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implant to fail

jendrey's picture
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

I thought it would be just another routine appointment for the PS to take yet another look at my taking-forever-to-close wound. Not so. She removes a 'plug' which turns out to be exposed alloderm; leaving a hole where not only can I see the implant, but can actually touch it.

This, I think, is not going to end well. Not well at all. Sure enough, the next thing I'm being asked is when I ate last. That can never be a good question. Then I hear my implant is again contaminated and now must be removed. Without a replacement. Just removed. Explanted, to be exact.

The only reason I could bring myself to agree with the mastectomy in the first place was because I had immediate-delayed reconstruction. (expander was placed at the same time as mastectomy) I could not imagine waking up from the mastecomy otherwise. I just couldn't. Somehow, it just made having breast cancer not so very bad as much.

I was absolutely devastated to hear my implant had to be removed right then and there. I mean I was there for a simple routine visit. I was moved to the procedure room where I waited for things to be readied. The consent forms were presented and I really could not bring myself to sign them.

I asked if the reason this implant could not be replaced was due to the failure of my skin to heal and couldn't the edges of the wound be excised and then closed. Or something like that. Apparently, this is called debridement...

I might get lucky and the wound may finally close. But more likely the implant will totally fail and will have to be removed. Leaving me with nothing there at all.

I'm so not liking having to face this fact. I truly do not think I want to live with how this will make me feel and how it will look.
I'm really just a little numb and sad...maybe I need some antidepressants or something, i dunno

tufi000's picture
Posts: 739
Joined: Jun 2005

for them to get the crater in my chest to close, including 3 replaced implants and finally a doc who put me right. I am in the record books BTW. The skin was the main issue, trying to get it to heal and grow which it didn't want to do because of the rads. 15 procedures by the first doc who didn't feel I was a candidate for what finally worked.
Basically they finally did a tram flap using the skin from my tummy to close the crater and it has been great and the other doc suddenly left the area!!! After that the implant was a piece of cake. If they suggest a wound-vac, or a graft, turn it down! Almost went to a rubber room from that experience.
All that was 5 years ago and my titties are adorable.

All the best, there is an answer for your situation. PROMISE

salls41's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

So sorry you are going through this. I had a bilateral in may with immediate reconstruction. I felt like you, if I wake up with some sort of boobs, I will be ok. I had all of my fills and was 10 days out from getting my exchange done for brand new real looking boobs when I got an infection and my expanders were pulled out that day. I have to wait until next year now before I can even think about "starting over". I didn't know that infection effected your implants?? What if it happens again in the future? How many times can this happen? Right now, I am without anything..I admit to depression over my body image for sure. I try each day to be thankful that my scars represent a healing of the cancer... awfully difficult for sure. I hope you find an answer to this.

Posts: 6563
Joined: Oct 2010

SO SORRY rountine checkup turned into this...

thinking of you


Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm so sorry Jendrey that this happened. I hope the wound heals and you can get a solution to this.

So sorry,


missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

I posted in answer to another post that I am probably not a good candidate for reconstruction due to mastectomy after 33 rads 2 years ago. The skin is just not good--tight, discolored and I cannot imagine it stretching at all. So, I'm left with this excavation site and since it's still uncomfortable, my surgeon wants me to wait a couple of months to get a prosthesis. It's not pretty and dressing is a nightmare--I've become the queen of layering and using scarves.

I hope your situation improves and you are able to get a solution that makes you happy. Best of luck.

Hugs, Renee

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