Part 2: Ultimate Breast Lift and Tummy Tuck. 4 years post-op update with vid.

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*Treatment results may vary

You can read Part 1 of my journey here...

You can read Part 1 of my journey here.

Updated on 2 Nov 2012:
Yesterday, I was able to go straight from ultrasound to biopsy. To save time. Which is fantastic. However, biopsy results at Kaiser usually take 3-5 business days. Baaaaaaad!

But first, for those of you who, like me before yesterday, have never had a biopsy, I thought I'd explain. Because I was TERRIFIED.

It was nothing! First, I lay down on the bed and they propped up my right side a little with a pillow to get the breast to flop correctly. They put a bit of gel and used the ultrasound wand to find the lump, then marked me. Three swabs of betadine for the cleaning, cover with a clear, sterile film with a circle cut out that exposes the entry site. Then ultrasound again to find the lump and two injections of lidocaine mixed with epinephrine. The epinephrine discourages bleeding (and makes you jumpy). They said there would be a pinch, then a burn until the lidocaine hit. I felt almost nothing upon entry and no burn at all. The second shot I fel slightly more than nothing, since it was deeper. Easy. I could not tell the difference b/w numbed and not. But I also felt almost nothing during my mammogram either. My breasts have been pretty demolished by breastfeeding and pregnancy, though.

I'm back! And since my biopsy post was cut off,...

I'm back! And since my biopsy post was cut off, I'll complete that first.

Anyway, the biopsy syringe is HUGE--4-5 inches long and much fatter than a blood test syringe. And when they snip out the sample, it sounds like...a loud, plastic crack. They pull a trigger to take the sample and it is loud. If they don't offer to demonstrate before they put it in you, ask for a demonstration. Of course, maybe some newer, shinier hospitals have quieter ones. But I didn't feel it going in. They said I'd feel a tugging. For me, that was overstating it a bit. It felt like he was patting my breast lightly. Zero pain. But I was getting more and more nervous from the epinephrine. They took five samples, most of which I witnessed on the ultrasound monitor.

When they're done, they take a needle twice as large, seriously, and use it to inject the lump with a marker or clip. It looks like a tiny piece of plastic string that's been tied so there's a little loop and two tails. That sits in your lump forever, because if it's benign, they'll know they checked that lump already next time you have a mammogram. If it's cancerous, they remove the lump marked by clips, plus some surrounding tissue. Then they taped my up and took me for another mammogram to confirm the placement of the clip(s). They accidentally deployed two, so my lump is well-marked.

Since all of this, I have felt three or four minor twinges from the lump and/or its surroundings. No pain. And it's been a few days now. So I'd say not to worry if you have to have one, but am curious as to others' experiences.

As of today, I got the results which were, as predicted, negative. So they'll leave the lump in, unless it's obvious to Dr. H when he starts working. My surgery starts at 8:00 a.m., with pre-op at 6:30. We have to leave the hotel at 5 a.m. I think the marking will be at 7:30. Surgery is planned for 6 hours. BL first, then TT after. I will have FOUR drains, one in each armpit, and one on each side for the TT. No binder. And can shower the next day. Have asked for pics of my insides but we'll see if he remembers. :).

The bad news is that I have my period and likely will for two more days. Also, I seem to have caught a cold. So i'm going to bed now, but first I have to say that the Staybridge Suites in Stafford is BEAUTIFUL. Even better than its online pics. We got a one bedroom suite.

Okay, good night, ladies. Continued happy healing to those on the flat side, good luck to those on their way, and I hope to update all of you lovelies tomorrow!


I am in so much pain right now. It feels like I...

I am in so much pain right now. It feels like I did 3000 crunches yestersay, and now someone is standing on my abs in heels. also my throat is too sore to bear, and i have a giant rip from the breathing tube just behind the right side of my tongue. and it's five degrees in here! and they won't let me drink anything until 8 am. BUT I MADE IT!

happy healing and good lucks all around

I haven't the wherewithal to write a big review,...

I haven't the wherewithal to write a big review, butwa ted to thank you all for the well-wishes. It was beautiful to read and I needed them! I am still in constant, excruciating pain. The vicodin barely makes a dent in it. Nor did the demerol when I was still in the hospital. I try to sleep most of the time. My breasts turned out good! It'll be six weeks before they are baked. I cant't straighten up enough to see the TT results.

Okay, I'm exhausted now. Happyq healing and good luck to all.

I'm so sad, because I thought I'd be lying in my...

I'm so sad, because I thought I'd be lying in my bed, strung out on pain pills, and reading and writing with all my lovely lady friends on RealSelf. But I can't write for a minute without getting exhausted from the pain. Today I managed to watch some TV though...I couldn't do that before. Although the pain is everywhere, it is concentrated in the muscle repair and everywhere he sutured muscle. I was not given valium. Only vicodin and antibiotics. I took my first laxative today...hope it helps or I won'tbe able to eat tomorrow. Sorry for typos. Too hard to fix all. Thank you all for your support. I hope I can be one day soon.


Thanks, again, to everyone for the...

Thanks, again, to everyone for the comments/suggestions. I am feeling much better now, though not well enough to answer sll comments individually. We changed my vicodin to every three hours instead of four, and changed to position of pillows in the bed. I can now be more comfortable for long stretches at a time. I am more tired but prefer it to the pain. My drainage is also slowly losing color. I hope to get the breast drains removed Monday. We're at about 40 cc's now, so it's not unreasonable. Going to empty drains now.


Adding pics: post-op day 3.

Adding pics: post-op day 3.

I'm adding pics of the boobs after my ordeal of a...

I'm adding pics of the boobs after my ordeal of a shower today. Won't be doing _that_ again soon! Note how high they are, even without implants. They are also hard as rubber balls right now. Can't wait to see once they relax a bit and e swelling goes down. Right now a 32 D.

So I'm finally lucid enough to realize that I...

So I'm finally lucid enough to realize that I should attempt to catalogue some of the differences between what I had done and the standard TT/BL combo.

The Ultimate Breast Lift (UBL) is a big procedure. It involves removing skin, stripping off the epidermis, then coning the dermal layer around the breast tissue and suturing. More dermis is used to form straps which position the breasts on the chest wall. The breasts are no longer free-floating after this procedure. The skin is redraped overtop but no longer serves a support role. The chest wall and pecs are fully supporting all of the breast tissue. After the operation, the patient must wear a lightly padded underwire bra 24/7 for SIX WEEKS until all of the cones and straps have fully healed. After that, a bra is no longer needed. My procedure took about 3 hours.

The tummy tuck Dr. H generally performs is a three-part procedure. First, he sutures the sides somehow, to nip in the waist slightly. Then he repairs the muscle medially (the diastasis). Finally, he adds a layer of surgical mesh to replace the fascia which were destroyed by your pregnancy (or whatever). For me, he also fixed my umbilical hernia. Luckily, I didn't get any lipo, because I asked him to reduce my mons pubis so everything would be in proportion afterward and I'll tell you what: that little 3x3 inch area burns like fire! The worst pain though, is the LATERAL muscle suturing! The side sutures to nip in the waist are worse even than the diastasis repair. I'd guess it's because those muscles were strongest and so are fighting back the hardest. This procedure also took about 3 hours. I was in surgery over six hours, and I was an easy case--not a big girl. He normally tries not to double up these procedures but out of towners like me demand so much, and I was relatively young and healthy. I feel neither right now.

I got drains in both breasts and belly, but will wear NO BINDER until healed. I feel like I'm wearing one all of the time because of the mesh, but that's another difference. I have a lot of trouble breathing because of the tightness of the mesh. I will hopefully get used to it in time.

Okay, exhausted now.


BTW, anyone else end up with knicks and scabs on...

BTW, anyone else end up with knicks and scabs on their chest for no apparent reason? I have all these scabs in places nobody should have been cutting...?

Okay. So yesterday, I forgot to mention that I had...

Okay. So yesterday, I forgot to mention that I had my first BM. It was like passing a cork, then the rest of it wa totally normal. I don't know if the cup of senna tea I'd had 2 days prior influenced it at all. We'll see when the next one comes.

BUT, the big news for today is that, despite feeling extremely nauseous (like I do every morning since this op) and dizzy, I am able to stand nearly upright today. And when I do, what do I see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? Why, RIBS! In my ribcage! THROUGH MY SKIN. WTF? My PS pulled me so tight, my ribs are showing through the skin, even with the swelling. Course, it helps that my boobs are so high now, too. No wonder I can't breathe!

Have my second (of 3) PO appointment today. Hoping to get rid of the boob drains! That should help tremendously with the bra discomfort.

So, I got a couple of answers!!! We had our second...

So, I got a couple of answers!!! We had our second post-op appointment today with Dr. Horndeski, and it went great! I had all four drains removed. The drains in the armpits hurt like a....well, they hurt like a terrible rope burn, preceded by a cat claw ripping into the skin. So that wasn't fun. The right hip drain hurt much less--just a slight rope burn. The left hip I didn't feel at all. If I hadn't watched it, I wouldn't have known he'd done that one. Go figure. I did them in order of decreasing pain :)

As for all those scabs and nicks and stuff. Turns out most of them are from the staples. Yeah, you read that right. STAPLES. Because they STAPLE THE COVER ONTO YOU WHILE THEY'RE OPERATING. When I had the biopsy, they used a self-adhesive cover. During surgery you're out, of course, so I guess then it's all right to hit you with the staple gun.

I got to see my pre-op pictures and the ones taken during surgery as well. Some were proprietary so I didn't get to keep them, but some I did. I'll post a few of them here but they're kinda graphic :D.

Can't think of anything else just now. Have to go and try to make myself a little food because I've run out of the soups I've been eating.

Happy continued healing to whom it may concern, congratulations, and good luck to the rest!

So, I got a couple of answers!!! We had our second...

So, I got a couple of answers!!! We had our second post-op appointment today with Dr. Horndeski, and it went great! I had all four drains removed. The drains in the armpits hurt like a....well, they hurt like a terrible rope burn, preceded by a cat claw ripping into the skin. So that wasn't fun. The right hip drain hurt much less--just a slight rope burn. The left hip I didn't feel at all. If I hadn't watched it, I wouldn't have known he'd done that one. Go figure. I did them in order of decreasing pain :)

As for all those scabs and nicks and stuff. Turns out most of them are from the staples. Yeah, you read that right. STAPLES. Because they STAPLE THE COVER ONTO YOU WHILE THEY'RE OPERATING. When I had the biopsy, they used a self-adhesive cover. During surgery you're out, of course, so I guess then it's all right to hit you with the staple gun.

I got to see my pre-op pictures and the ones taken during surgery as well. Some were proprietary so I didn't get to keep them, but some I did. I'll post a few of them here but they're kinda graphic :D.

Can't think of anything else just now. Have to go and try to make myself a little food because I've run out of the soups I've been eating.

Happy continued healing to whom it may concern, congratulations, and good luck to the rest!

Sorry, it removed my other pics when it put in...

Sorry, it removed my other pics when it put in these...will have to take new after pics tomorrow, or upload again from my iPad! Bizarre.

Yeah, I know....probably not the very best title....

Yeah, I know....probably not the very best title. But this update is about constipation.

So I had a BM two days ago *she says, then promptly checks her notes to verify that yes, it was the 11th* and after I'd passed the cork, the rest was normal for me. I believe that was an artifact of the senna tea. I have had no laxatives since that tea four or five days ago, and today's BM was solid, like what they show in movies a BM is supposed to look like. When I am not on narcotics, mine are never solid. This is because I eat no meat, dairy, and almost no starch, I think. Not even beans. So I don't think a laxative will be a necessity for me. But unless you eat like I do--vegan + no grains, no potatoes, no beans (only fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, mushroooms, and occasional small servings of quinoa)--I'm going to guess the laxative isn't optional. Unless you are one of those lucky people who get diarrhea from antibiotics....maybe that'd cancel out. I'm writing this because I was wondering this before my op, and because I hate the senna tea. And because prune juice gives me gas! Actually, all stone fruit (peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots) give me gas. Gas is NOT what you want after a TT!

Took some new pics but since I still can't stand...

Took some new pics but since I still can't stand up straight.... I have gigantic folds at my sides from the TT. We'll see whether they improve enough over time that I won't need a revision. Ot's still reeeeally early days.

So it's been nearly 12 hours since I took vicodin...

So it's been nearly 12 hours since I took vicodin last, and I am pleased to report that, at its very worst, the pain is about the same as it was three days ago WITH the vicodin. So. I am going to take some extra-strength tylenol tonight and hope for the best! :D

I had my final post-op visit this morning and it...

I had my final post-op visit this morning and it all went fine. We took out the three stitches left in my belly button (no pain), and the doctor said I can start wearing a compression garment or even just ace bandages if I want, to help smooth out the puckering on the sides. He also said that they removed 1.5-2 pounds of skin/fat from my belly. Which, if I were back to non-swollen and all, would put me at exactly my ideal weight. Until I gain more muscle, of course.

Mostly, I just wanted to say that I'm so happy with how this has all gone so far. I've known it was worth it since, like, day three post op, but even the scar is worth feeling how I feel now. I feel like someone who is healthy, who works out and eats right and gets to reap the benefits of that lifestyle. PLUS, I have great boobs! I am just over the moon.

It also helps that the anti-nausea medication has finally kicked in.

I only took those two extra strength tylenol before bed, and now two at 9 a.m. today. No Vicodin necessary. The discomfort is completely bearable, as long as I can lie down or sit in a reclined car seat most of the time.

Gonna go get breakfast now!

I can't believe how quickly one bounces back after...

I can't believe how quickly one bounces back after this kind of serious surgery! I mean, it's been about 5hours shy of 9 days, and while I can't quite stand up straight yet, I slept without any OTC pain medicine last night. Nor have I needed any today yet (that'll be at the airport!) I showered and shaved without help. Dressed myself without help, in regular clothes. I swell a lot when I don't lie in bed all day, but I have no compression garments yet. I eat no salt, but I also don't drink enough water. Oh! Today is my first day without overwhelming nausea, so no nausea medication today, either.

I'm adding some more pics to show how quick the healing is coming along. I get to take off the tape next Tuesday, so then I'll get to see how the actual incisions are healing.

Bad thing: RealSelf stopped notifying me of what all my friends thatI'm following are doing. I didn't even know I'd gotten comments! What's up with that? So ifI don't answer right away or commentin a timely fashion, that's why.

Post-Op Day 10 Today was my first morning...

Post-Op Day 10

Today was my first morning waking up at home! I didn't sleep as well as I have been in the hotel, but it's still nice to be home, and to know that there's no more travel necessary for a while. This morning, I got to hug and kiss my three daughters for the first time in nearly two weeks, and it was heaven! And they've been so nice! And my littlest even wanted salad with her avocados for breakfast. And they keep kissing me because they know I have boo-boos! Awesome. My mom did a fantastic job with them, and the woman I hired to clean the place while we were gone did a great job, too. So a just beautiful homecoming.

I'm wearing an extra-wide ace-type bandage around my middle now like a girdle, since my swelling did not significantly decrease overnight. I don't own any compression garments (other than actual boned corsets, heh,) and I can't drive yet, so we'll go with what we have and see what kind of results we get.

I will say, relaxing with 2.5-year-old twins yelling excitedly next to me continuously is not easy. Right now, they are repeatedly yelling "Good night, Mamma!" in Swedish. I'm lying in bed because I'm exhausted already at 9 a.m., and I still can't stand up straight. I basically got my breakfast (salad) together, ate it and fed some to my littlest, helped my middle daughter with her oatmeal, and then went back to bed. After showing my mom my new boobs! It made her feel faint just looking at the tape :). This is the lady who fell flat on her back on some outdoor, wood and concrete, stairs a couple of weeks before the surgery and only needed two days recuperation. She has an amazing tolerance for pain. But she's surprisingly squeamish about just a few things. Cutting up the body is one of them. And childbirth without pain medication is another. She could barely stand watching me laboring with my first, when I had a homebirth with a midwife.

Okay, now I'm just rambling! Continued happy healing to all, and good luck to those next on the chopping block!

So today, I tried on a pair of my favorite panties...

So today, I tried on a pair of my favorite panties and realized that I wear them lower on the sides than my incision is. So I hope it heals well! Otherwise, I'll just have to wear a different kind of sexy underwear. But I look so much better now, I can't even worry about the scar.

This morning, I stepped on the scale, expecting to be a little heavier maybe, because of swelling and cause my friends on here always talk about not to weigh yourself. But I weighed 122.6! I wanted to see 125. Now I'm terrified that I already lost POUNDS of muscle!! It's only been two weeks!! I could just cry! All those hours at the gym :(.

But then I thought, maybe it's a little dehydration. And hopefully the next two weeks won't bring equal atrophying. Does anyone know how fast muscle can atrophy? It's probably because I couldn't eat for almost three days around the surgery, but my body needed protein for healing. *sigh*. Definitely time for breakfast.

I've long harbored a suspicion, but now that I'm...

I've long harbored a suspicion, but now that I'm post-op, I know that, at least for me, the following is true: My joy after having this procedure is not wholly explained by the fact that my breasts are perky and my tummy, flat. A large part of that joy, is merely the fact that, as these new body parts are bought and paid for, I feel allowed to LOVE THEM, without being conceited! There are certain kinds of pride that are still culturally frowned upon, and for women, being proud of your own natural breasts is just...well, it's just not done. One can be satisfied with them, though if you go around talking about them and how shapely they are, people will just think you're a narcissistic asshole. Especially since those beautiful breasts were genetically gotten. But BUYING a nice rack is kinda like finding that perfect dress. You can definitely show it off and love it, and no one will think you strange or conceited. After all, they could go out and buy it, too. You'd better not talk about the body that makes it look so great, but the dress? No problem. And now, that our beautiful bodies are bought like dresses, we can love them with permission.

At least, that's how it feels for me. I was allowed to be proud of my muscles, because I built them, but anything genetic, forget it. I love having long legs, but I'm not PROUD of them, and I don't derive joy from them. That said, perhaps the joy in my new bought body will wear off. But I've gotta say, after 25 years of UGLY breasts, I'm guessing it'll take more than a season for me to stop loving these new ones! Money well spent!


Tomorrow makes two weeks, so I'll safe a real...

Tomorrow makes two weeks, so I'll safe a real review for then. But for now, a few questions that I keep forgetting to ask:

First, was anyone else left with lots of that iodine stuff on them after the surgery? I don't know if it's because I'm dark-skinned, and so it didn't show up so well for them to dry it off, but I've got large swathes of this stuff and it's adhesive, so I can't wash it off. I'm just slowly waiting for it to come off because of my natural body oils and bathing. ANNOYING!

Second, my skin is starting to flake off on my entire torso, from just under the breast crease, all the way to the bottom of my mons pubis. Is this happening to anyone else? I'm nervous that it's the start of stretch marks or something? But maybe it's some chemical they used during the op that is making me peel. Or maybe it's just that stretching the skin that much makes it peel.

Finally, I itch!!!! I mean, I'd think it were just a sign of healing, except that it's not happening with my TT incision, only my breast incisions. The skin is pink and warm around all the incision lines, and itches soooooo so much. The skin is pink around the TT incision as well, but it doesn't itch. It does itch at my inner thighs, though, but I didn't get anything at all done there. I do have left over iodine stuff there. But I don't have that around my incisions. Anyone have a clue??

I'm super swollen after having to get my kids ready for their day and deal with them for many hours today. I was only able to lie down for an hour, when normally I lie down most of the day. I've been trying to be good to my body, but my mom is starting to chafe at having to take care of my kids all the time, so I had to do this. I got nauseous soon after breakfast and it lasted until about 3 p.m. I hope that was the nausea's last hurrah, because it's getting old. I'd actually thought it was done already, but maybe it was a result of dehydration or something. I'm not drinking 8 glasses of water/day anymore, because my tummy can't fit all that water in there :(.

Okay, that's it for now--sleep time. But good luck to all of you who go into surgery tomorrow, and continued happy healing to those already on the flat side.


2 Weeks PO! I can flex my tummy muscles now,...

2 Weeks PO!

I can flex my tummy muscles now, and get out of bed with only minimal doscomfort. My TT is still too tight for me to stand up straight, but it gets better every day. I have two more antibiotic pills left to take, and haven't taken any pain medication (script or OTC) since the headache that drove me to Advil this past Saturday night. I still get tired easily, and would prefer to lie abed a few hours during the day if I could get away with it. The most I get is an hour, and I have the swelling to show for it.

I asked my PS office about the itching, scaly skin, iodine, and puckering. They said the itching is a pain response--healing nerves--and that it should abate within a couple of months, if not sooner. The scaly skin is a result of diminishing swelling that leaves dry skin. They didn't answer about the iodine, though I've found scrubbing with oil and scrubbing with soap and water afterward to be an uncomfortable but moderately effective solution. The puckering, they said, should disappear within SIX MONTHS, possibly sooner, and that after two weeks, I can start massaging it to help it along. The steri-strips can come off between Saturday and Tuesday a week from today.

My main countdown is to December 18th, the day my bra can come off! Wearing aunderwire bra 24/7 is heinous, but sleeping in one is just cruel! On December 18th, I will switch to a sleep bra!

That's all for now. Positive thoughts to all my beautiful RealSelf friends, including those of you I haven't met yet!


Today makes three weeks post op for me, and I...

Today makes three weeks post op for me, and I really have nothing particularly interesting to report. I'll add a couple of pictures, but there's not a whole lot of difference. I'm swelling much, much more, but I take my pics in the morning before that's gotten out of control, so you really can't see that in the pictures. My Physician's Assistant, Elisa, told me to remove the steri-strips today from both breasts and TT, so I did that. But that was after I'd taken my pictures. I retook pics of the breasts, but not the TT. So I'll post breast pics without steri-strips today for the first time. The TT will have to wait for next week.

I got my compression garment today!! Woot! I bought one from Design Veronique. It covers from mid-thigh up to just below my bust and is held up with suspender-type straps. Open crotch--so weird with the compression--it's like it pushes my labia out out of the hole. When I first put it on this morning, it wasn't that hard to get on. When I had to remove the steri-strips this afternoon at 2 p.m. and had to put it on again afterward, it was nearly impossible. If I hadn't had it on half an hour earlier, I'd have thought I'd gotten the wrong size. The size chart has me between sizes, BTW. My waist is measuring around 27.5 inches lately, while my hips are still 35.5. That's a medium up top and a small down below. So I nearly got the medium. I called and they told me to get the small, so I did. This morning, I was so glad because it fit me perfectly. Now, OMG, I can barely breathe when I lie down. I'm fine while I'm sitting or standing. And I've gotta be honest, I'm hating the bra MUCH more than the compression garment at this point. It hurts a lot more, for one. But also because I know I can take the CG off whenever I want, but the bra MUST stay on at all times.

Anyway, everything looks good otherwise--good in the sense of healthy, not in the sense of pretty ;). My newly-revealed incisions are nearly black with scab, plus the swelling above them is discolored a darker, reddish color. "Intimidating", is the word my husband used :). I feel a little down today, though I still don't regret doing this at all. I'm just getting the post-op blues. I guess it was also a little disappointing to see the incision is less healed than I'd thought it was, since it was hidden and I was feeling fine. Also, the PA said that the swelling will not go away completely until the lymphatic system is totally healed, and that takes 6-7 months. MONTHS. OMG. BUT, I just sneezed, and it was totally fine :)! Uncomfortable, but no pain!

Happy healing and happy patiently waiting, ladies!!


Adding a few pics today. Unfortunately, most of...

Adding a few pics today. Unfortunately, most of the pics my husband took turned out super blurry. So the ones I'm uploading are not as comprehensive and are just ones I took myself. But you'll get one of the scary angle from under my boobs. Of course, all the TT pics look horrific, but it's early yet. I'm already a tiny bit swollen from sitting down for five minutes before the pics. I swell like crazy whenever I sit down. I have to say, I'm still very happy with my boobs. They look a little iffy in these pics, but I think they look better in real life. Losing the puckering in both the boobs and TT, though, will be a huge improvement.

I'm alone with the kids this week, and so far, things have gone fine. In fact, it's actually _less_ stressful
than having my mom helping. I do get more swelling, of course, but so far it's all been manageable. So, all in all, another hurdle overcome.

Happy healing and happy waiting, y'all!

OMG, WTH?? I have over 400 posts. When did that...

OMG, WTH?? I have over 400 posts. When did that happen? #spendingtoomuchtimeonRealSelf

Saturday I went shopping for clothes. Two stores...

Saturday I went shopping for clothes. Two stores full of disappointment later, I ended up having a ball at Bebe. But only skin-tight clothes look any good. What's up with that? A few pics.

Five weeks have passed and, to no one's surprise,...

Five weeks have passed and, to no one's surprise, life has taken over and not allowed me to update much.

That said, there's not a whole lot to say :). That's a good thing. Healing is proceeding apace, with nothing particularly unexpected. The swelling has not worsened at all, so as long as I wear my compression garment all day, I don't need to sleep with it at night. When I sent my 5-week update pictures to Dr. Horndeski's office yesterday, Elisa said that she could see a little swelling still, in my midsection, and that that is totally normal. She also said, however, that it looks like we may need to do a revision on the right side of my TT, for the dog-ear there. I think it's improving, but I guess she didn't think the improvement was happening quickly enough, or in a way that bodes well. My left side is improving as well, but since the puckering was smaller on that side, it's closer to resolved.

I can stand up straight, now, and I can engage my muscles comfortably (though not without noticing it, if that makes any sense? What I mean is, it doesn't hurt, but it does burn a little, like I'm sore.) I'm working on being able to sit up from a supine position without the use of my hands or legs to get me there. I can get up just high enough to put a pillow under my head. It's okay for me to do this because of the mesh, which ensures that it's not only the medial sutures holding my abs together. I feel really strong in my core, which is strange, because I can't even sit up yet. But I know it's gonna be great once I no longer have to protect the area.

What else...oh yeah!

When I was planning for this whole thing, and I knew that I was going to be staying in a hotel, I was looking around looking for lists of essential things (as opposed to things that are helpful, or things you wish you had, or whatever,) because I had to travel light. I never did find that list, but here is what I took and used:

*My pillow.
*Prescribed pain medications and antibiotics
*Medical records required by PS/Hospital, including insurance cards, ID, Mammogram/biopsy results, required blood tests.
*Credit cards
*Vitamin supplements (after surgery) and laxatives
*One button-down shirt, for wearing home from the hospital (I bought one size larger)
*Pull-up, elastic-waist loose cotton pants (I was able to wear my regular size)
*Panties you don't mind ruining with blood/lymph (or black--I wore my black thong underwear because my granny panties interfered with my drains. I wouldn't have worn any panties, except I had my period.)
*post-op bras (I brought three and needed all three and could have used one more)
*Weather-appropriate clothing that is loose and comfortable, and some that didn't require raising arms to put on.
*Entertainment (Computer, iPad, Movies, Books)
*Digital Camera
*Food and my Blender (My diet is Special, so we had to bring a blender and some food with us cause we can't eat in restaurants. I did cook in the hotel prior to the surgery, and was able to start cooking again, slowly and carefully, at 5 days PO, if I remember correctly.)

I didn't bring a compression garment/binder because I wasn't allowed to wear one for two weeks. Your situation will likely be different in that regard.

It was not necessary to bring a pillow, but I did because I have a special pillow I love. It is, however, necessary to get lots of extras from the hotel staff. I needed exactly 8 pillows at the beginning to be comfortable: 3 under the head/back, 1 under the butt, two under the knees, and one each under my arms. Any other position was torture for me. As the pain started receding, I was able to remove one of the pillows under my head, then one from under my legs, then the butt. Then I stopped keeping track.

Obviously, I had no recliner, no hospital bed, no toilet riser, etc. I needed help to get out of bed and get back into bed for the first two days. I needed help walking to the toilet. I did not need help sitting or getting up from the toilet. I needed help to reposition myself in bed the slightest amount. I needed help arranging my pillows. By day 4 or 5, I could do that myself.

I could not stay awake long enough to partake in any entertainment until day 3 PO.

I didn't eat any meals for the first two days post op. Only drank water sparingly and with my meds. I tried to eat a little apple sauce but I couldn't stand the sweetness. By day 3 I was able to eat a little quinoa with cashew milk, but by the next day, I was only interested in eating my green stew. For every meal, I ate about half a cup. My PS said not to worry about eating at all, but to make sure I kept drinking. And practicing my breathing exercises every 2 hours, because of the pain meds. It took about two days before my bowels started moving at about half-pace. I did not need laxatives, though I did bring them.

That's all I can think of for now.

By now, I have completely forgotten the pain. I have no idea what it was like, and would happily go through it all again tomorrow if I had to. Just like childbirth, actually. At the time, I insisted to my husband it was worse than childbirth, and I did that at home, in my bed, without pain medication. So I definitely felt pain. But since I can't remember the pain of childbirth either, who knows ;). It was bad, and Post-op pain was bad, too. But childbirth pain was over after 17.5 hours. This pain lasted 3 days. I'll let you decide for yourselves ;).

I sent pictures of my breasts at 5 weeks to Dr. Lauren Greenberg, who was one of the PSs I interviewed prior to choosing Dr. Horndeski. I was really impressed with her and would have chosen her, but Dr. H's proprietary approach blew me away, so I decided to take a chance on it. Dr. Greenberg expressed an interest in seeing the results, which I found extremely impressive as well, and showed her passion for learning. Anyway, she wants to see the 3 Months PO results, so I assume that some settling is common in most Breast Lift patients by then. So I'll definitely be looking out for changes by that point :D. Dr. H says the results will be robust and I believe him, so I'm very excited to see what my boobs look like at 3 months!

That's it for this week--I'm thinking next week, week six, will be my last time doing weekly picture updates. Mainly because things just aren't changing that fast anymore, and because I don't want to fill up RealSelf with my pictures. I'll likely go to either bi-weekly or monthly, depending on how fast things change.

Happy continued healing, all, and patiently waiting, for those who are still doing that.


Today makes 6 weeks post op for me. I weighed 126...

Today makes 6 weeks post op for me. I weighed 126 lbs. this morning, which means I'm hovering about 2 pounds under my pre-op weight (which is about right for what the PS said he removed--about 2 pounds,) though I was gaining weight (mostly muscle) at that time so I was probably up to 130 by the time of the Op. I am also losing lots of muscle, I assume, so I think I've gained a bit of fat. I forgot to take my measurements this morning, but maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

Life has essentially returned to normal, with the large exceptions having to do in the physical activity department. It is still painful for me to jog even a little, mostly in my hip flexors and lower abs. Also, I am not yet allowed to work out. At two months, I can go back to the gym, but no arm workouts until 3 months, and I think I'm supposed to go light. I'll revisit that with the PS's office at that time. I have been carefully lifting my two smallest children because I have no choice, but I avoid it. I still go very slow when lifting my arms over my head as well.

Tonight will be my first night sleeping in a bralette instead of a real bra. I am so excited! No underwire tonight, and since I don't sleep in a CG, it'll be my first truly unencumbered night. Can't wait! Except that, of course, my littlest has the worst cold she's had in half a year at least, and that means that neither of us will do much sleeping tonight. This is the third night, by the way. I am so scared that the exhaustion is going to mean I get sick, too. I hate being sick and having to take care of sick kids at the same time. I have no patience and everything seems like crawling uphill.

This weekend, my husband and I finally tested out the plumbing, as it were, together. Worked like a charm! Felt a little uncomfortable in the lower abdominal area, but I also couldn't use my normal position either, since I can't squish my boobs for the first year. Having a lifted pubic area didn't help that much, but it certainly didn't hurt, and not having lost sensation in other vital areas was a huge boon. So, all-in-all, I think he's thoroughly happy with his investment. :D. He even likes the CG, so I didn't even remove it. Craziness!

Okay, that's it for now. I've added my six-week pictures!

Love to all you ladies, happy healing and good lucks all around!

Today makes 2 months post-op for me. Time has...

Today makes 2 months post-op for me. Time has both flown and stood still--it's a strange phenomenon, but not one I'm unfamiliar with.

As far as the surgery goes, I still feel it was absolutely worth the money, time, pain, and everything. Even those times where I feel like the results aren't that great, I still can see that I look waaaaay better than I did before. I've been very depressed lately, and I still feel like the surgery was worth it. I'm basically back up to my pre-op weight, but I sure don't look it! I look great! So it's hard to stay upset with my weight when I look good. I took my eldest daughter to see Lion King in San Francisco a couple of days ago, and wore one of my new Bebe dresses, and even without a compression garment, I felt long and lean and knew there were no bumps or bulges anywhere, except for just above my hip-bones, where I carry a lot of swelling still. But that just makes me look thinner anyway. I looked great even swollen. So that was fabulous.

I am not back to normal, and I am not back to working out. I am going to the gym tomorrow, but technically I'm not supposed to do very much. I have to wait one more month before I can work upper body, but I will do some cardio and so legs and see how I feel. If I swell, I have to step back a bit :(. We'll see how it goes.

Mainly, I'd say that the rest of my life is far more difficult than this recovery. My kids have been seen for over a month, with one cold after another, and now Chicken Pox (that's a good thing, at least--the Chicken Pox). And I have been dealing with rectal bleeding for a couple of months. I felt leery of posting it, because we do not know what it is, yet. All I know is that it's not hemorrhoids or anal fissures, because the doctor checked for that. So now I have a colonoscopy scheduled for January 16th. The stress is killing me :(. I have headaches every single day, my stomach is always upset, and I know that I need to relax, because most conditions of the stomach and that region are exacerbated by stress. But I just can't stop. And every time I go number 2, which is several times/day, I see the blood and think about it. It's not a lot of blood, thankfully, and it's not black, so it's probably just polyps or something. But telling myself is not helping. Oh well.

I am posting pics of my 2-month post-op self. That is a positive note to end on! Happy healing and good luck out there!

Okay, sorry everyone. I just reposted 6 week pics...

Okay, sorry everyone. I just reposted 6 week pics instead of 2 month pics. I'm going to ask if it's possible to take those down. Either way, I'll post the others after I find that out :). I don't want to max out yet another quota for nothing!

Short update: After my workout Monday, I realized...

Short update: After my workout Monday, I realized I wasn't stinky. For the first time since this surgery. My hormones have evened out!!! I'm also much happier and get fewer headaches. And I'm feeling okay abt the colonoscopy, mostly thanks to the number of pple on here who've gone through it and know others who have and everyone says it's not a big deal :D. I worked out Wed as well, all cardio and abs. Mon was legs and abs. I go back tomorrow again if the kids let me :D.

Good night, all, happy healing and waiting and good luck!

Exhaused and drugged post colonoscopy. Verdict: ...

Exhaused and drugged post colonoscopy. Verdict: proctitis. No word on cause, but go back in two weeks for followup. No polyps! Looked clean and smooth and shiny in there!


I am now...11 weeks, 5 days PO. I will be posting...

I am now...11 weeks, 5 days PO. I will be posting new pictures in 10 days, at the 3 month PO mark. So exciting! But for now, a general update without pictures.

My healing is continuing, and the hyperpigmentation surrounding my scars has diminished somewhat. My dog-ears are still present, though they have gotten smaller.

The main change re. my Mommy Makeover is that I have started exercising again. I've been back at the gym for three weeks, though I've been limited to lower body and ab workouts. This means I've only been going three days/week, instead of five. I've been working myself back up on the squat rack (I wasn't very advanced on this, so I'm nearly back up to speed,) and I'm back up to speed on deadlifts, another thing I wasn't very advanced with. My flexibility has suffered tremendously, though, which means that my running has also suffered. I'm not a distance runner, and have never been able to do more than six miles at a time, and even that with a great deal of post-run injuries. But I love doing high-intensity intervals (sprints). I was doing six 11 mph sprints for 35 seconds or so regularly, sometimes going up to 12 mph. Now I've just finally gotten myself back up to 10 mph, and I have some knee pain, because of my lack of flexibility.

As far as ab exercises go, I am nearly a cripple. I can't do one sit-up. I can't even do one crunch. The pain is too much for me. So I've been doing supine leg-lifts, hanging (vertical) knee-lifts, Russian twists, and other remedial ab exercises. They are all painful, but at least they're possible. The deadlifts and squats also work core, of course, but I have enough strength to do that stuff.

Upper body exercises of more than 30 pounds are supposed to wait for the 3 month mark, but I've been doing some remedial upper body work in preparation for that. I've done some push-ups with my upper body raised to hip level, as well as some assisted pull-ups (no more than 50 pounds). I've had to lift my children, so I figured the 30 pound restriction was busted anyway. But I haven't lifted anything heavier than them.

My swelling continues about the same as it has been since I started working out again, and that is somewhat worse than it was before I started working out. I wear my compression garment during my workouts (despite the fact that it makes breathing on the treadmill rather difficult) and on really bad days, I wear Spanx to bed and sleep in those. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference, though. The day of a workout, I swell a lot (for me), but by the next workout day, it's gone down enough that I can work out again. I am working out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Unfortunately, I've continued gaining weight, which isn't that unusual for me. I tend to gain weight, then go insane and portion control until I'm back down again, then gain weight again. This is despite an excellent diet. Unlike a lot of people, I never go off my diet. I always eat only whole foods--meaning lots of veggies, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, no sugar, no salt, no free oils. The good news is that I went to the dermatologist, who prescribed Retin-A Micro, and it WORKS!! I have been able to add beans and whole grains back into my diet without getting a lot of acne. So now I am much less hungry all the time. Of course, I am also up to 20% body fat. Because that is a healthy level of body fat, I am trying not to worry so much about it, now that I still have a flat stomach and nice boobs :D.

The bad news is this whole thing with the rectal bleeding. The medication I was prescribed--Canasa suppositories--has been working. It's an anti-inflammatory. The bleeding has been lessening significantly. I only see blood after my first BM of the day now, instead of after the first three. I am still having 3 or 4 BMs per day. I don't know if this is really normal or slightly high. Sometimes I only have two--today I might only have 2, but probably 3. Yesterday I had 4. So it's going in the right direction, I think. I feel a little dumb updating at this point, because I haven't gotten a diagnosis from the doctor yet as to what is _causing_ this proctitis. It might be Inflammatory Bowel Disease. But it'd be nice if it were something else. :). The dietary modifications for IBD are...more restrictive than I'm currently willing to contemplate in the long-term. Like I'd be really sad if I could no longer eat beans, now that I'm finally able to eat them again. There's definitely no gluten-containing grains allowed, though. And even though I've lived without wheat for a long time, it was only for acne's sake, and now that that's no longer an issue....well it would have been nice if I could eat wheat again. Blah.

The other thing I wonder if anyone here can help me with, though--the Retin-A, it makes my skin so sensitive I can't go out in the sun AT ALL without covering my face. I have to wear a hat and a face mask. I get burned in five minutes. Does this calm down at all?? My husband hates that I look like I'm wearing a hijab every time we go outside. I don't personally mind most of the time, since people always go out of their way to try not to stare and are very nice; but it'd be nice if I could wear a bikini without a face mask--that's just silly-looking.

Okay, I hope everyone else is doing great, and I look forward to posting my 3-month pictures! Maybe I'll get some good news from the gastroenterologist on Wednesday and I'll post again :D.

Dear RealSelf family! I am 3 months, 2 days post...

Dear RealSelf family! I am 3 months, 2 days post op today.

Not a lot has changed. The dog ears have diminished more, but not disappeared. The sutures have not yet dissolved. I have one area of hyperpigmentation that is actually IN my scar, as opposed to above and below it. That is in my TT scar, and I pointed it out in my pictures.

My breasts have gotten soft now, though they're still firm. They just feel natural. And no, you cannot feel the internal bra, neither the coning nor the straps. So that's fantastic. I love my breasts. They're not perfect, but they look it in clothes. The imperfections are all tiny things, like areola shape and dog ears. They are all fixable via revision, if I feel like it. I'll probably get the lateral dog-ears fixed, but that's likely it.

My Ulcerative Proctitis calmed down and stopped bleeding, so after a few extra days of medication, I stopped taking the medication. The blood came back. So...yeah, next time, follow the doctor's instructions better. I am supposed to wait a full week before stopping the meds, but I didn't, because I hate taking drugs. I haven't started up the meds again yet, either, because I'm kind of hoping it'll stop on its own. That is stupid, but I haven't given up that hope yet. I figure another week.

I also started taking a high-dose probiotic supplement called VSL#3, and juicing greens, based on Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations. And while I love both (the pro-biotic tastes like brewer's yeast, and the juice tastes green--I love anything that tastes so healthy it makes most people cringe,) my body's reaction has been immediate and STRONG. After two days of this, I got a yeast infection. Usually, yeast infections last a couple of weeks for me and sometimes I need to take meds to make it go away. This one lasted for exactly 2 days. The next day, I got what felt like a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). But this only lasted one day. And then I got some kind of stomach thing, where it felt like I stopped digesting my food, horrible gas, nausea. And the next day, in addition to the stomach thing, I got a terrible migraine. That was 3 days ago, now. I am still having weird things with my stomach, and I've, of course, started bleeding again, as I mentioned, but I haven't had any other strange symptoms. So that was an adventure!

On Monday, I started working out arms again for real. I've been working out lower body for a month, now. I'm nearly back up to where I was pre-op on the squat rack. Five more pounds. I'm back up in dead lifts. My endurance is lower. I am finally able to do crunches with my arms crossed in front of me. It is very difficult and extremely uncomfortable. I can do 3 sets of 12 and am exhausted from the pain of it. On my last pre-op fitness test, I did 69 crunches in one minute. So yeah, a long way to go. I've also gained at least 3% body fat, according to the automatic tester. I haven't had the courage to sign up for another fitness assessment, yet. Even though the tester knows that I've had the op and all. The fact that I haven't been able to do one single push-up from the floor has made me too embarrassed to sign up :(. I did 40 girlie push-ups at my last assessment. I honestly don't know if I could do 10 now :(. Oh well. Keep working!! I am up to 4 days/week, now. I'd like to stay at that level for a while, but I might move back up to 5 or 6, depending on how much weight I gain. I like doing 4 days/week, because then I have two days of upper body and two days of lower body. When I do 5 days, I have 3 days of upper body. And when I do 6 days, I use the last day as an all-round day. But I don't think my body could recover from that at this point. So we'll stick with 4 days/week for a while.

I can't think of anything else right now. I hope everyone out there is doing great, that your healing is coming along as well as possible, that complications are to a minimum, and that those waiting are excited but not stressed, and mentally prepared for what is to come!

Hugs to all....

I wore a tube top today, for the first time in my...

I wore a tube top today, for the first time in my life! Yes, I know it's February, but it was sunny and a warmish 60 degrees F in the sun. It was only 50 in the shade, but such is NOCAL weather. Pics.

Happy healing, y'all! And good luck to those next on the chopping block!

My 4-month mark was this past Wednesday, but my...

My 4-month mark was this past Wednesday, but my kids have been passing around some terrible virus, and since I have been sleep deprived and have my period, I have now caught it. So my update pics will have to wait until I'm no longer menstruating.

The good news is that I can get rid of some of that swelling I complained about by wearing my CG. The next morning, the swelling is much better, though it starts coming back within a few hours. It gets less severe if I wear the CG. So I do that most days.

The other good news is that I was able to do one unassisted pull-up from a 2x4 beam on my kids' swingset today. Progress! I need to get a portable pull up bar. Any suggestions?

Also, while crunches are still very painful, I'm up to 34 in one minute. Very happy abt that!

Bad news is I've continued to gain weight. 133 and about 19% body fat. I would prefer 15% but am unlikely to get there, since I eat healthy food but also too much of it. Right now my legs are so huge for me. My CG has gotten tight in the legs. Before, the legs were too big to grab onto my skin in order to stay down. Now they dig in and show the line through my pants. I feel like the hulk, busting through my clothes, only not from muscles.

I still don't regret this, even when I'm really depressed from my period, which I was last week. So that's good. Will try to post new pics next week. Wish I'd been taking back and full body shots consistently to document the pattern of weight gain. It settles inmy back, face, and thighs now. Not on the stomach at all. So weird.

Good night!

Just a quick note. I'll update at 5 months, but...

Just a quick note. I'll update at 5 months, but I'm back down to about 124 lbs. so I'm just adding a couple of pics to show the difference 9 pounds makes. XOXOXO

Oh my dearest lovelies. What a long, strange trip...

Oh my dearest lovelies. What a long, strange trip it's been! (No, I'm not a Grateful Dead fan.) Today makes 5 months, 1 week and 1 day post op. I'm uploading pictures from my 5 month day exactly--it's just taken a while for me to download the pics from my camera. In the pictures, I weigh about 124 pounds and I'm about 1 pound over that now, so no significant difference. If I get up over 127, I start looking different and I don't like it. But the way I look now, I LOVE. I wear elegant, form-fitting clothes now, instead of just yoga pants and a t-shirt with a jacket on all the time. I still can't find regular clothes (mostly pants) that fit me, even after this. The combination of my low butt (you can see my butt through my crotch area a little) and my large pubic mound, pants are just too tight in the crotch, or they're too big. Also, they're always too short unless there's a long size, which they often don't make in a size 2. For tops, the sleeves are usually too short. And I'm only 5'8", so it's really because my proportions are unusual. Anyway, I found this designer/store called Angelrox, and their stuff is just perfect for me, both style-wise and size-wise, so I'm just replacing my enitre wardrobe with her collection, as money allows. The combination of Roxi's clothes and Dr. Horndeski's surgical skill, I'm so completely, totally happy with the way I look now. And it has translated into a happiness in every part of my life. It makes every day easier! Luckily, my birthday is coming up on Wednesday (38!!) so I've been using that as an excuse to buy clothes ;).

As for the physical, I am still swelling a lot. By the end of the evening I'm 1-2 inches larger than I am in the morning. I am working out 4 days/week and that's about all I can handle. I'm only up to 2 or 3 pull-ups (unassisted) but that's better than nothing! And my squat is not improving as quickly as it was before I took all that time off. But my ab work is getting better and less painful (still painful, but less.) I can do straight-legged supine leg-lifts with my hands on my belly now, and that's a huge improvement. I don't do real sit-ups, but I am capable now. And I'm up to an 85# dead lift. So things are moving ahead. My scars on my breasts are fading nicely. The scar on my TT is getting darker and darker, so not fading. I don't know how much better it'll get, but even the way it is, it's worth it. I still have dog ears at the end of each incision, so 6 of them. Three are disappearing nicely, three are not. I will probably get a revision within the year, but I'm not in a real hurry. It's expensive to make the trip, and I'll have to go by myself because of that. So I want to let it heal as much as possible first and maybe go to Sugar Land at the lowest season (I'm guessing high summer would be the best time pricewise. Ugh.) I'm not looking forward to it because I don't enjoy the stress of travel on a tight time-frame and I'd probably have to fly in in the morning, have the revision, then fly home the same day, in order to save money.

Not sure what else to say. Life is pretty great and I love my new body. I take care of it the best I can, and enjoy it as much as possible! Will update when I think of something else.

My six month mark came and went a week ago, and...

My six month mark came and went a week ago, and while I took pictures, I've been too busy to post. My eldest's sixth birthday is coming up and the party is on Saturday. I've been sewing up a storm, building a piƱata, and trying recipes. Can't wait till it's over! But I'll post a couple of photos of me now. I'm back up to 130, unfortunately, but I look okay. I just look less pretty in my face and thicker all over, but I'm stronger too. I can do unsupported dips now, for the first time in my life. Soon I'll start rope training. So excited.

As far as the healing, it continues. I'm still numb but the scars are improving. Still have dog ears. Much less swelling now, if any. Still love my boobs! Would still do it all again. The pain has completely disappeared from memory.

Short update - just shy of 7 months

Burning in my right flank--a little on the left, occasionally. I believe this is healing nerves. I hope it is, otherwise it's because I've gained too mich weight and it's stressing the repair sutures. But I'm pretty sure it's just the nerves. I'm back up to 132, just under 20% body fat, and back onto my ultrastrict diet. I have not yet resorted to limiting to one meal/day. Once I hit 133 my self-loathing goes into overdrive. I still look pretty good, though. Pics at my 7 month mark or shortly thereafter. :)

7 months PO with pics

Hey, all! Posting my update for 7 monhs post-op--only 2 days late this time!

So things are going pretty well. I had my first fit test (since the surgery) this past Wednesday. My girlie push-ups were about 4 down (from my high of 40), but my curlups were only 1 off (68 instead of 69 in one minute) and my flexibility improved by 1cm. So I feel like I'm back. I was able to work out 4 days this week, not including the fit test, so that was cool, too. I've been climbing my rope as well and love it. I only have 15 ft. to climb up, but that's more than sufficient for me. My grip strength has already improved tremendously.

Unfortunately, I continue to struggle with my weight. My body fat, as tested at the fit test, went up to nearly 18%, from 16% at my first test. I was somewhere in the mid 16s at my second test. Obviously, 18% body fat is not overweight; as a body-weight athlete though, it's advantageous to not carry extra fat as it makes body-weight exercises harder. It's a 1-pull-up difference for me. So that's annoying. I'm eating only super-healthy now, but still too much.

The burning in my sides has disappeared, but I still don't have full sensation there. It has improved, though. I wonder whether the mesh is affecting that. My proctitis has flared up again, so I'm back to bleeding. So annoying. And I've still no idea what made that come on. But I feel fine--just a little burning that I hardly notice.

Even with my extra weight, I look good. I don't feel great about myself, but objectively I think I look great in clothes. And my boobs are just fantastic. I wear tube tops and spaghetti straps. I also come home and put on a bra after 5-6 hours and sleep in a bra. I am super paranoid that I'll lose the breasts. They've gotten soft now, to the point that they feel comepletely natural, if very youthful. What a different life it would have been had I grown these breasts naturally. If any of my three girls end up with breasts as ugly as mine were, I would not hesitate to give them surgery if they wanted it. The only question would be when.

Still have the dog ears. I will need to get them removed surgically, but I can't think about organizing that until we get back from out trip to Denmark and Sweden.

Hat's it for now. Ask questions if you have any--I can never remember what to say in an update!


7 months PO with pics

Adding a couple of pics in clothes, for perspective ;)

Bikini Pics

Just posting a couple of bikini pics, as requested. Had to borrow a bikini from my mom! My 8 month mark is coming up on Saturday and will update then. Gotta remember to talk about swelling, burning, and scars.

8 Months PO update with pics

It's been 8 months since I had my surgery and life has changed so much since then. I feel beautiful now. Before, whenever I looked beautiful because of whatever I was wearing, I always felt like it was a profound lie. Because I know that under the foundation garments, I looked like a dried up old hag. Nothing could make me forget that. But now, if I don't look good in something, well, that's just the outside. It's just bad styling. Because I am beautiful, or at least a butterface. When I am well-dressed, I walk confidently into a room and assume that people will want to talk to me. When my daughter is distressed because one of her friends is scared of me and thinks I'm a witch (because I have a small mole in my face) and doesn't think I'm pretty; I can reassure my daughter without any selfconsciousness whatsoever that sometimes children are just mistaken or confused or even intimidated because I look very different from anyone else they've ever seen in real life. I am the only black mom in our entire school/parenting group, and my poor little girls didn't come out black at all, so the only black these kids see semi-regularly is me. Plus I have long dreds. And I'm taller than this girl's mom by a good six inches. Anyway, the point is, in the past, I would have been devastated to hear that other children thought I was a hideous monster, and I would have felt so ugly. Now I just feel sorry for those children.

Moving on!

So at this point, I do still swell a little by bedtime. It gets worse the harder i work out my core, but it always subsides by morning. Also, I frequently experience bouts of itching near my incisions and in the places I'm numb. A few times per week, I'd say. Sometimes it really feels like I'm being burnt or tattoed.

My scars continue to improve very slowly. The worst are those under the breasts and the TT, which is dark, thick, uneven, and nearly impossible to cover in modern swimwear. It often peeks out of my bikini bottoms, because everything is cut so low. I tried buying a larger size, but those just are too large to stay put anyway. I will be making my own bikini in future, when I have time.

My dog ears have diminished very, very slightly. I have LOST a little bit of sensation in my nipples. It's bearable but annoying. I continue to be numb over the vast majority of my breast skin and most of my tummy, but the feeling has returned where my obliques are. I am still unable to stretch as far backward as I could pre-op.

I continue to get stronger and more active and no longer feel at all hampered by the op. I continue to feel that it was worth it--even essential to my mental health.

Ask questions if you have any :). Peace!

Nine months have come and gone and I'm only now getting to this review...

Dear RealSelf. I loved you when I first found you, all those months ago. But lately, you've just gotten even better. You got yourself a makeover, baby, and they did a great job on you. I love the way you put the pictures with their updates now. I love the way you count the days until and since our ops, and post it for us. I love the way everything is so automatic now, that I can just do an update and all that great info is there without me having to count and stuff. So thanks, baby. Thanks for not letting yourself go. You're even sexier than the day we met.

For the rest of y'all:
Sorry sorry sorry! I'm so late! We were on vacation, for nearly a month, and since then I've been busy having sex with my husband. Actually, even during the vacation. Because my mommy makeover has changed my life, and let me get my groove back, and I can never thank my husband, or my surgeon and his office, or RealSelf and all of YOU guys enough for that. And also myself, cause I have worked very, very hard on all of this.

Breasts: My boobs are great. The dog ears are still there, and there is a bigger one on the right than the left. The right dog ear also has a fatty deposit under it, so it's pretty ugly, but that's nothing new. Planning on getting a revision closer to the one-year mark. The areolar scar is very thin and pretty now. The scar under the breast is okay, but the discoloration around it is very wide. I still don't care, because I love the shape so much. The scarring keeps me from walking around topless in public, but that's probably a good thing ;). We'll see what I come up with for the Folsom Street Fair. As far as the numbness, my left breast has improved somewhat. My right breast has improved nearly not at all. This is a shame, because the nipple sensation in the right breast is negatively affected by the numbness of the areola. It is still functional, but only barely. I am still hoping for more healing on that front. If my right improved to the level of my left (about half the sensation I had pre-op) I would be satisfied with that. Still, I'd not trade the shape for the sensation. My new boobs make me feel beautiful.

The TT:
My TT scar is pretty ugly and very big. And as soon as I gain any weight, it looks swollen. Of course, my face swells as well, so I really work hard to not gain weight. I'm in the 122-24 range right now (at 5'8") and that is my ideal weight. My body fat is well under 17% at that weight and my current musculature, and I like the way my face looks at this weight. Also, my abs are slightly visible. I will continue to chisel myself until I can see them, but I'm not entirely certain it's possible :). Still, it's not something I'm upset about. At this weight, I look fantastic, IMO, so it's not an urgent thing for me.

The numbness in my tummy has decreased slightly, but is still complete in the center, from just above my navel to just above the pubis and in a circle of about 4 inch diameter. Sometimes I still get phantom itching and pain, especially when I've been walking a really long time. The scar is difficult to cover in bikinis, but I don't wear bikinis very often. It's very easy to cover in my workout clothes, if I pull them up a little (further than I need to, considering my shape.) I still have significant dog-ears, though they have continued to shrink and improve tremendously.

My navel scar is pretty ugly, and I still have a sticking out bit from when the knot made it heal weird. I will need to get it fixed along with the other stuff. I have worn navel-baring clothing since the op, at the gym, but I feel self-conscious about it and prefer not to do it. I hope that I will be able to get an improved navel shape and scar with a revision.

Overall, I am still overjoyed with this operation. I love the way I look now, I feel sexy almost all the time, and I have a new confidence in all of my dealings with other people. I am not nervous to meet new people, and I don't feel like I need to hide myself. Before, I kind of felt like a pretend-woman, but now I feel like a real woman. I'm glad I waited until I was done having children, but there was really no other reason to wait.

Good luck to all of you! I will post photos separately since they're on my iPhone.

9 month pics

Not many pics this time--taken while on vacay. Gonna have to get DH to take some nicer ones, maybe for the 1-year PO :)

11 months PO (with pics)

Wow.... Eleven months! Everything has changed in that time!

Okay, not everything, but a lot. I still look fantastic, Woot!!! :D

But seriously, I just cannot express how happy this entire journey has made me. And the results continue to improve as I continue to heal and work out and everything. I still have the dog-ears, as you guys can see. I'm contacting my PS to find out what the logistics are for going there and finally getting those taken care of. Because timing was a huge issue before--now it's nearly insurmountable!

What else? Oh yeah. Sometimes I have phantom pain and/or itching. Sometimes I feel like it's nearly unbearable, and then I remember that I went through the surgery, and it usually goes away within seconds. It always becomes bearable, though. I've felt it in my breasts a few times, but most often it's in the TT area. Especially when I wear something tight for a while or otherwise irritate the area. Sometimes scratching helps a little, but most of the time it doesn't, because I'm still numb. The area of numbness has diminished very slightly (this is an ongoing diminishment) but is still quite large. My right breast continues to have much less sensation than my left breast, including the nipple. It's bearable, but disappointing. But I haven't even hit a year PO yet, so I'm not worried. And also? I look so good! :D :D :D

I continue to eat 100% clean, and continue to eat only one meal/day. I am staying under 125 lbs, but not reducing anymore. I am working out 3-4 days/week (4 days is only two days each upper and lower body, 3 days is 3 days upper and lower body). I am getting stronger and a little more cut. I'm up to 7 pull-ups and 20 push-ups (if I switch hand-positions). I can do hanging leg-lifts with outstretched legs now, and I can climb ropes and poles. So I'm very happy with my progress.

Big news on the personal front! I'm gonna be a Community Manager here on RealSelf now, but in the Dental Topics. But I'll still be hanging around here cause obviously I'm gonna keep posting naked pictures of myself on the Internets. This is the first 'job' I've gotten where all of my fellow employees have seen me naked. And that does not bother me. I have no modesty left.

1 Year Post Op! (Pics to follow once I take them)

Yesterday marked my first surgi-versary. My life is extremely busy right now, so I haven't had time to think, much less take pictures, (and also I have my period) but I will update soon. The difference from last month is minimal, as you can imagine. I am still extremely happy with everything, though hubby and I are talking increasingly seriously about me getting revisions for the dog ears, especially on my breasts. I'm happy to say that the TT dog-ears have almost completely disappeared, though. This is very impressive, because as you guys have seen in the pics, they were huge folds of skin before. Now they barely exist. The resilience of skin is unbelievable! And humbling.

Yesterday, since it was my surgi-versary, I decided to tell some new people about my surgery. I really feel like telling people is an opportunity to educate. There are so many misconceptions floating around out there. And since there are all kinds of things floating around the internets trying to make women feel bad about not looking like a fitness model after having multiple children, (What's my excuse? Well, I have several--like bad dietary choices and lack of exercise as a child coupled with imperfect genetics. Cause it certainly isn't for lack of working out hard now!) Anyway, the people who see me semi-regularly know I maintain my weight, eat super-clean, and work out like a maniac. So when I tell them about the surgery, they're usually shocked, because they think eating right and working out is enough for anyone.

Anyway, yesterday I told all the ladies who work at my dentist's office (including my dentist) and even stripped down in the lobby to show them the results, as well as showing them my befores on RealSelf. So that was fun. No modesty left, I tells ya! None at all! I told a couple of other people as well, but none quite as dramatically ;)

I hope you all are doing well, and are healthy and happy and healing well!


1 year PO Pics

Is it really almost Christmas???

Okay, so it's been 13 months now since my surgery and I can honestly say that I don't feel any different from last month. I doubt there will be a positive difference in the pictures since last month. I'll take them tomorrow or Wednesday, when I'll have time. :)

I've become exhausted with the constant under-eating again, so the calorie creep has got me gaining weight again. I'm up to 124 now, which is still fine but I do prefer 123. And having been closer to 120 for the last month, I'm spoiled. Still, it's hard to strike a balance between eating enough to workout and build muscle while still maintaining a low enough body weight to be able to see the definition. Also, I'm so cold all the time!!!! I'm going to have to go to the doctor soon for a checkup, just to make sure my numbers are good. A trainer whose blog I follow warned that his adrenals were worn out after he'd been following intermittent fasting for a while, so I want to make sure that's not happening to me.

Still numb everywhere I was last time I mentioned it, and the one or two pounds I've gained since the last pictures did not fill out my boobs at all. Sometimes I feel like I'd like to have bigger breasts, but most of the time I'm just so grateful that they're not in the way when I work out, and that I'll never have to replace implants.

My back is so strong now! Before the surgery, I was having back injuries too often. Before I'd only had them during stress, but lately I was getting them every couple of months. I haven't once since the surgery. Fantastic! I am dead-lifting 120# now, though, so I'm sure it'll happen; but the diastasis repair has made an enormous difference in my core strength.

Next thing on the agenda: Pole Dancing. I'm trying to psych myself up. There's a class on Sundays that I want to take, and hubby is all for it (go figure ;) but I get so nervous meeting new people, and I get severe performance anxiety. But I really want to do this. I love stupid human tricks, and it's a fantastic way to build upper body strength.

Man, I have such a headache!

Anyway, the only bad news is that my proctitis has come out of remission. I've been bleeding for close to a month now, and I don't know how to make it stop without medication, since I'm not eating anything on the forbidden list. I suppose it's stress-related, since we just sold our house, then moved all in the last six weeks, plus several performances (with my choir) so it's been non-stop stuff. But I don't know when it'll stop, or if I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and start the suppositories again. I am so not ready to go back on the ultra-restrictive diet, but I'm also not having five BMs a day, so I'm not that desperate yet. When I get up to five BMs, though, I will be going back on that diet. And if that doesn't work, I'll take the medication. Blah.

Anyway, that's it for now. This headache isn't letting me think.

Boobs have definitely gotten smaller.

Okay, so this is just a quick update because I know for sure, now.  My boobs have gotten smaller.  One cup size, approximately.  I cannot say the reason for certain.  Part of it is likely weight loss (or fat loss, rather,) but some of it may simply be long-standing swelling or something.  Either way, I was fitting perfectly into size 32D Chantelle bras.  I am now in 32C, which I fill.  I never filled the Ds as much as I'm filling the C, but it's nearly a full cup-size change.  I'm still okay with it, but I am nearly 5'8" so I would prefer a bit more chest.  A 32C is the equivalent of a 34B or a 36A, so quite small.  I am wearing small or extra-small tops now, which means the sleeves are always too short.  The shape is still good, though--the same as in my 1-year pics.  I really need some new pics taken.


Fourteen Months Post-Op!

Okay, now it's getting ridiculous that I haven't updated my pics.  It will definitely happen tomorrow morning, before I go to work out.  Today marks two months since my surgiversary, and things are changing very slowly at this point.

So, I've gained weight again, unsurprisingly.  But I've made some observations now and I'll admit them to you guys cause this is an anonymous forum and I can ;).  

For a while, I was down to about 120 pounds, and I really loved that, I'm not gonna lie.  But I'm 5'8", so it's not a healthy weight for me.  The main symptom I got was that my body hair started growing really fast.  Normally, I have to shave my legs and stuff maybe once every two or three days to not be embarrassed when wearing shorts.  When I was that thin, I had to shave every single day, and I'd have to shave before I went out in the evening if I'd shaved 5 a.m. before going to the gym.  I'd get stubble within 12 hours.  So yeah, if that happens to you, then you're underweight.  I also started having a little trouble at the gym, mainly because I started getting sick all the time (with severe colds and the like).  That could have been happenstance, but it could have been a result of being underweight.  A lack of protein can suppress your immune system.  Plus I've also been bleeding again, so that can't have helped.

Anyway, I am back up to 125 lbs now (I still would prefer 123, but 125 is doable).  Maintaining my weight is a daily struggle (which I am not currently succeeding with, since I'm going up daily at this point.)  However, at this time, I am also extremely excited to have finally gotten strong enough to start aerial training!  I have done one aerial silks class and it was electrifying!  It was exactly what I thought it would be.  And I've also started pole fitness (pole dancing) which is just as awesome, much to my surprise.  I need to get even stronger, though, and as quickly as possible, so I've upped my protein intake substantially (I was on an ultra low protein diet before, so I'm more in line with regular people now.)  Unfortunately, this means I'm eating tofu again, and I'm not sure how my body will deal with it.  We'll see how it goes over the next few months.  My acne hasn't been worse than usual, so that's something at least. I'm most interested in whether it affects my periods, and I hope I am able to gain muscle, because I think I wasn't gaining muscle before.  I was working out hard with heavy weights, but the fact that 123 is still a good look for me kind of implies that I haven't gained much muscle.  I'd like to remedy that.  I still have chicken legs.

What else?  I have gotten zero improvement in my nipple sensation.  In fact, it feels like it's gotten worse.  That I have no basis for testing, though.  I have started having a lot more trouble achieving orgasm, though. I hope it's a phase.  Things have been very stressful around here, but for the last week or two, I feel like the stress has been lessening, and I am just so thrilled at being able to finally start these aerial and pole classes.  I don't know.  I haven't been able to sleep either, so yeah, I'm a wreck.  Had another migraine yesterday.  I'm having some trouble with my retainers so I hope that getting that fixed will help with the migraines.

Wow, that was so disorganized.

Still planning to get a revision.  Looking at February now, because we have a party to go to in early February and I don't want to be healing during that.  I'll probably (finally) get to wear my black Bebe dress :D

As usual, if anyone has any questions about my experience, feel free to ask.

14-Month Pics

Pics, as promised :)

14-month pics continued

Sorry, I had to crop this one.

15 Months Post-Op I took a little video (no sound) so that you guys can see what the results look like a little more 3-dimensionally...or, well, 2 and a half?  Anyway, so you can see angles and jiggles and the like.  Sorry it's a little dark--we have terrible lighting in this house and it's dark and overcast today.

The truth is, I spend a lot of time looking around on RealSelf and reading reviews and the like, and I have seen so many negative comments from others about my surgeon, and what a butcher he is, and how all of his results are ugly and awful.  And I look at my own results, and I like them.  I do have dog-ears, but lots of people end up with dog-ears and their surgeons aren't called butchers on here.  And Dr. H fixes dog-ears for free (he just doesn't pay airfare, which is why I haven't gotten mine fixed yet.  And also?  I don't care very much).  So now you guys can see my results a little more how I see them.  And if you still think they're ugly and awful and my surgeon is a butcher, well, then that's okay.  I guess there's no accounting for taste. But my husband is happy with my results, and I'm happy, and I've never shown anyone my results and had them recoil in horror (a butcher-job should have a visceral reaction, to my mind).  So yeah. :)

Let me know if the video works for you guys.  I'm not sure about how the privacy permissions and such are supposed to work on YouTube.  If anyone knows whether I can set it to private on YouTube and still show it here, I'd love to hear from you :D.

By the way, in this video I weigh 127 lbs.  5'8".  


Short update: Itching!

I'm just writing today because my left breast has started itching a lot.  I feel like I've had bouts of itching before in the past, and that nothing has changed, but I figured I may as well get this one down for posterity, since I'm thinking about it.  So yeah, left breast itching, right breast no itching, so far, the numbness has not changed.

Itching Continues + Dog Ear Comparison Pics

The itching continues, and has started happening a little bit on the right breast as well.  I don't know if I've gotten some sensation back on the left, but I do have significantly more on the left breast than on the right breast.

I finally found a photo collage website that makes sense to me, so I've been playing with it for my dental communities peeps, and now did my own collages for this review.  I wanted to show the extreme change in my dog ears from when I got the bandages off and was no longer super scabby--so about 4 weeks post-op, to where it's at essentially today.  See the photo captions for date details :)

18 Months Post-Op (Video)

It's been a year and a half (and 9 days) since my op!  This video I was able to make brighter so you can see the dog-ears really well.  I have six--two for my TT and two on each breast, though my left breast has only a very tiny one medially.  You'll see if you look at the video :).  Also, notice that when I pull the skin on my breasts to show the dog-ears, the breasts are very firm.  This is really something that I couldn't have gotten without an implant from any other procedure, I think, than the UBL I got with Dr. H.  The dog-ears are more severe than I would have gotten from a regular BL, but the firmness is amazing.

Itching continues.  I've made tiny gains in the nerve department but my right areola is still dead (not nipple).  Left is slightly less dead.  My greatest nerve gains have been in my torso but it's not a lot of sensation and it's a matter of millimeters regained, not centimeters.  I wish I'd been marking my numb areas for pics but in all honesty, it's hard to tell what's still numb, because even when sensation is regained, like I said, it's sometimes only a little bit.

I think my scars have improved a little as well, in darkness and thickness.  I'm still very happy, and I have to say that hanging out over in BBLs for a while really made me appreciate my body more as it is.  Those ladies really appreciate shape over thinness, and I think it's a much healthier thing.  I've been able to obsess much less over my weight and meals.  Like, almost not at all.  I didn't even feel the need to weigh myself.  

A very wise member of the Smart Lipo community said it so well, but I'm not gonna quote her.  She said that you have to remember to appreciate where you are, and not get bogged down in the details so that you lose the beauty in you.  Tell yourself you're sexy, remind yourself that you look great!  I've been actively reminding myself that I am not overweight, that I look great!  And like I said, after hanging out in BBLs, I started noticing that, even though I don't have shape like those ladies do, I do have some shape, and my butt is perfectly adequate!  My shape is healthy and it's mine, and I'm actually really happy with it.  :D  That's got to be the first time ever.

After I took this video, I weighed myself so I could put the stats in the update:  128.8.

Also, I just wanted to mention that I've stopped going to the gym and lifting weights entirely.  I've been focusing purely on more functional stuff.  So I am doing serious stretching (contortion) 2-3 times/week (working on my splits and back flexibility) as well as belly dancing once/week and pole dancing two or three times/week.  For those of us who bore easily, keeping it fresh is so important!

Peace! :D

OMG the itching!!!!

Small update.  So it's Thursday now, and since Monday, my left breast has been itching unbearably.  Like, I have to scratch in public.  And it's the underside of the areola incision and the main incision.  Things have improved marginally today, but OMG.  And I don't think I've gained sensitivity.  In fact, it feels like the itching has made it impossible to feel anything else!  I have no idea what it means, but I've also been a little dehydrated lately, so I'm going to try drinking more water and hope that helps.

No more itching, for now, thank goodness!

The itching lasted just under a week, then disappeared like it'd never happened.  I don't think there was any change in sensation.  However, it may have had something to do with sleeping in a bra.  It seems like when I sleep in certain bras, I get itching different places.  It started happening again, so I took off the bra and the itching didn't come back.  I think I'm going to be buying more cotton, non-underwire sleep-top bras and just sticking to those.  I love them anyway, so no need to wear the underwires to bed anymore.

1 year and nearly 10 months post-op!

Hello-hello!  It's 7 a.m., my kids are asleep for another five minutes, and I decided to very quickly update. 

I've just taken another video.  I'm updating today for a few different reasons.  First, I'm going to a local plastic surgeon here in Foster City, CA for a consultation to see how much he'd charge to get rid of the six dog-ears you can see in my video.  Also, I've gained some weight over my ideal (my ideal is about 127 lbs and I'm at 131.5 now).  It doesn't sound like a lot, and really it isn't.  But the way that things settle after a TT is interesting (though likely different for everyone) so I thought I'd show you guys.  You can compare from my first vids, where I was at my ideal weight.  I tried to show where the fat deposits.  I forgot to squeeze the ribcage fat that deposits on the front, just under the breasts, but you can see it if you know to look for it.  

Like most people who struggle with their weight, when I am under stress, I eat.  For me, it's sugar, in the form of dates and dried figs.  I have also been plagued with injuries since taking up Pole Dancing/Fitness (heh) so I'm struggling to find things I can do while healing.  I had a groin injury that took 3 months to heal (I could still do upper-body stuff) and now I have a shoulder injury (I'm doing cardio rowing now).  So that's annoying.  When you're injured, and less active, you really have to change your diet (ie. eat fewer calories, since you're not burning as many,) but I have not done that because of the stress-eating.  Also, my proctitis is active again, so I am bleeding--always a great wake-up call that I am not handling stress well.  At least I don't get my period anymore!! :D

So anyway, the shelf of fat above my TT scar is only there when I gain weight, and looks very odd.  I enjoy having a bigger butt, though, so I'm going to ask the PS today what the consequences of getting lipo to the shelf and love-handles would be.  I'm concerned that I will gain more visceral fat when I gain weight (inside, around the internal organs,) instead of the ideal (in my butt ;)).  Because I know there will always be periods when I gain weight.  Also, I wonder if one has to take in even fewer calories to maintain, since there will be less fat to maintain and, so, less overall body mass.  

It is unlikely I could afford lipo anyway, so it is more a pipe dream than anything else.  Will let you guys know how it went later :).

Mommy Makeover Revision Time!

Hello dear RealSelf friends!  I am happy to report that I have had my revision!  I made reviews for it--yes, two reviews--so I will link them here.  I decided to go for both the scar revision and the shelf-removal (via liposuction), and since I was going to be there, I had him do my knees as well.  These were all small things, but added up to great pain an hour ago :).  I have, however, taken one Vicodin, and things are considerably less painful now.  I may also be extremely happy, but that is because of the wonderful experience I had.  Unfortunately, as a Community Manager, I do not believe I am allowed to rate my doctor with the stars and stuff, but I had a magnificent experience with the actual procedures.  We have yet to see whether I have good results!

TwoPlusOne's Scar Revision Review

TwoPlusOne's Liposuction Review

I am currently in a very covering garment, so I'm not sure whether I'm going to bother with pictures until I can take the blasted thing off.  But they'll be in those reviews :D.

Revision, 6 days PO

6 Days Post Revision

Just thought I'd add a vid showing the current state of the revision I had done by a local doctor.  So far I think he has really added value, enhancing my results tremendously!

Did you guys see about the RealSelf iPhone 6 giveaway?

RealSelf is holding a giveaway (for which I am, sadly, not eligible,) of an iPhone 6!  All you have to do is upload a video to your review (or make a review and upload a video).  It has to be your own video, of course.  Doing video is super-easy now, too.  I've done it a lot and it's way easier than it used to be, if you've tried it in the past.

Here's a blurb about it.  

I hope all my ladies will enter!!!  Good luck!

Second Surgiversary!

So, I have been reminded that today is my two-year anniversary of the original mommy makeover!

Unfortunately, I had all four wisdom teeth out today, and they were impacted, so it was surgery for me.  I am exhausted, and on percocet.  

But I can say that I continue to be so grateful to have been able to have this surgery.  Since my revisions, my breasts look better than ever.  I have, of course, gained way too much weight, due to have not enough energy psychologically to maintain at my normally low weight and workout and everything.  Sometimes I just can't do it.  And now, with stuff going on with my children, additional surgery, and a major international move in a month-and-a-half, I'm about 7 pounds over my ideal weight at this point, (so I weigh about 134,) but I still look better than before, thanks to this surgery.  I can't imagine living with what I had before, anymore!  

As most of you know, I have had a revision, where my dog-ears were removed and some excess fat just above my incision-line was lipo'ed out (100 cc's), as well as having lipo done on my knees (that wasn't a revision, that was new, but also 100 cc's.)  I have recovered fully from that revision now, and am extremely pleased with those results as well.  The scarring will have to mature, of course, but they are nice, clean scars and I have every confidence that they will look as good as--or better than--my current scars.  I am still swelling a little from the lipo, but it is minimal, since the procedure was minimal.  Mostly, I am thick from the weight-gain, and also from building up my core something fierce :D.  Another thing I couldn't have done before this surgery, because of my diastasis.  I simply cannot express to you guys how positive this has been for my life.

That's it for now.  I'll post photos/videos once I'm up and about again.

Love and peace to you all, my RealSelf family!

Finally, the pics!

Okay, so here are some post-op 25 months pics.  My phone is too full to take a video and I can't download to my computer because there's something wrong with it.  So I can't even update my phone.  Grrrr!

Anyway, the new scars are healing per expectations and the old ones are better :).

Three years post-op!

Short update

I'm on my phone so this will necessarily be short. I've uploaded pics from this morning. The scars have all faded significantly. The worst are those under my breasts, on terms of aesthetics, but I'm still happy with my results. I've regained a small amount of sensation in my left breast but nothing additional on the right one. I'm up to around 140 I think but still look pretty good, thanks to the TT. When your belly doesn't pooch out it makes a huge difference. But back fat you can't get away from unless you lipo it, and I'm not willing to go there since who knows where it'll show up instead. My ass is now a great size so I'd like to keep it that way :D. I continue to eat healthily a nd work out a lot. I do heavy lifting several times per week, then throw in running and poling for variety in addition. I couldn't live without the weight training so I had to go back to that. Only thing of note is that when I wear clothing that cuts off circulation to my operated parts, they start itching a lot. Some bras and some pants. So you may notice something like that :D. Feel free to ask questions!

3.5 Years Post-Op with vid

4.5 months post-op
3.5 years! Just another short update.I look very different now because I'm around 14-15% body fat. I have no boobs now and, here's the kicker, YOU CAN SEE THE MESH AND STITCHES THROUGH MY SKIN! Not attractive, folks. The odds of anyone doing the 'ultimate tummy tuck' and then thinking of going very low body fat is pretty low, but if that's in your future, I would recommend getting a cleaner tuck and telling them your plans and that you don't want to be able to see suturing through your skin. Show them my vid as an example of what you don't want :-/.I'm still happy I did the surgery though and I look fantastic in the right bikini. Plus, I can work abs, which I couldn't pre-surgery. So, overall a win!Last edited by TwoPlusOne on May 13, 2016

Sorry, I'm actually 3.5 years post-op, not 4.5!

Mesh Outline
This is just a short vid showing the mesh line--since I wasn't super-clear about that last time. You can't actually see a mesh pattern through skin :).

Has it already been 4 years?!

4 Years Post-Op
Okay, it's not quite 4 years. Tomorrow is my fourth surgiversary, but I'll be busy, so I'm posting today instead!

I'm back up at a reasonable weight now, thanks to medication stopping my bleeding colon. I'm at about 120 lbs (5' 7.5" tall) so my results look really, really good, and I have breasts again! You can still see the stitch-line of the mesh through a little, but it's not as bad as when I was skinnier.

Another wonderful thing that happened this year, (a few months ago, actually,) is that I am no longer self-conscious about showing my scars. So I can wear lower-cut bikinis and workout clothes without worrying about that. So liberating!

You may notice some surgical tape in the vid. That's because I had a large cyst in my left breast. It was something called a galactocele, which means a milk cyst. Only the 'milk' was hard, so they couldn't just drain it, which is the most usual way of treating it. So I just had that surgically removed two weeks ago, and they used my old scar to go in there. It's still swollen and misshapen, so it's hard to know how that'll turn out.

I can't think of anything else to say right now, but as usual, I'm happy to answer questions. I'm still very pleased overall, and all of my complaints are nitpicky. I'm actually really grateful I went to Dr. Horndeski and got the results I got. Even the doctors and nurses here in Sweden who examined and operated on me me for my recent surgery said that my doctor did a great job and that my breasts looked fantastic. And they never even saw the 'before' pics!
Texas Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Horndeski here on this website and, despite some misgivings because of negative reviews and what looked like fake reviews, I gave them a call. Talking to the doctor allayed all my fears and I scheduled a date right away. I'm going to be blunt. This doctor is offering procedures no one else offers. The ultimate breast lift is proprietary and he hasn't taught it to anyone else. His tummy tuck procedure is also unique, as far as my research goes. While I was unconcerned about whether I'd have a vertical scar, the fact that this procedure does without will reassure many patients. For me, retention of nipple sensitivity and a FIRM result with upper pole fullness WITHOUT an implant were irresistible. The internal bra, however, is FANTASTIC. So far, my shape isn't settled yet, so they look fake, but even as they are, I'm extremely pleased with my result. As far as the TT goes, I'm happy with that too, but I can't stand up straight yet so it's not a fair test. I took off a couple of stars for wait times because we had to wait 20 minutes our first appointment day, and because we always have to wait, even when I was crying and in pain post-op. Five minutes feels like an hour in a waiting room when you're in pain, half delerious, and can barely breathe. I took off one star for aftercare because as on out of state patient, I won't be able to have follow-up visits that more local patients will get as part of the price. Finally, I took off one star for bedside manner just so that people will read my warning. Dr. H is an engineer. He is very friendly, but he talks like an engineer. He is focused, very sharp, (smart, not mean,) and very technical. I had no particular opinion about how my breasts should look, other than 'good', but if you do, bring pictures. He is not that great with sympathy, so bring someone who is if you can. I'm thinking specifically of the drain removal now. It was painful for me, and it was nice to hear sympathetic words from DH. My husband and I both have degrees in Computer Science and are very comfortable with engineer types. We found the doctor to be fun and reassuring. But even if you are a little put off at first, the results you can get with him might be worth a second interview. If you like the results pics you see. I'll try to continue to post updated pics as time goes on.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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