I had a "mommy makeover" in May 2014: TT with...
I had a "mommy makeover" in May 2014: TT with muscle repair, lipo on the hips, BA and BL (lollipop lift). I knew 100% I wanted the tummy tuck; I'd had 4 kids, including a set of twins, and my stomach skin and muscles were shot. I had a nearly 4-finger separation in my abdominal wall and a probable hernia. I wasn't sold on the implants, but I feared that I would regret not doing it, so I went for it. My implants are smooth, round, silicone: 371 in the right breast and 397 in the left.
Well, I should have listened to my gut feel! As soon as I saw them, I knew I had made a mistake. I went from a 30C (I was wearing a 32B, the sister size) to a 30G. FOUR cups sizes. I was totally mortified.
Everyone kept telling me to give it time. My husband told me to just wait and see. My mom (who has implants) insisted that I would love them and that I'd probably want to go back for bigger ones. The surgeon told me to wait 3 months before judging. But during those first 3 months, we moved out-of-state, so I told myself I'd give it 6 months. Six months came and went. I told myself I'd give it 9 months (since that's when all the healing is supposed to be done, according to what I've read). Nine months came and went. We bought a house, moved, etc. etc. Life just got in the way.
Here I am almost 16 months post-op and I cannot stand these things. I want them out YESTERDAY. At this point, I'm wearing nothing but strategically printed T-shirts and black. I don't wear solid colors, anything drapey or low-cut, nothing striped, not one shred of white clothing, no bright colors, no halters or spaghetti strap tanks, no cute dresses . . . Basically I don't wear anything I want to wear because of the size of my breasts. I avoid underwire bras because they enhance the shape and size. I can't find 30G bras very easily unless I want to spend $60 on a single bra, so I have to buy 32DDD -- which is still difficult and expensive. Forget finding something at Target! Buying bras, clothes, and bathing suits is a nightmare. I'm dreading the upcoming winter season because I can't wear any clingy sweaters, no vests, no solid colors, no cable knit, etc. because the only thing that stands out is my BOOBS.
I can't stand the way they feel, I can't stand the way they look, I'm totally embarrassed of them, and most of all I hate feeling like I'm living a giant lie -- like I'm hiding a shameful secret. That's not at all in line with my values.
I also don't want to deal with the long-term health ramifications and the financial upkeep. I don't want to keep subjecting myself to surgeries as I get older, either. I just want them out and be done with it once and for all. I have already mentally beat myself up for all the money I will have wasted on my breasts, but that shouldn't be a reason for continuing to live in misery.
Since so many of you have shared your stories, I want to journal my experience in case it helps someone else. Thank you SO MUCH to all you brave women who have posted on Real Self!!
Some more info/thoughts
I didn't want to make my first post too long but I left some other stuff or that might be helpful to someone reading.
I'm 5'3", approximately 130-135lbs. All four kids were breastfed for over a year. I didn't have terrible stretch marks on my boobs so the surgeon managed to remove them all during my original lift. Unfortunately the scarring from the lift and my tummy tuck incision is prominent so I'm just hoping it doesn't get worse with the explant :(
Implants are under the muscle. I really think that, as far as a surgeon's perspective goes, the doctor did a good job. My healing was relatively uneventful, although my right breast had some issues the first few months. It seemed to have had some capsular contracture early on? The surgeon prescribed Singulair. I took that and vitamin E internally for a couple of months and that actually seemed to help. The pocket on the right is more restricted though, so that implant sits higher and stays upright when I'm lying down (which I HATE).
As far as health concerns, I do have some odd things that I wouldn't have associated with the implants but now I'm wondering since reading other stories...my arms fall asleep if I have them bent when I'm lying on my back. I also developed a new set of eye bags shortly after getting the implants, which I had chalked up to hitting my later 30's -- I guess we'll see once the boobs are out. Something else odd is that my hair started thinning and falling out in the front a couple of months ago, the way it did in the post-partum period. And I get a lot of zits on my chest for no apparent reason.
My posture has gone to hell since getting my BA, mainly because they stick out like MISSILES, no exaggeration!! This drives me crazy because I was a dancer when I was young -- I developed excellent posture as a result and have always been proud of that. I have shoulder pain as well, probably due to the issues with having poor posture.
I'll update again with info on my first two consultations as well as some pics if I'm feeling brave!!
My consultations so far
I've had two consultations for my explant so far. Both doctors are in Charlotte, which is a 2 hour 15 min drive from here.
1) Dr. Capizzi: I found him here on RS as a doctor who'd answered some explant questions. He was okay. He could do it under local and would not remove the capsules.
2) Dr. Bednar: Also a RS find, and I met with him because I was originally interested in a fat transfer. He has really excellent reviews but I was feeling extremely vulnerable after my meeting with Dr. Capizzi, so Bednar's more straight-forward approach just made me feel horrible. When I complained that my implants are just way too big, he said "Well, YOU chose the size, didn't you?" And that hurt. I'm terrible at defending myself with doctors, so I felt really, really stupid. Anyway, I was surprised that he said he wasn't sure if he could harvest enough fat from me. I'm not lean by any means....like, AT ALL. LOL. He was also very honest and said that the scar tissue from my previous lift could potentially pose a problem for the fat to establish a blood supply in my breasts. I did appreciate that honesty. For a straight explant, he would use an IV sedation, also not removing the capsules, and would cost $1,000 more than Dr. C. The fat transfer would run $11,000. Yes, that says eleven thousand dollars, and I'd only be looking at a cup to a cup-and-a-half of gain. For that, I could pick up a $50 VS bra and call it a day. I don't want breasts that desperately (even though some of the results are great).
All in all, neither doctor blew me away enough to have a nearly 5-hour round trip drive for post-ops and all that. So, I have two upcoming consultations in town. The next one is on Tuesday the 22nd and then another on October 7. It seriously couldn't come soon enough. Every day with these stupid implants is an eternity, as so many of you can understand!!
If neither of those doctors feel right, my next option is to look in Greenville, SC, which is just an hour-ish drive away and a bigger city than where I live. Hopefully the local doctors will work out, though. My hope is to have them out by the end of October!
Sharing some photos
Other women's pictures have helped me a lot, so here are some of mine. The first ones are pre-op, before the "mommy makeover" last May. The other ones are from today. My implants drive me crazy. My scars are pretty gnarly, too. I wonder if whoever I pick for the implant removal will be able to do something about them. I just don't scar well, and I'm sure it didn't help to have had the weight of the implant against that incision.
Info on bra sizing - hope this helps!
Hey ladies! I keep running across posts where women have trouble finding the correct bra size. I was obsessive about finding the correct size with my implants so I hope this information is helpful!
To measure correctly, use a flexible measuring tape to measure under your bust around your rib cage. If it's an even number, that's your band size. If it's an odd number, go up to the next even number.
Next, measure around the widest part of your breasts (usually the nipple), not pulling the tape too tightly or too loosely. For both measurements, use a mirror to make sure the tape is horizontal and not riding up or falling down in the back.
The inches difference between the band size and the bust size is your bra size. For instance, my under-bust (band) size is 30. The widest part of my breast measures 37 1/2. That's a 7-inch difference, making me a 30G, bordering on 30H (UGHH!!!!).
There's a demo on LuLaLu on the bra sizing tab at the top. So many bras fit differently so you still have to try on different brands and styles, but this is a pretty good ballpark figure.
Third consultation tomorrow
I have my third consultation tomorrow with a doctor in town. I'm having major doubts today, which it seems is normal but I'm totally freaked out about the outcome. I wish so badly I had never done it to begin with.
Third consultation - feeling upset :(
I had my third consultation this morning. The surgery center, the nurses, staff, and surgeon were all really top-notch. Compared to my first two consultations, there was just no comparison at all. This doctor took so much more care and time and thought. Answered every single one of my questions. I didn't feel stupid or rushed. He took me seriously. In fact, he said he could tell that I'd really thought this out and was making a good decision.
That said, the price tag was really, really difficult to look at. $6,000 -- as much to take them out as put them in, really. I know that's not an unusual price, considering that he would take out most of the capsule and do it under general. He'd also be revising the lift with a full anchor lift. I currently have the lollipop scars and I'm not even remotely interested in adding to my scar collection. But because of the length of the scars under my areola, he expressed concern that I'd have a bad aesthetic outcome.
I'm so upset. I feel like my choices are to 1) cause my family financial distress because of a really dumb mistake I made, or 2) just live with these stupid things, be upset when I look in the mirror, and continue wearing black T-shirts for the next 10 years. There are just no words to express how badly I wish I could go back in time and listen to my gut before getting the BA.
LADIES WHO ARE CONSIDERING A BREAST AUGMENTATION: Think LONG and HARD about it. It is a financial and psychological black hole. You get the boobs and that is NOT the end of the story. Eventually, ALL implants will have to come out, be replaced, be revised, etc. Sometimes not for many years, sometimes just a few short months or even weeks later. How would you feel if your BA price tag said $12,000 instead of $6,000? Would you still do it? That's how much I might be looking at spending on my breasts in just 1.5 years. $12,000 in my pocket or toward my mortgage would be a game changer. I should have just splurged on a nice padded bra instead.
Noticing boob jobs
Hey all. Where I live, almost no one has (obvious) plastic surgery and there are very few (obvious) boobs jobs. The ones who have augmentations stick out like sore thumbs. But right now, I am visiting family in Southern California where plastic surgery is very common. I notice implants ALL OVER the place. And you know what? They don't look good. They look obvious and kind of silly, in my opinion.
Seeing BAs from the perspective of being around women's natural bodies now is really eye-opening. Even though I wrestle with moments of doubt and hesitation about going through with an explant, having this experience reminds me of why I'm doing it.
Uh oh, did I injure myself??
I got a crazy massage while I was traveling and I'm freaking out that the woman injured my muscle/implant. I was lying on my stomach and the woman crossed my arms behind my back while my arms were raised (with each hand stretching to touch the opposite scapula, like when you stretch your triceps). She then lifted me up by pushing on my elbows to do a lying back bend. I felt a big pain in my right pec, followed by a shooting pain through my armpit and down my arm, and then tingling in my right arm!
Since then, the underside of my right breast has been tender and sore. And then, last night when I was lying down, I was gently massaging it and I felt an indentation across the bottom 1/3 of my breast and I *think* I can now feel the edge of the implant! I'm not sure if I'm just imagining things but I definitely feel some kind of indentation or lump that wasn't there before! I'm scared that my muscle is pulled or the implant has popped out from underneath the muscle.
I've been wearing underwire to support it just in case, which I HATE wearing because they just make my boobs look even more massive.
Ugh, this is one of the MANY reasons I want these implants out! They are such an impediment!!! I'm taking this incident as a sign. I don't want to have to think about this kind of stuff!
4th and FINAL consult!!
I had my fourth consultation this morning and I am happy to report that it is going to be the final one.
I HAVE A SURGERY DATE!!
November 6 is the day I will be free of these implants!! It's a perfect date -- after Halloween but a few weeks before Thanksgiving. That way, I won't be sporting drains while cooking the holiday turkey :)
The surgeon was a woman this time and she didn't once question my decision. The last guy I saw was great, but he gave me a long list of "side effects" which included depression and lack of sexual interest from my partner. Those may be true but jeez!! Way to scare a woman out of taking care of her health and body image!
I just asked a friend to help me with the kids on surgery day and the Monday after since my husband can't get off work.
I'm nervous but so relieved at the same time. And I'm so thankful that I'll be having it done with a local doctor instead of having to travel. YAY!!!
Freaking out about outcome
Soooo, I was feeling pretty confident about the aesthetic outcome of my upcoming explant. I have read through so many of the stories on here and looked at tons of pictures. And look at the stats: 98% of reviewers say it's worth it!
But . . . last night, I started browsing the Q&A section more thoroughly and now I'm freaking out. There are definitely problem pictures on there and it has me worried as hell about what I'm going to look like afterwards. Like so many other women, I'm anxious about how removing my implants could affect my own self-esteem as well as my husband's attraction to me. I know he loves me for more than my boobs, and he has become extremely supportive of my decision, but of course it's still an unknown. And it's easy to say now that I want them out, but then do I have the mental fortitude to hang in there while my breasts are changing and healing?
Then there are so many differing opinions on post-op care and how that could affect the breast appearance. So WTH??? Do I wear a compression bra or not? For how long? No underwire or doesn't matter? Ace bandage for 3 days or 2 weeks? Drains for 72 hours or 7 days? What if I mess something up and it ruins my breasts? I don't want to keep going in for surgery :(
I have to remind myself that the alternative is to continue living with these DDD's until complications arise (NO THANKS!!) or to exchange them for smaller implants, which won't solve the problem because part of my issue is that my boobs are fake to begin with. Smaller fake boobs isn't going to change that.
It's moments like these where I am so pissed at myself for having gotten them in the first place. The anger passes, but it does pop up and it's very difficult to deal with. Boy oh boy, do I need to spend some time meditating!!
Pics in clothes
In case I ever question why I removed my breast implants, I just need to look at these pictures! I HATE dressing around these silicone bags. HATE IT. I have had the exact opposite experience of what many women have when getting implants:
I DO NOT feel more feminine.
I DO NOT have a better self-image.
And my clothes DO NOT fit better! They fit worse than ever!!
I can't wait to have my small breasts and bony chest back. I'm sure that sounds weird, but I have always liked how my sternum is slim and slightly bony! It makes me feel strong and feminine. With implants, all I see is the two mountains on either side of my sternum. Not attractive, not for my tastes and not for me!
I took a long walk in the woods this morning (it is absolutely gorgeous here this time of year) to clear my head and make sure I'm centered in my decision. I think I got thrown off yesterday by the responses to the photos I posted. It's truly kind and reassuring to hear people say that I look fine, but I am so uncomfortable with these implants for so many reasons, not just aesthetic. There's a spiritual aspect as well as a very real health aspect. And don't get me started on the financial side!!
Anyway, I was mentally asking for a sign to reassure me that I was making the right decision, and bam! I glance down and see these two tiny mushrooms that look an awful lot like little boobs! Haha!
That's not the only sign I've gotten. A few nights ago, my husband and I were looking up at the stars. I was again asking for a sign that I'm making the right decision-- and a split second later, I saw a shooting star.
I want to thank you so much for anyone reading and giving such wonderful support. It's crazy how difficult the decision to explant is, even when I know it's the right thing to do for me.
I glanced at the calendar today and realized that I have just three weeks and a day until my explant!!! I've been feeling really great the past couple of days about the surgery. I see other women rocking their small(er) boobs with cute clothes that I wouldn't dream of wearing with my implants, and I makes me impatient and excited to get these things OUT!!!! I can't wait to wear sweaters and tight shirts and v-necks and tank tops again without being self-conscious!
Pre-op is in just 11 days. Hooray!!!
Just three weeks until I am implant-free! I am now employing my official pre-explant strategy!
- Get to work on my upper body! I normally do a hard body weight and lifting routine, but due to increasingly weakening joints (implant related, perhaps?), I have only been doing yoga 5-7 days a week for the past 5 weeks or so. I decided to start alternating this week to get my body, especially upper body, stronger for my new, smaller boobs. One day, I do a 25-minute upper body weight workout followed by a 10-minute butt/legs routine; next day, I do my usual 30-35 minutes of yoga. I find everything on YouTube these days! There are so many great workouts for free!! My favorites are the Fitness Blender channel and the Yoga by Candace channel.
- Massaging super-rich Palmer's cream for stretch marks onto my boobs and chest. WantTwoBeMeAgain suggested the Palmer's firming lotion. Walmart didn't have it but I looked up the ingredients and it looks like all the Palmer's stuff is almost identical.
- THINKING POSITIVE!!! I am envisioning being really happy with my outcome. I am telling myself that I am strong and secure. I am telling myself I am healthy and that the surgery will go well. Everything is exactly as it is and will be fine no matter what!
More before pics in clothes
I'm continuing to document my "before" pics. As the weather gets colder, I find it more and more difficult to find clothes to hide my breasts without looking like a football player. Actually....it's always difficult to hide them!!
I did a long meditation yesterday and asked myself "If I were rid of any doubt, what would I want for my body and soul?" And the answer is: GET THESE THINGS OUT!! Haha. I acknowledge that my PS did such a nice job, but they are not for me.
I told my husband, I can't wait to rock my small boobs and flat stomach! I will never mess with my boobs again! (Okay, mayyyyybe I'll be open to a scar revision or small lift in the future if they're a mess, but no more implants!!!) Leave your boobs alone! Love your tatas!
Kinda bummed....my pre-op was supposed to be on Monday afternoon, but they called to reschedule it for next Friday. The good news is that it means there will be less time between the pre-op and my surgery. One more week before the pre-op and just two weeks until my explant!! I am so so SO ready to be free of these things.
Pre-op today! Ack!!!!
I had my pre-op today and I am nervous as shit, I'm not going to lie! I feel confident in my decision to explant; that's not what's worrying me. What's freaking me out:
- The surgeon prescribed one Ativan to "take the edge off" before the surgery (I'm doing it under local). I've never taken Ativan and I don't know how much "edge" will be gone. I don't want to pay for general anesthesia but I need to make sure I'm not having mega anxiety before the surgery. Anyone with experience in that department?
- I'm still worrying about the incision placement. Right now, we've planned on doing the incision through the bottom portion of my existing lollipop lift scar instead of making a new incision/scar with an under-breast crease. My thinking is that if I don't need or want a lift in the future, I won't have created more scars. But I'm concerned that, without revising the entire scar, I'll have puckering. She didn't think that I would. Any thoughts?
- I'm definitely worried about caring for myself during recovery. I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than 10lbs for the first 4-6 weeks. Did I mention I have 4 kids? How the hell am I supposed to do my job?
- I'm not a fan of having to have drains. I don't want more scars and I hate not knowing how long they'll be in. I had drinks with my tummy tuck and they SUCK.
- Still nervous about the outcome. I hope hope hope that they look at least not-terrifying post-op and hopefully good enough to not need further surgeries later on. I'm completely open to revising my scars or doing another lift if my boobs look effed up after 6-12 months. I don't want fakies anymore, but I certainly don't want to feel or look worse.
Other than that, I've been feeling great and calm about my explant. When taking my pre-op pictures today, I had to face myself in the mirror and I was just so mortified with the look of my implants. I feel like I look 10 pounds heavier than I am, even without clothes on.
I told another good friend about the surgery and she was really supportive and not at all judgmental. That was reassuring. I got my prescriptions filled today and I'll head out to get some sports bras this upcoming week. I've been reading articles about celebrities who have removed their implants and that definitely helps me feel solid and justified in this decision.
I also have my fellow explanters to thank BIG TIME. Y'all have given me so much support with your photos, stories, and comments. I'll be looking to you for encouragement these upcoming weeks! Xoxo
I am having a flipping heart attack! Four days until my surgery! So much to think about.....
I can't shave my armpits after tomorrow and I can't wear deodorant the day of surgery! Yucky!!
I need to get my legs shaved, pedicure, and bathrooms cleaned this week.
No luck finding a post-op bra in stores around here. I'll have to order a bunch from Amazon and return whatever doesn't work. I don't have any button-down tops and I only have one zip-up hoodie that will work. Need to hit Goodwill to see what I can find to get me through the first week or so with drains.
Definitely having last-minute doubts. Am I SURE I want this? Maybe I'm just delusional. Maybe they don't look that bad -- and really, I don't think they look *bad*. The surgeon did a great job and I'd highly recommend him. But implants just aren't for me. My figure has that nice hourglass shape in some of my clothes. Women would kill for that shape! Maybe I actually enjoy wearing modest shirts all the time. Maybe I can just keep trying on minimizer bras -- you know, the massive bazooka bras that are sooooo flattering and sexy, not to mention affordable and easy to find in stores. Maybe I really enjoy feeling like I'm squeezing two balloons together when I try to make cleavage. Maybe it's not so bad having coconuts on my chest. Maybe I like my boobs standing straight up when I lie down. Maybe I really will enjoy spending tens of thousands of dollars on my boobs over the course of my lifetime instead of taking vacations with my family or paying for our next car or putting braces on my kids' teeth....
Oh yeah, that's why I'm having them taken out!
I'm still on the fence about my incision placement. I have a message in for the surgeon to just talk it out again. I cannot control the outcome but I want to feel in my mind that I carefully weighed all of the pros and cons -- something I SHOULD have done before getting the implants in the first place!!!
In 48 hours...
...I'll be home with MY body back. I am a little nervous -- I'm still hung up on worrying about being chilled out enough with the Ativan, of all things -- but 99.9% calm and happy about finally being rid of these implants. Just when I wonder if I'm over-thinking it, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or longingly look at a top I'm too embarrassed to wear, and I remind myself of why I'm doing this. I can't wait to be all me again and be perfectly imperfect, but with nothing to hide anymore. It's such an emotional burden to be embarrassed of what I did when it's so clearly not in line with who I am and how I want to live my life. I did a very deep reflective meditation today and felt the depth of where I intend to take my life, and having this secret of breast implants is not a part of that path.
Anyway, please keep me in your thoughts as I await my surgery. Much love to you all!
Today's the day!
6 Nov 2015
Day of treatment
Wow, my explant day is finally here! In 4 hours, I'll be taking the Ativan and heading out to the surgery center. I need to pay the extra balance for the scar revision, which I decided on somewhat last minute. I'm nervous, I'm not going to lie! Please send good vibes, prayers, voodoo dances, whatever you've got!
I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone's wonderful words of encouragement and support -- I will keep going back and reading them today to lift my spirits and put my mind at ease.
I'll update when I can
Phew! I made it!
6 Nov 2015
Day of treatment
The procedure took about an hour. The worst part was the needle for the numbing medication. Nothing dramatic happened. My implants were intact and capsules were extremely thin. I have drains in, which I hope to have removed at my post-op on Monday.
The stupid Ativan didn't kick in until the end of surgery, so I was stone-cold sober for most of it. I recommend thanking your anti-anxiety meds maybe a half hour earlier than suggested.
I'm in a tight ace bandage until Sunday, so I'm not going to bother unwrapping until then.
Thanks for all the good thoughts! I felt the love!
Day one update
Hey everyone! It's the morning after my explant and time for my first real update.
The surgery went fine, thankfully. Dr Stern and the whole staff were all excellent. The surgery center was really nice. Last night, I took a pain pill and antibiotic. I had some steak, brown rice, and peppers for dinner -- good protein to help with healing. Later that evening, I threw up a couple of times. Not sure why. I wondered if it was the antibiotic or something. We'll see this morning; I just took another one.
I am very, very, very sore and definitely having some pain, much more than I expected. If I couldn't rest, I'd just pop a Tylenol and deal with it. But since I have the weekend "off", I'll take the pain pills. No need to suffer unnecessarily.
I'm barely putting out any blood from my drains, so I feel confident that I'll be able to get them out during my post-op on Monday afternoon.
A list of stuff I'm taking:
- Cephalexin (antibiotic): 3x/day for 5 days
- probiotics: 3x/day, 2 hours after antibx
- Nucynta (pain pill) as needed
- emergen-c for inflammation
- turmeric for inflammation
- arnica Montana 30c, 4x/day for bruising
- vitamin D, 2000mg 1 daily to prevent depression from lack of sun
- Natural Calm powdered magnesium (I've used this for years to stay regular and keep leg cramps and RLS at bay)
I get to take off the Ace bandage tomorrow and switch to a sports bra. I am SO looking forward to shaving my armpits (I had to stop shaving last Tuesday -- yuck!!) and putting on deodorant, which I wasn't allowed to wear the day of surgery. Hairy armpits + no deodorant = funky town!
More good news: I've had a few zingers in my left nipple. Maybe I'll regain more of the sensation I lost after my BA!
I'll update tomorrow after I take off the bandage and see what's left. Thanks for all your support! Xoxo
The big reveal!!!
I was allowed to remove my Ace bandage today, shower, shave my armpits, poop (these antibiotics are killing me!), put on deodorant, and switch to a sports bra. Oh, happy day!!!
I slowly unwrapped my mommy chest wrap, fully bracing myself for utter horror. To my most happy surprise, my boobs look great! Small, a little flat, but mine all mine!
I feel fantastic! I feel feminine and slim and tall (well, as tall as one can feel at 5-foot-3). I feel like I've just hugged an old friend. I feel like I have MY body back--light and free with nothing to hide.
My breasts are SOFT and warm and beautiful.
I'm so happy I only did the scar revision and not another lift. It looks like I lost a good bit of breast tissue with my initial lift 1.5 years ago. I can't imagine how flat I'd be had I done another lift with my explant.
I was very depressed last night. I felt the weight of having mutilated and betrayed my body (harsh words, but that's how I felt last night), and I felt so deeply ashamed of the example I had set for my kids. I was also having more pain than I expected, so I was taking the pain pills -- which barely relieved any pain and just brought my spirits down.
I feel so much better today. I'm quite weak after the shower and standing for about 30 minutes, so I'm resting in bed for the remainder of the day. Hubs goes back to work tomorrow, but I have a friend coming to help for a few hours in the afternoon.
I have my first post-op tomorrow at 4:45. I expect to have the drains removed, as I'm hardly having any output. Once those are out, I'm sure I'll feel even more human.
Thanks for all your support! So far, removing my implants has been 100% WORTH IT!!
Drains, drains, go away!
Woohoo, drains are OUT! I feel great! Had my post-op this afternoon. Everything looks great. I need to wear the sports bra for 2 weeks and after that, I'm cleared to wear whatever kind of bra I'm comfortable with.
My nipples are pointing skyward due to the length of my original lift incision. Dr Stern said that we might be able to remove just a sliver of skin under the breast to correct that rather than do a full lift. I'm really not leaning toward doing anything further at this point. I'm still in my 30's and quite done messing with my boobs for a bit! But it's good to know my options just in case.
I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and felt so different without implants. I didn't feel self-conscious at all. And I didn't feel like I was making some unintentional sexual statement just by the size of my breasts. I do realize that the whole world is NOT looking at me at all times! But i have been so uncomfortable and self-conscious with my implants for the past 1.5 years that I think it's going to be an adjustment period to remember what it's like to not be aware of my boobs all the time!
Much love to you all! Xoxoxo
Day 5 and feeling fine!
Hmm, where do I begin?
Oh yeah... I feel FABULOUS!!!! It's hard to even find adequate words. I have cried multiple times at the feeling of utter relief I have to be free of those implants. During the 18 months I had them, I lived with such shame and embarrassment every single day. I knew that they were a weight on me, both literal and figurative. But since the explant, it has hit me with full force just how awful I have felt for a year and a half. To be liberated from that horrible, dark place is overwhelming, it truly is.
Hugging my kids and husband is so satisfying now! I can actually feel my heart and my body against them! It's so warm and lovely!
I tell my husband that I feel like I've lost 10 years and 10 pounds. And guess what? My husband, who wouldn't even talk to me about the surgery once I decided to do it ... The man who didn't ask a single question after my first two consults .... The man who got mad every time I would cry at how much I hated my implants because he liked them so much .... Guess who loves my new/old little boobs??? He says they look light years better, fit my frame better, and make me look younger and thinner. He says he got back the woman he married.
And I got to hear those three, sweet, delicious little words: "You were right." LOL! I kid, I kid. But yeah, he has definitely come around.
All that said, I am still not out of the woods. I get very sore by the end of the day. My chest hurts a lot if I stretch my arms overhead. It's hard to be patient because my spirits are good and my energy is picking back up. My revised scar incisions are starting to itch like crazy. And I'll admit that I'm pretty nervous about how my boobs will look when the tapes start to come off. I hope they still look okay :/
Here are some pics!
One week post explant
I figure I'll just update once a week or so from now on, unless something interesting happens.
Updated pics. I'm noticing small changes every day. My breasts already feel firmer, not so jelly-like as they did just a few days ago.
I'm starting to get a little under-breast crease, which is great! That's making them feel fuller on the bottom, which I like. They'll look more natural that way and maybe my nipples will move a little to point forward instead of slightly up. Either way, I'm really not concerned about it.
These sports bras are starting to suck! They're not super flattering and it's not easy to cover them up completely. Not a big deal, just a small complaint. Next Friday, I can start wearing whatever bra I'm comfortable with. Due to my incisions, I'll probably just look for a lightly padded soft-cup so that I have some shape.
My incisions itch soooo badly! I've been putting coconut oil around (not on) them, which helps a little.
Oh, and something interesting I've noticed. The muscles around my shoulders and upper back are sore -- from improved posture! I guess I've been hunched for the past year and a half, so now my back muscles are firming back up.
One of my friends said that even my face looks different. Maybe because I have a huge smile now :)
As you can see in my pics, I have some scabby-burn-allergy type marks around my ribs from the drains. I also had an allergic reaction to the bandaids I had put on my drain incisions for a couple of days, so I guess I have a latex and/or rubber sensitivity or something. I had similar reactions elsewhere with my initial surgery.
Anyway, I'm checking in as much as possible with all the explant contemplators and up-and-comers! I'm thinking of you all and sending lots of luck and strength! xoxo
Bump in the road! Bra browsing is just as difficult with natural breasts as it is with implants!
With implants, I was always looking for minimizing bras, anything that didn't accentuate my size or their fakeness. On the plus side, they were round and didn't move, so they fit into the same across multiple brands without bumps or lumps or flat spots.
With my natural breasts, the size differences between manufacturers is really evident! And guess what? Natural boobs get flattened down by bras! Ackkkkkkk!!!!!
Also, I've got two words for you: ARMPIT FAT. OMG, why is that there?!? Lol!!! I didn't see all that stuff with my giant bazookas in the way.
I'm not really supposed to be looking at bras just yet anyway, but after today's browsing experience, I have a newfound appreciation for these Walmart sports bras. They smooth out and cover my armpit and upper back fat, and the little pads give my boobs some shape.
As a side note, my boobs look so bitty but they're fitting into a 32C.
Any back fat-smoothing, push-up bra suggestions?
Quick visit to the office today
I got my tapes changed out today for clean ones. Got a look at my revised lift scar and I am so happy I did it! It's razor-thin, hallelujah! The long vertical scar does seem wrinkly without the tape. Ugh, pleeeeease don't let it come out all jacked up!!! I just want to leave my tatas alone!!
I am having a lot of soreness/pain/aches in my right breast or pec muscle. I have a firm spot near the lower part of the vertical incision and it's very achy if I press on it. The nurse said it feels like swelling, that the soreness is likely due to that being my dominant arm, and that nothing looks worrisome or odd. I'm not having any signs of infection or bleeding, thankfully.
The pain bums me out, I have to admit, so I do hope it eases up soon. It's so so so hard to have the kids to care for while needing to rest my chest and recover. Impossible, really. Today I had to chase my son to keep him from getting near a street and I thought my boobs were going to shrivel up and fall off! OUCH!!!!
Two weeks post-explant!
I have officially made the 2-week post-op mark! That means I finally got to do yoga this morning (no weighted exercise until 4 weeks), hooray!! Doing yoga in a tank top and not feeling like I have missile tits was amazing! I felt so lean and strong! I can also go back to my usual vitamins and supplements, using ibuprofen, and .... REAL BRA SHOPPING! ACK!!! I haven't actually gone yet, but it's on my to-do list!
I'm a little deflated because I've been laid up with a fever for two days, so I probably dropped some weight. I don't have any upper pole volume and I'm perfectly happy with that! I just like seeing my own body again!
Some other bonuses:
- my boobs are no longer in my armpits!
- I can actually see and properly shave my armpits again!
- I can go braless and not feel like I have party hats under my shirt
- I can see my ribs and sternum again
- I lost 2lbs just by removing the implants
- My arms don't clap against my implants in my armpits (I seemed to have had a lot of armpit issues with my implants, haha!)
- I don't have that chunk of excess fat hanging out the side of my tank tops anymore
My muscle and breast soreness has gotten significantly better over the course of this week -- such a relief.
No regrets with removing my implants! I hope y'all are doing well, and thanks for your continued support.
Real bra shopping
My Walmart bras are officially irritating the shit out of me! I think they shrunk in the wash and now they ride up all the time!
So, I went to a local lingerie shop and explained my situation. The clerk had me take everything off from the waist up and measured me. She got 32 for the under-bust and 35 around the breast, which she said is a 34C. I was pretty confused because I always get 30 when I measure my underbust (I get 35 around my breasts). With my implants, I fit best into a 32 band; 34s were always too big. She also told me that the big chunk of armpit fat means you're in the wrong size.
Armed with this info, I went to VS today. I tried on 34B's, 32C's, 34C's, and 32D's. Depending on the style, I fit into one of those sizes!
I finally settled on the Body by Victoria Perfect Shape Full Coverage. This one is a full coverage (seems regular to me, but what do I know, apparently) with a bit of push-up padding. This style fit best in a 34B. It gives me a very nice shape and doesn't flatten out my tissue.
I also got the Sexy T-shirt Demi. This is just a lightly lined, no push-up, everyday T-shirt bra. This one fit best in a 34C, so of course I like it better, haha.
I'm not thrilled with the skinny band on a smaller bra, which pushes into back fat and just isn't very flattering. The big bazooka bra bands are thick and you can kind of distribute the fluff around. (Plus, between the big boobs and looking 10lbs heavier overall, the back fat wasn't as noticeable when I had implants). I'm going to do my best to just remember that I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I HAVE FAT ON MY BODY. I know, I'm as shocked as you are.
Btw, I measured myself according to the directions on LuLaLu and these are the worst directions I've seen by far. I measure a 32AA with their method! I also used the instructions on Her Room and that method gives me 32C.
So ladies, my experience is that measuring and fitting real boobs is a giant pain in the ass! I'm happy with what I found today, though!
3 weeks post-op
ARGH!!! I just posted an update but it timed out and I lost the whole thing!
I'm a little late posting the update for this week, but these pics are from my 3-week-aversary on Friday. I changed the tapes out myself and I can't lie -- it's a bummer to see the wrinkling from the excess skin. I hope hope hope that firms up and smooths out with time. I have to remind myself that the sutures won't even be dissolved for 3 months, so there are lots of changes still happening.
Even though I'm bummed out about the wrinkled skin, I am still so so so happy every single day to be rid of the implants. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin. That said, I unexpectedly had a resurgence of shame and embarrassment at having had the implants. I had these feelings before the surgery as well, but I figured I was done with them. It's just painful to realize what I did to my body and how easily influenced I was to do it when I didn't really want to in the first place.
Anyway . . . Physically, though, I've noticed a big improvement in the past week. The deep bruising/hematomas I had where the implant was removed is just about all gone now, so that's a huge relief in my daily pain and soreness. I haven't gone back to fully weighted exercises yet, but I'm feeling super strong with yoga and it's just amazing!
I'll echo what I've seen other explanters say: If you're considering removing your breast implants, DO IT! It feels amazing to be all me.
Look at what I'm wearing!
A tight-fitting, white, cable-knit sweater with a scoop neckline?!?!?!??? I haven't worn any combination of those things since getting my implants! Woohoo!
5 weeks post-explant
Hey ladies! I haven't updated in a while because of the holidays and such, so here's my 5-week update.
I am feeling great! I've resumed all my normal activities and exercises, including lifting my kids, weighted exercises, full yoga postures, push-ups, etc. An underwire is comfortable and I only have the tiniest bit of soreness at the very bottom of my incision site. The one thing I'm working on is getting back to a full range of motion in my shoulders and chest, as the muscles seem to be tight. There's probably still a lot my body is doing on the inside to repair the damage from the implants and surgery.
Someone mentioned a while back in a comment that the armpit fat I "discovered" after the implants were removed was likely swelling, and I have found that to be the case for me -- phew!!! My armpits are looking and feeling much better now and aren't so crazy-looking in a bra anymore. I've also lost 4 pounds since the explant and feel so much more comfortable.
Speaking of bras, my advice is to not invest in an expensive underwire 2 weeks out from your surgery! I was initially measured as a 34C, which I didn't believe at all at the time, but bought the bra anyway because I needed something. The 34 is absolutely way too big of a band for me; it's riding up in the back even on the tightest hook setting. The cup size still looks right. So, I'll be returning the other bras I haven't worn and going back to the drawing board.
As you can see in my photos, I'm keeping the tapes on for now. Although they're not very attractive, I plan to keep them on through the 3-month mark. The surgeon said the sutures should be fully dissolved by then and that it's best for scarring to keep as much tension as possible off the incisions. I want THIN scars, so tapes it is.
My husband is perfectly pleased with the outcome and still thinks I look so much better now. Most important of all, though, I am happy. Beyond happy. I'm still thankful on a daily basis to be free of those hard balls on my chest. I look and feel a 1000 times better and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
Also, I just changed the title of my review to reflect the actual date of my explant and how I feel about it: SO WORTH IT!
Scar revision pics
I changed the tapes on my lift scar revision a couple of days ago so I wanted to get some pics. They are wrinkly but the scar is so much thinner than when I had implants. Dr. Stern said that the skin should smooth out once I stop wearing the tapes. I hope that doesn't make them droop more....We shall see!
I'm still loving my body and breasts. I will be posting updates less frequently, but they say that no news is good news! I hope everyone is doing well in their explant journeys.
8 week update
I haven't checked in for a while. Happy new year to everyone! I'm so happy to be starting this year off without torpedo tits!
I'm a little over 8 weeks post-explant. Everything is great! Still wearing the tapes for now (I took them off for the latest pics). I noticed that my left breast has a little flat spot where scar tissue has formed under the incision. I also have a tiny bit of excess skin on the lowest portion of each breast due to the long lift incisions I had with my initial BA. I'm okay with both issues. I'll start wearing silicone strips after 3 months and doing massage on the scars. I'm not even remotely interested in having any further surgeries to correct the tiny bit of extra skin. For the time being, plastic surgery and I are DONE, thankyouverymuch!
To my utter shock, I am in a 32D. The fluff fairy definitely visited and, despite how unremarkable my boobs look in photos, I have a nice, full handful on each side. I think that bra sizing has changed since I was young. A D-cup used to be like mondo bazooka melons. Now, the cups on the 32D's I have from VS look like what I'd consider a B-cup. Maybe VS stands for Vanity Sizing, haha.
I hope all my explant sisters are doing well. I do read from time to time, but now that I'm on the other side, I don't comment as much or update as often. But I am thinking of you all and wishing everyone the best, wherever they are in their journey.
3 months post-explant
Hey all! I had my 3-month post-op checkup last week, so I figured I'd give a quick update.
I'm still loving my boobs and am I'm forever happy and grateful to be free of implants. It hits me periodically that I used to have fake boobs and it just seems so silly now. I love that I no longer have anything to hide.
My boobs look and feel great! I've got a beautiful handful and a lovely shape. I've settled into a 32D in VS. I feel much more proportionate and sexy now.
I just stopped wearing tapes last week! I've started massaging my scars -- the surgeon said to really mash the scar tissue down into my ribs -- and boy, that leaves them pretty sore :/ I'll pick up some silicone scar strips next. Those were awesome on my tummy tuck scars. But like I told the surgeon: If my boobs didn't change one single bit, I still wouldn't complain. I love them!
No regrets! Take your fakies out now if you're debating. xoxo