BA is A Major Surgery, Not For The Faint of Heart. - Long Beach, CA

My doctor has been lovely and attentive. My...

My doctor has been lovely and attentive. My experience with her has been really great overall. However, the pain has been excruciating. Much more so than what most people experience, I believe. One reason I chose to get implants was that I am somewhat pigeon chested from a very athletic childhood. I have always had a very prominent, muscled clavicle and rib cage in relation to my actual breast tissue, which was slight A/AA. Typical athletic build. My ribs were more prominent than my breasts, and my breasts were set rather wide apart with down-sloped nipples. We did both a BA and a crescent wedge lift. I am 41. My doc said that when she cut into my chest, it appeared to be 10 years younger than my age and was highly muscled with almost no subcutaneous fat. (As an adult I hike a lot, SUP, and do yoga, although not nearly as religiously as I did 10 years ago. I also used to do a lot of KBs and Olympic lifting, but I haven't in abt 4 years. I am also a former competitive cheerleader, both amateur and professional, but that was 20 yrs ago. Frankly, I consider my upper body to be my weak point. So I'm not sure why I was still so muscled throughout my chest.) She said that she had to ask the anesthesiologist if he had actually given me a muscle relaxant, since my muscles were still so firm/rigid. Because I am tall and broad, 5'8", 150 lbs (Size 6-8), 36-28-40, I went with a fairly large implant. I wound up with 498CCs in one breast and 533CCs in the other. Which, brings me to what I think will be about a C cup when all is done. They look very proportionate to my frame. I think that my musculature combined with the size of the implant is why this has been so incredibly awful for me. At this point, given my experience, I absolutely would not have had the operation if I had known that this is what I was in for. I may change my mind when I'm more comfortable. But I would have never knowingly put myself through this. That being said, my doctor has really been wonderful about working with me through the entire process. I don't think it has anything to do with her and the level of my pain and appearance of my breasts continues to improve everyday. Altogether, with time off work, which for me wound up being about 8 full days off, this has wound up costing me quite a bit more than the $7,700.

One Month Check Up

Went in for my one month today. Doc says I'm healing well. However, since my chest is so muscular, I will most likely be bandaging and massaging until the new year to achieve the correct result. Oh Joy. I looked at my before pics in her office and I now remember now just how far down my chest my actual breast tissue started. I'll have to search around and see if I have any of my own. I know I have them somewhere. I'll post before and afters when I can. We really are making boobs out of pecs here. Pain is lessening, still very tight and achy though. Bought a very cool strap from this company that at least looks more like a camisole than a bandage. It's lacy in the front. Hooray for that. If I'm going to be doing this for three months I'm going to need to be creative.

One Month Pics

Some More Pics

3 week Pics

Tomorrow Will be 5 weeks

I'm still very limited in my activity and still in constant discomfort. My breasts feel sunburned and raw. My nipples are incredibly painful to the touch and I have a lot of tightness and pressure. By the end of the day I'm in so much discomfort I rush home and get straight into a hot bath. Mornings are generally my best time, strangely enough. I think it's from 8 hours of having a heating pad on my chest.

My doctor is in contact with me and we are managing things as best we can. She says it's because I'm so muscular and, she's actually seen my muscles, so she knows. I find it hard to believe, since I'm so weak compared to what I used to be. I haven't lifted a weight since 2009 and I lost a lot of my strength when I went on a super low-cal diet prior to my wedding in March. I feel like a weakling, but apparently my chest muscles are still very strong.

What I'm doing:
1. Hot baths and stretching every morning and evening.
2. Massage of different kinds.
3. Topical Arnica, arthritis cream, and Zim's Max Freeze for pain and soreness on my breasts, multiple times a day.
4. Antibiotic ointment with pain reliever to numb my nipples.
5. Eucerin all over my chest every morning and evening.
6. Scar cream and paper tape over my scars.
7. Sleep on my back with a firm pillow and a heating pad on low on my chest. I'm starting to wake up pretty stiff, may look into other sleeping positions.
8. Bring my heating pad to work and sit at my desk with it on my chest. (or try my ice pack out of the fridge to numb me when I need it)
9. .5mg valium at night
10. Ibuprofin or Aleve every day as needed up to max dose.
11. Eating right.
12. Very limited activity. (Like no more than work every day and running a few errands on weekends.)
13. Tight bandages and surgical bras with gauze padding as needed, adjusted several times a day.

Old pic, no bra

Still waiting to get actual before pics from doc. When I was much younger, I actually kind of dug the fact that I was flat chested and ran around bra-less. It's just not as cute in my 40s. ;)

I seem to have turned a corner...

The last few days my pain has changed and been reduced to discomfort. Thankfully. I'm still sore and swollen, but I don't hurt all the time like I did. My doctor said I would most likely see changes from week to week rather than day to day and that's pretty much the way it's going. It's been 5 1/2 weeks so far. I'm now able to sleep on my side, get by with less pain stuff, and wear a sports bra with my band. I've also changed the position of my band to be a bit more aggressive, since I'm not hurting like I was. I'm using a 3" ace bandage and I wrap it very high up on my clavicle, making sure I actually have it above the implant as much as possible, I scoot the back part of it down to bra strap height and then I fold it over. It's pretty tight and it's definitely pushing down on the implant. Now that they're not killing me, I want this done as quickly as possible!

34 DDD

I finally got sized today. 34DDD aka 34F...holy cow. My girlfriend who has had multiple boob jobs over the years says I'm still swollen and I should wind up more like a DD when all is said and done. They don't look that big to me!

Finally got my before pics from my doc.

No Pics

You may notice I took all of my pics down. I read an article about people posting people's surgery pics on other sites and freaked out. So no more boob pics. That being said, I wound up much larger than I expected. They don't look outsized on my frame, but I'm a 34DDD. I thought I was a 36AA before. I may have actually been a 34A. We were going for large C, small D. Oops. Doc also said that because my breasts are wide set I would probably not get much cleavage. Wrong again. ;) Overall, I'm happy with them. They're still settling. So, we will see how they look in a few more months.
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon

She's wonderful, attentive, always accessible, does great work, and is conservative in her approach. I would highly recommend her. She completely re-shaped the look of my chest.

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 (36)

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Wow, I'm surprised you are still feeling "discomfort" at 2 months post-op. I wish you the best in your continued recovery.
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Thanks. Actually it all stopped at 6 weeks like magic. I went to bed in pain one day and woke up ok. Until then it was awful. Now I'm fine. I'm still settling and there are days that they're a bit achy but nothing like before. :)
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Looking better! Hang in there! I didn't have much breast tissue and am mainly muscle & implant. Can't wait to feel normal.
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The massage thing: gah! I do not understand it at all, and if you are in pain? Yike. The breast do drop eventually, unless a serious prob with pocket. Is the message to get them down EARLIER than the muscles wants them down? Stay strong...things get much better, as you know from your girlfriends. Love you old picture, you remind me of Claire Danes?
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I'm so sorry you've had these struggles! I pray that in another few months you'll be able to say it was worth it. Stay strong girl. 
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So sorry for your rough recovery! I feel your pain..literally. The last month has been pretty rough for me as well. Hopefully, in the end, it will all be worth it. Glad to hear that the last few days have been better for you! Hope that it continues!
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So sorry for your rough recovery! I feel your pain..literally. The last month has been pretty rough for me as well. Hopefully, in the end, it will all be worth it. Glad to hear that the last few days have been better for you! Hope that it continues!
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Thanks! Yeah. I'm so not even focused on what it'll look like when it's over at this point. I'm just all about healing and dealing with discomfort. It's always good to hear from those of us who have difficulties with it. It seems like so many people are just fine immediately. Sorry you're having a hard time.
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I am sorry you are going through so much discomfort and pain and I can certainly relate. I made couldn't even make it thru dinner last night without moving all round and readjusting my strap...the waitress kept coming over when I would readjust myself asking if everything was okay. LOL! Kinda embarrassing.  My experience has been the winner of the "long road to recover coupled with pain and discomfort" lottery as well. I am almost one month post op and can't wait until I am 2 months post op because I know I will look and feel so much better and so will you.  Keep your head up.  I think you are doing all the right things to try to minimize the discomfort. 
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My thoughts are with you....four weeks post and still negotiating that amount of discomfort daily.....that can make you mentally exhausted as well. Certainly looks to me you will be more than pleased with your end result!!! Hope you can soon look upon this discomfort as a distant memory.
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Ah thank you. It's so helpful to hear that other people are having my experience. So many people seem to be fine in a matter of days and I just don't get it. One thing that has helped me immensely in the last couple of days is that I've changed how I'm wrapping them. After I put on all of the lotions and creams and goop I put on them, (including antibiotic ointment plus pain reliever all over my nipples and the lower parts of my breasts to numb them), I put on a thin tank top and then wrap my 6" bandage and my 3" strap over the tank. It's made such a huge difference in terms of chafing and discomfort. I also stopped wearing a bra altogether, just tight bandages and the tank.
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Salon Pas is my new best friend! My doc recommended that I get the patches and just stick them on my boobs. They're amazing. I got the small ones to make it easier. I'm feeling so much better. That and doing my wrappings or bra over a thin tank so they don't chafe me are really making everything easier. I'm sorry you're having the same awful experience with this that I am. My doc said I should measure my progress in weeks, not days. Hopefully every week gets easier for you.
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How are you feeling now?
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I'm almost afraid to answer. I don't want to jinx it! The last couple of days have been much easier than any to date. I can finally sleep on my side and my pain has greatly decreased. I'm still pretty sore at the end of a long work day, but mostly I feel decent. Thank goodness. I'm 5 weeks out. How are your crazy cord thingies?
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still there, but I barely notice them, thank goodness!
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It's really obvious in the pic in the tank top just how far down and to the sides my actual breast tissue started. So much of the area being taken up by the implants was never "breast" to begin with, but clearly chest muscle. They're now closer together, my nipples are moved, and my breasts begin higher on my chest. I chose this doc over my other consults for a few reasons. She did a portion of her surgical training at my alma-mater and I know their training is top notch. I like her. She's straightforward and, out of all of the docs I spoke to, (multiple over the years), she's the only one who basically said, "We are going to re-shape your whole chest as best we can." She wasn't wishy-washy in any of her recommendations. We altered the attachments at the base of my breasts, moved my nipples, and placed the implants in such a way to decrease the distance between breasts, as well as from clavicle to breast.
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Checking in on you :) I am glad to hear that you have a great surgeon who is keeping in contact with you about the recovery process. Sorry it has been so rough. Hang in there and know that all of the Real Self ladies are rooting for you to feel better soon.
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Thanks! I really love being a part of this online community. It's been a huge help. I'm getting better all the time. Talked to a woman in my office who had a reconstruction following cancer and she said it took a year for her to feel normal and not have any pain or pressure. So I'm feeling a bit better.
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The work on your nipples is very nicely done. I can see that you're going to heal with barely visible scars...if at all! I still can't believe that your tattoo wasn't more painful though. (I'm not a fan of needles!) Yes, yes....we would love to see some before photos. I have a hunch there is a drastic difference. look wonderful!

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Thanks! I have a lot of confidence in my doc. She's great. I think I'll have to get a copy of my befores from her. Basically, my actual breast tissue started really low down my chest and was wide set. We really are building boobs out of pecs here, but it certainly isn't fun. And the tattoos are all so old!! 15-20 years. I feel like I had a much higher pain thresh hold when I was younger.
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Hi. They look beautiful !! Hey gotta a question..... Why and what is a crescent lift? Never heard of it
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They removed the top part of my areola and lifted my nipple upward. Since my nipples were naturally set low on my breasts, they would have sat too low with the implant. This way, they're more in the middle. And thanks! I'm very happy with the look just sick of the achiness, ;)
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It is indeed a painful experience, but the pain goes away gradually. Even at approximately 5 months post-op, I get pain in my right breast. It is never excruciating, just there. Knowing it is normal and will dwindle helps to overlook it:)
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Thanks for the encouragement. I can't wait to feel normal again! I do get better all the time, thankfully, and I'm using every non-addictive method I can think of to manage my pain.
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The main reason this has been so horrible for me is that my actual breast tissue started so low down my chest and my pectoral muscles are very strong. So we are making breasts out of pecs. It's less about making my breasts themselves bigger than it is about creating breasts where there were none. And my pain tolerance for other things is much higher. I had no idea what this would be like when I started. My doc also had no clue that my muscles were as strong as they are or that I had basically 0 subcutaneous fat until she cut into my chest.
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