From XOJane’s “It Happened To Me” series comes this terrible tale titled “I had my breast implants removed while I was awake.”
The piece, by Jacqueline Burt, is riveting and tells of her dealings with a shady surgeon and his poor performance augmenting her breasts.
One morning, I opened my eyes and one of my breasts -– the right one –- felt as hard as a rock. Capsular contracture. In laymen’s terms, capsular contracture is what happens when your breast decides it wants nothing to do with that bag of silicone some quack in a Hawaiian shirt stuffed in there and freaks out. I called my doctor’s office right away, only to be told that he was in the process of moving his practice from Connecticut, where I live, to Seattle. (Red flag? Yes.)
The nurse treated her, by, in her own words, “vigorously kneading [my] breast like a mound of stubborn pizza dough.” But that didn’t fix the problem, and things only got more awful. If you are not interested in being grossed out, I suggest you stop reading. Because after noticing some serious bruising on her breast, Burt saw something even worse.
As in, my implant was suddenly poking out through a hole in the bottom of my boob. I placed another call, this time in full-fledged panic.
“Oh, no! Oh, sweetie, that’s going to have to come right out.” The nurse sounded horrified over the phone, which did nothing to calm my nerves. “The doctor will see you at his temporary facility first thing in the morning.”
Temporary facility because her doctor had, true story, already shuttered up his practice in an attempt to flee town. Alright, you ready for things to get crazy?
The doctor hovered over me, tufts of chest hair poking out from the open collar of his Hawaiian shirt.
“Oh, yeah, that has to come out.” He … turned to the nurse.
“Can you run out to CVS for me? I need an X-Acto knife, a roll of gauze and a bottle of Suave conditioner.”
Luckily, the cosmetologist did have local anesthetic and syringes in stock. “So, this shouldn’t hurt a bit,” the doctor said as he swabbed my skin with disinfectant.
Her doctor didn’t even have supplies. Now, hold that breath.
Anyway, the first implant slipped out easily. That’s because my bruise wasn’t really a bruise at all, it was necrosis –- dead tissue. (As a reference point, think of how effortlessly a zombie’s limbs are ripped from his or her body.) Not much of a challenge for an X-Acto knife.
The second implant was a different story. My left breast was healthy, no capsular contracture, real, live tissue. A huge challenge for an X-Acto knife, even a brand-new, perfectly sharp X-Acto knife. What my doctor really needed was an X-Acto saw –- but then, that’s essentially what the blade turned into in his hands. Thanks to the anesthesia, I didn’t feel any pain, per se, but “pain” is as good a word as any to describe the ridiculously unsettling discomfort of living through your own dissection.
The biggest surprise of the day came when my surgeon announced that he would not be stitching up the large open gashes in the bottom of my now empty breasts.
“These need to heal from the inside out,” he said. That’s where the Suave conditioner came in.
As he reached into the CVS bag for a roll of gauze, the doctor told me about Suave’s “magical healing properties” (again, I swear to god I’m not making this up). “All you have to do is soak some gauze in Suave and stuff it into the empty cavities,” he said. “Over the next couple of weeks, the cavities will start to close up on their own. But you will need to change the dressing every day.”
[Image via Shutterstock]