I had my first consultation with Dr. Schlesinger 4...
I had my first consultation with Dr. Schlesinger 4 days ago. I am so excited and driving myself crazy trying to make up my mind about sizes. My idea of the ideal boobs for me has changed over the last couple weeks to embrace a fuller size. I am so used to having a flat chest that trying on 300 and 400 ccs in the office scared me at first! Now, days later... I am seeing a trend that I am getting used to the idea of being bigger and bigger sizes. I can see how I could be a candidate for boob greed post op. Haha.
I want a size that will compliment my figure and balance me out rather than steal the show or overwhelm. I am a yoga teacher, dancer, model, and NPC competitive athlete. So its very important to me to both get the look right, and be able to continue being highly active every day. I don't want to feel heavy or weighed down in the gym or on my yoga mat or dancing. But I am ready to have boobs for the first time in my life. The doctor says I have a mild case of Tuberous breasts. Sounds scary. But I feel confident in Dr. Schlesinger. I am so blessed to have found such an outstanding doctor who I have a really good feeling about right in my area on my first try. Thank you to RealSelf for that!
If any of you have an opinion about sizing, I am poling the audience. Please comment!
I am uploading some pictures. Some are before pictures of me at the office and wearing sizers 300 and 350. Another picture I "photo-shopped" my ideal boob size on top of a picture of my in a bra that is a size that I like. When I was in the office, the first size I tried on was 400ccs and It scared me it was so heavy! The thought of two pounds (one each boob) strapped to my chest while being such an active person as I am brought on fears of boob regret and feeling trapped and weighed down. But the doctor said that they wont feel nearly so awkward once theyre under the muscle and closer to my center of gravity and that they will lose about 15% perceived volume once theyre in as compared to out. I felt a little better with the 350. Still it hung like an awkward boulder in the try-on bra and had a very aesthetically displeasing saggy shape so it was really hard for me to tell if id like it or not. He only had moderate profile implants for sizing (I am going with Inspira high profile) so the 350 I tried on was actually 370 to try to mimic the amount of projection a HP 350 would have. I think I need to make the hour and a half drive to Kona to try on sizers again in the next couple weeks while I sort out the finances for the surgery. I'm even considering making an art project out of this and sculpting myself some boobs out of clay on a paper mache bust of me just to ease my mind! Im laughing at myself imagining bringing the clay boobs with me on the plane when I fly to his clinic in Honolulu to show him what size I want.
Another photoshopped "wish picture" of ideal size boobs on me
I did another version of the Ideal "wish picture" boobs on photoshop on top of a picture of me. This one is from the front view.
A third Photo-shopped "Wish Picture", Oblique View
Here is a third version of the ideal "wish picture" boobs on photoshop on top of a picture of me. This one is from the oblique view.
Pushed back the date. And going for SERI
So my boyfriend and I decided to put off the procedure until the first week of July. Darn! I was so looking forward to doing it this month. But that's ok. I can have patience. It will be worth it. I have more time now to get in really good condition both with my body composition and my health. I am prepping for a fitness competition later this year so this gives me more time to put on some more muscle before I slim down. And plenty time to recover from surgery before the competition.
I'm drinking fresh homemade green vegetable juice every morning, taking lots of supplements, doing yoga, running, and working out 5 days/wk, eating good, and working to reduce and better handle my stress to get my health in tip top shape so I can heal and recover easily and quickly from the surgery.
In other news, I'm having a hard time deciding on telling my mom and sister or not. I haven't told anyone but my boyfriend and my therapist. haha. I would love to have their support and blessing. But I don't know if i'll get it. For one thing, I think they would consider it a poor use of my hard earned money seeing as I don't make much and mom has had to help me out a few times in the past. For another, they are both total hippies and nature-mamas who might understand it as my choice... but secretly think that i've sold out to society's image of barbie as the ideal figure. I think for now I'll keep it to myself. And reconsider when I get closer to the date. I'll just do whatever feels right then.
After learning about SERI, (the internal bra).... I have decided i'm in love with the idea of some extra support for the added weight on my chest and the potential reduction of risk of migration complications and potential slowing down of the inevitable droop and sag with age process. I realize that its a rather new material and am curious about other's experience with it. I read that it "dissolves" after months. Where does it go? I would imagine that the body has to eliminate it somehow as a foreign substance. Does it go into the bloodstream to then be taken out by eliminative pathways? The Lymph and kidneys maybe? If so, would that put an extra load on them? How long would it take to eliminate? I just really like to understand the details about what's going on in my own body. It helps me feel comfortable and confident in the procedure.
Silicone Freakout, size change, and delay because of nipple piercing flare-up
Its been awhile since I last updated.
3 big things happened in the last three weeks that have affected my procedure.
1. I freaked out about the reality of silicone rupture statistics.
2. I changed my desired size back down again.
3. My nipple piercing got a tiny infection flare up.
Here is the letter I wrote to my doctor's office about my concerns about silicone and about my size change:
Whew, this last weekend was rough! I wonder if you or Dr. Schlesinger could give me some explanation and reassurance about this new info that has come to light for me. Last week I read through the pamphlet that Dr. Schlesinger sent home with me about the Allergan implants. There is some scary stuff in there that I wasn't aware of before! Like for example I looked at the rupture rates for these implants over 1-10 years and I was shocked. I had always heard/ thought it was 1-2% rupture rate for these things. But it jumps up to 10% by year 5 and 14% by year 10! Dr. S had said that these implants are lifetime devices unless you develop a problem. And I guess that's true. But I didn't realize the chance of rupturing being the problem was SO high! And I imagine it just gets higher every few years over 10. Its particularly of concern to me because of my highly active lifestyle. I do yoga, running, gym, contact improv dance, acroyoga, and aerial acrobatics suspended 5-15 feet in the air. So the chance of me slipping and falling or a partner slipping and hitting me during practice or performance are high. I haven't yet fallen on my chest that I can recall but its a possibility. That leads me to believe that the rupture rate risk percentage for me could be even higher than 10-13% in 5 years.
So that led me to search around to find out what can happen if a breast implant ruptures. I thought the new cohesive gel implants are much safer than the old leaky silicone implants because if you cut them open the gel doesn't go all over the place. But what I read in the pamphlet is that there were 3 cases of extracapsular implant rupture in the experiments (that means the the silicone can move outside the breast capsule) but no cases of migration to other areas of the body.
That doesn't save you from silicone/platinum/or other toxic and carcinogenic chemical toxicity or mold/fungal/bacterial infection (and resulting biotoxicity) though according to Dr. Susan Kolb, certified plastic surgeon and author of The Naked Truth about Breast Implants. I skimmed through her book and watched her lectures. She helps real women with real cases of implant rupture/failure and the resulting varied health issues from chemical toxicity and biotoxicity. When the implant ruptures, the skin is still exposed to the toxic ingredients in the silicone gel. These are the same toxic ingredients that were in the controversial old silicone implants that were taken off the market. (Im not so worried about the silicone rubber shell ingredients which she said are 100-1,000 times smaller levels of leaching toxins than the gel. The pamphlet calls this "gel bleed").
That wouldn't be so scary for me if there was a reliable way to detect "silent ruptures". Apparently an ultrasound or even an MRI cannot accurately detect all ruptures. So I could have a ruptured implant leaching chemicals that will be absorbed into my body and cause seemingly unrelated health issues down the road and not even know it.
According to Dr. Kolb there is also a risk of developing a mold/yeast/fungal/bacterial infection in the chest around the implant especially if you are exposed to mold like for example if you are sleeping on moldy mattress. That sounds a bit scary too seeing as we live in a mold-prone climate here in Hawaii and I live in a yurt with canvas walls.
So you can see why I haven't gotten much sleep at all the last few nights. Haha.
I was going to call you first thing this morning and ask about these things and probably cancel the operation and hope for my money back (I guess probably minus the deposit at this late date, right?). But yesterday Nick talked me down and I am feeling better about it between forming a game plan with him to minimize these risks, asking for reassurance/explanation from you guys, and resettling on the smaller size implant that I had originally wanted.
Here is my game plan:
- I can see that it will be really important for me to keep a sharp eye out for possible mold/fungal/bacterial infection and to do regular preventative cleanses to make my body a hostile environment for those nasties. I can feel good about that.
- Have regular ultrasounds and MRIs every couple/few years for peace of mind that if there is a rupture at least I have a pretty good chance at catching it that way even if its not 100% accurate.
- change out for new implants every 10 years to have a new unworn less-degraded implant shell with a lower percent risk of rupture. Also gives me a chance to update size as my breasts age.
Any information that you or the doctor can give me on these concerns and what I can do to prevent or minimize them (and what would happen and how we would treat them should they occur...) would be much appreciated.
As for the size issue... That was one of my key concerns because if I am going to take all this risk and gamble and get the implants... I want to really be in love with my new size and shape for it to be worth it! I think I got a case of boob greed pre-operationally haha! ..., which is great! Because I'd rather have it pre-op and get it out of the way than have it post-op, right?
So, the original size I wanted during my first consultation was 350 max. During my pre-op visit I bumped it up to 415 max. But I have reconsidered and feel that the smaller size is right for me because I am much more concerned with shape than volume and because of my active lifestyle. I want them to be small enough that they fit my new goal photos of nice cute perky boobies, but big enough that they avoid the "boob gap" or the "golf-ball-look" and can pull off a more full look with a pushup bra if I want. Last visit I told him full C or small D. But now im thinking full B or regular C. I'd like to show him my new goal pictures and see if he thinks going down a size bracket to 345-385 is right for me and will achieve the look without the boob gap (because my BWD is 12.5 which is larger than those implants). I've attached a photo montage I made to this email. The woman who is pictured the most and in the biggest picture is my pick for goal boobs. I would like mine to fit my figure the way hers fit in proportion to her figure.
Please let me know what Dr. Schlesinger says. I'll be landing in Honolulu on Thursday afternoon if he needs to see me again before the procedure for any reason.
Jenna wrote back to me and said that the implants are safe and there's a very low chance of it rupturing and to help me feel better about my active lifestyle she sent me this video of a car running over a silicone and a saline implant.
I guess the moral of the story is: stay away from sharp objects! Blunt force trauma is not a problem... but sharp force trauma is.
I also went down a size to 345-385 instead of 365-415.
I made some awesome photo montages on photoshop for this nice perky full B cup or C cup goal boobs. I thought I'd share them since not many people post this size as a goal. But I think its perfect and beautiful.
The last thing that happened has to do with my nipple piercing. At my pre-op appointment my doctor noticed that my nipple piercing had a small infection (like a little bubble on the skin) flare up. He gave me some muprocin antibiotic cream to put on it for 2 weeks until my surgery on July 6th. It didn't respond to the medicine and clear up. I think perhaps because I wasnt covering it with gauze or being as diligent as I should have been. These things happen all the time and im used to it just going away on its own. I called my doctor and told him it wasnt clearing up. He asked me to come in at 8pm on July 4th! Wow! He has some serious work ethic. Let me just take a moment to give my doctor mad props. If you are considering this procedure please please go to Dr. Schlesinger. He is absolutely the best. He was so good with me. We decided to push the date back to friday instead of wednesday and hope that a week is enough to heal my nipple. I am only staying here until the 10th! So I'm am REALLY crossing my fingers that it heals. I am going to take such good care of it! He offered to still do the procedure going through the armpit with a smaller size (like under 300) because my breasts are constricted (tuberous). But I wanted to cross my fingers and wait and do it right. He may have to go through the nipple and do a peri-areolar release and make some small incisions on the inside of the breast tissue behind the nipple to get the tissue to spread over the implant and accommodate the size.
Decided to skip the SERI
Oh I almost forgot,
I decided to skip the SERI. The doctor talked me out of it. I thought that it would be extra support for my active lifestyle to have an internal bra. But he showed me an inter-op video of him working on a woman who had SERI put in but due to her acrobatics in the bedroom, the little seri hammock caused her implant to flip and had to have a redo!!
And in other news.. I did finally tell my family about the procedure. Theyve all been very supportive. I had nothing to worry about! Those who matter dont mind. And those who mind dont matter!!
So I went to see the doctor on Thursday the 7th and he wants to go ahead and give my nipple a couple more weeks to heal. bummer! I flew out here for 10 days for nothing! oh well. Im trying to keep my chin up about it and be patient. He did say that as soon as it heals I just need to call him and im number 1 on his list. He said that he will make room for me on the schedule even if he has to do it at 5am or 11pm. wow! He also felt so bad about this complication even though its not his fault and its not my fault... so in order to "mollify" that, he offered to pay for me to stay overnight at the clinic when I fly back alone to finally get it done and to also foot the bill for a nurse if I need one. (because my boyfriend wont be able to go with me this time). wow! Just more proof that my doctor is awesome. His soul is pure gold. I feel so well taken care of. It would have been hard for me to come if he had not made that offer. But now I feel its going to happen and I'll be safe and cared for. Now I just need lots of patience. I have an appointment with him on July 19. But im hoping it heals before then.
One month post op
Wow. It's been a month already.
This month has gone by in a rush because I moved into a new house. (Very difficult to do freshly post-operation!)
Real quick, my stats:
27yrs, 5'7", 135lb, No Kids,
36A to C cup,
Inspira HP Silicone Smooth Round Unders Transaxilary
Final size: 365 ccs.
The surgery went easier than we thought it would! I was diagnosed with Tuberous breasts. We thought the Dr might have to go through my nipple and make some incisions on the inside of my breast tissue to "release" it and expand it to accommodate the implant because Tuberous breasts have constricted tissue.
It turns out that my Tuberous breasts were not caused by the usual "dent". I had a rare birth defect that caused my pectoralis muscle to insert into both the 5th and 6th rib instead of just the 5th rib. And the Dr said that a very paper thin layer of skin had formed inside my breast creating a False bottom and preventing it from developing.
So, he was able to go through the armpit like normal and no additional incisions were necessary. Yay! He had some extra pec cutting to do and then just wiped away the little layer of skin inside and made the pockets and popped the implants in.
I had to fly to Honolulu by myself for the surgery on July 29th and get a taxi to the surgery center. I was very nervous about having to navigate it all by myself.
Dr. Schlesinger felt really bad that I had come all the way there the first time for my July 6th anticipated surgery date with my boyfriend and had arranged to be there 10 days and then I got that little infection on my nipple that made it too great a risk to operate in the case that he did have to go through the nipple. It wasn't his fault. And it wasn't my fault. And we tried to get it to heal while I was there and he promised to fit me into his busy schedule if it did heal even if he had to operate at 11pm! (It ended up not healing until the day I arrived back home!) That's dedication. He really loves his work and deserves to take pride in being the best at his job and his art and in being the most quality of character. He can't help but care deeply about the satisfaction of his patients. In order to mollify his conscience about the whole unfortunate turn of events, he offered to pay for the cost of having me stay overnight at his surgery center with a skilled nurse and to hire a caretaker to pick me up and take me to my hotel and care for me night and day should I need to have the drains in longer. Wow! I took him up on the offer because my boyfriend couldn't come with me for the second go around.
I am SO glad I stayed overnight. That first night sucked! Nothing could have prepared me for the awful pain of that ace bandage cutting into my tender skin. It hurt to breathe. And I was so delirious that I couldn't understand when the nurse tried to explain to me that the reason no one would help me to the bathroom was because I had a catheter in. I have never had that before and didn't know they were going to do that before I went under. I was very confused and distressed. But the nurse was very good at her job and I felt safe that someone with presence of mind was taking care of every little thing.
When Dr Schlesinger came in the next day, he was just glowing with excitement to tell me about my anatomical anomaly and the good news. He said jokingly, "I am in love with your left boob." Haha. (That was the one that had the odd pec muscle). He announced that my drains could come out right now and I could fly home today! The caretaker he had hired for me drove me to the airport and it turns out I had rented a hotel for 2 days for nothing but I don't mind.. I was so happy that it went well. And ready to be home.
The first week or two I was growing steadily more worried that my right breast would not even up with my left. My left breast was dropping and fluffing a lot faster than my right. I emailed Jenna at the office about it and Dr Schlesinger called me directly that day and when we missed each other, he called again at 8pm trying to reach me! And then finally reached my boyfriend. Again, I am awestruck by the dedication I felt from him that is so often missing with other doctors. He assured me it's normal and nothing to worry about and that the ace bandage should do the trick.
I had to wear that awful ace bandage over my right breast and under my left. That was honestly the worst part about the whole surgery. I still have to wear it a month later. My right breast was centimeters higher than my left pre-op and so I am still worried that it may never even up. But I'm trying not to think like that and just keep the faith. Come on little right boob you can do it!
As far as size goes... I am SO glad I didn't go any bigger. I am one of the minority here on RealSelf who sometimes wishes she went smaller. Haha. I never once have wished I had gone bigger and I don't think I ever will. 365 is plenty for me! And some days it looks too heavy and pendulous to my eyes and I worry that I won't like the look once they "drop and fluff" because won't that make them look even more pendulous?
(Disclaimer: I've struggled with an eating disorder for most of my life so what I see in the mirror can be distorted.) But my boyfriend loves them. Haha.
Perhaps I will enjoy their size more once I get to go shopping for pretty things to wear and can fill out tops that I couldn't before! Sometimes I think is could have gone a bit smaller but then I think my breasts may have been too awkwardly far apart because they are naturally wide-set to begin with so I'm happy with the compromise.
I'm going to see Dr. Schlesinger again today for a follow up so we shall see what he says about my drop and fluff progress and maybe he can assuage my worries that my right boob may never even up with the left. (It happened that way to a friend of mine and she had to have a second operation to lower the right pocket to match the left. Eek!) Cross your fingers for me it's nothing to worry about and that they will turn out just fine! :)
Progress pictures soon to come once I get back to my computer. I have shots for a couple different dates this past month.