32 Years Old, Implant Removal and Fat Transfer to the Breast - Charlotte, NC

I have had saline breast implants for 12 years,...

I have had saline breast implants for 12 years, and had been thinking about removing them for the last few years. They slid to the sides when lying down and honestly I was never 100% satisfied with their appearance. I knew I would have to get them replaced at some point, and while researching explantation I discovered Fat transfer to the breast at the same time. I had a flat chest prior to my implants and I was nervous about going back to having no breasts. After about a year of research I decided to go with Dr. Bednar in Charlotte due to many real self reviews and his years of experience with this procedure. I am very thin and wasn't too excited about the liposuctions portion of the fat transfer procedure as I was extremely nervous I would get lumps and bumps and it would ruin the body I love. BUT, I decided to go for it, trusting the reviews I had read on Dr. Bednar and his many happy patients (including some thin women such as myself).

Surgery day

After surgery i woke up in tears (the affect of the anesthesia I'm sure). I returned to the airnbn condo we had rented in Ballyntine ($80 a night for a beautiful condo-20 minutes away from Dr. Office). Luckily my fiancee is in his last semester of nursing school and was the best caretaker in the world. Unfortuntey once the anesthesia began to wear off I was in miserable awful pain. =( Even with the vicodin I couldn't believe how badly my legs (thighs) were hurting. Luckily after several hours they started to improve a bit. I made sure to get up and shuffle around every couple of hours, this seemed to help. Once that rough bit had passed the pain meds really helped and so did moving around every so often (even throughout the night I took pain meds every 3 hours or so and walked a bit). I think must have a higher tolerance to the pain meds than some and really had to take more. Dr Bednar called to check in on me which was very nice. I had JP drains in place as well since I also had my implants removed at the same time so I was monitoring the drainage from those as well. I had hardy any drainage,

Day 1 after surgery

I woke up very sore and stiff, but maintained taking the pain medication 2 per every 3 hours and that seemed to help. My drains were full and not draining properly into the suction portion, but after my fiancee helping me to 'milk" them vigorously (this took several attempts) they began to drain correctly. I drank lots of healthy homemade smoothies (we brought our vitamix), healthy soups from the nearby health food store, and lots of liquids. I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Bednar today to remove the ace bandage. I asked him for more pain meds as well because at the rate I was going I would be out by the next 2 days and I am no good at pain. =( He gave me another prescription thankfully. Here comes the bad part; he removed the ace bandage and my chest looked completely deformed. My breasts didn't resemble breasts at all, just like smashed flat lumpy skin that had been in a tight sock for too long. I did my best to contain my tears but clearly I was in shock. I kept asking Dr. Bednar "what is going on" and is this going to improve and no matter what question I asked he responded with "it will just take time". Up to this point I had felt amazing about this surgery, but at this moment I felt extremely let down. I don't think he had prepared me enough in the expectations department to let me know that I may end up looking like pancake cookie dough. I had no idea this would/could happen at first. Also, when I expressed my concern I felt as if he was blowing me off by not answering me directly and instead just repeating 'it will get better with time'. I left that appointment feeling lower than I ever have. I also think that reading the real self message boards had given me unrealistic expectations of what the first few days after surgery would be like. So many women post pics on days 1 and 2 and look fabulous, and here I was looking deformed. I still have yet to find one picture on realfself that resembles what I looked like. Since I was feeling so low and so unheard by Dr. Bednar that day I called him and luckily he picked up (he is always good about that) and he talked me off the ledge, explaining in a bit more detail (thank goodness) the healing process and that I have nothing to worry about etc, that in fact he was very pleased with my results thus far and he thinks I will have a good result. Sylvia, one of the office nurses, also called me later that day to re-assure me because I think she saw how horrified I was in his office earlier that day. So thank you Sylvia, you are an angel.

Day 2 after surgery

I am feeling better and better each day in the pain department. With the pain meds things are very manageable, I have been in good spirits and am moving around quite good (though I wouldn't dream of leaving my house at this point yet, still taking it easy). So today I can shower! Also, my fiancee helped me remove my JP drains (great job babe! Nursing school has paid off). Once the drains were out we removed the ace bandage chest wrap, and I admit I was horrified to see them again. BUT luckily, they have improved a bit even in a day's time. One of my nipples has popped back out (they had both inverted for some reason) and they weren't as squished and lumpy as they had been the day before. They still have a long way to go, but I am just so glad to see some improvement. The lip sites are sore and tender and I am still stiff, but the shower felt amazing. I took the garment completely off and put on a new one (with some arnica cream) once I got out. I feel like a new person now.

Pictures Day 3

Day 6 after surgery

I didn't write on days 3-5, but I have been feeling better and better each day. The swelling and bruising has gone down a whole lot. I am still taking the vicodin and tylenol combo as I remain very sore without it. I tried to go a day without it and i was pretty rough. I also tend to get up around 3 times per night to walk around (i get stiff and sore just laying there) and usually have to take another pain pill during this time as well. The worst part so far was the constipation from the pain meds. I had been taking around 100-200mg of colace since the day before surgery but let me tell you, take MORE! I finally had a BM yesterday after an hour of the worst agony I can remember. I was even drinking tons of liquids, eating lots of fiber and very healthy foods, but the narcotic pain meds simply have that effect. I would take much more stool softener each day than I did originally. On another note, my breath seem to be filling out nicely. They are taking on a great shape and not as 'smashed' looking as they were the first couple days. There is still a bit of bruising on my left breast and my left nipple is inverted still; I am very anxious to see it pop back out but I know I am still within week 1 of surgery. Has anyone had experience with this before? Also, I tried posting more pictures but for some reason my computer isn't cooperating, I will try again later.

pictures from day 4

things still a bit smashed here and left nipple inverted but fill out a bit more too

pictures from day 6

still filling out-still bruising-left nipple still inverted-cmon nipple lets pop back out! Also still some concaveness in upper pole a bit but looking better i think

Dr Bednars office has been fantastic!

I must say that since i first expressed concern to Dr Bednar and his nurse Sylvia they have been exceedingly helpful in answering any and all of my questions. I asked her about where he did the lipo from since I wasn't 100% sure (I'm sure he told me but with pain meds etc I didn't remember every detail); and she sent me a diagram of exactly where he lipo'd, how many cc's he got from each area, and exactly where on my breasts he injected the fat (including the cc's on this too). This was so helpful. Also, I texted Sylvia today to ask about my inverted nipple and she called me with Dr. Bednar and Sue this evening around 8pm (above and beyond courteous). They assured me that because I had some scar tissue from my original implant surgery that he had to remove, that this had happened, but that over time it should correct itself. He said he never had a patient where the nipple remained inverted forever (big exhale there). I am so glad I spent the extra time and money to invest in such a wonderful Doctor and medical team, it has made this life-changing terrifying experience positive. =)

Day 9

Well I finally feel like I have hit the turning point! I didn't have to get up in the night to take pain meds last night or get up and walk around due to soreness. I made it all night. AND when I got up the pain wasn't bad at all. I actually left the house for the first time today and went on a walk (about a mile) though the park with my fiancee and felt good overall, and a level of 1-10 my pain/swelling was a 1. I got tired fairly easily and napped for a bit when we got back but I bounced back, showered, and walked around some shops this afternoon. After 2 hours of that though I was pretty achy and feeling swollen so I went home, took some advil, and played down. I do plan on meeting a friend for dinner tonight thought so I will take a pain pill, not do anything crazy, and some right home after and rest. I feel like these bouts of getting out are necessary though because I will go back to work in 2 days. THAT will be a challenge I'm sure. I also went to our local apocathery and tea shoppe and had the herbalist blend me some special healing tea (for inflammation, diuretic, wound healing, etc). She also gave me a tincture for inflammation to use once a day and a tincture for pain. I will be trying those (I prefer the natural route as much as possible, before this surgery I didn't take any medications except the occasional advil or zyrtec and lots of vitamins/minerals/probiotics/fish oil/etc). Anyway, I have posted some pictures below today too. There is still some significant bruising on my lower back and my left breast. My incision sites from the lip are scabbed over (is this good? Can I use scar cream now) but the sutures are still in. I live out of town from my surgeon and they are supposed to be dissolvable, should I try to have them removed? Or let alone? Do I need to wait until the scabs come off before using scar cream? Also, can I use coconut oil over the scabs? Thanks everyone! Have a great day =)

2 weeks out today

Well I am officially back to work as of day 12. The first day was a bit rough as I did a lot of walking and stairs, so came home sore and achy and iced my legs. That helped. The last couple of days have been better; i am avoiding walking quite as much but I still move around most of the 8 hour day and am not having to take any type of medication. I have had my boyfriend (who is completing nursing school in may) try to clip my dissolvable sutures as best of possible, but he was only able to get 2 out out of about 12. The rest he was only able to trim the ends sticking out of the scabs. I used a bit of hydrogen peroxide on them to help dissolve the sutures faster at the doctors request, but I read how bad peroxide can affect a healing wound so I stopped that. As of day 13 I have started treating my scars and suture sites with scar asthetique (from my dr) and my own mix of helichrysum, rose hip oil, and lavender. Everything looks as though it is healing nicely; I am really hoping these incision marks on my upper thighs and lower back and groin area will heal well, i hate that they will be visible in a bathing suit unless they do. I am hoping for the best. I wonder how long that may take as I was hoping to be in a swimsuit by June and July. My lower back and outside of my hips and love handle areas are still very swollen and tender; my lower back is still bruised ( pink purple color). I am applying arnica cream and taking arnica supplements to help this as well. Only time will tell.......any advice on the healing process would be great! Thanks everyone =)

3 weeks today

I've made it to three! My legs are tarting to feel much better; i'm not getting as sore after a long day at work. I am still stiff in the outer thighs when I get up in the AM and occasionally at other times. My lower back still has some dark red bruising and feels swollen and partially numb. My outer hips are still pretty sore to touch as are my legs when I gently rub in my arnica cream each day. I was able to clip and pull out some dissolvable stitches since they were popping out, but most of them are being absorbed. My scabs from the incisions are starting to fall off and are pink underneath. I am applying reshape oil, helichrysum and lavender mixture twice a day to scars and incision site, as well as scar asthetique from PS. I started doing some living room lunges yesterday and it was fine, and am able to take short walks. I don't feel like I can head back to the gym quite yet, hopefully soon. My nipple that inverted after surgery seems to be trying to find its way back out still, I think it looks a little bit better every few days; I hope it comes back out soon! I am still avoiding alcohol and taking arnica pills and eating healthy and taking lots of vitamins and drinking healing tea. Oh, and I think the boobs are looking good, they seem wider than my implants, and they don't stick out as much but they are REAL.

3.5 weeks

incision sites at 3.5 weeks

Before pictures of my under the muscle 275 cc implants, they were 13 years old.

4 weeks today!

4 weeks today! I have been feeling pretty good. I noticed this AM that my left nipple has finally come out! Also, my right nipple is able to become 'hard' again....it had taken a soft sabbatical ( he said there was some scar tissue he had to remove under my nipple from augmentation areolar incision) and I think this may have effected them. My scars from incision sites are flat and healing, dark red/pink in color. My legs, abdomen, and back/sides are still sore to touch. They don't hurt when I am moving around, but when I rub in my arnica cream they are sore. My sides/outer hips are still swollen. I can tell the swelling has gone down in my legs and I can tell a huge difference in my inner/outer thighs-so skinny! I thought I was skinny before, but now, yikes! I am going to have to get used to this part now. I am still not drinking booze, eating healthy, taking vitamins, and using scar cream. I am able to take 2.5-3 mile walks after work (this is my exercise for now) and do lunges (no weights yet). Heres to hoping this swelling goes down sooner than later and my scars fade quickly! =)

front shot at 4 weeks

I forgot to post the front shot at 4 weeks. I do feel like I am losing some volume, as to be expected. BUT, I am sad to see it go.

5 weeks!

I have hit the 5 week mark and Im feeling good. I stopped using arnica cream a week ago at a fellow real-seller's suggestion and I'm so glad, my swelling on my love handle area, lower back, and stomach has gone down considerably, and also much less numb. I am able to take 3 mile walks almost daily after work, that is all the excretes I'm doing yet. Still eating very healthy, taking vitamins, avoiding alcohol, etc. My flat pink scars are even starting to face a bit in spots, but I have a feeling this will take quite some time. My breasts are about the same size as last week, maybe a teeny tiny bit smaller or it could just be me. My nipples are out and now become erect, and have full sensation. I don't have any lumps in breasts or on body. The lip areas are smooth to the touch, though my legs are still a bit sensitive to the touch. I am still sleeping at a 30% angle on my back, no more compression garment. Feeling and looking good. =)

6.5 weeks

This no booze thing for 12 weeks is getting rough! I'm not a huge drinker but on the weekends I like to be social and have a few drinks. I haven't started back at the gym yet, but hope to soon. My exercise is still walking at this point. My lower back still has some brownish looking bruising that hasn't gone away. That's it for now....

8 weeks

Looking and feeling good! I know I have lost about 20-30% volume from right after surgery (my man and I agree on this) but that still leaves me with a b cup that i like a lot. I hope I don't lose any more volume, but I don't think I have lost any more since last update at 6 weeks. I still haven't started back at gym, but I am very active (walking, hiking, etc). I am still eating healthy, vitamins, using scar cream 3X a day, avoiding smoking and alcohol etc. I actually have had a few sips of beer over the last couple weekends, but no more than that. My lower back still has a tiny bit of remaining brownish bruising, and my lipo sites and scar under breast are pink, flat, and looking better and better. My thighs can still be a bit sore to touch, but it doesn't hurt to walk or anything at all. C'mon 12 weeks, I'm ready to get through this 'healing process'!

9 weeks-

well if you read 8 weeks all is till the same after another week so I won't type it all again. Pics posted below. Still some brownish bruising on lower back that won't go away, my left nipple still hides sometimes but is coming out more and more, and my outside thighs still sore to touch a bit and when exercising. Still taking good care of myself, haven't started back to gym yet but doing 3 mile walks and lunges/stretching in living room. Still using scar cream 3X a day.....healing is a PROCESS YALL. Still glad I did it though, and even though the boobs have gone down quite a bit (about 1/2 I'd say) they are shaped and contoured well (thanks doc!) and look cute. =) In pics they look bigger than they are in real life. I thought the incision marks may be faded by now but from what I read it may take up to a year for hat to happen, so bathing suit season should be interesting (and I'm supposed to keep them out of sun for first year) so I bet I'll be wear a swim cover up the whole time and will have to play the "i'm on my period" game. Oh well, for 13K, I'll do it!

11 weeks this week!

I am doing great, boobs look great, feeling good. I started back at the gym last week and it felt great. I could tell I am still limited in some ways but taking my time. My boobs havent lost any size since their initial loss of about 30-50% around week 7-8, and I love them this size. I would say I'm a well rounded B. My lower back and back side of legs still have some brownish looking 'bruising', and of course my incision scars are still visible (flat but a brownish color-noticable but healing very nicely). Instead of skipping the pool or lake I found a swimsuit company, kortijeane.com, that sells cute swim skirts and it should cover my under butt scars and lower back scar until they are healed. I am still applying scar cream 3X a day, remaining healthy and active, etc. My left nipple doesn't protrude all the way out yet...it's like just the tip of it stays inside, but I'm still hoping that will come all the way out. Overall, I am very happy I had this procedure done and I feel and look good. Nothing beats the natural feel of these breasts, I was so tired of the silcone and the rippling and sliding into my armpits etc of the implants. And, these are much bigger and prettier than my natural breasts were.

3 months and a couple weeks out...

I feel as though I have healed well and am happy with my results. I am back to my old self physically in terms of being able to exercise, enjoy some alcohol, and things aren't changing anymore in appearance. If you slap the outside of my thighs I am still slightly sensitive from the lip, but otherwise things feel normal. I did lose quite a bit of volume in the breasts, maybe a cup and a half, but I would say compared to what I had before in terms of breast tissue I have gained a cup and a half, and now have a beautiful shape to them as well. The left nipple seems to hide a bit (unless I am cold it stays inverted.) I hope that over time it comes back out, but I am happy either way. Has this happened to anyone else before? And if so did it ever come back out? Also, the liposuction areas are healed nicely too. Scarring is minimal and you can see in the pictures they are flat and slightly discolored still. I will continue to stay out of the sun and treat them with scar cream daily. I read it can take up to a year for them to fully fade, is that correct? On my lower back there is still some light brown bruising or discoloration of some sort. Also when I exercise the brownish color shows up behind my knees a bit, I assume this is form lipo as well and may go away fully over time (correct?) Lately I have noticed a bit of bumpiness on the right hip, I am attempting to massage it daily and hoping that may help. Any tips? Thanks so much for your feedback. Overall I am extremely happy with Dr. Bednar and staff, it was a positive experience all around.
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

Dr Bednar is located in Charlotte, NC and I am living in Tennessee so I was worried about pre-op and post-op visits and good communication overall. Initially, he really took the time to do a phone consult with me and answer all my questions leading up to the procedure. He re-assured me about all my concerns and fears, and I really believed he knows what he is talking about. The pre-op appointment took place the day before my surgery and him and his wonderful nursing staff (That's you Sylvia!) took so much time to go over everything with me in great detail. His after care and follow up has been incredible, especially since I live 6 hours away! They have made many phone calls, texts, and emails to re-assure me and answer any and all questions I have had during my recovery.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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