A mother-of-three from the UK reportedly performed the world’s first DIY breast implant removal at home, because she couldn’t stand her F-cup breasts anymore and wouldn’t get on the health service’s waiting list.
14 years ago, Tonia Rossington, from Skegness, Lincolnshire, underwent a breast-enlargement procedure in Brussels, which increased her bust size from 36B to 36F. At the time, she felt her large breast looked natural, but a few years later, she lost a lot of weight and she began to hate them. She thought they looked ridiculous and couldn’t bare the thought that she was stuck with them for the rest of her life. So she started weighing her options, and somehow eventually decided that the best thing to do was to remove the implants herself.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“I would cover them up, wear tight bras and high-necked tops. But the last two years I got really serious about wanting them out,” the 49-year-old woman told British media. “They affected me mentally and physically. I was constantly trying to cover them up.”
A year ago, after learning that a private operation to have the implants removed would cost her £3,000 ($4,200) – which she couldn’t afford – Tonnia wrote to her doctor, telling him that the implants were causing her mental health problems and that she was considering taking them out herself. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) only performs the operation for free in severe cases, like if the implants rupture or there is excessive scarring. And even so, patients have to get on really long waiting lists, something Rossington really didn’t want to do.
So she started thinking more seriously about a DIY operation. First, she started googling it, and learned that only one other woman had attempted it before, and she had managed to get out one before passing out and being rushed to the hospital. But that didn’t discourage her. The Metro reports that she looked up tutorials on how to do the operation at home, then bought a $1 cutter and decided to get it done while her husband was at work.
Photo: Evam Amos/Wikimedia Commons
“I went upstairs, I got the mirror in front of me. I sat there for a while and thought I’d just cut a little bit to see if it hurts,” Tonnia recalled. “I put the ice underneath where the original scar is. I lifted my boob up and held the ice there for five minutes until I couldn’t bear it any longer. After a bit I pinched the skin and I couldn’t feel anything. I just got the knife and I did a tiny little incision on the original scar tissue and I couldn’t feel a thing. I thought ‘Oh, this doesn’t hurt. Great!'”
She goes on to describe the procedure in great detail, from how she traced the line of her 14-year-old scar, being careful not to hit any major veins or arteries, and how she felt this jelly that turned out to be her fatty tissue, to how she eventually pushed down on her implants until they eventually popped out…
Tonnia Rossington then made makeshift dressings under her breasts, put on a bra to keep them in place and casually drove to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire. Once there, the shaking woman handed the emergency room desk clerk a note detailing what she had done. Doctors then squirted saline in the breast where one of her implants had ruptured, to remove any leftover silicone, changed her dressings, and discharged her a few hours later, without stitches.
Photo: Droliver/Wikimedia Commons
“Now that they’re gone I just love it,” Tonnia recently said. “I’ll be honest, they don’t look pretty; there’s a lot of saggy skin, but I would never have implants again. They were the worst mistake I ever made.”
“If I want to say one thing, it’s don’t get implants, ever,” she added. “I see these adverts on TV for MYA [a cosmetic-surgery specialist] and these girls bouncing around on horses saying ‘I got breast implants and life is great!’ And I just think ‘You’ll regret it!’ I wouldn’t advise anybody to get them. And once you’re desperate to get them out you basically get ‘Well you paid to have them put in, so you should pay to get them out’.”
Plastic surgeon Dr Naveen Cavale, from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, told Daily Mail that Tonnia was incredibly lucky to get away with her DIY breast implant removal surgery. This procedure carries immense risk of infection, not to mention accidentally hitting arteries.
As for how the 49-year-old woman was able to bare the pain of cutting her own breasts open, Cavale said that it is possible the previous surgery affected the nerves at the base of the breasts, which prevented her from feeling any pain.
Tonnia Rossington is definitely not the first person to conduct surgery on herself. In fact she’s not even the first person in the UK. A couple of years ago, we wrote about Graham Smith, an engineer who operated on himself to remove eight millimeters of stitches left by surgeons inside his body, years before.