Hello all! I am glad to have found this site and...
Hello all! I am glad to have found this site and appreciate that so many women are willing to share their experiences. Thank you!
I have finally made an appointment for a consult with a Minneapolis surgeon and would love everyone's advice (especially Mpls residents) on how many surgeons to consult with before making a decision. Through the site reviews and lots of photo gallery review I have scheduled an appointment with Dr. Douglas Gervais (honestly couldn't choose between him or Dr. Tholen -- they both seem to be equally fantastic surgeons) and Dr. Jennifer Harrington.
Has anyone gone forward with the first PS you consulted with? I am afraid of making an impulsive decision, but I also don't want to wait months and months to schedule surgery. Dr. Gervais was able to see me within a week of my call and the other surgeon was scheduling out a month or two.
I will be posting more info as I move forward with the BA, but for now here are my stats:
33 yrs old, no pregnancies, 5'8" 125 lbs, A cup (if I'm lucky) planning for a C cup post op. Other bits of info, I am very active (weight training, hot yoga, water sports) and don't want breasts to hinder my activity level. I also have a significant asymmetry which I will post photos of at a later date. My left breast is noticeably larger than the right but it seems to be a periodic swelling, not every month, but more so for months at a time before settling down. Anyone else out there have a similarly changeable breasts?
I'd appreciate any advice or guidance you ladies would like to share. Thanks!
Full steam ahead 32A to Full C - Feedback or advice is appreciated!
Hi Ladies! Thank you for your advice on consults. I appreciate everyone's responses very much.
I had a wonderful consult with Dr. Gervais this morning and decided to move forward with surgery. Due to work obligations I either needed to schedule in the next few weeks or wait until March/April, and fortunately they could sneak me in 10 days out first thing in the early a.m. Dr. G was kind, very thorough and listened to all of my concerns including wanting to not be too big for my frame and stay in the C cup range (Ds look amazing but just a little more than a conservative Minnesota girl can handle). I only tried two sizers and then a combo to compensate for my asymmetry. We settled on 339cc (left) and 371cc (right) silicon under the muscle with profile to be determined day of surgery (hoping for a moderate or mod+ profile). It was still a little surprising to see the sizers in a sports bra (the upfront uniboob didn't help affirm my decision) but I realize they will settle and compress a bit when place under the muscle. I've gone into this BA process entirely on my own (with mom's support...we're both small chested) and, as is par for the course, I'm getting a little nervous about size. On one hand I tell myself I'm starting at a small A cup so shouldn't end up as a D inadvertently (sticking to my guns on cc's she says...) but then I shared wish pics with a male friend and he thought they were a little on the big side. What man says you're boobs are too big!?!? LOL In any case, I know they will look great nude or in a bikini and I dress pretty conservatively at work (t's rarely hug into my ribcage unless I'm at the gym). I tried on a few sweaters and my own loose t's with the sizer and it looked great. So, here we go...I'm taking the plunge!!
Second guessing size and more pre-op pics
Still a little on the fence about size...and if I will end up looking too big. I asked a male and female friend separately their thoughts on my wish boob pics and they both thought the pics (nude pics only) above looked bigger than Cs. I realize cup size is arbitrary really and often recent BA women looks much bigger nude than clothed. Anyway, I have my fingers crossed I'll end up a C cup! I'm posting a few more pre-op pics so you can better see my goal for a balanced figure. Any advice is welcomed :)
I made rice sizers close to 339cc and 371cc. Love how they look in the mirror but it's funny how big they appear when looking down. If these are spot on I'll have to ask the doc about bumping me up on surgery day...
Haters gonna hate
I've kept this whole BA pretty quiet but told my mom (#1 supporter) and my sibling. As a courtesy I told my best friend (female) last week and she pretty much flipped her lid (I knew she would because when I broached the subject 6 months ago she said she though plastic surgery was disgusting). Initially, she said, "whatever makes you happy," but with within 24 hrs that changed to trying to talk me out of/or reschedule my surgery next Friday. Whether it's different values, concern I'm rushing the decision, or threat that I'll finally feel or look sexier, I don't know but it's not very helpful! Just going to take a deep breath and shake it off. Bring on the boobies!
Less than 36hrs to go
Getting very excited and can't believe this is actually happening....in 36 hrs! I stopped back at the PS's office today to try the larger sizers on again and ask a few questions. I really liked the projection and shape of the rice sizers I made after my initial appointment. They seemed a bit larger and had better projection than the silicone sizers from my initial consult, so the patient coordinator made a note of it and said she thought the 397cc would get me closer to that look. She suggested I talk to Dr. G on Friday regarding projection and wanting a perky and lifted look and he would take care of the rest. Not sure if that's considered natural...probably not for a large C cup on a 33 year old woman ;) I am very excited Friday and ready for this to happen already!!
12 hours post op and feeling great! 397cc and 421cc Mod Plus
31 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Hi ladies! I didn't have much time to post a pre-op update....was so busy wrapping up work and house duties. Luckily all the tasks tired me out and kept pre-op nerves at bay (mostly ;). Strangely enough, I slept great last night and woke up feeling pretty peaceful about the surgery. The actual medical side of things (anesthesia, pain, etc) didn't worry me due to two recent stints of general anesthesia but concerns of making the right size decision, symmetry outcome, and countless other aesthetic concerns were my many worry. Luckily, other patients of Dr. Gervais calmed my nerves by saying he was a perfectionist and I was in great hands.
Due to the clinic's superior anesthesia techniques I had zero post-op nausea and we even stopped for Starbucks for lattes and a Redbox movies on the way home. The only initial discomfort has been mild pec tenderness during movement (eating dinner/picking up water glass, etc) and some upper rib cage soreness. The pain meds have been very necessary though perhaps on the lighter side from what I was given for my foot surgeries. They are doing the trick nonetheless.
I am still so excited from the great day and still in a little disbelief. I have boobies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First pics post op
31 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Self pics in surgical bra look a little larger due to camera angle. My breasts don't feel as hard as I thought they would be they are definitely swollen and very warm. I'm liking the initial shape even though they are still high and tight, and I'm hoping there will be more of a cleavage crease as they settle.
Correction 371cc and 421cc
31 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Correction: I have 371cc (left) and 421cc (right) Natrelle Moderate Plus (style 15) silicone implants.
Day 2: Feeling good
All seems to be going well so far. I've being diligent with hydration, icing, and meds/laxatives and am already feeling better than yesterday (Celebrex and muscle relaxers awesome ;). Like my forum friend BoobsLaRue (we share the same surgery date) I barely slept last night...not so much from pain but just couldn't hit a deep sleep or get comfy on elevated pillows.
A few misc notes:
I have heard a sloshing sound in my right breast but the nurse said that is normal. My friend/caretaker has been very stern about limiting motion (my PS said elbows below shoulders--different instructions for diff docs it seems) so I'm staying in mummy pose and keeping elbows glued to my side.
My PS's office informed me of risks of cat dander and infection but said as long as the kitty didn't sleep on the bed I should be fine (this is more crucial for patients with drains--which I do not have). I didn't want to take any risks or have that discussion with kitty throughout the night so I packed her up and sent her to my brother's place. Going to wait a full two weeks until incisions are completely healed to bring her home :(
Also, I didn't research the actual surgical technique prior to surgery (should have) but learned that my PS used cauterization to create implant pocket, etc. This controls bleeding, discomfort, and quickens recovery (phew).
Thank you again for following my review and all your encouragement. I really would not have wanted to go through this without the RealSelf community and all the info and encouragement other members have provided. Thank you ladies!
Interesting tidbit: Weight of silicone implants
(From interwebs) To find Silicone Breast Implant Weight:
1cc weighs 0.0375 oz.
To calculate the weight of silicone implants, use the following formula:
e.g. Weight for a set of 300cc breast implants
300cc x 2 = 600cc (for both implants)
600cc x 0.0375 = 22.5 oz.
To convert ounces into pounds, divide the total of 22.5 oz. by 16 (there are 16 ounces in 1 pound).
The scale says I am exactly 5 lbs up from pre-op weight but according to formula I put on 1.86 lbs in boobs yesterday. I can definitely live with that!!
So my best lady friend (who tried to talk me out of this last week) has been traveling but sent me a good luck text on surgery day. Today she checked in on me by asking, "So did they put the nips back on straight? ;) "
Guess she couldn't stay mad for long :)
Hi all :) Finally got some sleep last night (11 hours!!) and everything is feeling better. I'm down to 1-2 reg Tylenol every six hours, 1 Robaxin muscle relaxer (750 mg) every 3 hrs as needed. I'm weaning off the Vicodin because I end up loopy, itching like a crack head and have to take Benadryl. There's a little Celebrex in the regimen as well to help with inflammation.
The swelling is getting better. My breasts don't feel lava hot or like they're in my armpits anymore. There is little bruising near my left breast incision but hopefully it will fade by the first follow up on Wednesday. I can't wait to get this latex tape off my chest!! Between that and the surgical bra the girls have never felt so confined!
GI tip: I'm drinking a ton of water and finding that a digestive/laxative aid with Senna is more effective than docusate alone. I'm still bloated but at least things are moving ;)
Hey ladies. Glad to report I'm feeling nearly normal other than of course the slight tightness from the new girls. I was back to work yesterday but just emailing from home. My range of motion is much improved and I can already tell it will be difficult to take it easy over for a full two weeks. Pulling on shirts over head is fine and I've been showering and fixing my hair since Sunday. Got a good night sleep and have actually acclimated to sleeping propped up. I ended up using several large Ikea Euro square pillows against the headboard and then covering my regular pillows in the beauty satin cases from Target ($5) which has had bedtime much more enjoyable.
I was still pretty sore (and grumpy I'll admit) over the weekend but that quickly improved. I stepped out for a walk Saturday night (kept pulse under 100 bpm...just down the block) and enjoyed a fresh snow fall. It definitely hit me that I should be nothing other than happy and very grateful. I was recovering from a boob job after all...talk about first world problems. I feel so fortunate to have had this BA and several supportive friends to help me through it :)
Out of curiosity, I calculated my bra size using a fabric tape and an online bra size chart. Looks like I'm falling right around a 34C to 32D (woohoo!!). Will be interested to get sized at VS in a few weeks.
I'm posting a few more pics. Still a little concerned about my asymmetry which is more apparent from certain angles, but I'm sure it will improve in time. Also, I'm heading out for coffee now so dressed in a casual Anthro sweater (size S) wearing surgical bra and tank underneath. For all you ladies worried about going to big or going to a D don't worry. Unless you choose to show off your assets most people will never know what you've got hiding under there ;) xo!
Frankenboob, the bloat, and shopping for sports bras
I've heard everyone talk about Frankenboob/morning boob but mine hasn't been too bad. I'm hoping that doesn't mean they're already to low or something (if it's going well I immediately start worrying it's too good to be true!!). I've actually felt better in the morning from lying still all night and periodically getting up to take a muscle relaxer. I might be an anomaly, but more likely I think it has to do with Dr. Gervais' surgical techniques to create the perfect pocket with as little trauma to your natural tissues as possible. Also, I took "don't like" pics with me to consult and showed him a bunch of implants that looked like hard round balls. I worried mine would look like that because I was lean but he said it was most likely because the surgeon didn't create an adequate pocket. I was still skeptical about the outcome (always expecting the worst;) but it looks like he did a wonderful job and I had plenty of tissue to cover the implant.
The bloat is getting much better and I'm nearly back back to pre-op weight. I think some of that has to do with decreased exercise and muscles shedding water but also the meds have caused a little stomach upset :( Also, I've learned post-op is not the time to restrict calories (no dieting ladies) and be sure to get plenty of protein. Your body is healing and actually burning more calories than normal.
I'm very excited to actually wear a comfortable sorts bra instead of this granny surgical bra so I picked up a few of the cute Champion C9's at Target yesterday. I was optimistic that I'd need a medium now, but no, I'm still a small :( The band was gaping but rest was snug. If you're a 32 stick with the small imo.
Will post more pics this afternoon :)
5 Days Post-op. New Pics.
Had a great follow up with my PS today. He said everything looks wonderful. No more tape. No steri-strips. Just keep everything clean/dry and no gym until 14 days. He didn't address the asymmetry and I'm sure it's not noticeable if you're not looking for it, but I'll post a pic straight on that makes it more apparent. I also had my left clavicle reconstructed 10 years ago so I'm sure the slope of my shoulder and posture are affecting this as well.
Bruising is clearing up but I still have a bit of numbness and zingers now and then. The nips are mostly numb with pangs of sensitivity now and then; the numbness extends from the areola to the crease in a triangle pattern. It's early yet so I'm hopeful sensation will return but it's not a deal breaker for me either.
Now it's just a waiting game for the d&f and hoping righty makes a little more progress :)
Boobs and Body Image
I wanted to share a thoughts from a PM conversation with another member regarding fitness. I know this is a plastic surgery forum but I think fitness really ties into our quest to feel and look better. I am not an authority by any means and there a ton of women on here that are in amazing shape and clearly work hard to stay fit. A lot of them are moms, and a lot of them are 10 or 15 years older than me and they look amazing!!
To share a little about body image and my fitness goals, I started working out about four years ago in effort to get fit and "like my body" better (never set foot in a gym until I was 28 and could best be described as 'skinny fat'). I signed up for a year of personal training at a local gym and tried to keep tabs on my nutrition. I'm definitely human and complete sugar addict, but I try to remember it's 90% diet and 10% what you do in the gym (wish it way the other way around). Nothing really changed until I started lifting heavy about 2 years ago (unassisted pull ups, dead lifts, squats etc and some HIIT for cardio). Now I lift five days a week and will often take a yoga class or long walk on day six.
I really enjoyed seeing the progress but no matter how hard I worked I couldn't change the size of my beasts. So here I am :) I talked to a therapist briefly about having a BA last Fall (I was feeling conflicted...and as it turns out she was staunchly opposed to plastic surgery). She was concerned that a BA wouldn't change or improve my self worth. I told her I already had plenty of self worth and this wasn't about changing how I felt about myself...it was just about changing how I felt about my breasts ;) Pretty simple imo.
I realize that's a bit of a tangent but felt like I should share. Now back to boobs. Posting day 10 progress pics shortly. Thanks for reading :)
Day 10 Pics
Not a lot of change with the position or symmetry but most of the bruising has cleared up. My incisions look great but the left incision is a bit more red. This has always been the fussy and larger breast (even pre-op) and seemed to have more swelling despite the smaller implant. This morning I discovered lefty has developed a small Mondor's cord but it's only visible when I take a deep breath or stretch my chest. There's a bit of deeper bruising and soreness between a few of my ribs but it's barely visible. Driving has been fine since day 4 and I feel almost 100% other than I'm not allowed to exercise or lift anything over five lbs yet (my purse weighs more than 5lbs!!).
A full assortment of sports bras just arrived from Zappos. Will let you ladies know if I find any winners!
Two week update
I'm happy to report things are going well at the two week point. My right side is starting to settle a bit and come more in line with the left. It still looks like my right pec is fighting the implant and it's not really a nice soft tear drop shape yet but hopefully laying off the chest work outs will allow that to change in time. The Mondors cord is still there but much less sore than at the onset. I'm still sleeping on my back and being careful about heavy lifting or reaching but most of the soreness has dissipated (still stiff and tight in the rib area though). I just started back to the gym a few days ago with cardio (stairs and bike), core/abs and some lower body weights; my stamina is much reduced but it still feels good to get out there and move. So far I've been playing it safe with compression bras and dark colored Under Armour tanks etc. My gym is kind of a meat market so it will be a small victory if these Ds go unnoticed ;)
I'm very curious to go get measured but I'm resigned to sports bras for 3-4 more weeks. Did any of you gals get measured at week two or three and stay the same or change size? Most of the online calculators have me at a 32D but I'd like to hear it from a professional.
1 Month Update
Hello ladies! Not much dramatic to report since my last update nor a ton of visual change but I've posted two more pics.
I had my one month follow up today and my PS said all looks good. I asked him about the right side still being high and he agreed the upper pole was a little more full but to give it time. He said I can go ahead and wear regular bras now and I don't have any exercise restrictions (though I'm to take it easy and work back into upper body lifting gradually). I'm excited to hit the weights and get some muscle back on :)
I still have a bit of numbness in the lower pole of my breasts and my nipples are hyper sensitive, but the zingers are starting to subside. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how things are looking but I still have twinges or worry about bottoming out, particularly on the left side. I know there's nothing I can do about it at this point so I'll just hope for the best :) Any input or words of wisdom from ladies who have bottomed out would be appreciated.
All for now...bra shopping to commence in 3-2-1!!
11 Mar 2014
2 months post
Hello lovely ladies! I wanted to share a before and after (6 1/2 weeks post-op) photo. I'm still hoping for the symmetry to improve, but after seeing the comparison of the two photos I still think it's a great improvement over what I had. I've noticed camera angle (esp the iphone's tendency to distort things at close range) seems to exaggerate any asymmetry. My posture also seems to make the lower breast more noticeable (I tried to even out my shoulders for photos but one clavicle is reconstructed and it really effects my posture).
Also, I briefly wanted to address a concern (however trivial) I had before my BA. I realize I'm pretty slender but I was concerned, as a lot of us are, that this would dramatically effect my shape and make me look heavier or matronly. If anything my experience has been quite the opposite. It really has balanced me out and made my waist and butt look smaller (I'm about 2lbs heavier in post op photo and have lost a little upper body muscle.). Again, I'm not sure if phone snaps accurately depict my figure (think they make my bottom half look a smaller than it is due to camera angle...I'm a size 6 or 28 jeans) but I certainly feel more balanced now.
Also, bra shopping report:
VS sizing yields 32D. I bought several bras last week including the new super comfy t-shirt bra. Highly recommended as an every day bra!
16 Mar 2014
2 months post
Last week's bra shopping really brought home how irrelevant asking for a bra size can be when consulting with a PS. If my doc had given me a full C as I had asked I probably wouldn't have been very happy. Instead going for a certain look and shape was a better approach for me. My current size is NOT what I was expecting but it makes sense since I have a pretty small ridecage for my height. I'm measuring 28" just under my breasts and max bust measurement of 36".
I headed back to VS last week to try on a few more bras. The 32Ds weren't comfortable and it felt like the cup was the wrong shape or size (and a nip might inadvertently pop out at any moment :o). I was resized as a 32DD and that seemed to fit much better. I was a little put off by how much bra a DD actually was...the cups looked huge and it was just so much fabric! I did walk out with one bra--the Body by Victoria unlined demi. It's very soft and doesn't look so overwhelmingly huge on.
Thought I'd get a second opinion and headed down to Nordstrom. Their 'fit specialist' measured me and we tried a bunch of sizer bras to settle on a 30DDD (yikes!!!). So I got the Natori Feathers bra which I really like. It's very minimal but provides enough coverage to conceal nips and the plunge shape works for a lot of different necklines. The pretty lace overlay really disappears under clothing too. The 30" band is a lot more snug than I'm used to so I might try the sister size (32DD) and see if that's a little more comfortable.
Pics posting shortly. I really don't think I look like a DD in photos. Both bras are basic black...I'll branch out one of these days ;)
2 Month Update
Hi all :) It's been a little over two months since my BA. I'm not noticing as many changes but it seems like my breasts and cleavage are continuing to soften. Still not especially happy about the asymmetry, and though it's not apparent when wearing normal clothing, I do notice it at the gym through fitted shirts and tanks. Also from what I can tell my scars are more apparent than most women at this stage (perhaps just be the way my body heals...?). The incisions actually looked better at 10 days post op than they do now. I also wish they were a bit more hidden under the breast than toward the midline...not sure why they are positioned that way but something to ask at my next follow up.
Pics of my lower (left) breast show the scar migrating up more than the right. Must have more elastic tissue on that breast.
Sorry to rant. Just ever critical ;) Overall I love the size and feel much more proporionate in clothing and in swim suits. Looking forward to beach season...it's just around the corner!
3 Month Update
11 May 2014
4 months post
Posting a few photos about 3 months post op. Had a nice visit with my PS a few weeks ago and he recommended a silicone scar gel (SkinMedica recovery gel) to use twice daily before and we would reassess at my 6 mo follow up. We also discussed the asymmetry and lower position of left breast (and movement of incision up breast). Again, something to keep and eye on but he thought there wouldn't be too many more changes after 3 mo.
After looking at my wish pics and comparing results to other women with similar stats it's pretty clear that my breasts look "bottom heavy" (notice nipple is creeping up to center and more breast volume below nipple). I feel like I should have a perkier look esp in light of never having children and having good muscle tone. I'm not sure if this is considered classic bottoming out, but it's not the result I was going for. I'm also very envious of other women's scar healing and placement. This TMI, but I've just started dating again, and am absolutely embarrassed by my scars and not looking forward to explaining them away to a new bf. Sigh. So far I'd give my satisfaction level with this BA about a 6. At least I look better in clothing and swim suits so I guess that's a plus. Sorry to rant. Been holding it in a while;) Here's to hoping things improve....cheers all :)
18 Month Update. Revision Required.
I've put off posting this update mostly because I'm not happy with my results and don't really feel like there's a viable solution to the situation. Essentially, my left breast is bottoming out, has a significant scar, and needs revision. I am not happy with the placement of the right implant either. I have persistent pings and twinges (pain) on left side near crease and sternum and have discomfort if I don't wear a bra 24/7. This asymmetry of the dropped breast is very apparent even in a sports bra under fitted t-shirts at the gym or any lighter colored fitted tops/dresses, and so I am resigned to black mostly. Also, when I lay on my back I feel as though the implants slide to the side which I've been told is a result of the pockets being over-dissected.
My PS offered to do a revision on the left breast only as the right was fine in his opinion. Essentially, his approach was to raise the pocket to match my right breast by stitching the pocket and scar tissue into the rib. Price quoted after he discounted his fees was around $2,300. I went to another award winning PS in the area who said he would use internal silk material (alternative to strattice) to strengthen pocket and support implant (he thought stitching scar tissue to rib would just stretch and bottom out again) and would revise both as I wasn't happy with placement of either. This would cost around $8,000 and slightly less if only one breast was revised.
During pre-op appointments my original PS said he would be lowering my right crease to match the lower breast (one that is bottoming out). I wasn't able to visualize how this would effect my results and trusted his judgement. In retrospect, perhaps it would have been better to raise the left side to match my original right crease (I'm not a PS but perhaps this would have yielded better results).
In sum, I feel like I researched and chose one of the top docs in the city and still didn't get the results I had hoped for. Despite my results being not that bad (not his exact words) I don't think he would ever feature my photos on his web gallery and that is a strong testament in my opinion. Further, would I frolic on a topless beach in France...maybe but never with these breasts I went out on a limb financially and am still paying off the original procedure. Unfortunately a revision is out of the question.
Luckily, I have a wonderful boyfriend so isn't a perfectionist and has remarked that he thinks they are quite soft and natural feeling. On the positive side, the procedure, recovery, and staff was amazing. I do appreciate Dr. Gervais' skill and professionalism and so am saddened by my outcome.