I thought I would start with a little bit of...
I thought I would start with a little bit of background on how I ended up with PIP implants in the first place before I begin the story of my latest surgery....
I had a breast augmentation in 2008 after a long period of feeling unhappy with my figure following the birth of my son 6 years before. I was 22 years old and I felt that I had the body of someone in their 60s, all stretch marks wrinkles and sagging. I had thought about having a tummy tuck but felt that the long scar was not a sufficient trade off for the stretch marks and skin, so decided on a breast augmentation. I had gone up two cup sizes whilst pregnant and breast feeding, then gone back to my original size, with a lot of left over skin. I wanted to get back to the size I was whilst pregnant and lose the empty spaniel ear look.
I chose to have surgery with the Hospital Group with a surgeon called Mr Paganelli, I felt that by going with a well known company I would be in safe hands. I literally scraped together every penny I had for the surgery, including the train and the stay in a Travelodge the night before so I didn't have the money to pay for anybody to come with me. When I got to the clinic I explained I was alone and that I would be travelling home alone the next day. Despite this, I was the last person in surgery that day going down at 4:30pm and was asked to leave the hospital at 7:30am the next day. I had to take 4 different trains home and have never felt so ill in all my life, and I was obviously still feeling the effects of the GA I had had less than 24 hours before. It is for this reason I chose not to use the Hospital Group for my revision surgery. They appear to be very money focused and not very patient focused.
Other than the treatment I received whilst in hospital from THG, I was, on the whole, quite satisfied with my new breasts. I chose to have 365cc overs, bringing me from a 32b to a 32e (a challenging size when searching for new underwear!). I felt much more confident then before and got used to the size.
It was in 2011, three years later that all of the news of the PIP implant scandal came about. At first, I hadn't really taken much notice. I had been told by THG that my implants had been new on the market, that they were superior to any others and that they were guaranteed for a minimum of 25 years so I was quite sure this didn't effect me. It was only when I was searching for something in the attic that I found my old documents and saw that I definitely did have PIP implants.
Fast forward three years, after an ultrasound, an MRI, several different consultations with various surgeons, and a couple of court cases and I was booked in for PIP implant removal and replacement with Mr Baguley at the Nuffield Hospital, in York.
Choosing my surgeon & the op!
Three years passed between finding out I had PIP implants and the actual surgery. At the time when I found out I had them, I was in no position to fund any further surgery. Once I had had the ultrasound and MRI which confirmed that I had no visible ruptures or leaks, I felt a little more comfortable with the fact that I would have to wait whilst I saved up.
During the time that I spent saving I had three consultations. The original consultation with Mr Baguley, and then 2 further consultations with the Hospital Group and Adrian Richards at Aurora Clinics.
The Hospital Group confirmed that they would replace my implants for free if I had a confirmed rupture, if not they would do it for a reduced fee of £1,500. I visited my local clinic in Leeds and saw a surgeon who was nothing short of cold and disinterested. I explained my fears with regards to the implants and what would happen going forward and he told me there was no problem, but that he would replace my implants if that's how I wanted to proceed. Despite the low price offered there was no way that I wanted to have any further surgery with them.
My second consultation was with Adrian Richards at Aurora Clinics, which was a three hour drive away in Northampton. Adrian is considered something of a legend as far as the PIP implant scandal is concerned, recommended by a lot of others with implants. When I visited the clinic, he very much lived up to his reputation. Adrian and his nurse, Aggie were both lovely; I talked through my fears, that I had been advised that I would need an uplift but that I was terrified of the scars. He recommended that I saw another surgeon in Essex the next week, who specialised in a different type of implant nicknamed the 'Furry Brazillian'. This implant was supposed to give a lift without the scars. When I got home I did a bit of research on Pure (furry brazillian) implants and found a lot of scary stuff on how they become carcinogenic when they start to break down, and so decided not to proceed with the consultation in Essex. Apart from anything else it would have taken me more than 6 hours to get there and I decided I would rather be closer to home following my previous experience with THG.
After the two unsuccessful consultations I decided to get back in touch with Paul Baguley's clinic after my MRI scan three years earlier. I spoke to his secretary who explained the process of replacing my implants, and that they were offering a reduced rate for those who have PIP implants. This was refreshing to hear because so may surgeons are increasing their rates for PIP replacement, stating that they are more difficult to remove when ruptured.
I went back for my second consultation, and again explained my fears with regards to scarring etc. Mr Baguley explained that I can have the implants removed and replaced only, but that I will end up with unsatisfactory results, which will get progressively worse over time. He explained that he would give me a lollipop lift at no extra cost and showed me a picture of someone else who had had a lift, and it did look very good. I agreed to have the replacement with the lift and was booked in for 9th October 2014.
The period of time between the consultation and the surgery was about 4 months - a lot of time to spend pondering over whether it was a good idea! I felt so different to the first time, I had none of the excitement of before, just a feeling that I was doing it out of necessity. As the appointment grew closer I spent a lot of time wondering whether my boobs as they were, were actually that bad, and whether it was really worth the scars which I would inevitably have. Nevertheless I got to the day of the surgery and got to the Nuffield Hospital (a 5 minute drive away from my home :) ) at 7:30am on the day of surgery.
I got to taken to my room and got told to make myself comfortable and was advised that I would be going down to surgery at 11:30. I was seen by the nurses, the anaesthetist, and Mr Baguley who drew a picture on my chest of where my new boobs would be (see above). I could hardly talk to them I was so scared, but I just tried to get stuck into my book until I was taken down. By the time I got down to the room where I was given the anaesthetic I was an absolute mess, shaking, crying and generally being a massive baby. Everybody was very nice to me and tried to keep me sane, while I was given the floaty stuff that stops you caring about anything, and then I was sent off to sleep.
I woke up in recovery with a horrible taste in my mouth, feeling very sleepy. I stayed there for a bit drifting in and out of sleep before I was taken back to my room. I had two big bandages over my boobs, and no bra. I drifted in and out of sleep all day before having some food and seeing my boyfriend in the evening. I felt surpringly perky! I wasn't sure what to expect with regards to pain and being able to move about, but I didnt really feel any pain, and was walking around fine. I put a bra on as I felt a bit 'free', then went off to sleep for the night before being picked up the next morning.
I was sent home with codiene, paracetamol and ibroprofen along with antibiotics. I took painkillers on the first day, then nothing further. I have felt hardly any pain so far - though I'm not sure this is a good thing as I can't really feel anything in that area at all : / The only trouble I have really had is sleeping sitting up - its rubbish! My bum hurts so much. I have attached photos above which shows the bandages 3 days post op, and this is pretty much how I think they will look now until they come off at my post op appointment on 23rd October...
Bandages off today!
Had 2 week post op appointment today to have my bandages removed.
I had initially thought that I was seeing the surgeon and had a big list of questions but it turns out the appointment was just with the nurse. I have not seen him since the op and therefore have no idea whether or not the PiP implants were ruptured, or what size the new implants are.
I was feeling sick when I went in, both with fear of the pain and fear of what I was hiding under the bandages, but the nurse was very kind and careful and it wasn't that bad in the end. She took the bandages and the steriostrips (spelling?) off and wiped off most of the scabby bits. She reapplied a couple of steriostrips where I was healing with a bump but other than that my new boobs are free and out in the open.
From what I could see when she was removing the strips everything looked ok, but I did not see the vertical scars until I got home.
When I did finally get home and have a proper look, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well they are healing, I do have a bit of puckering and in these pictures they do look a bit 'Frankenstein's monster' but I made sure I took them in good light. They will only be on show in the dim light of my bedroom for the foreseeable future!
I am feeling a bit exposed without my bandages, I almost feel like I have reverted back to the first couple of days a bit - I went to the supermarket on the way home and I swear people were trying to walk in to me - nobody looks where they are going!
Anyway, fingers crossed I am now on the road to recovery... I called my surgeons secretary after the appointment to see if I could get him to email me pictures of the implants so hopefully I should be able to get them up in the next couple of days...
I will add photos in a separate post as they seem to be uploading upside down.
3/4 weeks post op
Healing up nicely now, almost feeling back to normal and looking forward to wearing nice bras. 3 week post op pictures are above. Had to go back and have an undissolved stitch removed this week but other than that the nurse said I was healing well....Am going to put some separate PIP update pics below...
PIP Implant Pics
Today I received the pictures of my ruptured implants from the clinic, right one in perfect shape, left one is a mess. I am not sure how I feel about the pictures - on the one hand I am not surprised, they both felt very different from one another, though I thought it was the right that felt ruptured rather than the left. On the other hand I am actually shocked. I paid quite a lot of money to have ultrasound and MRI scans done as the Hospital Group refused to help me and yet neither picked this up. Thank goodness I did not decide to keep them based on the results of these scans!
I am scared that the filler in the implant has potentially been leaking into my body for a long time. And I am scared that we don't know exactly what that filler is. I know that I have potentially had immune system issues, and I have been suffering from rashes on my chest for the last couple of years.
The second pictures I have attached are of the rash on my cleavage. I have had a pimply rash there constantly for the past 12 months or so. For the first two weeks after my op the rash really flared up and that was when I took the pictures. Funnily enough it has now subsided and it it almost like my body is rejecting all of the poison that was held in the implant capsule... I am booked to see the surgeon in 4 weeks time so will get the full story then with regards to what he found and whether there was any gel bleed on the other side.
6/7 weeks post op
11 Sep 2015
11 months post
Around the end of November 14...
They are all upside down i cannot turn them over!
6 months post op
11 Sep 2015
11 months post
More upside down pics. April 2015.
11 months post op
11 Sep 2015
11 months post
Today's upside down pictures...