Hello community members. I will start by telling...
Hello community members. I will start by telling you that I was born with a very unusual tubular breast deformity and asymmetry. In 2000 I underwent a benelli/crescent lift hybrid along with sub-muscular 350cc saline implants. Shortly after (
Last review was incomplete
An update to yesterday's review (a good portion of my text did not show up). After my initial implants in 2000, I have had two "bottoming outs". The first was about 2 months after the initial surgery and the second was less than a month after the first revision trying to correct the bottoming out. My skin/capsules just don't support implants well. Now after 13 years of having low and lateral implants, I am finally going to have them fixed. I have waited so long to repair the problem due to childbearing, breastfeeding, and life circumstances. Now, in addition to my breast implant exchange, bilateral alloderm slings to hold the new implants in place, and lollipop lift (potentially a full anchor), I will be having a full tummy tuck as well. I hope that my journey notes can be of use to women considering regaining their pre-baby bodies.
March 24 is my pre-op
It is getting more surreal; in less than a month, I will be having surgery. I am trying to gather all the necessary items to help in the recovery process. Thus far, I have
1) large button-shirt pajama top and bottoms
2) silicone sheets for scar softening
3) an extra binder. It is a "one size fits all" adjustable binder, but even on the tightest zipper setting, it is too large in the upper abdomen area. I suppose that with the "swell hell" I keep reading about, it may be the perfect size post-op.
4) A tilted automobile oil funnel. Don't laugh! I have read and seen many homemade female urinary devices for post-op urination (besides, it was only .98 at Walmart). I hope that I will not need it, but I am preparing for the worst.
5) Fuzzy socks. Man, I love me some fuzzy, warm socks!
6) I have enlisted help for the first 1.5 weeks post-op. I have warned my friend that she will most likely see parts of me that she can never erase from her memory :>)
7) I have a $9,900 check with my surgeons name on it. I am very thankful that my husband allotted his annual bonus to my ultimate make-over.
1) Antibiotic ointment
2) Non-stick bandages (band-aid sticky stuff irritates my skin)
3) A good book-something happy to help with the post-surgical blues
4) I am going to write a note to myself-an encouraging note to remind me how far I have come, and that the last part of the journey is sometimes the most difficult. "Dwell in the possibilities..."
5) Some small trinket gifts for my children. I want them to know that I am still put them first in my heart even when I can't physically put their needs first.
6) Thank you notes for my friend, my husband, and my mother-in-law; my mother-in-law will be taking care of my three children.
7) Any suggestions? What comfort items, besides medication and physician-given materials do I need?
A few "wish pictures"
I have uploaded a few of my "wish outcomes".
Tomorrow is pre-op!
Tomorrow is my pre-op. I believe that I have talked my sister into driving an hour so she can be my support group. My husband isn't fussing as much about the surgery, but he did seem a little blind-sided when I told him, in passing, that my sister was going to meet me tomorrow. I guess he figured if he stopped trying to talk me out of it then I would not do the surgery-reverse psychology of some sort. Well, after 13 years he should know me better by now! So the date is still April 9th. I will update more after the pre-op.
I had my pre-op today. Two unexpected things that occurred were 1) I didn't even see Dr. Meadows, I only was seen by his lead/charge nurse Alexis, and 2) Instead of the agreed use of alloderm, the nurse told me that the dr has ordered belladerm. I cannot find much information on belladerm beyond one website and the pamphlet she handed me. Has anyone had experience with belladerm?
A few questions that the nurse could not answer, other than giving me their standard practice, was surgery day clothing. She suggested a tube-top style strapless dress. No loose pants or button up shirts. What did you were home from surgery? She said that pants could put a permeant crease in the stomach after this type of surgery. Does that mean that I should invest in several tube-style dresses or buy a moo-moo?
Hello ladies! My surgery is officially one week and 6 days away! I have help for the first 10 days post-op, but after that I am flying solo. I am worried that I will not be able to drive or efficiently take care of my three elementary aged boys. I know that if I am still taking pain medicine, I will not be able to drive. I think my boys world love a week of cereal suppers! Any advice? Suggestions?
One more thing
I have failed to mention that I am working on my Masters degree in biology as well. It will be interesting in reading all the things that I write while taking narcotics :-).
A few more selfies of my stretch mark jungle
I decided to add a few more before photos. I figure that I will need some basis for comparison when looking at the after photos. Also, these photos might serve to remind me in my down days how bad it really was.
The Official Count-Down!
It feels very surreal that the MM will be be in less than a week!!! I have been kicking into "nesting syndrome" gear. Evidently, on some subconscious level, I believe that my surgery cannot take place unless my house is super organized! RIDICULOUS! I guess that I just need to burn off some nervous energy. Did anyone else feel like this?
Children-3 (largest 9lbs)
Breast-32-34 D or DD (10 year-old saline implants with benelli lift)
Body type-athletic but still have some padding ;-)
I am ready to get this show on the road! I can't believe that I am excited about being in pain, but beauty is pain...
Tomorrow is the big day!
Hi ladies. Tomorrow I will be having my mommy makeover! Today I have been instructed to drink a bottle of magnesium citrate-Y.U.C.K!!! And after the lovely cleanse, I can only have clear liquids up to midnight. I received a phone call with my official surgery time-10am. I was hoping to have surgery first thing in the morning; being without food and water makes me very, very grumpy! I will gladly accept any last minute advice. I will update tomorrow after my belly utters are tucked :~) and my breast stop hanging out with my hips.
My one shot make-over has turned into, at least, a two shot deal.
9 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
hello ladies. I think I have made it to the flat side, but with this binder on, I could just be smuggling children for all I know;~). And the drains do look suspiciously much like red cool-aid.
The breast did no go as planned. Due to my previous surgeries with doughnut mastopexy, the blood flow to the nipple-aerola complex isn't stellar. So my PS has decided to remove the old saline implants, do the lift (which he did this morning) and in a few weeks, pop the implants in the pocket. I am not keen on doing a secondary procedure, but I would NOT be happy if my nipple fell off due to lack of blood supply either. I hope that in two weeks, my blood supply will be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the implant pushing up against it. My previous implants didn't pose the same issue because they had been riding so low. So currently, even if my stomach isn't flat, my boobies are!!! :/
My TT incision is super low. I believe that it will look awesome in the end. I am still a bit down about the breast implants. Very few knew about the original, and now that my chest looks flat, having surgery in a 2-4 weeks and my boobs growing overnight will draw questions. I just don't know what I should do. Additionally, from my understanding, since the implants will be done as a separate surgery, it will cost me at least $500 more dollars. The implants and dermal slings have already been paid for. Ugh! Either I tell people I am getting implants or I could just hope people don't notice. Anyone been in this situation before?
Post-op day two
Here are a few peeks beneath the binder. I am still bothered by the breast or lack there of.
Breast issue solved, I think
Hi ladies. Last night I was able to sleep on my side in the recliner without much discomfort. The pain is still very manageable, but for the past 24 hours, I find myself getting more nauseated. Zofran has become my new best buddy.
I attempted to do some school work (working on my masters) last night. It will interesting to see this morning if my stuff looks coherent. Here's to the early morning flat side!
Forgot to tell the solution...
I ordered breast prosthesis last night from amazon. They should be in on Thursday. So when the ace bandage binder comes off, there will be the illusion of bobbies until I can get the implants.
A daily update
I am trying to wing it with just tylenol today. Narcotics, strangely enough, give me headaches. I had the same problem when I had my tonsils out 3 years back. New stuff...my drains are mostly the yellow liquid now. I do find that if I exert myself, they turn red for a while. My stomach as a few raw places where the chuck pad (that i am waring against my skin in lew of a bandage) is rubbing the incision. I found that putting bandaids on just those two spots seems to work. I am still disappointed in my breast. They look like I had a nipple saving mastectomy instead of an implant removal and lift. I get terribly upset just looking at them. Additionally, I am having a sloshing noise coming from my left breast-pretty sure there is a seroma forming; I wrapped the ace bandage even tighter trying to quell the fluid collection.
I go back to the PS on Tuesday. He and I need to come to an understanding, my breast are not acceptable. Even when the implants get put in three weeks down the road, the current stitching on the vertical incision on the right will need to be redone. It looks like my 5 year old tried to sew two pieces of cloth together. Puckering and folding. It just isn't right. I speculated that when he realized that he need to wait to put the implants in, he just rushed through the second breast and moved on to my tummy tuck. I guess that I have hit a low point today. I can't foresee it getting better; I have yet to do my daily removal of bandages. I will take some pictures when I do. :~/
Pictures 4 days post-op
Here are some new pictures
Some more pictures
Here are some pictures from this morning.
Hi Ladies! I got 1 drain removed today!!!
Hello RS gals. I went today for my first follow up appointment. There, I was able to have my right hip drain removed. The game plan is to have the left hip drain removed on Friday.
I was put more at ease about my breast. My PS told me that he used three layers of sutures; one deep and two superficial to close. The two superficial layers are dissolvable sutures. He said that at about day 21 they begin to dissolve; when this happens, the pleating and puckering will subside. Also, I am still on track to get my breast implants around the 9th of next month. I have my fingers and toes crossed that I heal enough to get them by then. I have so many beachy vacation trips that require my new flat belly, nice perky boobs, and the first two piece that I have worn in 10 years. Yeah!!!
Fighting with the husband
Hi ladies. If you read from the start of my journey, you would know that my husband was NOT on board with this surgery. However, he has been helpful and kind up till this morning. I was changing my stomach bandages in the bathroom when he walked in. He proceeded to bi;€# about the fact that there was still a few stretch marks below the belly button, how awful my incision looked, etc. when he went to work, I was in tears. Man, this has been a rough day. I honestly believe he will love the end results, but he can't seem to see past the current condition of my body-I am only 1 week post-op for goodness sake! Has anyone else had this problem? It isn't like I can go back and undo the surgery!!! I suspected that this would be a battle, but I was really caught off guard.
Daily picture update
Hi gals. These are my daily TT picture updates. Trying to keep the photo time consistent so the "swell hell" is comparable.
A few updated breast pictures
Hi gals. The puckering and pleating is slowly disappearing. Just thought I would share. Also there are a few early morning pictures of the TT.
No more drains!
Hi ladies. I got my second drain out this morning. Additionally, it looks like I am still on track to get my implants around 5/9ish. Having the drains removed was not bad at all. In fact, this whole surgery has been pretty painless. I tend to compare all things to having my tonsils out 3 years ago-now that was PAIN. I am just thankful that I am able to get up and about. I feel like I need to keep my activity level in check sometimes.
Girdle or compression garment?
Hi ladies. My PS said that after Tuesday, I don't need to wear my compression garment unless I want to. I still am putting antibiotic ointment on my TT incision line and laying non-stick gauze over that. The CG has been what has been holding the bandaging in place. Is there a more comfortable type of girdle that will work in the same manner? I don't think that the ones that you have to pull down to pee like underwear will work. I would probably just end up pulling off the non-stick gauze every time I pee.
Photo update and incision questions
Hi ladies. Nothing new has happened since the last post, but I thought a photo update might be of interest.
WARNING-make sure your iPhone photos aren't being synced to your Facebook app!!! I like this new outfit! And being *high strung
Hi RS ladies. I got a new outfit that I love. Just to show off to my meanie of a husband, I went parading around in it for a bit tonight ;-)
I am seeing stitches at the end of my incisions-bluish threads at the edges of my TT incision, fishing line at the edges of my breast crease incision and in the BB, and a white cotton looking thread in the BB. Did anyone else see this many strings holding them together?
Some stitches removed
Hi ladies. I had a few of my stitches snipped today. The two that were in my bb are snipped off. The good news us that every visible stitch is a dissolvable stitch.
PS did an ultrasound of my breast and drew off 20cc of fluid from the left; the right one was fine.
More good news, I am still on schedule to have my implants put. I set my implant date for May 9th. I am excited to get some boobs. I am thinking of a large B to medium C. I never want to be a DD again. Having big ones got tiresome; felt like I needed to put them in the stroller with the kids when I went running! Not to mention that when I nursed, I got up to a EE. Thank God nursing days are over with!
15 Day post-op photos
Hi ladies. My healing is going well. I had some of the straw colored fluid leak from my drain site today. No signs of infection. The nurse said that the built up fluid is taking the path of least resistance. The funny thing is I am not that swollen. Hey, but if it doesn't cause a problem, then drain away baby!
Also, I am testing the waters with my Curad Scar therapy gel strips. Several parts of my incision are scab free-I will let you guys know how that goes.
Ellie-May watch out!
I haven't seen much progress this past week. I have taken the mind set to ignore my breast until I get the implants on 5/9. The incision on my right hip still leaks serosa fluid occasionally. I go to the plastic surgeon on Wednesday, hopefully they can do something about it. Honestly the end of that incision looks much like a dog ear. I would not mind if they corrected an office on Wednesday.
Ok, I attempted my first post op workout. I popped in a Jilinan Michaels disc and selected level one. Oh DEAR LORD! I made it 22 minutes of the 45 and feel like I ran the Boston Marathon! I had to modify the ab exercises-still a little tight.
But in the wise words of Spongebob "this working out thing just isn't working out!" I think I need to find a granny silver sneakers video to try. Jillian Michaels is for the birds!
Good PS visit today
Hi RS ladies. I am still on schedule for implants on the 9th. I tried on some Sizer's. The 300 cc seem to look the best. The nurse told me if I went with something around 152-250, they would look like tennis balls sitting underneath the muscle. She said the 300 to give me about a medium-size C. But honestly I don't know what scale she was measuring them to. They looked bigger than any C cup I have ever seen.
I hit the weepy point
Hi RS ladies. I have to say that I have been on the verge of tears for most of the day. My husband is still being short-tempered. The only time he seems to talk to me with out seething or lecturing is when he talks about sports or his telescopes.
I have let him know that my scars will fade, but his actions and words will be with me always.
UGHHHH! Despite the marital issues, I DO NOT regret having the TT and lift. I have given my body first to my husband and then to my three precious children. I WANT IT BACK! The hell with battle wounds. I don't need my stretch marks and floppy boobs to remind me of the joys and woes of motherhood. I have three beautiful faces looking at me every day to remind me.
Things are getting better
Hi ladies. The problems with my husband have been resolved (I hope). We had a long talk over about the big white elephant in the room.
On a different note, I have been having a intermittent searing pain in my upper left abdominal area. Since I have been feeling better, I forgot that I still have limitations that I should observe; I moved the couch by myself two days ago. The pain was pretty bad yesterday, but it is much better today. I googled the issue, and most forums said that if there isn't fever or swelling, then you just "over did it".
Now on to the more RS related information. My incision areas are slowly relaxing-it looks like I might have just a single thin line. YEAH! I have been using Curad Scar Therapy silicone strips during the day, and I have been using Mederma PM at night. I have my fingers and toes crossed that this stuff works.
I get my breast implants on Friday. I am looking forward to having full boobs again. I have decided on 300 cc high profile gummy bear silicone implants. I briefly contemplated saline again, but after feeling the silicone, I decided to take my chances.
Some evening photos
Hi ladies. I took some photos just to compare and to see my progress. Tonight, while massaging my belly button, an inch long piece of clear suture came out. I am excited to know that my body is finally breaking that junk down!
Trying to post the photos again
Swelling and Bromelain
Hello RS ladies. I just wanted to share my experience with taking Bromelain for swelling. I started taking it 5 days post-surgery. With that being said, I am still swollen by the end of the day. However, I have had no trouble fitting into my pre-surgery jeans and shorts-even without the compression garment on. Four days ago, I used the last of my Bromelain. Since I wasn't sure if the stuff really helped, I decided to not buy any more. For the past 3 days, I have been a blimp!!! Day and night. I went yesterday afternoon and bought more from the vitamin shoppe. Started taking it immediately. I take 2 500mg capsules about every 4 hours during the day. Poof! This morining, after 3 doses yesterday, my stomach is back to its morning flatness. I am a believer!!!
Almost boob time!
Hi RS ladies. Tomorrow morning, at 7:45 am, I will be getting my boobies! I decided to stick with 300 high profile gummy bear silicone. They will be submuscular. Additionally, I am having a belladerm (acellular dermal matrix) sling put in to hold those puppies up. My husband looked again at my breast. He seemed disgusted and worried that my nipples are still asymmetrical. The right nipple is perfectly round when you stretch it out. And the left one, well it is still riding the short bus to recovery. The sutures have not relaxed much. As a result, it looks puckered still. I hope to have some new booby pics tomorrow.
I have boobs!!!
Hi RS ladies. I got my 300 cc implants this morning along with the belladerm sling (acellular dermal matrix to hold them in place). The surgery was unremarkable. This time the PS used internal sutures and dermabond on the outside. My one worry is that he did not use drains. Acellular dermal matrix (ADM), according to PS answers on RS, cause the body to produce more serosal fluid than normal. I hope that I don't get a seroma! Fluid, according to my RS doctor responses, keeps the ACM from attaching properly. Finger and toes crossed! I hope to have some boobs pictures tomorrow-I have a PS Saturday follow-up. Now that is care! I am under strict orders to leave bra on and bandages in place.
Now a question, did anyone have burning/searing pain in their fold incision after their boob job? I am not hurting anywhere save the fold incision. It almost feels like a curling iron burn.
I now have breast!
Hi RS ladies. I had a follow up this morning; everything looks good thus far. I even got to see my breast. PS said I could shower, but I have to keep the bandages on and use a blow dryer to dry them afterwards. I think that I might just stick to sponge baths.
Less pain and morning coffee
Hi RS ladies. My pain and muscle tightness is slowly lessening. And to top it off, my sweet 7 year-old made me a cup of coffee. He woke me up with a smile and an "I love you". I am very blessed.
Had a good PS visit
Hi RS ladies. I had a PS visit this AM. He said everything looked good. He didn't remove the sticky bandages though. I am afraid that I have swelling, but he seemed to think it was within reason.
Hi RS ladies. I had trouble sleeping last night. I kept feeling like my right breast implant was sliding too far to the side, up under my arm again. I know that I am paranoid. Hopefully, tomorrow the PS can abate my fears. Also, I hope this uber sticky bandage stuff gets taken off.
Hi RS ladies. I had a follow up at the dr yesterday. The bandages were removed and two stitches snipped. There are two more he left in for one more week. These were the ones at the inverted-t intersection. My breast haven't completely settled, but so far, I, and my husband, are liking the results. I still fear that the right breast implant will mosey on over to my armpit, but what good is worrying? Even if it does, I just need to set back and enjoy my Barbie boobies while they last.
My stomach is swelling less and less. With that being said, my muscular parts are starting to get soft. I have to start back with consistent exercise. I have a cruise in 1 months time, and I got to rock that boat!!! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to conceal the scar at the belly button? I found some swim bottoms, made by Catalinia. They are called swim briefs. Now I just need to get a sexy top to dress up the girls.
Last stitches removed
Hi RS ladies. After threating the PS with gnawing out my own stitches, he offered me 1) a cone for my head, and 2) to remove the stitches. The stitch removal-it was at the T intersection in the fold)-wasn't exactly painless, but I am glad they are gone. I noticed after leaving the PS that I have one small area at the end of the fold incision that separated a bit. Needless to say, I started bathing in Hibiclens and slathering on neosporin. It looks more closed this AM.
Here are a few morning-flat stomach pictures before my afternoon swell friend visits.
Humm, maybe a yeast infection?
Hi RS ladies. I have been itching like crazy today. While my children were playing a skyzone, it was all I could do from molesting my boob in public. I hope no one noticed. So after wearing a bandage for a good while (practically since surgery) and keeping bathed in Neosporin, I think that I have developed a yeast infection under my right breast. I have a bunch of tiny red bumps around the below the incision line. They remind me of when my children got diaper rash and the red yeast colonies would pop up near the initial rash, but not be part of the rash. Well, I am now using Benadryl cream. I am thinking on taking an oral one tonight too.
Hi RS ladies. I have some new updated photos from this AM. My current plight is nailing down my PS to see when he will remove the dog ear. I need it gone before 6/19. I have to wear a bathing suit on the cruise!!!
Still battling the "itchies"
Hi RS ladies. Not much has changed since my last update. I still am having some itchiness on my stomach and between my breast. I have a spot on my right crease incision that looked inflamed. So I, of course, put neosporin on it, and now it is more red and itchy. I think that my skin is revolting against the antibiotic ointments. I bought some silicone scare tape-the strips kept coming off and messing up. I hope this stuff works its magic.
Sorry for the venue, but you can see the current progress.
Dog Ear repair and belly button injections
15 Jun 2014
2 months post
Hi RS ladies. I finally had my dog ear removed and repaired on Friday afternoon. It was pretty painless. The numbing injections felt like a bee sting, but I did not feel the cutting nor stitching. Because I am going out if town on Wednesday, the doctor opted for dissolvable sutures.
Now the belly button, whoa that was uncomfortable. I got 6 injections that flatten the scar and slow cell growth. One injection at hurt right in the middle of my bellybutton. Another it made my nether regions hurt. And a couple, I did not feel it all. The plastic surgeon said the weird pains were because the nerve endings were all jumbled up from the surgery. The ones that made my nether regions her, felt much like having a Pap smear by a really mean nurse! Ouch. Weird stuff...
The incision site does not hurt that much. I only use Tylenol for pain. The Steri-Strips are supposed to stay in place until they fall off on their own accord. Sleeping on my right hip, where the incision is, has been very uncomfortable. Despite the pain, I am glad that it is gone. The doctor was also able to lower down the incision line on that side too. Once the Steri-Strips fall off I will get better pictures.
I have started using a silicone tape that I ordered from Sweden for my incision line. I like the fact that the stuff is pretty durable. It does not come off in the shower, but also does not rip off the skin when I want to remove it. It is called mepitac silicone tape. I found my on amazon.
30 Jun 2014
2 months post
Hi RS ladies. It has been a while since I have updated my review. I have been doing well. The swelling is getting less and less though, I still swell at night. The dog ear revision looks great. I am still concerned about two different sizes of the areoles. I think after summer I'm going to have the plastic surgeon address that. I just don't want to have stitches in this heat again.
Have a new tattoo
Hi RS ladies. I finally took the plunge and replaced my old tattoo. Here are some pictures. Also, I have some chronological tummy tuck comparison photos.
15 Jul 2014
3 months post
Hi RS ladies. I had another follow up yesterday. It seems that my left implant has migrated a bit toward my mid-line, and my areola are still two different sizes. The solution is for me to have some more skin taken off from the underside of my left breast, and for my right areola to be reduced in size. I am going to wait until the summer is over to have the revisions.
A few new pictures
23 Jul 2014
3 months post
Hi RS ladies. I thought I would share a few new pictures of the tummy tuck. I have to say, NO REGRETS! I feel like the scars are starting to fade. Plus, in two weeks, my children will start back school, and I can return to the gym!!! The breast are still a work in progress. So I am going to focus on the nicest results.
16 Aug 2014
4 months post
Hi RS ladies. A quick update-swelling is very limited (mostly evenings), stomach muscles are getting stronger. I have full range of motion; I can do most yoga poses without pain. The breast are still a little bit off. I think I'm going to try to schedule surgery for sometime in November. My scars are starting to fade; I'm being very impatient