I'm only 9 days post op, but I'm already thrilled...
I'm only 9 days post op, but I'm already thrilled with my results. In addition to the breast lift, I also had liposuction on my arms and chin and a rhinoplasty to correct a deformity from an injury I sustained 18 months ago. I'll be writing separate reviews for all my procedures.
The entire process has been wonderful. Dr. Chaffoo and his staff (Tracy, Nancy, Jennifer and everyone) have been beyond accommodating and so supportive. I can, and have, texted or called Dr. Chaffoo any hour of the day or night and he answers quickly.
I decided to have this procedure after gaining and losing 90lbs during my terrifying high risk pregnancy with months spent not moving, on complete bed rest in the hospital. Followed by, almost three years of breastfeeding my son. I did extended breastfeeding with child lead weaning. My husband was getting worried our son was still going to be breastfeeding when he left for college, lol, but he weaned himself two months before his third birthday. I was very happy to be able to do this for my baby, but it left my breasts a complete mess. I started out as a 34C and while breastfeeding became a 34F and larger at some points. My breasts were larger than my head! I was a human milk cow! I could have nursed five babies! To make matters worse, I had an augmentation 15 years ago for a Valentines Day gift when I was 21. After three years of breast feeding my natural breast tissue hung off my tiny 175cc saline implants and I felt so unattractive. I didn't want my husband to see me naked.
I started researching my options to fix my saggy breasts. I was terrified of scarring and hoping to avoid the lollipop or anchor scars. However, after a year of researching and a lot of soul searching I came to terms with the idea of additional scarring and honestly it's not so bad after all.
I did in person consultations with 8 different doctors around the country, Dr. David E. Kim, Dr. Minniti and Dr. Ron Hazani all in Beverly Hills, Dr. Leonard Hochstein and Dr. Ary Krau in Miami, FL and Dr. Pousti, Dr. Cohen and Dr. Chaffoo in San Diego, CA. It was time consuming and very costly but I needed to be 100% confident in my choice as I wanted to do a rhinoplasty and lipo at the same time. Every single one of the doctors I consulted with is an amazing doctor and I highly recommend all of them. I ended up choosing Dr. Chaffoo because he's triple board certified, 20 minutes from my house, reasonably priced and made me feel the most confident. I liked he was a nose guy who decided to start doing boobs and not the other way around. I was more concerned about how my nose was going to turn out than my breasts. Also, my mother discovered him while reading a magazine he was featured in on an airplane to visit me. It was so random, lol! When I picked her up from the airport she asked me, "I know you've been researching like crazy and have probably already crossed him off your list for one reason or another, but what about this Dr. Chaffoo in La Jolla? He's triple board certified and highly acclaimed." I told her I had never heard of him but was interested. We called him immediately and his staff squeezed us in for a consult the next day so I could do it while my mom was in town. We both loved him and the rest his history.
The surgery itself went smoothly and was almost 6 hours long as my nose, breasts and lipo were all done together. I hired a nurse to take care of me afterwards and stayed in a near by hotel for 4 days to avoid my rambunctious three and a half year old. I had a lot of sharp pain in my right breast because Dr. Chaffoo did a small reduction on that side to make my breasts even. He said he prefers to do that instead of use different sized implants. My other breasts didn't hurt at all it was only very tight. I didn't have any bruising to speak of. My nose actually bothered me way more than my breast. It ached horribly and was so uncomfortably stuffed up. I was surprised because everyone said noses aren't painful but that was not the case for me. It was very painful. I spent the few couple days with frozen corn packs on my breasts. Frozen corn and my wedge pillow were my favorite recovery items.
Unfortunately, the day after surgery I developed a rash and hives. My nurse called Dr. Chaffoo and he said to stop taking the antibiotic. Turns out it wasn't the antibiotic though, it was a very rare true allergy to Percocet. I ended up going into anaphylactic shock and was transported to the hospital via ambulance. It was the scariest moment of my life, I truly felt I was going to die. When the EMT gave me the epi pen shot, I have never felt greater relief. My eyelids, lips, tongue and throat at swollen up horribly and I was having trouble breathing and couldn't swallow. Within seconds, the epi shot kicked in and I felt complete relief. I was kept in the hospital for observation and then released after being giving more epi and an IV of two different antihistamines. I am now the owner of a $600 epi pen I've been instructed to always carry with me. I ended up doing the rest of the recovery with no painkillers. It was hard but being in pain is much better than not being able to breath. Both the ER Doctor and Dr. Chaffoo offered to write me a prescription for another painkiller but I was too scared. I ended up purchasing a natural pain tablet called Curica and drinking a concoction with Tumeric and black pepper called "Golden Milk". Between Tylenol, Curica, Golden Milk and my frozen corn, I was able to manage the pain and keep breathing.
I'm really happy with the way my breast have turned out. The shape is so beautiful! The right side is higher at this time as is usual in this process. I also hope the implants drop and fill out the bottom more, but I know they will because, again, this is the process of a breast lift with implants. I'm a tiny bit worried I went too big but I'm super swollen and I think they'll seem smaller in a couple of months. My husband and friends think they're perfect on me though. I was shooting for 34DD but I'm 34DDD at the moment so close to my goal. I picked the Inspira SRF 485cc because I wanted a narrower implant with lots of projection and I loved the overfilled shape of the Inspira silicone. Dr. Chaffoo's office had to special order the implant for me and I'm the first patient he has used them on. I highly recommend this implant. It looks so good!
I'll keep updating my review as the weeks go by and my breasts change. I know they will change so much over the next 6 months and I'm eager to document and share this experience to help other people.
A few full body pictures.
I took some full body pictures yesterday and I really think this size fits my body so well now! I'm loving the shape.
Poster I made to show the doctor.
I feel like good communication with your doctor is so important in getting exactly what you want. I made a detailed wish poster to show Dr. Chaffoo. At first I think it scared him a little because he was afraid I was a compete control freak and he'd never be able to satisfy me. Well, I am a control freak, but I can be satisfied if I get what I want, haha! Once we talked about it, I think he came to appreciate my poster and it was hanging up in the OR during my procedure. I recommend everyone undergoing surgery make their own wish poster. It'll help you communicate with your doctor and it's fun to do!
My favorite postop must haves.
I wanted to post pictures of everything I have been using and loving postop.
A healing issue
About a week and a half ago, the incision under my left breast and the "T" intersection opened up. My doctor cultured it and it came back positive for staph. I'm on doxycycline and treating it with silver sulfa cream and Manuka honey. My doctor has been seeing me every few days and it seems to be clearing up as there is no longer pus on my bandages when I remove them. He said there was no more signs of infection at my last visit. There's a tiny separation under the right breast but it's really nothing and barely visible. It's the left breast that is the trouble maker.
From all of my research, I knew this was something that can happen with breast lifts especially with a heavy implant, but, of course, I was hoping it wouldn't happen to me.
Dr. Chaffoo said its really a minor issue in the big picture but he knows that doesn't make me feel any better because it's on my body. He's been very supportive and helpful through this stressful process.
I'm hopefully it'll close up quickly and the scar will disappear over time. I know Dr. Chaffoo offers laser scar treatment if I need it so that's comforting. I'm bummed and surprised I'm having a healing issue, but the wound is getting smaller and not leaking any fluid so that a positive.
I will update again in two weeks when I'm 6 weeks postop.
4 week post op pictures
Couple of pictures from 4 weeks post op. They're starting to drop nicely. My incisions are red and peeling because I had a reaction to the steri strips but I think they'll heal up nicely. The wrinkles are because I just took of my bandages. Despite the wound healing issue, I'm so far still happy I finally did this surgery.
Free laser scar treatment
Dr. Chaffoo offers free laser scar treatment. I had my first session today. It stings but it's quick. You can smell a little burning skin smell. Afterwards, it turns purple and feels like a sun burn.
I'll be having the treatment once a month until the scars are faded. I still have a tiny open wound under my left breast so that area wasn't treated today.
I will update the progress over time.
I'm happy to report the wounds have closed. It took one month but they're closed. Now I have to wear very supportive bras to give the skin time to thicken without the weight of the implants on it. We'll treat the scars with lasers in a couple months and I can always have a free scar revision if the lasers aren't enough.
For anyone going through opening breast lift stitches, don't despair and hang in there. They will close eventually.
Progress collage from before to 7 weeks and long update.
10 Oct 2016
2 months post
I'm not sure if these pictures will be too small to see or not, but I put together a collage. My breasts have dropped so much in 7 weeks. They look very natural and 1000 times before than they did before I had this surgery. I'm sort of missing how high they were at first, lol! I see so many women say that and I understand now. I mean they look really good, but I sort of wish they looked a little "faker" if that makes sense.
I think it's pretty difficult for them to stay really perky with such heavy implants and lax skin from years of breastfeeding and they are way, way perkier than before, but...lol...I may want to do a more aggressive lift/reduction in the future. I'm amazed at what Dr. Chaffoo has done for me because my before was terrible, I just want them to be a little more fake looking. I'm certainly happy with them now though, just want MORE ;)
I have quite a bit of scar tissue underneath from the incisions that opened, but they're nicely hidden unless I lift my arms or I lay flat. I'm sure they'll get much better with time, like all scars do.
They're seems to be a bit of ropey scar tissue on the underside of my right breast that causes a little "dip" on the underside and more so when I raise my arm. I know 7 weeks is really early in this process and it may simply need more time, but I'll be asking Dr. Chaffoo about it when I see him this week. I'm also going to ask him how I might be able to achieve a little more upper pole fullness down the road. I really don't want to go through this entire surgery again and I'm enjoying what I have now, but I wonder if there might be a way to adjust them a tiny bit without having to redo the whole thing. I'll update with his answers to these questions.
I think my vertical scar is healing fantastically and will end up being very hard to see in a year or two. I'm going to continue having my complimentary laser scar treatments once a month for 6 months. I already noticed a nice difference from one treatment.
As I've previously said, I'm really glad I did this surgery and I'm happy I choose Dr. Chaffoo. Any tweaks I may desire are very minimal and I feel like it's pretty common to want a little change here or there after any cosmetic surgery. The important thing for me to remember is there is no such thing as "perfection" when it comes to the human body and we are all perfectly flawed. Chasing perfection is a pointless endeavor, but I am always excited for personal improvement both physically and mentally.
I'm most excited right now because I plan to return to power lifting next week when I'm 8 weeks post op. I've gained a good 10lbs since this surgery and lost a lot of muscle mass. I ADORE powerlifting and the way it shapes my body and relieves stress. I can't wait to see how my body shapes up with my new boobs and my arm lipo. I'll update with pictures in a month or two once my body starts getting defined again.
If you're still with me, thanks for reading my long update and good luck with your own surgery transformation. It's always a Hell of a ride that's for sure!
Pictures of scars left after wounds closed.
11 Oct 2016
2 months post
It's not so bad. The left one was the worst and it keeps peeling but it's closed.
I asked for my preop picture. The before & after are incredible to me!
12 Oct 2016
2 months post
I ask Dr. Chaffoo to send the preop photo taken in his office. I've cropped it due to my tattoos, but I really wanted to compare it to my 7 weeks postop photo and, omg, what a difference. I wish I could unsee it really, lol! My breasts were just awful after weight gain and years of breastfeeding. The change is so drastic!
9 weeks post op. Very pretty!
21 Oct 2016
2 months post
My breasts looks really pretty. The left one is very slightly more saggy than the right but they were always like that my whole life. I might see if Dr. Chaffoo can do a slight tweak to the left just by taking out a little more skin, but I don't want to mess them up either when they look great already.