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Thread: SCI and breast implants?

  1. #1

    Question SCI and breast implants?

    I'm a C5/6 quad and am considering getting breast implants, as they never developed after my injury. Any other SCI ladies out there who have implants willing to share their story? Do they get in the way of ADL's and wheeling your chair? How bad was recovery? Any other tips/info?

  2. #2
    Senior Member JimD's Avatar
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    We have a member whose user-name is Theophania; I recall her discussing her experiences with implants. She has a beauty/fashion related blog which may contain some information, or you could try to contact her - I don't recall her being very active here of late. Here is a link to her blog:

    http://www.beautyability.com/2.0/

  3. #3
    I have, but I am a low, incomplete para. I didn't have any trouble, the recovery took three days. I have to change mine soon and haven't expected any problems now either.
    TH 12, 43 years post

  4. #4
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    I am also 5/6 very incomplete, but got them years ago for reconstruction after mastectomy. It wasn't so easy to recover then because of the tissue removal, and then I had them replaced a year ago because they had both broken down and again it was not easy because they had to scrape the gel off of the chest wall and out of muscle fibers.

    You should be aware that they will break down and have to be replaced every so often, so it is not just one surgery you will be subjecting yourself to, but many if you are young.

    I will not be doing it again.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by skippy13 View Post
    ...I had them replaced a year ago because they had both broken down and again it was not easy because they had to scrape the gel off of the chest wall and out of muscle fibers.
    Skippy, this makes me wonder if your pulmonary issues might be related to the breakdown of those implants - an immune reaction, perhaps? Not wanting to go off-topic, but maybe it's relevant to the OP's question in a long-term sense.

  6. #6
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    I think it had something of an immune reaction when they broke open. I would often get inflammatory type arthritic pain in a generalised body pattern.

    Haven't had any episodes of that kind of fever and pain since. Felt an immediate difference in general health.

    Pulmonary functions are still under investigation and will take some time since the VA is doing it. We have 26,000 new and returning veterans who are also trying to get care in the system. Takes months to get appointments, then months to get referred to specialists. The cabinet for pulmonary function tests are not wheelchair accessible, so they could not do the full test, so they just sort of forget about it. Just put me on full time oxygen without giving me a good reason why, then they changed my doc and gave me over to a nurse. I do not have a clue what is wrong with me and will probably not find out any time soon. Do not feel like doing anything to be compliant until I find out what the problem really is. Bummed out.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  7. #7
    Skippy, what a maddening and frustrating situation! Compliance until further notification seems to be the only realistic avenue open to you - it's inhumane, but I get it and I certainly hope that you won't have a very long wait for the tests you need. Grrrrr and arrrgh.

  8. #8
    There is a newer option for breast augmentation and also reconstruction that does not involve implants, it involves fat grafting. Dr. Khouri is the top pioneer surgeon using this technique but other surgeons are learning from his seminars.

    http://www.miamibreastcenter.com/
    "The sweet is not as sweet without the bitter"
    ~"Vanilla Sky"~

  9. #9
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Unless you bring a blood supply to fat that is grafted, you only take the chance of the dead fat decomposing inside your body. That is why fat transfers only last for a few months. Don't do that.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  10. #10
    hi maggie mae, i'm a c5-6 incomplete quad, too. i had my sci at age 14.
    i too was flat chested, until i became pregnant at ages 34 and 36, and then ta-da, my breasts filled out very nicely and i was able to nurse both of my children for a year each, which made life happier and healthier for all of us.

    my point is that if there's any chance you might want to have kids in the future, you might wait before deciding on elective cosmetic surgery and instead use gel bra inserts or wonderbras to make your clothes fit the way you want them to.

    i'm now 41 years post-sci, and my strategy for staying healthy as long as possible is to avoid any medically unnecessary surgeries. every time you have surgery post-sci, it takes your body longer to recover than if you were still AB. the fad for breast implants will pass, if it hasn't already, and natural profiles will be appreciated and in style again in a just a few minutes, so think this through, especially if you might want kids in the future.

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