On December 22nd, 2005, just two months after Landon’s first birthday, I had a breast augmentation in Greenville, North Carolina.
Cost = $4,700.
Almost 3 years later, on November 26th, 2008, the day before Thanksgiving, I underwent an implant removal and replacement (from saline to silicone) and breast lift in Savannah, Georgia.
Cost = $7,900.
Today, October 17th, 2019, I had my implants completely removed with a breast lift in New Bern, North Carolina.
Cost = $6,800.
When you research getting breast implants nobody tells you that they are NOT lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. Well, my first replacement was at about 3 years.
I remember one day I was getting out of the bathtub and drying off when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I noticed something didn’t look right with my left implant. I called for my then husband to come see. I had deformity at the top of my breast. And if you pushed on it, it felt like pushing a ziplock baggie filled with water. Turns out, I had capsular contracture and the implant size was way too big for my body (Yes, there are many shapes, sizes, textures and fillings to consider when getting implants).
After I got my new set, I felt better. My breasts were back to normal.
And yes, I did cook a thanksgiving dinner the next day. The mashed potatoes were dry because I forgot to add milk and I cooked the turkey with the bag of gizzards in it because I forgot to take it out. To be completely honest, I don’t remember that Thanksgiving.
In 2014 I noticed some pain in my left breast. Some days were worse than others. It wasn’t really bad until 2016 when my left implant felt hard. It wouldn’t move. I had to try and give it a deep massage in order for my skin around it to even feel comfortable and not so tight. Those days were terrible. That was about the time I considered getting rid of my implants. That consideration only lasted a day.
6 months ago, in April, I had finally had enough of the pain. But I was also incredibly unhappy with myself. I felt completely self-conscious. It didn’t matter what I wore, I felt like I was always trying to cover my chest. I felt like all that people saw was the girl with the big, fake boobs. No sports bra would completely cover me. And running – running made them hurt even more. But then, there’s the issue with my back. My back pain has been terrible lately. And I have to believe that maybe the weight on my chest is making it harder on my back. So, with that I made an appointment and had a consultation thinking surely my insurance would cover it since I’m in pain.
Fun Fact: Insurance DOES NOT cover implant removal if it was an elective surgery. No matter the medical diagnoses.
Turns out, I had capsular contracture again. Research shows that about one in six breast augmentation patients experience some degree of capsular contracture. I was 2 for 2.
I was given a quote that included two surgeries over a 6-month time frame with no working out in between. It was over $11,000. I went home in tears. There was no way I could do that to my son. I couldn’t take money away from our family for cosmetic reasons. I thought about it for a week or two. But ultimately, I couldn’t add that kind of financial burden to our already 1-income home with a mortgage and student loan bills.
Summer went by I got more and more self-conscious about myself. I would go to stores and try on cute clothes and think “well, if I didn’t have a ginormous rack, I could wear that.” I would leave upset. Being a single woman, I convinced myself that men who came up to me only saw me for my chest and probably didn’t even realize I had a face. But… I was also in a lot of pain. I was in so much pain. I decided I would get a second opinion.
I am so glad I booked a consultation with Dr. Zannis and his staff. Everyone was so wonderful. At my initial appointment they spent at least 35 minutes with me discussing options and taking pictures and measurements. I walked out of the office with a surgery date booked.
If you are reading this, it means I made it out of surgery (and I’m probably enjoying my pain meds).
You might be asking yourself – Why is she sharing such a personal story with all of us?
Because ya’ll are gonna notice – Duh!
But seriously, I don’t want anyone to think I regret getting implants 14 years ago. Even if someone would have sat me down and told me all of what I went through was a possibility I most likely wouldn’t have listened anyways. You live. You learn. You go broke in the process. At the end of the day, plastic surgery is an individual choice. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to look or feel their best. This was just something I had to do for me.