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Tips For Women Planning To Have Their Breast Implants Removed

Tips For Women Planning To Have Their Breast Implants Removed

We are just so excited to bring you this blog post today. After Lauryn’s breast implant removal, her podcast episode with Dr. Whitfield and Candice Barley’s first post on the subject, we have been getting tons of emails about how to get started with the process.

Lucky for us Candice Barley is back to share EVERYTHING you need to know if you’re considering explant surgery. Think: how to find & what to ask your surgeon, health tips pre surgery, and must-haves post op.

If you have yet to read her first post & meet Candice, definitely head over to hear about the actress & BII advocate’s breast implant journey.

Get your notepad ready because this post is FULL of so much useful information.

Let’s welcome Candice back to the blog.

Candice Barley

♡♡♡

Hi TSC family. I’m back to answer all your most asked question about BII, explant surgery and recovery.

This is not a topic I ever thought I would be an unofficial ‘expert’ on, but hey, here we are. 

Of course this is not medical advice, I’m just sharing what I’ve learned through my own experience with breast implant illness, explant surgery and working closely with hundreds of women as a patient advocate to Explant Surgeon and BII expert, Dr. Robert Whitfield

LET’S GET STARTED.

Tips For Women Planning To Have Their Breast Implants Removed

Your HEALING begins now. This is the first and most important thing to understand. Knowledge about what is truly going on in your body IS power and will carry you through your healing journey. 

If you tuned into Lauryn’s recent podcast with Dr. Whitfield then you may be wondering “why do breast implants cause issues for so many women?” The reason is actually quite simple….INFLAMMATION.

The symptoms of BII are a result of the immune system’s response to a foreign object, in this case breast implants. This response increases inflammation throughout the body and for many women becomes impossible to manage. Chronic inflammation is no joke and a bitch to control.

High levels of constant inflammation has been shown to activate autoimmune disease, stress the adrenals, endocrine system, increase weight gain, joint pain and cause some serious GI issues. A stressed immune system lowers the body’s detoxification abilities which makes you more susceptible to illness and issues from mold or environmental toxin exposures.

I already know what you’re thinking. Then why do some women seemingly have no issues with their breast implants? 

Two words: GOOD GENETICS!!!

Genetics play a HUGE factor in how you detox chemicals and handle inflammation. 

Now of course there are other reasons as to why implants cause high inflammatory responses. These include; sensitivity to the chemicals in the silicone shell, gel bleeds, degradation of the implant shell, biofilms (up to 40% of capsules have biofilms) or ruptured or textured implants. But many times it comes down to the suboptimal function of the main genetic immune pathways that are responsible for detox. 

I have first-hand experience with these malfunctioning immune pathways because I literally have one of the worst genetic profiles around. BUT the amazing news is, I now feel better at 46 than I did at 26 because I know exactly how to trick these immune pathways into functioning optimally with the right supplementation. 

HOW TO FIND A QUALIFIED EXPLANT SURGEON

As you go down the rabbit hole of Google searches looking for a surgeon you will find that many plastic surgeons are now suddenly offering explant surgery because so many women are opting to remove their breast implants. BUT proper removal of implants requires expertise. This specialized surgery requires that the entirety of the scar capsule that forms around the breast implants be removed. This is called an EN BLOC TOTAL, TOTAL CAPSULECTOMY. 

Thousands of women have reported that when they did not remove all of the capsule at the time of explant their symptoms of BII did not resolve. Sadly, in many cases, their symptoms even worsened. Dr. Whitfield regularly performs “retained capsule removal surgery” for women who become significantly worse after removal of only their implants.

*It is also worth noting that the very best explant surgeons no longer use breast implants for breast enhancement. The surgeons who regularly perform proper explant see the undeniable changes in these women’s health and they can no longer, in good conscience, perform a procedure that is problematic for SO many. 

explant surgery tips

QUESTIONS TO ASK AN EXPLANT SURGEON

This is a brief list to get you started on the MOST important questions to ask when interviewing explant surgeons. 

Q-1: Do you perform breast implant removal via en bloc and remove the entirety of the scar capsule?

A-1: The answer must be a resounding “YES”! They should remove the scar capsule all in one piece and leave nothing behind. 

Q-2: Do you test the capsule for biofilms and bacteria and do you send the capsule to pathology?

A-2: Answer should be YES to both parts of the question.

Q-3: Do you still perform breast augmentations with breast implants?

A-3: Ideally, the answer should be NO. The most important factor to take under consideration is that they regularly perform proper en bloc removals. 

Q-4: Where will the the incision be placed for removal of the implant?

A-4: The incision for removal is almost always in the crease of the breast fold. However, for very small implants, some highly skilled surgeons are able to perform explant through the areola. 

Q-5: Do you repair the pectoral muscle if it is in a position to do so?

A-5: This really depends on the condition of the pectoral muscle and if it has atrophied to a place that cannot be repaired. 

Q-6: Do you believe breast implants can cause symptoms in women and do you see improvements after surgery?

A-6: The answer should be YES.

Q-7: How do you cleanse out the breast pocket after removal of the capsule and implant?

A-7: Many surgeons use an antibiotic rinse but some bacteria may be antibiotic resistant. Ideally, a low ph solution will be used to neutralize all bacteria. 

Q-8: What is your protocol if my implants are ruptured?

A-8: Again, this is why en bloc removal is so important. Many implants are found to be ruptured at the time of surgery but are still contained within the scar capsule. In cases where the rupture has spread outside the capsule, ask the surgeon to explain how they will remove the leaked silicone.

Q-9: Do you take video and pictures of the capsules once removed?

A-9: Answer should be YES.

Q-10: Do I need a lift and if so what kind? Donut, Anchor, Lollipop?

A-10: This is the point when you should discuss the surgeon’s opinion of whether or not they think a lift is a good option for you. If you’ve had very large implants for a long period of time a lift is the best way to tighten loose skin and raise the position of the nipple complex. It’s my opinion that those with breast smaller than a B cup “may” want to hold off on a lift. Some breast tissue is excised with a lift and for those of us with very little to begin with we want to keep all we have. I am an AA cup and did not have a lift. 

Q-11: How long is the surgery?

A-11: Proper explant surgery takes 2 – 2.5 hours. If a lift is being performed as well, the entire surgery typically runs a total of 3 hours. 

Q-12: Do you use drains? Why or why not?

A-12: Most surgeons use drains but there are a select few, like Dr. Whitfield, who perform drain-free explants. The space where the implants were removed will be prone to filling with fluid during the first week. It is important for this area to be free of fluid so the space can heal. When drains are used they may develop infections so avoiding them when possible is ideal. There are surgical techniques that can be used to drain fluid internally. 

Q-13: How often will I have check-ups after surgery? 

A-13: Preferably, your surgeon will see you a few days after surgery and then again at two weeks. After those initial visits, ideally, you will have check ups at one month, three months, six months and one year. 

Q-14: What services does your office offer post-explant to aid in recovery?

A-14: For example, at Dr. Whitfield’s clinic, we provide lymphatic massage services, hyperbaric oxygen, red light therapy, vitamin rich IV’s, supplements, detox and healing protocols to all our post-explant patients.

Q-15: If I have any surgical irregularities or adhesions, do your services include your expertise in addressing those issues or will that be additional cost to me?

A-15: These situations should be covered within your initial surgery cost.

Lauryn and Michael with explant surgeon

Tips For Women Planning To Have Their Breast Implants Removed:

♡ DON’T EAT THAT!

Don’t hate me but…you need to cut out dairy, gluten, processed foods, alcohol and sugar NOW. Yea I know, but all of these are very inflammatory and your body needs a freaking break. Eating a low inflammatory diet ideally that is organic, will greatly help your body prepare for surgery which ultimately aides in your recovery. 

♡ SWITCH TO CLEAN SKINCARE AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS

This is a BIG one. Because we run total toxicity tests on all of our patients, we understand the importance of avoiding other common sources of environmental toxins. We see high levels of parabens and phthalates in women who use commercial beauty products. As an actress I have high standards when it comes to the performance of my skincare and makeup. I personally switched to BeautyCounter three years ago and haven’t looked back. I am a product junkie and freaking love this brand. For clean perfume I use DIME beauty.

♡ SKIP THE SAUNA

Heating them up may make you feel much worse and increase symptoms. Listen to Lauryn and Dr. Whitfield’s podcast episode if you haven’t yet for more on this.

This means avoiding infrared saunas, hot tubs, hot baths or steam rooms. The effects of heating up implants within the body has NEVER been studied. Not surprisingly we see higher levels of heavy metals and chemicals in the toxicity tests we perform from women who sauna regularly with their implants. These women also report having an increase in body rashes, fatigue and nausea.

♡ SUPPLEMENTS

Many women I work with are taking lots of supplements trying to feel better. I totally get it. While supplementation is important there are certain herbs and medicines that increase the likelihood of bleeding or can affect blood pressure during and after surgery.

Always check with your doctor for their recommendations. Common herbs and OTC’s that should be stopped two weeks before surgery are; ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, Vitamin E, Fish Oils, Omegas, Kava, Ginkgo, Garlic, Turmeric, Echinacea, Ginseng, Valerian, St. John’s wort, Feverfew, Saw Palmetto, Ginger, Licorice, Goldenseal, Milk Thistle. 

Also remember NO ALCOHOL.

AFTER SURGERY MUST HAVES:

Having these items on hand will make your recovery process much easier.

♡ ZIP UP HOODIE & SWEATS

For surgery day you will want to wear a zip up hoodie, sweats and slip-on shoes. A nurse will get you dressed after surgery and you won’t be ready to put your hands over your head just yet. Oh and fun side note; it’s ok if you are on your period, it loves to start on the morning of surgery. Just bring extra pads or tampons with you.

♡ EXTRA PILLOWS

You will want to sleep elevated for the first week, so extra pillows, a pillow wedge or a pregnancy pillow come in VERY handy. 

♡ LOOSE FITTING CLOTHES 

You will be swollen and bloated from surgery so loose fitting clothes and undies for the first week will be your favorite attire. 

♡ PRETTY LOUNGEWEAR

Get some pretty new button-up pajamas or a beautiful silky robe. This little detail helps your overall mood which is important for healing. If you follow me @olisticolife you know how much I LOVE my silk robes.

♡ ICE ICE BABY!! 

Stock up on gel ice packs, frozen peas and have your HOT MESS Ice Roller ready to go. Ice is the best anti inflammatory there is. Icing 30 min on and 30 min off will help tremendously with pain and swelling. Make sure you always have something between your skin and the ice. A thin shirt or dish towel works great.

We sell the HOT MESS Ice Roller in-office and they are wonderful to use on the upper chest area after surgery and of course your face. Surgery can cause puffiness in your face and under the eyes and using the ice roller works WONDERS.

♡♡♡

For more on removing breast implants and Breast Implant Illness, be sure to follow Canice @olisticolife & listen to Lauryn’s podcast episode with Dr. Whitfield. 

x, The Skinny Confidential team

+ if you’re into health, stalk the latest episode on parasites.

++ check out Lauryn’s Airsculpt experience here.

SHOP SURGERY ESSENTIALS:

  1. Hi Lauryn, I’m wondering if there are any specific products or treatments that we can be doing on our boobs prior to explant surgery that will help our skin snap back into place. Should we just be taking our skincare down to our boobs, doing microneedling, using a retinol… I had very very small boobs before augmentation and so will not be having a lift, my implants are also pretty small 230ccs but I just want to have the best results post explant! Thank you so much I’d love to hear what you did before your surgery skincare -wise <3

    1. Hi Fay,

      I had an explant in 2020 and I have little-to-no breast tissue, as well as adhesions. Candice Barley, one of our partners, recently recommended Renu28 by Asea which I’ve personally started to try. It’s never too late!

      Be sure to firmly massage your upper pole (breast tissue above areola) daily to help reduce the onset of adhesions. These are the most important steps to focus on after explant, aside from fueling your mind with positivity as you venture into this new beautiful chapter.

      We’ll be ready to celebrate you after explant as well once you’ve gone through your initial healing process (Love, Lexxi™ intimates, the comfortable “pretty bras” engineered to eliminate cup caps and wire digs). We love our explant community. Use us as a resource as well. Support@lovelexxi.com

      It takes a village. We’re here for you. Thanks to Lauryn for raising awareness and sharing such valuable resources!

      – Meg Smith (Founder & CEO of Love, Lexxi)

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