Explant After 9 Years of 550cc Silicone Implant (Capsular Contracture)....with Lift - Nashville, TN

Let me first thank all of the brave women who have...

Let me first thank all of the brave women who have selflessly and honestly shared each of your stories on this site. Without your personal testimonies, I would still be uneasy and unsure about what route is right for me in this whole journey.

Now, here is my story:
At age 22, about a year after breastfeeding my first child, I was unhappy with the deflated 36C that I was left with. In hindsight I would be thrilled to have those breasts now, but as a very young woman, had major self-esteem issues in relation to my body. Dr. Jeffrey Marvel (Nashville, TN) was the surgeon that I consulted with about breast augmentation, and was ultimately who performed my BA. Let me take a moment to overemphasize that I would NEVER refer another woman to Dr. Marvel if my life depended on it. I told him that I wanted an augmentation because I did't like the mushiness and droopiness of my breasts, and I wanted to be a full C again. That is where the consultation ended. He simply told me that he could make my dreams come true by putting in a 550cc silicone implant over the muscle. I was young and impressionable, making the mistake of little research. I should have asked more questions. I wish that Dr. Marvel had given professional opinion on ALL of my options. Had I known that a smaller implant + lift were an option (and a better one) I would have definitely chosen that route. WELL, the BA was completed and I came out of surgery with breasts that were not the full C that we'd discussed: I WAS TERRIFIED at the sight of my brand new 36 full DD. I am 5'4", and weighed about 130lbs at the time of the BA. IMMEDIATE REGRETb , and have lived the last 9 years trying to disguise my top heavy rack! Shirts don't fit properly, dresses don't fit properly, and finding a bathing suit top that is supportive enough is an absolute nightmare without special order.
4 years after after my BA, I had a second child, proving that my breast would stretch and grow once again. The implants have felt heavy and disproportionate since day 1, but even mores after having another child. Gravity took them lower pretty quickly as the implants were on top of the muscle and the breast tissue has been supporting a 550cc implant. WOW.
Fast forward, a couple of months ago I began experiencing an "internal pain" in my left breast. At first it felt like a giant air pocket between my implant and muscle, but has progressed to a mild burning behind the areola. I began talking to my husband about the discomfort, and he suggested that I go see a PS for a consultation/opinion. Per a dear friends referral, I knew that I wanted to talk to Dr. Michael Burgdorf (Nashville, TN). I anxiously awaited my appointment with Dr. Burgdorf for about one month, and watched my breasts change before my own eyes. Literally, in that month's time, my right breast became visibly lower than the left (like 1 WHOLE INCH lower). Symmetry has not every been an issue for me, so I was anxious to hear what the doctor had to say.
My consultation with Dr. Burgdorf was about 3 weeks ago, and I have nothing but great things to say about he and his staff. They were warm, welcoming, and Dr. Burgdorf was prepared to answer my 1,000 questions. I was nervous that he would try to convince me that I HAD to replace my implants with smaller once to look normal. Dr. Burgdorf confirmed that I am at a late Stage 3 Capsular Contracture on my left breast; and agreed that the implants have to come out. He listened to me while I expressed my desire to explant and lift without putting any other foreign objects in my body. He was very honest about the aesthetic difference, and that my breasts will most definitely lack projection and fullness without an implant in that pocket. During the appointment I began to consider the possibility of ending up with deformed breasts. I'm not going to lie in saying that my mind didn't drift back and forth between replacing the implants and not. Dr. B. communicated that if I so desired, he could put in a 195cc silicone with the lift if I wanted to end up with a full B cup. If I chose to do the explant + lift (no replacement), I will likely be an A cup. Of course my mind was racing because of the overload of information, that I wasn't fully processing the step by step explanation of both options. Keeping in mind that I am about 10 pounds heavier that my usual, I am at peace with the possibility of being 5'4", 145lbs, with a flat A cup.
After coming home and discussing the consultation with my super supportive husband, I realized that I didn't have full clarity on some of the questions I asked Dr. B..... mainly because my brain was in shock. :-) I scheduled my surgery for Nov. 1st (22 days away!), and as for clarity on the process for the route that my husband and I have decided (Explant + Mastopexy (Lift) + Capsulectomy). I believe that Dr. B. told me that he will perform a capsulectomy to remove the implants AND capsules, full lift using an anchor incision (my BA incision is inframammory), and make my areola smaller per request. My pre-op appt. is in 2 days, and I couldn't be more excited to go over the final details and just get these darn THINGS OUT!!!!
I have attached my before photos that I took head on in the mirror. You can see the difference in the contracted breast (left), and the right breast. The countdown begins. God bless, and thank you in advance to any prayer warriors that are out there.

2 Weeks cannot pass fast enough

Okay, so the reality is starting to set in regarding my surgery date. If one can experience excitement and terror simultaneously; I'm there! I am nervous about the unknown and primarily the healing process. Dr. Burgdorf expressed that he does not like to use drains, but will know if they are necessary after he has me in surgery. From all of the reviews I have read, the stories and photos of the drains scare me the most. My skin is typically VERY slow to heal so the thought of a drain site healing freaks me out. My skin is super reactive to medical tape and band aids that are left in for more than a day. AHHH.

On the other hand, I am ecstatic at the thought of joining the IBTC. Though I've only purchased one additional sports bra for post-op compression, I have walked the aisles of every department store to admire the B cup bras. I long for the day that my neck and back feel muscle relief and a relaxed posture.

Today, I was inadvertently forced to fill my 9-year old daughter in on my secret about the upcoming surgery. Until now, I have only discussed it with "need-to-know group" as they'll be the ones pitching in while I'm down (hubby, mother in law, boss). Well....I work at a public school, and my boss accidentally made reference to my surgery while my daughter was standing there. ***palm to forehead***. I had planned to sit down and talk to Little Miss a week out. She is much like myself in that I knew she would worry when there is no such need. SO, we had "the talk" today. ????????

I started by reading Psalm 139:14 with her, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." I went on to explain that I believe God made us each EXACTLY the way that He intended to. He made no mistakes, and our physical appearance is just one example of His flawless masterpiece. I also told her that there have been times in my life that I compared myself to others, questioned how God could possibly have unconditional love for me, and in turn was unable to love myself as a beautiful masterpiece. As I grew older and started a family, my body changed as most women's do. I believed that I needed to undergo a BA to fit my own distorted image of what I was "supposed" to look like. Fortunately enough, my body is starting to reject the foreign material that I put into my it, making surgery necessary now. I now accept and cling to the love that God has for me, and the favor that I have been given through a healthy 30 years. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that it was so very necessary for me to share that part of my story with my precious 9-year old today. She is awkward, beautiful, unsure, developing, intelligent, curious, and a fellow masterpiece of God. Over and over again, she will need to witness me living as an example of a woman who loves herself and her body aside from all of its imperfections. Cellulite, scars, broad shoulders, wide feet, and a crooked nose....I am a masterpiece. She has likely inherited some of those features, and I NEVER want her to view them as "not good enough". I feel better now that I've told her. Even if it does mean that she asks a million questions in the next 2 weeks.

Disclaimer: I want to be clear that I have no judgement towards anyone who chooses plastic surgery to better themselves. We each have our own journey and my daughter is likely to log her own plastic surgery experience one day, with no concern of my opinion. I will support her in whatever she decides; I will only encourage her to do her homework and research before she goes under the knife. We're in an information era; we just have to acknowledge the info.

Thank you for making this journey with me,
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

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