First of all...THANK YOU to all of your brave...
First of all...THANK YOU to all of your brave ladies who have shared your stories on this site. I never in a million years thought I would tell my own story, much less post pictures, but I am so very, very grateful to all of you and I hope that my own story can help someone else.
I got 400cc saline implants put in over the muscle 13 years ago. These took me from a 36B to a 36D. Time, babies and weight have taken me to a 36 DDD/E (which I spill out of, so realistically, I am more like a 36F). I was happy with my implants for the first few years, but for the past 10, I have been dressing around them, trying to cover them up and keeping extra weight on so that I look proportionate. At this point I feel matronly and dumpy, my chest is now a "bosom" and I have neck and shoulder pain to boot. I wear minimizer bras that cut into my shoulders and have to wear a bra to sleep in, I am strapped in 24/7 lol!!
I can't say I regret getting implants, because if I never had them, I wouldn't have known that I wasn't going to be comfortable with them. For me, personally, the extra attention and focus on my chest has been really uncomfortable, I am shy by nature and getting ogled has never been my thing. Add this to wearing layers to cover up, even in the Summer, being uncomfortable when hugging, not being able to sleep on my stomach, wearing XL shirts to fit my chest when a medium fits my waist and I am just done!
Tomorrow is my consultation appointment with Dr. Klink, I am so excited and nervous, but most of all, just ready!
I know I should probably talk to more than one plastic surgeon before settling on one, but I met with Dr. Klink and felt really comfortable with him and his office, so I just went for it and scheduled my procedure for August 15th!!!! He was really patient and relaxed, explained everything and answered all of my questions and had a good "bedside" manner. The total cost will be $2,705 and yep, that is a lot more than I was hoping to pay, but my gut instinct told me he was the guy so I am okay with the price. I feel like he is careful and concerned about his patients safety and that is worth every penny.
I will be having the explant of my saline implants done in an operating room under "local", this was one of the things I was looking for, I did NOT want to get general anesthesia, it makes me really nervous and super nauseous afterward. I do not need to have my capsules removed, but I will have drains, which makes me a bit anxious :(
I have my pre-op appointment scheduled for July 31st and it can't come soon enough. I am freaking out already and I have about 7 weeks to go before I have the surgery! Thanks again to everyone for sharing their stories, I hope I can change my rating to "Worth It" when this is all over!!
In my last review, I forgot to include the MOST important reason why I chose Dr. Klink. When I told him I wanted to explant, he didn't try to talk me into new implants or a lift. He approved of my choice to to explant and heal before I decided whether or not I wanted a lift and even said that I may be surprised by how much my skin retracts and my tissue fluffs. This kind of low pressure attitude was really key in making me feel comfortable. I hope every woman can find this kind of supportive surgeon, we all deserve it!
Also I chickened out on posting a photo of my implants without a top last time. Realized it would be much more helpful if I did and if all of you other brave ladies could do it, so could I.
Second Guessing Myself
Welp. I didn't think it would happen to me, but here I am, second guessing my decision to explant. I am terrified that I will hate what I am left with even more than I hate the implants. Does everyone go through this as they approach their surgery date? I keep thinking, "Well, maybe I should just loose 15 pounds and they will seem smaller". I am afraid that when they are gone, I will look even chubbier because my bottom half will be bigger than my top half. Then I feel ridiculous for caring about how I look when I am in my 40's, a mother and my health and getting plastic bags taken out of my body should be the first priority!
To make matters worse, my husband loves my implants. I mean, L.O.V.E.S. them!! He says he wants me to do whatever will make me happy and I believe him, but I know he will really miss them. Ugh. Just needed to vent. I know explant is the right thing to do. I feel like I just need to visualize the worst case scenarios (look horrible, husband hates them etc.) and be okay with it so that if that happens I will be prepared. If they don't look hideous and my husband is still attracted to me it will be a bonus, lol! Sigh.... so wishing I had never gotten them in the first place so I wouldn't have to make this decision and spend thousands of dollars we don't have. Thanks for listening, ladies.
More Pics and a Reality Check
After my minor freak out a few weeks back, I sat down and made a list of the pros and cons of explant for me personally. Needless to say the pros way outweighed the cons. One thing I had forgotten about until I made my list was Mammograms. Mammograms with implants are incredibly painful (at least for me) and way more intensive. The tech always has to take twice the number of images, including a full set with the natural breast tissue and skin manually pulled away from the implant - seriously ouch! I have had more than one mammogram where I needed to go back in for a second round of images then a 3rd ultrasound procedure to make sure everything was okay (I turned out to have a cyst and have fibrous breast tissue). I am no expert, but it seems to me that my having implants just just makes breast cancer detection that much more complicated. And God forbid, what if the implants are in the way of allowing early detection? How incredibly sorry would I be?
I also have been going through old photos and like so many of you, have grown to realize that there was not a damn thing wrong with my body to begin with. Ah, hindsight and all that! I always thought I was "bottom heavy" so I needed a larger chest to balance out, but now I see that what I once thought were "fat" legs where strong. Those "stocky" legs took me all over the world and helped to carry my body when pregnant. I wish I could go back in time and give my younger me a big hug and a good talking too.
Looking at photos I have taken recently of myself that I am posting here, or even looking in the mirror, I have to admit, I think the implants look pretty darn good. But here is the important part...they don't feel good. There is not a moment in the day, or even at night when I am not 100% aware of them. The feeling of heaviness and discomfort is always there. It's been 13 years. It's time. I can't tell you how grateful I am for this site and for all of you who have shared your stories. You all have given me courage and strength and the nudge I needed to look inside and rediscover who I really am and what is really important. 3 weeks to go. Let's do this.
Yesterday was my pre-op appointment and for whatever reason I was nervous, totally silly, I know!
Anyway, for others wondering what happens during the pre-op, here is a rundown of what happened at mine:
1. Provided a print out of my last Mammogram.
2. Signed tons of paperwork.
3. Had photos taken (least favorite part).
4. Got prescriptions to fill for after the surgery (Percocet, an anti-nausea and an antibiotic).
5. Was given an order for lab work to have blood drawn.
6. Went over the pre-surgery rules (no aspirin for next 2 weeks, no eating after midnight the night before etc.).
7. Paid in full (ouch).
8. Met with Dr. Klink very briefly to go over procedure and answer final questions.
Easy Peasy! Now the countdown begins!! Oh! I almost forgot... I found some really comfy bras thanks to a recommendation from another realselfer :) My doctor said they would send me home in a surgery bra so I will use these later, but for now I am sleeping in them and they are the most comfortable sleep bras I have found. They are from Clear Point Medical and the styles I bought are the "Medical Comfort" and the "Medical Cotton Comfort". They are really nice because the bottom band is wide and soft and the cups are stretchy so they fit now and will hopefully fit after as well. Here is a link if anyone is interested: http://www.clearpointmedical.com/compression-wear/surgery-recovery-bras-medical-comfort-bra.aspx
Okay, ladies, talk to you soon!!!
48 hours to go....
FREAKING. OUT! I swear these last few days have felt longer than the 7 weeks before! Any last minute advice? I feel like I should hurry up and wear all of my pretty bras that will (hopefully) be way too big after explant ;)
Thanks again, ladies, for all of your stories and bravery. Until I found this site, I honestly just thought I was stuck with these implants until they ruptured, it never occurred to me that explant was a common procedure. So once again, THANK YOU! :)
Hi ladies! Had my surgery yesterday and all went well, thanks for all the well wishes. I had "twilight sedation" and still felt like I was in the Twilight for most of the day afterward ;) The surgery itself was fine, turns out my implants were textured, which I either forgot or didn't know, and the left one had adhered to the tissue a bit more so was a little tricky to pull out. My nurse, Cat, and Dr. Klink couldn't have been more kind or taken better care of me, I feel so blessed to have found this surgery center and highly recommend them!
I did end up needing my percocet last night but am feeling good today, but definitely taking it easy. My nurse said to pretend I am a T Rex so I will remember to keep my elbows in and not extend my arms, she was awesome! I managed to shower this morning and redress my drain incisions. I was sent home in a surgical bra that is not at all tight, no compression, just gauze under and over the drains and over the stitches with also have tape. I do have a lanyard that I can clip my drains onto. I go back in on Monday morning and really hope the drains can come out!
Okay ladies, thanks again for the support and I am thinking of all of you who have just explanted or who are doing it soon! I can tell you that I am SO happy that I did this!! I am super flat and floppy, lol, but I am all ME. When I look in the mirror it is like seeing an old friend. Thanks to all of you who have posted pics after explant and then more updated pics, you all give me hope that I will firm up and perk up in a few months :)
1 Week Post Explant
You guys....I AM SO FREAKIN' HAPPY!!! Absolutely thrilled with my explant and my only regret is that I didn't do this 10 years ago!
So it has been exactly 1 week since my explant surgery, I was able to have my drains removed on Monday (surgery was last Friday). Have to say, the drains were the worst part of the whole process for me, they totally grossed me out and I found it hard to dress around them, even pinning them to my pants or on a lanyard etc. BUT. I am so glad I had them, I had more peace of mind knowing that excess fluid wasn't building up inside me (I am a worrier). By the time they were removed, I was draining less than 10 (ml?) on each side. The actual removal was extremely painful on one side, made me jump out of the chair, but no big whoop on the other side, barely felt it. My doctor applied antibiotic gel and gauze to the drain incision sites and said they would close on their own in 24 hours and they did.
I still have surgical tape over my surgery incisions and haven't peeked yet, I go back in next Thursday and assume it will be removed then. I have had very little pain, and switched over from Percocet to Tylenol within 24 hours of surgery. That said, if I do over do it, I get some sharp pains. Yesterday I was busy with housework, driving and shopping all day and I needed Tylenol before bed.
My doctor told me I could wear whatever bra was comfortable and I happily started shopping and was shocked to find I am a 36 D! I joked with my friends that now I need a breast reduction, lol. So before implants I was a 36B, after implants and 13 years I was a 36 DDD and after explant I am a 36D. I'll take it! I am wearing non-underwire bras during the day and genie bras at night. I bought some surgical bras that were comfortable before surgery, but they are a bit too tight on my incisions to wear right now.
It has only been a week, but I am thrilled with how much my skin is tightening up, I am using sweet almond oil after every shower to moisturize. My clothes look so much better and everyone keeps asking me if I have lost weight (yay!). My doctor even told me that I look better without my implants! I feel 10 years lighter and 10 years younger and hope that all of you fellow explanters are as thrilled with your results as I am. THANK YOU so much for following my journey, I will update in a month or two. Until then, happy healing to us all!
One more pic....
My 1 week update is above, but wanted to add one more picture, I can't believe the difference in just one week!
1 Month Post Explant
1. I had 400 cc textured saline subglandular implants for 13 years
2. 42 years old
3.Explanted 1 month ago
I feel thinner, lighter and 1000% more comfortable in my own body. Only regret is that I didn't do it sooner!! I am so amazed at how much my skin is firming up, I feel like my body is thanking me for letting it get back to it's natural state :) Here are my 1 month progress pictures.......
A Year and a Half after Explant
I meant to update after 1 year, but a funny thing happened after explant.... I forgot all about my boobs! Lol, well, to be fair, I just stopped obsessing about them :) It has now been 1 year and 8 months since my surgery to explant 400 cc saline, over the muscle implants that I had for 13 years.
I have ZERO regrets about my decision to explant, in fact, I wish I had done it sooner. I am so comfortable in my clothes (and out), can sleep on my stomach, and am no longer embarrassed to give hugs. I love having soft breasts again and actually feel more feminine that I did with my implants.
My skin has really firmed up and I am not nearly as droopy as I expected to be. I do have an area of faint stretch marks over each nipple, but they are barely noticeable and when wearing a bra or bathing suit, they are not visible at all.
One wonderful outcome of explant has been easier mammograms! Anyone with implants can relate to how painful the process can be, with stretching the tissue away from the implant and the extra imaging required. Now my mammograms take half the time and I feel more confident that if an issue arises, the images will be clear enough to get an accurate read, with no implant obscuring anything.
Thanks again to all of the brave ladies who post here, it helped me tremendously when making my decision to explant and I am so grateful. Wishing you all best of luck in any decision you are making, and happy, healthy healing!