Expelling My Shameful Secrets - San Francisco, CA

About 18 years ago, I was in an unhealthy...

About 18 years ago, I was in an unhealthy relationship and state of mind. I grew up with low self-esteem due to family dynamics, and was with someone who objectified every woman he saw. I was very insecure. I made the decision to get implants, bringing me from a 36B-C to a 36DD. While I had a very good looking result, I was sorry I did this from the day I got them done. I'd realized I'd given in to the voices that said I wasn't good enough. They drew more attention to me, and I started hiding them. I was embarrassed to go home with guys, afraid of their judgment of me for being shallow. I won't lie—sometimes I played them up, but I now see that as kind of sad that I felt I needed to. I now realize I have so much more to offer than trying to fit society's perception of how the female body should appeal to others.

Seven years ago, when I first looked into removal, it seemed a lot scarier than it does now. There are more success stories, and more ways to go about it. This forum has been great, as I've read through others going through the process. I feel like I'm better equipped with what to expect and how to prepare for my turn.

I just turned 40 and part of this journey has been accepting myself for who I am. While I pondered accepting myself for my mistakes and living with them, I realize that I'll likely have to do this eventually anyway. I'd much rather do it sooner while prepared, than in a panic due to an accident or something. Plus, I just want to be 100% me now. I don't like wearing clothes that I feel others might be able to tell I have implants. I get embarrassed by compliments about my boobs, and hate lying by not saying they're implants. They get in the way during some yoga poses, and I feel they're holding back my personal growth. I think that once I get these bad boys removed, I'll feel more genuine and proud of myself for correcting these mistakes that I'm lucky to be able to fix. I mean—how many mistakes do we really get a chance to fix?

I'm attaching some photos. I have no 'before' surgery shots, but I'm hoping to share 'after' photos eventually. I'm in the process of searching for a surgeon nearby who has a lot of experience with removal, who won't pressure me to lift or re-implant, and can do so with a local to help save costs. From what I've heard, saline implants subpec are easy to remove under a local. Wish me luck!

Ready to start consultations

Money has been tight as a few jobs fell through, so I haven't been able to book appointments. Hoping to do so in January and have surgery as soon as I can afford it. The longer I wait, the more ready I am to have this all behind me. I've been downplaying my chest for a while now. I've forgiven myself for being so insecure when I got the implants in. Now I just want them out so I can feel like I represent how I feel inside now--honest and real.

I'm a little worried about affording a doctor who can restore me nicely. I wish money wasn't an issue, and am hoping to find someone who is confident. Some docs (on here) have said removing textured saline implants should be no problem. Others said they could be difficult. This is making me reconsider the cheaper, less traumatic surgery under a local. But I guess we'll see what my consultations suggest. Will update once I book a couple.

2 Consultations Booked!

This has been a long process, but it's finally coming together now. After a lot of research, I've booked two consultations with local surgeons who seem to have great records with explantations. I feel like I should have a third option, so still looking. The first one is next week! So excited to finally get this moving. And the second one is 6 days from then. Will update with reports on both consultations. :-)

First Consultation Notes

I had a great consultation with Dr. Mele in Walnut Creek, CA today. He doesn't think I'll need/want a lift, and says the procedure should take approximately one hour. The estimate is for $3800, which includes professional fee, surgery center, general anesthesia, pre-op, lab work, and a year of follow-ups. I was hoping for a local instead of general, but his advice on going general made sense. I have textured saline implants and they tend to stick a little more (like velcro, he explained) than smooth. When I got them in, that was the selling point—that they'd stay in place better. I really liked Dr. Mele and his demeanor. I felt comfortable around him. He was professional, warm, and even funny—without being inappropriate. I imagine he's my mid-range in terms of pricing, that Monday's will be low-range, and Friday's will be high.

Second Consultation Notes

Just returned from my consultation with Dr. Weil. He was very confident that I'll be happy with my results post-explantation. He actually squeezed really tight—which was rather uncomfortable and nearly to the point of pain—but from it, gathered that my capsules are thin and therefore shouldn't present a problem. And although he also stated textured implants are tougher than smooth, he doesn't think I'll require general anesthesia. He actually said it'd be overkill. He has his own surgical center in SF where he'd perform the explantation. I need to call his assistant tomorrow to get a quote, but I imagine it'll be less expensive given no rental of a hospital room and less anesthesia. I could be wrong, but did see others say his prices were the best in the Bay Area. Fingers crossed that it's the case, because then I could get them removed really soon. I'll update tomorrow with the quote.

Update on Consultation #2

Well, it turns out that Dr. Weil isn't much less expensive than Dr. Mele after all. His fee is $3,500 which includes much the same as Dr. Mele's fee of $3,800. Since the one concern I have with Dr. Weil is his lack of before/after shots for this procedure, I'm now leaning towards Dr. Mele, despite it being a general anesthetic. I have another consultation on Friday, however. I'm certain it's going to be more expensive, but she gets rave reviews for local explantations. So for the matter of around $500, it might be worth it. We'll see...

My husband keeps reminding me not to choose based on cost, and I'm so glad he's supportive of me on this. I was having fantasies of getting them removed next week (ha!) but I know I should be more patient and make sure I choose wisely.

It's Getting Real...

Tomorrow (not Friday) is my third consultation, although I think I've decided on the first surgeon. If so, my surgery date could be as soon as February 23rd! Holy crap! I'm both ecstatic and nervous. I'm afraid to go under the knife again, and worry about the result not being as good as I hope for. But I knew this time would come eventually, and I want it. I also want to do it now and not have something happen while I'm traveling or otherwise inconvenienced and embarrassed. Perhaps that's irrational fear, but I'm just so ready to no longer have anything hanging over me—or in front of me. Ha!

The surgeon I'm heavily considering has done several, but admitted he only does a few a year. I'm wondering if that's plenty or not, but he has many really good before/after pics that are watermarked and have the same background, so I believe they're legit. The other surgeon who claimed to do a few a month has no before/after pics. He says it's because the healing isn't fully done before the last checkup, and I find that a little odd. For one, it means he doesn't follow through for long after the surgery, whereas the other does for one year.

I've been thinking about who to tell about this surgery. Right now, only my husband knows. I've been so ashamed of having implants, that not even my best friends have known that I have them. At least they haven't asked and I haven't told. It feels weird to share it with them now... I'm contemplating waiting until it's over and telling them down the road, when I'm doing well. Or just being okay with continuing the secret. Eeks. I just hate the lying because of these things. I'm glad that I won't have to for much longer.

Consultation #3 We May Have a Winner

I saw Dr. Lee today. It was the most thorough consultation, and lasted an hour compared to the other two that were 10-15 minutes, tops. While Dr. Mele also took noted measurements, Dr. Lee did that and also took photos. Drawing over one, she showed me what she expected of my results. Her quote was as expected—approx. $750 more than the other two. However, her consultations are unlimited, and she offered to remove a cyst I have in the center of my chest free of charge. She appeared very confident that I'd be happy with my results, and echoed what the other docs said about my not needing a lift. The surprise was that she very much believes in using drains to prevent a seroma. When I mentioned that the others didn't use drains, she expressed her feelings on that being foolhardy—because although most likely things would go fine, the small precaution could make an enormous difference in cost and inconvenience later. I've spoken with my husband and he thinks I'd be wise to go with Dr. Lee. Not only does she seem to perform a great amount of these procedures and come highly recommended, but her offer to remove my cyst might be worth the extra cost. I'm leaning towards Dr. Lee too, but am a little nervous about the amount this is costing me. What an expensive lesson these implants have been! Although I know I'm fairly lucky so far, knock on wood. I'm going to think some more overnight and do some research on the drains. I'm hoping to make a decision tomorrow or Monday.

Disappointing Setbacks

I've been mulling over the info from Dr. Lee and her unfortunate negative reviews. While I think she seemed thorough and knowledgeable, the reviews do bother me. Part of me wishes they didn't, but I can't help it. One of them was from an explant. As of last night, I was thinking that I might go with Dr. Mele and was close to calling to book the date, but I'm pretty sure I've just annoyed him by asking more questions about his thoughts on drains and capsules. I'm afraid there's a bad vibe between us now and don't want to go into surgery feeling there's negative energy. Plus, I got a response re: capsules by email that varies quite a bit from what he said at the consultation.

I know surgeons probably think we're ridiculous for doing so much research on our own, but what else can we do when each surgeon gives us different information? (Two have warned me about using the internet for info.) I just want to feel confident that I'm making a good, informed decision. At this point, I don't feel confident with any of the three I've consulted with. What a huge disappointment. Now I've finally worked out the finances and don't have a doctor. Maybe I need to book more consultations, as the idea of getting this done in a few weeks shouldn't supersede confidence. The dread of starting over is painful, but I suppose I've had them in for nearly two decades. A few weeks to be sure is probably wise.

I think I'm ready to book surgery.

I'm pretty sure I let the stress of choosing a surgeon get the best of me. I've stepped away from it for a few hours (ha!) and cleared my head from all the debris. Having slept on it, I woke feeling that I should go with Dr. Mele. He's double board certified, has beautiful before and after photos displayed on his site, his reviews are based on surgeries rather than non-surgical enhancements, and I really felt comfortable in his presence. And despite my fear of annoying him with too many questions, he's actually written very detailed replies and I believe I may have been wrong in my assessment. I also may have misread some of his honesty as insecurity—which I don't today. I'm 99% sure I'll call to schedule on Monday.

Where I almost went wrong: After living with these obstacles for so long, the idea of finally being at this point got me impatient. I'm relieved that the second doctor didn't come back with a very low rate, as I think I may have booked with him and regretted it. While he's probably a good surgeon, I didn't feel comfortable in his presence or lack of before/after photos. The only reason I sought him out was because I saw a couple of reviews here saying they got theirs removed from him for under $1k, and through a local. Not a smart move to seek out the lowest price, since I can afford to do this otherwise. It will set me back for sure, but this is my body. I may have another half a lifetime in it, or more, if I'm lucky.

Another way I nearly went wrong: I let certain particulars about the surgery lead me, rather than the outcome for the rest of my life. It's not my job to worry about whether it's a local or general, and whether to use drains or not. If I trust my surgeon, I should let them decide what's best. While Dr. Mele says local is an option, he preferred a general so he could proceed from a full doctor's view, rather than just remove the bags as quickly as possible. Therefore, if anything else looks wrong, he can address it. I think that's wise as I certainly don't want to be on here again mulling over another operation!

I'm so grateful to have this place to learn from others who have gone through it and are still on here willing to help people like me, heading in. Since this isn't something I feel comfortable discussing with anyone in my life (but my husband), having a few of you to talk things out with has been an enormous help. It's nice to feel I'm not alone in this. Here's hoping I'll find I chose wisely and everything will go well from here on in. I hope my experience can help others someday, too.

Surgery Date Set!

It's really happening 15 days from now! I can hardly believe it. Deposit was made and pre-op is next week. I'm so excited to finally be doing this. I've been researching this for 7 years. *Deep breaths* Now it's time to get my bras and other post-op needs. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

That was what I hoped for, in regards to my breast implants. I was afraid people would ask, or that my exes would tell our friends. Only one drunken guy was crude enough to ask me in a group setting, when I was about 24. I denied it. I was angry at him for putting me on the spot, and I was angry with myself for not being brave enough to just own up to the truth. It's hard to believe that I thought getting the implants was a form of taking control over my body, and ironic how much they controlled me. I no longer felt free to wear whatever I wanted, out of fear of being judged for my superficial boobs. For 19 years, I've felt that these boobs could be used as blackmail. When I think about it, it's incredibly sad.

Some women have the personality to get implants and feel confident in their decision. Despite my own experience with them, I'm happy for them if their decision really makes them feel good. I'm just not one of those women. I was delusional to think I could get them and never care about what anyone else thinks, or that no one would ever know. While the implants weren't for me, I don't want to be judgmental of anyone else who decides to do something that helps them feel good about themselves.

Yesterday I finally wrote my three closest friends to let them know my implant story, and my upcoming surgery to remove them. These women are my closest friends for a reason. I knew they wouldn't judge me or make me feel bad, but was still nervous to come clean, as I felt I'd been lying by omission. What a relief to hear back from them all with such care and support. This process is so healing for me. These implants are truly the only remaining secrets I've felt hanging over (well, in front of) me. I can't wait to get them out!

Bras and bad dreams

I had my first pre-surgery stress dream where the wrong doctor operated on me. ???? However, in the dream when I woke, I was happy that I wasn't in too much pain. Let's hope that part comes true. Wish I got a chance to see the outcome in my dream!

Two bras came today. One stretches over me now, so I'm a little afraid it won't have enough support post-op. I'll keep it with the tags and see. The other is going back to be exchanged, as even the bottom band doesn't fit around without busting my ribs. Glad I ordered in advance! Both have front closures.

I don't know how I'll manage 13 more days! I'm so anxious to get this done!

Some Things I'm Looking Forward to Post-Explant

Not worrying if one of my implants might burst at an inopportune time, causing a medical emergency—possibly while on vacation in a foreign country.

Feeling the need to express to doctors and nurses that when I got the implants, I was young and foolish. Wondering when and if I should bring them up.

Yoga poses such as pigeon and bow pose when you rock from side-to-side. (I can't. My boobs are like stability balls to prevent it from happening.)

Getting rid of that tell-tale curve that starts between my shoulder and nipple, where the top of the implant sits.

Wearing whatever I want without feeling like everyone's staring at my boobs and wondering if they're real.

Buying and wearing cute bras, tops, dresses, and nighties.

Shopping off the rack (haha) more easily. Not needing a size large or extra-large to accommodate these big girls.

Clothes that don't have to be fitted at the waist to prevent me from looking pregnant.

Being a few pounds lighter, and looking thinner in pictures that are from the boobs up.

No longer pretending as if I don't have implants when someone else comments about someone else having them.

Feeling 100% natural, authentic, and me.

Pre-Op Done!

My pre-op went well today. I felt really comfortable with Dr. Mele and his staff. It was very easy going, and there were no surprises. I'm all paid up now and ready for TUESDAY! My before photos were taken. I'll probably post some more on here between now and Monday. I'm so looking forward to being in recovery. Hoping for the best, and trying not to get too nervous or anxious. Less than 5 more days!

Counting Down to Tuesday

Well, I think I've got everything I need. I have two bras to choose from that I'm bringing to surgery, a front closing dress for day of, silicone scar pads, mederma scar cream, and my prescriptions are being filled as I type. My husband is working from home next week just in case I need some help. Am I missing anything???

I think I'm calming down a little. I guess you can only be so excited for so long! Maybe it's excitement burnout. It's almost surreal now. I'm so glad that my surgery is at 7:30AM. That means I won't have much time to worry that morning. I'll be so tired getting there at 6:30. I've had some dreams of waking up from the anesthesia to relief. Just hoping everything goes well now. That's all I'm worried about. I have no doubts about what I'm doing whatsoever.

How long without yoga?

Ladies who've already explanted: how long did you have to wait before being able to do a full yoga practice with inversions and arm balances, etc.?

Say Goodbye to These! Last Day!

Last day with these big ole boobs! Excited to be 100% natural again. I'm going to do a long, fulfilling yoga since I don't know when I will be able to next. Once I'm recovering well, my plan is to lose a little weight since I'll no longer need to balance out these bazoongas. Hopefully things like running and HIITs will be more enjoyable without the extra heaviness on top. We'll see! Right now, just focusing on good energy, hoping all goes well. By this time tomorrow, I'll be just about ready to come home without the super sized breasts!

Out and proud!

Sweet relief! Home, eating waffles, taking pills, and hopefully going to sleep. I'll update on the procedure later, but all went well! I'm so amazingly grateful.

What Day of Surgery was Like

While it's fresh in my mind, I want to document the day in hopes to set others waiting at ease.

Woke at 5:20AM to leave at 5:50 and arrive at the surgery center by 6:30. No food or water since midnight. Brushed teeth and rinsed mouth. Showered last night.

Arrived in time. Signed paperwork and sat with my husband in the waiting room. Kept fearing I'd have to pee, despite no water. An irrational fear from nerves!

They brought me back to a pre-op room where they took my pulse and blood pressure and gave me an IV of fluids and electrolytes. I changed into gurney. Left on my socks and underwear, put booties on head and feet. Of course, I tried to pee once more before they put me in the wheel chair. Doc popped in and made it all seem so easy. I'm really glad j went with him!

Anesthesiologist came by and talked about adding something into my anesthesia to help with my predicted nausea. (My BA was a TERRIBLE experience with pain and nausea.) He also said I'd get antibiotics in IV and went through my drug allergies.

In wheel chair, they gave me something calming through the IV. Then before bringing me into the OR, they gave me something stronger. The ride through the hall was a little fun since I was a little high. :-)

They helped me onto the bed that had warm towels padded on it. My arms were spread. They put a plastic thing over my nose and mouth and said to breathe in and out twice. By the third inhale, I was out.

Woke up wheeled into recovery room/pre-op around 8:30-45. Doc said I did well and said bye till Monday's post-op appointment. Nurses got me water and ice chips, and then saltines. I was hazy but amazed at the lack of nausea or pain. I did feel the presence of the incision, but not bad. They said I was given a local before waking, so I'm still wondering if the pain will worsen later. Wheeled out to car around 9:30. Felt funny to walk. A little weak but nothing painful or scary.

Home by 10AM. Took pics, pain meds with food, and got into bed propped up 45 degrees or more. Napped. My cat has been sitting on my lap since.

Took antibiotic with food at 2PM. Took plain Tylenol (2x 500mg) since the Tylenol with Codeine was a bit heavier than I liked. Very slight nausea but not bad. Just prefer to go less if I can. Will go back to heavier if needed though.

It's 4PM and I'm a little tired, barely sore at the incision sites, and feeling generally good. My boobs are in a sports bra and they feel so soft amd normal. I love how they look so far already. My arms aren't pushed out from the side-boob anymore! Will stay in bed chilling with my cats, so relieved and happy I finally did this!

To those considering or in waiting, wishing you the best! This is nothing compared to getting them in, for me. I never once had second thoughts--only normal fear of surgery. I'm looking forward to the days to come and will keep posting photos and brief updates.

24 hours later

As I suspected, I'm a little more sore today since the local they gave me at the end of my full anesthetized surgery wore off. So although I've been just taking 1000mg of regular Tylenol every 4 hours, I decided to take the prescription with Codeine this morning.

I'd say pain is at about a 2. I feel a little more in the muscles when I cough or sit up from reclining. Considering my BA 19 years ago was at a 10, this is definitely bearable. I iced a little last night and will try to some more today.

I'd like to consider myself an independent woman, but it definitely helps to have my husband working from home. If I had to get up to refill my glass and make food every time, I'd likely be worse off.

Taking it easy today. I keep reading how others overdo it once they think they feel good and end up with complications. I'm going to learn from them and try to be patient.

Still can't believe I'm done! I love not having the round upper plane. And I love that my arms rest closer to my sides. Hoping things continue to heal well!

Bra tip

I was so worried about getting the right bras in advance, but both had elastic bands that were uncomfortable on my sutures--even if I put a panty liner or sock underneath. I just changed into my old seamless Champion sports bra from Target and it's so much better! Instead of pulling it over my head, I stepped into it and pulled my arms through. Save your money and make sure there are no seams and that the band part comes down low enough to sit on the ribs! Way more comfortable!

48 hours post

Woke feeling much better this morning! Muscles are a little less sore. Back on plain Tylenol as I don't think the Codeine helped the pain as much as it made me feel hazy and irritable.

Happy with my progress! One side is a little more rounded on the bottom than the other, but it's only day 2. It didn't feel as strange to touch my implant-free breasts today as it did yesterday. But it will take some getting to know them. After all, I've had implants most of my boob-having life! They respond so differently! I love that they're so soft and movable. I have a feeling we're going to be good friends.

Third day notes

Took my first full shower today. Washed my hair and everything! Don't know why I thought it'd hurt but it didn't.

Breasts are still a little concave on top but not worried. Massaged coconut oil onto them. I can't ever remember being so soft. I'm still being really careful with them.

Measured today just for fun. 31 rib cage and 37.5-38 across the nipple, making me 34C/D! I can tell I'm going to fluff on top. Not sure if the bottom half will tighten or stay the same. Pre BA I was a 36B/C or so I thought. They definitely are curvier than before. Still very happy :-)

I also noticed that the chronic neck and back of shoulder pain I've had since forever isn't there. Not sure if it'll come back or if it's true that somehow my implants were hitting a nerve. I'm just glad not to have it!

Day 4 Post

Feeling a little better every day! I'm only taking 1 Tylenol about twice a day now, and I'm nearly done with my antibiotics. I've been drinking a kombucha a day for the probiotics. My pain is pretty non-existent, unless I stretch too hard or carry something heavy--which I'm trying not to do much of.

I was planning on being much smaller so it's a little bit of an adjustment still having fairly big boobs. The good thing is I doubt anyone will notice. The biggest difference is the upper-boob area, which I'm glad to have gone. They might still shrink in time though. Looking forward to buying a couple of things in a few weeks. :-) My birthday is around then so it'll be fun to treat myself to a cute bra and top or something.

Feeling like it's time to go for a short walk in the sunshine. My ass is so tired from all the lounging around! I feel like it's going to flatten to a pancake! Haha It's probably been the hardest part about recovery, thankfully!

Get this bra!

It's called "Jockey Women's Molded Cup Seamless Bra" and I just got it on Amazon. I stepped into it and pulled it up. It doesn't bother my incisions and gives great support and cleavage. Plus, it's cute, unlike regular sports bras! Only $23. I'm going to buy another!

6 days post

Not sure I see a difference yet, but feeling really good. No pain, no pills. Maybe slightly less concave on top.

Finished the antibiotics. Husband is back to work so it's time to start cooking for myself again. I work from home so can still take it pretty easy--although in my new bra, I could skip down the halls if I needed to!

I have my first post-op appointment today. Hoping to get the white tape removed so I can start using Mederma and the silicone scar strips I bought.

Overall, still thrilled I'm explanted and happy with my results. :-) I can focus on losing a few pounds this week... Maybe. Haha I'd like to lose 5-10. Just not sure if I want that more than pizza and bread yet.

Self-reflections of a different kind

It's crazy to realize that exactly one week ago I was being closed up and sent into recovery. After close to a decade of contemplation and research after close to another of regret, I was finally free. Sometimes it still doesn't sink in.

I had a dream last night about going to clubs at around the time I got implants. I was 22. Back then I remember just wanting to stand out. I never felt pretty enough or anything enough, which I've grown to understand was a result of my childhood. So I worked hard to be seen. I got the big implants. I died my hair crazy colors. I never even walked around indoors without makeup. I even slept in my makeup, just in case someone saw my bare face if a fire alarm or something went off. I thought it was because I had the right to show the world what I wanted, which is only partly true. I was also afraid of letting anyone see the real me, out of fear of ridicule and rejection.

Fast forward to this past year. At 40, I started a skincare routine which meant my husband seeing my real face everyday, flaws and all. He always tells me how much he loves it, and I fight the instinct to make a silly face or say he's lying. I'm learning to be okay with my imperfections and trust others. Last year I also started to embrace what my body could do (yoga) instead of focus on how it doesn't look. I've shed lots of frivolous friendships and strengthened ones that had connections from the heart. My life is so much happier now. I go out being okay with fading into the background, and am working on being seen for things that I value in others--such as expressing my thoughts and feelings, and doing things for others. I don't want to be temporary eye candy for those who'd be quick to dispose of me anymore. I want to be soul food for those who matter.

Yes, I still want to be healthy and beautiful, but I'm defining beauty differently now. Beauty is comfort and confidence and not needing to prove a damn thing. It's something I might be able to be now. My body and face are what they are. They don't fit perfectly into anyone's ideal, nor do they have to. There are so many more things worth more than that. I'm excited for this next phase of my life.

Thank you, body

For the first time in nearly two decades, yesterday I walked down the street feeling comfortable in my own body, knowing it was 100% me. I felt real. I felt sexy. I felt proud. The bra I shared above is fantastic. No pain and no bounce, with a flattering shape. I held my head up to face the sun, smiling to myself. I didn't care how I looked to anyone because I felt so good!

I even did a small grocery shop and was able to carry a full bag up two flights. I had a friend I hadn't seen in a while over (who doesn't know) and she exclaimed that I looked great, without asking what's changed. Maybe she wondered if I lost weight, or maybe my face seemed relaxed. I'm not sure, but now that I'm recovering well, I don't think I'd be ashamed to tell the truth to more people. Yet I don't feel obligated either.

Before explanting, I worried that without the big boobs, I'd focus on my stomach being imperfect. But I don't. I'm just so appreciative of my body now as it is, for healing well after all I put it through for so long.

And you know what? So far my back pain hasn't returned. It must've had something to do with the implants somehow, because I had it every day for years before. Winning!

Progress

Noticed out of the shower that the upper pole might be slightly less concave. I hope they stay pointed upwards when they fluff.

I'll tell you what...

My period cramps are more painful than any part of my explant recovery thus far. Hope that helps ease your fears if you're waiting for your big day. In the meantime, I'll just be keeled over with my kitties. Gahhhhhhh.

Yesterday I showed them to hubby...

and he couldn't believe how good they looked. I was nervous to let him see and touch them, but felt brave when I came out of the shower. He said they looked amazing and better than with the implants. I was so happy to hear this! I felt like for the first time, there was nothing in between us. :-)

The bra frenzy! 36C/D

Like others have shared, bra shopping is not as easy as I expected it to be. Easier than with implants, but I'm still pretty freaking big, and of course the fit varies as they're not made consistently. Since I'm only about 2 weeks in I don't want to spend much as they might change. I tried on dozens. Online calculators said I'd be a 34C or 32D but hahaha said my boobs. I'm spilling out of some 36Ds! No wonder I went braless with the implants. I found two contenders but really I like the Warners wireless. I'll need to find better colors online because this is all they had at the store and the fit was great for extended recovery wear. The MM one is just for fun but I think they look too big in it.

Starting restorative yoga today! It's pretty much just laying around in poses. Haha But I'm just aching to do something!

Yoga without implants

Today I moved a little beyond laying around in restorative positions into down dog. It felt great! Still hesitant to do any real upper body work. Don't want to have any setbacks. Pigeon pose felt wonderful without those hard balloons in the way! I might ease into more vinyasa classes level 1-2 next week, skipping crow and planks. Excited to see if my balance is improved without the implants, but I won't rush it.

Yesterday I felt some tingling in my right breast. It wasn't painful. Others said when the nerves reconnect that can happen. I'm starting to regain more sensation in my lower boob area, below the nipples. I completely forgot how sensitive they used to be, before the implants. It's nice to have that coming back!

Nobody has commented on my boobs so far, so I'm guessing they don't notice much of a difference, and if they do, they can't place what. My husband says I look thinner in some outfits. I'll take it! I'm a little tired in the late afternoons, so allow myself to rest for an hour, to aid healing. Otherwise all is continuing to go well. Nothing much else to report!

Feels like still something in there

So this is kind of weird but tonight when I was massaging in coconut oil, I noticed a slight hardness underneath my breast tissue. It kind of freaked me out. I first noticed it in between on the inner boob area, and then a little behind the largest mass--under the nipple, before the fold. I had one of those totally irrational rushing thoughts of "What if there's something still in there???" After a few breaths I realized how crazy that is. Of course he didn't. That's ludicrous! He said he even removed most of the capsules.

My guess is that a) it's my actual muscles since its symmetrical on both breasts, or b) perhaps it's lingering capsule. I'm going to contact him to see what he thinks. My next follow-up isn't for a couple weeks. Has anyone else experienced this?

Energy Report and No Regrets

Since I've been feeling so good I decided to do a "no upper body ashtanga flow" this morning... and it felt wonderful. I don't think I pushed myself too far for where I'm at in my physical recovery. However, a couple of hours later I was really tired. It's important to note that even if I feel well enough in the moment, my body still needs energy to heal and it only has so much. Tomorrow I'll go back to the restorative "laying around in positions" classes, even though they're ridiculously unchallenging. At least they're something! And they help me internally.

I'll try to take photos again soon. It seems like overnight my left breast has begun to fluff a bit on the upper pole, but the right one hasn't that much. I'm hoping the right one will catch up but even if I don't end up as perfectly symmetrical as I'd like, I'm still really grateful. I haven't had one single moment of regret for having the implants removed. It's so weird how sexy I think my natural breasts look now after feeling like the implants looked so fake for 19 years. Real is sexy. I can't go back in time and never have gotten them, but maybe I wouldn't have appreciated my natural imperfect body so much now had I not done what I did. Life... is amazing. The female body is amazing. I'm so thankful mine has forgiven me for what I did to it. :-)

Happy birthday boobs!

It's my birthday week and these breasts are continuing to heal well! We hit the three week mark tomorrow. I no longer feel strange or afraid to touch them anywhere, and my energy levels are slowly increasing. I love them, little imperfections and all. What a great bday gift to myself that will keep on giving!

I bought this sticky strapless and backless bra off amazon. Since I used to go braless and can't now, I can wear it with the dresses and tops that look better without that band showing or giving me the dreaded back bumps. I love it! This one I'm wearing in one photo is the Komene brand if interested.

Real boobs bounce a lot. Hahaha I don't even remember that from before so it's like going through puberty! Bras are now my friends. I can't imagine walking down the street without one anymore! I'm still sort of half-hoping that the inner-swelling with leave them a little smaller, but whatever. These babies are all mine and I'll wear them proudly!

About 4 weeks post

They're definitely more firm in mass, whereas right after explant they were so soft and smooshy. Still look very similar though. I think my energy is 100%. I do feel some subtle pings now and then which I attribute to the nerves reconnecting, but they're not at all painful--just worth noting. I'm doing full yoga minus anything that puts a lot of pressure on my upper body as I'm still trying to be careful not to botch my recovery. Plenty of time for that stuff soon enough! I can walk around my apartment braless without feeling delicate, although I'm still sleeping in a light bralette just because it feels right somehow.

Today I start back at eating 90% whole foods, as I've enjoyed babying myself and making recovery very tasty. Hehee. More greens and beans, less bread and fried tofu for 5 days a week at least. Amazingly I haven't gained any inches (I don't weigh myself) throughout the 4 weeks of indulgence.

Very thankful for my results and recovery. :-)

PS: I know there are extensive lists on what to do before and after explant, how to eat, etc. I drank alcohol the weekend before surgery, which my doc said was fine, and waited for a week or so after just because of meds. But I haven't adhered to any lists and my surgery and recovery is going great. So for those who feel panicked they'll get something wrong to mess things up, my thoughts are not to stress. Stress is worse than anything else really. Just listen to your doc and your body as you go. I'm betting that results have more to do with your implant types, implant health, surgeon, genetics, and willingness to rest, than supplements and eating a portion of the wrong food. But I could be wrong. Hoping it helps though, because stress is a killer.

Sex

It's definitely more enjoyable. Maybe this is TMI but we're all sort of anonymous. ;) I've said it before and I'll say it again... I feel sexier without the implants. It's like I don't feel guilty for him enjoying my body anymore. I'm never wondering if my breasts look ridiculous in certain positions. And also as I've said before, it's more intimate with nothing between us. My body feels his. Before I was so conscious of the hard lumps. It was distracting. I'm able to be fully into it now. Before explanting, I was worried that if be more self-conscious for a while, getting used to smaller boobs. But instead I'm more confident. I'm delighted by this pleasant surprise of better sex. Hehee. My sex drive has increased! I think I need to calm down a little because I noticed my energy was down today. I was really tired and hungry. Maybe restorative yoga tomorrow.

And now that things have firmed up and I have no pain, I kind of like the way my boobs lightly bounce in my bras when I walk. OMG I sound like a sex-crazed person! It's just nice getting used to being in my own body again I guess, and feeling like a 100% real woman. (Not that implanted women aren't real.) I hope those in waiting and recovery find this encouraging. There's so much to look forward to after explant! I'm 4 weeks post and imagine it'll keep getting better.

Back to hiking!

Ready to take these babies on our first hike, post-explant! Feeling healthy and strong! Hoping to see some waterfalls...

5 Weeks, Got the All Clear

Tomorrow is 5 weeks post explant! Today was my 2nd post op appt and I was given the all clear to include upper body weight bearing poses in yoga (and whatever else I want) with the advice to start slow.

The doc is happy with my progress and agreed that there's a little more inner swelling in my right breast which might be why it looks a little bigger right now. Over time it should go down.

I embarrassed myself by saying "boobs" instead of "breasts". Hahahaha He wasn't affected but inside my head I was laughing. :-)

Excited to step up my workouts and maybe lose some excess in the midsection. But mostly, I'm still amazed at how well I'm recovering. So thankful! Our bodies are miraculous.

Scar treatment

My doc gave me this yesterday. It normally retails for $100 but he gave me this bottle for free to try. He's so nice! I'll let you know how it goes!

Something to know about cocoa butter!

I saw a lot of people talking about using it post-explant and saw it on sale the other day, so I grabbed a bottle. Um... I've only been using it for a few days but toweling off from my shower this morning I had a rather strange surprise: lots of little hairs on my breasts!!! OMG! I mean—they're faint and tiny, but it was frightening to see! I'm East Asian and have always had a fairly hairless body. Needless to say, I'm not going to keep using it! I Googled to see if there was a correlation and lo and behold, there is. Cocoa butter can help make hair grow. So there you have it. It may not happen for everyone, but I've plucked the little effers and I'm done with it! Hahahahahaha OOOOOOOOF. So glad this is anonymous! O.o

6 weeks!

Well, as of tomorrow morning. ;) Looking much the same but feeling better. I'm back to chatarungus and side planks. I can feel my muscles getting stronger again--which is such a great feeling to be strengthening after surgery and all that rest! Went on another big hike yesterday. I'm definitely feeling like myself... if one can feel like themselves yet so different from the past 20 years! Haha

I'm amazed at how it doesn't feel I look all that different with 300ccs less in each breast. But then I look at an old photo and cringe at how bulbous my boobs looked in a Tshirt. Sometimes it all seems like a bad dream that I got implants in, and now I'm finally awake. It's like I sit up and grasp my chest with relief!

While it's still a little of a disconnect from my pre-explant thoughts that I'd be much more petite and able to wear certain tops better, I'm still really happy. I *can* wear most things better, but my boobs are still too big for things that hang straight down from them. However, this is me now, and how I'm meant to look. So I'll take it. And my husband loves them. I suppose in that regard, it's easier that there's not a HUGE difference. So far, not one person has asked me anything. My husband says, "it's because people see you for more than just for your boobs." Well, thankfully!

Braless Wonder

Hahaha Pardon my Seinfeld reference and self-indulgence. I'm 7 weeks post today, just finished yoga, and decided to try on this sexy dress I bought ages ago that never fit quite right. Here I am without a bra and the dress holds them nicely! I was too nervous to wear this before because you could tell I had implants. Now I feel kind of hot in this dress with nothing to dampen my attitude. Hehee I know this sounds terribly shallow but I'm just enjoying my natural body in the privacy of my own home, and feel you ladies might understand. :)

When I first explanted, I couldn't imagine ever going braless again because my boobs felt so weak and soft. Now that they've firmed up, in a corset-topped style halter, I might get away with it. Otherwise, sticky bra to the rescue! Since I can't wear some of the things I was hoping to because I ended up bigger than expected, might as well work what I have. ;) Might need to go to a fancy dinner so I can have an opportunity to wear this and drive my husband crazy for the night!

The craziest dream!

Waiting for explanting brought lots of stress dreams but I never expected another--and nearly two months post. This is too funny not to share.

I'd gotten them out and at the big reveal, I noticed that something was strange. Instead of having anything that resembled a normal chest, I had two big white latex balloons on the outside! Squeezing them, they were hard and full. I was confused since I'd expected then to be soft. I wrote my doc on this forum, asking if he'd please replace the balloons with something more skin-like--and if I had to, I'd tattoo on the nipples! I said that although I didn't plan on going topless, I just wanted a somewhat normal looking chest. And then I dreaded having to go through surgery again...

I think I dreamt this because IRL on Facebook I'm in a ladies group and some were talking about their implants and getting them. I stayed quiet, not wanting to out myself, yet felt guilty. But the implant-havers were so happy with them and I didn't want to make them feel bad.

So instead it played on my subconscious! I woke feeling so happy to have my real breasts! Omg they felt and looked great--and no more surgeries are needed! Sweet relief!!! Hahaha I shared it here since maybe you ladies will get this. My hubs just thought it was strange! Hahaha

8 weeks post: last pics/posts for a while

There's nothing I can't do! :) Everything is going great. My scars are still red but otherwise look fine. And while I have newfound love for my body and its imperfections, I'm still going to kick it up a notch and get in better shape this spring.

I'm in a wedding this fall and had to buy my dress. It's so great to fit into dresses that have no stretch again! No alterations needed--except maybe a little hem since im on my 5'2".

Life post-explant is wonderful! Still twisting my brain to compare pre and post, how I felt in and out, looked, etc. So happy to be done and on the other side, for you wonderful ladies who've given me support and camaraderie, and for this new lease on life. I'll be checking in on you but not posting much more. Loves!
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon

I had a good feeling about Dr. Mele from the start. While he is definitely a respectable surgeon (double board certified) he has a kind and gentle demeanor with no attitude. He seemed a trustworthy and understanding person, which was an important addition to his accolades. He was also one of the few in the area who had plenty of before/after photos of explants easy to find online. He and his staff answered all of my questions in person, via phone and email--and there were several! I felt that my concerns were heard and responded to well. I am two days post-op (Feb 2016) and could not be happier with my results already. I highly recommend Dr. Mele and am so glad I chose him!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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