What was your explant experience like?
We’ve taken a short break from this Q&A series for the holidays, and I want to get back on track before the new year. So, here are a few more questions I commonly ask women I speak with and will answer myself for you today…
What was your explant experience like? What were your expectations? What changes have you seen since explant good and bad?
I had been doing a lot of research on BII and surgeons within the 2 years leading up to my explant. I knew Dr. Urzola in Costa Rica was the right surgeon for me and I am a strong believer in going to the best specialist for what you need, wherever that may be. We scheduled my surgery with him, and had my breast implants removed October 11th, 2017, exactly 6 years after I had them placed.
I feel very good about my decision, and I am very happy with my results. Dr. Urzola is very kind and compassionate and makes every effort to give you the best outcome possible. My implants were 350cc silicone, sub-pectoral. He did an en bloc resection with liposuction and fat transfer (240cc each side), no lift. I don’t believe I retained any of my fat transfer (speaking now at the 4 -year post-explant mark). Regardless, I’m very happy with the outcome and results. My skin has tightened up nicely and I have found a new love for my small breasts. One of my clients told me she thought her small (and real) breasts felt more special somehow, and I agree. I feel the same way. Now I even wonder, “what was I thinking getting those ridiculous-looking things in the first place???”
After surgery, my friends and family said they could already see a difference in me.
They said I seemed softer/more relaxed, yet energetic, mentally sharper, happier, and brighter! It was about a month before I started feeling recovered from surgery, but I knew the work wasn’t finished yet. There is still a lot of work to be done to get the body back in balance.
I’ve put a lot of effort into nutrition, healing dietary strategies, cellular detoxification, addressing infections, restoring my immune system, reducing stress, mindset work, and healing emotional wounds from the past. I’ve even been able to reverse the Hashimoto’s I was diagnosed with!
The other blessing that came from this experience was what transpired between my husband and I while in Costa Rica.
We had two nights before my surgery together, much of which was spent connecting on a mental/emotional level over everything we had gone through in the past 6 years. It was all culminating to this one moment, of which relief was what we were anticipating. All the stress, all the emotion, was coming to a head as we did what we believed God was leading us to do. We connected on a completely different level than ever before and I left Costa Rica feeling more hopeful, more loved, and more cherished than ever.
My point in sharing this and the rest of my story for that matter is that I feel blessed to have gone through this struggle and I thank God for it because of what it has brought me: A level of health that I had never realized, a level of emotional intimacy that I didn’t know was possible, and the experience and expertise to be able to help others who are struggling like I was. God pursued me in my pain, and for that I am thankful.
Unfortunately, for me, the healing journey didn’t end here.
The endometriosis that had developed after I got breast implants had gotten so bad (stage 4) that I needed surgery to excise it. My uterus was inflamed and inhospitable and there was no way I was going to get pregnant unless the lesions were removed. Some things just need medical intervention. At this point, body parts had to be removed to keep this disease from spreading even further.
This was the last thing I wanted to do. I was happy to get my breast implants removed. THIS, I was not happy about. ANOTHER surgery. MORE antibiotics. MORE general anesthesia. MORE recovery time. But it needed to be done. I tried every holistic/alternative/functional method you can find, but to no avail. This was the final piece of the puzzle for me. Luckily, I had two excellent surgeons for my excision surgery and I’m happy to say that I’m recovered and finally moving forward with zero pain.
And now? I’m feeling better than I have in YEARS!
I no longer have heart palpitations, anxiety, mood swings, digestive issues, chemical sensitivity, brain fog, forgetfulness, frequent urination, IBS, or Hashimoto’s! I have successfully reversed every single one of my symptoms. I finally feel like my free-spirited self again. The personal growth I’ve experienced through all of this was also unexpected and a pleasant surprise. It didn’t break me; it made me who I am today. And I now enjoy helping other ladies get to this place post-explant.
Healing does take time, even when you’re doing everything right.
Photos to the left show how I looked one month post-explant (first photo), and then again at 6 months post-explant after lots of detox and gut work (second photo). This wasn’t the end of my work of course, but I hope it encourages you to remain hopeful if you’re not seeing immediate improvement in your symptoms after explant.
So what do you do if you are suffering with Breast Implant Illness, have gone through en bloc explant surgery and are still sick?
A lot of information is already out there about Breast Implant Illness, what it is, why it happens, and even things you can do to restore your health after explant. But what if learning all you can and going it alone fails? If I hadn’t addressed many of my health issues prior to implant, I would have been addressing them after. You have to address the downstream effects of having implants and any additional hidden stressors that are contributing to dis-ease. Breast implants are endocrine disruptors and immune system dysregulators that cause a state of metabolic chaos in which every system of the body begins to adapt, resulting in symptoms. But that’s not the end of the story; It’s not just about the breast implants. There are typically many stressors that come together to create a “perfect storm” situation in which the body is forced to adapt. Given my experience and hearing countless people’s experiences in trying to heal their bodies alone, I always advise working with a holistic health expert who has experience in supporting women recovering from BII.
What I want you to know is that I believe our bodies were designed perfectly.
The body, when given what it needs, and removing causal factors, has an innate intelligence to self-heal and return to a state of ease rather than dis-ease. If one of the causal factors (or root causes) of your chronic illness is your breast implants, then removing them and then addressing any additional hidden stressors is the most effective approach to resolving your symptoms and restoring your health. The key is to work at the root-cause level. The three biggest root causes of chronic illness today are toxicity, infections, and trauma (and I think for women with breast implants, shame can also play a part). So if these are the things making people sick, we need to be addressing them all in a comprehensive and holistic way by opening up detoxification pathways, detoxing the body as the cellular level, removing any sources of toxic exposures that remain, addressing chronic infections, healing the gut, and dealing with mental/emotional toxicity and mindset. Then, of course, we need good quality sleep, hydration, nutrition, sunlight, and an appropriate type and amount of exercise to heal. The important thing to remember is our unique biochemistry. And remember, your body is a miracle! Working with a knowledgeable practitioner who can give you a personalized approach that is tailored to your specific needs will get you well on your way to healing.
Feel free to comment below and share your explant experience and how you’re doing now with me 🙂 I’d love to know!