I just turned 50, I'm 5'10, 135lbs.
I just turned 50, I'm 5'10, 135lbs.
I had implants about 24 years ago to address tiny uneven breasts. I went from an A cup to a C with under muscle teardrop shaped silicone. I can't remember what size they were.
I've been happy with them and they have never caused me any problems.
However, age has caught up with them. They have sagged, the skin is lax, the fullness has disappeared, and the unevenness is again much more noticeable (oddly, on some days much more than others) as they sagged at different rates.
I'm not interested in increasing the size of them, I'm interested in improving the shape. Obviously I will need to go bigger to get a shape improvement, but the size is not my focus. So my wish is to increase the size only as much as needed to improve the shape. The beautiful result that 54anditstime here has posted would be perfect.
I'm seeing Dr Nond in Bangkok for a facelift (see separate review for that), and *maybe* for an implant revision.
I sent him photos and asked if he could do anything WITHOUT a lift. I'm not willing to wear the scars for a lift: The improvement would not be worth it for me.
Dr Nond was very honest with me and said he didn't think he could help without a lift, but we ended up agreeing that he would do a proper assessment at my facelift consultation on the 31st August and we would decide then.
IF we go ahead (and I really hope we can), the surgery will be on the 8th and NOT at the same time as my facelift: he says that doing both at once is too much time under general and it isn't worth the risk. I know that other surgeons will do multiple surgeries at once, but he limits surgery time to a max of 8 hours (so long!) and doing both would go over that. I'm trusting his judgement in this. Having said that, having a facelift and being in the traumatic process of healing from that and then going in for breast surgery a week after scares the bejeesus out of me.
This is how I normally see my breasts: not great, but also not horrifying like the really uneven shots.
How they look varies by day and by time of day. The breasts in this photo look like they would be much easier to 'fix' than the ones in the other shots.
Going ahead... yeep!
So I had my facelift yesterday (separate review here: http://www.realself.com/review/bangkok-thailand-facelift-50yo-starting-hate-lady-mirror), and had a consultation about a breast implant revision with Dr Nond at my facelift consultation.
We've decided to go ahead, not least because I have some (moderate) capsular contraction on the right, and the implants are some 25 years old and who knows what shape they are in.
My goal is not 'big', it's 'better shape', and Dr Nond recommended a lift for that, but I'm not willing to have those scars, so we talked about whether I would see a good result without a lift. To my mind, filling out the upper pole an adding some volume would give some lift because physics. They would still be uneven, but I can live with that.
I sent him before & afters of 54anditstime (user on this site) whose starting point is somewhat similar to mine (without the unevenness) as my wish list. He said her breasts were sitting higher and my skin was looser, so it was a bit of wishful thinking :(.
Still, he thought I would get some improvement with just an implant replacement, though obviously not as much as with a lift. He suggested a long teardrop implant to get a nice slope down to the nipple. I'm 5'10 and my breasts are sitting rather low with all the volume at the bottom. My chest can accept up to 495 cc, but he thinks that 340-380 cc size would be more than enough. I'm not quite sure how big that is, but he's clear that I don't want to go up in size 'just because'.
This is a recent picture of me, leaning forward a bit, with arms at right angles to my body: the position gives the illusion of upper pole volume and lift. I'd be pretty damn happy if I could get this result.
Size & shape
My PS wants to put in what are essentially tall, narrow teardrop shapes. I think he said 12cm height, 14cm wide. This shape is only available in 265cc and 300cc.
Since my original BA was over 20 years ago, I have no records of what size implants I have at the moment. I'm a 36C now, and from memory, I started with an A cup on one side and a small B on the other, but I'm guessing.
So until he pulls my current implants out, Dr Nond doesn't know how much natural tissue I have or how uneven they are. Which means that decision making difficult. Add to that the fact that there are only 2 sizes available, and there are some serious restrictions in what he can achieve.
From my perspective, I have yet to see how big 265 vs 300cc actually is. I have no idea really. But if I want improvement in the shape it's logical that they have to be bigger.
Consultation tomorrow, surgery the next day
Tomorrow will be my follow up for my facelift (review for that here: http://www.realself.com/review/bangkok-thailand-facelift-50yo-starting-hate-lady-mirror), and the final consultation for my breast revision.
I've looked up the actual implants that Dr Nond has ordered: They are Mentor CPG 331 Tall Height Moderate Projection Cohesive III in 265CC or 300CC. Phew.
The 265/300CC are 11.5/12.0cm wide and 11.8/12cm high, projection of 3.7/3.9 respectively. This is confusing to me because I'm pretty sure he measured my current breasts at 14cm wide. The height, though, is exactly what he estimated when he measured me.
The truth is that I don't really know what any of these numbers means in terms of how it will actually look, and I'm concerned that he initially suggested 14cm wide, and 340-380CC but now thinks that implants that are significantly smaller will give me a good result. It seems that he has prioritised getting the height of them right over the width and size. The inconsistency makes me quite nervous.
They are 'gummy bear' implants which I'm also a little scared about. I haven't actually felt any before, but my current implants are old-school silicon and super soft and no boyfriend has ever thought that they were implants. I'm a bit concerned that the gummy bears will be a little too firm. I'd love to hear from ladies who have had gummy bear implants to hear how they feel.
At this stage, either I get everything clear and comfortable in my mind tomorrow, or I will pull out.
I'm having to be very careful not to have a 'now or never' level of pressure about it. I'm overseas, the surgery is scheduled and paid for, and my return trip is booked, so I don't have the luxury of spending ages dithering over it, seeking a lot of other opinions, mulling it over etc. If I don't do it now, I will either have to pay twice the price in Australia OR make another o/s trip at some later stage.
I've included a full body shot to show current proportions: 5'10, 66kgs (145lbs). The right breast (i.e. your left, sitting lower) is the one with some moderate capsular contraction: apparently fixing that up will help even them up.
More full body shots for proportion
Swapped camera hand to try and get a less lopsided shot.
More research: clarification on breast width vs implant width
I've been researching madly and learnt that around 12cm wide implant is the exact right size for a 14cm wide breast because the skin width of around 1.5 to 2.5cm is included in the measurement, which makes sense. I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that Dr Nond hasn't made some sort of compromise there.
Going to try and stop thinking (obsessing) about it now and wait for the consultation tomorrow.
The consultation with Dr Nond went well. He is on board with exactly what I want: the teardrop for shape, and slightly bigger than I have now to give some lift.
He *really* wants to do a lift, and he has warned me that a heavier implant will make my breasts sag further more quickly, but he also said that if it becomes a problem, I can have a lift with the implants in place at some later stage, so that's an option down the track (one I have no intention of doing, but I guess 'never say never').
To reiterate, the biggest issue is that we don't know what size implant I have now, otherwise all of this would be a lot easier. He isn't really worried that my current size will be so out of the range of possibility that neither the 265CC or 300CC implant are suitable (that is, he's relatively confident that one of them will be fine).
So when he takes the implants out, he will see what size they are and choose which implants to replace them with. I'm hoping that my current ones are really small and he can use the smaller implants simply because smaller = less weight, but somehow I don't feel like that will be the case.
As for the 'gummy bear' feeling of them, I've read so many mixed reviews: 'More natural', 'hard, I hate them', 'firmer, but fine', 'feels harder outside the body than inside' it's difficult to form an opinion. My current implants feel really very squishy, so I think I might struggle for them to feel 'normal', but if I want an improved shape without a lift, this is the choice, so there is a bit of 'going with it and hoping for the best' in it.
I'm keeping my expectations low. I'm not expecting 'wow amazing!!' breasts, but am really hoping for a 'yes, they definitely look better :)' level of result.
I guess I'll go and take a bunch of awkward (and hopefully clearer) 'before' pictures now :)).
Surgery is done.
The implants I had were 240CC OVER muscle teardrop implants (the 'over muscle' is a shock to me, though I have to assume that's my poor memory and not my original PS giving me the wrong information).
He replaced them with 300CC under muscle teardrop highly cohesive (i.e. gummy bear) implants.
Procedure yesterday went fine, though when I came out of surgery, I was shaking and that caused pain. Bit blurry, but it seemed to take a while to get some attention for that. No nausea this time (same anaesthetist, who gave me extra anti-nausea drugs), and that made all the difference today.
My recovery will not be as easy as I had hoped since he had to create the pocket under the muscle as if it was a new implant vs just being able to make a small change to an existing pocket.
I thought that as soon as they were in, I would see the final result because it's textured, teardrop, highly cohesive and they don't 'drop and fluff' like other implants, but they are clearly very swollen above the nipple and the muscle clearly has to relax under it, so they have the typical 'new implants' look.
They look so strange, and I can't really picture the final result from looking at them. The sagginess is gone (completely!), although I expect some to come back when they settle. And I'm happy with the size (or at least, what I can tell of the size). He said 400CC would eliminate all the sagging without a lift (whereas before he didn't think it would be possible at all). Useful information to tuck away.
Bad quality photo from the hospital (the surgical bra is too small (he didn't think so but it cuts into me something horrible): the indents in my breasts are from that).
For the first time (even after a multiple-procedure facelift), I'm in real pain.
I'm on my own here and had a lot of trouble (and fear about) getting out of bed. Took me about ten minutes to kind of shuffle my legs off the bed and slither my butt down until I was crouching with my back to the bed. Then I got up from there. Every movement that shifted my arms or chest was painful. Yowtch.
Took pain killers immediately on getting up, am icing my breasts now. I know it will get better of course, but phew. Rough.
My PS said I am crooked: He's right. He blames always carrying my choulder bag/backpack on my right.
I tilted one of my photos slightly to adjust the angle since my breasts look quite lopsided, but actually it's all me :). I'm really liking that they actually look smaller and tighter than before (I had honestly expected larger and a little lifted off the chest wall, certainly not this). I have no idea how they will change over time.
Pain is fine right now: painkillers + ice + not using my chest or arm muscles at all.
Early days, but pretty damn happy
Pain was MUCH better this morning when I woke. Not scary. I took pain killers immediately on waking, and managed to easily 'rock' myself into a sitting position before they kicked in. Some nasty twinges when I moved to sitting up from lying down, but they passed quickly.
Some neck and shoulder pain developed during the day, so I am obviously holding myself in some unnatural position/s.
I know there's a long way to go with settling and healing, but I asked him to address the sagginess and unevenness and I didn't want to be bigger: I certainly can't complain about the result I'm seeing so far :).
I'm not seeing much change, but the pain has almost gone (also I'm popping a painkiller while I'm still lying in bed in the morning).
When I move into a sitting position in the morning (I kind of 'rock' up which works great and doesn't hurt), I can feel the implant shift some and *that* really hurts. It passes pretty quickly though.
I'm still icing, though I suspect the window for that actually making any difference has passed. No bruising.
I'm apparently 7% crooked which makes me laugh. I'm tilting the photos 7% to the right to straighten my body out, otherwise it looks like the implants are crooked when really, it's me :).
Had a shower yesterday, but didn't touch the dressings. Not sure they're waterproof, but I'm sure it's fine.
I've moved to a sports top from the post-surgery bra which was too small and horribly uncomfortable. My doctor said the compression of the post op bra was only necessary in the 1st day or 2 post op to stop internal bleeding.
I'm so curious to see how they will settle. Dr Nond mentioned that if I had 400CC, it would eliminate all the sagging, but there is no sagging now, so I have to assume he is expecting there to be some when the swelling goes down and the muscles relax.
Seeing him for a follow up today. No stitches out yet, but he's leaving the country so wants to see me before he goes. A colleague of his will take the stitches out next week.
Stitches out: yeep!
Had my final consult with my surgeon yesterday. Day 4 after the surgery. We had talked about another consult next week, but instead he said everything looked great and took the stitches out annnddd, we're done. Scary.
The incisions look a bit angry for my liking (normal at this stage I'm sure), and there is some slight bruising around them and a light bruise beside my right nipple.
Oddly, he said my original breast implant pockets were inexplicably wide apart (towards my armpits). He had no idea why that was (neither do I). He has placed my current pockets much closer together which will eliminate that weird look when I pull my arms back.
I'm loving how they look by comparison: much fuller, no sag, very even and yet they aren't really any bigger (I still expect to be a C cup). The swelling of the upper pole will go down some and I'd like to see some more volume in the lower pole, but even if they don't change much as they settle, I'm still really happy with them. Given the starting point, I wasn't expecting picture-perfect breasts.
He put me in a much-too-small post op bra which I woke up wearing after surgery. It was unwearably uncomfortable (it was a small (size 32), and I'm a 36!). He gave (sold) me a size 36B post op at this consult, slightly different style, fuller coverage, very comfortable. I'm relieved since he said the sports bra I was wearing instead was just flattening my breasts against my chest wall vs actually giving any support.
Since my over muscle pocket has to close AND my new under muscle pockets have to heal, he wants me to wear this compression bra for 2 months. I'm going to buy a second post-op bra that has a fly back and less sticky-out matronly straps since this one won't work under any of the clothes that I own.
The morning pain is minimal now, though I'm still scared of it, so taking a pain killer as soon as I wake up. I'll try tomorrow without.
I have no numbness except for a tiny bit around my left incision. This is a surprise. Even immediately post op, I was feeling around to see where my nipples were located and I could feel them. So yay :).
I also have a pretty good range of movement (can wash my face and hair without a problem), though I am not testing the full range just yet. I have to be careful not to overdo it with carelessness since there's no pain.
As an aside, he said since I'm tall, have a wide chest and plenty of skin, I can easily get away with implants twice the size. Given I had stressed that I didn't want to go bigger, he thought that was hilarious (so did I), but I think that he had a genuine concern that I would think the ones he put in were too small: I guess 'small' isn't what most women get implants for :).
I find it hard to take pictures of them that don't make them look really uneven. I mean they ARE a bit uneven, but how the light hits this curve or that curve makes a big difference in how they appear in a photo.
No pain killers this morning, and no pain on getting up, so I'm happy about that.
I can see and feel the right breast dropping a bit lower than the left (i.e. the unevenness that I started with is coming back some). I'm hoping the difference doesn't become too pronounced (again).
I suspect that the lower pole is not going to fill out much. I'd love for a little more to just lift the nipples up a bit, but maybe the upper swelling going down will help with that. I have no clue how that works!
Boring story about my taping misadventure
(or 'Dumb things only your realself friends will understand')...
Prior to my breast revision, I did a bunch of research about scar management. The only 'proven' (i.e. in a controlled study) method of scar reduction was to tape the scar. The rest (massage, silicon, bio oil, other topicals etc) might well help, but who knows.
The purpose of taping is to support healing: even when a scar looks perfectly healed on the surface, the deeper tissue and muscles and internal stitches are still healing for the next 2 months or so. Until that's complete, the scar is the weakest point, so it's the first place that's going to 'give' if there is any pressure on the area, any pulling and stretching and voila: it can expand, get wider, become raised or even open back up over that period.
So since I'm like an OCD child, I had brought paper tape so I could start taping as soon as the incisions were healed.
I checked with my surgeon about how to manage scars. He believes in taping and moisture to keep the scar tissue soft and said 'no' to the rest. Rather than paper tape *along* the incisions (which is what I was planning), though, he recommended Leukotape (a strong polymide tape with a hypoallergenic adhesive) that comes in thin strips. You take a bunch of those strips, cut them into 2cm pieces, and place them 5mm or so apart not along the incision, but across it at a 90 degree angle to hold it firmly closed.
Anyway, I have only paper tape with me, figured I could wait until I get home to start with Leukostrips, but being the annoying keener that I am, I wanted to start with 'something'. So yesterday I put a thin strip of gauze over my (not quite 100% healed) incisions so the tape wouldn't stick to them (or as close as I could manage: this stuff is stupidly difficult what with the angles and such) and paper-taped both sides up.
Then I started to worry as the day went on that I had started too early, that the tape was sticking to the wounds, that I was going to cause a problem and etc.
So after my shower last night, I thought I'd take them off because a) they were wet now and b) the worry was driving me mad. But I'm still super scared of my wounds and that tape was a lot stickier than I thought, even after the shower. Took me an excruciating half an hour to very very carefully pull the tape off and I was so nervous about ripping open my incisions and wasn't convinced that the gauze was actually over them fully. Phew, took ages, but I was finally done. Relieved.
A bit of bio oil around the breast tissue (not on the incision), post op bra back on, I went to bed.
This morning when I went to take my bra off, I was horrified to find that it was VERY firmly stuck to the left over adhesive from the paper tape. So I was walking around my place with my bra essentially hanging off the sticky stuff under my breasts, too scared to go pulling at them AGAIN.
Took me another half an hour to gently and slowly prise my stupid bra OFF the adhesive on my breasts. And no, I don't appear to have done any damage, it was all good.
So that adhesive is still there and I'm still sore and scared of causing problems, so it's not like I can rub it with anything to try and get it off. I put (more) bio oil on it to try and stop its stickiness, and put my bra back on.
Such a stupid thing to take up all this energy and time. And I'm really not looking forward to going through this again this evening if my bra is again stuck to me :/.
Apart from that, things seem to be going fine with healing, no change in shape.
Picture of incisions today after my taping failure. The placement is a little strange, but my surgeon didn't have any choice about that since it was a revision. Surprised to see that dark bruise (can't really see it front-on): will put some arnica cream on it to see if it helps.
Keep hurting myself :/
Every time I hurt myself by twisting or moving awkwardly, I think "Jesus! I must be more careful!!" Until the next time I hurt myself by twisting or moving awkwardly. I seem to do it over and over. Nothing devastating, but little thoughtless movements that I obviously shouldn't be attempting yet.
My right is more sore than my left, but both are still really sensitive, especially if I press on the outsides of them. This makes sense I guess since my original over-muscle pockets were apparently towards the sides there, so that all has to heal. And I know I'm not helping with the constant little micro injuries I seem to be causing.
Vaguely worried about managing my baggage on the way home in about 4 days.
Went out today. Didn't do anything wrong. But managed to hurt myself anyway.
I'm not quite sure how, but grabbing at my left breast in pain while in public is not my finest moment. I was on my way home, so okay.
The really sharp pain didn't last (thank goodness), and I went and got a foot massage. Sitting in a recliner: what could go wrong?! But then the masseuse twisted my leg in a way that forced my body to follow (which would normally be perfectly fine), and that hit the same pain point.
So 9 days post, I've had to take a strong pain killer because it hasn't let up.
Trying not to worry that I've done some damage. Hoping it's better tomorrow.
Photos from this morning. Can see the unevenness coming back: the breast on your left is droopier (as it was prior). It's not even really visible in the full body shot (which shows a tiny bit more lower pole volume from previous, so yay).
Still painful :(
Ugh. The spot that I tweaked yesterday is still sore. Not all the time, but even small movements make it hurt now. Spent the entire day inside, too paranoid to be out and about like a normal person, and I STILL managed to hurt it when I moved wrong (getting up from sitting, opening the cupboard, getting milk out of the fridge... *eyeroll*).
Given the pain is still hanging around and I have the long haul flight home tomorrow, the idea of carrying my cabin baggage around (not much: my laptop, a book, a sweater, wallet, water) through the airport, security, immigration and between flights is stressing me out. I have a super light backpack for it that I intend to actually put on my back. Considering buying a wheeled cabin bag instead and dealing with lifting it up for security and into the overhead lockers by asking for help.
Apart from whining and worrying about something that I'm preeeetttyyy sure is minor and no big deal, the REST of the healing is really going fine.
The unevenness is visible, but I don't think it's getting worse. The incisions are healing well. The bruises are slowly dissipating. And I still think they look super cute in the full body shot.
I actually think they are going to be *smaller* than the size I started with (I tried on the very boring 36C t-shirt bra that I wore on the way here and it was too big). I would be perfectly fine with smaller if they were a perfect shape (all my wish pics were smaller than I had and were all about the shape), but they aren't a perfect shape. Given that they aren't, slightly bigger might have helped eliminate the sag altogether and hidden the unevenness a little more.
I'm kind of glad that I couldn't have done anything about that thought given I didn't know what size I was starting with and I didn't know they were over-muscle (I'd confidently told my surgeon they were unders), so both my surgeon and I were kind of flying blind size-wise before he got them out. I say I'm glad about that because I can't have any regrets about the decision when I didn't have the information I needed to make a different one :).
Travelling home after breast surgery
So I had the procedure in Bangkok, live in Australia. I went home 12 days afterwards.
I had a wheeled medium sized suitcase, a wheeled cabin bag (that I bought there because I realised carrying my laptop & handbag & sweater & documents wasn't going to go well since I still had some pain and you aren't *supposed* to carry anything) and a very light (but large) wedge cushion.
I had to pick up my bags in Sydney and transfer to domestic which meant I had to go through the baggage processing twice.
Mostly I was able to ask for help with all the lifting (eg into and out of the overhead locker on the plane which would have been impossible on my own). Sometimes I wasn't. On the occasions where there was no help available, I did it very slowly and let the table/belt/whatever take the weight as soon as a corner of the bag was on it. Awkward, but no pain, so hurrah.
What WAS a problem was driving my manual car (manual = stick for those in the US) the 100+ kms home. I discovered when getting it out from where it was parked that reverse was a problem because of the way you have to push-shift it (yowtch!). Gears 1-4 were fine, steering like an old lady was fine (10 and 2, no crossing arms for tight turns). Gears 5-6 were a big big problem because of the 'push-shift' you have to do. I ended up doing it with both hands (which worked fine for reverse, was not quite as fine highway driving), but I felt pain as soon as I tried it, so other than driving 100+ kms in 4th gear, I had little choice.
I live in a 3 story walkup. I've now made three trips up and down the stairs to take things out of my suitcases in small lots to bring them up here. The rest can just wait.
It wasn't great, but also not horrible-badness. If you have someone who can meet you and bring you home, that would obviously be much better.
Morning after long haul travel
I slept for 15 hours and woke with sore breasts: a similar kind of soreness to how it was much earlier in my recovery.
Last night the bruise under my right breast was suddenly MUCH worse than it has ever been :(. Dark blue and angry looking. It didn't feel particularly hard, tight or swollen (which is, from what I've read, how a haematoma feels), or at least it didn't feel significantly harder, tighter or more swollen than the other side which is NOT bruised.
I feel like I've taken two steps backwards.
So I've taken pain killers this morning, and I'm determined to do NOTHING that might possibly aggravate them (further) and hope for the best.
As a side note, I am so impressed with all the women who are going out shopping for bras and trying on pretty things so soon after their surgery. I suspect a big part of it is that they are BAs and not revisions, which is a very different beast, but I'm so hyper focussed on being pain free and having a complication-free recovery that I can't even think about it.
Edited to add: Okay, I was too scared to look at my aggravated bruise until just now. I took pictures and either I was imagining its badness or 15 hours of sleep has significantly cleared it up. Either way, I'm happy to see that only a small part of it is still that dark colour now :). Phew.
Finally tried on some clothes
So even though my cup size hasn't changed (I haven't tried on all my existing bras, but I expect them to actually be a little big now), the *shape* of my breasts has absolutely changed (thank god!).
So I finally did the thing you do with new breasts and tried on some bikini tops and a dress that I always struggled to wear because I needed a bra under it and it never quite sat right.
I suspect that the change will not be noticeable by anyone else, but I'm loving just having a little bit of volume in the cleavage and the fullness of them vs the sagginess before.
My breasts are sore
I feel like my breasts are lagging behind here.
It's cold here, so no pictures, but I'm really not seeing much change.
The skin is really sensitive, not just the nipple, but the entire breast. It feels how your skin feels when you have a fever (no they aren't hot or I'd be freaking out): all prickly-uncomfortable and hot-cold.
I googled 'sensitive skin after breast surgery' and
a) it's normal (yay?!) and
b) desensitisation might work.
Massage is one option, but I'm not supposed to do that. Apparently a vibrator might be useful here (yes, a proper PS suggested that, I didn't make a mistake and search for porn) since apparently nerves respond well to vibration.
So far I'm just kind of rubbing them gently through my sweater like some boob-perve. It seems to help a bit but not for long. Better go find a vibrator then.
(as a note, when I had fillers years ago, the practitioner had me hold a vibrator up to my chin: something about the vibrations and nerve reactions and pain reduction, so there you go... :)).
Support bras: I dunno
I have to wear my post op bra for 2 months. Part of the reason is that the original over-muscle pocket has to close and heal up in addition to the new under-muscle implant pocket healing.
I wore an Adidas sports bra to my follow up appointments and asked him if it was okay: he said it was no good. Essentially it was just compressing my breasts against my chest wall (vs actually supporting the breast tissue).
What this highlights to me is that I really can't tell the difference between 'support' and 'compression'. Which sounds ridiculous, but it's actually true. Most of my current sports bras are designed for 'stopping my breasts from bouncing around' not really for 'supporting the breast tissue'. I kind of thought they were much the same thing.
Problem is that proper post-op support bras are really expensive and they are mostly nanna bras and totally not practical for wearing under anything that I would normally wear (fly-back tank tops, strappy summer dresses...). Which is okay for a few weeks, but not for 2 months.
I bought a Rockwear full coverage front zip sports bra in size 12 (I guess that's a US 8) that feels 'okay' (honestly, I don't really know).
And I ordered a Zbra Evolution sports bra from a French company that also makes post op bras in 36B. IF it's okay, I will buy the post op bra also (the post op bra is twice the price, so I wanted to test out fit and size first).
I feel like I'm being completely paranoid about this, especially when I see so many women happily getting on with their lives 3-4 weeks after their surgery, but I am genuinely terrified of fucking something up and want to be 110% sure that IF something goes wrong, it's not my own fault. I do think that part of that is not having access to my PS if I DO fuck something up.
As to other things, I've started putting silicone tape (Siltape) and Leukostrips on my incision scars. I cut the Siltape lengthwise in half so it's thinner, put that along the scar, then put 3cm long pieces of Leukostrip ACROSS the scar about 5mm apart. The latter was recommended by my PS as it compresses the area to minimise scarring and keep it supported as the internal stitches heal, the former I made up because I figure it can't hurt. I'm planning on keeping them on 24/7 and changing them twice a week. I'll see how solidly they are still attached after 3-4 days of wear.
At the moment, the placement of the Leukostrips is really haphazard because it's hard to do it myself. I assume I will get better at it with all the practice I will get.
At night and in the morning, I'm rubbing bio-oil on my breasts for no good reason other than to keep my skin from getting dry. My skin is still super sensitive which is unpleasant but not unbearable.
My breasts feel really firm. I'm not supposed to massage them, so I don't. I assume they will soften up, but that really hasn't started happening yet that I can tell.
Realised when I took the progress pic today that they seem to be settling nicely compared to just a few days ago. A bit more of a natural shape and a little more volume underneath. The unevenness is about the same, so I'm happy about that.
Side by side before after
In case I forget and start to whine about this and that, or compare my results to perky young things (I would NEVER! :)), this shows what I had to start with compared with today.
I lined up moles on my stomach and chest to ensure both photos were at the same level: They are, though obviously my arms are in different positions.
I'm really delighted with the result, especially given I refused to have a lift. I expect to see some more changes over the next few weeks, but I'm hoping not too much.
Woke up happy :)
I'm 3.5 weeks out now. This morning I got up, took my sports bra off (because I wanted to change into my post-op bra - I'm still wearing a bra 24/7)), looked in the mirror and was genuinely happy with what I saw.
It's not that I've been unhappy before now, but this morning I felt a kind of casual happiness (vs the previous very 'breast-inspectory' feeling where I examine myself, take note of good and bad, and then kind of nod and go 'yes, it's going well, I'm happy with it'). So this feeling is new and very welcome.
I immediately took a couple of pictures and tried on an old bra (still fits, but looks much nicer on now).
I'm now putting a cut-in-half-lengthwise piece of Silitape over the scars and then putting Leukostrips across them 24/7 for both scar minimisation and support (no Jessica.R it doesn't smell (yet), I've been checking :P). The incisions still have little scabs on them: the difference in incision healing time between face (so damn quick) and breast (fucking slow) is astounding.
My breast skin is still sensitive, but it's improved and is concentrated more on the nipples now. I have to cover them in the shower to stop the water hitting them directly because ow. Occasional electric shock 'zingers' into the nipples (which have, by the way, been constantly hard since the surgery).
In day to day 'doing things', I can 'feel' them because of the bra firstly, but also because they are still tight and the skin sensitivity lets me know they are there, but I'm able to DO most normal day to day activities without being scared. I can feel the muscle flex and can identify the point just before it's 'too much' now, so unless I'm committed to the movement, I can pull out before I hurt myself.
The things that are 'too much' are surprising: lifting things up seems to be mostly okay (not doing anything heavy, just grocery shopping etc), but applying pressure downwards (even lightly, like when I tamp down coffee for the coffee maker) still hurts if I'm not careful.
I have a slight hollow at the side of my left breast. I will ask about it when I send my 1 month update, but I assume (hope) it will resolve itself. They are still very firm, but I feel a bit of 'give' in them now compared with previously, so they seem to be slowly getting softer.
1 month check in with my surgeon
My email to my surgeon:
Everything is going well so I’m really pleased. I’m delighted with the outcome and the shape is settling nicely. It’s such a huge improvement :).
The healing is slow (still some scabs on the incisions, skin and nipple sensitivity, occasional pain if I do something I shouldn’t), but I think that’s all perfectly normal and is improving daily. The scars look amazing (despite there still being some scabs on them). I’m wearing the compression bra 24/7 and taping the scars.
- At the moment, I am REALLY careful with myself and as soon as something makes my breasts twinge uncomfortably, I stop it. Should I continue to be super careful and avoid anything that twinges or hurts or should I be actively working to push through some of the pain at this stage?
- My left breast has a slight indent on the outer side (see photo: The photo is a little misleading since it looks like a crease that continues to under my breast: it doesn’t look as severe as this in real life). Will this resolve itself? Is there anything I should be doing to help it improve?
- My breasts are uneven which I expected and which is perfectly fine, but the UPPER pole of the less droopy one (the left) is still quite a bit fuller and rounder than the right. I guess that makes perfect sense because physics, but I’m wondering if this is likely to still change over the next couple of months? I’m wanting to set my expectations if that’s unlikely.
I’d probably (possibly maybe) have liked a bit bigger. Not because 'BOOB GREED!', but because Dr Nond mentioned after the fact that he thought 400CC would likely have removed all the sag (of which there is very little remaining, though there's still some settling to come). But given all the unknowns we were working with (I didn't know my original size, PLUS it turned out they were over muscle and not under as I'd told him), there was nothing we could or should have done differently.
I’m just under a C cup now I think: I haven't yet been properly fitted, but my old bras are mostly 36C and some fit and some are a touch too big.
Healing & nipples
The skin on my breasts is nearly back to normal vs being super sensitive, which is a relief.
My nipples are still very sensitive, so they will obviously take a little longer to settle.
For the first time since the surgery, my nipples weren't rock hard this morning, which was great. Poor buggars must be exhausted from standing to attention for a month. They aren't yet fully relaxed, but with the partial relaxation, an odd little crease appeared under the nipple on my left areola. I'm going to happily assume that it's temporary and not worry about it.
The scars are healing well. I'm still Silitaping and using Leukostrips and still wearing the post-surgery bra 24/7.
I feel some oddness when doing certain things, the muscles flex against the implant, but I don't push it. It feels unpleasant/weird, but it doesn't hurt. The only day to day thing that is still an issue is gear shifting in my car, still have to use both hands.
I think they might be very close to their final position and shape now. I know that the anatomical implants are placed very specifically and are textured, so there isn't the range of movement in the pocket that round ones have. I think most of my swelling has gone down. My muscles may still relax a bit more, but I'm not expecting much change.
I was mucking about and photoshopped my pic to see what even breasts would look like (i.e. if both were like my left one). So pretty! Stupid uneven body :/.
Not much change
Healing is going fine, the look of my breasts hasn't changed much (if at all) since the last update. I do expect that they will sag a little more over time, but I'm not expecting much change in the next couple of months.
I'm still wearing my compression bra 24/7 (he wanted it on for 2 months to help heal both the original over-muscle and the under-muscle pockets), using silicon tape + leukostrips on the incisions, putting bio-oil on the skin.
In his reply to my question of pushing through the pain vs being ultra careful, my surgeon said somewhere inbetween, so I probably need to do a bit more and get past my paranoia that I'm going to break something.
The weirdness in doing some movements is still there (by that I mean, I can kind of feel my muscle flexing against the implant in a strange way). It doesn't hurt, but it feels really unpleasant, so I stop 'whatever' when I feel it. I imagine it's normal and it's one of the things I need to push at a bit.
The indent on the side of my left breast is still there, it might be a little better. Still hoping it will resolve itself. Dr Nond wanted to see better photos, which I sent, and he hasn't come back to me with the official 'wait and see' response that I'm expecting yet.
My breasts are still really firm. They're highly cohesive anatomicals (ie. gummy bears) so I expect softening to take a bit longer than less cohesive silicon. On a squishiness scale of 1 to 10, where my previous were about a 9, I'd say these are about a 3-4.
I'm still really pleased with them and think they're super cute (I've never used the word 'cute' to describe any part of myself before). Though since I'm wearing my hideous nanna bra pretty much 24/7, I haven't really gotten to see them much, so I don't really feel like I 'own' them yet.
7+ weeks post
Putting update photos side by side, I'm seeing very little change in them since about the first week of October. I think the upper pole has settled some and there might be have been some tiny lifting of the nipple as the muscles relax and the lower pole fills out a bit more. All good if so, but it's really hard to tell if I'm imagining things or not.
From the profile view, I'm completely delighted that my left breast shape is pretty much EXACTLY what I had in my wish pics. Well, I'd like the nipple to be a bit more upward pointing, but I'm delighted with this regardless. My right has some catching up to do in filling out the lower pole. I'm not sure it will given my very uneven starting point, but I'm hoping so.
I'm still wearing my compression bra 24/7 (2 months, my surgeon said: not long to go!). I haven't yet been sized or been out trying on bras. I'm thinking maybe a 36B/34C now vs 36C before. Also still using silicone tape and leukostrip combination 24/7. Scars are healing cleanly.
I recently saw a review from a woman who looked great at 2 months and at 5 months her breasts were sitting low and were quite saggy. Even though we have literally NO similarities in our stories, I still find it unsettling.
I'm being difficult hoping for some changes while desperately hoping others won't eventuate :).
The two main things:
- the indent on the outside of my left breast has reduced (so yay!), but it's still visible (you can see a hint of it in one of the side photos). I'm really not THAT worried if it doesn't completely disappear, but it would obviously be a bonus.
- The bottom of my right breast is quite square and the lower pole is like a little shelf instead of being rounded. Hoping that still fills out a bit more.
I'm glad they haven't sagged (touch wood). I'm still expecting some of that. Not sure if that's a realistic expectation for textured gummy bears (I apparently have quite lax skin and I'm not quite sure how that impacts the look) or if I just like to worry for nothing.
2 months post-op :)
I no longer have to wear my compression bra. I've celebrated by going braless today to see how it feels (weird: I have no experience of these breasts without the compression bra!).
I'm pretty delighted with the result. I asked for 'no bigger', 'more even', 'lift/better shape' and I refused to have a breast lift. Dr Nond delivered on all counts: good man :).
Still haven't been properly sized. Most of my bras are 36C: some fit, some don't (previously, I could just 'put' my breasts into the cups, but these babies are just sitting there, so there's no 'putting' them anywhere. So who knows).
They are still quite firm. I expected that with gummy bears. They have softened a bit: when I squeeze them, there is some give but certainly nothing close to 'normal'. They don't jiggle or move much at all and I certainly can't push them together yet. I'd say a 5/10 on a squishy scale.
The skin feels pretty normal all over, though the incision sites are a bit numb. My areolae (thanks spell check!) and nipples can finally get soft.
When I give them a decent squeeze, they are still tender, but all day-to-day activity is fine. Still some odd flexing of the muscle against the implant when I make certain motions which feels unpleasant, but not painful.
I'm back at the gym, but not doing any upper body work yet. I guess I can start doing that.
I'm thankful to have no rippling or weird movement when I flex. Touch wood.
I'm still putting silicone tape and leukostrips on them 24/7 for at least another month to help keep the scars nice and neat. I was too lazy to take them off to get picture of the scars for this update.
4 month update
I'm still really happy with them: they look so very much better than before.
I'm loving the shape and size which is pretty much my wish, even though they are somewhat asymmetrical.
They are healing well though they still don’t feel ‘normal’ to me. I am trying to be patient. The scars are still red and a little wider than I would have hoped for given I taped them for 3 months, but I think they look well within the range of normal for the timeframe.
With regard to softness, they still feel quite firm to me and the right feels softer than the left. They feel like a firm core with varying amounts of soft tissue over them. I did expect something like that with the highly cohesive implants, but there is not a lot of movement in them either (that is, they can't be pushed together fully, nor can they be pushed up much, nor do they jiggle much). I included a little video that I thought would show how *not* soft they were, but strangely they look really quite squishy in it, however you CAN see that when I try to push them together, they hardly move.
My breasts are uneven, which I knew from the start, but the implants feel very different on each side. I assume this is to do with muscle strength (or perhaps this is normal when the starting point was so asymmetrical).
Particular 'things' with the left breast (none of them a big deal, but noting them anyway):
* In particular, the muscle on the left side feels strange against the implant in a way that the other side doesn’t. There is no pain, but when I do certain actions (like wiping a table or pulling down from above my head), the muscle movement feels quite uncomfortable and unnatural and if I keep doing it, the muscle aches a little bit. The right side appears to use the muscle in exactly the same way (that is, visually the movement of the muscle looks the same), but it feels quite 'normal'. Strange because I’m right handed and I'd expect the stronger muscle (which is what it feels like) to be on the right side.
* The indent on the outside of my left breast that I mentioned previously is still there. I can't tell if it's more or less, but you can see that it's not obvious in the video. I have to catch the light in the right way to get a photo of it.
* I can feel a pea sized lump in my left breast. It's quite hard, it doesn't hurt and it's not externally visible. It also doesn't move around and I can't grab it. I've asked my surgeon about it and he wants to do a Skype call to take a look (though it's not visible).
* When I manually lift the left breast, there is a strange gurgling *feel* to it internally (I don't feel it in my hand externally, I feel it internally in my breast). The other side does this also, but only rarely.
I'm wearing a soft bra pretty much all the time and go back to my post-surgery bra at home if I've let them fly free for a day out or something. Sometimes I sleep without one, but I feel more secure with one on (this is true even though they aren't at all flopping about and I sleep on my back).
There is still a little tenderness if I manipulate the tissue around the scar sites, but not in normal daily movement.
I've not pushed my upper body at the gym yet. Taking it very easy.
My scars are perfectly flat but still quite prominent. I'm still putting silicone tape on them 24/7 until they either disappear or I run out of tape: whichever comes first.
I'm including a video that shows how they look, how squishy they are, and how much movement I have in them now.
6 month update
Pre: 280CC over-muscle round silicon
Post: 300CC under-muscle anatomical highly cohesive silicon (ie teardrop gummy bears).
Sitting pretty solidly at a 34C (which is pretty much the same bra size as before, it's just that my breasts sit in the cup now vs being lifted up into the cup).
I'm still really happy with them. It's SUCH an improvement (and looking at some of my before pictures, I'm really surprised that I was never really bothered by how they looked before, but somehow I wasn't).
If I had had all of the information going in (I didn't know how big my previous implants were and I swore that they were under-muscle, so my surgeon essentially went in blind), I'd probably have chosen to go a little bigger, not because 'big boobs!' but because the skin is a little lax and it would have lifted them a smidgen more.
They are softer than a couple of months ago and I can now create some cleavage with them. They are not as soft as my previous implants and the right (the droopy one) is still softer than the left: I assume because there was more tissue there. The trouble with doing the surgery on the quiet is that I can't ask someone to feel my breasts and tell me what they think :P. I suspect they feel perfectly normal, but I'm not sure.
The scars are fading very slowly. I'm still putting silicon tape on them because it's no trouble and I do know that it's supposed to fade older scars, so I figure it can't hurt to use it until the scars are pale.
Update on things I mentioned about my left breast from my previous review notes:
* The muscle now feels pretty close to normal when I flex
* The indent on the outside towards the underarm is still there: it might be a little less, but it's hard to tell. I haven't done a skype call with my surgeon to see if there's an easy fix
* The (invisible) pea sized lump has softened some, but is still there
* The gurgling feeling is pretty much gone
All in all: I'm very happy.
One year update
Pre: 240CC over-muscle round silicon (sorry, said 280 in my last and can't edit)
Post: 300CC under-muscle anatomical highly cohesive silicon (ie teardrop gummy bears).
Still very happy with the improvements. They aren't perfect, nor are they symmetrical, but I didn't expect either. I wanted them to NOT be saggy, NOT as asymmetrical, and I didn't want to go bigger. All of those goals were achieved with bells on.
They are a pretty solid C cup, perky, and much more even. I'm really pleased with them.