I am new to this forum and have loved...
I am new to this forum and have loved reading all the breast explant stories. Thank you for sharing... it's really helping me in my journey.
I'm 47 and had saline implants put in under the muscle when I was 29 years old. I went from a 32 AA to 32 full C.
Unlike some of the posts I've read, I have actually always loved my implants. They are soft and very natural looking and I get compliments on them frequently. They have made me feel very feminine in a lot of ways, when before I felt like I was missing out on something as a woman not having full breasts to fit into a bra!
However, I am now in a completely different place in life emotionally than I was at 30 and woke up the other day with the biggest epiphany that my natural breasts were perfect and beautiful as they were, and that I wanted my implants removed ASAP!!
Side note, I have had unexplained chronic health issues for 8 years (adrenal/thyroid issues, chronic fatigue, hair loss, digestive issues, food allergies, dizziness), but never thought this was related to the breast implants (I'm still not sure), but I do know that any health issue that manifests in the body starts with the emotions first. My health issues may not have been primarily caused by the implants themselves, but I believe that I went against my true nature and didn't love/accept my body as I should have when I got the implants. So perhaps the inner/suppressed turmoil about that and the reasons why I didn't love myself caused the health issues. I am in therapy now for all that by the way, which is what triggered the epiphany.
Anyway, I have a consult on Monday (4 days from now) to talk about getting them removed. I am 100% certain I will do it, but my only concern is about the capsule since I've read conflicting info on this. If I didn't have any health concerns, I would probably leave it alone since I read it's not necessary to remove it and it can maybe add a little tissue to make your natural breast look fuller. However, I also read that if health issues are a concern, the entire capsule should be removed (although that is scarier since it's way more invasive and might leave you with less breast tissue or with a weird breast shape).
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Posting Pre-Op Pic
Wanted to post my pre-op pic (1998) in case of any AA women out there with explants want to comment. I'm wondering how they will look after the explant surgery. I'm hoping I won't need a lift, to avoid a more invasive surgery and scarring. I've had the implants for 18 years, but don't have kids and haven't gained weight. My implants look pretty much the same after 18 years!
Consultation Done! Yay!
I had the consultation today! I absolutely LOVED the doctor and cannot WAIT to have the implants removed! He didn't try to talk me out of it, or even warn/scare me about pancake boobs afterwards. He said it would be a simple procedure in my case, where he'd make a small incision in the fold area and then put in a couple stitches to help hold the muscle back down. He said they will be flat for a few days, but not to panic because they will fluff back up.
He thinks they will turn out looking like my pre BA photos, or *slightly* larger since he said it feels like I may have a little more breast tissue now than pre BA. The best part -- NO lift required! He also said he wouldn't remove the capsule since that is very painful and invasive, and only necessary if someone has a silicone leak.
BTW, I did mention my health issues (not accusing the implants for my symptoms), but he said it would be unlikely that the implants were causing any issues. I expected that, but wanted to let him know about my health history anyway. Either way, having them out will give me peace of mind.
I bought a bikini top at Target yesterday as an early little-boob present to myself! I can't wait to wear it! I think it will look really cute after the implants are out.
Compression Band or Sports Bra?
So I'm noticing a lot of the ladies on this site have posted pics in compression bands after explant surgery. My doctor said I would walk out after surgery in a sports bra, not compression. I didn't think to question him about it at the time, but now I'm wondering about it. I can still ask him, but I just thought to post the question to the forum to see if anyone knows why some doctors use compression, and others wouldn't. Does it have to do with if you needed a lift or not? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Just venting ...
So I still *really* want the implants out, but I've been waiting to see if some of my health issues could get better before the surgery. Besides fatigue and hair loss, I have 2 oddball symptoms that no doctors can figure out so I'm wondering if anyone on this site has experienced the same?
1. Extreme body swelling when I eat or drink. I gained 30 lbs over a period of a a few weeks, all fluid swelling. No food allergies and all blood work is normal so I'm thinking it could be something with the implants and my immune system.
2. Unusually frequent crazy hunger with low blood sugar symptoms. This is the one that's preventing the surgery because I need to fast (10 or 12 hours) for the surgery but I haven't been able to get through the night without waking up dizzy from hunger. No doctors have a clue on this one either since all my blood work is normal.
Ideally, I also wanted to be my normal weight for the surgery so the doctor can see the real size of my boobs (they are huge now due to the swelling) and so I will get a true sense of how they are healing without the extra fluid weight.
In the meantime, I'm getting small boob envy every time I see someone with little ones! I want my little ones back!!
That's all. Just venting and feeling a little frustrated today :(
Surgery is Scheduled!!
I just scheduled the explant surgery for Aug 3! I'm very excited!! The doctor said I could do either conscious sedation or general anesthetic. I'm wondering what other women chose to do? Any comments will be appreciated. Thank you!
Information on Capsule Removal! Paying it forward...!!
So some of you may know that I've been really agonizing over the issue of removing the capsule or not. I received some information about this and wanted to share it in case it helps anyone else out there!
Thanks to the wonderful user, "Brendalocks" on this site, she replied to my post with lots of love and support and sent the names of a couple of doctors who firmly believe that implants are toxic. Neither are in my area, but she said she heard one of them (Dr. Ed Melmed) may do email consultations. I Googled him, and found a must-watch video on You Tube (an interview he did on "Know The Cause", see below) and I knew right away that he was legit, a kind soul, and that I needed to talk to him!! You will never believe this (I'm still in shock), but when I called, he ANSWERED THE PHONE HIMSELF and gave me a free consultation on the spot!!
He said in my case, I do NOT need to remove the capsule. Yes, I was very surprised by this, but he said the implants are the problem, not the capsule. He compared it to contact dermatitis, where the skin is being irritated by a bandaid for example. You remove the bandaid and the skin will heal. Same with the implants/capsule. He said the capsule is REACTIVE TISSUE, but not toxic, and when I remove the implants, the capsule tissue will heal. He also said my health issues are classic symptoms related to breast implants and to get them out ASAP since they are almost 18 years old and they are only supposed to last about 10 years and you really don't want them to rupture at this stage (you don't know what's inside the implant).
Keep in mind I have saline implants and a very thin capsule since I don't have any capsular contracture or pain, and the pocket is still very open since I can push up the implants to below my collar bone.
I had been feeling so alone in this journey, but I really find it incredible that I was able to connect with someone all the way across the country from me and receive such valuable information that helped me get the answers I desperately needed. I was able to move up my surgery date by a week and I'm a wait list to get them out even sooner! I'm very excited to see how this improves my health. Dr. Melmed seems to think it will do the trick!! :) He is the nicest person ever, I feel so relieved.
Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYN2H-hSHXU
I forgot to mention in my above post about Dr. Melmed, that he says the symptoms are from ASIA Syndrome. There is information online about it, but simply put, it's an Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants. (adjuvants = A substance that enhances the body's immune response to an antigen).
Changed my mind... I'm getting the capsulectomy!
?I wanted to update my post because so many of you have reached out to me to reconsider the capsulectomy. I changed my mind, I am doing it.
After speaking with Dr. Chun, he says he does this as a matter of routine in all cases where a woman wants their implants out due to health reasons. He's not like Dr. Melmed or Dr. Feng who emphatically believe all implants are toxic, but he doesn't spend a lot of time arguing against it either. He just says it's better to remove the capsule in case it does help, and for peace of mind. He says if you don't remove it and don't get better, you will always wonder about the capsule and be back online Googling for answers. It's a non-issue for him. I like his style. For me personally, I want to retire my online research skills once and for all!!!!!
My original idea was to go conservative and get only the implants out so I wouldn't have to undergo a more extensive surgery, and if I didn't improve, then I would go back to remove the capsule. Dr. Chun explained that this is not recommended or even really possible as it is extremely difficult to do this after the fact. The way I see it now, I've got one shot to get this right, so I'm going for it. I have talked to 2 of Dr. Chun's patients (along with reading his reviews on this site and Yelp) and they cannot stop raving about him and the results (both health wise and esthetics). I'm sold.
I'm really excited to get this done! And I'm so touched and inspired by all the stories that have been shared here. This is quite a group of amazing women here...!!
Hair Loss? Any improvement after Explant surgery?
Hello Explanters! For those of you who had hair loss as a symptom with breast implants, has anyone seen an improvement with this after the explant surgery? I am praying my hair loss goes away after my surgery. Not only is it falling out, but it has stopped growing as well :(
Loss of Breast Tissue with Capsulectomy?
Hi Ladies! Just wondering for those of you who had a capsulectomy if you noticed any loss of breast tissue with this procedure?
Hello Explanters! How long till you felt good enough to care for yourself after surgery?
How long till you felt good enough to care for yourself after surgery without any help? I am traveling for my procedure and may not have help after Day 10. Wondering about the typical timeline for being able to cook for yourself, drive, shower, etc.
Hello from the other side!
29 Jul 2016
Day of treatment
I did it! I explanted this morning at 7:30am! My doctor and his whole team took very good care of me and I am so happy it's done. My chest does hurt and I took 1/2 a Vicodin when I got back tot he hotel, but hopefully tomorrow will be better. I have drains, but so far not much is coming out. My post op is Monday so I'm hoping they come out at that time. The doctor told my sister that my implants (saline for 18 years) came out in pristine condition, so no mold - yay! I will see them for myself on Monday. Thanks to all the lovely ladies on this site who gave me support and encouragement to do this! Now it's healing time! I can't wait to get my life back :)
11 days post explant!
I'm 11 days post op now and I am so glad I explanted! I'm not brave enough to post pics yet, but my breasts are healing up nicely. Initially I had quite a long indent line through the lower half of both breasts, but now it's just a little bit under the areolas. I already love them, but I think they will look even better in a few more weeks. I am way more tired than I expected, but I'm trying to be patient with my body and allow it to heal in it's own time. Overall, I feel free and liberated and seriously cannot believe I walked around with foreign objects in my body for 18 years! I am so happy to be "me" again!
Pictures... the Good, Bad and Ugly.
Ok, I decided to get brave and post some photos in hopes they may help someone else, and that someone else can help me feel better, LOL! Sorry for the graphic nature with the drains and my surgeon's pen marks, but that was Day 3 and the first time I saw my boobs. Yes, I cried!!! I was horrified with the condition of my skin and the indentions. But I think they have come a long way 9 days later! My skin looks better and the indentions are smaller but I'm a little concerned about the right breast which isn't catching up as fast as the left. I haven't noticed any big changes over the past 3 days or so, and unfortunately, I have gained 35 lbs due to digestive issues and body swelling from the implant illness, so I don't know if I will see more changes until I lose the weight. And so far, no weight has come off and my digestion is still a problem. I went from 105 to 140 and I'm so upset about that. I'm praying my body will bounce back to good health and that the indentions will go away!
4 weeks post explant! Happy girl!
I think all the swelling is gone since they seem to be 1/2 the size now, LOL! I am super happy with the way they are healing! I still have the slight indentions, but I started massaging them as of last week and I definitely think that is helping. I honestly couldn't be happier at the 4 week mark. I know they will continue to change and heal in the coming months, so I'm not too concerned about the way they will turn out. Even the lumpiness on the inside of the incisions is gone. I may start to use the scar strips my surgeon recommended to see if that will help them fade.
Health wise... I feel better than I did before the surgery and I may be finally starting losing some weight because my clothes fit better, but I haven't actually weighed myself yet. It seems like my probiotics and meds for the MTHFR gene mutation are working now, whereas they didn't do too much for me when I had implants. A few symptoms are gone, but most are still with me but to a much lesser degree. I think my main problem is stemming from adrenal fatigue and the MTHFR gene mutation which impairs my body's ability to detox properly, causes fatigue and a host of other issues. If I overdo it in any way, including walking too long, I seem to have a slight setback. But even with a setback, I'm still not as bad as I was with implants. So... baby steps. It's all good!!
Emotionally, I am literally so happy that I sometimes cry out of the blue of happiness and relief to be implant free and back in my own skin. Removing the implants was the best decision I've ever made!!! No regrets whatsoever. Only hope for a happy, healthy future!!
6 Week Update
10 Sep 2016
2 months post
Yesterday was 6 weeks post explant! As you can see from the photo, there hasn't been a ton of change in the last 2 weeks, but I can tell in person that they look better and that the massage is really helping! I'm not too worried about the dent because I think my skin will retract more once I lose the weight (which still hasn't happened even though I thought I might have lost a couple pounds in my last post).
My boobs are the least of my worries to be honest. I'm more concerned about my health which is still improving and better than 2 weeks ago, but it's slow going. I'm still tolerating my MTHFR meds and a few other supplements my doc put me on which is a miracle in itself since I wasn't able to take supplements for the past couple of years without reacting to them. So overall, it's like baby steps forward and I haven't had one day in the past 6 weeks of feeling as bad as I did with implants. I think it will just take time. I'm impatient though since I've been dealing with health issues for 10 years and I'm SO excited to get back into the gym and fit into my cute clothes again, and finally start dating again. And I don't want to be bald from hair loss by the time all that happens, lol! :)
9 Week Update!
I can't believe it's been 9 weeks already! It's gone by fast, yet slow at the same time! My boobs have gotten smaller since my last post, but it may be hard to tell from the picture. I'm pretty sure all the swelling is gone now. I think loose skin and very little breast tissue is the cause for the dent and nipples to be a little sunken in :( But it's getting better (slowly) and I still think they will get even better once I lose weight and my skin retracts more.
Health wise, it's been a very rough road toward healing. It turns out that I wasn't able to tolerate my supplements like I initially thought. I ended up crashing hard from them, so I decided not to take anything at all and just let my body heal on it's own. This seems to be working better for me. I am still suffering from major digestive issues which in my case causes uncontrollable low blood sugar, dizziness, weakness, bloated stomach, adrenal fatigue, body swelling and weight gain. My doctor thinks the issue is stemming from bio-toxicity and that my liver is not functioning 100%. I'm doing everything I can from diet to rest to help myself. And just in the last 2 days the symptoms were a little less severe!! I will take that! I just needed to see a little bit of progress to give me some hope. I have that now, so I think it's just a matter of time?!?! I think the surgery itself set me back quite a bit since I went into it with such weak adrenals, but I feel like I am over the hump of that part now. I hope to have a really good progress report in a few more weeks! Until next time... thank you as always for the love and support! xoxo
7 Month Update!
28 Feb 2017
7 months post
Hello ladies! It's been a while since I've posted an update. My recovery has been slow and difficult, but I am making some progress now at 7 months post explant. It took me at least 3 months just to recover from the surgery itself, and it took me until month 6 to tolerate supplements. I am still on disability and unable to work, but my energy and adrenals are getting a lot stronger and I am now able to do gentle workouts at the gym 2x per week! I still have my most severe symptoms (although to a slightly lesser degree) and my digestion seems to be the worst of it. I do have candida and have been following the candida diet for years even before I even explanted but since it hasn't helped, my doctor just ran a Brain MRI+NeuroQuant and we discovered I have systemic mold toxicity. I guess this can be common with saline breast implants. I believe if I can get this treated then I will be completely healed. I am so close!! I am anxious to get this over with so I can resume my normal life again.
I am 100% certain that the implants were causing all my health issues because for the first time in 10 years (even with the mold issue), I am still improving and feel better than I did with implants.
Aesthetically, I am super happy with the results and the indentions I was concerned about before are basically gone. They are still bigger than my pre-implant size due to the weight I haven't been able to lose yet, but even with that, they still continue to change regularly and the skin is still retracting! I find the healing process of this simply amazing. They started looking even better when I was able to do chest exercises at the gym again. This has helped tremendously so I am feeling peaceful that all will be fine with my boobs as I lose weight. Massaging helps too, but I break out on my chest and feel worse every time I massage which I'm sure just means that I am still detoxing.
I am seeing an amazing new doctor, a chiropractor, who does functional medicine and applied kinesiology. I have made the most progress with him thus far, so I am hoping he can help with the mold issue in a natural way and that my next update will be my final one, the one I have been dying to do for months now (to tell you that I am 100% better!!!!).
Thank you so much for all your support! This was the first site I found when I decided to explant and I learned SO much here. I am so grateful to all the brave ladies who explanted before me and were willing to share their experiences and post photos. It was the only reason I felt confident to go forward with the removal. I am so happy to be in my own skin again and I have zero regrets. I haven't missed my implants at all, not even for 1 second! #bestdecisionever!