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

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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,

Surgery Day

Well, THEY'RE GONE! I already feel so much lighter and thinner. My surgery was at 7am this morning, and I was home and resting by 12pm. My husband has been the most careful and sweet nurse since we got home. Feeling very fortunate to have him. Here are the highlights of the day before I go back to sleep:
1. After I got checked in and changed into the gown and socks, the nurse put an anti-nausea patch behind my ear and got my IV started.
2. Doc and anesthesiologist came in to talk last minute details and anesthesia history. 3. They put something in my IV to cut the edge off of the stroll to the ER (I would recommend asking for something as soon as they get the IV in, instead of thinking that you have to panic until they give "the good juice".
4. Surgery lasted about 2.5 hours
5. Much to Dr. B's (and all of our) surprise... he reported that he found no evodence of the Capsular Contracture he previously indicated. There was no "ugly tissue" to send to pathology, but I believe he sent a sample anyways. I asked my husband if Doc took out the capsules, but he couldn't recall. I believe they were left in after not finding any defect in either implant or tissue.
6. Recovery room was pleasant, and the nurse gave me Diloted (sp?) to bring my incision pain down from a 6 to a 3 before discharging me. I also discovered that I DONT HAVE ANY DRAINS!!! Praise Jesus!
7. My hubby got me a snack on the way home, gave me 2 Percocet to get ahead of the pain, and helped me get into bed. I rested for a few hours, and woke up to VERY little discomfort.
8. I have maintained a schedule of 1 Percocet every 4 hours as I don't want to be uncomfortable again. My goal is to switch to Tylenol and antibiotic only by day 4. I also took 1 dissolvable anti-nausea tablet to prevent feeling woozy if I move around the house. And lastly, I am going to be taking Miralax daily so the meds done make me even more bloated!! ????

So far, I don't regret it for a moment! I get to shower in 2 days (Thursday), and I'm super pumped to get to take a peak. Until then, here are a couple of pictures I took on my trip to the potty earlier. A little drainage onto the gauze and compression bra. Will change as needed.

Blessings to you all.

Time for a ???? shower!

Today I was allowed to shower for the first time, and put on a clean bra. I took it easy, using a cup to pour over my shoulders and chest carefully. You can see that some of the old blood rinsed off of the tape during my bathing session. Anywho....just wanted to post some first glimpse photos to track my progress. The pictures make them appear larger than they actually are. They're so tiny! I am also loving that my areola are small again. I'll be curious to see how much is swelling and how much is the volume of my new natural breasts! I am also anxious for all of this bloating to go away! I feel pregnant. Nap time is calling. ***Blessings***


So, I was feeling super itchy under and beside each breast last night, it was almost unbearable. I opted to take a benadryl, and my husband helped me slather hydrocortisone cream around the steritape. We were careful to not get near the incision, but my skin was super irritated and swollen with no scratching on my part. I put ice packs on top of my compression bra while I slept and was able to get another night of good rest. When I woke up this morning, the itching was almost unbearable, so I unwrapped to discover that my skin was even more irritated. I called Dr. Burgdorf to ask if I could apply to the irritated areas, a prescription Eczema ointment that I already have. He instructed me to carefully remove the steri strip, to carefully cleanse with warm water and antibacterial soap, pat dry, and apply my ointment. He did not want the hive like bumps to become even more reactive and cause and unnecessary infection. WELP, I did all of that and I feel SOOOOO much better! I'm not sure what was the primary cause of reaction as the vertical tape and peri-areolar strips have y bothered me at all. Maybe just more pressure and friction underneath from the packing/bra.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Mastisol Skin Adhesive and random new rash. :-)

So I'm checking back in after a hellacious allergic reaction to the glue that was used under all of the steri strips during surgery. Apparently this is rare, but does happen. I would strongly advise to call your PS IMMEDIATELY if the skin on and around your incisions are:
Itching like crazy (nothing will soothe)
Bright red
Have water blisters

....if you experience any of that; your skin is likely reacting to the mastisol/benzoin/steri strips.

Following my last post, my incision sites took a turn for the worst. 3 days post op, Dr. B instructed me to remove all the steri strips, continue taking benadryl every 4 hours, apply hydrocortisone ointment to the irritated areas, and use cold compresses. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was itching like a crackhead. For 5 more days, I followed this regimen, and was absolutely miserable. I only began to feel relief when I took the situation into my own hands and began applying Neosporin cream in hopes that I would stop itching/burning/blistering. I was SO scared that I was going to scrape open one of my incisions during my restless sleep.

Fast forward, the Neosporin was a life saver. I began feeling some relief by Wednesday when I went for my 1 week post op (that was 5 days ago). My breasts showed clear signs of chemical burn, but Dr. Burgdorf was reassuring that he has no concern about the healing of the incision sites. I am now a almost 2 weeks post op. The reactive areas are healing and peeling like crazy. EWW.

Randomly, all of a sudden I have random skin irritation and ITCHY bumps on the skin under my armpits (side boob), on my forearms, on each side of my neck just above the clavicle bones, near my rib age, and on the center of my décolleté (close to cleavage zone), and underneath my eyes. This is day 2 of said random bumps. HAS ANYONE EVER HEARD OF THIS OR EXPERIENCED THIS, post surgery?!?! If so, I would love your input. I am relieved that my breasts are finally healing, but I am tired of randomly itching. It's like a sick joke. I am also racking my brain about possible unknown food or seasonal allergies.

I have attached more photos of my skin reaction after it progressed, as well as a pic from today. Excuse the scratch marks. I hate the way that Benadryl makes me feel, and I'm just doing my best not to scratch. The good news is that THESE B CUPS ARE HEALING!

1 month out, and still NO REGRETS

Went for my 4 week post op appt yesterday, and I'm still in the clear. Dr. B and I both agree that the incisions are healing very well (especially considering all of the digging I did through the adhesive reaction). He gave me a scar revision product that is silicone based. I plan to use it to see if the scars on the sides of my breasts and in the cleavage zone, will flatten out more as they continue to heal.
I am still wearing sports bras during the day (occasionally regular wireless), and now nothing during sleep. My how that is invigorating!!! I am a stomach sleeper, and I have been getting AMAZING REST without those hard bags in between me and the mattress! I've posted some photos of my new profile in a cute little stretchy bra that I got at Target. I would have NEVER been able to wear something like this prior to explant! It's so fun! I have also included some updated frontals and incision shots. My right breast has a small scab where a suture surfaced, but it's closed up and of no concern. The left cleavage fold has a strange raised area on the scar line. I think it will resolve itself as I continue to heal. Low lighting makes the scars look more obvious. Overall, I have zero regrets! I would choose to do it all over again one hundred times over to feel this good. Hoping everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! I can't believe it's December!!!!
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

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