48 & Waving Bye Bye to DD's - United Kingdom

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Hi ladies, Before I start, I want to thank you...

Hi ladies,

Before I start, I want to thank you all for posting your incredible, brave and sometimes a teeny bit scary stories regarding implants and the long road to making the decision to explant. I have found this website both informative and encouraging and it has reinforced my own decision to explant in a couple of days on 31st Aug. I had 330 cc Allergan silicon implants over the muscle originally in 2003 aged 35. I'd had my children and was left with very little due to breastfeeding and I had lost an awful lot of weight which looking back was probably due to some sort of post natal depression and anxiety after the birth of my first daughter. The thing is, I didn't rush into making a decision to have implant surgery, I considered it over a couple of years, but after a thorough consult with a very good Harley Street surgeon I went ahead. My reasons for having implants were most likely lack of body confidence with the weight loss and I felt somehow that I'd lost my femininity over the years of bringing up 2 small children.
I recovered fairly quickly after the surgery and went from a A to a 32DD. It's quite ironic that I have spent the next 13 years trying to cover up my chest and hide the fact that I'd had implants never telling any of my friends, only my family knew.
I felt embarrassed by the size of them and I have had many health problems from literally the day post op, starting with a lung collapse on returning from the hospital. I had to have an operation to put this right subsequently and it has been quite a catalogue from there onwards!
I've had frequent flu, colds, ovarian cysts, fibroids, a nipple rash and discharge, endometriosis, a large fast growing lipoma on my back, difficulty swallowing, unfortunately due to these health issues, I've undergone no less than 8 various operations under anaesthetic over the past 18 months.

In 2013 I decided I wanted the implants out and I went back to see my original surgeon. He was really nice but told me (as seems to be the case with many other ladies on this website) that my breasts would be a disaster if I removed without replacing and it would affect me mentally, seeing myself in this state.
Reluctantly I agreed to smaller implants, I asked for the smallest he would agree to and this was 255cc Allergan textured silicone implants.
Again the surgery was quick and recover straightforward.

Over the last couple of years I keep coming back to the fact that I wanted them out and I felt frustrated that I'd been talked into replacement when this wasn't what I wanted.
Due to all these health problems I know I can't prove it and I accept it might not be related but I feel the implants aren't helping me.
Like some others of you, I am also frightened by the seemingly frequent bad news stories about silicon implants and their safety past and present and every time I hear another news item regarding them, I feel very upset, anxious and angry with myself for ever having gone down this route.
So.. enough is enough I have arranged to finally go ahead and have scheduled my removal operation for 31st Aug. I had a consultation with a different cosmetic surgeon who was more local in July. He was patient, listened to my concerns (I kept it pretty short!) and said he'll remove the implants, not all the capsules and if I have to have drains, they 'should' be removed by the time I leave the hospital, I'm being admitted as a day case.
He told me to expect to wear a supportive sports bra continually for 6 weeks afterwards.
I am having the operation through The Spire Hospital group, I feel they have a good reputation.

I've had my pre-op tests last week and been given surgical soap and nasal drops to wash with and apply for 5 days before which I've been doing.

I vere between being quite excited about finally getting rid of these implants and just getting on with my life and being really anxious and worried about being disfigured afterwards. It's a weird unsettling limbo to find yourself in!
Not that I've seen any disfigured ladies on here, you all look pretty great to me afterwards very quickly and your results have been comforting and given me a much needed boost!

I've never posted anything before on any websites, I'm not at all computer savvy and even posting photos is going to be a technical challenge for me, I'm a very private person but I feel strongly that the support and caring shown to others on this website is so valuable and I'm posting my story in the hope that perhaps it will help another lady out there come to a difficult decision.
All our reasons for originally going down the implant route might vary, but our reasons for deciding to explant seem very similar and it's wonderful that we can all offer support to eachother through a difficult time!

I will post again with pictures hopefully if brave enough after my surgery on Wednesday.

Operation over, feeling fine!

Hi ladies
Just a quick update as I'm not long out of surgery didn't go down til midday in the end.
I was really nervous, I think it's probably normal, the journey to the hospital then the wait & finally the lonely walk down to the theatre, all builds the stress til you go to sleep..
I think it took a couple of hours, I have drains, one of which was causing sharp pain upon waking in the recovery room, the consultant says I probably pulled it when they moved me in theatre which aggravated it. The other side is painless.
No tight bandages or covering (which has surprised me as I thought this was the norm), dissolvable stitches covered with plasters for now. I was hesitant to look initially but they changed my gown so I did get a peep. I think everyone expects theirs to be the most awful result of anyone and is convinced myself that after 13 years of over the muscle implants they'd be in terrible shape, but, ladies, I must say, I'm relieved and quite pleased with what I e seen so far.
They feel softer and not too creased up. However bear in mind the picture I took is of me lying far back so when I stand up they might 'crash and burn'!
The P.S came in to see me, said no ruptures but interestingly there seem to have been 2 capsules, a thinner one and a thicker one, one side of which was pretty well stuck to my chest wall. I am guessing this was from when I had them replaced in 2013, the old capsules weren't completely removed.
Drains aren't producing much and will come out tmw am, I'm being given regular tramadol as pain relief but I feel ok.
Sports bra die support rather than compression for 2 weeks day & night following surgery and he reckons that that should be sufficient.
I'll try & post this photo, not my strong point but want to record this journey (hate that term of phrase!) accurately for those of you lovelies out there agonising over the question of explanting!
Love to u all. Xx

Day One

Home again and had a long sleep this afternoon. One of the drains was sore and my Breast was painful after removal but I was just unlucky, the nurse said I must've moved it when I was moved in theatre. They just feel weird when removing the drains but not a big deal.
Incision sites underneath are a bit painful but have only taken paracetamol today and will take a tramadol to help me sleep tonight.
Dressings to be removed in a week, mustn't get them wet til then so no showering (worst luck)! No driving for a week or heavy lifting and no arms waving above my head! I will take some photos of the battered boobies tomorrow as they're all smooshed in a tight sports bra right now & uncomfortable to pull on and off.
Very pleased I have explanted though, no doubts over my decision and the nurse in the hospital said they are seeing more women now explanting without replacement. Nite nite ladies. X

2nd day after explant

Hi again

Day 2 nearly over & it's been a funny day. I've been really up & down, not over the explant, but just suddenly hit by waves of dizziness and so tired. Not nearly as active as I thought I might be so have been taking it very easy. It's hard watching housework mount up but my lovely little tribe (husband, 2 grown up-ish daughters and 2 scruffy little dogs) have tried their best to help out so it's been a quiet day... well, the dogs haven't exactly 'helped' but the 4 year old keeps looking at me rather sadly and it's as if he knows something has happened so he's not to jump on me!
My incision sites are sore, a bit more stingy on the right side than the left. I've taken paracetamol but not for 8 hours now, and it feels tight, so I'll take a couple shortly and a tramadol again before sleeping, I found it helped give me a good pain free sleep last night.
The front zipped sports bra I'd bought from M&S was far too tight so as soon as I got home, I dug out some old, greying faded sports type bras (disgusting I know compared with some of the very beautiful sports bras I've seen other ladies have) and I'm wearing one day and night it is looser on the incision covered by dressings.
My boobs themselves look a bit sorry when I took them out for a quick look, they weren't too keen on 'smiling for the camera' as you'll see, and the marks from the sports bra can be seen on them. I've taken one from the side tonight also so you can see the result of the explant the little mark on the side is from a small Mike removal which was done at the same time.
All in all, they looked smooshed and a bit cross as they've been pulled about but maybe they'll forgive me over the next few weeks/months and I'll get a sprinkling of this amazing 'fairy fluffing' that so many of you gorgeous girls out there speak of!
Please don't be put off by the photos, hopefully they will improve over time! Take care ladies xx

Day 7 post-op appointment

Hi there ladies
I had my post-op appointment with the nurse today to remove the dressings covering the stitches. It all went fine, she left the steri-strips which cover the stitches in place & just put a clean plaster over them. She said to leave a further week (so 14 days post-op) before getting them wet in the shower and at that point, I can remove them easily.
No raising my arms above my head for another fortnight-makes it hard to wash and dry your hair!

I've found the past week ok and didn't take painkillers after day 3. It's uncomfortable as the day wears on and underneath the right Breast the stitches can twinge and feel tight, but I put this down to the fact I'm right handed so it gets more use.
I haven't slept too well the last 3 nights, sleeping in a raised position and not moving through the night is not natural for me so I'm so looking forward to being able to side sleep again when it's ok.

Still wearing a 'comfort' style of bra which seems to hold them in place and isn't too tight like the previous sports bra I tried originally.

It's too soon for me to tell you if any of my health problems have alleviated but I do feel lighter up top and I'm hopeful that I will reap some benefits health wise down the line.

The only real changes over the last few days that I've noticed is they are less swollen and I think there the left is slightly smaller than the right, but that was the case before BA, so no surprises.
I'm really surprised that they seem bigger than they were in 2003 when I first underwent BA.
It would be nice if they 'firm up' a bit and I hope this might happen as the skin retracts?
I see my consultant in around 2-3 weeks so I'll be interested to see what he says re recovery and healing time for explanters.

I hope my photos come out all right, you will see the upper pole is deflated but I don't actually care, I'm just so relieved they are out and it's a better result than I thought I'd get anyway, so I'm very grateful.

There's a couple of brave ladies on here who are due to explant in the next few days and I would like to wish you luck for your operations. Xx

15 days post explant

Hi again
It's just over 2 weeks since my explant & the healing process is hopefully turning a corner. I had to wait 2 weeks before taking a proper shower and removed the dressings and steri strips when wet, it didn't hurt too much but it was quite uncomfortable as they were really stuck hard to the scars.
The scars (under the breasts) have dissolvable stitches & look ok but they are itchy and being irritated by the tight band on the sports bras so that is why they look red in the photos. It's hard to find decent compression comfortable bras.
I am not sure how much I can/should be able to do now with regards to lifting/reaching up/carrying and because I'm not in any pain, it's easy to forget and throw yourself back into everyday life, I hope I'm not doing myself a mischief!
I have been driving again after 8 days but not overdoing it there.
The main issue is it has surprised me how tired I've felt, usually I'm bright in the mornings but by mid afternoon I'm really done in and my energy has been at low ebb, people have said it could be the after effects of the general anaesthetic, apparently it can effect your system for up to 6 weeks afterwards.
My boobs seem to be a bit firmer, I don't think they are swollen anymore but I will say that the photos, for some reason, make them look larger and heavier than they actually are in real life, I don't understand! It seems that 'the camera does in fact lie'!
Sleeping is becoming easier, I'm back onto one pillow but turning onto my side still feels strange & I do it carefully and position my arms so as not to pull or drag the stitches. Can't wait to sleep with abandon again, arms thrown above my head!
I don't see my surgeon until 3 October and that will be the first post-op appointment with him so I will be interested to hear what he thinks of the healing and also more about the operation, capsules and implants etc as I didn't take it all in properly when he came to see me in the hours after the operation.
I'm very happy I made the decision to explant I have zero regrets, I'm amazed that my boobs weren't a total disaster zone after so long with the implants and I believe the body and skin is a wonderful thing which is constantly changing.
Take care all.

10 weeks post removal

Hi again, it's been a busy time so I haven't posted for a while but I've finally got round to taking a few pictures now that it's 10 weeks since the implants were removed.
I haven't noticed much change in the appearance of my breasts but they definitely feel firmer and the skin has toned up a bit & doesn't feel as loose and baggy as it did in the initial weeks.
I have tried on various bras but have found it far more difficult than I'd thought it would be to decide which size suits my new shape the most. I had imagined I would be either an A or at a push a B in a 32 size but I ended up buying a couple of 34C bras non-underwired which seemed to contain them and minimise the dreaded underarm boob overspill which I never had before with the implants in.
Before removal I was measured & wearing either a 30E or a 32DD but now I find the 32D too tight with the boob spilling out of the sides, one side is worse than the other, so the 34C was the better bet.
It's definitely a case of trial and error and I would recommend taking a few sizes into the changing room so you can find the best one for you.
Prior to having implants I was a 32A so I did expect to be this or even flatter and my original P.S had said this would be the case and in addition I would most likely suffer from some deformity when the implants were removed after so many years. My implants were in front of the muscle.
I opted for a new different surgeon who told me that I wouldn't be deformed and he felt that the size would be more likely a B or C cup. He was right.
I'm guessing that along with the fact that my body and boobs have changed over the years, the implants which were sitting on top of the muscle might have stretched my skin and flesh over 14 years too consequently they are much larger than before. That's my unproven theory anyway!
I'm hoping that the underarm boobage firms up a bit over time!
I'm not eating a bra to sleep in at night & admittedly it is still a bit painful when you turn over in the night or sit up first thing in the am, maybe the healing process and the nerves have a way to go yet.
On the whole, I have found the recovery fairly straightforward especially once the first couple of weeks were out of the way.
I can't say that I have honestly felt any real difference in my health since removal, but I remain optimistic over this and maybe, for me, it will be slow slight changes over time and I'll look back on this in a year or so and realise that overall, my ongoing health issues aren't so bad! Fingers crossed as that would be the fantastic.
I'm really really happy that I went ahead with the explant, I feel much more at home and comfortable with my body now and I also feel it's helped my overall body confidence as I used to feel self-conscious and a bit of a fraud!
I have absolutely no problem with ladies having implants however, it's a very personal choice and I think you must do whatever is best for you, it just wasn't right for me in the end.
I'm posting a few photos which mark 10wks post removal, I wish all you ladies facing a difficult decision to explant or those of you who have had a removal and are recovering all the very best.
Salisbury Plastic Surgeon

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