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.

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What I'm doing to manage pain now - almost one month out. I sleep in two bandages, one large ace bandage across my chest with gauze over my nipples, and the slimmer strap bandage at the upper poles, elevated on a big pillow with a heating pad on my chest and an additional pillow under my knees. When I wake; hot bath and 2 Aleve plus 2 Calm's Forte every morning. Immediately following the bath I slather my chest in colloidal oatmeal lotion and lay on my back on the floor to do chest stretching exercises recommended by my doc. (Basically I make snow angels with my arms with my legs either bent or straight.) I'm getting better range of motion every day. Then I cover my chest in Arnica ointment, put antibacterial ointment plus pain reliever on my healing incisions (unders & nipples), cover my chest with Zim's Max Freeze Menthol/Camphor ointment and then re-wrap with my big bandage, put on my surgical bra, wrap my upper poles with the strap, get dressed and go to work at my desk job. (Thank goodness for scarves.) Throughout the day I go into the bathroom and redo the bandages as needed, take more calms forte, and advil if necessary. After work I get back into a hot bath and start all over again. At least I'm off of the hard meds by now.
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what a hassle, on top of everything else. jeez
I live only to serve my boobs for the time being. ;)

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 http://www.designveronique.com/ 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.

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One Month Pics

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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. Congratulations...you look wonderful!

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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, ;)

Some More Pics

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3 week Pics

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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.

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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 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.

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. ;)

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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.

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!

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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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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!

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Finally got my before pics from my doc.

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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. :)
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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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.

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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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