First of all, I'd like to thank all of you lovely...
First of all, I'd like to thank all of you lovely ladies who have shared your breast lift/implant stories here on RealSelf. Your experiences and advice have been a tremendous help to me, and so I am going to share my journey in hopes of helping others.
I am 32, 5'4', 116 lbs, 32dd, never had children, and have wanted- NEEDED- a breast lift ever since they developed. Genetically, my breasts have always sagged. Additionally, over the past 10 years I have steadily lost over 40 lbs, adding to the sagging problem.
I have put off getting a lift, because everyone seems to recommend waiting until after childbearing. However after 15 years of wishing for beautiful breasts and doing a TON of research, I have decided "Carpe Diem"- to seize the day! If I do have children, and I have to have further work done in the future, then so be it. I am ready to take a leap and enjoy beautiful breasts now!
After so many years of research- much of it here on RealSelf, I chose to entrust my breast lift, with implants, to Dr. Krau. I like his technique, artistry, and level of experience. I will be flying in from out of state next Wednesday, Feb 25 for my pre-op appt, and will have surgery on Thursday, Feb 26. I will have 2 post ops while I am there, and will fly out Monday, March 2. My husband will be traveling to with me and taking care of me.
I am nervous, but not really for the surgery or the pain. I am pretty tolerant to pain, and maybe this is naive of me, but don't think it's going to be that bad. I think I am so excited for the results, that the pain doesn't overwhelm my thoughts at this point.
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." -Pierre Auguste Renoir
The part that makes me nervous is hoping that the results are as near perfect as possible. Symmetry is a must for me, as well as a nice rounded shape. Again these are some of the key reasons I chose Dr. Krau. I know I have to have realistic expectations, but I still want perfection :) From the before/after photos on Dr. Krau's website and on here, I feel confident in his work... I just hope that I can be one of the cases he can proudly add to his portfolio.
I will keep you all posted on my experience! Any thoughts, comments, advice, and/or recommendations are warmly welcomed and appreciated!
Yesterday was the big day! The entire time leading up to my surgery was surreal! And now that it's over, I look down and it still seems surreal! I told Dr. Krau that I wanted to remain a 32dd after my lift. He removed breast tissue, lifted me up, and i ended up with 400cc Mentor Memory Gel, Smooth Round High Profile implants. If you had told me prior to the surgery that I was going to end up with 400cc's, I would have thought you were crazy! And although I am still swollen, I think they will be just right :)
Ok, so yes, I am pretty sore, and I want to touch on a few points:
1. Waking up from the anesthesia- I've read several posts stating that waking people feel freezing and are shivering profusely. My anesthetist advised me ahead of time that I would shake. He said it is a reaction that we have to the anesthesia, and because we are typically cold coming out of surgery, we feel like we are freezing to death! But really the shaking is unrelated to body temperature. Knowing this helped when I was going through it, because I was mentally prepared and I just tried to take deep breaths.
2. I also read that many people get nauseous from the anesthesia. I felt a twinge of nausea on the drive to the hotel and a little into the evening, but I never threw up. I had ginger ale, saltines, when I got back to my hotel that helped. For dinner I ate some chicken noodle soup so that I could take my medicine.
3. The pain- At first it was a burning soreness. Now it it is mostly just sore- the burning sensation has gone away. But the soreness is no joke. It feels deep- like when you've had a bad cough for several days, and your chest hurts deep inside- that's how it feels. And then also it feels like muscle soreness- like I just killed it at the gym!
4. The unexpected pain- my back! For the first 5 nights, you have to lay at a 30 degree angle. I was not prepared for what this would do to my back! I went out this morning and got a heating pad. And as I have napped today, realized that a heating pad is a game changer! If you are going to have this procedure, I highly recommend a heating pad- ONLY for your back though, not your breasts!
5. The bleeding- As you can see from the pics, I definitely bled through the bra last night. I had a follow up visit today and they gave me a fresh one. The other photos are from the follow up appointment. They said everything is looking good so far. Bandages will be changed on Monday.
Dr Krau and his staff have been truly amazing. Again, I flew in for the procedure, so my consultation was via FaceTime. When I met Dr. Krau in person, it felt like we were old friends. He has a way of setting you at ease. He is confident in his work, but is humble. The entire staff was warm and welcoming.
Again, this feels completely surreal! I look down and they are so high and tight! I know that they are far from the final product, but I'm already so grateful!
It's day 3 post op and I am still sore, but am feeling a good bit better than the first 2 days. I am not one to try to be heroic, so I shamelessly took my pain medicine like clockwork the last 2 days. But today, I've been able to back off of them a little. Still taking them, but I can go longer without needing them today.
I am posting a few update photos, but apologies in advance, I was taking selfies and it was with an iPad, so super clumsy and the lighting is bad!...so not great pics! Hopefully they will suffice for my update though :)
Day 3 continued!
Sorry, posted without uploading all my pics :)
It's been over a week now.. Actually post op days 4-8 I was at a work conference, so I jumped right back into the swing of things! I've been sore, but every day is better, and now over a week out, I feel pretty good.
At this point the soreness is at its peak when I first wake up in the morning, or if I wake up in the middle of the night. But it's like sore muscles after workout- if you sit still for a while, or of course sleep, they get stiff and hence the increased soreness.
I am updating pics, though I don't feel like the pics are that great. It's so hard to take these breast selfies and make them look even! The right is slightly higher that my left, but it doesnt look aa extreme in person as the pics seem to portray.
My final follow up with Dr. Krau was on Monday morning, post op day 4. Dr. Krau removed the bandages and put what you can see looks like a nude colored tape. I am supposed to leave it on for 3 weeks and then use te Mepiform that I poseted previously.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Day 11- Mini Update/Question for the Experienced!
Hi all! Quick post/question for you! There is a topic that I read over and over on websites and "what to expect" brochures, however, don't hear much about it on here... Nipple sensation. My left nipple is a little extra sensitive- not painfully so, but more than it was before, and my right nipple- completely numb.
Are there any experienced Lift+Implant ladies out there who can advise if this ever balances out, or if sensation will ever return? I'm curious about real life situations rather than necessarily the statistics online.
And one more thing I should mention about Dr. Krau's technique that may be unique- He slightly cuts the center of your muscle between your breasts. This weakens the muscle in order to avoid "armpit boob" down the road. In fact, I was told many ladies come to him for armpit boob revisions, a few years after their implant surgery. I hated and still hate the idea of cutting extra muscle (since it was already being cut on each side to get the implant in there), however, I definitely don't want armpit boob, so I guess it's a necessary evil. But let me say, the center of my chest, where this muscle has apparently been cut, is ABSOLUTELY the most painful part of the last 11 days! And in one of my earlier posts, where I mentioned back pain- I honestly felt like that was pain from the muscle being cut shooting all the way through my core. There were a few times I had to remind myself of my previous quote, lol:
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." -Pierre Auguste Renoir
I will post more pics in a few days to show you my progress!! XOXO!
Hey Niknoodle these pics are for you!
I'm just under the two week mark. You will notice a yellowish bruising, particularly on my right breast. It is light, so I will take it as a sign of healing.
I'm still feeling pretty sore, but loving the look so far!
Tomorrow is officially week 3 post op. Today I took off the surgical tape for the first time and really got a look at the scars... And for the first time had a mini meltdown. I know that I am still very early in the healing process, but there is just something about seeing the scars that is really tough. Additionally, I am freaked out that my areolas are not round and they are not symmetrical. This has been a priority to me from the beginning. Again, I know it's still early, so i am hoping it gets better as everything settles and heals.
My husband helped me put Mepiform back over the scars. I posted a pic of the Mepiform box a few posts back. They soft silicone self-adherent sheets that help hold the incisions tight and help to heal the scars. Again they come in sheets, so my husband cut them into strips similar to the width of original tape. Because the Mepiform is expensive, we found a more efficient way of applying it on the second try.. Hence the square on one side and the triangle on the other :) It is waterproof and Dr Krau said I could leave the same on for about 3 weeks before replacing.
One final update- in my last post I mentioned the severe pain in the center of my chest from having the muscle cut. Literally all day, everyday I was aware of the pain. So on day 16, I was thrilled to notice the pain was subsiding! And since then, I still have some general soreness, and an occasional shooting pain, but I've felt a ton better! So for me, day 16 was my turning point :)
Today is my one month post op mark!
I'm feeling good. Still sore but it's not the deep soreness it was before. I've slept in a bra every night until last night. I probably will continue to wear one at night for a while- although the instructions from Dr. Krau were just at least the first 3 weeks. I want to continue to give the girls support at night, but last night I just needed a break!
This week I noticed a tremendous decrease in the swelling. My breasts are feeling softer and more natural. They are still sitting high, but I know that will take time. I think they may be dropping a little .
I've also left the silicone strips on- which you'll see in the pics. Again, Dr. Krau said I could keep the same strips on for 2-3 weeks, and since they are pricey, I didn't want to remove them for at least another week. They are waterproof, so showering isn't a problem. I am hopeful that this will help the scars heal well.
Oh! And I got back in the gym this week!! Just for cardio on the Eliptical, but it felt great! I didn't experience any discomfort at all. The Eliptical was a good way to get moving, without any jarring.
One Month Comparison!
Just for fun here are some camparisons!
Wow has it been 6 weeks already? The first few weeks really dragged because I wanted time and the healing process to move quickly. Now looking back, I realize that time, as it always does, has really passed quite quickly.
I am feeling great. Really only experiencing a sharp pain here and there- maybe every few days or so. And the only soreness is when touched, but not really painful, just noticeable.
I kept the Mepiform on for 3 weeks. Just took it off today. Though it was starting to peel off at the edges- losing stickiness.. That may have been partially because I kept lifting it up to take a peak :)
From my initial look at the scars until now- 3 weeks later, I feel happy with the healing process of the scars. Dr Krau did inform me that the scars will heal really nicely and will lighten quickly. Then he said in a few months the scars will turn a darker red, before lightening again. He said it's all part of the healing process, so not to freak out :) ...I know I have a few months before that hits, but I definitely appreciated him setting the expectation.
I am going to put the Mepiform back on tonight and leave it again for the next 2-3 weeks.
Happy healing ladies! Xoxo!
2 and a Half Years Later...
Here are some pics of what I would call, final results. For the most part, the scars are very light. I did wear a bikini the first summer and I feel like perhaps it led to a slight darkening of the straight scar under my left areola. I slathered with sunscreen even under my bikini, so maybe it wasn't the sun, but I do wish I had applied sunscreen more often or maybe just overall been more careful.
A few parting thoughts:
1.. Overall, I am incredibly happy with the results!
2. I do feel like they are a bit to big for my frame and short torso. If I ever have them done again after I have kids, I will definitely go smaller.
3. I barely remember the pain and how it was all consuming for about 4-6 weeks of my life! That 6 week mark hit and it seemed like life was back to normal- just with better boobs!
4. These things are incredibly hard to photograph and capture accurately! I look in the mirror and they are symmetrical and look great, but as soon as I snap a pic it looks like one is bigger than the other or they are lopsided. This is just photographer error- not Dr Krau's! He is an artist!!
5. One of my hang ups when looking at before and after pics prior to having the surgery was what appeared to be a ton of non circular areolas. I thought, how can dr's not cut out a circle? Come to find out, they probably all were pretty circular, but once everything settles, your skin kind of pulls down and makes the areolas look not circular- especially in photos. -Maybe everyone else already realizes this, but for some reason I didn't and so I kept thinking this was dr error. I've included a pic to show the circular areola.
6. My husband loves them too ????
7. I would do it again in a heartbeat.