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