The big lead up to surgery day finally arrived on Dec 18! These were my final thoughts on the day that I posted to social media:
"Well it’s here! Surgery day has arrived!! Thanks for all the love and support everyone. It has been profound. I feel blessed. Here goes nothing. Final thoughts? I’m scared and nervous. In this moment I wish I had never gotten implants to begin with so I wouldn’t be faced with this surgery today. Leaving them in is not an option. I don’t regret my decisions because this journey has taught me a valuable life lesson, something I needed! But I am nervous for the needles and the surgical risks today regardless. Though to me the risks of leaving my implants in is far greater! I have great confidence in my surgeon and the medical staff at the hospital though. I know I have confidence in my body to keep fighting as it has for so many years and I know I can do this! A year ago this was not even a possible consideration in my mind, but here I am, ready..... I’ll be seeing you all on the lighter side! If you dont hear from me for a little while I’m recovering and resting, but I will update as soon as I can with the continuation of my explant story. Much love everyone. The village of support around me has been abundantly clear over the past few weeks since I went public and I feel so blessed to have you all in my life. Thank You."
I am just under 3 days since explant at the time I am writing this blog entry, but wanted to begin compiling the thoughts in between resting! So here is the big day details!
Surgery day. My experience was surreal. Really. I went in to the hospital very scared and nervous but knowing I had to do this. My experience with my surgeon, the hospital I stayed at and the staff there was A M A Z I N G. Considering I’ve been afraid of medical staff, needles and hospital most of my life, I think I actually overcame that fear during this experience. My anesthesiologist, Dr. Patterson, was incredible. When he came to go over everything before we left I told him that I thought he was probably really nice and good at his job but that I was scared shitless of him because he would poke me. (ha ha - we both had a good laugh). He was so warm and friendly, told me some great stories and when the time actually came, his IV didn’t even hurt in the least. He made me feel safe, comfortable and most importantly, calm and relaxed heading into surgery. I remember walking into the OR with him and getting up and prepped on the table and I took a deep breath, looked around and relaxed and smiled. I was ready and feeling positive. The fear left, even the nerves left. I just knew immediately I was in good hands and I already knew this was the right decision. They asked me several questions, my surgeon walked in and reviewed once again, what the procedure was, and then Dr. Patterson (anastesiologist) let me know it was go time! The General anasthetic worked very effectively, the first round in my IV, the world got very blurry instantly, and the second one came and I just remember Dr. Patterson telling me to think about something happy so I'd wake up thinking about it, and I didn't quite get the word "horses" out before I was out, apparently I said "hore" and they had a laugh about that. Anyway for me it felt like I literally closed my eyes and then woke up in recovery. I was pretty groggy coming or if the ansthetkc but felt full of energy immediately! Considering I didn’t sleep the night before surgery because of nerves and being in a hotel, I should have been exhausted! I felt like a new person! Ask my amazing roommate, Rhonda, who also had a procedure done by the same surgeon. I was chatty Kathy! (Thank you Rhonda for being an awesome roomie!!!!. I had not felt that energetic or like “me” in a very long time!
I had vitals and everything checked. 2 rounds of antibiotics, lots of IV fluids, and painkillers. I stayed over night at the hospital for observation before being discharged. It's a good thing too, the nurses were awesome and I was pretty darned nauseas the next morning as the GA was beginning to wear off more completely. Thank goodness they have some very good anti-nauseants.
My surgeon let me know that the procedure went very well. My implants were completely intact, no sticky mess, and looked just like they probably did the day I had them put in over 7 years ago. They were a Natrelle 350 CC Style 30 High Profile Silicone (smooth). My capsules were quite thick and multi coloured, with dark spots and lighter spots. My surgeon did say he left a small piece of the capsule because it was intertwined in my muscle. He knows the importance of removing the entire capsule but he really felt having to cut my muscle and damage it for life just wasn't worth leaving such a small piece. I am OKAY with that. The capsule tissue and implants were sent to pathology for testing (BIA-ALCL and several other things) and I should have those results back at some point in the coming weeks. Interestingly my capsules was quite embedded in my surrounding tissue, so my surgeon had to work hard to get it all. Like I said, he did leave a tiny piece, but otherwise all was removed. He couldn't make any promises but he was quite hopeful I'd begin to see improvement in my symptoms in the weeks and months ahead. He also asked me to follow up with him and provide updates as he is very interested to know how many women he explants that see improvement or elimination of their symptoms.
Now it's lots of rest and taking it easy to let my body heal and observe whatever changes may come! To anyone that may be considering explant, don't be afraid. I was worried about so many things and when it came down to it, now ALL I feel like is FREE. I feel like myself again. Natural. Beautiful. Me. I don't need to be modified to make me beautiful, I decide I am beautiful, nothing and nobody else does.