27 at time of surgery - Breast Implants - A Cautionary Tale. Tulsa, OK

This isn’t a horror story as there were no major...

This isn’t a horror story as there were no major screw-ups but it is a caution. I am writing this in January 2015 and had my implants done November 2008.
I had always wondered about breast implants. I was a 32A depending on who measured me and I had the problem most small-breasted women have – shirts/dresses not fitting right in the chest. I always felt inadequate even though none of my boyfriends or my husband complained. I’m sure most women with small breasts can relate.
Fall of 2008, one of my coworkers got implants and was thrilled. A bit later, she decided to go back and get them reduced a cup or 2 but she still loved them. Another coworker then went to the same plastic surgeon for implants and a lift. She was thrilled also. This gave me encouragement as I had 2 women near me who had experienced it and I had a recommendation to a doctor instead of picking one out of the phonebook or from a Google search.
Before going for a consultation, I did a lot of online research: Saline vs silicone, under muscle vs over muscle, sizing, etc. I talked to the plastic surgeon and felt comfortable enough to set up the surgery for Nov 21, 2008. We decided on 350cc moderate saline and he used the Mentor brand implants. I opted for under the muscle for a more natural look. I went for saline because I didn’t like how if silicone implants leak, it’s not noticeable and it can be harmful to your body but you don’t know it’s happening. With saline, if it leaks you know it more easily and it’s not harmful to your body. My incisions are under my breasts.
I was nervous day of surgery but I got through it. I close my eyes on the operating table and opened them, what felt like seconds later, confused as to how I was fully dressed again and looking to see if my chest was bigger. I got home, slept, and woke up in a ton of pain but we called the doctor, loosened the strap that was around me and was fine. Recovery commenced.
I was ecstatic at first! I read online that it was common to be kind of euphoric for a bit afterward before settling down. I bought a halter dress for a holiday party and actually filled it out! I was so happy. My surgery scars healed quickly. My implants settled properly. Everything seemed fine.
Six months later, I could still feel the implants in my body though when moving. I was still experience discomfort and pain with them. I also had issues with the nerves in my breasts. The doctor simply said, “They should feel like part of your body by 6 months. Feeling in your nerves might come back.” My response was, “Well, they don’t feel like part of my body and my nerves are still messed up.” He had no answer. Also, I want to point out that there was no mention of possible nerve damage leading up to the surgery. I was never told that was a possible risk with surgery. As this was my first surgery, I had no knowledge of that on my own either.
So here are my results, which have not changed since 2009:
-Most of the underside of both of breasts have NO feeling. If I close my eyes and someone touches me there, I don’t know they are touching me.
-The rest of my breasts have some sort of nerve damage as well. Let’s say I have an itch. If I scratch it, it’s either incredibly uncomfortable or flat out painful. I don’t mean that the surface of the skin is painful. It’s not that at all. The pain/discomfort is deeper down in the tissue.
-Before the implants, I never wore a bra at night when sleeping. Since the implants, I have to wear one to sleep. If I lay down in any position, I can feel the implants moving and it’s uncomfortable. A bra keeps them more in place. I only take off my bra for a shower now.
-If pressure is applied to my breasts, they hurt. For example, if I am sitting in a chair and bend forward to tie my shoe, my breast pushes against my thigh. It hurts.
-Because I had them done under the muscle, my pectoral muscles were cut and had to heal back. They have never been the same. Anything that really engages those muscles is uncomfortable, such as pushups.
-My implants are bigger than I wanted. I said we decided on 350cc but he filled them to 375cc. We didn’t discuss doing that beforehand. Aside from that, my breasts are bigger than I would like. I am either going to go to a surgeon at some point to reduce them or to remove the implant all together, though one surgeon already told me that won’t be possible.
Final thoughts: If I could go back in time, I would have never got the implants. I would gladly have them removed if I could, however, that won’t fix the nerve damage. I still plan on going to have them removed if possible or at least reduced. I will not go back to the same surgeon, obviously.

27 when I got the implants

I forgot to mention my age. I was 27 when I got the surgery and am 33 now.
Tulsa Plastic Surgeon

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