I'll try to make this as brief as possible. 30yrs...
I'll try to make this as brief as possible. 30yrs old, 3 kids, 5'4 and weight fluctuates between 147-160. Pre op was a 36B? Very deflated and just wore the bra for comfort and to appear as though it actually had some sort of boobs.
I had my first augmentation here in town on 6/2015, transaxillary incision, mentor mod profile, 475 filled to 500L/525R. These were 14.2cm in diameter with 4.9cm in projection. He specialized in "natural scarless augmentation" and thought it was absurd that I'd need a lift (one consult I went to recommended a crescent lift on the left side). From the beginning I was unhappy with the shape and size, not the look we discussed. They weren't attractive, just a fuller old me. I have always experienced slight pain in my right breast and at times it appeared a little more round up top. When discussing my concerns my PS said "I don't know what to tell you, buy a new bra" brushed off my concerns and sent me on my way at my 3 month follow up with a $6,000 quote to upsize to a different profile.
12/2015 I had my revision, or implant exchange with a new surgeon. We switched the saline out for silicone. This time through the inframammary fold, Allergan Natrelle, style 45(uhp) 700cc on both sides. These are 13.6cm diameter with 6.4cm projection. There seemed to be a mix up from the beginning as I thought we were doing HP, and left the size up to him depending on what fit best in surgery. He too must have thought he used HP instead of UHP based on his notes in my chart. All was well in the beginning, no where near the pain I experienced the first time around. All of a sudden around 3 months post op I started experiencing pain on the left side. Thought I was over reacting and that it was nerve regeneration. Well as the months passed (March2016-August2016 to be exact) it became more persistent, all while my PS insisted that it wasn't the implants or surgery sending me on my way spending less than 10 minutes at a time with me when I'd go in to see him. The last time I saw him, his comments were less than polite or sympathetic and I left the office crying. His proposal was to open me up, downsize about 200cc and close me back up, nothing more. All for about the cost of implants, bra and maybe anesthesia fees.
Since then I have been on the search for a new PS to help me rectify this mess I've gotten myself into. I found a PS about an hour away who brought some light to the situation, advising that although my nipples weren't pointing down or sagging to my belly button, the reason I was unhappy from the beginning was due to me needing a full lift (lollipop or anchor) to reshape the breast, reposition the areola and downsize the areola.. along with implants of course. Although she was more helpful than my last 2 PS's Her short time in practice scared me and as you can imagine I'm a traumatized from this all wondering who I can trust to just fix my boobs so I can move on with my life! Not to mention all of the costs of all of this. I've been a member on realself for quite some time (under a different user name) and have followed many different ladies on here for quite a while and decided that I was going to search for a dr out of town. I kept coming back to dr. Vath in Denver, CO and all the amazing work he has done. I've read nothing bad about him, the reviews seem legit, his scars are near perfection, the man just seems like he's awesome at his job and he stands by his work..which is something I need at this point considering everyThing I've been through, should there be any complications I need a surgeon who will do anything they can to help me without brushing me off and charging me an arm and a leg!!
Here's to better, new, long lasting results!!! Will post more details regarding my phone consult and booking surgery soon...
Just a random update...nerves--clinic staff--traveling arrangements--etc....
There's so much I've been wanting to share but haven't really had a 'reason' to add an update and not to mention I've been busy and trying not to obsess. Obsessing has only led to anxiety, stress, worry and time going sooooo slooooowww. But there are a few things I want to share and journal about.. so here it goes. Hopefully I don't bore anyone and please excuse my jumping all over from thought to thought.
I will first start out by saying that I was like 90% sure I was choosing dr vath before my consult, but after securing a date and putting down my $500 deposit I started questioning my decision and my own judgement as I don't want to nake a third mistake!! Stressful to say the least... I will say that Kari (my patient counselor) has been amazing!! From responding to my emails and answering calls and my questions.. she has been great! She's put my nerves at ease and has spent so much more time with me just bringing me back to reality and comforting me than I have gotten from both of my past surgeons. I need this.. and I love this!! All clinics and surgeons need this!! Makes me feel like I'm dealing with my regular primary dr, someone who cares, is supportive and knowledgeable, and isn't feeding me a line of bull!! She spent a decent amount of time with me on the phone last week and never once made me feel rushed or like I was wasting her time! Did I mention I need this?! :)
Secondly, after becoming more aware of my symptoms from discomfort and just being the overly analytical person I am, I believe that my left breast (the one that hurts) is not under the muscle as it's supposed to be. The muscle appears to be over the top of my implant, rather than being stretched over/across the implant it's almost like the implant was shoved up inside and the muscle is shoved up on top of the implant. Which explains the flex animation, being able to feel the implant under my areola, the pulling feeling from my sternum across the top of my breast to my armpit area AND the reason why wearing a bra hurts (added support if the implant pressing up and stretching my muscle more). I hope to god that this can be fixed and that it won't go back up over the implant with this next surgery.!!
Third, along the lines of traveling for surgery I've taken some tips from another RS member and i believe we have found the best (and most cost effective) route for flight, hotel and car rental. Southwest is definitely cheapest airline and Costco definitely has the best deal for car rental.. still trying to figure out the hotel stay :)
-- along this note I have my pre op nov 21 with the nurse and I am currently waiting for a packet in the mail with additional information. We are flying out 2 days before surgery. The next day I will have my pre op and meet dr vath in person and the big day the following day (on a Thursday) I have decided not to leave until Monday as I wanted a follow up before I head home and to allow time for any unforeseen complications, so the following Monday I will see the nurse and we will fly home later that night. I'm hoping Tuesday night and Wednesday before surgery we can explore the area, have some fun alone time and make the best of our "mini vacation" as I'm not too sure I'll be able to be out and about after surgery like I was with my revision, but I suppose we will see when the time comes.
Lastly, size!!! Ohhhh dreaded size.. the 2nd hardest part about this whole ordeal (1st finding the right PS ;-) ) I'm on the fence with size and I know I have a while to think about this but it's driving me nuts!! I keep analyzing the sizing charts and I feel like I'm going from one extreme to the other or not small enough.. ugh! Sucks!! Thankfully my husband has been so supportive this time around. We've talked so much this time and I wish I had his support like this the first time.
Ok that's it for now, I know I'm missing something and I definitely plan to add pictures at some point. I know it doesn't take long to update and add pictures however I wanted to add more detailed pictures to try to better illustrate my concerns/problem areas and sadly don't have time to do that right now, but I promise to soon so it's easier to VISUALLY see what I am trying to explain..i can be more of a visual person at times ;-)
until next time... xoxo :)
Received my surgical packet in the mail!!
I just wanted to post a quick update.. I received my surgical packet in the mail today and HOLY MOLY! Lots of useful, important information. Nothing compared to the information I received from the last 2 surgeons, that's for sure! Starting to become a pro at this.. :-/ I told my husband when this is all said and done I'll be able to work in this field guiding and hand holding the patients and I should get a job at a cosmetic surgery center... lol... laughing, but serious haha! But in all seriousness my packet is more than helpful, answers any of my little "worry" questions in the back of my mind and then some but at the same time not overload and very honest and straight forward--no surprises! I feel like I'm in good hands :) with everything else going on in the real world right now this is a very reassuring feeling especially considering I am an out of town patient and haven't had the chance to meet the Dr, staff or visit the clinic in person yet I feel a great sense of inner peace. Overall I will say that all of the obsession and panic and ups and downs I felt the last two times is nothing I am experiencing this time around! More so just making sure I'm doing everything right as far as booking flight, hotel and car which is a whole new world to me!
Any who, I feel like this was a long post/update just to share how much I LOVED the detailed, honest and informative packet I received in the mail today :):) but why the heck not share this in case anyone else needs the help or reassurance of my surgery experience! (Oh and I'm still working on the picture deal, I actually forgot until JUST NOW.. I've been dealing with some other things that have taken priority, unfortunately, but I do know photos will help others and my review so please be patient with me as my life settles down and I find time to make a detailed update with these photos. I want the photos and my update to be detailed and not scattered all over with my thoughts all over the place)
All for now!! TaTa!!!
Hopefully these upload ok and are easy to view. I just wanted to add the round smooth silicone mentor and natrelle sizing charts to my review for both mod plus and high profile since I have spent much time analyzing them along my journey and I figured they could help someone else.
Pictures as promised!
Whelp!! Here they are in all of their glory!! My befores, after my first BA, and then my 2nd surgery (implant exchange) which are my current. I tried to draw on them with different colors to show the various areas of pain which I will try to explain.
The one photo that is sort of from the bottom view where ou can sort of see my incision and I have one line and a circle--when I press my implant upward toward my collar bone it feels like a vein pulling my nipple down. The area inside the circle is where I feel something under the skin/tissue. Almost like a ripple in the implant shell.. it's strange and that nipple is often very sensitive or tender.
Then the side view where I drew a red circle near my armpit I have some small "dents" which is where the muscle feels "pulled" on.
Then the picture with all the different lines.. lol well I explained the pulling from my fold to my nipple, the green arrow from my cleavage to the side is where the muscle seems like it's slid up and is no longer on top of my implant and it feels like it's pulling from my cleavage to the side near my armpit, and the red line underneath by my fold is where it will feel tight at times like there is a rubber band underneath making it feel tight and constricted.
The photo with the black arrow is me flexing and how that one side causing me pain has the deformity, it's hard to get a good picture of the muscle when I flex to show what I actually see in real life. I'll try to add info to the captions too. Embarrassing :-/
"Trust your surgeon" and "Go bigger", "I wish I went bigger"
I forgot to add something to my last posts, but that's ok, this can go in its own little mini review since it's just some of my frustrations I heard early on and things I hear all the time now that I think EVERYONE SHOULD CONSIDER going into this and that I wish I knew back then when I started all of this, maybe then I wouldn't be in this mess.
"Trust your surgeon" - don't trust anyone!! Lol all jokin aside, in all seriousness I tried this whole "trust" thing and in the end I shut off my own inner intuition and gut feeling thinking I could trust my Dr and his patient coordinator. First make sure you find a surgeon that has good reviews and you like the pictures of their after photos.. the shape, incisions etc. make sure you ask questions and ask them all! Don't feel 'stupid' asking questions, this is a big commitment and if they can't answer your questions they probably aren't the right surgeon for you! Once you have done your research and find who you like and have booked surgery with them...then trust your surgeon! Trust that after he/she has educated you and answered all your questions (without any lines of bull) that they will take care of you and your end result.
"Always go bigger" "i wish I went bigger" -- When I say this in speaking of the REAL boob greed, not the issues with implants being too narrow or not fitting your frame properly. I see this all the time and I was a victim of this myself!! I admit it!! However in my case I didn't think I needed a lift so I was unhappy with the shape of my breasts which was what prompted the revision, I was also unhappy with the lack of projection and upper pole, yes I wanted bigger than my first set, however I think that had I gotten a full lift the first time around this would have given them a different illusion and I would have been happier with their appearance. But remember that going up 25-50 CC's really isn't going to make much of a visual difference so it's probably best that you didn't go larger. Larger implants have higher risks of malpositoning, pain, irreversible damage to your tissue and it's just not a good idea. Don't ignore all the things people say about large implants.. there is different things I have read about what "large" is, some say anything over 375 and some say large is anything over 500.
My whole point is even though we want this surgery and sometimes it's hard to be patient, donyour research even if that means a year or two or five years of research.. you want to get it done right the first time in good skilled hands because it's hard to take back or undo lots of complications. I don't say this to scare anyone but I think it's real and not many people talk about this but it should be talked about more often.
3 weeks to go!!
Reality has set in!! I've got 3 weeks until my surgery and 19 days until we fly out!! :O I can't believe how time went by so fast this time around, at the time of booking surgery it seemed far out, although I know many others have had to wait close to a year for their surgery. I will say even though I am impatient and want things done "now", the extra time is always great no matter the circumstance to help avoid any impulsiveness, come to terms or reality with the decision you are making and to let your nerves settle. The first two times before my surgery I was a complete basket case! Between researching size, trying to find "wish boob" pictures, 2nd guessing my Dr's and the things they told me that were conflicting because I'm such an analytical person, researching crap online... jeez I pretty much set myself up for panic attacks!! I am doing well, not stressing or obsessing with my decision in my dr or size really, however I am still not settled on a size JUST yet. I do worry from time to time about delayed wound healing or the possibility of necrosis, but not to the point of panick mode by any means.
My patient counselor Kari emailed yesterday, I thought it was such a nice warm email from her.. she asked how I was doing and if I was excited about my upcoming procedure, reminded me of my pre op w the nurse that is next week (along with the details--time, what I need:surgery packet, and that they would call me) and she sent me a very gentle heads up that it is now time to pay. I don't know if their patient care and communication thus far could be any better.. it has exceeded my expectations and totally what I need after all I've been through with my past two surgeons. I received two emails with links to pay, one for the remaining fees and the other for anesthesia if I remember correctly.
I have a few questions that I honestly can't even think of at the moment because I've been trying to be more relaxed this time around, but I wrote them down and they are in my surgery packet so I have them available when I talk with the nurse next week. I decided to go this route since they don't NEED to be answered right this moment and I figured some may be answered when we talk on the phone.
Aside from all of this, what I have done this time around is more research on preparing my body for surgery to ensure I am healthy as I can possibly be. I don't workout but have wanted to, life has just been too busy! However I am looking at nutrition since that plays a big role also.. Thanks to another realselfer on her I bought some protein powder to make smoothies, I was only going to drink them after surgery to help with my healing but decided to get some and start now along with lots of clean eating, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, chicken, broccoli, green peppers, peanuts/peanut butter, apples, bananas, red grapes, oranges, along with lots of water! I will be honest and say i am not a healthy eater typically, I love carbs and all the yummy stuff, so I guess you can say I'm sort of "detoxing" my body of anything that can cause your tissue to not heal as fast and trying to pump myself with things that will (or is supposedly supposed to) help with healing so the plan is to keep this up after surgery. I've also cut out caffeine and oddly it seems like the pain in my left breast isn't really there... or isn't as intense, I've been able to wear a normal bra without it hurting so bad that I need to rip the sucker off! But I will say something still feels "off" I can't lay on that side without feeling an achy sensation and feeling like the implant is misplaced. My right side pretty much feels like it's part of me and doesn't cause any problems for me whereas my left one feels foreign.
Lastly.. I'm a little nervous about flying and being away from the kids. I haven't left them for this long and I haven't been on a plane since I was a kid! I think I am more nervous about making it to the airport on time, flying and making sure we have everything, luggage is ok, the car rental and hotel all go smoothly and that we find the hotel ok, more than I am worried about the surgery itself! Lol
Sorry for such a long update, I'm long winded what can I say :) hopefully no typos as I sit here typing this on my phone, hah! I plan to update next when I meet dr vath the day before surgery, but will see how I feel after my pre op, I may be so excited to share how it went or gloat over how amazing the nurse is..they have all been great so far! That's it for now!! :)
3 more days, but who's counting?! And "mom guilt" ... I'm a big baby right now!!
So my surgery is in 3 days and over the weekend I did a bunch of preparation and cleaning our entire house.. washing, folding and organizing clothes, grocery shopping, organizing the house and making sure we have everything we need to fly out and to make sure the kids have everything they need before we take off. I felt like a chicken running around with its head cut off and sort of like a 9 month pregnant woman nesting! I really am just trying to take it easy and not get myself stressed out but the honest truth is I am so worried... I've never left my kids alone for more than one night and last night before bed my youngest was asking me 101 questions, he was so wired and it was past his bed time. I could tell he was overly anxious and scared but that it was coming out in his behavior by acting silly. He started to cry and while we were talking, the whole time his eyes were watering and I could tell he was just so sad and scared and didn't want me to leave no matter how much I reassured him. He's also got special needs so I'm so nervous as to how things will go not only at home but really at school! I hope he's able to handle it and when he started showing all these emotions my mom guilt set in.. so bad that if I could cancel the whole surgery and call it off and not lose any money I put into this between surgery fees, flight, hotel, etc. I probably would have canceled it! I just felt (and still do) so guilty, selfish and wrong for doing all of this, like I am causing an unnecessary burden on my whole family for something elective and so minor in life. I know this is all my nerves talking and I'm 100% sure I want this and that I am going to go forward with it, but it really breaks my heart to see my kid so worried like he was, I even contemplated seeing if I could purchase another ticket for him to come along! Ughhh I'm so weak!!
We're flying out tomorrow and reality has definitely set in.. on a positive note, I cannot wait to see the clinic and meet Dr. Vath and the rest of the staff in person!
The big day! I made it through to the other side :)
8 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
So I had my pre op Wednesday 12/7 and got to meet dr Vath, my patient counselor and the nurse in person for the first time! Dr vath always has a smile on his face and he is such a friendly guy, he's so through, talented and honest!! Everyone else is very kind and supportive also! I truly could not have picked a better surgeon to help me with all of this!!
Surgery this morning!! I was the first of the day so we arrived at 6am and surgery time of 7am. The nurse who took me back and prepped me for surgery and gave me my IV was so sweet! I changed into a gown leaving only my undies on along with compression socks that I need to leave on for a few days. My husband got to come back with me he whole time until they took me back to surgery which was really nice! After going over everything w the nurse the anesthesiologist came back and asked questions and told me what would happen. Then dr vath came back to confirm my size because I could not decide on a size the day prior, I wanted to sleep on it to make sure I didn't make any quick decisions.. at my pre op meeting with Dr Vath he said my options were 500 and 550cc HP.. dr vath, my patient counselor and the nurse said I would not be as happy with MP so HP it was. He said that he was erring on the side of caution saying the capsules would need to be removed and after meeting in person he didn't think they would need to be removed (but would remove them if he saw anything different after opening me up!) so we settled on smooth implants. I chose the 550cc round smooth Mentor implants. All I remember was getting some meds in my IV from one of the nurses and then a drip of something else that I believe the anesthesiologist had requested to be hung. I went back to the OR and after that the only thing I remember was waking up to my nurse! My throat was so dry and my throats was (and still is) sore. My hubby got to coke back to recovery with me and told me dr vath gave him an update after surgery which was so nice of him! He also came back to check on me when I came back to it, smiles and all, I tell ya that man is so great! He said that my capsules were thick which he thinks is why I was having the pain so he did remove them and he said they are a lot softer now. Looking at my implant card once we got back to the hotel, I got two different size implants, 550 smooth round HP and 500 smooth round HP-both Mentor. I can already tell they are much smaller not as heavy, I just haven't gotten a good looo at them. He said I can look at 24 hours so I'll look tomorrow.. I can see though that there isn't any bleeding which is good. I'm not in a ton of pain but definitely am sore and feel some pressure and a sort of bruised feeling under my breasts/and my ribs, I'm also a little sore near my armpit area.
I think that's it for now, I hope I haven't missed anything and that everything I've typed makes sense.. I'm using my phone and feel like I'm a bit all over the place! :)
Pics from this morning
We unhooked my bra and took out the padding/gauze to make sure there wasn't any abnormal swelling or bleeding and so I'm attaching those pictures. So just to recap I downsized from allergan natrelle 700cc UHP down to 500cc on the left and 550cc on the right, both mentor smooth HP, capsule removal, and a full breast lift. They definitely look smaller which is ok because they were wayyyyy bigger than i expected them to be in the past and badly needed a lift to reshape my breast, areola position and lower pole shape. I've definitely got a long ways to go as I heal and to reach my final appearance but so far I am pleased and crossing my fingers that each day will get better and better. I am a bit nervous for the plane ride back because I got so sick! But they gave me these sea bracelets and an extra patch for behind my hear for the ride back home.
I have a post op w the nurse and dr vath next Monday and then we will fly back home. After that another follow up in a couple weeks to discuss my healing/progress which i willl have to text pictures to them before hand. Dr vath was all smiles and was very confident I will love my new boobies and assured my husband that he spent a little extra time to make sure everything was perfect for me, I believe my surgery was about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I really love that man, he's very knowledgeable, straight forward and is so kind.. such great patient rapport he has , and to top it off he's so easy on the eyes! :) I don't think you can say that about many plastic surgeons but I really couldn't have picked a better dr, he was the perfect fit for me and my needs as a patient after all I've been through. I forgot to mention they called my husbands phone last night to check on me, but he missed the call because we were both napping and it was on silent. So I got another call late this morning from the nurse to check in and give me a few post op reminders! If all goes well after I'm healed I will be back in the gym to tone up and if I can't tone up my tummy I will be back to Colorado to have him perform a tummy tuck on me, after my weight has fluctuated and 3 babies I have lose skin on my tummy to get rid of! But would need to save up for the surgery and first get in to the gym to see how much that helps since I haven't done the whole gym thing.
Anywho here are some pics for the time being.
A couple more post op pictures
I took a shower today for the first time since surgery since I was too lazy and bumming around all day yesterday I figured I needed to wash my greasy mop on my head and it would help me get a better idea of how everything is looking. These pictures I am adding I took myself, where as my hubby took the others. Not much in a difference to update on, other than I can really see all of the swelling in my sternum and chest above my boobies, I can also see some bruising in my sternum area. I've also got swelling along the sides of my ribs under my arm area. I feel like I'm feeling a little better today, not such a tender/achy/heavy feeling along the breast creases. I'm still taking my pain meds/muscle relaxers as a precaution so things don't get it of control. I also had my hubby pick up some arnica gel to apply on my breasts (not near any incisions though) still taking vitamin c, zinc and iron, so he also picked me up some colace to get things moving along since the anesthesia, pain meds and iron can all be constipating. Feeling pretty bloated but I know that will subside :)
Dr vath called me again last night to check in, which is so nice that he cares a lot and has such compassion for his patients.
Here's a couple more pics.. not much difference to share but I thought those who follow me may be interested to see. Also don't mind any lines you see on my breasts, it's from the compression bra and possibly the gauze pads I had in, they aren't stretch marks lol.
1 week update
I don't have much to report but I wanted to add a bit of info for people considering this surgery or who may soon be having surgery :)
This surgery was definitely more difficult than my 2nd but easier than my 1st--given the muscle dissection and transaxillary incision the first time, and 2nd go round was a "simple" implant exchange". I believe my discomfort is due to my double capsulectomy. My pec muscles feel bruised/sore but they are SO MUCH SOFTER! It's unbelievable!! I also have more incision pain this time around.. my 2nd surgery was through the breast fold and my ribs were sore but not like the discomfort from a lift. I do have a high pain tolerance so I wouldn't explain it as painful.. just uncomfortable and at moments they sort of sting and feel heavy. I have a desk job and at the end of the day my boobs just feel like they've had a long day! Everything feels like it takes me twice as long to do..I'm in slow motion! And I feel I get exhausted quickly! We flew back to WI Monday and I returned to my desk job Tuesday. I'm just really pooped!! I'm only taking pain meds at bed time.
Over all I think things are healing well, better than i was expecting. Obviously it's still early! And I have my steri strips on, which I like but don't like! I like it because I hate any type of cut or wound.. but I don't like it because I can't wait to see how things look without the steri strips and to move forward with scar treatment! My next follow up is 12/21 I believe (I'm all distorted and can't keep my days/time straight) I've had lots on my mind, my travel to Colorado was not easy on my kids and I've gotten several calls from the principal and special ed teacher :-/. My follow up was with the nurse but it was switched to be with Dr Vath, over the phone of course :).
I also wanted to update with some things I've been taking before and after for recovery.. or to at least help! Protein shake (thanks to another realselfer!) vitamin c, zinc, iron, all to help with wound healing. I've been taking the colace after surgery since both iron and the anesthesia/pain meds cause you to get backed up. And I've also been applying arnica gel to my sternum and sides of my breasts and I think it's helped w bruising and swelling! My sternum isn't as swollen as it was in the first few days--that did scare me a little bit! But I just wanted to post pics of everything I've been taking to help in my healing incase others are interested--of course check with your dr befor taking any of this as each Dr has their own protocol.
Oh also the neutrogena oil is somehing I have always applied all over my body and special attention to my breasts (before surgery) to help with moisturizing and keeping my skin soft. I personally love the smell of it and it makes my skin sooooo soft!! I will be holding off on applying it to my breasts for a while as my incisions heal though.
I will update more as I see changes and have more to update about ;)
Just a little collage for you guys
This update has no purpose other than just to add a collage from this morning of different angles.
So I am officially 3 weeks post op. My steri strips weren't coming off and at the advice of my patient counselor I used a little bit of vitamin e oil and a q-tip to gently remove them..only on my areolas. I was having some odd sensations followed by puffy areolas that would turn a light purplish color. I texted them to Kari-patient counselor, and she said she'd run it by dr vath and he said everything looked normal or not of concern. So just to be sure that the steri strips weren't irritating my areolas or adding pressure causing them to lose blood flow I only removed those--I am very pleased to see how things look under there. The incisions are nice and clean. My only complaint is that my left areola is a bit lower and looks a little "cone" shaped, I hope this subsides. Pain wise things are feeling well, I don't feel as sore and catch myself trying to do things I probably shouldn't be doing.
I've caught a nasty cold that I've had for just over a week now and it's only getting worse so I called my dr, she said it sounded like I have a sinus infection and some sort of upper respiratory thing going on so she called in an antibiotic for me. I was getting worried that my cold would compromise my wound healing and that my immune system was weak from a recent surgery and now this terrible cold. I've still been doing my vitamins and protein shakes. So needless to say I have been resting and sleeping a lot the last few days which is why I am not adding any pictures because my energy is so low and I have zero motivation to take any selfies. Since I've had this cough for a while Every time I cough it feels like my boob is going to explode out of the bottom! Ok maybe not THAT bad but it is a strange feeling.
I also wanted to add that my inframmary incisions feel rather thick or raised, which I believe is normal at this stage as they felt this way with my 2nd surgery. The plan is to update at 1 month with photos. Hopefully by then all my strips will be off and you guys can better see how things are looking :)
1 month!! bras, incisions, steri strips/tape
Well I am 1month today!! :) each day I am feeling less and less tender/sore in my armpit area and all around my boobs. They are VERY soft and squishy :):) my areola steri strips came off first with some help of vitamin e oil and then my inframmary tape came off over this last weekend, I removed my strips down the center today and the incisions are very thin and neat! But they don't look as pretty as my areola incisions did. Still some scabing. I couldn't get really good pictures because they are covered in vitamin e oil but I at least wanted to share the progress. I did leave the strips off because I was in a rush this morning and I didn't think they would stick w the oil so tonight I will re apply some 3M tape to all of my incisions. I re applied 3M tape to my areolas and inframmary incisions that weren't ready to come back off and I was hoping to share everything without any tape but that didn't happen because they were on there good and I didn't want to tug.
I went to VS last night to return some workout leggings and they are having their semi annual sale, I bought a wireless bra in a 36D for $10.99! Good find and it's really comfy (only tried it on) I also bought a fruit of the loom bra at Walmart that I'm attaching a photo of, this one was $12.99. Very comfy stretchy fabric and no wires-for days I have on tops that won't work well w a sports bra!
I don't know that I have much else to update on at this point. I hope 2017 is off to a great start for everyone!!
My goodies arrived from Amazon!!!! :)
It's like Christmas at my house all over again! I love it when I order stuff online and my packages finally arrive in the mail! :)
I ordered the newgel CLEAR silicone scar sheets (5x6) after a suggestion and good results of another RS member and dr vath patient. I also ordered the 3M "kind removal" tape (again referred by the same helpful gal on here!)--attaching photos of both for others who may be interested or want to see a visual of what I received. I was just so excited it came that I HAD to do an update about it. Lol
On a side note the 3M "gentle paper" tape that I mentioned in my last update--the tape at first seemed sticky but like it wouldn't last long. I was wrong! It's like the longer I left it on, the more sticky it became! And would look like it wanted to come off when I got out of the shower, but when I went to remove them and re apply, they were VERY stuck. Almost looked as though it was "melting" into my skin. Perhaps not the case but I really did like this aspect of the surgery--wounds and worrying about aftercare or damaging anything/causing problems---who knows, just not my thing!! I guess I get over worried and sort of grossed out. But I also noticed areas that had red marks on my skin because of the tape. Then all day long even after applying lots of vitamin e oil to the area, I could feel my sports bra sticking to the adheasive throughout my day at work. I didn't like this. So I don't know if I will be using it any more?
I also replenished my protein powder that I posted in a previous post, this time I bought chocolate and vanilla. I've been mixing it in my ninja blender with a whole banana. Thought maybe I'd try it w the vanilla or even strawberries w the vanilla. I started this regimen because I was told it helps with wound healing and my hair also needs the protein! (Again thanks to mdlg55, she's a life saver!!) I'm hoping by drinking these shakes I can also manage my weight as I've gained about 15 lbs over the last 10ish months, about 5 of that being recently just before/after surgery.
Lastly I have my 1month phone follow up w dr vath this coming Tuesday! I'm looking forward to that! I think this time I will have my husband snap some photos for me (to send to dr vath prior to my apt) so they aren't distorted in any way from taking a selfie ;-) if I'm able to do that I will add the photos here for you guys too! I'm also going to ask for a copy of my chart for two reasons. 1: I am a very curious person and I'm intrigued to read dr vaths nots re: surgery and the details of what he did. And 2: I want a copy of my before photos that the nurse took. You could see the ugly fullness my breasts had in the upper pole from the UHP implants making them look so STUCK on!
Ok all for now!! :):)
I had my 1month phone follow up w dr vath yesterday. He is so friendly! He said everything is lookin great and said that my body heals really well that I wouldn't even have to use any form of scar therapy if I don't want to, but if I thought I was missing out on something I was ok to start anything now-creams/gels/silicone sheets. He said I am also free to work out without any restrictions. I asked about bras and told him my post op bra was most comfortable and he said they would mail me another one :) I asked what now as for future follow ups and he said my next one wouldn't be until I was 6 months but at the end of our conversation he made it very clear that no matter what he is always here for me to talk to and that all calla usually get routed to the nurses first but if I want to speak to him that I can ask for him at any time. This was nice to hear, he's such a nice person.
In the beginning my left areola was a little puffy and cone shaped after removing the steri strips and stayed this way for a little while, but I am happy to report that it has since flattened out! :)
My only concern at this point is my breasts do look a little different, I'm not sure if it's due to the 50cc difference or areola placement, however dr vath said this could be easily corrected at any time in the future at no cost. I am considering a tummy tuck with dr vath around June this year, and if I do so, I will be having him exchange one of my implants so that they are both the same size and if at that time my areolas are still a bit uneven I will have him correct that also.
The video I am attaching is for you to see how my incisions are healing so far at one month! :)
I just read someone's review where she stated that her pictures from RS were showing up on a porn site!! I'm not sure how one would find the porn site to begin with... but it immediately scared the crap out of me and I wanted to take all my pictures down (I still want to). I've had creepers in the past and would hate to take down my pictures because they are helpful for others and I also feel like they help in making our reviews seem more real and valid...for me anyway, when I come across a review that someone only posted once or a few times and there are no photos I question the integrity of the review and whether or not it's legit. Just not a settling feeling to know my photos could possibly be used for purposes they weren't intended for. :-/
Sorry for such a "Debbie downer update" I don't mean for it to come across that way!
Before and after Comparison
I've been trying to show a before and after collage to compare my progress but it keeps telling me that my photo size is too large.. hoping that it works this time!
Before: 700cc UHP allergan natrelle (style 45)
13.6 diameter 6.4 projection.
After: 550cc mentor HP
13.6 diameter 5.5 projection
9 weeks post op
Everything is healing well! Not much in change to report. My left breast has started to ache again as it did before surgery.. the pulling sensation from nipple to fold is GONE! Thank god.. as is the tightness feeling along my lower fold (felt like it was contracting up) it's not daily, and it comes and goes. I'm not sure what the cause is, but I'm going to ask my dr next time we speak to see if he has any suggestions. At times I get these muscle spasms on the left side near my armpit.
Aside from the above, I love my surgeon and his work. I definitely made the right choice in choosing him! Capsules seem to be healing well, they are still soft! Incisions are doing well! I'm fitting into a 36D right now. Not much else to report :)
3 month update (12 weeks)
28 Feb 2017
2 months post
From a suggestion from a fellow RS lady I'm doing an update. I've been so dang busy that I haven't really spent a whole lot of time on RS, I lurk in the background and periodically check in on my private messages, see who's commented on what but don't really ever click the "REALSELF" logo on the top left corner to see who's updated, I often forget or don't see anything that's new (or it appears to be older) and skip by so I do apologize if I've been a little MIA or short with anyone-definitely not my intentions. I've also been doing some extensive research on a TT. So I've been pretty consumed with that, lol..it's a whole other ball game and definitely not like breast surgery that I'm so familiar with.
I have been healing well!! Not too much physical or visual changes to report although I know my capsules are still healing and other things are still running their course. I was talking to Mdlg55 about my scars and I haven't been keeping up much with any scar therapy. I'm too busy (and lazy) to put forth the effort but I have noticed within the last couple weeks my scars have appeared a little more "angry". What I mean by this is some days they are much more of a darker shade of red or dark dark pink. Some days they look worse than others but from what I've learned recently this is a normal part of the scar process. It does worry me a bit but I really have been trying not to focus on anything negative or bothersome with the appearance this time around as everything will run its course in due time most of which is out of my control. That being said though I do think I need to "step up my game" when it comes to my scars because I know I will beat myself up in the long term if I don't end up pleased with them. I've noticed some spots on my right side that appear more "stretched out" on my vertical incision as well as a little puffy in the crease where my surgeon must have brought up my old ugly scar. It's harder to see in photos than in real life but I'm sharing some updated photos that I took just this morning :)
Oh one more thing, I have these "indents" on my left breast (which has been my problem breast since 2nd surgery) that I noticed from my second surgery. The appearance isn't so much bothersome but it sort of feels like it's being tugged on. I'm not sure if this area needs muscle separation or what the case may be but I emailed photos to my patient counselor last night to see if she could run it past dr vath to see if he thinks it's worth while to operate on and see if anything would need a slight release near that area. Possibly scar build up from the armpit incision from my first surgery? I'm just throwing thoughts out there as I'm totally unsure what this is or if it's the cause of the muscle tension I'm feeling. I hoped it would go away w the capsule removal but it hasn't. Maybe not as bad as it was in the past, but still there.
I hope everyone else is doing well! Sorry that I don't have anything fun or overly exciting to share with you all :-P hopefully I didn't miss anything else in this update!
Decided I should do an update...
17 Mar 2017
3 months post
I decided to do an update to express some recent frustrations or concerns.. or perhaps some random emotional nonsense! I woke up a few days ago and as I was getting ready to hop in the shower I took a peek in the mirror to "analyze" my boobs. I don't do this frequently, I'll occasionally only glanced at them in the mirror but only from time to time do I really study them. When looking at them I noticed my right breast appeared to look more.. droopy at the bottom. I guess this side has always had a little bit more skin/tissue in the fold on that side I think was lowered more than the other side or was naturally lower to begin with. But in looking at them further I realized that it didn't look as round on the bottom and side boob area as it has in the past or as the left side does. After looking at them both more closely they just both looked really petite on my frame, like not quite wide enough for my rib cage or my broad shoulders. There's definitely plenty projection, but for the very first time since my most recent breast surgery, I hated the way my breasts looked! As I looked down at them in the shower they also appeared to be pretty narrow and to me didn't seem as though they filled out to my sides (side boob). Don't get me wrong I don't want boobs in my armpits!! But it was really bothering me that the sides of my rib area extended out past where my boob actually started. I have broad shoulders, a wide rib cage and pretty wide breast naturally. I don't know what has happened that I all of a sudden feel that they are much too small for my frame or if it's one of those random times where you look in the mirror and just don't like your boobs and then the next week you do ?!
In addition to my right side looking like it's lost the benefits of the anchor lift and not having that nice pretty round lower pole and round side, and the narrow/petite look my left side has been bothering me the last couple days. Where it gets sore and tender and aches. I was so hopeful that this would go away w my surgery, and it has a little bit, but at times is back. I've just gotten my monthly present and I'm beginning to wonder if that has a role to play in it. I'm going to continue to monitor it more closely and see if there is any correlation. Today at work I had to take my bra off at my desk!! And the whole time I was wishing I had a light Hanes bra or my fruit of the loom bra to have some sort of support! Because my right side felt as though it was just going to fall right out, as if it weren't supported at all. I hope I'm not being overly paranoid about my capsule thickening on the left side or my right side possibly starting to bottom out or the inframammary crease becoming weak!!
After a couple of days of feeling down about them (and not lookin at them in the mirror or taking pictures!!) I said something to my husband about it. He didn't see it at first but after pointing it out and studying them for a few seconds he admitted that he saw what I saw. I'm trying not to let myself get wrapped up in it and let it get the best of me. But I truly hope I'm just having a moment. I'm not posting any pictures because as much as I appreciate everyone's kind support, I know everyone will say they don't see it or that I look great and I know this sounds bad, but I don't think I can handle that right now because I know I see a concern and I know what I feel. Not to mention they probably look worse in person as opposed to trying to take a bunch of photos to *hopefully* capture what I'm seeing.
Update! About 6 months post.
17 Jun 2017
6 months post
Hello!! I've been mia for a while and wanted to give you guys an update about what's been going on. In my last update I was concerned about my right breast "losing the effects of the anchor lift". As more time passed the shape changed more and more resulting in an oddly shaped breast. Come to find out I had developed slight CC in my right breast. I just underwent a revision of my breasts. My left was swapped out from a 500cc hp to a 550hp to match the right side, my right capsule was removed and replaced with a new 550hp implant (new 550cc mentor HP on both sides) and dr vath did a slight revision on my right side by removing a little excess skin on the lower pole. I couldn't be more happy at this point, the shape looks 100% better (not that they looked bad before, but the capsule tightening made my right side looo wonky) I absolutely love dr vath, he is so kind, sweet, compassionate and truly the best surgeon in my opinion. I think it is so hard to come by a plastic surgeon who is so empathetic and wants his patients 100% happy. Very genuine! I was sooooo nervous going into this surgery (I'll get to more of that below) and he was so comforting and reasuring.
I had also decided I was ready to take the plunge to get my much wanted tummy tuck with lipo to the hips. So I underwent my slight revision along with my TT, muscle repair and hip lipo all at the same time. I was SOOOO nervous for this surgery. Again, dr vath was so comforting and I seriously could not have picked a better surgeon for this, his work is beautiful. Right now I am very swollen and bruised from the lipo, but so far I am a happy camper. In fact he told me that while on the operating room table my tummy tuck was the best he's ever seen! So I am estatic to see my results. I had my small revision and TT on wednesday 6/14. Yesterday was ROUGH and today I am feeling MUCH better. Able to walk a little better and I was able to get out of bed by myself, which is a huge milestone for me! I've had my moments of getting super dizzy, sweaty and wanting to faint so I will be holding off on pictures for now, but will share later :) I just wanted to share the exciting news with everyone since I kept most of it under wraps for a while.
I also want to add that in addition absolutely adoring dr vath, I love the anesthesiologist.. tall slender man ( I had him last time) he is so comforting and kind also, and my post op nurse in recovery is the sweetest nurse ever!! I had her both times and I absolutely adore her also, her name is crystal. And of course my patient counselor Kari! Love love love the care I have gotten from these guys! I just wish I had found them in the beginning.
Stay tuned for further updates as I heal :)
Day 6: update on TT!
20 Jun 2017
6 months post
Ok so I need to update on some things that are driving me nuts!
I get winded easily. I've been pretty mobile around the house but I get exhausted quickly. Laughing HURTS, I coughed and that was torture!..I cried!
Back pain!!! HOLY HELL!! I borrowed my grandmas wheeled walker with a seat for around the house. I don't use it ALL the time, but it helps take some of the strain off my lower back which seems to be where most of my pain is at this point. I took a shower earlier and I about died! I thought my back was going to give out!! So now I will be borrowing my grandmothers shower chair so I can sit while I shower, and have a comfortable shower to make sure I'm cleansing myself to my liking.
Most of my pain at this point is in my lower back when I'm up moving around. Yesterday (day 5) I cut back to taking only half of a pain pill w a muscle relaxer and I took that twice. Today (day 6) I knew I had to venture out so I have taken 1 full Percocet and 1 muscle relaxer for the whole day.
Lastly at the recommendation of my dear friend Mdlg5, I purchased Kashi go lean cereal (w the red box) and this has helped w constipation almost IMMEDIATELY.. I highly recommend this to everyone undergoing surgery!!
I think that's it for now. I still plan to update with photos... but when I take my binder off it feels like my stomach is falling out and I'd like to have my husband get some good angles so things don't look wonky....so stay tuned for photos later :)
1 week post TT and breast revision
21 Jun 2017
6 months post
So I believe I stated that I needed a revision on my right breast, I was medicated so I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look back LOL.
My right capsule had thickened causing my breast to change shape so I had the capsule removed along with a new implant placed in, and decided to have both implants exchanged for 550cc to match in size.
To remind everyone: I also had hip lipo and a TT at the same time. I am adding a couple photo collages to show my before and after. The swelling is worse on my right side and of course I'm swollen in my upper tummy area causing a strange "butt" indent. But I am slowing seeing the swelling go down, especially in my lower back and "back fat" area near my bra strap. My breasts are pretty in my opinion. A little swelling on the side that needed the capsule removed but so far I think I'm doing great. And off all pain meds.
I was going to wait to die an update but wanted to share photos. I have a phone follow up w dr vath tomorrow and I e already sent photos and questions. Perhaps I'll update again after talking with him, otherwise I'll wait a bit to show a significant change in progress :). Oh and my lower back is still killing me, I can't stand/walk for long. Lol
2 week update on TT:
28 Jun 2017
6 months post
I know updates without photos aren't any fun. But the honest truth is that I would prefer to put up photos for the exact day PO I am, and I am so tired that I don't feel like undoing my contraption to take photos. I know this sounds terrible!
While traveling for my surgery we began with some family fun, had surgery mid trip and stayed a while after because I wasn't sure I'd be ready to fly back too soon. The first week is kind a complete blur. Foggy periods of not remembering much so I wanted to update with additional information:
For my breasts I previously had 500(L) and 550(R) mentor smooth HP. Decided to change them both out for 550hp since I was needing a revision of my right breast which started becoming distorted in march. He removed the capsule and removed a little excess skin at the bottom to address a little assumetry because that side the fold is lower and had slightly more tissue. I love my breasts so I won't say much about them, the healing has been a breeze with no pain whatsoever. I asked for a prescription of singuliar to hopefully prevent my capsule from thickening again causing the distortion it was previously causing. My dr didn't offer this up, it was me on my own research and I thought "what's he harm" I don't want to have surgery on these things again. My scars are healing pretty nicely at 6 months post BL for not keeping up on scar management.
For my tummy, I had hip lipo and a full drainless TT. I asked for a copy of my before photos and operative notes, but I'm waiting on that. I asked my dr and he said that 550cc was sucked out of each side, which does include the fluid that's put in while sucking out the fat (not sure what that is? Saline maybe?) but that it was roughly 350/400cc of fat sucked from each side which is about the size of an average sized implant on each hip! I thought that was pretty cool and can't wait to see the results from that!
My right side was way more swollen at first and very bruised. It still is the more swollen side of the two and when I swell up that side seems to swell more. I get very nervous that I have a seroma or something serious. But I've texted photos and the nurses have said everything is normal.
I returned back to work Monday, at 12 days PO w a 6 hour shift and the last two have been full shifts. Half way through my shift I am just exhausted. I sit all day and am trying to drink lots of water so that helps to get up and pee and get more water so I can move around a bit. But I just feel like I want to nap and can't, and it's hard to focus. Kinda wishing I had taken this week off even though I know it probably wasn't necessary. I'm still walking slightly hunched over and using a shower chair in the shower. The binder for compression sucks, it's kinda hard to dress over it and I feel my wardrobe is limited. But for now I am wearing a think tank with my binder over the top w my underwear pulled over everything, it's a bit ridiculous lol.
Starting to get a little stir crazy, even though I can't do anything around the house I really want to be able to do laundry or go to the freaking gym, and I can't. Lol. SOON THOUGH :)
Oh and I have the cutest new little inny belly button. I saw that the other day for the first time :)
Other than feeling fatigued I simply adore my dr. He is seriously the kindest, sweetest, honest and most humble human I have ever met. A lot of surgeons are greedy money hungry jerks. And once you have your surgery your left to fend for yourself. Not with dr vath. I honestly think he cares about his reputation but more so your wellbeing and happiness and Bizzarre results just aren't acceptable to him. I can't brag enough about this man!! Everyone has their own idea of what they find attractive and I truly believe that his work is always very neat and beautiful.
That's all I can think of for now. I just wanted to provide a little more detail and when it feeling up for it I'll get some more photos up for everyone, that are fresh and hot off the press. ;-)