So I feel it's now my turn to share with you my explant ordeal with all you wonderful ladies, as reading all your stories has been an amazing help to get me through this. Thank God for RealSelf! Sorry if i go on a bit, I just feel I need to get this all off my chest (haha)...
Ok, let's begin... I'm 32, 5 foot 10 and very skinny. I always hated being so thin and growing up I was obsessed with putting on weight, especially on my chest. I was a 34AA and felt this was way too small for my frame, I didn't feel womanly at all and was constantly obsessing with my minuscule boobies, trying to make them bigger with all sorts of herbal remedies, potions, pills and padding. Nothing really worked. So at 20 years old, I saved up my pennies and got me some breast implants. I went with the clinic Bodylooks for the price over anything as they were the cheapest! (Silly silly me).
At the appointment with the surgeon, I asked many questions, how long would the implants last etc. and I was told 'forever'!! I'd never need them replacing, I have a life time guarantee on them, the only risk he mentioned was capsular contracture. So I got 310 cc over the muscle silicone implants. I asked for a C cup but came out a DD. And was so happy! I loved my new big bouncing boobs and suddenly had so much more confidence, I didn't regret a thing. Although looking at my before explant photo on here they look way too big for my frame!
I enjoyed 11 delightful years with them until .... The dreaded PIP scandal arose. I didn't know what make implants I had as none of my notes gave me any usefull details like that, so I tried getting hold of the clinic only to find they'd gone bust (excuse the pun) years ago. After months of detective work trying to find out what I actually had in my body, it was confirmed by my surgeon I had PIPs. I had to go the NHS route as the clinic were no longer around, my surgeon didn't want to help at all and I couldn't afford to go privately.
A scan showed my right implant to be ruptured and my lymph nodes under my right arm full of silicone. This was obviously a massive shock, for some reason I didn't actually think it would happen to me! And to make it worse I was six months pregnant, so really worried about the harm to my baby. The surgeon at the hospital said I couldn't breast feed out of either breast, and to come back once I'd had my baby and they'd take the implants out.
So, I had my beautiful baby boy, all ready to bottle feed him, when the breastfeeding specialist at the hospital told me I can b/f, so I did for 7 weeks until I got mastitis, went to the docs who told me 'No you shouldn't be breastfeeding, your implants are cancerous and could be poisoning your baby!' Aaaargh!
So realising no one actually knows the effects of PIPs fully, I stopped. and was really desperate to get those toxic bags out of me. So I had an appointment with the NHS surgeon who just assumed I was going to get them re-implanted afterwards (as NHS will remove but not replace the PIPs, which I agree with). I explained I wasn't going to, and he basically told me I'd probably look deformed. He even asked if I'd ever been anorexic??! He told me about a private clinic which were doing a good deal for PIP victims and I should go check them out. So, feeling pretty low after that, I booked to have an appointment at this clinic he recommended. And guess who the surgeon was.... HIM! Hmmm just trying to make a few extra pennies maybe? He was much nicer in his private clinic, and to be honest, wasn't pushing me in to having them done, but I did come out of there thinking, yes I do still want implants.
After a few days of trying to make up my mind, I thought I would book a few more consultations with other clinics just to get some other opinions. Three different surgeons gave me conflicting information, and I felt they were just after my money and didn't care at all about anything else. This made my decision for me, I was going to explant and that was it. So, even though not best pleased with the NHS surgeon, he is meant to be the best there, and it's not like I can really pick who I want seeing as they're doing it for free!
So 17th Sept 2012 my surgery was booked for. My PS said he would also do a capsulectomy and use drains. I was so nervous and worried what they'd look like, 11 years of being stretched by implants, then pregnancy and breast feeding... but I was so desperate to get these ruptured poisonous sacks out of me. It was all over very quickly, I wasn't in much pain, I went home early as felt so fine, I didn't have drains of even any bandages which I thought was strange. And my boobs looked surprisingly big! They were never that big before I had implants? I was so happy, it all turned out much better than I expected! The only thing was that they felt kind of wobbly, like they were full of fluid. I could even feel like a wave of liquid under my skin when I moved. I had my follow up app a week later and was told all was fine the fluid will absorb soon.
Shortly after, my right boob started expanding even more, then my left one shrank! So I went back and not being able to see my original PS a different surgeon stuck a huge syringe into my boob and drained loads of 'old' blood out. It was pretty disgusting but it instantly felt relieved. I asked to see my post op notes as was concerned whether he'd done a capsulectomy as I didn't have any drains or told to wear any compression which I read was needed with this surgery, but my notes said total capsulectomy was performed. All was ok for a day or so then the same problem happened again, so I got them drained again....and again....and again...then at about 8 weeks post op, my left one swelled up too! I had hematomas in both which was apparently really rare. I seemed to get a different surgeon to see each time and each had a different view on what to do. One said I should leave the blood in there to solidify and then they'll look bigger. Although I liked the thought of them staying bigger, that didn't really seem like a healthy option!
After 2 and a half months of this I finally saw my original surgeon who admitted he never actually took the capsules out which is why they weren't healing as there was no rough surface for my tissue to heal to. And I'd need further surgery to take them out. Great! I wasn't at all happy but what could I do. If I'd gone privately things would be different, but being grateful the NHS would help me at all I didn't really feel in a position to complain!
My capsulectomy was booked for the 7th Jan, I was just as nervous as the first time but just wanted this whole thing over and done with so I could heal properly. The anesthetic really affected me this time, I know the surgery took longer than the first one but I was completely out of it for days afterwards. I stayed in the hospital over night as collapsed when tried to get up, I was hallucinating and all sorts it was horrible! The only chance I got to see the surgeon was when I had just come round, and I remember him saying 'Your capsules were really stuck in there, and I'm sorry but I've got to confess I cut.....' Cut what?! I couldn't remember what he said! Had he cut my nipple off?! I was completely bandaged up this time so couldn't have a peek till my app a week later. Luckily my nipples were still on! But there's an inch long scar on my back which he did when he slipped when operating. I still don't understand how he got my back?!
Anyway, my new deflated chest looked very sorry for itself. Caved in nipples, floppy wrinkled skin, no breast tissue whatsoever and big dents everywhere and my scars much longer. I burst into tears and the nurse said 'Don't worry, you can get implants'! Grrrrr! Does no one understand I NEVER want any more surgery!!
I was really down about it all for a good few weeks, but reading the stories on here made it a lot easier. My partner has been so supportive and says that what my boobs look like doesn't matter to him, there's so many more important things than boobs. And he's right! I still haven't had the guts to show him yet, I'm going to wait a little bit longer so I feel a bit more confident. (He might change his mind then!) They are improving slightly, and with massage my nipples perk up a bit, but I have no breast tissue left at all. They do look awful but I don't want my story to put off any one deciding whether to explant. There are loads of really good PS out there, unfortunately mine told a bit of a porky so had to go through a bit more of an ordeal but reading the other ladies stories on here it's usually much more straightforward and they have amazing results! And don't let my ninety year old man boob pics put you off, I doubt any of you have as little breast tissue as me!
Thanks again to everyone who wrote their stories and shared their pics on here, it really helped a lot with my decision. And you all look great! x