I've wanted a BA since age 18 when I realized my...
I did lots of research and found that BA in Miami is thousands cheaper than in Raleigh NC which is where I live now. Checked reviews on this site and researched the most popular centers in Miami, narrowing it down to Strax Cosmetics and Coral Gables Cosmetic Surgery Center (CG). Emailed photos to both last week and promptly received quotes for a breast augmentation (BA) with a breast lift (BL). Strax quote was $4999 for saline or $5500 for silicone. CG quoted me $4000 for saline or $5000 for silicone. The Strax quote did not have a doctor listed but CG quote did. They listed Dr. Jacob Freiman on my quote. I received a follow up call from Blanca at CG and she was nice and friendly, explaining the deposit necessary to book a date and answering my questions about how things would work since I'm out of state. I took some time to research the doc and find photos of his work.
This morning I called them and scheduled my surgery which required a $1000 deposit. I will be flying in on Monday 9/8 and getting surgery on Tuesday 9/9. That's 15 days from now! I am a deflated 34 B and I want to be a full C cup. I am much more concerned with perkiness than size though. Don't know what to choose as far as silicone/saline/how many cc's, etc so I am hoping for a very thorough consultation to help me decide. I have thin/no breast tissue so probably have to do silicone.
I'm extremely excited and I can't wait to get this show on the road! I will update with photos every step of the way in hopes of helping someone else the same way the great reviews on this site helped me . Wish me luck!
Blood Tests and Supplies!
I also bought from Wal Mart two cotton sports bras that hook in the front $7.94 each, Palmers Cocoa butter massage cream with vitamin E $5.97, Palmer's Cocoa butter formula (thicker and more oily kind) $4.97, a pack of baby wipes for freshening up before I'm allowed to shower $1.88, and 4 bottles of alcohol to make moldable ice packs with 88 cents each. Total for supplies so far is approximately $33.
I have natural laxatives already and the doc will prescribe pain meds once I get there so I think I'm prepared. Am I though?!? I'm getting a little anxious now. Ok, a LOT anxious!
I'm still looking at lots of BA photos to find one that I love so I can show Dr. Freiman exactly what I want. I know a lot of people who go small regret not going bigger but I'm really leaning towards a full C cup, maximum. I'm 5'6" tall, 135 lbs, an athlete and super active so I don't want big boobies bouncing in my face and slowing me down. I'm currently training for my first half marathon and I can't imagine adjusting to running with D's! LOL
I still need to book a flight but I think fares will drop soon so I'm taking a chance and waiting. To be continued....
LESS THAN ONE WEEK LEFT
POST OP APPOINTMENT TOMORROW!
I am incredibly excited now because tomorrow I will find out the exact process of my surgery and decide on a size along with my doctor. Here goes......
AT MY PREOP APPT RIGHT NOW!
Checked in at 1:20pm. Front desk staff was not rude at all but not super friendly. Lobby is small and there were plenty of people in it which I take as a good sign.
They called me back to the lab around 2:00pm. Signed all of my medical release forms, took photos, then met my patient coordinator Blanca. She is extremely nice and so sweet and genuine. Actually all of the nurses in the back are nice. They made me feel comfortable and welcome. Very happy people with great attitudes. Finished my paperwork in about 30 minutes then directed to a waiting area and instructed to take off my top and put on a blue paper robe around 2:35pm. I was told that doctor is in surgery and will be out soon.
I'm in the exam room now waiting for the doctor and it's about 3:30. I hear the doc in the next room now so it should be soon. Yay! :-) I understand that he's busy and I'm not complaining. I am willing to wait as long as I have to because based on the reviews I read, I was prepared to wait much longer than this! LOL
I took a look and feel at the sample implants and I've attached photos and a video of me feeling them. I'm leaning towards the 325cc ultra high profile. I'll update after doc comes in!
My surgery is tomorrow. All I know is that I'm getting a lollipop lift and a silicone implant. That's it. I was so floored in the appointment that I completely forgot to ask any of the questions on my list. I'm nervous and seriously reconsidering the whole thing. I feel completely in the dark and that's NOT how I'm supposed to feel after talking to the doctor :-(
It's 4:01pm and I'm waiting in the main lobby again. I'm scared and tired and hungry and I feel like crying but I won't because I'm in public :-( I know it seems as if I'm acting like a baby but this is a big surgery and I really felt like I should be more informed. I felt like a child while in with the doctor. I really wish that had gone differently so I would feel more confident tomorrow :-(
A LITTLE BETTER......
Anyway, Blanca was wonderful. She reviewed his notes and told me what he wrote down. Moderate profile, mentor Silicone, under the muscle, 330cc's. She talked to me about exactly what I am looking for and what final results I can expect. I feel much better.
Unfortunately, I asked the nurses for the earliest surgery time possible as soon as I went to the back then I found out that I have to be here at 4pm tomorrow which means surgery will probably start around 5:00 and I can't eat or drink after midnight. Can't even swallow water from tooth brushing :-/ That sucks.
The experience with the doc has me all shaken up. He seemed really agitated as soon as I started to tell him what he wanted but I wasn't demanding or offensive. On the contrary, I was nervous and scared so I was very soft spoken with him. I really hope the results are worth going through this experience.......
Originally called the taxi company at 4:23 pm in preparation to leave the surgery center. At that time, they said 20 minutes. I called back again at 5:03 pm. They said someone is on the way. Driver finally called me at 5:20pm to say he is a block away. We are in the taxi now. Starving from being at CG for 4 hours. Kinda bummed but trying to remain positive about every thing.
Btw, taxi phone number is (305) 444-4444. Good luck with them if you choose to use them.
I just read my patient info packet in it's entirety and it says my surgery time is 1:30pm although the clinic person told me 4:00. I'll call in the morning to confirm. I was given 4 prescriptions and I need to fill them in the morning because I have to bring them with me to surgery. It says on Preop instructions that I will be instructed to take the anti nausea meds just before the surgery.
The medications are
1. Zofran ODT, 8mg, 3 pills, anti nausea
2. Flexeril, 10mg, 12 pills, muscle relaxant
3. Omnicef, 300mg, 10 pills, antibiotics
4. Percocet, 325mg, 30 pills, pain medication
I'm not sure if I mentioned previously but I was going to stay in a cheap hotel (super cheap like $55/night) but my boyfriend surprised me with a reservation at the Hilton Miami airport instead. Staying here has completely changed the experience already. I would definitely recommend the place to out of towners because it is literally right across the street from Miami airport. I'm in a one bedroom king suite with balcony. It's huge and comfortable. The desk overlooks the water and the airport. You can also see the skyline. The lobby is nice and the place has all the typical accoutrements you would expect at a hilton. Free shuttle from the airport, business center in the lobby, friendly staff. I had no problem checking in early.
The hotel cafe is expensive, of course. Turkey burger and fries this afternoon-$17 plus tax and tip. I only ordered it because I was starving when I arrived. There is a shopping center about a mile away with a Publix supermarket, Starbucks, Burlington, Burger King, Chinese food, etc. I actually walked there this afternoon to buy crackers, a sandwich, and juice.
I also bought 2 insulated plastic cups with straws from Burlington for $3 each. One for juice, one for water. I'm going to shower and sleep now. When I wake it will be surgery day!
2 DAYS POST OP
After the markings, the anesthesiologist came in. He said to be very honest with him then asked about drug use, smoking, and any medications. (no, no, and no!) Then in a conversational tone he asked me "so, what did you have for lunch?" I told him I didn't eat. Then he asked the same about breakfast and snacks. I think the conversational tone was meant to make me comfortable so if I had eaten something I would just spill the beans. It was a smart tactic but I wouldn't dare eat when they told me not to!
On a side note, I later found out from the nurse that the earlier cancellation was due to a patient eating before surgery. She told the anesthesiologist and he called off the surgery immediately. Nurse said many patients do that. They don't realize that the food in your stomach can be aspirated in the breathing tube which can cause choking death. It blows my mind that someone would spend thousands of dollars and not follow directions to successfully complete the procedure!
After the questions, anesthesiologist led me across the hall to the OR. Dr. Freiman was there waiting and he introduced me to his team. He was very comforting and nice. He gave me a warm blanket and told me everything would be fine. I was strapped down, covered up, and IV went in. Doc told me there may be a stinging feeling when med goes into my IV. I looked up and saw him putting something in the IV and the next thing I remembered was the nurse helping me get dressed after the surgery. I don't know how long the actual surgery took but I was headed back to the hotel at 6:30 I think.
Once I got back to the hotel I was in excruciating pain and I felt very sick. I was crying (I know, I'm such a baby! LOL) but I took Percocet and it started working quickly. Ever since then the pain has been manageable. I take Perocet every 4 hours on the dot. The one exception was yesterday when I went to my post op appointment. I waited 5 hours and 20 minutes to take pain meds and that was a HUGE mistake!
At my post op appointment yesterday I saw Dr. Ortega since Dr. Freiman wasn't there. He took off the bandages and examined my breasts. I told him about the nausea and he said it's a side effect of the Flexeril and Percocet. He said I can take Tylenol instead of Percocet and just take the Flexiril as needed but for now I'm sticking to the original meds and just sleeping after I take it so I will not feel the nausea. He also gave me instructions on massage which should be started one week post op. He told me its important to stretch my arms above my head to avoid stiffness and to sit up straight to avoid lower back pain. Dr. Ortega said they like to see patients for follow up at 7-10 days, then one month, two months, and three months but I will probably come back in six weeks then again at the three month mark, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
After the appointment I cam back to the hotel and went back to bed where I've been ever since. I haven't had much of an appetite. I've mostly been eating bananas and saltine crackers. I'm flying back to Raleigh tomorrow morning but I wish I could stay here for another week. The hotel is so peaceful and quiet. I am in no hurry to get back to the "real world".
My breasts are puffy like balloons but softer than they were yesterday. When I sit up I can feel the blood rushing into them and it tingles but it doesn't hurt. My right nipple still has sensation but my left is somewhat numb. I think I'm lucky not to have any bruising but there are drops of blood in my bra from my nipple area on each side. I'll post more pics soon!
FIVE DAYS POST OP
Instead of my nonstop 2 hour flight, I had to wait an hour then change planes after an hour layover in charlotte. Originally scheduled to arrive home at 11:49am. Attendant gave me a flight arriving at 5:45pm instead but BF found a flight arriving at 3:21pm! He also recommended that I request a wheelchair and that was the best advice ever! You're probably thinking "OMG really, a wheelchair?!?" but it saved me from walking a ridiculous distance between my flights and afterward. I completely underestimated the amount of energy it takes to maneuver through a huge airport. It would have taken me at least 30 minutes to get from an A gate to gate D-18 in charlotte airport without assistance! I definitly would have missed my connecting flight!
Anyway, I made it home and I've been in bed ever since. My breasts feel like heavy rocks on my chest and it's driving me nuts to sleep on my back. There's some blood dried under my tape and they are itchy now which hopefully means they are healing well. I still need help to shower so BF bought a loofah brush with a long handle and something to help with applying lotion as well. I can't see a huge difference from day one and today but breasts feel softer and right one is dropping a little. Any questions feel free to ask!
THIRTEEN DAYS POST OP
BF removed the tape and stitches for me at day 10. Blanca said I could do it myself but there was no way I could have done that. BF is an MD and it hurt like crazy even though he did it very slowly. There was dried blood and dried yellow discharge (gross, I know!) on the tape which made it stick even more. It had to be peeled off slowly, one tiny strip at a time and removing it from over the incision line was excruciating.
Removing the stitches her as well because they have to be pulled and snipped as close to the skin as possible. BF disinfected his hands and the area very well and used suture scissors. It stung :-/
Upon removing all of the tape, I found out that I have a big patch of skin missing from my right nipple! BF checked the tape to see if maybe the skin had come off with the tape, but it didn't. It turns out, that was the white area I was seeing underneath the tape. There had been no skin there for days!
I took photos of everything and emailed them to Blanca to forward to Dr. Freiman. Then I called her to find out what I should do. Blanca opened the email while I was on the phone and reacted with shock and awe at my photos which scared me. As she looked at them, she exclaimed "ooooh!, woooow!, oh no!" then said the doctor is in surgery but that she will grab him as soon as she sees him walk down the hall so she can show him my pictures and get back to me.
She called me back and told me that the doctor said to put a butterfly bandage on the wound so the two edges meet. I let her know that the skin had already healed so there was no way to make the two-edges meet unless I fold my entire breast and half because it had already started healing with the gap. Even though the tissue looked pink and yellow, I could actually touch it because it was partially healed and the place on my nipple where the nipple skin had slid over was already partially healed too so there was no loose skin anywhere.
She asked me to just try with the butterfly bandage, but there was absolutely no way to do this. I took more pictures and sent them over, then called her back to let her know the butterfly bandage idea was an impossibility. She didn't understand why not so I put BF on the phone.
He explained to her that the wound had dehisced and the exposed tissue had already started forming a granulation bed (doctor talk) and then she put him on hold and we were disconnected. Called back and she said phone was having problems and that she would leave a message for doctor.
I didn't hear anything back so I sent an email last night explaining the situation again and asked her to forward it to the doctor. She returned my phone call today and gave me three options. She said I can either try the butterfly bandage again, go to a local plastic surgeon and ask them to put in one or two stitches to make the two ends of the wound meet, or wait three months and come down to get a revision surgery.
At this point I feel like she still does not fully grasp the problem and apparently the doctor cannot get an accurate idea of the problem based on my photos. I've asked via email and telephone to have the doctor call me so I can explain it to him but no luck with that. I'm a bit frustrated because I really want to talk to the doctor but since I can't, I am going to have BF write a detailed email from an MD's perspective and take new photos. Hopefully this will be forwarded to Dr. Freiman and I will get some better advice.
In a mean time, I am trying to keep the area very clean and covered with sterile pads to prevent any possible infection.
If anyone has had a similar situation, please feel free to message me and let me know how you resolved it. Tomorrow I am going to make a consultation appointment with a local plastic surgeon to see what they say about it. Wish me luck!
Aside from the nipple problem, overall I am pleased with how my incisions looked when I took off the tape. They seem a little tight like they are pulling at the seams underneath my breasts and they are sore so I have been icing them but the pain is not intense. I'll update with pics in a few days and hopefully I will have a resolution to share!
21 DAYS POST OP
I've contacted my doctors office in Miami a few times about the wound on my nipple. Usually I follow up my emails with a phone call and Blanca is always helpful and really sweet and attentive to me. She has a very comforting way about her which I love. My problem now though, is that I have been trying to get through to Dr. Freiman and it seems that he doesn't have time to speak to me. Like EVER. I sent an email to him last week (through Blanca) and I sent another one last night but he will not call. I'm always told that he is in surgery. Maybe it is in his policy that he doesn't speak to out of state postop patients or something because I've asked to speak to him by phone and email more than once over the past couple of weeks and it is just not happening. I guess that's one of the really huge drawbacks of going to a different city/state to get surgery. (I live in NC and went to Miami for surgery).
The main issues I wanted to talk to my doc about are obviously the right nipple wound and also the symmetry of my breasts. The left one is much bigger than the right and my left nipple is about 3 inches up from the base of my breast (long straight incision) and my right is about 2 inches up (curved short incision). I know there is still swelling in the left one more than the right but even when it goes down, I don't think these things are going to even out. They're just lopsided :-/
The good news in all this is that I saw a plastic surgeon here in Raleigh this morning and he was fabulous! I went in with a list of questions and I was so nervous because I thought it would be the same rushed consultation as it was with the Miami doc but it was completely different. I didn't feel intimidated, I didn't feel rushed, and he was very friendly and patient. The office is called Raleigh plastic surgery and the doctor was Dr. Rhett High. He listened to me and asked me questions about my surgery and my concerns. He also examined me and assured me that the pain and the bumpiness in the bottom of my breasts is normal. He said the nipple problem can be fixed with a surgery under local anesthesia and said the bigger concern is probably the asymetry of the breast/nipples. But that can't be fully addressed until all the swelling is gone so i can get an accurate view of what im dealing with.
He said I can begin to ease back into exercise now and answered my questions about massage. He also said I can start silicone scar sheets so I bought them today. I posted a pic of them. There was also a nurse in the room. I think her name was Allison. She was nice too and overall it was a very comfortable experience.
Dr. High said if I have anymore questions I can contact his office or if I want to come in then I can schedule another appointment so I will keep him on speed dial just in case! LOL
I've been massaging 3 times a day even though it hurts and I have been wearing a sports bra day and night too because it's uncomfortable to sleep without it.
I went to Victoria's Secret yesterday and got fitted. That was exciting! I used to be a 34B, now I'm a 34C. Even though I was tired and my breasts were hurting, I still stayed a while to browse because it's really cool to see the things that I'll be able to wear now that I have new boobs! :-)
Does anyone else still have pain three weeks post op or is it just me? I'll post plenty of pics so everybody can see what I'm talking about. I'll keep you all posted on if my Miami doctor ever reaches out to me too.....
Best wishes and happy healing to everyone! By the way, please excuse any typos or grammatical errors in here because I did it using voice to text!!! :-)
22 DAYS POST OP-OUCH!
I put on my silicone scar strips last night. Of course I put them on the incisions but also on the areas around my nipple that look like they are not 100% healed yet. The instructions say I can wear them for days, even in the shower. They don't itch or burn and so far I forget they're even there. I've included pics too. I really hope they work!
I'm still tired today but I'm going to start working out again tomorrow. This will be my first workout in almost 5 weeks so I'll just take it slow and see how I feel. The last thing I want to do is cause more swelling. Wish me luck!
UPDATE FROM DR'S OFFICE
I still haven't received any TEXT, EMAIL, or PHONE CALL from Dr. Freiman. I held off on rating him in the doctor profile box because I didn't want to be the cause of any low ratings for him but I'll review him today. I guess I've been holding out hope that he will contact me at some point but that's clearly NOT going to happen. It's been three weeks since my surgery and I communicated the problem (with photos) before my tape even came off. I was nervous about the results, totally stressing about the outcome, and I wanted to see what I could do to at least fix the nipple problem asap. Well, Blanca is still the only one who has addressed me at all.
At first I felt very frustrated and even a bit angry that the doctor wouldn't even take two minutes to get on the phone with me or at least shoot me a quick email from his phone at least, but now it just makes me sad. I initially put a lot of trust into him. Every time someone goes "under the knife" they are putting their trust into someone's hands. I guess I just assumed that all doctor's entered the medical field to help people. But first you have to see people as human beings with feelings and emotions, not numbers or just a paycheck. I'm not saying he is a bad person because I would NEVER judge someone as a whole based on my very limited contact with him. But anytime a doctor refuses to contact a patient who has legitimate concerns about the surgery he performed, something is really wrong. I know people make mistakes and there was definitely a mistake made with my surgery, but I've been trying really hard to reach out and just try to find a solution or at least a good suggestion of what to do and all I've gotten from this doc is SILENCE. I sent an email directly to him asking him to contact me, and I sent this to Blanca too
"I appreciate you always taking the time to speak to me when I'm contact you about something. You've been very attentive and you've been easily accessible which is great. However, I would love to see some concern from the doctor as well because I'm really nervous. I understand that Dr. Freiman is an extremely busy man but I would really appreciate a phone call when he gets a chance. The issues I've experienced post operatively are really worrying me and I am afraid that I may need another surgery to correct them. I addressed my last email to him hoping to be able to speak to him but the only times I've spoken to him are my very brief pre-op appointment, and the few minutes when he marked me before going into surgery.
If you can pass this sentiment on to him, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much Blanca!"
From the beginning I've been basically begging to speak to him over and over and I've even said I only need two minutes or five minutes but NOPE. The asymmetry is crazy bad, one breast is bigger than the other, and my nipple wound is healing in a weird shape. I guess it's just wishful thinking at this point to hope that it will change for the better so I'll just continue to send polite, respectful emails with photos. In the meantime I'm planning another trip to Miami in the hopes that if I actually schedule a face to face appointment he will see me. That means more $$$$ and more time off work for me. Omg why won't he just call!?!?!? :'-(
I'm totally bummed to write this review but this website is about honesty and this is 100% honest :-( Doctor was rushed and agitated in the very short pre-op appointment. He didn't give me any information about my surgery and seemed irritated by my questions. He hasn't talked to me by phone or email at all post-op despite my requests to speak to him. However, Blanca (patient coordinator) is great. She has been the saving grace in this whole ordeal. If anything changes, I will edit this review to reflect that but for now, sadly, it's not good :-(