46 Yr Old, 21 Yr Old Saline Implants- Hoping Explant Gives Me my Health Back! - San Diego, CA
It was like a year ago, I was praying, trying to...
Worried about heart test before getting cleared for surgery?
Yesterday I went to have what I thought would be an easy check in with my MD to get a letter clearing me for surgery. I need the letter before I can schedule which I totally get and find reasonable. My doc decided that before she'll give me the letter she wants a full stress test done on my heart. That sets me back another 2 weeks and I'm so sad! Because I have Lyme, I can easily go to fear that there may be something going on with my heart. And if there is- can I not have the surgery I need to get rid of the implants that may be making me sick? Or, will I be able to be cleared and this will just be information that's important for the surgeon and anesthesiologist to know? Has this happened to anyone else? I obviously don't want to put my life in danger, but uh, I'm thinking not having surgery also puts my life in danger. Oh my.
Passed my stress test! Yay!
Counting down, surgery next week
I like and have confidence in my surgeon. Because I have to travel, there's extra stuff that has to come together and I just need to get there, to the moment of surgery! When I talked to him this week he said I'm looking at about 1.5 hours. That sounds good!
Today, lots of emotions are passing through. I am blessed with a loving and supportive man, I'm past needing big boobs, but I still need to like what's left. I still want to feel good about how I look. That's why I chose Dr. Pousti. I believe in his skills. Under visual concerns is the bottom line: my health. I'm very clear on why I've made this decision. If there is anything that will get me closer to resuming a full life, I'm in. I've lost way too much time living a speck of a life. I'm super grateful to the ladies who came before and posted their stories. I am a hope addict and I needed your strength to show me the way. The way I get through every life challenge is to seek the people who were in my place once and now are success stories. I've read about women whose backs stopped hurting right away and whose other body pain went away. I've read others say they didn't realize how little energy they'd grown accustomed to living with until they had their implants out and their natural energy returned. I'm so glad to hear of your successes. Yes! Bring it!
I do have a question for ya'll- I'm not sure how I feel about telling my story to others in person right now. I remember when I first got my boob job how frank some were with asking me if I had one. How have you handled this? What do you say to people who ask you the nosy question? It's going to be obvious something has happened.
Implants, Explants, Lyme Disease and Autoimmune- Oh my.
I had explant surgery while I have Lyme disease. This is not typically advisable. There were some things I did that I believe helped me through the process and I’d like to share those in the next post. This post is my “love for humanity” post. My Lyme PSA.
Because I know this is a forum that many read, out of love for my sisters (and brothers) in this world I feel it is my duty to educate others about Lyme. If you’re a person suffering with a multitude of seemingly unconnected symptoms, please consider getting tested for Lyme. While I abhor fear, you do need to know that untreated Lyme can be deadly. It’s a bacterial infection that can move through your whole body, causing symptoms everywhere. It may cause neurological issues like cognitive issues and memory impairment, unbearable fatigue, muscle pain, joint pains, heart palpitations, the list goes on and on. Please google Lyme Disease dot org rather than check what the CDC has to say. In what I consider a crime against humanity, the truth is being suppressed because if insurance covered it, the cost would be a major hit to their profit. If you read the above and felt a shiver go through you, you are likely the one who needs to start doing research. At least that was how it was for me.
Not everyone remembers being bit by a tick. The one that carries the disease is the size of a pinhead. I believe it’s transmitted in other ways and that medical science is not copping to. However, because of the internet, there is enough info out there now for you to do your own research and reach your own conclusions. I don’t ask you to take mine.
I do not remember a tick bite. I do remember having an episode 9 years ago when I became very sick with what seemed like a flu or stomach flu for about 9 days. I ended up in ER and was told I had an “unidentified bacterial infection.” I was treated with antibiotics. This beat the Lyme back for a short time, but didn’t eradicate it completely so after 9+ years, Lyme proliferated and I’m considered to have long term Lyme, or Chronic Lyme.
Why this matters...if you go to your doctor and ask for a Lyme test right after being early Lyme sick, or right after you have been bitten and they do blood work, this is your best chance of catching it in the blood work because your body would have mounted a defense by creating antibodies. At this point, you can be given a long course of antibiotics and have the best opportunity to send it packing.
If, like me, you don’t realize what’s occurred, your world will start getting smaller and smaller to where you can barely wash your hair anymore. At this point your body is no longer making antibodies that would show on the basic bloodwork that your family doctor would order. You would now need a special blood test, and even those don’t always come back correctly. Igenx is a company that does Chronic Lyme blood work. Mine was discovered through a Western Blot which looks for the proteins related to Lyme as opposed to antibodies. You would need to research their site and Lyme forums to find out if one blood test or the other would be good for you. If you think you may have it, your best bet is to seek out a Lyme literate doctor.
As you can see from the list of symptoms, they are also commonly considered breast implant reaction. I don’t know what comes first here, Lyme or reaction to implants. In my case I believe that both were taxing my immune system so they both had to be addressed.
If my body was reacting to the implants, my immune system may have become suppressed enough to welcome in the Lyme bacterial infection. The best defense against Lyme is a healthy immune system that is being fed healthy food.
That’s my PSA. My next post will be about my experience with surgery and the wonderful Dr. Pousti.
(If you do email me through this forum, please know that I care. Still, I often take a while to answer emails because of energetic limitations.)
Preparing for explant in San Diego with Dr Pousti
I have a lot of catching up to do which I plan to do over a series of posts.
So, if you didn’t read the post above, I have Lyme disease which typically complicates the recovery from surgery. In fact, my holistic doctor said he would normally recommend that people see some improvement in their symptoms before surgery. In my case, I was having changes in the appearance of the implants, pain in my left breast and pressure in my chest. A Zyto report showed mycotoxins in my system which is the end product of mold. I couldn’t help but wonder if my implants had gone bad. This became the catalyst I needed to get the implants out for good.
It would have been a lot easier if I could have found a surgeon locally, but I realized that in my condition, I needed to find someone who I felt was the best and extremely experienced. I found Dr. Pousti, who at that time had close to 900 reviews. Hard to ignore! He felt like “the one” and I go with my gut feelings.
That meant travel to San Diego, stay in a hotel. All of this very difficult to arrange and coordinate with Lyme as it affects comprehension and cognitive stuff. That was a lot of moving pieces. But I knew I had to do it to have him be my surgeon.
Synchronistically, right around the time I realized I must have this surgery, I also discovered raw vegan food. I hate veggies. For the last few years I have been blending them and juicing them so I can swallow them with the least amount of tasting. Digestive issues began ruling out all kinds of food and it got ridiculous how few things I could eat without my body having a reaction. Out of desperation I ordered a meal plan from The Green Boheme in a town called Roseville. For approx a month prior to surgery I was on a protocol of a probiotic on empty stomach, then green juice, then a green smoothie, then a raw vegan meal, snack and light meal. I began to see improvements in my digestion almost right away. I credit this diet with helping me get through the planning, packing and traveling stages of my journey to explant.
Due to the stress and fear of the unknown (Lyme buggers love stress) my symptoms intensified. I have not taken a medication in 9 years and I had to take Xanax for a few nights prior to surgery.
My mom, who also has Lyme travelled with me to help and we both wore masks on the plane. Awkward! But I couldn’t afford to get ill and forfeit the surgery!
We rented our car through Costco travel- info I include because it did save us a ton of money. They also upgrade your car as part of the deal so if you’ve got Costco, check out this option for saving. :)
We stayed at The Lamplighter Inn. The location was close to Dr Pousti’s office and less than 5 mins. from the surgery center. Although it didn’t smell toxic when we arrived, my mom and I cleaned the whole place using Thieves oil spray so I could be at home for the next two weeks and not be triggered by chemical cleaners or illness caused by previous occupants germs. Guess what? It was clean! As I ran my white rag over all surfaces, it returned with no dirt on it. Impressive. The staff were honest (!) incredibly kind, helping us lift luggage out of the car, bringing me a lounger type chair for the room when I had trouble sleeping, giving me a bunch of extra pillows, giving me the quietest spot in the back of the hotel. There was a pool and a lovely patch of grass by the pool that I went to each morning and put my feet on the ground to try and get centered, grounded and dispel the creepy crawlies of fear that kept at me before the actual surgery date. One day my mom left her purse at the pool and the maintenance guy who had just helped us avoid spiders by turning over the loungers we planned to sit on to make sure they were clear (seriously, what a guy) knocked on our door, returned her purse and then refused to take any “tip” as a thank you. The front desk lady who went out of her way to help me get a reservation also refused to take a tip from me when we were checking out. It’s not a fancy place. It’s just a solid, clean, homey place to stay. A blessing. :)
The surgery process and the Talented Dr. Pousti
First- why I chose Dr. Pousti. At the time I began research he was around 900 ratings. Really good ratings. I emailed him and he responded, answering my questions. May sound silly but his energy comes through his emails. I felt his sincerity and total confidence (not arrogance) that he could take good care of me. He does a fabulous job of making the patient feel honored.
His website is very detailed. I’m detailed. That’s a trait I’m looking for. I also like a doctor with a system. I want his office to run like a finely tuned machine. And it does.
I flew into San Diego on a Wed, had my pre-op appt on Thursday and surgery on Friday. I was very nervous, actually shaking on Thursday, having read stories of other people with Lyme whose recovery was misery after surgery. My story does not contain that misery. Thank you, God. The posts above talk about what I did to try and set myself up well for healing.
Each person on his staff is very personable and will make you feel comfortable. Meeting him for the first time also somehow instilled his confidence into me. I felt safe. His manner is serious about surgery, respectful, yet he is also playful and lighthearted. He is what I was looking for: Authentic.
Vanessa is his right hand in the office. She is equally authentic and just plain delightful, like meeting an old friend. She answered my questions, did my work up and even gave me her cell phone number to call her after hours if I got scared before my surgery the next day. What? Who does that?
When I showed up at the surgery center the next morning Dr. Pousti came out to say hello and check in with me. When they took me back to begin I was put in a gown with a hole for a hose that would be hooked up to a hose that began to blow gentle warm air into my outfit. I was given compression stockings. It was all about the details!
Mind you, my implants were put in in the office of an old surgeon dude who stuck a needle of something- I don’t know what- into my ass cheek, walked me to a table and cut me open. I woke up during that 1st surgery and was pretty freaked out because I didn’t know I was getting a “twilight.” I was only 24.
This was a VERY DIFFERENT experience. Again, the word that comes up is honor. I felt like I was being treated honorably. Each person that came to me to do their part in the surgery prep introduced themselves, told me what their role would be and asked if they could make me comfortable. As I got onto the table in the operating room, the faces were all familiar now. Dr. Pousti stood to my right, holding my hand, his head bowed slightly, as if he was either praying or getting into the zone. That’s the last thing I saw as the meds began to take me under.
I woke a little while later in recovery. “Are you in pain?” I was asked. “Are you nauseous? Can I get you anything?” I checked myself. I felt fine. I declined and she smiled, surprised with me. A little while longer the anesthesiologist came to check on me. My attendant bragged to her- “She’s not asking for anything!” They both smiled at me like they were either proud or happy for me.
I had my surgery early afternoon. I declined the meds in recovery and I didn’t require anything until about 3 or 4 am. I elected to use Tramadol because I’m a recovered Vicodin addict and I did not want use narcotics. I took Tramadol and a few hours later was still in a lot of pain.
The next morning Dr. Pousti’s office called me early on a Saturday to check on me. I told Cindi the Tramadol was a fail. This is key info here: Narcotics have to be filled by a written script. Don’t do what I did and decline it upfront. Take both scripts in advance and just have them. She waited at the office on a Saturday morning for someone to come get the script. The good news is that I took Oxycodone and Valium for two days and then did not need them anymore.
The girls in the Dr’s office called me every day that I was in San Diego to check in and answer any questions I had. This system is perfection.
Surgery was a Friday. I was sent home with “drains.” These little bulbs had to be monitored and drained and the amount of fluid recorded so the doctor would know when the body was ready to have them come out. Sure, this wasn’t good fun, but it’s not that big of a deal either. I did find that having safety pins to help keep them clipped to the surgery bra was helpful. I also wasn’t trying to go out and run around. If you plan to, make sure you have some type of shirt or jacket that will cover the bulkage in your front area. It’s awkward.
I went in for follow up on Monday and was doing well. From Friday to Monday I was not able to shower or wash my hair. I had to do the washcloth scrub down. After Monday, I cut a hole in a garbage bag, put it over my head and surgically taped the neck area closed.
I went back on Friday for the next follow up and was able to have the drains removed at that point. It was not painful, just weird sensation.
I went back the following Monday so they could check the stitch area. The drain holes were already starting to heal up. Because I had not really cheated and had actually kept the bra on the whole time this was the first day I would see the new, less endowed me. The Dr. was very smart to send Vanessa in to be with me when that happened.
I’m not going to lie. It brings up a lot of emotions. As ready as I was to have them out, there is a tidal wave of stuff that came with a change. I was ready because my motivation is to be healthy as possible and reclaim my life. That’s worth the loss of big boobs to me. But, it’s a process. Expect a process. It’s not the end of the world. For me, it’s likely the beginning.
I also knew that immediately after surgery the real me wasn’t going to be looking her best. And, it wasn’t. There was sunkeninness (yes I make up words). Nipples doing their own thing. The size of my boobs looked different than each other and I felt sad, even a little insecure.
I was cleared to go back home that day. Yay. I was given a letter to use with airlines so I wouldn’t have to lift my arms through airport security.
The talented Dr. Pousti was everything I was looking for in a surgeon: A skilled, detail oriented, humble, bad ass! I was terrified to have surgery after a bad trip the first time around (with a different surgeon). I intuitively knew Dr. Pousti was the right match after finding him online through Realself. After reading his responses to my emails, I felt his calm confidence coming through in his words. His energy carries a certainty that he can handle what you need done. Once I met him in person (and Vanessa, also amazing at her job- his right hand in the office) I was completely sure of my decision. The whole process was perfection and I healed quickly and easily despite having a serious health condition. I doubt I could have gone through it with the ease I did had I chose someone else. It felt right. It was right. And it was because of him. The word that comes up over and over is honor. This fantastic doctor has mastered the art of honoring his patients at every step made toward surgery,during and after surgery. 10 stars. :) For the full surgery story, please read the "Talented Dr. Pousti" post for Freedomrocks.