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3 Week Post Aug and Lift Pain

I am almost 3 weeks post-op from silicone under...

I am almost 3 weeks post-op from silicone under muscle augmentation and breast lift. The first week and a half were tolerable and progressed as expected pain/discomfort-wise. However, this past week has been misery. I cannot get comfortable in the surgical bra, or a sports bra. First the pain on the sides was miserable. That passed, then the undersides were real misery! Still are. Part of the problem is the padding under the band to protect the anchor surgical line. The padding pressed into the underside of my breasts, making indentations and very sore.

Excellent experience pre-op - very informative, and day of surgery was smooth, and 'easy.' Was home that night working on my computer. Felt comfortable enough with meds and remnants of anathesia to work on my computer (without a nap).

First week great. Nausea minimal. Craved water and carbs first five days. Taping of incision areas really works well, suture lines are tiny and seem to be healing well, so concerns over scarring are reduced. Do not like the color of the nipple area - hopefully will change a little more over time. Disappointed with the post op understanding of what to expect. Guess it varies too much by person. Feel I'm 'behind the ball' on pain. This week was miserable and distracting from normal life activity.

Why? At 42 I'm lean, fit, and have taken good care of myself. The only area it seems I cannot improve is my breasts - over time they had lost volume. I missed my profile and how my clothes had fit. I was tired of the padded push up bras to obtain the look - heavy and embarassing undressed.

What can I do to speed up my recovery and minimalize pain? I read where some folks are scoffing at pain after a couple of days and they are crazy. I'm fit, healthy, athletic and can't figure out how to feel better to stop taking the oxycodone, which causes delightful constipation. Hydrocodone doesn't work on me. Advil is too mild still.

What can I realistically expect for pain in the next couple of weeks? I wasn't expecting to go backwards. I've lost my enthusiasm for this surgery.

At 4 week mark after lift and augmentation. Very...

At 4 week mark after lift and augmentation. Very sore, but week 3 was the worst. 

Wish I could get past pain part - disconcerting and disruptive. Have moved from "pain" to "very sore and tender."  Undersides of breasts more sore - from surgery, implant size, or just normal healing?  Due to under muscle? Sometimes dull, burning feeling, sometimes achy, sometimes feels like fingers or pencils stuck inside. Weird! The implants themselves do not like cooler air - makes the muscles (or whatever) tighten up uncomfortable. Best comfort spot - the bathtub! Not getting the breasts or lines wet, but for some reason the hot water is soothing and less pain while in there.

No sports bra or regular bra comfortable for long. Pressure in the nipple areas from the bras, underside of breasts sore, then the bands of the bras are just too tight at night, regardless of size. Might be breast tissue too tight, but bands are misery. Placing surgical pads under band to keep it off lines.

Really looking forward to continued improvement.  Its been a drag.

What is the appropriate amount of time to tape the breast scars? What should the scars look like to know when to discontinue, and what further changes should I expect to the scars? They look better than I expect currently, will they darken/worsen? Or continue to improve from how they currently look?

Update 2/2/09:  Around the 8-week mark after...

Update 2/2/09:  Around the 8-week mark after lift and augumentation under muscle.  My experience - a healthy, non-hypochondriac, non-smoking, very fit, 42-year old without children:

Pain: Has subsided, but not completely. Nipple area most uncomfortable now. Sides and underside are so much better - thank God. Weeks 3-6 were just plain misery. Puzzling.  Still uncomfortable, but better than pain, and finding a bra that is comfortable is challenging. Have tried about 30...closest comfort has been a stretchy nursing/sleeping bra (never thought I'd be buying one of those!) 

Sleep: Still cannot sleep flat on side.  This is a process for some of us. Overall...I don't know if it was worth the efforts.

Scars: Still healing; red around the nipples and underside. From Nipple to bottom scar line very good.  The breasts aren't 'pretty' yet. I accept that it may be due to my age and having both surgeries.

Shape: Improved. More teardrop/natural and less round flat balls, which disgusted me. They really do take awhile to relax. Right one taking a little longer, has more cc's in it. Left hangs a little lower and appears flatter at times. But overall they're coming around.

Support: Please remember, your plastic surgeon is not there saving lives for the general good of the world. He's there to make money. He's very supportive pre-op and shortly after post-op, then you'll be on your own. They do not make money on you after surgery, you're then an expense with office visits.  I have went through a lot of puzzling pain (considering what you read online) and no support. I would like to see my plastic surgeon walk around in his 6 year old's underwear pulled up his butt for 6 weeks, and have his doo-dad surgically moved and stuffed. Then tell me the average person doesn't have pain.  Idiot. It was demoralizing and you feel alone in your pain through the post op process if you don't fit the norm. Beware. Advil/OTC does not take the pain away. Think before committing of what you can stand for months. At 8 weeks they are still in the forefront of my daily comfort and hurt. Period.

Well, I am close to the 3 month mark. Pain:...

Well, I am close to the 3 month mark.

Pain: And thankfully most of the pain is gone..just residual discomfort with regular bras (the sleep bras are more comfortable). I've spent alot trying to find something comfortable. 

Biggest issue is one being higher and fuller looking than the other - okay in a bra, but won't be thrilled undressing/showering with my guy! Hmm. I don't know if it needs correction or if it will correct itself. I have a suspicion I'll have to get it corrected.

Scars: The breasts are coming along. Scars are improving but still there, especially red after a long day. Bottom of anchor taking the longest to heal. Around nipple hardly noticeable. Good job there. Can see line down but its not bad.

Would I do it again? Absolutely not. It is the stupidest thing I've ever done. This type of surgery would ONLY be good for folks who have medical issues, flat chested, or just don't like their bodies.  I have always liked my body and shape.  Now I don't recognize myself and feel unappreciative for what I was given to begin with.

I thought I would give a 3-year post lift/implant...

I thought I would give a 3-year post lift/implant update as the date draws near. I am now 45 (time flies). I have to say I have never felt like myself since getting them and still want to reduce them. The thought of another surgery doesn't thrill me. But I think I will later this winter.

Self Image: The breasts may look 'natural' under the muscle, but they seem to age me a little and make me feel 'fat' when I've always been lean. I think they came out to a 'd' and I should have just went to full 'c.' I have never felt in proportion.
Shape: Under the muscle may be more natural, but that also may mean they 'hang' lower and wider. You still may have to use a push up if you want a fuller look on the top. Last thing I wanted to do was wear any weird bras.
Scars: they are still there, and still ugly, after three years
Nipples: They are always, always "on" - no nipple covers or bras work.

So ladies I hope you think carefully about your decision. They work well for a lot of people. But not everyone. I will never forget the pain either - and the fact my surgeon and office acted like I imagined it. Unnatural experience all the way around.

My recommendation: Just enjoy your beautiful 'as-is' body!

4yr and time to reduce

Well ladies, I hope things are going well with your surgery decisions. I am going to be reducing my breast implants in January (they came out "D" instead of "C" that I always was naturally). I never got used to them, and over time I've found I avoid pictures and outfits that I used to enjoy. The 'girls' are always 'on' and look ridiculous. They just look like heavy breasts of a middle age woman, not a fit attractive one that I've always been. The worst is the constant headlights. No stickons, pasties, etc. help. I had to go back to wearing some padding in bras and not all cover still. Get sick of hearing about them, having them noticed. ...So I'm going to make the change and hope I don't mess things up more. haha I'll let you know how that surgery goes.

Again ladies, if you are on the fence about the surgery, I would recommend 'no.' If you still want it, go with a very modest increase and be prepared for never ending nipple issues. And even all these years later, I still remember the pain (not 'sore') of post-surgery months. Most people don't go through it, but if you do, its pretty miserable. Hard to describe. You're pretty just as you are!
Name not provided

Very poor post-op support and attitude. Too full of himself to acknowledge he might not have done a good job.

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Comments (12)

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Thank you so much for your well-written "blog" and your candor. I am three weeks out and was told by my surgeon that "Of course, you can fly cross country and attend a conference." I am in agony. The pain is worse than the first few days and does not seem to be getting at all better. I am 58 years old, am a size 0 on the bottom and have no idea what I am (or will finally be) on top. I've always exercised, but that is now of the question because of the pain. I only opted for this surgery because my left breast was "shrink-wrapped" because of radiation and didn't match my right one. I could kick myself for doing this. I made it through cancer only to now have horrrible pain and for what? Who is going to see these things other than me and my loving husband? I feel like a vain idiot. The burning pain, the searing jolts of pain---nobody every talks about that---or how long it lasts. The depression from being in constant day and night pain is the worst. My strength is just sapped and I want to (but don't) just sit around (because moving hurts) and cry. If you are older, like me---are in a loving, stable relationship---then please think long and hard before doing this. And, if you're like me and stupidly chose vanity, then know I feel your pain.
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I hope you are feeling better by now. They may still be uncomfortable for a year! I do know how you felt. Hang in there.
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I am a 63 yr old who just had implant surgery, something I've wanted to do for 25 yrs. Right now I'm at 2 1/2 wks post op, but am not experiencing any of the severe pain you ladies are talking about. Yes, by the end of the day I just can't wait to get out of my bra, and yes, the incision area is sore. But then again, I did not have a lift. I'm sure that makes a big difference. I even went to the gym yesterday, but did take it easy. But after reading about the rebound pain you are experiencing at 3 wks, it makes me wonder if I will have the same. But all I can say is right now I have absolutely no complaints.
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right now, i'm 6 days ahead of my surgery! i'm counting the minutes! i'm scared and excited - i've been wanting to do this for a long time! i've been reading a lot to get some insight as to what i can expect, but it seems everyone's story is different, so i guess i'll have to wait and see how it all turns out for me!
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Yeah, most folks don't have the pain issues. Everyone expects to be sore, and all surgeries hurt. But the pain I had, and some other folks have had, is undescribable for the most part. Four years later I still remember it! Burning, searing, stabling fingers. Deep ripping feeling. And the docs think you're crazy which doesn't help. BTW - I'm very fit and take no meds or have any medical issues. Not a hypochondriac.
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I'm so thankful for the post, Atlchick. So much of what you wrote is exactly what I am experiencing. I am 43 years old, 5' 2", 117 pounds. One month ago I had a breast lift (lolipop incision) and got 375cc silicone implants. I live a very active & healthy lifestyle.Since surgery, I only work at my desk job. No exercising, no heavy lifting. I had no idea this operation would lead to so much pain and misery. The bath in hot water brings me relief also (even tho I cant get my breast in the water yet), just as you described. At the end of a long work day my breast just hurt so much. Its hard to explain, but maybe like a million ants are biting them. A bra hurts, no bra hurts, the bed sheet hurts. There's just no getting comfortable. Please tell me how long this misery lasted for you. I am looking hard for that light at the end of the tunnel! I can't see it!
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I hope you are feeling better by now! If you had the 'pain' and not the usual aches and soreness others have I sympathize. The worst of it lasted about four months for me, but didn't completely go to an ache/sore for about a year. Hope you are better.
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Jab66, you should probably take it a bit easier at this point. Listen to your body an avoid that drive to do too much. I am now at 6 months post op and finally feeling normal. My breasts were quite sore for some time but better every week. Before resuming weight training and other upper body fitness routines (about 6-8 weeks post op), I checked with my doctor to make certain I wasn't undoing any of his good work. You will feel like yourself again, soon.
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I am also very appreciative of your posting your experience. I'm at 3 weeks and have been cleaning my closet, taking out (heavy!!) trash, carrying groceries and today I feel the burning, stinging sensation you talk about. Unfortunately my 'muscles' have been flexing alot which probably isn't a good thing... Reading your post and the other comments have made me realize I probably shouldn't be doing these things. On the other hand, I'm glad to know I'm not alone.
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I understand completely. I am also a fit daily exerciser including weights, spinning and jogging but a bit older than you. I had a breast lift with implants behind the muscle and I'm at week three today with the same sort of "relapse" pain you describe in both breasts but primarily the left one.

I do believe the pain experience is unique with each individual and I keep my doctor informed (although he is in another state and I must fly there if necessary.) I was glad to read your post because it made me feel that I wasn't the only one. Glad you are feeling better
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"Everyone heals differently," as the saying goes. On the one hand, you're 'only' at 3 weeks. On the other hand, you're 'already' at 3 weeks. I trust that you've been avoiding physical exercise. There's no real way to speed up healing, although there are plenty of ways to slow it down. Smoking is bad. Excess alcohol consumption is bad. Poor nutrition is bad. Exercise is bad; put another way, "take it easy" isn't a relaxation mantra, it's meant to let your body focus on healing. This doesn't mean stay in bed 24 hours a day, but it doesn't mean get out there and see if you can knock off 20 miles on the ol' treadmill, either. You're clearly uncomfortable; you should have a chat with your surgeon to make sure everything is progressing as expected.
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Thank you for the reply...its been a long month.
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