First, I want to thank everyone here for sharing...
First, I want to thank everyone here for sharing your stories. You have helped me understand the risks and given me the courage to make the choices I'm making.
Back in 1993, when I removed the bandages after my original (beneath the muscle) breast augmentation surgery, I immediately felt regret. I had been a pear-shaped woman, big hips and small breasts (barely filling an A cup), newly divorced, and feeling as though I needed to be more balanced physically to be attractive. Well, my new breasts did give me the X shape I wanted, but I had ended up being larger than I requested (a DD instead of a C), and I felt as though I had two bowling balls strapped to my chest.
Ten years later, my left implant ruptured. When I asked about having them removed, the surgeons I talked to strongly discouraged me, telling me I would end up being concave and unattractive. I had (mostly) gotten used to my implants by then, though they always felt foreign and uncomfortable in my body, so I opted to have both implants replaced, and downsized. I still ended up a D cup instead of C, but was happier than before.
Now, 13 years later, my right implant has ruptured and I'm ready to have them out, with no lift (well, I'm going to give my body a year to heal and adjust, and then see what's what).
Luckily, my Kaiser insurance will cover the explant surgery, so I will only owe for my deductible and up to my max out of pocket, which is doable. Dr. Price's is very qualified and I liked him immediately, but his OR schedule is very full and the earliest date they could give me was December 21st (yeah, right before Christmas). However, I have been feeling some pain and discomfort from the ruptured implant, so I went to see the doctor this morning to find out if everything was normal, and, lo and behold, he had a cancellation for this Wednesday!
So I took it!
Wish me well. I will post before and after photos soon.
Before Explant Photos (with right ruptured implant)
Tomorrow's the day! So I thought I'd better get some photos up. As you can see, I have two different sized breasts. I'm hoping that after the explant both will end up looking approximately like the right one does now, though I'm expecting a lot more concavity and less volume right after the surgery. I'm not looking forward to the recovery period, but am definitely looking forward to finally feeling soft and all me again.
One Day After
Thank you all for your good wishes. The surgery went very well -- "textbook" according to Dr. Price. They told me I'm not supposed to remove the dressing until my drains are taken out, so the pictures are of me, all bundled in dressing and post-op bra. The ace bandage around my middle is just there to hold the drains in place and out of the way.
I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long to see the results. I may just have to cheat and take a peek ... but not today. I'm going to let things settle down.
The Dr. took out both implants and performed a capsulotomy (sp?), which means that instead of taking out the capsule altogether, he takes out some of the capsule and then "cross-hatches" the remaining capsule so that it will heal together. He said that with saline implants, you don't always need to perform the capsulectomy.
I have had no nausea, at all, and I've been fairly comfortable. In fact, I think my breasts hurt less now than they did before the surgery! I feel very good about this decision ... lighter both physically and emotionally.
I'll post more later, as I see the results.
Two Days After
I have more energy and less pain today (though there's not been much pain to begin with), though I am experiencing a strong itching sensation where the right tube goes into my skin. It's all I can do to NOT scratch the darn thing. Other than that, I feel great.
My horoscope in this morning's local paper -- and I kid you not -- said "Doing too much too fast is not a good idea." Okay, I will keep that in mind! LOL
I don't have any update pictures because I still haven't gotten the go-ahead to take off the dressing. I don't even know what I look like. In some ways, I'm afraid to look. I'm taking an "expect the worse but hope for the best" approach. I will keep this review updated as I progress.
Three Days After
I took 1/2 of a pain pill this morning and then switched to Tylenol and I feel great. I can't take a shower until the drains are removed, so I managed a "half bath" and to wash my hair -- so I feel more human. :-).
I've been experiencing chills, although I don't have a fever, and intense itching all over my body, particularly on my abdomen, chest, arms, and back. Not sure if this is a side effect of the antibiotic or the pain medication. Hopefully, as the pain medication leaves my system, the itching will stop -- that's really been the most uncomfortable part of this process. Has anyone else experienced this itching feeling?
The Great Reveal - 5 Days post-op
I had my post-op appointment today and the drain tubes removed. I feel great, except for a little itching around the incision points, which is to be expected. I have a lot of energy and, best of all, I feel so FREE of those big alien water balloons that were inside me for so long.
I'm super pleased with the results. As you can see from the pics, I'm fairly symmetrical and though my breasts have a natural swoop to them, I am not concave, which was my biggest fear about their appearance. I was a small A cup before my BA, and it looks like I may be a B cup now - age and weight gain, I suppose. And with the "fluffing out" that everyone keeps referring to in these forums, I'm pretty sure I will not want a lift.
The pictures aren't pretty. I still have some of the yellow disinfectant soap on my skin, which has proven remarkably difficult to remove. I guess that will just take a couple of days. And my breasts do look like deflated bags, with their stretch marks, etc. But hey, I'm 61. I don't expect my skin to bounce back like 21-year-old's. I'll post updates at intervals over the next few months as they heal and evolve.
My one and only regret is that I wish I'd done this years ago.
Two Week Post-Op (Today!)
It's two weeks today, and I feel great. High energy and love my new-old body. My sweetheart loves the soft me, too! My breasts are still tender, and I need to wear a sports bra to sleep comfortably, but I think in another week or two at the most, I will not have to do that anymore.
I'm super happy with my results. I still haven't gone regular bra shopping, so I don't know what size I'll be (B?). But, considering I started out as a small A cup, I'm pleasantly surprised.
I want to thank you all for your encouragement and the gift of your stories. I'll check in again in a month.