Implant Removal - Fat Transfer to Breast - AMAZING! - Charlotte, NC

First, I want to thank the other women on this...

First, I want to thank the other women on this site who helped me gather the courage to go through with this procedure. In particular, Colleen3000, Green55, Brigit, Saturn, and JGRealSelfer were all wonderful in answering the many many questions I had.

I had a tuberous breast and when I was 18, I got saline implants. Unfortunately, I ended up having capsular contracture on my left breast pretty badly. About five years ago, I had my saline implants replaced with silicone. I was much happier with the silicone because they felt more natural but I still worried about health risks. I worried about ruptures or leaks and I didn't want to have to think about having them re-done every ten years or so. Also, I just didn't like the idea of having implants in general. I never would have gotten them if I didn't have a tuberous breast and I never felt like they fit my personality. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I dreaded ever having to explain to someone I chose to be intimate with that I had implants.

When I first heard about fat transfer, I literally cried. I couldn't believe that I could actually have a normal looking breast that was MINE...I began looking around at different doctors, different women's stories (many of them here - thank you!:), and trying to figure out how I could afford to do this. I was also SUPER worried about the liposuction. I didn't want lipo at all and I was terrified that it would leave my body looking lumpy or weird or misshapen.

After researching MANY doctors, consulting with a few, and talking with a number of women here on realself, I decided to go with Dr. Bednar in Charlotte, NC. I live in California so this was definitely a trek but I had a feeling it would be worth it and I couldn't have been more right!

I will post a review of Dr. Bednar and his staff below but let me just say here that their whole team is AMAZING!!! From the very first time I contacted the office, through my surgery and recovery, they have exceeded my expectations at every turn. I promise to post before and after pics in the next few days but I want to say that I am SOOOOOO happy that I had this procedure done. I'm happy with my breasts ,with the lipo, with my healing - everything! It has only been a few days since I had my surgery and I can honestly say that it is worth every penny! I went into debt to have this procedure done and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Again, I promise to post pics soon! Thank you again to all of the women on this site who were brave enough to share their story and open enough to help me make one of the best decisions of my life!!! Thank you!!! I only hope I can return the favor for other women out there!

Photos!!!

hey everyone,

here are some initial photos. I'm only six days out and I had implants removed as a part of my surgery so i still have some bruising but you can get a sense of what things look like. You can see in my before photo that I had some asymmetry already (my right breast was much saggier and had a different shape). I also had some areola tattooing on my left breast to try and compensate for the asymmetry...all that to say, there was a lot going on beforehand:-D (it was a mess!)...

in the after photos, you can see that Dr. Bednar was able to get a similar volume to what I had before (which was great because no one even knows i had surgery - i don't have to explain why all of a sudden my breasts are gone:-D). They are still healing, but already, they are soooo much softer and I can tell I'll be able to have cleavage (which I never had before). I'm so happy - if you've ever had implants and had them out or wanted them out, you know what i mean - it's so amazing to realize that these are my own breasts! And given that I had a smaller than an "A" tuberous breast initially (before imlants), I'm so happy with what he was able to do with the shape. I basically had NO breast tissue and now i have soft boobies! hahaha

I'll post more photos as things heal. i'll also post before an after of my lipo sites once the bruising and swelling are gone:)

Two Weeks Post-Op and new Pics:)

It's been two weeks since my surgery and I think things are looking good! My bruising and swelling has gone down significantly and I like the way my lipo areas are looking already! There is definitely still a lot of soreness in the lipo areas - especially when i first wake up, it takes me a minute to really get up and get going. The only thing I could really compare it to at this point is like the morning after a really really tough workout - where you've worked all those muscles you didn't know you had? Kind of like that:)

In terms of my breasts, there's no soreness but i just worry about them:-D - I feel very protective of them like i'm trying to protect the fat that's there and make sure it settles in smoothly:-D - that said, i always have on a sports bra or a no-wire bra that feels very supportive and sometimes I still wear my wrap just for extra support. I don't really want them to move around too much. I'm not sure if this is smart or silly but either way, it makes me feel better:)

I'll post some lipo pics when my bruising is gone completely as I know that's a concern for a lot of women as well. I can honestly say that although I know you can't really tell how things will look at two weeks, if I had to judge now, I'd say my shape is better than it was when I went in. I really didn't want lipo - it was just something I had to do for the fat transfer and I was worried that I would lose all my curves. But that's not the case. I feel like the doc took just enough and took it from just the right places so that I actually end up looking more shapely:) - hopefully things stay this way! I'll update again in a couple weeks when I'll be at the one month mark!

Thank you again for all the support I've received here - and also a big thank you to Dr. Bednar's office for continuing to call/email and check up on me - they remain great as well:)

Three Months Out!

I should have updated this more frequently but life happens:). A few people wrote to me with questions recently and that reminded me how I scoured this site for information before my surgery and how important it is to share our experiences!

Three months out, I'm feeling almost 100% back to normal. A few things that linger that remind me that I had surgery are 1. I still have some numbness in my hips and the backs of my thighs. This is a little weird because when you run your hands over these parts, you can't really "feel" them:-D - I know this is normal but it still feels weird. 2. I still have some pain in my hips sometimes - not often, but it occurs enough to remind me that it's there. It doesn't persist and it's not bad but again, it's a reminder. 3. I still can't comfortably sleep on my stomach. This may partially be psychological but it's there nonetheless.

In terms of my breasts, they've gone down since I last updated but not significantly. I think what I lost was most likely swelling (my last pics are from two weeks). I had some asymmetry before the surgery and I can still see some of that but I don't think it's worse. I also had one areola larger than the other and that persists as well - I'm looking toward an areola reduction/possible lift when i can afford it! :-D. The major issue I've had is some hardening - particularly in my left breast (right breast from your view). I also have a pretty sizeable lump in my right breast (left breast from your view), but it's continued to go down over time. I've spoken to Dr. Bednar about this and he says that this is normal for some patients and will correct itself over time.

Overall, I'm really happy to have the implants out and that my size is pretty comparable to what it was before. The picture I posted in the bra is to show that I'm still wearing the same size I did before surgery (34C). Considering I had basically no breasts before implants, I think this is pretty amazing. I'm hoping to retain what I have now and I'm feeling better about it since I've reached the 3 month mark!

For those of your concerned about lipo, my lipo areas look great! I will post some pics after I shake these holiday extra pounds:-D. The only thing I don't like about the lipo is the scars. This is something to consider when you have the surgery - make sure you talk to your doctor about where your scars will be and that you're okay with that. Of course, they'll fade with time (mine are fading), but it makes it pretty obvious that you've had surgery if you need to wear a bathing suit or are dating someone new etc. I did try dermablend (body makeup) to cover them and it worked to some extent but they were still visible (but again, i'm only 3 months out). Ironically, the scars on my breasts (from the insertion) are almost non-existent. I say ironically because you can't see those anyway! Alas, patience is a virtue:)
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

A-MA-ZING!!! Dr. Bednar is an excellent surgeon! I live in California and we did our consultation via skype. I knew as soon as our conversation ended that I was going to have this procedure done and that I was willing to travel across the country to ensure Dr. Bednar was my surgeon. He was so personable, calm, patient, knowledgeable and willing to answer all of my questions. From our very first conversation, he took his time. I never felt rushed and he treated each of my questions like they were important and significant. To back up a little bit, I have to say that the office manager, Sylvia, is a gem. Not only did she always respond to my emails/questions immediately, but she made me feel completely taken care of even before I decided to have the procedure with Dr. Bednar. She was open and honest about what I should expect and once I decided on Dr. Bednar, she essentially handled everything. She literally made me feel like a queen. Not only did she arrange for my accommodations, she picked me up from the airport, and she took me grocery shopping when I arrived so I'd have everything I needed for my stay. She personally drove me to the office for my pre-op (where lunch was waiting for me) and then drove me to my hotel and made sure I had everything I needed for the night. She even came back later in the evening and brought me pizza (my last meal before surgery:) Sylvia picked me up the next morning for my surgery and everyone in the office stayed late the day of my surgery so that I could sleep longer and get as much rest as I needed. Although I was in and out, someone was always there, checking on me, bringing me water, snacks etc. Sylvia arranged for my nurse, Amy, to stay with me for the evening since I was traveling alone. Amy is an ABSOLUTE SWEETHEART! She made sure I had all my meds, made me dinner and made sure I was in as little pain as possible. Anything I needed, she was right there. It was sooo nice having her there the first night! Plus she's super down to earth and personable. Feeling comfortable is really important after surgery and Amy is the person you want around you during such a tumultuous time! The next day, Sylvia and Amy took me back to their office for a facial!!! After the flight and surgery, my skin looked a mess! It was really nice and relaxing to be able to lay back and have Darlene (another one of their wonderful staff members) make my face beautiful again! Everyone kept commenting how good my skin looked afterward - even I was taken aback when I saw myself in the mirror afterward - I was glowing:) I'm not gonna lie - the pain was no joke! Especially from the lipo. But the meds really really helped and by the fourth day (today), I was walking around the mall like normal. By the way, I was walking around the mall because Amy and another staff member, Shirley (also absolutely fabulous:), took me out to lunch and to go and shop for makeup *smile...it was really fun to get out and get a play makeover after going through surgery! And get this - you thought the days of house calls were over? Well, Dr. Bednar and Sylvia just stopped by my hotel to check on my progress. I'm leaving town tomorrow morning and they wanted to make sure everything was okay before I left. They are really just great people. I'm sure I missed something but I'll come back and add it when I remember. These folks really deserve an award for the kind of treatment I received. I mean it was way beyond 5 star! Having surgery is such a big deal and traveling to a completely different part of the country to have surgery is extremely difficult. Dr. Bednar and his staff made it simple. They made it fun. They made it easy:)...I live in California where there's a plastic surgeon on every corner. Still, I'd fly back to Charlotte in a heartbeat if I ever need or want anything else done:). I really can't thank their office enough! Dr. Bednar, Sylvia, Amy, Shirley, both Sandys:), Darlene, Beverly - thank you! If I missed anyone, blame it on the meds *smile...you all are wonderful. Thank you!

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (42)

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Have done a great deal of surfing since Oct 2013, thanks for your help though wery kind of you.
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Nina789, I must say, you look so beautiful. congratulations on being implant free. Your results are absolutely lovely. and I wouldn't worry about any assymetry or nipple size difference.... it really makes for a natural appearance. real human breasts are not bilaterally identical, so I think it only adds to the very natural look you have achieved. plus, a breast lift will leave a scar, and you look so perfect that it's not worth a scar, in my opinion. regardless, whatever you choose to do later, i support you. thanks for sharing your story and your amazing pictures.
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You're too kind - thank you! Very sweet of you to say. At this point, I'm not even thinking about doing anything else - I'm just enjoying not having implants! I may reevaluate at a later date but right now I've just decided to let things continue to settle. Really appreciate your positive reinforcement though. We all need it sometimes!:) Thank you so much!
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your welcome :)
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My apologies for taking so long to get back to you all...I'm definitely still very happy with the size - especially because my breasts were essentially non-existent before implants - i'm still wearing a 34C which i think is impressive! As for the lumps, I have a few tiny (pea size) lumps and two pretty significant lumps (one in each breast) that may have to be removed at some point if they don't release on their own. Dr. Bednar said that they can take up to 18 months to resolve (I'm at about 9 months) but I'm not sure they'll resolve on their own. We'll see. As for the lipo sites, the scarring has gone down significantly but is still visible. Since my scars are in very visible areas (front of thighs), they are hard to camouflage and definitely cause me some anxiety around trying to wear a bathing suit etc. I have found that body makeup doesn't cover well enough at all. I've said this before but I would be very clear with your doctor about where your scars are going to be and try to advocate for somewhere easier to camouflage! As for the numbness, it is completely gone. I don't have any numbness anywhere. I can't remember exactly when this happened but at some point it did:) Overall, I'm still EXTREMELY happy that I did this. I really can't explain how wonderful it is to be implant free and still have breasts!:)
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Hi there. Thank you so much for your story. Could you please update on the numb areas and if feeling returns please!!!!???
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hi!! Could you please update me on the scaring? I am going to have consultation with dr. bednar soon.
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Hi Nina, I just finished reading all your posts :) Thanks for the detailed description. Are you still happy with your breast size? Any changes in the lump size? Also, I'm curious to know about the lipo sites... Are they still numb?
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Hi, I live in the UK and have not heard of this before. I have just read another review where domes were put on the breasts, I think it is the bravo procedure. Can you explain what you had done. Am I understanding right that you had implants removed and then fat from other areas of your body put into your breast pockets. Was this done immediately your implants were removed. If this is so, I am amazed at your your results. I just can't believe this is possible. You look amazing. I am going round in circles. I have cc but never told anyone about my implants so remain frightened of taking them out and the teasing I will get if anyone finds out. I want to retain breasts but don't really want implants. I feel I am trying to push a square peg into a round hole....but maybe this procedure would work for me. Do you have a rough idea of the cost in £'s. Wow!! speechless. you look amazing. ps ...is there any lumpiness from where fat is removed assuming I have understood this procedure correctly. xxxxx
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Hi Msprincess, Thank you for your kind words...I appreciate it! I'm still in disbelief myself sometimes:). But I completely understand where you're coming from. My main desire was to have my implants out! Still, I wasn't ready to live with my breasts as they used to be (I was smaller than an A cup and I had a tuberous breast pre-implants). You are correct in your understanding of what I had done. I didn't believe it was possible either and when I first found out it was, I literally cried. Just the thought that I could have a pretty normal looking breast without the implants was amazing to me! The procedure is essentially this: you have lipo done in various areas of your body. For me, I had lipo in the thighs and hip area. The doctor then harvests that fat and transfers it to your breasts. I had the implants removed and the fat transfer done at the same time. So basically, I went to sleep with implants and woke up with fat:). As for cost, I did a quick calculation and it looks like it would be about 7300 in euros. In terms of lumpiness, I don't have any lumpiness in my lipo areas. I was really concerned about that as well but so far, everything looks good! I do have some lumpiness in my breasts, but this is common and will subside with time. I'm happy to answer any other questions you have. You can also message me if you have more sensitive questions:)
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Have you used Mederma on your scars?
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Hi - I've still been using the "scar fade" they give you after surgery.
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Thanks for your update. I hope your lipo continues to look great. At 3 mths out, I was very pleased with mine and could not see areas where my skin was sinking in a bit from the fat being removed. Although overall, I am still happy. Good point about the scars. I am actually very happy with the scar situation because 1 only have 1 tiny scar on each side and they are in the bathing suit line so no one would ever see them. I have seen many women write on here that their scars are not well placed and are larger. Mine were always tiny. Definitely something women need to discuss with their doctors. Overall, it does seem that all plastic surgery procedures need to be viewed from an improvement standpoint not a perfection standpoint for satisfaction. This needs to be kept in mind. I know I also spoke to Colleen3000 who also expressed to me that her lipo w/Dr. Bednar was not perfect either. At this point, I have not found 1 person after pm'ing that is around 1 year post op and says their lipo is perfect. Your breasts look nice. Congrats!
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Thanks! Me too! You're lucky about the scars! I have two on each side in the front of my thighs. One is just outside the bikini line (so still visible in a bathing suit) and the other is mid-thigh (so very visible in a bathing suit:-D). I also have two in the back (just under my butt) and two on the hips. I'm hoping that perhaps it's a trade off. I didn't really want lipo so I had just a little taken from different parts of my body so that it didn't change the overall shape of my body. I'm hoping the scars will fade completely (or nearly so) with time because everything else looks really good:)...fingers crossed!
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Thanks for sharing!! How long did you have to stay in NC after the surgery?
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Definitely! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you - I stayed in NC about 5 days post surgery. I was fine to travel at that point. You're still sore and uncomfortable but the pain medicine helps and it was enough for me to fly comfortably...that said, I also had enough frequent flyer miles to treat myself to a first class ticket on the way home - I'm certain that added to my comfort as well. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but if it is, I highly recommend it!
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Thank you for responding. I've been looking into fat transfers for the past year. You and Colleen3000 have the best results I've ever seen! I'm still a little nervous but I'm giving Dr. Bednar a call.
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You look amazing! What fantastic results so far. Sending high retention wishes your way. Take it easy as much as possible so your body can heal and the new blood supply can be established to the new fat tissue. Also eat a healthy, iron rich diet. I'm so happy for you! :)
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Thank you for the kind words Colleen - And for all of your help! Means a lot coming from the fat transfer idol :-D...I'm trying to do that the best I can. I'm really eager to get back into exercising but I know I should wait so i'm being patient and just doing light things (walking etc.). Did you start sleeping laying flat pretty soon after or did you continue to sleep elevated for a while? I'm worried about the fat moving around too much if I'm laying flat :-D - funny all of the things you think of right? Thanks again! Any other retention advice welcomed:)
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I slept elevated for probably 3 weeks or so because it was more comfortable than laying flat. Having the girls moving around too much was a concern of mine too so I actually slept in a bralette like the cheap ones at Walmart for $5. I kept that up for 3 months. When you are ready to work out you may find wearing a couple of sports bras a necessity unless you have a heavy duty brand, lol. After transfer the breasts felt heavier than normal for about three months. As far as retention goes I took an iron supplement, drank lots of water and avoided coffee and alcohol as much as realistically possible for the first 3 months. I also rubbed cocoa butter mixed with lotion on my breasts daily to gently stimulate blood flow and reduce likelihood of stretch marks...that might not be an issue for you though since your new size is close to implant size.
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yes! i definitely sleep with a bralette. in fact, the ONLY time i let them out of a bra is when i'm in the shower:-D - thanks for the info! I've been trying to keep up with my vitamin supplement and i haven't had a drink or any caffeine since the surgery (we'll see how long that lasts:)...I've been wanting to do some light massage but i feel afraid i'll move things around too much. i do lotion them like i would the rest of my body but haven't been doing anything special. did you continue to lose volume after the one month mark or was that when they pretty much were what they were? i know they'll change in other ways after that but i mean in terms of the volume. Thanks!
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Thank you so much for your speedy and informative reply. If I ever am able to save enough for the surgery and flights and accommodation, then Dr Bednar would be my first choice. Did you have a general anesthetic (implant removal). How long did you need to stay in Charlotte for?
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No problem! Yes - I had general anesthesia for the implant removal because everything was done at the same time. So essentially, I went under anesthesia, the implants were removed and the fat transferred in. So I woke up happy - woozy and nauseous, but happy:)
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That sounds great! :) was lipo donr under GA too? Sorry for all the questions x
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yes - lipo, the implant removal and the fat transfer were all done under general anesthesia. thankfully! :-D
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