Time to re-inflate the girls and look after these...
Time to re-inflate the girls and look after these ugly arms.....
My husband and I went for my consult with Dr. Trefor Nodwell on August 29th and immediately decided that he was the surgeon for me. He listened to what we wanted and proceeded to tell us what was possible. Upon examination he quickly determined that a breast lift would have to be combined with the breast augmentation for maximum results. He reaffirmed the research that we had done about the arm lift and made sure we knew that we were on board for trading loose skin for scars. Although, it would make for a long surgery, it was determined that we could combine the 3 surgeries – arm lift, breast augmentation and breast lift together. That is one of the things I was hoping for, although a more challenging recovery, I could recover at the same time from multiple surgeries and therefore have less down time. It was estimated that the total surgery would be 6 hours so he also recommended an overnight hospital stay.
Melinda, Dr. Nodwell’s nurse is a sweetheart. We had experimented with rice sizers at home so we had an idea of size. The goal of the augmentation is to reinflate. We had brought some pictures of Wish Boobies and some pictures of my girls in their former inflated state. We had determined with the rice sizers that we thought the implants should be in the 325 – 350cc range. Melinda brought us 345cc moderate profile and 345cc high profile to try on. Supplying us with a black sports bra and loading up the implants on top of my deflated girls and topping with a white tee gives a good indication of the potential new look. First impression, and we were so impressed with the 345cc moderate profile. We immediately eliminated the high profile out of the equation. She brought us some slightly smaller and some slightly larger but the 345cc still was our favourite. A final decision on size will be determined at my preop appointment and then ultimately Dr. Nodwell will decide on what is best in the operating room.
We have been discussing this for so long and we have done so much research and following on Real Self it was time for us to commit. I was so excited. Once I decide to do something then I want to do it now. My Preop was booked for September 28th and my surgery is October 6th. My supportive husband will be behind me the whole way.
So now I excitedly wait. I have followed so many of your journeys on here. I have read preparation lists that you have prepared, I have listened to suggestions that you have offered and I have become email friends with some of you. This truly is an awesome site for information and sharing.
Pictures to follow this evening....
It's interesting. I have known for more than 10 years that I have needed to have an arm lift yet everytime I looked in the mirror I somehow didn't see it or at least most of the times didn't see it. I think I trained myself to hold my arms a certain way to hide the wrinkly and excess skin. When I wore sleeveless tops I avoided lifting my arms. Since making the final decision to go ahead with this procedure I notice my arms all the time. Now I wonder just how well did I hide it or was it all a mind game that I played with myself. lol
At this point it doesn't matter I will continue to hold my arms just so for the next 3 weeks. Soon, very soon, I hope they will be awesome!
One week plus 2 days
I made it to the other side. My procedures were Oct 6th. In preop Dr Nodwell came and marked me up and enthusiastically discussed the procedures with me. Next I had a visit from Dr Ozard, the anesthesia doctor and before long I was wheeled into the surgery suite.
Dr Nodwell used liposuction to remove 400cc of fat from my arms, sides and what I called side boobs. Notice the past tense on side boobs? That's right - they are gone!! He removed 6.5 cm of excess skin from my left arm and 5 cm of skin from my right. He performed a breast lift, a small right hand breast reduction and inserted 345cc Inspira breast implants in each breast. Due to the length of time of the surgery I stayed in the hospital overnight. I was very glad that I followed his advise and did this. My procedure started at 8:15am and I woke up in recovery at 3:30. I had inflatable compression stockings on my legs and they stayed on until the next morning. Pain was not intolerable but definitely uncomfortable when the medication wore off. The nurses were very good at ensuring I was comfortable.
Dr Nodwell came to change my dressings and check up on me at 6:00 the next morning. His dedication and caring and his genuine excitement for me is both reassuring and contagious. He removed my breast/bra dressings and removed the ace bandages that were wrapped around my arms. He replace the ace bandages with compressions sleeves which have been and will be my friends 24/7 for 2 weeks. After he left I got disconnected from all my tethers. Leg compression stockings removed, IV removed and I was able to have a sponge bath before I dressed in street clothes.
My husband came to get me at 10am and I was home, freshly medicated and having a nap by 11:30.
Everyday gets better. More mobility, less pain. Honestly, so far the liposuction is the most pain producing procedure that I underwent. I am black and blue, tender/sore and very swollen. My arms are not painful, slight discomfort when the staples were still in the underarms. My breasts are swollen, full and tender but not painful.
I will continue this post later today or tomorrow with more details of the past weeks recovery. I will also include some pictures of the progress in the next post.
Looking down I see more boob then I have seen for 30 years! They are beautiful! My arms are amazing. I know that I am a work of art in progress and transition but I am seeing the potential.
All the best healing wishes to those that are recovering and all the best hopeful wishes to those awaiting their procedures.
A week in pictures
Dr Nodwell warned me that my forearms and hands would swell up. Good job he gave me a heads up. I felt like I should serve crackers and cheese with these cocktail sausage fingers.
Nice preliminary pictures of the breast lift and re-inflate. Welcome to the new girls....or should I say welcome back!
At first look the arm incisions are a wee tad freaky but Dr Nodwell was so pleased with them. They are suppose to be rolled/puckered. He assures me that they will flatten out and be beautiful.
Just passed Week 3
I just passed my week 3 mark on Thursday and I have turned another corner. My arm mobility has been the biggest obstacle in my recovery. I find that I now can somewhat reach above my head and now can reach dishes on the bottom shelf of my cupboards. If I stand on my tip toes I can reach outer stuff on the second shelf which is something I couldn't do a week ago. I can't close the hatchback on my Jeep and I can't reach my favourite yogurt on the top shelf of the dairy case in my supermarket but I am also not afraid to ask for assistance so all is good. I cannot get the compression sleeves on by myself and honestly don't know how anyone can. On Friday (3 weeks and 1 day post op) I was able to get dressed by myself other than the sleeves, again way more than I could do a week ago. My ability to reach my arms behind me has definitely improved. My incisions are still rolled but are flatter and I think look really good. The vertical incisions that run from my armpit down the side of my chest have unrolled and flattened and look amazingly pale. I was given size large compression sleeves in the hospital. At my one week visit to Dr. Nodwell I purchased a set of size medium sleeves. I have worn them for 12 hours stints as I laundered the size large. Tomorrow I am going to try wearing them to work as I think that my arm swelling has gone down enough to try it. The large ones originally were a tug to get on and now they slip on like the arm of a tight tshirt.
My breasts are still tender. My left one is as close to perfect as I could ever hope. My right one is bigger than my left and more tender so I am hoping that this is just swelling and eventually they will equalize. Interestingly, it was the right one that Dr Nodwell did the reduction to and it is the largest. My incisions are coming along nicely on my breasts especially since I began Dr Nodwell's recommended scar treatment plan. He includes a tube of Skin Medica Scar treatment gel and a bottle of Skin Medica Skin Recovery. I have been using the gel since week 2 and just started the Recovery at week 3. The stitches seem to have disolved on the vertical scars and under my breasts. My left breast nipple still have a few left and my right breast nipple maybe has one. They look better everyday. I am still wearing the surgical bra. I occasionally wear a good supporting, front closing sports bra to bed so that I can launder the surgical one. I like how the surgical bra feels, it is very supportive and I want to give my new girls every opportunity to mature. They have fallen nicely and the left one is softer than the right one, another indication that the right one is still more swollen. I have a follow up appointment at 5 weeks and I plan to continue wearing the bra 24/7 until after that appointment and discussing it with Dr Nodwell and his team.
The right breast being larger than the left is upsetting. On Wednesday I was very depressed and freaking out a little about it. Since then the swelling has gone down some and it is not as noticable. Far from perfect, but better. I have been telling myself that I must exercise patience but any of you that have experienced a bump in your journey probably know exactly how I am feeling. I have not contacted the PS office about it as I know that they will just say that it is swelling and that I must wait. Still, it weighs on your mind and is difficult to digest.
I went back to work on Monday and it was a long 5 days. I was very tired and because of my mobility a little challenged at times. I can see if all I had had done was the breast surgery that 2 weeks would have been enough recovery time. Adding the bracheoplasty into the procedure I probably should have stayed off 3 weeks. However, I have a really understanding boss and he was just glad to have me back in the office so didn't mind that I wasn't at 100%. We both know that it may be another 2 or 3 weeks before I am fully back to normal.
To all you ladies in recovery happy and speedy healing.
To all you ladies excitedly waiting your procedure, your day will be here soon and we will be reading of your progess.
Picture Update 3 1/2 weeks
Selfie skills are sadly lacking but the progress of recovery is still evident. Left arm is starting to unroll and flatten and right is just starting. My breasts have fallen nicely - you will notice what I am talking about that the right (your left) is bigger than the left but I am hoping that this is just a matter of swelling. Under the tapes the nipples are healing nicely.
6 weeks tomorrow
I will be 6 weeks post op tomorrow. I went for a post op follow up appointment last Friday with Dr Nodwell and Melinda.
He was pleased with my arms and scar recovery. The scars have flattened out and have turned a light pink colour which means that they are healing properly. The pink indicates that my body is bringing blood to the site - a good sign of proper healing. I was concerned about a hard spot at the back of my left arm and the swelling I still have at my elbows. Dr Nodwell assured me that these are both normal. The hard spot is trauma from the lipo and it will eventually soften and smooth. The swelling will go done. He says that he agressively lipos the elbow area to make for a smoother transition from the surgically corrected arm to the forearm. He suggested that I stop taking the extra anti inflamatory that he prescribed and to go for some hours at time without the sleeves to see if I have excess swelling. In the last week I have taken off my sleeves when I wake up and leave them off during my morning routines until it is time to get dressed for work and I remove them when I get home in the evening. I have to say that it feels a little weird without them. Other clothes brushing against the incision lines and the swelling at the elbows is jiggly. I will wear them to work for the near future for extra support.
My breasts are coming along. The left nipple has started to unpucker - it has remained puckered since the surgery while the right one had 'let go' about one week into recovery. The nipple appearance/shapes are getting closer to matching but still have a ways to go. As far as level - they are pretty close. My right breast is still bigger than my left and Dr Nodwell says that we can revisit this issue in January when I go back for my next follow up. I think that he thinks that they will even out - perhaps there is still more swelling in one then the other. He also told me that they will drop a little more and fill the lower pole more and this will move the nipple a little higher. My right is definitely softer than my left but I like the shape of my left better so a part of me hopes that the left doesn't change to match the right, but rather that in the future we revise the right to match the left.
I have been on an emotional roller coaster this week. There are days that I think that my boobs look really good and days that I am not sure. I am definitely not suffering from boob greed because if anything I think they are too big. But then I think I may not have liked them to be smaller. I just have to get out of this emotional funk. I think part of it is I don't recognize myself in the mirror and with the evidence of two different sizes it is just hard to picture them when they are healed fully. I also get myself worked into a turmoil thinking about possibility of revision. It is a frustration that it takes so long to see the results. I know I am not the first and I know I won't be the last. I hesitated to post this paragraph because I don't want to discourage ladies from having this procedure. Honestly, I am glad that I did it. I also wanted to point out that recoveries are not always perfect and without bumps in the journey but bumps and hiccups can be overcome. I just have to have faith.
I will try to post pictures later.
Happy healing and anticipation
6 weeks in pictures
My arms are great. Nice flat scars. Pink and healthy healing and pH so small. You can see the difference in my right to left. The nipples are starting to look tge same. I had a lot of work done. Arm lift with liposuction, breast lift and breast augmentation. Thst is a lot of trauma and healing all going on at the same time
Victoria secrets sale.....a gal with a credit card....and a need for new bras....that was fun!