21 Years Old, Removing 3-year Old Implants, 175cc - New York, NY

Almost three years ago, one week before my 19th...

Almost three years ago, one week before my 19th birthday, I underwent breast augmentation surgery. At the time, I weighed 112 lbs at 5'2". I received 175cc saline implants under the muscle. For years, I had always been unhappy with my breasts. I had been teased in middle school and high school for being "flat like a wall," and I wanted to fit in with my friends who had bigger breasts. My self-esteem issues extended beyond my chest; I was unhappy with my body for myriad reasons and was looking for a quick fix to give me a boost of self-confidence.

I must note that my surgeon did a fantastic job (which is good, because he was one of the most expensive surgeons in Manhattan...). After the swelling subsided, I thought my breasts looked great. I went from a 32A or 32AA pre-op to a 32C post-op (all in Victoria's Secret). Although my breasts were hard and sat a bit high on my chest, I thought they looked natural for the most part and I didn't notice any deformities. My surgeon was even able to fix the size asymmetry (one of the implants inserted was slightly larger, I believe 200cc, to address this issue). I will reiterate: I do not blame my surgeon in any way for my current decision to get a removal surgery, and I will be doing the removal with him as well. There is no medical reason (contracture, abnormalities, etc.) behind my decision.

I decided to get my breast implants removed for two reasons. First, I noticed that my breasts began to change shape with time. This occurrence was largely related to the fact that I experienced some natural weight gain in college of about 8 pounds (I now weigh 120lbs at 5'2"). I now wear a size 32D in Victoria's Secret. As my breasts grew, I also noticed that some of the asymmetry returned (visible in the photo). On top of that, although the saline implants softened with time, they almost softened too much---I can now feel the implant very clearly on the bottom of my breasts. Particularly when I touch the bottom of my right breast, I can clearly make out the texture of the air bubbles in the implant. Second, and more importantly, I developed self-confidence unrelated to my implants. I learned to put less value on my physical appearance and more value on actually important things, like doing well in school, having great friends, and meeting a wonderful boyfriend who has been incredibly supportive throughout this journey. As my self-esteem in other parts of my life grew, I found myself getting more and more self-conscious of my breasts. Because of my weight gain, they were bigger than I had wanted them to be, and I started feeling like they made me look larger than I actually am. I felt uncomfortable wearing any tight clothes or A-line shirts or dresses because they accentuated my breasts. I felt queasy knowing that everyone on campus knew I had breast implants and made comments about how large my breasts were. I just wanted to focus on the good things in my life and not feel like I had these huge fake bags of water weighing me down everywhere I went.

After much contemplation, I decided it was time for the implants to go. While I feel like a complete idiot for spending a total of $16,000 between the surgery and the removal in a 3 year time span, it was inevitable that I would have to get rid of them eventually, so I'd rather get it over with now. Obviously I regret spending so much money on such a vain and pointless procedure at a young age, but I think I've learned a valuable life lesson from all of this. Plastic surgery will not fix your problems or make you happy with yourself. You need to do that on your own. People who are truly happy with themselves would NEVER believe that a boost to self-esteem is worth spending thousands of dollars, suffering immeasurable post-op pain, and living with the constant social stigma of having gone under the knife. If you feel the need to get some surgery to make you happy with yourself, please do some introspecting and determine if there is a better way to change your mentality. Surgery is NOT WORTH IT.

I am getting my removal surgery in two days, on March 14, 2016. I will update this post with subsequent photos and comments in the post-op period. It was very helpful to have other women's photos and stories to help me make this decision, and I hope to pay it forward. Wish me luck!

One Day Post-Op

Hey there! I am one day post-op and feeling pretty uncomfortable. I am all wrapped up in a very tight post-surgical bra padded with tons of gauze. I feel very itchy because of how tight the bra is, which is a pain. I also have drains installed on both sides, which feels very uncomfortable, and my nipples are burning because I had incisions through the nipple for both the implant and explant surgeries. However, the pain is nowhere near as bad as it was the first time. The way I described the pain the first time was that it felt as if I had a truck sitting on my chest; I couldn't even get off a chair without screaming in pain. Now, it just feels like I have a small car on my chest. Still painful, but definitely not as bad. I can walk around and do most things for myself without help from my mom. I've only taken vicodin to sleep and otherwise I've been managing the pain with tylenol extra strength or without any medication. The fist time around, I took vicodin every 4 hours for 6 days, so the difference in pain is pretty stark.

The funny thing is that because of all the gauze, my breasts actually look the same size as they did when the implants were in! It's pretty amusing actually, but I am sure they will look small and cute again once all of the padding is gone. I'm not going to post any photos right now, but I will add photos after the surgical bra and drains are removed, so stay tuned for additional pictures in the coming week or so. I just purchased a sports bra with a front closure to wear on Monday when I go into my surgeon's office to get rid of the drains and the post-surgical getup. It felt so good to order a size small bra, which was a 32/34 A/B according to the company's size chart. I can't wait for the moment when I see my new (or old?) little breasts. I know that they will never look exactly like they did before the initial augmentation, but I am optimistic about the results because I am young, I only had the implants for three years, and the implants were relatively small (175cc).

I know some people have asked about my surgeon's name -- I am a bit superstitious so I won't reveal his name until next week, when I am done with this whole process. I'll be posting a full review at that time.

Picture of Post-Op Gear

Although I said in my previous update this morning that I wouldn't post any photos with the surgical bra/drains, I decided to post just one to help out anyone considering this process. Like I said, its painful but not as bad as I imagined!! All of this stuff will be removed on Monday, four days from now.

Drains Removed Today, Looking Good!

Hey all! I just had my drains removed today and saw my breasts for the first time. I'm adding 2 photos-- I still have bandages on my nipples that will be removed in 3 weeks and I have gauze and tape on the scars where the drains were inserted to collect any remaining fluid (as you can see, there is still fluid coming out on the left), which I can remove tomorrow.

My results are fantastic! The side view might look a bit odd because the nipple bandages are pressing down the bottom of my nipples and making them look weird, but that will go away as soon as the tape is removed and my nipples should look normal. I've lost all the photos from before I had any surgery, but I would say my breasts look pretty much identical to how they did before the implants. I was warned they could look saggy or deflated from the wrinkled skin, or at worst concave, but I have none of those problems. My surgeon is truly fantastic, and worth every bit of the $7,000.

The one negative I will say is that I'm experiencing a strange physiological reaction. Right when I first saw my breasts at my surgeon's office this morning, I experienced vertigo and almost passed out, and then had the same experience 2 more times after getting home. My surgeon thinks it's because I am not used to my new breasts yet and am experiencing a "loss" of sorts, but that I look great and should be feeling better in a few days. My mom tells me that I went through the same thing after the implant surgery, which I don't remember, and that I just need to get used to them. Despite the physiological reaction of dizziness and nausea I get when looking in the mirror, I do objectively think that they look great given the circumstances. I am 100% that once I take off the nipple tape, my nipples will look normal as well and my breasts will look as if nothing ever happened to them. All I can say is THANK GOD I had small implants for only 3 years and that I had them removed when I was young. I am truly very lucky to have this result.

I'll be posting more follow-up photos soon! Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive!!

4 Weeks Post-Op

Hey everyone,

Just thought I would share a picture now that I am 4 weeks post-op. I just removed the bandages off my nipples today. As you can see, the areolar scar is pretty subtle, although the scars from the drains (under the crease of my breasts) are quite visible. It doesn't bother me too much because you can't see them in a bra or bikini, but they are definitely there. I started wearing a cup bra (but without underwire) about 2 weeks ago and just yesterday started sleeping without a sports bra. I am wearing a size 32B in Victoria's Secret and a size 34A in Warner's Women's bras, which I recently discovered on Amazon. By the way, I totally recommend Warner's-- their bras are fantastic... wireless, comfortable, simple but cute, and CHEAP (only $24).

I couldn't be happier with my results. I FEEL LIKE MYSELF AGAIN! I feel light, I feel free, I feel happy about my body. It is pretty ironic that I originally got implants in order to boost my self esteem, because now that I've removed them, I finally got that self-esteem boost that I had thought the implants would give me! I feel infinitely better about myself with the implants gone.

Also, I have lost about 5 lbs since pre-op. You can't fully tell by comparing this photo to the others because the picture is tightly cropped, but all my friends have noticed that I've lost weight in my face and I've noticed a change in my legs as well (those are the main areas in which I accumulate weight). When you're only 5'2", 5 pounds makes a big difference! I had been eager to lose weight for a while and I am pleasantly surprised about the difference the surgery made. I don't know if there is a medical/biological reason for why it has been easier to lose weight since having my implants removed, but I personally believe it's because I've been so much more confident about my body. I've felt so good in my own skin since the surgery and I think that positive mood has led to healthier eating habits and a greater desire to work out. I hadn't stepped in a gym in about a year because my implants made exercising pretty uncomfortable, but now that I can work out again it feels great.

I also love the feeling of being petite -- having lived with both D's and A's, I can now say that I feel MUCH sexier in my A's. The feeling of being 100% natural and loving what you look like is priceless.

Anyway, I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am to have gone through with this surgery. It has been a game-changer for my happiness. Good riddance to those two big mountains of saline that were weighing me down and making me feel insecure!! Now I can focus on the important things in life -- having a healthy mind and body, spending time with my amazing friends and family, and having fun during my last few months of college (I graduate in June!).

Feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions about my process, and thanks for all the support!
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