Breast Implant Removal - My Journey - Newport Beach, CA

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I am truly inspired by the courage of the women on...

I am truly inspired by the courage of the women on this site that have taken time to share their own very personal stories and post pictures, so I have decided to share mine as well in hopes it will help someone else too. So with that being said, here is my story..

I got a breast augmentation when I was 22 years old, July 2001 in Beverly Hills, CA. I have always been a pretty small person, 5'4" weighing around 98lbs (prior to implants) and very flat chested. Having large boobs was never the main reason for getting my implants, it was mostly about wanting to fit better in clothing and look good in bathing suits. I got saline implants, 475cc in each breast. They were huge on my small frame and I was super happy the second I took a peek at them for the first time in the mirror, but even more happy when I went shopping and could fit into just about anything I wanted. It was awesome and I was loving my new boobies!

There were times over the next few years that they would be tender or sore, but I usually wrote it off as 'Ahh.. I must have slept wrong last night' or 'I took my bra off too early." One time though I can remember not liking how these foreign objects felt inside my body and thinking to myself, 'I wish I could take them out' and then immediately thinking 'That's not an option, I guess I'm stuck with them now.' Many years passed and I never gave another thought to having them removed, but they are something I never really forget are there, and they certainly remind me often because I am a very active, outdoors type of person. I guess being young (in my 20's) with nice looking boobs was more important to me at the time than the pain they caused or restrictions they imposed. (Achy back, sleepless nights, etc.)

Now 13 years later (from the time I got them)... My husband and I have recently taken on a new hobby, Golf! We went to the driving range for practice last Saturday and we each hit 2 buckets of balls. The next day, Sunday, I was feeling some soreness in my core area and by Monday, holy smokes, I felt like I had bruises on my rib cage and my breasts are so sore it hurts to touch them. The way I have to stand and stretch my arms and the club over my boobs just to hit the ball is ridiculous. It made realize how restricting breast implants can be and in that moment of truth, I thought to myself, 'I wish I could take them out.'

With that thought, I decided to do a Google search to see if that was even a thing. Do women take out their implants and leave them out? I really didn't know. That is how I found this amazing website and support forum, a Google search. When I found out there was an entire section dedicated to this very topic I couldn't stop reading. I stayed up past Midnight until my eyes couldn't stay open any longer reading story after story after story of brave women that have shared their own experiences with Breast Implant Removal.

After reading all of the stories and doing a little research on the topic it was pretty clear to me this is something I want to do. I sort of hit my husband out of left field with the topic when telling him I was considering having it done, and since I have never expressed any discomfort or concern about my implants in the past, he told me I should 'sleep on it for a while' to make sure it is something I really want to do and wont regret. The thing is, I have been thinking about this from time to time for a while now and I know in my heart it is what I want to do. Once he realized this was something I have been thinking about for a long time now, he was immediately supportive and told me he wants to be there with me throughout this journey every step of the way. I could not ask for more. Being that he is really the only one that will see me nude after the surgery, I'm not really concerned with any scars or having tiny boobies. I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I just want to go back to my normal self and be able to workout and participate in extreme sports again without worrying about my breasts being in the way or causing me pain. They are so heavy and constantly aching which I believe is causing my back pain as well.

So, today I made an apt with a local PS that has received extremely high recommendations from this site and other members on who have had the same procedure preformed by her. The receptionist exceeded my expectations when I called and answered so many questions right over the phone. She was kind and warm and made me feel good from the time she answered the phone. It probably sounds silly, but this (to me) is a pretty huge decision and that comforting voice eased my nervousness tremendously. She said they could fit me in tomorrow morning for a consultation if I could make it, and I confirmed, yes.

This is all happening so fast now, I went from just a thought of wishing I no longer had my implants, to a Google search finding this support group, making an apt for tomorrow morning, and I most likely will make an apt for the surgery if everything goes well in the consultation with the PS.

Now that the ball is rolling I have the feeling of, 'I just want them out!' At times I try to put myself in the situation of how I may feel once they are out. It is so emotional for me, I feel like I'll be able to take a deep breath and get on with my life, it will be such a huge relief! I'm 34 years old now and willing to accept my body the way it was meant to be. I feel like I will be able to live a much healthier active life without pain from my implants and I am looking forward to this new chapter more than anything.

I have decided to document my journey here and plan to be as open and honest as possible throughout this process in hopes it will help or inspire someone else to do the same. Thank you to all the women who so bravely shared their stories as it has helped me in making this decision! I plan to update this often to express any emotions or feelings I may be going through as well.

Currently, I am feeling anxious, nervous and lots of anticipation for my consultation tomorrow.

I will keep you all updated :)

I plan to post 'before and after' pics after the procedure has been preformed and I have had some time to heal.

Consultation Complete - Surgery Scheduled!

With all the anticipation of my consultation today, I did not sleep well last night. I kept going over in my head questions I wanted ask the PS and I kept trying to imagine how I would look and feel once the surgery has been completed. And that played on repeat until I was finally able to fall asleep well into the night.

Surprisingly when I woke up this morning, my Mom (that lives in another state) sent me a text with a bouquet of flowers (iPhone emoji's) saying she wished me a good day and that she loves me; and just like that, all of those nervous feelings from yesterday were gone. The weirdest part about it is that I have never mentioned anything to her about wanting to do this. She just happen to send that in a time I really needed it. It's a fabulous reminder how something so small can really mean so much, and we should all take the time to do or say nice things to people.. You really never know how much someone could need it in that very moment.

After filling her in that I was on my way to a consultation for implant removal, I felt very at ease and was ready for my consultation. At one point on the drive there I can remember actually smiling and felt such a sense of happiness. I arrived 15 minutes early to my 9:30am appointment. When I opened the office door and walked in I was greeted by that sweet voice on the other end of the phone from yesterday, her name is Nancy and she is the most kind receptionist I have ever met. There is something very calming and sincere about her. I was called into the back within 5 minutes of being there by the PS's assistant, Malorie. She escorted me into a room and began explaining everything, about how it all works and what things are like on the day of surgery. By the time she was finished, she had answered almost every question I had thought of. She too was so incredibly kind and patient and made me feel all 'warm and fuzzy' (and excited) about getting this procedure done.

I changed into a robe and not long after the PS came into meet me and discuss the procedure with me as well. She examined my breasts and said because of the fact I have saline implants, have a little bit of breast tissue, and have not had any children that she anticipates my results to be very good. It was all great to hear and I'm feeling a lot less stress and nervousness.

With the guidance and recommendation from my PS I have decided to do local anesthesia. My directions as of now are to take a Valium the night before surgery (so that I get a good nights sleep) and then to take one the day of surgery one hour prior to arriving so that I will be feeling nice and relaxed. From my understanding she said she will make two small incisions, one on each of my breasts at the crease underneath, make a small cut into the implant to 'pop' it, and then remove the implant. She will stitch each layer needed and they will dissolve over time and there will not be any exposed.. that's awesome! I am so relieved I do not have to go through (and I'm sorry for those of you that do) the process of the drainage tubes and all of that, just the thought of it makes me cringe. I'm feeling fortunate that in my case this should be a fairly simple process. After she explained it all and went over everything she asked if I had any more questions, "Yes! When can you do it?!!" She smiled and laughed and brought Nancy back in the room to go over pricing and the schedule with me. The soonest appointment for my surgery they had available is Thursday, Sept 26th so I had to discuss briefly with my husband that he'd be able to take that day off and once he told me he was able to, I confirmed with Malorie that I want to book that day for my surgery.

And now the excitement sets in! Now that I have made it through the consultation and have a surgery date set, I feel like these 2 weeks could not possibly go by fast enough. I am not feeling nervous or anxious or any of the emotions I was going through yesterday. I just wish I didn't have to lug these things around for another 2 weeks. I am SO ready to be set free!


Today I am feeling exhausted, unmotivated and achy. It seems like now that my surgery date is scheduled I am obsessed with how uncomfortable having my implants really are. I walk around with my arms crossed folded underneath them, holding them up to relieve some of the heaviness feeling. Prior to knowing actually taking them out was an option, I guess I just learned to 'live with it.' Now that I know I do not have to, I want them out.. NOW!

There are things I could be doing around the house, misc cleaning like laundry, but I know how much easier this stuff will be to do once I am back to 'normal' (and healed, of course) and I keep putting it off. My back is so achy and I just feel tired. No other way to describe it, just really really tired.

I've read a lot of stories on this topic and many women say they got their energy back after explant. I am hoping that will be the case for me as well. I need it. I'm feeling confident it will.. positive thinking! :)


“Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself & the right people will love the real you.”

? Unknown


I came back to re-read the quote I posted from earlier today and possibly jot down today's feelings/thoughts. Well instead of the quote showing up as "dash, unknown" like to say the author of the quote is unknown, it is showing up as a question mark. OCD perhaps, but that bugs the crap out of me. I don't want it be misread as if I'm unsure. I guess I'll just state it now, I feel those are great words to live by. I wish there were an option to 'edit' posts to correct misspelled words and type-o's.

Today's thought process has been a couple of things..

1) Wondering how the best way to let friends know about this? I've had my implants for 12 years (I did the math wrong on my original post) so most of the friends I have now know me with them, not without. Do I wait until I see them and for the awkwardness of knowing they've noticed, but too afraid to say anything? Do I walk straight up and say, "Oh hey, nice to see ya again, btw, I got my implants removed." Do I just come right out with a Facebook announcement? (joking) I'm not trying to keep this a big secret, it will be beyond obvious so I wouldn't be able to anyway. I'm just wondering for those of you that have had yours in for a long time and people are used to seeing you that way, how did you break the news to your friends after the explant? Any suggestions? I'm not embarrassed about it so that is not my concern, I'm just wondering if there is a polite or nice way to say it? I have already told my family and they are all super happy with my decision. Big surprise, right? ;)

2) Sports bras. What is the best brand/model of a good, comfortable sports bra for after my surgery? Specifically ones for immediately after, to make the recovery more comfortable for me. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not as tired and achy today as I was yesterday, but I find myself just staring at the calendar, over and over again as if the last time I counted the number of days to my surgery is going to change from the time I counted 2 hours ago. Nancy told me she would call me if anyone cancels and they can get me in sooner. Highly unlikely, but my fingers are crossed!

Donation Time

Today I decided to go through my clothes and start a 'donate pile' of the shirts I will no longer be able to wear after my explant. I really had no idea how many 'boobie shirts' I owned and the pile grew larger and larger. My closet is now bare and it feels pretty good. I am eager to go shopping for new stuff, but I guess I'll have to wait until after my explant since there is no way to know how things will look on me until I try them on. Feels great to get rid of my old stuff and ready for my fresh new start!

Mini Panic

So today I had my first true moment of a mini panic in thoughts of, 'What if I regret this? What if nothing I try on looks good? What if I don't feel pretty anymore?' And in that moment I got really emotional. I have had my implants for so long that they are part of who I am. I don't even remember what it's like to not have them. Thinking of how it will be without them was weird. I then started to think of the reasons why I decided to do this in the first place and slowly the other feelings went away. I really want to live a healthy active life and just the thought of this change has already motivated me to eat healthier. I can't wait to workout and enjoy my outdoor activities without my implants getting in my way!

Tick Tock.. Tick Tock

Seriously, can time move any slower right now? Weeks and months fly by like crazy most of the time, but not when you're counting down how many days you have left until your surgery. Trust me, this feels like an eternity. Once you make the decision to have your implants removed, you just want it over with it, so you can put it behind you and move on. Well, at least that's how I'm feeling about it anyway. 10 more days until my surgery.. Tick. Tock. .... Tick. Tock.

One day at a time

I made it through another day. When I wake up tomorrow there will be 8 days left until the day of my surgery. I just have to make it through tomorrow and then when I wake up the next day there will be 7 days left.. And this is how I have been dealing with 'the count down', just trying to make it through each day one at a time and not dwell on the fact that I have over a week to go. I would have never thought I'd be so eager to get rid of something that at one time I wanted so bad. And now that day could not come soon enough!


When I started this review, I decided I would update it everyday to express my thoughts about this procedure and how I was feeling the days leading up to it. I think I was anticipating there would be so many emotions and things going through my head that I'd have a lot to share and write about, but now as the time grows closer I am feeling such peace that there really isn't a lot to report. I'm just ready to get this show on the road and on with my life.

Supply List

* comfy sweatsuit to wear to procedure (it's cold in there)
* front zip compression bra's
* front button shirts & pj's
* torso wedge pillow
* prescription pain medication
* Tylenol (acetaminophen)
* favorite foods / snacks
* iPad and/or magazines
* bottles of water

I decided to put together a supply list today to help prepare for my recovery. If I'm missing anything suggestions are welcomed. I will update this for others if I find anything useful after my recovery is complete. 7 days to go.. OoWee!

Quote of the day

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." EE Cummings

I am feeling proud to have finally reached that point in my life :)

Health First

Feeling ok today, but still abnormally tired for no real good reason at all. I sure hope to see an improvement with my energy level after explant. At this point it is one of the things I'm looking forward to the most. I'm so tired of feeling tired all of the time and living with constant back pain. I'm starting to realize more and more how much having my implants have affected my health. I am already so happy that I made the decision to explant. I hope my review will help others in making the decision to put their health first also and do the same.


Today was amazing thanks to my husband who put so much effort into taking my mind off my surgery. He took me out to brunch and spent the entire day making sure I was in good spirits and having fun. It was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I'm so thankful for the support he has given me. 4 days until my surgery and I'm feeling more ready than ever!


"Nature didn't need an operation to be beautiful. It just was." Scott Westerfeld


It's all starting to become more real that I only have a little over a day to go and I'm actually getting my implants taken out. Holy moly! Well, the house is clean and everything in place to make for an easy and hopefully fast recovery. 2 more nights.. ZzZZzzZzz

Can't sleep

Ugh. What am I going to look like in my clothes? How will I look in a bikini? Will people I see regularly notice right away? Will they ask? How long will I be in recovery? Is it very painful? Is my fatigue really linked to my implants? Will this all be worth it? Am I going to regret it? Ahhhhhhh I wish my brain would shut down tonight so that I could get some sleep. I guess the answers to those questions will come in time...

Closing time

Well, tomorrow's the big day. After all of the anticipation and wonder I've had leading up to this point, I'm surprised I'm not feeling nervous at all. I finally got around to taking a 'before picture' (will post before and afters together at 1month post op) and I think I have pretty much have everything I need for the recovery process. My PS prescribed me a Valium to take tonight before bed to ensure I get a good nights sleep. My apt is at 9am. I'm ready to close this chapter of my life and start my new one :)

Here I go!!

Just arrived to my apt, Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand.. Today's the day! Wish me luck ;)

Bye bye boobies!!

Home from surgery and I am feeling AMAZING!!!!! I can't even begin to describe the way I felt walking out of there. Tears filled my eyes as I walked through the parking lot to our car and I looked at my husband and said, "I am soooo happy!" Neither of us could wipe the smile off our face. I can already feel release of pressure in my back and I feel so light and FREE!! This was the best decision ever for this time in my life right now and I am bursting with joy! I've only been home for about an hour and need rest (I'm feeling pretty loopy from the drugs) but I plan to write a play by play update of my experience today and explain how everything went. My PS and her staff go above and beyond and I will be forever grateful for them. They are truly amazing. I am ecstatic right now!!!

Checking in

Sorry, I haven't felt well enough to compose my thoughts or update my review. I'm trying to get through these first few days post op and when I'm feeling better I will be sure write a full detailed update of my experience. I can tell you that I am still very happy with my decision to explant, but I am extremely sore right now and just trying to sleep and rest as much as I can.


Coming Soon!! :)

My explant experience

Today is the 2 week mark since my explant and I am feeling great!

So here's how my experience went.. The night before my surgery I took a Valium so that I would be able to sleep well, and I did sleep well. I woke up and got ready early enough to stop by Starbucks on the way to my apt and still arrive 30 minutes early. I wasn't feeling nervous at all, but as my husband and I were going up the elevator to the Suite, I started to feel the anticipation of not knowing what to expect and nerves set in a little as I was getting closer. When I arrived to my PS office the nurse provided me with another Valium so that I could relax. Unfortunately, due to drinking coffee and feeling the anticipation of knowing I'm about to walk back there in a room and be cut open to have my implants removed, the Valium didn't seem to be working. (I would suggest avoiding caffeine the day of your surgery so that you are better prepared to be in a relaxed state of mind) I did not wait long in the waiting room and they called me back to change into a robe and applied a topical anesthetic to where the incision location was going to be. Not too long after, I was being escorted to the operation room and set up on the table. They placed sticky heating pads on my legs and then wrapped them in a machine (sort of like one when you get your blood pressure taken) that constantly applies pressure and releases it. They do this to keep you warm and circulation flowing in your legs/body. They wrapped my upper body all along my arms and neck in warm blankets too, it felt like I was at a day spa, it was awesome! There were 4 people in the room total including myself. The PS, and her 2 nurses. The PS then told me she was going to apply local anesthesia and that I may feel a small prick, I did feel it lightly on the right side, but it didn't really hurt. I never felt her do the left side. She then told me she was going to make the incision and if I were to feel anything to let her know and she'd add more anesthesia. I never felt anything, although I could tell she was doing something in that area. I could feel pressure, but nothing ever hurt. She talked me through every single step along the way and during that time. When she popped the implant I felt the saline gush out and down my side and then she applied pressure to my chest to get it all out of there. She pulled the implant out and then cleaned the area. It was the weiredest feeling ever. I could tell my implant was out and I could feel the cold water on the inside of my body as she was washing it out. Almost like an outter body experience (if there is such a thing), but it was pretty cool that I was awake, talking to all of them about hiking, family, friends, fun, whatever, it was like we were just 4 girls in the room having a conversation, except I was getting operated on. She then stitched me up, still couldn't feel much of what was going on, just pressure here or there, but again, nothing hurt. She moved on to the left side and at one point (I think when she was making the incision) I felt something and said "Ow!" She immediately stopped and injected me with more anesthesia and then proceeded. I never felt another thing until the implant burst and the saline ran down my side and then again I felt the cold water on the inside of my body as they were washing out the area. She stitched that side up and then they cleaned my chest off, sides and stomach. They started taking the leg machine off, removing the heating pads, removed all the blankets, and then sat me up. I couldn't believe how much lighter I felt already, just by sitting up. I was so happy they were out I didn't really care what they looked like, but I took a quick peek at myself to see. Pretty droopy, sad little things, sort of like a half way deflated balloon, and I loved it! Haha. She placed two small pieces of medical tape of the incision area and then a bra that buttons in the front. Over that they wrapped me with a large Ace type bandage all the way around my body over the bra. Malory handed me my shoes and helped me put my zipper hoodie on, and I looked at all of them and asked, "Ok soo.. Is that it? Am I ok to go home?" It all happened so fast I could not believe I was up walking around and feeling so good. I guess in my mind I thought I'd be wheeled out to my car in a wheelchair. Funny to think about that now. They said, "Yep, you're all good, see ya tomorrow for your check up." I walked out to the waiting room where I was greeted by my husband and I could not get the smile off my face. He could not believe either how fast the procedure was and that I was just walking out of there like nothing ever happened. It was absolutely amazing. On the way to the car, I had tears of joy in my eyes and I will never forget that moment when I looked at him and said, "I am soooooo happy!!" I felt the largest weight had been lifted from me, and I guess in a way, it had. I was ecstatic the entire day. I felt great, no pain and I could not stop walking over to the full length mirror to catch a glimpse of my new body. I truly think I look better now than I did before. Maybe it's because I've just reached that time in my life that having big fake boobies is not important to me any longer. With that though, I would like to add I have no regrets getting my implants. I loved them! They lasted me 12 great years and I wouldn't take anything back.

The entire first day was awesome. I was ecstatic and had a permanent smile the entire day. However, waking up the next morning to get to my follow up apt was awful. My incisions hurt so bad, and I was in tremendous pain. I took a pain killer and it didn't seem to help at all. Every little bump in the car on the way to my follow up apt hurt me. The PS looked at the incisions and determined everything looked good, so within 10 minutes we were back in the car and on the way home. I spent most of the day sleeping, my wedge pillow worked perfect for this. The other thing that came in handy was my neck pillow (the kind you use on an airplane). I was able to press on my breasts and they felt tender, but surprisingly not that sore. What really hurt most was the incision itself. It's super important to keep them compressed while you're healing and it is amazing what your body can do. Every day that I look at them, they get better and better. I really could not believe that they were transforming form deflated balloons to actually taking shape and looking like real breasts. They are perky and look so much better than expected and that is just a bonus to me. I love them!

The pain for recovery was minimal, for me the second day was the worst, day 3 was ok, but after that it was smooth sailing. By the 5th day I was able to (kind of) lay on my side a little more. By day 7 I could lay on my side and transfer (very slowly) to my stomach. 2 weeks have gone by now and I am amazed every single day at how they are improving. Every single day shows tremendous improvement, it's incredible.

My energy level is up and I have been sleeping a lot better since my explant. I am still tender and sore, but nothing that is unmanageable. I have been trying to take it easy and not push myself because it is so important for me to heal properly. It's too bad I had not figured this out sooner, because I am feeling better than I have felt in a very long time.

So, the big question.. Is breast implant removal worth it? For me, ABSOLUTELY!!!

(Pictures to come at a later date)

One Month Post Op

As promised, here is my 'before and after' photo. I continue to see improvement as time goes on. I feel like 'me' again and could not be happier with my decision to explant :)

1 year ago today!

One year ago today I had my implants removed. I remember that day very well. It was one of the greatest feelings ever when I literally felt the implants being pulled out of my body. Since then, I have felt absolutely amazing and very proud of myself for having the courage to go through with having them removed because at one time that sounded so scary to me. I have continued to live a very active lifestyle and could not be more pleased that I don't have to take in consideration having implants with anything I do. I have to admit though, there have been a couple times over the summer when putting on my bikini I look down and think, 'Ugh. I wish my boobs weren't so saggy' and even thought, 'Hmm maybe I should get them done again?' but as soon as I think that way I force myself to put myself back in the mindset I was in when I first started this review. And as soon as I start to weigh out the pros and cons of it, I always end up even more thankful that I went through with the explant surgery. I do not regret having them out for one second and I have never been more happy. The only regret I have (and I never thought I would ever say this) is getting them done to begin with. I really enjoyed them while I had them, but NOT having them is soooo much better. It's the greatest feeling in the world to be 'natural' and I am super super happy with my decision even ONE YEAR later! ;) I hope my review has helped at least one person. I am so thankful for everyone that shared their stories on this site, it ultimately helped me make my decision and gave me the courage to go through with it. Thank you! I will post a one year post-op pic soon.
Lavinia Chong M.D. Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Chong and her staff (Malory and Jamie) are amazing! They are incredibly kind, easy to talk to and very professional, but most of all you can tell they truly care about their patients. The receptionist (Nancy) was extremely informative over the phone and even nicer when I met her in person. There was never a wait and they always called me right in. They are all so knowledgeable and went over everything with me so thorough that any questions I may have had were answered. Dr. Chong spent much more time with me than I had expected going over everything in great detail. She goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and at ease. She is so easy to talk to and very understanding. I can not even put into words how grateful I am for her and her amazing staff. I highly recommend at least getting a consultation with her (it's free if you mention RealSelf referred you) and you will see just how extraordinary she really is. My experience with Dr. Chong was outstanding! Lavinia Chong M.D. Plastic Surgeon 1401 Avocado Ave. Newport Beach, CA 92660 (949) 644-1400

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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