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Michaelle Melnuk

Michaelle Melnuk is a contributor to HealthyWomen.

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My Decision to Remove My Breast Implants

My Decision to Remove My Breast Implants

I loved my implants for a long time, but they no longer fit my lifestyle

Created With Support

I was 28 years old and wanted bigger breasts. It was an easy decision for me since I had a good job and the money to do it. I just thought about it one day and acted on it. And I have always been very happy with the results. They looked awesome!

Six years later, in 2014, I became pregnant with my daughter. I started learning about toxins in beauty products and started to consider the products I was using on my skin. When my daughter was born, she had eczema, and we felt it was important not to put anything unnatural on her body or in my body.

So we converted to a nontoxic household. We started cleaning with only plant-based products, vinegar and baking soda. And we changed to using essential oils for air fresheners and laundry — no more candles, air freshener sprays, laundry softeners or dryer sheets.

As my daughter got older, we learned that she had food allergies, so we became not only concerned with what we put on our bodies, but in them. We changed our way of eating and started cooking a lot, eating only grass-fed organic meat and organic vegetables, and eliminating food dyes and artificial chemicals from our diet.

The more I learned, the more I thought about my breast implants. I loved the way they looked, but they didn't jive with the organic, more natural lifestyle I'd been following. About 1½ years ago, after having the implants for 10 years, it was time to decide if I should get them replaced or removed. I made the decision to have my breast implants removed.

We went for a consult with a doctor who explained everything about the explant process from beginning to end. Although I wasn't having any difficulty with my implants, he assured me that he would support my decision to do whatever I wanted. He explained that there were options of an explant without capsulectomy, with complete capsulectomy, or with an en bloc capsulectomy. A capsulectomy is the surgical removal of the scar tissue (or capsule) around an implant. In a complete or total capsulectomy, the implants are usually removed first, followed by the capsule that normally forms around the implant. In an en bloc capsulectomy, the entire scar tissue capsule is removed as one, intact piece.

I am planning my surgery for the end of this year and am confident that I will be fine with my new smaller chest. I'm comfortable with my body, but I want to feel more in tune with my natural lifestyle. My implants served me well for 12 years — they look great, they breastfed two kids, and I've had no problems.

But now it's time for removal, and I feel confident about my decision.

This resource was created with support from The Allergan Foundation.

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