Almost Went Plastic...From Implants only to a Breast Lift w/o Implants and Mini Tummy Tuck- Columbus, OH

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First, let me start off by saying, "Thank you", to...

First, let me start off by saying, "Thank you", to this site and everyone who has posted. This resource has certainly helped me along the way...on "my journey", which may sound a bit corny but that phrase is spot on...

Story of A Girl:
And so it began several years after high school. I had always been thin (115) and in shape but you know how the story goes, girl packs on 10, then 15...finds herself in a miserable relationship, all the sudden she's depressed and weighing in at 175! Girl gets pregnant and tops the scale at 194..holy shit. I didn't even recognize this person any longer. Reality hits that I'm now a mom and have another life to look precious baby girl, I kick my ass into high gear with working out, eating organic/natural and 10 years later I work my way down to 125. Go me, right? Right....BUT I now have saggy breasts and a lower abdomen that will not shape up no matter how hard I try. What's a girl to do?..I could be content with my body, after all I did have a child and in some countries saggy breasts are attractive ( at least that is what national geographic implies ;) or I could seek out a plastic surgeon to magically wave his scalpel and create a work of art...After many years of deliberation, I went with door #2.
I went to 3 plastic surgeons in the Columbus, Ohio area. I initially was looking for breast augmentation only, with saline implants (please don't get me started on the weighing process of the saline decision). 1 doctor said vertical lift with implants, another said he could do the implants without lift and if I needed could come back for a lift in stage 2 and the last said mini lift with implant. I preferred the last doctor as I felt comfortable with his opinion and saw it as somewhat of a compromise since over the course of my research I did agree that my breasts needed a lift.( I'm going to take a moment here to say when you first start out you do not realize what all is involved in the process, some might think, "oh, the PS will throw in some implants and voila, I'm a sexy beast"..ok, maybe that was just me but I can say it definitely does not go down like's a process.) So, I'm now signed up with Dr. Donaldson, doctor #3, I know of 2 other people that had been to him for breast augmentation only, with good results. My impression of him is pleasing, as well as his staff, and I'll get into those details more as the weeks progress...

Game Changer: Boo.
It's Sunday, November 3rd, 10 days before my surgery...the prior Friday I had asked my doctor for a sample of the saline shell they would use as my implant because I have sensitivity to certain chemicals and latex, I can break out. I didn't really think it would be a problem since the PS and staff assured me that no one has ever had an allergic reaction to implants but I wanted to cover all of my bases anyway, knowledge is power and all. I rolled up the implant shell and placed it under left breast, within a few minutes it started itching like crazy and getting red, I left it there for an hour and what do you know, when I removed it there was a welt and itchy bump! I couldn't believe it, my worst fear just days before I was going to get my big, beautiful boobies! Being the scientist I am, I placed it under the other breast and the same thing happened:( ...Tears, ya'll, tears. I barely got any sleep that night thinking about what my options were...Here's where it gets weird.. the next day I tried the same experiment and there wasn't any itch or rash? I can't understand why there was an issue but, there was one. What I do know is that the seed has already been planted and I can't knowingly put them into my body until I confirm that I don't have an allergy to the substance. I reached out to several allergist who do not perform blood tests, only patch tests; over the next few months I will do more research.
I talked to my PS and a staff member about it and while they weren't necessarily rude, I could tell they were bothered by it and did not think there could be an issue…if this were the 1800's they might have tried to commit me, I don't really fault them though since that is most likely the same reaction I would get from anyone in that field. Regardless, I haven't swayed and have just decided to tweak my game plan, I am now going for the mommy makeover without implants. I came to the realization that if I could get my body back to how it would have been without the excessive weight gain/pregnancy then I would be happy with that, no implants is actually more inline with how I am as a person (natural), so even though this decision was somewhat forced by an adverse reaction and paranoia, I've come to terms with it. If it is determined down the line that I am not allergic to the implant (why don't they have specific tests?!!!) then I always have the option to reconsider.

Moving forward:
I've decided to stay with Dr. Donaldson and I have a consult tomorrow to go over some questions I have regarding the new procedures. Wish me luck ! :)

The countdown begins...2 days.

Where was I? ..Oh yes, follow up consult with Dr. D... As I described in my initial post, I had some sort of reaction the silicone implant shell, I'm not sure if it was the silicone or something on it but the end result was a nasty, itchy rash. I decided against the implants and opted for a breast lift with mini tummy tuck instead. I did not make this decision lightly as I had my heart set on bigger formed breasts and really didn't want to spend an extra $5,000, but in the end it's the choice I felt most comfortable about. So I went to Dr. D's for another consult to discuss my options and the office experience seemed different...Prior to this visit, everyone had seemed warm and comforting but this time around, interactions with staff were curt and I didn't seem to have the same rapport with the doctor. No one mentioned the reaction I had to the silicone shell and even the nurse I had left a message for didn't call me back or say anything about it. I figure it could have been an off day in the office or it's a, "no one talks about the pink elephant in the room when they don't believe it exists", type deal. After speaking with some concerned friends, I questioned if I should stay with this provider, for the reason mentioned above and he didn't have many before/after photos. but on the flipside, he is a professional, with a good reputation, who does seem to take pride in his work and has been labeled as "meticulous" (gotta love that in a surgeon) so I am moving forward with high hopes and fingers crossed :)
I will be posting before and after pictures on here shortly, I feel photos significantly add to the review and I hope my review can help someone in the future.

Less than 24 hours..

I've spent a good part of this week getting prepared for the upcoming surgery + downtime. It all seems methodical. I'm not as happy as I should be. I had the, " if i should die speech" with my daughter...she's 10, how depressing. She doesn't know about the surgeries yet, so she thinks I'm being silly. But her promise to me, if anything happens, is that she will continue to learn guitar and write/sing a song about me. Gosh, I'm so vain ;)

I look as this surgery as pricey body maintenance to help fix what a life of weightloss, pregnancy and aging has done to my body. I think this outlook will change once I've healed, my main concern with all of this is the scars...I fear the frankenstein appearance. I'm assuming that's natural. Anywho, I have a lot more to do so I'm adding before pictures, and should be updating again within the next few days.

Before pictures

Stats/Procedure Info

I should have started with this...
Age: 33
Weight: 125, highest 194 when pregnant.
Height: 5'5
Pregnancy: 1
Procedures: Vertical breast lift, with adjustment for asymmetry/size difference. Nipple reduction. Also, Mini- Tummy Tuck with lipo and muscle repair if needed, PS says I might not need it but I told him I would like it to tighten my core which causes me lower back problems. He will determine once in surgery.

Surgery complete

Well, the surgery part is over and it went pretty good. I have so many different pharmaceuticals in my system from surgery prep and after. I was really nervous when I got to the facility, all of the nurses and staff were wonderful. My doctor and nurse held my hands in the OR room, it was very comforting not to feel so alone. My doctor also called me this evening to check in, that was great.... I will add after photos in a few days.

Question: any one experience blurry vision after? I can barely see written words. I asked my doc and he said about 1/10 experience , but not sure of the exact reason. Hope it goes away soon!

Worst Day

Today has not been fun, a lot of pain. I've thrown up twice (from the pain pills) and now my stomach is hurting even more. I think I'll make the switch to Extra Strength Tylenol. I had a follow-up with my PS and assistant, they are both pleased with the results. I just need to get through the next few days and get my bowels moving!

Today is better...

I slept for 10 hours and had my first BM since the surgery. Woohoo. I took a brief shower last night but didn't wash too long, I have a fear I'm going to pop a stitch. I've watched entirely too much television and currently have a love/hate thing going on with it. I feel so recluse and shut off from the world..I'm like that nosey neighbor that keeps poking through the blinds to see what people outside are doing. No one except my best friend know about the surgery so my entertainment is limited. I will be posting some after pictures tomorrow. I go back to work on Monday and I'm already dreading it, wish I had more time to recuperate.

Not Cool

Sooo yesterday my period arrived, 4 days early! Super not cool, period. I was on the up and up and that Little B brought me back down. If someone were to ask me to picture the worst period of my life, this one would be it. Extremely heavy flow and painful cramps, couple that with a breast lift and TT w/ MR..well I'm pretty much a She Devil right now. Last night's sleep was terrible and I feel sore from my face to my toes. Just to say ladies, if you have a surgery in your future, try and plan it a safe distance from your period. Pictures will have to wait.

A week in..

I haven't posted in a bit, I've been in a strange place. I don't feel like myself and I can't do much of what I want to do. I yearn for the day I can do an entire yoga sequence, run and laugh without grabbing my stomach in discomfort. I want to break a sweat from exercise! Soon enough.

I "tried" to go back to work on Monday, that was not a good move. I've decided to take off until next Monday, my progress is steady and I should be well enough by then. I work a desk job so not much physical involvement, but starring at a computer for 9 hours is exhausting and my vision is still a bit blurry so its painful on the eyes.

I've had my daughter back all week, I missed her SO much, she has been helpful and its good to be close to someone I love as much as her. The positive emotions have really helped.

As of the past few days, I've had trouble breathing..shortness of breath, light headed...maybe it's a withdraw from the general ane/ pain meds, I hope it goes away soon. Anyone else??

I am healing well I think, my stomach is swollen and my breast have some discomfort but really another week without complication should find me in a good place. I have a follow up with my provider in the next 1.5 weeks. Ill attach some photos from day 5.

I hope all of you POs are doing well, speedy healing!!

Pics Day 5

Pics Day 5

Today is good

Meditation, music and a little solo dancing...I'm getting back into my rhythm and it feels good! Still have pain in my stomach and tire easily but so much better than a few days ago. I went grocery shopping and perhaps binged too much on junk food.. Hah. My body is healing slowly but surely and I am hoping everyday for good final results.

Chugging along...

Back to work today, not to shabby. It's kind of nice to be back to the norm, somewhat. This cold weather has been perfect for hibernating, I'm glad it's not warm out of I'd have a case of Cabin Fever for sure. My physical progress has improved, I no longer have blurry vision and my breathing has improved mostly. My stomach is still swollen and uneven in areas and I have this tugging/pulling sensation in the center of my stomach below my belly button, it doesn't hurt just concerning, makes me feel the muscle repair could be coming loose. The boobies are fine, still a little sore and settling in, some of the park ones is already subsiding.. Boo. So, overall, things are ass and other body parts are starting to get flabby, can't wait for weights! Here are some pics for post op days 11 and 12. Amateur photos here.

3 Week Mark...almost.

Still healing, scabs are starting to peel off, ew. Swelling is still present but from what I understand this could last up to 3 months. I have some redness and irritation around the suture sites. Per instruction, I'm not putting anything on the incision areas yet.
I'm walking great now, still tire easier than pre surgery but my energy is coming back and it feels good. I'm trying to be patient and am restraining myself to avoid injury but I am soooo looking forward to working out, have I said this before? ;)...
I never knew 3 weeks could feel this long..It seems like months ago I would roll to my side like an infant just to sit up, if I had a do over, this is what I would do...

1- Spend Day 1-2 in hospital care.
2- Get an electric recliner!!! (everyone should be told this), even though I made it through the first 2 weeks, it was painful having to use my stomach muscles or arms(breast healing) to sit up and on top of that I was paranoid about having to engage the muscles like I did.
3- Keep my nausea patch on or make sure to take nausea pills with pain killers. ( I ended up throwing up twice because of this 48 hours after surgery, ouch!)
4- Take 2 weeks off work. (I'm no super hero, I only think I am at times. I tried to go back to work on Day 5. That didn't work so well. I was able to get FMLA through my employer, which I wasn't aware of at first. This protects my time off work. )

I'm anxiously awaiting my followup this Friday. My PS will assess my progress. I haven't reached out to him with the many questions I've had, I am trying to let time clear up these questions/concerns which it has for the most part. I made sure going into this I was well informed which has prevented some of the post surgery anxiety and unnecessary harassment of the office. This website has also been a big help.
Hopefully there aren't any concerns/setbacks and he can clear me to work out, I've put on about 5lbs since surgery and my pants are tight in the ass, this has been one of the more difficult realities of the surgery...I hope the fat that would normally accumulate in my stomach doesn't go to my ass, which is big enough already?!...just a thought.
Anyone have issues with undeserving weight gain after surgery?

Still healing

It's been awhile since I've updated. Not much to report yet really, well, I am all good to workout, that's fantastic. The healing is still in progess, things are smoothing out but there are still some areas that look uncertain. Currently, my scars are very red but I understand with time they should fade. That is all! My next appointment is in February, I'll report back around then.

Final Update

Sooooo it's been awhile. I'm adding a final update because I received an email from a viewer asking about my absent pictures. The pictures I took down, I felt too exposed and am not using the site anymore BUT my healing went great it took about 2 years for the scars to fade to more of a white versus pink. Longer than I thought but that's the reality for some. To add, Dr. Donaldson did great work, no regrets.
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

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