Goodbye Boobs // Explant Surgery & Recovery


For those of you who have read my previous posts, you are likely well aware that I recently had surgery to remove my 11 year old breast implants.  If not, feel free to [click here] for some back story.  That said, I have been wanting to write about the surgery for a while now, but the recovery process has taken a lot out more of me than I expected and I have not had the energy to do so, nor the focus or brainpower to write more than a few sentences at a time.  But, today I’m feeling decent and so I’ve decided to sit down and write.

My surgery took place on November 2nd, so a little over two weeks ago.  I thought I had prepared well for the surgery after reading a myriad of posts in the support group I am in, from women who had already undergone the procedure.  After reading their stories, I assumed that it would be about 2-3 days in bed before I regained my energy and could do light tasks, such as walking to the bus stop to take the kids to school and working at my computer during the day.  In addition, I anticipated 4-8 weeks of overall healing before I could do more invasive activities such as working out.    So, in preparation,  I cleaned my entire home, top to bottom, to make sure that I was in a clean environment post surgery.  I did all the laundry so that the husband and kids had clean clothes to wear during my recovery time without the added pressure of laundry.  I cooked whole foods plant based meals for myself and my family to help during the recovery process and again lift some of the daily burden off of my husband.  I loaded up on fresh greens and fruits to juice to help with the healing.  I filled all my prescriptions ahead of time and put them by my bed.  I rented movies and books from the library to keep me occupied during my healing process.  And I set up childcare for the day of the surgery so that if we weren’t able to pick our kids up directly from school that afternoon, that we would not feel stressed out if things ran a little late.  And I even started practicing a surgery specific meditation created to help promote healing.  I was ready.  Nervous, but ready.  

Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, as it goes in life, nothing went exactly as planned in regards to the surgery or the recovery.

The day of the surgery we dropped the kids off early at school thanks to help from their teachers and drove anxiously to the surgery center.  We checked in and were admitted, and put in a room to prepare for the surgery.  We met with the nurses, anesthesiologist, and the doctor and I was suited up in the oh so flattering hospital gown, socks, and blue hair cap.  But, with 30 minutes til surgery, my doctor poked his head in and told us that the surgery was being pushed back 30 minutes due to the surgery ahead of us running late.  This happened again and again, until my 10:00 am surgery was pushed back to 12:30 pm, so two and half hours later than expected.  We thought we would still be okay, because we had child care til 5 pm and the surgery was expected to be 2-3 hours with a 30-60 minute recovery.  So, even with a 30 minutes drive home, we were still okay.  That was a bad thought process though.  


The surgery took two and a half hours, which was within the normal window and my doctor came out to let my husband know that everything went great and that I was taken to recovery and he would be called back shortly.  However, the recovery took a lot longer than expected and after an hour a nurse came back to tell my husband that I was having difficulty coming to.  They told him I was in Stage 2 and very sleepy, which I gather to mean that I was off the breathing tube, but still not quite conscious.  Finally an hour and a half later they let him come back to the recovery room where I had just woken up – and I use this term extremely loosely because I could not stay conscious.  I kept drifting in and out of consciousness, and could not really communicate with anyone.  Although, the first thing I said to the nurse when I first started coming to was “Can you kiss me on the forehead, I miss my mommy”.  Lol.  Yes, I’m a 35 year old mother of two and I still want my mommy when I’m sick or in pain.  Ha ha.

At this point though my husband was freaking out a bit.  He later told me that he was terrified that I was going to be in more of a vegetative or brain damaged state because I just could not stay conscious.  He would try to speak to me and ask me questions, but I was unable to respond to him.  Over thirty minutes passed with me unable to maintain consciousness.  My husband even spoke to the anesthesiologist whom he said seemed concerned herself, which didn’t help his unease.  I started to slowly be able to communicate elementary thoughts and they fed me some applesauce to help get calories into my body.  I had not eaten in about 22 hours.  At this point it was 5:20 pm and the surgery center had closed at 4:30, so staff were either gone or on their way out the door and my husband could tell that although they wanted to make sure that I was coherent, the staff working with us were anxious to get going too.  So they got me into a wheelchair and decided that I was ready to be discharged.  They sent my husband down to get the car and pull it around front and told them they would wheel me out front to meet him.  He got there and waited, but no me.  He received a phone call after 10 minutes or so letting them know that I wasn’t ready due to severe nausea.  The room was spinning and I felt extremely sick.  They gave me more medication (a giant shot!) to help with the nausea and fed me more apple sauce.  Finally around 6 pm the nurse rolled me to the car where my husband was anxiously waiting.  I don’t think any one of us felt 100% comfortable with me leaving at that point.  I just didn’t seem quite ready, but we loaded up and left.  In hindsight, my husband said he wishes we had booked a night with a surgery recovery center or at the very least driven straight to the hospital so someone with medical knowledge could have taken care of me.  He felt in over his head.

Also, if you remember me saying so before, we only had childcare scheduled til 5.   My friend who was watching the kids had a prior obligation she needed to get to, so my husband was frantically trying to make arrangements to have another friend come and pick up the kids from the first friend and watch them until we could get there.  This was already stressful unto itself, but keep in mind – these are brand new friends that we are asking major favors from – we just moved here in late March and one of the two friends I only made 2 months ago!  AND I am NOT good with asking for favors or for help.  Lol.  My friends were AMAZING though and took care of it without a hitch!  The kids were in good hands, so my husband could simply focus on getting his wife home.  

On the way home I was very sick and threw up a few times which offered momentary release of nausea.  I was in a lot of pain and discomfort and extremely fatigued.  We picked up the kids from our friend’s house and made our way back to the apartment.  The night is a bit of a blur, but I remember getting out of the car and barely being able to stand.  We were in our basement parking garage and I ended up laying in the roadway.  My husband eagerly got me to the side – out of the way of any possible cars – and propped me up, seated against the wall.  We knew there was no way we were going to make it to the apartment on our own.  We live on the tenth floor and at the end of a very long hallway.  I remember thinking that I would likely die if I tried to make it there myself.  I know, very dramatic, but that’s how I felt that night.  My husband was feeling panicked and decided he would see if they had the luggage cart available to help me.  He ran to the front desk of the apartment to ask for help and the kids stayed with me – which was probably a bit traumatic for them.  My husband came back with the security guard and two of the leasing agents.  I never saw them, but could hear their voices going in and out.  They had brought a rolling chair, but I couldn’t even stand well enough to get into that, so one gentleman ran back and got the luggage cart which was lower.  I remember hearing them say “should we call 911”, so I know I wasn’t in good shape.  When they got back with the luggage cart I was able to crawl myself onto that and curl up in a ball while they pushed me up to the apartment.  I cannot even imagine what a bystander may think.  Lol.  The security guard assisted my husband and they pushed the cart all the way to my room and got me propped up in bed.   Success.


The rest of the first night is a blur.  I remember being in pain, but more than anything it was the nausea and fatigue that was the larger of the evils. My husband worked from home the next few days to help me out as needed.  He got me fluids, medicine, and food, and helped me get out of bed to use the restroom.  I was so weak that I could not even get to the restroom myself which is probably only 10 feet away.  In fact, the day after surgery while bringing me to the restroom I lost consciousness.  My husband was terrified.  He told me that he looked at my eyes and I was just gone.  I drifted in and out of consciousness while my husband tried to figure out what to do.  He couldn’t let go of me but he needed to get his phone to call 911.  The kids were already home from school so he called in panic to my son who brought him my phone – which was dead.  My husband and son were scared and felt panicked, but before they were able to find the working phone I was coming to and asked to be moved to the bed.  They were able to get me to the bed and called the doctor immediately.  The doctor calmed them down and advised them to lay me down and prop my legs up above my heart and noted that this is not uncommon as I had lost a lot of blood and it probably had rushed out of my head when I stood up to go to the bathroom.  I drank some apple juice and started to feel okay again.  

Luckily this was an isolated scare and although I continued to feel weak I didn’t have any other incidents of passing out.  It seems that my body is simply not good at handling trauma.  Over the next week I continued to drain a lot of blood and remained very weak despite eating well balanced meals and staying hydrated.  I felt disappointed that I was doing so poorly and felt naive regarding my anticipated recovery.

the_hourglass_project_explant_surgery_003cI was stuck in bed for the most part oscillating between reading books, watching movies, and sleeping.  My husband would help me to the restroom and also help me try to walk the length of the apartment so that I could get my body moving and not risk blood clots. We found if I drank apple juice before getting up I tended to do better.  I think it helped balance my blood sugar and give me that extra boost of energy I needed.  My kids would come spend time with me and read me books, write me letters, and keep me company.  We discussed in detail the surgery and recovery process and explored the fears that they had and moments that they felt scared.  


I continued to remain extremely weak and fatigued, but the pain was tolerable.  It was hard to sit up on my own (my husband had to help) and hurt if I rolled on either side, but other than that it was more of a strong, but dull pain.  My back and bottom hurt from sitting in the same position for so long too.  I felt beat up, but it was not acute pain.  I decided to forego any narcotic pain medications and I have only taken Ibuprofen and Tylenol to help with the pain.  Oh, I also had an anti-nausea patch, which we were advised to leave on for a few days post surgery, but after receiving a tip from a member on the support group I took it off and suddenly my nausea decreased significantly – how ironic.  The patch also caused my eyes to be dilated so I could not read until the patch was off.

At my first post-op appointment, 5 days after surgery, I had no energy and could barely think to ask any questions.  They removed the compression band and returned my implants, but  I was unable to get either drain removed because the fluid levels were too high and so we scheduled a second appointment 4 days later.  The day of the first appointment was very difficult for me emotionally. I was not healing like I expected to heal, my drains were not out, my body was extremely weak, and I was fully dependent on others to take care of me.  I felt like a burden on my family and also felt dumb for turning away the help offered by both my mom and my mother-in-law.  I know, I know, really silly to turn down help, but I did not expect it to be such a difficult recovery and we live in 850 square feet so I was worried that it would end up feeling like too much.  Wrong.  If I had it to do over again I would ask both to come….just at different times. Lol.  


In addition to feeling like a burden to my husband and kids, the results were deflating (pun intended).  My right side was extremely swollen and bruised and my left breast had adhered (with scar tissue) to my chest wall.  I knew that there were aesthetic risks to getting the implants removed, and mentally I was okay with that, but here I was looking at my body for the first time feeling completely deformed.  I broke.  I cried a lot – which let me tell you is NOT good when you have just had surgery on your chest!  The emotional and physical pain was too much.  I felt completely defeated and hopeless.  I never doubted that this was the right thing to do because I needed to get these foreign objects out of my body, but I was throwing myself a wonderful pity party for ever getting them in the first place.

I reached out to the support group online and was flooded with love and encouragement.  It was just what I needed.  The crying allowed me to release my emotions and the support lifted me out of it.  I felt cleansed from the sadness and started to become optimistic to my healing process.  I got tips to help release the adhered breast and was reminded that it can take 6 months to a year to see the full results of the surgery as it takes time for our bodies to heal and our cells to rejuvenate.  So, really only time will tell if the tips will work, but at the end of the day I am healthier than I was two weeks ago and I accept that.  I was never going to be a bikini model anyways.  

During my second post-op appointment, the fluid had decreased enough in my left side to have my drain removed.  Wahoo!  I could not believe how long the drain was and how much was inside of my chest.  No wonder it was so painful.  I spoke to my doctor about the surgery and he confirmed that he was able to get all of the capsules out!  Hooray!  He also indicated that he sent the capsules to pathology to be tested and that my implants looked clear and unruptured.  Double yay!  

My parents had flown in the night before my appointment and my husband had the day off for Veterans day, so we were able to spend the next few days together as a family.  I was out of bed and started to regain my energy.

Women in the support group had told me that once the drains were out that I would start feeling better more rapidly, but I could not believe how true it was – and I only had one out.  My energy started to increase significantly and I didn’t feel the need to lay in bed all day.  I still took several naps throughout the day, but I was up and joined my family for meals!  We actually went out to eat several times – my husband would drive me and the rest of the family would walk to meet us.  It was fantastic.  By the last day of my parents’ trip I felt so good that I decided to walk the mile to the restaurant with them.  I even put on makeup and had my mom blow dry my hair.  I could not get over how much better I felt.  I was on a natural high and felt so optimistic about my healing.

the_hourglass_project_explant_surgery_003eUnfortunately, it did not last long.  My parents left after brunch and within a few hours I was starting to feel beat up again.  It felt different this time.  I did not feel the overwhelming fatigue that I had originally felt, this was pain.  I felt like I had just gotten into a terrible car wreck.  It hurt to move.  My chest and back hurt far worse than it had the entire time since the surgery.  At first I thought it may just be inflammation due to the rubbing of the still intact drain on my right side with all the walking I did.  But, the pain continued to get worse – waking me up in tears in the middle of the night and keeping me glued to my bed during the day.  It felt like a relapse and my spirits sunk.  The second day I started to run a low fever and was worried about infection.  I got ahold of my doctor and spoke to him about the symptoms and onset.  He said that it sounded like I had developed a hematoma.  He gave me steps to take to try to get the blood to drain on its own since it was on the side that still had the drain, but indicated that if it didn’t drain independently he would need to open the incision and manually drain it.  This was a scary thought – I did not do well with the first surgery, I did not want a second one.  

The hematoma also landed me right back in bed for the week which was extremely challenging, especially after having the taste of freedom over the weekend.  Luckily, another friend had heard about the surgery and insisted on helping.  I’m grateful that she didn’t take my “thanks, but I’m sure we’ll be okay” for an answer and could see that I am someone that doesn’t do well asking for help.  She insisted and I will forever be grateful.  She coordinated with her amazingly wonderful and sweet nanny to pick up the kids from school every day and bring them home to me.  On top of entertaining all the kids (my two and the two she already watches) she has helped me with dishes, walking the dogs, and they even made muffins!  Seriously – they are a Godsend.  So this has taken a boatload of pressure off of me and I’ve been able to focus on healing.


I have been following my doctor’s advice to a T for 5 days now and the overwhelming pain has subsided.  I still have extreme tenderness in my breasts and feel achy, but not to the degree it was before.  The drainage is still high, so I am assuming the hematoma is draining on it’s own and I won’t be going under the knife again.  Yesterday I started feeling decent and was able to get out of bed and spend most of the day sitting at the table attending to an overwhelming amount of emails and doing some light reading.  I even ate dinner with my family.  I was a bit worried that I may be overdoing it and feel worse today, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I still feel only 60% healed, but I feel decent and able to do light activity such as get myself food and drinks, sit up at the table and work on the computer, and walk around the apartment without feeling like I need a nap.  I am hoping that over the next couple of days the fluid will decrease significantly and I will be able to get second drain out.  I am optimistic that it will be a major turning point for me.  

I know that was a ridiculously LONG entry, so if you stuck through it I thank you.  In the end, I don’t regret getting the explant surgery and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I am 16 days into a healing process which was 11 years in the making.  I am trying not to waste any energy regretting the decision to get the implants in the first place – it was just a part of my journey – and rather focus on the strong and healthy individual that I am becoming.  That said, I would plan a bit differently if I had to do it over again.  First, I would check my expectations at the door and realize that this is major surgery!  I would anticipate a two week recovery time and plan for that.  This way it would be a bonus if I healed earlier.  Second, I would ask for more help from friends and family.  I would also set up more medical care knowing that my body doesn’t fare well with trauma.  Third, I would try to be more loving to myself.  My husband gave me wonderful advice in one of my dark moments.  He said, “Be gentle to your body. You are healing.” – wise man 😉

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments!  I love the dialogue 😉

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Molly losey 11/18/2016 at 6:52 pm

    I read it to the end and am so sorry for how hard this has been. I know you are on the mend now and hopefully this will give you back your good health. It’s easy to overdo, but don’t!

    • Reply Jess 11/19/2016 at 10:14 am

      Thank you Molly! It sure is! And when you start feeling better it’s hard to remember that you just had surgery. Trying to take it a bit easier now as I heal. There will be plenty of time for all the other stuff! Sending love. 🙂

    • Reply Annonamous 06/30/2019 at 4:58 pm

      I had it done 3 weeks and 2 days ago.i am in pain. How long does this last ☹️

      • Reply Jess 07/14/2019 at 10:13 pm

        I had about an 8 week recovery and then about 9-12 months before back to normal – or really improved functioning. I had some issues though, so hopefully your recovery will be quicker than mine! Wishing you the best!

      • Reply Donna 10/23/2019 at 9:04 am

        Hope you are better now. I came on here to ask the same question you did. I am 2 weeks post op. Unfortunately, I am having to go back for more. I have developed necrosis, which is basically areas where the skin turns black and dies. They just have to cut it out. Im not sorry I got the implants removed. I have wanted it done since I had them put in. I guess that I am feeling overwhelmed right now and no one to turn to for advice. Your post was from June so I would like to know how you are doing now.

        • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:29 pm

          Hi Donna – I’m so sorry that I didn’t see this reply til now. I’m so embarrassed and disappointed that I’ve neglected this site since going back to work. I’ve reset my notifications because they were all going to spam. I just assumed no one was going to the site. I’m hoping you are doing better and that now that this is approved Annonamous can respond to you. I’m sorry to hear about your own struggles on the path to recovery. Hope you are doing better now. Sending hugs.

  • Reply Kelly Borling 11/18/2016 at 7:24 pm

    You are absolutely incredible and an amazing role model.

    • Reply Jess 11/19/2016 at 10:15 am

      Thank you Kelly. Miss you more than you know.

  • Reply Teresa Commella 11/18/2016 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey!
    I pray you continue to get well & can enjoy your life once again ????
    I’m scheduled for explant on June 2nd with Dr. Feng but I am on the high priority cancellation list due to my implants being 30 years old & the severity of my symptoms!
    I pray daily that they call me with an earlier date ??
    Hugs to you ?

    • Reply Jess 11/19/2016 at 10:19 am

      That is very exciting. Dr. Feng is known as the best! She was a little outside my reach, but I was able to find a doctor who believed in BII and was dedicated to getting all my capsules out. I hope more doctors will learn the importance of this and offer it to their patients. Sending you prayers and hugs as you embark on your own healing journey.

  • Reply Vicki 11/18/2016 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey I’m so glad you made it through! Congratulations I hope your feeling much better now. I’m next and you sharing helps me prepare for what’s to come.

    • Reply Jess 11/19/2016 at 10:12 am

      Hey Vicki! Congratulations on your upcoming surgery! I’m so glad you found this post helpful. Wishing you all the best in your own journey. Just remember to be kind to yourself and patient. Time heals. Sending prayers and hugs.

  • Reply Cori herrera 11/18/2016 at 9:44 pm

    Oh my goodness lady your words are inspiring me to be better to my self I am22 days out and my fibro is making me ache so. Keep healing you have family that love u dearly!

    • Reply Jess 11/19/2016 at 10:11 am

      Thank you so much. I am glad that this offered you a bit of encouragement for self love. It is a difficult process and I think women are especially hard on themselves. I keep trying to remember that our cells are rejuvenating and it can take up to 4 months for our red blood cells to rejuvenate. So, really when we are only a few weeks in we haven’t even given our bodies the time to create a new platform. And when we come into the ring with our arms tied behind our backs it just makes the fight that much harder. We almost need to nurture ourselves like a mother would a new baby. Gentle and loving. Sending your prayers on your own journey.

  • Reply Iwona 11/19/2016 at 1:28 pm

    Jess, hope now you can heal ! Thanks for the posts. I’m sure they will help buch of people who like you felt alone in their journey! I’ve passed your blog to a friend who is going for the same surgery soon. Miss you and cherish the times we had together 🙂

    • Reply Jess 12/13/2016 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you so much Iwona – I home the article helps your friend. I echo your sentiments. We had some good times!!! You are an awesome person and glad I’ve had you in my life 🙂

  • Reply jan wood 01/23/2018 at 1:04 pm

    Hi and thank you so much for sharing your journey. I hope you are well and happy now.

    I am one day post op and my nipple part of my beast is glued to my chest wall. I’m scared I’ll have to wear a prosthetic forever.

    You mentioned tips you received about possibly correcting this. Could you share any information with me that you think would help?

    Thank you so much!

    • Reply Jess 01/24/2018 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Jan! Congratulations on your explant. I am so sorry to hear about the adhesion. My doctor had recommended vigorous massaging – but one day post op is way too soon to start working on this as you can do far more damage than good. I can’t remember how soon after I started, but it was probably not within the first month. I would highly suggest discussing this with your surgeon. Often the adhesion will release some if not all the way. My doctor also said that he could go in and do a secondary procedure to fix the adhesion – but with my rough recovery I had no desire to do so. Now, a year plus post-op, there is still a small amount of adhesion and my left breast is smaller than the right (which would have likely been the case even without the adhesion). That said, even though my breasts will never look as lovely as they did with the implants, I love them and all their imperfections so much more than when I had the implants because they’ve brought me to good health. I feel like I have a new lease on life. I hope the explant brings you the same joy and that your adhesion releases on its own. I hope that helps! xo, Jess

  • Reply Mariah 02/16/2018 at 6:00 pm

    Hello. I read all three of your stories from the beginning to now. I’m from upstate ny and I don’t think they have an good explant Doctor here. Who did you go to and who should I go to or what should I do. I’m so nervous

    • Reply Jess 02/20/2018 at 12:43 pm

      Hi! I know it is completely overwhelming and scary, but I would highly suggest joining the online facebook group. This is how I found a doctor near me. It also helped me figure out which questions I needed to ask in order to ensure that he performed the appropriate surger (total capsulectomy). I am sure there are probably people close to your area that can help provide resources for you. I’m here to help too, but I am not aware of all the resources. xo, Jess

      • Reply Shannon McRandle 09/25/2018 at 5:25 pm

        Hi! I just went thru this same surgery last week. I had my implants put in at 19 or in 1989. Ive had them 30 years and three kids, two cancers and a deforming type of RA later, one morning I woke up with one breast completely deflated and one exactly the way it was before. For having three kids and turning 50 in a few months, I was fairly happy with my original implants. In saying that, I’ve gone through hell this last decade with near death illnesses and losing the ability to work, work out, have sex or even take care of my children, house and dog. I’ve always been super mom. That ended with cancer and finished me off with my spine problems. With all of this on my plate and even a knee surgery last month, I was at no place mentally or physically to have these implants removed. I had hoped it was God’s way of saying they were unhealthy. Then I saw under the bandages. I vomited for two days strait, had to be sedated for a week, and now, while I’m still healing, I feel nearly suicidal over the state of my body. I remember all of the reasons I got them to start with. I am going to wait a minimum of three months to see if there is an impact on my health. If I feel generally even 20% better, I will not replace them but probably get a lift. If my health does not improve at all and I still feel awful and self conscious, I will get new implants and a lift. I will go down a size for the sake of my back. Can you tell me how much better you do feel and how you were able to reconcile yourself with the look of what was left behind after your removal? How long did it take until you felt better with them out. There is no real “evidence “ medically speaking, of implants actually causing autoimmune or other issues, but there sure are a lot of women who seem to feel much better with them out. My dr understands and agrees with the basic principle of leaving them out for awhile to see how I do. I truly believe more study is needed to make certain that these bags we are stuffing into our breasts can not cause issues, but also if they find that it is very low risk, to at least place a warning for what it could do to that 1% of us that love them, how we feel and look with them, but what to look for if we are that one per cent that has some sort of reaction. A few years ago I had a bunionectomy. The surgeon left a titanium screw in to hold my bones in place. After four months I still could not walk. I MADE him take out the screw. He thought I was insane and said no one was allergic to titanium. Three days after the screw was removed, my inflammation subsided and not only could I walk, but I could even wear my shoes. That screw was making me very sick. That is not supposed to happen. I cannot imagine what my foot would have become if I had listened to him and left it in. Thank you for your story and I hope someone has time to answer my questions. God bless.

        • Reply Jess 11/14/2018 at 9:05 pm

          Oh wow Shannon – you’ve been to hell and back! Thank you for sharing your story – and for being so open. I apologize about my slow response. Somehow notifications got turned off and I have been neglecting my site in lieu of mom duties. So to answer some of your questions – Do I love the way I look naked – NO. Are my breasts aesthetically pleasing – Eh, not really. Am I healthy – YES! Do I feel like I have a new lease on life – ABSOLUTELY! Would I do it again – IN A HEARTBEAT. It is hard to balance the feeling of not being pleased with the way you look with the benefit of good health, but it doesn’t matter how good I looked, if I couldn’t get out of bed. I am 100% convinced that the implants had everything to do with my poor health and the last two years have been transformative. Do I miss having beautiful symmetrical and buoyant breasts? Yes, but not more than I longed to go days without severe fatigue, depression, or my hair falling out. I will say you have to give it time though. The first few months were ROUGH!!! Emotionally and physically. It was around 6 months that I really felt like I hit a turning point. And then by a year I felt like a new person. Now I am two years past my surgery and have no regrets for having it done – even with wonky boobs as a result. Now I am focusing on new things like fitness and eating that have continued to transform me inside and out. I’m trying to embrace my new body and have gratitude for the things it is capable of. Not sure if that was helpful or not. Curious to see how you are doing now?

  • Reply Kecia Deveney 09/18/2018 at 5:10 pm

    Hi- what s the name of the fb group? Thank you

  • Reply Jennifer Kehagias 09/21/2018 at 3:01 am

    Hi Jess I hav read all ur stories with keen interest. I had Silicone Implants inserted in 1985. By 1989 I began experiencing severe dry eyes & then came so many other symptoms. Back then no one believed there was an association. Anyway when my surgery was done they did not remove my pseudo capsule. I hav had so many flares of what my Rheumatologist calls Mixed Connective Tissue Disease/Lupus/Scleroderma. Still suffer an awful lot. Immediately after explantation I noticed my appetite returned & began to get a better Color & extreme other symptoms resolve & my General Practitioner Dr said that was the toxicity reaction subsiding. But my immune system had been switched on & many other things hav stayed I guess because the leeched silicone in my capsule was left. I still hav times when I am in bed in so much pain it’s ridiculous. But am so glad I went with my instinct & had them removed against all Drs advice my surgeon even said “are we going to see these For Sale @ The Markets next week when he handed them back to me. Cheers & wish you a speedy & full recovery. ??

    • Reply Jess 11/14/2018 at 8:52 pm

      Wow – what a journey for you! Yes – about the immune system. We can heal a lot, but unfortunately once immune disorders are switched on it can be just managing. I have found that in addition to having my implants removed, changing my diet (0 sugar!) has helped immensely as well! We have to keep sharing our stories! I think it is imperative. Thank you for sharing yours!

  • Reply Lara 09/23/2018 at 8:37 pm

    How are you doing? I just had my explant last week and I can totally relate. It was much harder than I was expecting. Glad you are on the mend!

    • Reply Jess 11/14/2018 at 8:55 pm

      Congratulations! And sorry on the horribly delayed response! Hopefully by the time you are reading this, you are feeling much better. I just celebrated my two year anniversary from my removal. Feels almost unreal to say that because it was such a long road to recovery. But I can say having that surgery changed my life for the better! I feel like a new person! Wishing you a speedy recovery! xo

  • Reply Angie McNamara 11/15/2018 at 1:31 am

    Hi Jess
    I’m.just post op 9 days as an implant burst on left side while powerlifting. My breast has swelled tonite size of football’s and silicone. I hadn’t realised I had over 15 years plus.

    Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong like yourself and I felt better immediately after the implants were out. Initially I was to have implant removed and two new implants in. My boobs were so bad in damaged insole up 5 hours later with no boobs and he said it’s the worst case he has ever seen in his life.

    If I keep outdoors and air I feel less pain. If I’m sitting down I feel I’m going do due with the pain. I get very sick from tabs so I try not to take pain relief as much .

    Anyway the pain from cheat5 to back is awful and red blotches and raw from the brace thing. Boobs on first day looked diagusting(For week actually) buy filling out now a bit.

    Your stories are great and people like me need to know yes this is what happens. I can’t see myself getting new implants back in now. I couldnt go through that pain again to be honest. Those drains are horrific.

    Anyway I can see you are great now. Thank you for sharing. Oh oh oh any idea what to use to stop the itching during recovery?

    Angela McNamara ireland

    • Reply Jess 11/27/2018 at 2:36 pm

      Oh Angela! How scary! I am so glad you are on the recovery side. I would recommend baby butt cream for the itching. Unfortunately, some of the itching I experienced was almost like phantom itching, which was more internal – or in areas that I’d lost feeling in that never really felt like I could tackle it. In the moment it was crazy making, but it did subside. Wishing you all the best in your recovery. Don’t worry how they look right now – focus on you and your health. There is definitely a personal battle with acceptance, but my gratitude for my health reminds me how much more important that is than my aesthetics. Plus – you will look different in a year, so don’t get stuck on how you look now. Sending positive vibes your way! Thank you for sharing your story. xo

  • Reply Britt 11/30/2018 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you for this! I am having another surgery in February and considering having this done as well. I’m really nervous to do it though! My biggest concern is the aesthetics after and the downtime after due to being a competitive powerlifter. I just don’t know how to take time off from training. I really appreciate and honest perspective!

    • Reply Jess 12/03/2018 at 2:24 pm

      My best advice is that it is better to do it on your terms now, vs being forced to do it in the future due to health reasons. There will be a recovery process no matter when you do it, but I truly believe if you do it while your health is better, rather than letting it get worse, then you will have an easier recovery in the end. The aesthetics is a challenge. I’ve seen individuals who look brilliant after surgery and others of us that are less than, but in the end I chose health and I’d do it again every time. Hope that helps! Always here for encouragement and conversation. You must figure out what works for you! Wishing you all the best in your journey! xo

  • Reply abbie 12/26/2018 at 10:27 am

    great post, looking to do this as well! thanks for sharing

    • Reply Jess 01/11/2019 at 11:24 am

      You are welcome! Good luck in our own journey! xo

  • Reply Cameron 02/13/2019 at 2:52 pm

    How long did you have to sleep sitting up in bed?

    • Reply Jess 02/22/2019 at 12:22 pm

      I can’t remember exactly how long, but I think it was just the first week or so. I think I eventually started reclining more and more to where I was sleeping on my back and even on my side. Sorry I can’t be more helpful with that specific question.

  • Reply Daniela Baiamonte 03/11/2019 at 2:28 am

    Would you be able to send me a private message.
    I’m day 5 post implant explant and wanted to ask you a question
    Thank you

    • Reply Jess 03/15/2019 at 1:47 pm

      Absolutely! Reaching out. xo

  • Reply Eileen C 04/13/2019 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I am 5 days post implant explant and lift. I didn’t get drains which is odd, like most ladies did. I’m feeling better today, more energy. I was very nauseous and fatigue until today.
    Thanks again for sharing, you seem very strong.

    • Reply Jess 04/26/2019 at 2:17 pm

      I hope your healing is going better each day. I wonder why you didn’t need the drains, but trust that your doctor knows what they are doing. Praying for a quick recovery for you! Keep your spirits up! Gentle hugs!

  • Reply Mary R. 04/24/2019 at 4:30 pm

    So happy I stumbled across this! I am 9 days post explant and I had a terrible first week after with nausea, dizziness, indigestion – which I know started from side effects of some of the medicines, but I think a lot had to do with my anxiety making it worse. I’m just now starting to eat normal.
    I was searching about muscle tenderness/inflammation/adhesion? I’m not sure what’s going on but under my right armpit/side is super tight and tender – seems swollen. I don’t know if this is normal or not. My left side doesn’t feel like that at all.

    • Reply Jess 04/26/2019 at 2:22 pm

      In my experience, one side was far worse than the other and my doctor said this was because he had to scrap more from one side than the other and therefor the healing was not identical on each side. This may be the case with you as well. My guess is that you are right handed and therefore use the right side of your body more actively than your left – which was the case for me. As a result there was more work he had to do on that side to make sure that full encapsulation from the implant was removed. I’m guessing this would be the case for you as well. May be worth asking the doctor if it’s causing you added stress. It took a while for all the healing to happen, but I can tell you it was all worth it and I feel like an entirely new person now a couple of years later. Trust the process and be patient with yourself. xoxo

  • Reply Kris Candice 05/31/2019 at 8:48 pm

    HI Jess! thank you for sharing your experience in so much detail!!!

    I am one of them who got a saline implant 9 years ago and now I am wanting to have it removed. Not for any specific reason but I feel horrible inside for having done this in the first place. SO much restriction in what we can do and be watchful every time is just as stressful as it can be. What I am really worried about at this time is I am single mom (just 5 year old with me). There is not family around and my parents are no more. I am so terrified just thinking about the recovery and if I can even do it myself.

    I just have few questions if you could help with some advise please….

    How long did it take for you to start you routine life again – like driving, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc?
    Were there any other complications after the first 3-4 weeks?

    I am just paranoid now thinking about how bad things could go given I have a small child who is dependent. I don’t want to let her at risk with the post-op/recovery phase?


    • Reply Jess 06/12/2019 at 9:53 am

      Hey Kris,
      Every recovery will be a bit different obviously, but I did have a lot of stumbling blocks. I got an infection in my right breast which slowed down my recovery immensely. I’d say that it took about 8 weeks to heal – where I was up and about without issue – and then another 8 months until I was back at life again in the full capacity (or even better capacity) than before. I think a few weeks recovery time is normal. I did have my husband at home, so that was a big help, but we had just moved to DC from Florida and I was amazed at all the brand new people in my life who stepped up to help. Truly – people who I just talked to casually at the kids school were bringing me food and picking my kids up from school. I think people can surprise you. Talk to those around you – through school, work, religious organizations, community organizations, etc that you may be involved with and I think you may find you have more support than you think. I totally get the fear of leaving your child helpless. And if you aren’t in any pain at the moment – perhaps waiting a year or two could make you even more comfortable with your child’s ability to do more on their own (i.e. getting ready for school, making simple breakfast, etc.). Hope that helps!

  • Reply Sierra Blake 07/17/2019 at 10:00 pm

    This is beautiful and thank you for sharing. I am 8 weeks post op from my second BA and have been recently (3 hrs ago) diagnosed with an Autoimmune disorder, devastating to say the least. So here I am getting ready to schedule a third surgery to have them removed them deal with my now Autoimmune issues.. Your words are encouraging. I was planning on getting ready for another child, but this by far is most important and getting back healthy. How are you feeling now?

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Sierra – I’m so ridiculously sorry to be responding to this a year and a half late. I went back to work, stopped writing on the blog and didn’t realize I wasn’t getting notifications for comments.

      I hope that now you are feeling amazing, transplant free, improved immune system, with a lovely babe in your arms.

      I am doing great and as long as I’m taking care of myself in regards to healthy foods, good sleep, and moderate activity (which has honestly been a struggle in 2020) I’m doing excellent. This year has been pretty hard on most of us I believe – which is why I logged in to start writing again and saw all these missed comments. But overall I’m doing great.

      If you are up for it – I’d love to hear how you are. Sending so much love your way.

  • Reply Lisa Thorburn 07/28/2019 at 9:21 am

    Wow, you ladies are amazing. Started the ball rolling to have my Alergan silicone SMOOTH implants out. They have been in there for ten years, but after that article on CNN, they are coming out. Hopefully by the end of September I should be flat as a board and my rib cage discomfort and tiredness and back and neck pain might go away. I had quite a smooth recovery other than pain for about a week after they went in. They are sub muscular and sub glandular, but after reading and researching, i am now hitting my head at how stupid and insecure I was to put them in in the first place. I know its best for them to come out, but am freaking out with recovery and potential problems, my pain threshold is not very high and I am alone to take care of two teenage girls and 2 dogs. One kid has lyme disease and the other goes to University. By the looks of things I am royally screwed. I imagine, i will be writting to you in The future for support. Thank you all for the posts you put up. They help all of us.
    Sending love

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Lisa – I’m thoroughly embarrassed to be responding 18 months after you posted. I had gone back to an office job, stopped writing on the blog, and didn’t realize my notifications were going to spam. I just decided today to begin writing again, as I missed it as an outlet, and logged in to find almost 30 comments I had missed. Ugh. So sorry.

      That said, I hope you are on the other side of your recovery and that you are doing so much better in regards to health and happiness. Proud of you for making the decision to take your health in your hands regardless of the obstacles that were in your path.

      I think a lot of us feel regretful of getting the implants and wish we would have had higher self confidence. It’s a good reminder to give ourselves to grace, to practice self forgiveness, and to learn to love ourselves. Something that I find is easier said than done and a daily practice.

      Sending a huge virtual hug. Would love an update if you are up to it!

  • Reply Suz 07/28/2019 at 11:50 am

    If its not too invasive, do you have pictures of the drainage tubes? Im having the procedure done in August.

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Suz – I’m sorry. I think I had some of the images of my drainage tubes in my various posts, so I hope you were able to locate them as I’m like 18 months overdue to responding to this. I’m so sorry – I went back to work and stopped writing consistently and hadn’t realized my notifications were going to my spam folder. I’m hoping all went well with your procedure and you are feeling like a whole new woman – full of health and happiness. Again, my sincere apologies for not responding. xo

  • Reply Katelyn 08/10/2019 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Jess thanks so much for sharing your story! Did the Costochondritis ever resolve completely? I had my sub muscular implants removed in 2013 but I still have flare ups with Costochondritis and I’m wondering if my expand was done improperly. I did not have the muscles re-tied to the chest wall and I’m curious if you did or if that would even make a difference. Thank you so much!

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Katelyn. I’m so sorry for responding to this post a year and a half after you wrote it. So terribly embarrassing how I’ve let this site just sit after going back to work.

      I’m not sure if my costo ever fully healed, but it is 1000xs better. I have found between giving up gluten and the explant that I rarely have any sort of flare up – and if I do feel some discomfort in that area, let’s say after an intense workout – then I take an NSAID to help with inflammation and I seem to be good. I get nothing more than discomfort now, versus the screaming and crying into a pillow or trip to the ER because I think I’m dying – like I used to get.

      Curious if yours has gotten better since you wrote this?

  • Reply Nancy Davis 09/04/2019 at 9:05 pm

    I am so terribly sorry for your struggle through this procedure!! Your husband sounds like a champ!

    I am 5 days post-op from the explant of my 37 year old encapsulated implants!! I’m also 68 years old. Only regret is that I didn’t do this 36 years ago. My recovery has gone so well so far!, so I’m hopeful. My surgeon didn’t put drain lines and that worked out in my favor. Also, because of other surgeries, I requested the anesthesiologist use something during surgery to help prevent nausea afterwards. That’s a big takeaway for me after reading your experience. So grateful that worked out!! because I can’t image having all the sickness you dealt with. I’m so so sorry for you about that!! At this point, my results have been very favorably and I’m praying that continues.

    Hopefully, since the passage of time, you are fully recovered and happy with your end results. Bless you!

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Nancy. Oh it makes my heart so happy that you had such a positive experience with your surgery and you’ve healed so well. I agree in wishing I had done it earlier. But, we live and we learn. I apologize about responding to your comment a year and half late! So embarrassing but I neglected my site after going back to an office job and didn’t get the notifications. Oh well, again – live and learn. Hoping that you too are fully recovered and living and loving life to the fullest. Sending big hugs.

  • Reply Gissel 01/13/2020 at 6:21 pm

    I’m sorry you had to go thru all of that. I had mine in for 13 yrs and explanted October 2018 and my right breast nipple was attached to the chest wall. A few months later did an in office procedure to remove the adhesion and didn’t work. 8 months post explant I did a fat transfer to help but it didn’t. Finally, just 5 days ago, 15 months post explant I did a lift that supposedly was going to help but don’t look as I hoped. The right breast were the adhesion was has the most breast tissue. The other one still looks a little more loose than what I thought. I know she wanted to make them as symmetrical as possible so that might be why she left it like that. They are just weird and tight not sure if that’s normal. I never got fluffing on my left one. Still wrinkly. I also think my adhesion didn’t resolve unless is just tightness of the incision. At this point I’m disappointed. Do not want to get anymore surgery done. I don’t mind them being a little saggy as they are small, I just wanted to get rid of the adhesion. Can’t take my bra off during intimacy with my husband. Although he says he doesn’t care about that.

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Gissel! First off, so sorry about my crazy delay in response. I’ve been neglecting my site after getting back to an office job and the comment notifications were going to my spam. I feel you so hard on this! I didn’t have the additional corrective surgeries, but my left breast never fluffed and is still partially adhered to my chest wall. I used to spend a lot of time on trying to release it, but nothing worked. Finally I just gave up and accepted the fact that I have a wonky boob. LOL. I don’t love it, but my husband says he doesn’t care too, so I’ve been trying to embrace it more and realize that it’s just a part of my journey. It’s a good reminder to treat myself with love and grace because it was not accepting my body as it was that got me into this mess in the first place. I hope you can fall in love with your wonky boobs too! Sending so much love your way! You are beautiful just the way you are and you are a warrior for going through this process! xo

  • Reply H.s 09/07/2020 at 3:40 am

    I’m surprised at how tough your recovery was! I had my 21 year old implants removed on Friday. Went home (alone) 5 hours after surgery and was out walking my dog the next day. Sure I am sore but it is not that bad. I’m not on any meds. Maybe I’m just lucky.

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 4:59 pm

      Honestly, that makes me so happy!!! I just think all of our bodies are different and we respond differently to the implants, the surgery, the meds, etc. One of the reasons I wrote so much about it is because I think the people that struggle with the explant are actually in the minority and we feel like we are alone because you often hear only the positive recoveries. I’m so glad yours went well and I hope you are still doing fantastic! Thanks for reaching out. Sending love!

  • Reply Ashley C 10/20/2020 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I just had the surgery 5 days ago and I feel like I may have the issue where one breast is adhering to the chest wall. It’s like all of the tissue is “stuck” higher than it should be. Can you share any advice or direct me to where you learned the tips to release it please?

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Ashley – I’m so sorry that I am just now getting to the comments. I know it’s been 4 months now, so I am hoping that you have found your breasts adjusting. I didn’t have any luck with mine and still have one that kind of puckers up, although over time it has dropped some. I worked hard on aggressively massaging it, but I started that months after the surgery – so now may be a good time to start that. If you do it prematurely it can be too early and you can do damage to site and impede your healing. I use a lotion and massage in circles pressing hard against my skin. I read of someone else doing this and that they heard a slight pop and the breast released. Like I said, mine never did – but I’d rather have my wonky boobs than be dealing with the implant illness, so I just remind myself of that when I start focusing too much on the asymmetrical aesthetics. Lol. Sending hugs.

  • Reply Linda 11/02/2020 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Jess, in 2008 I had a lumpectomy on right breast, had textured gummy bear implants put in. Silicone, I was in a study.
    Soon thereafter they were fda approved and thousands worldwide have been used in women.
    In 2013 I saw a perfectionist plastic surgeon that had to correct my 2008 surgery that had gone bad. Same textured silicon implants used.
    August 2019, I received a letter from plastic surgeons that the very implants I had were on recall, they were found to cause large T cell lymphoma. So they were to no longer be used in women period. Pulled off the shelf.
    FDA wasn’t recommending them to be removed unless one of them became swollen. Why would a woman want to wait for that to happen. This was their angle so fda wouldn’t have to pay for them to be removed. Disgusting, greed abounds even at the fda.
    Fortunately when a woman has had breast cancer, federal law for all insurance companies is they do have to pay, the insurance company does. Thank goodness!
    So in January this year 2020, pre Covid, I had them removed and had smooth (not textured) silicon implants put in place. Allot of scar tissue in my right breast that had the lumpectomy way back in January 2008. So after the surgery even with implants, the right is smaller and adhered to my chest wall.
    From February thru mid October this very year 2020, I’m having furious night sweats, all night, my husband had to sleep on the couch practically every night, our king size bed would be drenched and my pjs would have to pealed off of me, trying to find a dry part of my bed by morning sunrise.
    I still am very tired, can accomplish like one thing a day, like clean the shower, and do a load of wash, or unload the dishwasher and wash pots and pans, things like this, day by day, accomplishing little things.
    At night the implants move around if I don’t wear a firm night brad, and they go up into my cheat or into my armpits, and I feel like with my night sweats my body odor is strange, like never before January surgery. Not like anything I’ve ever experienced before.
    I have chest bone pain, pain in my sternum, my breath is labored behind chest bones.
    I can’t help believe my body is reacting to these fake objects in my body. Prior to January I was having no night sweats, or chest rib pain, so logic tells me, dah, what’s different.
    I researched and came across the BII syndrome, and saw this could be me. I have a autoimmune disease for over 20 years, Hashimottos Thyroid. My immune system attacking my thyroid.
    I have osteoarthritis as well. I’m not overweight, and pretty fair condition for my age. But like many these days, I have had health challenges.
    Please please tell me if any of this is something, thru your extensive journey of learning so much, that you see me in you in any of your physical experiences and any advice you can offer. (Last thing I forgot, I saw my plastic surgeon 3 days ago and he said the surgery only around an hour and no drains, not sure if is bc the implants have only been in less than a year or another reason.

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Linda – I am so sorry for my late response on this. I’ve been neglecting my site and really feel sad about it seeing all these comments rolling in. 🙁

      I hope you are in a better place now with your pain and night sweats. I didn’t have the symptoms as strongly or as quickly as you did, but they are all very similar. I think having an autoimmune disease is likely why you are having such a reaction. I’m not a doctor or and can’t provide any sort of medical explanations or diagnosis, but I know from first hand experience that I felt almost sudden relief of my symptoms upon explant. I’m not sure if you’ve explanted since you wrote, but if you haven’t already, I would encourage you to do so. Even with my small wonky looking breasts, I wouldn’t change a thing because my health is 100xs better.

      However – I would highly suggest that you get the full encapsulation from the implant removed. Otherwise you can still end up with silicone fragments in your body.

      I hope this helps and that I’m not too late in my response. Sending the biggest virtual hug!

  • Reply Leah 12/19/2020 at 2:48 pm

    Hi! I hope you’re still getting notifications on this post. I am 8 days post-explant and getting discouraged about my drains not coming out at my 5 day appointment as planned. It made me hopeful to hear that your energy improved after getting the drains out! I was thinking about that the other night.. it was like trading one foreign object for another. It helped just to read about someone else’s experience with what feels like extended drain use 🙁

    • Reply Jess 03/02/2021 at 4:35 pm

      Hey Leah! I’m so sorry for the late response – honestly, I’ve been MIA from my site for a while! I got a good old 9-5 and stopped making it a focus in my life. I was pulled to get back into writing and saw a bunch of comments I had missed. My notifications were going to my spam.

      I am praying that you have been on track for good healing and that your drains are out and you’re in a better place in your recovery! It is the worst having to keep the drains in. And having a second procedure was soul crushing. The first few months after the surgery really makes you questions if it was the right move, but I call tell you that I’m 4 years post-op and couldn’t be happier with my decision to get them out. I just got a mammogram for my 40th birthday last week and even the tech said it was the smartest thing I ever did to get them out, that she sees so many negative things associated with implants!

      Wishing you the absolute best and sending virtual hugs your way!

    Leave a Reply