What a gem this site is - wish it'd been here 9yrs...
What a gem this site is - wish it'd been here 9yrs ago!! Hopefully sharing my experience will help someone else!
I still haven't made up my mind which way to go yet so any nuggets of wisdom will help me!
Pre B/A I was a 34AA with slight chest wall deformity (pigeon chest meaning achieving a cleavage was always going to be a challenge). I had my 275cc McGhan 510 (dual gel) implants placed sub muscular in 2007. I was 147lb at 5'8". Since then I have had weight fluctuations up and down of around 20lb and carried and breastfed 2 babies.
2 months ago after ending breastfeeding my 2nd child I found a lump. The NHS ran an ultrasound and evidence indicates ruptured left implant BUT they want to carry out an MRI to confirm and also check for extracapsular leak.
The NHS will remove the implants if they have leaked but won't replace or complete any lift/reconstructive work.
So! I have my MRI on the 17/8 and then a consultation with my NHS dr on 24/8 and my private PS on 26/8.
It's going to be decision time soon- explant + wait and see, explant + lift or explant + replace. Having 2 young children I ideally don't want to be going under GA more than I need to, not to mention the repeated recovery. It's such a tough one!
Anyway, I'll sign off for now and update again after the MRI next week
Take care xx
My symptoms and worries...
I'm waiting for my MRI - it's the day after tomorrow but I know myself that the implant is ruptured. I thought jotting down my symptoms here might help someone else who is in a similar predicament (as well as being somewhat cathartic for me). I've taken a picture and adjusted the contrast a little to highlight the lumps- there are now 3. When I initially presented to the GP at the end of June I actually had lumps behind both nipples which resolved themselves (end of breastfeeding issues) however I kept my breast clinic appointment and glad I did as during the following week I found the a lump. It was a strange thing as it would appear at the end of the day and often appeared more prominent depending on which bra I'd been wearing. By morning it was gone again! This baffled my NHS surgeon who initially put it down to breast tissue nestling in an implant ripple. I'm now waiting for confirmation on whether it is this or actually a siliconoma. I fear it is the latter :(. The shape of the breast and feel of it has definitely worsened since my last appointment, and over the last few days the breast has become achey at times and uncomfortable at night. When I lie down flat the implant drags my breast into my armpit. When the hospital first told me that they suspected rupture I panicked wondering how long it had been like it for? What caused it? Was it something I did? My mind is playing over all the different scenarios- could it have been an intra-capsular rupture that has been there for a good while and has only recently progressed to extra-capsular? I've recently lost my 2st of baby weight so is it just because I'm thinner now that I can see / feel it? Did I rupture my implant with my breast pump? Have I poisoned my child? Jeez, the cycle of worry and guilt just keeps going round. With every day that this is in me, I worry it is another day of it getting worse and causing a more challenging explant!
Of course this is all in my head as I haven't actually had a diagnosis yet - what a bloody nutter I am!!
So I had the MRI scan yesterday - I absolutely wasn't looking forward to it one bit. Something about someone looking inside me freaks me out a bit (but putting 2 silicone implants in doesn't ? Work that out!). I did chuckle to myself a little though when the nurse told me that she was going to give me 2 cod liver oil tablets so that they could see where my breasts end - I couldn't work out how that would work until she told me to tape them to my nipples (not swallow them ha!). I had to lay flat on my stomach with my breasts in 2 pockets and my face rested like on a massage table (except no where near as relaxing). The machine is so noisy- the ear phones that they played music through were a waste of time-just added to the level of noise. I closed my eyes and tried to distract myself thinking of the kids, work, holidays anything... and had 7 scans done each lasting around 3 minutes. I found myself getting dizzy and disoriented during the 2nd one and assumed I was starting to have a panic attack. I was determined to get through all of the scans without pressing the emergency buzzer so tried calming myself down by breathing and counting to the beat of the banging- that seemed to work well as a distraction technique. I did have to press the buzzer after the 4th scan but that was because I was desperate to reposition my arm, so I don't really count that :). Having looked on Google it looks like the dizziness isn't uncommon and can be related to the MRI magnets and the middle ear. Now I just have to wait and see. I have 2 appointments next week- NHS on Wednesday and private surgeon (who is incidentally an NHS consultant) on Friday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the scan results will be available in time for the appointments. Having the scan yesterday did make me think that if I do decide to replace the implants then I have to have regular MRI scans in the future (something I didn't but absolutely should have done this time around). Do I want that stress and anxiety (and expense) every 2yrs? Another reason to explant and leave well alone.
Lumps are getting harder
Even my other half has conceded that there is something amiss now! The breast is definitely harder, misshapen and the lumps are more noticeable now. The fact that the change is becoming more noticeable now gives me (perhaps falsely) hope that the rupture happened recently and I have been lucky to find it! The lump looks round on here but it actually feels like a ridge, an inch or so in length.
Not sure if I mentioned this on a previous post or not, but my baby started to refuse the breast (affected side only) at 4-5mths - I wonder if he 'knew' something was not right?! I suppose we'll never know, but I will ask the Drs next week!
Utterly frustrated! **Rant alert**
My appointment was supposed to be today to get the results of the MRI (confirmation of rupture and whether intra or extracapsular). The breast clinic called yesterday and cancelled, so it's now not until next Tuesday. The private appointment is/was booked in for this Friday (to follow on timely from the NHS appt) but now I don't even know if I will be able to have that as when I called radiology they said that the report wasn't ready. So! I'm now waiting until tomorrow to hear from the private clinic to see if they have had the test results- if yes, then I'm good to go! If no, then it's going to be Tuesday before I hear anymore. Annoyingly my husband is on annual leave this week so was able to come with me to both appointments. He can't make it next week due to work commitments. Typical!
Update on the lumps: now I don't feel any- what the actual fudge is that about? You've seen the last photos?! Where have they gone? Seriously struggling with this uncertainty now - I had my original GP appointment on the 24th June so have been waiting for 2 months now - worrying and pondering! Thanks to all you lovely ladies that have posted or private messaged me - your support has been a great lifeline!
Yesterday my private doctor confirmed that I have an intracapsular rupture in the right implant- no evidence of extra capsular silicone leak!!! PHEW! He did say that he didn't believe that the lumps in the breast were related to the implants so going to check that out again with my NHS dr!
He was very reassuring about the removal procedure in terms of low level of complexity etc.
Apparently nature has been kind to my nipple position but not so kind in terms of my breast tissue however! I have only 15% natural breast tissue left and a lot of redundant skin. If I removed the implants and didn't replace the implants I would be left with lots of skin and no volume- sagging pouches if you will. I could have a mastopexy but due to almost no breast tissue I will be very flat (against my curved chest wall deformity).
His recommendation is for me to switch from 275cc anatomical low projection to 500cc round high projection to fill out the upper pole which has been lost following breastfeeding. I have A LOT to think about. Needless to say that I got better news than I was expecting
Before and after pictures
My surgeon just emailed me my before and after pictures. As you can see I was pretty small and the breasts were low (picture 4 shows how I was already starting to show signs of ptosis (age 25, no kids at that stage but had fluctuations in weight)
The augmentation was very subtle- I wanted a natural, proportionate look which I believe I got!
For info I was 144lb at 5'8" at the time of my original surgery. Now I am 136lb. My implants are 275cc silicone McGhan 510 dual gel placed sub-pectorally via inframammary incision.
NHS appointment update
Had my NHS appointment today. The NHS dr is in agreement with the private surgeon regarding most points:
The right implant is ruptured. No evidence of extracapsular leak. Yet!
No evidence of silicone or inflammation of the lymph nodes
The lumps are unrelated to the implants as the rupture is intracapsular and they come and go. I've actually noticed they seem to be worse right before my period and then fade back during/after?!
The expected explant result- sagging bags of skin. In some ways this is reassuring in that the NHS surgeon has nothing to gain in talking me in to getting implants as they are not available anyway on the NHS (he said that he would be happy to remove the implants if that is what I wanted)
The only differences were
- the NHS won't do a capsulectomy, but will biopsy for ALCL
- the NHS operation is a day case surgery
Also of interest I contacted Allergan UK to question the implant warranty and so far I am pleased with the level of service! They replied promptly and thoroughly- I'll be interested to see what financial compensation if any, is available to me!
Decision time ...
I've made my decision!
These last 3 months have taken their toll on me mentally. I have spent hours searching through this site, looking at Google and observing, poking and prodding my boobs. All the while looking after a 6 year old and a now 10mth old. I'm exhausted and can't think about it any longer!
I've made my decision and I fear that most of you ladies will likely disagree however I believe it is the right one for me. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment and offer their support as it has helped me to make my decision based on a balanced view (not just a surgeon's).
I have decided to go ahead with replacement rather than removal. I have my 2nd consultation with my private surgeon on Friday and will likely book my surgery for the end of October.
Not to justify my decision but more to explain why, for anyone else in my situation who is undecided (and not to sway either way) I want to share my reasoning:
1. Until I finished breastfeeding my 2nd child, I had no problems with my boobs. I liked my boobs!!
2. I have not suffered any ill health, autoimmune symptoms, back aches, breathing difficulties etc...
3. Before I had my BA I felt p'd off every time I looked in the mirror, felt self conscious about my body when being intimate and frustrated every time I went clothes shopping. All this and my breasts were only small! Not sagging. Not covered in stretch marks. Not looking wobbly with excess skin. I don't think that I can deal with the daily impact it will have on my mood (as shallow and dramatic as that sounds)
I commend the ladies who have had the confidence to explant- if I didn't have children then MAYBE I would have had the explant and taken a wait and see approach. BUT for my current situation I don't feel that I can go under GA twice and rely on family and friends for 2 lots of recovery when I am 80% sure that I'd want the implants putting back in anyway.
I wish everyone good luck with their journeys and will continue to keep an eye on this forum as I know nothing (especially implants) lasts forever and in 10yrs time maybe I won't be so vain! But for now I think I will kick off a new review in the implant revision forum if anyone wants to see how things work out for me.
Best wishes x