This site, and all the women on it who have taken the time to post their thoughts, fears, and photos, have given me the courage to do what I’ve wanted to do for the last ten years. Now 53, I’ve had implants since 1986. Holy sugar, just typing the year has given me the willies. Anyway, even from my youngest days, I had problems with body image. I was very tall, very pale with freckles, and hyper-conscious of my own gawkiness. I thought if I only had a tan, all my problems would be solved. Later, after I got married, my obsession with a tan transferred to my flat chest. My husband, a “boob man,” had been gravitating to pornography and my size 35 A was nothing to write home about. At 5’ 10”, and wanting to please him (even though he never asked me to do it), I justified the purchase of implants by rationalizing to myself that larger breasts would better fit my very tall frame. I had a modest pair of saline implants placed under the muscle. Even though I was in my mid-20s, I was naïve in my expectations. Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I thought that having bigger breasts would make me more attractive, more feminine. I went from an A-minus-ish cup to a full C. I was unaware at that time of the potential health concerns OR the future replacement needs. I don’t remember speaking to my PS about either of those issues. Of course, back in 1986, it could be that nobody knew.
What happened is that they got me more male attention. My husband was happy, yes, but everywhere we went, I got the wrong kind of looks. At the time, I accepted this as a good thing. I felt sexier because other people thought I was sexier. But I knew, deep in my own heart, that large boobs do not equate to sexiness. I felt like I lived a dual life. I spent many years at university hanging out with people involved with intellectual pursuits, but I was still stuck worrying about my physical worthiness. So depressing. In my mid-thirties I divorced, but I thought it was too late to change back to what I once was. In 1995 I began to have a problem with my left breast. I could feel the edges of the implant underneath the skin. I returned to the original surgeon and he replaced the implants with another pair of saline. These were slightly smaller and although I was still a C-cup, they were not so full. This surgery was the same as the first – drains, recovery, depression, and surrender to the inevitable. I felt somehow defined by my chest, and even though I often enjoyed having the cleavage and shape, I hated the fact that I wasn’t myself. I often despised the way I looked in photographs. My nipples were always hard, so I started to wear padded bras to hide this fact, making my chest look even larger.
Earlier this year, I started to feel a burning in the general vicinity of my left breast. I knew the implants were old, really old, but they did not look bad or ruptured. Still, I knew they would have to be replaced. I longed to remove them, but I was (and still am) so full of anxiety over the result. Should I replace them at age 53 – and then again in my 70s (can you imagine that????) – and then what if I live to be 90? Good God. I can’t even imagine a scenario where that would work for me. I hate how they feel. Like many posters, I don’t like hugging people too tightly because their general hardness is so unnatural. My longing to be rid of them is intense ……… but my fear of the possible deformity to my body is genuine.
Still, what a perfect time to do this. I’m newly single. I have a wonderful job, and friends, and family. Any love interest I meet in future will have enough life experience to be aware that love is not a matter of perceived physical perfection.
So I began to read as much as I could. I looked at all the very worst outcomes and resulting photographs. I looked at all the happy stories and the pictures of newly explanted breasts. I read and I read. I pressed “like” a lot and made a few comments. I dithered. Then I made the appointment. My original surgeon – Dr. William Aiello – is still in practice and has some excellent reviews. When I went to see him, he did not immediately press me to reconsider. He reviewed my options, checked my breasts for capsular contraction, and he agreed to do the explantation. It’s a straight explantation only, no capsule removal, and no lift. I will wait the requisite number of months to see what my poor boobs will look like before any further surgeries.
I’m scared, there’s no denying it, but if I could do it tomorrow I would. I have to wait until May 28th and lets hope I don’t start to waiver.
I owe every woman on this site a giant thank-you. So, thank you. Thank you, thank you.