Arm Lift / Breast Implants in 2012

Rockford Plastic Surgeon
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My brief story: I lost about 50 lbs, slowly and...

My brief story:
I lost about 50 lbs, slowly and steadily, 5 years ago. There was really no explanation for it. I had a lot of tests done but nothing conclusive. I just couldn't eat very much without feeling extremely full. I have been heavy my entire life and have done numerous weight loss plans but always seemed to go up and down so losing weight without trying was not in my vocabulary. I have maintained the weight loss since.

As a result of the way I lost the weight I have a lot of excess skin. I always exercised but during the loss I quit because I was afraid to lose faster. So I have had to rebuild muscle but my skin tone is horrible.

I am having an arm lift and breast augmentation tomorrow and in two weeks a lower body lift.

In preparation for my surgeries, my doctor wanted me to eat more protein. I have done this by incorporating a couple of protein smoothies using Greek yogurt and frozen fruit. I try to eat a pretty healthy diet anyway but chose this opportunity to really focus on eating foods that aren't processed. I think it'll help the healing process. In my lost blog I'd included a link to a book that I had found here on this forum. It was very informative about pre/post op nutrition. I wish I could find my other blog to post it again.

As surgery comes up I am a nervous but excited. We recently were in Mexico for 2 weeks and I found I was looking forward to not being embarrassed in my bathing suit. In the past I tolerated myself and tried not to notice other people looking at my hanging skin but this time, knowing I would be having surgery to correct it, I was really disgusted with my skin.

I am nervous more about my healing/recovery. I imagine that I will be limited in motion for a while so I am trying to cook, clean and get all my supplies ready in the 5 days since returning from out trip.

Today I am 3 days post-op. I cannot believe how...

Today I am 3 days post-op. I cannot believe how pain free I am! From the day I came home the only way to describe any kind of pain I was having was that my chest muscles felt as if I'd bench pressed a lot of weight. For me, muscle soreness is a good soreness so I am not complaining about that at all. My hands looked like little sausages after surgery. The right hand is down but my left hand is still pretty swollen. The doctor said that he did a bit more work on that arm so I assume this is the reason for the swelling. It's very annoying because it feels tight but when I am up and moving around it does get better. Tomorrow is my post-op appointment. I hope when he removes the dressing that all is OK. I have 2 drains. The left side drains more but not excessively.

My arms look 100% better even all wrapped up and swollen so I am happy already. I cannot wait to see them unwrapped tomorrow.

I had a breast augmentation/lift as well. They wrapped me up pretty tightly and I am ready for that constriction to be off. It makes my ribs hurt sometimes. Because my breasts were unevenly sized and my skin was so stretched the doctor told me that the size of the implants would be determined by how they fit in my breasts. He said that if he only put a certain size in and it didn't fit well that the skin would sag over it. I have a bigger size that I really wanted but I understand why. I am really eager to see them!

I am slightly worried about my recovery of my upcoming body lift surgery. I am really hoping that the incisions are like my arms and don't really hurt. Getting out of bed, using the toilet and walking are going to be a challenge. I think I'll go back to review some of the other blogs for any tips/suggestions about it.

I have already asked myself what the hell I am doing? But...the result is what matters. I waited so long to do this surgery because I didn't do anything to lose the weight I felt that the excess skin was my cross to bear. Losing the weight was a gift from God for me so I really felt selfish to do anything about the skin. Now, I will have scars and these will be my cross.

Today I had my post-op appointment at 4 days out....

Today I had my post-op appointment at 4 days out. I was so glad to get all the bandages off. My arms look amazing! I cannot believe that my Dr was able to tighten them up so much. No more wings! As for my breasts, wow! I am going to have to get used to them. LOL They are bigger than I wanted but because I really didn't want an incision there he had to put 400 cc in my smaller breast and 375 cc in the other. My left breast (375 cc) is perfect and I will have to massage and work the larger implant down about a centimeter. Overall, they are the same size and look great. I just have to remember that I have boobs now! LOL

I'd pre-bought a compression garment and chose one that was for arm and breast combined. I could barely get it on today. I did try it on when it came to me and it fit. Today my left fingers were turning a little blue. It seemed to fit perfectly everywhere except the arms. Now I'm out $80 because there is blood on it. I'm not sure if anyone else had this problem but the web site recommended measuring myself and ordering based on those measurements. They said I should order a size S which I did but also got a M just in case. When they arrived I tried them on. I could barely get the S on and when I did it felt like I was being squeezed to death. The M seemed fine...until today. Now I need to order another one and get something for my upcoming LBL. I will go with a larger one than I think unless someone reads this and tells me differently.

So far I am very pleased with my decision. I still cannot believe how pain free I have been.

I just have to add this: I spoke to the company...

I just have to add this:
I spoke to the company that supplies the compression garments. I needed to ask them about my vest and also get a recommendation for a lower body suit size. I was just out of the 30 day requirement for returns and also when I had squeezed into the size M the incision for my drain bled a little and it got on the garment. I lamented that part to the girl and she said that they would refund my money because they had recommended the size to me even though it was just past the 30 days. She also gave me 10% off. If you'd like the name of the company please message me because I highly recommend them and the garments.

I continue to feel stronger and have more movement...

I continue to feel stronger and have more movement and reach with my arms. Still, I am so surprised at how easy the arm surgery has been. Since my left arm had a little more work done to it I find it is a bit behind in the recovery. The doctor said that when he removed the skin and sewed me up the skin kept stretching so he had to go back to revise it. Also, he lifted the skin that would be what would bulge over the back of the bra and in doing so he went into my armpit. I will now not have to worry about shaving under the pits ever again! Bonus! But...I don't have a "traditional" arm pit now. I am still taped up and it is, of course, still healing but I can't lift my arms over my head. Time will tell for that.

I'm still working on my right breast. It has dropped a bit but not like the other. I am also still getting used to the size. I've hit them on tables at least 3 times and they are just in the way. LOL Big Chested Girl Problems I guess. They are still hard and sensitive and it reminds me of when I was breastfeeding and they would become engorged.

The day before yesterday I decided to walk on my treadmill. I walked for 30 min (1 1/2 miles at 3.0 or a 20 min mile). That pretty much wiped me out. I took a 2 hour nap after that. Yesterday I drove for the first time and went to Target. It felt good to get out in real clothes and with make-up on. Today I am going to try walking again and nap if I have to.

Overall, I am feeling great at 1 week out of surgery. Exactly 1 week until my lower body lift. Kind of nervous but I am hoping to be pain free like my arms are.

I FOUND MY FIRST POST! Not Sure “Arm Lift...


Not Sure
“Arm Lift with Breast Augmentation (1st Procedure) Lower Body Lift, Thigh Lift (2nd Procedure 12/13/12) - Chicago, IL”

cirella Posted 6 Nov 2012 | Updated 8 Nov 2012
Chicago, IL
A brief story about what brought me here:
53 year old female with a life-long history of being overweight. Tried all the usual diets. Always exercised since teens. In 2007 I began to feel very full after eating just a few bites. Had every test done to find reason. Between 2007 and 2009 I lost about 60 lbs. slowly and steadily. I thought I was dying. I've maintained the weight and have been left with saggy skin. After thinking about this surgery for 4 years, I have decided to do it. My first procedure will be an arm lift with a breast augmentation.

I am nervous and excited. Seeing the before and after pictures made the excited feeling outweigh the nervous feeling.

I have begun my preparation by eating more protein and am using this month to focus on eating a clean diet, meaning no or low sugar, processed foods. I am eating high quality proteins and carbohydrates and fats.

I found this site while I was looking for my compression garments. I am so glad I have been able to read about other's experiences. I have been doing homework about the procedures but also want to find tips or read about advice for recovery. As much as I can, I will try to post my experience.

I am so glad that my husband and I are going on a trip to Los Cabos for 2 weeks. I get home and will have my first surgery 5 days later. I hope to just relax and have some fun and not worry.

I will take my "before" pictures and add them before I leave.

Updated on 8 Nov 2012:
A recommended book, which I found on another user's blog, is Encyclopedia of Body Sculpting after Massive Weight Loss - Google Books

It can be technical because I believe it is a physician's book but the parts I wanted to read about were the nutrition before and after surgery. My doctor wanted me to start a protein supplement every day for 2 weeks prior to surgery. I had a protein powder already and I highly recommend it because it is high protein, low fat and low carbs.

Right now I make a smoothie with 1 cup N/F Plain Greek Yogurt, 1 cup frozen strawberries and 1 scoop protein powder every day. VERY high protein and delicious. I plan to use 2 scoops protein powder a day for the 2 weeks prior to surgery. It is the only way I will be able to get in the protein requirement. The protein powder I use is Simply Right Whey Protein, Vanilla. I get it a Sam's Club. To switch it up, in place of the strawberries, I also use frozen triple berry mix or frozen mixed fruit. I buy all of it at Sam's because it is a big bag and my family also loves the smoothies.

I've been thinking a lot about the scars I will have. I went into this decision saying that I'd rather have scars than wings. I still believe that. After looking at some of the before/after pictures on this site I am still excited although I have to say that some of the less fortunate outcomes scare me. If anything, seeing the good and the bad helps me to bring questions to the doctor that I may have not thought of before. Today I woke up wondering how I will wipe myself after surgery. : / LOL

Yesterday I had a little emotional setback. I had...

Yesterday I had a little emotional setback. I had been feeling so good, had lots of energy and generally was pleased with my progress. Then I did too much which probably added to my feelings yesterday. What's going on?...Well, my nipples are really hurting with the kind of hurt that comes with pre-period/hormonal hurting. I haven't experienced this since before 2008 when I had my hysterectomy. It hurts and my boobs/nipples are very sensitive. I googled it and it's common when nerves get stretched and it will subside thankfully. Also, my left implant, which got the 375 cc, is drooping a little. My doctor noticed it at my post op and told me a remide for it but it just seemed yesterday that it was drooping more. I have been working on my right implant, which got 400 cc, so it will drop down a bit. I am not sure how much it's dropped. Not a whole lot. So, last night I looked in the mirror and noticed that the drop in the left one made my nipples uneven. That combined with being tired and hurting kind of pushed me into a small pity party, crying etc. I chose to do my breasts after I'd already decided on my arms and lower body. I know that they will be better than before but they are bigger than I thought they'd be and now seem to be having the most trouble. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only been 10 days.

I have to do a lot this week in preparation for my lower body lift on Thursday.

Tomorrow is my lower body lift. I'm a little...

Tomorrow is my lower body lift. I'm a little nervous. Now that I know what my arm experience was I think I'm worried about the recovery and moving around especially before Christmas. My shopping is done, my husband will be on a week vacation to care for me and I know my girls will be helpful on Christmas it's just that I am a "doer" and it's very difficult for me to just lay around.

I go today for my markings and for my 2nd post op for my arms/breasts. My left implant will need some revision. I'm hoping minimal. I will post a small update after my appointment. I am so pleased with my arms. One of the coverings fell off while I was showering. The line is so clean except for my elbow. I'll ask him about that. I hope I didn't accidentally pull it when bending.

I had my surgery yesterday. Man. This one is worse...

I had my surgery yesterday. Man. This one is worse than my arm/breast. I hurt a lot and its so difficult to sit. The incision right over my butt crack hurts and because of the drains (6) there is no other way to be but sitting. The tape over my incisions is very tight so I canno fully stretch out my legs or stand up straight. Ugh. I'm a complaining mess. I barely took a pain pill for my arms. You better believe I'm taking them now.

Some tips: fill a little basket with some necessities like chap stick, glasses, pain pills, Kleenex. Anything that you find yourself asking your caregiver for. Keep it all at arm length. More later.

Today is 6 days post op. Well, this has been...

Today is 6 days post op.
Well, this has been rough. I had no idea what to expect physically or emotionally. I am trying to think positively and look forward to what my result will be. I had a reaction to the tape that covered my incisions. I developed blisters and when I peeled the tape off the bandage that was covering my belly button the skin that was had blistered and then popped/oozed peeled off. I have never experienced such searing pain. I had found some gauze like bandages that are anti stick. Works wonders. I sat in the shower yesterday for probably close to an hour to soften the paper tape on all the incision sites. I had to get it off because I could see that I was developing blisters and didn't want to deal with them all over. I got the tape off and got everything all cleaned. So much better!

I wasn't able to get the drains out at my first post op visit. The doctor said probably at my next one on Friday. I hope so. I think getting them removed makes a big difference in recovery as it is progress.

I've been taking my pain pills around the clock but want to try taking half a pill around the clock along with advil/tylenol. I've been sleeping OK being propped up with a couple of pillows and one under my knees. Both my husband and I slept on our sectional couch, which is downstairs, for 3 nights. I made it up the stairs so we both moved up there. I sleep better in my bed but it is harder to get out of it.

My husband has been a gem through all this. I mostly want my protein smoothies and toast. One thing I did before surgery is to make some veggie soup and also ground turkey meat. This has been so helpful to both of us. I think that making food for the family beforehand AND food for you beforehand is a great idea.

Overall, I am doing well. I think I put unrealistic expectations on myself. I don't like to be sitting around and being waited on so when I see I can go downstairs to get something I think that I should be doing more for myself. Then I may do too much and really feel it the following day.

About the compression garment, I ended up just ordering a compression bra without sleeves. Even the large arm/breast combo wasn't right as it was still too tight in the arm and too big in the breast. The bra only one is perfect in a size medium.

I ordered a body suit that ends just below the knee. It has a suspender top. After I shower today I will put it on.

I had another post op appointment today. He...

I had another post op appointment today. He removed 4 out or the 6 drains. That feels better and now I don't look so much like an octopus or a suicide bomber. LOL

He recommended Mederma for my arm scars. Everything looks great. I'm getting around better. I will need to stretch my arms up and massage under my arm so that the skin will loosen. I am able to lift my arms up straight above my head but it does hurt a bit.

I finally had a bowel movement a couple of days ago. I wish I'd started taking a tsp of milk of magnesia from the get go. Frankly, I was afraid to have a bowel movement after the lower body lift. I'm taking a little MoM a couple of times a day because I'm still taking pain pills although I've cut down on them and only take 1/2 a pill every 3 hours or so.

Overall, feeling good.

I'm a little over 4 weeks post op for my...

I'm a little over 4 weeks post op for my arms/breasts. I'm doing well. My LBL was a couple of weeks ago and I'm doing well there, also. On this blog I'll talk mostly about my arms/breasts as I've created another blog in the Body Lift category and I've given it the same title.

I had to have sutures below my left breast because where the pocket that was created for the implant was a little low and the implant slipped a bit causing it to look like a little bubble. The incisions will make the tissue grow together and keep the implant in place. Now, my breasts are even, the nipples are level and in the same spot. They look great. My daughter got me a bra from Victoria Secret and I had to go exchange it. Frankly, I don't know what size I am and whatever I am today it may change after I soften out. If you haven't been to VS lately they've revised their measuring guide. According to them I am a 32DDD. There is no way I am that and would never have given my Dr permission to make me that big. But...I got a bra at VS in that size and it looks fab!

I am continuing to use my Mederma. I switched from the 3-4 times a day formula to the 1x a day. Remembering to do it was just too difficult. Plus...I'd be spending a small fortune on the stuff.

I am going to start walking on my treadmill tomorrow. I feel well enough after my LBL to do so. I will also start some light, LIGHT, weight lifting for my upper body/arms. I want my new arms to be nice and defined. I will not overdo it and I'm sure I'll probably know where I stand after tomorrow and will adjust accordingly. I have to remember that I've had 2 major surgeries and even though I may feel up to doing something doesn't necessarily mean I should without plenty of rest as well.

Finally! I was able to have the 2 remaining drains...

Finally! I was able to have the 2 remaining drains from my LBL removed. I feel as if I can get going on feeling more like myself. I still have 5 staple-like sutures under my left breast and once those come Friday I'm hoping...I will be so happy. They are really uncomfortable. OK...When I had the 4 drains removed a couple of weeks ago I didn't look. I didn't look today either but my daughter was with me (she's 18) she was standing by me and mentioned how long the internal part of the drains were. The nurse said they were 9...NINE...inches long. I had no idea! Kind of made me squeamish. But, they're out now!

Since surgery my swelling is noticeably going down. My waist was 4 inches bigger than before surgery and now it's 2 inches down. I can see my muscles peeking out. My abdomen is still quite swollen and my circumference incision is still healing. All the scabs are not off yet. Overall, things are going well. I just have to slow down a bit.

I started walking on my treadmill and yesterday I thought since I was only walking at a 2.0 pace that I'd up the incline. OK...I put it at a 9% uphill grade. If felt OK and I didn't do that for the entire 45 minutes however, by 6 pm I was a mess. That also happened the day I only walked so I know my body is telling me that I'm overdoing it. My plan is to take a short nap each day even if it's only for an hour.

Well, I had to take a little step back as far as...

Well, I had to take a little step back as far as the walking went. The bolster sutures under my left breast were getting increasingly more painful. I finally had another followup appointment on the 11th and when my doctor told me he wanted them to stay in for 2 more weeks I started crying. As it was, I was taking advil around the clock and a pain pill at night, sometimes during the day, just because of the suture pain. My arms, legs and abdomen incisions didn't hurt at all. When I told him that I'd taken 2 advil, 2 tylenol and 2 aspirin that morning for the pain he said they have to come out. OMG...instant relief! Now I just have to hope that the sutures did the job and closed the gap and will keep the implant up. I have another appointment in 2 weeks. I feel human again!

Actually, I'm feeling very well. Yesterday I got back on the treadmill and walked 3 miles at a little faster pace. I will take that slowly but I would LOVE to be able to run again but I know that won't happen for a while. One day at a time.

Well, it looks as if I will have to have a little...

Well, it looks as if I will have to have a little fix-it on my left breast. It had been a little too dissected and the implant was slipping too low. At my lower body lift the PS placed 6 heavy sutures in hopes that the tissue would grow together and hold it up. It was very painful and then it didn't work. So...he will have to make an incision under my breast, in the fold, and place internal heavy sutures that will do the trick. I really wish he'd done this initially. I just want it fixed. I've had to wear a bra 24/7 and at night it's uncomfortable to be wearing an underwire.

Everything else is going well. I feel great. My swelling has gone down. I stepped on the scale and I'm down 7 pounds and am actually at my goal weight. = )

Almost 12 weeks post op this week for my LBL and...

Almost 12 weeks post op this week for my LBL and 14 weeks post op for my arm/breast. Time has flown by. Each day is a different day that's for sure. My arms are doing great and they look wonderful. My scars are really looking good. I am continuing to use my Mederma, the advanced scar get one.

I find I am shopping a little bit more and am choosing sleeveless shirts but I am afraid to wear them. I have no problem telling people I got a boob job but have only told a select few about my other surgeries. I'm trying to figure out why that is. I definitely did it all for myself because my body didn't reflect how I felt inside and there was no way I could exercise the hanging skin away. I have to admit that I have always proud of the fact that I could alter my body (with diet and exercise) without any extreme measures so I think I am embarrassed that I have done this even though I wanted to do it. I guess that I feel I'll have to explain why I have scars like this at some point and I don't want to see people's faces when I tell them. I would absolutely tell anyone to do this surgery because I feel it completes a journey. And, although I have had a lifetime of my own journey, I didn't lose such a significant amount of weight like so many people here. Maybe I am struggling with the 'why couldn't I have just been happy the way I was' question.

One thing that I need to remember is that I HAVE to continue to take it easy. I know I am pushing it too much because I feel good but at the end of the day I feel wiped out and hurting. I didn't realize that my PS anchored something to my hip bones and this will explain why my hips feel so tight and hurt when I wear a belt or something. All this time I have said that it feels as if he pulled me too tight there but I think it's just the sensation of a bruised bone/starting to wake up, etc. I think I would have not lifted things or done things that I have done if I had known this! So...slow down people! It's major surgery and we don't always know what really happened inside our bodies to make our outsides look great. BTW, the PS said that he did this to help keep the nice, smooth look of my outer thighs. It does look good.

This Thursday I am having my left breast revision. I am really ready for this. I have to wear a bra of some sort 24/7 to keep the implant up. My PS will anchor (oh no...more pain) to my rib. I'm glad I'm doing it but after going through all of the other stuff and feeling good/relatively pain free for a while I am dreading it as well. Plus, our house will go up for sale next Monday and of course my first thought was how will I vacuum?? haha

Still, after everything, I can absolutely say I am glad I have done this. My brain just has to get over the fact that I may have some 'splaining to do, Lucy.

I had my revision done on Feb 28. I expected it...

I had my revision done on Feb 28. I expected it to hurt because my PS had already tried an external version of what this current surgery was for. Day 1 was brutal. Then, like an idiot, I misread the instructions. I thought it read to start wearing a good underwire bra 24/7 so the day after surgery I removed the ace bandage and put on an underwire. As the morning went on it progressively got more painful and I tried re-wrapping the ace back on myself. Then I called the PS office and asked if there was a wrong way to do it and his nurse said yes and that I'd better come in so he could re-wrap it. Sigh...I was feeling very dumb, hurting a lot and feeling a little helpless because I couldn't drive and no one was home to help me. Fortunately my neighbor was able to get me there.

As soon as the nurse removed the ace and gravity took over I just started bawling. OMG did it hurt! When the PS came in he had a shocked look on his face. He thought I was there to start my laser treatments! He was very nice and calmed me down. Things did shift a little in the 2 hours I had the bra on but he re-wrapped me and sent me off. I go back in tomorrow.

I am allergic to the surgical tape so this is why I was wrapped pretty well in the ace bandage. Throughout the day yesterday it slipped or loosened a bit so I have put an undershirt over it and I also found my elastic band that I'd used when I first had the boobs done. I positioned it under my breast so that it keeps the bandage from slipping. What a relief when things are in place. Gravity is NOT my friend at this point.

I really hope this last surgery works!

I am excited to start laser treatments around my arm/leg/torso scars. It will tighten the skin around them. They are looking so good. I really need to take some more pictures.

So I went in to see the PS for my post op visit....

So I went in to see the PS for my post op visit. Gosh...I wonder just how badly I looked and sounded when I had to go in the day after surgery??? Everyone kind of treated me with kid gloves. LOL Oh know what...I hurt like hell so there! The PS took a look. All looked good and he re-wrapped me. He did tell me, as I disappointingly suspected, that my right breast will look a little lower until my left one (the one that was revised) relaxes a bit. And, he said that in 5 years or so I *may* have to have them bolstered again. My response was that the next time I do anything to them I will get the boobs that I wanted.

** to explain my comment**
My husband didn't want me to have a scar on my breasts. I didn't really want that either but after finding out that the only way to get the breast that I REALLY wanted I would have had to have a lift which would require an incision under each of my breasts and moving the nipples. This would have given me the rounder on the underside breasts that I wanted. Confession time...I did my breast surgery the way I did for my husband. Personally I don't think I would have cared about the scar. My breasts would have been higher and rounder on the underside.

My PS and I talked about this before my last surgery and I told him all of that. He told me that he learned a lesson from my experience. I think (and I wish he had) he would have been more of an influence for me and what I wanted had he known my reasons. To his credit, he did everything that I asked him to and has been so very nice to do these fixes.

Right before the last surgery he told me that he would do anything I wanted him to do. At this point, I wish I would have asked him to bolster up the right breast just like he was doing for the left. Sigh...

I go back on Friday. I will need to wear a good underwire or sports bra all the time for a while. No problem with that...even people who don't get boob jobs should have that support all the time because their breasts will not tend to droop over time.

One day at a time...

Friday I got that darn ace bandage wrap off! It...

Friday I got that darn ace bandage wrap off! It was so uncomfortable and wouldn't stay in place. I had to take partial showers for over a week because I couldn't take the wrapping off. I think someone could have scratched my back for an entire day after getting the dressing off. LOL

So, the boob looks good. Now I wear something 24/7 unless showering. It's not as painful as I thought it would be. I really thought having an underwire rub on the incision would be bad but I think the incision hits just above the underwire.

I'm going in next week to get a little laser hair removal for my underarm. He removed pretty much all of that skin and my sweat glands from under my arm. There are, however, a few hairs poking out from my scar. It looks kind of funny but doesn't bother me. I think it bothers my PS more. The laser is no charge. A really cool thing, too, is that I do not need deodorant! I haven't worn it since my surgery in Nov.

Just a little over 4 months post-op for my...

Just a little over 4 months post-op for my arms/breasts. The laser for my little underarm hair really worked in just one time. Minimal pain for a lot of gain. I am continuing using Mederma. The scars are looking good. I think I will start to take pictures and zoom in on the scars, which I wish I would have done at first, so that I will be able to see the progression of healing.

After my breast revision the left breast implant seems to be staying in place. This is purely me (I like symmetry) but I wish I'd had him do the same procedure to my right breast. The left just looks tucked up more but I think over time it will relax and they will be good. My nipples are on the same plane so that is good.

Overall, I am so happy with both my arms and breasts. I am grateful that my PS is such a perfectionist. He cares and I just cannot say enough good about him.

6 Months Post Op

Well, it's been 6 months since my arms/breasts were done. I am absolutely 100% happy with my arms. So glad I did that. I've worn short sleeves or no sleeves and am still a bit self-conscious about the scars but my plan is to just wear the clothes I want to wear and over time it won't be so bad. I'm still using Mederma and also one of my face products that is a hyaluronic solution (which is also in Mederma). I think my arms are looking good.

The boobs. This is purely cosmetic and preference for me but they are very low. I always had a long chest and lower breasts but I think that now they are bigger and it's so much more noticeable. I really don't like them this way. I've talked with my PS and it looks as if it'll be a whole new surgery! I didn't expect that. My plan is to just wait and see if I can get used to them.

What is a problem about them being so low is that no bathing suits fit properly. It looks like I have an underboob. The straps end up doing the work, which they shouldn't. I have found a couple of bras that are doing well. I am wearing a bra 24/7, only to take it off for showering know...personal stuff. ; ) The feeling I get when I take the bra off is a sinking, gravity pull. Overall they look good. My nipples are in the same plane horizontally. They look the same size. All those are good things, I know. It's just they are too low.

Now...I did go in saying I didn't want scars on the boobs. What my PS should have insisted on was the fact that they would be low, as my natural breasts were low, and asked me if I'd be OK with that. I think he tried too hard to accomodate my wishes and didn't go with his professional gut. Just a little information to take with you...ASK the PS if what you want is the absolute right thing to do!

I plan to take more pictures soon. I'm in the middle of a move to Nevada from IL. Sigh...That's enough to take a person's mind off anything! = )

Been a While. New Comparison Pictures.

Well, it's been a while since I've updated. A lot has gone on since the last one. We sold our home in 1 1/2 months which is a blessing for sure. We are relocating to a Nevada. All of our stuff is there but I am in IL until our daughter goes to college in Sept. So, there is all of that but also I have wanted a little time to go by before posting again. I've noticed some changes to my body and wanted to take some more pictures now that it's been almost 8 months since my arm/breast surgery and 7 1/2 months since the lower body lift.

I'm hoping that what my body looks like now will be it. There has been some relaxing in areas. I don't like this because my clothes fit funny in my saddle bag area. My implants have dropped so much that I cannot find a bathing suit top to properly fit and my bras cannot fully support them.

I hate the way my boobs look in clothes because to me they look like an old woman's breasts that drop down so low that the bra cannot support them. Mine don't droop but they start out so low and an underwire does not lift them at all. Bra straps dig into my shoulders and make them red.

Most importantly, I cannot go without a bra, day or night. There is so much pressure under my left breast, the one that was revised, that it feels as if my internal suture will come out. I do plan to have them fixed in Nevada. I am very self conscious about them.

My PS would not admit that he over dissected them. He offered to remove the implant. skin tone would make my breasts look like 2 balloons deflated. He said that to fix them would be a major surgery and cost a lot. I am done with him as far as this issue goes. I am upset with him. I guess I think that if a person goes to the length to pay for major surgeries such as the ones I had that the surgeon should hear the patient. All my concerns were met with 'I think they look great' and words to that effect. All that said to me was that I was wrong to feel the way I did.

Overall, I know I look so much better than before surgery. I feel better. I am still happy that I did this. I am wearing sleeveless shirts in public. I am still careful to hold my arms a certain way but sometimes I honestly forget that the scars are there. If anyone has noticed no one has said a word.

Because of our move I haven't been able to shop for new clothes. I got rid of so many things that didn't fit me that my entire wardrobe fits into a carry on bag. I'm not joking.

Some things I wish someone would have told me before surgery are:
I would not be able to lay on my stomach after getting implants.
Wait a good 6 months before investing in clothes, especially with a LBL.
Be prepared to spend a lot more money than the initial estimate.
Ask yourself if scars will bother you.
How do you really expect to look and what are you willing to live with?

There's more I'm sure...

One Year And Doing Great

Wow...has it really been a full year since my arm/breast lift and in a few short weeks my year anniversary of my lower body lift? It has been a year of challenges and a year of great changes for me personally, emotionally and physically. It seems as if all at once my husband and I had 3 of the 5 major stressor events happen in our lives. We decided to move to a new state which meant a new job, had one daughter move to MA and another went to college in IL which means that we are newly empty nesters. All of this happened in September. I'm still standing though!

My year of recovery after a 2 major surgeries has been at times a roller coaster ride. After all is said and done I can say that it was all worth it and I will be forever happy that I went through with it. Taking pictures along the way is one of the smartest things I did. There are days when it seems that I "look the same as I did" but then I go back and look at my progress and see how my body looks and my scars are healing I know that is not true. Do I see some relaxation? Yes. But, I did not have these surgeries to look perfect. I did them to feel better about myself and to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. I am a young and active 54 year old and I wanted my body to reflect that. Now it does.

I gave myself a year off from running. Now I am back at it and it feels wonderful. When we moved to NV my husband and I started working out at our gym and I'd been doing some cardio there but had not run outside in a year. Saturday I ran 7 miles in 1 hour 19 min. Working out with weights has been so empowering. My arms have never...ever...looked so toned and muscular. I love them.

As a side note about my breasts: I will be needing a revision at some point. My left one is still so uncomfortable and when I don't wear a bra it is painful. I want to get settled in our new home and then I will begin the process of finding a good PS here in Las Vegas.

Thank you all for the encouragement you've given me along my journey.

New Home, New Surgeon

Well, we're all moved in and trying to get settled and comfortable in our new city. I have been doing my homework on PS in the area and saw a couple. I have settled on one and next week I will be having my implants removed so that the pocket can heal on its own a bit. In 3 months I will then have my revision done. He'll use silk mesh to create a new pocket and I'll get new implants. Honestly, I am relieved to get these out for now. They have been painful, uncomfortable, ugly and annoying. I won't need a lift. The PS will bring the lower part of my breast up. This will allow the implants to sit higher. If you see my pictures you will see how bottomed out they are. The PS said they are sitting behind my chest muscle but have slipped down past it and are now about an inch or two above my natural waistline. Ugh... I'm scared to see what I will look like after these implants are out. I've seen some pictures and it ain't pretty. My breasts weren't big to start with so I'm hoping it's not too bad. Also...I'm thinking it'll be so obvious that the "girls" aren't there. I think I'll need to get a padded bra or something.

Explant Tomorrow

Tomorrow I am having my implants removed for 3-4 months. During that time the hope is that they can heal and retract so that my overall, long-term outcome will be better. After the 3-4 months I will have a revision done using silk mesh to create a new pocket and hopefully hold the implant in place. I plan to go smaller as well. My breasts, although I have never seen them really "right", have seemed too big for my body. And, I cannot help wonder if the size/weight of the implant added to the bottoming out. Since I am in a new city I cannot focus on what I feel my previous PS did right or wrong. I just gotta move forward and get the implants out and redone. I'm ready to get them out, that's for sure!

Day One post explant

(I've started a blog on my revision and may just update there in the future)

So, yesterday I had the implants removed. I had been so nervous not knowing what to expect. It really wasn't that bad. Dr Hankins numbed me up pretty well and they gave me a Valium. I only felt sensations. When Bambi, Dr. H's nurse showed me my breasts before wrapping me up I thought it didn't look so bad. When the numbness wore off I was sore and today I am too. Not sure how to describe the pain. It kind of feels like muscle soreness in addition to the incision. I was able to put on the little sport bra they gave me and then wrap the Ace bandage around that. I think the band to the bra is sitting on the incision. Also, the area right below, where the bulk of my implants were, is a little hard. I've got a call into the office to ask if that's OK. I have 2 drains.

I have more mobility than I thought I would. I guess I was expecting it to be like when I got the implants in. Of course, I had the arm lift at the same time so I'm sure both those procedures prevented me from lifting my arms up. I can take off/put on my shirts alright.

I was so ready to get the implants out. I feel like myself now...even though I'm flat as a pancake!
I go in for my post op next week.

So far so good but...

Well, today is the 3rd day after having them implants out. It's going well but there are a few unexpected feelings both physical and emotional. I am in more pain than I thought I would be. Is this the muscle retracting? I have 2 drains and the site where they exit is pretty tender. I can feel the tube inside me which is pretty weird. I'll be glad to get the drains out. The sports bra and Ace bandage feel good. I like the way they hold me in. The emotional part is probably normal. As ready as I was to get the implants out I still feel unattractive. I'm afraid my husband won't like the way I look. I's only been 3 days. I have 3 more months so I'd better snap out of this! That's it for today. We're getting out of the house. Today it a gorgeous day in Las Vegas and I don't want to sit in the house all day.

One week post explant...drains out!

Whew...I got rid of the grenades yesterday. Drains are out! After a week things are looking better. I am hoping my skin, muscles and all the tissues can retract well. I see the doctor in a month. I am so glad I chose to have the implants out. During this 3 month waiting period I will do a lot of thinking about what I want to do. I know, after my weight loss, that my breasts will not be pretty without implants. I really wish there were enough fat there to give them some kind of contour. So, we'll see.

Ugh...I can't do any strenuous cardio for at least a month, possibly 6 weeks. And, no lifting over 5 pounds. I didn't expect to hear that. I can walk and that's what I'll do. I know it is so my INSIDE can heal. I have to remind myself that just because I may feel better my insides are healing and that is the point of my experience here.


Since my last update I have seen my PS a couple of times. I had my implants removed and because waiting at least 3 months or more will give me the best healing time and end result this is what I've decided to do. May was my 3 month and during that time between Feb and May I took that time to really think about what I want to do.

I signed up to run in the Las Vegas 1/2 marathon which will be in November. So, I need to train for it and I know that if I were to replace my implants before then I would not be able to. My decision is to wait until after the 1/2 marathon. That extra time to heal will only be to my benefit. My PS said that about a month before the time I would like to schedule I should come in to discuss options.

I feel good with this decision. Weight training is getting my arms in good form and I've been running and increasing my distance. I've had a slight setback. My heel has been hurting so I'm doing other forms of cardio while I let that heal.

Well, well, well...

This is only an update on my heel. My home remedies have probably helped but obviously after 3 months I need more help. Today I went to a Podiatrist. I'm in a boot and will have a MRI on Monday to see if it's only an over-stretched ligament, torn ligament or bone bruise. = /

When to throw in the towel?

It has been nearly 4 years since my original surgeries. In a couple of months I will have had 7 surgeries and/or procedures on my breasts. Original implants were 11/2012, failed repair 12/2012, failed repair 2/2013, implants removed 2/2014, revision surgery and smaller implants 11/2014, repair to revision 1/2016, and sometime in the next coming months implant removal.

At my first revision my PS used Silk to recreate a pocket for each breast and repair symastia. My right breast didn't hold and it was drifting over the center again. At my second revision my PS reused the original Silk and bolstered my right breast and reinforced my left. For some odd reason my left breast is now a full size bigger and rounder than my right and the right isn't holding.

I am going to remove the implants and keep them out a year at the very least. My PS and I want to see how they retract after having used the Silk. I am hoping that enough of a fold was created so that they look OK. To my PS's credit, he has done an amazing job of making my breasts look real again. The over-dissection left me without a natural fold and I think this has been the source of the ongoing issues.

I am pretty beat down about all of this. Four years and 7 procedures is a lot.
= (
Rockford Plastic Surgeon

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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