Two weeks ago today, I had my breast implants removed. After nearly 8 years of having them, I was ready to step into a life without them. If you had asked me a year ago how I felt about my implants, I would have said, “they’re fine” and would have proceeded to tell you how easy the surgery was, etc. But a lot can change in a year; and I’m grateful for those changes.
I started doing colonics this past January and have completed about 6 15-series with Lee. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I was never an unhealthy person; I’m a professional dancer, eat cleanly and I even use essential oils! Still, the wellness I have felt because of colonics has been staggering. I remember one session this past spring when we discussed my implants: “One day your body will reject them and we’ll either decide to slow down and not fully clean your bowel, or you’ll need to get them removed,” Lee said in her matter-o-fact manner. I was astounded; it had never crossed my mind to get them removed. Sure, I had experienced tightness around my pectoral muscles since the beginning, but I never really attributed it to the implants or maybe I was too in love with the idea of having large breasts that I didn’t care. Either way, I was clearly going to have to face it at some point: they’re not natural and every choice has a consequence.
Since Lee planted the seed in my head about removing the implants, I started to become more aware of the pain I had previously accepted as normal. The throbbing sensations deep in my breast tissue, the gravely feeling along my collarbone. I would come home from teaching dance all day and have to sit with a heat pack on my neck and chest. I was getting a chiropractic adjustment once a week and had at least 2 massages a month. All good self-care practices, but what was really causing the problem wasn’t being addressed. I came to KNOW that I would eventually have them removed but I was afraid. I was afraid of what I would look like. I’m in a business where how you look is important and I wear costumes that are low cut and show cleavage – I would surely look like a pancake. I don’t know exactly why, but a couple months later I had a shot of courage and was compelled to look online at before and after photos of what is commonly referred to as an explant. I was shocked to discover that after a period of healing, the patient’s breasts looked like breasts! And this procedure was becoming more common! I discovered all these articles about women experiencing pain, depression, and even what is referred to as implant sickness having them removed and being happier and healthier for it. I contacted a plastic surgeon that evening, heard back the next morning and scheduled my consultation appointment. I had my consultation and we scheduled surgery just 2 weeks later where I had made time in my schedule to recover. Now that I knew what had to be done to regain my health, I was anxious to have the surgery and was no longer afraid of what I would look like. I knew it was the right decision. At the consultation, my surgeon nodded knowingly at the pain I had been experiencing.
Going into surgery, I was nervous of course, but I knew I would be well taken care of. My boyfriend held my hand before they wheeled me away to the operating room. I would be under anesthesia and the surgery would take about and hour and a half. They were going to remove the implants and do a fat graft from my thighs and add just a little bit of fullness back into my breasts. As I awoke, I was shaking violently from the drugs. I remember reaching to feel below my collarbone and to my amazement, the gravel was completely gone! Lee had prepared me that I would heal quickly because of my colonics and she was right. Right after I got home I spent my time sleeping and taking the pain pills but I was walking.
On the third day I was able to take a shower. My boyfriend helped me remove the post surgery bra and reveled my breasts: they were flattened yes, but they looked okay! As he helped me out of the shower I beheld my body in the bathroom mirror: scarred and marked with blue guidelines from the surgery but beautiful. I could see the finish line and that I would have smaller breasts, but I remembered how much I missed them! I had missed my body and was so grateful to have it back. By the fourth day post surgery I was completely off the pain meds and getting around comfortably. I went to have my colonic about 6 days post op and felt great afterwards. Our goal was to get the drugs out of me so I could really start healing. By by third day back on the table, my bowel was moving normally and my energy was coming back!
Throughout my recovery, I kept reaching to my collarbone, expecting the gravely feeling to come back but it has not. My range of motion has been completely restored: I knew I had lost some after getting my implants done but I didn’t realize just how much! Every day has been fascinating; getting to know my body again and starting to recognize how truly compromised I had been. Today, I start back at the studio and I am so excited to see and feel how it goes. Of course I need to be careful for a while, but I am anxious to get back on the floor – maybe I’ll even give dancing professionally another go again. I was so sore all the time that it didn’t seem like a big loss to me to not dance at the top of my ability. Maybe now that has changed. All to be determined.
I mentioned the blue guidelines that were drawn on my body prior to surgery. One line was drawn to mark the outline of my breasts with the implants in. I remember looking at the mirror after surgery and was taken aback: the line that once encircled my former breast was clear on the side of my body! All that skin had been forced forward, no doubt pulling everything with it. Its really quite incredible how adaptable the body is but I learned a valuable lesson: its wise not to force it!
Now that the implants are out, I am looking forward to continuing my journey to wellness through fully cleaning my bowel. And as I retell my story, I hope it will give women the courage they need to regain their health by removing their implants. And for those who want larger breasts, consider a fat graft instead of implants! Its your tissue, just relocated. Bottom line: if you’re wanting to make a change to your body be it your teeth, your breasts or whatever, you owe it to yourself to research all the options and understand the implications. I did not and accepted pain as a new normal because of my decision. You do not need to accept not feeling well. I am forever grateful to Lee to helping me see this and to myself for finding the courage to change it for the better.