I am 34 years old and the mother of three...
I am 34 years old and the mother of three beautiful kids. My breasts have been on the bigger side my while life. In high school, my aunt would buy my bras in the bay area because no local stores carried a 32DD. My weight jumped all over the place during my pregnancies, with weight gains anywhere from 30lbs to 63lbs, and bra sized up to 38F. By the time I went for my consult with Dr. Chang, my size was down to a 34DD, but Dr. Chang said it was mostly skin. I've lost all the weight from my younger two kids and only have an extra 11lbs left over from my first pregnancy. **This first set of photos is from my pre-op appointment on 1/10/14 and I am hugely pre-menstrual and retaining water! My tattoos are blurred out for privacy reasons.
I am having a breast lift with augmentation on 1/27/2014. If we did just the lift, my bra size would likely drop to a 34C. That would be ok if my hips weren't on the bigger side. My husband's only request is that my body is balanced and he thinks doing just the lift would leave me pear-shaped. At my pre-op a few days ago, we all agreed a 320cc silicone implant, placed under the muscle, would fill me back out without being obnoxiously big. Dr. Chang is known for doing very understated work and that’s a big reason that I picked her. Another big reason is that she only does plastic surgery. She doesn’t run a med-spa on the side, or sell trinkets or makeup in her lobby.
Before booking my surgery with Dr. Chang in San Francisco, I did see a surgeon closer to where I live, Dr. Lars Enevoldsen, in Modesto. He refused to discuss implants. He does not do them in a single procedure and said that if I really wanted implants, I would have to wait six months and then he would do them. The cost of the two separate procedures was very near to what I’m paying for the single procedure with Dr. Chang. He also said I would probably end up with an anchor scar. Dr. Chang saw no reason to split the procedures up and said an anchor cut would not be necessary.
7 days to go!
I did my mammogram and blood work on Friday. My prescriptions are all filled and ready to go. All that's left to do is stock the kitchen with food and pack for the three day stay in San Francisco. It's crazy to think that a week from now I'll be on my way to San Francisco!
Today is the day!
27 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
We are in San Francisco, getting ready to head to the outpatient surgery center. No make up, no food or drink after midnight, and I'm supposed to wear a shirt that zips or buttons up the front. The coordinator from Dr. Chang ' s office said not to buy any post-surgical bras as she would provide them for me. She said not to use anything on the wounds, so no neosporin or Vitamin E. They have special silicone pads cut for lollipop scars that we can discuss after 4 weeks.
The day after
Everything went extremely well yesterday! Every single person at CPMC we came into contact with was so friendly. First we were put in a private pre op room where they got me into compression socks and a gown that hooked to a heater. They put the IV in and got a urine sample. There was a recliner instead of a bed. From there they moved into the surgery area where I sat in a cube and spoke to the anesthesiologist and circulating nurse. Finally they moved me to the OR where Dr. Chang marked me and I was knocked out. I woke up super nauseated. The recovery nurse gave me something for that plus pain medication. Dr. Chang told me that I was going to be very happy with the results. After awhile in that room, they moved me to a private recovery room and brought my husband in. He said Dr. Chang spoke with him and said "they look wonderful!" We got to the hospital at 9 am and left around 5:30pm. They wrapped me in gauze and an Ace bandage. My chest feels huge. I'm very swollen, including my face, and very pale. We go to post op this afternoon and Dr. Chang will put me in a bra. I will post updated photos then. On a side note, my husband has been beyond awesome! He's doting on me like crazy and even got his own Real Self login so he could update the comments yesterday.
1st Post Op done
I just got back from my first post op appointment. My nausea is really bad so they switched me from Percocet to Vicoden, and gave me Ambien because I haven't slept at all. I go back a week from today to get the stitches around the nipples out.
I didn't take any new photos today but will try later. We made it the 2.5 hours home from San Francisco last night and finally got some solid sleep. The pain really doesn't bother me but the nausea has been the worst! As soon as we got home I took a Zofran and then used one of the suppositories The Doc Prescribed. It made all the difference. This morning I am very groggy and a bit off balance. Still very tired. The urge to sleep all day is strong.
Anchor cuts after all?
I felt some rubbing under my right breast and it would seem the doctor did have to stray from the lollipop cut we planned on. You can see in the new photos that there is a tiny anchor cut on the bottom of my left breast but a fairly long cut to the side of my right breast. I will ask her about it at Tuesday's post op, as she didn't mention anything the day of the surgery or the day after.
4 days post-op
I got to shower today! I bought some waterless face wipes but those ran out, should have stocked up on more. My hubby had to actually wash and condition my hair because I couldn't reach. I've stayed up on my pain meds so it's hard to say how bad it hurts. The nurse said not to let the pain creep up on me so we've stayed on schedule. Today is Friday. I will start backing off the Vicoden over the weekend and see how it goes.
Today was 8 days post-op! Dr. Chang removed some of the stitches from around my nipples today and told me to come back in a week to get the rest. She is really happy with the way they are healing. I asked if the ace wrap was still necessary and she said some patients are more comfortable with it on, but I could switch to any soft bra now as long as it's padded with bandages.
I'll post today's pictures tomorrow but one thing I noticed is that one breast is either more swollen at the top, or maybe the implant hasn't settled as far. I'm not going to worry yet since we haven't even reached the massage phase. It seems like a pretty common issue that the sides don't match right away.
3 weeks post-op
Today is officially 3 weeks post-op. The nurse took out what we thought were all of the stitches last week, but some of the scabs came off and there are three more stitches that need to come out. Dr. Chang said that I am healing at least a week ahead of schedule. That's good but also bad because the skin is starting to heal over the three stitches so hopefully she can get me in this week to pull them.
I really struggled the first two weeks thinking this was the dumbest thing I'd ever done, LOL, but now every day that goes by, I love my new breasts more and more. The swelling has gone down and the tissue has softened and relaxed. They feel natural. The scars look excellent for 3 weeks and the nurse said that if I keep healing at this rate AND use the scar therapy sheets, by one year my scars will be hardly visible. I have the silicone sheets ready to go and am just waiting for the last of the scabs to come off and the last stitches to be pulled to use them. I'm cleared to exercise again starting tomorrow, which should help the extra 4lbs that creeped on. The funny thing is that everyone thinks I've actually LOST weight rather than gained. I tried on a few bras in my closet and am slightly too big for a 34D and slightly too small for a 36DD. It looks like 34DD/36D is where they'll land and that is PERFECT.
Photos taken 2/14/14
Here are the photos I took a few days ago. They're selfies so forgive the angle. The implant nearest my tattoo needs to settle just a tad more so I attribute any asymmetry to that, plus the angle I had the camera at.
7 weeks post-op
19 Mar 2014
2 months post
I need to take new photos but wanted to give a general update. Everything has healed nicely and I started using the silicone scar therapy sheets this morning. Dr. Chang said to wait until all the scabs were off first. There were a few spitting stitches but those are all done now. Both implants are settled and I am really happy with the final result. If you get this surgery done, know that it will take awhile for things to settle into position. I am MUCH happier with how they look now than how they looked right after surgery, position-wise.
I went shopping for new bras last week! My pre-surgery size was 34D and my new size is 34DD. A few people have made the comment that they can't even tell I had surgery and I take it as a compliment. My goal was BETTER, not BIGGER. Of course, this comment is always made when I'm wearing a regular blouse. The difference in appearance once the top comes off seems like night and day. My purchase included a new bikini top and it looks great. I will try to get the hubs to take new photos this week. My next follow up is in about a month.
8 weeks post op
26 Mar 2014
2 months post
The longer I have these new boobs, the more I love them. I started the silicone scar therapy finally last week. That should take about 12 weeks. Taking photos is hard because of the way I hold the camera, so if they look offset or uneven, it's just the way I'm standing.
Dr. Carolyn Chang's office has been absolutely professional and top-notch. Her approach is very conservative and minimalist. She spent a good amount of time with me at the first consultation and did not rush through it. The photos she showed me where picked because they were relevant to my body shape and desired result, versus the huge binder I was handed at other offices. At my second consult/pre-op, I was able to meet another patient who was 8 weeks post-op and see first-hand how good Dr. Chang’s work really is. Dr. Chang's staff has been in contact with me via email during this whole process and have been very sweet and helpful.