30 Years Old, No Kids, Explanting 8 Year Old Breast Implants - Pepper Pike, OH

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First of all, I want to say thank you to all the...

First of all, I want to say thank you to all the brave ladies on this site whose posts have helped me on my journey! Your honesty and vulnerability has given me the courage to move forward with explanting. I am 30 years old and received breast augmentation surgery in 2008 when I was 22 years old. I had 320cc mentor high profile smooth cohesive silicone gel implants put in under the muscle with an inframmary incision (under the breast). I went from an AA to a full C, as you can see from the pictures. I was 5'3" and 115 lbs. My desire was to be a full B cup. My plastic surgeon opted to go for bigger implants than we had agreed upon (while I was unconscious) and I ended up with implants that were, in my opinion, too big for my frame. I also think they were placed too high up. Other than that I've been happy with the aesthetics. The reason I am explanting is due to health issues that I believe are directly related to my implants. Growing up I was always very healthy and had no allergies. I would go years without even catching a cold. I eat organic food, take my vitamins, and have a very healthy lifestyle. Once I got implants I began battling severe fatigue that would come and go. I developed extremely dry eyes, joint problems, recurrent candida issues, unexplained weight gain, the inability to tolerate fragrances, and bad reactions to any artificial ingredients in foods or drinks. I've experienced more sickness in the last 8 years since I've had implants than in the previous 22 years and believe my immune system has been compromised. I didn't put it together that the implants were causing my issues until earlier this year when a dear friend explanted due to a severe autoimmune reaction to her implants. Watching her go through the experience opened up my eyes to the possibility that many of my health problems were due to my implants. I did my own research, joined this site, read many testimonials, and eventually came to the conclusion that they must go. As many of you can attest to, it's been an emotional and STRESSFUL journey to come to this decision . However, I know this is the best decision! I am nervous for how I will look, regretful of ever having the original surgery, and hoping I can love my natural body when its all over. I am also very excited about the possibility of fat grafting in the future and for the first time am grateful I have a little extra "meat on my bones" to give them more to work with :) I am hoping to move forward with the implant removal in the next month or two with Dr. Lu-Jean Feng and will continue to post pictures of my progress.

2 weeks away!

My surgery date is fast approaching so I thought I would do another update before it arrives! The last couple days have been more difficult for me. I am so grateful now more than ever for this incredible network of women who have come together to share their stories and offer support to one another. I think the road to explanting has many ups and downs. From a logical standpoint there is no question in my mind, this is the right decision for my health. But even with that knowledge, this is still an emotional journey. This decision forces us to revisit the insecurities that lead us to get implants in the first place. At times I see how much I've grown as a person and conquered my fears. At other times I feel like the insecure girl that just couldn't love and accept her body. And I feel angry at the pressure our culture puts on us to look impossibly perfect. I am also angry at an industry that capitalizes on our insecurities by selling us a product that compromises our health. I feel nervous, scared, curious, and even excited about the explant. I've been having dreams about boobs almost every night :) I'm not normally one to post my feelings online, but I think it's important to be as open as possible about this so that other women beginning this journey know that there will be bad days and good days and gain courage from reading our stories. At the end of the day, this is the right decision and we are all here for each other. That is what matters. I'm just praying that everything goes well and at the end of all of this I can look in the mirror and feel beautiful. I've spoken to the staff at Dr. Feng's clinic a couple times now. They are professional, thorough, informative, very kind and warm. I am confident that I've surrounded myself with a good team to do this right! They sent me a packet with vitamins to help prepare my body for surgery and to be in prime condition to heal. And they gave me diet restrictions. I guess I will be having a cup of tea for scrabble night instead of my glass of wine :)

Slow but steady

It is Sunday, I am 2 days post op. My surgery was on Friday morning. I am all wrapped up and haven't seen myself yet and have the drains in. The drains are necessary but are causing me pain. There was extra repair work needed because of the way my original PS cut my muscles to get the implants in. I'm hoping it all looks good in the end. It's been a difficult couple days and I regret ever having gotten breast implants more than ever. I kept my implants, I can't believe they were inside of me!! What a crazy culture we live in where doing this to ourselves is acceptable. So happy to be in the road to recovery. Can't wait to get these drains out and feel human again!!!!!

Drains are out!!!!! :):):):):):):)

I am 4 days post op and had my drains removed this morning! They caused me so much pain that having them out is SUCH A RELIEF. I think I may have needed a stronger pain med than the celebrex and Tylenol. I'm not one to ever take drugs....buuuuutttt in this case that might have made everything a bit easier. Today, now that drains are out I haven't needed any pain relief. I've had intense regret over the past few days over my original choice to get implants, this regret was just intensified by all the stress and pain of surgery. Lots of tears. But I feel that the worst is behind me now and I am moving forward with life and am so happy to be rid of the fake and toxic weight of implants. Dr. Feng was so caring and compassionate. I cant stress enough how important it is to seek out a skilled surgeon to do this kind of work! The staff at Dr Feng's were wonderful to work with. Carla the nurse was so loving and held my hand when I started to break down before going under, and the anesthesiologist told me terrible jokes to try to calm me down :) I was terrified, but they went out of their way to make it easier for me and I am so grateful. Thank you a million times over for your support and encouragement on this forum! I will post photos taken earlier today after a bit.

Operating room photos and 4 days post op.

6 days post update

Hello friends :) I am 6 days post op, tomorrow will be a week! I arrived home yesterday after a 14 hour drive home. It is wonderful to be back at home with my dog and in familiar surroundings. I am still quite sore with a bit of swelling but nothing compared to those first few days. My mom helped me unpack and do my laundry. My best friend brought me dinner last night and kept me company. I couldn't have done this without them. If you are going to explant, make sure you have help!! I can't get my dressings wet for 14 days, so showering is quite the challenge and I've needed my mom to help me. I can't lift my arms above my head and have a 5 pound weight restriction. I'm basically like a baby that can't do much for myself lol. This has been a challenge because I'm very independent and usually have a to-do list that is a mile long! The fatigue that I am feeling during the healing process has been unexpected. It's exhausting walking across the room. I've had to stop halfway through eating an apple just due to exhaustion. It sounds weird but it's true! I think my body is focusing all of its energy on healing. Yesterday we unwrapped my ace bandage for my shower and I was able to see myself again. Of course I am much smaller than with the implants, but something in me has changed and I feel so beautiful being natural and authentic again. Im amazed at the mental shift and grateful to still feel beautiful. I am still mad that I once believed the lie that I wasn't adequate or truly a woman because of my small size. My breasts and nipples are very numb and I am hoping feeling will gradually return as I heal. I have been having a hard time falling asleep due to visualizing the graphic images of the surgeries I've had. I didn't realize how invasive it is to get breast implants and the damage we do to our bodies when we allow this kind of surgery to be done on us. If you are thinking of getting implants, please please please reconsider. They dissect your pectoral muscle to get the implants in. They DO NOT feel like natural breasts. Many women are more self conscious after having implants than before. They can cause ongoing pain and a ton of health issues. And you will most likely be left with decreased feeling or complete numbness of your breast tissues. We are beautiful as we were created! There is a strength and dignity in accepting our natural bodies and resisting the negative influence of our culture. This makes you more womanly than implants ever will.

3 weeks post op

Hello friends! :) I am 3 weeks post op as of Friday. I am doing well. I had a phone call from Doctor Feng yesterday to review my pathology report. All looks well, no cancer cells. They did show some chronic inflammation from gel bleed. This didn't surprise me given my health issues, even though I didn't have a rupture. I do have a bit of a double fold because my original surgeon created a new fold below my natural fold when I got implants. Dr. Feng said massaging from my clavicle downwards towards the nipples should help. I am getting stronger everyday. I can lift more and move around more than even a week ago. My natural breasts are soft. I love the natural feel! :) They also look 10 times better when laying down. My implants were either up to my neck or in my armpits. I am so happy with my decision. I will probably peel off my steri strips in a couple days and can post incision pics when I do.

Incision/Scar pics 4 weeks post op

Hello everyone! This update will show pictures of my scars at 4 weeks post op. They are healing nicely. I had large incisions due to having an Enbloc style explant, so the length of the incision is normal. The little scars are from the drains. I have been using the sterile strips I bought at a drug store to help the scars heal flat and smooth. Anyway, thats all for this update, just thought it would be good to show the scars since they've been covered with tape in the other pictures :)

2 months post

Hi everyone! I wanted to do a quick 2 month follow up. It's been a very busy summer and I haven't had a chance to update much. I feel my health is improving since surgery, although surgery itself was hard on my body and the antibiotics took a bit of a toll. I have been taking supplements to get my immune system back in good shape. I am still sooooo happy I decided to explant. I love not feeling the heavy implants all the time. Sleeping is easier. Clothes look better (I look skinnier!!). And I love how soft they feel! I haven't regained as much feeling as I had hoped. I also have a bit of a line from where my original PS created a lower fold...not sure if that will go away eventually or not. It is at its worst when I slouch and am under overhead light. If I stand straight it's less noticable. It doesn't bother me much, I wasnt expecting to be perfect after 8 yeas of implants. As the saying goes, I am a tiger that's earned her stripes :) The scars are healing nicely and I keep scar tape on them. I am posting some photos so you can see how everything is coming along.
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon

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