This reviewer is affiliated with RealSelf. The views expressed here are their own and do not reflect the views of RealSelf, Inc.
TLDR, or in Reddit terms, "too long didn't read." Here's a summary:
25 y/o, no kids. Did lots of research. 400cc silicone implants, under the muscle, nipple incision, received 72 hour pain pump. Painful right after surgery. Minimal discomfort through day 2. So very happy -- I cried trying on T-shirts today. Videos and pictures at bottom of post. I have a list of random tips to make recovery easier if you want them.
Jan. 9, 2012
I've wanted breast implants since I was 16 or 17. My mother encouraged me to wait til after college, and since I wasn't in any financial position to get them before then, I listened.
I am so glad I did! I have gone through many phases with my boobs -- from being ashamed, to being confident, to being confident but knowing I could be *more* confident. I needed to have those feelings. If I'd done it at 18, it would've been a far different emotional experience. I don't think there's anything *wrong* with my breasts, but I know I'll feel a whole lot better getting dressed and getting naked when I'm a bit more proportionate. I have CBH's, or child-bearing-hips, as I was told in high school, and also broad shoulders.
I've done my fair share of research (practice what you preach, right?), and after a month of consults I picked my doc, and my implants. I've decided to go silicone because Dr. H put all my concerns about them to rest. Under the muscle, too. I called today to make my appt and I can't believe it's so soon! 3 weeks and I'll no longer be a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. That's one membership I'm thrilled to let go. It's so real now that I have a date set -- I'm beyond excited, but also a little anxious. It's my first big surgery as an adult, aside from going under for my wisdom teeth. Though I *am* looking forward to being taken care of for a few days ;) I have a very nice father and a wonderful boyfriend who will watch over me.
So here's the real question -- will I get rid of my "Boob Job Fund" jar a friend gave me in high school?? Won't have quite the same humor now... I'll update again after my size consult on Weds :)
Update: Jan. 11, 2012
Ok, I just had my pre-op this morning! Feels so real now...
I took one of my best friends, and I'm so glad I had her there for judgement calls. We have simliar aesthetics I think, so she was quite helpful. Ended up going with 400cc, silicone. I wanted a look somewhere between the 370 and 400, and since they'll look smaller once in, I'm confident I made a good choice. Now all I can do is wonder and wait!
For all the research I've done as a RealSelf blogger, and all the stories I've read, pictures I've looked at, doctors I've spoken to, I'm still NERVOUS! It's major surgery and it's so different when it's your own body :/ I think every plastic surgeon should go under the knife themselves just to truly understand the mental process a patient goes through...
Update Jan. 17, 2012
Two weeks from today I'll have boobs! I think I'm starting to annoy my friends and family because it's all that's on my mind. I was freaking out last week that maybe I'd gone too big, but looking at the photos on here of women with the same size as me helped calm my nerves.
I'm curious if what one's appetite is like after surgery? Also, did anyone gain weight post-op due to lack of exercise? I've been working out and dieting and am afraid of losing all my hard work :(
Update Jan. 19, 2012
We're about to post a blog featuring a video diary from a UK woman who has the PIP implants, and it shows her getting them taken out and replaced. Really not a good thing to watch a week out from my surgery... yuck!
Last night I had predominately implant dreams... First I got them put in, and they were floppy and deformed. My dream doc didn't know why. Then magically they were re-done, and I looked fabulous! But I realized my sports bra didn't come in time, and I'd been wearing an underwire for first week post-op. I freaked out, but still thought they looked and felt great.
Long story short, despite the first bad dream I woke up really excited, and wishing I was already at that one week post-op! I hope they look and feel as good as I remember them in the dream...
Update: Jan. 26, 2012
I can't believe I'm only 3.5 days aways from BOOBS! Or as Booberella says on the Simpsons, "BoOoOoOoOoOoBS!"
The past few days I've struggled with the anxieties I imagine most women have as the date draws near -- what if I hate them? What if I look weird? What if they rupture? But most importantly, I've been fixated on the fact that my flesh will be sliced into... I've never had a major surgery before, aside from some oral surgeries. The thought that I'll have my body sliced and poked is seriously weirding me out. I watch too many crime shows with autopsy scenes so that's all I can picture. Yuck.
Every time I have these thoughts I just remember how 98% of the day I can't top thinking about my new boobs! And that since I've been working out so hard for the past six months, this is first year in my quarter-of-a-century life that I can say with 100% honesty:
I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BIKINI SHOPPING!!!!!!!!! That feels weird.
Update Jan 30, 2012
It all seemed so fast... I was a little nervous once I was laying on the surgery bed, but everyone from Dr. H down to the nurses and anesthesiologist were wonderful at making me comfortable and calm -- even before the drugs kicked in :)
When I woke up my dad and boyfriend were there. I was in a decent amount of pain, but the nurse was really on top of giving me more meds. Made it to the car ok, thought had a little trouble getting in.
I'm currently 3.5 hours post surgery. Laying in a bed, watching tv and eating and rehydrating. Dr. H uses a pain pump which I think has finally kicked in and helping a lot. I have to say for the first hour of recovery and especially the drive home, I was wondering how I'd do with the pain all day... not to mention I'm pre-period and can feel the cramps coming... #FML
BUT I feel great right now. I've had half a Valium, one oxy, and the pain pump. I'm alert, positive, and only feel a dull soreness in my chest right now.
On a side note, my dad keeps calling me Dolly Parton due to the thick bandages and swelling. Doesn't help that my pajamas are hot pink. Anxious to see them tomorrow when I get put into my bra!
- - -
Ok went to the bathroom, and that definitely hurts more to stand up. Thanks to all the detailed reviews on RealSelf I knew to always ask for help getting out of bed!
I am so happy right now, even with the discomfort. I already know I'm loving to love my new girls!
Update Jan. 31, 2012
Day After Surgery
I woke up feeling extremely sore. Sounds like this is not unusual though. Thankfully I'm not has hungry today, so hopefully I can get back into my calorie counting to compensate for this lack of movement.
I wrote down all my "Helpful thoughts" yesterday for those of you who are about to have your procedure:
- Work out your legs (squats, lunges etc) well beforehand. The stronger your legs, the easer to not use your arms
- Buy straws for your drinks
- Be careful when sipping from straws -- coughing freaking HURTS
- Get 2+ pairs of button down PJs. I have one, and am hopefully going to get another so I dont sit in this for 5 days. I'd say one warmer, and one lighter.
- Satin-y PJs make it easier to scooch yourself around on the bed without help. I imagine flannel will be the worst
- Wear cozy socks in surgery. I left mine in my post-op bag, but wish I'd had them when I came out with the chills
- Buy one of those silly self-scratchers (the stick with a little hand on it). Reaching across your body is uncomfortable
- To get in bed by yourself, get up on your knees -- one knee up, then the other, and knee-walk until you drop your bum down where you want to be. No help needed!
- Have someone leave your a pain pill open next to the bed when you go to sleep -- it hurts me to try and open the press + twist bottles.
I have so much more empathy for my grandparents now. Needing help pulling up pants, brushing hair, and (yesterday) walking. Also the uncontrollable gas (which is thankfully not smelly).
Just got back from my post-op check up. Dr. H said everything looks great, and I have to agree! I've been worried about how big I'll look, but I have to say, even with the swelling I think the size is perfect. Can't wait until they settle more.
I was considerably uncomfortable for a few hours this morning... made me worry a bit. But then Dr. H told me for my size I should be taken two oxy's and not one. My Dr. Dad always gives us kids lower doses, so once I took two and a whole valium I feel really good. Reaaaally good. Haha.
It was SUCH a relief to get the bandages off and into my sports bra. Thankfully the one I bought fit and is quite comfortable. My boyfriend took me on a mini-shopping adventure to try and find more button down PJs at Target and other mall stores, but no luck :( He was able to help me into a stretchy t-shirt back at home. May have over done it with the walking around though. Happy to be back in bed!
Update Feb. 1, 2012
11:00am: Uploading videos! Bad headache this morning... feeling tired and out of it, but have very little pain in my chest. I took 2 oxy and 1 valium around 9:30 last night, and fell asleep pretty quickly. Woke up at 4am in pain, took the same dose. Back up at 8:30am. Moved to the couch to start getting back to work, but my head is all woozy. I took 1 oxy and then needed to eat and have a nausea pill. Have to say it's nice that my chest doesn't hurt so much!
On the plus side the work I'm doing today surrounds this survey we created that shows breast implants improve your sex life -- so I'm thinking of that future perk as I lie here. :)
Update Feb. 2, 2012
Maybe it's the PMS, but I just tried on a t-shirt and also a nightie (over my sports bra) -- and I cried. I am so freaking happy that I cried. Still swollen, still stitched, still have weird tubes and a fanny pack, but SO FREAKING WORTH IT.
*If videos don't show up right away, refresh your browser. I have issues using Chrome sometimes. You can also check out my new YouTube Playlist with all the videos here
Update February 3, 2012
I think I have written about my anxieties about taking out the pain pump... the idea that I'll be pulling tubes out of me was really freaking me out (poor Dr, got a few messages from me asking if I should take extra meds beforehand).
Here is the video! If you're squeamish, maybe skip this one. I'll just tell you that taking the tape off was OUCHARIFFIC, but I couldn't even feel when the tubes came off. Did get a nice little lower-boob wax job though.
Update Feb. 5, 2012
Few thoughts on pain pumps and sports bras. Looking good ladies! Can't get over my girls! I am obsessed with my tight cotton sleep shirt because I love looking at my new figured :)
Here is the JC Penny one I think I'll be living in for the next few weeks. Good thing I bought two! Wish they had nude though.
And the Amazon one. Great for the first week, since it's more compressive and less back fat... but maybe shouldn't have put it in dryer?
Update Feb. 8, 2012
It's been a crazy couple of days since I went back to work! Was back in the office on Monday, exactly one week after my surgery. Monday I also dosed down to only two 500mg Tylenol at a time and feel pretty great. I do take them every 4 hours though, as there's still some tenderness.
My tips learned in the past days of recovery:
- Have a good line of credit/clothing savings, because you will want to buy EVERYTHING. Seriously. I won't even write on here what I've bought because I know my mother will read this. But I need a new wardrobe for my new confidence!
98% of my clothes still fit!
Maybe it's just my build, because I've had a very wide ribcage and broad shoulders for someone with so little breast tissue. But almost everything fits, it just looks WAY better. Seriously, I stayed up til 2am a few nights ago trying on the closet. Shirts maybe come up half an inch higher in front, but I think that's how they're supposed to fit. :)
- I finally understand why that random bartender when I was 21 let me touch her fake boobs when I told her I wanted implants. I'm so happy that I'm more than willing to let my girlfriends give 'em a squeeze (but probably wouldn't a random stranger). And you know what? Even though they should still be harder than they will be, EVERYONE has said "WOW! They feel so normal..."
- Don't start taking laxatives AFTER you stop the heavy pain meds. I was still a little backed up, a friend recommended Milk of Magnesia, and even though I took small doses...it was not worth it. Probably one laxative pill would've done the trick, or just giving it a few more days of fiber pills.
- That being said, totally take Milk of Magnesia while you are on the pain meds and are backed up. As long as your surgeon says it's ok, I'm not sure what the rules are on mixing those.
- The massages are weird, but feel surprisingly good. I'm guessing those that have nursed will understand. It's like stretching the day after a really tough workout. Not pain, not total pleasure. Just relief.
- If you're a caffeine drinker, know this: Doctors say it's 100% okay to have it before and after breast aug. That massive headache I had all morning on day 3 went away after a big Diet Coke.
- I just found this Q&A about the importance of massaging. Don't neglect! I have an iPhone and used the "Reminders" app to set 5 daily reminders for myself to do this for the next 5 weeks, per my surgeons instructions. Today is day one and I'm already glad I set those!
The biggest thing I've learned in the past few days? I AM IN LOVE WITH MYSELF ALL OVER AGAIN. The confidence boost this has given me has already translated into friendships, family and love relationships, and my work ethic/drive. If you're a musical theater fan, you may understand when I say that for the past two days I just feel like singing "Defying Gravity" all the time. And "Tits and Ass" from A Chorus Line. Also "I Have Confidence" from Sound of Music. Made myself a "Makenzie Power" playlist.
Now here's a video of me discovering myself in a swimsuit for the first time.
I also got my tape taken off yesterday -- the stitches look great, and sorry for the overshare family who follows this, but for my RS friends I have to share that my nipples are nearly symmetrical, which they were not before. It's in-freaking-credible. I feel like I have PERFECT breasts now, and I really never thought that would be possible, even with an augmentation. #GoMakenzieIt'sYourBirthdayGonnaPartyLikeIt'sYourBirthday
Good luck to all the ladies with their procedures coming up soon! I hope they go as well for you as they have for me. Can you tell I'm happy? ;)
Update Feb. 10, 2012
I have way over-exerted myself and need to take it easy this weekend. Feeling good, but I was feeling so good I thought I could roll my granny cart to the grocery store and back, aggressively comb my hair, do laundry, etc. Felt it today and at the end of the work day had to take another oxycodone because the Tylenol wasn't cutting it.
Breasts are definitely sore and tender today. The weirdest part is my stitches are starting to dissolve/come out and occasionally they catch on my cotton sports bra. That's uncomfortable.
Update Feb. 14, 2012
First of all, Happy Valentine's Day to all! I'm a firm believer that even though it's a Hallmark Holiday, this is a day to celebrate any love you have in your life, romantic or not. Especially loving yourself!
That being said, oy what a weekend I've had!
Here is my lesson on massages, and also what it feels like to fill out something you've always dreamed of filling out (for me, a specific faux-leather jacket from Express).
Saturday (11th) I spent the morning making returns downtown. Carried a big Express shopping bag on my shoulder all day on and off the bus... needless to say by the time I went to my dad's for dinner at 5 that night, I was really sore and uncomfortable. In fact, check out this video I took in the back office while everyone was clearing dishes (I got out of that since I'm still not supposed to exert too much. Benefits!)
I did take another oxycodone and some Tylenol at dinner that night. And also the night before. It helped. But haven't had the need for any since.
Lesson: ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP. I felt too good, and thought that I could do the little things. But I can't emphasize enough that every screw-top bottle, every heavy car door, every stuck fridge door ads up to sore muscles -- see below video for extra emphasis! I've been much better the past few days about just asking people to do the little things, and thus feeling better.
Still waiting for the right breast to drop a little... it's almost there, but they say it can take up to 6mo - 1 year for them to settle completely. Am I repeating myself from a previous update? Oh well. It's an important fact to keep in mind because you will still worry and obsess no matter how much you "know."
Here's my official V-day update video.
Extra love to all the women I know on here who are preparing for their Thursday surgeries this week! As they say in England, "Keep Calm and Carry On." Focus on the after ta-tas -- they are so very worth it!
Update Feb. 15, 2012
I've been talking about a slight tingle/burning sensation on the skin around my nipple... watch the video for a better description and also what I found out it probably is. Note: it's all good :)
Here's a link to great Q&A (and specific answer) that put me at ease. But there are many on the site. Now back to my "spectacles, testicles wallet and watch (and machine gun jublees)" massage method!
Update Feb. 21, 2012
Someone posted on another review I think asking what the prescriptions would cost w/o insurance. I have tried to find that comment but can't so... I added up my receipts and w/o my insurance I would've paid about $70 for the oxycodone, anti-nausea pills, vicoden, and antibiotics. Everything was $15-20. I did not fill my Ambien prescription because I had some already.
I'll try and do a full update later, but I'm feeling pretty good except for just general pressure. I lean forward a lot at my desk which I think puts more pressure on the already stretched nerves, so that has gotten irritating. I try to remind myself every few minutes to lean back. Still very happy though!
Also, a video from a few days ago:
Update Feb. 27, 2012
It's been 4 weeks today since my "twins arrived," as Twins4Me might say :) It also also my 25th birthday, and a great time for an update! I've been meaning to do more video, but the last time I tried it didn't upload correctly, so I'll save it for later.
Main points of recovery:
- The burning/tingling sensation (dyesthesia) I was experiencing has pretty much gone over the weekend
- I experienced some serious pressure starting a few days ago -- it feels like the muscle and or scar/tissue is healing or something. All I want to do is squeeze my boobs and/or press them up against stuff. This is difficult in public. Saturday was the first time I iced my chest. I'm thinking the discomfort may be related to the fact that this is the first weekend I've been really active.
- The scars are healing well! They are still bright red/pink, but I use my scar gel every day
- Nipples are still very sensitive to touch, but bearable now. I just take it as a good sign that they haven't lost sensation :)
- Took a 2 hour walk/hike yesterday - my first big exercise since surgery. Felt great all around!
- Slept without a bra (and on my side) for the first time last night! It was amazing. It was nice not to be constricted, and I felt fine this morning
- They look amazing. I'm in love with myself! Now to fight that belly pooch that's been working it's way out again...
- No more soreness in my arm+chest muscles. I drove yesterday, and though turning backward to parallel park is still a bit uncomfortable, it was totally doable. Other than that I've still been taking it fairly easy in terms of lifting/pulling/pushing, etc.
- Though I could feel my left implant move around (and not the right - PS says this is normal), it is getting less and less noticeable. As I said I slept braless last night and except for being flat on my back I could hardly feel it at all.
Video to come later. Shout out to Musicalsoul82 going into surgery on the 1st! Please send her some warm wishes to calm her nerves <3
Update Mar. 6, 2012
I have my 5 week post-op tomorrow, so I'll do a longer update then. But I wanted to say that I went to Nordy's and got fitted for a bra this weekend -- I am officially a DD! Reminds me of a song I wrote in middle school for my in-development musical "Boobs the Boobsical"...
I bought an amazing Chantelle push-up that I can start wearing in a week or so. Most expensive bra I've ever purchased, but DANG do my girls look amazing in it. Worth every penny. Will post a photo tomorrow.
Update Mar. 12, 2012
I apologize for promising to update and not having time! I will do another video soon, but wanted to update now that I've had my one month (5 weeks really) check-up.
My doctor said I am healing perfectly. He is just as pleased with the outcome as I am! The scars are looking great, and getting less red every day. I have almost no tingling left -- it only happens occasionally, not even every day, and it's a very short burst of tingle, usually limited to one area and not the whole breast as before.
My nipples and surrounding tissue are still a bit numb, but they are no longer incredibly sensitive like before. My doc said it can take months for the feeling to come back completely, which I also heard from my friend who had a reduction 6 years ago. Not worried on that front.
The only bad news to come from my check-up? I can't wear my beautiful push-up bra for a while :(
Until my right breast drops a little more I'm still stuck in wire and padding-free granny bras. On the plus side, I still have big boobs in said bras, but I want to show these puppies off! Up and out, ladies! Hopefully the trouble boob drops in a few weeks... until then I am only allowed to wear my push-up for a few hours at a time, a few days a week. Sigh. It'll so be worth it in the end! The doc told me how one time he had a woman come back at her 1-year check up and her breasts were smushed in while her nipples pointed out to the side -- because she'd lived in push-ups before her boobs could settle and heal completely. So I'll heed his advice :)
The best news this week is that I flew on an airplane and the implants did not explode! Just an old wive's tale ;)
My mother commented this weekend how a young guy was checking me out after he complimented my necklace (which conveniently sat right between the girls), and I whispered to her "Best $7,000 I'll ever spend." Now you know, that's not really why I did it, but having been fat and flat in high school, it sure felt good to know they are something worth noticing now!
Update March 19, 2012
Officially 7 weeks out today! Here are the most important updates:
- I wore a corset on St. Patty's Day. It was glorious, and pictures will hopefully find their way to me for posting :)
- My boobs are getting softer! There were a few weeks where I was afraid they'd be really hard when I hug someone straight on (they've always been soft from the sides and underneath). But today I was massaging and went "Oh! They feel softer!"
- I bought a few more bras this week... I can't wear any regularly yet, but I'll be prepared when the time comes.
- My right boob HAS dropped a little more, but not completely. I don't want to mess anything up so I'm following my surgeon's advice and sticking to the ugly bra 99% of the time.
- Exercised twice this week (elliptical and workout video), and felt just great! Today the elliptical didn't hurt at all, though it made them sore a few weeks ago.
- Parallel parking is no longer painful
- No pain or tingling whatsoever in past week
- The numbness is slowly going away in my nipples!
- Laying on my stomach is slightly more comfortable, though not enough to sleep that way.
The "biggest" update, is that they are smaller than I wish :( I can officially join the "I wish I'd gone bigger" group. I can't believe I thought the 400s were too big when I tried them on! That really speaks to the fact that wearing multiple bras or doing the rice test for a few days before you pick a size is a good idea. It does not take long to get used to the size, but if your consult is the first and only time you test, you might be too shocked like I was. Maybe down the line after I have kids I'll upgrade...
I am still 100% happy. I couldn't believe I was looking at myself when I saw my friend's photo from this weekend. Did not look like my chest at all. But it IS!
One other important note -- I wrote about how my Moving Grace bra I bought from Amazon shrunk and was too small now... Well now that the swelling is all gone, it fits great and works superbly as an ultra supportive sports bra! I even wore it to sleep the other night and did not feel too constricted (last time I wore it I took it off within an hour). So ladies, if you buy it, size up and don't put it in the dryer. And remember you're swelling takes a while to go down.
Update March 22, 2012
What it's like to do full body workouts 7 weeks after surgery:
Update March 22, 2012
Ladies if you're still pre-op and curious about the options you have for breast implants, check out RealSelf's latest blog: Selecting Your A.S.S.E.T.S. A Guide to Breast Implants. Wish I had something like this when I first started researching!
Update April 19, 2012
Yesterday I had my almost 12 week check up! I cannot believe it's been over 2.5 months since I had my surgery. Time really does fly. I'm going to make a video later tonight to talk about everything, but one of the best things to come out of yesterday was being given the green light to wear any kind of bra I want, whenever I want! Woo whoo! Time to use my Victoria's Secret reward card :)
When I look down and see cleavage (thanks to being able to wear a push-up), I cannot believe I'm looking at my own body. Surely there must be duct tape holding those together down there.
Update May 15, 2012
3.5 months since my surgery!
I keep promising another video and keep forgetting to make one. Maybe tonight I'll remember.
Anyway, here's the short list of what's been happening with my new girls
- SCARS: Scars are still fairly bright pink. I've been using scar gel or ScarAway strips almost every day. They are definitely better, though.
- DROPPAGE: Right breast still hasn't dropped completely. At my check-up last month my doc said he didn't think it would anymore... which didn't bug me at the time til I noticed how much fuller it is up top. Not obvious, but noticeable when you know to look for it. I'm actually surprised he said that, because everything else I've read says implants can take up to 6mo to drop. I'm 3.5 mo out now.
- SIZE: Right side is also still slightly smaller. :( It was this way before, but my doc thought it was so slight it wouldn't be worth jumping up a size in the silicone. However, after looking at it last month he agreed that was a mistake and tomorrow I go back to decide if I want to replace it with a bigger one or not. I believe this will be at no cost since it was his call on the sizing, even though I was concerned about asymmetry. I'm pleased because I didn't have to say anything about it -- he pointed it out right away and offered to fix. If it will truly be no cost to me, I'll do it. Now that the pocket is mostly healed the recovery will pretty much just be allowing the scar to heal.
- SORENESS! Maybe I've been doing too many jumping workouts, but even with the ultra-supportive sports bra I bought (thank you, Target!) my girls were a bit sore for 4-5 days last week. A friend who also has implants suggested it might be pre-period boob tenderness, but I've NEVER had that before and at the time I was 2 weeks out from my period. I've been working out almost every day though, and as of yesterday they aren't sore anymore. I'm hoping it's just new muscle placement, because I know it will feel different when you work out with under the muscle implants. I definitely get that, and wonder if it's just my muscles adjusting to the change. Will ask my doctor tomorrow.
- SLEEPING: I still don't like to sleep on my stomach. I've found that occasionally I will wake up that way, but it isn't the most comfortable. If you think about how an implant squishes flat, which is never completely flat, it makes sense that this position will likely never be entirely comfortable. Small sacrifice in my book! I sleep mostly on my side now. I've grown accustomed to snuggling a pillow which helps my whole upper body rest comfortably. Typically don't sleep in a bra, either. I haven't been sure if it's better to support them to keep from getting sore as I was, or if they need to roam free and maybe it's the push ups (which I've been approved by the doc to wear whenever I want) that are causing the discomfort.
- SWIMMING: I went to a day spa last weekend where we had to be naked in all the soaking pools, and soak for 40 minutes pre-body scrub. Yes, this is going somewhere. My boobs floated freely and the sensation of the implant pressing up in the top of the pocket was weird! Not painful or bad, but I noticed it since gravity is usually pulling them down. Before implants, there was hardly any tissue to float up or pull down, so I never experienced that. When I was in a swimsuit the weekend before I didn't notice this -- probably because the bandeau top kept them down.
- SENSATION: I have a lot of sensation back. The nipples more so every day. The only part that is still completely numb is the cleavage area of my left breast. Imagine looking at a boob straight on -- the upper left 1/4 is the numb part. Doesn't really bug me on a regular basis, it's just odd when I do notice it. Again, small sacrifice that may not be an issue forever. I've read that sensation from many different types of surgery can take 1+ years to return.
(Weird that all but one of those bullets was an "S" word...)
Overall, I am still totally happy I made this decision for myself. I had so much fun wearing swimsuits, braless dresses and cleavagy-tops in Vegas last weekend! I've realized that though many of my old clothing items still fit, most of them do not show any cleavage. So I keep that in mind when I shop now. Hey, if I paid $7k for these they need to see some sunlight!
Update May 17, 2012
Yesterday I had another check-up to discuss asymmetry, and learned that I am in the very early stages of capsular contracture on the right side. Doc said not to lose any sleep right now... we are trying to reverse it and I have another appt next week. See video for more:
Update May 29, 2012
I went in for another check up last week to see how the massaging and Vit E. was helping. My surgeon said it definitely feels softer, and I agree. However it still sits pretty high up and when I mentioned that that bothers me more than the feel of it he gave me a compression band to wear.
I know some docs put patients in these almost immediately post-op, but this is the first I've worn one. Like I said, my left breast settled just fine on it's own.
So I've been wearing the band as much as possible (unfortunately the weather is getting nicer which makes covering it more difficult). I'm still supposed to massage 5x a day and take 1000iu Vit E 3x a day. I have another check-up in a month.
I posed this question to the RealSelf doctors about my breast band.... have gotten some interesting responses. Based on what I'm observing in my body, I have a feeling I'll be back under the knife in a few months. We were going to exchange the right implant for a slightly bigger one anyway, so I think my doc will adjust the pocket and/or remove the scar capsule at the same time. Since my breast has already made room for an implant, recovery should be much easier. I supposed if I have a whole new scar capsule that needs to heal, that'll make it a bit more of recovery, but it'll be worth it in the end I think.
Still no regrets on having this done though! I am so happy with how I fill out my clothes and swimsuits. And I'm told the slight upper-pole difference in fullness isn't noticeable to anyone who doesn't know to look for it.
Update June 5, 2012
Ladies, I heard some great advice from a doctor on here that I'm not sure I've shared yet. He said "If you have breast implants, you WILL have another surgery." It could be in 6 months or 20 years, but at some point you'll need to do some maintenance.
I think this is something really important to keep in mind going in -- I know I didn't think about it enough and I read this stuff all day!
I've found out that it will cost roughly $1300 for a capsulectomy to remove the scar tissue (that's my doc taking off everything but anesthesia and facility fees). I don't think it's getting any better. If anything the past few days it's felt slightly firmer. Maybe that's just my brain, but I don't think so. I've been really regular with Vit E, massages, and my compression band, but nothing seems to have changed.
So, I may have to spend the summer not going braless as I'd hoped, until I can save up for the fix.
I still think I have great boobs -- maybe I am making too big a deal out of it. In bras, they look fantastic and I'm thrilled I did it. I don't have pain or anything... it's just the hardening and the upper fullness on the right side. Wouldn't even care about the hardening as much if they looked even when braless.
Breast implants, to me, are still worth it. But I highly recommend OVER saving for your procedure by a few thousand dollars in case anything comes up in the year following.
Update June 11, 2012
I've been pretty upset about my breasts all weekend. They look perfect and even in a push-up, but I can't wear push-ups that often for fear of making the right boob move higher than it already is. Wearing the band too much makes them ache, and I'm afraid I'll cause my "perfect" boob to bottom out. And a lot of the responses I got from other doctors on the site say that at 4+ months out the likelihood of a compression band having any effect is pretty slim.
I feel like I'm going into summer with the same issue I had last year - looks great in a bra, but will be self conscious out of one. I kind of think the right side is continuing to move higher and harden, even with the massage, Vit E, and band. I have another appt in a week and half, but I'm pretty sure I know my doctor will just say I definitely need surgery, which I couldn't afford til the fall at the soonest.
To clarify on my last post... I did know I'd need surgery again at some point down the line, I just assumed it'd be far enough out that saving for it wouldn't be an issue. Didn't think it'd be within months. Lesson learned.
I am still keeping my review Worth It, for now. I know that this doesn't happen to everyone, and I am still thrilled with how I look in a push-up and clothing - much better than before.
Update July 17, 2012
Wow, it's been a while!
So, I am definitely going to have correction surgery for my CC, as well as to adjust the size of implant in my right breast so they are evened out. The question is when... I am changing jobs in the next month, and since I don't know how active my next job will be I don't want to still be healing from surgery in a few weeks. (Don't worry, I will still be around RealSelf. I could never leave this community!).
I can't tell for sure but I kind of feel like CC is starting in my left breast too. It still feels dramatically softer than the right, and it's always harder in the mornings anyway, but who knows. Haven't seen my doc in a month so I haven't asked. Doesnt' really matter anyway, since we are operating again. (PS I think I'm going to go 50ccs bigger all around... :o )
The right (CC) breast still sits slightly higher than the left, but it's not noticeable unless I'm wearing specific braless shirts. Even in a bandeau swimsuit top I can't see the difference. And my new boyfriend has absolutely NO complaints, even with how they feel. That makes me feel better because after a break-up with the old bf I was concerned how a new guy would react to the CC... worries not necessary.
Other things worth noting (and I am now 5.5 months out)
- The left (non-CC) breast still gets pretty sore. I haven't even been working out much, but it just gets sore. Doctor didn't seem worried about this when I went in last month. It's more annoying than anything else.
- EXCEPT one night I slept on my stomach (unintentionally) for a while, and when I woke up and tried to turn over my left pec muscle hurt SO BADLY. Like, I had to take deep breaths and move slowly to turn myself over. Felt fine when I woke up, but that was weird and awful.
- On that note, sleeping on my stomach has never become comfortable again. I mean, think about it: it's like you've put two stuffed Ziplocs under your chest and compress them. They never completely flatten, so you're always slightly propped up. I miss stomach sleeping, but have become much more accustomed to my back. And I don't miss it enough to regret this surgery. Just a trade off!
- On a recent camping trip with a large group of friends, I got many "OMG your boobs look so amazing!" comments both in my clothing and in my swimsuit. Woop.
- I rocked a few sundresses braless and felt amazing. Looking at other friends with who are in their 20s and have always had big boobs... I'm thinking getting them later in life may be the way to go ;)
That's pretty much it for now. I will update again once I've set a date for my capsulectomy/size change.