Ongoing Nipple Sparing Reconstruction, DIEP Flap, Fat Transfer, and Possibly Implants - Mount Pleasant, SC

What a year 2015 has been. This is a very...

What a year 2015 has been. This is a very shortened version of what I wanted to write. I left out the doubts, fears, and quite a bit of the healing process. I can add that later. January 6, 2015, I have a biopsy of my right breast. That Friday, January 9th, I learn I have Lobular Carcinoma in situ. Monday morning, at 8:20 am, I learn that what I have is probably in both breasts, and it has an 80% chance of becoming invasive. I can sit around and wait, or have a bilateral mastectomy, and reduce my chances of breast cancer to 3%. This sounds like a no-brainer to me. I go with the 3% number. I have chest film and labs that day, AND, I get to meet Dr. Hahm that very afternoon. He works with my super breast doctor, Dr. Beatty, when they do mastectomies and reconstruction. I thought I would just want implants, but he spoke to me and told me how I will not like how they feel with a tiny piece of skin covering a very formed implant, so my husband and I agree on the DIEP flap reconstruction. I also knew my reconstruction would be in stages, so this called on me for patience, which is not one of my virtues, lol.
I had surgery February 4th. It was 10 hours long, but I joke I slept through the entire thing. The MRI I had and the biopsy of the removed tissue confirmed I did the right thing. Nothing was normal. Nothing. How could such deflated boobs have that much wrong with them? At least nothing had become invasive, but I have no doubt it would have if I had waited one year. I was back at work in 3 weeks. I have a very sedentary job, but I admit, I grossly underestimated how much this would take out of me. I celebrated standing straight up, being able to walk down the street again, and finally, I got back to the gym. The breasts had great shape, but were much smaller, as I had lost 35 pounds before diagnosis and there wasn't a lot of fat left, but at least I had a good start. I went from 36C to 34 A. That was kind of a bummer.
There was a second surgery in May to close the window of tissue he had under each breast to make sure the tissue lived. It did!! I had zero fat necrosis. At the same surgery, he fixed a groinal hernia I managed to develop.
August 19th, I had further fat grafting to start filling in the breasts. Lucky me, I did not have enough to get the entire breast filled and have the volume and upper pole fullness like we hoped. Another hernia had sprung up, and he fixed that for me, as well. Rats. Now I am around a 34B/C. What really stunk was going to get fitted for a bra and the saleslady saying I am an A cup and sticking me in very pretty training bras that offered no support and not even a molded cup or wire. What??? That was a massive blow to the old ego. Well, at least my waist is now measuring 25", after the DIEP, and then the lipoing of the flanks for the fat grafting. Yay!
So today, we meet to see how to complete reconstruction. I now have enough tissue and fat to cover a softer silicone implant, if that is what is needed. My husband and I have a folder of wish boobs, and now we will hear what is next. I think after what I have been through, I deserve the boobs of my dreams. I now have these rocking curves on my bottom half, so how about some rocking curves for the top?

Getting sized for my implants Monday!!

Thanks the the wonderful DIEP flap, I can now have the soft, squishy silicone implants!! There is now enough tissue! Dr. Hahm will do a subglandular placement, which I love. I am a small 34C right now - I guess that is what it is called. I do not have much upper pole volume and there is not a lot of projection. My husband surprised me with the wish boob photos he chose - they were bigger than I thought he'd prefer. I am shooting for more volume and projection. Why not have the breasts of my dreams? Here are some of the wish photos.

What bra should I bring for sizing?

Okay, I forgot to ask, what type of bra should I bring to sizing? I do not have many. I have a couple with an underwire and the rest are VS wireless T-Shirt ones with a band too large that I bought after the DIEP. The cups all fit. None of them are pushups or padded. Recommendations?

Implants picked!

We had a great meeting today with surgeon. The hubby and I look at 350 and 450cc Mentor implants. I saw my dream boobs at 350cc. The 450s were eye popping, but I think too big. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for Dec 22nd. I was so happy to get a surgery day before the end of the year, I forgot to ask it what time and what hospital! LOL. I will find out at my preop appointment in two weeks.

Surgery moved up!!

I just got offered a cancellation! My surgery is this Thursday at 330PM, at my preferred hospital! I am getting moderate or high profile Mentor round, smooth implants - anywhere from 325-400 cc. I am so excited and scared! I am closing a chapter of breast cancer!!!

Today is the day!

Hello! Today is the big day! I get to tell cancer, "I won!" Prepping for surgery at 330PM today. Will check in, once I am on "the other side." Have a great day!

Made it to the other side!!

Good morning, ladies! I am now on the other side and I have boobs!!! I am already in love with them! Dr. Hahm actually used 300 cc Inspira implants -I think high profile. At first, I was worried that he used 300s, but the 350s would not fit. Then saw myself in a mirror, WOW! They are full and perfect, even though I have not opened my surgical bra. Pain is not as bad as I thought it might be - more of a sore, like a very hard workout. It is nothing like the pain I had from the first 3 surgeries, so I know work Monday will not be an issue. I am a therapist, so I do not to move a lot. I think swelling is very minimal, but could that be because I had sub-glandular placement, versus under the muscle? I have been moving around a bit, but am taking it easy. Now, I cannot wait for a shower on Sunday, so I can see the new girls, and be clean.

Bring a bigger shirt

It was pretty funny yesterday. I wore a button down shirt and sweater to surgery, as I have before, to make it easier to dress to go home. Well, after the implants, I could not get the shirt to button up over them! Thank goodness I had a crew neck cardigan! I was wearing a fitted Banana Republic shirt; I should have worn a much looser shirt. I just wasn't thinking! Whoops!

Day 2 - already feeling better

Good morning, ladies! Today the soreness is a little less than yesterday. Yesterday, it was worse - anesthesia working out of my system? Hopefully, this is not TMI, but was voiding every hour last night - swelling being processed by my body? I am so excited, because tomorrow, I can shower!! I love showering and being clean. Also, I will be able to see the new breasts. I have been good and not peeked into the surgical bra. Today, I am going to was my hair over the sink. I detest feeling grimy. Happily, I think I will be good Monday for work. I can deal with the soreness, and my job is not physically demanding. I am having to keep myself from doing too much, because I feel better than yesterday. I am on a limit of lifting no more than 10 pounds.

Finally saw them!!

Today I had my first shower since surgery. That was heaven! I finally got to see my breasts - they are beautiful!! I know they need to drop and fluff (what is fluffing, exactly?), but they are already stunning! The right is dropped ever so slightly more than the left. In short, I am thrilled!!

Day 3 photos

Here is a photo of me in a tank. My tummy is swollen, but you get the idea.

Weaning off narcotic pain meds already!

Yay! I decided to see if the soreness could be managed with ibuprofen, versus a narcotic pain killer I was prescribed. I am happy to report the answer is yes! I was worried, a bit, about going to work tomorrow afternoon, and feeling a bit loopy on the narcotics. Luckily, that will not be an issue. Maybe it is the subglanduar placement, but this seems to be healing quickly!

Day 4, Feeling Great and Loving My New Breasts

I am delighted that I woke up with very little soreness!! I have some yellow bruising on the sides under my arms, but that is fading quickly. Abdominal swelling is going down quickly - almost nonexistant! I also see one dropping ever so slightly faster than the other. I drove this morning, and have been running a few errands. I still tire very quickly, but I know that will resolve. I have to work this afternoon, so I will nap before seeing clients. Does anybody else peek at them every chance they get? I am just amazed by them. Apparently, so his hubby. Lol. Okay, I took my tape measure out. I am measuring, at the second, 34DD, or 32E!!! Holy smoke! I know this will all change over the next few weeks. As long as they do not wither away, I am happy. The trick, now, is dressing for work. Hmmm I hear new lingerie and clothes for the New Year!!

Day 5 and Back To A Full Day of Work

Good morning! Not too many changes today. FINALLY had a bm! Yay!! Pain meds bung me up in the most awful way. My husband was threatening to get me a greasy pizza to oil up the works. Lol. They have dropped a teeny bit more and hubby says they are starting to feel a tiny bit softer. Also, they are moving closer together. so the separation between them is lessening. Cleavage for me without a push up? Ooooh, a dream come true!!

Rash And General Observations

I am not feeling any soreness or pain, unless something pushes against the slight bruising on my sides. Swelling is slooooowly going down, but I started itching under my breasts last night. I did ntot really think much of it until this morning, when I realized I have a rash from the surgical bra under my breasts. Yuck. I put some organic Argan oil on it and it seemed to calm the itch down. The right breast is dropping a tad faster than the left, but thank you to all the lovely ladies who spoke of this, it did not alarm me at all. I am right handed, so I don't know if that makes a difference? Also, they continue to feel a bit softer. Is that normal? They still are upper pole heavy, but we can see how lovely they will be once settled.

1 Week Today

Time flies when you are having fun, or is it time's fun when you're having flies? Lol, Time has flown. Today is my one week mark. Overall, the breasts are beautiful and healing is going well. There is no pain. None. Yay! The slight bruising is fading - the sides of my breasts look like they have jaundice. I am still tiring easily. I feel so sleepy at the end of my work day, which is usually 7 pm. They are doing that whole let's-drop-at-different-rates fun, but the reviews here have prepared me for that, so I am not panicking. The lower abdomen is still swollen, but I appear to have my waist back. I am looking forward to my post op appointment Monday, to see if I can sleep in my bed, if I can start some form of a workout, and to see how the doc thinks my healing is going. I am thinking of posting a separate comment for people undergoing all of the bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction journey with the emotions and oddities along the way. Maybe it will help someone. Have a great day!!

Trolls?

I attracted a female troll last night, apparently. The comment was removed, thankfully, and it got me thinking. I wondered if the comment were lascivious. Who would come to a site like this to leer when there is so much free porn out there?? Ew. Then, I wondered if it were a female bashing comment, a comment shaming me for wanting bigger breasts, for not being satisfied that I made it through cancer. Wow, if that is the case, that person has real issues. It saddens me that women are still their own worst enemies. Instead of lifting others up, they tear each other down. I am grateful to this community of women and the kindness and support I have received along the way, and I hope my reviews and comments are helpful to others. I see nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward, and if changing something through plastic surgery boosts your confidence, then why not? It is the same as wearing braces to straighten teeth, or bleaching yellow teeth; you feel more confident. After the horror of being diagnosed with breast cancer, if someone wants prettier breasts than the originals, I am all for it. No one should have to go through life feeling less-than, or damaged.

Before And After

Here is a before photo of me. This is after DIEP and the added fat grafting. I could not fill the bra cup in the upper pole area. The second photo is the after pic. All I am wearing is the surgical bra that looks like a variant of an ace bandage. I am thrilled. No padding, no push up; it is really me. :-)

First Post Op visit since surgery

Had my post op today, and it went wonderfully. All restrictions are lifted! I can sleep in my bed on my back, I can start aerobics again, I can lift weights!! Since I am still healing, and bra cannot have a wire or padding, otherwise I am good! I will have a bit more of dropping and they will relax a little bit, taking on the a more natural appearance, and they will continue to soften. He was apologizing for not being able to fit a bigger implant - I was supposed to have 350 cc and ended up with 300cc. I think he thought I would be disappointed. I told him I love my new breasts. They are perfect in size and shape, and any bigger would have been weird. I have another follow up next week, where he will remove the tape that is over my incisions. I am happy, happy, happy. I beat cancer!! And, thank you cancer! I look better than I did going in. I am so lucky, so blessed, so overwhelmed with joy. What a great Christmas gift.

How I Got Diagnosed With Breast Cancer - the not so fun stuff

I was discussing breast cancer with BringOnTheBoobz and I thought, while I mentioned DIEP and the ongoing reconstruction, I never spoke of how this entire journey began, so here it is.

In December 2014, I went for my routine pap and mammogram. The mammogram came back needing further evaluation. I was told they needed to expand the views of one area because I have/had dense breasts. I went and then needed an ultrasound, like I have needed for years. I tried to tell the new tech that Day One, and she blew me off. I had it done December 19th. Well, this time, instead of going home, I was asked to come to the consult room. Oh oh. Not good. I work in the medical field, so I know this means there is a problem. I am cornered in this room, forgot to ask the hubster to come in, and I am told I need a biopsy of this area that has always been an issue on mammograms. I ask them to do it right there. They can't, obviously. In fact, they cannot get me in until January 6, 2015. Great. Another deductible. I go through Christmas wondering if the "exponential explosion of micro-calcifications in the right breast" are the waste product of cyst activity (which I have had for years) or, if they are the waste products of ductal carcinoma. Yes, I research everything.

January 6, 2015 rolled around and I had the biopsy. Even with deadening agents, it hurt. Badly. Especially near the surface of the skin. I waited for what felt like forever for the results, knowing the longer something takes to get back, the more likely there is an issue. Friday, the 9th, at 3:45 PM (funny how we remember stuff like this), my gynecologist called me. Not the nurse, the doctor, herself. I hear, "You have cancer. Blah, blah, blah." She says she has scheduled me for an appointment as soon as she could with this great breast doctor. She apologized and said the soonest she could get was Monday at 8:20 am. Yay! I'm thinking, that was fast! I was numb. I had clients coming in and had to see them. I am not sure I heard anything anyone said for the next 3 hours. I must have faked well. All I could think of is, "I have cancer." I did not hear what kind, how advanced. Nothing. I told my husband. One of my friends kept calling, so I told her. She seemed to get frustrated that I could not remember what kind, and that I did not ask about staging. Honestly, I did not think to ask about staging and I was so stunned to hear my name and cancer put together that I didn't hear what kind of breast cancer.
That Monday, the hubster and I hear I have Lobular Carcinoma in situ. If it is one breast, it is in the other. Also, this is a sneaky cancer that can metastasize to the liver and lungs before caught. Based on my family history, I had an 80% chance of it becoming invasive. I had 2 choices. One was to watch and see with a mammogram every 6 months. The other was to have a bi-lateral mastectomy, which would take my risk down to 3%. This was a no-brainer. We went for the bi-lateral mastectomy. She said I could meet with the plastic surgeon she liked to work with. They work together in the mastectomy, reconstruction surgeries. I said absolutely. I do not know any plastic surgeons, so why not go with the person she recommended?
I got blood work and chest X-rays. I came back at 1PM and met Dr. Hahm. My husband and I thought I would just get implants. Dr. Hahm told us about DIEP and how much of a better outcome it would be for me. After a detailed discussion, we agreed to a bi-lateral mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction.
Dr. Beatty, my breast doc, scheduled an MRI for me. It showed 20 different areas of lobular carcinoma and yes, it was in both breasts. This further confirmed the decision to do the mastectomy. It felt like forever, but from diagnosis to surgery was less than a month.

My surgery was set for February 4th. My girlfriends took me out for lunch before surgery day for lunch before surgery day. Surgery was February 4th. I was in for 10 hours. The biopsy of what was removed further confirmed the decision to do the mastectomy and DIEP flap. Nothing was normal. Nothing. I was surprised at how much a mammogram does not see. There was a small area of ductal carcinoma in situ in my left breast, and all sorts of atypical tissue. I wondered how something so small (my breasts) could be so bad? I am so grateful that I had that mammogram and biopsy. I firmly believe that if I had waited, in a year, I would have been facing radiation, or chemo.
I stayed in the hospital Tuesday through Sunday. The hospital was fantastic. I was out of work for 3 weeks. I really underestimated how incapacitated I would be. My husband was amazing, and he did everything for me. I went from 45 minutes of heavy cardio followed by weights to not being able to walk on my own to the bathroom less than 50 feet away.
Tomorrow, I will write up the recovery process and the weird things I noted along the way. If this helps one person to know it does get better, then I feel like my job is done. Happy healing.

Cleared Of Any Restrictions! Able to Buy Bras!

Today was my second post op. I am free and clear of any restrictions! I can sleep on my side, I can lift upper body weights, I can wear any bra I want!! I also need to start massaging the breasts. The tapes were removed. The scars look great! The breasts look great! I will not see the doc for 6 weeks. That will be almost one year from the mastectomy. What a difference one year makes. This time last year, I was wondering whether I had cancer. Now, it is done and I am whole again. Next post, bra buying! What a great Christmas gift!!

I Can Wear Real Bras, Again! Thank You Nordstrom Rack For Wonderful Pricing!

Well, after hearing I was cleared, I was bad. Instead of going to work out, I went bra shopping. I heard, from posts here, that Nordstrom sizes people. Well, we got a Nordstrom Rack here. It is more like an outlet, so there was no professional sizer. It still beat Victoria's Secret. I will tell more about that trip down below. However, they had an awesome selection of marked down bras!! The ones I purchased were marked down to $18!! I bought DKNY and Felina bras. They had the Chantelle and Natori ones, too - so many lovely brands that I have never purchased because they are normally $60, $80, and up. I sew, so I measured myself between a 34 D or DD. The band was a question for me, because, depending on how I am measured for a band, I am a 32 or 34. I was delightfully surprised to find I filled the 34DD cup. I mean filled it. No gaps, no puckers. This is a first. I also fit the 32DDD well. I just was not in love with that bra. I had so much fun trying on bras! I tried on 11, bought 5 and spent all of $100. They are all black or beige lacey numbers. I did get one ivory one with smooth cups for my white shirts.
I still need exercise bras. I saw Target had some on sale, so I will check them out in just a bit. I hate paying oodles of money for a bra I sweat in. My sister suggested TJ Maxx for fit wear. I never thought about that. I may check them out too.
Now for the VS experience. Sad, sad, sad. My hubby went with me to try some bras on. He was as excited as I was. I go in and get this salesgirl. Yes, a girl, who used her fingers to count what my cup size would be. She did not do a good job measuring me, and did not seem really interested in me as a customer. I asked for zero pushup. That flummoxed her. I did ask for underwire. I tried on a pretty, lacey number I found. I was billowing out of the 34 D. I tried on the 34DD and that fit better. I asked for a 32 DDD to see if I liked the fit any better. She said they did not have it and offered a 32B. Um, pardon? Okay, how about a 32DDD in a different bra so I can check the band? Hubby thought they did not have 32DDD. I got dressed, came out and found some - no push up, underwired in 32DDD. Now I was dressed again. I did not feel like undressing. We decided to wait to see the doc before buying any bras. It was a weirdly unsatisfying experience.
So the great news is I am 34DD. I have tried a number of different bras on, and that is the consistent size. Technically, I probably should do a 32 band, but I hate that back fat look. Yuck. I am wearing one of them right now. It fits like a glove and is so comfy. I am one happy gal!

Jealousy, Site Unseen!

I am a bit stunned. My sister made disparaging comments to me over the phone when I called about Christmas. My mom told her I got, "a boob job," instead of saying I finished reconstruction. They have a negative view of anyone who does plastic surgery, or even waxes their nether regions. Long story, but suffice it to say, they have issues. We were catching up about everything, and she brought up my surgery. I was happy and told her I was done with surgeries, and I was given the green light to exercise and bra shop! I mentioned needing to go exercise bra shopping , and she recommended places she goes, and then made a big deal about how we can't possibly wear the same type, as she wears padded ones. She was almost rude, asking why I just didn't get implants in the first place, and proceeded to keep calling me a "big girl," over and over. She knows I was an overweight child and that weight is a sensitive subject. Get this - neither she, nor my mom, have seen these new breasts. I am judged, sight unseen.

Bras From The Nordstrom Trip and Wow On VS Sport Bras.

Here is a photo of the lovely bras from Nordstrom. All of them are 34DD. I am wearing one that is not shown, a simple white T-shirt bra by DKNY. The one I am wearing is actually hinting at quad boob. Is it possible I am getting larger??

I went looking for sport bras today. Mine are all too small, and the hubster was concerned with bouncing while healing. I looked everywhere, and ended up at VS. Everyone else seemed to have things you pull over your head - no, or sizing in S,M,L. I have a 30" rib cage but DD boobs. How do you size that? And, they were expensive, even at Target. Then, the sized ones, no one seemed to have 34DD. Turns out, at VS, the 34DDD is what fit best! I know they inflate by 1 cup, but wow. These were the ones that fit best.I got the Knockout Front Close Bra. I could not even get the other front close one they have to do up. These babies aren't moving, no matter how much I bounce on the arc trainer. I bought the 3 they had, and opened an Angels card, so I could get the $15 discount and earn triple points. I am paying it off tomorrow, when the balance shows up online. Wow. Bigger boobs are expensive in the world of sport bras.

Coming Full Circle

I met with my gynecologist who told me I had breast cancer last January. I saw her for my regular checkup last December, so today was interesting. All was good and she said I looked gret. When she saw the breasts, she asked if they were new. They are still extremely perky. I told her it would be a month Thursday. Overall, it was a great meeting with her. I am staying at 34DD one month out. Yay! I tried on a few more bras today. VS is having a sale. I bought a red one and a black lace number. I am doing the massages and the breasts are softening, an the shape keeps changing! Every day is something new. It feels like yesterday, and so long ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So many anniversaries are coming up, along with emotions.

Tomorrow Meeting With the Jealous Twins - Mom and Sister

Tomorrow is the day I meet with mom and sister, and their jealous reactions to me getting implants after a mastectomy and DIEP. Wish me luck..

One Month Out

Here is a comparison between 3 days and today, my 4 week anniversary. They are softening and changing still, and I am still thrilled with the results.

The Start of The One Year Anniversaries

So many anniversaries coming up for me. Today is the one year of my biopsy. It feels like yesterday and so long ago. I remember trying to tell myself that it was nothing, but that nagging gut feeling kept saying it was not good. I remember researching all of the possible outcomes for the biopsy and what steps would be next. And yes, even with a local anesthetic, it was painful. I remember having to be so still, while they took sample after sample. I started crying, silently, tears running down my face, as they neared the skin. That's where it hurt the worst. They did not notice, or they allowed me some dignity. I remember wondering how quickly I could find out, wanting the cancer, if it were there, out of me, quickly. Ugh, the wait was the worst, the not knowing. It felt like forever. In hindsight, everything really happened pretty quickly, but when you are in the middle of it, it feels like eternity.

One Year Anniversary

Well, yesterday was my one year anniversary for the bilateral mastectomy and DIEP Flap surgery. Here I am, a year later, working on renovations! Cancer did not beat me! I am very lucky to have caught it early, and to have had great surgeons. I was worried abut how everything would look, the scars, would the breasts look real? Feel real? Would they look normal in and out of clothes? Dr. Hahm made me look even better than when I went into surgery. I never ever thought that would be possible. I also know not everyone can say that, so I am very blessed. I also learned that so many people do care about me. That was surprising. I had no idea that I mattered so much to so many. What a strange and interesting journey it has been.

9 Weeks

I have not been on much, due to renovating a house for an office, and there is not too much to report.
Daily, the breasts get softer.
They are assuming a more natural shape. They have more in the lower pole now, though the upper is still very full. They do not look like they are reaching out to shake hands, lol.
I have not lost any volume. They are still 34DD. :-D Some days, they measure larger, not sure why.
My bras are fitting better. The center of the bra now lies flat on my skin. Oddly, I have noticed with some of the bras, the cups are tighter, leaving marks on my breasts when I take them off. Not sure if that means I have to go up a size or not.
The implants are moving closer together, but I still have a gap. I never had cleavage to start with, so not sure if that is just me.
I meet with the doc this Monday coming up. I was supposed to meet with him last Monday, but there was an emergency surgery. I look forward to what he says and notices.
I do believe the hernia is back. I go back to post op[, when the nurse in recovery yanked me up right after the hernia repair. The pain was incredible. I was sobbing. I couldn't stop. It felt like I was torn in two. I wonder if she ripped the repair? I guess I will find out.
I will try to post some photos next week. Happy healing everybody!

Saw Doc For My Checkup And I Graduated!! Also First Mammogram Since The Mastectomy

Well, the breasts are healing well! The scars are quickly fading, and they are softening more and more every day. I love their shape and fullness, and I wear a 34DD or DDD bra still. I was worried they would go away. They are not sticking out like they did - the torpedo look. Now they are rounding and softer. Some days, I worry they look small, and others, they look massive. It's all about the clothing. The doc was pleased. They took pictures and said for me to come back in 6 months! Wow. You mean I won't see him monthly?
The hernia is definitely back, so I am going back to the surgeon he recommended to fix it. Looks like mesh is in my future.
I also had my first mammogram since the mastectomy. Yes, I still get one because I had a skin and nipple sparing mastectomy. There is no smashing them in glass - it was manually done. The doc was surprised at the range of motion I have in my shoulders. Stretch ladies, stretch. I really believe the stretching and working out helped. I can raise my arms over my head without a problem. I had no idea not everyone can do this after mastectomies and DIEP.

There is not much else to report. At least, nothing I can think of.

Other than the pesky hernia, I am delighted with the results of my DIEP flap and implants. I highly recommend these surgeries, and my fabulous doctors - Dr. Jennifer Beatty of The Breast Place, and Dr. Thomas Hahm of Carolina Aesthetics. I am happy to answer any questions someone has about any aspect of the procedures and my experience with them.

Picture 10.5 weeks post surgery

Forgot the photo. Sorry

More pics

Going to the gym. Here are the girls

Random Thoughts On Doctors And I Love Mine

Wow, just finished reading a review and comments about other doctors and awful bedside manners and how they treated people with contempt. I feel luckier by the second that I happened to land with two awesome doctors, Dr. Beatty and Dr. Hahm. They are excellent surgeons and they have excellent bedside manner. They were great with any questions or concerns I had, even when I felt silly asking. My husband works with engineers and they were great with all of his of his technical questions and asking why not this or that. God bless them, especially Dr. Hahm, who got most of it. He remained professional, upbeat, and was more than willing to explain one way over the other. I need to send him a basket of wine. Lol.
In short, ladies, feel comfortable with the doc. You want to be able to ask questions. If you cannot, keep looking.

Hernia Repair Today - Is Third Time The Charm?

Yes, the hernia is back, so, today, I am having laproscopic surgery to put mesh in. I hope this is it. The groinal hernia repair held. The inguinal did not. I have suspicions that the nurse jerking me up in post op may have torn my doc's work back open. I have never felt pain like that, which is saying quite a bit. I have had 2 kids, and all the breast cancer surgery, so there is a reference point for you. In my anesthesia haze, I remember hearing my husband say, "Don't pull her up like that." I sobbed and sobbed, which is unusual for me. The nurse said, "Oh, the block must not have worked." Now, I wonder if she were covering her rear. I will never know. They had to heavily dope me up to get me out of there. Now is round 3. I hope this one holds. I may post a separate review for hernias. Hmmmm. No pics. You do not want to see.

3 months and observations

It has been 3 months since surgery. The breasts are much softer and they are jiggling! The nipple continue to get more and more responsive. They have dropped and softened more. Also, I am noticing they are moving closer together. I am developing some awesome cleavage. They have stayed at 34DD or 32DDD or E. I am noticing the bras are not touching my sternum - the area in between my breasts. I am wondering if I actually need to go up a cup size. very day, they are looking more and more natural. The scars are fading. Overall, I continue to be delighted by them.

I hate abdominal repair recovery

I detest any surgery to the abdomen. I am bloated and it makes me feel miserable. The pain meds constipate, and give me weird dreams. I dreamt that the hernia mesh surgery ruined all of Dr. Hahm's work. Logically, I know that is not true, but seeing my bloaty self in the mirror is a total downer. I hope the swelling goes down quickly. Tomorrow will be one week. At least I got 2 walks in.

Healing!

It is now 7 weeks since my mesh hernia repair, and 4 1/2 months since the implants. I am back to working out all the way. I started back with simple, direct ab work this week. There was no pain! All my swelling is gone. The breasts are still softening and changing, settling. They no longer look like rockets on my chest Lol. They are even starting to wiggle. Some of my bras are too small now, and others, such as my Dita bras, are fitting much better now. With my last round of bra shopping, I actually went up a cup size. Wow. I will try to upload a photo later.

Six Months!

Hello ladies! So, it has been six months since the implants. I measure 34 DD, but in VS bras, 34DDD. These are not the best pics, as the dress does not show how large these girls are, but they look natural and beautiful. I have more wiggle now, and they are still softening. My tummy is flattening further from the mesh repair, and I am maintaining my weight loss as my body becomes used to its final shape. Happily, I have retained the 25" waist.
This is also another milestone for me in that I do not need a surgery. Every 3 months for a year, I have had a surgery. This is 3 months from the hernia repair with mesh, and the first time since Feb 2015 that I am not being operated on!! Woo Hoo! Celebration!

One More?

This is a 34DDD from VS. This was about one month ago. This is my Va Va Voom bra, as it squishes me together and gives me cleavage.

Feeling Pretty

Here is a celebration picture. I feel like lemonade was made from lemons handed to me, so thank you cancer, and thank you to my excellent surgeons. For the first time in my life, I actually feel pretty and confident in or out of clothing. I have never really felt confident in any state of undress - all of those messages we are given - too fat, too pale, too not-whatever-others-deemed-beautiful-at-the-time. I have learned to love myself, as is. I no longer apologize for my pale skin that will not tan. I am wearing figure flattering clothing - lady like, but not hiding behind shapeless clothing. I like being a woman. I love playing with makeup, doing my hair, wearing heels, and wearing dresses. I have over indulged in lingerie. I bought some vintage type two pieces. These are the first two piece bathing suits I have worn since I was a kid. I am actually thinking I might actually feel pretty good being in front of others in a swim suit, another first. I guess some people may see it as cocky or boasting, but it is not. It is me actually feeling good about me, no apologies

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle and Pretty Bra Addiction

Yes, it is 6 1/2 months out, and things keep changing. Bra size definitely increased - yay! Shape keeps getting prettier, and they wiggle! I can tease the hubster now by shaking my shoulders, and they wiggle. :-) I am a total rebuild, so, I am putting this all out there to help anyone going through this journey. Oh, and you become a total and complete bra addict. I saw a lovely one on eBay, and bought it. Sigh. I need to get a plain t-shirt bra for knits, but the brain sees lace and says, "Yes! We want that one!" I justify it, sort of, with the fact I will be getting rid of bras that are too small.

Almost One Year Out

I have not been around in a while. There are so many wonderful things going on in my life, to include I am about to be a grandmother! So, here I am 11 1/2 months out. I am delighted to say my review help another woman get a bad reconstruction corrected. I am thrilled to be of help. Here is a new sweater.

Side View

Here is a side view. For some reason, I could only upload one at a time.
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

Very professional, yet caring. He is very detail oriented and into a beautiful, natural appearance. He has the patience of Job and happily answers all of the crazy questions my husband and I throw at him. After this is completed, if I need anything else in the future, he will be my go to 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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