50 yrs young mother of 4 nervous and excited - Restoring my Breasts w BL & BA

I'm a 50 yr old mother of 4 grown children, all of...

I'm a 50 yr old mother of 4 grown children, all of whom I breastfed. I was large breasted for my frame when I was younger as well as during my pregnancy/breastfeeding years. I have always been athletic and have lost 20 lbs or so in the last 15 years. During that time, my once full breasts have become deflated, saggy and asymmetrical. The changes in my breasts have bothered me for the last 10 years, but really a LOT in the past 3 years.
I try to eat healthy, exercise moderately and we live an active lifestyle. I am 5'5" and 124 lbs and would say I'm 50 years young, but my breasts look more like that of an 80 year old! And forget about trying to bra and swimsuit shop - it's so frustrating to find anything that I can wear as my breasts just fold up on themselves in a push-up or it fits one and not the other. My sweet husband (of 30 yrs) has never made me feel anything but beautiful, but I just don't want to look like this and worse in the next 30 :( I've come to the decision that I'm going to JUST GO FOR IT and thankfully my husband is very supportive.
So, we found a PS, went to the consultation in December, went to the Pre-op appointment Feb 3rd, and my surgery is in 10 days! I'm nervous, then hopeful, then excited, then wondering if I'm just being crazy. This is such a big expense - and I'm not in my 30's anymore. But the thought of leaving them the way they are is just the saddest thing to me and dealing with the anxiety I have when wearing anything low cut or when swimming is just difficult and ongoing. I feel like it's now or never for me and we've had a lot of diff things occur in Jan but I have this window of opportunity and I'm going to take it! If I don't I think I would always regret not having done it, and my whole life I've tried to be intentional so as not to regret the way I lived and the choices I've made.
I have appreciated finding this website and have learned so much from you girls sharing your journeys. I haven't told a soul that I'm doing this because I just really don't want everyone's two cents and judgement or negativity going into it. My husband & mine are the only 2 opinions I really care about. I'm not looking to be a beauty queen, I'd just like to feel beautiful for myself and my husband and restore my breasts somewhat. People don't always understand nor would some make this same decision, so I guess I just don't want to hear what they think. The was a hard enough decision to make for myself. It does make me feel a little alone in it though, and since I'm outgoing and a people person, that has been different for me. So thank you all for sharing and encouraging each other. It allows me to know that there are others out there who I can identify with. I'm getting smooth round moderate plus profile gel implants 350 range under the muscle and a full breast lift. If any of you have had this I would love to hear from you. Thanks

Few before pics

Getting Close...

Got my RXs filled, some supplies, got a few soft zip-up hoodies, and have been trying to clean and finish everything before Monday. We have plans Saturday and will be out-of-town Sunday so time is getting short. They called and moved my surgery up so I have to be there by 7:30am. Still been trying to fit in exercise some. Wondering if I'll be able to do push-ups again? I did get a chance to golf 9 holes today with some gals from our neighborhood. Can anyone comment on how it is to get back to golfing? I'm whipped - just finished taking care of finances and finishing my taxes. Best wishes to all of you getting your surgeries in next few days

Surgery was today

My surgery was this morning. Everything went smoothly - well everything that I can remember. : ) I had decided to go ahead and get the lower abdominal skin excision. He would tighten that 'wad of turkey skin' that had settled on the bottom of my tummy over the years while I was already under anesthesia and would have to recover. I recently decided to have him tighten the little bit of upper belly too so at least my whole tummy would match. He had offered that option to me and initially I said no because that was fine and never bothered me, but after talking with my husband, and talking with the nurse last week, it made sense to have it all tightened the same and he wasn't going to charge me for doing that. I found out today that I would need a drain because of that addition, which I had not asked about. Maybe it was better that I didn't know because it probably would've bothered me.
The staff were so great and made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I felt like I was in very good hands. Did fine without eating or drinking since my surgery was to begin at 8:30am. (I did have oatmeal with diced apples about 10:30 last night and I had been really hydrating the last few days). I gave urine sample, got changed into these lovely compression stockings and gown/cap, got thru preliminaries with sharpie and questions etc. Met the anesthesia provider, kissed and hugged my husband "ta-ta for now" (lol pun intended) and walked over to OR and hopped up on table. She started my IV, I was talking to the nurses and remember saying my head feels a little different, watched them starting to cover my legs w a blanket and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room! I have the tight granny bra on and a matching binder around my whole waist. No pretty corset here! haha My loose zip front hoodie, drawstring pants and slip on shoes were a good idea.
Due to the ribs on my right side always being protruded more that my left (which actually helped my right breast not look that much smaller when naked), my PS told me he would use different sized implants to make them more symmetrical. He had told me that saline would make it easier to achieve the most precise results but I really wanted to go with gel for the more natural look and feel. He ended up using round Natrelle 15 mod profile plus with 421cc on left and 397cc on the right given the natural breast tissue he had to work with from the lift. My chest muscles are very sore and with the lower skin incision. I have to walk/sit bent over for a few days to allow it to heal. Was nauseous initially but didn't throw up. YAY! My hubby helps me walk and being so sleepy I kept closing my eyes and I think that was making me motion sick (which I do get on a boat, back of car, etc). Had little sprite, ginger ale, little chicken broth with saltines, & applesauce. Napped. Finally felt hungry so hubby then made me scrambled eggs & toast. Been reclining in chair mostly because I can't lay flat on my back. Drinking water now too. Getting sleepy - will add photos when I can. So happy surgery is over and on my way with recovery. Haven't seen my new breasts fully yet but they are high, tight and sore and WAY more than I had before! Thank you for your reviews, pictures and words of encouragement. This website has been so helpful!

Post op day 3

Here's some pics before a much needed shower. I'm doing pretty well. My chest is very tight and heavy, and starts to get more sore as the meds wear off. I'm taking 1 percocet every 5-6 hours, and sometimes 1 tylenol. My belly is a little distended I think due to the binder pressing in and my bra pressing down when I'm sitting. Haven't had much drainage. I'm able to walk more upright today (hands on my thighs for 2 more days). My back muscles hurt quite a bit from having to bend over some whenever I do things.
My husband put a stool in the shower covered with a towel and then a large trash bag over it so I could sit some in there while he washed my hair! I was able to shave my legs. The hand-held sprayer was helpful. I slept good last night propped up on the love seat, waking only once to use the bathroom and take a pain pill. I was up and around for much of the day, but still taking it easy. Been eating healthy and trying to have fiber and beans, peaches, apples, etc to help with bm. Also drinking plenty of water. It seems my girls have a lot of dropping to do - they seem so high and hard. Would love to hear when they start to become softer? I hope the pictures help with others who are contemplating or going thru this same type of surgery. I know others girls' pictures have helped me a lot, it is just very weird to take and post naked pictures of myself!

Post Op Day 6

I'm feeling more like myself today than anytime this week! Was able to stand upright finally, as per my post-op instructions, which has helped my back tremendously. Got a shower, my hair washed (by my hubby), got ready with a little make up :) and went on a little outing to Target. Took a few pics to post since the pics others post educate and inspire me. My husband has to go back to work tomorrow so I am on my own to get to my Post op appointment. I'm a little nervous but I'll just have to pace myself. Taking tylenol on regular 6-8 hr basis. I've been brave so far - I can do this!

Post op Visit (1 Week)

Today challenged me but I did ok. Timed my meds and got myself to my post-op appointment. First time to drive but took it easy. Hard to turn the wheel quickly. Opening and closing the car doors hurts using that sideways motion under and to the side of my breasts. PS said everything looks good. Navel dressing off and drain out - Yay! That was a bit uncomfortable but glad to be rid of it. Still have to wear a binder to avoid fluid building in my lower abdomin where he removed that waded skin. Darn, it is uncomfortable but he said I could try shape wear or some light compression underwear - I just don't have any and can't imagine going to try getting some on and off at a store right now :( He kept strips on and said we'd probably take those off at my visit next week. He was happy with how everything was progressing and assured me that they would drop lower, soften up, round out, and my range of motion would return with time. I'm 7 days post op. Still no strenuous activity for at least until I see him next time. I did stop and get Rx filled with few more pain pills just as needed for the remainder of the week. Hopefully I won't need them.

Post Op Day 11

I'm making progress and feeling stronger every day. Getting a little more range of motion with my left arm which has been the problem. I've figured out how to place all the pillows so now I've slept comfortably in my own bed the past 2 nights - heavenly! I was a side sleeper but don't see that happening anytime soon. Was up and around much of the day, walked down to get the mail and went a couple of blocks. Nice to have the sun out and breath the fresh air. Keep walking up and down the stairs for a little exercise and even did a little stretching on a floor mat. Felt good but def can tell where my limits are. At least it's progress. 3 more days for no strenuous exercise. I'm getting antsy for a little cardio but I'm trying not to push because I want to heal completely and without complications. So far so good - very thankful!

Post Op Day 12

Didn't sleep good last night for any length of time :( So I'm a little more tired today in general and I'm just not a napper so no point in trying. But, I have made small progress. I was finally able to wash my hair good by myself in the shower (top of the back of my head has been hard to reach w/ my left arm) but was able to wash, condition, and blow-dry it all. Short hair would've been so much easier during this two weeks! Less pulling pain under my left breast so feeling great about that. Will attach couple pics

Two Week Post Op Appt

Went to 2 week post op appt today. Dr said everything is looking great and I should have a really nice result (a little hard to imagine right now since my breasts feel like they are huge and still practically up in my arm pits)! I was very happy that he was taking off strips, and then they put new ones on...til my next appt which is in 2 weeks if everything is going fine. Darn. I was hoping they could come off for good. I can increase activity level as I feel up to it and sleep in any position I find comfortable...ah, now that's a challenge! Can trade in granny bra for the fruit of the loom stretchy ones I bought - I guess that's something :) I feel like I take 2 steps forward and 1 step back on energy/pain, but at least that's progress, right?

Three Weeks Post Op

Few pics three weeks out. I've been increasing my activity level - bike riding, doing Pilates (not quite back to what I was doing, but getting there :), staying active longer and with less fatigue. Feels great! There's still a few things I'm not able to do yet - lifting anything very heavy, closing the shade from back to front on my sunroof, reaching all the way up with any pushing or pulling involved, but I can do more and more that I couldn't do last week. Bruising is finally going away but I still have a lot of tightness in my chest and pulls in different directions that feels odd with my pecs. My back is often sore still too. I still need some pain relief, probably with the increased activity level and more pectoral usage, but it's def manageable. Wondering when they will "drop and fluff"?! I'm still SO full and squarish on the top - I'm just really hoping they descend some! My PS told me to continue to wear the stretchy bra all but when I'm in the shower, but it seems like it would aid in dropping if I didn't wear a bra all the time. And he didn't want me massaging - I'm wondering if that's because I got a full lift too? If anybody could share what their doctor recommended at this point I would appreciate info. Hope everyone is healing and doing well! Spring is around the corner and I'm looking forward to getting out and enjoying it!

Four Week Post Op Appt

Had my 4 week post op appointment yesterday. He took all the strips off but, alas, put new ones on again :( At least these aren't the sticky kind and they will come off next week either when I go back or they'll fall off. He said I was 1/4 the way done with the full healing process, which was a bit of a surprise to me. He said it would be about 4 months for the full lift w implants to be completely healed/rounded out/settled and the final size & shape to be realized. Plus the lower skin excision to be completely healed. Since I feel like my implants are still high and feel like they are in my armpits, I asked if we could coax them down a little faster. He did give me a bandeau type thing I could put on just a couple hours each evening to put LIGHT pressure on the top, but he wanted me to come back and see him next week to make sure they don't move too fast or I'll end up with saggy breasts again. He said I WILL see movement and rounding out in next couple weeks just with gravity and the implant and pocket adjusting, but I need to be patient. He thought I was right where I need to be right now and was pleased with my progress. I do really like my doctor. He never rushes me and answers all my question. He's very reassuring through all of this.

Good news is that I no longer need to wear any kind of bra during the night! Yes, freedom! lol And, I don't have to wear any kind of binder around my abdominal area unless I feel like I need it (after wearing one in one form or another for a month some patients feel more comfortable still wearing it sometimes). Haven't wore it since I left the office and doing great without it so far! I can increase my activity level but need to listen to my body and if something is too much, stop. I have been doing light pilates, which is good but he said not to do sit-ups or crunches yet. Exercises to work my core without isolating my abdominals is ok. Stretching is great and cardio is ok to ease back into. I def won't be doing jumping jacks for a long time I don't think- ouch! No jumping of any kind which is not going to be something I'd attempt right now - since speed bumps still make me uncomfortable! I took in a bra that I bought so I could ask if I could switch out of that stretchy one and it was approved. Small victories :) I'm still wearing clothing to try to hide my chest size because I feel so big, but I'm hoping that will change in the next couple weeks. Did anyone else feel that way? I'm spilling out of this D bra and I asked for a C cup! He said I will get there...I hope so. Here are a few new pics...Wishing you all complete healing and sufficient patience!

Six Weeks Post Op

Six weeks out and I'm doing well. Finally got strips off last week and they took two little places of skin off my breasts - ouch! But they are healing well and I'm getting more use to the scars but seeing them at first is a little shocking. I'm hoping they fade well. Doctor says I'm right where I should be but I'd like my breasts to drop a little quicker and round out more. My belly gets swollen a lot by the end of the day with fluid I guess but goes down by morning usually. I hope this ends soon! Trying to trust what my doctor says. Range of motion is much better and getting a little more exercise. Did ok on elliptical machine for 30 mins, still riding bike some and doing Pilates, which I can do more and more than I used to do. Bra shopping is a challenge. Would appreciate any advice for scar treatment that anyone feels worked for them : ) Will try to attach couple new pics

Eight Weeks Post Op

I am Eight Weeks Post Op today! Spring is here and I've been getting out more working in the yard and a little bike riding. Been doing a little Pilates on the back patio and tried some Step Aerobics on my own for 30+ minutes the other day and did fine. For you golfers - yesterday was big for me - my husband got home early and took me over to the golf range and we hit a lot of balls! I was so relieved that I could still drive the ball and hit my clubs about the same, although I wasn't trying to kill it. But I remember the day early on when I didn't think I would EVER have the range of motion to golf anymore and I had just started getting back into it last fall (after 20+ years off :) 9 holes usually is enough for me so I'm hoping to go give it a try soon.
Saw my doctor last week - he wanted to make sure I wasn't dropping too fast if I was using that strap a little but all is good. I am out of the woods for anything bad happening (infection, big problems, etc) so for that I am thankful!! My right breast is still higher but I still have time for both to "settle" before they are done. Been using Mederma on my scars and alternating with Vitamin E oil which some ladies suggested (thanks). I'm still not 100% confident when I'm out and about- I feel like my breasts are huge sometimes and I'm trying to wear things that minimize my chest still for now. I went to a get-together the other night with friends/neighbors and I chose my layered tops carefully but I felt good and I doubt anyone could tell (maybe because I used to wear Victoria's padded push-ups) lol. I'm hoping I'll look a little more natural since the weather is warming up. Shopping for new tops and swimwear but that has been challenging, everything is padded and pushup. haha If anyone has bathing suit suggestions for D cup I would love it. Trying one from Athleta so we will see. Will try to attach a couple pics I just took. Hope everyone is progressing well. I appreciate the posts of other ladies and have found the info on this website very helpful

Ten Weeks Post-op

I took a couple of pics at 10 weeks post-op but just now getting the chance to put them up. I'm having a little pain underneath my left breast as I think it has dropped sooner and pressure is on the area he stitched so they wouldn't end up bottoming out. Can do most things I could prior to surgery except pectoral exercises - NO pushups and haven't had the chance to play tennis but don't think I will try that quite yet. Having a hard time finding a swimsuit that fits - my scars underneath show on the inside which is due to my full lift - I didn't expect them to be seen in the middle there so that is disappointing, but I'm glad I did it and they are really starting to feel like they are mine. My husband really thinks they are looking great :)

3 Months Out

These pics are from 3 months out. Had problems with my computer and didn't get back to posting until now.

4 Months Out

Wow - I'm 4 months out! My doctor said it would take 4 months to drop and round out. I feel good and they def feel like they're mine and a part of me. I still feel pressure and tightness from the "extra stitches" my doctor put in underneath so they wouldn't bottom out, but I'm glad he did that. I have poor skin quality (genetics) and I would prob bottom out sooner :( Tried swimming laps this week - tight and strange on my pecs but I took it slow. Was able to do 20 pool lengths breast stroke, and on some on my back. I still stretch often and do arm exercises. No pushups! (but I want to, common sense says No since I don't want to mess up anything at this point. My upper abdomen still gets swollen by late in the day, which is weird, but I have reduces sodium intake and taken some arnica which may be helping. I wear sufficient sunscreen on all my scars (even under swimsuit) and especially on my stomach where skin is tight. It gets red there fast so I've been wearing a tankini to cover it. I guess the lymphatic system gets interrupted when you have this type of procedure. that and nerves take 8 months to a year to recover. My nipple sensitivity isn't what it was before but I'm hoping that will still improve with time. I feel like my breasts are a good balance for my body size, which is what I was aiming for, but they are bigger in bra size than I thought they would be. Right now I am a 34DD or 36 D. Going to be looking for a nice bikini top that will also cover my scars. They are getting more faded as time passes. I've been using Vitamin e oil on them. Still have never told anyone that I had this done. What does my husband think...he loves them. I mean he LOVES them!! Truth be told, he is a breast guy and these look more like the ones he married :) He thinks they look great, feel great and have a natural slope. Actually he says I have "rockin tits" which is so nice since I'm now 51. Sometimes I can't believe I did this....but I'm so happy I did!

5 Months Out

Just getting to update with the pics I took at 5 months post op. Doing well - still have some tightness in my chest at times, especially first thing in the morning and if I've used my pecs a lot (after swimming, etc) and if I go without a bra for awhile around the house. Still have swelling as day goes on around my mid-abdominal area but hoping that will subside in coming weeks. Found a VS Pink Wear Everywhere Demi bra, lightly lined, in 34 DD that fits perfect and now they no longer make it. The one they make now is not a demi and doesn't fit the same - Ugh!

11 Months Out

Well, life got busy in the fall and I haven't updated. I told myself that I would update periodically during my recovery process because I really appreciated the information other women posted when I was looking for information and making my decision (way back when). So, I took these pics a month ago and will try to attach them.

1 Year Update

Just had my 1 year anniversary! That year went by fast - I guess the older you get the faster they go. At this point, I do most everything I did before the procedure except I don't do pushups and haven't tried tennis yet because its a little too chilly out here still. I had gained a little weight but got back with it after the new year and started exercising more regularly. I weighed 124 lbs on my anniversary date so that is close to what I was this time last year. I have settled to a 34DD in almost any bra and my chest measures to 37" around when you measure (I have a wide chest area) if that helps anyone.

I do a lot of different things for exercise since I get bored easily. I can do most anything on the ball, Pilates, Zumba, bike, elliptical, etc. I wear a supportive running-type bra for exercise that I bounce and still take ibuprofen before jumping a lot. The "wall" my ps built with stitches underneath still pulls and hurts under my left breast occasionally when I'm jumping a lot but I know it's doing it's job to prevent bottoming out. It also pulls uncomfortably when I go a long period (all evening) without a bra so I try to wear a comfortable one or sport bra usually. I'm really glad I had this done when I did or I know I never would've. I feel good about myself for me, and I feel like they look natural and like they fit my body size well; more like what I had before having all my kids. I wish I could've done it years ago but it wasn't possible for me. I've still never told anyone. My kids have never indicated that they noticed anything or I'm sure they would've asked. My husband is encouraging to me and really does love them too. He joked about sending my ps a Christmas card lol. I did have a small scar revision around the bottom part of my navel (had a thick scar) beginning of Nov and that looks fine. I still get a little swelling in my upper abdominal area when I sit for a long time but I guess its from the interruption of the lymphatic system and can take a while for those nerves to completely heal. I'm used to it but its not something I considered. Overall I'm very happy with my results.

1 Year and a half Update

Just thought I would post a year and a half pic. Going for a mammogram next month and I'm a bit nervous that it will really hurt (but they always used to anyway :). I called PS office and he said it should be ok just inform the technician that I have implants. As far as exercise, I do aerobics, core, a ball routine sometimes, bike, swim some, pilates, gplf and just change it up as I get bored easily and enjoy doing different things. I don't exercise everyday but try to 3-4 times a week and try to watch my diet some. My upper abdomen still swells oddly but I've been taking some cinnamon and turmeric to deal with my "old age stiffness" more naturally. I think keeping active and drinking plenty of water helps me most. I hope this journal helps other ladies out there. Blessings!
Wilmington Plastic Surgery

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