I've been thinking about breast surgery since I...
I've been thinking about breast surgery since I was 14; I'm 22 now. I am 5'7" and 135lb, curvy, I usually wear a size 8, although sometimes a 6 and sometimes a 10 depending on brand. I jog 1.75 miles 5 days a week (I lost 35 pounds from my 2013 New Years resolution).
On a side-note, although I am a virgin by choice, I can guarantee you I will remain so until/unless I get my breasts fixed somehow. I'm in a serious relationship and if/when we get married I don't want to be sexually inhibited. I know he loves me either way, but I am SO self-conscious of my breasts :( I can hardly look at them in the mirror myself.
A little back story... At 14 I hoped I might "fill out" so I didn't hate my breasts like I do now. I started menstruating when I was 11, so I knew by age 18 that my breasts probably were finished with all pubescent efforts. That's when the loathing and shame really began.
My breasts are about a full 34A/small 34B and cone-shaped with mild snoopy's-nose; my areola is disproportionately large for my breasts (I feel more like I have large areolas rather than true breasts); their is mild asymmetry in size, shape, and position between my breasts/nipples. I think I would want to be about a 34C, but maybe a full 34B.
I never felt my breasts looked "normal" but I decided to wait until I was 18 before making any "calls". Of course by this point they still looked so abnormal, and this is when my research really began, and I learned about this thing called "tuberous breast deformity". Even though my case would be considered "mild" compared to lots I've seen, it's not so "mild" in my self-perception... Essentially I've been researching surgery and saving money for the last 4 years.
Tuberous breasts are typically small; all the other women in my family have at least a cup size on me. Although the size of my breasts does make me self-conscious to some degree (I wear two push-up bras, at the same time, every day to appear as a full 34B and to conceal the cone shape of my breasts), the shape/proportions are what make me mortified by them. In other words, I think small breasts can be beautiful but I don't want tuberous-looking breasts.
My mom insisted I start by seeing the doctor to make sure nothing "medical" was wrong; my OB/GYN asked what "happened" to me ("nothing"), and the breast-specialist basically used medical jargon to say I have unfortunate-looking breasts. I now had mom's blessing to pursue seeing plastic surgeons.
I have some consults coming up. Choosing the right surgeon is important to me and I've done a lot of research, but deciding on the right procedure is harder.
I believe, cosmetically speaking, I could benefit from EITHER an areola-reduction/breast-lift type procedure OR silicone breast implants via crease/under-breast incision. My case is not severe enough to warrant both together, although that is often how tuberous breasts are treated. Each procedure by itself would change the shape/proportion issue. No cone breasts!!
Here are my CONS:
I do intend to have children in the future. Will this affect my ability to breastfeed? Will there be MORE asymmetry than before surgery (It happens)? What if I don't scar well? Will being pregnant/breastfeeding cause unsightly stretching of the scars? What would being pregnant/breastfeeding do to my surgically altered breasts (that wouldn't happen to natural breasts)? Does this surgery have a greater risk of loss of sensation in the breast and nipples than the augmentation?
I am almost certain I would hate how it feels to have dual-plane/unders, and although I'm fit I'm not skinny, so I'm really leaning towards subglandular/overs; if I got any kind of implant it would definitely be silicone. But heck I might hate how it feels to have implants at all. They might always feel foreign in my body (see: Breast Implant Removal reviews on RealSelf). If I decide I want them removed later, my breasts will probably be worse looking than they are now. If I decide I want them removed this could also affect breast/nipple sensation. If I developed capsular contracture, this risk would be even greater since the capsule would definitely have to be removed too. Even if I am one of the lucky ones that can keep my implants for decades, do they age well, cosmetically speaking? Do breasts with implants age similarly to natural breasts? Anyone have pictures of breasts with implants 5-10 years post-op? Is it worth paying for regular ultrasounds/MRIs with silicone implants? Can you substitute ultrasounds instead of MRIs? Are my implants more likely to feel to me like "me" if they're relatively small? If I were to get my implants removed at a later time, would my breasts look better after if I had had a relatively small implant? I know implants aren't lifetime devices, but under what circumstances would you need a re-op? Like if you found a quality surgeon and you had satisfactory results, no contracture, no bottoming-out, comfortable size, no rupture, then why would you want to re-op? When surgeons say implants aren't lifetime devices, do they just mean that by getting breast augmentation you aren't going to have eternally perfect perky breasts and to maintain the appearance you will need surgery periodically?
I guess my dream is to look and feel normal. For a 22 year old, NORMAL means relatively perky beautiful breasts. If by 40 my breasts (hypothetically with implants) were sagging a bit, it wouldn't bother me so much if they were sagging in a NORMAL kind of way. Like I'm a NORMAL 40 year old who had babies and nursed them and now my boobies are kinda saggy. Seeing a trend here?
I'm not looking to have breasts that maintain a Carmen Electra appearance indefinitely and eternally. I want breasts that are proportionate to my curvy frame, that look and feel NORMAL to me.
I would accept any insight here, especially from women that have had their implants for at LEAST 5 years. From women who have had tuberous breast correction surgery. From women who have had their implants removed. From women who have had a breast lift. From women who have been pregnant/breastfed AFTER having implants and/or a lift. From surgeons. Anybody really lol.
I'm hoping to schedule my surgery in February or March, but I feel so overwhelmed about making these choices :( I know they will have permanent consequences for good or bad...
Sorry for the previous emotional vomit :\ Decisions, decisions...
So I just wrote a nice thorough update, which was promptly erased when I somehow accidentally refreshed the page...
I'll try to give the short version.
I'm going to be recovering in Modesto with some friends so I am seeing doctors between here and there for starts.
I saw Dr. Mabourakh. I was excited because of his great online reputation. I was disappointed though; he was polite and professional but I did not feel listened to (I repeated myself a lot) or informed, or really even cared for. He seemed confident in his ability to give me what I want, but he didn't convince ME. Overall, it felt like I was on a boob-job assembly line. I came in, told him what I was interested in, did a physical exam, and tried on sizers rather briefly. Although the appointment was 1.5-2 hours it felt rushed. I'm not following through with him but I would not dissuade anyone else from consulting him because of his great reputation.
Note: Dr. M does not believe I have truly tuberous breasts but underdeveloped breasts. He recommended doing a crescent lift on one side to correct asymmetry.
I had another appointment with Dr. Wu. To be brief, completely opposite experience from Dr. M. I truly felt that she cares for her patients. She was conversational, warm even, but still professional. She even got maternal with me for a minute, telling me that I don't "have to" do this, I can live a happy and healthy life without it, and to be sure it was what I wanted. She talked with me in detail about my goals, my options, different risks of different options. Then I had a physical exam wherein she recorded like twenty different measurements of my boobs. Then we talked some more. I was late for my appointment because I read my calendar wrong, but they were so gracious about it. Since I didn't have a full-length appointment, I'll be going back for another shorter one to try on sizers.
Note: Dr. Wu doesn't think I have tuberous breasts. She wants to do a small lift on one side with a lollipop scar (vertical scar would be less than 2 centimeters).
Lastly, I had an appointment with one of Dr. Payne's office ladies. It would probably be more beneficial to someone who is just beginning to research because, honestly, I didn't learn much. I should've just booked a consult with the doctor. I had my photos taken, which were showed to the doctor. He recommends just an augmentation but wants to lower my fold slightly. He doesn't think my amount of asymmetry is "worth" the scars to try to correct it.
Because I haven't seen him in person yet, he hasn't stated whether or not he thinks there is anything wrong with my breasts.
Something the girl from his office said is sticking with me: I might find that after the augmentation I am okay with the amount of asymmetry, but if not, I could always go back for the lift on one side. However, I can't undo those scars.
So many decisions. I'm going back and forth about overs vs unders (the implant distortion from flexing really bothers me). To lift or not to lift? Lowering the fold... double bubble?
Lots and lots of thinking!!
Question to those who had implants before having kids.
I'm looking at getting 300-350 cc silicone implants. However, I was thinking that maybe it would be better to go smaller so that after I'm done having kids I can trade out my implants and go up a size to "fill out" what the babies took outta me. What do y'all think about that?
I don't want big boobs; I've been told a few times now that I'm not a "typical" patient in that way. I just want better proportion. I think a C cup is a good size because it can be played up with a push-up or played down with a sports bra. I know a lot of people desire to abandon push-up bras by getting implants, but I like the flexibility of being able to "take off" some volume at the end of the day. If we're honest, small-breasted women know the smaller your boobs are the more PHYSICALLY comfortable you are (That said, many feel the benefits of large breasts are worth the trade-off).
But I run, and I don't want my boobies to knock me unconscious. The biggest adjustment for me will be running with bigger boobs; I already wear a $50 "high impact" sports bra to work out and I'm only a 34A/34B. But I know I'll just have to give it time to get used to it.
I'm pretty sure at this point I'm not doing the lift; I don't think it'd be worth it. I can always do it later if I change my mind. I'm still weighing the fold-lowering suggestion.
Overs or unders... I'm advised that overs look much more fake. However, from looking at bunches of photos, I feel like the biggest factor to a person looking "fake" is the profile of the implant. In my opinion, the higher profile implants are more likely to look fake, even in the dual-plane position.
I want a natural look like most people, but I think I can achieve that with overs in the right profile/position. Honestly, I'm not concerned about "palpability" as much and neither is my boyfriend (No... seriously, he doesn't care).
Hopefully a surgery date soon!
I was hoping to have my surgery in February... So much for that. I didn't think about how much time off I would have to get in order to commute to see doctors. I suppose I knew that most offices aren't open weekends, but I really didn't account for that in my planning.
Because of some stuff that's come up with my family, I'm having to put off surgery a little while.
My immediate family and my boyfriend are the only ones that know. Everyone is supportive except for my parents. My mom isn't against the objective of the surgery so much as that I am electing to have surgery in general. She would be happy to see me more comfortable in my body, but the surgery part scares her. My dad, however, is against the whole thing. But I'm not surprised and I never really hoped for his support.
In short, last week was hellish. Even though they've known for months now that I'm pursuing surgery, I think my parents thought it was a phase and I wouldn't actually do it. Now that I'm about to set a date, last week they kinda freaked out... It's not going as well as I'd hoped with my mom. But she's trying and I'm trying.
I saw Dr. Payne for a consultation. I was impressed because the first part of my consultation he just asked me questions and took notes. All the doctors asked about what I wanted, but he was the only one I saw write it down. He filled an entire page in short-hand. After examination, he told me what he recommended based on what I said I wanted and what I have now. And then I told him why I didn't want that (lol). I felt very well listened to and well informed. His quote was also about a thousand less than Wu. I'm 95% sure I'm going to go with Dr. Payne. My only real concerns are that he is a doctor that chooses the size and profile of the implant for you during surgery (based on what you said you wanted). So I'm really going to have to place some faith in the man.
On a side-note, Wu and Payne both used the words "mild constriction" to describe my breasts. Somehow it makes me feel better to have my concerns validated.
Crossing my fingers for a date in April!!
I'm sooo nervous. This doesn't feel real.
I have a headache...
I'm either in denial or actually not freaking out...
I've never had any kind of surgery before. I'm bad with needles (I come close to fainting). I know a lot of people stress most about recovery, but I'm just nervous about the actual procedure!! After that, it's a matter of being patient and managing pain.
When I went to the bank to get a cashier's check (my PS has a reduced rate for paying cash) I was so fidgety and nervous. It occured to me that standing in line at a bank isn't an appropriate circumstance to express my anxiety lol.
When I got to the office to book my surgery I was freaking out on the inside. I know I would be no matter where I got this done, by who, or when.
But now that it's all final I'm feeling better. Oddly enough.
My only issue is figuring out how big I want to go and what placement to go with...
I thought for a long time I wanted to go subglandular, but now I'm reconsidering dual-plane. My surgeon, Dr. Payne, does full submuscular placement most often. But I know I don't want to do that. Way too much trauma to the muscles for my taste.
But then one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go subglandular was because of animation deformity associated with dual-plane/submuscular placement. The biggest reason I'm reconsidering dual-plane is because of reduced risk of capsular contracture. Also, I imagine the feeling of having something shoved under my muscles would kinda gross me out...
I have less than three weeks to figure this out.
I am so uncertain I drive myself crazy. Even when I've made up my mind about something, I'm still doubting myself when I should just follow through and take what comes.
However I am so grateful for this resource and all of your stories! You encourage me!
Everyone has them. Some of you might recognize your boobs here ;)
Best high impact sports bra for new boobies?
I have a Champion high impact sports bra that I got for like $40-$50 several years ago but it has held up tremendously and it's still my go-to for running. But I'm going from an A/B to a D. Needless to say, it will not fit after surgery. Any other runners out there have a favorite high-impact sports bra for bigger boobs? I want to protect my investment and keep them high and supported as best I can for as long as I can ;)
It still doesn't feel real to me... Maybe that's not it. Maybe I'm just surprising myself at how calm I feel about this. Knowing myself, I feel like something is wrong with me if I'm not freaking out lol. But I suppose I'm sort of relieved after years of research and debating and dreaming it's basically done. My money is down and there's no way I'm backing out now.
Here's some more wish pics!
Emotional shift, but not the kind I was expecting.
I will maintain that I don't like my breasts. But I might mention that I now think they are at least okay looking under the right circumstances. Even though I'm about to have surgery, I have actually been obsessing over them less. Of course I still want to go through with surgery. I still think my boobs are kinda ugly, but I guess I'm realizing that that's not what defines me.
Ladies, you are not your breasts! You are not your ass! You are not your stomach or your legs or your vadg! You are you, and your bodies belong to you, not the other way around.
I hate to say it, but I think I feel better in part because I recently stopped working with a coworker that I think was contributing to my negativity. She's a nice and intelligent girl, with a flawless body (Aphrodite incarnate). She's one of those few girls that are lazily a perfect 10: she doesn't work out, she doesn't have a skincare regimen, and she looks just as gorgeous with zero make up. Ironically, she has leaked some self-aimed negativity at times when we've worked together. I'm secure enough to acknowledge she is, by classic definition, prettier than me. And when she talks that way it makes me feel ashamed and judged. Example 1: She has a slender, curvy, tight bod that can be attributed 100% to genes. I am at my lowest adult weight, and most of the time feel comfortable with it, sometimes proud because of how much weight I lost and kept off, but I'm a size or two larger than her. She will talk about wanting to lose weight, talk about how flabby she is. So I go, "Man, you must think I'm gross if you think you're fat." She is frequently talking about appearance, whether it's hers or someone else's.
It's been a little while since I've worked with her and I feel better. She is a kind person and I had no problem working with her. But her negativity really seeped into me.
No anxiety attacks yet (lol). My surgery is a week from Friday. Still doesn't seem "real" but I won't complain. I much prefer not having anxiety for as long as possible!!
Final Pre-Op Today!
I was supposed to go in last week for my final appointment but my surgeon got the nastayyy flu going around so I had a weekend appointment. I'm glad he got sick the week before my surgery instead of then lol.
I really respect him because he is very informative and wants his patients to have a realistic perspective about surgery. Realistic perspective = happier patient post-op. He thoroughly explained the pros and cons of every possible decision you need to make (implant type, implant size, incision placement, implant placement, etc). Specifically he talked about the long-term benefits of different options.
On a side-note, I really appreciate that he didn't try to talk me into more procedures. Most of the doctors tried to immediately talk me into a lift on my right breast (My right breast IS slightly lower in comparison, but by itself it's really not very droopy). He didn't think it was "worth it," and said I'll look "great" with a bilateral augmentation. In his words, (paraphrase) being competitive is good, but when you're not satisfied with being in the top 10% you're being self-destructive. He said I have good anatomy for this procedure, and that if I'm okay with my breasts looking slightly different then I will be happy with the outcome. And again, he said he thinks I'm going to look "great." I'm not saying all the surgeons were just trying to get more money from me when they recommended a lift on one side. Dr. Payne just took the time to really get a "feel" for me, and for this particular patient, less is more.
He had the notes from my consult out and reviewed everything from before, confirming I still wanted the same thing, and he jotted some more down.
Friday I am getting smooth silicone gel dual-plane. He is deciding the size/profile during surgery, but we're looking at about 375 cc's.
Friday still seems far away. Am I in complete denial? Lol
Forgot to mention...
I caved and bought those Fruit of the Loom front hook sports bras from Walmart. It's a two-pack for like 10 bucks. I'm a 34 now so I got a 36 and a 38 in case one doesn't fit. The bras size by number and not by letter.
Also bought several magazines and some easy food for post-op.
Most people seem to like to go and buy a ton of stuff for post-op, but I'm already broke from paying for the procedure so I'm sticking to the bare minimum :\ I forgot to ask my doctor if they provide silicone scar sheets for post-op, but if they don't I'll just have my sister go to Walmart and get them (I saw them there). Frozen peas will suffice in lieu of those fancy boob-icers.
I didn't buy any REAL bras for post-op yet, because I don't know for sure what size I'll be and I'd rather stick to the sports bras until it all settles down and then go shopping. Also, like I already said, I'm broke. No VS for me :\ Maybe in a few months when I am financially in a better place. But I think I'll be happy just to fill out a bra from Target :] ...Honestly, I'll be happy to fill out a sports bra lol :P
Also, at my appointment with Dr. Payne: I essentially found out I may have hit some sort of jackpot?? He mentioned patients whose severity of constriction meant they were more challenging to operate on to achieve a good cosmetic result. But because I have MILD constriction, my breasts should take the shape of the implant pretty easily without scoring, AND, because they're dense, they may hypothetically resist gravity better/longer than NORMAL breasts. WHAT?? There's an up-side to constricted breasts??
Night Before Surgery!
I had my first ever massage today. I think it was a good investment. I think I'll sleep better on my back now that my muscles aren't so tight!
Went on my last run this morning :( It's going to be tough, especially since I am faster now than I've ever been. But it's worth it.
I am starting to get nervous a bit, but trying not to over think this. It's as good as done at this point so there's no point fretting.
I have my "station" next to my bed set up - Pain med, anxiety med, stool softener, laxative, Ritz crackers, Club crackers, graham crackers, water, Gatorade, tissue, body butter, lip balm, hand sanitizer, and lots and lots of books/magazines! My sheets are clean, my room is organized, the laundry is almost done.
Now it's time to wait.
Sorry for the Delay
My surgery was yesterday. I was asked to come in early because the doctor was running ahead of schedule. As far as anxiety goes, I was feeling alright until I actually got inside. I got super nervous very quickly. I'm sure my face went white. All the staff was very nice though. I had to get into a gown, wash my chest one final time, and pee for the pregnancy test. After going over the last of the paperwork, I saw my doctor. He reviewed everything we'd discussed before, made sure he and I were on the same page. Then the anesthesiologist came to place my IV and it was apparent I was very anxious and he explained that he was going to numb me before placing the IV. I hardly even felt it. He was very nice. They got me on something for the anxiety right away and I felt better (I was holding back tears). I vaguely remember my sister waving goodbye. I don't remember anyone saying anything like, "We're ready for you" or having me count down. I just remember feeling my arm BURNING from the anesthesia and I started coughing and someone saying she was taking me to boobieville and I asked if they had pina coladas there. Next thing I know I'm slowly waking up with just the first nurse there. I felt like a drunk as she helped me put my underwear and clothes on. As far as discomfort, on a scale of 1-10 I felt like a 6 when I woke up, but once I was home and had my pain pills I'm like a 2 or 3 depending on movement. Not as painful as I expected. I haven't been able to write until now because I've been sleeping sooo much. Like, falling asleep in the middle of writing a text message, sleepy. Like, I'm going back to sleep now. My boobs are so huge and swollen, but I'm just glad it's all overwith! Happy healing to everyone!
I slept for the larger part of two days (my surgery was midday Friday and I am still waking up groggy mid Sunday). My sister has been making sure I'm up enough to have my pills and get in some fluids and carbohydrates. I've had a ton of Gatorade and water, but haven't ate much besides some crackers.
Let me reiterate, I was SOOO nervous going into surgery. Like I was shaking and holding back tears, wanted to vomit, and I was afraid someone was going to ask me if I "really wanted" to do this, which I did but boy was I scared sh*tless. Literally. I had two massive BMs before surgery.
But I think the anti-anxiety stuff they put in my IV made the rest of it all a blur. I thought pain would be worse yesterday and today than it was surgery day since the topical anesthetic would be worn off but it's been opposite. When I woke up at hospital my pain was like a 6, but after I had my meds at the house it was like a 2 or 3. As long as I stay ahead of the pain I feel alright.
I've been icing occasionally. My swelling has gone down a lot but definitely not 100%. I'm still wearing the post-surgery wrap but I get switched out at my first post-op tomorrow!
My internal clock is completely gone. I've been sleeping so much.
I know my doctor went with 375 cc's like we'd suggested was a good starting place, and I think I got high profile but not sure. I had dual-plane and inframammary incision.
I haven't seen the boobies yet. They feel pretty numb. I can feel some sensation through the dressing where my nipples are. They're kinda hard. The most comfortable place for me to be is in bed with my wedge pillow - sitting up or laying down is both uncomfortable. The wrap is getting itchy so glad it's going to come off tomorrow!
I'm really glad I got a massage on Thursday. I think it has totally helped me sleep well on my back!
Happy healing everyone!
3 Days Post Op
I have been at such peace about all of this. It's incredible.
On another note, my pain is mostly manageable. My swelling has gone down a lot (no more Dolly Parton). I'm still taking the pills though. Today I saw my doctor and got switched into a post-op bra and WOOPEE I got a bandeau to push those suckers down. He said to wear it as much as I can tolerate.
I'm not super concerned about whether my boobs are healing pretty or whatever because I know no matter what I have to wait it out and I trust my doctor. He saw me today and says I'm doing fine.
I think the size is right, it's just that they're so high and boxy (typical at this stage). Not much of any cleavage yet, they're sitting pretty far apart. But I'm hopeful yet!!
As far as sensation goes, I have little to no sensation in my breasts and surrounding skin, but I have some sensation in my nipples. It's the oddest feeling. But again, nothing that a little patience won't help!
Happy healing everyone! I think I need to sleep some more!
PS- Found out what I got: 375 cc smooth gel silicone high profile dual-plane w/crease incision.
Not much to add today. I've been wearing the bandeau like a good little patient. I haven't been instructed to massage, so I'm not but I'm going to bring it up on Thursday.
Before surgery I had this list of things I was going to get done during all this "down time" but I've been surprised at how much I've been sleeping! I know some of the side affects of the meds is that they can make you drowsy, but wow, I haven't read about anyone else having quite the same reaction. Without regards to my sister having me eat/drink/pee/medicate, I slept virtually from Friday after surgery until Sunday afternoon. I've started reducing my dosage so I think it's helped, but I'm still tired a lot.
Funny story lol. When I was on full-dose percocet, I realized that I would have to buy new bras when I was all healed up and I started worrying that I would buy the wrong colors. Like, I was afraid I would buy the wrong color bras and underwear and when I got married my husband would be upset lol. So I asked my boyfriend what colors of underwear are "okay" for me to buy. He laughed. I also made mention of a Winnie the Pooh nightie? Lol
Day 5... Not doing so hot
I don't know if it's the meds, my being on my period, my having little appetite, my general recovery from surgery, or my general need of above-average amounts of sleep (probably a combination of it all) but I am so tired all the time! Also my doctor has me off all supplements (even multivitamin) so that might be something too. I need to eat and drink more. Really making an effort with that.
Also, took my first real shower today (gross I know). It was hard but I got through it. Didn't have it in me to blow dry my hair though :\
In boobie news, they are big and high and hard and tight.
I'm not really worried (yet) but I'm wondering if I went too big. I hope as they settle and "drop and fluff" and whatnot that they'll look a bit smaller. Maybe I still have some swelling to get past. I mean it hasn't even been a week yet.
I've been wearing the bandeau as much as I can and the girls don't seem to want to drop. Granted it's been a couple days. Is it normal that they sit so far apart? Like I feel like my boobs are in my armpits. Again, hoping as they settle they'll come closer together. In a way it's actually more comfortable for me to wear the bandeau because it keeps my boobs out of my way.
They're really tight. Can't wait to talk to my doctor tomorrow about massage!
Here I go again, falling asleep...
Hate to begin on this note, but I FINALLY pooped today!! I've been taking stool softeners twice a day ever since surgery on top of drinking tons of water. I finally caved and ate some prunes a few hours ago. Not the greatest BM of my life, but I'm hoping for some more movement in the near future. Sick of feeling HUGE. Huge from swelling, huge from bloating, I feel pregnant.
On a different note, I got my stitches out today (crease incision). It actually didn't really hurt. The incisions are covered with those strip things but as far as I can tell they're healing nicely.
I asked about, well, everything I mentioned yesterday. Although I no longer feel I went too big. Funny how the boobies change size on ya like that ;) My understanding is that some people feel their boobs look bigger, some people feel their boobs look smaller once they've "settled." At this point I don't have a strong desire one way or the other (I am probably leaning towards bigger though ;) ) I just really want them to drop! Also, the boobies being far apart and in my armpits is also temporary. It's all down to this "settling" and "dropping" and "fluffing" business.
I feel a lot more like The Hulk than Wonder Woman right now, but I will admit I think things are starting to loosen up a WEE bit. However still super tight and awkward feeling. Not even so much painful anymore as just tight and uncomfortable. Interestingly I got used to the size almost immediately. But maybe that's too soon to say..?
That's all I got for now! Hope everyone is doing well!
It's been a week
Something I forgot to mention yesterday: My surgeon performs the massage whenever I go for a follow-up, which is twice a week. Unless he feels the pockets need any "extra" TLC, I don't have to do any massage at home. But my pockets are doing good.
Today I put on my first real pull-over-the-head shirt. It's kinda big but it wasn't hard. I don't think I'll have trouble getting it off by myself. Also, I switched from the front-close Fruit of the Loom sports bras to Walmart's version of a "Genie bra." Way more comfortable IMO. It was like $10 (I'll tell you the name as soon as I take it off and read it lol). It's mostly nylon I think so it's not very supportive (which is good - these babies need to D&F!) and super flexible so it doesn't rub against my incisions.
Weirdly enough, I found that it was way more comfortable to sleep on my side while I wear my bandeau. Had a nap today. I'll try it again tonight.
Happy healing friends. And may all your bowels be regular!
I wanted to make a three-part post of some things that I've thought about today.
Let's talk about sensation; I had a doctor I saw for a consult freak me out by telling me to expect some amount of (permanent) sensation loss in my breasts and nipples. Every other doctor I saw was perplexed by this and said the vast majority of patients recover virtually 100% sensation.
So here's my experience: Immediately out of surgery I had pain in my pectoralis major muscle ranking about a 6 or 7 out of 10 (I would say it hurt but not enough to make me cry or prevent me from sleeping - I've had worse menstrual cramps). Since I went dual-plane, of course my muscles would hurt. And once I had my painkillers, I was a 3 or better. My actual breast tissue had zero sensation, as well as the skin surrounding, however my nipples were sore and sensitive.
It's been a week since surgery and I'd say I've regained sensation about half-way. My nipples are still pretty sensitive but they've calmed down some. I'm honestly just glad I can feel them at all lol.
On a completely different note, I just want to say how glad I am I didn't waste money on all that stuff they say you "have" to have for recovery; specialized bras, special supplements, boob-shaped icers, fancy stretch mark lotion, and on and on. The Walmart Fruit of the Loom front close bras ($10 for a 2-pack) worked great. I bought 2 comfy button-up shirts (Walmart) to last me until I could wear normal clothes again. I didn't take any supplements (also required by my PS) and I hardly bruised and I'm healing fine. I used frozen veggies to ice my tatas and not only did it soothe my swelling, but it made for a little giggle :D (My boyfriend thought it was pretty funny). As far as lotion goes, I would say it's a must, but you don't need to buy that overpriced crap for stretch marks (Read the ingredients and make sure you're getting the quality you're paying for, not relabeled mineral oil). I had a tub of body butter from The Body Shop that I hadn't used, as well as a small bottle of Lay It On Thick from B&BW, and I've been using them to ward off tight, dry skin and stay as supple as possible to prevent any stretch marks. High quality ingredients, and I already had them at home. Don't we all have those half-used body creams somewhere? Also a fan of J. R. Watkins Natural Apothecary Body Cream. Something that I do think would be worthwhile is a wedge-pillow; I borrowed one from my grandma. That 45-degree angle was the only comfortable position for me for a little while; any higher or lower made my boobs hurt. If you can't borrow one, I'd consider purchasing it. The most expensive thing I bought in preparation for my BA was a massage the day before, and I really think it was worth it. I'm a side and stomach sleeper, but I had a much easier time sleeping on my back than normal and I think it was because of this. I try to be frugal, but my quality of sleep is pretty important to me ;)
To finish, I would just like to say how HAPPY I am!! For so many reasons!!
1. I am SOOO happy I didn't get the lift on one side (even though 2/3 doctors recommended it), because luckily enough, my breasts are actually MORE even and symmetrical now. Like, very even and symmetrical. Just from implants alone. Which isn't typical but I won't complain!
2. I am so happy I went dual-plane instead of going over the muscle. The pain was not anywhere near as bad as I expected, it doesn't feel as awkward as I thought it would, and the flexing distortion is so minor. Also, I got to go as large as I'd been wanting without being afraid it would look bad or fake. If I went over the muscle, my surgeons all recommended I go with a much smaller implant because of how little natural tissue I have.
3. I am so happy I went with the 375s. In the very beginning, I was looking at 300s. But after taking some time to be honest with myself and get used to the whole implant idea, I knew I would look better a bit bigger. My surgeon actually chose the size, but I made the recommendation, and we ultimately ended up agreeing.
4. I am so happy I actually DID this. And didn't let being scared keep me from following through. And doing this now instead of putting it off and wishing I had done it sooner.
5. At the same time I am so happy I did my research. I'm like a boob-job pro with how much information I've absorbed over the past few years. It definitely helped me make the right decision.
6. I am so happy I paid the extra cash for silicone instead of saline.
7. Lastly, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually like my boobs! I really hated my boobs before. My aspiration was to look "normal" and make peace with my body. I didn't dare to hope I would actually find my boobs sexy. Before, I would avoid looking at my constricted boobs in the mirror. I wore super padded bras, which we all know are both hot/sweaty and uncomfortable, every single day. Even though I still have some D&Fing to do, today, for the first time, I actually saw my boobs and felt HAPPY. They look so much better than I hoped, and they're only going to look better in the next couple months.
I have officially gone from hating my constricted/mildly-tuberous breasts to loving my new sexy boobies. I have sexy boobies! WHAT??
Day 9 was rough. I think I have been pushing my body a bit too far. I tried driving for the first time on Day 8. I might be doing more than I should in general. I was hurting pretty bad and I had to take two pain pills, which I haven't done since right after surgery. Spent some quality time with my frozen veggies. But I'm doing better today.
There is definitely some dropping going on, and they're a bit softer, but the girls still feel kinda tight and uncomfortable. I'm still using the muscle relaxer. Definitely made some progress but we're not done yet!
All in all, my results have exceeded my expectations in every way except one. They aren't as close together as I'd hoped for. I don't have as much cleavage as my "wish" pictures. But I think this has more to do with my anatomical limitations than my surgeon or my implants. IE my sternum is wider/my pectoral muscles are more spaced than I knew. But honestly? I can get over it. Such a small trade-off to me. I can always wear a push up if I want to.
I've had a few people ask about pictures. I've actually tried a couple times and they haven't gone through. I'm not doing any "nudies" but I'm planning on using pictures wearing the same sports bra in the same lighting. Crossing my fingers!
What is it? Day 12?
It seems like longer than that. I am almost completely off any medication whatsoever, although I will occasionally medicate if I really need it.
I am now thoroughly familiar with "morning boob" and will be quite pleased when I get beyond it. But really it's all so worth it.
I know my boobs are dropping, but it feels like I'm watching a glacier move. I really just need to be patient though. And grateful because, like I said, my results already top my pre-op expectations.
I've been mostly returning to my normal life, and have yet to catch anyone looking at my chest questioningly. Like many of you, I was married to my super-padded bras before surgery, so my new look isn't too different to the outside world.
I am getting antsy about not being able to run. Right before surgery, I was doing up to 2-3 miles most days and feeling really good. I would never go against doctor's orders (I've heard the horror stories of hematomas) but I will say it's not easy. Being that I was formerly overweight, I get scared I'm going to go "back" instead of keeping my new lifestyle.
I'm also getting kinda concerned about this breast massage/implant displacement exercises stuff. I read about how important it is, and each doctor seems to have a different method of when to begin, how to do it, how often, etc -- but I have had no instruction to do it. Definitely bringing it up again. Better safe than sorry? I paid more than I could afford for these babies. I would bathe them in lizard pee if I thought it would keep them soft and perky (A little 90's kids throwback for ya - Drake & Josh anyone?).
I got back on the Ativan but only to sleep. Hoping to be off it soon!
Interestingly enough, I woke up yesterday without morning boob. Just out of the blue. I won't complain though. Crossing my fingers on that one!
I've had a couple dreams about people asking me why my boobs got bigger, etc. I don't really know anyone that would really ask that that doesn't already know, so I'm not too concerned about that translating into real life.
Doctor was surprised at how quickly I'm healing! At my appointment he was moving them around the pockets (I hate it but it's over quickly) and said how they're already softening up. We talked about massage. He said there's no solid documentation that says massage does anything. He used to have his patients massage because that's what he was taught in school, but he doesn't anymore.
I was thinking, just my personal idea: When you're sleeping - well at least when I'm sleeping - I go from one side to my back to the other side during the night, and if I could still I'd sleep on my stomach. All that shifting of gravity probably moves my implants, anyway. But I'm no doctor.
Still itching to go running. One of the ways I'm keeping myself from it is that I have no sports bra anymore. Not buying a new high-impact sports bra until I get the "okay."
I've regained pretty much all sensation in my breasts. Virtually no pain anymore, and that tight feeling from my muscles is almost gone. Under my arms on my rib cage I have this awkward numbness, but my side/under boob has that sensitive sunburn feeling still.
My skin doesn't have that dry, tight, itchy feeling anymore but I'm still using lotion after every shower.
I know I still got a lot of stretching, dropping, and softening to do. When I get goosebumps and expect my nipples to get hard, they... can't lol. My skin is too tight to afford that.
It's weird because I was afraid that it would take a long time for me to mentally "accept" my implants - IE have them feel like "me" and not be constantly aware of a foreign object in my body. But I guess I'm fortunate because I was used to them virtually as soon as I got them. I thought for sure I'd freak out once or twice. But I suppose I'll knock on wood because I still haven't taken these girls out for a jog yet! In due time.
Sizing matters and some pics
Went bra shopping but left empty handed. The girls are still too high to get a real "feel" for a bra - whether it's comfortable, whether it looks good under clothes, etc. But I got a size. I'm about a 34DD! Sounds big but it's so relative. A 34DD has the same cup size as a 36D has the same cup size as a 38C and so on. Pre-op I was a 34A/34B; I "faked" about a C cup on a daily basis with padding. Now, 375 CC's later, I'm a 34DD. I actually don't look much different in clothing. However I don't wear clothes that are very tight or revealing.
Including some pictures.
Still waking up with some morning boob at times. Not sure what factors in to whether or not that happens. But it's not so bad.
I feel so normal now that it is hard physically limiting myself! I really want to go running with my dogs but I can't :(
I have regained most of the mobility in my arms, but any deep muscle stretching is still uncomfortable. Like, reaching things on the top shelf in the pantry. Washing my back in the shower is still challenging. Cranking the steering wheel while driving is probably the worst. Also, turning to see behind me when I'm backing out of parking spots is uncomfortable.
Even though I was there when it happened, I'm still skeptical of the 34DD verdict. Maybe it will be different once they've dropped, fluffed, settled and the swelling is 100% gone. I don't know. I really don't feel that big, but if the bra fits...
I haven't been scheduling any kind of regular exercise. I'm starting to get back into walking, just no fast walking. Trying to do about 1.5 miles a day to work back up. I don't want to shock my system when I go into running at 6 weeks. It's weird, but just the movement involved from my arms in walking is making my pec muscles sore and tight. Nothing an ibuprofen can't handle though. I had to cross a street between traffic, and so I jogged just those few strides... super weird feeling! Weird feeling my pec muscles flex when I move my arms. It's much more noticeable when they're stretched out that far. But just something else to get used to. It's worth it!
As far as the chest tightness, things have definitely loosened up and generally comfortable, but my boobs are still pretty hard. Still some stretching to do.
Hypersensitivity is still a pain (no pun intended) but I can tell it's getting better and my nerves are healing.
Sleeping is virtually normal. I'm sleeping on my sides, but no tummy sleeping yet. Sometimes I'll wake up towards the end of the night and my boobs will be kinda sore from sleeping on one side too long. I take Ativan and ibuprofen before I go to bed.
Not sure if I should be "babying" my muscles at this point or trying to slowly build them up again? Turning the steering wheel is still uncomfortable so I try to bum rides when I can.
I saw a friend today. She is the only person besides my immediate family and my boyfriend that knows about the surgery. She commented on how proportional I look and how subtle the change was. Makes me happy to hear it from someone else! Definitely a good feeling.
Got my steri-strips off for good. I'll post pics of my incisions when I can. They're a little longer than I thought they'd be, but I hardly care. I'm glad I didn't get a periareolar incision. I think I would freak out seeing/feeling a scar smack dab in the middle of my boob, but that's just me.
It was recommended to start applying vitamin E to my scars. I'm using the method the nurse suggested: buy vitamin E capsules and use a sterile needle to poke a hole in the shell and then use your fingers to massage it into your scar. Something I came up with on my own - I want the vitamin E to absorb as much as possible, so to avoid it rubbing off onto my bra, I put medical tape over my scars before I put my bra on and after applying the vitamin E. In my head I find it kinda gross to keep using the same capsule until it's gone, which could be a few days, so I down the rest because I wanted to get on vitamin E anyhow. I bought the silicone sheets. I'm not sure if maybe I should switch between the two?
Feeling good. I can tell my right breast is dropping faster. I wonder if it's because I'm right handed?
Went to VS today and got measured: I'm a 34D. I think before I was thinking DD because my boobs are still high and a little swollen at times. But I'm pretty sure when I settle I'll be a D. On a side note, I was a good girl and only bought one bra just like I said! ;)
It seems longer than three weeks.
I would like to address something from yesterday: Do not apply medical tape after vitamin E lol... I've used medical tape before, but the vitamin E somehow made the tape stick more! It was real stuck on, so I used a bit of olive oil to coax it off. Do not repeat my mistake!!
On that note, I'm reconsidering the whole topical vitamin E stuff after doing online research. Some sources say it can actually make scars worse... What?? I respect my surgeon, and every single doctor on this website has a very specific method to everything that is different from every other doctor... but I'm definitely being persuaded by the silicone sheets.
In other news: Still experiencing minor boob soreness towards the end of the night. Driving almost feels normal, but every now and then I'll do something that hurts. Still experiencing hypersensitivity, but it's probably almost half as bad as immediately post-op. Still applying a good moisturizer to my boobs. Reaching the top shelf, washing my back in the shower, etc, is getting easier.
I got a $10 off card so I went back to VS and bought me a good high impact sports bra! So I'll be ready when I'm ready! :)
I also abandoned all my old bras and tricks: all the itty-bitty sports bras, the push-up bras I used to layer, the gel inserts. While I was at it I went through all my under wear. Between the weight loss and the new boobs I have few things that fit me. So the too-big undies went too.
My drawer is pretty empty. I only have the basics in my new size: nude-color VS Fabulous push up, nude-color Maidenform Self Expressions t-shirt bra, VS high impact sports bra, plus the post-op Walmart bras.
It's been over a month!
Wow things got crazy! But I didn't fall off the planet :)
I am feeling about 97% normal. I am cometely mentally used to my size (although still haven't gone running). Still slightly hypersensitive in the under-boob/nipple area, but it is so much milder. All numbness has disappeared in the side-boob/underarm area except a small area on my right side. Still some dropping to do I think but looking better every day. Morning boob is almost gone. Mobility is virtually 100% so reaching high shelves and washing my back is normal. Driving is only difficult for lengthy periods of time (1 hour +). My right boob is still a bit lower and softer than my left, but I'm not concerned. My scars are razor thin and I've been using ScarAway silicone sheets to fade and soften them.
I was panicking before my one-month appointment because I've been super stressed out and busy and driving a lot, and my boobs were feeling firmer and sore and looking higher. I had a capsular contracture freak out. My boyfriend had to talk me down. But when I saw my doctor he said it's only from all the activity and that my pockets feel very good. I'm actually sort of ahead of the curve as far as healing goes. I literally feel so good that I lifted a 50 pound box without thinking about it and it wasn't until the next day that I realized what a no-no I had committed. But I wasn't even sore. Trying to stick to doctor's orders though.
I am so happy I did this :) Instead of feeling all sweaty from a padded bra I get cleavage sweat ;) Good trade I think!
Just a few things...
My boobs look good from the normal standing up angle. But bending over, laying on my sides, and laying on my back they look less than satisfactory. Bending over I almost have a ball-in-sock thing but opposite: my real breast tissue hangs off my implants so there's this irregular shape. It's round closer to my chest (implants) and then they hang off pointy (natural breasts). Kinda a similar thing when I lay on my sides, except it's just the boob touching the bed that looks that way. I don't like it :\ Laying on my back they fall to the sides and I get a 2.5 inch gap between my implants and they ride farther up towards my neck. It's easy to tell they're fake from these angles. But I'm also less than 6 weeks out and they're going to get softer over the next months. Just an observation.
On a side note, I slept without a bra last night! I never went without a bra before implants, even to sleep. Every once in a while I'd sleep without a sports bra, but rarely. I just hated being reminded of them. But because of hypersensitivity after surgery I couldn't sleep without a bra until now. I'm excited :)
Something else... I still have a numbness under my right armpit. But I also noticed my left nipple has more sensation than my right (not painful or hypersensitive). Like, they're soft enough now to get halfway constricted/hard from cold. But I noticed only my left nipple getting hard. My hands were cold so when I got undressed I touched each of my nipples with the same hand and that's when I noticed the sensation difference. My left was more sensitive to the temperature of my hand than the right, and only left got hard. I will say though that my right nipple is still sensitive, just not as much as my left. Because of the lengths I previously went through to "avoid" my boobs I really have no idea if it was this way before surgery or not. Or if maybe surgery just made it worse.
In conclusion I will say that I'm not going to worry about any of this until 6 months out. I'm still happy I did this. I still have some D&F to do and I'm not at my final result. So I'm not going to worry.
Even though my surgeon thinks it's more of a placebo, I'm doing implant massage. It helps my pec muscles feel better sometimes too. And I'm using the silicone sheets on my scars.
I've gained like a pound a week since I haven't been running. Also been eating out more than normal. Eager to pound that pavement!
More than 6 weeks
I'm noticing the numbness on my right underarm/side-boob area getting better.
Still using the ScarAway sheets. I cut each sheet into 4 strips, and I wear them 24/7 and replace them after I shower. My scars are super thin and I can tell they're getting softer too.
My boobs are also getting softer. I try to do implant massage at least once a day. I should be doing twice. I'm probably like 75% consistent with it.
The girls are looking good. I can tell they're lower when I see photos from earlier, but it happened so gradually it was sort of hard to tell. I'm not sure how close I am to my "final result" but I will say once again I am so glad I did this and it was worth it!
I'm posting pics of my incisions.
I know I'm more scarce now, but I'm in one of the most busy stressful seasons in my life so far, so please forgive me ;) Also it's because there isn't a lot to report!
Almost two months (Went for my first run)
My right boob is still softer and lower than my left. Both are still D&F-ing, but I think I'm close to my "final result."
I'm still trying to do massage every day, even if it really is a placebo.
I'm pain free. No more morning boob at all. I'm not sure if I noted this earlier, but just in case.
Only thing I deal with is my boobs/pecs getting tighter/harder after a physically exhausting day.
I went for a run! I did a 14 min mile the other day. I'm not supposed to "push it" so I didn't go farther than a quarter mile at a time without walking. It definitely feels different running with 750 more total CC's on your chest. But I used that high impact bra from VS and it was fine. However I know I would be quite uncomfortable running without a good sports bra. In regards to my past post from a few weeks back about feeling my muscles flex when I jogged across the street - My muscles are definitely loser and softer and it's much less noticeable!
All in all, I am very happy with my boobs. But it's a satisfaction that means I don't think about them often. Before I thought about them a lot because I disliked them so much. Now, because I'm happy with them, I hardly think about them. I still sometimes worry about developing spontaneous capsular contracture. But I have no symptoms. All in all, still worth it!
Tomorrow is 12 weeks
26 Jun 2014
2 months post
At this point my implants are essentially adopted.
I've been running five days a week but still not as fit or fast as pre-op. However my new boobs need more support. Still trying to figure out a good solution for running - I wear a VS high-impact sports bra plus the compression band from post-op. Wearing just the sports bra, my breasts get sore after a few minutes and I think it's because the VS bras are kinda low cut so there's not as much on top holding them DOWN. But I dont get sore if I wear the bandeau over top. It does get bulky and sweaty though.
Every once in a while I will do something that puts stress on my pectoral muscles and I can feel how they're weaker. But I'm back to normal every day stuff, including lifting, etc.
My left is still slughtly higher than my right.
Still using the silicone sheets like a champ. The scars are considerably smoother and flatter, but haven't faded a whole lot yet.
Along with the dropping of the implants, my breast creases have shifted slightly. My surgeon warned that this might happen, so I chose inframammary incision knowing the risks. So my incisions are like a centimeter above my new crease, but they're still not easily seen. It doesn't bother me.
The only thing I would've done different is probably going with moderate profile instead of high profile. I think they'd probably look better laying down. But I have no way to know for sure.
Still happy I did this!
Almost 4 months
I like my boobs. I like that I am not preoccupied by them. I'm so happy I did this. I'm happy I didn't wait ten or twenty years. My boobs look better than I thought they would/could.
However I will say there are some minor complications. My left side is still higher and firmer. Not dramatically, but I notice it. This may be because my left side was more constricted. My right nipple is still only at 50% sensation (maybe even less than that). I don't know whether or not to expect either of these things to resolve entirely, but even so, it's worth it.
Also, both my implants fall to the sides a bit when I'm laying down, but my left also goes upwards. I imagine this has to do with my anatomy. It's not ideal but I've decided not to let it bother me. My boobs are a 9/10 and better than I hoped for.
I'll try to get some pics for y'all :)
1 year post-op...
One year ago today I had my breast augmentation. I can't believe it.
Let me begin by saying I'm still saying it was WORTH IT. I feel so much more proportional and confident, especially with my husband (I married the boyfriend, from my prior posts, very recently). I am happy that for the first time in like almost a decade, I am not feeling ashamed and preoccupied by my breasts, since having surgery. Contrary to what some people experience, I think about my appearance LESS since having breast implants. I just feel confident and normal and I don't worry about how to disguise my deformity anymore. I just live life. It was also a great experience for me in that I made a huge, risky decision with minimal support from family - a decision I was petrified to follow through on. I've never chosen to do something that scared me so much before. That's changed how I view myself as a person. Even those who were opposed to it have told me that their respect for me has grown because I did something so hard. On a side note, because my husband and I "waited", he never saw how they looked before surgery (or at all until we were married). But he doesn't and didn't care, and he thinks I'm sexy :)
I had my one year post op appointment a couple days ago and seeing my before pictures reminded me how happy I am I did this...
Let me address sensation (hypersensitivity/numbness, etc). All sensation has returned to normal except one thing: my right nipple has lost about half the sensation to touch and virtually all sensation to temperature. The left nipple has normal sensation, and both breasts (including skin) have normal sensation. Honestly it doesn't bother me most of the time.
As far as appearance, I am very pleased with my results. The surrounding tissues have stretched and softened. There's no longer any "ball in sock" type impression from any angle. My left implant is still SLIGHTLY higher and SLIGHTLY firmer feeling than my right, but I can also feel the ripples on the bottom of my right implant easier (they're not visible and barely palpable). My doctor said they're just slightly different in the way they healed and there's no reason to worry. As far as scars go, mine have faded dramatically with the use of silicone sheets. They're barely visible.
The only thing I'm not 100% satisfied with is the roundness of my upper-pole. I think a moderate profile implant may have looked more natural, but then again it may not have given me the lower pole roundness I was seeking. It's only speculation though. I have no plans to go back under the knife anytime soon.
However I think my boobies look great, even though under close observation it's clear they're not "home grown." Now stay with me here. Let me make an analogy. When you see a celebrity sporting a "natural" look, they still look great even though you KNOW they're wearing make up. Look close enough and you can tell easily. That's kinda how I think my boobs look. But this isn't to say it's obvious to people I am in contact with on a daily basis, I am talking about how they look naked. If I were the type to flaunt a skimpy bikini I think people would wonder if they were real. But I'm a pretty modest person so I never have that kind of speculation.
I hope my story will have helped someone somewhere! That's been my desire on here.
I almost simultaneously shit myself and vomited...
20 months post-op...
The other day I noticed my left breast looks HIGHER... I am doing everything I can to keep from full on PANICKING about capsular contracture. I've made appointments with three different surgeons in my new area of residence to see if they think I'm getting CC. I do NOT have the time or the money for a revision, especially when capsulectomies are no guaranteed cure for CC.
This said, I am still glad I had the surgery in the first place. I have a tendency to get WAY ahead of myself (if you can't tell by now), but I will say that even if I need to permanently explant at some time in the future, I am still glad I had the surgery in the first place. It's still worth it.
I have done some reading about how some people use ultrasound to treat CC. I so hope this option is available in my area. I would do like anything to treat CC and avoid surgery...
Learn from my mistake: READ THE WARRANTY BEFORE DECIDING BRAND!
I recently moved to Kansas City, Missouri. The short version is I had multiple reasons to move here with my hubby so we did and we like it :) However, this has meant I have had to find a new surgeon in my new area. After my initial freak out about CC last week I booked appointments with three different surgeons. My first appointment was with Dr. Levi Young.
I'm sure he's ready for the irony to fade, but Dr. Young is indeed the youngest PS I've consulted. However he is a top doctor here on RealSelf and my understanding is he was hand-picked to take over the practice after Dr. Hall retired.
I gotta say, this guy really made me feel LISTENED to. I didn't feel like I was on a boob-job assembly line. I didn't feel like I was treated like an ignorant. I had a lot to say, and a lot to ask, and he listened very thoughtfully and replied honestly. I have a good feeling about him because he doesn't pretend to know what he doesn't know, or take "always" or "never" stances. He is very down to earth, and I never felt rushed during my appointment.
Before I go on any further, I should tell you that he confirmed my diagnosis. I have Baker Grade III capsular contracture.
I asked the doctor what he thought about emerging therapies like Aspen, which utilizes ultrasound technology to treat contracture. Dr. Young said there is some merit to ultrasound treatments, and his office uses it (ultrasound, but not the patented Aspen system) to treat some types of patients but his stance is that the data is still too limited for him to recommend it for CC. However this could change in the future, and ultrasound treatments for CC might really be the next "big thing."
He mentioned that the Natrelle implants now have a warranty that covers implant replacement in case of CC. I was excited because I have Natrelle... but then I read the fine print and the warranty only applies to implants purchased after November of 2014... My BA was April of 2014. I called the 800 number to file a report of CC, and they confirmed that I do not have any warranty coverage.
All this to say, it DOES matter what brand implant you buy! I didn't give much thought to brand before my surgery, and now I wish I did. Look at all the available warranties, even and especially the extra coverage options that cost money!
I looked at the warranties for Natrelle (by Allergan) and for MemoryGel (by Mentor). Both companies have a (free) 10 year warranty that covers implant cost and surgery fees of up to $3,500 in the instance of silicone implant rupture. As of November of 2014, Natrelle extended their coverage to cover implant cost in the case of capsular contracture (but does not financially assist with surgery fees). However, MemoryGel has an "enhanced" 10-year warranty available for $200 that covers the implant cost AND surgery fees of up to $3,500 in the case of capsular contracture (plus everything in the standard warranty).
I am still on the fence about how to proceed: Do I go out of state to see one of the few surgeons in the country that utilize Aspen ultrasound treatment and pay $1,500 when the only doctors that seem confident in the technology have something to gain from it? Do I spend another $4,000-$5,000 for a surgical revision and capsulectomy? I am somewhat comforted to know that there is a warranty available to assist with CC if it were to occur a second time... There is just no way I would go under the knife again without that warranty... :\
DO YOUR HOMEWORK LADIES! BRAND DOES MATTER!
Called my surgeons office to report my CC...
I called Dr. Payne's office to let them know that I was diagnosed with CC on the left side and was pursuing options in my new area. I was told before I moved to call them and keep them up to date with any changes related to my implants. I called because I thought the doctor would certainly want to know about a patient developing CC; I did NOT call to point any fingers, accuse anyone of wrongdoing, or tell anyone that they "owed" me anything. I know that CC happens sometimes, and I knew that before going under the knife. I hold no ill-regard toward Dr. Payne.
The receptionist who took my call was borderline rude... It would have been nice to hear a "I'm so sorry to hear that!" or "Thank you for letting us know!" but all I got was a curt "Okay" and "So are you going to get a capsulectomy and replace the implant?"
While I think the doctor himself would have handled the situation far better, I would caution him to be careful on who he selects to represent him. I've had a hard enough time hearing this dreaded diagnosis... Now I feel like a leper cast aside by my first PS team.
I'm probably overreacting; I'm just so confused and upset right now about the CC...
At this point I've pretty much accepted my situation and I'm done with the nausea-inducing-panic and pretty set in the let's-handle-this mode...
I saw a second PS today. I scheduled my appointment with him about a month ago because he is apparently very in-demand! He was impressed with how knowledgeable and thorough I was. It was nice to be listened to and taken seriously! We just dove right in, using proper medical terminology and everything haha :)
He found my case a bit odd. He says my breast FEELS basically normal (although he did acknowledge it is very slightly firmer, and probably more noticeable to me than anyone) - the implant feels pretty soft and moves pretty easily around the pocket. So the weird part is that it's acting pretty much how it's supposed to, but for some reason it migrated slightly upwards. He asked me if anything notable happened recently health-wise: illness, infection, trauma, etc. Nope, nada. He said if he had to put a label on it, I'd have "grade 1 and a half" CC.
Because my capsule seems pretty good, he recommended I begin with a rigorous round of daily massage, pushing downward. If there is no improvement in about two months, we can discuss other options. His first choice for "other options" would be a capsulotomy and disinfecting of the implant and pocket. I've never heard of a capsulotomy being performed for CC, so I'm not sure what I think. He would basically just incise the lower border of the capsule to make room, or if necessary remove the part of the capsule with excessively thick scar tissue, then disinfect the pocket and the implant before replacing it. Of course if there were any defect with the implant, he would replace it with a new one. It would cost about a third less than a full capsulectomy, and of course the recovery would be simpler.
I'm feeling hopeful... It's been about a month since the... movement(?) happened, and nothing has changed. I think this is sort of a good thing, because my understanding is that CC generally develops pretty rapidly. Crossing my fingers it doesn't progress!! Time to begin grabbing my boob every spare minute and massaging with no mercy!!