I am 29 years old, 5'4, and 150 pounds. I have...
I am 29 years old, 5'4, and 150 pounds. I have lost 40 pounds in the past 3 years through diet and exercise, and over the past several months it has hit me that not only are my breasts not what they once were, I no longer remember what it was like to have pretty breasts. They are so saggy now that I feel like they look like udders on a cow. The skin on the upper pole is very crepey and wrinkly looking, sort of like a popped balloon. When I lay down on my back they nearly roll flat on my chest and dangle off my sides. I work out every day (high intensity intervals, step, T-25, spinning, circuits) and am in the best shape of my life. I want to look like the fit woman I am.
I realized that there's no reason I can't do something about this, and I found realself and began researching plastic surgeons in my area. I decided upon Dr. Stoeckel in Cary, NC.
I had my consultation with Dr. Stoeckel recently and have decided on a date in September for my surgery. I will be having a full breast lift with no implants. I would like to end up as a D, and Dr. Stoeckel thinks that I will likely end up as a D without a reduction because some tissue is inevitably removed in the lift. I am not looking forward to scarring or recovery, but after reading so many breast lift reviews and seeing so many transformations after successful breast lifts, I am SO excited to have this done. I can't imagine what it would be like to look in the mirror and see my breasts sitting higher and not like floppy bags on my chest.
In addition, I discussed the possibility of having some lipo done on my inner knees as well as saddlebags. Although I am in great shape, my lower body hangs onto its fat - I have my mom's genes to thank for that (thanks, mom). Dr. Stoeckel agreed that I could see improvements with inner knee lipo as well as lipo of my saddlebags. I also wanted him to lipo my calves, but he looked at my calves, felt them, and said they were just very strong and there was not enough fat there to be able to lipo them. (I disagree, I can feel lots of fat that just won't go away, but I guess you can't argue with a plastic surgeon, lol!) I don't know which I'm more excited about, the breast lift or the lipo.
I am getting so excited for the surgery. I am thinking of asking Dr. Stoeckel about more lipo to my thighs. I know they will keep getting better the more exercise, but the fat on my legs is SO stubborn. I am also curious to see what he would say about doing a little lipo on my stomach. I am pretty sure I have some killer abs...somewhere under a few layers of flab, lol.
I have taken some more "before" photos.
Surgery's over...let the healing begin!
I had my surgery with Dr. Stoeckel yesterday. Everything went smoothly and I am at home healing now, taking Percocet every 4-6 hours as I am in quite a bit of discomfort. Now, where to begin....
I checked in at 12:30 yesterday and by 1:20 or so was meeting with the nurse, Emily, who took my vitals. Then the anasthesiologist, Linda, came in to talk to my mom and me and explained all of the drug cocktails I was going to get during the surgery. Then Dr. Stoeckel came in and marked me up with a permanent marker. The nurse then took me into the OR, where I got into a narrow little bed that was SO warm and cozy. It had lots of warm inflatable blankets on it that were amazing. They got me all tucked in - I was SO comfortable - and hooked the IVs up, and next thing I knew I was waking up from surgery and talking to Emily. She said it went very well and they removed a liter of fat. I think the surgery took about 3 hours.
My mom told me that when Dr. Stoeckel came out to talk to her after the surgery, he was smiling and excited that the surgery had gone so well, and he said I would be VERY happy with the results. He said he knew the results would be good, but that it turned out even better than what he had hoped. When he came to talk to me very briefly after the surgery, he told me the same thing and said I would feel like I had little implants. Needless to say, I am dying to see them.
After the surgery, I could not feel any pain in my breasts. On the hour drive home, however, my thighs were in a LOT of pain. I took a Percocet as soon as we got in the car on the way home, and when we got home I was still hurting. Dr. Stoeckel called to see how I was doing, and when I told him I was in pain and that the Percocet wasn't working, he told me to tough it out - lol. So I did.
Woke up at 6 am and this time my breasts were hurting. Took another Percocet and went back to sleep. Today, I am in mild pain all over. When I have been sitting for a while and then stand up, my legs say "OW, WE DIDN'T WANT TO MOVE!" My breasts feel very tender as well.
I get to take a shower tomorrow, so I am looking forward to taking this stuff off and seeing what I look like underneath all the bandages and compression garment.
A word on the compression garment: everyone acts like it's the worst thing ever, but it's not bad! The material is soft and it's actually quite comfortable. I don't even know I have it on. I guess maybe it's because I'm from the Spanx generation - I'm used to wearing tight things that suck you in. Dr. Stoeckel told me I needed to wear it 24 hours a day for the first 2 weeks, and then 12 hours a day for the next 12 weeks. I think I can handle that. I told him I was planning on buying a second one to wear while I cleaned this one, but he said that wasn't necessary - it would be OK to take it off for a few hours while it was being cleaned and that I could put a Spanx on during that time if it made me feel better. He said I would keep this post-surgery bra on for a week, and then I can switch to a sports bra but no underwires.
All in all, I don't regret this ONE bit and I am so excited to see my results!!!
I have added another set of pre-op photos here as well. I had my mom take some because the ones I took of myself and posted were not very good.
2 days post-op update
I got to take a shower today! When I took the gauze and bra off, I just stared and stared at my new breasts in disbelief. I can't believe they are MINE. It is definitely going to take some getting used to, but WOW, I love them!
I am very bruised from the breast lift. Before my surgery, Dr. Stoeckel told me he had intended to do just a vertical mastopexy but that he might add a short horizontal incision as well. I told him that would be fine, as I expected him to do that from the beginning. It appears from the scars that he did do a short horizontal incision. In one of the pictures it looks like a very long incision, but it's not - that's just bruising.
My breasts are very tender today. I took a Percocet at 7 am, 5 pm, and 10 pm today. I went out and about with my mom for a few hours earlier and after a few hours I could feel the soreness creeping back. I am going to try to only take Tylenol tomorrow.
As far as my lipo, I am VERY swollen and VERY sore. When I stand up and start to walk, it is pretty painful, but once I am up and walking I can manage, albeit slowly. I put some jeans on today that shouldn't be tight, and they were very tight. I am just very swollen and puffy all over. I am also bloated and constipated - lovely side effects, eh?
All of this said, I am SO happy I did this! I wore a v-neck tee today and have been enjoying looking down and actually seeing the tops of my breasts. I had forgotten what they looked like! I have been so used to them going straight down, it's great to actually SEE my own breasts the way they should look. Even though I'm bruised and tender and sore I am so happy with my results already.
Day 3 post op
Still in love with my new breasts. I have had a bit of oozing out of the bottom incision on the right breast, but I think that's probably normal. I have just changed out the gauze a couple times. It still looks normal to me.
I took 3 Tylenol at 9 am and have taken nothing since. I am in very little pain. My legs and breasts are still a bit sore, but nothing I need painkillers for. I am amazed that after only 3 days I am off painkillers. My mom and I went shopping today, so I was on my feet for a few hours and I feel great. I am walking normally today, unlike yesterday, when I felt like Frankenstein.
My legs are still very swollen from the lipo. They are bigger now than before my surgery. I can't wait for the swelling to subside so I can start seeing the results of the leg lipo.
Day 5 post op
Five days after my surgery, I'm in very little pain. I took 3 Tylenol this morning to be on the safe side. My breasts are not hurting or itching (yet!). I feel like myself today - yay! I have still been sleeping inclined on the couch, propped up with pillows, because I don't want to take any chances on rolling over on my new breasts. I have been healing so well that I just don't want to chance messing up any incisions. I might sleep on the couch a couple more nights - I don't mind it.
I washed my compression garment and my post-op bra today. The brand of my compression garment is Caromed, and I love it. It's black and has lace detailing on the cuffs and the tummy section, so it's actually pretty. (I wore it under a side-slitted maxi skirt yesterday and it just looked like leggings.) I have no problems wearing it. It basically feels like a Spanx.
I think my breasts have settled into place a bit and are sitting a bit lower (which is good!) and they feel softer/squishier than they did the first couple of days, when they were very firm. I love, love, love them!
My leg swelling has gone down a little bit, along with the pain. I'm not any smaller in my lipo'ed areas yet, but I am not expecting to see results yet, either.
I have my post-op follow up visit with Dr. Stoeckel tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say about my healing and results.
Day 11 Post op
I took the tape off for a peek yesterday (day 11) and took some pictures. While the swelling and bruising has really subsided, my horizontal incisions have been itching. My breasts are nicely settling into their new position and shape, and my areolas look beautiful - small and very even in shape and size. I am now wearing a sports bra 24 hours. I just looked at some photos of my pre-surgery breasts and I can't believe I ever second-guessed doing this. The change is amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The breast lift was worth every dollar spent.
I also bought some new Under Armour compression pants to wear. I decided to cut the waist off of my previous compression garment, because the waist band was about 4" wide and very tight....but I didn't think about the fact that the zipper would be cut off, too, making the pants unusable as then I could only clasp and not zip them. So a word of caution: If you cut your compression garment, make sure you won't be ruining it in the process. My new compression pants are called Under Armour Fly-By. I paid about $45 for them on Amazon. I figured I can use them for workouts once I get to stop using them for post-lipo wear.
I think the swelling has gone down a bit in my legs, which are also very itchy. I have noticed a bit of change in contour but I am hoping for more. I did feel a bit smaller than usual in the jeans I wore yesterday. I will post some updated pics on my legs in another week or so.
3 week update
Well, three weeks in and I still couldn't be happier I decided to do this. My swelling has gone down and my breasts have sort of settled into position. They are not as high as they were for the first week after the lift. In my photos you can see that I do not have upper pole fullness. I am fine with that. Most natural 30 year old DD's probably don't have upper pole fullness, and I am not trying to regain my 20 year old body. I'm happy with an improved 30 year old body!! I do not regret not getting implants.
I am having some incomplete healing on the intersection of the inverted T. The skin there is very tender and you can see where it looks like the scar is slightly open. This is a known and common issue so I'm not worrying about it; I just put clean tape on it after showering and drying the incisions.
I am still keeping micropore tape on my incisions as instructed by Dr. Stoeckel, but am not using any scar treatment or any sort of gels or creams or silicone strips or anything, and my vertical incision looks so neat and clean.
I don't have any good photos to follow up with my leg lipo. I do believe I have had a noticeable improvement in lower body contour in saddlebag and inner knee areas, however! I will post some when I am able to get some good ones.
A few more pictures
Three more views of the healing process.
One month update
My breast lift was one month ago tomorrow. My swelling seems to have gone completely down now, and the only thing left is for these incisions to heal up. The vertical incisions are healing very well except for one small area on the right breast, and the horizontal incision is still quite red and sort of bumpy.
And I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am still glad I decided not to get implants. Looking at photos on realself, it's easy to get in the mindset that you need to get implants to get a good result, because there are far more reviews of BL + BA than BL alone. However, I feel I made the right choice for me. I believe my results are the best they could be with a lift alone.
8 Week Update
11 Nov 2014
2 months post
I am pretty much all healed up at this point! I am expecting my legs to continue to improve for another few weeks - Dr. Stoeckel told me that by 3 months, that would be more or less my final result.
As for my breasts, the vertical incisions are barely visible, and I expect the horizontal incisions to continue to fade. I have used no scar treatment creams or strips - I'm just healing naturally.
I am back to my pre-surgery workouts - SO happy to be back in the gym!! I started on the elliptical at 6 weeks, but I am now back to my full high intensity workouts and it feels great!
3 Month Update
10 Dec 2014
3 months post
I had my three month appointment with Dr. Stoeckel tonight. He took photos tonight and sent them to me as side-by-side photos with my pre-op pics.
Dr. Stoeckel said he was very pleased with the result of the breast lift but agreed while there are improvements in the outer thighs and inner knees, those results are not dramatic. I do wish the results had been more dramatic, but I will just continue to try to shape my legs through exercise and eating well.
At the end of the day, I'm thankful for his conservative approach, as I've seen some photos on here where doctors were too aggressive in removing fat and actually made things look worse. Maybe in a couple more years I will have some more light lipo on these trouble spots.
I have not used any scar treatment yet. I might start using something soon, but I'm honestly amazed at how minimal the scars are.