Hi ladies, I can't believe I am going to post...
I can't believe I am going to post details about a PS procedure online! My story is a bit different from others I have read on this site as I am experiencing chronic joint pain/RA type symptoms I believe are related to my implants. I am hoping to have an implant removal plus capsulectomy (where they remove the scar tissue around the implant) PLUS a fat transfer. There are doctors who will do he implant removal + capsulectomy and only a few doctors who will add the fat transfer to the mix as one NC doc I spoke with (the one I hope to use) says the capsules dissolve by themselves and that he keeps them as structure to keep the liquid transferred fat contained. I know of at least one doc who WILL do the capsulectomy + fat transfer but she is in NYC and charges a FORTUNE! I can't go with that option so I am hoping the doctor I want to use will make an exception and remove the capsule.
Here is my background. I am now 55 and slender. When I was 32 I got silicone implants which were lovely, but by age 45 I had them explanted due to SERIOUS arthritis. I was truly almost crippled by the time I had the implants removed....went to an RA doc, got on a series of steroids and other drugs including Methotrexate which gave me cystic acne. At age 45 I was explanted with a total capsulectomy by Dr. Feng and by age 49 I was totally well and symptom free. I was also flat as a pancake. I didn't even have enough breast tissue to fit into a NA (nearly A) training bra! Also, due to two years of breastfeeding my little tiny AAs were small, shriveled and one was larger than the other. Also, without the implants to fill them out, my nipples were inverted. VERY UGLY!!!! Without the implants I had reverted to "nipples wonder" status - what a long ago, not very nice first husband had called me.
UNFORTUNATELY at age 50, my double AA "nipples wonders" motivated me to get saline implants, thinking I would stay well. Well, after 4 years of the implants for the last year my RA has returned and I am so achy and creaky that I feel like an 80 year old woman! Sexy boobies really don't make up for that!
WHERE AM I NOW? I hope to have the surgery in about a month but even though the studies DON'T show implants cause any problems, due to my past history, I feel I MUST get those capsules out, even if just for psychological reasons. If I don't get them out and don't improve from the RA I would always think in the back of my mind that my vanity kept from getting well.
Here is my choice. The doc I hope to use is in NC and seems wondeful! I hope he will make an exception and remove the capsules and do the fat transfer. If he can't do it, I will have to go to my TX doc choice and just get the implants out with capsulectomy and no fat transfer. Over the weekend the NC doc and his wife called me several times to discuss options (the weekend calls were in themselves amazing). Either Monday or Tuesday night the doctor will be calling me for a consult and I plan to ask him if he will do the capsulectomy, understanding that cosmetically my end result may not be as perfect as his work usually is. I would settle for a less perfect result just to have SOMETHING in the boob department but feel secure knowing I had the best chance of recovery from my RA. By the way the NC doc does not believe implants cause RA, he would just be humoring me to remove the capsule. I hope he will do this. I have my fingers crossed and will let you know!!!
Made a decision. Hope it's right.
One of the reasons I choose to believe him is that without implants I truly would have no breast tissue if I removed the capsules. Also I don't want to spend $16k on two separate surgeries.
I just feel right about allowing dr. Bednar do the surgery. On February 25 he will remove the saline implants and do a fat transfer.
I have also had lipo in the past so he says my fat may be a bit more dense and a little harder to harvest.
Due to my slimmer build, at first I thought I should gain a few pounds prior to the surgery but after reading Dr. Kouri's website I learned that I shouldn't do that as my body has more extra fat than meets the eye.
I can hardly wait for the surgery!! In less than a month Charlotte, NC here I come!! Me and my husband that is.
25 Days Out and Counting!
Surprisingly, just after I paid my $5,000 down to book the $10,000 surgery with Dr. Bednar, I received an email response from a denver doctor’s office I had thought about using. Her assistant said the doctor would remove the implants, do the fat transfer and also remove the capsule for $8,100! At first I thought I had made a mistake in choosing Dr. Bednar so quickly but then I looked up her reviews online (thanks Google!) and found her ratings were not NEARLY as good as Dr. Bednar’s. That doctor seemed to have some seriously complaining patients, primarily several people who felt they had been botched and then felt the doctor was not very caring or concerned about repairing the situation. I then felt better about my choice to use Dr. Bednar. I know he will do his best and that the results will absolutely be the best possible for my situation.
WHERE I AM STARTING. My situation is “tough” as Dr. Bednar says. I almost posted a photo of how my real breasts looked after my first explant of the silicone implants, but then I thought better of it. AFTER my great results I will post that photo but I didn’t want to post it now as I have the belief that we can influence reality by the energy we put into the universe and I don’t think having a few hundred people look at the HORROR of my real breasts prior to the surgery is very wise. My real breasts truly look derformed. Although with the implants I have nipples, without them my nipples are inverted and my breasts are just two very small, hanging bags of flesh…one is about a AA and the other one is totally flat. In fact, just yesterday when I told my mom I was going to have my implants replaced with fat she asked why. When I showed her the pic she said, “Oh, NOW I understand!!” After the surgery I will post that photo as one of my before pics.
PHYSICALLY HOW I FEEL. I feel like my body is turning to STONE. Due, I believe, to silicone sickness I am now in constant pain. About every muscle and joint in my body aches. Once I get going for the day it is somewhat better but when I get up in the morning I can barely move…once I decide how to navigate myself to get out of bed with the least pain I start to shuffle through the house like an 80 year old! These are exactly the same symptoms I had with my first round of silicone implants. For the last year with my saline implants I have been feeling increasingly the same way. About three years after my first explantation I was totally healed and I know I will heal again.
I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO HAVE THESE TOXIC BAGS REMOVED!!! Now that I’ve made the decision I want the surgery now!
THE FOOD ISSUE. Initially Dr. Bednar said I didn’t need to fatten up some in preparation for the surgery, but after learning that I have had lipo in the past he then said a few extra pounds would help him have a little more fat to work with. Apparently lipo can cause some internal scarring which makes harvesting the fat a little more difficult.
Unfortunately, food is a challenging area for me and this part of the situation is causing me problems and giving me anxiety. For so long I have fairly carefully watched what I ate and now to be told that I need to gain some weight is throwing me off. Although at first I thought that adding milkshakes and tater tots to my diet would be fun, after three days of VERY careless eating I think I will back off some. I can’t believe that eating this crap will actually give me the good health I need for surgery. Also, if I gain some weight and enlarge my fat cells and then he puts the enlarged fat cells into my breasts when I get back to my normal weight won’t that make my breasts shrink back down too? I think so. Although I won’t diet prior to surgery, I ‘m not going to overdo it.
Dear Lord, today help my eat reasonably.
Weight Gain Issue Resolved
This morning I got on the scale and weighed 134 pounds! I started at about 130 a week or so ago. This weekend I have eaten a bunch of crap…large fries, milkshakes, McDonalds hash browns, etc. That’s why I have been gaining weight so rapidly.
At my husband’s urging I have decided not to diet but to eat my normal diet and not try to gain weight. One of the main reasons for this is that those few extra pounds give me jowls and if I have them I will only have to diet after the surgery which I read will take it from the boobs anyway. I have also read that doctors need a relatively small amount of fat to make this work and that my adding on 5 pounds or so really won’t make that much difference. In addition, even though I am basically slender I DO have some fat deposits in my inner thighs, flanks and back that I want him to take. If I gain weight the lipo part won’t work out very well. Having the lipo again is one of my justifications for this significant expense. I don’t want to gain so much weight that the lipo doesn’t produce a good improvement.
WHERE I AM NOW. I just called Dr. Bednar’s office and had them email me the list of pre-surgery tests I have to have done…blood work, physician’s signed surgery authorization, etc. I made an appointment with my PCP for this Wednesday to get that done. Beverl y in Dr. Bednar’s office called me to ask where she should call in my medications. She also said she is sending me an email containing the pre-surgery info.
I am getting so excited! I can hardly wait! I will be flying from Kansas to NC three weeks from today!!!
More Before Pics
Two Weeks From Today!!
I know Dr. Bednar and most physicians say there is no link between my joint pain and the breast implants but in my case I know better. If it's like the last implants I had removed the pain may not go away immediately but within three years of the explant I was totally pain free. I KNOW this will happen for me again. Last time I took no active detox measures as I didn't know I could. This time, after the first few months of letting the new boob fat settle in, I will be detoxing and eating very healthily. I will be reporting to you all a cessation of all pain and a return to TOTAL health. Dr. Melmed said in terms of health recovery, depending upon one's condition, it can take 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. Last time, for me, it was three years. This time I am hoping for three months! I will let you know how that goes.
By the way, thanks to all of you who are going through this and making comments as it helps me not feel so alone. It is also wonderful to see your great results!
Just Got a Pre-Surg Care Package in the Mail!! & MIRROR OF THE MIND
I am excited about the Bromelaine. I looked it up on the internet and it is an anti-inflamatory. I LOVE this idea especially since I have the swollen arthritic-type symptoms.
Two weeks from today I will be lying in bed one day AFTER surgery!
OK girls. I will let you know what I think is a good little secret. I am using something called the GOLDEN MIRROR technique. I learned it from the writer of Simple Abundance, a program I am going through right now. In it, I just relax and shut my eyes, then I picture myself going downstairs to my "lab." Once inside I see a large, wall-sized, ornate golden framed mirror. In it, I project the outcome I want to have.
I see us arriving in Charlotte and having a good pre-op appt with Dr. Bednar. I see myself going into surgery the next day and him being able to easily get all the fat he needs. He is happily surprised by how much fat I actually have! Then I see him injecting the fat in my breasts and nipples making them larger and perfectly shaped. Then I see the various stages of healing and my breasts staying well-shaped, firm and good sized. I also view my wonderful lipo results and see my skin shrinking back tight against my hips, thighs, abdomen and back.
Then, because I will also be healing totally from my joint issues, I see myself drinking lots of water, eating right and detoxing. Gradually I experience the joy of becoming pain free and back to my old pre-implant self...easily exercising, walking, doing yoga, getting out of cars, etc.
The GOLDEN MIRROR is a great technique I hope some of you can use. Through out thoughts and visualizations we can program our realities. I believe we are co-creators with God and the universe.
I can't believe I told you all that. I don't mean to sound like a fruit cake. I am actually a very reasonable, sane person. I just think everything we do that's positive helps. I guess my GOLDEN MIRROR is mental medicine, not unlike the supplement care package I received in the mail.
Universe, I guess through sharing this info prior to surgery I am putting my order out there. Thanks God for my wonderful result!
Everyone, have a blessed day!!
Weird Twist 8 days Out
In getting the pre-op blood work done with my primary care physician, they found that I have a high blood calcium. I am still waiting for the results of the parathyroid test to come back but they suspect Parathyroid disease. This is an interesting possibility because, if I do have it, it may account for my extreme bone pain, three bouts with kidney stones, mild depression, sleeplessness, etc. Dr. Bednar has always said the saline implants don't cause joint pain and that would go along with his way of thinking.
If I do end up having parathyroid disease I would just have to have a simple 15 minute surgery to remove the parathyroid gland that's acting up, and amazingly, most people lose their joint pain within a day after the surgery.
BUT, after speaking with my husband about it, we have decided we still want to go ahead with the explantation/fat transfer. The reason is that long ago after I had silicone implants removed, my joint pain completely resolved and I was completely well within about three years (I was well until a couple of years after I had the salines implanted). My husband says we really do want the plastic bags out of my chest, we're already scheduled for surgery, etc.
SO, here goes. If the medical tests end up showing that I need the parathyroid removed, I will also briefly report on that outcome in case some other women with joint pain/implants would be helped by this.
In addition to having the breast fat transfer, I have also decided to have fat injected into my nasal folds and also have my stretched out earlobes repaired.
I like to think of our aging bodies as a little like old cars. No one thinks it's add that a 30 year old car needs some putty and body work to look it's best, but society says that, with regard to our faces and bodies, we need accept this growing older thing "gracefully" and just accept our dents and dings. I vote for visiting the body shop from time to time.
It's funny, but I am sure people who meet me think I am kind of a granola girl because I don't look like I've had anything done. I guess I am a granola girl, just one who likes to look her best.
I fly Out in 7 Days!
I am in major joint pain today as Dr. Bednar asked that I pretty much quit all supplements to prepare for the surgery...definitely NO ibuprofen which I used to live on. He sent me some pre and post surgery supplements to help with swelling/bruising.
I have been counting the days till then. It's getting close!! As my joints crackle and pop and I start the morning like a crunchy, stiff 80 year old I am reminded of many explant patients who say their creaking stopped almost immediately and their pain ended eventually as well. That happened for me last time I had these toxic bags out.
Once they are out, this time they are gone for good. I can hardly wait. Slowly it seems my body has been turning to stone. I know after the implants are out my body will start softening back up to pain-free flesh and blood. Can't wait.
Leave for Charlotte Day after Tomorrow!
B Day in Here
Last night I worried he would make my boobs too large. Am a small c now with the implants and fear becoming larger. This morning I awoke feeling skinny and wondering if he can even get enough for a B. I actually wouldn't mind a B if they are well shaped.
Having flown here yesterday for the pre op consult I am a bit nervous. I wonder if he would have still recommended this procedure if I had just come in for a normal, in town consult. He did say yesterday that I don't have much fat and he will take a little from all over.
Our bodies are like accordions. Sometimes I feel skinny and sometimes fat. Odd.
Hubby just walked in from his shower and said "your results will be perfect." That was just the perfect comment as I am a little nervous right now. Will report tonight. Here goes. God be with me.
I guess he always is, huh?
Amazing. That thought just kicked in. He really is with me. I can relax.
Yea! I Had the Surgery Today!
4:00 AM Woke up way too early in anticipation and worried I would miss my cell phone alarm (this never happens but today was a special day so I wanted to be there).
6:00 AM We are staying at a Fairfield which includes free breakfast. I was starving and REALLY wanted my morning coffee, but I could do neither (no food or drink after Midnight). I sent hubby down to eat a quick breakfast because (1) had no makeup on, hair pulled back in a nub, sweats I had slept in, animal print comfy slippers...in short I didn't want to be in public looking like a bag lady! and (2) I knew watching him eat and drink coffee would make me even hungrier.
6:55 Arrived a Dr. Bednar's clinic a little early for my 7:00 appointment, but the parking lot outside his office had about 5 cars in it already. This made me happy as they were there getting ready for my surgery.
7:00 AM There is a tiny comfy room in Dr. Bednar's office with a leather loveseat for hubby and a medical type recliner for me. Hubby was working from Dr. Bednar's office over the internet. We debated about his leaving and coming back after the 5 hour surgery but that didn't feel right. I wanted him near me if anything happened.
Sandy the anesthesia nurse came in and inserted an IV on the back of my left hand. It was tough to do because I have very few hand veins but she got it done on the first try! She also gave me a pain pill, an anti-nausea and another pill by mouth. She said the pain pill would take about 3o minutes to kick in and that I would feel kind of woozy then which I did. I enjoy that feeling very much. I don’t drink so any time I can feel a little drunkish I like it.
Sandy is about 65 (she told me this during the course of the day) but she looks much younger. She didn't have a wrinkle on her face! She said this was due to Dr. Bednar's tweaks and also years of sunblock. She said she had been his anesthesia nurse for 30 years! This made me feel a great deal of comfort as she would be keeping me alive during surgery and I was confident after 30 years of patients I would be OK. She raved about Dr. Bednar, not only his exceptional surgical ability, but also that he was just a nice person, which he is. He is also a great artist and his paintings are all over the office. Sandy also told me every detail about the surgery and how it would proceed. She talked fast as she goes through ALOT of info but it is all easy to understand and you can ask questions. She told me he would be lipoing my back side first then turning me over to harvest the front. She said he didn't like the fat to be out of the body long so sometimes once he turns you over he starts injecting fat in the breasts and then lipos the front.
8:AM At 8 they walked me into the OR with my gown flapping open in the back. They had given me compression knee high stocking and fuzzy socks to wear. They felt good. Sandy, Ashley, and another nurse put me on the table. It was VERY cold in there so they covered me with a blanket. I still had the IV in and Sandy came and I think put a mask over my face for the sleeping drug which would put me out. She had told me it was the same drug Michael Jackson had used to sleep each night. Wow! Powerful drug! I think I got pretty talkative for a few minutes and somehow I told them I used to be in TV…don’t know how that came up!
3:00 PM I woke up still in the OR. I was VERY groggy and they brought me some 7up which I LOVED. I am not used to full calorie soft drinks and it tasted cold and WONDERFUL! I think Dr. Bednar came in at this time to talk with me about the surgery but I didn’t remember this, probably due to the drugs. Then they helped me get dressed and Alan and I went back to the hotel. I really wanted to hear from Dr. Bednar about the surgery as I had forgotten what he said. Hubby said he told him the surgery went very well. I then called the office and left a message for him to call me. He called a bit later and said the surgery went VERY well and that he had gotten a great deal of fat off my muffin top area and then he harvested more fat from my legs and abdomen. He said he had all the fat he needed and that my shape should be better which I was happy about. I have a fear I will end up larger than my previous implants but he said I wouldn’t and that I could lose up to 30% of the fat there so he did overfill. He wife Sylvia said I could take a peak but I am nervous about seeing them so I didn’t. Friday when I return for my office visit he will take off the wraps. Also, Friday is the first day I can shower . Gross! I did look at the tops of them though and I have cleavage which I have never had. Also, he put some fat in my nasal folds and a bit under my eyes. I am swollen there but no bruising at all. I think the Arnica they gave me must be working. Interestingly, he had me bring along a pic of myself at age 20. I couldn’t see how this would be useful as my face looked very slender at that age, however, Sandy said he really used that during surgery to sculpt my facial fat. He apparently said it was very helpful to have that. Sandy had told me before the surgery that he had recently sculpted a dog in clay and they had it cast in bronze. She said the dog was amazing and that you could see every muscle and hair on it. She said he uses this same artistic ability in sculpting his patients faces and bodies. This makes sense to me as our faces basically are art and it would be helpful for the surgeon to have this ability.
With the pain pills and even when they wear off some I have almost no pain. I am swollen and a bit uncomfortable…even my hands look chubby, but the pain is truly about zero. It is about 1:00 AM and I couldn’t sleep so I am propped up in bed writing this. I truly know my results will be wonderful. I just don’t want to be too huge in the boob department. My sad little orphans will definitely not look so sad anymore though. I will get pics at the three day point. Maybe a pic tomorrow of what this getup I am wearing looks like, basically a tighly wrapped up mummy look. Not a great look fashion-wise but it feels very comfortable to be tightly wrapped. Sandy said it helps with swelling and also helps the skin drape better. One more thing. The GO GIRL urination device is amazing. I think I got it on Ebay for about $5. I don’t know how I could have gone through this without it.
I apologize that this entry was so LONG but I thought people may really want to know details of the surgery day. I will report tomorrow and it should not be so long.
Second Day Post Op
This morning I woke up in the white hotel bed and everything felt kind of wet. I wish I had realized I would "seep" some as I would have taken better care of the hotel sheets and pillow cases. I really have not seeped that much fluid but it is a light pinkish color. If you go through this make sure and bring some large trash bags to place under you. Hubby and I did that last night so the bed itself didn't get stained or the pillows. I feel kind of guilty I may be staining the hotel linens. By the way, being in a hotel for this is IDEAL. I say that because the idea of lying around my OWN house would make me uncomfortable as I would feel I should be up doing things. Here it is EASY. I just find myself lying around all day, watching TV or reading with hubby bringing me pain pills, water, etc. It is much easier to relax here, not to mention that I have a week of no one coming to see me which I appreciate. One more thing, due to the joint pain I had with the previous implants I am drinking lots of water to assist the detox process. Also, since I am vegetarian I am drinking ENSURE. The doctor says this helps give me the protein and nutrition I need to recover. He said he found that about 3 weeks out vegetarians can kind of hit a healing plateau and that ENSURE will help the healing continue.
Sylvia from Dr. Bednar's office texted me this morning to ask how the "patient" was doing. I thought this was nice that they are keeping up with me. I told her I was very pleased with the lipo and face (although it is swollen) but I feared the boobs would be too large. She assured me they would go down.
End of Day Two After Surgery
I had a really pretty easy day. Almost no pain, just kind of uncomfortable at times. I did keep up with my pain pills until about one o'clock this afternoon. You can't take a valium and a pain pill within an hour of each other and I really wanted to sleep as I hadn't slept all morning so I took a valium and did fall asleep until about 5:00. It felt really good to sleep all afternoon. I haven't taken any of the anti nausea meds as I haven't needed them. I have been continuing to take the ARNICA under the tongue pills for bruising and the Bromeleine pills for swelling. Dr. Bednar's office even gave me an arnica gel which I put all over my face twice today. My face looks really good, although still a bit swollen. Maybe it's the arnica cream that is making the difference.
Hubby just went out to get us dinner at Applebees. Even though I am vegetarian I have been eating shrimp and salmon as I need the protein for healing. He is bringing me back some kind of 500 calorie shrimp/veggie dish. For some reason, though, I have really not been all that hungry. I had an ENSURE and some crackers for breakfast and a frozen mac, brocoli and cheese for lunch and LOTS of water. I am really trying to drink LOTS of water as I am dedicated to the idea of detoxing from my implants and getting over the joint pain I was having. Once i get back home I plan to get rid of the frozen dinners and really eat lots of fresh fruits, veggies and salads. I personally am convinced I am allergic somehow to the silicone casing the implants are in. I know some docs don't believe this but I seem to HAVE the joint pain when I have the implants in and NOT have the joint pain where they are out. No matter what anyone says, if it works for me, I choose to have them out. I am SO happy they are out. I really believe my healing will start now!
Morning of Day Three After Surgery
Here is a pic of me in my BEFORE bra this morning. I was SO happy that it still fits! You guys are all being so nice about my BEFORE pic, but it doesn't hurt my feelings for all of us to admit that it was disfigured. I think the first surgeon when she explanted the silicone implants just really didn't take them out well. One of my boobs obviously got short-changed. I am just SO impressed that Dr. Bednar has so much expertise that he took a TERRIBLE before and is making it a nice AFTER. Again, my nipples are still inverted and that may have to be addressed by another procedure. But that takes only about an hour and costs maybe another $1,500. What's $1,500 after ALL I have spent on these babies? Here is rundown of how much my "boobs" have cost me:
Silicone implants in: $5,000
Silicone implants out: $8,000
Saline implants in: $5,000
Saline implants out/fat transfer: $10,000
Wow! That is an amazing total especially since I am not Pamela Anderson or a porn star. It is not exactly like I needed these babies for anything other than an occasional fun evening with hubby or a little cleavage in a summer top. The amount I have invested so far is truly astonishing. If I had known how much money they would have cost, not to mention the pain, meds, etc. I would have endured due to the implants I would never have gotten them. I definitely wouldn't have breast fed for so long. Before my two lovely sons they were small and sans nipples but they were at least acceptable. What we do for our babies!!!
THIS IS THIRD DAY AFTER SURGERY - FRIDAY AM
In terms of my boobs and face, they still look both about the same. My face looks pretty good although day two was a bit more swollen around the lips than the first day. I just had the nasal lines, jowls and under eyes lightly injected with fat. The undereyes and jowls look great, but I still have some swelling in the nasal areas which gives me that weird kind of "joker" look when I smile. This is a very DONE look but I know it is swelling and will go away. I did put some makeup on, though, and for the first time in three days went down to the coffee bar downstairs and no one noticed. Yea! I think the plan trip home tomorrow will be OK. I really think I need a week or so for the face to totally be back to normal. I can tell, though, that it will be an improvement.
As you can see by the pic the breasts still look the same, although the nipples are still inverted. I called a PS in my home town and found out that generally insurance covers the nipple extroversion procedure. Who knew that all those years of anxiety about it would have been changed with one hour and good insurance? Even if insurance doesn't cover it I think it's only about $1,500 an a one hour procedure. Once this is all healed I WILL do that.
I didn't take pics of my body out of the girdle but my mid section already looks VERY slender and nice. The thighs looked kind of larger and baggy, but I know lipo swelling lasts a LONG time. I know the scars blend in as well, but I SHOULD have asked that he place them in inconspicuous areas.
5 Days Post Opp! Amazing!
I have tried on the sweaters I normally wear. I love wearing turtlenecks in the winter. I was worried I would look heavier in them but I really even look a little slimmer through the waist. The breasts look wider and larger but it is not a bad look. I would feel OK if they go down a little but I also kind of like them like this as well so I am anxious to see how much they go down and change in shape.
FACE TROUBLES AVERTED. Hubby and I traveled home on the plane yesterday. I may have taken one pain pill in the morning but then did not need them. One thing was disconcerting though. In addition to the breast transfer I also had Dr. Bednar inject some fat in the nasal folds and under my eyes. He had had me bring along a pic of myself at about age 25 and he said he used the photo to add fat where appropriate. I asked if he had added a little to my cheekbones and he said he had and also a bit along the chin to fill in the beginnings of jowls. Well, the first day after surgery my face looked great and I was VERY pleased, but over the next two days I started to swell in odd places (at least I HOPED it was swelling!). By yesterday morning I had a bump along my chin that almost looked like a second chin! I had texted Sylvia and she said asked him and he said not to worry that he had put the fat in deeply and that it was just swelling. Well, no matter what the doc says or how many great cases he has had, you are just convinced you will be his messed up one. All day yesterday in the airport I was convinced people could see my uneven odd shaped face and I was even sorry I did it. Meanwhile, my husband was telling me I looked just like my normal self. Even when I got home last night I could hardly make myself follow my TV program as I was so worried I had botched my face. I did continue to do my positive thinking Golden Mirror thing but I became so worried it was hard to do.
Well, this morning, when I woke up, I felt my chin it seemed like the "second" one had gone down again and was almost gone. When I looked in the mirror, although I can still see some swelling, my face looks pleasing again.
THIS HEALING PROCESS IS THE WORST!! I do this every time. It is not so bad with my body but on my face I seem to have a major freak out period, then things get better. I am SO glad to be through the worst of the swelling. I go back to work tomorrow and the girls there all know what I had done but they won't think I look bad. Tomorrow it will be six days out from the surgery and I am really amazed at how generally back together my body looks. I still have lots of bruising and swelling but there is almost no pain. I said at he beginning that if Dr. Bednar could take my deformity and make me look normal, then he is a master. I'm not going to do my final ratings on the whole situation until I heal a little more, BUT DR. BEDNAR IS A MASTER!!!!! I wish I had known about him years ago.
10 DAYS AFTER SURGERY
In terms of pain level, in the last few days I have had general soreness in ALL my treated areas. It's not painful, just kind of uncomfortable like I've been working out HARD! Even my face, when I press the injected fat areas, still has a tenderness to it. I think it will probably be about a month until I feel 100% normal.
HOW DO IT LOOK? Well, I have been pretty much ignoring my body as I was so focused on my face and boobs. This morning I was pleased to realize that Dr. Bednar has MAJORLY improved my inner thighs. The surgeon who did my last lipo six years ago had said the inner thighs were a difficult area and that he couldn't remove as much fat there as I would have liked. I am delighted to realize that after Dr. Bednar's surgery now my inner thighs don't rub together! I have space between them. I wear lots of slim pants and I will LOVE that slimmer look!
In terms of lipo marks, you can see them in the pictures. Today hubby is going to snip the black stitch that's still in each one. Dr. Bednar had said they will dissolve but to speed things along hubby could go ahead and snip them today.
FACE. My facial swelling seems to go up and down a bit even now, but no one would notice I had anything done, but I think I REALLY like the face part. My cheek bones are a bit higher looking, my nasal folds are not as prominent and my jaw line has lost the bit of jowling which was starting to happen. My inevitable face lift has been put off probably a couple of more years. I think my face looks great.
I am probably one of the only women in my generation in which my grandmother and mom, and even my dad, all have had face lifts. My grandmother, who died recently at 93, was an actress and I think had two face lifts in her time. My mother, who was kind of a scientist and NOT someone you would think would ever have a facelift, had one, and she even talked my dad into having one at the same time she did! My parents were 65 when they had their lifts and I kind of helped them through the process. It was truly amazing the difference the face lifts made in their lives. Before the surgeries, they both seemed older and like their energy for life was about gone. After the surgeries, they really seemed to get their zest for life back. They got all this energy, started working out three times a week and got totally back into life again. The improvement in their quality of lives was truly amazing...I think it probably added 20 more happy, productive years to their lives. Another kind of interesting thing though. Although my mom is now 78, after seeing what Dr. Bednar did for me, she even mentioned she MAY want to have him do something for her! I hope she does as I know she would love it. Sorry...I majorly diverged.
WEIGHT. I haven't even gotten on the scale since before the surgery so when I stepped on the scale this morning I was pleased. I think before surgery I was about 133 and this morning I was 130 even with all the swelling I still have. A good friend of mine talked to a plastic surgeon friend of her and she told her that people shouldn't have lipo unless they were at their ideal weight as if you gain weight it all comes back again, even in the lipoed areas. This reminded me that I really need to work hard on my diet to keep my new slender look going. I am fairly disciplined and usually just play with 5 pounds up or down, but before surgery I was about 5 pounds heavy and I don't like that. I have made a financial investment in this and I really want to protect it. Also, with my larger looking boobs, if I gain weight I will look much heavier.
BOOBS. To begin with, it is incredible that Dr. Bednar took my literal deformity and turned it into breasts any woman would be proud of. For that I am AMAZINGLY SURPRISED and indebted to him. That being said, at this point I do hope they go down some in size as I am not used to how large they are. If they go down about an inch I will be thrilled. Dr. Bednar said that I should lose 25-30% and I will be happy if this happens. I didn't ask him how long this takes but, in general, I have heard 3-6 months till you have your final results.
I wonder if my size will go down, however, because Dr. Bednar seems to have an incredible retention rate. I am not really seeing his other patients lose much volume over time. This says a lot about his excellent surgical ability, but if it turns out to be true in my case, with my new "rack", I will be the most sought after women in the nursing home some day LOL! In fact, it seems odd to me, but while other surgeons say with fat transfer you are lucky to increase the breast size by one cup, in my case I have gone from a true breast size without implants of AA to probably a D in one surgery. Wow!
I included a pre-surgery pic of my implants and, as you see, the implants were more like tennis balls in a sack, wider spaced and not full through the middle. My new real breasts are fuller in general. That being said, if prior to my surgery, I had been able to see these pics and order EXACTLY these results I would have done it in a heart beat. I am THRILLED with my results but ideally I hope they will end up a bit smaller.
By the way, girls, if you remember what size your implants were, please remember to tell your surgeon. Dr. Bednar asked me that question prior to surgery and, although I kind of remembered my implants were about 225 CCs, I didn't remember exactly so I didn't say. After surgery he told he he had put in about 350 CCs in each breast. I wonder if he would have put in less fat if I had told him what I remembered?
I will keep you all informed about the size issue. I am very curious about this too.
Blessings to you all.
5 Weeks Out
I am still hoping the boobs shrink a little more over the coming weeks. Dr. Bednar said you can lose up to 40% up to the 12 week mark so I am hoping to lose a bit more over the next 7 weeks. Even if they do stay this way, though, I am happy.
With regard to the facial fat transfer, that truly has been a roller coaster. At first it looked really good, then had some swelling for a few weeks which looked kind of weird. I had had fillers once before and after the first week all looked normal. Facial fat transfer is a more lengthy recovery with some lumps and bumps along the way. About a week ago I was really wishing I had not had it done, however, in the last few days everything has calmed down and looks pretty normal. In fact, I went to the mall yesterday to try on some clothes and as I looked in the mirror there I really thought my face looked much better than it did before the surgery five weeks ago. For a 55 year old woman I really do look very young. In fact I went to a party last night and my husband said I look about 10 years younger than other women there who were my age. I truly do think this fat transfer was a little like a “liquid face lift.” For this reason, and also because what I have just gone through was SO extensive, I really think I am done with doing ANYTHING (except botox) for hopefully about 10 years. This was truly a MAJOR ordeal and emotionally I have gone up and down and all around with it. I also think I still look very natural but I don’t want to be one of these women who “steps over that line” and ends up looking weird. Especially with the facial part, I realized that I get terrified when my face is altered in any way. Also, I have realized you can’t always predict how things will turn out and I have a new respect for that. I am ready to be done for a long time. I do look good though and I am glad for that.
I will keep sharing pics as I want you to see how much fat goes away.
7 weeks out on Tuesday - Size staying the same
One truly GREAT thing, though. I am not even on Ibuprofen! While my arthritis is not totally gone yet, it is becoming much less severe. Last time it took three years for all the pain to go away, but this time I seem to be getting my health back noticeably faster.
Interestingly, I went to my OBGYN last week and she was very glad to see actual fat transfer breasts as she says she has quite a few women with immune problems which she believes are caused by the implants. I gave her Dr. Bednar's website and she plans to pass his name around to her implant sufferers. She also said she didn't feel any calcifications which is very good.
Coincidentally, I had coffee this morning with another woman my age who got severe joint pains with her implants and then had them removed and is now completely healed.
Since the main reason I had the implants out was to feel better, I am really happy my joint issues seem to be subsiding. I do wish the breasts would go down some in size though. I am confident they will over time, at least to some extent.
Well, even with that being the case, hubby says my new fat implant breasts are MUCH better than even the earlier pretty implants. Dr. Bednar really did an excellent job on the shape and hubby says they are just cuter and nicer than the implants. He says they look totally natural and they now "hang the way they're supposed to hang."
Just between you and me, although I would prefer they shrink a little, I think hubby is quite happy with their larger size. Go figure.
Boobs are Getting Smaller
One thing I am not as jazzed about is the lipo scars. The ones on my belly are fading to brown but the other lipo incisions are still VERY red and noticable. I have had lipo in the past and those incisions were placed in incomspicuous locations, but this time they are all in very noticable locations. I am vegetarian and I don't know if this is the reason for my slow healing, but I certainly am healing S-L-O-W-L-Y. I guess I just have to be more patient. Overall, I am VERY pleased!
It is crazy, really, that this bothers me though because my new boobs are SO much better than I could have expected. I suppose we all want things to be as perfect as possible.
3 Months Out and Having Trouble with the Lipo Part
I wondered why, compared with my two previous liposuctions, the lipos scars were so much larger and in VERY conspicuous locations. On the front of my thighs for example, I now have two rather large scars on the front of each thigh. This is compared with the last lipo with another surgeon in which I had with VERY small scars which were so well hidden I couldn't even find them.
I have now discovered that Dr. Bednar did not use laser assisted lipo, he used the old fashioned kind. With the newer laser assisted lipo the instrument they use to harvest the fat is much smaller in diameter resulting in smaller scars. The new type of lipo also kind of melts the fat and then it is sucked out versus the older style in which fluid is injected under the skin and then the surgeon must really kind of gouge the fat with the instrument to extract it.
Basically with laser assisted lipo like I had before there is less likelihood of getting "gouge" indentions. Also, since the laser melts the fat, it causes the collagen to regenerate and also shrinks the skin somewhat. I wish I had thought to ask what type of lipo Dr. Bednar does beforehand. He did tell me before that due to my two previous lipos the likelihood of scarring was greater, but it seems obvious that with my age and more lax skin, laser assisted lipo would have been likely to have provided a better outcome. I am very disappointed to be hoping at this point that the disfigurement I have now improves. I think the stretch marks may have grown longer because the skin may have stretched with the addition of the tumescent lipo solution.
I did text Dr. Bednar's wife about it and she suggested that massage could help, and I am doing that, but at this point, I have decent breasts, but my legs look like those of a 70 year old! I didn't realize that I would trade one deformity (terrible boobs) for another (terrible legs). I am HOPING the large scars on my thighs will go away, but they are still very red and VERY noticeable. Even more than that, though, I hope my Tara Reid legs go away. I feel kind of scared right now. I can no longer show my legs either.
I have to say though that Dr. Bednar did do an excellent job on the breasts and also on the fat transfer to my face. I am just disappointed that my legs look so bad now.
Spoke too Soon - Need to Wait and Reserve Judgement
No matter how my legs turn out, one thing is certain. Except for maybe one facelift, hopefully ten years in the future I am DONE with plastic surgery! I went to a party the other day and noticed one of the other women there had a very obviously done face and I don't want to ever go there. This time I think I escaped that fate. Dr. Bednar did an excellent job on my face but next time I might not be so lucky. This whole process has been one long roller coaster ride. One truly positive thing though...the joint pain I was having, which was the reason I had the implants removed followed by the breast fat transfer in the first place, is now gone. Knock on wood.
I Owe Dr. Bednar An Apology as I Stand Corrected. Plus I am Now Looking Much Better!
This explains why he used tumescent lipo and also why the healing process is a bit different. The healing with tumescent can be a bit lumpier and bumpier as the scar tissue has to heal and calm down.
Plus, I have started really massaging the areas and they are starting to change almost overnight. I found a massage technique which was invented by Carole Maggio called No Lipo Lipo. You basically dry brush the legs in the morning and in the evening you massage the areas with oil. You use your knuckles in an up and down motion. You can Google it as Carole has a video of her technicians demonstrating the technique. I am NOT suggesting that anyone who has had lipo do their massages this way, but it is working for me. Plus, Dr. Bednars wife said to use gentle Swedish massage and I think this is similar to what she was talking about. My legs no longer look like they have been Tara Reided. They are still not totally smooth but they look tons better and that in the 6-12 months the total recovery can take I think they will look very nice. In fact, at the rate the massage is making a difference I can already wear shorts and in about a month I predict my legs will look pretty great.
My face looks WONDERFUL!!! My breasts look WONDERFUL!!!!! I believe Dr. Bednar is still a "Master" he just has a patient who has a hard time going through the healing process.
Five months out
Dr. Bednar is just incredible! That’s really about all I can say. I hope you will click on my name as it will take you to a rather long, detailed review of my entire experience with Dr. Bednar and his staff. I can’t recommend him highly enough. To begin with, I had a very difficult case. I had had breast implants twice, first silicone and then saline, and I had gotten severe joint pain both times. Although the medical research and even Dr. Bednar does not believe implants cause these types of problems, after I had my silicone implants taken out my joint pain had gone away and then after I had them replaced with saline implants my joint pain returned. That’s why I wanted them removed a second time. When I heard you could remove implants and replace them with your own fat I knew that was what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, however, there are very few doctors in this country who will do this, although apparently breast fat transplants have been done in Europe for about 20 years. I did MUCH research on this site and online in general about doctors who do breast fat transfer and the best results, and the most positive reviews, were for Dr. Bednar in Charlotte, NC. His patients just raved about his work and his before and after photos were lovely. The one review which MOST impressed me about him was a local TV personality in Charlotte who said he had been “keeping her face young for ten years” and that on several occasions she had gone to him requesting certain procedures but that he had refused since he didn’t think the procedures were right for her. She also said his work was so natural NO ONE knew she had had anything done and that he believes that if plastic surgery doesn’t look natural, it's wrong. She said his goal was to make each person look like a younger, more attractive of him or herself. That was exactly what I wanted as I am really afraid of that fake look some people get. I first emailed Dr. Bednar over a weekend thinking perhaps he would get back with me on Monday. Imagine my surprise when within an hour I got a call from Sylvia, his office manager. She was very kind and said she would have Dr. Bednar call me later that day. She also suggested that I send him some photos of my breasts and body. I had my husband take some cell phone pics of me with my current breast implants and I emailed them to Sylvia, along with a HORRIBLE looking photo of what my REAL breasts had looked like after the first silicone implants had been explanted. My REAL breasts looked like small, shriveled hanging bags. One was almost totally flat and the other was a AA. Within the hour Dr. Bednar called and he talked with me in-depth about the procedure for about 20 minutes. He said my case was “difficult” first, because I had almost no real breast tissue, second, because I had already had two liposuctions previously and, third, because I was fairly slender without much extra body fat which would be needed to construct my new breasts. He said the previous liposuctions would also have caused scarring which would make it harder to "harvest" the fat which was needed to rebuild the breasts. Well, after talking with him and reading so many reviews, I knew Dr. Bednar was the surgeon for me. I then booked flights for my husband and me to Charlotte. The tickets from Kansas were only about $325 round trip which wasn’t bad. My surgery was scheduled a month out on Tuesday. We were to fly out Monday, February 24 and fly home that Saturday, March 1. It was an anxious month for me waiting for the surgery and I have to admit that it seemed like about every weekend I ended up texting Sylvia and/or Dr. Bednar to ask more questions...they were very patient with me as I am not the easiest patient! Well, the day finally came and my husband and I flew into Charlotte and went to my pre op appointment that afternoon. When I got to the office I met Sylvia and some of the other staff members. I was very impressed with them and also the many lovely paintings Dr. Bednar had painted which were all over the office. They were truly quality works of art. My dad actually owns an art gallery and so I have seen many fine works of art and Dr. Bednar is a GREAT artist! In fact, his work reminds me of Birger Sandzén, one of my favorite artists, but that is another story. Dr. Bednar uses this skill as an artist when he “sculpts” his patients’ faces and bodies. When you think about it, being an artist is probably one of the reasons Dr. Bednar is such a great surgeon. Upon arriving at the office I was taken back to meet Dr. Bednar. We had a great appointment and he answered all the questions I had. The next morning at 7AM I arrived for the surgery, and I was pleased to see about six or seven cars parked outside his office as they were all there early getting ready for MY surgery! To read a detailed account of my surgery, please click on my name, as I give you a VERY detailed account. Suffice it to say that Dr. Bednar and his staff were wonderful! Sandy, his anesthesia nurse who has been with him for 30 years was especially great. She couldn’t say enough positive things about Dr. Bednar and she explained exactly what would happen to me in surgery. Well, to make a VERY long story short, I went into surgery at 8AM and woke up in recovery at about 2:00PM. I really didn’t have much, if any pain, just some soreness in the lipo areas. I also had Dr. Bednar inject some fat in my nasal folds and under my eyes. Dr. Bednar had asked that I bring along a picture of myself in my early twenties and in recovery Sandy told me that he had really used that picture during surgery. Apparently he used my younger photo to construct the more youthful facial contours I used to have. I am DELIGHTED with how great I now look. Well, I have been VERY long winded here. Suffice it to say that DR. BEDNAR is a MASTER!!! He took my deformed tiny mismatched breasts and made them GLORIOUS! They are full and wonderful and really even better looking than they were with the implants! My husband and I are both thrilled. My body also now looks better -- much more slender and lean. My new face was kind of the icing on the cake. Although I hoped for just more filled in nasal folds, I truly got a more beautiful face. Although I am only about a week out and still have a bit of swelling on my face, he injected some fat in my cheekbones and I really do look MUCH younger, but very natural. Although I am 56, I now think I could pass for 45, AND a better looking 45 than I actually WAS! In fact, I look so good that when my mom saw me she said she thought maybe SHE should go visit Dr. Bednar. I truly think that having the facial fat injections will allow me to put off a face lift for another five years. If you are considering using Dr. Bednar and can afford to travel, I highly recommend you do it. Not only is he a great surgeon, I LOVED the whole experience. Even staying in the hotel for the five days was great. It gave me lots of time to rest and watch TV and to recover without feeling I had to get up and do things like I would if I were home or to see people if they dropped by. Traveling to Charlotte for the surgery with Dr. Bednar was a great experience. I can’t recommend him highly enough. Also, Sylvia, Sandy, Ashley and the other staff members were lovely...truly kind, caring people supporting Dr. Bednar - a very gifted surgeon.