30+ Year Old Implants Removed but Happy -Memphis, TN

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Back in the early 80's I just had to have implants...

Back in the early 80's I just had to have implants. Seemed like everyone did. I was 25 and a skinny, slim young woman with AA breasts. My husband was fine with them but I was tired of being out of balance. Dresses, bathing suits did not fit right. I went through Military Boot Camp training in 1975 and while standing in the "dress" uniform, a drill sergeant pressed on my chest and asked me why "it was empty"! Memory says breast implants was always on my mind. In 1980, several friends of mine got implants one summer. Then I felt left out. I had to have them!
So we finally had enough money and I got a size "B". I actually wanted to go larger but the doctor said I would regret it because of my frame, etc. My doctor was "Dr. Billy" of Little Rock, AR. He was quite well known at the time for being a very successful PS. He appeared on Oprah's show that summer because he had been responsible for 'augmenting" several of that year's Miss America contestants.
I didn't ask a lot of questions before hand - I didn't know what to ask. I just wanted them.
Initially, they were incredible, the greatest thing. I was proud of them and wore clothes that placed emphasis on them - like I'm sure many of you did. But the problem was... I was never comfortable with them. Oh, I couldn't keep my hands off them and my husband (and later other male friends) loved touching them and often flattered me with compliments. It is ironic, but I had to go through 'self-esteem" questions before the surgery and counseling with not just the doctor but with a psychologist in his office. They wanted to make sure that I already a confident woman without self-esteem issues before the surgery. HA - I must have fooled them. I did have serious poor body image issues and the implants never did fix that.
I don't have any memory of any time that there wasn't some discomfort with them. I had pain if I laid on my chest, etc. Mammograms were horrible as they attempted to "move" the implants out of the picture (no body told me about that). As I grew older, I started gaining weight. I was told not to gain more than 20 lbs after getting implants, but I eventually gained 80 lbs. Even though I still received compliments on how great my breasts looked, I thought they were ugly. I could see the implants sitting up higher than they should have. I've wanted them out for at least the last 15 years. They had hardened so much, that I avoided hugging everyone for fear someone would yell out "you have breast implants". (I had a man do that to me about 6 years ago.)
I found out last summer that they had ruptured and I had silicon leaking into my body following an annual mammogram. Last year, about this time, I had a cyst appear right above the scar on the right breast. It stayed irritated and inflamed. My primary care physician had me putting neosporin on it and wearing a band aid to keep the bra from irritating it but it refused to heal. He finally sent me to the outpatient surgery center to have it cut out and that is when the doctors looking it over decided it was silicon trying to escape!!!  I had just had a mammogram and so they looked at it. Apparently the mammogram report for the past "several" years said they were ruptured but no one bothered to tell me about it. They probably figured I knew and yes I did suspect that something was wrong for the past 5 years.They had been ruptured for several years. I noticed about 3 years ago, that I had these hard knots forming and I had pain in my lymph nodes under my arms. I didn't have the money to do anything about it but this past summer the doctor said they had to come out. They said that they could be a cause of my constant aches in pain throughout my body and that it just wasn't healthy to have silicon running through me. So I scheduled an appointment and finally got them out last Friday, the 22nd. (Long story on why it took so long to get the surgery.) During the past 6 months, I have been visiting this site and others and reading and following people like "Plasticnation". I didn't know what to expect - I was afraid to look at them after the surgery.
But they look great! and feel even better. (still swollen). My PS did a fantastic job. He went in through my old scars and got as much of the silicon as possible without having to open me up more. My implants were above the muscle. He did a complete capsulectomy. He told me that they would look like a deflated balloon. He suggested I might want to consider having implants put back in later on and I said definitely NO!

The cellulitis has cleared up. Tubes out yesterday...

The cellulitis has cleared up. Tubes out yesterday after wearing them for two weeks. YEAH!!!!! Still some tenderness and a few aches and pains. Last night I decided to go braless. Not quite ready for that. I felt every little "jiggle", so I put the sports bra back on and slept in it another night. My doctor surprised me and said I could go to the gym, etc. but to not over do it with weights and no swimming for atleast 2 weeks, until the holes where the tubes were are healed really well. I went walking with my walking group after work last night and wore two sports bras to keep the jiggling to a minimum - no problems (accept it is still cold here! LOL) I'm impressed with the sensitivity I have in the breast and in the nipples - that is wonderful. Yes, I have saggy 57 year old breasts but I love them. I'm so looking forward to feeling much better. Most of the swelling is gone, so I will get a new photo here soon. They are "flatter" than the after picture, but still fill a bra. :-)

4 months later

Still extremely happy that they are out of me. The scars were the drain tubes were are still tender to touch - don't understand that. I'm disappointed at how much scarring I have but I guess at my age, I can't complain. You can only see the scars when I lift the breasts. My friends are all amazed at how much breast I still have with the implants out. I was too, very surprised. I still have tenderness along my glands under my arm pits, etc. They tell me that is from the silicone leakage and that they got out as much as the could without doing invasive surgery. Others here have posted how much better they felt overall after just a few weeks of having the silicone removed from their bodies. I'm still tired and like I said, still have the tenderness in my glands and have joint pain. How much of that is caused by the breast implants versus my age (57), I don't know. I seem to have more joint pain than a lot of women I know my age. The doctors tell me it is arthritis and I just need to learn to live with it. (I'm taking various anti-inflammatory medications and supplements like "move free".) I'm exercising more and I hope in time that will help me feel better.

Bottom line - I am really freaking happy they are out! I can roll over on my stomach without chest pain! I don't feel those ugly scar lumps in my chest anymore - the girls feel nice to touch. :-)
Dr. Jason Koo

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