I am now 5’6”, 150 lbs. 47 yrs old, married, 2 children, and breastfed the first one for only 3 weeks with the implants in. My implants were placed behind the muscle, about 360 cc, smooth and round. The incision was on the crease. Here’s my story…………..
I was 21 yrs old, (1979) had a great job with a management position. My girlfriends and I were into the disco days. We hit every club on Long Island from Queens to Montauk. I was so self-conscious of my flat chest that it was on my mind constantly, almost like I was obsessed with it. I was 120 lbs and a size AAA bra was big on me. I didn’t need a bra at all. I remember when I took my hand and placed it horizontally on my chest from nipple to nipple it was completely flat. I had a tiny bit of breast tissue on the outer sides of my breasts. I couldn’t even find a padded bra small enough to fit me.
I met with my PS and he made sure I wasn’t doing this to get a boyfriend and I explained I hated the way I looked in clothes and was very self-conscious and was doing this only for myself. As far as everybody knew, implants were safe and should last a lifetime…
One week after surgery I had a follow up visit when my PS took the bandages off. It was like a miracle, I had beautiful breasts and instant self-confidence. I remember my Mother was with me and we stopped at the diner to get something to eat after the bandages were removed and I felt so confident and beautiful for the first time. I was about 120 lbs at 5’6” tall and looked great. I couldn’t wait to go shopping for new clothes.
I didn’t have any problems with my implants over the years except they became hard which I thought was normal for implants. I don’t remember exactly when they became hard but they didn’t cause any pain or any discomfort at all. I didn’t go to my PS for annual checkups, not until about 10 years ago when the class action lawsuits started with Dow Corning and all the lawyers were running TV commercials on how silicone implants can cause death.
Well I was almost having panic attacks every time I heard one of those commercials. I was NOT ready to give up my beautiful breasts but was afraid of dying so I went to my PS. He explained that they were hard, but if I wasn’t having any pain that they didn’t need to be removed. This is just what I wanted to hear so I left there very happy.
Over the next 10 years I felt a lot of anxiety about the silicone and if I am harming my body. I heard well known doctors on TV say, there is no evidence of how harmful silicone is but Women need to know that implants have about a 10-year life expectancy. I had mine for almost 20 years already. What was I waiting for? So I was worried about what was going on inside my body. Was the silicone floating around? What harm can it do if it was? So in 1999 I finally went for a Mammography and Sonogram and it showed they were not ruptured. I still was not having any pain, but my implants were so hard that they felt like two weights were sitting on my chest. Still not sure what to do, do I wait until they rupture? When do I decide that it’s time to have them removed?
eeling a lot of irritation in my right breast, like a burning feeling. I knew then my right implant had to have ruptured, after all it’s been 26 years. So I went for a Mammography and Sonogram again for the first time since 1999 and it showed they were both ruptured. So between 1999 and 2005 I don’t know exactly when they ruptured. I didn’t feel any irritation or pain in my left breast at all. After hearing this news I was almost happy because now I knew it was time for them to come out, I had no choice.
So now the nightmares started on what will I look like. Will I be deformed? Will I just have skin over bones? I knew I really didn’t want new implants if that was possible, not only because I didn’t want to commit to future surgeries, but also because now my implants were literally a weight on my chest and not comfortable on my body anymore. I was tired of having hard breasts.
I discussed all my concerns and options with my new PS (the original PS passed away) and he recommended I just have them removed for now, and after 6 months if I was not happy with them I could then go back and either get a lift or new implants. I didn’t want to get a lift at this time because there is a chance of loosing some breast tissue and I didn’t want to give up any of whatever breast tissue I have.
So now I am 30 lbs heavier than I was at 21 and of course our bodies change as we age, but I am very happy so far with my breasts without implants. I feel like I had a weight lifted off my chest literally. My PS told me the implants were so hard, they were like two baseballs and they also had calcium built up around them besides all the scar tissue. He said he got everything out. I forgot to ask him if he was able to take them out in whole, or if he had to piece them out. I will ask him next week when I see him again.
As you can see in the photos, the top half of my breasts are now flattened, but with a little padding in the bottom of the cup to push-up they look fine. The bra in the photos is my new bra, it’s a Playtex size 36 NB (nearly B). Playtex has these great half sizes. It is one of the most comfortable bra’s I’ve ever worn. It’s 6 days post-op today and I’m still very sore on the incision site and my chest wall where the implants sat. I just had my drains removed 2 days ago, what a relief that was. I’m still wearing a surgical bra most of the time because it’s very tight and holds them in place. Also the compression keeps fluids from building up in the “dead space”. My new smaller breasts are so soft and I love them.
To sum it up, I don’t regret getting my implants for a second. I feel very lucky that I got 26 years out of them with no illness. I feel even luckier to be able to have the choice of having no implants. I hope sharing my experience will help someone else make her important decision.
View My Photos - Debbie