Why I Regret Getting Breast Implants

Why I Regret Getting Breast Implants

This is a difficult topic for me to write about. I’m a very private person, I don’t like to be vulnerable or admit to people that I’ve made a mistake. Especially a mistake that cost me $5,600! However, despite my hesitation and fear, I hope that my story can help other women avoid the mistake I’ve made. So here is my story about why I regret getting breast implants.

July 2024 update: I wrote this post 5 years ago, and now that I’ve had my implants for 10 years I’ve added some updates to this post that will be in bold. I still regret them, I’ll tell you why below.

Why I got a breast augmentation

Women get breast implants for a variety of reasons, about 400,000 each year. Some do it to fix asymmetry (uneven size or shape). Others do it after losing volume from breastfeeding. Women like me do it because we have little to no boobs and think breast implants will help us feel more confident and feminine.

I’ve never really liked my body. Puberty gave me hips but almost no boobs, I barely filled a 34A cup. No other woman in my family was flat chested like I was. I always felt like I had the chest of a boy. In 2014, when I was 25, I finally mustered up the courage to schedule some consultations.

I did a lot of research before hand and spent a lot of time in a popular breast implant forum. I won’t say what the forum is since I believe it’s an incredibly toxic environment. Upon reflection that forum felt very much like “pro ana” forums that existed when I was a teenager, but full of mostly older women.

The most popular advice from that forum was “go bigger” or else you’ll get “boobie regret.” The horror! There were quite a few women there who went on to get even bigger implants as soon as their surgeon allowed them too, but when you’re on a forum every day where everyone is telling you what you have STILL isn’t enough, it’s going to affect you.

Sadly I bought into their fear and did end up going a little bigger than I had initially wanted. At first I just wanted to be a B-C cup. I didn’t want the change to be that noticeable, I just wanted something there so I felt like a woman. I ended up going with 375cc silicone implants which took me from 34A to 34D.

When I told one surgeon that I wanted about a C cup he recommended up to 600cc, which is absolutely insane. Don’t trust your surgeon to pick your size.

Why I regret my breast implants

I regretted my size fairly quickly. No one tells you that a lot of clothing doesn’t fit as well with bigger boobs. My favorite bikini tops looked ridiculous. A year after my surgery I actually went back to my doctor to talk about getting smaller implants, as well as other concerns I had. My doctor told me that I was only the 2nd woman to want to go smaller. I’ll discuss why I think that is later.

I didn’t end up changing my implants. I didn’t want (and couldn’t afford) to spend another $3,000, and I came to realize how stupid it all was. I was still really unhappy with them but eventually I did get used to the size even though I’d still like them to be smaller. Even now 10 years later, I don’t like how they look in swimsuits and tight clothing.

There were other things I couldn’t live with though.

What I expected from my operation

Like I said I did a lot of research. I saw 3 different surgeons and asked questions. One made a comment about how most women didn’t ask the questions I was asking, which is pretty alarming. When you’re making important decisions like this always do your research. I knew there were potential complications, like the ones I’ve listed below.

  • Capsular Contracture: The formation of scar tissue around the implant that causes breast distortion and pain. Basically your boobs will start to look like Quasimodo.
  • Rippling: Visible ripples you can see under the skin.
  • Rupture: Where the implant shell breaks and silicone leaks into the body.
  • Symmastia: Where the muscle and skin detach from the sternum and you basically have one boob. Yikes.

Thankfully I haven’t had any of those issues (10 year update: I now have rippling that I can see and feel). I still judge myself pretty hard for knowing those risks and still getting implants, but the pressure for women to look a certain way is so strong and I fell victim to it.

Related: How to Stop Negative Thoughts and Self Talk

What I did not expect

Research and the doctors told me recovery would be fairly easy due to the advancement of surgical techniques. At one office a women who worked there told me she was able to drive the day after her surgery. That was NOT my experience. My sister, who’s had 6 babies, said her recovery was worse than childbirth. She told me this after my surgery though. I’ve never had kids but I can say recovery was very painful, and I have a fairly high pain tolerance.

I had to sleep sitting on the sofa up for about a month, I had terrible nerve pain when I moved my arms (like being stabbed with a hot poker, Icy Hot saved my life), my ribs were so sore and my pain meds didn’t help, and I couldn’t drive for 2 weeks. I was emotional and miserable.

I also didn’t know that implants could cause debilitating autoimmune disease and that mold could grow around the implants.

Eventually I healed and they stopped hurting everyday, but I still had issues. My incision scars are still purple 5 years later, and they’re honestly more embarrassing than being flat chested. Ten year update: my scars aren’t as dark now but they are still purple and ugly.

One breast is about a centimeter lower than the other (due to surgeon error), and despite all the women who said otherwise they do NOT feel natural.

Sometimes when I lay down on my back I can feel them slide towards my armpits. It’s like nails sliding down a chalkboard. Doing upper body exercises is also very uncomfortable as you can feel your muscle moving the implants as they are activated during push ups and other chest exercises.

Oh and I can’t wear underwire bras anymore, they start to hurt after a few hours when they never did before. So now I just wear bralettes.

Ten year update: I now have obvious rippling, and my right side (which is lower) has a wide dent where the scar is, I believe from scar tissue underneath the skin. I can see the dent through tight shirts.

The worst thing though is how it affects my sleep.

Sleeping with breast implants is extremely uncomfortable

I’m a side and stomach sleeper. Both positions are uncomfortable with implants.

When you lay on your side gravity pulls the top implant down. This pulls on the muscle attached to your sternum (the bone between your breasts). It’s possible for that muscle to detach from the bone (called Symmastia) and it just feels bad. To deal with this I have to sleep with a pillow between my boobs.

Laying on my stomach is even worse. Putting that pressure on the implants pulls at muscles on the sides (under the armpits) as well as on the sternum. On several occasions I’ve gotten intense back and sternum pain from pressure on my ribs directly behind my implants either pulling a muscle or pinching a nerve. Last month it happened and I had back pain for several days.

I also occasionally wake up with soreness under my breasts and on the sides. Every night I have to sleep with at least 3 pillows supporting me otherwise I wake up in pain.

Ten year update: sleeping on my stomach is better, but still not totally comfortable.

Why don’t women talk about this?

I wish there had been more women out there warning me away from getting a breast augmentation, but I can understand why there aren’t.

I’m not saying every women regrets their plastic surgery decisions or that it’s inherently bad (in moderation), but I think a lot of women secretly do have regrets.

When you spend thousands of dollars to change your body and then you regret it, it’s really hard to admit that you spent all that money for nothing. And for people like me it’s hard to afford to reverse it.

More women are speaking out though. Even supermodel Gisele Bündchen admitted that she regrets getting implants after breastfeeding her kids. There is a facebook group with over 70,000 women who’ve had issues with their implants.

I do worry that teens and young women are getting sucked into the world of plastic surgery. When you have popular reality tv stars like the Kardashians and Jenners augmenting their entire bodies and faces and claiming it was diet tea and creams, or whatever they’re shilling these days on Instagram and Tik Tok, girls internalize that and go looking for ways to alter their faces and bodies without understanding the consequences.

So my advice to anyone considering implants or other surgeries, be very sure that you are emotionally and financially prepared for the worst consequences, both the ones you know about and the ones you don’t. I hope you are never in the position where you also regret getting breast implants.

I hope that someday women won’t feel the need to change their bodies to fit society’s ideal of what we should look like.

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  1. I’m 10 days post op breast aug and lift and just read this article that popped up in my feed. WHY do surgeons not tell you upfront how excruciating the recovery is? Yes, there are the people who say they are back to normal in 3-5 days. This is not my experience. Besides the “normal” tightness people experience from having a foreign object placed in your chest and your skin needing to stretch, let’s talk about how they have to cut into muscles and nerves to get the implant in, leaving you with shooting pains down your arms. Going underneath the muscle-even worse. But I wasn’t told that. Googling everything-is it normal to have shooting pain through my chest? Shooting pain down my arm? Feelings of gurgles in my chest from an air pocket that’s created when the implant is placed in a new pocket that’s created in there…yes…all normal says google. Sleep- That’s a whole other monster I didn’t even consider. Yeah surgeons tell you that you need to sleep upright the first 2 weeks but you don’t think prior to surgery that once the implants are in they make it feel nearly impossible to sleep on your side or stomach. Are my days of crawling into bed curled up in a ball on my side forever tainted by these foreign objects in the way? The claustrophobic feeling of having these huge pillow like weights in your chest, feeling like they’ll pop out in any minute if you’re not holding them every time you get out of bed. Yes I’m ONLY 10 days in…and I’m sure I’ll get used to them but a warning from the surgeon of “this is what to expect”…everyone (nurses & doctors) made it sound like it was the easiest thing in the world…I sat in the shower and cried on day 6&7, wishing if I could go back I would not have Chosen to do this…I would have loved my little somewhat saggy mommy boobs that nursed my 3 babies. This is a trip too…like others have said…I look back at pictures taken a few days before surgery of my small boobs and I’m wondering what was so wrong with them? They were fine! Culture gets in your head thinking if I have this I will feel happier. Lies. All lies. Hoping it’s money well spent in 3 months when I can live normal life again…

    1. I remember feeling all that discomfort Lindsey, it is really frustrating that no one prepares you for it. I’m sure some women do recover quickly but I don’t think it’s the norm like surgeons suggest. It took me over a year to be able to sleep comfortably, no one prepared me for that or all the other weird things that you feel. I think I mentioned it in the article, but if you have nerve pain rub Icy Hot on that area, it helps so much. I hope you feel better soon.

  2. Thank you for this post. I’m scheduled for a lift and was going back and forth between the pros and cons of implants for me

  3. I had my implants (425 CC subpectoral saline) for 18 years and it was and still is the worst decision I made in my life, and I’ve had them out for a year now.

    What no one ever tells you is that adding even a few pounds of weight to your frame changes your posture and over time it can, as in my case, result in debilitating pain.

    Specifically, my implants destroyed my pectoral girdle resulting in constant pain that ranges from burning, stabbing, tearing, searing and itching.

    My shoulders always hurt, not ache… hurt. My neck is always sore, my trapezius muscles always tender. My pectoral muscles spasm and ache and my clavicle region feels like it is tearing apart. And that’s a good day.

    At my worst I could not lift my arms to chest height, turn my head, lying on my back hurt, lying on my side was excruciating. Walking felt like my arms were being torn off.

    For anyone who has never experienced chronic pain, it changes you as a person, your outlook on life, your family, friends. It is awful.

    All this because in my naïve youth I decided that placing bags of water in my chest would somehow make me feel better. I hate what I did to myself and I am paying an awful price physically, emotionally and financially.

    It’s been a year since I had the implants removed and the while I’ve made some progress the pain is still present. It is slow going trying to readjust my body to deal with a new posture and movement.

    WORST decision my life.

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve dealt with all that pain, Diana. It’s so frustrating that most women aren’t fully warned about the tole implants can take on our bodies. I hope you are able to fully heal very soon.

  4. Thank you for your honesty. I am almost nine weeks post-op and having so much pain still. I honestly just want them removed. This was something I had wanted for nearly 20 years, and thought it would be so wonderful. But it’s been a nightmare. My surgeon told my mother that my muscle was very tight and he had a hard time getting the implant in. Also, he informed me that I have a mis-shaped rib. Over the past several weeks, the pain has gotten progressively worse, and now with every breath I take, it hurts. I am planning to have an explant ASAP. I had a chest x ray today and am awaiting results.

  5. Ive got a breast augmentation 450ccs smooth silicone soft touch under the muscle. I have not experienced any of this. They feel completely natural. My guess would be your surgeon. I had no pain other the the incisions. she also used devolving stitches and each layer of skin has its own stitches. I was able to drive my lifted truck the next day. Full arm motion. I paid 6k for my augmentation. Was told to move my arms the day of surgery also to stay in my post surgical bra for 1 month to allow my implants to heal properly. I did sleep in a recliner for 1 month to allow swelling to go down and not to allow the implants to make the pocket bigger..witch allows the implants to slid to the arm pit after “healed” and my doctor also advised me to sleep in a comfortable sports bra every night for along as I have the implants so gravity dose not pull the implants to the sides. I went from a 34 b to a 34dd/ddd I am able to sleep on my side and stomach with no pain.. my guess at 3k you did saline implants. Witch do ripple. And dose not feel natural. I went to the best surgeon in my area and was lucky enough to be able to feel some of the girls breast that worked there and I did not like the saline implants you could hear them and see rippling… as long as you have a good surgeon and is experienced you should not experience any of these issues. My surgeon also advised me not to do ANY chest exercises after implants. Working that muscle will pull the implants to the sides and compress them making them hard. I build fences for a living lifting 80 pound of concrete on a daily basis and have not felt the implants move or shift in anyway. I do own my company so it was alot easier for me to take 3 months to completely heal. For the ladies that want implants do your research. You can experience breast implant illness (your body rejecting the implants) and if you don’t do what your experienced surgeon tells you it can result in a bad boob job. Do not skimp when getting plastic surgery. Pay the extra money for quality or you can end up regretting doing it. I love my breast and believe it was the best thing I have done for my self AND USE SILICONE SHEETS!!! I also took vitamin C and E My scars are almost unnoticeable!

    1. I’m glad you had a good experience and love your breast implants. I have silicone implants but I still have rippling that I can see and feel so it’s not a guarantee. And I also used silicone sheets and took vitamin E and my incisions just did not heal right, I truly think it comes down to your biology and you can’t know how you’ll heal until you do it. It’s just a big risk, one that did not pay off for me.

  6. Hi,

    Thank you so much for speaking about such a sensitive topic, I’m considering getting an augmentation as my breasts are so small, barely 32A and I have really bad self esteem issues. As well as so much pressure from social media of a ‘perfect body’. I feel like getting my boobs done would give me a lot more confidence. I’ve done some research but still not 100% sure about doing it, but thank you for your honestly! It’s good to understand both the pros and cons of something so life changing!

  7. Hi Katrina

    I’m Sisi, I got my BA done on the 11th of August 2021. I got 295cc. So it is almost 4 weeks post op. While I think they look great, I feel strongly that this is not for me. I would like to get an explant done but my surgeon says to be safe, I should wait 3-4 month for the body to heal and things to settle…

    The wait is killing me. I think I’m scared I’ll get complacent and keep them anyway, which I don’t want to do. I know people say the anxiety will subside and I think I’m okay but I do feel regretful somewhat and anxious that I have to have them in me as I wait …

    I need advice as to how to wait… Are you considering explant??

    1. Hi Sisi, I’m sorry you’re not happy with your implants. Your hormones are going to be on a roller coaster for a while. However you feel right now is valid, and however you feel 3 months from now is valid too. I think if they’re not meant for you you’ll still feel this way in a few months, but until then you just have to take it one day at a time. Try to focus on other things for now.

      I am going to explant in the future, it’s just a matter of timing, finding the right surgeon, and cost.

  8. Hey Katrina
    I’m so glad I found this! I’ve been googling non-stop to find articles or advice of women who regret their implants being too big. I am 3 days post op, went in as a small B, got 345cc’s and now I am a full D. I wanted to be a C cup.
    I made a last minute change from 295cc to 345cc also because I was listening to everyone who said ‘go bigger’. I should have just stuck to what the surgeon recommended. Ugh this feeling of regret sucks. I hope they will look better once they drop and settle but right now they look and feel huge! It’s been an emotional roller coaster this last few days.

    1. Hi Janine. I’m sorry you’re not feeling good about your size. It can be such a huge shock to your system just from the surgery and then to feel uncertain about your size, it’s all a lot to handle. I’m sure they will look so much better in a few weeks (mind looked weird for at least a month) and eventually you’ll feel better about the size, you do get used to it eventually. I hope you heal quickly, I’m sending you good thoughts.

    2. Hi Janine I am 5 weeks post op tomorrow. I went in as an A cup. One of my boobs is bigger than the other one (before surgery) but my breasts were so small I honestly didn’t really notice. I never mentioned anything to my surgeon and now the breast that was a little fuller looks way bigger than my left one. It sucks I wish I would have known. But they definitely feel SO huge and foreign the first few days. Now at week 5 they are looking more natural. I havent told my surgeon yet about the left boob being bigger before it was really swollen and he told me I needed to massage it. It sucks and I am Def not going under the knife again to fix it. But all in all I am getting ALOT of compliments about my 375CC everyone says they look very natural and NOT BIG. I went to Victoria secret like 10 days ago and the lady said I was a 34 B I was like WHAT?? I did not pay $6G to be a B in victoria secret. Im gonna wait til they fluff and drop. Also after I started taking daily walks outside I started feeling better and it increased circulation, breathing ( i felt like i couldn’t breath the first 2 weeks) and feeling like you get a little exercise/ mini sweat in.

      1. You’re still healing so they may even out in another month or two. I’m sure you’ll be bigger than a B, try bras on again in a few weeks. Good luck!

  9. Hi,

    I have such a similar situation to you. I was barely an A cup. I got 380 cc implants. They look and feel so unnatural. I went with that form’s same advice “go bigger or you will regret it”. My recovery was awful. I had multiple emotional break downs during the first days. I stupidly enough didn’t know what size I was going to get prior to going under. I just woke up and they told me I got 380 cc’s…. My heart sank. I knew it was too big. I wanted a full C. But now I have G/F boobs and I regret the size so much.

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m so sorry you’ve had a bad experience with your implants too. I think many of us don’t realize what we’re getting into, I know I wasn’t fully prepared to deal with how different I would feel and look and the surgeons I consulted with had no idea what a C cup looks like. It’s unfortunate that forum pushes the “go bigger” mentality, I know it’s led a lot of women to feel regret. I wish you the best.

      1. Hello! I don’t know if you feel comfortable answering these or care to, but I am curious:
        -Did you get Saline or silicone implants? (I’m leaning towards silicone).
        – Textured or smooth?
        – Implant placement? (Sub-muscular seems like the best option for me).
        – Incision site? (the transaxillary (armpit) incision seems great).

        Also, besides regretting your breast size, do you like the actual shape of your boobs?

        1. Hi Sophie!

          I got silicone implants, smooth and under the muscle. I do like the shape of them, I’d just like them a little smaller. My incisions are in the crease. The biggest problem I personally have with my implants right now is that my scars are still red-purple after 5 years, they’re really embarrassing. You don’t know how your scars will heal until after it’s done, so I’d be very wary of the armpit incisions just because it’s such a visible place.

  10. Hi! I came across your blog and found this article really informative. I used to say that I would want to get breast implants one day but very thankful to hear real reviews on them. I am sorry that you are going to all that you are going through. Maybe one day in the future you are able to remove them. Thank you so much for sharing your story! We appreciate it.

  11. Thank you for speaking out about your experience. I’ve never felt the need to get implants, but I have heard some horror stories about many women getting very sick because of their implants. It’s a sad reality that the world we live in today is so focused on aesthetics, so it’s really great that you shared your story. I’m sure it will help many women reading.


      1. I’m so happy I found your story online!! My boobs are so tiny and in my research of the pros and cons of breast augmentation, I came across your article. Thank you for your honesty. I feel so torn about getting the procedure. I don’t like the size of my breast, clothes don’t fit me well, I feel the pressure from friends and society, I’m just depressed that surgery is the only way. The side effects scare me. I’m barely fitting a 34b. I’m shaped like a boy and I don’t know what to do. Trying to love myself is hard.

        1. Only you know what is right for you. I completely understand the pressure from society, in order to be attractive or sexy we’re supposed to look a certain way. I thought if I just changed my body I would feel a little more worthy of love but self-worth comes from within, not from society. I think something you should try is to find attractive women with small breasts. Now that I’m on the other side I notice all the time how women with smaller breasts look just as sexy, I even think most clothes look better on them!

          You might also look into a fat transfer breast augmentation, it only gives you about 1 cup size but that might be enough to make you feel more confident without the more serious side effects.

          1. I just stumbled onto this site. I’m a mother of 3 & grandmother of 6. I came from a family of large breasted women, mother, both grandmothers, my 2 sisters; my cousins, all of my female relatives, even my mother-in-law. I got married the day after I graduated high school. I wasn’t having regular periods so my dr. didn’t want me to go on birth control pills. So……..my son was born pretty much 9 month’s to the day! I decided to breast feed, my itty bitty titties went from a 32A to 36 D++ during pregnancy & nursing. When I switched to bottle feeding (I got a job!) my breasts changed over nite to empty skin bags. OMG! Over time (& 2 more babies) I convinced my husband to agree to let me get breast implants. So my 1st surgery I opted to get saline filled breast implants. They looked just ok, I had a lot of stretched skin from pregnancy & the saline implants didn’t look smooth & natural, plus I could hear the water in them slushing around. 2nd surgery a year later: Silicon implants. These were ok at first but even with daily manipulation scar tissue formed & they became unnaturally firm! I lived with these for several years until the decision to replace with textured implants. This was the best looking/feeling implants. No problem with scar tissue forming & distorting the shape of my breasts. I’ve had these implants for many years. Recently I’ve had some memory issues & I found articles about the toxicity released from implants can cause health issues over time, affecting your health in your body & brain! (Your implants will break down as they age). So here I am in my 70s thinking was all this worth the cost, the pain & side effects to my brain & my general health!??

        2. I just had my BA done 10/19/21 and had a emergency explant 11/3 2 weeks later. I began to internally bleed. I also felt regret after the 10/19 implant surgery. They don’t feel good in your body. I know I only had a two week experience and was just healing but everything Miriam described is what I knew I had signed up for. Although my Explant was traumatic as I almost died, in a way I’m glad they got out sooner then later. As crazy as that sounds. Now I have scars I have to deal with and wish I could go back in time and be happy and content with my perfect little boobs.