My Story

by Jade

It all started when I was 11 or 12 years old and I was taking a bath. My mother came into the bathroom and told me that I had "funny looking little dinners". Instantly I felt the shame washing over me. It's bad enough that my own mother made such a disparaging remark about my breasts but to call breasts "dinners" was beyond shame. She confirmed my worst fears and I had to admit that they were, indeed, "funny looking". I hoped that would change as I grew but it only got worse.

By the time I married, my breasts were saggy and two different sizes so that one hung down lower than the other one. When I got pregnant with my first son, they went from an A cup to a C cup and finally looked pretty decent. I nursed my son for a year and, when I weaned him, my breasts disappeared overnight!

Everyday, all day long, my husband begged me to get a "boob job". He always mentioned it when I undressed. I longed to hear him say that he loved me for giving him a son and nourishing him with my breasts so he would be healthy and that he thought my breasts were beautiful and looked just the way they should after doing their job. He never said that. He kept up the boob job mantra until I went to see a plastic surgeon and, in March 1982, I angrily signed up for my "boob job!"

Dr. Carl Coers, my original plastic surgeon, promised me that my silicone implants would last a lifetime. He even threw them on the floor and squashed them with his hands. He also told me that my breasts were "deformed." When I told him that I wanted round, full breasts, he said that they were long and "tubular" and the "shape can never be changed."

I also had two benign tumors in the nipple of my left breast which were removed at the time of my implant surgery.

Several weeks after surgery, I got a hematoma in my left breast and had to have another surgery. At that time, Dr. Coers informed me that I would have additional scar tissue in my left breast and that it would never look quite as good.

A few months later I awoke in the middle of the night with pain in both breasts and a feeling that they were being squeezed. They were no longer soft but now were hard and looked like two balls stuck on my chest. I went back to Dr. Coers who informed me that I had capsular contraction something that "a very small percentage of women get" from implants and a complication that he had failed to disclose to me before surgery. He grabbed my breast and squeezed and twisted until I screamed and felt a tearing sensation. My breasts were bruised but were again soft. I returned twice more for the same torture until I learned how to do the procedure myself.

About twelve years after my BA, I got pregnant and had another son. I nursed him for 8 months. After I weaned him I got capsular contractions in both breasts that I was unable to pop myself. I suffered from chest pain and rock hard breasts for a couple of years then finally went back to Dr. Coers. He told me that he no longer did the closed capsulectomy procedure because they had learned that implants don't last a lifetime and he was afraid of rupture during the procedure. He did not believe that implants caused any health problems. Our conversation whet something like this:

I told him I wanted the implants removed.
He said that I would be deformed. (There's that word again!)
I asked him how much he would charge to remove them.
He said he would give me a "special price" of $10,000. That did not include a lift!

I didn't have $10,000 so I worried about the situation for a few years. Then my husband left me. By that time, we had moved way out in the country on a beautiful piece of land with a broken down house where I had no hope of being able to support myself. My young son, whom I had just learned would have some special needs, had just turned six. I had no insurance, no job, no money and very little support from my husband. I didn't even have enough money to hire a divorce lawyer so I could get child support orders. I was feeling old, tired and hopeless.

It took a lot of tiny little baby steps until I finally had a low-paying job that was an hour away from where I live. In 3 months, I would have health insurance.! I found a woman divorce lawyer who told me I could pay her whenever I got the money. My life was still very hard but things were beginning to look better and I had just a tiny bit of hope.

When I first found this web site, shear terror overtook me! I finally had to acknowledge that all the aches and pains that had gradually crept up on me might be from silicone poisoning. I wasn't horribly sick but reading about the women who were made me panic and I knew I had to get my implants removed.

It seemed that the only doctors who could remove my implants without the dreaded deformity were very far from me. I have a young high needs son whose father has abandoned him, animals to care for, no support system out here where people call me a "tree hugger" and not even enough money to pay my bills. How on earth could I travel somewhere for surgery and stay for a week or more? I resigned my self to my fate of deformity and knew that would be better than getting sicker and sicker.

Then I learned that Dr. Edward P. Melmed is an explant surgeon and is in Dallas, TX, which is only a 1 ½ to 2-hour drive away. But, there was some misinformation floating around the forum that Dr. Melmed would not do a lift at the same time as explant surgery. I KNEW I was going to need a lift!

Jade, with her implants.

"I knew I would need a lift"

Thankfully, a kind woman named Pauline told me that Dr. Melmed did her explant surgery and lift in the same procedure and that he does both surgeries routinely if the woman truly needs a lift. He does an internal lift by rearranging the breast tissue and it leaves no scars. I made an appointment with Dr. Melmed while Pauline kept in contact and reassured me. She even sent Dr. Melmed an email giving him permission to let me see her before pictures and her beautiful after pictures. Since I was 51 years old and Pauline was a little older, it was quite comforting to see that women our age could have beautiful results!

I liked Dr. Melmed, Janet and Pam instantly! He took about an hour answering my questions, showing me pictures of his best AND his worst results from the over 700 explant surgeries he has preformed. Dr. Melmed is warm, funny and startling honest. He told me that I would have a good result and look beautiful after surgery. He obviously enjoys what he does for a living, enjoys people and enjoys helping people. He believes that "the body doesn't like implants" and that they DO make women sick. He has written and spoken out publicly against implants at great cost to his relationships with colleagues. I trust Dr. Melmed so I scheduled my surgery for May 12th, 2004.


Dr. Melmed's Contact Information:

7777 Forest Lane, Suite A-210
Dallas, Texas 75230
(972) 566-7755 or FAX (972)566-7979
Email:
emelmed@aol.com

Check out these links to learn more about Dr. Melmed:


The next hard thing I had to face was telling my 22 year old son what a stupid thing I had done in getting implants and ask for his help so I could have surgery. What a relief that he didn't judge me. He scheduled time off work to be with me and help me during and after surgery.

I was now at the hardest stage, waiting for my surgery. During this time I met a woman on the forum named Monique who was having explant surgery about a month before me with Dr. Melmed. Monique and Pauline gave me much support and comfort while I wated. Monique was thrilled with the results of her surgery and when I met her in person and had show and tell I saw her perfect and unscarred breasts! Now I really had hope!

I was afraid that I would die during the surgery and leave my young son who would have to then be raised by his brother. That was my biggest fear. That was a WAY bigger fear that what I would look like after explant! I know this is easier said than done but sometimes you have to force your mind to think about something else or NOTHING AT ALL. Meditation, talking to God and this forum helped me get through the before surgery anxiety.

My grown, 22 year old son arrived home the evening before my surgery. We had to take my 9yo with us the day of surgery because I have no support system out here so no one could take him that early and deliver him to school. He thinks I had lumps taken out-big lumps. They kept me pretty busy so I couldn't dwell on myself. Then, the drive to the hospital that morning, in Dallas traffic with my 22 year old son driving... now, that's something fear! I didn't have time to worry about the surgery or dying.

When I got to the hospital, one nurse after another treated me with much kindness, took extraordinary care with every detail and several shared that Dr. Melmed had preformed surgery on them which is the highest recommendation a doctor can have. The anesthesiologist, who had called me the night before, was delayed in another surgery so I didn't get the Valium he had promised. I was shaking so much that the bed was vibrating. Dr. Melmed came in and stood by my bed patting me, holding my hand and telling me funny stories. He stayed with me until time to go into surgery. That's a kind of medicine few doctors take the time or know how to practice. The OR nurse came and told me that he had done surgery on her and several of her friends.

When they rolled me into surgery, they had a nice soft surgery table with hot air blowing on it so it wouldn't be cold. They were all chatting and laughing and keeping my mind off myself. Dr. Melmed told me that he had ordered pizza and beer and that he was so sorry I wouldn't be having any. Then he took my hand and held it very tightly to his chest, looked into my eyes and, told me to think of something really nice. By then, I was having a pretty good time and had forgotten to worry about myself. It was all very easy.

When I woke up Dr. Melmed was there and so was Pam from his office. He showed me my implants and told me they were intact but "seeping" silicone. They were yellow and gross and I took great delight in throwing them in the trash!

The day after surgery I returned to Dr. Melmed's office in the afternoon to have my drains removed, which is painless but feels a little strange, and to see my new breasts. I was completely shocked to see my new, round breasts! Dr. Coers was wrong again-the shape of your breasts CAN be changed. I have cleavage! I put on my new sports bra and told Dr. Melmed that I loved him! Both my sons asked me later if he was married and expressed great disappointment to learn that he has been happily married to the same woman for a very long time. We went to eat and I couldn't resist going to the ladies' room to sneak another peak at my breasts! I even unbuttoned my shirt another button to show off my new cleavage. Then we went to the mall.

I had my surgery on Wednesday and returned to work on Monday. Returning to work that soon wasn't the easiest thing I have ever done but it is quite doable.

Now, I look at my new, virgin breasts and ask them, "Where have you been all my life?" I look better than I ever have in my life! More importantly, I feel FANTASTIC! My joint pain went away immediately! I can make a tight fist for the first time in several years! Feeling is returning to my nipples that had been numb for a long time. I have abundant energy again! I feel like I drank from the fountain of youth!

Jade at 6 weels post op.


Looking back, I have no regrets. I have learned to love myself no matter what I look like and that I am perfectly imperfect as I should be. I have learned that I am not alone and I have made some precious new friends. I learned that I have raised a kind, thoughtful, son who is capable of nurturing and who will be there for his brother and me when need him.

If I can ease another woman's journey to the other side of implants, please:

Feel free to email me:
jadebreaks@ureach.com