Breast Lift/Augmentation March 31 2016 with Dr. Cohen in Baltimore

I hate the way my breasts look several years after...

I hate the way my breasts look several years after breastfeeding. They are deflated and sagging :( I wear a 34D bra, but don't like the way my breasts look when I'm naked. I am looking for a board certified and experienced plastic surgeon in the Baltimore-area (or driving distance anyway) for a breast lift and augmentation. I'm including photos of my before and my "wish pics." I'd love to hear from any ladies who have had successful results with these two procedures and any advice you may have for me...thank you!

Consult scheduled with Dr. Michael Cohen in Baltimore!

I'm going to be taking my "wish" pics and asking Dr. Cohen for his professional opinion since I really don't know much about breast implants. Will I need silicone or saline? Moderate plus or high profile? What cc? And do I need a full lift with the vertical scars?? So many questions! I will update after consult March 7th

Consult this afternoon

Hi ladies!
I meet with Dr Cohen this afternoon for my consult. I will update you later with details. I hope this journey helps someone else in making an informed decision.

Dr. Cohen consult was a great experience!

Hi ladies!
As promised, I'm going to provide an overview of my consultation with Dr. Cohen in Baltimore this afternoon, regarding a breast lift and augmentation.
I was met at the office by Dr. Cohen's staff, who were all extremely professional and nice. I should also mention that the surgery center feels more like a high-end spa upon entrance, and even during consultation. Soft music, dim lighting, tasteful art, large mirrors.
Dr. Cohen was incredibly personable and spent a good 45 minutes with me, answering all of my questions, examining my current breasts and providing me with his professional opinion and honest feedback. I feel I should also say that I had my mother and toddler daughter with me, and Dr. Cohen and his staff were so wonderful to them as well. One of his staff gave my young daughter an apple to snack on while she was waiting and Dr. Cohen even addressed my mom's questions about a potential future eyelid surgery. I can't say enough kind things about the professionalism Dr. Cohen showed, and he took the time to show personal interest in me as a person (my profession, my family, hobbies, etc.) It's not common to find such a sincere person in such a high-paced and high profile line of work. I was impressed by his personality as much as his education and experience.
All of that said, I tried on several sizers to see what felt "right" in terms of implant size. I am not looking for a very obvious augmentation, but something more natural in appearance (which Dr. Cohen seems to specialize in, by the way.) I was a 34 DD bra before pregnancy and breastfeeding, but I lost a lot of volume in the years since then, and I am more interested in giving my "girls" a little pick-me-up so they look more like they did before pregnancy.
For me, that turned out to look like 400 silicone high profile implants (ladies: high profile does NOT mean higher on your chest, it actually refers to the depth of the implant more than anything) and Dr. Cohen took measurements of my chest and made the recommendation that high profile would be the best "fit" for what I want to achieve.
I was quoted nearly $10,000, which I know seems like a lot in some areas of the country (and it is a lot of money, I know) but I can't help but feel that surgery is not a place to look for savings as much as it is a place to look for safety and quality and comfort with those who will be providing care.
I should mention that I have not ever been to a cosmetic surgeon consultation before, and though I planned to go to several other plastic surgeons for breast consults before making a choice, I feel Dr. Cohen would trump any surgeon you put in front of me and I would be wasting my time if I continue my search.
My only concerns have more to do with the future appearance of my breasts, after the full lift (I will have scars to manage) and the implant. I know it takes time for the implants to "settle" and I do not have a lot of time to take off of work (and I'm a single mom) so my recovery needs to be smooth, or I will be in trouble ladies! I also work in a conservative and professional environment and would like to make this transition a discreet one, that I can cover with my suit jackets while doing my job.
Dr. Cohen said it takes about 3 months for everything to finally "settle" into position, and I am concerned that they will look super fake during those three months.
I am also scheduling another procedure (I know, I know, I'm going ALL OUT all at once) in Miami for early summer so I am currently considering whether I want to schedule this procedure for the end of this month (March, 2016) or if I want to wait until after my other procedure (which would push it out until probably August.) The other procedure will require me to lay on my stomach to sleep for several months, so I want to feel confident that my breasts will be healed enough at the 2 month mark, for me to lay on my stomach (I can place a pillow under my stomach to alleviate pressure on my breasts as well.)
For you ladies who have been through this procedure, do you have any insight into whether I should be feeling ok enough by 2 months to lay on my stomach at night?
I also wonder if the 400 breast implants in addition to the breast tissue I currently have, will produce a reasonable bra cup size...does anyone have insight about this? I would prefer not to have a cup size over the DD I used to naturally have, as I have some friends with larger breasts and I know it is quite a task to special order bras and I really want to avoid that!
I think that covers it for now ladies...I have to make a decision in the next few days and commit to a surgery date I suppose.
Does anyone out there think it's crazy not to seek a second opinion?

Booking for April 7, 2016 with Dr. Cohen. Feeling SCARED

HI ladies! I am booking my bl/ba with Dr. Cohen Thursday April 7th and I am feeling the nerves now! EEK! I have never had any kind of cosmetic surgery and deep inside I find myself confronting fears that I didn't even know I had: am I selfish for doing this? I have a young child and what if something happens to me while undergoing cosmetic surgery? What if they look fake? I want them to look natural but better...if that makes sense. What if they feel foreign and I decide I hate the feeling of implants in my body? What about the horrible scars? What if they don't fade? Will I regret having this if I am left with majorly visible scars from the full breast lift? There's actually more fears than this....but I won't take you ladies down that dark path with me! I just pray that this turns out being a good decision and not something I regret because the scarring will make it difficult to have any kind of "revision" that would correct it. It's not like I'm only having implants placed and they could be removed if I am unhappy...what if I miss my "natural" figure? I said I wouldn't keep going. Agh! Sorry for the freakout ladies.

Procedure date moved up! Eek! So nervous

Hi ladies!
Just a quick update: I am now scheduled for Thursday March 31 and I am actually shaking as I type this.
I have doubts, mostly because I'm a super cautious person by nature. My biggest fear is something going wrong and leaving behind my young daughter. But I do trust Dr. Cohen and believe things will go well. I have to maintain that positive attitude! Hope everyone is healing well on your personal journeys!
Appreciate any information before my surgery date that may help me be the best prepared that I can be. I will be returning to work 5-6 days post op. I work in an office and type most of the day so hopefully it won't be too difficult to transition back to work.

Preparation list for ba/bl

Hi ladies
Taking the excellent advice of another RS user in this community, I've decided to focus my nervous energy into preparing for my upcoming breast lift/augmentation. I'm posting this, with hopes it will help fellow users on their journey. If you have something to add, please feel free to make recommendations in the comments! Many thanks to all the ladies who have helped me so far. I will try to make this list as comprehensive as possible.

*Zip-front sports bra and/or post surgical bra (your surgeon will likely provide one, but it may not be quality, and chances are you're going to need more than one during the healing process.)

*Gel cooling packs (the kind you can place in the freezer are reusable and there are round packs that will fit in your bra available on Amazon.)

*scar gel or cream or silicone strips (your surgeon may recommend a specific brand, but research shows the only treatment that has been "proven" to decrease scars is silicone strips. You can purchase these online, and will need to be prepared to wear them 24/7 for several months)
*Pain medication and antibiotic as prescribed (fill your prescriptions from your surgeon in advance and have your pain meds on hand for directly after surgery, should you need it. Also pick up so,e over the counter pain medication.)

*Wedge pillow (for more elevated/comfortable sleeping. Many women also sleep in a recliner for a week or two.)

*Vitamins (begin a pre-op regiment atleast two weeks ahead but a month is better. Include vitamin c and other immune support vitamins but get approval from your surgeon as some supplements complicate healing.)

*Hibiclens medical body wash (you can purchase this at a pharmacy or online. It is red and will stain your washcloths so be sure to use a cloth or sponge you don't care about. This will disinfect your skin and can be used the night before and morning before surgery during your shower. Could be handy for when you resume regular showers post-op as well, but keep away from incision sites.)

*Loose-fitting button up shirts and/or zip up shirts and jackets for post-op wear. You won't want to pull anything over your head for awhile.

*loungepants for surgery day and a few days post-op (easy-on with elastic waist)

*slide-on shoes on surgery day and the days that follow for several weeks (so you don't have to bend to tie shoes)

*hair bands/wraps to keep your hair out of your face on surgery day and immediate post-op (by the way: get your last shower in before surgery since it will be awhile before you can stand under the shower.)

*Back scratcher (so you don't have to try reaching any itches and also handy for reaching things. If you live alone or don't have a lot of 24/hour help, you may also consider a grabber tool on a stick, which you can purchase on Amazon)

*Glasses (if you normally wear contacts, you will need to wear glasses on surgery day.)

*Place a small trash can with plastic bag in the car you ride in to surgery, should you be one of the unlucky ladies who gets nausea from the anesthesia. You don't want to throw up in the floor of the car on the way home from surgery sister!


*Cocoa Butter

*Healthy foods to include fruits and vegetables and lean meats (make a shopping trip right before your surgery so you have fresh items stocked in your refrigerator for your post-op nutrition. Protein really helps recovery and avoiding processed foods will help with inflammation.)

*Pre-made freezer meals (great suggestion from another user! Especially great if you are responsible for feeding the family dinner...stock two weeks of meals so you can just toss one in the oven without preparation. You can google for freezer meal recipes.)

*Lightweight plastic step stool with twine or yarn tied around the top handle or side. (This will be useful for getting things out of high cabinets or overhead during post-op healing. Suggest purchasing the lightest plastic version you can find and setting it up before surgery, then tie a long pice of twine or string to it and leave the other end of the twine tied to something at hip-height in your home. This way when you need to reach something, you can simply untie the twine and drag the plastic step stool to the location! Don't forget to tie the end of the string you use to drag it to something hip-height when you get there though, to eliminate the need to bend and pick it up to move it! These step stools are available on Amazon for less than $20)

*Dvds and/or books for entertainment during early recovery)

*Arrange childcare and/or pet care for the first week. (This may be a good time to take the grandparents up on that offer to watch the kids for a long weekend!)

*Either deep clean your house right before surgery or if your budget allows, arrange for a cleaning service to come at the end of your first week recovering so you can sail into your second week without worrying about housework)

*laundry preparation (set out your own clothes for the first week in a place that won't require you to pull them off clothes hangers high in your closet or pull open heavy dresser drawers. Also have all laundry within your household clean and put away before surgery day, as you won't be up to doing it for the first few days or even week. If you live in an area near a full service laundromat, call and ask if they do "fluff and fold" service. If so, arrange for someone (hubby/mom/friend) to drop off a few loads of clothes at the end of your first week, as household laundry will begin piling up and you shouldn't be bending or lifting baskets yet. Just to give you an idea, "fluff and fold" service here in the Baltimore Maryland area is about $1.35 per pound and you just drop off your clothing and detergent if you have a preferred kind for them to use. They wash and dry and fold everything and have it ready for pickup usually the same day. Don't forget to arrange for someone to pick it up!)

*water (staying hydrated promotes healing so have plenty of drinking water at home for your recovery!)

*Diaper rash cream (a kind RS user claims this was a lifesaver for chaffing under the arms from the bulkiness of the surgical bra she was given by her surgeon. May be worth investing in a travel size just to be prepared.)

*Arnica gel (this stuff is a miracle worker for reducing bruising and swelling! You can buy it at Target or Amazon)

*Arnica Montana in oral pill form (costs about $8-9 for 30 capsules if you want to double down on this awesome recovery aid!

*scarf or neck wrap (another user recommends this as a way to wear some of your pre-op tops that may be too tight now, without announcing to the world "hey I just got a boob job!" Lol particularly helpful tip for those of us going back to the office shortly after surgery)

*Bromelain (found naturally in pineapple if you want to eat lots of the fruit instead!) is a natural supplement to help with inflammation. Many surgeons swear by it for a smoother recovery. Also available on Amazon and I know a lot of ladies on RS choose to drink pineapple juice for this reason during recovery.

*Bendy straws (may make your post op life on the sofa when you're consuming lots of water, a little easier)

*Dial soap or other antibacterial and unscented soap for post-op bathing

*Baby wipes or packets of adult wet wipes for freshening up before your first post-op shower. Depending how sore you are, you may not be up to a true bath the first day or two, but will still want to feel clean.)

*Dry shampoo (this stuff is a lifesaver even when NOT recovering from surgery lol but you won't want to lift your arms to wash your hair for awhile so invest in lots of dry shampoo and maybe even enlist someone close to you to wash your hair for you the first time to go to the salon where you can lean back over the shampoo sink for a wash instead of trying to lean forward over your bathtub or sink at home.)

*Batteries for your remote control (courtesy tip from a RS user! And make sure your TV remote is somewhere within reach for your early recovery..this is not the time you will want to be searching sofa cushions for it)

*Stool softener/laxative (narcotic pain medication, if prescribed by your surgeon, will likely cause constipation so this will help. Also another reason that increased water intake is important during recovery)

*Arrange transportation to and from your surgery and post op appointments, through the 2 week mark.

*Remove your earrings and makeup before getting to the surgery center or hospital, so you don't have to worry about misplacing your valuables or washing your face once you're there.

*Hand sanitizer (you will be changing dressings or tapes early on and massaging your breasts later in recovery, so keep a bottle in your handbag, nightstand, in your car, etc. Target sells the small travel size bottles that are great for this for $1 each.)

*If it applies to you, stop drinking caffeine and smoking. Both could complicate your healing--especially smoking, really.

*Prepare a caddy or basket with your medications, water, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer, TV remotes, etc. so you always have these items handy and can easily move it from one room to the other with you...and since you will carry it, make sure you keep it light. Only necessities.)

Less than a week until surgery day

I am going to rewind a little bit and cover some of my initial consult again, so I hope I don't confuse anyone. I will also discuss my pre-op appointment a little bit (the pre-op appointment is very straightforward. It includes signing consent papers, having vitals checked by a nurse and having your "before" photos taken for Dr. Cohen's records, as well as getting your prescriptions for all post-op medications.)
I've spent some time thinking of my experience in a more holistic way and I feel I've left a few key points out that could provide other ladies more insight should they choose to go with Dr. Cohen's practice.
Let me start with the good: I have an amazing nurse, Lisa. She is one of those rare people who just radiates joy and it's obvious that she loves her job. She was easy to talk to, and made the entire (more than 1 hour) pre op appointment feel like I was spending time with a friend...which says a lot since the appointment came after I had worked a 10-hour day under stressful deadlines and then had to deal with more than an hour of traffic just to get to the appointment. Lisa provided me so much insight about what to expect during my recovery period and made me laugh while I was "signing my life away." She was relatable and down to earth, so I was pleased to find out she will also be my nurse during my three post-op visits and could be working in the surgical area on the day of my procedure (THIS Thursday, by the way!! EEK!!) I hope she's working that day, since she has a way of setting my mind at ease. She informed me of everything to expect the day of SX, and told me that that I'm Dr. Cohen's first patient of the day (procedure is scheduled to begin at 7:30 am, which means I will leave my house around 5:30 am, to be there an hour before my procedure as requested.)
My Mom is going to drive me and stay in the waiting area while I'm in surgery (Lisa was kind enough to inform me that they have wifi if she wants to bring their laptop or tablet and they also have a TV and refreshments. Helpful information since we live a distance away and I suspect my mom won't want to drive back home to wait.) She also told me that a nurse would meet me in the lobby of the surgery entrance Thursday morning, or possibly Dr. Cohen's mom, haha who she said also likes to come help out in the office. I thought that was just adorable and hope I get to meet his mother, I'm sure she's a lovely person like her son.
The only unsettling feeling I've had so far in my journey have come from interactions with my coordinator, Jessica. I hesitated to share these feelings in my post about my initial consultation. A coordinator at a surgeons office is the person who schedules the initial consult and then speaks with you about payments and sometimes assists you with various parts of your intake and out-processing or post-op. In some practices, coordinators work for commission on the sale of various surgical procedures, though I'm not sure if that is the case for Dr. Cohen's coordinators. So in that sense, they are also salespeople in some practices. I can say that Jessica has been very responsive when I contact her, and almost always gets back to me within the hour. So my uneasiness about my interactions with her come specifically from her impersonal demeanor and some of the comments she has made. She was the first person from Dr. Cohen's office who I communicated with, after inquiring online about this procedure several months ago now. She also met me in the lobby area for my consultation (which I chronicled earlier and in which I took my Mother and young daughter) Jessica was the person who was supposed to assist me with sizers while waiting for Dr. Cohen. I was surprised that the coordinator was the person to go over sizers with me while I waited to meet with Dr. Cohen, instead of Dr. Cohen himself helping me select the right size/shape/etc. That said, I assumed she was an expert in sizers or something and that she would be informative and helpful. But I felt a lot like I was inconveniencing her by being there (her overall demeaner made me feel like I showed up to a black tie event wearing cut-off denim shorts and flip flops.) I noticed right away that she seemed slightly uncomfortable that my mother and daughter were at the appointment with me, despite me and my mom both being very warm and outgoing types that usually bring even the most shy people out of their shells. I could't figure out why there was an air of weirdness since my daughter was extremely well behaved and sat on my mom's lap. Sensing her discomfort and wanting to get the best outcome, I suggested my Mom take my daughter to the car "for a snack." So when it was just me and Jessica, I still felt like I had to ask all of the questions (instead of her being the one to educate me about my options) and because of her being so standoffish, I ended up only trying on two sizes. It would have been one size had I not asked if I could at least see what a little more would look like. She didn't really suggest anything and didn't make me feel comfortable enough to ask to see other options. For example, even though there were saline implants and textured implants on the counter, Jessica didn't address those options at all. I had to ask about them and as soon as I did, she made it clear they were not a good choice. So basically, it was made clear up front that round, smooth, silicone implants were the only option (not to say that isn't the best option) but why even have the others available for patients to see, if they aren't a true option?? Maybe Dr. Cohen's practice has a deal with the manufacturer and have to display all of the various styles and materials?? At one point during my time with Jessica while we were still waiting for Dr. Cohen to join us, I was wearing the a 400 cc sizer (mind you, this is the first time I've ever tried a sizer on and this is my first consult for breast surgery) so I was seeking feedback and I asked Jessica if the size was a natural look for my figure, or if it appeared too large. She told me that she thought they looked OK, and then said something like, "especially since you had large breasts to begin with." I didn't know what that meant exactly and I suddenly wished my Mom had stayed to provide me her honest feedback. And THEN she followed up with a comment about how she thought if I went any larger I would look chunky or fat. (HOLD UP. GIRL WHAT???) Insert awkward moment of silence as I stood staring in the mirror, a bit shocked but trying to play it off. She then said, "I mean I don't mean it like that, it's just sometimes larger implants make people look thick." I told her not to worry about it, and I was being sincere. I did feel a little bit like maybe I was on a prank TV show? lol! I started wondering if there was a hidden camera in the room! Then I thought maybe she's just a really awful communicator. In which case, this may not be the right job for her. But either way, all of those weird feelings vanished when Dr. Cohen arrived. He was instantly engaging and obviously knowledgable. He really cared about what I wanted. At some point, Jessica told him what size I wanted to go with... I was a little confused by this, since I kind of assumed Dr. Cohen would try the sizers on me again in person before any decisions were made. That didn't happen, but I didn't dwell on it too much since Dr. Cohen seemed comfortable with the look I want to achieve (and I had showed him a few photos saved on my phone, that are also posted here as my "Wish" photos.) He was exuding confidence and has amazing bedside manner so even with the weirdness of Jessica, I felt he was the right surgeon for me within minutes. However, since that meeting, and even since my great pre-op experience with Lisa the nurse, I've had some doubts about my size selection and how it was decided on. Maybe this is because I had a sizer on for all of four or five minutes and I'm not sure that is long enough to determine if that's the size I want my breasts for the rest of my life?? Or maybe (and more likely) it's because of the experience with Jessica and my lack of trust in her judgment and feedback. I felt like I didn't receive guidance or very valuable input from her. The only reason I feel comfortable proceeding at this point is because I TRULY trust Dr. Cohen's eye for aesthetics and I intend to tell him about my concerns on the morning of my surgery and ask him to adjust the size in whatever way HE thinks will look best on my frame, taking into consideration the photos I provided him (and which Jessica says she placed in my file for his review.)
Jessica also dealt with providing me the estimate for the procedures.
On the day of my consult, she provided me various dates available for my procedure with Dr. Cohen and March 31 (my current SX date) was one of the options. I explained that I have a different procedure scheduled for early June this year and if I couldn't get this procedure done by the first week of April, then I would need to push it to late August in order to allow adequate healing time between the procedures. She said she understood. I told her I would be in touch with payment information within a few days and when I contacted her three days later to schedule (and to pay in full, with cash) I was told the March 31 date was no longer available and she couldn't fit me in until the second week of April. I explained to her that as I said previously, I couldn't schedule at that time and would need to schedule in late August instead since the earlier dates with Dr. Cohen were now booked (and my June procedure had already been scheduled and paid.) Jessica's response really took me off guard. She replied by saying she didn't think it made any sense at all that I needed to wait to have my surgery done and that I needed time between the two procedures when she knows that surgeons often do various procedures close together, and even though she didn't know the nature of my other procedure she thought I should ask my other doctor if it was truly necessary to wait until August. I felt her reaction was a little strange/aggressive (perhaps she was afraid of losing commission?)
And amazingly, Jessica contacted me very quickly after that exchange and said that March 31st became available again (she said she "spoke to the survival coordinator" or something like that??) and they could now fit me in if I was ready to schedule. She also assured me that Dr. Cohen will provide me a written clearance for my other doctor.
Since the 31st still worked for me, I scheduled and here we are.
Regardless of how I got to this point, I'm really excited that I will be able to have my SX sooner rather than later. I couldn't stand the thought of healing from this in the thick heat of summer.
As I said before, I think Dr. Cohen is hands-down the best choice for this and hope I still feel that way post op!!
Other than the communication issues with Jessica, I have had a seamless and incredible experience so far, and I look forward to my SX day (with lots of anxiety!!)
In my last preparations, I have my prescriptions filled, two post-op sports bras, and a wedge pillow for elevated sleeping. I've also been taking Vitamin C (in addition to my multi daily) as well as Arnica and Bromelain (which is naturally found in pineapples, btw) to aid with swelling and bruising issues post-op. I have ice packs in the freezer, and a house cleaner coming once a week for the next two weeks to help me keep up on the regular housework. My mom is going to be with me for at least the first 48 hours post-op to help with my little one, so I can rest and drink lots of fluids to flush the anesthesia from my body.
I am praying that everything works out as it should, and that I don't have any complications. To be honest, going into this, I thought the procedure was less intensive than it actually is. Through reading other ladies' journeys and research, I've learned that this is a serious SX. The procedure itself takes several hours and there are risks associated with the post-op period.
I realize it's probably not the "ideal" time for me to do this, since I work full time and care for a toddler and a dog and tend an entire household myself, but I feel in my heart that if I don't do this now, I will never get around to it.
I'm the type of person who tends to put my loved ones and their needs and desires above my own, and it has taken me a lot to get to the point where I don't feel guilty about doing this for ME. I don't want to tentatively plan it for the future now that I finally have my mind made up, because we are not promised tomorrow...we only have today.
Thank you for following my journey and I hope this somehow helps other ladies.

I made it! Now resting in bed

Hi ladies!
Just a little note to say I made it safely through surgery this morning. I've been battling dehydration and a headache and it feels way too soon to know what I'm going to look like (lots of swelling, aching and some incision site pain.)
When I'm on my feet, I will post a more thorough review.

Day 1 post op

Dr. Cohen ended up placing a smaller size implant once he got into the OR and tried different sizes on me. He made mention that all of my "wish pictures" were very natural and that he would create more of a slope in the upper pole versus the round and overly full look that some women seek.
Today is one day one post op and I'm including some photos I took this morning. I had a rough night trying to sleep elevated on a wedge pillow. Fortunately my mom has been here to keep an eye on me and to take care of my little one. I feel pain at the incision sites (particularly the underneath incisions) and a lot of soreness in my chest muscles that have obviously been stretched. I'm drinking a lot of water and Vitamin Water to rehydrate. I feel very lucky that I didnt get sick from the anesthesia.
Dr. Cohen and his entire surgical team were lovely. My mom was impressed that Dr. Cohen even looks super fit in unflattering scrubs. He is a handsome man for sure. His mother was also helping out in the surgical center when I was there and she stopped by to meet me and my mom, she was very sweet!
So far, I can't tell if my breasts are going to look like my wish pictures or not, but I trust Dr. Cohen's opinion (which is why he placed substantially smaller implants than I had originally selected.) When he was marking me up before I was taken into the OR, he was definitely in his zone and kept saying the shape of my breasts was very pretty and he wanted to preserve that. He also said "I want this to be perfect" under his breathe as he was drawing, and I could tell he was focused on giving me the best results possible.
Before he left the room and I was taken back to the OR, he asked if it would be ok with me if he decided to go with a smaller silicone implant to get the look I desired, and I said yes of course, I completely trust your eye for aesthetics and your professional opinion. I think that was a good choice on my part, because I really didn't feel confident in the size I selected since you only wear the sizer for a few minutes and Dr. Cohen wasn't there when I tried them on during my consult.
In the photos you can see I am very swollen in the upper pole region of my breasts and of course the impacts haven't "dropped" into their final position yet and probably won't for several weeks. I will post updates for you ladies as I continue through this journey. Thank you for the positive energy and support!

A note about supplements to reduce bruising and swelling

Before I forget, I want to share my experience with two homeopathic treatments that have made an incredible difference in my recovery already. I am sharing this information, hopeful it will help others.
The first homeopathic remedy is Bromelain, which is an enzyme naturally found in pineapple. You can also eat the pineapple to ingest this, but some of it is found in the stem and skin which are parts most people don't think to eat, so I've found it is easier to take the dissolvable tablets. Bromelain is known to substantially reduce inflammation (swelling) in patients post-op. Many doctors and surgeons know this, but because it is not FDA approved (most natural or homeopathic remedies are not) they stay away from recommending them. If you're like me, and you believe there are many natural remedies available that do just as much (or more) good as pharmaceuticals, I urge you to give these two remedies a try during your healing journey!
The other remedy is Arnica Montana (sometimes just called Arnica.) This is derived from a yellow flower that is part of the sunflower family. I know of Arnica because my Native American ancestors have long stored and used this remedy to treat traumatic injuries or support recovery from surgery! This stuff is like magic, I swear. It really helps eliminate bruising and swelling and I know this works because I'm the type of person who develops purple bruises on my skin from just lightly bumping into a doorway with my hip or if someone grabs my arm tight. And as much trauma as my breasts have undergone the last three days, I have yet to develop a single bruise! I have been in disbelief about it really, because I expected I would still have SOME bruising despite the arnica, but so far so good ladies!
Of course every person is different and you may or may not benefit the same from these two supplements, but I know several other women who have had great experiences using both for recovery post-op as well.
I have been using both since one week prior to my surgery and I take the Bromelain 2-3 times per day and the Arnica Montana (small dissolvable tablets) 3 times per day. With the Arnica, I use 4 of the small dissolvable tablets and place them under my tongue to dissolve (they don't have much flavor, maybe a little sweet, but nothing unpleasant.)
I will post a photo of the brands I purchased from Amazon.
I hope this helps some of you with your journey to full recovery!

Update: recovery progress 3 days post op

It has been three days since my breast lift and augmentation with Dr. Cohen. Recovery from any procedure is such a personal journey, which is one reason I want to share a few thoughts, with hopes it will help some of you ladies out there going down your own path.
Most of us know about the obvious factors that play a role in the speed and intensity of your recovery...weight, general health, age. But we often don't discuss the less obvious factors that play into recovery, even if they are just as valid. How about skin color and texture and elasticity? And pain tolerance, access to emotional support during recovery, and environmental factors (altitude/ climate of where you live?) I bring this up because I know there are ladies out there following the journey of others and wondering why they aren't healing at the same rate, why they aren't feeling up to attending kids soccer games or hitting that after-work happy hour at 7 days post op when others on RS (or just others you know who have experienced this procedure) are bumping along like they never underwent surgery at all. I want to take a moment to speak to those ladies and say: it's ok. You are a complete person with literally millions of individualized factors that influence your recovery and this isn't a race to any finish line or a bikini contest. Here in the U.S. women are socially programmed from a young age to compare ourselves with our peers. We are conditioned by the media and advertisers and sometimes even our role models, that we need to be better, faster, sexier than our fellow females. If you're reading this, I just want to remind you that you don't need that superficial competition taking up any space in your mind and spirit. You are healing on your time, you are your own version of beauty and even when you get to your final post-op state, you will still be completely different than any wish picture you may have saved months ago when you began this journey, and that's a good thing! You are nobody's clone, sister. You are walking at your own pace and will arrive when you are supposed to and not one minute sooner. So no matter where on this path you find yourself traversing; just keep going girl.
On a personal note, I feel incredibly blessed that I've had as much support as I have had (including from the honest and beautiful women in this online community.) I went into this procedure as I do with SO many decisions in my life: I plunged in head-first with no safety net. Let's just say I've never been the type to dwell and ponder a choice for great lengths of time. I credit my "all in" approach to growing up in poverty, with so few opportunities available. Once I pulled myself up by the boot straps and put myself though college and clawed my way through the ranks of the workforce so that I could have enough income to create choices and opportunities for myself, I made sure to say "yes" more than I say "no."
Anytime I find myself marinating on a decision for too long, I remind myself that we are not eternal. We are all just passing through. This means the only thing we truly ever have is right now. This moment. When I frame my choices with that truth, they become so much easier to make. This decision was one that I found myself asking questions and spinning wheels until I framed it with the truth. Then I knew it was the right thing for me, and haven't had any doubts or regrets since.
I don't yet have the results I hoped for, but a combined breast lift and augmentation does not deliver immediate results. That can surely be a tad frustrating as you go through the healing process, because while you're dealing with many modifications to your lifestyle and the general aches and pains of recovery, it would be So reassuring to look down and be reminded that it was all worth it because wow look at you now mama! But that's not how this jive is danced.
The reality is that it takes for implants of any size or material to drop into position (swelling keeps them elevated on your chest for weeks or even months post-op) and you have to be patient and trust your surgeons ability and your personal journey. At times like this, I appreciate Dr. Cohen's extra effort to inform me of the waiting period before "fluffing and dropping" takes place; presumably because I requested very natural looking breasts. I showed him several photos of what appeals to me. Knowing that the look I would have directly after surgery would be very far off from what I want my results to be, he was sure to tell me that I would have to wait for those results, but he would make sure I had them once they settled into their final resting place. Was that what I wanted to hear? Of course not! I want my dream boobies now man! But, I appreciate Dr. Cohen's responsible behavior in being honest that it will take 4-6 weeks before my new breasts even begin to take on that more natural look; and until then they will be sitting high and appear very round and reaching upward to my collar bone. And he has been right on point about that! They are sitting high and tight!
I'm not looking forward to returning to work this week and attempting to cover these puppies with conservative clothing (not even sure any of my existing blouses and cardigans will fit!) as they are quite obvious I'm their current state. Even worse, they are sitting out toward the side of my body on both sides as well right now (hopefully just from swelling) so I appear as though ive gained 15 pounds or so, based on the width they are adding to my petite frame. As swelling subsides and they make the great descent into the elusive "pockets" we all hear so much about, I hope that I no longer have this "side boob."
I think it's important to say that these are just my personal ramblings from an emotional state, as from a logical place, I know that any experienced surgeon would tell me not to judge my results or even think about them (meaning don't fall in love with them just yet either) because I won't have any idea what they will actually look like until 3-6 months post op. So for any of you ladies feeling unsure about your early results, you're doing OK! I promise. It's normal to go though the emotions (we are only human, and this is a dramatic change and a personal one for so many of us) but I encourage you not to unpack and settle in with your post op insecurities and fears. Instead, you'll be best served if you acknowledge those feelings when they pop up throughout recovery, and then let them go and keep on hustlin' ladies. One day in the not-so-distant future, you're going to wake up and have a major surge in body confidence! Until then, stay strong ??

Photos from 3 days post op

As you can see, I still have a lot of swelling above the upper pole of both breasts and they have not began settling. High and tight at three days post op. Please don't save or share my photos

Quick update: Day 4 post op

Apologies for the many updates since surgery, but I want to be thorough for those of you reading my review to gain insight. I was once in your shoes and the thorough reviews of several other sweet ladies really helped me feel at peace about my own decision to move forward with this.
Today is day 4 post-op and I have to say, my recovery is really on the upswing. The first two days were by far the most difficult (with the day of surgery being a stay in bed day.) I took a shower this morning with my back to the water and kept a dry towel within arms reach and patted my breasts dry every few minutes, to be sure the steri strips didn't get wet. It felt really good to really wash my hair again. You may be surprised how challenging it can be to wash your hair without getting your chest at least a little bit wet in the process, so I suggest anyone planning for this process definitely invest in some dry shampoo.
I have not driven yet, but plan to do so tomorrow when I return to Dr. Cohen's office for my first post-op appointment. I am fairly confident that driving will not cause me any pain, based on how well I am moving around the house. I am able to do pretty much anything without pain at this point, with the exception of leaning over to either side very far. I can bend and touch my toes, lift my arms overhead, lay on my side (though I am still choosing to sleep on my back with the help of my foam wedge pillow) and even massage my breasts lightly. I still have minor pain at the incision sites beneath each breast (with the left side still being more painful, which has been the case since I woke after surgery.) I have found that most of the pain or discomfort in those areas is primarily from the band of my bra rubbing against the steri strips, which is impossible to avoid at this point. In the photos I posted yesterday you can see I have been wearing a bralette at times, because it has less mechanics than other bras and it isn't a problem for me to put things over my head. Though that is not the case for everyone and I anticipated having more trouble raising my arms in the post op period so I also invested in two sports bras that zip in front. I attempted to wear one of them on day 2 post op but I was too swollen to get it zipped (even with help from my mother) however much of that initial swelling has subsided because I was able to zip it and wear it comfortably yesterday and today. It does provide a great deal of compression though, and I intend to ask Dr. Cohen if that is OK when I see him tomorrow. I can't imagine that compression from a bra would do any damage at this point, but I'm going to ask to be extra cautious.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been taking arnica and bromelain in addition to my vitamin regimen since one week before surgery and I believe those two homeopathic remedies have done wonders for me since I have very little bruising and my post op swelling seems to be diminishing each day. The only location I notice any bruising is along the steri strips that run beneath each breast, almost in the fold. There is some purple color in those areas, but nothing like I expected.
I have general soreness and stiffness in my chest area and have been taking Tylenol to stay on top of the pain management.
I feel I should mention a strange side effect that I was not aware of before this journey: air can get trapped within your breast area during the procedure and you will actually hear it moving around inside of your body post op. Crazy, right? Imagine my surprise when I would lift my arm and hear what sounded almost like a crunching sound (crumpled bag of chips) and then lower my arm and hear another sound almost like rubber against rubber. LOL! I am a serious researcher by nature so I had it figured out within a few minutes of hitting up Google, but it was still a very strange experience! From what I have gathered, the air that enters your chest area during the procedure can't be prevented (meaning the surgeon did nothing wrong to cause this) and it is very common. It will not cause you any harm, and if you are self conscious about the sounds, chances are that people around you cannot hear them. That said, I made my mom and stepdad be really quiet and stand very close to me so I could raise my arms and demonstrate it for them and both of their mouths dropped open! lol My mom said that it reminded her of how she had air trapped within her abdomin after having cesarian deliveries with me and my brother (she said that was actually painful, while this has not caused me any additional pain.) The air will be absorbed by your body and eventually the sounds will go away, but it can take several weeks. In the meantime, maybe you could enjoy entertaining your kids or tipsy friends with this fancy new party trick?!

Post op checkup #1

I drove for the first time today, making my way to Bellacara for my first post op checkup. I had to deal with morning rush hour traffic for more than an hour and then spent less than 30 minutes in my actual appointment. I guess I didn't really understand the purpose of this visit, as I met with Lisa my nurse but I never saw Dr. Cohen. Lisa explained that I don't see him until next week when I go back for my next post op in which I get my bandages and stitches removed. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of today's checkup was, and honestly think I could have just had a phone call with Lisa and accomplished pretty much the same thing. I wish I had not wasted a half day of vacation time from work. That said, I do appreciate that they care about my health and progress and make the time for their patients post-operatively. I still think Lisa is great (she did change one of my steri strips that had dried blood on it, under my left breast) but she said that wasn't urgent and didn't seem concerned. I had the feeling that could have waited until next week when I see Dr. Cohen as well. It really felt like a wasted trip, with no disrespect to the staff, who have all been wonderful.
Lisa said everything looks good and seems to be healing well and confirmed that I am still very swollen and it will take 6-8 weeks before I see much reduction in this swelling.
I am feeling less pain overall, just some minor soreness and tightness and the stitches are beginning to itch sometimes.
Lisa said that things will only look better from this point forward. I was happy to hear that because even though I know Dr. Cohen did great work, I feel my breasts are still too large (most likely swelling since he went with a very modest implant) and they are overly full in the upper pole area and less full and rounded out at the lower pole. This too is to be expected at this stage of the process. I was very clear that I wanted a more teardrop/ natural shape like my natural breasts, but perkier and with more fullness where I had lost volume from breastfeeding.
I know that my final results will take time, and maybe even months. Because of that, I have not been allowing myself to spend much time inspecting or obsessing over my breasts. For the time being (and for the weeks to come) I will remain focused on healing well and completely.
I was explaining to my mother that this is a very interesting experience in the way that you undergo so much to get to your goal...but there is a lot of blind periods where you just have to trust the process and your surgeon, because the results are not immediate. I think it's important for anyone who is going into this to be aware that this is not something you would want to do, say, a few months before your wedding or another big event. As often as we hear about "boob jobs" in our culture, it seems the reality of the process is less often communicated. This is indeed a process and one I would encourage other women to be both mentally and physically prepared for before moving forward with surgery. It reminds me a bit of when I used to run half marathon and the start line I would be so pumped and excited about competing and just proving to myself that I could finish the next big race. After the first few miles I would have these overly confident thoughts about how I had stressed too much about training and this was going to be way easier than I comes mile 12 and I'm starting to notice different parts of my body are feeling fatigued but I'm in denial about the fact that maybe I wasn't really prepared for this race...mile 14 or so and I'm hurting, exhausted, being passed by senior citizen age runners and I consider slowing down to a walk or maybe giving up all together. My mind would then start playing tricks on me like what was I thinking? I should have known I couldn't do this. Then there would be an internal battle about how I came too far to give up now, I was more than halfway there and I just had to grit it out a little bit longer and once I cross that finish line I'm going to feel so good....but those last miles would feel like hundreds of miles and I would hear every crunch beneath my feet and would become hyper aware of how dehydrated I had become, how my sports bra was rubbing me uncomfortably, how I should have sat this one out...fighting these negative thoughts with sheer willpower until I finally made my way across the finish line. I would walk and stretch, still on an endorphin high, thinking about how much I had just accomplished with my body and my mind. And then would come a surge of pride mixed with relief because I didn't let fear stop me or even slow me down, and I did what I set out to do. I never regretted those races, no matter how prepared or unprepared I was going in.
I know, deep inside, that I'm early into this race and my mind is playing tricks on me. But this ain't my first rodeo either...and I'm going to make it to the finish line.
I've had a few second thoughts in which I wondered if I would have been happier had I gone with a moderate or conservative implant only, in order to fill out and even lift my previous breasts to the extent that implants would do so. It would have been more immediate results and less healing time for sure, but what's done is done. I made this decision with the idea that if I had gone with just implants to address my concerns, I would have ended up going back within a few years for the lift anyway. And I'm sure that's probably true, so I am making peace with the process one day at a time.
Tomorrow will mark my first day back at work and I have no idea what I'm going to wear in my ultra conservative office in order to keep the stares away (my colleagues know I'm out for a surgery but I did not address the type of procedure.) I'm thinking a black oversized cardigan or wrap may be in order for the next few weeks...or months....Oh lawd, I'm going to be wearing black sweaters in July.
I want to end this post by saying that I feel grateful to my body for being so strong and seeing my through so much over the last few years. Like many western women, I've spent a great deal of time critiquing and criticizing my skin and bones and everything in between throughout my life....ultimately driving me to this decision, among others. But I am also working to be more grateful for my health and my ability to carry on, despite varying degrees of challenges and traumas. This body carried my precious child for 9 months and then delivered her, a perfectly healthy little human and that was just two years ago...and this body has literally supported me and my dreams and has yet to let me down.
And so I feel I've been blessed to "bounce back" from this surgery in the way that I have so far.
And I feel gratitude, not only for my body but also for my circumstances. I am grateful that I'm a woman who was born in a country where I have the right (and the means) to safely have this procedure and any other I may choose for myself. I am grateful that changing my body does not mean I have to live in fear of being assaulted, disowned, stoned or killed.
It is not lost on me that while I am living out my personal journey, there are women all over this world who do not have these same opportunities or choices.
And so, I like to think that by living my life on my own terms, I am in some small way honoring all of those women who cannot yet do the same.

Bump in the road to recovery

This morning after my shower, I noticed a small red sore near one of the steri strips that are placed around the nipple on my left breast. I carefully pulled up that portion of the steri strip to reveal it was actually a larger open sore (slightly bigger than a nickel.)
For those who don't know, the steri strips are used by the surgeon to place over the incisions once they are stitched closed to keep bacteria away from the vulnerable areas of skin and to keep the stitches pushed down and covered so they don't risk snagging on clothing. Because the strips are applied before I woke from anesthesia, I haven't actually see the stitches or incision sites and will not until my second post-op appointment (next week.) I've been diligent about keeping the strips dry while I'm bathing (as I posted previously I keep a towel nearby to pat dry and shower with my back to the water.) But I have at times wondered what was going on beneath those bandages...curious about whether I was healing the way that I should be, and I've wondered how I would know if I had "popped a stitch" or something since I have no way of seeing.
Those concerns were validated this morning when I removed the strip to reveal the sore. It looked as though it could have been a blister that had ruptured, since there was some fluid atop the bright red sore. I took a few photos of it with my iPhone, which I'm including in this post. I sent the photos to my nurse Lisa this morning and explained that I had applied Neosporin and a bandaid before getting dressed in my compression bra and going about my day.
I showed my mother photos of the sore to see if she had any insight and she said it looked like it was a skin allergy or reaction to the steri strips because she recalled having wounds that looked similar on her abdomen after one of her cesarean births.
Lisa replied to my inquiry about two hours later and said she reviewed my photos and spoke with Dr. Cohen who said that what I was experiencing was a "tape burn" and that I should continue treating it as I had been already with Neosporin and a bandaid. I was disappointed that she didn't say how long this would take to heal or address my concerns about whether it could leave a scar. I am also slightly concerned that I could have similar sores beneath the other strips that I can't see, and this one just happened to show outside of the tape. I'm sure I'm just overthinking it, but it sort of made me want to pull up all of the steri strips just to make sure things are looking OK. I'm not going to do that though, as I don't want to risk messing anything up.
Over the last few days I have had pain in my breasts that ranges from random searing pains to burning sensations, without any real pattern to the times or intensity. I'm still sleeping on my back and elevated and during my last checkup, Lisa suggested that I continue to do so for at least another week. I anticipate trying to sleep on my back for at least a full month before I try sleeping in any other position. I suppose I'm a little paranoid about doing anything that could negatively effect my results.
At this point, I'm hopeful this is the only wound I encounter on my way to complete healing.

Quick note for the ladies preparing for this procedure

Dr. Cohen prescribed a 5-day course of antibiotics to begin taking the day after surgery (twice per day) to ward off any potential bacterial infections. I am confident that all surgeons prescribe some antibiotic for this same purpose, so this shouldn't be exclusive to my experience (for those of you who may be following along with my posts but are going with a different surgeon for your procedure.)
I have a history of antibiotics stripping my body of the "good bacteria" and flora that keep the vagina healthy, and therefore causing a yeast infection. I'm sharing this because it's my understanding this is a common side effect for other women as well. If I had been thinking about it during my pre-op appointment (the one in which the doctor provides prescriptions that you get filled in advance of surgery) I would have asked for a prescription for Diflucan One during that time. If you're unfamiliar with it, Diflucan One is a one-dose oral prescription to cure yeast infections, and if you have ever had to use the old 5 or 7-day Monistat then you know what an amazing breakthrough a one dose oral prescription is! No mess and in my experience it works quickly!
I recommend that if you think you could also suffer from a yeast infection as a result of the antibiotics you will be taking during your recovery, be sure to ask your surgeon for a Diflucan One prescription at the same time as you are given the others (it is NOT available over the counter, though hopefully one day it will be.)
I should add that I have been eating natural yogurt and taking a probiotic, which are both considered more holistic ways to combat a yeast infection, but I still feel the early symptoms coming on. Because of this, I emailed my nurse this morning and asked if she could have Dr. Cohen send a script to my pharmacy for the Diflucan so I can pick it up after work today. She wrote back quickly and said no problem (note: most doctors will have no issue writing this prescription for you if you simply explain that you are prone to yeast following antibiotic treatment.)
Trust me ladies: the last thing you want to deal with during recovery is the added discomfort down will have enough going on as your breasts are healing.
And if you're unsure if you will need it, it may be best to request it anyway and just keep it in your medicine cabinet so you're prepared if necessary. And should you not need it after all (yay!) you will have it on hand should you encounter a pesky flora issue in the future. I honestly wish I had an extra at home just for an emergency, as it could potentially save a trip to the doctor in the future.

Post-op exhaustion

Yesterday was 10 days post op and luckily it was also a Saturday, because for whatever reason, I was utterly exhausted the entire day. I mean, lay on the sofa on my foam wedge pillow exhausted! I napped on and off from the time I woke up until I went (back) to bed. I had intentions of doing my usual weekend chores to include laundry and grocery shopping (I work full time during the week) but just didn't get around to it. My body was definitely telling me that it wasn't up for the tasks at hand.
I was a little surprised by what felt like a step backwards, considering I have been feeling pretty good the last few days (and have returned to work.)
I started thinking about it more though, and it hasn't even been two weeks since I underwent a rather major surgery and my mother who stayed to help me for the first five days post op has since gone home and I'm back to my "normal" routines with a toddler and my job. I have been trying to take it easy, and that means things I normally get done have been left undone, since I don't want to push myself too hard. But even with this modified lifestyle for the time being, my body clearly needed a day of complete rest. My mother was sure to urge me to keep an eye on my body temperature to be sure that I didn't have any fever indicating an infection, and I didn't that I noticed.
I am scheduled to have my sutures removed tomorrow morning, if all looks good and I'm healing well enough. I haven't actually seen the incisions, as I mentioned before, because they are covered with dressings to keep them clean and to help hold the incisions together.
I still feel aches and pains, particularly in the incision sites beneath each breast. I'm sure this is different for everyone, as I have spoken to other women who feel closer to 100% at this point in their healing, and a few others who are still experiencing pain.
I take Tylenol to manage the pain, and occasionally still use an ice pack on my breasts at night, to help with swelling. I also still sleep on my foam pillow, but have found that I sometimes wake up sleeping on my side. It doesn't seem painful to me, so I suspect it isn't hurting anything, but I always turn back to my back when I'm conscious of it.
One concern about my perkier, larger breasts is that perhaps they make me look heavier than I actually am?? It's difficult to know at this point, since I'm still experiencing swelling in my chest, but sometimes I look in the mirror and it appears I've gained 15 pounds because of the size of my breasts. I'm praying that as swelling diminishes, I don't feel this way anymore.
There is definately a bit of an emotional roller coaster during the recovery period. If you're anything like me and have many responsibilities, I think the inability to do as much as you need/want to is part of those emotions. And then of course the mixed feelings about your changing body...and your breasts constantly changing as they heal...reminds me a bit of puberty. You're not sure what you're going to get in the end and it's all so confusing and changes daily lol
The wound I posted about earlier is beginning to heal. I have been applying antibacterial ointment and a bandaid and changing it each day, and yesterday (since I was home on the sofa all day anyway) I used ointment and a gauze pad overtop of it, hoping it would get more air and heal a little faster. Surprisingly, it does seem better this morning based on that decision, although it is now a bright red in color and I have a feeling it will leave a scar after all. Ugh. I will be sure to ask Dr. Cohen what I can do about that tomorrow when I see him for my suture removal.
For others out there going through this or preparing, I urge you to go easy on yourself for more than one week post op. I am a young (early 30s) and active person in good overall health and this surgery has thrown my body for a loop. I thought having someone around to take care of my chores and responsibilities for the first week would be enough, but my body told me otherwise. And I have been containing to eat healthy and take my vitamin regimen daily.
Based on my experience, you may also find yourself modifying your lifestyle for weeks (months??) post op in order to give your body the rest it needs to heal entirely.
To be honest, I am feeling a little anxious at this point, and I'm ready to get back to working out and caring for my chores and playing with my kiddo like I used to be able to do. I have to keep reminding myself (or rather, the shooting pains and soreness in my breasts remind me) "not so fast little mama."

Day 11 post-op photo

If all goes well, this is my last day with dressings and sutures and Dr. Cohen will be removing them in the morning. Side note ladies: I have found that bralettes like the one I'm wearing in this photo are the most comfortable bra to wear during post op. I have several sports bras that zip in the front and provide a lot of compression and I wear them to work and to sleep, but for comfort, I recommend bralettes like this one.

Second post-op update

Sorry for the delay in updating ladies, but I typed this whole post and then for whatever reason it was deleted by RS before it posted!! I was so mad that I had to wait a few days to do it here I am! Dang when will RS get on the ball and fix the glitches with this website already?
Anyway, I had my second post op appointment this week and it was shorter than I anticipated. My regular nurse Lisa wasn't there and I met with a different (very kind and lovely) nurse but I've forgotten her name now and I feel terrible. Ugh. She removed my dressings and said all of my sutures look like they are healing well, and said the tape burn should heal ok without scarring if I continue to keep it moist with antibiotic gel, which I've been doing (with the exception of that one day I got the brilliant idea to let it dry out...she confirmed that's not the way to go so I'm back at it.)
I was afraid to look at my breasts at first because for some reason I have this latent fear that my areolas are going to fall off. lol I think it has to do with them being cut off and repositioned on my breasts and sewn back on. It all sounds so much like an arts and crafts project. To my relief, they were well attached when I glanced down.
The nurse took her time to find every end piece to the clear thread(??) that were sticking out of my sutures. Originally I thought the sutures would be removed entirely but I was told they will dissolve into my body and a few pieces may surface through my incisions as healing continues and I am to remove them if they do, but the majority will just vanish with time. As she was searching for the end pieces of the sutures (by the way, there were a lot..probably five pieces on each breast at pretty much anywhere Dr. Cohen began or finished stitching an area...I guess he is too busy to worry about trimming them while he's in surgery so that's why they get trimmed when dressings come off. The nurse had to tug at them to make sure there was as much tension as possible before trimming them with tiny scissors as close to the skin as she could get (the tugging part hurt, I'm not going to lie to you.) I bitched a little bit under my breathe but I'm sure she was thinking "get over it lady, you're a woman, you popped out a kid, you can handle this crap" and she would be right, but still, damn. She told me the sutures had to be trimmed close like that because if not, they would get irritated and slow healing and potentially cause infection and nobody got time for that.
I then went into Dr. Cohen's picture room to have my updated photos taken which is quick and painless considering you're being photographed half naked in front of a stranger. Then back to the exam room where Dr. Cohen stopped by to check out my goods. lol it's like a revolving door after this procedure ladies, everyone is gonna be looking at your tatas. It reminds me of the time in the hospital after childbirth when every medical professional in the hospital stops by to check out your lady bits.
Dr. Cohen was polite and professional as always (as well as impeccably dressed in what could only be an Italian suit.) He remarked about how full my breasts are in the upper poles right now and said that's normal, and they will drop and hadn't yet started that process. He also said the "bunching" of my areolas and nipples is common and they will flatten out as they heal more. He said my incisions look great and with minimal scar treatment should be hardly noticeable. He felt around on them for a minute or two and then told me about the importance of massage in helping break up scar tissue around the implants and assisting in them dropping quicker. He looked at the burn on my right breast and said if I kept it moist it would disappear and shouldn't scar, which was a relief. He also said my breasts will round out more in the lower poles when they drop and will appear more natural. That makes me happy because I wasn't going for the silicone south beach look personally.
The nurse gave me a print out with directions for the massage technique (I've been doing it, it's weird at first.)
Dr. Fisher was gone as quickly as he arrived and I was getting dressed and heading for the door. I guess no news is good news??
I was halfway home before I realized no one told me what to use on my scars or when to begin treatment. Much like my last appointment, a part of me felt like it was wasted time driving an hour to his office for a ten minute checkup. Don't get me wrong, the peace of mind knowing all is well is worth it, but otherwise I could have trimmed the sutures and removed the bandages at home. Luckily a few ladies who have "come before me" on RS had already informed me about what Dr. Cohen recommends for scar treatment so I ordered that online through Amazon and picked up some silicone scar sheets at target (research indicates silicone is the only scientifically proven method of fading scars btw.)
I applied the silicone sheets the next day and intend to also begin massaging my scars, as I've read a great deal about how that method of scar reduction is underutilized. So if you're out there in the post op stage, you may want to begin massaging the scars to break up the scar tissue and decrease the visibility of the incision sites too.
I am including a photo of my "frankenboobies" because right now they still look a bit scary with the incisions not fully healed and the nipples all crinkled up! Eek!
The good news is that everything seems to be on the up and up and I will continue to update you ladies as I make my way through the healing process these next few months. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions in the meantime.

15 days post op

Ok ladies, a quick update on my scar treatment plan and some random afterthoughts about my experience with Dr. Cohen and his staff.
It's hard for me to find the time to massage my breasts as instructed multiple times each day since I am at work (surrounded by others) 9-10 hours each day and I wake up taking care of a toddler and rushing out the door to work and when I get home I'm thrown into a cycle of preparing dinner, bath time, laundry, general house cleanup and then bed. BUT I'm still making a conscious effort to massage them twice each day, even if only for a few minutes each time. Some my dressings were removed, I've been wearing silicone sheets (which I bought at Target and cut into thin strips and apply four around my areolas and one longer strip down the vertical incision and two longer strips back-to-back to cover the longest incision under each breast.) I wear these for two days and then take them off and wash them (per instructions that come in the package) let them dry and reapply them. I decided to use these as close to 24 hours each day as possible because I've read many surgeons suggestions that patients keep their incisions taped either with silicone sheets such as I am doing, or with regular medicial paper tape or steri strips for 4-6 weeks, as it supposedly helps incisions close with less space between them, making for the finest scar lines possible. Since Dr. Cohen removes steri strips at 2 weeks post op, I figure it can't hurt to add a few more weeks of taping the incisions (especially since the silicone sheeting is also treating the scars as they heal.) I also ordered the bioCornuem gel which is what Dr. Cohen recommends his patients use (though he never told me that, another patient shared this information with me) which I ordered for about $50 for 20g on Amazon. I have only been using this for one day so far, and instructions indicate you should apply a thin coat of the gel twice per day and allow it to dry. I notice the main ingredient here is also silicone, so I don't know if it is making a difference since I'm already using silicone sheets all of the time, but I figure it can't hurt. By the way, you can shower with the silicone sheets on, and they should stay adhered. I haven't had trouble with them falling off but I keep my breasts from getting hit directly with the shower water and I don't scrub those areas while showering. Instead, I've been gently cleaning the incisions with mild soap and water in between changing the silicone sheets.
It's been very interesting applying the gel and massaging my incision lines with my 2 year old little girl present. She has some very colorful and innocent questions about what I'm doing and if she can help, and then I saw her massaging her "boobies" last night! Though Dr. Cohen didn't suggest massaging the scars or incision lines, my research indicated that this helps break up the scar tissue and makes for les noticeable scars as well. This makes sense to me since when I'm applying pressure to the incisions (while applying the gel) I can feel the lumps and hard places where scar tissue is forming and hopefully I will be able to diminish that with continued scar massage. I should point out that some of the areas where I am applying pressure are still very tender and sometimes even painful to massage. I just grit my teeth and get through it. Hopefully the result is worth all of this trouble!
There are some small scabs around my areolas that seem to come unattached during the application of the gel and massage in the evenings, and my research indicates I shouldn't worry too much about them unless there are visible holes in the tissue where the scabs were attached. Other surgeons online say that scabs are Nature's bandaid and to leave them attached because there is tissue healing beneath them. I am not purposefully removing them and don't intend to, and I haven't noticed any holes in the tissue beneath them thank goodness for that. I keep praying that I don't end up with any infections or necrosis. If you take a minute to look through the Q&A section of RealSelf and search under "breast lift incisions" you will see and learn about some pretty horrific healing issues other patients have faced during this post op journey. They often include photos as well. After perusing through those questions and surgeon replies last night, I felt ever grateful for how well my body is healing and for what I can attribute to Dr. Cohen's surgical skill.
I have also been applying bactracin to the tape burn I posted about previously and covering it with gauze which stays put once I put a bra on.
I continue to wear a bra of some kind 24 hours each day, though I've been wearing bralettes more often as I'm trying to encourage my implants to drop and settle. Once that happens, I intend to go back to sleeping in a sports bra that holds them in place and wearing a more supportive bra to work during the day.
I am also planning to continue this scar treatment routine (assuming I have no incision issues) for the next several months. I think it's important to note that if you are also on this journey and feel you are unable to get the results you hope for in your scar treatment, there are options after they are healed.
According to my research, there is the option of having a "scar revision" procedure by your plastic surgeon (this sounds invasive and I admit to not yet having researched the details, as I hope I won't need this) and also laser scar removal treatments. I have some experience with lasers, as I had laser body hair removal treatments 6-7 years ago and I can say that it wasn't without pain (and cost, of course.) So, assuming this would be in the same family of lasers, I suspect it would require multiple treatments to reduce scarring and could be rather costly. That said, I think it's great that there are options for people who are not happy with the final scars, once they are finished healing.
Should my scars not turn out as light and non-noticeable as I hope, I will be looking into these treatments more.
So far though, I feel blessed that things are looking good for me.
And trust me, once you take a look through the Q&A section of this site, at some of the other ladies in this community's photos and questions regarding healing complications, you will feel blessed too.
Here's hoping everyone out there is having a safe and smooth journey to the new version of you! Until next time.

Some afterthoughts about my experience

I meant to include these afterthoughts in my last post but was in a hurry and forgot.
As my nerves have settled down in the recovery period, I've reflected on my experience and wanted to share a few things that I found dissapointing.
While Dr. Cohen's office advertised that they were providing free Botox to patients who booked a full breast procedure during the time I booked mine, it was never followed up on for me and at least one other patient that I'm aware of right now. The promotion was never mentioned to me by my coordinator Jessica and even after I asked her about it, she provided little information, other than, "you will have to do that on a follow up visit." Well, my follow up visits have come and gone and with only my 3-month post op appointment remaining, I've emailed Jessica to inquire about whether I can receive the complimentary service at that time and a few days have past without any reply. She may simply by busy as most of us are, so I'm not upset about the delay, but I feel communication was not very professional regarding this promotion. You would think that the patients who were spending close to $10k would be considered eligible for the service, but it's almost like they don't really want people to know about it or request it (and I'm not sure you should have to request it, as that can take away some of the appeal of a promotion by making the patient feel as if they bothering the staff.)
Another thing that admittedly bothered me, is that during my post-op period, I never received a follow-up call from Dr. Cohen or any of his staff to check on me. I was under the impression that most well-respected surgeons call their patients (or at least have a staff member call) the day after a surgery to check on the wellbeing of the patient, so I was a bit dissapointed that I didn't hear from anyone.
In fact, had I not been the one to reach out to the nursing staff several times with questions and concerns, I wonder how my recovery would have changed. Fortunately I had the ability to email them to ask questions, but if I had been very ill or having major complications, I suppose they would not have known. Given my positive experiences with pre-op care, I was surprised by the radio silence after surgery was complete. And I mentioned before that I felt the post-op care was slightly lacking in that the first post-op visit really provided me no value.
Another issue I have identified in retrospect, is that during my last post-op appointment, Dr. Cohen did not spend time explaining my options or his recommendations for scar care. While other patients of his were informed of the scar cream that they sell in their office and given instructions on scar care, I found myself left in the dark in this area. Fortunately, I was able to research for myself and met some lovely ladies on RS who helped guide me through, but the overall experience should include a more thorough discussion of options for scar treatment as the patient heals.
I do not enjoy speaking negatively about any person or business, but I believe that this forum serves everyone best if we are completely honest, both in our positive experiences and regarding those areas that could use improvement.
My recommendation for women considering Dr. Cohen would be: do not hesitate to go with him, as his skill and professionalism is top notch. Just be your own advocate through the process and be aware of what you need to know each step along the way so that if the staff does not provide you specific information, you can perhaps prompt them with questions that will get you what you need.
As for not receiving so much as a phone call to follow up after surgery, well, I'm hopeful that this was an isolated incident and other patients were given that courtesy.
I will update photos soon, as my combination scar treatment (which I detailed last time) seems to be delivering great results already!

Updated photos: 2+ weeks post op

Please excuse the impressions on my skin from the silicone sheets that I cut into strips and have been wearing on my incisions 24/7. I believe my scar massage, silicone sheets and the bioCorneum treatments are all working in my favor so far.

Another bump in the road at 3 weeks post op

I'm just over 3 weeks post op and both breasts have began dropping! Hopefully this is the position they will remain, because I wouldn't want them much lower (I did get the lift so they would be perkier.) Overall I think they are looking nice and I'm wondering at what point I can purchase a "real" bra. Does anyone know when the size is stable and swelling has diminished enough? I know underwires should be avoided for a few more months, but I would like to have a normal bra for work, since I've been wearing bralettes and a sports bra around the clock. Those options just don't work with all of my professional attire.

In bad news, it seems I'm having a minor complication of the breast lift incisions. Yesterday morning after I took a warm shower, I noticed two holes at the intersection of my incisions below my areola, where the vertical incisions meets the areola incision. This was the same on both breasts and I felt nervous instantly!
I have been taking great care of myself and I felt the scar treatments and massages were really going well and I was nearing the incisions being completely healed and then this came out of nowhere! There didn't appear to be infection or stitches pushing out of the holes but I've seen enough horrible photos on RS of open wounds and seemingly, how quickly small wounds can turn to large wounds or necrosis that I was worried.

I thought about putting bactracin on them before the scar sheets but opted out until I could get professional advice.

I took photos which I will post here, and emailed them to Lisa the nurse, asking her to show them to Dr. Cohen for his feedback. I went to work and waited for a reply.

After some time had gone by without a reply, I posted these photos to the Q&A section of RS, asking other surgeons for their professional opinion and inquiring about what I can do (if anything) to be proactive in deterring infection or larger openings.
Lisa emailed me back before I received responses from the other surgeons here on RS and said that this is what that call "spitting stitches" and that there were stitches that should have been absorbed, making their way to the skins surface and that I would need to remove them or trim them back in order to prevent infection and get those areas to heal. I also asked if my scars would now be wider (as it appears they have widened in these areas suddenly, making my areolas appear deformed. Ugh! I've been so diligent at using the scar gel and strips and keeping the areas clean, so I wanted to cry. Lisa said that if I couldn't get the sutures out of the wounds myself, they would bring me into the office next week to remove them. She also said that warm compresses would help encourage the sutures to the surface so I could grasp them with fine tip tweezers. So when I made it home from work, I used warm compresses for about an hour on both breasts and sanitized my tweezers with alcohol and washed my hands with antibacterial soap and went to work, trying to locate these evil little stitches that are trying to mess up my progress...and no luck! I looked for quite some time, in the best lighting in my house and also in front of a mirror and even prodded gently to see if maybe they were underneath of the skin again but I really don't think I have any stitches coming to the surface.
I had also told Lisa that while massaging the scars beneath each breast over the last week I have heard popping sounds and had random sharp pains in the areas that pop. I asked her if that was the sutures breaking apart (ouch!) because that's what it feels like and she responded saying yes that is probably the scar tissue and the stitches breaking down and encouraged me to continue doing these massages on my scar lines to promote scar healing (the scars start out bumpy or raised and after I massage them and they make these sounds, they flatten and nearly disappear!) if you're in the first month or two post-op you may want to try this, as I imagine it will make a big difference in the scars final appearance. Maybe pop a Tylenol about 20 minutes before because it can be a little painful as they break down under the pressure of your fingers!
By the time I had finished looking for the stitches last night, I had two responses to my photos and question I had posted to other surgeons on RS and felt a little bit of frustration and relief at their answers. Essentially, they both said that overall I appear to be healing well and should have a great result AND that it's very common to have small wounds in this intersection or for them to heal slower than other incisions as they are the weakest point and under pressure from the weight of breast tissue and implants. They both suggested I use bactracin and they should heal within a few days and shouldn't impact the scars very much, if at all.
So I cleaned the areas again and applied bactracin and band aids and went to bed.
Why hasn't Dr. Cohen's staff said this to me? Or at least recognized that it was a possibility that there weren't sutures coming to the surface? I hadn't had any spitting sutures before and overall have been healing well other than now I'm sore from exploring the wounds looking for the stitches as recommended by Lisa.
Hopefully I didn't do anything that will delay my healing or make the scarring worse (wider in that area, making the areolas appear oddly shaped.)
Because I was feeling so defeated yesterday, I did call a local medi spa that I have some experience with, and in which the staff have all worked for renown surgeons over the years, and inquired about Fraxel laser treatments for scar appearance improvement. I was told that I should begin at 3 months, if I was healed well enough by then. It would likely require 3 sessions and they quoted each session around $250. I haven't done any comparative shopping on prices of other trained facilities or even researched photos of the results very much, but I have read a lot about how Fraxel lasers work great on new scars and are touted as being able to basically make them vanish. I just wanted to know I had options should my progress not continue as it had been.
I am going to take it easy today and I've been keeping up on my vitamin regimine as well as healthy diet, so I'm praying these wounds resolve themselves soon.
If I am still seeing no progress in the right direction by Monday, I will call Dr. Cohen's office for an appointment to find out what is going on. I'm terrified of open wounds and the risk of losing my nipples or exposing the implant to infection (these are surprisingly common issues if you research) so I am doing all in my power to get ahead of this complication quickly. If anyone has had this same issue and has any insight, please leave me a note below.

And lastly, to follow up on my last post, I didn't hear back from my coordinator Jessica until yesterday but I had already bypassed her and contacted Farren (who scheduled all of my post op visits) and Farren responded via email right away! She's lovely. She rescheduled my last post op for June 1 because I had a conflict with the original date in June, and she also worked out my complimentary Botox issue by scheduling it the same day as my last post op! It was so nice to have someone be so responsive and overall, Dr. Cohen's staff have been this attentive. Jessica continues to be the only exception. I thought perhaps she was out of the office since it took her so long to respond to my email, but Farren mentioned she's just been very busy. Not to sound like a B, but I have a very high pressure busy job too and I know how long it takes to respond to an email. About 4 seconds. So I don't buy it. Jessica just hasn't shown the same level of professionalism as the other staff members. Luckily, I believe my interactions with her are now over.

I will update on the progress of the wounds and my healing as soon as there is something to report.

I will also update on my last post op appointment and my experience with Botox at Dr. Cohen's office. By the way, it's my understanding that he does the injections himself which is pretty impressive since many surgeons have other staff who are trained for Botox injections. I'm happy to hear that he will do it, since I already trust his skills and ability.

As always, if you're on your own journey and have questions about anything, please don't hesitate to reach out to me and I will answer if i have the information.

Happy healing ladies!

Surprise! I'm lactating following ba/bl!

Well this is something nobody warned me about. Imagine my surprise while I was doing my massages and milk started leaking from my nipples!! I had an "oh man I'm pregnant again?!" moment and then realized that's not what could it be?? Thanks to google and lots of research, it turns out that it's not that uncommon for women to experience lactation following breast augmentation surgery! Am I the only person who wasn't told about this potential side effect?! A little heads-up would have been nice because before I realized I was lactating, I was afraid it may have been infection or something draining from my nipples (thankful it's not.)
I didn't bother calling the doctors office since it's the weekend and i feel confident that my research is reliable.
So basically ladies, if you lactate after surgery, you're ok. Professionals say it will only last "a few weeks" and should stop "spontaneously." You know, sort of like how it showed up. Lol

Milk and scars and uneven breasts oh my! One month post op update with photos :)

Hi ladies! Do me a favor and if anyone is still following along or finds this review helpful, please shoot me a message or leave a comment below so I can determine if I should continue updating. It's difficult to know if anyone is reading and I will post updates with photos through to one year post-op if the information is benefiting any other ladies out there!
The photos here were taken this morning at one month post op. You will see the scars have widened a bit at the intersection of the vertical scar and the scar surrounding my areolas (which have almost faded entirely at this point.) since the holes that opened at the intersection of the incisions at three weeks are not completely healed yet, it's difficul to determine if they will always be as noticeable as they are now or if more healing and time combined with my multi-approach to scar treatment will fade them. It is slightly depressing that the scars widened from those small openings since I had been healing with such thin scars until that point last week. But, I have continued my treatment of all of the scars with the cream, pressure massage to the incision areas each day and silicone tape coverings for 23 hours/day and I think overall, they are coming along nicely for this early in my recovery.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am lactating as well! That was definitely a curve ball I didn't see coming! My mother and I have had a few good laughs over it! It's weird, but isn't too bad since it isn't enough milk production to cause leaking through my bra (which would happen when I was breastfeeding my daughter three years ago.) I don't even notice it unless I am putting pressure on them while doing my daily massages. I make sure to clean the incision areas after massage though, just to be sure that the milk doesn't get into any leftover openings which I suspect could encourage infection. Please keep this in mind if you're one of the ladies who experiences post op lactation.
The openings I last posted about have closed with the daily application of bactracin which I apply after my morning shower and before I apply the silicone tape. I have been placing the tape directly over the bactracin on those areas to keep the greasiness of the ointment from staining my bras and shirts and it seems to be working fine.
I spent some time researching Fraxel laser treatments for new scar improvement and read about the optimal time to begin them, and it seems you must be entirely healed before you begin, which makes sense. It's recommended that you have the treatments as early In the scar forming process as possible though, which is usually around 3 months. Since I am going to Miami for another procedure (this is my personal transformation year) in early June, I am likely going to begin the laser treatments around July. I don't know if they are painful but I had laser hair removal on my legs, underarms and bikini area eight years ago and that was very painful (but so worth it) so I am preparing myself for the same level of pain going into the Fraxel treatments and then if it's less-great! I am told that the lasers technology used for hair removal have progressed and is less painful than when I had that procedure done years ago, so it's likely Fraxel will be less uncomfortable than I'm anticipating. But I always prepare for the worst no matter the situation. That just works best for me as it has a way of taming anxiety before any big event or procedure.
One of my breasts is still higher than the other, as expected, because they are continuing their decent down my chest and into the "pockets" Dr. Cohen created for them. He said this could take as long as 3 months before they are fully settled into place (which is probably why he has his last post op with his patients at three months post op.) So far, I'm very pleased with the size and shape and even where they are located on my chest so hopefully they won't drop too much more. The only thing that bothers me at this point is the scarring (I'm single) but I acknowledge its early in the healing process and I intend to continue my rigorous scar treatment approach until I get results that I can happily live with.
I am pain free at this point with very little soreness and I am able to comfortably lay on my side or even my stomach (though I try not to do either.) strangely, I never had much nipple sensation to begin with, so I wasn't sure what to expect post op...and I think I may end up with more feeling in my nipples than I've ever had before. I suspect that the amount of nipple sensation is unique to each woman, but the sensations lead me to believe that the nerves are healing well.
I do get the high boobs in the morning which is a phenomena I read about before surgery, where you wake up and it feels like your breasts are up around your neck! They don't actually LOOK that way (though they are somewhat higher in position when I first wake up) but the feeling is kind of strange until you get used to it (not painful at all though) and after about an hour, they seem to settle back down lol.
I am a little disappointed that Dr. Cohen's nurses didn't inform me that the openings I experienced last week may have just been normal separating at the incision intersection and instead told me confidently that it happened because my body was pushing the stitches out of my skin. I say this because it caused me undue stress as I rushed home from work that day and followers their instructions to use small tweezers and explored the openings and around my incisions looking for the clear threads that were supposedly causing the healing issue. I poked around looking on each breast, using sterilized tweezers and standing in front of a mirror with extra lighting for probably an hour before I determined there were no stitches to be found anywhere. As a result I was left discouraged (had I just not been able to see them?) and sore for the next two days. Fortunately several doctors on RS came to the rescue after I posted images of the openings and informed me it was a very common complication of full breast lifts and advised me to use the bactracin. No one has called or emailed me from Dr. Cohen's office to follow up or check in to see how I'm doing since I reached out for advice (I also sent them photos of the openings.) While I love Dr. Cohen and his staff is very personable and attentive leading up to the procedure, I feel they need to work on their post op engagement with patients. As I said before, it would have been nice to hear from someone in his office (if it couldn't be him that's understandable, but anyone) the day after surgery. It would also be nice if they followed up with patients after they inquired as I did last week, about a concern or complication. That said, Lisa (my nurse) did tell me I could schedule an appointment the following week to come in for assistance removing the stitches she thought were pushing through my incisions...but since I was concerned about those areas not healing properly I didn't want to wait another 4-5 days and I would have had to miss an entire day of work since I live over an hour from Dr. Cohen's office. So while she encouraged me to remove the stitches myself, she also offered me the option to wait and come in for assistance. And now that I know there were no spitting stitches to begin with, I'm really glad I didn't take off work and make the drive there for nothing. Things seem to be working out just fine thank goodness!
I am still not wearing a "real" bra, even though I have looked around for something that has no wires and would be more appropriate under my professional clothing than a sports bra, I just feel overwhelmed when I walk into a lingerie department right now since I don't even know what my new size is! I don't want to go to Victoria's Secret and get measured until after the three month mark when I'm confident that all swelling is gone and my size is accurate. To Dr. Cohen's credit, he did tell me not to rush out and buy new pretty bras right away because the size would change over the first three months and it would just be a waste of money. He must know what VS charges us ladies for bras! Lol
As always, if you have any questions or need support with your own journey, please feel free to post or send me a private message and I will respond as quickly as possible! Wishing you happiness and health!

2 months post op update with photos!

Hi ladies! Just wanted to provide a quick update and let you all know that I'm around two months post op and things have been going well. The small holes at the intersection of my incisions did close up without more trouble until just a day ago when the intersection of my right breast incisions opened again when the scab came off and I noticed the clear thread from my sutures was sticking out (this is the "spitting stitches" we hear so much about.) I determined this stubborn suture is the reason that incision hasn't fully healed and cut it as close as I could to my skin in order to hopefully allow that area to heal again (and this time, stay healed, I hope.)
I am free from pain and able to sleep and lay in any position I wish. Both breasts have dropped and are at what i believe is their final position. Sometimes I think they seem a bit low, or not as perky as I would like, but then I remind myself that I am comparing them to what they looked like right after surgery and not what they looked like pre-op. If you find yourself doubting whether you're happy with your results, I recommend pulling up your pre-op photos and using that as your comparison point! It really puts things in perspective for me and I realize that my final results are really what I wanted and I am pleased. They look natural, and they are full and less droopy looking. The only thing I would change at this point, is I wish Dr Cohen had gone with the slightly larger implant we had discussed instead of the very modest size he chose (I DID trust him to make the judgement call on surgery day though and I DO trust he did what he thought was best for my frame.) The primary reason I wish they were slightly bigger, is because they are the same size as they were prior to my surgery (I can still fit into my bras from before, thought they are slightly tighter.) But again, I wasn't looking for a dramatic size difference. I just wanted a natural overall appearance and less sagging following breast feeding so I am overall very happy with my results so far.
I am posting some recent photos. You will see that my scars are already improving and I continue the multi-faceted approach to treating the scars that I detailed in an earlier post. This includes taping them with silicone tape for about 23 hours per day. The scars around both areola are virtually invisible at this point. The incision intersections below each areola are my primary concern as they are the areas that have been slow to heal and the scars currently make my areola look larger than they actually are....I am hoping to improve this area of my scars with continued scar treatment and the possibility of laser treatments in the future.
If you have any questions, as always, please don't hesitate to ask.
I am also including a photo of the suture that appeared yesterday, reopening the incision intersection that had previously healed.
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful