After a severe reaction to a medical dye contrast,...
After a severe reaction to a medical dye contrast, I lost 20 pds and ended up with permanent pancreas damage that limits my fat intake to 20 grams a day total. This weight loss (combined with breastfeeding my children years ago and getting older) left me very thin and boobless. I thought over time I would stop looking like a 13 year and regain some of my curves. I'm now back to being very fit but unfortunately my boobs never filled back so I've lived in padded bras and falsie "chicken cutlets".
Pre-augmentation I was a deflated 34/A. After a year of waiting for boobs to come back, I decided to start researching augmentation and asking friends for recommendations. One fitness friend recommended Dr Mark Deuber. His website promoted a 24 Hr Recovery technique. That was very appealing because I perform in restaurants as a bellydancer every weekend. Plus I'm very active with zumba, Insanity, etc. I was on the fence about getting a BA due to the downtime but after researching this technique (Dr Tebbett's in the "inventor" of it) I decided to meet with him. He shares an office with Dr Tebbetts. During my research, I read Dr Tebbett's e-book on BA and knew I wanted one of them to do my surgery with this technique.
Dr Deuber was very professional and his office staff was excellent from my first phone call. He felt 375/400 or even 425 HP silicone would do a nice job of replacing my lost volume and perk things back up. He recommended the dual-plane technique since I was not too saggy and my nipples were just above the IMF so a lift wasn't indicated unless I'd wanted my nipples higher. I'm happy with my breast overall (just wanted volume) and wanted to keep a somewhat age appropriate look ;) Plus I have two friends who suffer from perky nipples that don't want to stay in place in bellydance costumes, etc. HAHA I didn't want that problem ;)
Yesterday was my surgery day - in the middle of a Texas ice storm :D Sunday we ended up renting a hotel by Dr's surgery center so that we could avoid the treacherous road conditions in the morning. That worked out great. We arrived easily and on time. The nurse got me squared away, then IV, and Dr Deuber arrived to go over final size choice. The nurse walked me into the surgery room and I laid down on the operating table - that's the last thing I remember. Then I was drinking a ginger ale and eating a clementine with new boobs :)
The 24 hour technique is done via electrocautery to prevent bleeding and they never touch the tender ribs with any tools. I was done within 30 minutes! Then we made our way home. I was given very specific instructions. Upon getting home I took a 2 hr nap. That's it. Then I had to eat a meal and take 800mg of Motrin. Within 3.5 hours of getting home I had to take a shower. Dr orders. I was supposed to get out of the house and go to dinner or something but we couldn't go anywhere since the roads were so icy. I just made an effort to do all my normal stuff rather than just sit around. We watched a fair amount of TV that evening but I'd get up at the end of each episode to use the bathroom and do my arm exercises - slow jumping jack arms overhead. 5 of those every hour. I had to stay up until 10pm then take a Benadryl and another round Motrin.
First thing this AM, before getting out of bed, I had a V8, a slice of bread, and my motrin. After 30 min I ate a real breakfast and then showered. After my shower, I started the overhead arm exercises. I was worried Day 2 would be way worse but it's been fine. We took my husband's car in for maintenance, drove down to see my Dr for my 24 hour followup, and then went to Jason's Deli, Whole Foods, and the Container Store. I took Motrin with lunch. It's been amazingly easy (knock on wood).
My boobs are high, tight and swollen right now but all within the norm after a BA. I feel the pressure of them but it's not painful, just weird and a little annoying. My ribs in center feel a little tender and a little tender in underarms. Probably the fluid retention from inflammation that will go away over the next several days.
My implants do make funny squishy, squelchy sounds when I use my arms overhead lol Dr said they'll clear up over the next week as the plasma/fluid and air reabsorb.
No bra, no drains, no narcotics. Short surgery. Minimal discomfort. Dr Deubers "24 hour" technique really is amazing. I thought my experience might be worse after reading so many people's post-op stories.
So far I'm very please and look forward to seeing my implants drop and the inflammation to subside. Right now I look overly chesty so I'm glad it winters and I can wear sweaters, hoodies, and accessory scarves until things settle.
Driving after 24 hrs
no elevated heart rate for 2 weeks (to allow the blood vessels to heal enough so no bleeding occurs around the new pockets)
weight lifting can begin again at 3 weeks
lifting over 25 pds after 3 weeks
No tanning for 6 weeks (n/a to me)
Underwire bra allowed after 6 weeks
no bath/hot tub/swimming for 6 weeks (but I can shower all I want now).
Dr said I should pan on returning to dance and performing in a month.
I had 24 hr recovery technique, dual-plane with Allergan silicone gel implants. 400 cc.
So far my recovery has been better than I expected :) Today I dropped down to 400mg of Motrin. I'd stop taking it completely but I'm hoping it'll reduce some of the swelling. I've used a cold gel pack a few times these past few days as well.
Today when woke up they felt heavier and more swollen than yesterday BUT the Dr warned me that was often the case. I was feeling a little worried late last night because they are soooo big and squarish. I don't want to be stuck with weird big boobs! But I realize a lot of women feel that way at first and things will change a lot week by week. When I showered today they actually looked less square in the upper pole, and my husband agreed, so now I'm not as worried.
I made a fruit smoothie with power greens, kiwis, pineapple, cherries, etc to get some anti-inflammatory nutrition in my system. I'm also using Shakelogy protein shakes and taking magnesium, Coq10, astaxanthin, Vit D, and Vit C. I'll return to using my daily with herbs/Vit E/fish oil, etc in another week.
I don't feel bloated yet but expect that may happen in a few more days once the fluids settle downward.
My overhead arm exercises are easy to do although I feel stretching in my armpits and across boobs. The implants are still making squishy sounds during the exercises but today it seems less noisy. Dr said the sounds should improve a lot by end of week :)
I'm very active normally so it's hard to be low-key AND patient. I need to read a long book lol
I'll try to post a post-op picture in next day or two.
One week post-op
There's light at the end of this tunnel ;)
I haven't posted over the last few days because I just didn't want to think about boobs LOL
Things were easy the first three days but by mid-day Thursday I started having a lot of pain because I'd reduced my Motrin. I had an elevated temp and a lot of discomfort. Friday morning my right boob was very painful and the upper pole on that side as noticeably inflamed from morning. I was worried something was wrong so I began communicating with PS office. They didn't feel anything was truly wrong but encouraged me to resume Motrin (I had) and to just keep an eye on things for the next 24 hours. My right breast felt like it was ready to pop and doing anything with my right arm made it ache and burn. (A friend texted to see how I was doing and I called my boobs "smoldering cantaloupes" haha) I was really nervous I had a hematoma on the right side but was trying to not get myself worked up.
Saturday morning I wasn't any worse so I relaxed a little. The right side was still very tender and swollen as were my armpit and serratus muscles on that side. Even my right scapula/rotator cuff muscle were aggravated! BUT the right side wasn't any bigger than the left AND the left was actually feeling softer and like a healing muscle strain. I continued Motrin and spent the day on the couch with Netflix and heating pad on right side of my back.
By midday I had a theory about my right boob pain. It was slightly smaller preBA and it was even smaller right after BA. I was really worried that it would stay that way! When it swelled Friday, it end up being close to the size of left side (which is similar to pre BA). At first I was just scared by the new swelling and major increase in discomfort - and really worried about a hematoma- but by Saturday I decided that each boob was just on its own schedule. I think my smaller right breast took longer to accommodate the implant and when gravity finally settled it down (on Thur PM/Fri) that tissue was further traumatized by the sudden stretching/expansion.
On Sunday, the right breast was same. No bruising, no new swelling. It was still tender and VERY tight but felt like the left side did two days prior. The left side was actually feeling much better - very little pain and softer. I spent most of the day out of the house and felt good mentally. By end of day, I was yawning up a storm but both boobs were doing good.
Today, the right breast is still quite tight BUT it's definitely improving. I feel like I did a serious workout a few days ago and now I have residual tenderness along with a lot of tightness and some burning if I stretch too far. There is a little pain along the inside edge of breast along the sternum (where the skin has stretched so much). Massage feels good today.
I was going to go in tomorrow to see the PA with my concerns but I cancelled that appointment this morning since I realized that this was just a normal part of post recovery. Each breast really is a different surgery and is going to adjust and heal at a slightly different pace ;)
Day 8 pics
You can see right side is higher right now. It was also smaller breast pre-op so I anticipate having to work with it more during drop stage. I'm going braless most of time but if I wear a yoga bra I've started stretching the right side up and over the boob to put some downward pressure to help it catch up. Overall, it seems to be a few days behind the left side due to taking longer to expand for the implant.
I've started having some of the zingers in the left breast this morning. It changing faster for sure. It feels softer and last night I noticed it jiggled a little while drying off from my shower. The right breast is still waiting on the skin and pec to relax more ;)
Visually they pretty much look like they did on Monday.
Discomfort isn't very tolerable. I'm still using some Motrin-400mg in am and pm for inflammation. The sternum tenderness seems to be much better but I'm still very tight when I reach upward to brush hair, etc. It pulls across my chest and burns a little at the sternum and outside edges of pecs/underarm when I reach and such.
Tuesday I did develop some tenderness along the outside rib and left boob from wearing a sport bra. It was not tight at all but by that evening I was a little red from inflammation. I went braless again yesterday thinking it would be better by bed but it was a little inflammed so I took motrin and fell asleep with icepack against it. It is improving today so I think it'll be fine in another day or two.
My pecs feel pretty weak doing everyday stuff. Moving laundry, lifting kitchens, scrubbing dishes, even wiping counters and closing the car door is weird. I had dual-plan technique so I didn't much impact on my pecs but maybe that was naive? There is no way I could do chest flys with even 8pd weights! LOL That makes me a little nervous but I keep reminding myself it's not even two weeks out and my chest will need some time to accommodate those 400ccs HPs.
Before surgery I was treating a preexisting shoulder issue (from all the overhead movement I do as a professional bellydancer). I was hoping that the down time from surgery would also give my shoulder a nice rest and I'd be all better at the end of my break. It doesn't seem that will be the case. My shoulder has been aggravated by all the tightness and pressure on my chest pulling on everything in the shoulder joint :( I'm actually having new pain in the shoulder -and that is while still using Motrin post op! Eek. I hope I didn't make things worse by getting boobs.
I'm pretty stir crazy at this point. I don't want to elevate my heart rate too much or annoy my shoulder or trigger pecs spasms ;) I'm trying to stay busy and on my feet around the house but you can only do so much.
Luckily, my sleep in fine. I haven't been bothered at all by the inclined position, using a memory foam wedge and a few pillows. I didn't have any sleep restrictions so I adjust between sides and back. I've found at hugging a spare pillow to my chest is very helpful comfort wise. The upper breast is supported by the pillow and the lower breast just rests on the bed/wedge.
I thought implants would feel heavy but I guess they positioned close enough to your core that it's not really noticeable. I haven't felt discomfort from having more up top - just the shoulder issue from the tightness and pec muscles on that same side complicating that preexisting issue.
My period is supposed to arrive next week so I'm curious if it will be on schedule and if I'll have any boob related PMS symptoms. It will not be the timing mood-wise to have body image issues since I've just been sitting around and probably eating more than usual ;) But I will be able to start returning to exercise on Monday so maybe that will help cancel it out? Or maybe I should just skip the mirror for most of next week? :D
I want the right implant catch up with the left really soon. I want these pecs to relax. I want my aggravated shoulder to calm down. I want to dance and move without risking a hematoma.
Hurry up and wait, right?
Awesome upper body massage - Day 11
I've struggled with my right shoulder and upper back have a lot of discomfort. It had a subscap/rotator cuff issue beforehand and all the tension from my new boobs has triggered more issues :(
I called my PS and they said there was no reason I could go in for a massage so I made an appt for this AM. I regularly see a very talented therapist and he did a great job providing some temporary relief. He noted that my scapulas are pulled out of position from all contracting and pulling from the front. He showed me what to have my husband do daily at home to help address this issue - basically a subscapularis massage/stretch through the armpit.
He did some mild trigger point on my upper chest/collarbone but left everything else on the pecs alone. I've felt like my pecs are so tight already that I really shouldn't stretch them in an isolated way and he agreed. I'm going to just stick with general dynamic arm and chest movements to keep letting that area have good blood flow and ROM.
I'm going to go for an actual walk today since the weather is much warmer and the sun came out! :D
Two weeks post-op 400cc HP silicones
These past two weeks have felt like two months lol Apparently, I'm NOT a very patient person ;)
I think the problem is that I'm a physical person and I don't have a 9-5 office job to distract me. I don't mind relaxing, reading a book, and lounging around here and there BUT two weeks straight is my limit - unless I was on a beach somewhere HAHA
Actual boob pain is minor but I still have a lot of tightness/burning in my outer pecs/armpits.
I can lay on my chest - its actually recommended by my Dr (instead of doing massage). Its annoying for a min or so and then settles and feels fine. When I'm done everything feels better than before so it's doing something via the compression. I'm trying to do it about 15 min a day.
I still have discomfort when I switch sides at night. Gravity pulls on my upper boob and that aches until I support it. (No bra per Dr and I can sleep however I want). I've started sleeping in snug tank tops to offer a little support. This is quite funny - last night I grabbed a stuffed animal that I received with a gift and stuffed it into my tank top between my boobs. When I flipped to each side, it provided enough support to prevent pain HAHA I looked weird but so what?
My left boob is obviously softening and jiggles. The right side is much tighter but over the past three days it has started to get a little looser and now moves a bit when I raise my arms. I can squeeze them both into center and it doesn't hurt - it pulls on the tighter right side but no pain.
No itchy breast skin at all. I'm using coconut oil on them from the nipples up (avoiding steristrip. The PS said to leave strips alone until they fall off. If the edges come loose I'm supposed to trim them but leave the strip in place unless it's literally falling off in the shower and offers no resistance. I'm curious about my scars but more concerned about keeping the incisions happy so I'm leaving them alone.
The most discomfort I have is the right pectoral attachments. VERY TIGHT. I'm planning to work on addressing that area a lot since it's probably part of the reason that implant is also sitting higher.
I'm hoping to see more changes over this upcoming week as I move out of the acute stage of things and into the healing phase post BA.
I'll probably post a pic near end of week or next Monday so new changes are (hopefully) more obvious.
One month post BA 400cc 5'4'' 120 pds
The past week REALLY made a difference between days 24 and day 30!
I walked every day for 30-45 mins and focused on swinging my arms to get a lot of stretching movement. I also attended a couple of zumba classes. Last Monday, Wed, and this past Monday. Last week, I was worried I'd overestimated my abilities but I paced myself and made it through class with just a little aching at the end. I went back Wed evening and it was 50% easier but I still paced myself. I performed in four dance shows this past weekend and had no problems at all with my costume bras bothering my IMF incision nor any of my overhead arm movements. Monday I went back to zumba and felt almost as good as preBA. Woot! Progress! I also did a lot of yardwork Sun, Mon, Tues, and even today. Trimming ornamentals, digging holes for 1 gallon plants, mulched flowerbeds, etc. I'm sore all over but my pecs are fine :D
Disclaimer: I was in excellent shape preBA so I know that it why I was able to jump back into these things with only slight modifications. FE, I had my teen unload the mulch bags and alternated my arms on the digging. Each evening I took half a valium to ensure pec muscles relaxed well while I slept.
Bottom line: Full range of movement really, really, really does help. Isolated, static stretching didn't seem to help (it felt like something was going to tear!) but gentle arcing movements, like shoulder rolls, etc and dynamic overhead stretches just to the edge of discomfort were great. A week ago my right pec muscle was VERY tight. Overhead movement and pec stretching was uncomfortable and I had to move slowly. Now, I feel pretty much normal after a week of consistent but modified movement.
The right envelope is still tighter because it was smaller breast so now I'm focusing on massaging that side and laying on the floor with most pressure on that right breast (for 15 minutes). I saw my surgeon last week and he showed me how hard to massage that side and I was shocked! He kneaded me like I was a loaf of dough lol I can't do it that firmly to myself so I'm having my husband help once a day and then I do a lesser intensity during day, along with laying on the floor. Every few days it's getting better and better!
I'm really loving how my boobs look now. So much more natural as the swelling decreases and things soften.
I still have numbness. I don't feel the bottom half of each breast yet. Nipples are desensitized and over sensitized all at once ;) Shower spray hurts and touching them directly just feels odd, whether lightly or firmly. I know it takes time for nerves to regenerate so I'm trying to not worry - although it does interfere with intimacy - I have these great boobs but they aren't fun to play with at this point lol
I need to post pics. Day one I was SOOOOO freaked out - I need to post that picture along with a month old picture so people can see just how much it really does change over a few weeks. I never posted my day one pic because it was so scary lol I called the left my "Mad Eye Booby" (Harry Potter joke) for the first two weeks. But now I think it might really be reassuring to new members who are horrified at first - as long as they can see it side by side to my current state ;)