This was easily, the most nerve racking decision...
This was easily, the most nerve racking decision of my life. Up to the day before my procedure, I was asking myself: "are you really going to do this to your body". I almost contacted the doctor's office and cancelled the procedure. I believe we all go through this struggle, as it is a huge life decision.
On the one hand, I knew I really needed the procedure. My breasts have always been big and droopy, with limitations on what I could wear. I have never had perky breasts, and I could only see my nipples if I was looking in the mirror (and they were always pointing downwards). You can still see the dark rashes underneath my breast today (which were at times itchy and smelly), as well as the bra strap marks on my shoulders. I'd had enough.
On the other hand, there were the risks. Infections, necrosis, horrible outcomes (sorry AngelEyes 281) and of course, the scars. We are literally willingly subjecting ourselves to "mutilation". If it wasn't for the brave ladies of Real Self, and the confidence I had in Dr Song, I probably would not have gone through with this procedure. It is because of you ladies and Dr Song, that I decided to pay it forward, and to post this review. (Sorry it took me so long, was waiting until I was on vacation).
I did my procedure on July 13, 2016. Five weeks hence, I have absolutely no regrets. I love my boobs. A huge joker's smile comes across my face whenever I look at them in the mirror. I am ashamed to admit, that I stare at them in the bathroom mirror. I would leave the bathroom, then go back in to stare at them again.
I will periodically post pics of how things are progressing
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Scars - I thought I was mentally ready for them, but I wasn't
I removed the steri strips on July 30, exactly 17 days after the procedure. Dr Song had instructed me to change the strips again (2nd change), about 5 days after the procedure. He had removed them 2 days post surgery, in my first post op consultation
I couldn't remove the strips though. I was a absolutely terrified. I wanted to wait until I was absolutely positive that the incisions had closed up, and I didn't have to deal with the "mess" on my own. I know.....I am a real chicken chit.
The moment I first saw them (scars), I felt light headed. I really wasn't prepared. They looked horrible.
The only upside, is that it was the first time I was seeing my boobs without the strips. They were full, nice, high and round. Just what I asked for. i reapplied new strips, as I hadn't received instructions to start scar treatment. I started scar treatment, this past Saturday August 13 (a month after surgery), when I was positive all my incisions had closed. I still wear gauze every day, (and plan to do so up to the3 month point), to prevent any irritation caused by my bra rubbing against the incision sites.
Swelling - 17 days post op
I forgot to mention, that I was extremely swollen in these pics. Salt will do this ladies. I had about 2 cups of salted nuts, before I took these pics. Stay away from the salt. I just couldn't resist. I am addicted to peanuts.:)
I took these photos so that I could examine the incision areas closely. I knew I still had openings, so I wanted to know which areas to focus on.
Cleaning - once I removed the strips for the first time, I cleaned the area (upper torso) with hibliclens, using a clean, damp wash cloth. I have used only white wash cloths to clean my torso since surgery, so I can be certain that the wash cloth is clean. I then used a dryer (set on cool) to dry the area properly.
After I dried my breast, I applied neosporin to the few openings (to prevent infection) and arnica gel over my breast excluding the incision areas (for the swelling). I then dried my breast again with the dryer, then reapplied steri strips and gauze. I do this twice per day. TRY TO AVOID USING A TOWEL on your breast. This is just another avenue to instroduce infection. Use a dryer.
I took my first full shower (head to toe, running water), a month after the procedure. Before that I showered only from my navel down, underarms, back and back of neck. No running water on my chest area (to avoid infection). I used only a damp cloth with hibliclens to clean from my neck to my navel. It worked for me. I had no infection, pussing, oozing or bleeding. My incisions have been dry since surgery. Even when Adriana (nurse assistant) removed my gauze for the first time post op, I was surprised that there was just one small spot of blood on the gauze and that was it.
I knew showering would expose me to infection based on something Dr Song said to me. I had received a written guide from the hospital where I did the procedure telling me to check the incision area daily for infection. Dr Song called me the pm of my surgery to check on me (loved that). I asked him what I should do to care for the incisions between then and my 1st post op (2 days later). He said to just leave it be. Don't touch it, don't shower, just leave it be. I asked him about checking for infection (like the hospital guidance notes warned). He said, "no, that will only be applicable, ONCE YOU START SHOWERING". I knew then, that showering was dangerous, increased risk of infection. So no more full showers for me :). Well until I was confident all my incisions had closed :)
Removing the steri strips
Different doctors have different dates when they would direct you to remove the strips. Most doc's recommend 14 days post op, Dr Song directed 5 days (because showering would make them soiled and gross).
I didn't do a full shower like I said above, so I first removed my strips 2 weeks and 3 days later ( I know.....I took a long time). I was afraid to remove them.
It literally took me an hour to remove the strips. Pressing down the area with the fingers on one hand, and slowly lifting with the fingers on the other.
It is much easier to take off in the shower, allowing the moisture to lift the ends of the strip, but as I was off showering that area, I used coconut oil.
I think rubbing alcohol would help as well (alcohol removes adhesiveness), but I was afraid it would burn (like I said, I am a real chicken chit), so I just used the oil.
Some of your skin may/will come off with the strips, you can see that in my pics (along the vertical incisions and around my right nipple).
I had to share this. Love this bra.
I was searching for a new post surgical bra as the one I received from the doctor had done its time. I wear it every chance I get. It was the perfect bra. Anyhoo, I went to Walmart on the weekend and found this bra. Seriously, the bra is not expensive, but it holds everything in place, firmly. I bought size 34, because i find the tighter (closer) the fit, the firmer the hold. The bra was very cheap - 2 bras for $10. And it holds the girls up. I am so paranoid about my boobs drooping. Gained a little weight over the summer (hate vacations), and the boobs grew. Got me paranoid they are going to return to my original size. Arghhh. But I love this new bra.
Removing the stitches - and massaging
I remember when I went in for my second post op consultation and Dr Song removed some of the stitches and told me, that I would have to remove any remaining stitches. (I dont live in the ATL and was leaving the State shortly thereafter. )
I said "okay", but remember thinking: "nope, they are staying in there until my next consultation. I am not taking them out by myself.'
I didn't think I would be able to handle it. I am very squeamish and could barely manage looking at the incisions, what more, putting a scissors to them. I knew from the reviews on here though, that if the stitches are kept in longer than they should, that it would affect the healing process. I remember really touching/examining my breasts about a week later, and realizing that I still had five knots in my left breast (that I could feel), and four in my right. I felt I was going to go crazy. Was I really going to have to remove them myself?
I knew I had read on here that massaging helped to soften these knots/stitches so that they would fall out on their own. Dr Song had given me the go ahead to start scar treatment. This was now (week 4 or thereabouts). I had purchased a scar serum on Amazon that had a massage applicator. So I thought I would start with that. It helped me to massage the incision areas directly, and therefore the stitches/knots.
I couldn't believe, I was about to shower one morning and I was massaging my left breast and I actually felt when a knot came off on my fingers. I examined my left breasts and all the knots were out. The same for the right, with the exception of one knot along the vertical incision line. I tugged on the knot gently but the bastard was firmly in. No room to even put a scissors between the knot and the incision.
I kept massaging with the applicator and a few days later, I felt the knot softening up. So I took the scissors (washed it with hibliclens), held the knot with one hand, and snipped with the other hand. The buggers are now all out (I think....I hope). I am not feeling anymore. So I am now doing my scar treatments in earnest.
Is it just me, or do you guys find these scar gels ridiculously expensive? Seriously, $20 for a 0.2 ounce gel. And these things barely last 2 weeks.
I have attached a photo of the serum with massage applicator. I really hope it helps someone who was as nervous as I was about removing the stitches.
The genie bra
Hey. I thought I would post a pic of the genie bra as well. It's not very costly (I guess). I bought 5 for $40 on sale, and they also fit my boobs great. I bought 2 mediums (on account of post surgery swelling) and 3 small to wear after the swelling subsided.p. I am now wearing the small (just remove the padding). Just buy one, as a test. I promise you will not regret it. The boobs don't move when I wear them. They hold the girls Firmly. I will write about the tape on my breasts tomorrow. I need your opinions on the tape.
Scar treatment - need your help here ladies.
I started scar treatment about August 11/12. I think it was August 13 actually. It was a Saturday am.
I applied the "scaraway silicone tape" in the am and wore throughout the day. I liked the tape. It had a silkly smooth feeling. The only problem was, the tape didn't stay on. This silicone tape is to be removed and washed daily. I don't know if that affects its adhesiveness. I think washing is a bad idea, but, is recommended by the manufacturer.
I know I wanted to wear some form of tape daily, because based on my reading, the tape flattens the scars. I believe that is true, and that even the steri strips have that effect. I wore steri strips up to the morning I started scar treatment. That is, for exactly a month. And if you look at the photos attached, you would notice that the appearance of my scars had (in my opinion anyway) improved significantly. That was ALL on account of the steri strips. Because I had started scar treatment only 4 days earlier.
In the pm, I used the scar away serum with massage applicator - pic above. I needed something to massage the scars. Massage is important in reducing tightness in the area, and, as I discovered on Real Self, in loosening up the stitches. The massage applicator also emits a gel. So there is really no need to apply another gel at night. But, on some nights, I would also apply the "scaraway silicone gel". I purchased all on Amazon. But you can also purchase at Walmart (online). You are to ensure that the gel applied to your skin is completely dry, before putting on your bra. And yes, I still wear a bra 24/7. These girls need all the help they can get. :)
Well the tape and gel are now finished.
I started the mepitac tape yesterday. (Also bought at Walmart, but discovered on Amazon). I found the scaraway silicone tape did not maintain its adhesiveness. It just kept falling off. The mepitac tape is much better (in terms of adhesiveness), but it is too soon to tell, if it improves appearance.
Have any of you ladies used the mepitac tape before? Please tell me, what was your experience in terms of overall improvement!
I am thinking about starting the "mederma pm" tonight (the scaraway gel is finished). It had some good reviews. I need your help here as well ladies! How well do they compare in your experience? I.e. The scaraway silicone gel versus the mederma pm?
Gosh. I just realized (scrolling down) that I write some long arse reviews. Sorry ladies. I will try to do better
Arghhhh - mederma vs silicone gel
10 Sep 2016
2 months post
So I woke up early this am, and started freaking out. You remember I told you I would be starting "Mederma pm", as I was now out of the Scaraway silicone gel. (I had bought different types of scar treatment for experimenting based on my research).
Anyhoo, I was examining the scars, and I think the gel was really working. My scars are actually quite "light" and are already fading. Arghhhh.
I guess we will all be riding the "mederma pm" cream for the next month. Please give me your feedback on how the scars actually look over the next few weeks
Oh Well, the plus side is that the mederma cream, has a nice smell
18 Sep 2016
2 months post
I promised to post a review on the bras, I have worn since the procedure.
1. The white silkly bra, was my surgical bra. Looooved it. Made my breasts feel nice and firm. I also loved that the fasteners laid flat on my chest between my breasts. I think it helped to keep the girls separated. I haven't found any bra to date that has the exact same effect.
2. The black and beige sports bra is a high impact bra I bought at Walmart. It kept the girls reaaaal high, but I didn't like the padding. It hurt my nipple post surgery, but is fine now (wearing it today).
3. The black genie bra - wore it on alternate days (when surgical bra was dirty. Made my boobs feel like rocks. I swear. I actually loved that it gave that firmness to the girls. I think it helps to contour my breats
4. The white and grey bra - 2nd favourite (after my surgical bra).
5. The grey and black, I wear for V neck shirts and dresses. You will never believe the cup size for that bra - a "B", I don't think I even wore a "B" when I was 10 years old. I bought a couple at Macy's