After years of wishing and wanting and months of...
After years of wishing and wanting and months of interviewing surgeons, last week I finally booked and paid for my procedure! April 29th is the big day and I can hardly contain my excitement! I will be doing somewhere between 300-350cc silicone submuscular with an inframammary incision. I wish I could go a bit bigger, but apparently I have a narrow chest..I will be happy though I'm sure. I can wait to finally feel feminine!
A few questions for you ladies who have already had this done..I am a nurse finishing my masters to be a certified nurse midwife, so I am catching babies and doing paps all day..I obviously use my hands and arms a lot. How long did it take other nurses to get back to work? Also, how long before you all were able to get back to a normal gym routine and how much strength did you lose/how long did it take to get back to where you were? Then what about feel? I have this fear that they will be two hard stationary rocks on my chest..I've been reassured that this isn't the case, but it never hurts to hear it again :-)
Now that its real I have an ungodly amount of anxiety! Hopefully some of you girls can tell me its normal. This fear really feels like it came out of nowhere..I'm afraid that I won't like how it looks, that my body will look even more disproportionate, that I will never be able to get my strength back, I will have trouble breastfeeding one day, that something will happen requiring a revision surgery at a huge cost...and the list goes on!! Any comments that would help give me peace of mind are welcome! Anyway, that's where I am right now! I will write something about why I'm doing this and the decision making process with my surgeon a little later.
Thanks for welcoming me to the community ladies!
Pre Op Yesterday! 13 more days!
So like I said before, I have had a TON of anxiety lately, but I had my pre op yesterday and I am feeling a bit better. I talked to Dr. Oppenheimer about my stress and anxiety, especially surrounding the anesthesia, and he took his time to explain everything and reassure me. We also discussed what he finally decided on for my implant choice. We had previously discussed doing somewhere between 300-350cc moderate plus, but he said after reevaluating my measurments and my goals, he thinks I would be best off doing somewhere between 250-300cc high profile. At first I was disappointed and..of course..more scared and anxious..that I would be unhappy and they wouldn't be big enough. After I came home and did some more research and gathered a better understanding of total volume and width:projection ratios, I feel confident that I will still achieve my goal look or close to it. I trust him, so I think in the end, I will still be happy with the results.
Anyway, I'm done being a downer! I am so excited that I am LESS than 2 weeks away!! I can't believe this is finally happening! I have started putting my bag together because I will staying with a friend of mine for a few days after so she can help me out and I brought my rx to the pharmacy tonight and will pick them up tomorrow. This is all beginning to feel so real, but I know the full excitement won't sink in until I wake up in recovery and look down!
Thanks again for your support and encouraging comments!
9 more sleeps! (Well 10 if you count THE propofol induced sleep)
I'm starting to feel better about everything..I'm sure the night before the procedure I'll be a wreck, but right now I feel pretty good! I enjoyed a bit of retail therapy yesterday..despite the fact that Dr. Oppenheimer told me not to do any shopping. Who tells a WOMAN, with anxiety mind you, NOT to shop?! That's almost blasphemous! Alright Dr. O...I get why you would tell me to hold off, but that's why we have return policies! I kid..but seriously..I felt so much better after a few laps around the mall! I have some pictures of the gorgeous (and on SALE!) anxiolytics I bought at VS. I bought a few sizes and I'll return or swap out anything that doesn't work post op.
Anyway, luckily I'm incredibly busy over the next 9 days..two days in the clinic, four 24hr call days at the hospital and one online conference..no time to sit online and read things that I shouldn't! ..Hopefully..unless no one is in labor when I'm at the hospital, in which case I'm sure I'll be back on here.
All in all I am incredibly excited and the 29th can't come fast enough! I love reading everyone's updates post op and tips..it has been so helpful. I think I have everything bought, packed, cleaned and organized. Is this what nesting is like?! Thanks again ladies!
29 Apr 2014
Day of treatment
Good evening ladies! I just wanted to give you a quick update. Everything went well, I still am so shocked when I look down! I vomited twice as I was coming off of the anesthesia, but I feel great now! Nausea has completely subsided and I am in no pain. Dr. Oppenheimer used a nerve block called Experal and it is amazing! If they need a drug rep I would sign up in a heartbeat! The only discomfort I have is tightness, pressure and an occasional sharp pain near the area where the incision is located.
I will update in more detail with pictures later! Thank you all again for the support and for thinking of me today :-)
Day 3 Update
Hello ladies! I had my procedure three days ago and I’m still feeling great! I had my post op appt two days ago and promised that I would rest and do absolutely nothing, so the most strenuous thing I have done since then is uncap my chapstick and pull up my yoga pants. I am going to lose my mind if I sit around much longer, I’m really not good at doing nothing. I have to remind myself this was an investment and a lot of work for Dr. O, so even though I feel fine, I need to take it easy so that I don’t disrupt anything.
Like I said before, I have had no pain and haven’t even had to take Tylenol because of the Exparel. I have been having a lot of muscle spasms, some in my pecs, but mainly running along my spine. Has anyone else experienced this? It isn’t particularly painful, but it is rather annoying and makes sleeping difficult. Hopefully it will dissipate over the next few days. I also have had a weird oscillation between incredibly sensitive nipples and occasional numbness. I once had a patient who told me that her grandmother said in order to prepare for breastfeeding she should rub a towel back and forth across her nipples after her shower each night. I hadn’t heard of it before, so of course I tried it that night…and it was horrible! Holy fiery nipples Batman! That is exactly what this feels like. Hopefully this too will subside. Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll have fun explaining that at some point. If that’s not a mood killer, I don’t know what is!
Aside from those two minor problems, everything has been wonderful so far! They are beginning to soften up some already and are looking a bit more round. The left is settling more quickly than the right, but I’m sure that is expected. I have my next follow up in about a week and Dr. O said we will start using a band across the top of my chest to help the implants to settle into their pocket at that time. I can’t wait to see how they change over the next few weeks and months!
Here are a few quick pictures from the last few days. Sorry for the poor quality, they're all taken with my phone.
Good Evening Ladies!
I am now 10 days post op and feeling great, but let me tell ya..these new additions are a learning experience! Everything I do feels different! I go to get a pedicure and sit in the massage-y chair and watch my boobs shake for the first time, I go over speed bumps and feel like I need to let go of the wheel and grab my chest, and the list goes on, but none of these things were particularly concerning until a few nights ago...
Wednesday evening I went to a dinner with a bunch of other midwives and as usual it took us 30mins to clear out because of the self perpetuating hugs. This seems safe enough, until I come to one of my mentors who is a tall German woman who is built big and solid (I'm allowed to say this because I am half German and I too am pretty soild..just not tall). She tells me how proud she is of all I've been doing...and then gives me a strangling bear hug. While I'm gasping for air, I feel something bulging out like a balloon from my side! I immediately start to panic, thinking that she just busted my sutures.
I run to get my car and the valet guy is taking way too long so I'm standing in front of the restaurant looking down my dress, frantically grabbing at the sides of my breasts. (I have no idea why I'm still single?!) Once I get in my car I speed home and email Dr. O. I was trying to stay calm, because just that morning he had told me that each suture has two other with the same purpose, so even if one were to come out, everything would still be held in place. However, I went to bed a bit worried that something was wrong.
The next morning I went to clinic and was afraid to move my arms while seeing my first few patients. I’m almost certain I looked like a T. rex. Luckily, I checked my phone early in the day and saw that he had promptly emailed me back, reassuring me that everything was fine. He was so confident, that I really was no longer worried, but I’m sure my panic was almost tangible through the email, so he offered to see me the following day.
Today I went in to see him and he said everything looked and felt fine and that there would be a lot of normal changes and new feelings as they settle and become a part of me. So I can now officially breathe a sigh of relief!
I could not be happier with how well Dr. Oppenheimer has been taking care of me. He has answered every email quickly and thoroughly without seeming frustrated or impatient. I’m definitely feeling like one of those patients who is constantly on edge and emailing every waking moment, but I’m really hoping now that he has reassured me I will be able to let go a bit.
All in all, aside from my one freak out, everything is great! My nipples still feel like someone took 40 grit to them, but both breasts are settling nicely and I no longer have any numbness at all. I absolutely love them! I think Dr. O chose the perfect size and did a lovely job. I am grateful everyday that I listened to my gut and chose him as my surgeon.
Here are a few updated pictures. White bathing suit is exactly 1 week, teal bra is 8 days and those in the pink bra were taken about 15mins ago.
8 out of 8 Midwives Agree
Good Afternoon Ladies!
I’m nearly one month post op and, once again, still doing well! The back spasms are almost entirely gone and the implants are slowly settling. The right is lagging a bit so there is some asymmetry, but I was told not to worry and to be patient when I spoke with Dr. O today (I know! On a Sunday afternoon! If that doesn't speak to his dedication to his patients, I don’t know what would!). I still can’t believe how happy I am that I went through with this. I was worried initially that, because of my anxiety beforehand, I would experience what some of you have described as the “boobie blues”. However, I can happily report that I have been fortunate and have not had even a hint of regret.
I just came back from a midwifery conference and graduation and as my friends found out I had a breast augmentation they all immediately asked to evaluate..professionally of course ;-) I think my shirt was off as much as it was on! I have never had that many hands on my breasts within a 5 day span..or ever, for that matter. To report back on how they look and feel, I can say that 8 out of 8 midwives agree that they are some of the most natural looking and feeling that they have encountered. And let me tell you..we do a lot of breast exams and breastfeeding help, so they’ve had their hands on a lot of augmented breasts! Granted this is anecdotal evidence, I still think it is fair to say that Dr. O has quite a gift.
Anyway, I’ll be seeing Dr. Oppenheimer on Wednesday, so I’ll update again soon on how he says everything is going. Here are a few pictures from last week and today..and one from graduation because I’m so happy to be nearly finished that I have to share my excitement! Plus, it’s still rather anonymous, though I’m sure you can figure out which one I am through deductive reasoning ;-)
Have a great holiday weekend and remember to be grateful for all of those who have died serving our country!
Free The Girls - Donate old bras!
Good Evening Ladies!
So like many of you I’m sure, I have an ungodly number of bras that I can no longer wear. Some I try on would leave me living in fear of a nip slip, others straight up constantly show a hint of nipple, but the majority of them just look ridiculous. I keep thinking of the movie Zoolander where they show him the model of “The School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good” and he says “What is this?! A center for ants?!...The center has to be at least three times bigger than this!” If you haven't seen it, the clip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KC_rd7-bf0 . That’s how I feel most of my bras look now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining! I love it, but it has left me thinking…what am I going to do with all of these bras that I loved so dearly just one month ago?
After some research, I found a lot of great places where you can donate bras, but my favorite of these organizations is called Free the Girls (http://freethegirls.org/). This is a group that helps to support women who have been victims of human trafficking. It collects donated bras and sends them overseas to these women so that they can sell them to provide an income for themselves as they get back on their feet. They have a number of drop off locations and an address where you can mail bras to donate, but they also have information on how to set up an event for bra donation in your community. They list a number of great ideas and even have a customizable flyer you can use to advertise. I’m going to mention this at my next ACNM meeting and see if I can find a practice or drug rep to sponsor an event. If any of you ladies would like to send bras or would be willing to brainstorm ideas for an event shoot me a message! So many of you have been such amazing support to one another during this whole process, I thought you may be interested in this organization. What a fun and meaningful way to give back and empower other women!
The Dark Side: Mondor's Cord, Suture Extrusion and Late Onset "Boobie Blues"
Good Afternoon ladies!
I hope you all have had a lovely weekend. I am almost 6 weeks post op and doing well, but I’ve hit a few bumps in the road that I’ll share with you to hopefully help anyone else who may experience them in the future.
The first is that I developed Mondor’s disease (Mondor’s cord) at about 4 weeks post op. It’s caused, from what I understand, because of the interruption of blood flow in the vessels that superficially run down our abdomen caused by the incisions. I first began to notice it on the right, then both the right and the left and by 3 days after I first saw it I had one on the right than ran all the way down just a few inches above the level of my belly button! I let Dr. O know and he called and suggested I begin taking 400mg of ibuprofen three times a day and apply warm compresses. By the time I saw him the following week they had greatly improved. There are two still there, but hopefully will resolve in the next few weeks.
The next little problem that arose was a small suture extrusion or suture abscess (that sounds so much worse than it really is..there is no infection involved). This happened almost exactly a week after the Mondor’s disease, on the left incision. I first noticed what felt like something rough or sharp right at the outside edge of the incision during my scar massage. Dr. O and I had talked about the possibility of the suture coming to the surface at my 1 month post op, so I was prepared for this possibility. Again, during my scar massage, I felt the edge of the incision was hard and raised and while I was massaging, it opened up slightly and a small amount of drainage came out. I sent Dr. O an email to let him know and he called and told me not to worry. This was not uncommon and that it too will resolve on its own. He advised me to hold off on scar massage for now and that if any other sutures came to the surface to make an appt and his assistant could trim or remove it. The incisions now look beautiful (I wish my suturing skills were half as great as his!) and I luckily have not had any other sutures push their way out. This problem is not terribly uncommon due to the nature of the type of closure. Once again, from what I understand, subcuticular sutures are used to close the incision because they look great and won’t leave you with ugly stitch track marks. The only drawback is they use quite a bit of suture material really close to the skin, so even though they are absorbed by the body, there is a chance that some of it may not dissolve completely and may come to the surface. All in all, the incisions still look great and I know they will continue to look even better as time passes.
Lastly, I experienced what I am calling the late onset “boobie blues”. This all started my first week back at the hospital. Before then I had been feeling great and almost completely back to normal, I even started back slowly at the gym. It wasn’t until I caught my first post op baby that I realized my limitations. It was beautiful birth of a first time mom and the birth itself was perfect, but when I went to massage her uterus to make sure she didn’t bleed, I was shocked that I couldn’t apply much pressure. When I tried to push down I noticed a pulling in my breast and it felt like I had no strength in my pec. I ended up having to lock my elbow and use my weight to put pressure downward. Shortly after, I found out I missed a breech and was torn apart by a doctor in front of the nurses and pts. Mind you, I wasn’t the only one who checked her, but I couldn’t help but think I wasn’t as thorough because I was hesitant to put a lot of strain on my pec. After I tried to shrug off the verbal beating I took, I then had to scrub into a c-section for a known fetal demise with the doctor that just yelled at me. It was already very emotional for me, but then on top of it I felt like my arm and chest were going to give out holding the retractor. Just as if the day couldn’t get any worse, I’m on my way down to my call room to finally sleep and I get a text from my ex (who had always told me I couldn’t get a breast augmentation). He was going on about something he knows I’m sensitive about and then has the audacity to ask me if I want to be friends with benefits (in a much less PC way). He always knew how to make my life hell and has such a huge lack of respect that this just sent me over the edge. I sat in bed and cried for who knows how long..thank goodness no one else had a baby that night because I was a wreck. I was second guessing my decision to have the BA because I feel like my limitations now could really affect my ability to care for my patients. I started rethinking everything that made me hesitant about the surgery and was thinking about all of the little hiccups I’ve had since the surgery. Needless to say, I went to bed in a bad place.
I now understand how real those “boobie blues” are and how even though you are so happy with your results, you can, for a moment, hate your new breasts. I know that these issues will resolve and that I will soon be back to normal, but it kills me not being able to give my all. These women trust me with one of the most important times in their lives and it’s my responsibility to ensure their best care and I feel like I didn’t do that this week..and I hate it.
So, that’s where I am at, though I feel a lot better now. Dr. O’s assistant Nicole called me and has been messaging me about all of these issues. She has been absolutely amazing. It’s great to know that I have both the physical and emotional support I need from my surgeon and his wonderful staff.
Anyway, for anyone who read that novel..I hope it helps a bit. I know it helped me to at least just vent it all out. This has been a rough week. Here are a ton of pictures from the day of my 1mt post op appt, the white bathing suit top again for comparison, 5wks post op, a top from a costume at 6wks (I’m a huge sci fi/comics/horror nerd), and then pictures of the Mondor’s cord and the suture extrusion.
Two years post op, doing great..so great I referred a friend!
Just a quick update..since I never followed up after the difficulties I had a few mts post op. Nearly all of the problems I had resolved. I still have a small area with numbness on my left breast, but aside from that they are great! My scars are barely noticeable and both implants have dropped and settled nicely. I also lost very little strength overall! I was shocked that I was able to still do most of what I did before surgery. I attached a few photos from between a year and two post op for an update!
A side note, I was so thrilled with my results and Dr. O's skills that I referred a good friend of mine for a breast reduction. She had her procedure today and is currently passed out on the couch, but has told me about a dozen times how happy she is! The first thing she said to me when I met her in recovery was that her back already feels better!
All in all, Dr. O has two very happy patients, who both love how they look and feel!