I'm in my early thirties and have yet to "learn to...
I'm in my early thirties and have yet to "learn to love" my breasts. I don't think it's gonna happen without some serious intervention. I've dreamed about a breast lift since I was in high school, and implants in more recent years. I've worked up the courage and I'm finally ready to take the plunge. I have my consultation with Dr. Burden on the 18th of January 2016.
Ever since I was 10, I've been self-concious about my breasts. They grew seemingly overnight, and weren't at all what I was expecting. Based on what I'd seen in the locker room at school, my peers' breasts--despite coming in all different sizes--were generally round and perky. Mine were shapeless and sagging from the beginning. I had what the youths call "pepperoni nipples." One breast was bigger than the other. The areola on the smaller breast was bigger than the one on the larger (of course). I was pointedly asked "What's wrong with your breasts?" and "Why do they look like that?" by other girls. I just knew something had gone terribly wrong during puberty. I was a tomboy who lived in sports bras and convinced myself that I had ruined my breasts by not supporting them with a proper bra. I held onto hope that they were still developing, but I was done and completely in denial. By the time I reached high school, I had gone from feeling self-concious to outright hating my breasts.
My breasts have gone through some changes over the years. After an injury and subsequent bout of depression in my early twenties, I gained 30 pounds in the span of about 3 months. I spent most of my twenties overweight. While I went from a B to a C cup, my breasts remained shapeless bags and the drooping only became more obvious. After going on hormonal birth control, they looked almost normal. Though painfully engorged, they had filled out and had volume on top. They were even perky! But after the first week on the pill, they deflated and drooped. Just a year later, I lost all the weight I had gained and they deflated even more. Stretch marks from puberty and rapid weight gain are now puckered and accentuated by loose skin.
My breasts honestly make me sad, and I know they're a turn off to other people. My last partner wouldn't take my bra off anymore after the first time we were together, and he ignored and avoided my breasts when I did. Taking my top off requires a lot of courage, and that was a huge blow. I don't feel feminine or sexy. I've become avoidant of intimate relationships because as soon as my bra comes off, all of my confidence comes off with it. Even around other women, I feel uncomfortable and try to change as quickly as possible in locker rooms. It feels ridiculous as an adult to be ashamed of being topless, but the looks and comments my breasts receive only confirm what I feel.
I see a lot of "I want bigger boobs" and "Going from A to DDs!" here. I just wish mine looked "normal." Size was never really the issue for me until recently. While sagging is my main concern, my breasts are smaller now at 30 than they were when I was a preteen (despite being the same weight!). I'm not even sure what my accurate bra size is anymore because it's so difficult to measure. I've been measured as a 30C, 32B, and 34A, and nothing ever fits quite right. Bras are either too constricting or there's gaping at the top where I have no upper pole volume. The fact that one breast is smaller than the other doesn't help. I'll wear a padded pushup bra if I need to fill out a dress (I'm pear-shaped), but otherwise, I'm most comfortable in bralettes and sports bras.
I do want SOME volume, but I also I want a natural-looking slope. I really dislike the high-profile, super round, bolted-on look. I can't see anything larger than a full B cup looking natural on my frame. I want to still be able to fit into my old clothes. I'm really struggling with wish pics because my ideal size is pretty modest. Honestly, a lot of RealSelf users' before photos are my goal breasts!
I didn't mean to write a novel, but getting this all out has been pretty cathartic. I'm excited and looking forward to my consultation and getting a clearer picture of what my options are.
Finally found a few reference photos of my ideal shape. Consultation is tomorrow (not sure why I put the 18th) and I'm starting to get nervous!
I had my consultation this afternoon. A friend who had a breast augmentation advised me to go in expecting to be thrown for a loop, and she wasn't too far off. I came in with one expectation (a breast lift with anatomical implants) and left with a pretty different one, but I'm still satisfied with the plan.
Dr. Burden noted that I was in borderline need of a breast lift, but suggested that I hold off and see how satisfied I am with a breast augmentation first. I'd honestly prefer to wait and see as the invasiveness of a lift and the scarring (I tend to scar badly as it is) is what put me off of it so long in the first place. Dr. Burden suggested round, moderate profile silicone implants in the range of 350-370ccs. I'm still undecided on size and am concerned about going too big/looking proportionate.
Dr. Burden and the staff at Destin Plastic Surgery made me feel at ease and answered all of my questions (the ones I could remember!). I had already made up my mind about getting the surgery before I walked in the door, but I felt even more assured about my decision after the consultation.
I went ahead and booked my surgery for March 4th because my schedule for February is going to be fairly hectic. I hate waiting, but at least it'll give me time to hoard some leave and get in as many workouts as possible before I won't be able to do anything for six weeks! I'm excited, but it all still feels a little unreal.
On the Other Side (Day 1 Post Op)
4 Mar 2016
Day of treatment
Sorry for the lack of updates! February went by so quickly, and the first week of March went by even faster. I had my procedure today and it went much better than I anticipated. I'm relaxing at home now and feel pretty good, all things considered.
I got maybe an hour of sleep last night (noisy new neighbors, not nerves), and I feel like it was almost a blessing in disguise because I was too tired to be really anxious. I was contacted the day before and told that my surgery had been pushed from 10 AM to 7:45 AM, so my friend and I set out to Destin early this morning. I checked in and was taken to the back to put on my gown and garments, provide a urine sample, take my vitals, and get my IV. I don't remember what they put in the IV, but I was pretty woozy afterwards. My friend was allowed to come sit with me, and chatting with her while I waited made me feel more relaxed/put my mind off surgery. Dr. Burden, the nurses, anesthesiologist, and other staff (wish I could remember names!) were all great and made me feel really comfortable. By the time I was wheeled to surgery (it ended up being 10 AM after all), I felt no anxiety at all.
I have no recollection at all of what happened after they wheeled me to surgery. The next thing I remember was hearing my friend and one of the nurses discussing my aftercare. As I slowly came to, I felt like somebody was sitting on my chest, and my arms felt heavy and hard to move. Other than that, I felt much better than I was expecting. I didn't have any nausea or dry mouth, and I felt alert. The nurse gave me some more painkillers and my pain went from a 4-5 to a 2 in just a few minutes. I wouldn't even describe it as pain, more like intense pressure.
My friend and I drove back to Pensacola, and by the time we got home, I felt very little pain. Just some soreness where I have bruising and a slight burning sensation at the incision sites. My nipples are extremely sensitive, and brushing up against anything is the worst! I took a Percocet, ate lunch, and am about to try to take a nap. I look really bloated right now and took a stool softener just in case. I hope that if I stay on top of my pain, my recovery won't be so bad.
I ended up going with Natrelle 421cc (right) and 397cc (left) silicone-filled implants. I was so worried about going too big, and even swollen like crazy post-op, I'm happy with the size. The shape not so much, lol. I'm really eager to see what they'll look like when they drop. Hopefully I won't need a lift.
Day 2 Post Op
I keep hearing that the second day of recovery is supposed to be the worst, and it hasn't been too bad so far. Ignoring the fact that my upstairs neighbors threw a party last night that didn’t end until about 4 AM this morning, I had a pretty decent night. I slept for about 4 hours, woke up just in time for a pain pill, and slept another 4 hours. I've been napping throughout the day. My pain was still at a 2 when I woke up this morning, but it went up to a 3 for about an hour later on. I have more soreness and tenderness immediately below my collar bone and around the bruised areas than yesterday (I had to ice my ribs for a couple of minutes earlier, which helped a lot), and I still have some infrequent mild burning around the incision sites. I forgot to mention that when I woke up from surgery yesterday, the pain I was feeling was largely in my back and shoulders. They were SO tight and tensed up, I had to actually concentrate on relaxing them (if I didn’t, they would seize back up again). While it's not on that level at all anymore, the majority of my pain is still in my upper back, which I've been treating with a heating pad.
I feel very slow moving around today. Either the painkillers I got at the surgery center were really strong or I overexerted myself. I don't have as much mobility in my arms as I did yesterday, and it was a struggle getting up and down last night (I’ve been resting upright on my sofa's chaise sectional and had to figure out how to swing my legs around and shimmy off). I’m doing arm exercises and can lift them out straight, but not much higher. I have a lot more mobility in my left arm, but I’m right-handed and don’t have much coordination in it. I have very little in my right arm and it’s painful to do any light lifting or pulling. Just brushing my teeth, washing my face, and making myself breakfast felt a little challenging. I'm assuming that side is more sore because the implant is larger. It's also more swollen in my right upper chest area, and I can feel and hear fluid sloshing around, which is a little disconcerting, lol.
Day 3 Post Op
I was able to get some more sleep last night, but not before calling the cops to break up my neighbors’ third consecutive late night/early morning house party. :\ I’m starting to wonder if I’m ever going to get to sleep more more than 2-4 hours at a time, but that’s a whole different topic. Woke up with a headache this morning that has gradually been getting worse, but I feel better than yesterday. My pain is still at a 2, and I’m going to start phasing the Percocet out today. TMI, but I finally pooped. I’m so bloated that I look like somebody blew me up like a balloon. I’ve gained 10lbs (!!!) since the morning of surgery according to my bathroom scale.
I’ve regained some mobility in arms and am able to lift them over my head without too much discomfort or strain. I finally got to wash my hair, which was the highlight of my weekend, lol.
I know I said I wasn’t going to look too hard at my results this week, but my right breast looks even worse now compared to immediately post-op. Hopefully it changes for the better, but it seems to be doing the opposite. My entire body looks puffy, swollen, distorted, and generally ridiculous right now, so I’m really, really trying not to get too discouraged.
Day 4 Post Op
I'm officially off the Percocet and just taking Tylenol. If that's what was giving me the headache yesterday, I'm not touching it again. The pain was so huge, all I could do was sit in the dark try not to cry. Any lights and sounds were unbearable. The pain from my surgery was a 0 in comparison.
Today my pain is at a 1. I'm more uncomfortable than anything. I'm still really swollen, and my upper chest feels huge and tight. I removed my dressing today and the incisions look fine. I got out and got some fresh air for a little bit this afternoon and am feeling a lot better. Breasts still look misshapen and ridiculous.
I feel much better physically today, but emotionally really low. I spent most of my shower this morning crying because I can't stand to look at myself anymore. I feel uglier than ever, and so vain and stupid for having this done. I knew I wasn't going to get a great result with such a bad canvas to start out with, and kept reassuring myself that "they can't look any worse than they do now/pre-op," but they do look worse. It's bad enough that I'm so bloated right now that I look like the Michelin Man (I don't even have a waist anymore and my clothes don't fit), but I also have these huge, hard, high mounds sitting inches above my natural breasts. Instead of dropping, they're just getting higher--I feel like I'm going to wake up tomorrow with them literally in my neck. I KNOW they're supposed to look high and unnatural right now, but I've been looking at other peoples' week 1 post-op results, and none of their results look anything like mine. My breast profile is basically deformed. I don't know if I should even post this update. For all I know, I have ridiculous expectations and they could look fine next week. But every day I feel the panic that I made a terrible decision creeping up a little more.
I'm feeling much better today, both physically and emotionally. I'm not sure why I was so sad and weepy yesterday. I'm still not in love with my results, but I'm determined to give them time. I realize I probably have a long wait ahead for them to drop. I started doing the massages two days ago and am trying to stay on top of them. I'm totally off painkillers and feel up to doing some grocery shopping later on today (as soon as the morning boob subsides). I've been having regular BMs but am still looking and feeling pretty bloated. I have a lot more range of motion in my arms. My incisions are looking really good and I don't think they're going to scar too badly. I can't wait to start shaving and using antiperspirant again, though. :P
Almost a week
I can't believe it will officially be a week post-op tomorrow! It feels like it was yesterday. I was supposed to go back to work today, but I have my post-op appointment tomorrow and I decided to go ahead and just take the entire week off. I definitely wouldn't have had a problem going back today, though. There were times yesterday where I almost felt 100% and even forgot I had implants (granted very briefly)! I was out and about and running a lot of errands throughout the day and only really started to tire out in the evening. As for driving, the seatbelt was a little uncomfortable at first, but my only real struggle was making sharp/hard turns. I feel like being as independent as possible and staying active has really helped my recovery. I had 0 pain yesterday, with the exception of a few fleeting muscle spasms in my chest and some achiness in my arms.
Bra shopping was a little frustrating (when is it not, though?). It has always been a struggle to find bras in physical stores with 32" bands, but I think it's going to be even harder now with the added projection. I needed something soft and unstructured for modesty for work, so I could get away with buying something with a letter size, but I have a feeling I'm still going to be living in bralettes and sports bras after this. It seems like I'm going to have to wait a few months until I find out what my new bra size is anyway.
I'm officially one week post-op and feeling great! I had my post-op appointment with Dr. Burden's nurse Joan this morning and she said everything looks good. She showed me the correct massage technique (mine wasn't nearly aggressive enough lol) and assigned me some more range of motion stretches/exercises. Every day I feel more mobility and strength returning to my arms. I don't know if it's different for other incision types, but transaxillary really does a number on your muscles.
What's the opposite of "boob greed?" I know I mentioned in a previous post that I was happy with the size, but now I'm having some doubts. I was super bloated (though not quite as swollen) the first time I saw my new breasts, but now that the water weight is coming off and I'm starting to see my natural waist again, they look HUGE. Hopefully when they drop, they'll look a little more proportionate. I'm definitely going to have to get used to having big boobs now, lol. I'm happy to find that despite gaining possibly two (!) cup sizes, I can still fit into my old clothes. I have to admit that it's nice to be able to fill out some dresses I never could before.
While the initial pains from my surgery, I had three new one crop up yesterday evening that might be here to stay a while. The worst of it is sharp, persistent pain (3-4) in my sternum. It disappeared this morning and returned again this evening. My breasts are at the most swollen I've seen them. It's a little hard to take deep breaths.
I also had my first experience with nerve pain—really persistent zingers in the base of my left breast. I don't know if it was from doing more strenuous massaging or from wearing a bra for a good part of the day (I'm assuming, because they subsided almost immediately when I took it off and I haven't had them since). Coincidentally, I discovered a bottle of gabapentin in the bottom of my purse that I haven't touched since the morning of my surgery. I was supposed to continue taking them daily post-op, but completely forgot in my oxycodone haze and only took the first one (oops). Too late now!
I also have a patch of skin on the inside of my upper right arm that has started to burn constantly. At first I thought it was just chafing from rubbing up against my compression strap constantly, but when I inspected it, it doesn't appear irritated at all. When I touch it, the skin feels numb and tingly. I have nerve damage in one of my fingers and it's the same sensation. I hope it's nothing that serious.
Back To Work
My first day back at work was completely uneventful—thank goodness! Before I had my procedure, I was really anxious about returning. Would my boob job be super obvious? Would I still be in a lot of pain and have difficulty getting around? Fortunately those fears were unfounded. I work out of an aircraft hangar with a lot of extremely heavy doors, but I had no trouble with them. I think the only thing worth mentioning was that for once I couldn't wait to take my bra off when I got home! It's really good to be out of the house again.
Just a few notes: My nipples are still super sensitive and feel like they could cut glass (boo!). My breasts are finally starting to look a little softer (yay!). I'm not sure how I'm going to work out shaving because when I lift my arms above my head, the right armpit is completely taut and the left is a big dent with half of my left tit resting in it. I hope that's not going to be a permanent feature. :\ The irritating nerve pain in my arm persists, but the pain in my sternum only seems to be a nighttime thing.
3 Weeks Post-Op
Had my 3 weeks post-op appointment today. Not much has changed. My breasts feel softer, but they are still high and too large for my frame. Sternum pain at night is completely gone and I'm either getting used to the nerve pain in my right arm or it's diminished.
Big and fake
How do you tell your PS that you hate your results? Should I even bother (it's not like I'm going to get a refund or free revision, so what's the point)? I am not a confrontational or very assertive person, which is probably why the fears I expressed and my desires for smaller, more anatomical implants were dismissed and I ended up with big circus tits that don't match my body or personality. I was promised a C and ended up a DD. I guess I didn't do a very good job of conveying that I wanted to restore lost volume, not have bigger breasts than I started out with. And it's my own damn fault for not getting a second opinion.
I knew there would be emotional ups and downs, but I wasn't prepared for the severe depression. I didn't know I would be bursting into tears every morning. I didn't know I would be researching breast binding and explants. My self-esteem is the lowest it's been in a long time. I look frumpy, dumpy, and matronly in the few outfits I can still wear. I can't wear anything sleeveless without exposing my big grandma brassieres or the 5 o'clock shadow on my sideboob (because my tits are now in my armpits). I tried to convince myself that bigger breasts would even out my pear-shaped figure, but they're wider than my hips and I just look top-heavy and short-waisted. I've come to terms with the fact they're going to be comically high and look like torpedoes for a while, but there's nothing that can be done about the fact that they're too big except have them removed.
At least when my breasts were deflated, I could hide them in pretty bras and wear fashionable clothing and feel good about my body with my clothes on. Now I don't feel comfortable naked or clothed. I'm miserable thinking about how I'll never be able to be intimate with a man or even wear a tank top or bathing suit again until these things are gone, and that could be years from now.
I was prepared for the physical pain involved in a BA, but I was completely unprepared for the emotional pain. I have moved beyond disappointment. The gravity of the huge mistake I've made is setting in and it's devastating. I feel too embarrassed and ashamed to even request an explant. I wish some kind of counseling or support group was available. I don't know what to do anymore. If I can't keep my mind occupied with other things, I break down. I'm feeling very alone. My friends don't understand what's wrong and think I'm crazy. I'm sick of being told to be patient; no amount of patience is going to make my breasts smaller (am I supposed to wait for the implants to deflate on their own?). The softer they get, the larger they appear. I had to be talked into a C, and I certainly wasn't expecting to wake up a DD/E (had a nice long cry on the floor of a department store dressing room over that revelation). I look absurdly and cartoonishly top-heavy now, like a '90s era porn star or glamour model. My breasts don't match my personality, aesthetic, or active lifestyle. I have destroyed my body and my self-esteem. I wish I could say that I miss my old breasts, but I honestly don't. I just miss having a small chest. At this point, I wish mastectomy was an option.
What a nightmare
In addition to everything else, I've started experiencing pain again with my implants. They feel heavy and uncomfortable and I'm always aware of them--more aware of them than I was immediately post-surgery. I've started experiencing a pulling and burning sensation on both side, right around the edges of my rib cage. The implants were already too wide and bulging out on both sides from day one, but now it's even more pronounced. Last night when I lied down to go to sleep, I noticed that my implants were actually sliding down the sides of my rib cage! I can physically move them around and push them back up on my chest. I am horrified. What's even more horrifying is that my breasts are moving further and further away--practically pointing in different directions when I stand. I can't wait to get these things out of me.
Six Weeks Post-Op
Forgot to add photos. They are hard to look at. :/
3 Months Post Op
Lopsided bolt-ons with a growing refund gap. Just the look I was going for.
I should've known better
26 May 2016
2 months post
My next appointment is coming up in June, and my stomach is tied up in knots. I'm supposed to be taking pictures. Instead I'll be requesting an explant. My right breast shows no signs of improving. If anything, it's getting worse. I don't know if it's my imagination, but the crease looks like it's lowering. I'm terrifed that it's bottoming out. The night I first noticed it, I had horrible nightmares; pure body horror. I woke up crying. I've been doing that a lot lately. I hate looking at my breasts.
I'm always in pain. It's uncomfortable to sleep at night. My right breast has a constant burning and pulling sensation at the crease and outer edges. I'm sore when I wake up. Running is uncomfortable, and I can hear/feel fluid in my upper chest when I'm active. My implants are so heavy. I'm always surprised by how soft they are to the touch, because I feel like I'm lugging around two boulders on my chest.
I couldn't have asked for a more disappointing outcome. My results are heartbreaking and the opposite of what I wanted. My implants are too big. My breasts don't look natural. They're somehow too high and drooping at the same time. My right breast is deformed. My left armpit is collapsing. I can't wear a normal bra. I can't wear a normal bikini top. I can't wear a sleeveless top without exposing myself. I wasted so much money and time. And I have no one to blame but myself.
23 Aug 2016
5 months post
Not sure how many months out I am from surgery, but my right breast still looks botched, and my left armpit is still collapsing. There is a permanent crease on the bottom of my right breast. Now I'm starting to see really rippling on the sides. There is so much... Outwards? Horizontal? Projection, like the implants are WAY too wide for my ribcage/frame and extend beyond where they naturally should. There is nothing natural-looking about my breasts. I want to laugh when I look back at my consultation and remember my PS assuring me that they wouldn't be porn star boobs when I expressed concerns over the implants being too big for me. I was told to wait six months for them to "settle" before coming back to discuss revision/an explant. My PS wants to do a lift, but I hate these implants and I want them out!
I knew there were risks, but I wasn't prepared for the health problems that have started cropping up since getting implants. I wish I had known I wouldn't be able to do pushups or upper body exercises anymore. I wish I had known that I wouldn't be able to run without hearing a constant sloshing sound in my chest. I wish I had known I was going to be in pain all the time. I wish I had known that every night was going to be a struggle to sleep comfortably. I wish I had known that I wouldn't be able to find bras that fit. I wish I had known I was going to be stuck with ugly maternity and nursing bras. I wish I had known that after my surgery my body image and self-esteem were going to plummet. This was an expensive and emotionally painful learning experience.