Explantation can be an intense and daunting procedure for women, leaving them uncertain about what to expect. Jelly Nienke (45) bravely chose to have her silicone breast implants removed and now shares her inspiring story of life afterward, the recovery process, and the impact it had on her. She hopes her experience will offer support and encouragement to other women facing a similar decision.

What was it like to choose explantation?

Before the explantation, I was filled with trepidation, especially about being flat-chested. The thought of it seemed unimaginable. However, I was certain about one thing – the silicone implant had to go, and reconstruction was not an option. As I grappled with my decision, I stumbled upon ProudBreast and the Qups, where the stories of others helped me envision a beautiful and happy life post-explantation.

Why was reconstruction not an option for you?

I delved deep into my research and initially considered the deep flap reconstruction, but the more I learned, the more my intuition screamed against it. I didn’t want my body to endure another year of recovery. After the struggles with my silicone implant, I knew my life could never go back to what it once was. Accepting this brought a sense of relief – I didn’t want additional scars or further interventions.

Eventually, I made the decision to pursue explantation, putting myself on the waiting list. When the call finally came after six months, something in me had already shifted. I knew this was the right path for me; there would be no additional operation.

How was your medical guidance?

Throughout the process, I found great comfort in the support of my plastic surgeon, who genuinely understood my concerns and took them seriously. Although our conversations were mostly over the phone due to the pandemic, her guidance played a pivotal role in my journey.

How do you look back on the surgery?

The day before the surgery, anxiety consumed me, but as soon as it was over, a wave of relief washed over me – that ‘thing’ was finally out of my body. When the bandages came off the next day, I was hesitant, but the sight surprised me. The plastic surgeon had done a remarkable job, and I immediately felt a sense of comfort. The contrast with the cold implant was striking; this felt like a part of me, not a foreign object. I could finally embrace my body authentically.

So, your scar became even more beautiful?

The healing process was both daunting and rewarding. My old scar was large and unsightly, and I feared being left with a disfigured appearance. Thankfully, my plastic surgeon and I had thorough discussions, which paved the way for an amazing outcome. Now, my scar has evolved into a fine, beautiful line – a testament to my resilience and the skilled work of my surgeon.

Does it feel different too?

Yes, I feel a renewed connection with my body. Post-explantation, a profound shift occurred within me. I never could have anticipated the joy I feel with my newly natural breasts. They are truly mine, telling my story and reflecting my journey. The absence of implants or prosthetics brings a newfound love and appreciation for my body, just the way it is. To maintain symmetry in my lingerie, I proudly wear Qups – a simple, non-judgmental filler that celebrates my body.

How was the recovery process?

The initial recovery period was sensitive, and I refrained from wearing lingerie for about a month. The compression bandage offered comfort and protection during this vulnerable phase. Daily application of a special gel supported my scar’s healing process. Over time, I grew accustomed to letting go of the bandage, embracing the Qups as an empowering choice.

How do you feel about the future?

Today, three years later, my scar has become a beautiful reminder of strength and transformation. Its once vivid red hue has softened into a delicate line, and it feels soft to the touch. My focus has shifted from solely examining the scar to cherishing my body as a whole. I embrace the authentic me, loving myself more than ever, and appreciating my unique journey.

In sharing my story, I hope to inspire and empower other women on their paths to self-acceptance and healing. Remember, our bodies are remarkable vessels that tell our stories, and every scar is a testament to our strength and resilience. Embrace your uniqueness, and cherish the journey.