscular.

I had a breast augmentation revision 4 weeks ago...

I had a breast augmentation revision 4 weeks ago in London after 17 years of implants from the age of 23. I don't know what my bra size was before the implants, I didn't need a bra, but you can see in my pictures from the first pre-op surgery. My current surgeon says I was an A cup. I had 270cc Hydrogel subglandular, I was never happy with them but I could cover them up and make them look natural enough in clothes. I buried the whole shameful affair and told nobody, not even my partner of 17 years after that. I had the revision as the implants were dangerously old and the rippling had become very visible, also I'm doing IVF treatment and thought that if I am going to conceive, that I should sort this situation out fast. Sadly I didn't do my homework. I did what I did at the age of 23, I was hasty and scared and just put my body in the hands of the most expensive surgeon I could find. I was very wary of how he seemed reluctant to make me smaller but we had many conversations and he seemed to understand, we also had my existing implants as a realistic measure of how small I could feasibly go. Anyway, 245cc anatomical 'teardrop' Mentor memorygel 'gummi bears' submuscular later, and I really hate them. They are bigger and higher and the scars are wider, all typical of this implant apparently, but not something he warned me about. He told me on two occasions that the scar would be the same size, when it seems normal for a cohesive gel shaped implant to require a wider incision, but he wouldn't give me that possibility. In our follow-up yesterday when I asked, he said he 'didn't know' if the new incision was bigger, he 'didn't think so'. So I am afraid that I can't trust him. He knows I want to explant and will do it as part of my package, but very reluctantly. He wants me to wait for them to settle; again, these textured implants do their best to grip to the tissue and they don't drop much. But all of my research and questions are dismissed by him as 'trash on the internet', he 'has done thousands of these implants' etc. I got upset in his office, not so much out of my own situation anymore, but for his dogged insistence that his implants for me were 'textbook' and right for me. I felt drowned out by his own sense of being right.

My sensation was always reduced after the first implants, which bothered me a lot and got in the way of intimacy. But I had some at least. My surgeon knew I was afraid of losing more and now I am completely numb from the top of the implant at armpit height, to underneath. I have a tiny bit of sensation in one nipple. My main distress about this revision is the possibility that I could perhaps have breastfed a baby with what I had before the revision. My surgeon told me it was unlikely, so I had the revision thinking I had nothing to lose, but I wonder now if I could have managed. It's all a bit late and I'm ruminating and obsessing.
But what I want now is to explant and to get these massive balloons out. I may still be numb but the offenders will be out of my body and this cycle of implanting will be finished.
I am looking for someone to do this, but wary of cost to myself financially and emotionally. I had time off work for the revision and the discomfort of going submuscular meant more time off than planned. I've been very emotional and distracted and I can't tell a lot of people why. I'm doing a cycle of IVF treatment right now, and the embryos will be frozen. My partner and friends don't want me to explant, as they think I'm in the wrong state of mind, that I should accept what I have now and focus on my fertility treatment. My partner is already hesitant about me even having an embryo transfer as he thinks I'm not up to it emotionally. So I made a terrible mistake by having this revision when I did, how I did; I didn't consult with any of my friends or my partner, I just went and did it as I was so afraid and ashamed. It's only since the revision that I have opened up and told any friends at all; they're amazed to know I had implants all this time.
There are a few good doctors in the UK that explant, but they all implant as well, so I'm not going to get a Dr Melmed or Dr Feng. I have spoken to Dr Melmed on the phone and by email. He asked me about symptoms, and I said I have severe persistent sciatica and recurrent yeast infections, but I didn't associate them with the implants. He believes they are. But given my situation, he does not want me to fly to Dallas to be explanted by him. The other surgeons here will consult with me gradually over the next month, but I can't be sure about their attention to removing all the capsules. My new implants will not have formed a capsule at least, but I am worried about the old capsules, and how much my surgeon really did remove, as I don't feel I can believe much of what he says. He tells me that he left the capsule closest to the skin as I have no breast tissue, that he cleaned the pocket out with water and hydrogen peroxide. The old implants were not ruptured, but with a thin bleeding shell, so there must have been silicone in the pocket. He has closed the pocket, and I don't know how disruptive it will be to my remaining sensation to have the pocket re-opened to check. The only surgeon who might do that is Dr Feng in Ohio. I will speak to her secretary soon, but I don't think I can afford her or the trip as well as IVF.
My surgeon will remove them for free but tells me that I will just have empty pockets, loose skin. That I have NO breast tissue at all, that implants can rub away the old breast tissue. I will be an AA cup instead of my previous A cup. In short, he is giving it all the scare stories. Dr Melmed said I would be the same as pre-implants, and that breast implants can encourage breast growth if anything?! My surgeon says it will be quick and easy to do, a day-case, 20 mins to do!? I wonder about drains, as these usually stay in for a few days; he used them for the revision BA. I am worried he is rushing it and that I shouldn't use him, but I am tempted by the locality and that I won't have to borrow money or travel far and wide. I wouldn't have a lift with any of the other surgeons anyway, so as long as my POS removes them, will I be okay and my results will be much of a muchness? I won't have a capsule to worry about. I made a mistake the first time, I don't want to make it again. I will ask Dr Melmed, but I don't want to go through this and feel no peace of mind, eventually travelling for further surgery to be sure. I am pretty sure I won't get the sympathetic aftercare that a dedicated explant surgeon would give, but as long as they are safely removed, then the rest is up to my body? I hope to do this in one month, I would really appreciate any advice or support, I feel so out on a limb. Thank you.

Nailing down a date for explant with implant PS

So I must be a sucker for punishment, but I'm probably returning to my nightmare surgeon for the explant. A number of reasons; financial, logistical, all things that aren't enduring so I should probably throw everything I have at it for the best long term result. But I found out yesterday at an IVF scan that I will need a laparoscopy in order to go ahead successfully with embryo transfer later in the summer. That will be with my gynaecologist in London, and as I need two weeks off work for that, I am imagining I can do the explant before or after by a few days. It will be horrendous, I did this before with the revision, thinking I could manage to do that I between IVF cycles, with no thought for it going wrong and having this emotional impact on me. I've pretty much checked out, my partner has too. My PS just wants to make a consultation for a months time, presumably so I maybe change my mind. I am terrified of taking them out, but having them in is like a weird limbo. I think I would be less afraid if I had some sensation in them. I am afraid to be left with numb deflated pockets, but the big numb balloons are such a reminder. I asked Dr Melmed and he doesn't seem to think 20 mins is too outrageous for the explant. Maybe I'm writing myself off here!

Pre-revision pictures after 17 years of 270cc hydrogel subgladular (over muscle)

Finally got some pictures of the old implants from my revision PS, but not sure how useful they are to understanding my explant outcome. They were lower and more sloped than these new so-called teardrop numbers, but also rippling badly. New PS reviser brought 'me in' to be less lateral, but I'm just bursting out of my ribs now. I want to be explanted before I stretch the skin under my arms any further. Also hoping to regain some newly-lost sensation, which comes all the way up to the top of the implant, and all the way into my sternum. I saw a spider crawling across my breasts in the mirror the other day, but could feel nothing, horrible!

Pre-revision pictures after 17 years of 270cc hydrogel subgladular (over muscle)

Google Chrome crashed uploading my old implants! Finally got some pictures of the old implants from my revision PS, but not sure how useful they are to understanding my explant outcome. They were lower and more sloped than these new so-called teardrop numbers, but also rippling badly. New PS reviser brought 'me in' to be less lateral, but I'm just bursting out of my ribs now. I want to be explanted before I stretch the skin under my arms any further. Also hoping to regain some newly-lost sensation, which comes all the way up to the top of the implant, and all the way into my sternum. I saw a spider crawling across my breasts in the mirror the other day, but could feel nothing, horrible! Could anyone explain the problem of adhesions after explanting? I will see my PS on Monday, when he will no doubt try to scare me off from having an explant by waving his hands in front of his chest warning me of my 'loose pockets'. And tomorrow I have a laparoscopy! Which is a picnic compared to the explant.

What the Plastic Surgeon said....

So I had my second laparoscopy last week to remove an inflamed fallopian tube following some endometriosis problems and to enable me to continue my IVF treatment. Which is very much on hold since I revised my implants, thinking that was the smart thing to do in advance of any pregnancy. Since that revision I have gone into total implant meltdown, regretting my decision to implant with this surgeon, and to have ever implanted at all! I saw the PS today to discuss explant, but most of our 15 minutes was filled with him telling me how he did the best job on my implants that he could have done. The main thing is, he will explant, reluctantly, in half an hour, with no drains, (no idea if that sounds feasible, they are only in behind the muscle for the last 6 weeks) but he reckons I will have no trouble with sagging, adhesions, indents, drooping. I hardly dare believe him. He says I will be very flat and that my implants have rubbed away any breast tissue, that I am just implant and skin. But then again, he is a doctor of big rubber boobs, so who knows what he considers flat. When I asked about my old 17 year old implants; any capsular contracture, any bacteria or moulding, all the questions we get told he ask, he scrunched up his face and said, "why are you bothering yourself with these things?'! What a silly little woman I am, what business is it of mine!? One of the implants does feel really strange right now, the most numb part of my breast feels like something is moving around, I wondered if it was fluid in the old pocket. Anyway, he advises me to stay away from the internet and you ladies, but you are all I have in the absence of a straight-talking surgeon. He has given me a collection of images taken during the surgery, which I thought might be useful for explanting expectations, and to see the old implants, but I am afraid to look at them. I thought I might try and attach them to an email for Dr Melmed, lucky guy.

Has anyone successfully breastfed AFTER explant, when completely flat, with nipple distortion?

My questions keep coming! Have any explanted ladies who went down to actual flatness (I don't mean small boobs here, I mean no breast tissue at all) managed to breastfeed with their explanted boobs? I have no sensation with my new implants after 6 weeks and largely suspect it isn't coming back as I lost about 40% with my first BA, but the hope is there. One of my worries is that to explant will give me some level of deformity such as nipple droopage, caving in etc, and this will make it even less possible for a poor baby to latch onto the nipple! I'm doing IVF treatment and holding off on embryo transfer while I debate explant and recovery. Many thanks, it is a rather specific question.

How to prepare a surgeon for explant and best outcome?

Hello. I am seeing a surgeon this afternoon about explant, but I am still undecided as to whether I go with my original surgeon to remove them as part of the package. I don't think I have a case to sue him for clinical negligence, which is also very stressful and time-consuming, but the idea is still on my mind. The new surgeon is not a big explanter, but he is more senior and sympathetic. They all seem to think an explant is fairly straightforward, so I don't know what I'm really paying for, other than a nicer doctor who will give me more aftercare. I am only 2.5 months with the new implants, so perhaps the capsule will not be too toxic yet and can actually stay to be absorbed by the body (I don't see the logic in this for old implants, the body would absorb the toxins too?) Does anyone have any ideas of what I should be asking, I am very worried about adhesions as I am properly actually flat and apparently the subglandular implants of 17 years have rubbed away what little tissue I had. Is there anything can be done in surgery to prevent adhesions? I don't have any spare fat for transfer and that is something to explore further down the line for financial and baby-making reasons. I am explanting as soon as possible so I can get on with IVF and because my breasts are completely numb since the revision, with no sensation returning as reassured by PS. I don't believe it will. Also, are there any good padded bras for breasts as flat as mine, I don't know what I was back when those photos were taken of me at the age of 23, but I have lost some weight and breast tissue, so I need a heavily padded bra that won't ride up. Seems early days to worry about such matters, but I'm feeling very body-conscious as I am losing so much body fat and looking gaunt, especially silly looking with these massive orbs! Thanks everyone.

One week until explant and very scared actually

More scared than when I had the implant revision three months ago, which I thought would be a dawdle. It has turned my life upside down, I never knew how estranged I was from this poor body until I had large unwieldy anatomical implants stuffed up my ribcage. I've had no sensation return, just a weird movement behind my skin when I bend forward or run, like something is moving around. They are also very lopsided and just too big for my bones. I don't suit implants anymore since I lost weight from stress. But my scars are bigger since the exchange and I'm told I have no breast tissue left, so I'm not ready for this mentally. Am still forging ahead, as I can't go on like this. I will be sending my surgeon these pictures of his work so he can stop pretending all is good!

Explant on the 5th October!

Hi, the 5th October is set and I'm not going to cancel this time. Nothing has really changed, except I've had time to calm down a bit, but the fears and anxieties are the same. Am I calmer because the shock of these new implants has alleviated? I don't know about the stories I tell myself anymore, because these are the stories that pushed me into getting them and the revision in the first place, and I was in such shock after the revision. I still hate how they look and feel, and no sensation has returned to the large area that lost it. The aesthetic outcome will be the same no matter how much I worry, my body will do what it wants. I am having to stick to the facts that I will be better without, if not aesthetically or emotionally, then physically. My health is not great and I never blamed the implants before, but my yeast infections are off the chart this last year, more so since the revision. Could be stress and antibiotics, but I'm more convinced it's the 17 year old implants that were removed. I can't get my weight up to help fill out the empty breasts, but I'm trying, despite a strict anti-candida diet! I wonder how I could prepare my body for this. My surgeon is very kind, but doesn't really believe in the illnesses associated with breast implants. Will there be a need to remove the 5 month old capsules under my muscle? He doesn't think so, and I also have the old capsules over my muscle from the 17 year old implants that were replaced. He doesn't want to remove those at risk of worse adhesions, and I can't afford it either. I have asked if he will do some toxicology tests on those pockets to establish if there is any mould or bacteria there. My GP doesn't believe in any correlation between mould in the breast pocket and a vaginal yeast infection, which seems strange, as the yeast overgrowth is in the gut, and we experience yeast infections in the vagina! So hard to argue with the medical profession, and the internet is blamed for misinforming women like us who question it. My surgeon is also ambivalent about compression, and I wondered what explanters think about steri-strips for the scars, massage etc. I have very big messy scars since the revision unfortunately. And I will really be one of the few 'flat' women. Flat I can handle, but I hope to avoid adhesions - such a lottery! Hard to believe my body will change so much in two weeks from now, all this at 40 with IVF and other changes. I'm taking supplements to cleanse my body of the candida, but I wonder if there is anything else I can do to prepare. Thank you.xx

Afraid and confused

Hello and I'm sorry for being so melodramatic and attention-seeking with my title. I will explant in two days and I'm really examining my true reasons and fears. I don't know if I'm strong enough to do this, I've been obsessed, with nothing else getting my attention since the revision that damaged and upset me so much I finally faced up to explant. Then came the persistent candida and the realisation that many of my symptoms this last couple of years were due to old implants. But I'm afraid of how I will look, I can't pretend that I'm more concerned with health. While I know this is more important, my mind won't be happy with how these implants look and feel (or don't feel). But how will I look and feel with big scars, no tissue, caved in nipples and no sensation on my empty pockets? I am so afraid of no feeling there, they have been numb since the revision which made me want them out. But should I concede a defeat there and accept my bad luck, try to have a baby and not go through more mental trauma until a baby is here? I'm not as brave or confident as the rest of you, I'm terribly self-critical and I have no fat available for a transfer! I realise I will need patience to wait for things to settle down, but I'm afraid I will be one of the unlucky ladies who has a very unfortunate result. I want to be able to show you and other explanters that's it's worth it, that there is hope. I don't know why I write this, it will be what it will be. My friends say to leave them in for now and have a baby, will I regret not listening. Rhetorical questions, thank you for hearing my lament.

Be gone, Toxic Friends...

Yesterday I had implants removed from my body, after over 17 years. The first ones came out 5 months ago, to be replaced immediately by these guys, which gave me the alarm bells that I couldn't live like this anymore. There was nothing wrong with them, no capsular contracture, but I lost all my sensation, they were too big for my liking, and they were under the muscle, which I couldn't get on with. I finally saw the real problem that I was facing with implants and found this site, understood explant and the possibility of it that wasn't presented to me before. The old implants were rippling, but I think that was because I had lost breast tissue, lost weight, and my skin had thinned through age. So now I am 'free', although I nearly walked out of the hospital in the morning, I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. All the voices of everyone I know about this were swimming in my brain, wondering if I was just reacting to the shock of the revision, rushing into more surgery and more upset, trying to find myself but only finding misery. I cried on my way to theatre, had a lovely nurse who told me she was flat-chested and that I can find a bra at Victoria's Secret. My surgeon did not remove the capsules, he said they were thin and flimsy, I was more concerned about the hazards of the old ones that are still in my subglandular pockets, but he said that pocket was closed up. He gave me the line about capsules being absorbed by the body, but when I asked what happens when they are absorbed, he said that little pac-men come along and eat them?! I have had systemic candida, so I felt that the bleeding shells of my old implants had taken their toll (no pac men it seems). The hospital refused to let me keep my implants for health and safety reasons, but my surgeon snuck them out of the bin and gave them to me! I haven't weighed them yet, but they are very heavy. I hired them at a premium cost of £1300 per month for the last 5 months, so I'm glad I have them to play with. Took funny photos at the hospital, chatted with people online who I don't usually chat to. I slept well last night, I am trying not to panic as my breasts are looking kind of worst-case scenario. As the surgeon says, they have atrophied over time from having a hard object rub against them (they were tiny to start), and my age (the anaesthetist said I was an anaesthetist's dream with my prominent veins, again 'age' she says). I will wait and try to be kind to myself as I have had some terrible body-image dialogue going on. I will post pictures of my bare breasts soon, as I must ask you all for advice about noogleberry and when to start.

Face to face with my toxic friends

Day 2 of explant - the bare facts

It is only day 2, so I have to not expect much, but taking these pictures gave me the anxiety again, as I can see how painfully thin I am. I always was, but perhaps less so, or my body was younger and my skin was thicker, so I looked a bit fuller. My breasts have rubbed away, and they are sitting how all explanted breasts sit, so I'm not too worried. But they are so empty and I am just bone with skin, so I look quite grotesque. I shouldn't use words like that I know, but I don't want to put any women off explant, I am unique in my underweightness, I see no women on here like me! I don't and never have had an eating disorder, I think it's two years of anxiety and maybe just some things going on in my body, like endometriosis, candida, IVF cycles, all of which have been or are being treated. I always feel the need to apologise for my state, as it isn't what I want, I don't starve myself. I can maybe just try to separate myself from my physical body to reach a state where I relax and weight will go on by itself. I didn't like touching my breasts with the revision, or even with the old implants very much, but now I can feel a hard, hollow circle in the breast area and I feel very fragile. I still can't have big bear hugs, I feel like I might crush my tiny chest. And of course my nipples struggle to assert themselves. I have a lovely friend who will make me imaginative and flattering clothes to wear, he will make some padded bras and corsets to wear on the outside of clothes, so that will make a fashion statement about my flat chest as well as adding volume! I have ordered some lightly padded bras, but I don't honestly think they will sit very well on my concave chest. I haven't seen the scars yet, they were big and messy after my revision, so they can wait a bit longer I think. I hope to use the Noogleberry at some stage to help, but I must just be patient and hope at best that I don't suffer from adhesions. As long as nobody looks at me naked, I am feeling okay, less like an imposter as I did with the last ludicrous-looking implants. My last loss of sensation has given me patches of numbness, which shows itself in the cold as large areas on the sides of goosebumps, and then patches in the middle of smooth skin. It all contributes to making my cold, erect nipples look very strained, some of the goosebumps pull it out, while the numb parts keep it soft. I'm being very graphic. The numbness does not feel as horrible as it did when I was stretched out like a drum, but sensation is still absent. I am happier than I have been for the last five months, and my partner says I have done the right thing, I am more me. I would like me to be a bit less of a twig though!

2 weeks post explant: very flat and happier than I could have ever imagined

When I say happy, I mean mystified as to why I could feel so accepting, excited even, about being so flat. I can't say flat 'again', they don't look too familiar, the tissue is all at the bottom of the crease and they look like tiny miniature boobs, with nothing on top of the nipple. I am wearing tight tops, I can't bring myself to wear the padded bras that almost fit. I think it might be because my partner told me before the explant when I was having second thoughts, "You need to stand by this if you do it - doesn't matter where you are or who you are with".
I have two out of five padded cupped bras from Victoria's Secret that actually fit; by that I mean they stay on, but I have nothing to put inside them and they just cup my breastbone. If I push the cup then it is hollow, but I am keeping those two, maybe I will wear them with blouses to give them something to help drape the fabric. But it seems inconsistent with wearing just my Gap bralettes. I have uploaded pictures of how I look when in a bralette (flat), and in the bras. What do people think of the cupped padded bras? I already feel like the blue 34A one is too big, but it is without underwires and is the smallest I could get in that style. The other is a 34AA and is still empty inside, but at least more modest.

The only thing I lament is that my breasts still have no sensation in large patches. And they hurt in those numb areas. I can't bear to be touched and my nipples have next to no sensation. This was all after the revision 5 months ago, I was hoping that the nerves were just stretched out, the revision PS said his surgery would not cut through the nerves. Clearly they have. As well as affecting my sex-life, they look strange when I am cold, as there are goosebumps in patches and smooth areas that don't respond, it kind of puckers me up in some places and not others! I can't really give a great idea of how I look, because I am very underweight, and my collarbones are protruding, so this makes me look pretty bad with or without implants.

My incisions are smaller than for the revision, and the surgeon excised the old scar to help make a neater one. On my left breast this has caused some puckering of the edge, which will apparently go down with massage. I think this has also caused some asymmetry, as the new scar lifts the breast up a bit, and makes it look pointier. These are all minor quibbles. I don't think I have any adhesions, although maybe I am not allowing myself to acknowledge them. The outer sides are very empty, so this sinks in a bit, especially when I lean over. I noticed that with the implants though. I am a very skinny old bird! The old revision scar that wasn't re-cut seems to be healing better and looks paler without the weight of the implants stretching them.
My candida is more or less the same, I had a week in Portugal where I abandoned my anti-candida diet, and I feel no worse for it. But I am continuing my treatments and herbs and anti-bacterials, anti-fungals etc.

It is like being given a new body really, and one to be excited by somehow, maybe it's the novelty just now. I do long for normal sensitivity in them, then I would be thrilled. But I can't describe how grateful I feel, I hope for every woman to get to where I am, it's like our bodies are saying "thank-you" as, if they have been waiting for us to liberate them again....
Andrew Fleming

Recommended by my kindly gynaecologist, who could see I was in distress! Dr Fleming is older than my plastic surgeon and has explanted only PIPs implants, but is kind and fair and listens. Everything my PS was not. He could only remove them, no capsulectomy unless they were calcified. He excised my old scar and used less of the revision incision to remove. He has given me the care and attention I need, and answered all of my questions openly, is concerned to follow up everything in writing and even insisted on speaking to my GP to make sure I wasn't making the decision to explant from a depressed state of mind. As a surgeon who implants, he would make a good choice, the care is such you would expect from a family member.

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