19 Year Old Saline over Implants with Capsular Contracture Replaced and Lifted with smaller Silicone Unders - Beverly Hills, CA

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I am so glad I did my research and chose Dr....

I am so glad I did my research and chose Dr. Minniti. He and his staff have been wonderful through this whole process, from the original request for a consultation, to giving me exactly what we discussed, to the follow-up care and being incredibly responsive and patient with all of my questions and concerns. My case was certainly not the easiest due to the scar tissue on one side, but he did an excellent job and I can't wait to see how they look in a few months!

19 Year Old Saline over Implants with Capsular Contracture Replaced with Silicone Unders - Beverly Hills, CA

I thought I would include a few photos of the new girls one week after surgery. I had more bruising than the doctor expected, but I tend to bruise very easily and forgot to take my arnica before the day of surgery to prepare. They are high of course and the Right one is more swollen than the Left since he had to do a lot more work on it to remove the scar tissue when taking out the old implants and closing the former capsule.

More info on the surgery consultation and procedure

I originally had saline implants placed over the muscle almost 19 years ago which were fabulous and very natural looking for a long time, although with changes in my body fat ratio I was now wearing a 34DD or DDD or if I was in a skinny stage, a 32DDD or G. They had just become too big and obvious at this point in my life. Plus they were very heavy and the right side had contracted a lot from scar tissue so I knew it was time to do something about them.

I consulted with two other prominent and highly rated surgeons, one more expensive and one less than Dr. Minniti, but wasn't feeling 100 percent about either of them. I probably felt good enough to take that leap of faith and do the procedure with either one, but still wanted another opinion. Am I glad I held out!

Dr. Minniti listened to me carefully, understood my goals, looked at pictures I brought in, explained things extremely thoroughly (which being a research junkie with a fair amount of medical knowledge, I really appreciate!), and had not only the best looking scars from his breast lifts (which I needed to go smaller and under) but also the best artistic view that agreed with mine on what pretty breasts should look like.

I wanted to have nicely shaped fairly big boobs still, but not quite as big or with quite so much projection. I wanted to be able to wear button up blouses and corporate clothes without looking like a button would fly off at any moment and take someone's eye out. Or having my figure actually work against me and be the only thing people notice. I was thinking in the small D range with upper pole fullness, youthful lift, and closer gap cleavage. We agreed on going under the muscle, switching to silicone moderate plus profile, and doing a lift. Since I had no idea how big the old implants were I trusted Dr. Minniti to find out in surgery, and use sizers to give me what I wanted. He explained that there would be less projection anyway by going under the muscle this time, and that about a 20 percent reduction in volume would probably give me what I was looking for.

The night before surgery both the surgical consultant and the anesthesiologist called to check in with me and make sure I understood what I needed to do and not do. The next morning we arrived at the surgical center, which is right across the hall from the office, and were helped by a very efficient but nice nurse. They gave me thigh high surgical stockings to wear to help prevent blood clots, but I have teeny tiny ankles so they weren't very tight there, which concerned me a bit. Once I was on the table being prepped though, they also put inflatable pressure wraps on my lower legs to help, so I felt a bit better.

The anesthesiologist was wonderful! Very calming voice and manner. great with a needle too, using a butterfly on my tiny rolling veins, lol. He gave me something to relax me and soon I was drifting off to sleep.

I woke up with a nice recovery nurse at my side who gave me something for pain before the ride home on LA's bumpy roads. She also showed my hubby and I how to drain the drainage tubes and keep track of the amount.

One thing I will mention that needs to be addressed is the actual paperwork for patients on after care for the procedures. They are a little outdated or maybe generic and don't always say what the doctor really wants you to do. So ASK and double check!

It turns out my surgery went longer than first anticipated because of the difficulty removing all the scar tissue on the right side, but I like the fact that they didn't rush through it and were very careful. My old implants were filled to 425 and 450, so the doctor chose 325 and 350 for the new ones. Perfect size for what I wanted! Even the first day after surgery they looked good and I could tell they will drop into exactly what I want.

A blow by blow of the recovery process

Since it had been so long since my original surgery, and that time I had not gone under the muscle, this was a whole new experience in many ways. When issues came up that concerned me, I tried to find someone who had been in a similar situation or had asked about it and gotten a response on Real Self. There were several times when I couldn't find an answer, so I thought I would share what I went through in hopes of helping someone else. A disclaimer would be appropriate here as I am a real worrywart, so I tend to research everything and try to stop my mind from going to the worst case scenario automatically! You should know that although I had a lot of little "symptoms" pop up, everything was always just fine. lol

Day One (after surgery)

I slept on the couch for the first few nights since it is closer to the ground than the bed, and easier to get in and out of presumably. Still needed the hubby to literally push my back up to get me sitting upright the first few days though. With him sleeping upstairs, he couldn't hear me if I needed him, so I called his phone. No ring. I tried all the obnoxious noises my cell phone could make. Nothing. Great. "I know!" I thought. "I'll turn on the tv loudly and he'll hear it and come down to assist me." Great plan except that from my angle, the remote wouldn't trigger the cable box, so I had to lift it up a bit with my Left hand outstretched. Yowza. Really felt that pec work for it. But at least it had the desired effect and my sleepy husband came down to help me get up so I could finally pee. After I felt how sore that chest muscle was, I realized I should have gotten an air horn.

In addition to being worried about having ripped something (I didn't, probably just pulled it slightly the doc said), I noticed that my Right ankle was swollen in the area that was too little for the compression stockings to work. Hmmmmm. Decided to take them off and see if it equalized. It did. Still had me a bit concerned though.... I took the stockings with me to my day after appointment and was told if I was up and moving around they were no longer needed. Yippee!

I also asked the doctor about feeling something shifting or rolling abruptly in my chest both toward the cleavage and on the outer portion occasionally. He said it was trapped air from surgery.

The small bruise on my very upper chest in the center turned out to be a surface bruise from the measuring device to get the nipples even during the lift. (it's starting to fade now at 2 weeks post)

Coughing, although a little uncomfortable, was ok.

I told him I had a LOT of pressure on my sternum and upper stomach keeping me from wanting to eat anything. Since that has finally decreased now at 2 weeks post, I think it was all the swelling and fluid collecting there.

I also kept feeling my heartbeat in my throat or at the bottom of my esophagus. Coughing sometimes helped though.

It was hard to get comfortable since my left arm kept feeling like it was getting the circulation cut off or got nerve zings down it. Or I would get alternating hot flashes down the left side of my face, neck chest and arm....then cold waves. I immediately thought it might be a nerve getting pinched in my neck due to the pillows and head positioning and who knows what from surgery. Turns out it was the pressure on a nerve that connects in the breast, armpit and neck. So my circulation was fine and it was just nerve issues that would continue for awhile. (lessened now at 2 weeks post, but worse at the end of the day or if I squeeze my arms too close to my sides)

Oh, and the hot flashes from the anesthesia. Guess I know what I'll have to look forward to in a few years! Have some cold drinks with straws handy. ;)

I made myself eat some yogurt, took probiotics and a multi, and my antibiotics a couple of hours later to give the probiotics time to work. Took pain meds, but cut them in half so I had a choice of strength.

And here's the GOOD news: Actual breast pain wasn't bad at all. It was more general discomfort.

Day Two

For the second day after surgery I felt pretty darn good in the boob department. No pain meds needed until night when I went to bed. Plus, I was very backed up and knew that more narcotics would only make it worse. Crap. Wish I could. lol

So, my mid section, which was bloated from drainage, was even more bloated now and really painful. It literally hurt to eat. I could feel food moving through every inch of my digestive tract. I doubled up on the probiotics. I also sent the hubby to get me some senokot!

Had my second day follow up and the doc took out the drains. Yea! Those were painful so it felt good to be rid of them even though I knew it meant more drainage into my body.

The car ride was horrendous. I should have taken a pill. I also started to feel nauseous when sitting up and had to recline a bit toe take some of the pressure off my sternum. I found I would lift away the band of my bra in the middle to relieve some of that pressure once in awhile, which helped.

Took the laxative in the afternoon hoping for something to happen before I went to sleep, but no go.

Took a pain pill and hoped for the best!

Day Three

Woke up at 6am after literally dreaming about pooping. Since I didn't go for the 2 days prior to surgery, this was becoming a real concern. Called my health insurance "nurse advice" line to see what they would recommend and they went through the whole barrage of standard questions they have to ask anyone who calls about anything. Dizziness, can you stand, etc. All going smoothly until they got to the "Do you have any pain in your legs?" bit. Actually I had been having pain behind my left knee all morning ( it was now 8:30). So of course with recent surgery, they want me to go in right away to be evaluated for a blood clot. Ugggghhh. Why didn't I just keep my mouth shut?? I get these little pains all the time, most likely due to broken capillaries and reticular veins after years of abuse, so I wasn't that worried. But the seed had been planted for later.... Anyway, they suggested the usual high fiber foods, water, a laxative - stuff I had already done and was pretty sure would only make matters worse if I had a minor impaction, which is what it felt like. So, I did my research, decided on a liquid glycerin suppository to break things up, and called the doc to double check the leg pain. He wasn't worried since both legs were otherwise the same. Whew. Sent hubby back to the store and was very happy to discover my plan worked!

Although I felt immediately better, it still hurt to eat and I still had a painful abdomen. If I arched my back and pulled my shoulders back to stretch the pecs a bit as instructed, I felt a pulling sensation from below my Right breast all the way down to my lower abs. I called the doc and he said it was probably a thrombosis in a vein, and wasn't dangerous. I did some research and found pictures of a ropey looking vein like he described. I had nothing like that. Hmmmmm....

Now I was starting to worry that I had given myself a hernia or ripped the fascia in my abdomen or torn an intestine or something. I didn't want to wake my hubby and sat up by myself that morning using my abs, but felt a sharp pain on the already swollen side. Great. lol (Doc said most likely a pulled muscle) So we watch and wait and see if it gets better.

Everything else was pretty much the same, so although I wasn't in breast pain, it did feel good to take the pain meds for everything else that night!

Day 4

Shower and hairwash day! Hubby helped me, handing me the bottles as I needed them. I elected to do my own hair though since I have seen his method of washing hair and it looks suspiciously similar to washing the dog. It worked fine with me going very slowly and gently leaning my head to one side and then the other. I have really long hair so it was a challenge to comb through it but a good amount of conditioner helped.

All the same as yesterday except I noticed a small bulge above and to the right of my belly button, which got me thinking more about a possible hernia. I poked it gently and it seems like fluid. I convinced myself to relax and not think about it for now.

I got really lightheaded that afternoon and felt like I might pass out. Reclined on the couch and drank Sprite. I have naturally low blood pressure anyway, so it may have been that. Or low blood sugar since I hadn't been eating much. (I literally lost 5 pounds in the week after surgery. I think 2 pounds were the old saline implants though!)

No BM, so I took a single laxative pill that night to try and move along the leftovers. Also took half a pain pill.

Day Five

The nerve pains and warm/cold feelings continued, but were eased when I kept my arms away from my sides.

I had more leg pains in various places on both legs and discovered a few broken blood vessels and reticular veins that I hadn't noticed before. A couple of them had darker blue areas that made me worried about a blood clot again, but the doctor assured me it was fine.

The swelling in my torso seems to be going down today finally and I can see definition again in my abs. Still have the pain there though and discomfort when eating. Luckily the laxative worked, so I felt like I was making a little progress getting rid of the excess bulk! lol

Day Six

Today was not the best for me. My sensitive skin decided to show me it had been triggered by everything. Just touching my skin it turned really red. Then it went with a full body flush as if I was having an allergic reaction when I put body lotion on after my shower. That subsided after awhile though.

The pulling sensation in my right side abdomen was a little less today.

I did feel fairly energetic, so I did some work in my upstairs office, recording and editing audio files. Then going downstairs one hamstring got tight and painful so I stretched it out by putting my foot on top of a railing ballet bar style. After that I started to make lunch and got very woozy. That leg started to give out on me, so I sat down to let it pass. I felt light headed like I was going to pass out again, so I reclined on the couch like before. The hubby brought me 2 drinkable yogurts and a sprite. Still felt woozy with heart palpitations, chest pain, hot flashes down the left side, heartbeats in my throat, headache and a stuffy nose. This lasted for about 3 hours until I took half a pain pill. It dawned on me that I was having the same symptoms that people detoxing from drugs have. Maybe I am just very sensitive to the pain killers and actually start to detox between my nightly doses? Seemed to make some sense and the doc agreed that could be a good theory.

I noticed I had a sore spot on my right hip later that night and pain in my groin region by my labia. Probably from swelling fluids moving south....

On the good news front, the lower GI tract seemed to finally be fully operational again today and I felt like I finally got rid of all the leftovers that had been hanging around!

Day Seven

Woke up today with a painful lump in my right labia and wondered if it was actually lymph nodes being triggered by something. After some research though, I decided it really was just the swelling moving down and collecting in various places. It went away the following day.

My right side is definitely more swollen than the left and still painful through torso.

Today's shower was uneventful and lovely.

I found my right leg tending to fall asleep (or at least feeling that way) when sitting. Figured it was also the extra fluid on that side pressing on a nerve like with the arms.

Had my one week check up and the doc says they look great. More bruising than he expected, but I bruise very easily. (I did stop the garlic and fish oils 2 weeks prior to surgery, but I probably have a high reserve level from taking them for years.) He cleaned the sutures and changed the tape over them. He also looked at the drain holes and said they looked good and to just keep putting polysporin and new bandaids on them after I shower.

Day Eight

Today started off well and I had a lot of energy. I unloaded the dishwasher, worked for about 3 hours, made phone calls, did emails, etc. Then my right chest muscle started to feel very sore and tired. It felt like it was more swollen again too. I made dinner very carefully and was still too sore to cut up my food. By bedtime it seemed like the right breast was back to it's day one size. I did a bunch of research to find out what might be going on and got a little worried about a hematoma or seroma. The next day I called the doc.

Day Nine

Some of the extra swelling from the night before had diminished when I woke up so I did feel a bit better, although I had a very hard time falling asleep last night since my mind was going through all the possibilities! The doctor said to come in if the swelling was still significant, so I saw him that afternoon. After examining the two breasts and comparing the shapes and sizes he said he thought it was just swelling "under the flap" which meant it hadn't affected the implant or pocket. It was just under the skin. Whew. I was worried I overdid it too early and messed things up.

I went home and did some work in my office again, just took it easy on the typing and using the right arm since it often makes the pec flex.

By bedtime I felt a little more swollen, but not so extreme. I also read that the swelling is less in the mornings and more at night, so I quit worrying so much.

I did realize that I would start to get uncomfortable and have some breast pains now with little electric shock feelings and various short pains in different places, around 6pm each day. I decided to take half a pain pill then, and another half at 10 when I got ready for bed.

Day Ten

Looking a little less swollen by now, but still have a noticeable bulge under my right arm where the bra band contains the fluid. It feels good to have the surgical bra off for an hour while I take my time showering, hairwashing, lotioning and stuff. Also really glad I sent the hubby back to the doc a few days ago to get a second bra so I can switch them out.

When I took the bandaid off to put a fresh one on, i noticed a prickly thing sticking out of my skin, or seemingly just under it, and a second one close by. I figured they might be stitches that were coming to the surface for some reason, but wasn't too worried about it since I knew this happens sometimes. Called the doc to see what to do about it, if anything, and he said there weren't any stitches in that area. Okay...... took a closer look once the hubby could help and take a picture for me. Turns out it was a small skin tag that was so irritated by the adhesive from the bandaid that it was super painful and sensitive. Started using smaller bandaids since the drain incision wasn't really weeping anymore and that put the adhesive and pulling of the skin in a different location.

Got lightheaded again after lunch. Started thinking maybe i was waiting too long to eat (about every four hours) so decided to make an effort to eat small snacks more often to keep my blood sugar up. I've never had blood sugar issues, but with the healing process and all the systems in your body that get thrown for a loop during surgery, it may be a temporary thing right now.

My nose got stuffy again later, so I made some orange and spice tea. Helped a bit. Took half a pain pill and felt better. yeah....the detoxing theory seems to hold water.

I had been sleeping upstairs in the bed (soooooo much more comfy!) for a few nights now and had four pillows propped up to create a 45 degree angle elevation for my torso. As I was just sitting down to get in, I lost my balance for a second and went forward and to the side, catching myself with my hands, which of course made my pecs work. The nerve under my left arm was really irritated after that and I started to worry about swelling so I went downstairs and took some arnica to hopefully prevent any bleeding bruising or swelling. Also took the other half of the pain pill.

Day Eleven

Well the arnica last night worked. No extra swelling on the left side and my pecs felt "normal" again with no pain. Speaking of arnica, I had been taking it morning and evening for about four days at this point and was hoping that it would help with eliminating the bruising even after the fact.

This was a good day for me . Felt good, but took it easy just in case I had overdone it last night catching myself.

Day Twelve

Remembered I had some arnica cream in the house and started putting that on the bruises.

The hubby was nice enough to take me shirt shopping since i only had a few button up tops in my closet and needed more choices. I was so happy to try on all these tops that actually buttoned! No more straining the buttonholes and big gaps in between buttons!

Speaking of tops, I highly recommend having a few really soft comfortable cotton or silk button up tops or light sweaters to wear. Your skin may be more sensitive than normal and you want to be cushy and comfy. :)

After shopping I felt good enough for the first time to go out to dinner. ( I had learned to take half a pain pill before hitting the road and all of it's bumps and stop and go traffic) We got sushi (my favorite) but I skipped the sake since I was still taking a small amount of pain meds and also didn't want to thin my already super thin blood and risk a bleed.

I got cold at dinner and started shivering, which made my whole body feel anxious, like I had drunk too much coffee or something. Had some orange spice tea at home and warmed up. Felt fine then.

Half a pain pill and off to sleep.

Day Thirteen

Pretty good day for me, but an uncomfortable start. (It seems like I have one good day and one difficult day and it keep flip flopping like that!) I woke up to sharp pains on the left side about where my heart is. Great. I get "skipped" beats sometimes, but the cardiologist says it's nothing to worry about and that pain doesn't always mean anything. So, I decided to think that it's just pain from the surgery and take somewhat deep breaths until it passed. Took a few minutes, but eventually it went away and I got up.

I decided to make use of my husband/chauffeur and run a few errands. While waiting to get in the car I stepped back onto my other foot's flip flop and lost my balance, twisting and quickly stepping to the left to steady myself. It pulled my abs in that direction a bit and later on they were painful once again. (they had gotten a little better gradually) Eating was painful again. Arrggghhh. I chastised myself for not being more careful and decided to just wait and see how it goes. Hopefully it would get better gradually again.

I made dinner again that night and the abs were a little better by bedtime. Had a bit of a headache but decided to wait and just take the one half a pain pill at bedtime.

Day Fourteen (2 weeks post!)

Great day!

The arnica must have been working because the bruising is definitely decreasing now. I also seem less swollen in the side bra band area finally.

Check up with the doc goes well and he decides to leave the tape on for another week. He says I don't have to use the polysporin on the drain holes anymore. The girls are looking good! Still high and a little swollen, especially the right side, but I can tell they are going to be gorgeous! I'm including a couple of pics here. I took them myself since the hubby seems to be fighting off a cold and I don't want to get sick right now! lol

Doc says i can have a drink now if I want. Also can start slowly increasing my activity but not to do anything to tear the muscles or stitches.

Abdomen still sore and getting a headache toward the end of the day. Lots of little electrical nerve pings as they try to reconnect. Took a 1/4 pain pill around 6 then a half at 10. Planned to ease off them completely over the next couple of days.

Day Fifteen

Most days are pretty good now. I think 2 weeks post is the time you sort of "get over the hump."

I did have some pain when eating again which seemed to transfer to the surface when I lightly touched the skin over that area of my stomach. Right side again of course, so whether it's bruising , pressure from swelling traveling south, or just my digestive tract still being touchy, I still don't know for sure. I have been taking probiotics and digestive enzymes every day to try to re-balance things internally anyway which seem to help.

I also had some pain in my right tricep for some reason. Guessing it was referred pain from the nerve under my armpit.

I noticed that the right implant seems to move a little in the pocket, while the left one is absolutely stable. I feel the weight of it shift a bit when I lean forward or to the side. I have been wearing the tighter surgical bra anytime I go in the car to help deal with the bumps and stop and go movements. I also tend to support the breast a bit with one arm under them and that hand forming a hard cup around one!

Decided to wean myself off the pain pills tonight and just take 1/4 one at bedtime.

Day Sixteen

Time to go out on the town for the first time!

I emailed the doc about the implant movement I feel on the right side and he said not to worry. We actually want some movement and the other side needs to catch up now! lol Also said he thinks the pulling that feels like the scar tissue I had under the right breast that used to visibly pull at the implant is just tenderness from bruising under the skin. Ok, I'll see how it goes over the next few days. I have another check up on the 20th.

Hubby and I went to Hollywood for dinner and a show (American Idiot), which we were really excited about. I had my first glass and a half of wine in over 3 weeks! Had to be careful walking to and from the Pantages in the crowd, going slowly in high heels to not jar the girls too much and keeping my distance from wayward elbows. When we got seated, I was next to a young man who was obviously a devotee of Green Day and copied their look and for a moment I started to worry that he (and others) might jump up and dance themselves during the musical, causing me to fend off flailing arms and air guitar solos. Fortunately, everyone left the entertainment to the professionals and I didn't have to worry about protecting the new girls until we made our way through the crowd after the show.

No pain pills needed anymore!

Day 17

This was a pretty good day with nothing new really to report. Having more little zings of pain in the actual breasts now, but they don't last long. Happy to be off pain pills at night, even if it was just a half pill. I get sore and a little headache-y in the evening, but nothing I can't handle. Now I can have a glass of wine!

Day 18

Ok, this was the day I really test the waters. Hubby and I went to the Doheny Blues Festival which was a 75 mile trip in the car, then walking around the festival grounds and being out in the sun and heat all day. I wore the tighter surgical bra and a lightweight silk button up shirt and short skirt.

I chose to sit on the ground on our blanket rather than try to use my arms to lift myself out of a low slung beach chair and risk flexing the pecs too much. Being cautious about drinking in the heat and sun, I only had one beer and a couple of weak cocktails the whole day, in addition to 5 bottles of water. Although there was a little bit of breeze, I got really hot and sweaty just sitting there, so it felt better to get up and walk around a bit to get more air. I also took some paper tape with me and alcohol pads in case I needed to replace the tape that was covering the stitches under my breasts. Halfway through the day I went to the ladies room and patted things down with a cold wet towel to cool off and "clean" away the sweat. As it turned out the tape stayed on just fine. I had put an extra piece along the bottom edge to help hold it in place sine the edge had started to roll up just a little the previous day.

Toward sundown, I felt good enough to dance a little from the waist down, which was a relief since I am usually a BIG dancer! I just didn't want to twist my abdomen too much and irritate it again.

By 8 pm, I had had enough and was getting really cold, which made my muscles shiver, including the pecs. Very strange sensation and I decided it was best to call it a night and go take a warm shower!

So, although it was a much different and calmer experience of going to a music festival for me, it was still a fun day and nice to know that I could get out there a bit again - as long as I kept my distance from people who might have had too much to drink and lose their balance!
Oh, I also wore a fantastically huge sun hat that gave me a nice area of personal space!

Day 19

Everything seems fine after the big day out yesterday. One thing I should mention is that I have extremely sensitive skin, which seems even more reactive after the surgery. After last night's shower, I peeled off the extra piece of tape i had added to the bottom edge of the tape under the breasts since it was coming off anyway. Half of it was like pulling off a bandaid and hurt a little bit. Afterwards the skin was extremely red and painful. The skin under the adhesive of the bandaids I use over the drain holes is also very red and painful. In addition, the skin in other areas like my stomach, legs and arms, will flush with a red rash sometimes after I shower, or for no apparent reason. I think my immune system has been thrown into overactive mode a bit by everything, so I may get some Transfer factor to rebalance it and calm down things.

Day 20

I went and saw my normal doctor today about an unrelated issue, but while I was there I asked her about the pain I have been feeling in my ribcage, stomach and general right side of my abdomen. She suggested getting an ultrasound to rule out gallstones. So I'm scheduled for that on Wednesday. I doubt that is what it is, but I also have a hard time believing my muscles would be this sore since I am generally in pretty good shape with decent abs. Right now I still have a lot of swelling in my midsection and can't wait til that goes away since I have actually lost weight during all this. (Probably because it's painful when I eat!) When they weighed me at the doctor's office it was confirmed that my bathroom scale was right and I've gone down 6 pounds. Yippee! Just what I had been wanting to do anyway. So there's the silver lining. ;)

Day 21 (3 weeks post!)

I had my three week check up today and thought that the doc would change the tape covering my sutures this time, but he said it still looks good so it was fine for me to wait and just do it myself when it's needed. I mentioned the painful midsection and he said it's probably from bruising, even though there's no visible bruise on the skin. Ok. Well obviously it may take awhile to go away then since I still have the remnants of the bruises under my arms and a pretty good one on the left breast. They are going away though. I think the arnica cream is helping.

I haven't raised my arms fully above my head yet, so I mentioned this and he said that it would come- just to take things as they are comfortable. With the lift, I hadn't wanted to pull on the sutured areas too much with a lot of extended arms, but I'll start to go there slowly now. It will be nice to wear pull over tops!

The doctor also said that I could wear any type of bra that I want and that I don;t have to sleep at an angle...and actually never did need to past the first couple of days. hahaha. Oh well, anything to help the swelling move south and away from the boobs!

So, this night, after being very uncomfortable in the tighter surgical bra with the band and seams making indentations on me, I decided to sleep in an old cotton sports bra that felt wonderful! I think I may do that from now on...at least until the rest of the swelling goes down and the bra becomes to loose.

Speaking of swelling, the girls are still a little tight and swollen, but I can tell it has subsided a bit. Doc says they are going to get smaller. Eeek! I really like the size they are now! Momentary panic. Then I calmed myself down by realizing that the swelling in my midsection will also go away and THAT will be smaller, thus making the boobies look bigger. Whew. I would really hate to think I chose to go too small....even though I wanted to be smaller than I was!

I uploaded some 3 week pics, front and sides. You can see the bruising and swelling still, but it's getting better.

Day 22

Well I went and had my ultrasound today to see if there is anything else causing my painful abdomen. The technician said it looked all clear, so no gallstones. Seems like this discomfort may really be bruising internally, on muscles or something.

Other than that, everything is going well now. I have sharp pains once in awhile in each breast, little bright twinkling feeling pains sometimes which Im guessing are nerves, and a little pain from the sutures sometimes, plus some general heaviness and discomfort from swelling still. Dont need any pain meds at all and havent for some time. I am still being careful not to do anything jarring and havent attempted driving yet since that would really be using the pecs a lot. Plus I have a stickshift! lol But I will probably start driving the hubbys automatic next week. I know that some women have started driving again much earlier, but I really feel the muscles moving in my chest and the effect the implants have on it much more this time than I did when I first got them just under the skin. Plus, I know how aggressively I tend to drive in LA traffic!

Day 23

I decided after my shower it was time to remove and replace the old tape. In between I took a few pictures of the new puppies and they are looking good! Hubby says the scars are already barely noticeable. That gives me good incentive to keep wearing the tape for a long time to make sure they don't get pulled on or stretched.

In other news, my regular doctor told me that the ultrasound yesterday sowed that although I don;t have gallstones, I do have some polyps. So I have an appointment with a surgeon next week to go over my options there or if they are even big enough to worry about.

I think the ultrasound on my abdomen may have helped more of the swelling move South. I have some swelling in my groin area now about the length and width of two fingers. It feels like it may be putting pressure on an artery or nerve there, so I hope it dissipates soon!

4 weeks Post

Since things are going pretty well now, I decided to keep the updates to significant time frames. At 4 weeks post surgery I am feeling much closer to normal now. The right one is a little bit softer now, but the left one still has some firmness and doesn't feel like it is shifting as I move my body angle. Most of the swelling seems to have dissipated otherwise. I still have a little bit of extra thickness in my lower abdomen and there may still be some around the breasts to the doctor's eye...we'll see tomorrow since I go in for a quick check up and to see about some do's and don'ts from this point on.

The only pain I have is from the bottom incisions, and outer edges of the implant area under my arms....but only sometimes. Also I get the sharp sparkley pains sometimes that are probably nerve related. All very tolerable. No need for even tylenol for quite awhile now.

I have noticed that the incision area under the breasts is a bit firm, so I'll ask about scar tissue there and if I should do anything about it. Some other things I'll ask about:
-My cleavage is still pretty wide...and I can feel the outer edge of the implant under my arms....do I need to push them together? Or will that eventually happen as they become more mobile?
-Can I sleep on my side now?
-Can I lay on my stomach now? (I need a chiropractic adjustment to my neck!)
-Am I getting a couple of stretch marks on my right breast? Very faint but I am wondering...
-Is there an infection concern (and cc concern) for mani/pedi's? Can I get one without worrying if I get nicked and bleed? Would polysporin on it be good enough?
-How soon would I be able to have gallbladder surgery if it's needed? (My ultrasound showed what the surgeon thinks may be stones)
-Is getting an abdominal MRI okay?
- How far should I stretch my arms when I feel pulling at the incision sites?
-And how physical can I be at this point? Lifting, pulling, getting heart rate up, hiking, sex! ;)
-and should I massage or do anything to help promote softening of the left one?

In other news...I found a great new bra! Bali no underwire, no backfat, lower cut plunge, and convertible straps in back! Got in on sale at Macy's in white and black. Very comfy and the band stays below the incisions well. I'll post a picture later!

great bra!

I found this one by Bali the other day and love it so far. One Smooth U. Nice comfortable band that stays in place below the incisions and doesn't irritate. Convertible straps in the back too. No wire, but great support and nice uplifted shape so the nipple area doesn't point down. Here's a link to a good description (although I bought mine at Macy's) http://www.onehanesplace.com/outlet/bras/bra-brands/bali-bras-/bali-one-smooth-u-back-smoothing-wirefree-bra-25790

Answers from the doc

Well it's been a whole month now and doc says I am looking good. I am still a little hard and swollen from bruising underneath the skin. He says I am not the typical case. Lol of course I'm not! He says I bled more than usual (probably due to all the garlic and fish oils I have been taking for years) and that blood is keeping the boobs hard until it absorbs. So, no massaging or other manipulation needed. As they soften they will be more mobile and have better cleavage.

As for other things, he says life as normal now...just listen to the body and don't push it. I think I will wait a few more days before seeing the chiro if I can. And ask him to adjust me face up!

Oh, other surgery needs to wait two months if needed. And he said to ask the nail tech to clean my fingertips and toe tips with alcohol before using cuticle trimmers.

5 weeks post

Just thought I would update this with how things are going at the 5 week point. The "girls" are looking good and I only have occasional pain along the incisions. I am aware of the center incision going from the bottom of the breast up to the nipple and keeping an eye on it to make sure there is no actual pulling apart of the incision area or widening of the small scar forming there from the lift. Since the doc changed the tape last week I trust that it is all okay. His tape stays on better than mine!

My ribs and abs are still sore on both sides and I feel a pulling when I stretch and arch my back or reach high above my head. I also feel pain and pulling on the breasts when I do that, so no full range of movement yet.

I have started sleeping 2/3 on my side now, with my normal curved pillow under my head, a pillow between my legs for comfort, a folded towel next to each breast to support the sides and keep gravity from pulling on that center incision too much. Definitely more comfortable! Still can't put all the pressure on the sides of the breasts, but this is close.

One weird thing that happened the other night is i woke up with a sharp pain in my left heel. It felt like the throbbing, ache that you get from being in one position too long but stronger, with burning sensations too. Worried me a bit but it looked normal so I figured it was irritated nerves for some reason. It only happened that one time so far. There are plenty of weird reactions that I have been getting since the surgery, so I'll chalk this up to another one on that list!

Speaking of repercussions from surgery, at 2 weeks late, I still haven't had my period yet. I read that it is common to have it disrupted though, so unless I don't get it next month, I won't worry. No chance of being pregnant, so I'll enjoy the break from it! Just a little strange to not know when it will happen again, like before it stabilized. lol

I have noticed I have very irritated skin on my boobs. Little red bumps like a detox reaction or mild pimples. They are a little painful when touched. After having them for several weeks, I decided to put polysporin on them and that seems to have helped a bit. I wondered if it was the Immunocal I was taking as a health maintenance supplement through all of this since in addition to raising glutathione levels (powerful antioxidant) it raises your natural killer cell activity against cancer and other pathogens. Maybe it was making my immune system overreact to the new implants. So I have stopped taking it now and will see how things go. It is recommended after surgeries to help your body heal, but maybe the implant was a bit much for the immune system to deal with in a heightened state.

6 weeks post

I had my 6 week check up yesterday and the girls are looking good. I took some pictures with the tape still on and my arms raised a bit, then had my doc take some without the tape to show the incisions...and with arms down.

I still have some swelling and bruising under the skin, especially on the left one, which is harder than the right one. The right one is starting to soften a little though and is dropping ever so slightly as I can feel the crease now when I bend forward.

I get the electric pains and other pains from the nerves regenerating along the incisions and in other places. I also get pains at the sides of the implants, probably where stitches were placed for the pockets. Usually it happens after I've used my arms a lot or had them out to the side a lot. Doc says that is normal, but to still be somewhat careful since everything isn't healed yet. On that topic, I asked him about going braless at some point and he said that we want to give it a full 3 months before considering that things are healed. So, continue taping the incisions to keep the scar at a minimum, and be cautious about overdoing things. After that, he said, go for it!

He reminded me that I had a more complicated set of surgeries than just a simple BA, so it will take more time to heal than a first surgery.

I still have a bit of pulling under the breasts when I arch my back a little or raise my arms up. Doc mentioned Mondor's cords, but we can't see any. He said they might be further under the surface, but that they are benign and will go away on their own eventually. Before he had said it may be bruising, so I'm not sure what to think, but either of those seems possible....or a combination of them. Who knows. I wonder if the ultrasound I had would have shown the Mondor's cords if that is really the issue. I'll email my primary and hopefully find out!

In other side effects, I have various rogue pains in other places for no apparent reason sometimes. The electric nerve pain under my fingertip a few times, and next to my spine in the middle of my back once. Then there are what I call "pressure pains" in my heels from sleeping on my back so much and putting weight on them more than they are used to. And I'll get occasional pain in the back of my right arm. Oh, and still no period. Not that I'm complaining about that one! More proof that having surgery just throws your whole body and all of its systems into a tizzy for awhile.

So, I got the all clear to fly internationally for 13 hours now and not go back for another check up for 2 months! I will keep you guys posted on my progress at important points though and if anything comes up.

Immune system down

I forgot to add that at almost 6 weeks, I went to 3 big events over 3 nights in a row and enjoyed a LOT of wine. The 4th day I woke up with a scratchy throat and have been fighting off a cold since then. Lots of Airborne and zinc lozenges! Plus I started back on the Immunocal after doing hours of research and not seeing any reason that it might interfere with an implant. Surgery and antibiotics drain your natural immunity so I was already at a disadvantage before adding to it with all the alcohol and late nights! lol Time to get back on track with the garlic supplements now too.

After 4 days I feel like I have kept it at bay and just have mildly swollen lymph nodes in my neck and am a little tired, but no real cold. Throat feels better tonight too. Woohoo! I haven't been sick in ages and it would suck to have to fly with a cold.

Just wanted to share in case any of you ladies feel like you are more prone to getting sick right now. You probably are. So be careful. :)

Cycle back on track

Well it wasn't the ideal time to start, but I finally got my period on the plane. It was about 2 and a half weeks late and seemed like having two periods at once with the amount. I've read that surgery and anesthesia can throw things off and a few other women have had very heavy periods when it finally comes back, but I have to say running to the bathroom every 2 hours to change gets a little old. After the third day, it eased up and now seems back to the normal light flow I'm used to for years. Hopefully next month will be predictable again and everything will be back to normal hormonally. I treated myself to a cheeseburger for some extra iron as a consolation prize.

On another note, my immune system is still down a bit and I have been blowing my nose like crazy. I also got a few reactive blisters on my lips, not cold sores, but more like canker sores, after eating really acidic food (lemon juice dressing) but at least it hasn't been affecting much else. Back to the zinc lozenges and airborne for a few more days....

On a positive note, the boobies are looking great and I can tell a little more swelling has gone down.

8 weeks post update

Well I am perfectly healthy again and back to life almost as normal. Not working out a hard as before the surgery though. Mainly walking, doing hills, stepper. Nothing on the upper body yet. Doc says to wear a bra all the time for another month and a half since the implant pockets aren't truly healed for 3 months. I get occasional pains in various areas of the breasts, incision lines, under the armpit...sometimes from using my arms a lot and the muscles in that area when I'm cleaning or cooking. They do seem to be softening a bit now and I'm seeing more of a crease below the breast again. I still have various pains through my mid section under the right one and a pulling tight sensation if I try to raise my arm over my head. They are looking good though! New 8 week pics are posted now.

9 weeks post

The girls are gradually getting a little softer and feel like they may have dropped just a bit now. I think all the arnica cream I have been rubbing into them to help the blood from surgery dissipate is helping!

Still taping the incision lines to keep the scars from expanding. I think I saw a dissolvable stitch coming through the center incision line on the left one, but I have heard about that happening sometimes. There wasn't any pain or redness, so I just taped the line as usual and figure I will give it a lot of time before changing the tape again for the most delicate removal possible. If I see it next time I will ask the doctor about it.

Not much else has changed. I went bra shopping to get some more comfortable but supportive bras. It is hard to find ones that don't put a lot of pressure on the upper pole. I found that was the case with my old implants as well, so I wound up wearing balconette style bras a lot. Now though, I don't want to wear underwires, so finding a decent fitting soft cup bra without tight seams or elastic at the top edge of the cup is difficult. I wound up getting a one piece stretchy number with tighter weave on the sides and underneath for added support. I also got a cute triangle style stretchy cotton bra. I'll post pictures of them next time, but here are some ones of the girls at 9 weeks!

My before pictures

I finally thought to ask for the pictures the doctor took of my breasts before the revision. Now you can see the difference and what a great job he did! Got rid of CC, closed the above muscle capsule, made new pocket under muscle, switched out old big saline implants for moderate plus silicone, and did a lift. Btw, if you are considering NOT having a lift and in a similar situation of going smaller, I highly recommend getting over the fact that you will have a few little scars. I saw a picture during surgery of what I would have looked like without one. Grapefruit in a sock. Not pretty. lol

A few issues at 10 weeks post

Well, I guess things were just going too smoothly. I changed the tape after showering 2 days ago and saw what looked like a small scab on the vertical incision of my right breast. When I touched it, it left liquid blood on my finger, so I took a picture and zoomed in on the open area. I thought the sutures had opened up, which seemed odd after more than 2 months, so I emailed my doctor since it was after hours. He got back to me right away and said it was an abscess that had popped open. He said to put polysporin on it and cover it with gauze. I had already dabbed it with alcohol, put polysporin on it and covered it with a bandaid! I also tried to squeeze the area closed with the bandaid to help it heal in the tiny line of the rest of the scar. He said that wasn't necessary but it seemed to make sense to me and was easy to do, so I didn't feel like I was pulling the skin more than it should have been anyway. After 2 days it is looking a bit better now, and I have stopped using the bandaids and am just letting the gauze stick to the ointment and be held in place with my bra.

The other issue I am dealing with is irritation from the paper tape I have been using to keep the scars from being pulled on and stretched. My nipples are really blotchy red , painful and slightly swollen in areas from it. The other incision lines are a little red but not quite as irritated. I did wonder if that was what caused my abscess though, so I decided to leave the tape off for a few days and give my skin a chance to heal. I put polysporin on the incision lines and lines my bra with gauze to protect it. The doc says that's fine for a few days. 2 days later it is looking and feeling a little better although I have been having some itching near the top of my left nipple. Hoping that is healing itching and nerves regenerating!

I'm attaching some photos, but be warned, the open abscess is a little gross. lol Otherwise the boobies look good! I am a little worried about the righty possibly being swollen up top right now from overuse. I got some unusual pains in it yesterday when I was driving really twisty roads pretty quickly (and enjoying it!) kind of like a hard pinch, but in a bigger area. Not sure if that was muscle contractions that I haven't experienced before or something else. I also think that the right one is a little bigger in the upper pole now. Kind of worried about a possible seroma or hematoma so I took some pics to compare to last week....then realized my arm was down instead of up in the new pics. I'll give it until morning and take some more.

Oh, and to add to everything else, I just noticed a sunken area underneath my right clavicle. It is where I have some sun damage so it stands out more in the mirror, but when I ran my fingers over both sides, the right side felt more hollow than the left. Hmmmmm. Maybe it was always that way and I'm just now noticing it since I'm thinner. Or perhaps it's a result of my neck and upper back being out of whack. Maybe that can affect your chest in the way it lays over the bone structure.... Hmmmmm. Sounds like I have some research to do! hahahaha Story of my life!

Ok, I'm going to bed now and try to sleep and not think about it all for 8 hours. I think that is the hardest part of the whole process!
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

I am so glad I did my research and chose Dr. Minniti. He and his staff have been wonderful through this whole process, from the original request for a consultation, to giving me exactly what we discussed, to the follow-up care and being incredibly responsive and patient with all of my questions and concerns. My case was certainly not the easiest due to the scar tissue on one side, but he did an excellent job and I can't wait to see how they look in a few months!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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