11 Days post op and just like new...almost

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You may have figured out by my "nickname" PSEX...

You may have figured out by my "nickname" PSEX that I was married to a plastic surgeon for 20 years and I ran his office for 12. The rest of the time I supported him through a 7-year surgical residency. The reason I mention this is because that experience has given me a unique perspective on all plastic surgical procedures. Although things have changed a lot since I was involved so closely with the specialty, I have a lot of basic knowledge which makes me less nervous about my surgeries that I am undergoing next week.

Shortly after we were married in 1975 I was about 105 pounds and 5'3". I wore a 32B and I really was in good proportion for my body size. At that time several of my friends were having augs (what we always call a BA in the field) and I thought it would be fun to have big boobs. But, since I was student teaching and my ex was in his general surgery residency, we were just about completely broke. He sent me to a supervising surgeon who was in private practice and he offered to do the surgery for me for the cost of the implants which were $250 at the time. Who could turn that down? I really just thought of it as a great opportunity; a novelty; something fun to do. I had saline implants and after the surgery I was a 34C.

I'm not sure I was as thrilled as I thought I would be. Suddenly, all my sweaters and blouses were too tight. I was never one to flaunt my body so it seemed like kind of a waste.

Fast forward to 37 years later. I remained petite, even after gaining 60 pounds during pregnancy. I was back in my size 4 in three months. After we decided to split (I waited too long as it was) I not only lost my job at the ps office, I lost my dream home and I lost my dream life. I was not handling things well so a friend suggested I see a psychiatrist for my depression. The medication he prescribed really helped but I began to gain weight immediately, gaining about 30 pounds in about 6 months. That added to my depression a great deal. Within a few years, without my control over the operation of the practice, my ex announced he was forced to file bankruptcy. No more support payments. My son and I were on our own.

It took three years to get divorced because ex didn't know anything and all the practice paperwork was missing. It took 7 years and $55,000 (that I didn't have) to settle the division of the pension plan assets. I moved back to Colorado with my son to live with my mother until I got my feet back on the ground. She died 4 months later.

Eventually, I got a new teaching job and things started looking up. I met a new man and remarried. Yea! A great guy too. I stopped teaching and the lack of exercise caused me to gain even more weight. So I finally joined Weight Watchers and I have recently lost 16 pounds, with 30 more to go. But, I decided to get a jump start on a new self-image. I'm scheduled for the MM next week. I'm having my old implants removed. The doctor told me I have enough breast tissue so I don't need to replace them. I figure, after 37 years, I've been lucky to not have had any problems with the thin-walled saline implants so far. I'm also having the TT to get rid of my muffin tops and my skin that had started to sag over my C-section and appendectomy scars. I'm not doing it to lose weight. I'm just tired of my boobs entering a room before I do and I'd like to tuck in a blouse or top.

My husband is freaked out about the cost but I withdrew my teaching pension in order to pay for it. I can't say I'm excited particularly but I think I'll feel better when I'm healed and back on my feet.

I've been reading a lot of your postings and I have to say I'm sad for so many of you who are torturing yourselves over the size of your implants and your fear of post-op pain. I've had 2 face lifts, two upper eyelid surgeries, one lower lid surgery and a chin implant and I didn't have any bad experiences with any of them. Those of you who have had children (most of you since this is called Mommy Makeover) have nothing to fear. I think being in labor for 18 hours was about the most pain I've ever experienced in my life. As far as the size of the implant, consider my story. Things don't always stay the same. We gain weight and our lives and priorities change over the years.

One cute story from my old plastic surgery office manager days: We once did a BA on an 86-year-old woman. She had found a new man and wanted to look her best. She was so cute with her gray hair pulled back in a bun. She was in great health and recovered quickly and she loved her result. It's never too late to get a new lease on life.

Best wishes to all of you who are so nervous and confused. It's never as bad as you imagine. Relax and be confident in your decision. Round up your support group and let them help you physically and emotionally. It's not uncommon to experience depression 3-7 days following any surgery, regardless of how positive your surgery is.

I'll post more later if I have anything that maybe could help others.

Plastic surgeon ex

I failed to mention in my first post that I'm...

I failed to mention in my first post that I'm 62-years old and that I currently have a 36DD breast size. I will be happy to get back to 36C or even smaller. I just think my breasts at this size and my age and weight (152) makes me just look very heavy and matronly. I only had 225-250ccs implanted 37 years ago and I told the doctor I had saline implants. He said that wasn't possible since they didn't usually use saline until the uproar about silicone in the mid-90s. I'm anxious to see what he pulls out of there. According to my research, they used the saline in France in the very beginning. So, we'll see. I also forgot to mention that I'm going to have Juvederm in my lips. I'm excited about that.

So, I had my pre-op appointment three days ago and I was blown away by the "well-oiled machine" at Dr. Vath's office. For one, the office that my ex and I practiced in could have fit in his waiting room and there must have been 12 or more staff members working there. And, we had a surgical suite in the office and four employees; two nurses and one front office person besides me. I met with a nurse whose only job is to counsel pre-op patients, draw blood, take photos and answer questions post-op. I don't mean to suggest she doesn't have anything to do. This is one big operation (I mean the practice) and I'm sure she has her hands full. She told me what to expect post-op and she took my pictures. I have different questions than most because of my previous experience, such as what kind of suture material is being used and drain placement. Fortunately, I don't need TT drains, which surprised me but since I'm having my implants removed and not replaced, there will be a cavity in my breasts so I'm having drains in my breasts that will help prevent an accumulation of blood and fluid. I'm ok with that. Another surprise to me was that I don't need to take post-op antibiotics. That's such a major deviation from my ps experience. We gave antibiotics for everything, regardless of how large or small the procedure. I'm definitely not commenting on whether or not that is a good decision. I have complete confidence in Dr. Vath and I need to realize things have changed a lot in technique and post-op care. They will be running an antibiotic drip during the surgery. The risk of infection is not as great as many think, especially if the patient recovers at home. I'm able to take a shower the day after surgery too, which I see is different from many others posting here. I've been instructed to refrain from taking any vitamin supplements or other herbal OTC "meds". Keep it simple, I guess. Sounds good to me. I'll be seen post-op by a PA. Will I ever see my doctor again?

Our bedroom is upstairs so I hope I don't have to maneuver them often. My husband spoils me anyway so I'm sure I can count on him to help me with anything I might need. I don't have any children at home so I'm good with that. I also had to chuckle when reading others' postings about Aunt Flow. I forgot about that. There are some good things about getting older: no more Aunt Flow to worry about. My husband's mother is going to be scheduling hip replacement surgery soon so I hope he won't have to go back to New York to help her for the first few days of my recovery. And, his daughter is pregnant with twins. She already has three little ones and my husband (Papa Jack) is her "go-to" when she needs help, which is more often, the closer she gets to delivery date: early November. But, you never know with those twins. I'm really quite independent and I've had so much surgery in the past, if he has to go, I'll be all right. I guess I'll just miss the special attention.

I wasn't going to post any photos but I find that part the most interesting part of this web site. If everyone else has the courage to do it, I guess I can too. What's always been weird about my body is that it looks almost exactly the same no matter what my weight is. By that I mean, when I gain weight, it is evenly distributed so my proportions stay very much the same. It's only been in the last few years that my skin has started to sag on my stomach.

Anyway, I'll post my photos soon and probably update my progress once before surgery on Oct. 3. Darn. I'm going to miss the Presidential debate that night.

Happy healing to those of you who are recent post-ops.

I'm going to add my pre-op photos in the next...

I'm going to add my pre-op photos in the next couple of days before my surgery on Oct. 3, but for now, I'm posting the photo that put me over the edge. My husband and I went to Vegas about two months ago so I went shopping for some new outfits before we left. I found this top that I thought was so cute and actually I thought it was flattering when I tried it on in the store. I will readily admit I'm in denial about my age and my weight too. I'm always freaked out when I see a picture of myself. Not so much because I think I look 62 but because I have a hard time dealing with looking so fat. I've been skinny for most of my adult life to the point of being frustrated over not being able to find clothes small enough. I never learned good eating habits because it didn't seem to matter what I ate, I never gained weight. But, as I explained in my original post, so many things happened in my life after my divorce, the weight just piled on. So, I see this picture and think I have to do something about this. Keep in mind, I'd already lost 16 pounds. To me all I see is boobs, boobs, boobs. Then I think I hope I don't have unrealistic expectations. Is the major surgery going to make me look that much different? I still have the top (which I still think is cute) so it will be interesting to see what it looks like when I have regular sized boobs and maybe a muffin top less. Will post me in the same top post-op.

I'm now updating my photos. These are my pre-op...

I'm now updating my photos. These are my pre-op photos. Not as clear as I would have liked by with the mirror I had to change all my camera settings. Again, total disgust with the reality of what I really look like. Well, I guess if I looked better, I wouldn't need the surgery!

I'm not nervous at all but I keep thinking of...

I'm not nervous at all but I keep thinking of things I should be prepared for. We have an SUV that I find hard to get in and out of because I'm short and my feet don't touch the ground from the seat so I have to pull myself in and jump out. I'm thinking that might be uncomfortable when my husband picks me up from surgery but then I remember I'll still probably be pretty numb. Or maybe he should just throw me in the back seat with pillows so I can lie down or sort of lie down. I probably won't remember anyway.

Here's an interesting tip. My ps ex used to tell me in the office when we were getting a patient ready to discharge, not to remark on her/his comments about pain. The medicines administered during surgery have an amnesiac effect and if someone reinforces the comments about pain,that is remembered by the patient. But, if the comments are ignored or invalidated, the patient will not remember having had pain. If it isn't remembered,it basically didn't occur. We had a patient who was screaming about pain when we wheeled her out in her wheelchair but the next day when she came in for post-op, I asked her if she experienced any pain and she said she didn't feel a thing. That may not be a comfort to many of you but I think amnesia is a good thing. So tell whoever picks you up not to remark on any complaints you may have or just to say "you're fine" or something else that doesn't reinforce the concept in your mind.

I'm not sure where I got the idea I wasn't going...

I'm not sure where I got the idea I wasn't going to have post-op antibiotics. I mentioned that in my second update post with great surprise. It's pretty much standard with all surgeries regardless of the magnitude. So, I'm looking over my post-op instructions and checking my meds, and lo and behold, I AM TAKING ANTIBIOTICS post-op. Where did I get that idea? Well, I'll be taking them for seven days after surgery. Maybe I'm more nervous than I'm willing to admit, even to myself. I've been cleaning house for three days and gardening in case we get a freeze while I'm confined to bed. Tomorrow I go grocery shopping for Tylenol and Dulcolax. What foods should I get? I usually eat Lean Cuisine but I think they have a lot of salt in them which will probably cause more swelling and bloating. I have such a sweet tooth, i'm thinking yogurt and pudding but i'm sure I need some protein. I'd love some suggestions.

My 28-year old son called to wish me well and asked if I'd be watching the debate the night of my surgery. We have political differences so he was just ribbing me a little. I expect to be pretty gorked out so even if I watch it i probably won't remember it. One time after a facelift I decided to watch Thelma and Louise. All I remember about the whole movie was them driving off the Grand Canyon. What was the rest of the movie about? Why would they drive off the edge of the Grand Canyon?

One more full day to go.

This is my last post before my surgery tomorrow...

This is my last post before my surgery tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. I'm not an early riser so I hope I'll just grog around until they stick the needle in my arm. I'm mostly excited about having Juvederm in my cupy doll lips. (Some of you youngsters won't know what a cupy doll is.) They are going to inject while I'm out which should be interesting since I'll have a breathing tube in my mouth. Sara is the name of the nurse/injector and I have complete confidence in her. She is adorable and she does this all day, every day. She knows what's she's doing. I think my husband will like that; he hasn't said anything about my floppy boobs and poochy tummy, just my lips. I wish I would be able to watch the debates. They are going on here in Denver and there is a lot of stuff going on. They are closing the main interstate for 5 hours during rush hour. OMG. I guess they both need a lot of security. My husband has been playing tennis on Wednesdays for years and since I'll be under anesthesia for 5 and a half hours, it didn't occur to me there would be any conflict with his tennis at noon. He just told me he found a substitute player so he could be with me. Well, I'll still be in the OR but I thought that was very sweet of him. I'll be back in a few days or so.

I just lost my extensive update so here' an...

I just lost my extensive update so here' an abbreviated on. Easy, professional pre-op Not much pain, really. Can't get a good sleep. just cat-naps. My implants which were implanted in 1975 turned out to be saline. But Dr. Vath didn't think that was possible since they didn't use saline much until the debacle in the 90s when they thought silicone implants cause a whole bunch of health issues. My blood-oxygen level was a little low so they sent me home with an oxygen tank. What a pain with all the tubes all over. Not much pain but I itch all over. Probably the meds which are opiate-based, I had Morphine with my C-section and that made me itch too.
Have drains in my boobs since we didn't replace the ones he took out there is room to accumulate blood/fluid. I even got to watch the debate I like my little boobies like they were in the good 'ol days Don't have a clue on my tummy because of the CG. My upper abdomen is sore under stress but not nearly what I expected. This post if full of typos but I'm not my laptop and I can't see very well without my contacts. So, for all of you (especially Blondie) who are yet to have your surgery, relax. It's quite manageable. Nothing to fear but fear itself. That's it for now. Time to try to take a nap. Love you all for your support. Oh, BTW, I told Dr. Vath that I thought there were about 12 of the Vath girls out there singing his praises. He really is the greatest.

I was mentioning that i had to be the oldest...

I was mentioning that i had to be the oldest Mommie Makeover patient. They said no, I'm referred to as the Grammy Makeover. Lots of us too I guess. Bye bye for now.

The last several days have been a blur. I thought...

The last several days have been a blur. I thought I felt pretty good the first few days but I think I was still pretty drugged up. My tummy feels just fine right now but my boobs are very sore. I am completely amazed at how great they look. Remember I had my implants taken out and Dr. Vath re-sculptured them with what was left. He said he took a lot of skin and tissue out, which is amazing that there was still enough to make really pretty ones of nice size. I would add photos but they are the most bruised you could possible imagine. Dr. V. said he's never seen anything like it. They are so dark purple they almost look black. It might scare some of you if you saw them. I'm getting some sunset hues now with the pink and yellow. Ha! I'm not worried at all. I might be if I didn't have so much faith in Dr. Vath. I'm hungry but nothing sounds good. I changed out of my post-op bra to a sports bra my husband took the wires out of. It's so much more comfortable. I think the other one shrunk in the wash because it felt so tight I had a hard time taking a deep breath. I had a lot of itching and Dr. V. recommended Benedryl which worked great but knocked me out. I seem to have lost my little bottle of Tylenol so I'm trying to transition off the Percocet. Showers are wonderful. I put makeup on too just to try to feel a little more normal. I see some of you have already put regular clothes on. I still have my boob drains in so that won't look too good under clothes and most of my pants are tight jeans and I'm nervous about trying to zip them up. I'll do it in good time. I'm not going anywhere anyway. I have the coolest lab mix dog who is the love of my life. She's really confused why we're not going on our walks and playing with the ball outside. She has been walking around the house whining. It's an incentive to get up and spend more time with her. I'll post more pictures when the purple/black goes away and that may take some time. Oh, almost forgot about the Juvederm. I'm going to need some more of that. I can't see any fullness in my lips at all. I'm going to have to save up for that though. I am totally broke now but every penny spent has been worth it. Just a great decision; better than I thought. If you live in the Denver area, go to Dr. Vath. He's just so amazing and exceptionally talented.

This site needs some tweaking. I'm tired of...

This site needs some tweaking. I'm tired of writing long descriptions and I hit the wrong key by mistake and there it goes. I've seen others have the same issue. I don't feel so well that I'm in the mood to re-do my whole entry. I'm ready to feel better. The last several days have been yucky. Have my post-op tomorrow. Hope to get boob drains out. They hurt. Trying to hook up with Aussie who is on this site. She is having her surgery at the same time as my appointment. Wouldn't that be cool to actually meet another patient? Been sleeping on my side a little and I can sit up without assistance. Weening off the serious drugs and on to Tylenol XS. I'm ready to resume my life but my body isn't playing along. More later.

Had my one week post-op today and it went great. I...

Had my one week post-op today and it went great. I got to see my favorite doctor, Dr. Vath. He is just such an "up" guy, it's a pleasure to see him and it's all sincere. Anyway, he took out my breast drains; what a relief. I had them in my breasts because he took out my old implants and it left a void where the implants used to be. They just started to rub on my sides under my arms and became a little sore. My tummy is great. It's not sore and I'm standing up completely straight with no pulling. My tummy is tight as can be but surely quite swollen still. It sounds crazy but I actually have fun going there. While sitting in the waiting room I struck up a conversation with another woman who was going to have some injections in her face. Long story short, I talked her into having a facelift. She looked great. especially for being 56 but she said she has spent so much money on injections over the years, she could have had a couple of facelifts by now. Well, I've had two, upper eyelids twice, lowers once and a chin implant. I told her there was really no down side especially if she went with an excellent surgeon like Dr. Vath. I keep teasing Vath that he needs to hire me. Anyway, it was a good experience. I don't need to see him for a month. I'll miss seeing all of them over there!

After I saw Dr. Vath last week and got those...

After I saw Dr. Vath last week and got those breast drain tubes out, I felt like a new person. He said I could substitute the CG for something like "Spanx" but I looked up some reviews on QVC and they were pretty much panned. Too expensive and not a lot of support. So I went to Kohl's yesterday with all my coupons in hand and found some "panties" made by Jockey. They aren't too restrictive, yet I feel the support. I changed to a sports bra with the wire taken out and that felt great too. So while I was at Kohl's I decided to check out some new jeans and I bought a pair in a smaller size, knowing I might just have to exchange them for my regular size but these days they put so much stretch in everything I think can squeeze my swollen tummy into them and let them stretch while I wear them. It was a real treat and I felt great. I got a top that doesn't pull over my boobs and not only does it look good, it feels good. I really feel just like normal. I wear out easily and my digestive system isn't behaving but that's probably because nothing sounds good to eat so I've stayed with yogurt and mushy food. What I really want in a guacamole bacon burger at Red Robin. Not going to happen. Anyway, I feel wonderful. I'm off all drugs and I feel absolutely pain-free in any position. Just sneezed...no pain. I hope the rest of you are recovering as well. If not, just wait a few days. Don't rush it. It's not worth it. You'll be back to new in no time. No, you'll be better than new in no time. Best wishes to all. I'm still waiting for the last of the breast bruising to go away and I'd like to take the steri-strips off before I post more photos. But, I will.

I started out by looking on the Internet and I was so impressed with Dr. Vath's post-op photos I just knew he would be great. In addition, I was impressed with his credentials, which are as good as they get. There were enough photos of so many surgeries, I was sure he was consistent in his results. Sometimes doctors only post the top 10 of 1000 surgeries and it's hard to tell if the patients are likely to get similar results. Do a ton of research before you decide. Chose a highly qualified surgeon with the right training.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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