Real Life

Real life: I cut out my own breast implants

I picked up the scalpel, took a deep breath and started cutting.

By As told to Take 5

Tonia Rossington, 49, shares her shocking true life story;

I swirled my tea around in my cup and sighed miserably.
"I hate them so much I wish I could just cut them off myself!" I said vehemently.
I was having a cuppa with my daughter and talking about my very ill-advised boob job.
This was a well-trodden path, as she'd heard me moan about them countless times before.
"Oh mum, you're lovely as you are," she replied.
Ten years before I'd been so unhappy with my tiny boobs that I'd convinced my husband to pay for a boob job.
I'd gone from a size 36B to a whopping F.
At first, I liked my bigger cleavage but within two years I'd lost a lot of weight and my huge boobs looked ridiculous on my smaller frame.
Even my best friend said I looked like a Barbie doll.
I was a mum to three kids and knew I just needed to get over it but every time I looked in the mirror my reflection repulsed me.
I wore oversized t-shirts and never let my husband near my boobs.
I looked into getting them removed – an explant – but I couldn't afford the $5000 price tag on my part time salary as a cleaner.
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I hated them so much I began to fantasise about cutting them out myself.
For months, I'd scoured YouTube, watching videos of implants being removed by American surgeons.
On my way home after tea with my daughter, I decided enough was enough and went to a DIY store.
"Can I help you, love?" the owner inquired.
"I'm after a painter and decorator's knife, you know, like a scalpel?" I said.
"Planning on a bit of DIY this weekend are you?" he laughed.
"Something like that," I muttered.
With my huge boobs... I hated my reflection in the mirror.
After grabbing a $1.45 knife from the store, I picked up a bottle of Dettol and some surgical gloves from the pharmacy and then headed home.
That night, my courage faltered but the next morning I looked at my enormous bust spilling over my bra and knew today was the day.
My husband had left for his night shift and I went up to our bedroom.
I watched the videos on YouTube one more time, grabbed my boob-removal contraband and then stripped off.
I doused myself in Dettol and brought out the knife, which glinted menacingly in my bedroom light.
"Here goes," I gulped.
I traced the scar from my original operation, still silvery on my skin.
Taking a deep breath I put the blade to my flesh.
At first I poked it in a few millimetres, just to see if it hurt.
Bizarrely, I felt nothing. Clenching my teeth I pushed harder, until a trickle of blood appeared.
Maybe it was the adrenaline, but there was no pain.
I couldn't believe it.
Before long, the scalpel had cut along two or three inches, leaving a gaping wound.
I did a desperate and dangerous thing.
I used a tissue to mop up the blood and still felt nothing.
Soon, I'd cut through layers of flesh and started hitting fat.
Then I saw the scar tissue that surrounded the implant.
Go on Tonia, you need to do this, I kept saying over and over in my head.
I cut through the scar tissue and a huge load of clear goo shot out.
At first I thought it was more fat, but then to my horror I saw it was…silicone!
The implant had been ruptured and I hadn't even known.
This was something I was not prepared for.
I scraped it out as best I could - still with no pain - and then felt the plastic shell of the implant.
I desperately tugged on it, but it wouldn't come out.
Panic set in.
What do I do now! I wondered.
I pushed down hard on my breast and thankfully the pressure meant the shell of the implant popped out.
One down, one to go.
One of my hated implants.
Moving to my left breast, I was running on adrenaline.
I felt no pain as the knife slipped into my flesh.
I knew I wouldn't hit any important veins or arteries as long as I followed the old scars.
Again, I hacked through fat and scar tissue.
It was quite disgusting.
I pushed down and the second implant flew out.
I'd done it! I couldn't believe my hideous old implants were out.
But now I had two gaping holes in my chest.
I figured if I drove myself to A&E they'd have to stitch me up.
I popped the gooey implants - or what was left of them - into a freezer bag and hopped into my car.
At the hospital, there was a huge queue in A&E as it was a Saturday night and clubbers were spilling onto the pavement outside.
I knew I had to see a doctor fast so I passed the busy receptionist a note.
"What do you mean you've cut out your contraceptive implant?" she said, sternly. "That was very dangerous."
But her eyes widened in amazement when I snapped back: "No, my BREAST implants!"
Within ten minutes I was being seen by several doctors, none of whom could believe what I'd done.
I want others to think twice about getting breast implants.
My husband rushed to hospital, terrified.
"What on earth have you done, you silly goose!" he cried.
I was told I'd have to stay in, but after a few hours they said my wounds could be stitched up by the breast clinic in a couple of days.
They put saline into the ruptured side and sent me on my way.
Two days later, I went to see a specialist breast doctor at the same hospital.
Amazingly I didn't even need stitching up, because my wounds had already begun healing.
"You had nerve damage from your first op and your pain sensors in the area had stopped working," the doctor said.
That explained why I hadn't felt a thing of my DIY op.
My scars have already healed and a scan showed no leftover silicone in the ruptured side.
The scar from my 'surgery'
When my story hit the media, I learnt that I was the first woman in the world to remove her own implants.
Many doctors berated me and I appreciate it was a very dangerous thing to do.
I wouldn't encourage anyone else to try it.
But I have to admit that I don't regret it.
I'm so happy to have a flat chest again.
For the first time in my life I'm comfortable in my own skin. I'd like to urge women out there to think twice about having a boob implant. You might think they'll buy you happiness but mine only made me miserable.
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