Friday, December 21, 2012

The Flat Tire Situation (Ruptured Implant)


It's been quite some time since I've updated on here, I know.  I thought I'd give you all a current, and rather BOOBTASTIC, update.

As you know, I attempted to correct my asymmetry when I was younger by having a breast reduction that went wrong.  Years later I had some reconstruction and had a breast implant put in to make things a little more even, since the reduction didn't do the trick.  I know this isn't in the cards for everyone, and I know it's not something everyone is comfortable with, which is why I post about ways to hide asymmetry as opposed to just touting that everyone go speak to your local plastic surgeon.  For me, it was so bad and the breast was so deformed, that surgery was the best option for me.

That being said, I'd like to spend this post talking about a specific risk associated with having an implant.

I've had my breast implant for almost 8 years.  About three years ago I started to notice the breast was getting firmer, and over time began to sit higher on my chest.  At first I didn't think much about it, but as time went on, it created a little bit more asymmetry.  Being a veteran at hiding asymmetry, I just went back to my old tricks, and was slightly disgruntled that I had to deal with that again, but it was no big deal.  I'd always been able to feel my saline implant through my breast (kind of like a water bed), but it was never overly noticeable  but that seemed to be changing a little. When I first had my implant put in, and even before it was put in, I had a lot of breast pain.  Because I lost my nipple in the tragic Boob Reduction Battle of 2000 (LOL), when the temperature changed my nipple wasn't able to contract, but the nerve signals still traveled to where my nipple should be and caused pain.  Over time, this pain diminished.  However, about two years ago I started to notice more breast discomfort.  The implant has always been uncomfortable at times, but nothing severe.  But two years ago, it was a little more annoying than usual.  I called my surgeon, and the nurse said I might just have some capsular contracture going on.  Capsular contracture is when your body forms scar tissue around the capsule of the implant, putting pressure on the implant and possibly causing discomfort.  She said it wasn't too big of a deal if it wasn't causing a lot of pain.  Well, it might have been causing a lot of pain, but I wasn't aware of it.  For the last four years I've been dealing with hip pain and three unsuccessful hip reconstructions.  I'm on pain medication, and my pain scale is already out of whack, so if this breast was causing me, what would be on a normal day, a lot of pain, I didn't know.  I just knew it was painful from time to time, but nothing I couldn't grin and bear.

Well, on Thursday of last week, I was sleeping and felt a lot of pain in my breast.  I thought maybe I was dreaming pain, or that since the pain in my hip had been so bad that I was just transferring the pain somewhere else in my sleep.  The pain was so bad it actually woke me to the point that I was in lucid sleep. I didn't think much about it, though.  I woke up that Thursday morning, and because I sleep in a sports bra, I just threw on a t-shirt and went about doing some laundry.  Well, I grabbed my laundry and pressed it against my chest and I about hit the floor in pain.  My breast was absolutely excruciating.

I took a moment to touch my breast through my bra to figure out what was going on, and it felt like there was a huge knot. Now, as I said before, I'd always been able to feel my implant, but this was HUGE and was kind of protruding through the breast.  I lifted up my bra and realized that my breast was gone.  My implant had ruptured and deflated.

Saline implants tend to leak fast when they rupture, as they are salt water and your body just takes up the contents and you excrete it in your urine.  Had this been a silicon implant and the contents had emptied this fast, it could have been a serious issue.  Thankfully, saline is easy in this regard.

I made an emergency appointment with my surgeon, and I'm scheduled to have the implant removed, the capsule of scar tissue scraped, and the implant replaced on January 9, 2013.  In the meantime, though, I'm miserable.

Normally deflated implants do not cause pain.  Mine, however, is overwhelming.  I think that when the implant deflated, it took some of the scar tissue down with it.  The implant is balled up in the bottom of my breast and is poking out awkwardly, which is very painful.  I'm finding that wearing a regular bra is nearly unbearable for any length of time, too.  I'll be the first to tell you, it's hard to look snazzy in a sports bra! LOL  But, because I know the little tricks to hiding my asymmetry, it's not all that noticeable.  I do have a wedding to go to on December 30th, so I am nervous about having to wear a regular bra for that length of time.

Overall, it's not so bad.  The top of my breast area is noticeably less full on the side that the implant ruptured, and the breast is much smaller, but it's not that hard to hide.  The problem is, it's painful to hide it.

I'm thinking for the wedding I'll wear a strapless bra, use an extra padded insert on my flat side, and use some makeup to create cleavage lines to give the image of symmetry. Always thinking ahead! Or, you could say, always staying abreast!

I just wanted to share my story with you, and I'll continue to share more as it unfolds!

Happy Holidays!

Here is a picture where you can sort of see where the breast in the foreground is flatter, smaller, and doesn't even fill the sports bra.  You can see the bunching of the fabric in the middle where the weight of the breasts is unevenly distributed across the front of the bra.

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