I had 380cc round, textured, high profile, ...
I had 380cc round, textured, high profile, cohesive silicone implants placed 7 years ago at the age of 20. I've been quietly considering removal of my implants for a little while. I love them at the beginning but I just don't feel like I need them any more and don't like always having the thought at the back of my mind that I might need to remove/replace them at any point if they rupture.
Recently I've developed pain in my ribs and at present I don't know whether it's related. The opinions of health professionals have varied. The NHS thought it was probably a pulled muscle and did the standard "come back in 6 weeks if it doesn't go away". The first private surgeon I saw suspected I had capsular contracture. The second private surgeon I saw didn't think I had any sign of rupture or capsular contracture. So who knows at this stage!
I'm in the process of meeting another surgeon next week and then I plan to choose between them. Hoping I can book in for the removal next month as I'll already be off work for a while for the Christmas holiday, and as a contractor I don't get paid for my time off so I prefer to limit it as much as possible.
I've attached photos of myself before I had implants placed, along with immediately after the operation and also how my implants look today, now that they're 7 years old.
Macom Minimizers purchased
Hearing lots of recommendations for the Macom Minimizer bras, intended specifically for implant removals without replacement.
The Macom website advises buying the size in your measurements and trying it on pre-explant, and that if it fits it should be sufficient post explant.
This is a pretty massive bra, but it was quite a squeeze getting my current 32G boobs in the size S bra. It rolls up a bit at the bottom of the band when I'm sat down which I'm hoping is just because of my current size.
I have one more consultation next Wednesday, the 30th November, and then I think I will be ready to move on to actually choosing my surgeon and booking a date. I'm mostly feeling excited right now, looking forward to not worrying about finding clothes that fit my boobs which don't hang like a sack from them, being able to sleep on my front again, not getting back aches and not having that cold, numb feeling I get - hopefully anyway!
So I've just received the quote for the second surgeon I've met with.
The first surgeon quoted me £5250 which really shocked me to be honest. They originally said £3295 and then added a massive £1955 extra after the surgeon advised removing the capsules as well.
The second surgeon said removing the capsules was "a given" which I felt was pretty reassuring. He's quoted me £4000, much more reasonable.
I've a 3rd consultation with a separate surgeon next Wednesday, looking forward to it!
Thought I'd try on my Macom Minimizer bra again tonight, but this time under my clothes. It really smooshes down my current implants quite a lot so I was able to get a slightly better idea of what I will look like without them. I've now technically had implants for longer than I've had natural breasts (from the point of developing them around age 13) so I'm finding it hard to remember what it was like to be small.
I was happy with what I saw, I looked a lot slimmer. All in all, I think bigger boobs are pretty unflattering in most outfits. Unless I'm wearing a cinched in waist (think fifties style dresses), most clothing just hangs shapelessly off my boobs, making me look much fatter around the waist than I actually am. Jumpers look awful. Shirts bulge and burst open.
I do remember back in my teens it wasn't so much the size that bothered me, it was more the shape. They were perky and pointy, too much so in my opinion. They made me feel pre-pubescent at the age of 20, and I hated that. Now that I'm approaching 30, I don't think I'm going to be as concerned about looking younger! I'm intrigued how similar they will be to my original size and shape.
I'm hoping after tomorrow's consultation I will finally be in a position to book my surgery. Getting pretty excited. Sorry to ramble on here, there's not really many other places for me to discuss this! :)
Had my third consultation this evening and it was definitely the best. The surgeon was easily the friendliest I've met, and instead of trying to push me in to getting an uplift, he was quite the opposite, making sure I definitely wanted them removed.
He didn't think an uplift would be at all necessary and said he suspected I would have very good results. He was also the first surgeon to show me photos of removals he'd done, everyone else only had photos of putting them in.
He said it should be a very simple removal, he foresees no issues at all and that he could even do under local if I preferred (although it would cost the same).
So now I just eagerly and impatiently await their quote, hoping it comes tomorrow. The initial price they suggested was very reasonable but was subject to the surgical consult, hoping they don't spring a huge increase on me like the first company did (they added just short of £2k).
Booked for the 22nd December
Well, that's it, I've booked in for the 22nd December with Dr Bassem Nathan at Transform. Fortunately out of my 3 separate consultations he was both my preferred surgeon and the cheapest - I'm glad I didn't feel like I was choosing between quality vs. cost. The procedure will be removal of the implants and any of the capsule he feels it's necessary to remove. He said as my implants are soft with no noticeable he didn't suspect a need to remove that much.
It's pretty good timing for me, I'm a contractor and so I lose money if I'm not in work, so combining it with the Christmas holiday I'll be taking off anyway is the most convenient option for me. I have no plans over the holidays (other than eating and watching a lot of movies) so it's a pretty perfect time. I just hope that I'm well enough to cook Christmas dinner on the 25th. I'll buy all the food, drink and toiletries that I need for the holidays before the 22nd so I won't have to worry about anything else.
Any tips for preparing? I've been using Bio Oil for twice a day for the last couple of weeks, I've also heard good things about coconut oil with frankincense. I've seen some women take collagen supplements but I've also heard there's no proof it does anything, but as long as it doesn't hurt I'm not opposed to trying. I took arnica for the implant and didn't suffer any bruising, so I'll likely try that again too, although I've also heard mixed views on that.
I definitely have a planner personality and like to feel like I'm covering all basis!
Started my pre-op prep shopping today. Along with stocking my cupboards with some easy meals, I've purchased some warm button up PJs and some collagen supplements. Not sure if collagen will help, but happy to try.
Think I'll take off the day before my surgery too just to get my last bits and bobs, clean the flat, put everything I need in convenient places.
18 days to go!
Had my pre-op appointment with a nurse at Transform's Fulham clinic. It seems to have a few bad reviews on Google, but my appointment went very well. The receptionist was very friendly and the nurse I saw was great.
We went through a very thorough list of questions and he advised me of the dos and donts before and after surgery, and gave me phone numbers for both working hours and out-of-hours lines. I felt reassured they'd be there for me if I had any questions or problems.
Not long left now, going to give my flat a very thorough clean this week so I don't have to clean for a while post op.
I'm being admitted at 9am on Thursday, but I'm not sure what time my surgery will be. Very excited and nervous now, I just want it to be Thursday already!
Well it's all done!
22 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
Still in the hospital right now (it's just gone 7pm). Arrived at 8.20am, went in for surgery about 2.30pm, hoping to leave in about an hour - I'm bored now! Plus the bed isn't very comfortable.
So; the results! I've seen others say their boobs look "sad" afterwards - this is pretty accurate! It's like someone has let all the air out, they've had a long, stressful day and now they're just winding down on the sofa.
Will be intrigued to see how they progress over the next few weeks.
No drains. I have a little pain in my left when I live, but otherwise I'm feeling really good, just a little tired from such a long day (I woke up at 4.20am!)
22 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
Got to leave the hospital at about 9pm, took just over an hour to get home. My friends are staying over tonight and we all shared some pizza and fresh gingerbread - so glad - I hadn't eaten for almost 24 hours.
I've been wearing the Macom compression bra for about 2-3 hours and it already seems to have made a difference?! I could swear they're already looking a little less saggy. Pretty happy I think, I was mentally prepared for worse.
All in all, feeling pretty good. Alert, not in pain, healthy. Long may it continue!
2 days later
Things are continuing to improve - the appearance gets better each time I look. I'm surprised how much my skin has retracted already, there's very little sagging and just some minor wrinkles where my stretch marks are which I developed when I had my implants put in. My upper pole has definitely started filling out too.
I had been doing bio oil massages for a last month before surgery and it had definitely started to improve the appearance of my stretch marks, so I'll continue with that as soon as I'm healed from the explant.
I stopped taking the collagen supplements I bought before surgery because they have vitamin E in, which I have read is a blood thinner. I'll start on them again once I'm healed.
I am taking arnica. Hard to tell whether it's effective or whether I'm just lucky, but I don't seem to be swollen and I don't have any bruising. The pain has been minimal and I was able to wear a normal, non button up top today with no difficulty.
I'm thinking of getting an additional bra to my Macom compression ones - they're pretty massive and show up under most clothing, and if the fabric is thin the clasps show through my top too. Otherwise I'm very happy I bought them - I'm utterly convinced they're helping my skin retract.
Day 4 Update
Tried on some soft cup, non wired bras today, at the moment I'm slightly too big for a 32c. Before I had implants I barely filled a b cup. I'll leave it a while longer before buying any though, as it's still early days right now.
Day 6 Update
They've been pretty similar for the last few days now, I'm hoping they don't change much from here as I'm very happy with what I have now! That said, now I look at the photos I think I'm looking a bit fuller, and my upper pole has continued to improve. I'm enjoying keeping a pretty thorough log so I can really keep track of the progress.
I did want to add that I really think the Macom Minimizer is helping with the skin retraction, it's also more comfortable when moving around. I noticed that when I wore a normal sports bra, my boobs bounced a little when moving around/walking, which caused some minor pain in my incisions. The Macom Minimizer keeps them very firmly in place so I don't get that problem at all - although it's not *that* comfortable to relax/sleep in.
I think I'll start wearing the Minimizer only in the day soon, and switching to an ordinary sports bra at night so I can get a bit more comfortable in bed (I'm a terrible sleeper at the best of times).
I have my post op appointment in 2 days - I'm not actually sure what happens at it. Also the nurse from Transform phoned me today just to check in on me, which was nice.
Day 8 - Removal of Dressings
A day late posting this, these are photos from yesterday, after my dressings were removed at my post-op appointment. The scars aren't actually that red usually, it's just that I took the photos immediately after the scars had been cleaned with some sterile wound wipes, making them look redder.
Day 16 Update
Not seeing as many changes now. The scars are improving and perhaps my boobs are a little fuller. They're definitely a lot bigger than before I had implants. I even tried on one of my 32D bras from when I had implants (admittedly it was a squeeze getting them in with implants) and found I filled it perfectly with what I have now!
I feel bad for admitting this, but they're actually a bit bigger than I'd hoped - not something I ever expected to be concerned about! I'm happy overall of course, but I guess part of me was excited to get back to my tiny ones for some reason. I had definitely mentally prepared myself to expect very little left post explant. It never occurred to me I might be left with this much, it feels crazy that there was 380cc difference between what I have now, and what I had with implants. I feel like my boobs are closer on the scale to being like I was with implants than they are to being like I was before I ever had any.
As an follow up to my last post, here's a comparison of pre implant, 7 years post implant and finally 16 days post explant
Bra fitting 25 days post explant
So today I popped in to Victoria's Secret to hopefully purchase a comfortable non wired bra. I'm still wearing my Macom minimizer most of the time and occasionally just ordinary sports bras, but I have a party to go to this Friday and all my bras looked just terrible under the dress I'd bought.
An extremely helpful lady spent a long time trying to find the right size for me, eventually deciding I was a 32D or in certain styles a DD. When I was first measured after I got implants 7 years ago I was measured as a 32DD! I guess I have grown a LOT of natural breast tissue in the 7 years I had implants. Crazy, I never expected this much growth. I was a B cup before I had implants, but I was still quite young (19).
The bra seems absolutely lovely, it's a very soft silky material and is non wired, so it's very comfortable to wear.
So I'm now 6 weeks post explant. About 2-3 weeks ago my right incision became really sore and weepy, the nurse diagnosed it as a stitch abscess and covered it with an iodine patch and gave me two spare ones to replace it with every 3 days.
After I took off the second patch a week later the incision was looking and feeling much better. I've just had my 6 week follow up and the nurse was happy with my incisions now and said I could return to exercise, baths/swimming, and underwired bras - as long as I felt comfortable.
I don't have any pain but I think I'm going to wait a little longer before moving to underwired bras.