I've been living with my implants since Feb 2007....
I've been living with my implants since Feb 2007. I was initially very conflicted about getting implants in the first place because I hated the thought of having something foreign in my body. I had two children and breast fed both of them. I was always a b-cup and had no issues being that size. However, when I was nursing my kids I enjoyed having full c/d cups and I guess you could say got use to having bigger fuller breasts for a couple years out of my life. After I stopped nursing I lost all the fullness in my breasts and they were very saggy. That still wasn't what got me looking into plastic surgery initially. I had gained over 100lbs with my 1st pregnancy and had two very large babies. I worked out like crazy, but couldn't do anything about the skin that hung off of my abdomen. My abdominal muscles were also destroyed. So, my initial concern was removing all the excess skin from my tummy.
After looking into a tummy tuck I began to think about how saggy my breasts were and the idea of having a lift became more appealing Well, after going in for consultations I was told that because I lost so much volume in my breasts that a lift alone would not look right....I would need a small implant to give me the desired fullness I lacked.
I did a ton of research on implants and knew that there was a good chance they could rupture. I had friends that got implants in their 20's and never had problems, but I still felt uncomfortable. Then I came across information on cohesive gel implants, "gummy bears", as they are called. I loved the idea that they were form stable and didn't leak....or at least I thought. So, I decided to consult with a doctor who was doing clinical trials on them to check them out.
After looking at all my options, I really felt the cohesive gels felt better than saline and would give me a better look....so I decided to go forward with it.
I initially wanted to go from 36b to a full c-cup. But, at the last moment I thought going to a small D would look better and fit my frame. I am 5'7'' 1/2 and have a wide back. After the surgery...I was actually thrilled and beyond words for how great my breasts turned out. I became a 34D and thought they looked amazing. I never had perky breasts in my life and for the first time I was actually happy with how they looked. However, after a couple of years reality set in and the fact that I couldn't work out like I use to and the fact I could no longer wear button up dresses or shirts started to bother me. Unless it was form fitting everything made me look overweight. I started to have "buyers remorse" so to speak. I felt like choosing to be a bigger size was a huge mistake. I liked to dress conservative and I hated that everything made me look like a porn star or fat. I weighed 125lbs and was a small on the bottom, but a large on top....nothing fit right. I guess I never thought it would be so unbalanced...I just thought I would fill out my clothes more....not need new clothes entirely.
During all this time I went through a divorce and eventually remarried again. After 5 years post implants I unexpectedly became pregnant again at nearly 40. After pregnancy and breastfeeding again my boobs were huge. That's when all the problems started. I started to have neck, shoulder and back pain. I hated them and told my husband when I needed to have my breasts redone I would get rid of the implants because I hated being so large.
Being too big and not fitting clothes is one thing. Three months after my baby was born...I started to get sick. Out of no where I started to have pain in my feet....which eventually spread to my joints, muscles, bone and throughout my extremities. I initially thought I had hurt myself...but then my ankle and leg started to swell up and turn red...I knew something wasn't right. I went to the doctor and had tests done. I had inflammation going on which was very evident...but had no clue the cause. The doctors couldn't come up with anything except I had a positive ANA test. I was tested for the basic autoimmune issues but all came back negative. They told me it was early arthritis and gave me a prescription for pain meds and that was it.
I began to do my own research because conventional doctors were not helping. I had a root canal a few months prior and believed the infection never healed....so I looked for anti-viral, anti-bacterial supplements to kill whatever was going on in me. I altered my diet to a low inflammation diet and started taking supplements. After suffering with fibromyalgia symptoms for 6 months I started to get better. I went from not being able to pick up my baby, walk up steps, sit in a chair without tears, couldn't drive a car to all of sudden being back to normal. This lasted brief reprieve lasted for about 5 months before other problems started coming up. I started to get constant muscles cramping, not able to sleep, night sweats, heart palpitations, constant anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, extreme vertigo, constant muscle twitching and felt shaky all the time. I honestly never thought that any of this could be related to implants. I have a toddler and felt run down. Who doesn't have 4 kids and feel tired all the time? I thought. I was still nursing and thought maybe I was dehydrated and not getting enough nutrients. Again, I started going to the doctor to rule out problems with my heart or thyroid. Tests were done and came back negative. I then turned to a holistic doctor who did many more tests. Those tests came back showing I had many viruses, adrenal deficiency, vitamin d deficiency...my hormones were screwed up ( my estrogen being off the charts) and I was glucose sensitive but not diabetic. The doctor felt that my immune system was being compromised because of all the viruses my body was trying to fight off. He started me on a ton of supplements to beef up my immune system and balance my hormones. I really felt I was finally getting some answers and once I started on a new diet and supplements started to feel better again. However, all of it was temporary yet again. So...my search for answers continued.
At some point I started to think about my implants and the fact that the shells have a permeable membrane....that means that even if there is no rupture chemicals can still get out into my body. I already eliminated most toxins from my life....I now use organic and natural shampoo's, soaps, toothpaste and make-up. I no longer even color my hair with chemicals...I use plant based henna. I eat organic and primarily vegetarian. All of this in an attempt to feel better and get some energy back.
So I started to do some research on cohesive gels and that's when I found out that they don't remain stable in the body....they become liquid and invasive if they rupture. Of course now I'm freaked out because this is why I didn't go with normal silicone from the start. I was so scared of rupture and silicone leaking out into the body. I really felt like I did a ton of research before I got these implants, but I guess not enough women had these type long enough yet to experience problems with them. I never found anything negative and my surgeon told me he implanted thousands of them with no issues other than the typical size, placement, scarring type of stuff. Of course now I have found so many stories of women having problems with these implants.
I was planning on waiting a couple of years before I got them removed...I figured I would just live with the size, even though I wasn't thrilled with it because I wanted to put off another surgery. Getting sick and thinking that these implants might be the cause or even if they are just making matters worse because my immune system is compromised.... makes me want them out now.
This week I start my search for a good doctor who can do this procedure. I hate the idea of going through surgery again, but I knew when I got these things there was a shelf life and I would some day have to go through this again. I don't want another implant....I just want to get rid of the poison that's in my body. I look back now and think about how stupid I was to put something so toxic in my body in the first place...UGH!
Tomorrow's a new day. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about how I will look when this is all said and done. I had a prior lift and implant and then got stretched out again from nursing and pregnancy. I stopped nursing a little over a month ago so I could try and get my health back and I'm afraid it's too soon to get an explant done...I might have to wait a bit until my breasts settle down. In any event, I need to get some questions answered and get an idea of cost....ugh....the cost of it all. Wish me luck with scheduling some consultations.
Quick update. I was able to get some consultations scheduled at the beginning of September. I wish it were sooner, but I figure I will probably have to wait to get the surgery done anyway so the wait doesn't matter. It feels good to take action and move forward with all of this.
Update on consultations
It looks like I need to have a revision of my prior lift. It's interesting that I heard in not so many words that the surgeon's did not like how my prior surgeon did the lift. Over six years and one more child plus breastfeeding equal a loss of collagen and drooping of breast tissue. I honestly didn't think it is that bad, but all seem to agree that my nipple is low and my tissue is drooping now and when the implant is removed I will have considerably more drooping of tissue. Can I live with it? That's the question.
I'm still undecided on picking a surgeon. I have one more consult to go and hope to have some clarity after that meeting. My issue is whether to explant and lift all at once or explant and wait for things to settle before doing another lift. I hate the idea of having two surgeries (extra cost, recovery time etc.,) However, I want the best possible outcome with breast shape so I'm wondering whether waiting might be the best thing considering I just stopped breastfeeding in June and my breasts are still settling from that. Lots to think about. I would like to have the surgery before the holidays so I need to make a decision rather soon.
I've now gone on all my consults and feel strongly that I have enough information to make a good decision. My husband has been so great throughout all of this and has accompanied me on all my consultations. Together we discussed the pros and cons of each PS and both came to the same conclusion with the last doctor we saw. I have been going back and forth with this doctor over dates....so I think we will finalize a date next week. I will be happy when all of this is scheduled and I can just move on.
I put down my deposit to secure a surgery date today. I'm very nervous, but also relieved to finally be moving forward with all of this. I scheduled an explant "en bloc" + lift with Dr. Bandy. I was on the fence with having a lift, but my husband felt I would be unhappy in the long run if I didn't just do it all the same time. I was also told that appearance wise it would make no difference in staging the procedure. All the doctors I met with were comfortable in doing both explant and lift at once and none tried to push doing a lift, but the way Dr. Bandy explained the procedure and everything she would do to give me the best possible outcome really put my mind at ease. My husband went with me on all my appointments and we both left feeling like she was the right choice for me.
Long Update - More consultations and change in surgery date
I started having a ton of second thoughts about having a lift. I immediately felt very anxious about it and because of the extra cost involved I wanted to put my decision on hold. I immediately contacted the doctors office to cancel. My husband and I talked it over and we were planning on having another consult with this doctor and I personally wanted to speak with a few others to get a better picture of whether I should stage this surgery or not.
I won't say a lot about this doctor's office because the countless photo albums of amazing before and afters speaks for itself....however, I did start to feel very pressured to continue booking after I cancelled. There were a few other procedural things that didn't sit well with me....not a huge deal and probably could have been explained, but after thinking about it and what has transpired after my cancellation it all left me not wanting anything further to do with this doctor. That's all I'll say about the whole thing.
Since then I have spoken with 2 additional surgeons and Dr. Chong again. Dr. Chong did not feel I needed a bi-lateral capsulectomy and I really wanted to understand why she did not want to do this. I honestly didn't feel comfortable with that course of action because of my illness, but she was gracious enough to call me to speak to me personally. I really like her and her office staff. I totally understood her point of view and was glad to hear that if she found problems...i.e., ruptured implant, silicone bleed or a thicker scar capsule than previously thought she would definitely remove all scar tissue and clean me out. She even offered to contact some previous explant patients and see if they would be willing to speak to me. I never felt pressured in any way and her and her office went above and beyond to provide me with all the information I would need to make an informed decision. In the end, I just didn't want to go into surgery thinking that some scar tissue would be left behind and wondering whether this would cause any potential problems for me later. Nothing wrong with her approach...I just didn't like it for me.
I also wanted to say something about Dr. Edelson. For anyone who is looking for a doctor in the San Diego area he spent a lot of time speaking personally to me even though I could not get down to San Diego for an in person consult. I emailed him photo's and he really presented the reasons for and against doing a lift at the same time as explant. He does his explants en bloc if necessary and his office staff bends over backwards for you. He gives out his own email and is extremely accessible. If you're looking for a surgeon in the S.D. area he is one to check out for sure.
In the end....my husband's friend referred us to Dr. Kim who happens to be in the medical building right down the street from us. Because my husband respected this persons opinion so much he insisted I meet with him. So I did. By this stage in the game, I had made up my mind I would wait on the lift. I spent a good hour talking to him and he examined me and told me things that no other doctor had caught. He then told me to think about everything and come back to talk more. He didn't feel that I could possibly make a good decision about whether he was the right surgeon to do the job on one visit. So I made another appointment and went back with my husband. He answered all of our questions and then some. He explained what he would do in such detail I was not left wondering about anything. On top of that he is just an all around nice guy and very genuine. He told us if we decided we were a better fit with someone else to call him and he would let us know if this person had a good surgical reputation. I was pretty floored by his honestly and his attention to so much detail. He even drew me a picture of what should have happened in my prior surgery but didn't and what was needed to correct some things. No pressure to do both lift and explant on his part, but I did want to get his opinion and like everyone else he made the argument for and against. Pretty much it being a personal decision. However, he explained everything in such a clear and concise way that I felt at ease and comfortable with going forward with both explant and lift. I have no question that I am in good hands.
Dr. Kim will be doing my explant en bloc, minor muscle repair is needed using some of my old scar tissue ( I'm not thrilled about this, but it's the most logical and best thing to do given the situation) and then doing a full maxopexy. Based on three doctors opinions my prior maxopexy was not done correctly for the loose skin under my breasts....therefore, I was given a partial lift. I could live with saggy boobs, but I feel short changed that I never got the lift that I originally went in to get. Obviously with implants this didn't matter as much and I had no clue...but now I just want it all done right and hopefully this gives me another opportunity to work on getting the scars to heal better....my scars now are very dark. He also caught the fact that my old PS cut my pectoral muscle in the wrong place and never cut a proper pocket for the implant.....something that just doesn't happen which makes me wonder. So anyway, it needs to be repaired. He doesn't feel the capsular contracture is as bad as one would think....he just thinks it was a bad prior surgery and my implants never descended properly because the pocket was not created right. My breast tissue now falls off the implant and overall I would be a good candidate for revision surgery if I wanted to replace my implants. That's not what I want to do, but it makes me mad that things were never done right to begin with.
I'm grateful to have found Dr. Kim and be moving forward with all of this.
Explanting when you have autoimmune issues
There is a lot of information on the internet about how you should remove implants if you are ill and you feel it might be your implants causing your illness. The recommended method is en bloc...which means the implant is removed with the capsule in one piece in an effort to eliminate the possibility of silicone bleed or a ruptured implant from spilling into other surrounding body tissues.
This is what I have found out though my consultations. When your implant is under the muscle it makes doing en bloc procedure tricky and sometimes not possible. Sometimes the capsule adheres to the chest wall and if it is thin it's hard to get it removed. If it is pulled on to strongly it could break through to the lung causing a punctured lung situation. Not good!
I'm going into my surgery with the full understanding that an attempt will be made to remove my implant en bloc, but it might not work out. In the case of my left capsule...some will have to be left in place to attach to my muscle to repair it.
Another thing I learned....there is a difference of opinion on whether capsules need to be removed or left in place. Almost all the surgeons I spoke to believe in removing capsules if there will be no replacement. A couple preferred to break up the scar tissue if it is thin enough so that it gives the tissue the best opportunity to close the cavity and reattach to the chest wall. Not removing the whole capsule is a less invasive way to go. Obviously if there is capsular contracture (thickening of scar tissue, calcified tissue) than the capsule must be removed. Apparently hard /thick tissue causes problems if left in the body.
Drains or no drains - All except for one doctor agreed drains would be necessary with a full capsulectomy. The biggest concern here is infection. My doctor explained a very intricate way he does drains to reduce the chance of infection. I'm not looking forward to this....but as I understand it, it creates a negative pressure environment which helps drain and close the cavity.
Lastly, you will hear over and over that implants do not cause autoimmune problems. Surgeons will sympathize with your condition, but tell you that removing the implants will not help at all. However, when questioned about whether an implant has a semi-permeable membrane casing....they all agree that it does. That means that what ever the implant is comprised of (at least over 40 chemicals that are considered neuro-toxins including silicone and platinum) can leak into surrounding tissues. This is why scar tissue develops around it to protect the rest of your body from these toxins. I only wished I had did more research on this stuff earlier. I believed in all the studies that said silicone was safe, but never stopped to consider that the implant has a semi-permeable membrane and when it degrades that these chemicals are released and your body might have an immune response to it. Obviously, there are some women who are more sensitive to some of these chemicals than others. There is no way to test whether you might be predisposed to this stuff.
I'm just very happy to be getting these toxic bags out and preventing any more chemicals or toxins from being released into my body. I feel silly for buying into any of the hype in the first place. My gut told me to not get implants because it was unnatural and for some reason I thought (because surgeons told me) I wouldn't look good doing a breast lift without them. Now here I am....these things look horrible and I have health problems. So not worth it!
I had my pre-op appointment. So now, I'm officially paid up and ready to go with this surgery. Scary and exciting at the same time. I signed all the informed consent, received the surgery center instructions, got my lab request forms and prescriptions so that I can get them filled.
I just have to say that my surgeon is so great at making me feel at ease. We went through the procedure and he said we would go through all the same stuff at the surgery center to make sure we were on the same page. My biggest concern and questions had to do with blood flow and doing explant, capsulectomy and lift at once. I was assured that the complexity of my case was not that high and my surgeon expected a good outcome. He said if I was really unhappy with the outcome and thought I had made a mistake by not replacing my implants he would give me a year to put in new implants at no cost to me. He said he didn't think I would want to go that route, but wanted to give me that as an option. I thought this was a nice gesture, but won't be needed...lol. The very last thing I want is to stick new implants in me....but I get that a lot of women are psychologically tied to the size and look of their breasts. I'm a middle aged woman that's breastfed three kids....I get that they will lack fullness and won't look perfect....I'm at peace with that. i'm just hoping for decent shape and hope that he doesn't have to remove too much tissue. My right breast appears to be quite a bit larger. I told him I would prefer to preserve tissue and that I can live with some asymmetry, but if he explants and the difference is really significant than he would remove some tissue to make them more symmetrical.
I was told I need to get a cheap bra for the day of surgery. He didn't care whether it was sports bra or a compression bra....just a cheap wireless cotton bra that he said would get messy and he might have to cut depending on how tight it is because we have no clue what size I will be after surgery.
I was also told there is some fibrin glue spray that could be used to help close the cavity sooner and might help to get the drains out faster. I haven't done any research on this, but it just seems like any human derived synthetic material going into my body with all my health issues doesn't sound like a good thing. I think I'll just pass on that.
The nice part is I now have my surgeons cell phone number and he wants me to call or text with any questions I have pre or post surgery. That makes me feel better as I forgot to ask a couple of questions at my appointment. I'm also glad that I will be given some sedatives in my IV before they give me anesthesia to help with the nerves because I'll definitely need it!
Finally got my op report from my prior surgery
I had misplaced all my paperwork from my surgery in 2007 and have been trying to get a hold of my old PS to get a release of records to them. They finally faxed me my old chart today.
So, I finally found out what size implant I have. I have 350cc Mentor textured round cohesive gels. Not a lot of info on the surgical report regarding the breast surgery though. I was hoping there would be information regarding incisions made because I'm having a revision of the breast lift and it would be nice to know where they cut into prior to avoid cutting across blood vessels. I will just have to trust that my surgeon will watch out for any change of color to my breasts during surgery. Most of the report contained information on the abdominal surgery which was more involved apparently.
I'm really looking forward to explant and counting the days now...tomorrow will be 2 weeks exactly. This weekend I went shopping and couldn't resist....I bought a cute button up top that I otherwise would never buy because it wouldn't fit over my big ol' breasts...lol. If I needed a button up I would have to buy a large to fit my over my boobs but then would be way too baggy. I am looking forward to size medium fitting again. I'm tired of checking to see if tops are made out of stretchy material before I can even consider it. Anyways, I'm just excited to know I will be at least a cup size smaller next month....yeah!
It's funny I find myself envying small breasted women lately. I saw someone in a tight, cute v-neck t-shirt and she looked so classy in it. If I had the same thing on I would look sleazy and would get stares. I don't know if I'm weird to be thinking that....but I guess that's where I'm at. I'm really looking forward to a more athletic build.
1 Week Left...
I had my lab work done today....now all I need to do is get my meds and I'm ready for the big day.
It's crazy how it all just hit me today like a ton of bricks.....next week at this time I will be in recovery. I'm freaking out a little....filled with nervous excitement I guess. I'm so ready for this, but still have some fears in the back of my head regrading how my recovery will go.
I look forward to just being done and moving on....but hope I don't mess things up by revising my lift. Sometimes when people try to make things better it makes it worse. Right now, my head is thinking worse case scenario.....but I really should think more positively. It would probably help my nerves a lot more.
I've got a busy week ahead of me and not a lot of time to think about surgery which is a good thing. This week is going to fly!
Tomorrow is the big day!
I woke up feeling a little under the weather the last couple of days. Sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and itchy scratchy throat. My husband came back from a trip last week sick....so I'm hoping I'm not coming down with anything. I think it's just allergies, but I'm going to double check with my doctor today to make sure that this shouldn't be a huge issue in still doing the surgery tomorrow.
I'm feeling a ton of emotions today. I know this is the right thing to do, but still nervous to be knocked out and go under the knife. When I wake up, I'm really scared at what I will look and feel like. Intellectually, I know I will get through it and it might not even be as bad as I'm making it out in my head...it's just the fear of how my body will react....the fear of the unknown.
Pray I will get through my busy day of washing clothes, running errands and doing last minute things to prepare to be laid up for several days. I'm also going to be spending extra time cuddling my sweet little boy who is way too heavy for me to be picking up and holding after surgery. That's going to be the toughest thing for me. It will be tough not to lift him for 4-6 weeks...but thankfully, I have tons of help.
Getting ready to leave for surgery...
5 Nov 2013
Day of treatment
So I didn't get the best night sleep....but, I guess that's to be expected. Anyway, I'm sitting here waiting on the nanny to show up so we can leave for the surgery center.
I just wanted to thank all the women who have shared their stories on here. It has helped me have more confidence going into all of this. I'm still nervous as all get out right now, but I know that this is the best thing for me.
Say a prayer for me today...I will be in surgery 9am pacific time. Lot's of love, healing and happiness for me on the other side of this. I can't wait! Blessings!
They're out and I'm recovering now
5 Nov 2013
Day of treatment
I'm so glad to be home now. Long long day. I've got drains and i'm all bandaged up. So i'm not sure what I look like yet....least of my problems right now. Just focused on getting some food in me and healing.
Surgery went well. I'm glad to have them out....turns out both implants were ruptured and leaking silicone. Pain is pretty bad, but happy to be on the other side. I'm going to take some more pain meds and get some rest. Will post some pics later.
Not much to show yet
I go for my post op visit this morning. I'm not sure if they'll take me out of the bandages or not. These pics aren't the best as I need to take them laying down surrounded by pillows. I still need help getting up because its tough moving my arms.
Itching like crazy
I'm not sure if its the wrap.. But I itch everywhere.... Head, legs, incisions, stomach and back. Combined with the pain...it's really uncomfortable.
1st day post explant - the unveiling
Went to my post op visit and bandages were removed. I was waiting to see my husbands expression before I could even take a look. I was expecting to see the worst. He looked at me and said they looked really good.... so I looked down and was surprised to find very perky breasts.
All I can say is I am so relieved and happy with how it turned out. Funny, right after they cut the bandages and I could breathe I started to feel sick to my stomach. I sent my husband out to see if the nurse had some anti-nausea meds and when she got back I started to faint. Not great! I guess the long walk into the office did me in. The nurses were great! They lifted my legs, put cold clothes on my neck and forehead and gave me meds. I was able to rest up before I left the office.
Doctor said I was a real mess inside. He said that I had a ton of inflammation going on and I might need to keep the drains in until Monday because it was so bad.
Since the bandages came off I can breathe better and I'm not as itchy. I'm still taking my pain meds every 4hrs... Definitely need it. I feel really raw on the inside if that makes any sense. The doctor did a little lipo sculpting on the right side so I'm pretty bruised and sore there.
The doctor spent a bit of time telling me that in the next several months the breasts will take shape and settle. Right now they look boxy. He was down playing them... But I'm thrilled. I know there is quite a bit of swelling, but I wished I just had this lift and no implants from the beginning.
Oops meant to add pics
Alright again I did the best I could with limited use of my arms. I'm glad to be out of bandages and in a nice stretchy surgical bra.
My experience at the surgery center
I was a little out of it yesterday to report on my experience at the survey center, but wanted to share my experience.
I was super nervous... I arrived 20 mins early and had to use the bathroom twice before even checking in because I had such a nervous upset tummy. To make matters worse they had the wrong procedure listed on the consent forms they wanted me to sign. It was minor as they had left capsulectomy and not bilateral. Anyway, I chose to wait for my surgeon to get there and revise the consent before I signed it.
After getting checked in they took me to a room to get me dressed in a gown, booties and then had to pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant.
I had my removal at Newport Beach surgery center which is a large facility. I was surprised to walk out and see so many patients on gurneys waiting for surgery.
After changing into my surgical gown I walked out to my station gurney and got prepped with my IV fluids and antibiotic. Funny, a nurse walked up and took the chart and said, " you're having a breast aug?".... Ummmm no! Again, lets get the procedure straight. She then corrected herself.
It was freezing and they put a warm blanket on me and my husband was called back.... I was so emotional. I just started crying. Then my surgeon came out to talk about the procedure. He is such a caring guy. He went over every detail with me and drew all the location points on my chest. My husband knowing my doctor is a Christian man asked if he would pray with us and he did. Again, I was in tears.
After this the anesthesiologist asked me to drink some concoction for my tummy and then gave me some sedative as they were wheeling me in the surgery room. They put me on the table and all I remember was them asking if I was comfortable and the next thing I knew I was waking up feeling them tape my breasts and ask about my bra and my doctor said to forget the bra and wrap her up. An oxygen mask was put over my face and I was told to take deep breaths in and out. My chest hurt and this seemed difficult to do. My throat was also sore and mouth dry. As they were wheeling me out to recovery they said how well I did and all went well.
Recovery was rough. I had the shakes really bad. They loaded me up with IV fluids and pain meds. They put a blanket on me and I started to feel better. I had to wear an oxygen mask almost the whole time and found it difficult to breathe.
This was the worst experience to anesthesia I've ever had. I spent over 2hrs in recovery before I felt up to leaving.
I'm not sure what was in the fluids they gave me but when I got home I had to pee almost every 15 minutes which was annoying. Also, I suspect they put a catheter in during surgery as it was painful urinating...it down right burned. By the end of the night the burning had stopped thank goodness.
It was a rough start, but glad to be through it and moving about more easily now.
Also, since my implants were less than 10 yrs old and had both ruptured I might get some reimbursement money from Mentor the manufacture of the implants. My doctors office is helping with that claim. I was told the implants tore along the seam and had holes throughout them....ugh! So happy to have those toxic things out!
Overall I was happy with the care I received at the surgery center. The staff were wonderful and my surgeon along with his team put me at ease.
Day 2 photos
Swelling seems to be going down today and they seem smaller. I still can't get over how much smaller they seem compared to those matronly DD's. I love the size and how they look now.... Love love love! If I wasn't so sore I would get up and do the happy dance...lol.
Day 3 post op
I keep looking down expecting to find two big bulges on my chest and they're gone....so weird, but feels so great at the same time!
I'm feeling so much better today....haven't needed any pain meds so it appears I'm through the worst of it. Still pretty sore though just not feeling achy and raw like I was immediately after surgery.
I have to wait until Monday to get my drains out so its going to be a long long weekend. At least it forces me to not do too much too soon:)
Drains out and mixed emotions
My drains finally came out today....YAY!! Almost a whole week with them and they were really starting to bug. The removal wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. It was pretty quick and virtually painless. Now, I can leave my home and join the human race again...lol.
Alright, I've been feeling a lot of emotions the last couple of days. Every time I see myself in the mirror I have to do a double take....I look so darn different to myself. I've spent the last 12yrs pretty much pregnant, nursing and then with implants. I have spent that long seeing myself with full breasts. It's so strange to see myself small and have no cleavage. I don't think I look bad...in fact I think my body looks better with smaller breasts. It's just such a dramatic change from having boobs spill out of clothes to not at all. When I look at myself I see a much younger me....and I fill with emotions of a time in my life when I never thought anything was wrong with me and then my mind goes to pre-implant when I felt that my husband wasn't attracted to me anymore and we ended up divorcing. I just start crying. I am completely caught off guard by all the mixture of emotions that all this has brought up in me. Not for one moment do I feel I made a mistake...I definitely wanted and needed these things out...It's just taking some adjustment to seeing myself as I use to look when I was much younger.
On the brighter side (not)...today marks the day that my boobs are super itchy and uncomfortable. Oh the joy of healing :) I'll probably update some pics tomorrow since I will be 1wk post.
1 week update
Although, I've been pretty much laid up all week with drains....it did go quickly.
I want to thank you all for your comments regarding my previous post. I want to stress though that I'm really happy with explanting and believe my outcome turned out better than I could have imagined. I'm not sitting around feeling bad about it, but I did have some feelings that did rise to the surface...it's possible that my unexpected PMS had something to do with my sensitive state of mind. Yeah, the surgery messed up my cycle a bit and I got my period 3 days earlier than expected.
1 week post op and feeling great!: Today I'm officially med free - no more pain meds or antibiotics.
My current health:
- Day after my surgery - my hair amazingly stopped falling out. I had been shedding like crazy (handfuls) since having a baby 2 years ago. I thought it was weird that it has continued for so long and thought it might have something to do with my health issues, but wasn't sure.
- Haven't had any heart palpitations since the day of surgery. I've been having them almost daily since the Spring.
- More energy despite feeling sore and tired during recovery. Hopefully, that's a good sign of things to come.
When I am fully healed I plan to go back to re-run my labs regarding my ANA, estrogen, cortisol, and adrenal levels. I was suppose to do it anyway because my vitamin D levels were so low so it's a good excuse to see if my internal health is improving since explant.
I started on an arnica 30c routine 3 days prior to surgery and have been taking it ever since. I think it's helped with the appearance of bruising and swelling from surgery. Internally I feel sore and bruised, but nothing externally. I also started taking the arnica with Bromelain post surgery.
I've slowly added back most of the supplements I was taking pre-surgery.
I take extra C, D, zinc, epicor, magnesium, DIM in addition to a regular multi vitamin. Next week I'll add back my banned supplements.
Today I went for a half mile walk. It's not a lot, but a start. It's more than I've done in over a month due to my chronic fatigue. I hope I can keep walking a little further each day and get back into the gym next week to do some other lower body stuff.
I'm still taking it pretty easy because my chest muscles are so sore right under my arm pit, but I've pretty much resumed daily activities with kids, driving, cooking, washing dishes, light pick up around the house. Feels good to be getting back to my normal life.
Yesterday when I got my drains removed I also got the photo's of my implants. I'll post those later. They're being sent back to the manufacture because of the rupture. I was also told it's going to be a few more weeks before I can sleep on my side or stomach again. I've been struggling with back sleeping so this is going to be so hard for me.
Overall, things are progressing nicely. Breasts have shrunk a tad due to a decrease in swelling and they're starting to take some shape. In fact, today I started to notice slight definition between my breasts....thrilled about that! The sides of my breasts are still pushed out and very firm to the touch though....this will change in the next few months. The rest of the breast tissue is starting to soften and become more jiggly and natural feeling. My incisions under my breast hurt the worst and other than that everything else is just itchy and healing well.
Photos 1 week
Some current photos at one week and my implants.
1 week before and after
In clothes...I just look like I've lost weight. I don't think too many people will notice a huge difference in appearance.
2 week post op update
Since it was time to change the tape out on my incisions I thought I would take some photos to show how they were healing. Also, I thought I would try on some old swim tops. They actually fit so much better now that my boobs aren't popping out all over the place.
Overall, I'm doing well. I'm still walking every day and taking it easy when it comes to anything with my upper body. I was carrying my purse around the other day for a long time and noticed I started having shooting pain on that side of my chest...so it's just a little reminder to take it easy even when I'm feeling good.
I'm still sore and incisions are itchy but not nearly as bad as last week. I'm pretty grateful each day that I got this surgery when I did and it turned out so well. I'm also loving how clothes fit me now.
4 week update and pics
It's been about a month since surgery...it's gone very quickly. My boobs are continuing to shrink...not too bad though. I'm still thrilled with the outcome. I just bought a couple Bali Revolution bras at Macy's... $12.99 on Black Friday. I got 34C ... Not sure if this will be my final size, but seems to fit for now.
I meant to update pics at 3 weeks but retaped the incisions without taking photos. Anyway, incisions are healing well. I've kept them taped and changed out the tape once a week.
I'm still having some internal soreness mainly when I over do it, but otherwise feel pretty good.
I've had a few setbacks with my health which suck because i had felt so good. Over the past week i've had some intermittent joint pain and return of my heart palpitations. I'm not sure if its a detox reaction or I've done some permanent damage to myself. My immune system is not strong and I'm the only one in my family to come down with a horrible bronchial / sinus issue this past week. I'm just grateful my boobs aren't that sore anymore. I'm sure i'll feel better when all the respiratory issues pass....until then I'm back to taking it easy.
6 weeks and getting better everyday!
I'll do a scar update pic at 2 months. So far the scars are healing really well. I've kept them taped up until two days ago and I just switched over to silicone sheeting. I still have some raised portions under the breast and hope these flatten out in the coming weeks.
As for me, I've been off any kind of restrictions since 4weeks post op. I've been lifting my heavy toddler for a couple of weeks... No problems. Sleep is finally starting to get better. My incisions still hurt and when I laid on my side it pulled on them causing discomfort but this has lessened now and I can sleep better. Overall, I feel great. Like I said there is still a tiny bit of soreness on my incisions under my breasts but it is hardly noticeable. Otherwise, there are no more shooting pains or tenderness and I'm finally feeling healed. Breasts are still changing though and will continue for months to come.
I just wanted to thank all of you wonderful ladies for your support and for those of you reading this and conteplating explant...What are you waiting for? It's wonderful being on the other side of this and getting back to normal. I love how I look and feel having my soft real breasts back. My husband enjoys giving me tight hugs...something he couldn't do because my breasts were big, firm and in the way. For all of you with upcoming surgery dates... Good luck and have peace in knowing you are doing the right thing for your body.
Wow how time flies!
Happy 2014 Everyone! I wanted to do a brief two month update. Boobs are changing every day. I still have a few bumpy spots under the incisions and the scars are a little brighter, but overall not a huge deal. I thought I would update the pics to show scar healing...they're a little brighter but I know they go through many transitions before they fade.
I'm hoping for a healthier 2014 now that I am implant free!
What a difference a year makes
I'm so happy to be on this side of surgery than feeling the anxiety of waiting to explant. This has been a crazy year. After all the physical healing took place I went through months of detox. My immune system crashed several times and I got sick a lot with the flu or various other respiratory problems. At around the six month mark is when I really felt pretty healthy. I was able to start doing exercises without my immune system taking a dive and I have been able to maintain that.
I can't say that my health is 100% restored as I have a few lingering issues but overall....I feel great! I'm about 99% there and the rest could be due to age for all I know....so I'll take it. For the first time in almost three years I started a more intense fitness routine last month doing boot camp style workouts 4-5 times a week and I'm finally building my strength again. It feels awesome to be able to do push ups or work my chest muscles without it feeling strange. I'm loving it! I'm loving the closeness I have with my husband being able to give him tight hugs and I'm loving the fact that I feel more authentic.
So as far as appearance....there hasn't been much change. My scars have faded quite a bit, but I do have some hyperpigmentation around part of my scars. Unfortunately it's just how my skin has reacted to surgery. I was told I could put skin bleaching cream on and I might try that down the road if it bothers me, but right now it just hasn't been a priority. The shape has held up and I am extremely happy.
There is hardly a day that goes by that I'm not feeling extreme gratitude for having those toxic implants out of me. I'm grateful for my health, I'm grateful to have my body back and most of all I'm grateful to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. I wish all of you beautiful women the very best! Take Care!