A Little Scared, but Excited Too... 12 Days and Counting. I AM ON THE FLAT SIDE NOW!!! - Houston, TX
Hi All, I have been lurking and reading all these...
I have been lurking and reading all these amazing stories for a few weeks, and today, I actually scheduled my procedures. 12 days from now! YIKES! I hope to communicate with some of you all for support and to exchange information. Please join me as I count down, then post progress after my big day!!!!! November 19th here I come!
I am having a full TT and also implant replacement. Mine are over 20 yrs old and have capsular contractures and are probably ruptured, according to my doctor. I am super excited about the TT. Can not wait to be joining you all on the flat side, as I have learned it is called! Also looking to have non-contracted, perkier and slightly smaller breasts at the end of all of this.
A little about me: I am 51 years old, and am a recent widow. My only marriage lasted 20 yrs, and I have not been on a date for over 22 yrs. I am moderately active, but definitely not a jock. My weight fluctuates between 135 and 140. I want to look and feel my best. I do a lot of ab work, but sill have a gut/pooch. I have loose jiggly dimply skin and fat rolls, especially bad when I sit down, and I am so excited for them to be gone gone gone! I am thin and in shape enough to wear a bikini, but would not with this skin and jiggling. But soon I will be able to .......
I will figure out how to post my before pics tomorrow.
Let me clarify my cost: 5K paid by ins to remove implants. 10,900 out of pocket for replacement with new implants, plus full TT. This includes PS, anesthesia, and hospital (Including one overnight stay).
Any tips on the best things I can do to best prepare? Best prepare my body? My bedroom? Supplies and convenience items to go get ahead of time? My bedroom is on the third floor of my town home. Will I be able to do the stairs? I have heard some talk of a recliner. IS one needed? I have also heard talk of protein shakes. Please explain?
So I am nervous about the recovery, getting the blues, and the possible complications. I've read a few very frightening accounts on here of ladies and their complications/infections etc. I hope I am learning form each story I read, and from some of your replies. Thanks in advance for joining me on this exciting journey!!!
11 Days To Go!!!
I have so far chosen to keep most of this private. My family and a few close friends know that my implants are a mess and need to come out, and that I will be having an abdominal hernia repair. But that's as far as I've gone with them. I feel I want this to be about me, for me, and only known to me. But I am not sure if I am making a mistake. I know I am entitled to privacy, but is it practical?
Can anyone who has already completed a TT tell me if it is realistic for me to think this can remain private among those who will be helping me out a little after I get home? Or am I setting myself and them up for an embarrassing and awkward time? My two older teenage boys will be helpful with anything I ask of them, but will otherwise leave me to rest and will be pretty oblivious to details. They will not hover AT ALL.
My mother will stay with me for about a week post op, and she is also pretty oblivious (haha) as well as being a big respecter of the privacy of others. They will not have a clue that I have more drains or bandages than just the breast/hernia procedures warrant. I will be sore and drugged, etc and that is what they will expect.
BUT....Will it be inevitable that someone or maybe even more than one person will have to see the giant abdominal scar? Will they need to help me get in shower? Or by the time that is allowed, are you pretty much able to manage behind closed doors? What is your experience?
Thanks to all for any opinions you may have about my ability to keep this to myself. Just ot let you know, I feel really great about this, and I don't need a pep talk about loving myself, or telling me real friends won't judge, that my family loves me no matter what, etc. Me and my boys have been through a lot these past 24 months. It is simply my preference that the purely cosmetic parts of this remain under my hat, but only if it is realistic. I don't want egg on my face after the fact. :))
Some Pre Op Before Photos
Well I Did It!!! 2 days Post Op
So here's a summary of my TT and BR processes. The surgery was set for 7:15 am on the 19th. MY girlfriend drove me to St Lukes Hospital in Tx Medical Center and stayed throughout the entire procedure. The surgery lasted 7 1/2 hours. I was in recovery room about 3 hours, then they transferred me to a room in the hospital. If any of you have a choice to stay, and are wondering if you should stay or not, I HIGHLY recommend it. I was alb to have Foley catheter so I didn't need to get up and pee. I had a morphine continuous drip, and could push the button for additional morphine every ten minutes. That wouldn't be possible , obviously, if I had been released.
So the Post Op abdominal pain is pretty significant. So much so that I am literally unaware of any breast pain at all. When I am lying still, I would rate the pain at 1-2, but when I have to engage those abs to move around, to cough, etc, it is a 7-8. I am one who has post anesthesia vomiting, and the need to vomit was so strong, but I kept praying the nausea would pass. Luckily, although I felt nauseated quite often in the first 30 hours or so, I only actually threw up 2 times. Yay.
I would say that once the nausea subsided, my biggest issue so far is needing to cough or clear my throat each morning. Boy does that hurt!!!
I got home from the hospital last night at about 7 pm. I was able to get up the stairs to my bedroom without much difficulty. Then got in my recliner. I discovered that the recliner, which I never use, was very awkward for me. I couldn't get out of it at all without help. SO the family got me settled in and they all went to bed, and there I sat, a little too cold, needed my water and pain medicine, which was just out of reach, needed to go potty most of the night, and could not get out of that damn chair! OUCH every time I tried! I watched the clock from 2 am to 6am, and finally at 6am I sent my mother a text saying "need help" and was praying that she would see it. And she did!v Yay. She helped me out of the chair, and we propped pillows in the bad...ahhhhhhh much better! This morning has been very comfortable. Yes I do have to engage the abs to get out of the bed, but at least I can do it. The chair was a lot worse...probably the exact design of my particular recliner, but I will not be getting back into that thing!
When we do dressing changes tonight I will take some photos. For the breasts, I am very excited to report that they are soft for the first time in years and years! And also, the doctor explained that the nerve to the nipple area could very well be in the encapsulated mess of scar tissue, and that I could have no sensation in the nipples for the rest of my life, but I am happy to report that the nerves are in tact, and so is the feeling!
Thanks to all of you who have gone through this with me. I will continue to post updates, since reading about the details of others' surgeries helped me reach my final decision.
3 Days Post Op
I am posting some photos taken today. I took off my compression garments, and washed them. Snapped a few photos, then gave myself a sponge bath. Whew. I am worn out!!! I will nap well as soon as I am all dressed again.
It sure feels great to be all cleaned up. My doctor does not allow a real shower until the drains are removed. They can not be removed until they are each producing less than 25 cc per day. I go in Monday for post op appt. Am hoping for no drains by the time that appt is over. I am barely producing 30 cc er drain today, and will probably drop way down by Mondya. Here are my pics. I am very happy with the progress so far.
abdominal scar is pretty high
4th Day Post Op
Well thing are getting a little easier each day. MY CG is such a blessing and a curse. It feels safe and secure when I have it on, but for the hour that it was off yesterday to be washed, it felt sooooo good. It feels like it is cutting off my circulation at the top of my ribs just under the breast incision. Everywhere else, it feels just nice and snug and secure. The Dr cautioned me against allowing it to roll down because as is bunches up, it can have a tourniquet-like effect at the top. It feels like a tourniquet now. I just want to take it off so bad. Anyone have any experience with this?
I have removed the post op bra they gave me because it was adding to the constriction I was feeling at the bra line. I put it back on every few hours, then can not stand it more than a couple of hours at a time. I would love any feedback about this.
Great news on needing to cough. Today, my chest has remained clear, so no need for any excruciating coughing since last night.
I slept on my side for a few hours this morning. Felt really great.
Don't have much appetite yet, so as far as I can tell, that just helps to leave things less complicated regarding my digestive system. Drinking lots of water, hot tea with a splash of milk, and clear broths. No BM yet. Took some pericolase 2 hours ago, so it won't be long, I don't think. Tips on that are appreciated as well.
6 days Post Op Drains OUT!!!
He assured me it would not hurt, that he had never ever had a patient say it hurt, but many say it feels weird or odd. He was exactly right. I had a lot of anxious thoughts and worry about the drain removal, even though I was more than ready to be done with that stage. The worry was all for nothing. I hope this helps others who are stressing about getting the drains out. Relax! Be glad you are that much further down the road to healing.
Can not wait to take a shower. Drain holes need to close (24 to 48 hrs) before my PS allows a shower. He likes to reduce introduction of bacteria into these openings by not bathing until closed. I know some PS's allow showers, but I am all for reducing infection risk. I chose Dr Rock because I trust him, so I am following instructions!
Pain is getting better and better each day. Only took pain meds once yesterday, and three times on Saturday. It is almost 3pm and have not taken anything for pain yet today (Monday). Probably will not need pain meds anymore.
Will post pics tomorrow morning when I take off compression garment to change drain dressings.
Thank you all for following my journey, and for all of the very kind, helpful, and encouraging comments.
7 days PO. Sore today, and couldn't figure out why...
I am super aware of trying to get up and move around every hour or so to prevent blood clots. So I had been afraid that I did too much and somehow hurt myself a little. But, duh! I am only 7 days post op with no pain meds on board. SO I am going to take an extra strength tylenol and remember how lucky I am at how my recovery is progressing!
My girlfriend is coming by for a visit this afternoon, so I will be getting her help to get out of my compression garment, check out my drain holes, take some photos, put new dressings, and get me back into that infernal thing!! I am hoping all 4 drains holes are sealed, so I can SHOWER!
PS said I would be wearing CG for at least one month. I am guessing the same for the compression bra. I know, like one of you posted below, they are very important in giving me the best possible outcome, which, of course, I want. The worst part about both of them is the constriction around my ribs at the bra strap. Yikes is it sore!
OK, bye for now. Pics in a few hours, without drains!
7 Days PO Photos
I also wish it were a little lower. I know this is where it is because of how much skin I did or did not have, but I am still a little bummed. I am hoping it relaxes and might lower even 1/4 of an inch to get below the line of most of my panties and my bathing suit bottoms. Soon, I'll try on a few suits, and take some pics for y'all to tell me what you think of the scar with the bottoms on.
19 Days Post Op Update
Thanks for the messages and check-ins. Sorry I have been out of touch for this past week. Lots to catch up on that I had deferred during the early recovery phase!
I thought I would log on and give an update on what the last week or so has been like. I heeded the many cautions I read about on RS about people thinking they were feeling up to getting out, only to regret doing too much. So I was cautious and started slow. At about 9 days post op, I walked my dog around my block 2 times. It felt good to be outdoors and to take in a tiny bit of exercise. It pretty much wore me out, so back to bed I went. I realized being up and around, especially sitting, caused a tight almost crampy feeling in the abdomen that standing up straight (or as straight as I can) relieves. Laying flat on my back relieves it too, so you know what position I laid in while in bed that day!
At 11 days post op I went out on a date (yes a date!) with a wonderful man I had met about 3-4 weeks prior to my surgery. He was so amazing during those initial weeks that I just could not wait any longer to see him again. He knew about the surgery; I had given him a very abbreviated description. He had been by my house once in the prior week right before Thanksgiving to check in on me, bring me dinner, and walk my dog (see? I told you he is wonderful!) when no one else was home to help me. He was very gentle, and didn't expect me to last long on this date. We had a great dinner together, sat out by the water for a brief time, then back home to dog and kids I went.
(as an aside, my two boys (17 and 20) were not thrilled, but not mad either that I announced I had a date. It is a time of transition in our family, and I am being very sensitive and careful not touring this new person into our lives quite yet, so for now, they know I had a date, and that is all. If it keeps getting serious, I will make introductions at some point in the future to see how the family fit is. I do not want these boys to say a year from now: "Oh yeah, my mom has had 4 boyfriends in the last year." Yuk! SO I'm waiting tillI am certain its the real deal to make any introductions. ANy thoughts or experience anyone wants to share about this topic is welcome too.....)
SO the date was amazing, and I tolerated it well. That was Black Friday night. My son and I went to church on Sunday, then stopped at the grocery store! Big outing. Got in bed and relaxed flat on back to relieve some of the strain of being up and around so long caused.
As far as being able to stand up straight, I never measured the angles, but I was pretty upright by about day 7. Not all the way straight like normal at all, but upright enough to not look funny to anyone who might have seen me walk, and upright enough to take the strain off of my lower back from hunching some, as I had been doing during the entire first week PO.
Now, at day 19, I am still not all the way up straight. But I am getting closer each day, I think. It feels tight in the tummy, and of course we are not supposed to attempt any stretching to try and straighten up to full extension. But it feels good to gently extend, to my comfort, with no forcing at all. This slight lean forward where I've been for the last week or so is not at all uncomfortable as far as my back, walking and functioning. But the place I notice it most in my appearance is this: Because I am not straight, the slight sway I normally have in my lower back looks flat. That straight-ish line above my butt in the profile view makes my butt look really flat. And the CG doesn't exactly help give a shapely butt either!
I will post pics to show what I mean.
Hope you are all well. I need to get on the ball for Christmas. How have you all who had surgery recently handled the pressures of all that goes along with this wonderful Christmas season?? I Might attempt going to buy a tree tomorrow. Have almost no gifts purchased yet, except for the amazing one I gave myself on Nov 19th!!!
Side View 19 days PO
Any flat-siders able to tell us newly operated on gals how long till you were "back into your fully upright and normal position" ?? I sound like a flight attendant...hahaha
3 Weeks PO
Regarding making Christmas happen for me and my 2 boys, I have had to let go some of my expectations and be gentle with myself. I am recovering from a huge surgery, and I simply can not do all that I want to do, and will hurt myself if I try. I am feeling a little blue because we do not have one single light outside, and nothing inside either yet. It could be July for all anyone can tell. But today I will start, with help of course, and it will be better. My husband did all of the outside stuff, and so that has its own set of sadness, now that he is passed. Holidays... I LOVE them, but this is sad and surreal too. And with a new man around the edges of my life, the holiday is even more wonderful, and more complicated than ever. I will not introduce him to my boys until after the season is over, but I am really and truly falling in love. He wants to help with Christmas tree and decorating, just because he know I can not do it for myself, but he understands fully and agrees with the reasons to hold off on introductions. He will be telling his daughters after Christmas as well, so we se on the same page on that.
So I am feeling pretty good in the mornings each day. Still sleeping in the CG and wearing it all day too, although I have been naughty and slept without it and had blissful sleep twice! One day when getting dressed and in a hurry, my friend came to the door, and I forgot to put it on too. Then we went to the beach and walked a mile or so. Yikes did I regret that. The CG hold everything in place, and especially on a sort of active day (as much as we can be active at this stage at least) it helps to hold everything still. I was very sore the day after I had a 6 hr outing without it, and as soon as I had it back on, I was so relieved. Is that mental, or real? Felt real.
My PS wants me to wear the CG for about one month. So after another week, I will probably graduate to Spanx or Yummy Tummy or something like that. How long have you guys who are ahead of me worn yours? Did you gradually go without, or just stop wearing it cold turkey style?
1 MONTH POST-OP!!!
Same double-taking goes for my tummy. I just can't believe how amazing it looks too. This is seriously the very best thing I could have ever done for myself. I hope my hubby is looking down from above and is happy that I did it.
So I am finally able to take a bath! Yay!!!!!!!! I love baths, and doing without for the past month has been hard. I am also allowed to exercise and do all activity except weight lifting, and abdominal exercising. What a relief. I love to work out and will be glad to get back, but unfortunately, I am primarily a weight training and abs work girl. I will also do yoga, so that is good, but my main workouts are still taboo. But it is worth it, and I trust Dr Rock and how he says the muscle repair needs the full 90 days to scar over and become as strong as possible. I do not want to do anything to weaken or undo the amazing work he did, so I am going to follow all rules he gives me! My next appt will be at 90 days so he can examine the suture line and scar before releasing me to all activity.
I still have the glue/tape combo on my incision line. He says the longer it stays put, the better and more imperceptible will he scar outcome be, so I leave it alone too...although I am dying to see my real incision line. Am going to the beach in Fort Lauderdale the week after Christmas, so if it has not fallen off by then, I will take it off. I am sort of excited to try to wear a bikini. I will be with my family and my new guy. Will be interesting to see if I actually have the nerve to do the 2 piece...hmmmmm. I will let all of my RS friends know. When the tape is off, I will take new photos and post them too. He said my swelling is really minimal and mainly around the incision and in the lower abdomen. Overall, I could not be happier. TOTALLY WORTH all the pain, the down time, the emotional swings, etc. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of you!!!
Dr. Rock was wonderful throughout the entire process. From the first consult, he encouraged as many questions as I could come up with. I was actually shocked at the amount of time he spent with me during my two pre-op appointments. And he came to see me once I was in the hospital room three times as well. He is skilled technically in his craft. Dr Rock has done 1000"s of removal/replacement of old breast implants, and loads of TT's too. To me this skill is a baseline. The thing that makes him rise above is all of the time he spends on education about the process, and making sure my comfort level with, and understanding of everything that would take place was up to speed. The girls in the office are sweet, helpful, and efficient (and beautiful too boot!)