Uncaring Medical decisions.

My wife has just had extremely bad news. Before i tell you it let me give you some background.

When my wife was young (and before we even met) she had breast implants put in as she was totally flat chested and it affected her mentally, she even attempted suicide a couple of times.

15 years ago one implant was damaged in a car accident and both were replaced on the NHS.

Last month she noticed that her left breast was very tender and hard so we visited our GP, who sent her straight to the hospital. She has been poked, prodded, x-rayed and MRI scanned in the last few weeks and now we have been told in no uncertain terms;

The implant is leaking but there is no sign of the big C, thank god.

Now this is where it gets bad.

She has to have it removed but instead of the NHS paying for a replacement they will only pay for removal of the right implant as well. Leaving her with the mental anguish that she endured when she was young and a chest full of saggy skin as any reconstructive surgery would have to be done at our expense.

Dont get me wrong, I love my wife no matter how she is, but i want her of sound mind as well as body.

Has anyone had any similar uncaring medical decisions?

Can't say that we have had any experiences such as that, however would you be best contacting someone like the Citizens Advice Bureau in order to see if there is anything legally or otherwise you would be entiled to?

In the meanitime I hope both you and your wife get the help, care and attention you need.

Sorry I can't offer any helpful advise as not something I have experienced - but I truly hope you can get a more satisfactory solution sorted.

Surely as it would be detrimental to your wife mental health there must be something they can do?

Good luck xx

When you have implants it's with the knowledge that they may not last a lifetime and may need replacing. I believe the average is about twenty years but they can certainly last for less time. To be honest I agree with the decision made. Just my opinion.

I'm going to sound terribly uncaring here, but what I'm going for is pragmatism

Try a different trust and you might get a different result.

This is the story generally though - the answer to mental health problems isn't surgery, it's proper targeted therapy. It's unfortunate that she's going through what she's going through and that in the past the NHS made poor decisions, but be thankful for what you have and that the NHS are making the best decision for your wife in the context of their current pracice and budgetary restraint.

Just want to say I was lazy and skimmed your post and missed the part about the effects on her mental health. Sorry if i came across as harsh in my previous post. I do agree with the NHS decision but I am truly sorry that your wife is being put through this. As was said it may be worth asking citizens advice whether there is anything that can be done. You can get implants on finance so it may be worth considering that if all else fails?

I kind of agree with sub. You could pay to have other implants installed and this may help her love herself again, but it won't fix the source of the problem. If she has attempted suicide in the past, she needs some help, and it's nothing a boob job can fix.

If she decides on not getting other implants, you'll have to show her and remind her constantly how you love her and how you love the way she looks and her boobs and how you find her beautiful and sexy. There is other way to make her feel better than new boobies, and one way to do it is by heloping her rebuilding her confidence

good luck with the decision

Hi there. I'm sorry to hear of your wife's problems. It cant be easy for her.

Im going to have to agree with Sub and Mamz. As awful as it must be for your wife the root of the problem needs addressed with therapy. Im a self conscious depressive who has contemplated surgery so many times. During my youth I almost attempted to slice my stomach off. I had a serious medical problem that needed life saving surgery. There was no time for delicate procedures so I have several Frankenstein scars over my stomach. My belly button has been stretched and pulled so its not central and seriously misshapen. If I wanted rid of it I would have to pay for it myself, I had alot of counselling and learned to love it. Without these scars I wouldn't be here today so for that I am grateful. I still have my miserable days but i know I wont be like that forever.

Hopefully she too can learn to love her body. If she needs new implants then so be it but some form of therapy is definitely a necessity.

In the US health insurance would NOT pay for this either as it us considered elective unless reconstruction due you cancer.

Is it leaking silicone or saline? Silicone can have other heath affects so please look into that.

I have had elective surgery and put it on a payment plan hopefully that is an option for her to maintain her appearance as she is used to.

Best wishes and hopeful you can find a way.

bullet66 wrote:


She has to have it removed but instead of the NHS paying for a replacement they will only pay for removal of the right implant as well. ..

That's the thing that really shocks me: Are the implants so insanely expensive that it costs more to put one back in (I'm assuming that could be done in one go after the old one has been taken out - if I'm wrong about that the NHS's decision makes more sense) than to have a second surgery on the other breast?

In your place I'd check into the detailed costs very carefully, get exact estimates from the hospital, and then either argue your case again in front of the NHS or decide whether you can/want to pay for the implant yourself.

That's the one thing. The other thing is: Why do you think your wife is still as insecure as she was in her youth? In your decade(s) of marriage, haven't you convinced her that you will love her no matter what, with breasts (breast implants) or without? As has been said before, if you can't cope with the issue as a couple, it's probably time for professional help... (though really, would that come cheaper than an implant?)

I have a friend who had a breast removed due to cancer. She didn't like the idea of painful reconstruction or implants that would have to be replaced, so she got a prosthetic breast (basically it's something she can put in a bra that matches the other breast). This helped her confidence because on the outside of her clothes you would never know one breast was false, and she was in a loving and supportive marriage so wasn't concerned about her husband finding her unattractive. I mentioned this incase your wife would consider this and get the NHS to leave the second implant in. Looking how she is used to seeing herself whilst dressed may help her confidence.

I agree that some therapy could be helpful to help with body anxiety and confidence issues. However, I know first hand that mental health is the most underfunded service in the NHS, it really is impossible to get to see a qualified psychologist, so you might have to be prepared to pay for councilling yourself.

Good luck, I hope your wife feels better soon xx

I'm so sorry you and your wife are going through this - it sounds so difficult. There is often one clear rule for each situation but it doesn't take into account that everyone is an individual so the same actions won't always have the same results. I have had a lot of problems with GPs and even an A&E who took one look at my anti-depressants and decided I was making the whole thing up for attention so things didn't get diagnosed for years after I'd brought it to their attention, all because I wanted to kill myself. That kind of response didn't exactly help me to come off the anti-ds! I did consent to one lot of treatment but all it did was sort out the blood test results, I have been much less healthy since then. They say I'm 'cured' and in terms of test results I am. But how can I feel cured when the symptoms are still there only worse? And if things still don't feel right physically of course that's going to have an effect on mental health. The test results are often all they care about.

It must feel so horrible and scary for your wife to be going back to a condition that made her very unhappy. It could be that now she has moved on with her life and has you, it actually won't be as bad as she thinks but that seems such a big risk to take. I am almost flat myself, no cleavage so I wear chicken fillets which magically do give me a cleavage, I feel more grown-up when I have breasts.

I would say keep asking and keep explaining but have it in the back of your mind that it might not work. Try different people and organisations as has been suggested. Therapy to help deal with the problem is an option but I've generally found it's either done nothing or made me feel much worse. It's the 'ideal' solution but there are no guarantees. So much depends on the therapist and their style - and getting therapy isn't that easy. It's free on the NHS but there's a waiting list and often a limited number of sessions available, regardless of how far you are in your recovery. If you see a private therapist it's expensive.

It's so horrible when you know what works but no-one seems to be listening. I really hope you can get some kind of positive response or support from somewhere.

Wee update folks.

Since i put up the post things have moved on in great ways.

We talked about things between ourselves and our GP and my wife decided to have the implants removed, followed by some counselling, An appointment was made for the op but on the day of the appointment the surgeon was taken ill so the op was postponed for a couple of months before it could be rescheduled. The following week I was sent a cheque from my deceased Aunts solicitor for a considerable amount of money ( 5 figures) so i said to my wife that i would pay for the replacement implant if she wanted it.

She had the op two weeks ago and is recovering well. But we are still going ahead with the counseling as she has other issues she needs to address.

THANK YOU everyone who voiced an opinion wether for or against. We respect all of the views and we both thank you as you all helped us. xxxx

Glad to hear there was a happy outcome! Hope your wife is recovering well and the councilling helps her feel happier and more confident in general :)

So good to see you were able to replace the implant and seeking counseling is a great step :)

Glad you came back for an update! Its good to hear things are working out and counselling is still in the pipeline. I hope she recover well. X

Thank you for coming back with an update! It's great to hear that you are happy with the outcome and she's going to get the help she needs :) x

Great news! Thanks for keeping us informed!