60 Year Old with 24 Year Old Ruptured Silicone Implants, Planning for Explant and Lift. New York, NY

OK here is my implant story!! In 1990 I decided...

OK here is my implant story!! In 1990 I decided that after wanting bigger breasts for what seemed like an eternity I would finally do it. I chose a surgeon in Utah (I am from NY) that had an excellent reputation and whose work I had seen on a few friends. He had his own surgi-center and the price of surgery included monitored lodging for you and 1 guest for up to 3 days depending on how you were doing! (I stayed only till the next day) The surgeons name was Wesely Harline of the Weber Clinic in Ogden Utah.(He has since passed) I was initially thrilled with the results and he personally told me that they would last forever and even joked that after I was dead and buried they would still be intact....so much for that bit of nonsense! My breasts at the time of implant were a B cup but were deflated and saggy due to having breastfed so the doctor did a donut mastopexy along with the augmentation. I was 117 pounds at that time...very thin and had requested a C cup but after surgery he said that he had determined that I "needed" a D to balance my figure (??) They seemed enormous to me at that time but I still liked them and only started disliking them about 12 years ago. My weight over the years went up to 137 and they became HUGE!! At that same time, about ten years ago I began having vague problems that I figured might have something to do with the implants. I developed interstitial cystitis, an inflammatory bladder condition, I had numbness intermittently in my hands and arms, burning but sporadic breast pains and chest wall pain but these things waxed and waned. I became involved with alternative medicine treatments , improved my diet and got things under control to a degree. Five years ago I began to have increasing burning pains so I decided to finally have the implants removed. I also felt that they were cumbersome and unattractive giving me a matronly look. Somehow huge breasts become less attractive as you get older..or at least that is the way I feel. I had an MRI and felt sure that it would say my implants were ruptured (I had a hair analysis that showed extremely high silicone in 2003 ) The result 5 years ago was that they were NOT ruptured so I put off my decision to remove them. Fast forward to this November, I again was having intense burning sensations in my breast so I again had an MRI. This time it showed bilateral Implant ruptures! I started researching doctors, had a few consults but agonized over who to choose and whether to have a lift. The 3 doctors I consulted all thought I needed a lift, one said Benelli, the other two donut mastopexy. So I made a decision and now I am 2 days away from surgery. I am posting some before pics of me with the implants that were taken within the month. I have none of my before pics. I am totally indebted to all the women on this site whose stories I have read and who have helped me come to this decision which was very hard for me. Going from a big D to a possible A or hopefully B is a daunting thought but suffering the ill consequences of ruptured implants is the greater worry!! I will update after surgery with more details.

They're gone and I'm here!!!

I am so grateful the are out and I am fine! I had a bit of a rough night but am feeling better now...should be going home later today. I got a very quick peek last night....can't wait to see more later...thanks to all for the prayers and encouragement.

Day 2 after explanation and lollipop lift

My surgery was almost 6 hours. My impacts were HUGE....500 CC which I did not know. I had very little breast tissue which my surgeon did the best to rearrange so I will have a good result. The capsules were not completely intact and we're calcified...the implants were a mass of icky goo. I am now all bound up in my surgical bra with lots of dressings that were changed once post op...I did not get to see much. My implants were adhered to the pectoral wall so there was quite a job to remove them enbloc. My sore throat from the intubation is nearly gone and I am feeling better but there is pain involved...I am grateful to be free of them and to have had a great surgeon....I will post pics down the line. Love to all you wonderful courageous ladies!!

17 days after explant and lift

I am SO happy I did this and I do not miss the gruesome twosome or deadly duo as I had liked to call them at all!!
I did have quite allot of bruising despite Arnica use but I also bruised quite a bit when they were put in. In the last 2 days it is really improving.
I stopped taking pain meds after 1 week except I took a few for the drain removal on day 10. It was so quick I barely felt it.
The drains were a miserable thing and I was overjoyed to have them out...I found myself constantly checking their position during sleep...(or what passes for sleep when you have to sleep on your back like a mummy!) I have never been a back sleeper and I absolutely HATE sleeping on my back!
2 days ago I had some external stitches removed...not painful but an odd sensation.
So far I am really happy with the way this is proceeding although I did have extensive work and there is more healing that needs to progress at its own pace...I am doing everything I can to hasten it along by eating right , not drinking any alcohol and following my post op instructions. I will post more pics soon. Again my indebtedness to all the courageous ladies on this site that helped me make the right choice!

3 weeks post-op after explant and lollipop lift (pic)

The swelling and bruising is rapidly reducing now and I a message beginning to feel so much better!
I have steri-strips on the incisions and the stitching is really well done...I saw it today for the first time after having to replace a few strips after a shower.
Here is an updated pic I took today.

Just some thoughts about having and giving up breast implants

I won’t lie…it was a tough decision for me to make to have the explant.
Even though I hated the look of the giant implants I was terrified of being disfigured or being flat chested.
Even after I had had a hair analysis many years ago that said my silicone level was “off the charts” I still made excuses for keeping the implants in, telling myself that the gel bleed was likely a small amount and perhaps had nothing to do with my symptoms. It was not until a second MRI in 2014 confirmed bilateral ruptures (first was in 2009 and was negative for rupture) that I finally had the courage to do it.
I had to first accept that I could get a result I hated and still be OK with it.
I felt almost certain that the implants had something to do with my arm pain and numbness and my interstitial cystitis but these were things that I had lived with for so long that they were almost like a part of me and that got me to thinking about health problems of women who get breast implants.
I started watching a ton of Youtube videos about getting explants and getting implants. I came across one woman who had just gotten her first set and at 6 months she raved about how natural they felt and how they were “becoming one with her body” and how they were now a part of her.
I remembered feeling like this in the beginning too but the reality is that they can never be a part of us or become one with us! They will always be an invader, an intruder ,that the body attacks and attempts to wall off to protect itself from them!!
I was wondering If I knew then what I know now would I have made the same choice to get the implants. Actually I may have…because I really wanted big boobs at that time and I also felt invincible at that age!
I am so grateful that I got an excellent result that I am happy with.
I had an outstanding surgeon and I plan to give a full review of her and my experience with her in the upcoming weeks.

Six weeks post-op explanation and lift

It has been a little over six weeks since my explants and lift and I am very pleased with both my result and the state of my health. My 3 most troublesome symptoms before explantation were burning chest wall pains, numbness in my arms and fingers especially upon awakening but also at random times, and interstitial cystitis,which I have had for many years. it started about 3-5 years after I got the implants (I had them 24 years) and although waxing and waning has gotten progressively worse and harder to control in the last 5 years.
Since my explant the burning pains are completely gone! The numbness is all but gone...it is reduced by 90% and for now the IC is in remission!
I have just started to use Cordran tape on my incisions and it will hopefully prevent the scars from forming keloids which I am prone to. It is a clear steroid impregnated tape that can be cut into very thin strips and placed precisely over the scars. I am using it in the pic I posted...you can barely see it. It is a prescription item and rather pricey...time will tell if it is useful.
In regards to bras I am loving the Genie bras with the removable triangular "modesty" pads. I was a 36 DD before. I am now a 36 small b. I realize that in the pics they appear larger...I guess because they are close-up shots. The Genie bras apparently come in different styles...I purchased one that had shapeless round pads that made my breasts look blob-like, then found the ones with the triangular pads which give a nice shape under clothes. They run very small...I am 5 feet 7 inches tall, 135 pounds and 36 small b. According to their size chart I am a medium but for me the extra large fits great.
One more thing in relation to healing post explant. It depends on so many factors such as your bodies innate healing abilities but also on exactly what you had done. A saline implant that is being removed through an infra mammary incision without a capsulectomy and lift will have a very different recovery time from a ruptured implant capsulectomy, muscle repair and full lift. Age is also a factor .
I am very happy with my surgeon Dr Christina Y Ahn and have provided a review for her below. I wanted to wait a full 6 weeks before reviewing to give a fuller picture of my experience with her.She is a top notch surgeon and I highly recommend her without reservations.

Enbloc capsulectomy and choosing a surgeon

This is for any woman who may be considering removing their implants and are debating getting a capsulectomy If you are having symptoms possibly related to your implants my advice is to go to a surgeon who knows how to do "en bloc" explantation. If they don’t or appear reluctant, find another surgeon, If they tell you you will be deformed or will not look good without another implant find another surgeon because they are likely telling you the truth!
A surgeon who says this has probably not been pleased with his skills of reshaping the breasts and correcting the problems caused by the implants.
I came across the following interesting information on a site called "healingbreastimplantillness.com”
"THE REAL REASON PLASTIC SURGEON’S AVOID EN-BLOC EXPLANT"
“Some plastic surgeons argue against a Total Capsulectomy and En-bloc style removal saying it is unnecessary as they do not believe implants cause illness, or unnecessary due to thin capsules or it carries undue risk to the patient. If you’ve had your implants for twelve months or longer you will have capsule tissue and if you are symptomatic, it should be obvious that your breast implants have contaminated the surrounding tissue capsule and a Total Capsulectomy with En-bloc style removal is necessary. The real reason some plastic surgeons avoid Total Capsulectomy and En-bloc style removal is because it takes a more skilled surgeon with experience and it takes extra time and requires a general anesthetic which carries more risk than a local anesthetic. Your placing plastic surgeon will not make much money from the removal of your implants and so they prefer to do a short 20 minute procedure, in their office, under a local anesthetic simply cutting you and pulling out the implants leaving the contaminated capsules in your body. Easy for them. Bad for you! Leaving the capsules in your body whether thin or thick means all the contamination within the capsules will be left behind and eventually taken up into your body which results in a longer and more severe illness for you. Some plastic surgeons even rupture the implant while removing it causing additional contamination. Some plastic surgeons will argue that a Total Capsulectomy with En-bloc style removal could result in disfigurement of your breast but this is mostly untrue. A skilled and experienced surgeon should be able to avoid further disfigurement than the disfigurement already caused by implantation.

5 months post op..doing great!!

Just thought I would send an updated pic.I went on a cleansing retreat and lost 10 pounds so they are a bit smaller but I am still happy! They are soft and warm and mine! I look tons better in clothing and can do exercise much more comfortably. All in all I am thrilled to be rid of them. My interstitial cystitis has not returned...I am hoping it is gone for good but we shall see. I recommend that anyone on the fence about doing ithat first find a doctor you can trust that has done many explantations and not left women with deformed results.If any doc says you will not look good after definitely look elsewhere. That is my advice.

Dr christina Y Ahn is a gifted, truly talented surgeon that will do her absolute best to make sure your breasts look good after explant and she has the skills necessary to be able to do so! This is important as there are specific skills to removing implants, especially OLD silicone implants! Many surgeons can remove them but most are just good at putting them in which is infinitely easier than taking them out...I learned this through my research. She is an expert in removing them “enbloc” which is removing the implant and the surrounding capsule in one piece. She can also expertly repair the muscles and rearrange the breast tissue to give you the best possible outcome. She has an artist’s eye which you will realize when you meet with her where she does a very thorough exam. In selecting a surgeon my first priority was safety and Dr Ahn is extremely concerned with safety from both the pre-op to the post-op experience. As a registered nurse myself I am very aware of what constitutes safe practices and Dr Ahn does not cut corners. My second concern was aesthetic results. I have seen countless horrid results both on this site and on others and I did not want to be one of them. I felt confident in her technique as she explained it to me, plus viewing photos of her work that she shared, and her credentials are impeccable. From seeing women with similar breasts to what I had pre-op I can truly say I do not think I could have gotten a better result. I had ruptured implant removal enbloc, a lollipop lift and muscle damage repair from capsules adherent to the chest wall. I also had rearrangement of my breast tissue to a higher plane which gave a more pleasing result than even my original pre-op breasts! Last of all I just plain liked and trusted her! I am a big believer in following your instincts and going with your gut and from the moment I met her I felt her dedication to what she was doing and knew she was the right doctor for me. I still explored some other options just to be thorough but returned to Dr Ahn and I am glad I did! I am now about six weeks post-op and am happy with my results, with my level of healing, and with the post op care thus far. Dr Ahn’s staff is also great, very accommodating and always pleasant.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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