Explanting is not always a disaster!
I am telling my story because there are few women on these sites that have been through what I have. I had Silicone implants placed in 1984 because I was tired of "looking like a boy", couldn't find clothes or a bathing suit that fit, and I had very low self-esteem. I had a beautiful daughter, and didn't want any more children. I did not breastfeed her and the PS said I was a good candidate due to some looseness of skin from having a child. I wanted boobs more than anything! So, I saved my money and got just what I wanted. Back then there was NO discussion of any harmful effects of implants, or even having to ever have them replaced! I later divorced and had a wild period of showing them off in cool clothes. I have had many years of enjoyment - finally looking good in clothes, feeling feminine and desirable, feeling "normal", etc. and I can honestly say I have NO REGRETS!
After the last several years of worrying about rupture, either spontaneous (due to aging of implants), or because of mammograms (squeezing!), I found out in Sept 2000 that indeed the right implant was leaking. I cannot even tell you of all the feelings I had - ranging from fear, to grief, to anxiety, to relief over these last few months! What to do!
With the help of my wonderful PS, and support of my loving husband and friends, I had my 16 1/2 year old Silicone implants removed 1-15-01 and not replaced. The plan was, if I was too saggy afterwards, then I could get a "mini" nipple lift in the office later, or even get implants again if I was too flat. I really didn't know how big (or small) I would be without implants, but with a weight gain over the years, my PS figured I would most likely be a "B". We pulled my breast tissue away from the implants in her office to try and judge how much would be left. She didn't think I was terribly droopy, and she said if I had a lift I would probably lose the breast tissue I had left. Plus, I wasn't even aware that my left implant was "stuck" high and already had slight CC. On that side, my implant was higher up than my natural breast tissue that was drooping slightly under it. I really was tired of my breasts looking "frumpy", and I even had great difficulty finding a bathing suit that fit! I had gained approximately 35 lbs since 1984, and to my husband and me my breasts weren't beautiful anymore. So after contemplating all of my options, I chose explantation.
The experience itself wasn't too bad, not nearly as bad as I had dreaded. I went in at 8:00 on a Monday, to an out-patient surgery center, and was home by 1:30. My PS did bilateral capsulectomies, with most of the work being on the right where the implant was leaking. I didn't have any nausea, but the pain was severe when I was waking up, so they gave me some IV medication that helped a lot. I was pretty goofy, and my husband helped me home and put me to bed. Then I took pain pills regularly for the next 4 days, and after my drains were removed on Thursday, I was able to taper off them. My stitches were removed the following Thursday and I didn't feel a thing! My husband was better about helping me than I ever dreamed! I was able to take 2 weeks off work and get plenty of rest, which really helped. The hardest part was using my right arm, since I am right handed, I could feel the soreness more. There was an area of shooting pain in the right that lasted 3-4 weeks, which my PS said was nerve regeneration. As she told me, the pain did go away by about the 6th week. After 6-7 weeks my new boobs were essentially pain-free. I bought new bras - 36C. Again I can say NO REGRETS!
I am completely satisfied with my decision to NOT have the implants replaced! I don't have to worry about them leaking, getting them replaced, and then having complications such as CC or infection. No more discomfort from heavy boobs, AND I don't look "frumpy" anymore. I actually have enough breast tissue left to look decent! My nipples aren't pointing down, I feel plenty big, and I think I look much better in proportion to the rest of my body. Not too bad for a 45 year old! My current husband is not a "BOOB" man anyway, and he is thrilled with my natural look!
I searched these websites for months trying to decide whether or not to have the implants replaced, and never really found much info on "going back to natural". If I can help even one person who is faced with this terrifying situation and having to make such an important decision, I would love to! This site is SO filled with women who are supportive and is a blessing to anyone thinking about plastic surgery! Thanks to all of you for your support and understanding, and keep up the good work!
Smaller but Happy in Memphis 45 yrs young - 5'8", 150 lbs, Now 36 C After Explant 1-15-01
Silicone/Under/Crease in 1984 (275cc & 325cc due to uneven size) 34AA to 34 Full C in 1984 (118 lbs), to 36D after 35 lb weight gain & 16 years in 2000.
View My Photos - Pam