Danielle Staub calls breast implants ‘the biggest mistake I’ve made in my life’

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Danielle Staub of Real Housewives of New Jersey likely has some regrets in life, just judging by what I’ve heard about her last marriage and her career choices. She says that her breast implants were her worst mistake by far though. She’s been having serious medical issues with them and chose to have them replaced recently. Danielle talked to People about that process, it was her fifth breast surgery. One doctor even left gauze in her chest which led to an infection! She kept name dropping her new surgeon so I would guess some of her surgery was comped in exchange for the publicity. No shame on that and her pain and frustration sound genuine. She had her implants replaced with something called a “gummy bear” implant and is now a B cup.

Danielle Staub, 57, is embracing a more natural look these days, after having her DD breast implants removed on Oct. 25.

It was her fifth breast surgery overall, and what Staub says she hopes will be her last.

“I regret getting them in the first place, 100 percent. The biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life,” Staub tells PEOPLE. “Nobody wants to look that way anymore. I haven’t wanted it for decades.”

“Do you know what it feels like to be stuck with a device in your body and look a way you don’t want to look?” she asks. “Mentally, I felt like I was trapped. I didn’t have a choice, I had to heal and couldn’t change it right away. And I hated them; hated the way they looked, hated the way people looked at me with them. I feel so relieved to have them out and to enter this new chapter of my life.”

Staub’s surgery wasn’t just cosmetic; it was also necessary for her heath.

The last implants she had — the ones she had put in right before season 2 started filming in 2009 — had led to various health problems.

“I had asked for a C when I went down, and I woke up with a DD,” Staub says. “And nothing felt right. My beasts, they immediately felt cold and numb. I literally had no body temperature on my chest for years. They felt impacted, I felt ripples underneath them. And my skin was so thin around my breasts, you could see through it. It was like a couple of pieces of paper. I did not enjoy them at all.”

“I thought it was normal, I thought everybody had that,” Staub adds. “And it wasn’t until I met Dr. Stephen Greenberg until I learned that wasn’t.”

“I’ve been working 25 years. I’ve seen everything, done everything, and corrected everything from others. And Danielle had a mess,” Dr. Greenberg explains. “She had a lot of scar tissue in there, deformed breasts, and one of her implants was ruptured, which caused a lot of pain. We had to take out all the old silicone, clean out everything — the scar tissue — and really reform her breasts. It just required starting from scratch.”

The in-office procedure took about an hour, and recovery only a few days.

In the place of Staub’s larger implants, Dr. Greenberg put in new silicone gummy bear implants. “These are a different type of silicone from the old fashioned ones,” he says. “They don’t ooze or leak.”

My whole intention was not to have to put another implant in, but sometimes it’s irreparable. I don’t have any tissue left, so there’s nothing else to do. So we went from removing them for my health purposes, to having to put something in, and I trusted him when I was under for him to give me as small as possible.”

Knowing what Staub wanted, Dr. Greenberg chose a size B…

The next two surgeries, which were back-to-back, came 10 years later — after one of her implants popped.

Her doctor had mistakenly left gauze inside her chest, which resulted in a staph infection. Staub had to undergo another procedure. “I was at risk of losing my breasts,” she says.

Then came the DD implants, which she calls “a disaster from the start.”

Those, too, led to years of emotional trauma for Staub.

[From People]

That sounds awful that she lost feeling in her chest like that. Plus the doctor left gauze in her chest that’s crazy! I wonder if she got any compensation for that. The rest of the article has more from Staub on some skin-tightening thing she got done along with permanent eyebrows. Again, she is doing free plugs for these services and that’s understandable.

I’m an A cup now that I’ve been exercising more, I used to be a B, and I often wonder what it’s like to have cleavage and actual boobs. The only time I came close was when I was nursing and that did not feel sexy at all. When my friends complain about their big boobs I cannot relate and would just like to know what that’s like. There’s no way I would get implants though. I’m used to being small-breasted and my fashion sense and style are based around that. Kaiser is always telling me I’m lucky that way and couldn’t wear wrap dresses if I had bigger boobs. Plus I always seem to have complications from surgeries and I’ve heard horror stories like Danielle’s for years. I think many women have serious complications with breast implants, but that so many don’t even talk about it because they’re embarrassed or ashamed they did it in the first place. Also as Danielle mentioned big boobs go in and out of style. They’re like eyebrows that way except less versatile. I’ll stick with padded bras. Maybe I would get fat injections though or something like that.

Also we don’t follow RHONJ, other blogs do that better. Reality Tea has more on that show, specifically about Danielle and her drama with the other women.

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50 Responses to “Danielle Staub calls breast implants ‘the biggest mistake I’ve made in my life’”

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  1. Snowslow says:

    I hope that this is the beginning of the end of these procedures as more people are opening up about ensuing problems. There is no way I can wrap my head around invasive procedures as cosmetic. The only enhancements should be the ones you can wash off at night. The road to self-acceptance is hard but so very compensating.
    Friends of mine have silicone breasts and I support them once the choice is made but before I tell them what I just wrote, It’s an opinion, doesn’t mean I don’t respect people with plastic surgery botox and the like, but I still believe my statement.

    • Aang says:

      I agree. The idea of walking around with plastic inside my chest would cause me so much stress, I wouldn’t be able to think about anything else. But other people can do what they want with their bodies.

    • Sienna says:

      My body, my choice… thank you very much. I love my Botox and fillers and will have a Bleph at some point and it really is no ones’ business but my own.

      • Snowslow says:

        Yes it your body and it is your choice, absolutely. I am vegan and people tell me all the time I shouldn’t be. It hasn’t changed my mind up to this point, and my opinion shouldn’t change your stance if it didn’t convince you.

    • SK2 says:

      I totally agree. I find the idea of unnecessary surgery, enlarging secondary sexual features ( breasts) so they be more prominent, having something artificial inside the body to be completely grotesque.

      I am presently DD cup but hope to return to c cup after nursing… would be happy to be even smaller.

      Breasts are great/fine in any size!

    • Amaria says:

      “Beginning of the end”… Hopefully not, because we should have a choice about what we want our bodies to look like. And some people need artifice to fix issues caused by trauma or disease.

      • Mego says:

        I agree however the risks need to be very clearly presented to the patient and I fear some greedy surgeons failed to do this.

  2. Cee says:

    I was a B cup my whole life until I got implants last year. Best decision ever. I also got a lift. I am now between a C and a D cup. For me, personally, I wanted to balance out my hips and small waist.
    I was very lucky because my post-op was very good. I might have gone a size smaller but I really like how clothes fit me now – before the surgery it seemed I had little to no boobs.

    • Carina says:

      Just so you know, it may be fine now. In 10 years, not so much. You wouldn’t even know you had a leak until you’re dead.

      • Sonia says:

        Not cool Carina. You don’t have any idea what you are talking about. Cee could have saline and that is not a toxic substance.

        Cee-I have saline implants and I don’t regret them for one second. They are 20 years old and I’ve not had any problems. In fact, when I get my mammograms, the doctor always asks who my surgeon was because they still look as good as they did 19 years ago.

  3. bub244 says:

    I would never judge someone for getting cosmetic surgery like this, but I think we should be very clear that it’s an invasive procedure. Any surgery has risks and I personally would not want to put my body through that without a very good reason.

  4. Ann says:

    I have huge boobs and they create a lot of problems for me. I don’t judge women with implants at all, like I get it, but when they get past a D all I can think is why? The attention they bring is all well and good when that’s what you’re wanting, but it doesn’t go away when you’re just living life. There’s also the physical discomfort, the struggle to find clothes and bras, and inevitable sagging. They just aren’t worth it.

    Also a surgeon leaving something inside of me is a huge fear I have. What a nightmare that must of been for this woman. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to have reduction surgery.

    • Lesanne says:

      Find a surgeon through word of mouth and then research them sideways to Sunday. I had the same fear but too many years of too much boob weight had just broken me physically. Do it now and enjoy not only better posture and less pain but a reduced chance of breast cancer.

  5. Kealeen says:

    I’m tall with a lean/athletic body type, and very broad shoulders. I never desired large breasts, was a B cup until my late 20s, and then suddenly ended up with Ds, which stayed put even when I lost weight. I recently turned 38, and this Monday, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I never, ever thought I would have to entertain the idea of breast implants. Now I find myself leaning toward reconstruction with implants if a mastectomy is necessary. I am fully aware of the risks involved, but I don’t want to just survive, but also feel comfortable in my own body. I guess what I’m trying to say is that while people can definitely be reckless when it comes to cosmetic surgeries, often times the motivation is a lot more complicated than insecurity or vanity. Mental health should definitely be top priority before approving a lot of these procedures.

    • Lizzie says:

      good luck kealeen. wish you the best with your recovery.

      • It’sJustBlanche says:

        Good luck to you. My friend had reconstruction and is very happy with them—also, they look great.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      @Kealeen,I want you to know that I completely understand what you’re feeling right now,because I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018.
      Besides wishing you the best for a quick recovery,please know you are not alone in how you feel and the decisions you will face can be difficult.I opted for immediate reconstruction ,and it’s been tough at times.I am planning on explanting soon,as I have not felt well with implants.
      Please don’t let anyone,not even a doctor scare you into a procedure you aren’t sure about,you will have time to reach a decision after the cancer is treated,trust me,I’m living proof.
      You are beautiful with or without breasts,and I’m sending as much love and wishes for health and recovery as I can,be well.❤️

    • Betsy says:

      I don’t think anyone puts reconstructive surgery in the same boat as elective breast enlargement. Best wishes on your recovery journey and best wishes for great new boobs, too!

      • Carina says:

        Agreed 100% – to me reconstruction after breast cancer is a Quality of Life choice & part of the physical/emotional recovery if a woman chooses it. I would NEVER (and neither should anyone else) be thought of or even like cosmetic surgeries. I love you & am sending you it right now. You’re a warrior my dear.

    • Your cousin Vinny says:

      Best wishes to you. I’m sorry you are going through this.

    • Grant says:

      Sending you so much love this afternoon!

  6. Lizzie says:

    the thing some people don’t realize that is that breast implants are not forever, even if you do not have complications. that goes for a lot of plastic surgery. if you get implants at 19, there is a very good chance you will need them replaced or fixed or removed by middle age.

    same for a tummy tuck. no one tells you about the sometimes multiple scar revisions and tweaks etc to make them lay flat in the years following the procedure.

    i don’t think that is a reason not to get them – i personally would be open to having cosmetic procedures if i felt it necessary but i wish the industry would more frequently publicize the fact that a majority of plastic surgery procedures are not one and done.

    • Mel says:

      True! I had my implants when I was 19 and I’m going in for a revision in March. They are holding up fine but the surrounding parts that are me are that of a 42 year old woman who has had two kids. It’s lift time.

  7. Layla Beans says:

    A friend of mine had her implants removed after 10 years with them. They caused all kinds of auto immune like problems from the moment she got them. Even little stuff like skin flare ups. Within a week of removing them, many of her issues started disappearing. She’s like a whole new person.

    • I'm With The Band says:

      This gives me hope. I’m 43 and have had implants since I was 28. I’ve also had autoi-immune issues and in the last 5 years, I’ve developed an eczema-like skin condition all over my arms, just on the extensor surface, my shoulders and back. I have long suspected it’s my implants. Been to numerous docs and dermatologists who can’t quite explain it.

      I have an appointment on a Monday with my plastic surgeon to lock in a date for removal (yay!) and I’m not replacing them. I’m getting a lift though, which I’m a little nervous about. I cannot wait to get these mofo’s removed. Also, I found out my implants are textured and have been recalled so good riddanceto them!

      • Layla Beans says:

        Her autoimmune stuff involved her skin! She said within 2 days of the surgery her skin started feeling and looking better.

  8. Lili says:

    Nowadays doctor do implants with more natural size. I did mine one year ago. They look great, not too big. The recovery was really easy. But you do have to research your doctor well. I don´t think people should be judged for choosing to change something that affects their self steem. I am a firm believer if the procedures are available, you should take advantage of it as long as it is not in an unhealthy way.

  9. Ladiabla says:

    I’m considering a preventative mastectomy (breast cancer is very prevalent in my family) and stories like this terrify me. I’ve never wanted breast implants (I’m an A cup), the most I’d go up would be to a B. But the thought of more than one surgery, and then the possible after effects just have me stalled. And from what I’ve heard, many people aren’t happy with their reconstruction, which I can understand. I would stay with my little boobs my entire life if I knew there wasn’t a strong chance of me getting breast cancer.

    • Miatagal says:

      Ladiabla, I have a former co-worker who had a preventative mastectomy and had reconstruction. She told me about a year after she wished she had never had it done. As someone else said, they were constantly cold and felt very abnormal to her. After hearing her experience, a reconstruction would be something I would think hard about. Best of luck with your decision!

      • Ladiabla says:

        Yes, there’s a lot to consider. I hope that in the future your former coworker feels some relief in regards to having the surgery. Thank you for your reply.

    • @Backstage Bitchy says:

      @LaDiabla- I, like you, hated the idea of all the surgeries and issues and a chest full of plastic and i never wanted implants, but am BRCA+ and so needed the preventative double mastectomy.
      It wasn’t easy, but i the peace of mind is pretty great. I’ll say two things- do a TON of research. Find the “previvor” support groups in your area and go to the meetings. Stay for the “show and tell”, where women dogg their tops and let you really see what the results may look like. There are some disfiguring surgeries out there, and results vary WIDELY. I’ve seen some results that were terrifying, but mostly from years-ago surgeries. Across the board, the women were happy to get rid of the cancer risk, even the ones with disfiguring results. BUT, you CAN have GREAT results! My vanity definitely gave me pause in going ahead with the procedures, and I spent over a year interviewing doctors, looking at results in person and in photos, and grilling other post surgery previvors about their results. And I found a brilliant doctor who took my insurance and I followed his advice, did the multi-part procedures, and a year later, am completely healed, almost risk-free from breast cancer, and have GORGEOUS, incredible boobs with no visible scars and my own nipples.
      Do research, advocate for yourself, and be careful, and don’t be pressured into anything bigger than you want. I wish you all the best in tackling this. You CAN get through it. Sending strength and best wishes for a speedy, healthy recovery too.

  10. SD says:

    I was skinny growing up and endured teasing and comments about having no boobs. Even my first lover commented that I had the body of a 12 year old. This was in 88 when I was 18. I am now 48 and still have very small breasts. At work the other day a younger coworker who is somewhat brash commented about me having “no boobs”. Good lord will people just f’in stop.
    I have taken really good care of myself and my legs probably look better than ever, butt still looks good and I have nice shoulders. My current bf compliments me all the time. I feel lucky for the good attributes I was born with and have kept up / enhanced through my workouts/lifestyle and did not ever seriously consider implants. But I cannot believe how ppl have for my entire life – and even still! – felt that they are free to comment on my body. If I hadn’t had the love for my body that I have, I likely would have gotten them. And surgery scares me plus I don’t like “permanent” beauty commitments. Thank goodness I’m At the point now where I don’t care what men or others see as lacking in me.

    • Nicole76705 says:

      I promise you there are people, like me, that envy your chest (or lack there of). I saw a woman at the store the other day and she was almost straight as a board on top and all I could think was “it must be so nice to just pull on sports bra and go.” I envied her. I’m a G at the moment, but have been big chested my entire life since a very early age. I hated all the unwanted attention, the ugly bras, and tops that never fit right. Good for you for not caring what other people think!

    • KelBells says:

      I feel you on comments. I had larger breasts C/D cup most of my life. I then lost a lot of weight and my boobs have shrunk down to A cups. People have always commented on my boobs regardless of the size. I am mostly okay with the change but what you wrote is helpful to me. I should remember, your body is perfect for the place you sit in life at this moment. I also think I prefer my breasts smaller though. Clothes fit better, they don’t ache anymore at the end of the day or get sweaty.

  11. Murphy says:

    We seem to be hearing disaster stories about this a lot lately.

  12. Spicecake38 says:

    My breast implants are from reconstructive surgery following double mastectomy last year.
    I like the silhouette I have but I think my doctor went too big,and my skin is paper thin, I hurt,and my chest is cold.I have autoimmune issues and they have worsened since implants.
    I will have them removed next year and accept myself *flat*.It has been exhausting.

    • naomipaige99 says:

      Spicecake38… Thank you for sharing this. MY mother had a mastectomy as well, but her dr. told her she was too old to have implants.

  13. IMUCU says:

    Years ago when I lived in DC I interned at a women’s health information nonprofit and went to some of the FDA hearings for approving specific breast implants. There were many people there to testify for or against the approval based on their own experiences with implants. A couple of women even brought their liitle daughters saying they couldn’t wait for them to have the opportunity to get implants, as they had, once they were old enough. I ended up reading a testimony for a women who could’t be there, and she advocated TRAM flaps, basically moving some of your own fat from a diiferent area of the body to your breasts. The process is often only used for reconstructive purposes, but if I ever considered breast augmentation, I think that is the only option I would consider at this point. There is a good amount of upkeep required with typical implants, many complications can occur, and some of these implants are poorly vetted (as I saw at the FDA hearings, which had former implant manufacturer board members on the panel propelling votes for approval with minimal testing done in devices for the companies they formerly worked for). It’s really important to personal research on something like this and not just take your friend’s or doctor’s advice on it because you don’t want to end up being one of the people who get really sick or have complications (one woman’s testimony still sticks with me: she had stringy ooze coming out of her eyes and ears, started losing her hearing, tons of fatigue and weakness, etc.; her doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her as she deteriorated…finally after doing some reasearch she decided to get her implants out and she recovered).

  14. impeachykeen says:

    a little drastic considering she served hard time for prostitution and kidnapping

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Not drastic at all if she is experiencing serious health issues. The things she has experienced could literally have killed her.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    My question is why not simply have them removed altogether instead of going in to surgery multiple times to fix them??

    • Thinking says:

      I know. Why didnt didnt she just get them out years ago instead of all those surgeries. All that drama. And then she still got MORE in the end which really makes me question the accuracy of her story. It would be like getting food poisoned and going back and eating thay same food 30 times even though it poisoned u each time. Her story is too wierd.

  16. Angela82 says:

    Even if I was an A cup I couldn’t fathom going through an unnecessary surgery unless I had something like a mastectomy. I am a small B cup so while I have something I have always been pretty small compared to most Americans. However, as I get older the less I envy anyone with larger than a B or C b/c they start to sag earlier. I grew up with a couple friends that had D and DD and by the time they were 20 they needed to wear a bra 24/7. I rather be small. Also I hate male attention so…

    • Kat says:

      i always had teeny tiny boobs until i was pregnant and breastfed. they warn you that your breasts will look like fake implants and they were bigger than his head and he had a big head. so that was really surprising that i suddenly had D’s when i never thought that was possible. seriously, flat chest all of my 20s.

      like big boobs turn grown men into huge babies, so i think thats powerful for some women, but realistically speaking as a very flat chested woman i was more surprised by how awful having huge boobs is! the boob sweat, tops that looked fine before are no bueno, back pain, unnecessary sexual comments, etc.

      i miss my perky lil titties… and huge fake implants are massively outdated. they dont feel real, you have to get them replaced every 10 years like a tuneup, this girl i knew said her left tit was completely numb after she got them done. etc.

      its just over the top when your breasts will naturally get bigger during pregnancy anyway. and fuck no to surgery that isnt necessary for my health or like reconstruction. like whyyyyyy cut yourself open? anyways makes sense putting plastic inside your chest is literally polluting your own body. of course it will make you sick.

  17. carmen says:

    When I saw the headline, I was expecting it to be about “breast implant illness” – something I’ve read quite a bit about lately and something that has touched thousands and thousands of women. The demand for explant surgery is significant, so much so that there are plastic surgeons who specialize in this procedure and no longer do silicone/saline implants. If, God forbid I needed recontructive surgery due to cancer, I would personally prefer to have my own tissue used (i.e. fat from other areas).

  18. Marigold says:

    Quote from Celebitchy – “I’m an A cup now that I’ve been exercising more, I used to be a B, and I often wonder what it’s like to have cleavage and actual boobs.”

    Honestly? As a woman with naturally huge boobs, my advice would be not to envy them at all. At 44, I have lines on my sternum that look like age wrinkles because of all that “cleavage” when I sleep. Running was always super painful, even in my early 20′s. Going down stairs is painful unless you take them slowly. They make me look larger than I am in clothing and in photos (because natural large breasts are sort of bell-shaped, so they spread out wider than your ribcage, even in good bras, and make you look a bit wider up top). They touch EVERYTHING. Like, sitting close enough to my desk to type means boobs squashed up into the desk. They brush people if I’m not very careful (or if they aren’t) when standing/sitting at a normal conversational distance.

    They’re seriously inconvenient. They’re hard for a short gal like me to dress in a flattering way. They limit a lot of clothing choices. They necessitate ALWAYS wearing a bra, even when it’s hotter than ballz outside. They swing. They hurt. They pull on the neck and shoulders.

    Just. I know that we all tend to wonder about/want what we haven’t got (I’d sure love long legs, but oh well), but if reduction surgery wasn’t so awful, I’d have them taken off and reduced to a B in a heartbeat.

    • Doodle says:

      I was large busted like you. I had a breast reduction 18 years ago, and I still say it’s the best thing I ever did. They took 2 pounds off each breast. I went from large pendulous breasts to cute and perky. I love them.

  19. Godwina says:

    Cringing at the idea of painful implants. Like most women, I loathe a lot about my body, but man, did I luck out in the boob department. Bs in proportion with the rest of me, perfectly round (think Uma Thurman in Dangerous Liaisons–my boob twin when we were younger). I’m pushing 50 and they’re just now starting to sag. I would change 90% of the rest of me but have always had a healthy, grateful relationship with the boobers and I feel for my sisters who’ve had to have surgery, whether for reduction or augmentation.

  20. Naddie says:

    I wouldn’t put implants on me but having small breasts is… nice when you are confident, I guess. While you’re young (when they’re not sagging yet) you feel like the rest of your body needs to “compensate” the lack of size. Nice boobs might sometimes not mean big, but it never means small ones, so I roll my eyes when someone comes up saying that we A or B are lucky. Guess no one’s grass is actually green after all.