BreastLift Sept 20 - Panama City, Panama

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I will be having a breast lift + augmentation in a...

I will be having a breast lift + augmentation in a couple of weeks. I am from the US, but currently living in Panama so I will be having my procedure done here. The surgeon I choose is Dr. Picard-Ami. He seems very nice, knowledgeable and he has a really nice staff too. I am 31, 5'7" and about 130lbs. I have two daughters (5yr + 1.5yr) so now that my husband + I are happy with our family + have decided that two is the perfect number of kids, it's time for a "mommy make-over". Like many mommies, I feel that my breasts are very deflated and empty looking after kids. Before kids I was a D/DD depending on the bra and post kids I am a small 34-C. I nursed both my girls for the first year of their lives. While pregnant + nursing my breasts were bigger, but I mostly wore sports bras + nursing bras so I have no idea how big they were. I would like to be at my pre-baby size again. More importantly I would like my breasts to not be so saggy. I am still trying to figure out implant sizes, but I will post when I have decided. My procedure is in two weeks so I need to figure it out. I am going in again next Friday to try on sizers again and make a decision.

In addition to breast lift/augmentation, I will also be having liposuction on my thighs + a hernia repair.

Before pics to be added tonight.

Before Pics

Here are some before to compare.

Before Pics 2

I had trouble uploading, so here are a few more.

1 week pre! (EEEK!)

Ok, everything is starting to feel more real today. I'm feeling scared + anxious. I'm also worried about my hubby + trying my best to be sympathetic to his needs + take care of him! He is such a strong guy that he hates feeling down + won't complain unless something is really wrong. I know next week when the tables are turned that I will not be as good of a "patient"!

Mostly I'm really nervous about making sure everything is ready and I want to make sure my kids will be taken care of (especially with my hubby not feeling well). I think after paying for a majority of the surgery yesterday that makes it feel more "real" too. I'm also really nervous about recovery and how long it will take.

I'm so glad I went by the PS yesterday because he really made me feel more confident about my decision of the 280cc moderate profile. I think any questions/fears/doubts at this point are just nerves!

I tried on about 5-6 different sizers at my visit yesterday and every time I kept choosing the 280cc. I tried high profile, moderate, all different sizes. My doctor was able to explain the difference to me and talk about many of the pros/cons of different sizes. For example, it never occurred to me that if you go really big your muscle might not completely cover the implant and you can feel the implant below the muscle in the gap.

I'm glad I have next week to run errands, clean + mentally prepare myself.

From Yesterday (I obviously posted this in the wrong spot yesterday!)

Ok, so I've been busy taking care of my poor hubby today who it turns out has shingles! Poor thing. I'm just hoping he is feeling better in the next week. We've got meds for him now + I'm hoping a good weekend of rest will help too. I also did my doc visit (since we were right by there for my hubby) early. I decided on a moderate profile 280cc. I was really wavering + thought I wanted to go bigger/high profile, but I kept choosing the 280cc (even when I was all confused + thought it was the HP bigger one). I'm hoping that won't be too small, but I really think with my frame it will be a good fit. So it's decided. We paid for a good chunk of surgery + am scheduled for next Friday. Let the waiting begin.

Tomorrow is the day

I'm a pile of nerves, but I really appreciate this website + all the support! It seems unreal + I'm really nervous about not being able to pick-up my little one, help my 5 year old get ready for school, etc. I'm scared about the pain + recovery + I think I may freak out when I get there tomorrow morning. I'm so nervous that I'm not even excited :( I thought I would be really excited the day before. I'll enjoy my last work out tonight as it will be the last good workout for the next month. Off to run errands and make sure everything is ready.

Surgery went well

Nurses were great. Coming out of anesthisa went pretty good (I was worried about that part). Still not too much pain now, but I know tomorrow + next day will be hard. Had a little trouble breathing after surgery, but I heard a few people say that so it didn't surprise me. We were told to be there at 9am and surgery didn't start till noon so that was the only frustrating part. I'm on the other side :) I'll try to take a pic tomorrow. I'm all gauze right now. I don't know if I will be able to get my post-op garments off to take a shower when that comes time! Going to chill + watch some tv. I'm going to try to stay up a little so I am tired when it is time to sleep. I feel a little wired right now.

Day 1 Post-op

I can't reach numbers keys on my keyboard. ha. Anyway, just quick note to say I slept ok (like sleeping on an airplane kind of sleep...) I can't really tell anything as I'm all wrapped up. I have a pain pump which is awesome. Can't really move with hernia/lift combo. I hate being still! I will try to post pics when I can, but for now I am literally stuck in bed. Hubby has to lift me out because I can't use my hands to push off (nurses explicit orders) and my tummy hurts when I use my abs because of hernia. I have some pressure but my guess is it is going to get worse today and tomorrow. I feel it most when I breathe. A nurse is supposed to come by our house (I think) to check on me. Love the personal service here!

Talked with doc, but no nurse on weekends

Nice thing about procedure on Friday = extra recovery time. No nurse on weekend though. We talked to doc personally though (he even gave us his cell) so feeling good. We go in Monday too.

Yesterday Afternoon Not so Good, better today

Yesterday was a whirlwind. It started off ok and then in the afternoon it was not so good. I am having a hard time standing up on my own so that's a pain. I feel helpless. I almost passed out taking a shower + my hubby had to carry me to bed. I was sweating all over! I think it was from taking post op garments off while standing up. Anyway, better today.

Better Today

Pain pump came out this morning. I woke up in pain last night when it ran out, but took a pain pill + was ok. Taking it easy still. I can move a lot more on my own now. Hoping tomorrow will be even better.

I will try to post no bra pic soon, but I don't even want to try to take bra off after nurse put it back on this morning.

So Swollen, scary still, but 4 days post-op here I am

I'm overall feeling better, but very swollen today (from my breasts all the way to my ankles! My legs look pregnant again from the knees down!)... I'm hoping that is normal since I am up and moving about more. Maybe from the lipo, maybe from everything...

I'm also hoping the swelling goes down in the next few days.

1 week

I am doing some of my normal daily activities, but a little slower + still resting as needed. I had 1 week post-op visit today. My doc answered all of my questions (yep, I brought a list!) and said that healing was looking good. I am leaving tapes on until they start to peel off, but the doc said as they start to peel I can remove them.

I'll post new pics in a week, but here is a 1 week post-op pic.(pretty much same as 4 days...still pretty swollen + tapes still on, but for comparison sake)

So happy

I know that my breasts are still swollen + will go down, but I think they are going to be the perfect size when swelling goes down. I am excited! I am very happy with how they are looking!!! I can't wait to try on some bras in the next couple weeks! I'll try to keep posting pics every Friday to see how they heal each week.

Week 2 is so much better!!!

This week has been so much better. I started a part time job (30 hours this week!!!) and all has been going well. It requires very little physically so that has not been a problem at all. My hubby has been helping out a ton with the kids + house still so we are all doing good. I'm still trying to take it as easy as I can, but it is tricky dealing with a 1.5 year old who knows I can't pick her up + uses it to her advantage! (Sweet, stubborn + independent little thing!-I love her so much!!!) So, overall week 2 I have been pretty much back to normal (about 80%), minus working out, heavy lifting (including taking out the trash!), and a few other minor things. I feel good though + only pain meds at night (usually Tylenol or IBprofen).
I am updating a day early because I don't think I will have time tomorrow. So this will serve as my two week post.
I hope everyone who has recently had surgery is recovering well + that anyone who has an upcoming surgery has great results. Take care!

More pics 13 days post-op

These didn't attach with my update so I'm adding them...

3 weeks

These pictures are from Friday, but it has been a long week with sick kiddos so I haven't had a chance to post them til now.

4 weeks

I'm feeling pretty good at this point. My left has settled a little lower than my right + my areola on the right is not perfectly circular, but we'll see if that changes in the next few weeks/months as I continue to heal. I am overall very happy with the results right now.

A "run" + a swim :)

ok, so my doc said to start slowly + I took his advice. Normally I run 2-5 miles several times a week (not fast mind you, but a steady jog...). So I walked on an incline of 10 + ran for a few minutes intermittently. I had some pain in the legs where I had lipo, but surprisingly no issues with the breasts or hernia. It felt good to do something active + I'm hoping as I continue to heal I will have less issues with the legs too. All my visible bruising is mostly gone, but there is still a little swelling so I know I'm still healing. My leg muscle actually felt pretty good, which is awesome because being down for several weeks I was concerned about losing muscle.
And to top everything off I got to spend some time in the pool with my girls! I love the water so this was the best!!! I can't wait to get to the beach + go for a swim in the ocean.

A run + swim

When I said "with my girls" I meant with my daughters! Just to clarify ;)

Also, I only went 1.5 miles for my walk/run + only ran about 1/2 of that. Next run will be today + I will probably do the same until my legs start to feel a little better. I'm hoping next week I will be able to do .5 mile warm-up walk, run a mile, and .5 mile cool down. Then I will hopefully be able to build from there. I am also going to start adding back in my normal workout routine with some squats, arm reps + very slowly other things like push-ups + abs when I feel ready + good about those.

Cheers to working out post-op :) :) :)

Spitting Stitches :(

Well, at 4/5 weeks when my scars were all nicely healed + I got the go ahead to resume workouts swimming etc gradually to normal, I hit a bump in the road. At 5/6 weeks my right breast started spitting stitches on the T part of the incision at the bottom of my breast. It looks awful (like a giant pimple + I have like 3 or 4 in a row) :( I was worried it was infected because I had been swimming + such, but I think it is fine. There is some pus + blood that come out (ew gross!) and one the stitch actually came out when I was cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide. Regardless I'm going in tomorrow to have the doctor take a look + to be sure. I guess this happens, but it is not a fun bump in the road with recovery. Apparently it is kind of like a splinter + the stitch has to come out for it to start to heal. Other than the ugly looking scar underneath I am very happy with my breasts, size, feel, shape etc. I'll add some photos shortly. I just wanted to share for anyone else who runs into this ugly bump in the road.

On the plus side...

I'm attaching a current photo. My right breast is slightly higher than my left, but I'm hoping with time and massage they will even out. If not I'm still ok with the result. My nipples are looking more circular, which is good.

On the plus side workouts have been going well. I've been able to run some, swim (before spitting stitches), use elliptical, bike etc. I'll get there:-) It's much easier than post-partum workouts!!! (I also didn't work out much my second pregnancy.)

I've started back to some weight training (lots of lower + some upper). I was even able to do 2 sets of 5 push-ups :) I could do 2 sets of 20 pre-op, but I want to build back-up slowly/conservatively. I could see a 5K in the near future :-)

Photos 6 weeks (I think) did not attach.
Panama Plastic Surgeon

I really like how professional and friendly my doctor is. His staff is amazing (especially Nitza and the nurse Lily yesterday). He has been awesome about spending time with me and answering my questions. I was so nervous the first visit and he was very calm in dealing with me. Wait times have been on longer side compared to US, but that is always the case in Panama so it is one of those things you come to expect + get used to here. I researched Dr.Picard-Ami in-depth and I was very impressed by his credentials before going in to meet with him. It is very scary looking for a surgeon outside of your comfort zone + when you do not speak the native language of the country well. Not only was Dr.Picard-Ami impressive on paper, he truly cares about his patients, the final outcome + he is an impressive surgeon. He was so wonderful during all the pre + post op meetings so far and I would certainly recommend him to anyone I know based on my personal experience with him here in Panama. I am so thrilled with my results so far!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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