Been There, Done That.....3 Times!! - Beverly Hills, CA

I’ve been reading and posting on RealSelf for...

I’ve been reading and posting on RealSelf for several months, so I figured it was time to share my story in hopes I can help at least one person navigate this stressful but exciting experience!!

My BA journey began in 2007. For as long as I could remember, I’d wanted breasts. For my bat mitzvah (coming of age ceremony in Judaism), I was told to make a wish and I remember it clear as day - I wished for big boobs. Haha. Yep! But all I got were measly A cups — maybe full A’s when I was 10-15 lbs heavier than I wanted to be. I was (and am) a happy and confident person overall and I claimed that I wanted to “balance my lower body” but let’s face it — I felt like less of a woman without the boobs I had always dreamed of, and I thought they’d make me sexier - at the time, that was important to me. I learned much later that all of that is on the inside, and it REALLY doesn’t matter what size boobs we have, if we get them to fill some kind of emotional need, we still never get what we want. But, do I love that I have them :)

?I researched breast implants for years and found so much information (often contradictory) that I had a really hard time even making the decision. I was scared of the potential complications and totally overwhelmed by all the options: implant fills, shapes, textures, profiles, dimensions, sizes, levels of firmness, scar location, muscle placement, surgical techniques and post-surgical healing techniques. What?? I just want boobs, dude.??I sat on it for a long time and in 2007, I moved forward after years of what I thought was thorough research. I read books, joined discussion forums, read websites, medical journals - the works. I had my first BA through the bellybutton (TUBA incision), with moderate profile saline implants - 325 cc filled to 350 in one breast and 350 cc filled to 370 in the other. I was always a pretty athletic girl so my pec muscles were tight, and it took me forever to drop and fluff. Being super impatient, this was probably the hardest part of the process for me. They were high, tight and weird looking for close to 3 months, and it took them a full year to drop and fluff completely. They looked like proper boobs by 8 months but until then, they were very clearly firm looking implants.

3 months post-op, I developed the dreaded Capsular Contracture (CC) in my right breast, and dedicated the next 3 months of my life to getting rid of the CC without surgery. Under the guidance of my surgeon, I massaged, did compression exercises and took a homeopathic supplement called Scar Formula Multiplex 4 times a day for 90 days. After months of struggle, my surgeon performed an often controversial procedure called a Closed Capsulotomy, where he/she exerts a pressure on the implant manually from the outside, causing the car capsule to burst open and release the contracture. This can void the implant warranty and even encourage a rupture, so not all surgeons perform it and implant manufacturers advise against it - BUT, it can be a viable alternative to CC surgery. Luckily, because of the prep work I had done with the supplements and massage/compression, it worked. My CC disappeared and never came back. That was 7 years ago now and knock on wood, I’m still good!

I kept those implants for 2 years and loved everything about them - especially that I didn’t have any scars. About a year after my BA I started working out much harder and cleaned up my diet which caused me to lose about 10 pounds, which is a lot on my small frame. All my breast tissue disappeared and I was left with bags of saline that felt like……. bags of saline. I didn’t want to put the weight back on just to make my breasts look and feel better, so I went in for a revision to switch them out to silicone.
I should have kept the same size but nope. I had a big case of BOOB GREED. I had spent the last 2 years chatting with women online about their implants, looking at their pictures, doing more research - even writing a book about the surgery. I was so in it that my breasts felt small to me, even though they were a whole 2 sizes bigger than my natural ones. I just became blind to what “normal” sized boobs were supposed to look like - it became really easy to want more. So I asked my surgeon to go up in size - almost 200 ccs, and I brought pictures of my ideal boobs. He asked me “are you SURE?” and I insisted that yes I was sure, even though he urged me to reconsider. He gave me what I wanted, but I regretted my decision the SECOND I woke up from surgery. Even under the bandages, I knew I’d made a mistake. They were way too big. They’d be super fun for a night out on the town but day to day, at work, in the gym, with friends and family - they were totally unnecessary.

With that surgery, I switched to silicone Moderate Plus profile, 500 cc in one breast and 525 cc in the other. At 5’2, 115-120 lbs, HOLY BOOBS. They walked into a room before I did. I felt very uncomfortable in a bikini. I wanted boobs but I didn’t want to be ALL boobs! I couldn’t get rid of the “fake” look even after they softened and dropped. On my chest wall, the mod+ profile made them stick out so that I couldn’t ever have a natural slope, even when I wanted to tone them down. They still fit on my body/chest, but they were just in the way, no matter what. Wow. Talk about a lesson learned. I gotta tell you - being faced with the inability to hide your huge boobs is an experience us small breasted women have NEVER had. To feel self conscious because you have “look at me” cleavage in any shirt but a turtleneck, and to have people start talking to your boobs instead of your face is…..interesting. It can be fun for a bit, but it’s not something I wanted to live with forever, though I’m sure it works for some women.

I didn’t have the money to switch them out yet again, so I lived with those for 3 years. In September 2012, I was finally able to afford downsizing. I kept the silicone because I liked the fact that I could lose or gain weight without affecting the feel of the implants too much (although even now when I lose weight, I can feel the bag but that’s normal. After all, there IS a bag in there). I downsized back to a moderate profile, 405 cc in one breast, 425 in the other and I am SO glad I did. I can play them up when I want, but be a normal girl with nice boobs the rest of the time - not a small girl with huge boobs. I could have even afforded to go a little smaller, honestly - but these are great.

Both of my second surgeries were done through the periareolar incision, and the scars faded beautifully. It took about a year in both cases for the scars to be almost invisible. They were purple/pink for 3-6 months, then just pink for another 3-6, and then white. It takes a long time, but that’s normal. With my 2nd BA, I used scar sheets, bio oil and vitamin E oil religiously starting 6 weeks post op until 1 year post op. I was determined to make the scars fade as quickly as possible.

With my 3rd BA, I purposefully didn’t put ANYTHING on my scars at all (except for the post-surgical steri strips that fell off in 2 weeks) just to see how much longer it would take my body to make them fade. Well guess what, they faded in the same amount of time - if not a little faster even. Even though it was a second scar in the same place (in theory they should heal worse), they healed just as quickly and perfectly. I honestly believe that it’s because I left them alone. You know how a watch pot never boils? Well the same thing applies here. Stare at them, stress out about them, put stuff on them constantly and they will persist, because you are driving all your energy to them. Leave them alone, go about your life and try to forget about them and they’ll heal and fade and do their thing. The universe works in pretty awesome ways :)

I learned an incredible amount during not only my 3 surgeries, but my 7 years on discussion forums with ladies like the ones here on RealSelf. Some of these things are:

- Go big or go home? NOT necessarily. Having been there, my best advice is don’t get too fixated on wanting/trying to look a certain way (i.e.: having a fake look or vavoom cleavage or having them be perky and round all the time). That look can be achieved ANYTIME with a bra. Try to look at your life in the long term. Where might you be in 5 or 10 years? What activities do you like to do? Think of what it would be like to have huge boobs no matter what - boobs you can’t tone down no matter what sports bra you wear. Boobs that prevent you from crossing your arms in front of you, or doing a proper pushup. I learned that bigger is not always better. Yes, you might be thinking that it sounds GREAT to have big, round, fake looking boobs all the time, but I believe there will come a time in every woman’s life where she wishes she could just put them away for a minute. I learned that when I want BIG in your face luscious boobs, I can wear a pushup bra and BAM! In yo face! But the rest of the time, I can have full breasts and be feminine, classy and a little bit modest - and it’s awesome. That was a big one for me!

- Choose a surgeon that is going to take the time to understand what you want, and make sure the work he or she performs is consistent with your vision. I chose an amazing surgeon whose before/after pictures were exactly what i wanted - over and over and over. He even tried to talk me out of going bigger, and he had my proportions in mind with all of his recommendations. He wasn’t just in a hurry to give me whatever I wanted if it was going to give me results I wouldn’t be happy with. Of course, it’s your decision, but it’s really helpful if your surgeon is in your corner. We get excited and we think we know what we want, but what we want RIGHT NOW because we’re excited about big boobs, and what we want for our life in the long term can be 2 very different things. An attentive and caring surgeon can sometimes help keep you in check.

- Forget bra size. I went in to my original surgery wanting a “full C.” What the heck is a full C? Cup size is directly proportional to band size. What you have in your mind as a “C cup” is probably the more common 34-36 C. But if you have a tiny ribcage and wear a 30-32 band or a very wide ribcage with a 38-40 band for instance, those two C cups are going to be way different!! Besides that, bra manufacturers don’t adhere to a set sizing standard. I challenge you to go and buy 3 C cup bras in your band size (or any same band size). If you measure the cups against each other, you’ll see that even C cups of the SAME band size aren’t identical! There isn’t a set standard, so asking for a cup size only gives you a vague ballpark to work with. It assumes that you and your surgeon are on the same page about what a “full C” looks like on YOUR body. You are basically throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. The safer approach is to find pictures of the ideal breasts you’d like to have. It doesn’t even matter what size the women in the pictures are - just choose the “look” (fullness, roundness, cleavage, side boob, slope, etc) that you would like to have. A great surgeon will be able to look at the picture, measure you and tell you the cc range and implants shape & profile that will get YOU that same look. No 2 women are alike and the same implants will look different on every woman. A picture really does speak 1000 words.

Even better yet, have your surgeon measure you at your consultation or work with a BA consultant who can measure you and help you look at the implant charts and all the profiles to see what implant sizes would give you the best fit based on your measurements. Sizing is a tricky matter and now that I’ve done it 3 times and actually studied how it’s done, you can get very close to your ideal if you work with actual numbers instead of asking for the cc amount you “think” will get you the result you want based on a guestimate or random comparison.

Those were the 3 things I worried about the most about before my surgery - the look I wanted, the surgeon I’d choose and the size I would get - so I figured they’d be most helpful here.

Since my last surgery, I went on to finish writing my breast augmentation book and will be publishing it before the end of the year, and I became a consultant and advocate for women seeking breast augmentation. I work one-on-one and in groups with women to make sure they know what to expect, how to find the size that fits their body best, how to evaluate surgeons and how to prepare psychologically to make sure they have the best results and the happiest outcome. It’s been some of the most fun and most meaningful work I’ve ever done in my life :)

Please do your research, be fully informed and here’s to you getting the boobs of your dreams!

with love for this awesome, supportive community and all you beautiful ladies,
xoxo
Nat
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

I had 3 sets of breast implants and one rhinoplasty done with Dr. Kim since 2007 and I will never set foot in any other plastic surgery office. He has my business for life. In my opinion, Dr. Kim is truly an artist with the human body - and one of the best there is. He is both a caring individual and a perfectionist, which in plastic surgery, are two amazing qualities. His results also speak for themselves. Every set of Dr. Kim breasts I've ever seen have been symmetrical, balanced and beautiful. From the moment I met Dr. Kim, his expertise and artistic ability was apparent. He took the time to examine me and explained the procedure fully. I even showed up with a 2-page list of questions, ALL of which were answered before I even had a chance to speak! I felt confident that he would give me the results I was after--- a natural but full look, and a scar-less breast augmentation. The results exceeded my expectations. His staff is friendly and always willing to answer questions. His patient coordinator, June, is a lovely woman who also takes the time to speak with you and address your concerns. They have a wonderful practice and I look forward to every single follow up appointment. His aftercare is second to none, and he is extremely hands-on about making sure his patients heal properly. You're never turned away no matter how long ago your surgery was. Dr. Kim-- I cannot thank you enough for your care, attentiveness, talent and artistry. You are a blessing to the Plastic Surgery field and I am honored to be a patient of yours.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (29)

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We're all of these under or over the muscle? When you got CC was that under?
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all of these were under the muscle. When i got CC it was under, yes. Unders helps prevent CC but unfortunately it can happen anytime, with any implant and any placement - though apparently it's more common with silicone overs. But I got it with saline unders...you just never know :(
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This was very helpful, thank you!!
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How real, soft and jiggly do your boobs feel coach? :-)
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now that i have silicones that are 2 years post-op, suuuuuuper soft and jiggly. Sometimes i'll cup them and be like "FOR REAL?! They're that soft!? YES THEY ARE and it's awesome :) My salines were super soft too (once everything stretched and fluffed out) but it took a whiiiiile. Like....8 months +.
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I'm glad your FINALLY happy :D
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thanks! I was happy the whole way... I was just determined to get exactly what i wanted ;)
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Yipppeeeeeeeeeee. I LOVE hearing that!!!! :-)
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Oh, how I wish one day to say that!!!
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you will, Nancy!! Have you had your surgery yet?
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Sorry - I just saw you recently had a revision for CC. How are you feeling?
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Recovery has been long 17 days post and doc still doesn't really to do anything my arms. Trying deli gently to follow all his instructions. So I guess I will just have to be patient! Pics on my profile.,
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You are so knowledgable. I loved reading this and can see we share many of the same views. Your boobs look amazing!! Would love to see more pics. :-)
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Thanks girl! I'm slightly obsessed with breast augmentation in general hehe :) I'll upload more pics when I get a chance. I have so many it's hard to pick which ones to put up! haha
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Did you get all these breast augs just for vanity or bcus you had complications? Sorry but I think you looked good in first, second and third surgery .. Why so many surgeries?
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Did you read through my review? I explain in detail why I had each one. I wouldn't say it was "for vanity." Had weight loss and a lot of rippling with my first saline set, so I changed to silicone, except i ended up way too big and couldn't live with those. After 3 years I downgraded to a size that was more manageable. If you read through my review you'll see all the details :) Thanks though! I did think all 3 looked great, but the 500 cc's with mod+ profile were WAY too big and fake looking for my taste and my body.
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I loved your review. I hope "newbies" can learn or at least consider things a little more before making decisions. Hey not saying we don't obsess over these sites. Hear all these tons of options, over,unders, mods, high, gels, gummies, saline and countless others. It becomes soooo confusing. I am healing from my FIFTH surgery. Crap 35 years ago I thought," I have to have boobs, at least something will look decent on my body" I was 20 weighed 110# and 5'3". Had 2 kids, stretchmarks up to my neck (slight exaggeration ) but my belly was stretched (looked great in clothes) but couldn't bear to see my self in the mirror. Lost my husband. Funny my body wasn't an issue then. I had 2 young babies. I need those boobs just to feel "pretty" again and hoped someone would love me. Do you know how shallow 22--23 yr old guys are. Anyway had the boobs done they were about 250's overs, and I felt half good about my self for a long time. Found a husband that loved me and my yucky tummy (so I guess they are not all that shallow) wonder if he would have accepted yucky tummy and pancakes with cherries (as I lovingly called them) we will never know. Any way back then I thought get boobs and done. He'll no! Five surgeries later and quite the small fortune (I always kid I have a Mercedes in my chest) I am 56 now I really, really hope this is my last surgery. Doc said I needed to go under, use the alloderm, lift on one side. I had 3 drains for almost two weeks and going tmo. To remove 3rd drain. All I want are breasts proportioned to my body and age and to look as natural as possible. Regarding doing the first Ba. I can not regret, I would have driven my self into deep depression if I didn't at least have half of my body I look at in the mirror. My major problems have been. Cc. Back in the day closed cap did just great for me until they wouldn't do them anymore. Sorry for the rambling but thanks again for the experience. I think revision Ba is big. I think the statistics are high for revisions..,..
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the dream boobs i picked were from his site...
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thanks for sharing your experience. I love Dr. Kim & glad i'm not the only person out there whose stuck on his fine work. ;-) btw, you look great!!!! All three times ;-)
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Awesome awesome review!! Thanks for sharing this info with everyone. I had cap con also a year after my first BA and because my first BA was small (225) I took the revision I needed as an opportunity to go bigger (350) and although that's not huge, they are a lil big for my frame and I can tell you also that going bigger won't make you "happier" as you said. I loved my 225s but needed a push-up bra to get the look I wanted in clothing, so with these 350s, I don't need the push-up. Would it have been worth the expense if I didn't need to fix the cap con? No way in the world!!!! So I agree that boob greed is really present for most women who've never had any boobs and then are faced with choosing a size for their first BA -- the regret of going too small is real, but the realization of too big is with you day and night, in all of your activities. Don't get me wrong -- I am "happy" with my 350s but it's not my entire world. My next step, if I mess these babies up, is an explant. Glad to have them now and they look great and are a ton of fun, but no push-ups or chest presses? No rock climbing? Really? My doc said with the chances of messing them up is still present years after surgery. That's one thing I don't like. Thanks again for sharing this!!
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Whaaaat? I call BS on what your surgeon said!! Of course, he is a surgeon and you should listen to him but he is being WAY too careful. Once they are fully healed and you don't run the risk of popping any blood vessels (let's say 3 months in - 6 months to be REALLY safe), you can do whatever you want!!! Pushups will feel funny and you may lose some upper body strength in rock climbing (until you build it again) but to do NONE of that? Hell no!! I competed in bodybuilding competitions that required a ton of weight lifting like....6 years after i got my implants and they are perfectly fine! There are always things we can do to mess them up but...that's no reason to stop living! I say go about your activities - wear supportive bras, keep an eye on them but LIVE YOUR LIFE :)
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I shall do that but with my revision I had the Strattice dermal matrix so I'm not sure how that might complicate things. I am obviously willing to give it several weeks until the skin graft has merged with my body, but I'm talking beyond that. He says himself that he IS being overly cautious, it's just his advice to all, even though he performs surgery on mma fighters and body builders and crossfit peeps (I teach yoga) and tons of others who do not stop using their pecs. I'm only 6 weeks out and flexing the pecs feels wonky compared to my overs, but I'll get used to it. I'm just saying that once I fully return to all of my normal activities, I need to not mess these up until I have at least paid for them, lol, ($17,000 total for both surgeries!!). If I do mess them up, I'm just saying I would rather take them out completely rather than change my lifestyle or worry about them.
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ooooh ok yea, i didn't realize that. That does make them more sensitive. The pec flexing will feel wonky for a while. You get used to it but it never goes away. And i get what you're saying -- I think once they're fully healed though you'll be fine. You'd have to try pretty hard to mess them up if there is no surgical complication. Happy healing!!! I'm an avid yogi (every single day!) and now that mine are fully healed, they don't prevent me from doing anything on the mat (thank goodness!). When I had my 525's, they'd hit the floor before my elbows came to 90 degrees in chatturanga. NOT COOL. hahaha
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