Best Investment Ever! - Newport Beach, CA

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For many, many years I had always wanted boobs. As...

For many, many years I had always wanted boobs. As other teenage girls waited for university acceptance letters, I was still waiting to graduate from training bras. I had contemplated breast augmentation for several years, although I lacked both the maturity to make such a permanent decision as well as the financial ability to afford it. After serious thought over the course of two years, I finally decided to approach the idea. I began researching the procedure and decided indefinitely that I wanted to have a breast augmentation (and modified abdominoplasty as pregnancy had destroyed my midsection and no amount of Pilates, crunches, and low-fat frozen yogurt was going to change this). I started searching online for doctors, reading up on credentials, patient reviews, and medical journal editorials. When I first encountered my doctor’s work, I was blown away – this man was half genius, half sculptor, an anatomical artist whose work put Michelangelo to shame. The only downside was that he worked in Newport Beach, California, a good 4000 km from my home in Toronto. I continued my search straddling both sides of the boarder and, after three months of looking, decided unequivocally that Dr. Anton was the crème de la crème. With that, I picked up the phone and made my pre-op for mid July.

Upon the beginning of my transformation, I was a B-cup on the right side and an A on the left, with approximately 50ccs difference between the 2 breasts. I was seeking a pair of fuller, larger breasts with symmetry and a small lift. I ended up with Mentor smooth round smooth silicone implants, 700ccs on the left and 650 on the right. I went submuscular with a periareolar incision. My abdomen required a modified abdominoplasty. I had a horizontal incision from hip to hip and my navel was stretched down and remolded to a shape more appropriate for a stomach (pregnancy had stretched it out and left it a misshapen mess).

Because I went away for my surgery, I spent much of time sightseeing, shopping, and resting, so I regret that I did not begin posting at the time of surgery; however, I have been writing during the entire process, so I am now condensing my notes in and posting about my experience.

My first pre-op was the day before my surgery; all other inquiries and ‘meetings’ were done via email, telephone, and Skype. I was fortunate to have such an amazing team working with me. They were incredibly thorough, insightful, and knowledgeable. My pre-op was a little over an hour, with Dr. Anton assessing my abdomen, something difficult to do over Skype. I was given two options: one would leave my midsection tight as a drum skin but with a vertical scar from my bellybutton down; the other one would allow the loose skin to be tightened as much as possible though not as tightly as the first option but without the unsightly scar. After my initial knee-jerk response (“No! Make it as tight as you can!”), I conceded to the opinion of Dr. Anton, his nurse, and my boyfriend and went with the option to sacrifice a slightly less than washboard front for a tight one without a scar. We also spent some time trying on sizers, although it did not take long as I knew roughly the number of cc’s I wanted (prior to flying out I had my bf help me fills bags with lentils and pop them in my bra until I found the size I wanted; I then measured out the lentils and converted the ml’s to cc’s). I settled on 700cc and was devastated when he told me I might need to settle for 500, as he was not sure how much my tissue would stretch. I was crushed but my faith remained steadfast and thankfully he WAS able to do 700’s (at least on the one side, to even me out). Best advice I can give anyone going into pre-op: be prepared to change your plans and TRUST YOUR SURGEON! If you don’t trust his opinion, you have the wrong PS! Also, research, research, research; do your homework and know what you’re going into, the procedure, and all the variables. The more knowledge you are armed with, the easier you will understand and be agreeable to changes in your plans. Second piece of advice: get your prescriptions filled beforehand to avoid having to that the following day because following anesthetic because you will be in a fog for the whole day.

The night before surgery I wiped down the area from my neck to my pubis with isopropyl alcohol before showering with Hibiclens, an antiseptic body wash that smells as sterile it sounds. I also washed my hair and shaved, as I knew it would be difficult/uncomfortable to attempt the next day. On the morning of the surgery, I repeated the routine with the alcohol and the Hibiclens. I had to forego deodorant, lotion, perfume, and makeup, as per the printed instructions from the surgery center, although I did dab just a touch of foundation to cover the minor flaws, a product of inflamed hormones from PMS. I arrived an hour early at 10:00am, which was fortunate as I was admitted 40 mins before schedule. My PS came in, drew on me in crimson and an unflattering russet. We discussed once more the two options for my abdominoplasty and made our final decision. After meeting the anesthetist, I was wheeled into the OR. The room was freezing and I was grateful for the heavy blanket they covered me with. My last memory was the cluster of lights just overhead and everyone’s disembodied voices floating around me. I felt a warm sensation and started feeling drowsy and then I was suddenly being woken up in recovery. I had no pain, or any sensation, other than being incredibly lethargic. I was brought ice chips, but after eating a couple I was more than satiated; it took too much energy (I was that tired). I vaguely recall a nurse speaking to me and then helping me dress and get into a wheelchair, at which point my boyfriend materialized and wheeled me to the car. I don’t remember getting into the car, or the drive from the surgery center, or arriving at our hotel.

I had 2 post-ops while in California, where I educated on post-op care. I had all my questions answered, was taught the breast massage (which I will explain in tomorrow’s post), and had my incisions examined and bandages changed. By the end of the first week I was moving around more or less on my own, taking walks on the sand by the ocean, and showering easier. I still needed help to wash my hair as my arms felt strange lifting up all the way. I am now almost at the 2-week mark, tomorrow marking it a fortnight. I will get my before and after pictures up then. For now, everything is great. Post-op has been easy and remarkably pain-free. I will post more along with pics tomorrow. It’s nice to be home with ‘the girls’ ;)

Two Weeks Today!

I’m 2 weeks post-op today and I couldn’t be more ecstatic with my results! I’m feeling better overall and am starting to slowly engage in previous activities. I’m trying to take daily walks, though with the rainy weather we’re experiencing it hasn’t always happened. Ever the domestic diva, I’m happy to return to my daily cleaning routine, although I have not been able to vacuum because of the weight of the machine itself. Laundry also presents a problem because of the weight of the loads, but laundry is on a short list of things that I loathe so I was more than happy to enlist my boyfriend’s help for this (I wonder how long I can ride that out for…) As nearly everyone who has had surgery will suggest, do all your laundry prior to the big day – it takes a load of your mind…no pun intended :P Cooking and freezing meals is also another must-do. I can’t express how blissful it is to just thaw a dish from the freezer, which also cuts down on the amount of dishes.

Physically, things are progressing. I am able to shower on my own now, though I still have some trepidation as I have an unrealistic expectation of slipping (ridiculous, right?). I changed my bandages today and I think things are looking good. There is some redness at the edge of my incision on my abdomen, but I think that’s because when I peeled the tape off I took part of an eschar with it (Word of the Day: eschar – medical term for ‘scab’ that sounds less repulsing). The swelling has gone down exponentially, although it still has a lot to go. The incisions on my breasts are healing excellently, although the right one looks deep which I believe is perceptional as the incision is along the entire perimeter of the areola. I have been using Bio-Oil on the stretch marks along my breasts and abdomen with the hopes of diminishing their appearance. I hope that the incisions leave very undetectable scars (fingers crossed!)

Breast Massages and Laxatives: 2 Pearls of Wisdom

Here is a pearl of wisdom not to be taken lightly: invest in Senokot and take 2 daily following your surgery. Between antibiotics and pain meds, you WILL be backed up. If after 4 days you still are not able to 'function' and you opt to take a laxative, adhere to the instructions. I confess that I made a mistake in this regard. The pharmacy only had the chocolate Ex Lax and although the instructions said to take 2 pieces, I thought that was a mere suggestion, like speed limits. It's not. There is very good reason for only taking 2 instead of say, 6. A little too much information, perhaps, but I share this knowledge because I vividly recall thinking, Why the hell did no one warn me? (with exception to the product label, but who really adheres to those?). Lesson learned.

I believe I mentioned in a previous post about the breast massages that my PS is having me perform... every 2 hours (while awake). It sounds tedious but it takes less than a minute and I firmly believe that this is having a great effect on my implants dropping and softening. Because my implants are so large and my skin was stretched to its limit, I was advised that I can expect my implants to take some time to drop; however, I see improvements daily :) To start, sit upright with your arms by your side; take your left hand and cup your right breast just below your areola and push down toward your ribcage, sending the implant toward your collarbone; hold for 5 secs; next, place the same hand at the top of your breast, push down and slide your hand toward your neck, bringing the implant up as you do; with your right hand, knead the underside of the breast; hold for 5 secs; lastly, take your left hand and place it on the side of the right breast, fingers splayed; push back, sending the implant to the middle of your chest; hold for 5 secs; switch sides and alternate hands. Works like a charm :)

As promised, I have posted a stunning portrait of myself before my surgery (go ahead, eat your heart out!). To be honest, I'd prefer not to post this and just forget that portion of my former self, but without a before picture to compare it to, there's no measuring stick to compare with the new, improved me. Notice the asymmetry of my breasts and the excess, sagging skin on my abdomen.. *sigh* I don't consider myself to be a shallow individual; I pride myself of being a pragmatic woman whom values substance over style, but even so, as most women agree, there is something to be said about the femininity of a woman and that was something I was lacking. For years I had been uncomfortable with my breasts, and then following my pregnancies I became increasingly insecure about my deflated stomach. I can't even describe what a pronounced change I feel within myself as I am now confident, borderline egotistical (kidding!) about my body. To everyone awaiting surgery, be prepared to be amazed!! Years of disillusionment will be washed away instantly! You'll find yourselves seeking out your reflection instead of hiding from it; that sublime feeling of self-appreciation ranks higher on the pleasure scale than sex, dark chocolate, and George Clooney... combined.

(More or Less) Back to Normal

As my lack of posts would suggest, I have been incredibly busy, which has been a very welcome change of pace! Gone are the days of being sedentary and I am back to my normal routine. I returned to work 3 weeks ago and have been back in full force. I have also resumed my exercise regimen and working out 4 - 5 days a week including cardio. Because I am not running yet, I have been doing a fast pace on a steep incline on the treadmill. 45 mins burns 400 calories so I am not losing anything in the fitness department. I am still doing the massages as well as running a vibrator along the underside of the breast (my PS's suggestion). The right breast has dropped wonderfully and the left one continues to drop and does not have long to go now. My stomach is healing nicely; there is still some swelling, but it continues to get improve every day. I'm receiving many compliments from family and coworkers and I feel very comfortable in my new body - I couldn't be happier!

A Quick Update...

So I am nearing the 3 month mark and I am feeling absolutely fabulous! I am back to doing pretty much everything that I was doing before. I am back at work full time, I'm helping with some building renovations, I'm exercising, swimming...the only activity I am not doing yet is running as I am still not able to wear a bra. The right implant has dropped fully but the left one is still a little high. A huge improvement from a month ago, but it will probably be another month or two before it completely drops (just as my PS predicted).

I have no new pictures at the moment because I scorched my entire stomach and breasts while vacationing in Myrtle Beach :( I was a little too anxious to wear a bikini and too eager to soak in the sun before my dismal return to Canada (where it is already cold) and suffered a massive sunburn - NOT fun! I will be sure to post some just as soon as my skin stops peeling.

Question: does anyone know of a really good running bra?
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Amazing, gifted plastic surgeon with a surplus of knowledge and experience. He leads a wonderful team, all of whom provided excellent insight and care during the procedure. Couldn't have asked for a better network of professionals.

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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