In 2003 when I was 35, I had 350cc saline implants placed under the muscle. I was previously a 34B and was quite fit & svelte. At the time I thought implants would somehow make me feel better about myself.
They were "okay & fun" for first few yrs, but they were too big for my active lifestyle and I began to regret getting them, even hiding them. I honestly (and unfortunately) thought I would be stuck with them for the rest of my life, not really knowing I could have them removed, or even able to afford it.
The last few years I've been researching removal options, doctors and prices.
A few prices/quotes ranged from $3500, 3200, 1900, 1700, etc. The less expensive ones were an hour or two away, with removal under local.
I finally found a previous implant removal patient by a PS in San Diego (where I live) who had hers removed 3 yrs ago under local for $1000. Being 3 yrs ago, I thought maybe his price went up from $1000. Also, I was more than okay to have removal done under local than general, or otherwise.
Sooo.... on April 12, 2016, I had a consult with Dr. Barry Handler in San Diego, only 5 miles from my home! The consult fee was $100, and is applied to the remaining cost of the procedure if you decide to follow thru with the procedure.
He explained for an uncomplicated removal under local anesthesia would be $1000. He said after my consult that he could remove my implants under local and that I could even drive myself home, IF I didn't take any Ativan or percocet before procedure. He did suggest though, that I have someone bring me and drive me home since he said I should just take 1 or 2 percocets when I got there.
I've had a few surgeries before for other health related things, both under general and local anesthesia, so this wasn't my first rodeo.. I knew what to expect and wasn't sweating it. Lol, plus - you can eat and drink beforehand under local, unlike with general.
My surgery was scheduled for Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm. Arrived 15 min. early, signed a paper for procedure and paid my balance of $900.
To my appt. I wore tights, tennis shoes, a sleeveless button up shirt a zip-front sports bra and a zip up sweatshirt. They brought me in the back and I took 2 percocets.
**By the way, I happened to already have a bottle of percocet at home for my periodic chronic pain, so he asked me to bring my meds with me and instructed me to take two as I got there before he prepped me**
I undressed from waist up, left tights and shoes on, and I put on a little hair net to keep it out of the way. He marked me with a pen where he'd make his incisions - under breast fold.
He applied a foam version of Hibacleanse (sterile body wash/cleanser) all over my breasts, underarms and belly. I sat down in a type of dental chair but with flat arms, then they lowered chair and laid me flat. Draped some sanitary blue cloth dressings on my neck and abdomen.
Then, he began right away.. numbed me up underneath each breast with the lidocaine numbing medication. I felt the needle but honestly it wasn't bad whatsoever! He started on right side using a cauterizer to make opening incision. The implants were so slippery and smooth so they were difficult at first for him to grab between his fingers.
Once he had a grip on them, he starting tugging to pull it thru incision. I could feel him tugging- no pain at all, just pressure. And oh my gosh, when it came out, it made a pop sound like when you would pop the inside of your cheek with your finger or thumb. Such a surreal, amazing feeling! He placed them on a sterile clothed table next to me and I couldn't believe those things were in me! They were smooth and intact!
I talked to the doctor and his assistant, Amy through the entire procedure - talked about our kids, hobbies, everything, lol!
Dr. Handler DID place drains which is good as to avoid fluid build up, seroma, etc. I don't mind.. I was just happy to have implants out! Just be creative with your wardrobe for a few days and no one will ever know.
As I write this, I'm 48 hours out and feel fantastic!! I mean, having them removed under local was the easiest, most uneventful thing I've done considering it was surgery! I'm more afraid of the dentist than what I went thru having them removed - sooo easy!
I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Handler for implant removal, if yours is an uncomplicated, straight forward procedure, like mine. Anything more invasive or complex would cost more, and likely have to be done in a hospital setting under general anesthesia.
Dr. Handler is very low-key, straight to the point, no sales pressure, yet professional and kind. I think he could tell how happy he made me by removing my implants - I shook his hand afterwards, then went in for a hug as I thanked him so much!
My story is very long but I wanted to be thorough and let others know in the San Diego area or otherwise, just how amazingly easy it is to have this procedure done under local.. AND for an unbeatable price of $1000.
I'm ecstatic and look and feel like a million bucks.. Over the moon happy to be myself again!!