I have been researching Surgeons for over a year...
I have been researching Surgeons for over a year to perform my explant surgery for my Saline, sub muscular implants. I initially considered replacing the implant but I have already had a revision surgery performed and developed CC the second time around and my chances are pretty high to develop it again. I got my implants a little over 7 years ago prior to having two beautiful, almost 10 lb babies. I am very short too so both pregnancies and nursing did a number on me physically. My breasts look more deformed than ever before. The left has major CC, painful and hard and my right is almost too soft (maybe it is leaking?).The funny thing is it doesn't seem like they look as wonky in the mirror as they do in the picture!
Anyway, after deciding against a third revision surgery I started looking into removal with Fat Transfer. I was fairly sure I would have Dr. Bednar perform this surgery but as I read more and more helpful reviews (THANK YOU ladies!) I realized I needed to put my health first and get my implants removed en bloc (from what I understand after consultation, Dr. Bednar leaves the capsule as it helps with results). I can tell that since my original surgeon went through my nipple that I would end up with lumps and possibly bad results based on my scar tissue.
This leads me to my final decision to do an explant with a professional surgeon skilled at explants. I could tell that my surgeons I consulted with locally were not hopeful at me having good results. It is already going to be hard enough for me to lose my large breasts even if they are TOO LARGE for my frame and WONKY looking so I was going to go to someone who knew what they were doing and could give me the best results!!! I finally decided on Dr. Feng based on her expertise, the way she does anesthesia, and proximity (10 hrs away). I am a very natural person that believes in eating real food for health, I make all my own house cleaners, deodorant, etc. and I felt Dr. Feng aligned with my beliefs/practices the most as well. I was initially set on having a TT along with my Explant because I have a ton of loose skin and Diastis Recti. I absolutely love the way Dr. Feng performs TT's and I feel like her anesthesia is "safer" but I am terrified of DVT and being the in the rare percent that has a blood clot, especially since I am flying there. Also, I would have had to stay 8 days as opposed to 3 days and I have small children to consider. AS much as I wanted to have both done I decided against it and will revisit having a TT when my kiddos are back in school and I have tackled working on my health and healing. I will probably have this surgery locally even though I would absolutely love Dr. Feng to perform this surgery. That way I can be at home around my kiddos while I heal and I can be near my surgeon should I have any complications.
The hardest part/ slap in the face about this surgery is it is EXPENSIVE, more than my implants! It is so hard spending that kind of money and not coming away from surgery looking "improved". I am very optimistic that I will feel better and have less issues with my neck and workouts but I will miss boobs! Ugh, I hate admitting this. It's not like I like to flaunt my breasts anyway and I think they look too big in pics but there is something nice about having my boobs be larger than my stomach, haha!
I have made my decision though so I am excited, nervous and sad all at the same time! Maybe years from now I will look at getting a Fat Transfer to my breasts. It still seems like a new surgery anyway and is very expensive still so we will see. My husband is not very thrilled with the idea of one surgery let alone 2 or 3! He works in anesthesia and keeps telling me how awful it is for your body and dangerous too so there is that to consider as well.
So, I am 2 weeks out and decided to do a brain dump because this site has been so very helpful for me.
Looking through pics....
Looking at pics reminds me why I got implants in the first place. I go back and forth in my head daily that my health is my main priority, not my appearance.
Had surgery yesterday!
So surgery was yesterday and went very well! I came out here by myself so that my husband and mom could take care of my kiddos. I am a pretty independent person anyway but I do regret not having my Grandma or cousin come with me now!
Anyway, I'll recap the last couple days:
I scheduled a Massage at the Feng clinic prior to my consultation on Tuesday. It was a great way to calm my nerves! After, I went up to the third floor of the Feng Clinic and waited about a half hour past my meeting time to meet with Dr. Feng. There was some confusion that came up regarding me coming alone and needing to stay for 4 hours but that was settled to my satisfaction. Just so you know, if you have to come alone there is a fee for the care after and it is required by law. I was then taken to Dr. Feng's office. She is a lovely woman and spent a long time with me. She took pics and a ton of notes and I never felt rushed. After that I was taken to get lab work with Megan who is incredibly sweet. That took about an hour and then Christine came to take me on a tour of the facilities. After that was done I ordered a couple soups to keep in my refrigerator. Since my hotel has a shuttle, I had them pick me up and then drop me off at the Eton mall right by the Feng Clinic (they took my soup back to the room for me). I got a nice relaxing mani/pedi at the Prive salon and had a bowl of chicken tortilla soup at the Latin restaurant. I then walked across the street to the Rite Aid and filled my prescription for antibiotics and 3 Celebrex just in case for the pain. I bought some FLorastor Probiotics (best Probiotic to take with antibiotics because it has the S. Bouliardi strain that helps prevent C. Diff and gut problems from antibiotics) and also some Tylenol which I have only taken once for a headache. After that I took Uber over to Legacy (but all the shops close by 7 :( FYI) so I found a place to get a my hair trimmed. I was trying to get everything done I never can do at home because of the kiddos! I then Ubered over to Target and got some new PJ's and some essentials and then Ubered over to Whole Foods (I went to the WF on Chagrin closest to my hotel but it was not that nice, very small not much selection. I would rec'd the WF on Cedar Rd instead).
I was scheduled to arrive at 6:15 am on Wednesday. I made sure I had everything set up to make it easier on me when I came back to my hotel room after surgery (pills laid out, laptop open and on, ice water by bed, pans on counter since you can't lift, etc.). I ended up using the ironing board as a table by my bed for my laptop and things I may need, it has worked great!
Morning of my surgery I arrived and Carla helped me out. She is awesome! I had to change into a gown, robe and socks. Carla went over some things with me and then I met with the anesthesiologist. FYI, they do intubate you, I'm not sure why but for some reason I was under the impression they don't. IT's not a big deal just something to know. When Dr. Feng arrived she stopped in to say Hi and then I was taken into the OR. The anesthesiologist inserted my IV, he did an excellent job too because normally it really bothers me to get one but he was a pro. Then I was awake again, just like that! I guess it was 2 hours later but it felt like no time had passed although I do remember dreaming. My throat was sore so I was fed ice chips and that helped. They also had a nice warm neck wrap on me and warm blankets. I had pain, especially where the incisions were so I was given a tiny bit of Fentonol (Sp?) and that helped a ton. I didn't sleep at all, I was very lucid and not groggy due to the anesthesia they use. After monitoring me for a bit I was able to walk to to the recliner and have a bowl of delicious fruit and some ice water. The nurse was amazing and so patient. After a while she brought me some of the Ultimate Noodle Soup and the Feng signature salad. If you have help, they will just send it home with you. It is sooo good. They did say if I can refrain from moving my arms too much and eat very healthy (LOW SODIUM) I can get my drains out sooner so I have only been eating the Feng foods! I am one determined mama to get back to my kiddos!
After 4 hours I was released and the nurse (I can't believe I forgot her name!)brought me back to my hotel and walked me to my room. After she made sure I had everything I needed and would be OK, she left me to my own devices. I was so relieved to be in my own room again and FaceTime my kids and family!
I finished a movie and then took a nap. After that I heated up some more soup and ate more of the salad and had a glass of Kombucha with it. IT was a delicious dinner! Highly rec'd doing yourself a favor and eating the Feng foods!
I slept very well last night, woke a couple times and cleaned my drains. This is very easy so don't worry about it!
I woke up about 5:45 am and walked around my room a bit and got dressed. Bring big clothing if you want to go out in public, you can definitely see the drains sticking out! The best thing is wearing workout clothes with an open sweatshirt (I'll take a pic). I had to call for assistance to get out of my room (door is heavy and you can't use your arms to pull!). I went downstairs and got a cup of coffee, butter & half bagel and I brought it back to my room and made some eggs (I bought half carton of pasture raised eggs at WF since I can't bring myself to eat the fake rubber eggs downstairs!). It has been a relaxing morning so far of catching up with family.
I am planning on going over to Legacy & the Beachwood mall today just to walk around and shop. I also will be looking for a salon to wash & blowout my hair since I can't shower or lift my arms up high (I couldn't find a blow dry bar anywhere close!). I am not sure what got in my hair during surgery but my hair is clumped and crunchy in some areas so I feel like a dirt ball!
I feel sore today but it is manageable for sure. Still taking my vitamins, Bromelain, Arnica, Probiotics & Antibiotics. I'll post pics soon!
So I called Megan this am with my drain removals and she said we could go ahead with drain removal today!!! I went in to the office at 8:15 am and Megan pulled the bandages off (OMG, feels amazing and I feel so light now!!!!) and I was laid on an exam chair. I guess it is unusual to have the drains removed this soon especially with sub muscular implants so don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer. I also eat all whole, organic foods at home and never drink and do Yoga 2x/week and walk. My only unhealthy vice is a bit of refined sugar in a cookie form daily thus my extra weight! I also followed everything they said and tried to eat no sodium or use my arms (even though I am by myself!). SO be a good patient and follow all their directions if you want the drains out in a timely manner!
She numbed me around the drains which felt like a little sting but was over quickly. I took a deep breath on each side and she removed them. Very unpleasant but it is over quickly and I didn't expect anything less based on other reviews! She bandaged the drain holes and then I got to see myself in the mirror. No, they are not pretty but I expected exactly what I saw! It is only the second day!
I then went to Dr. Feng's office and we reviewed my photos again and she took new ones.
Ladies, I am telling you I have no regrets, NONE. Dr. Feng and her team are amazing! I have posted some of my pics and you can see how bad the capsule was around the implant, if I had gone to any regular surgeon I am sure they would have left that in my body. I honestly feel like I have more energy already, my neck and shoulders feel less tense & my left eye that always seemed a tiny bit blurry is clear!!!
Some Recommendations if you come to the Feng Clinic!
First Rec'd is to stay at the Homewood Suites in Beachwood. That is what the Feng Clinic recommends too. You are super close to the clinic (about a 5-7 minute drive) and it is is a great clean area with a ton of great shopping and amenities close by. They also have a Shuttle that is available between 8-7 daily but give them plenty of notice when you need a ride (however they were able to accommodate me within 20 minutes almost every time!). Before I got here I almost changed to a full service Hotel but I am so glad I didn't! There is a full size fridge in the room and a stovetop that I was able to use daily to heat up my soup (I don't use microwaves!) and make my eggs in the am. You can rent OnDemand movies even if you want but I just watched Netflix on my laptop with the free wifi. There is breakfast daily and even dinner M-TH although it is probably super high in sodium so I don't rec'd after surgery, but it's a good alternative just in case. There is always coffee too but limit that as well! Oh, I almost forgot-the doors are super heavy so if you are alone, they can remove the mechanism that makes the door super heavy so you can get in and out by yourself! Just ask them!
Rec'd #2: you will probably feel gross about not being able to shower for a few days after surgery, do yourself a favor and get a shampoo and style at the Ladies & Gentlemen Salon at Legacy! It is an Aveda salon and I rec'd asking for Samantha. She was awesome! I was given a scalp, arm and face massage with a warm towel on my face after. Then she styled my hair super cute to last a couple days in case my drains weren't ready to come out and then she put some light makeup on me! I was also able to get my eyebrows waxed by Jen who I also rec'd! Save all the stuff you need to do like mani's/Pedi's (maybe without massage chair on though?), haircuts, waxes, etc. until after the surgery! That way you will get pampered and won't feel gross. It was so nice to be up and about anyway and Dr. Feng rec'd doing light activity with limiting use of your arms so what better way to follow directions?!
Also, make sure you have an outfit to wear in public to help hide the drains! I showed above what I wore and it seemed to do the trick.
Third rec'd: rent a recliner if you can! I wish I had looked into it because the bed was so uncomfortable and hard to get in and out of! But if you have to it will work fine. The Homewood has really nice, large pillows so you can get yourself situated.
Fourth Rec'd: Go to Whole Foods and get some essentials you may need like water, a good Probiotic (like Primal Force Ultra or Florastor at Rite Aid because they both have the S. Boulardii strain that is important to have while taking antibiotics. I also bought some Kombucha, eggs, some shredded chicken off the salad bar to add in my soups from Dr. Feng and avocado. You do not want to be eating crappy restaurant food while recovering!!
day 12 quick update!
I am feeling great! No more tension in my neck and shoulders, blurry vision in left eye cleared up (coincidentally same side as my CC) and I swear I have more energy! I am anxiously awaiting being able to lift heavy stuff again, I have a lot of projects I want to do! My hubs keeps saying I look so much better, more proportionate so that helps! I have been very active everyday since returning home but I have been diligent about taking my Vitamins, Arnica & Bromelain and I have been eating very healthy. I even re-created the Feng signature salad at home-it is soooo good! I still ice my chest every night but I have not taken any pain meds or even Tylenol since day after surgery. Today will be my first day back at the gym, just going to do the treadmill though. I thought I would feel depressed about my smaller chest but so far I just feel extremely happy! Can't wait to not wear the dang compression wrap though, that thing slides all around. They really need a giant Velcro/snap wrap instead. I thought about searching for one but I only have 2 more days of needing it anyway!