Looking into Breast Implant Removal (En Bloc/total Capsulectomy) - Miami, FL

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In the spring of 2014, I had a breast enhancement...

In the spring of 2014, I had a breast enhancement and breast lift (300 cc mentor cohesive silicone gummy bear implants placed under the muscle with anchor breast lift). I am in my late 30's and always wanted to lift my breasts because I lost volume due to pregnancy and breast feeding. I always fluctuated between a full B and small C, depending on my weight but had a hard time filling out my bra and achieving cleavage. My post-implant breast size now ranges between a medium C or a small D depending on the bra. My breasts look very natural and to be honest, no one even noticed I got a boob job. I can't complain, my plastic surgeon did a phenomenal job. Unfortunately, I began experiencing some strange symptoms right out of the gate and here is where my story with implants begins and it all began with my feet. I was instructed to wear compression socks for 5 days post op, so the day I decided to take them off and change my pants, I felt a strange web-like electrical sensation from my ankle that would spread to my toes. My feet were also ice cold, all of the time! About a month later I began feeling a coldness and tingling in my arms. In my sleep I would feel tingling and chills all over. This prompted me to go the ER and it was suspected I had either Guillian-Barre syndrome or MS. They were ruled out with an MRI. I then began seeing a neurologist to follow-up. After weeks of appointments for blood work, nerve conduction, EEG, a biopsy, anxiety and insomnia began to kick in. Nothing was found to be abnormal in my test results except that I did have some small nerve fiber damage in my feet, but no explanation as to why. My neurologist sent me on my way and referred me to see someone at the university and prescribed a medication (Metanx) containing very high methylfolate, methylcobalamin B12, and P5P B6 usually given to patients with peripheral neuropathy caused by diabeties. Never took the gabbapentin that was prescribed. I took the Metanx as prescribed and began itching, feeling really anxious, irritable, couldn't sleep and began googing some more. I learned about something called MTHFR. I requested a test from my PCP and sure enough I had a double mutation for it. I also noticed in my blood work was that I had higher levels of arsenic and sky high levels of B12! During this time I was experiencing panic attacks, 24 hour anxiety, and insomnia because of all of the stress. I couldn't believe that no one could figure out what was wrong with me! This lead to all sorts of worries and concerns about my future, and the future of my marriage and family. All I could do was cry, ruminate all day long and research online. I began seeing a psychiatrist and therapist to get me through. What therapy has done for is help me cope with all of this and go on with my life in order to function, although my ability to sleep well has never fully returned and I can never go back and un-know, what I know now about the dangers of implants and what they can do to your body. Taking the functional medicine route has also filled in the blanks for me, where traditional medicine has fallen short and let me down. As far as my symptoms/health issues I now have a year and a half late, here is what comes to the top of my mind: neuropathy, cold feet and hands, sensitivity to light, dizziness, poor sleep/insomnia, hair falling out, food allergies and sensitivities that I never had before, adrenal fatigue per 24-hr saliva test, anxiety, tense muscles in my neck, shoulders, and upper back despite seeing chiro 2-3X per week, poor gut health where my nutrients are not being digested properly and absorbed, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, my arms and hands get numb and hurt a little when l lie down and read or hold phone upwards. Per my nutritionist I now must avoid gluten, sugar, tomatoes, dairy, soy, ginger, turkey, turmeric, beans, chocolate, among other things I once enjoyed without trouble, I take pancreatic digestive enzymes after all meals, probiotics and probiotics. Results of an organic acids test revealed my body is actually demanding much more of many many vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals than just a year ago when I took the same test. I am also showing more cadmium and mercury then a year ago. I'm sorry this has been so long, but I wanted this to resonate with anyone that may be going through similar issues, and may think that their situation is isolated or unique. I spent a long time afraid, and then very angry at myself for making myself sick, and now I obsess about how to make myself well, but feel like the more time I don't take action and explant, the longer I am drawing this out. I also think about how bad off I might be, if I weren't so proactive and have taken many measures to try to improve my health without giving into the pharmaceutical route. My only regret was seeing a plastic surgeon about getting an explant, and letting her talk me out of it - twice. Well I think I'm ready now. I placed a call for a consult today, and due to a cancellation, I will be able to meet with him in 2 days. I have seen him on the list of plastic surgeons that performs that en bloc removal. Wish me luck : )

First explant consult

Today I went to my first explant consult with a PS located in the South Miami area. I think it went fairly well even though for some reason I was so nervous I felt sick to my stomach. This didn't even happen when I met with my original PS about removing my implants 5 months ago, returning to the scene of the crime sort of speak. This doctor took a lot of his time with me, which I very much appreciated. He is actually listed on a few lists I've seen for doctors that perform en bloc surgeries. He spent much of his time speaking to me about the numerous studies refuting the connection between the new generation of intact silicone implants and autoimmune disease and symptoms, particularly in my case because it's only been about a year and a half. With this in mind, he told me as a doctor he could not recommend an explant because he doesn't believe in the correlation, but as a patient if I had other objections to keeping the implants for ANY reason, he would provide the service and remove them for me. He told me he rarely encounters patients returning to remove implants, but occasionally he comes across a patient that believes she is experiencing some symptoms as a result of the implants and has them taken out. He said that many actually still experience symptoms despite removing them and return requesting to have implants put back in. Now about my breasts, he examined them and said they felt soft, and absent of any capsular contracture or any issues, therefore he recommended an explant under IV sedation that would take a very short time in the surgical center, no drains, and where recovery would be a speedy one. He said that capsules in my case would be minimal, and trying to remove them would be unnecessary because it would be similar to peeling off the thin skin of an onion. He believes that the newest cohesive implants have a thick silicone shell, therefore one is protected from the contents, and unless one has a rupture, it would be unnecessary to remove the capsule. What he had to say about my 1 1/2 yr old breast lift was kinda depressing. He said that the anchor-style incision is "archaic" and a technique that is not really used any more, it's actually the first one taught in school. As a result, it doesn't hold up, hence explaining why my implants are already bottoming out!!!!! I thought it was in my imagination or that I was trying to psychologically convince myself that my boobs were sagging out of a love/hate relationship I have with my breasts right now. Whenever I would as my husband, he would say they looked natural I guess to spare my feelings! So I left the office with two quotes, one for a removal under local sedation, and another for a lift without a removal. He usually waits about 6 months or more after removal to see how the skin contracts and lets the patient determine whether she would like to return for a lift.

Consult #2

I could have sworn I wrote a review about my 2nd consult back at the end of December, but it turns out I did not after all!!! It must have been the craziness of the holidays. Anyway, I saw a female doctor is the South Miami area that has worked on my step mother a few times for reconstruction after breast cancer. She did not dispute that I was having symptoms, and told me that if I wanted to remove them and remove my capsules, she would without hesitation. She shared with me her own experience with implants explaining to me that her last set made her feel like she was suffocating and that she could not breathe at times so she just recently exchanged them and repositioned them. It was nice to hear a female's physician's perspective, someone who has gone through the process herself, and also had experienced some discomfort. She was very easy to talk to and stopped every time to hear what I had to say. She was not detached at all, and seemed to me very empathetic. She even gave me her cell phone in case I were to have any other questions. She did recommend that I get a lift because she said there was a little bit of sagging and she wanted me to feel happy with the outcome after removing the implants. I asked her if I was bottoming out and she said that I was not, that my implants were well positioned, but that my implants were a bit large for my frame. I will strongly consider going with her for my explant but I do want to see at least three doctors before I make my decision.

Consult #3

So last week I went to see a plastic surgeon that not only reached out to me on Real Self to answer a question I posted, but after calling to schedule an appointment with his office, returned my phone call to discuss my situation. Over the phone he told me that some do not do well with silicone, and according to some of the symptoms I was having, I could have some non-specified fibromyalgia things going on and the best thing would be to remove them and see how it goes. When I went in to see him in person, the wait time was practically none existent. He took his time with me to answer all of my questions and address all of my concerns about removing my capsules, my genetic issues in relation to not absorbing my B vitamins very well which have most likely led to my peripheral neuropathy, and anesthesia. He seemed SO knowledgeable from how the nerves work to why I could be experiencing the carpal tunnel-like symptoms which align with what my chiropractor has been telling me about what's going on with my muscles in my neck, chest, and shoulders. These days I have less and less confidence in doctors because it seems like half don't even know what they're doing anymore. They don't think outside the box, and really lack in diagnostic skills. If something doesn't show up on a lab, they tell you to go home and be grateful because nothing is wrong with you. He told me right off the bat that I had a genetic issue without me saying a word. I wish he was around when I was trying to figure this stuff out with no help from my PCP and neurologist. So he examined me and also commented on the size of my implants, but was surprised to find that I had enough tissue to hold my own!!! He said that he wouldn't necessarily recommend the lift but it was up to me. I forgot to mention that doctor #2 said the same thing about me having enough tissue (probably a B cup after explant). He told me that we could do the following 1) remove under local sedation (no nitrous oxide due to MTHFR) 2) remove implants and capsules under general 3) remove implants, capsules, and lift under general anesthesia. He wrote me a prescription note for me to see a Cardiologist about my Right Bundle Branch Block for general anesthesia clearance. He also offered to write a prescription note to the doctor that implanted me to see if he could do it free of charge. Apparently they are good friends. I politely declined, and he also agreed later on in the discussion that he wouldn't be the best choice because he doesn't have much experience in removing capsules, reconstruction, etc. and probably wouldn't be so open. When I had my surgery I did address some of the strange symptoms and he told me they were normal and that they would pass. I went a year later for a consult to remove them and he told me again that these things would pass. That is when I decided that if I were to proceed with explanting, that I would go with someone else. I like this 3rd doctor very much, and he has a lot of experience. About 35 years of experience. I appreciated him being honest with me, and pretty much telling me straight forward that I need to remove the implants. His staff seems to be great too. Very friendly and approachable. He gave me a great quote if I decided to go ahead with the surgery using him as my doctor.

High B6

Just when I thought I would be 100% ready to proceed with this surgery, I get some disturbing results from some blood work from my physical. Everything seems to be normal with the exception of my abnormal EKG which shows my Right Bundle Branch Block and very high levels of B6 in my blood. I already knew about my heart condition. I was shocked to find this out because I figured I would be low if anything. At least that is what my last two Genova MAP and NutrEval tests revealed. Those tests basically use an algorithm using your urine or combination of blood and urine to figure out the amount of B vitamins, minerals, alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, omega fats, etc. your body needs. It's specific and tailored to the individual. My last test indicated I needed 50 mg of B6 a day. I substituted B6 with only about 5-12 mg of the active form, P-5-P daily. The only thing I can figure from this is that I may be lacking in other vitamin cofactors like B1, B2, B3, magnesium, and Vitamin C and my body is not absorbing the B6 at the cellular level or I am consuming too much B6 between the supplementation and my high in B6 diet. Either way it can be dangerous and cause neuropathy which I already suffer from, and permanent nerve damage. I was under the impression that P-5-P couldn't cause high B6 and nerve damage, but I am now finding out that it very well can. The stuff we learn about B vitamins being water soluble and harmless at high levels apparently is not 100% accurate. Another thing I am looking into before going through with a surgery under GA is finding out exactly what medications were administered to me during my first surgery. I would like to know if I was given anything that might have caused adverse reactions such as a fluoroquinolone or nitrous oxide. These two can cause neuropathy. The fluoroquinolones can cause horrible long-term problems to the CNS. I just want to have as much information as possible before I put myself through surgery again so that I can speak to the anesthesiologist and feel more comfortable about my decision.
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