I vividly remember reaching behind a dresser to retrieve a lost toy for my younger brother when I was in 4th or 5th grade. My chest hurt during the effort. At the time, I didn’t understand why, but I knew my chest was sore and tender. By middle school, I was in full bloom, developing breasts, and the boys made sure I knew it. The attention was uncomfortable.
Fast forward to my young adult years, I grew to love my breasts! I was grateful for the genetics that gave me breasts perfectly suited for my body — round, perky, and beautiful. I cherished my 36C size and regretted covering them up with one-piece swimsuits. I felt so feminine and divine.
When I became a mother, I chose to nurse, a decision I will never regret. Bonding with each of my three children through nursing, knowing that my body was providing nourishment for them, was incredibly special.
My mother did not support my decision to breastfeed, fearing it would ruin my breasts, but this did not concern me. Emi, my firstborn, had the hardest time latching, but once she got it, my breasts served my little ones so well. I nursed Emi, Chloe, and Elijah, with Elijah being the longest as I finally weaned him at three years old.
These are precious memories and experiences with my children that I will always cherish. I am so grateful for my breasts!
As an active and athletic person, coping with flattened breasts post-nursing was challenging. Nothing seemed to look good on me; my once full breasts had significantly reduced. I struggled to embrace my new appearance and tried various inserts and padded bras to regain a feminine form. It was difficult to feel sexy.
Eventually, I seriously considered breast implants. After consulting with a few plastic surgeons, I chose one and was thrilled! I opted for Mentor Smooth Round High Profile Silicone Implants at 300cc with a lift, hoping to restore my 36C size.
The surgery, however, was excruciating. I had never experienced such pain. The implants were placed under the muscle, and I often wondered if having them over the muscle would have been less painful. A week after surgery, while doing laundry (a mistake!), I strained myself, causing a pop and immediate swelling in my left breast. This required an emergency operation to rule out a hematoma.
Despite these challenges, my augmented breasts eventually healed beautifully. In fact, my scars looked amazing, and even my doctor agreed! I was so happy with my new breasts. They looked perfect and felt natural, and for two years, I thoroughly enjoyed them.
Unfortunately, I developed my first breast contracture two years after the implant surgery, ironically in my right breast. The contracture was painful and made the breast feel hard. My surgeon decided to operate and cut the scar tissue to release the contracture and solve the problem.
However, four years later, the contracture returned to my right breast, more severe than before. It was disappointing to have to go through this again. My surgeon suggested replacing the implant, but honestly, I’m not sure if we did. What I remember is him telling me that the implant would be removed, thoroughly sanitized, and the pocket in my chest cleaned out before replacing the implant. I wish I had a clearer picture of this process, but this is what I recall.
Unfortunately, the breast contracture has returned, and honestly, it’s just time to have them removed. I knew going in that one day they would be removed. I had thought perhaps I would get replacements afterward, but my body just wasn’t accepting them.
Now, after 10 years with implants, I’m experiencing a range of symptoms — migraines, hormonal issues, joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, circulation problems, ovarian cysts, red eyes, occasional numbness in my right arm, weight gain, and more. I’m wondering if this could be related to breast implant illness.
Having three contractures in 10 years seems like a sign that my body wants the implants removed. I’m listening to my intuition and am preparing for explant surgery tomorrow. Dr. Elliot Hirsch, highly recommended by the Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole Facebook Group, will perform a total capsulectomy and en bloc surgery with mastopexy.
I’m confident that the amazing and brave women in the group would tell me that my symptoms are directly related to my implants, and I believe them. As I type this, my right chest is achy, sore, and stiff. This Facebook Group has a list of recommended plastic surgeons for breast implant explants, and fortunately for me, Dr. Hirsch is on the list.
I am putting my full trust in God and in Dr. Hirsch’s hands for tomorrow’s surgery. It’s scheduled in Encino tomorrow morning at 7:45 a.m.; please keep me in your prayers. The procedure will include a total capsulectomy and en bloc surgery with mastopexy (breast lift).
The doctor feels I will be very happy and relieved to have them removed. He mentioned that since I have a good amount of breast tissue to work with (thanks to my extra 15-pound weight gain), I could potentially be a B cup or a small C cup post-surgery.
Tonight, we’re traveling to LA to stay near the surgery center. I appreciate all the well wishes and support. It’s time for true healing.