48 Yrs Old, 5' 8", 142Lbs, Ruptured Breast Implant Revision with 475Cc Silicone Anatomicals UnderMuscle.

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When I was 31, in 1999, i was somewhat pressured...

When I was 31, in 1999, i was somewhat pressured in to having implants done. I was a fairly small B cup, deflated after having had 2 children. I had very mixed feelings and started to "pull out" altogether of the idea after a few consults but succumbed under my husband's pressure. Still, it was me who signed the paperwork. As a result of my uncertainty, I was too shy to do the right research and ask the right questions and be completely comfortable with my decisions. The internet was not quite as accessible as it is today. I was not entirely comfortable with the PS.

Of course, silicone was banned back then, so saline was used. I was told that they were saline, round, textured, placed over the muscle, and were 350 cc. The pain was absolutely incredible, the swelling was massive and the result was "meh". Within three months of the procedure, I was pregnant with my third child, so I am not sure I ever really saw them "settle" in. Life moves along, I had another child, gained a fair amount of weight (about 30-40 lbs). In the landscape of one's life, my implants really took a back seat to the larger pressing issues--difficult economic times, an abusive husband...

Approximately 6 years ago, I awoke one morning to find that my left implant had completely collapsed. There was no trauma, no sudden impact. It was just deflated. I had moved to a remote northern community. I called my PS THREE TIMES to leave messages as to what had happened. I NEVER received a return phone call. As the rest of my life was in a complete shambles, I let it go because I had too many more important things to manage--like being stranded in a remote northern community with 4 young kids and a well educated but unemployed abusive husband. I never saw a doctor and I never told anyone.

Over the past 6 years, i returned to my hometown, with my children, divorced my former spouse and remarried an absolutely wonderful kind, gentle man, whom I am very happy with. Over the past year, I finally lost the extra 40 lbs i had been carrying as well. The differences between my breasts were more and more apparent!

Let's move up to about three months ago--during a routine self breast exam, I noticed a very large, hard lump in some breast tissue under my right armpit. I decided it was finally time to go and seek medical attention for myself. After a series of tests, it was confirmed that there was actually a cluster of benign, fluid filled cysts ("too many to count|") with one very large one. These are easily remedied but it made me have to look at the ruptured implant, finally, after six years. I might add that after my new husband's initial question, early on, about what had transpired with the obvious differential between my breasts, never did he ever make me feel less desirable or special or important JUST AS I WAS. Given my health scare however, I was finally forced to open up to the medical profession and be honest about how I felt about my breasts.

After much consideration and a whole lot more knowledge (and self esteem) than I had almost 16 years ago, I found myself a new PS, Dr. Bryan Callaghan. Thorough, attentive and focused, and accommodating, I really had no inclination to attend another consult with the other reputable PS I had been researching. His staff are so easy to work with. As for my initial PS, their office was not able to provide me with any records whatsoever of the initial procedure, so in some ways, Dr. Callaghan was going in "blind".

I brought Dr. Callaghan several "ideal" pictures but was very clear that I understand that I have breastfed four children, gained and lost weight and I am 48 years old! I do not expect to look like a beautiful, nubile 21 year old (the rest of my body would not match!!). He seemed to think my expectations and desires were reasonable.

After some debate, we decided on Allergan style 410, silicone FF anatomicals. He ordered both 425 cc and 475 cc sizes, so he could decide during surgery which would be most appropriate for my body. He believes that I am tall enough to carry the full height/full profile implants and that the full projection/teardrop base will help fill out some of the ptosis and extra skin from having multiple children. I also wanted them to be a bit closer together and we went from a 13 cm to a 13.5 cm base.

My procedure was only 72 hours ago. Just before I "went under" I joked with Dr. Callaghan that it would be just like Christmas for him, because he had no idea what he was going to find when he went in there. I couldn't have been more correct. What I had been told was "over the muscle, 350 cc Johnson and Johnson round implants" were, in fact, completely under the muscle, 300 cc, GENERIC-no name-never seen before implants. It turns out there was a valve issue, which must be why it collapsed. In addition, although I went with significantly larger implants (475 cc), the right pocket had to be stitched up because it was apparently too large and we need to keep these things kinda in place! of course, there was the expected scar tissue around the 6 year collapsed implant and as a result, the pocket needed to be made larger. Unbelievable, from beginning to end. I believe in leaving the past in the past however and am now focusing on my new life (and my new breasts!). My only advice is to DO YOUR RESEARCH and be COMPLETELY comfortable and make your OWN decisions about your body.

So I am 72 hours post op. Dr. Callaghan's staff have been marvelous--from my pre-op consults, prescriptions, instructions, compression bra, to the nurse at the hospital who volunteered what a meticulous (and kind) surgeon Dr. Callaghan is, to the post-op telephone call I received to see how i was managing and to give advice on pain management. In my previous surgery, I received none of this type of care--and he is a well known PS in town.

Like everyone else, I wonder if I will be too big or too small. I wonder how much swelling there actually is (I gained an immediate 8 lbs after surgery--only 1.5 lbs can be attributed to increase volume of implants). I am anxious to take the bandages off, anxious for things to settle. My post op appointment is in three more days and I want to get a better look! I just looked at my "before" photo, taken the morning of surgery. My husband must really love me! NEVER once was there ever any pressure or expectation that I would change. I would be lying if I didn't say that I was excited to see how things are all gonna turn out. It will be nice to have some approximation of symmetry and not feel a little bit "deformed"...and yeah, I am excite that I will have "a little bit more!"

Writing this, I see that this has in fact been a bit of an emotional "trip" over the last number of years...So glad I finally have the right kind of supportive people around me to help me out!

72 hours post-op

only taking ex-strength tylenol for pain now, seem to be flushing surgical water weight out of my system. I am uncertain as to how much i am swollen now but still optimistic about my results.

One of those bluesie post op days I guess

Maybe it's the meds leaving my body, maybe it's the accumulated anxieties we all have when undergoing breast augmentation but I think I need to cry today and let it all go. I was thinking about our three daughters, aged 21, 15 and 14. They will all probably be tall, slender, average B cup women, or so it appears now, and so would their genetics suggest. I think they are all so beautiful in their own unique, God-given ways. Obviously, on one level, I would understand if they made choices to alter their bodies but on another level, I would be so sad for them. I would wonder why they don't see their own beauty, why they weren't happy with how God made them. I would wonder why they didn't expect people to look past any perceived imperfections and just "love" them for who they are. It gave me such a different perspective when I thought of my daughters...

I do believe our bodies are temporary, but here I am obsessing and yearning to be an ideal that I will surely still find fault with. One person's "ideal", if you can ever really "get" there, is the opposite of the next person's "ideal". I think this is where I was at 15-16 years ago, when I had decided to pull out of having a BA altogether but responded to someone else's need for me to be different than how I was. I am so grateful that in my remarriage my husband's primary concern has always sincerely been about how I feel about me. He understands that attraction extends beyond the cosmetic and for years now has consistently shown desire for me with my two, aging mismatched breasts, one ruptured and the other just aging and sagging and probably poorly augmented to begin with. It sure makes me appreciate him. I know that I would neither love nor desire him more if he altered his body.

So given my feelings, why didn't i just have the ruptured and remaining implants simply removed, instead of replaced? I guess there are a few reasons. My husband and I met in our mid 40s. I love him dearly. He never knew me when i was a young woman. He never watched me go through the normal progression a woman's body goes through. He just met it "middle aged". Although previously married, he has very little intimate experience with women. He is a gentleman and a sincere and gentle person whose goal with women was never about seeing how quickly he could "bed" them. I feel like I want to be all those things he didn't experience before.

Also, I have spent the last 5-6 years with a ruptured implant on one side of my rib cage. Sometimes I din't care, but often, especially as I lost weight, I felt a bit obvious and deformed. I augmented one sidewith rubbery/silicone forms from Wal-mart, but it is nerve-wracking to sit poolside and wonder if one is going to fall out and see who notices. Buying bras was an absolute nightmare--to be a wonky c-cup on one side and a saggy baggy A/B cup on the other...for so long. I think it will be nice to feel like I have fuller breasts one last time before I enter into full "over the hill" mode. My experience with the first augmentation was so far from satisfactory, which had more to do with a PS disregarding his patient than me being demanding and an ex husband who was always unsatisfied with who I was, on every level.

Maybe it is also a race against the clock, a quest for life and vibrancy. I spent so many very unhappy years in my life and now that I do have a greater depth of peace inside, I want to make up for so much lost time and grab my life and finally, fully enjoy it. In the whole scheme of life's issues, breasts aren't really that important but there is no mistaking that looking your best helps you FEEL your best. It is great to be with someone who appreciates me, and I want to give him more of me to appreciate! It is just important to have other pursuits in life and for the past several weeks, this obsession with having this revision is becoming just that: obsessive. I want to heal, buy some pretty bras, and move on, taking care of myself and my family. I am trying to let go of "what cup size will I be" and just hope for fuller, well placed, age appropriate and pretty breasts. Healing can't happen fast enough.

I have to say, I am not sure that I would put myself through this again. I made this choice freely this time and I am sure I will not regret it but I am doubtful that I would ever do it again. I think it is time to start relating to myself differently.

So how many cc's DOES it take to fill up a chest anyhow?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I went in to this clearly stating that I am a 48 year old mother of four kids (5' 8",about 142 lbs) and that I neither wanted nor expected a 20 year old porn star chest (well maybe, some days, some little tiny part of me--my natural breasts--wonders what that would be like but I think the love affair would be really short lived). I am just amazed that what I consider substantial implants (Natrelle 410, silicone, anatomical, submuscular 475 cc) still leaves wide open space on my 30" rib cage. I declined from having a lift, in addition to the augmentation, so I understand the limitations that I am working within as well. I cannot imagine what I would have to do to myself to fill that chest wall up! Fortunately, for me, I prefer elegant lines to my clothing than "in your face" fun. I tried on an evening dress today that I already had and it fits absolutely beautifully, without all the manipulations of the undergarment engineering I used to have to figure out, between my ruptured breast and sagging augmented breast. Exciting! I am also happy to say that my bikini tops are a bit too snug. I am so looking forward to unpadded bra shopping, where both of my breasts fit the same cup size. I have been trying to manage with some odd C size bras, making one side a bit too tight and the other stuffing very deflated A/B with a silicone form. On Monday I will be 7 days post op and the doctor will remove all of the tape and dressings. I was told I could shower today, with the dressings...and it felt so good to be clean...I did have to remove the drenched gauze on the incisions but that was easily replaced. I am so looking forward to the big reveal on Monday. My muscles are significantly relaxing as well and I am quite "tolerably uncomfortable". My back constantly feels tired and achey but that started before surgery and comfortable sleep has been a challenge.There is some bruising and I will start applying arnica cream after all of the dressings have been removed on Monday. I am posting my Post-op day 5 pics but I don't think there is really much visible difference from day 4, although they feel lighter and less swollen. Today I measure a perfect 34D...which is just fine with me, considering how relaxed they already seem.

Big reveal. Day 7 post op appt. uh oh.

Well, doc says we are right on target but I feel like a need to nurse many, many orphan babies. I feel so swollen...I'm trying not to worry...

Emotional

I cried tonight. Hard. I know I am not as big as some like to be, and look beautiful being, but I just feel so "overstated". I am sue not gonna be one of those girls who wish they had gone bigger.

Better Perspective Today

Like many of us, so much about my self image has always been hard. I love the way women can look but then I myself am afraid of maybe putting the wrong message out there and drawing bad attention to myself. It feels dumb that i am this emotional but psychodynamically, I have experienced so many things as a woman, not all of them positive, that I guess it just brought a bunch of stuff to a head. I am fortunate to have this body, especially at my age. A little bit of fitness over the coming months will give me a figure that others would be thrilled to have...

Two Weeks Old Already!

I saw the Doctor today for my second post-op. His follow up care is wonderful--such a different experience than the doc I had 15/16 years ago. My incisions occasionally still feel tremendous pressure but I do feel a little better every day. I am also over feeling petrified and doubtful about what I have done and expect that as my breasts continue to soften/drop/integrate in to my body, that I will continue to feel positive about my choice. My lovely husband tries not to make too big a deal out of everything, to ease my comfort and field my anxieties, but I do catch him taking sneak peeks and his fingers seem to be wandering upwards more! I tried on a few marvelous bras today but I don't have a fix on size yet. The closest I have come to is a US 34DD (WonderBra, Wacoal). My husband and I are going to drive down to NYC over some of the holidays next week, for a quick get away, and we will stop at Nordstrom's and get a proper fitting before I invest any money. The nice thing is that he told me I can now ditch the surgical bra and that next week I would be okay to buy some more fashionable pretty bras! I am excited! I also leaned that it is alright for me to sleep on my side. That is my preference but I have not for two weeks and my back has been aching so hopefully this helps too. It seems I alternate busy and modestly active days with down days. I have 4 kids and two step kids (aged 12-23) and they are really none the wiser so obviously I haven't become someone who looks ridiculous/obvious :)

slightly better 2 wk pics

3 weeks post op

So, I got to take my dressings off today. Incisions look great and things are feeling pretty soft--just a little pain left. I had a bra fitting at Bloomingdales yesterday They were excellent but suggested sizes were a whopping 34DDD, 34F, 30GG, 32G. KIND OF SHOCKING BECAUSE THEY DONT SEEM THAT LARGE TO ME. Kinda pricey bras too. I haven't bought any yet--I found the same bras for less on eBay but at least I know styles and brands that fit me well--Wacoal does NOT, Chantelle and Natori do...even my DH, who has been so supportive, is experiencing sticker shock...Regardless, I want to make sure I have well supporting, well fitting bras this time around.

Trying not to worry...but I am concerned

So...I have been quite pleased and becoming more relaxed about size and so on but I woke up three mornings ago and noticed that my right implant had dropped significantly and did not seem to be in the same position. I'm not sure if it is just settling and I just have too much loose skin but the left side does not look or feel like this. Furthermore, my PS had to make the pocket smaller (which had been made far too lose by the previous surgeon) and I am concern that maybe the internal sutures have given way because I feel like I have a grapefruit I. A sock right now. I might be being overly sensitive or panicky. My husband keeps reminding me about all the positives I have to say about my PS and that something can and will be worked out if there is in fact a problem. Regardless, I walked around with a ruptured implant for 6 years and I finally had the confidence to talk to another doctor about it, so now I am feeling discouraged. I can neither afford to invest much more money or time off of work...My next appointment is January 26 and I am trying to be calm and patient.

its official

I saw my PS today. It would seem that in fact, yes, the implant has rotated completely upside down. It would seem that the double row of stitches he put in place to revise the overly large pocket from the previous surgery have given way, making lots of room for the implant to shift. It may have been caused by sleeping on my side too soon but there is no definitive reason.

ANYHOW, he was awesome about it. He managed to manually rotate it a bit and is hoping by wearing a very supportive underwire 24-7 it will continue to right itself over the next month. I am only mildly optimistic about this happening and as a precaution, I am booked for a revision to my revision on March 12, to make a whole new pocket, as the left breast, which has a completely new pocket, is doing beautifully and I am very happy with it. All costs will be covered until we get it right but I am really thinking and hoping everything will be alright sooner rather than later. It is certainly frustrating and discouraging but I am over letting my days get ruined over it!

One hour from now...

So, I'm at the hospital getting prepped for what I hope will be th last revision for my rotated implant...fingers crossed!

3rd revision this year!

sooo, hello! The march 12th revision ended up not working out, as the top of the implant slipped out from under the muscle. Finally, on August 26th or so, I had the third, and hopefully final revision. I have been too discouraged over the past number of months to even look at Real Self but I think I have turned a corner and I am very hopeful that the outcome will stay positive. Thank you for your caring words throughout the months.
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon

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