Why I Got My Breast Implants Removed (my experience with explant surgery)

First, a little raw and revealing love note from me to you. This is one of those posts that I know in my heart can help people, and I think it’s part of my responsibility not only as a blogger, but as a fitness professional, to not just share fun pictures of workouts and food, but to show the struggles and obstacles that come along, too.

But letting you in on some of these moments that are more personal and private means that I’m putting myself out there for criticism and judgement. To be totally honest, I wrote this post, trashed it…and then brought it back. So, as you read, please know that I’m as vulnerable as anyone else, and while questions and even dissenting opinions are always welcomed, any personal attacks on me or anyone else who comments and weighs in will be removed.

Breast Implant Removal Results: My Explant Surgery Story

Why I Got My Breast Implants Removed

Recently, just a little over 11 years after having my breast implants put in, I had them taken out. 

Aesthetically, they stood the test of time, and still looked pretty darn good. 

They were soft and I had no capsular contracture.

So why the heck did I say goodbye?

They starting hurting almost two years ago, and it slowly turned from a dull pain to a burning sensation.

It started in the fall of 2015, shortly after I had P. I figured it was a fluke from breastfeeding and pregnancy, so I waited it out until she was a year old before going to ask about it. I visited my plastic surgeon’s office in Tucson over Thanksgiving, and had them checked out to make sure nothing was wrong. The doctor assured me it was just hormonal, and that if it didn’t get worse, to leave them alone. Well, they continued to get worse, and it reached the point where I fantasized about ripping them out from my skin. It went from being an inconvenience, to a “these things have to be out of my body now.”

Breast explant surgery - breast implant removal

Some Facts About Breast Implants

-According to the FDA, they’re not intended to be lifetime medical devices. You will need to have your implants removed or replaced when (not “if”) you have problems with them (usually pain, rupture, and/or capsular contracture). The life of a breast implant depends on so many different factors. Some women can have them for two years and need a replacement, others can have theirs for 22 years without problems. The type of implant and fill volume can impact this, too. If you have saline implants, you’ll almost immediately know that you have a rupture (because it will deflate quickly) and with silicone, you could potentially have a rupture and not know. With saline, if they used valves to fill the implant, you could have a “slow leak” and be unaware that it’s rupturing, but the salt water is absorbed by the body. Saline implants are in a silicone shell. 

-My plastic surgeon had told me that they would “last a lifetime” but now it’s commonly recommended that they should be replaced every 10-15 years. Since you need to replace implants, possibly multiple times over the course of your life, I decided that I wanted to be free of them. I could have gotten mine replaced, but know I’d need a future breast surgery (or surgeries) to maintain them, or I could just stop with the surgeries already. I decided to roll with the latter, especially since I had two surgeries last year (one to repair a severed nerve in my hand, and the other was a repair after P was born and I wasn’t stitched correctly. woof) and 6 weeks of downtime sucks. 

My Decision to Get My Breast Implants Removed

When I first got my breast implants, I 100% made the best decision for myself at the time. I remember riding in the car to surgery and not feeling the least bit concerned about the result; I was so excited to finally have symmetrical, regular-sized boobs! I was looking forward to being *even* again since I had a benign tumor removed when I was in college.

My implants were, by far, one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, and I’ve never regretted it. They’ve been with me through a lot: our wedding, many moves, 3 deployments, 2 babies, and a lot of sports bras and workouts. 😉 Even though I enjoyed them and thought they looked awesome, they never defined me. That’s why I felt similarly going into this surgery: even though I was nervous (anesthesia always freaks me out a bit), I was confident I was making the best possible decision, and was ready to let them go. 

Breast Implant Removal and Diastasis Recti Repair

I did a lot of research in the process, and found a Plastic Surgeon in Atlanta who is double-board certified and does implant removals often. When I called the office, his receptionist said he does 4-5 explants per week, and has been for the five years since she’s worked there. He’s so kind, and Facetimed me three times to answer all of my questions. His bedside manner made me feel at ease, especially paired with the fact that he had hundreds of awesome reviews online and lots of great testimonials. 

Since I was already going to be knocked out and under the knife, I made another decision: to have my abdominal muscles repaired. After working to rehab my diastasis recti for the past year and a half, it got to its *best* point, which still left me with protrusion around my belly button and abnormal ab separation. As Katy Bowman would say, sometimes the connective tissue becomes a “quitter,” like an old sock. Friends, my linea alba was a quitter after growing and birthing two babies (one of whom was 10 lb 13 oz and stretched me out to the max). I wasn’t stoked about the recovery time, but my heart was telling me to go for it. So, I did. While he repaired my abdominal muscles, he also got rid of the excess skin from being stretched out so much. 

Thoughts About Plastic Surgery

I’ve always been an advocate of making the best decision for yourself; no one else. If you have the means and desire to change something, do it! Excess skin following weight loss and ab separation post-pregnancy are things I’ve seen so often with my personal training and postpartum clients. They hit their goal weight, but are left with a lot of loose skin which honestly will not likely disappear over time. With DR, sometimes you can repair it to the point where it’s within a normal, functional, range again; other times, it can be so stretched out that the tissue doesn’t have the ability to fully recover. My doctor told me my abs were still a solid 3 fingers apart, and that’s after 8 months of Physical Therapy and daily rehab exercises.

Women on Instagram and celebrities will sometimes say they look awesome because they “work their ass off.” They also got lucky. So many women work hard, eat clean, and are super consistent, and left with things that will not change, no matter what they do. You can’t change skin elasticity, and you can’t physically repair connective tissue. I have to admit that it was really frustrating to work daily on my core rehab, work out wisely, and eat extremely clean, and know that nothing I did would change the appearance of my skin or the protrusion of my stomach. 

Even though having smooth skin again is awesome, I really wanted the functionality of my core to be restored. I’ve been modifying exercises for so long, and wanted the freedom to do everything I used to do, without feeling like I was compromising or overcompensating. If I did the full ab series in my barre classes, I looked pregnant afterwards because it was so much stress on my connective tissue. After filming the HIIT workouts for our last Winter Shape Up, I was severely bloated and had back pain for the rest of the week. Any time I did anything that wasn’t DR-friendly -and most of the time I was really good about sticking with *safe* exercises- I paid the price, usually with back pain, or uncomfortable intense bloating.

Honesty and Transparency

I wanted to share this story with you and be completely honest with my situations. I wanted to share this for any of the mamas or friends out there who may be having issues with their breast implants, or struggling with abnormal ab separation postpartum.

I feel like there’s a lot of dishonesty in the fitness world, and the online world in general. There are Instagrammers who post these gooey decadent food photos, and throw them in the trash to eat chicken and broccoli instead. There are fitness celebrities hawking a healthy diet and exercise plan when they’re loading up on steroids and fat loss pills. There are a LOT of people who have gotten plastic surgery, and haven’t said a word about it. It’s all “Buy my diet plan!” even though they had lipo and a lot of Photoshop.

This is where the gray area comes in. If you have Botox, and someone comments on your beautiful, smooth skin, do you HAVE to tell them you had Botox?? I don’t think so. But, if you make your living promoting healthy skin and selling a skin rejuvenation program, I think it would be important to share.

This is one of the reasons why I want to share this story. (In addition to the fact that I’m an oversharer and like being real with you all.) You guys know what I look like. I eat well, I exercise, I enjoy life and drink a lot of red wine. I also promote health and fitness, and doing what’s best for you, and what makes you happy. I want everyone to live their best and happiest life possible.

My Body After Plastic Surgery

I had something done that altered my boobs (they’re tiiiiiiiny again! and they also don’t ache and burn anymore) and my stomach is totally different, though I’m the same size. (My separation is repaired, and my wrinkled skin is smoothed out. I also have a visible scar. I also got a lift at the time of explant so I wouldn’t have deflated water balloons.) But you guys who know me and read the blog know I didn’t do this as a way to swindle or cheat anyone. I’ll continue to promote my post baby bod plan; all of the photos within are indeed my post baby bod, and I have zero plans to reshoot them. But now you know any pictures from now on where my stomach looks different, it was the combo of my hard work over the years, plus the repair from Dr. Ghazi. He ended up not needing to do lipo (which is awesome because I heard it could be painful), and just stitched my abs back together, pulled my skin down and made a new hole for my belly button to live. While my breasts look tiny compared to what they were, they feel amazing. They’re free of the large bags that were making my entire chest ache and burn, and I feel a lightness. I can take a big, deep breath again, and man, it feels awesome. 

Just after surgery:

Breast explant surgery experience - breast implant removal

What I Learned From Explant Surgery and Diastasis Recti Repair

During this whole experience, I fully realized that health is wealth. My boobs looked great, but were causing me significant pain, so I was happy to get them taken out. Now that the implants are gone, I LOVE my new (aka old) boobs. They’re small and perky and cute, and ME. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

As far as the implants go, I’ve done a lot of research, and started to discover that thousands of women all over the world are having problems with theirs. When I asked my naturopath if he had any suggestions about how I could heal the pain they were causing me, he said that the burning and aching was an immune response to a foreign invader. Some people do well with implanted devices in their bodies, while others start to reject them. 

I also learned about breast implant illness, which is how I found the Facebook group I’m currently in. I learned that thousands have suffered various ailments from the implants (silicone and saline), and I feel like they definitely may have contributed to the fact that I persistently felt exhausted, had increased depression and anxiety (I always had anxiety but didn’t suffer from panic attacks until the summer I had them put in), numbness and cold in my limbs, and dry, red eyes. Over the past couple of years, I got comments saying I looked tired or worn down. I felt tired and worn down. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the pain and inflammation in my body, or the fact that I am indeed getting older. You can’t really pinpoint what caused what, but I can say I feel markedly better after having them removed, which is all the matters. The constant pain and burning is gone, so I’m calling it a win. When I told a good friend and teaching coworker that I was having mine removed, she told me that she had also gotten rid of hers after they began to wreck havoc in her body, and it was the best thing she ever did.

I don’t want to share this story to freak anyone out who has breast implants. If you have them and you feel great, that is amazing news. This is just my story; it doesn’t necessary mean it will be your story, and I’m just sharing my experience. My implants had reached their figurative expiration date, and my body was letting me know. I don’t hate on plastic surgery at all -I just had some more to fix my core!- and wholeheartedly believe that it’s a personal decision. 

My husband is the best man in the world, and I’ve never felt so loved on by our tribe. When I first told Tom that my implants were hurting, he was like, “How do we fix it?” and has supported me along the entire way. He wanted me to get them out as soon as possible, and made me feel so cared for and loved while I was recovering, with drains sticking out of my body and scars and bandages everywhere. He lifted me out of bed when I could hardly walk, set alarms for my medicine, changed wound dressings, emptied drains, REMOVED said drains (I was terrified but it was NBD), and it brings me to tears when I think about how much love and support he gives to all of us. My madre was here, helping us wrangle the girls, making food, doing laundry, giving everyone baths, and here to keep us company at night. We were helped out so much by our friends here in town, and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and love for all of the wonderful people we’re so blessed to have in our life.  

What’s Next

Here I am, 5 1/2 weeks after surgery! It’s been hard to take time off from the gym -gosh, I love those endorphins- but I’ve been walking in between Netflix sessions. I’ve enjoyed just being: enjoying the girls, relaxing, just taking it easy and loving on my family.

I’m not going to flood the blog with posts about this, but I do have a post about recovery + some tips that I may be publishing in the next week or so. I just wanted to wait and see how this goes over with everyone. (aka if people are being hater-y about it, I might just let it be.)

So there’s my story. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind and heartfelt comments as I continue to heal. I’m thankful to all of you for being here, and for all of your support on life’s crazy adventures over the years. 


Read about my recovery and healing timeline after surgery.

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  1. Peggy on August 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Yes, please, and thank you! I’ve followed your blog here and there and honestly always wondered if you had implants and (if so) what your experience was with them. Thank you for sharing your personal story honestly and openly so your followers can be better informed of breast augmentation.

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      thank you so much, peggy <3

      • Kim campbell on September 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

        I wasn’t wondering the name of your PS who did the explant surgery? I want mine out ASAP as I think mine after nine years are making me sick. Any help you can give would be great!

        • Fitnessista on September 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

          hi kim,
          where are you located? i used dr ghazi in atlanta, and he is wonderful

          • Kim campbell on September 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm

            I’m in Arizona. Seems like the majority of explant surgeons are everywhere except Arizona. I’ve emailed about ten and waiting until tomorrow to see who responds. A lot of sites don’t have photos I really want to see the photos that have revision so lift, fat transfer or skin removal. Did you have to do any reconstruct after yours were removed. I’m a pretty thin gal and am worried that when they come out I’ll have two sad balloons ha. But honestly my immune system hasn’t functioned in over a year and my thyroid disease has gotten way worse. I’m worried that one of them is silently leaking… I know some don’t believe this but it makes sense to me that if those chemicals are slowly releasing into your body it’s not good. When I got mine in 2008 FDA didn’t have much to say not there is get MRI every 2-5 years get gen switched every ten as they degrade. None of that was said to me when they were put in. Just want to feel good again. So you would recommend the surgeon that did yours?

          • Fitnessista on September 30, 2017 at 2:37 pm

            yes, i loved dr. ghazi. he’s been amazing
            dr. taki is in tucson! i’ve had a few friends go to him for other things and they love him. he was also recommended for explant in the Facebook group i’m in. here’s the group if you’d like to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Healingbreastimplantillness/?fref=nf
            i got a lift after mine were removed. my skin would have been really saggy without it since the implants were really big on my body and stretched my skin out a lot

            lots of pics and info in there!

          • Kim campbell on September 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm

            Awesome thanks for the information!! I have been trying to read as many forums as possible. Thinking about you tubing the journey for others that are hesitant.

          • Yolanda Vazquez on February 8, 2018 at 4:28 am

            Hi, was wondering if you lived in Atlanta when you had your breast removal? If not, did you stay in a hotel for recovery period or fly back home? Curious on how to use doctors who are out of state? I am located in Texas. Thanks.

  2. Sharon on August 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Ditto to all of the love from the comments before mine. Thank you for your realness. Best of luck in your recovery.

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      thank you, sharon. i appreciate it! hope you’re doing well <3 have you been to pure barre lately? let's take a class next time i'm in town 🙂

    • Shelly on August 30, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you for this post. I had reduction this summer and having excess skin removed later this fall. I can relate. Hope you’re feeling great. I had a few complications and medication reactions but I’m finally feeling better. Curious for my next one, how long were you on narcotic pain pills. I would love to avoid the side effects next time. Best of luck!

      • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 8:46 pm

        so happy to hear you’re feeling better <3 i usually have a very high pain tolerance (and i like tylenol better than the heavy stuff because narcotics really mess with my stomach) and i took all but two of the pain pills. i seriously needed each one. sending you lots of love for an awesome experience and quick healing

  3. Crystal on August 30, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Omg! I never knew that breast implants weren’t meant to be permanent. Also had no idea about the side effects. I’m glad you got them taken out, it sounds like you feel better. I’m not interested in getting implants anytime soon, but I have thought about getting a breastlift. Plastic surgery is kind of scary sounding, so I appreciate you sharing your experience. Happy healing!

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      yes, i feel so, so much better. he did a lift at the same time -i forgot to mention that which is funny because this post is SO LONG- and am so glad i did.

      • Karen on August 31, 2017 at 11:13 am

        Hi. I’m in the same group on Fb…and having the same procedures done next week. Thank you for posting this. I am so excited to get these toxic bags out and get back to being the woman, mom, and wife I planned to be. x

        • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

          i’m so happy for you. i hope you feel amazing afterwards <3 recovery from explant (even with a lift) is WAY easier than getting them put in, even with the drains and everything
          sending lots of good wishes and healing vibes your way

  4. Sarah on August 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Truly one of my fav posts you’ve done. You’re one of the only bloggers I still follow because it seems like you never fell into the saccharine phony baloney. (Love my littles! So blessed!) Thanks for being transparent and showing your vulnerable side. So many of us out here are the better for it, Gina.

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      thank you so much, and thank you for being here, sarah. i appreciate it! and yes, life is not sunshine and rainbows all the time 😉

  5. Alyssa on August 30, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    I’m so glad you are healing and doing great! I guess for me it feels dishonest that you continued to blog like nothing was going on during all of this. Why wait until you are through it? Are all the posts about going here and there not true then?

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      All of the posts where I said I went somewhere, I did. Everything was true on the blog. We took the workout pics in June so I would have content while I was healing. I’m strangely superstitious, so I wanted to wait until this point to mention it because I didn’t want to say something and have a complication. I also do better writing about challenging topics when I’ve had time to process everything. It’s how I addressed my postpartum depression and previous health issues

      • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on August 30, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        I’m the same way. I can’t really write about something when I’m going through it. I totally prefer to reflect after the fact!

      • Sam on August 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        You were SO smart to do that, Gina! You totally did the right thing. Alyssa – if it’s any help, I had brain surgery last month and shared it as I went along with my readers, which I totally regret doing. Not only did I have a complication after telling everyone that everything went great (which it did at first), but I also was NOT myself + was on way too many pain meds to publicly put myself and my business out there. This is her business, too.. and so sometimes you’re not in the right space to professionally and personally put so much out there while you’re in the thick of it.

        • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:52 pm

          i’m sorry to hear about the complication. i hope everything was resolved and you’re feeling much better
          and YES haha. there’s no way i could have, or should have, written this post under the influence of pain meds

  6. Alaina Burran on August 30, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I love your honesty and hope no one would be negative about your decisions to either get/remove implants. I actually plan on having a rhinoplasty in November and plan on telling everyone. I dare someone to make a rude comment, haha. On another note, who was your surgeon? I’ll be seeing Dr. Nunn from Atlanta Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, but there are so many wonderful physicians in Atlanta! We are lucky to live nearby! Hoping for you to have a quick recovery.

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      i’m excited for you! i debated rhinoplasty for the longest time- definitely keep me updated on how you’re doing. it’s so crazy because i saw dr. ghazi at atlanta plastic and reconstructive surgery. dr. nunn had incredible reviews, too! you will LOVE it there. the team is so awesome. if you see dr. ghazi around, tell him i said hi 😉

    • Lisa @ Life as Lisa Knows It on August 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

      I had a rhinoplasty almost 2 years ago and am so happy that I did! I wanted one for as long as I could remember and I finally did it!

  7. Maren on August 30, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    This was an amazing post! I too appreciate your realness. I have DR from carrying my babies and I’m not sure if working out will be able to repair it. I had no idea you could get it surgically repaired! That’s incredible. I also currently have a 2.5 month old with reflux and have been looking through your old posts. They are so helpful! You really are helping so many with your blog. Just thought you should know ??

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      thank you so much, maren. i really appreciate the kind words! so sorry to hear you’re dealing with reflux. i hope your little one is feeling better soon!
      and yes! it’s so amazing that they can repair DR. <3

  8. Lara on August 30, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I’m a medical student and have had the chance to work extensively with a plastic surgeon. It has been such a meaningful experience! I’ve seen so many different things from breast augmentation post-mastectomy, to tucks after massive weight loss, to breast reductions, to a brow lift in an elderly man who lost his peripheral vision because his eyelids were so saggy. Were they emergencies or medically necessary? No. Were they life changing? YES!! A surgery that can improve your quality of life and the way your body works is such a gift. So often, people feel like they are able to reclaim their body again post-surgery. It’s very empowering and freeing. I’m so glad you had access to it and what sounds like a great surgeon to work with!

    • Fitnessista on August 30, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      loved reading this comment so, so much. what an incredible experience!! it’s so true; it’s a valuable gift to be able to make these choices and positively impact your life experience. my surgeon has been so wonderful and i feel very lucky to have found him. thank you so much for the work you’re doing to help people feel better and live healthy lives, no matter which field you decide to go into in the long run <3

  9. Phoebe on August 30, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Bless you for having the courage and integrity to share this post! I’ve given birth to 5 babies, including a 10 pounder and a set of twins that weighed in at 15.5 pounds together. They were all beautiful and healthy and I’m eternally grateful I got to give them life, but my stomach paid the price. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this but … it’s almost a relief that I’m not the only one struggling with DR despite “doing the right things”. The twins were born 8 years ago and I recently had someone glance at my stomach and ask if I’m pregnant (I’m not). Oh man… that sucked so much!! My tummy definitely quit on me. I’m all for getting it fixed and it’s on my list of to-dos. Thank you for sharing your story and letting others know we’re in the same boat not because we’re not trying hard enough but because sometimes our bodies just don’t go back!!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      5 babies! WOW, girl!!! you are amazing <3
      thank you so much for reading! and yes, so it's so helpful to hear we're not alone 🙂

  10. Sara on August 30, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I love that you are so real on your blog, it’s the reason I love it so much! Thank you for sharing such a personal decision. Wishing you a quick and speedy recovery!!!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      thank you so much, sara, and thank you for reading!

  11. LK on August 30, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    It is crazy that there is so much hate and judgement out there that we feel we can’t share with each other without feeling that we opening ourselves to attack. Your post was amazing, thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad that you listened to your body, did the careful research and made your decision. I have been loving your blog, it is refreshing to read a blog that is open, honest. Heal strong and keep on 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      thank you- i really appreciate it <3

  12. Emma Lopez on August 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    I’m just curious how did you go about finding your doctor?

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      in the breast implant illness group i’m in on Facebook, a lot of women in atlanta posted about their amazing experience with him. i did a quick google search, saw all of his reviews (and read all of them! there were 400+) and had a great feeling about it. after our first FaceTime consult, i knew he was the one

  13. India on August 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    You are amazing. Bottom line. I love your blog and am thankful you chose to write about this. About the reader(s) who felt like anything was dishonest, I am sure you’ve had to put up with so much as a blogger. But I’m glad you process things as you need and post whatever/whenever you decide to. This is your blog – we just have the privilege of reading your posts. So thank you! I am not a mom, but I love reading about motherhood from your perspective. Keep rocking it, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      thank you, india- i really appreciate the kind words

  14. Kara on August 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for being so open and honest. I would like implants at some point, so I appreciate hearing about your experience. Many blessing for continued healing!

  15. Jess on August 30, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Oh my word. I’m tearing up after reading this. Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing.

    I’m six months postpartum with my third baby and struggling with diastasis. Recovery/”bouncing back” has been so much different this time around…and extremely humbling. I’ve been working with professionals to heal the ab separation and am feeling really discouraged with where my body is at. I just want to feel like myself again…and be able to work out like I used to….and not look like I’m still pregnant.

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve known this (similar) struggle as well. But please know your words are comforting and encouraging!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      thank you! it’s helpful to hear we’re not alone <3 the good news is that you still have so much healing time ahead of you; i hope it's able to get within a normal, functional range for you

  16. CJ on August 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I am very grateful you chose to share this experience. I am sure you have helped so many women; from those considering a surgery to those who are empowered by your bravery! I am curious if the abdominal portion is the more difficult part of the recovery… or is the explant very difficult as well!? I would like to have implants removed but my original surgery (with lift) came with a brutal recovery 🙁

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      the breast surgery was like nothing compared to the muscle repair. getting them out (+ a lift at explant) was WAY less painful than getting them in! the drains sucked, but they were short-lived thankfully 😉

  17. Tara on August 30, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you for being REAL! I too dealt with stomach wall deprecation after having 3 babies. Workoutout, losing more weight than I should have and physical therapy got me nowhere. I felt like a failure. It’s people like you who admit it and make you feel like we’re not alone. The surgery was the best decision of my life. Hard recovery huh?! Blessings to you! Congrats!

    • Tara on August 30, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      ‘stomach wall separation’

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      so happy you had an awesome surgery experience, too!
      and WOOF. those first 3 days were no joke

  18. Leyna on August 31, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Thank you Gina for your realness. As a postpartum mom I have thought about what my mom boobs will look like after years of breastfeeding and contemplated implants. But after reading your post, it has given me confidence and appreciation for my body. So thank you! You are such a strong beautiful woman that shines wonderful light and great perspective through this blog. Happy healing friend. You ROCK! Cheers

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      so happy to hear that 🙂 you’re absolutely perfect just the way you are <3
      thank you for reading!

  19. Sabrina on August 31, 2017 at 12:57 am

    As someone who definitely needs to have diastasis recti surgery, I would love to hear more about your recovery! I’m very much dreading having it, as I have heard that the recovery is much more painful and longer than any of the three C sections I’ve had. Please continue to tell your story! I think it takes so much courage, especially as a fitness blogger. You are awesome!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      in a Facebook group i’m in they said a c-section is like a cold, and muscle repair is like pneumonia. it freaked me out, but i liked the honesty 😉 i haven’t experienced a c-section, but i don’t think it was THAT bad. yeah it sucked, but i would do it again 🙂

  20. Pooja on August 31, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Thank you for this <3

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:04 pm


  21. Kath on August 31, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Loved reading this! It was so well written, and I am sure you helped others in the same situation.

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      thank you, friend <3

  22. Lissy on August 31, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for posting this. I really hate my boobs. They have always been small and saggy and after breastfeeding they look like deflated balloons, but I’ve always hated the idea of surgery more. That saggy skin after being pregnant is no joke either. I gained the minimum amount of weight I needed to and still. Ugh. So it’s nice to hear about someone else, especially someone so beautiful, talk about this stuff. *hugs* enjoy that smooth tummy!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      thank you so much, lissy. and yes, surgery is a freaky thing, especially when you’re otherwise *knock on wood* healthy. i totally get it <3 sending love to you and thank you for reading

  23. Ali on August 31, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Do you mind me asking how you feel about your body now? It has to feel like such a drastic change, I would think. I’ve wanted a breast reduction since I was in junior high – I’m not extremely disproportionate but they make me uncomfortable as I have a hard time finding tops and sports bras that fit and they cause my back and shoulders to hurt. Plus I’ve lost, gained, and lost again a large amount of weight and could use a lift regardless. Still, I worry about how I would see myself after as this is the only me I’ve ever known, if that makes sense. I think it would be weird to look down and have a smaller chest!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      yeah it’s definitely weird to look down and see something entirely different. i feel like in both cases (the stomach and the breasts) it was like the old me coming back. 🙂 it’s weird, but it isn’t at the same time if that makes sense.

  24. Nienke on August 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Oh my goodness Gina, thank you for this post! I’m happy to hear that you feel better after your surgeries and hope you continue to recover well. I’ve had my implants for 9 years now and the last few months they have been hurting and I have definitely had many moments that I’ve just wanted them OUT. So, yeah…I think it is inevitable that I will have them removed before long. To be honest though, I’m just in the beginning phases of processing that and I still have a lot of emotions about it – hoping to work through that so I can proceed with peace 🙂 Oh and in addition to the pain, I just know something is off for me energy and anxiety wise and I have been working so diligently to resolve that in other ways for a long time now, so maybe an explant would help too, that would be amazing! Do you mind sharing the FB group info? Thank you again!!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      sending lots of love to you as you make your decision. whatever you decide will be the right choice <3

      • Nienke on August 31, 2017 at 8:24 pm

        Amazing, thank you for the link! I have a feeling I’m about to go down the information rabbit hole but I’m very interested in learning more from others. Thanks again!

        • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:35 pm

          no problem! haha that’s what happened to me, too, but it was really helpful to hear about everyone’s experiences

  25. Sam on August 31, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Gina <3 I'm so glad you keep it real. I hope no one has said anything mean to you, because it's nobody's place to judge what you do with your body. Thanks for sharing your experience — I'm sure it will help so many women who are experiencing similar issues or are considering plastic surgery! This is the part of surgery that no one really talks about. <3 xo

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      thank you, friend <3

  26. Kim on August 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    You go, girl. I appreciate all your posts for the wisdom they provide. Life is all over the place, but I have to tell you that hearing how you approach what life throws at you really gives me more confidence to handle mine. Keep doing what you are doing because you are doing it right!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      that means so much to me. thank you <3

  27. Adrienne on August 31, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    You’re such a boss. I cannot tell you how much I love your blog and your honesty and transparency. I love that you shared this journey with us, I have DR after having 3 babies (1 singleton and twins), and I totally get it girlfriend. Good for you for going for it and not letting these things slow you down anymore. Have a fast recovery and keep up your awesome work. You’re so loved!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      thank you!! sending a hug to you <3

  28. Erin on August 31, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Your authenticity has kept me reading for years (I started following the blog around the time you announced your first pregnancy). Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing such honest takes. I wish you a speedy recovery and continued good health & wellness!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      thank you for reading for so long! <3 i really appreciate the kind wishes

  29. Jen on August 31, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and what a great post!! So glad you are feeling better, you are important to so many. Hope you continue to feel well! Xoxo

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      i appreciate it so much, jen <3 <3

  30. Joy on August 31, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Gina, I have followed your blog for ages but I honestly don’t know if I have ever commented. I had to this time, to say thank you for being so open and sharing this. It’s tough to allow you to be vulnerable, and I appreciate you taking the risk to share your story.

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      thank you so much, and thank you for commenting 🙂

  31. Melissa on August 31, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you! I’m worried I will be in the DR boat if we have another. I’m so scared to exercise my core and it’s an overwhelming feeling

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      i think that’s one of the hardest parts about DR: many women feel like they caused it or that it’s their fault. there are some things you can do to make it worse (and to improve it!), but i think a large portion is out of our hands. i would just focus on safe and smart core work <3

    • Elysa Jacobs on October 10, 2017 at 5:24 am

      It can be so hard to find credible info on DR. I also am a certified personal trainer/group fitness instructor with DR. I’m finding that Physical Therapist Sarah Ellis Duvall’s program are helping me a lot (post 2nd pregnancy). She does a lot of online 1:1 support and she’s a big supporter of Katy Bowman too. As Gina says, not everything can be resolved with exercise and posture focus but I wanted to mention as I’ve been impressed and the participants in the group include many trainers and PTs who haven’t been able to improve their DR otherwise. She focuses on pelvic floor issues too.

  32. valerie on August 31, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you so much for opening up your life and being so transparent. This post couldn’t be more timely as I am going to be having my implants removed in a month. My emotions have been all over the place and your story brought confirmation and reassurance that I am making the right decision. I will be eagerly looking forward to your posts about recovery!

    • Fitnessista on August 31, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      i hope you feel sweet relief, too. i’m excited for you <3 if you ever want to chat or email, i'm here!

  33. Sara on September 1, 2017 at 5:57 am

    So glad to hear you are feeling better! I don’t comment often, but I love reading your blog, and appreciate you sharing your journey. All the best in your recovery, and hope you are back on your feet soon.

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2017 at 10:18 am

      thank you so much- i really appreciate it!

  34. Deanna on September 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I like that you share things like this. I have dr too and am just now getting pt for it. I had no idea how much it can effect so much of my life aside from just looks. My back is starting to hurt and become fatigued easily from it. Im interested in reading a follow up post about your recovery from your surgeries in the event pt doesn’t heal me all the way. I’m also not opposed to a tummy tuck at the same time.

  35. Amber on September 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this and truly appreciate your authenticity!

  36. marti @fitwithheart on September 1, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    love this post and thank you for sharing – i actually have a couple friends that have recently had their implants taken out because they had been experiencing brain fog, decrease in energy and it was believed to be linked to their implants. i think its important that YOU DO YOU! do what makes YOU feel comfortable strong healthy and confident. you go girl and best wishes for fast healing!

  37. Erika S. on September 2, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Loved your honesty in this post… it’s always hard to put yourself out there for everyone to judge. However, those that know you & have been following for a long time can appreciate how, when & why you share such personal stories. Glad you’re recovering well & feeling good!

  38. Rachel on September 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I’m so glad you were able to do what you needed to do to feel better! I want to know EVERYTHING about the DR surgery…your decision, what they did, the recovery, all of it that you’re willing to share!! I asked my doc about it in passing once and she made it sound like the surgery would make my core even worse. So I never looked into it more but wonder if I should.

  39. adrianna on September 2, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    this is why you continue to be one of the best blogs out there…honest, real, authentic, beautiful, informative…seriously, fantastic post, Gina! i could not agree more about everyone making their own choices, what works for them. i ALWAYS wanted implants for as long as i can remember, did all my research, was set to go, as soon as i got a real job with real money, soon to realize student loans (optometry school will kill ya), and moving/living took the forefront. as time went on, i started to love my little As, not having to really wear bras, no pain when running, shirts always fitting, etc. so i just let them be. i know its always an option, but i love reading others experiences, no matter great, good, mediocre, or bad. so thank you! also, yay for doing the ab surgery, too! you know in the long run it was by far the best decision. much love <3

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      thank you so much, and thank you for reading <3 <3

  40. mary on September 3, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Good for you, and thanks for posting this. I was considering getting surgery some day to fix my very lopsided breasts but now I feel relieved I never have. The thought of an irritant sewn into your body sounds horrible.

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      it’s interesting how we live and learn. back when i was 20, it was a great idea, but now, i wouldn’t do it

  41. Lizzy on September 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing the story, especially the part about DR and that part of the surgery. I’m in my second pregnancy right now and I know after this one I’m due for some major PT for the DR I didn’t take time to properly correct after baby one. I also have an umbilical hernia just diagnosed and doc said I may want to elect surgery down the road if it bothers me. Just hearing that some people are more susceptible makes me feel not as bad about my pre baby body!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      the saddest thing about DR is that a lot of women think they caused it or it’s their fault. most of the time, it’s completely out of your hands <3

  42. Terry on September 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for sharing Gina! I had submuscular saline implant surgery 7 years ago. I now have a baby girl and just feel differently about them. I also am uncomfortable sleeping on my side/stomach. I’m going to consider removing them once I’m done breastfeeding, and before baby #2. I have very mixed feelings though!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      <3 thank you for reading. totally feel ya on that <3

  43. Jamie King on September 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your journey, I learned so much reading this post and appreciate your honesty! It’s true, we all share the beautiful moments online, and often shy away from sharing the more challenging moments…because we’re afraid of rejection, criticism, or whatever else comes from exposing ourselves online. When someone shares a post that is raw, honest, and vulnerable, I always hope that instead of being rude to one another, we can lift each other up and make each other feel less alone. Thanks for paving the way for more people to share the real stuff. XOXO And hoping you’re feeling well, rested, and recovered!

  44. Hilda on September 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I never realized you had implants! Your story is so brave – thank you for sharing it. It’s posts like this that make your blog one of the only ones I read these days. Glad your surgery and recovery went well. 🙂

  45. Sarah Cathrine on September 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for being honest. I haven’t had an augmentation, but I think you helped me decide that it wasn’t a good idea. I think this is a very large pride issue with many women but you really helped me out.

    thanks again


    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2017 at 9:46 am

      so happy to hear! <3

  46. Jill on September 7, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I just saw this post and it’s great timing for me because I am 3 weeks post diastasis recti surgery. I would love to hear more about your recovery process. So glad you are feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

      how are you feeling?! did you have skin removal, too?

      • Jill on September 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

        I didn’t because it wasn’t plastic surgery (but I might in the future). I’m fine, but the recovery has been longer than I thought. In my mind, I really thought I was going to be back to feeling normal right away, which seems silly now since they basically rearranged my abs. Looking forward to the swelling going down even more than it already has and picking up my kids for longer than a few seconds!

  47. Teri || a foodie stays fit on September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Well dang girl, your implants were done extremely well because I had no idea you had them! I love that you’re so open about making the right decision for YOU. You’re so lovely, inside and out. Hope you have a smooth recovery. Sending hugs! xo

    • Fitnessista on September 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

      thank you so much, friend. and yes, my original surgeon did a great job. my body just ended up hating them
      lots of love to you <3

  48. Mary on December 15, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience and for being honest and open. It is a breath of fresh air to get this on a fitness blog. I too am dealing with some of these issues and it makes it easier to feel like we’re not alone. Thank you.

  49. Brittany on December 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    I know I’m late to the party…but I’m almost in tears reading this! I have a 4 finger separation and I’ve done 2 rounds of PT. I’m at the point where I really want surgery but as a personal trainer I’m worried about the recovery. I would love to hear more about yours!

    • Fitnessista on December 28, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      seriously, try to not feel like it’s your fault. sometimes the connective tissue is so badly damaged, there’s nothing that can be done to repair it (minus surgery).
      i was worried about the recovery, too, but honestly, it wasn’t as terrible as i thought it would be. the first week was HARD – like i needed help getting out of bed by myself for the first 3 days – but after that, it was smooth sailing. i have a couple more posts up about recovery and scar treatment, too

      • Brittany on December 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        I’ll be scouring your blog tomorrow! Thanks for being so open!!

  50. Margarita Vega on March 21, 2018 at 9:01 pm


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