H 5'1/2" (156 cm)
W 113lb (51.3 kg).
H 5'1/2" (156 cm)
W 113lb (51.3 kg).
Band measurement 31" (78 cm).
BWD 11.5 cm.
IMPLANT Mentor CPG 323 345cc tear drop (anatomical), high profile.
When I was twelve, I asked Mum when I would need to wear a bra. She said "in a few months". 39 years later, I'm still flat chested. I learnt to wear clothes (button down shirt dresses) which suited the figure I have and never wore push up bras. Hence I don't have a bra size.
The thought of looking shapely in swimsuits and open neck tops is exciting. This is going to be like the beginner skier, who progressed from the nursery slopes and is now able to take the chair lift and explore new terrain.
Last week, I committed to a date and implant size. Being flat chested, I prefer tear drop (anatomical) shaped implants. I don't want the tennis ball look. With my breast width (11.5cm), I could manage either Mentor CPG 335cc or Mentor CPG 345cc. The 335cc has a more gentle slope because it is taller and wider. I chose 345cc because it has more projection. It's risky because it might lead to an obvious rise (or "fold") off my chest. My surgeon thought that either would suit my frame. I expect to fill a 34B (or 12B) cup.
Since last year, I used this site extensively for research. I hope this contribution helps current and future women to keep informed.
Implant size options for BWD 11.5cm
At first, the surgeon and I considered teardrop 325cc moderate plus profile. I wanted a little more projection but there is only so much we can accommodate beneath my tight breast skin. 345cc high profile was a little shorter but it had more upper pole fullness. The difference in volume is like a teaspoon. After comparing the two implant sizes, the surgeon considered 345cc looked better on me. The surgeon then said that I should not consider anything heavier e.g. 370cc.
I downloaded the catalogue of implants from Mentor to see what was available for my chest dimensions. Even if an implant seems right in terms of dimensions, it is imperative to test the implant in the surgeon's office to make sure it doesn't look wrong. Plastic surgery is part artistic and part technical.
After reading the very helpful 13 things to do or buy before your procedure" article, I gathered most things I need. I have two large V-shaped pillows for sleeping upright. I've been instructed to sleep upright for one week post op.
I ordered a front close
Scaraway silicone sheets: I won't be needing these until two weeks post op.
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is not evidence based medicine. Charging money for something that is almost diluted to nothing is one of the greatest swindles of our time.
Preparations underway (continued)
I intended to hit the "add more photos" button whilst I was still composing the above post. I hit the blue "submit" button before I finished the post.
Stuff I don't have yet:
Front closing bra: the surgeon supplies a bra but it's not front closing. I ordered a second one. The surgeon also provides a strap, which I have to wear for the first two weeks post op.
Two sleeps to go ...
I'm not sleeping well. I've been waking up at 5:00AM or earlier. I am anxious about what's going to happen. I would rather it happen now than later.
I created a MS-Excel worksheet showing what I can / cannot do on each day from the day of surgery. The columns are headed "wire free bra", "lifting heavy objects", "stabiliser" etc. There is one row for each date.
On the day of surgery, I will drive to the hospital in my own car. My brother will take the train and come to the hospital to collect me and drive me home. This means I won't have to book a taxi for 0600AM.
I've spent time reading the blogs of people, who have commented here (Many Thanks!) as well as people, with similar background to mine. This is such a welcoming and supportive place. This is a journey fraught with many uncertainties. Without this forum, I would probably die if I woke up with torpedo boobs.
Say goodbye to "breast friends"
I bought my "breast friends" about 20 years ago in a shop called Crazy Prices. They are soft and squishy and fill out a 10B (32B) bra. Unfortunately, the plastic coating caused my skin to itch. So I put them away and forgot about them.
I've been bra-less virtually all my life. Since I started researching BA, I put on the bra and wrapped the breast friends in hand tissues, to see if I could get used to that look. I am not used to reaching behind my back to fix the hook and eye thingy. I'm happy with the look but I wouldn't mind if they were a bit bigger.
It's now approaching 09:30PM in Sydney. I will be nil by mouth from midnight. At 07:00AM tomorrow, I will be admitting myself into hospital. See you on the other side.
3 hours post op - feeling groggy but okay
Thanks for all your kind messages! It's true. I worried a lot this week. I woke early today and arrived at the hospital 30 min early.
The procedure went well. All staff were caring and competent. I cannot remember anything between 0930 and 1125 this morning.
Dr Lim is awesome. Westmead private hospital is very comfortable and we'll resourced.
More later. I'm sleepy.
Day 0: is that really me?
1 Oct 2015
Day of treatment
Admitted at 0700. I watched family feud in the pre op ward.
At 0840ish, my surgeon marked my body with a purple pen. I was instructed to stand and relax so that he could make accurate markings. The implants seem to sit exactly in the lines he drew.
On the table after 0900. as the anaesthetist was administering the meds, I asked what he was giving. He said midazolam, fentanyl and propofol. If he said anything else, I did not hear him. I was out.
I woke up in recovery ward at 1125. They gave me a lot of saline when my BP dropped in theatremy bladder was full. I had to use bed pan. No pain.
Moved to a very nice private room at 1220. I requested and received iv antinausea med. ate a light lunch.
Brother arrived at 1500 and took a shower!!! since I'm paying $9k for this service, he thought he should use it.
He pushed my wheelchair to the carpark. I would have walked but he was happy to push the chair.
Anaesthetist gave me a script for ondansetron (anti nausea) as well as antibiotic and oxycodone. Told me to take ibuprofen if I cannot tolerate oxycodone.
I vomited in the carpark whilst waiting for my brother to walk his bike THROUGH the hospital to meet me in the carpark.
I had plastic bucket in my car but I didn't need it for the drive home. I took ondansetron after the vomiting.
At home, I sipped on some water and vomited an hour later. I feel heaps better after vomiting.
Here are some selfies taken in bed. My chest hurts but it's only around 3/10. It didn't hurt when I removed the bra and stabilising strap for these photos..
Post Op Day 1
Sleeping at a 45' angle involved stacking two V pillows and one regular pillow against the headboard of my bed.
I woke up with sharp pains across my chest. I could not get out of bed. I was like a beached whale. Lessons learnt: Sleep closer to the edge of the bed. Use feet to push, hips to roll and core muscles to sit up. I still have to lean a bit on my right elbow but it's not too bad.
My left arm hurts more than my right when I move it. I looked in the mirror and noticed a fair bit of bruising at the incision. I'm keeping an eye on it overnight because it was dripping a small amount of blood. No pus. It is a bit larger than the right but the surgeon told me that my right side was tight. He asked if I was right handed. I am. Pre-op, my right breast was always smaller than my left.
I will never be an opioid addict. The stuff makes me nauseous. I decided to take oxycodone this morning because my pain was sharp and continuous. I took my anti nausea medicine 15 minutes ahead of the oxycodone. Within 20 minutes, I felt quite ill and went to the toilet to prepare to chuck. It didn't happen. So I brushed my teeth and went back to bed. The nausea did not return.
I'm not allowed to shower until tomorrow. I took a bath instead. I wondered why no one on this forum mentioned a post op bath. It's because it's really difficult to lift yourself into and out of the bath tub without using arms for support! I had to roll onto my knees to get out of the tub and walk on my buttocks to reach the tap.
Day 3: Sunday 4 October 2015
BNO = bowels not opened
Today I brought out the big guns: processed bran, prunes, psyllium husk and I tripled my coloxyl dose. I managed a few facts and nothing more.
This is due to the opioid. I have not been able to cut down on opioid meds. I am now taking oxycodone twice daily and codeine (with paracetamol) four times per day.
I'm cleared for showers now but I now prefer the bathtub (No one said I could take a shallow bath. It didn't occur to me to ask.)
I found an ice pack to be very soothing. I want to use thle ice pack instead of the opioid. The pain is worse if I suddenly get up from an immobile state. Eg when I first get up from sleeping.
The gap between my breasts is now more pronounced. I think that's a sign of the swelling changing. They hurt most under the nipples on the armpit side. It's as if my skin is being ripped apart in those areas.
Post op day 4
Pleased to report my first post op bowel motion today. I am weaning off opioid meds (oxycodone, codeine).
Instead, I took diazepam 10mg (value) this morning and slept till lunchtime. I started ibuprofen. Strictly speaking, doctors do not recommend ibuprofen for post op use because of the risk of bleeding. My anaesthetist said I should only try it if I could not tolerate oxycodone. Oxycodone was always first choice.
I'm also continuing with processed bran, prunes (10 per day), psyllium husk (2 teaspoons twice a day) and coloxyl tablets (2 tabs three times per day)- all available from Woolworths. Oh and I drink plenty of water.
Post op Day 5
This has been the best day so far. I now have a routine. I wake up at around 7AM. There is no pain when I swing my legs off the bed. Pain usually starts if I move my arms too quickly or meet resistance. I take my morning meds (cephalexin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, coloxyl, vitamin C, Telfast (allergy) and cortical (calcium + Vit D).
Breakfast is processed bran, skim milk, 10 prunes follows by coloxyl 240 mg and two teaspoons of psyllium husk. (Psyllium husk is the active ingredient in metamucil but costs one third of the price).
For baseline pain management, I'm taking paracetamol (1g every six hours) and ibuprofen (400 mg every 8 hours). If it hurts in between these periods, I'll take an ice pack from the freezer and clamp it under my armpit.
My pain feels sharp and shooting in the lower outside edge below the nipple. i.e. below nipple and near the armpit. It feels as if my muscle is being torn. However, according to breezier's review, her doctor advised it is nerve regeneration occurring over an area of numbness. Indeed my skin is numb over those areas.
Bowels have been good. It's like Bristol type 1 at the moment (refer to attached chart).
My breasts still look like Frankenboobs but I'm confident they'll look fantastic when they drop - in three months' time. I'm planning a ski trip in January 2016. No one can see them under a ski jacket but I need to have full use of my arms by that time.
Pain management regime - remaining opioid free
To avoid addiction and constipation, I have stopped paracetamol+codeine (panadeine) and oxycodone (endone). I am now using:
Baseline pain control:
paracetamol (tylenol, panadol) 100 mg four times per day
Ibuprofen (advil, nurofen) 400 mg three times per day
Breakthrough pain control:
diazepam ( valium): 10 mg daily
ice pack clamped under my armpit. Be careful not to let it in contact with bare skin.
Post Op Day 6 - how to conquer constipation
Breasts are now less swollen. The gap in the middle is a little wider now. I remember just after surgery, it felt like a finger width gap. Now it's almost two finger widths. Upper pole still looks like a brick. I'm patient. I can wait for them to drop.
I'm very happy with the size I chose. We originally considered 300-330cc but Dr Lim could tell by the look on my face that I wasn't happy with 330cc. However, he would not consider going to 370cc.
For the first time since the operation, I got dressed and travelled into the city with my Mum for lunch. Mum combed my hair and tied a pony tail for me. When she finished, she tickled my underarms and made me laugh. She doesn't know about this surgery. She thought I was wearing a padded bra. When she tickled me, she said cheekily "You've got something! They're too big!" Now I remember why I never got into the habit of wearing a padded bra.
Today was almost pain free. I had my usual "breakfast" of cephalexin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, coloxyl and prunes and psyllium husk. I brought my pain meds and antibiotic with me but I forgot to take them at the restaurant.
When I arrived home, I reached for something and felt a twinge of pain in right breast. Gentle rubbing relieved the pain. No ice required.
Bowels opened twice today: Bristol type 2 (mild constipation). There is still a lot of foul flatulence. It's so foul, I have to go outside. Yesterday, Westmead Private Hospital called for feedback and to find out how I was going. I told them the stool was stuck in my anus like it was crowning at birth. They explained that opioid can make the stool feel like concrete. Now they tell me!
I didn't dare tell the hospital that my brother used the shower and wheeled his bike through their atrium. I might want to go back for liposuction one day.
Post Op Day 7: a look back on a tumultuous week!
I thank all the Real Self contributors for their contributions. Before joining this site, I had no idea about getting things together before the surgery, dealing with pain, nausea, constipation, getting dressed and waiting months for the breasts to "drop and fluff".
I've tried to make my review sound less like an "it's my time!" war cry and be informative.
Here comes the preachy commentary. Our motivations for surgery are not the same. People in my age group (50+) are largely sick and tired of being flat chested and having limited options in the dress shops. Granted we've saved a fortune on fancy gowns and lingerie over the years. Now we can use those savings to get a sense of what it's like to be a woman. As much as we say we want to stay natural and not look like porn stars, breasts are an important part of our sexuality. It's awkward to explain to casual acquaintances that I'd like to get breast augmentation surgery because it will make me feel a more sexy. So we do it in other ways: we wear short skirts, backless dresses, high heels, painted fingernails, smoked eyeshadow and visit the hairdresser often. Breast augmentation is not so subtle. It's like making a public broadcast with a megaphone: I want to look hot and sexy (once in a while).
Fortunately there are as many variations of sexy as there are breast implant models on the market. Whatever size we end up choosing, it will be the right one for the look we want to project in pubic and private places.
End of preachy commentary
How I coped with pain this week
The first three days were the most difficult. I had to get used to sleeping at a 45' angle. I arranged two V pillows and a normal pillow. I was nauseous from the opioids. I had to take a lot of analgesia to control the sharp shooting pains in the numb areas of my breasts.
When I noticed I hadn't had a bowel movement since before the operation, I ceased the opioids and increased my fibre (bran and psyllium husk) and stool softener (coloxyl) intake.
For reaching with my arms, I had to be creative. I used a foot stool to reach things in high places (cupboards, microwave oven). I also used the foot stool to avoid heavy lifting (hot water kettle) or raising my arms (to wash dishes). That Chinese backscratcher thing is brilliant. I can reach things and scratch my face and back.
I had to do everything slowly. Any vigorous movements (even hand washing) had to be done slowly so as not to disturb my overstretched pectoral muscles. I bent forward at the hips to avoid over reaching.
I am not permitted to raise my hands over my heads for two weeks. In order to tie my hair into a pony tail, I bent over as if to touch my toes so that I can reach my hair without raising my hands over my head. I used the same strategy in the shower to wash my hair. To put on a t-shirt (or non front button garment), I put my arms into the sleeves first. Pushed the garment over my shoulders. Then I popped my head through somehow. This only works with loose fitting oversized t-shirts. I developed the skill of flicking my bath towel over my head in order to wipe my back dry after a shower.
I've been wearing the same front closing surgical bra and big ugly white strap (as supplied by my surgeon) 24 x 7. In the early days, I was in so much pain, I released the bra and strap for up to an hour. I don't have to do that now. The pain is so well managed that I only use paracetamol (1mg four times per day) and valium (10mg at night) and ice packs for breakthrough pain.
I also found that gently stroking the hurting area is very soothing. Sometimes I even say something soothing like "there there, inferolateral pectoral muscle. You've got a new friend moving in with you. It's called Mentor CPG 323 345cc teardrop stable form implant. You two are going to get along just fine if you make a little room for them". If inferolateral pectoral muscle could respond, it's probably saying: "bugger off. I was quite happy lying flat across your chest for the past 51 years. I don't like sharing with this lump."
In bed, I slept near the edge to make it easier to get out. It was easier to land my bottom as close to the base of my pillow cascade. Otherwise I would be walking backwards with my butt to ensure that I slept semi upright.
Be willing to use your feet to kick away the sheets or kick things across the floor. Those sharp shooting pains quickly remind what is too heavy to lift with my arms. Be careful when sitting down. If I happen to sit on a part of my clothes and I try to pull it away ... instant zinger in my breast.
Post Op Day 8 - each day is a little better than yesterday
I woke up at 05:00AM with a sharp pain in my left breast. Maybe I shouldn't have fallen asleep with ice packs under my armpits.
Pre Op bust measurement: 78cm
Post Op bust measurement: 90cm
Waist: 84cm due to bloating and fat
Today's photos were taken after my daily shower. There is a nice shot of my toilet in one of them.
Pain: 2/10. Occasional zingers. I decided to apply a cooling plaster I purchased in an Asian grocery store. I previously said I'm against non evidence based therapies but these things feel cold on my skin. Still taking paracetamol and ibuprofen (not full daily dose).
Bowels: Bristol type 3-4 (normal)
I am allowed to sleep on my back now but the semi-upright position feels good. During the night, I slide into horizontal anyway.
Tomorrow, I get behind the steering wheel of my car for the first time!
My first post op review is on day 11.
Post Op Day 9: first day driving
Breast shape has changed from day 0 but there is still more "dropping" to happen. I occasionally feel a gurgling / rumbling sensation in my left breast. It doesn't hurt. The cooling plasters felt nice on my skin. I was mostly pain free today. I took paracetamol 1g x 3 and ibuprofen 400mg x 2. I ceased coloxyl.
I go to bed semi-upright and I awaken semi-horizontal.
Driving (first time) was easy. I was extra careful about lifting my heavy bag in and out of the car.
I still need to be careful about over-reaching for things. I use my foot stool for high things and to reach the microwave oven. I'm not ready for any vigorous house cleaning activity (vacuuming, scrubbing).
That bruising in my right hip is still a mystery to me!
Post Op Day 10: being normal, whatever that is
I drove to church today without taking my morning pain meds and during the service, I could feel increasing pain in my breasts. I can wear t-shirts and closed front tops but I have to be very gentle when pulling clothes over my head. I always take my pain meds 20 minutes before taking a shower. I've been sneezing today. It really grabs me in the sternum. Being right handed, I feel strange twinges of pain in my right breast when I use the computer mouse. It helps to rest my right elbow on my neck pillow.
Tomorrow I attend jury duty in the Sydney CBD. I'm also required to see my surgeon for my first post op review. Since I can't be in two places at the same time, I'm hoping that the court will let me off for the day or discharge me from jury duty altogether.
I have heard other women say that breast augmentation was a boost to their confidence. I felt that confidence boost yesterday and today. As I was in the public milieu, I couldn't help having a smile on my face. Even though my breasts are covered right up to the collarbone, it felt great knowing that I NOW have breasts!
It is the same feeling I had when I was promoted from an ungraded public service position to a Grade 1 position. It was a pay rise from $18K to $20K and it felt so good. I remember holding my head up high and thinking "I've made it!". It was a major milestone in my life.
For a woman, developing breasts is a major milestone. Breasts are in the anatomy textbooks and we learn about them in puberty classes. It's all part of the package: acne, body hair, menstruation and … breasts. We were never told: "just in case you still look like a boy, it's perfectly normal". I wish we were told this and not left with a fixed idea of what is normal and not normal.
Being flat chested meant that the lingerie / brassiere department was off limits to me. Earlier this year, when I was contemplating surgery, I wandered into the bra section of David Jones. There is an entire floor devoted to bras! I tiptoed through the area, hoping not to be noticed for my flat chest. I was expecting the Cantina scene from Star Wars, where the bar tender points to the droids and tells Luke Skywalker "Hey! We don't serve their kind here!"
More than anything, I want the feeling of being normal. Last year, I had laser eye surgery for astigmatism. I was simultaneously short sighted and long sighted. I wore glasses for reading / driving / everything. (Astigmatism was good in a way because I could never see the dirt in my house.) Just before the procedure, the ophthalmologist said that my vision would be like that of a normal person. When I heard the word "normal", I surprised myself by how good I felt.
Post Op Day 11: first post op review with Dr Lim
Dr Lim noted that my breasts are still swollen and that there is bruising. He explained that the fullness in the upper pole was due to swelling of my pectoralis major muscle. Beneath it is the pointy part of my tear drop implant. Over time, the muscle will relax and the swelling will subside. Likewise, thelower pole will become more full and soften after the muscle relaxes.
Dr Lim's nurse trimmed the stern strips at the extremities. There are no sutures to removed. Dr Lim's suturing technique is invisible.
I gave them consent to publish photos of my transformation on their web site. They're good people. They are professional, friendly and have been very accommodating to me. I'm very glad I entrusted Dr Lim to do my surgery.
From day 14, I am permitted to raise my arms above my head. I should remove the steri strips and apply bio oil to the incision. I can choose not to wear the big ugly strap under my collarbone. I can wear sports bras (wire free). I should not go running, lift heavy things. Walking is good. Listen to my body: if it hurts, don't do it.
I visited Myer and tried on a few wireless bras. The most comfortable were the Sass and Bide and Stella McCartney bras. The silliest was the Heidi Klum balconette bra. I'm really surprised by how much bras cost.
Post Op Day 13: cruisin' for a bruisin'
I have been taking a high dose of fish oil capsules for more than one year. I ceased taking them about three weeks before surgery. Like aspirin and warfarin, fish oil can result in bruising. Hence the surgeons want these drugs stopped at least two weeks before surgery. Ibuprofen should be avoided before and after surgery for the same reason. Therefore, I wasn't surprised to find bruising around my breasts and even at the cannula site.
I started taking regular ibuprofen when I stopped the oxycodone. Oxycodone was making me nauseous and I was keen to cease the opioid.
Today I noticed new bruising above both incisions. My breasts are always more tender at the outer and lower edges. I wonder if I over exerted myself. I pushed the wheelie bins to the front of my house and I had to carry a couple of heavy shopping bags today. I'd been feeling more pain today than yesterday. It was a stinging pain.
I also purchased a couple of sensibly priced (AU$12) crop tops at Big W.
Post Op Day 14
Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and advice. It's also been satisfying for me to follow your individual journeys. Whether you are ahead of me or more recently augmented, I can learn a lot from your experiences.
The second week passed more quickly than the first! Obviously, the pain and swelling have eased. The nausea and constipation are long forgotten. I still sleep semi-upright because it feels comfortable.
I tried to upload photos yesterday to show the bruising but sometimes RealSelf does not want to upload my photos.
I bruise easily because I took ibuprofen for the whole of August (plus fish oil for a year). I took ibuprofen and fish oil to counter knee inflammation during my ski trip in August. I ceased both drugs in September but with a surgery date of 1 October, that wasn't enough to avoid the bruising.
From day 14, I am cleared to remove the steri strips, start applying vitamin E (or bio oil) to the incisions, raise my arms above my head, wear sports crop tops (wire free) and not wear the big ugly strap. I'm happy to continue wearing the strap, if it helps to reduce the swelling. It is hidden beneath my t-shirt and causes no discomfort.
Post Op Day 15: knocking into things with my knockers
Does anyone find it easy to bump into furniture with their new breasts? My spatial awareness has not adapted yet. Every time I sit down for breakfast, I knock into the table. A couple of times, I have hit a cupboard door or door frame.
My overbust measurement was 87.5cm when I woke up this morning. It swelled to 90cm this afternoon. I went into the city again today. I'm still looking askance at other women's breasts.
Sensation around incision and nipple area is gradually improving. Nipple sensation was present a few days post op. Areas of numbness in the lower poles of both breasts remain. I never had severe morning boob. Perhaps sleeping upright helped a lot. The zingers (sharp shooting pains that come from effort in my arms) are rare now. Sometimes I feel a stinging pain centred at the nipples. I place an ice pack on my chest when I go to bed. I don't use an ice pack during the day.
I checked the bruising around the incisions as soon as I got up this morning. It looks much better in the morning light than under artificial light. In fact, I can see an outline of green to indicate that the red blood cells are breaking down. It is not new bleeding. If it spreads, swells or starts to hurt a lot, I'll call Dr Lim's rooms. The bruising around the cannula site and right hip are fading.
Until today, I wore a combine dressing over the nipple and incision area. Now that I'm smearing Vitamin E cream on the incisions, I decided to cover the nipples with ordinary hand tissue because hand tissues are cheaper to replace daily. I cover the nipples because they are sensitive when in contact with the bra fabric. They're not used to being pushed against anything.
Post Op Day 16: scars and bruises
I've been waking up in the middle of the night feeling hot and almost sweaty. I am always tired in the afternoon. This has put me out of my daily routine.
The right breast is not falling as quickly as the left. I am right handed. I suspect my right pectoralis major is smaller on the right because my right foot always feels looser in my shoe. It could take up to three months to get an idea of the final look. I have to be patient.
The incisions felt like rope when I first removed the steri strips last Thursday. Someone with similar looking scars raised a question to the doctors on RealSelf. Apparently it is normal for scars to look like that in the beginning because the collagen is thicker than usual when it is healing. It takes time (months) to become smooth.
The bruises, which appeared above the incisions continue to turn green and yellow. The mystery bruise on my right hip is almost gone. The bruise from the cannula is completely gone.
Post Op Day 18: petroleum jelly (vaseline) on my scars
After waking up at in the middle of night feeling hot, I am now sleeping nude except for the bra and strap. I'm also napping for an hour or so before dinner.
The asymmetry is still noticeable. Righty still looks square shaped. It's as if it's one week behind lefty. The bruising on the right was more severe but it is fading.
I was reading about the efficacy of Vitamin E cream for scars. A couple of doctors have suggested that the scar would have improved with the passage of time irrespective of whether vitamin E cream was used. Whenever I read these articles, there is always a mass of comments from people, who have used Vitamin E and attest to its efficacy.
Anecdotal evidence is not proof that anything works. It's merely expressing the opinion of a friend of a friend, who could be telling the truth but it is just a story.
A more credible test would involve gathering, say, 1000 patients, each with similar characteristics (e.g. age, sex, race) and the same scar to treat. 500 of the patients would apply a non-effective cream (placebo). The other 500 would apply the vitamin E cream. The cream used by both groups would look and feel the same so no one would know which substance they had. They would not be allowed the treat the scar with something else because this could mess up the results. Researchers would then compare the results after one month, 3 months, 6 months etc.
I don't think many people realise that anecdotal evidence does not stack up against a well set up trial.
Dermatologists suggest that the key to healing is to keep the wound moist. Silicone strips are really good for keeping the wound moist. Alternately, petroleum jelly (vaseline) could also keep the wound moist.
My vitamin E cream gets absorbed quite readily into the skin. The wound does not stay moist for long. From today, I'll give petroleum jelly a go. I use petroleum jelly on my lips every night to prevent cracking. They're still soft and moist the following morning. These photos were taken after I smeared petroleum jelly on the scars about 7 hours earlier.
Post Op Day 19: learning about bra fitting
My mother was walking past my bathroom window when I was doing my daily selfies. She didn't look inside. I turned away. She still thinks I'm wearing a padded bra. She smiles at me in this weird way as if she knows my secret.
I discovered there are web sites explaining how to get fitted for the right bra. I thought it was simply a matter of measuring the rib cage (under bust) and then measuring the fullest part of the breast (overbust) and looking up the corresponding size in a bra sizing matrix. Being a person, who loves charts, I took this approach and decided I'm around 12B.
Apparently, I still have to go and put the bra on and check a few parameters:
1. Check whether the thing in the middle, known as "gore", sits flat on my sternum. For me, I've noticed it's always raised. That means I should either choose a smaller band or a bigger cup - irrespective of what the matrix says.
2. Check whether the underwire is cutting into the flesh of my breast on the sides as well as below. The bottom of the breast should be at last 1/4 inch ABOVE the top of the underwire. Otherwise it's going to be painful.
3. Check whether there is breast flesh spilling over the top of the cup. This also indicates too small a cup and results in "double boob". A wrinkly folded cup may be too big.
4. The height of the band at the back should be checked. If it's too high or too low, then it is too loose. If the band moves when you raise your arms in the air and dance around, then it's too loose.
5. The straps have to be adjusted so that they only carry 10% of the weight of the breasts. The band should be doing 90% of the carrying.
I'm not sure if posting web links is allowed. Here is the web site (Fry, Sauce and Grits) where all this info is sourced: http://frysauceandgrits.com/2013/08/bras-guide-how-they-should-and-shouldnt.html
Post Op Day 20: bra cup size without specifying band size is meaningless
I could not help noticing some people claim they went from A cup to D cup without specifying the band size. Unless we are all using the same band size, that information is meaningless.
I found this explanation and chart from the Natori web site: [i]It is important to remember that the band size and cup size of a bra always work together. A 'DD' cup size is not always a larger cup capacity than a 'D' cup - it depends on the band size. For example, a 34B cup size is the same cup capacity as a 32C and a 36A - the only thing that is different is the band size. If one finds a 34B the right cup but looser in bra band, then 32C would fit her better, or if one finds a 34B the right cup but too tight on the bra band, then she should try 36A.[/i]
Post Op Day 21: three week anniversary
Pain is now tolerable. 1/10. It feels worse at the sides. It is a stinging pain. I think this is where the muscle / skin have stretched the most. I am only taking ibuprofen now. I am not concerned about the possibility of bruising. The existing bruises have faded greatly over the past seven days.
At three weeks, I am permitted to lift heavier things (e.g. shopping bags) and small children. I am wearing either sports crop top or the surgical bra 24/7 until my next follow up appointment (6 weeks post op). I am choosing to wear the strap because the right breast is still high.
Post Op Day 23
I'm pleased that the bruising and incisions are looking better. The right breast also appears to be dropping.
I am now able to hang washing above my head. Previously, I was using the portable clothes line because it did not force me to raise my arms over my head.
I'm planning to write a detailed doctor review this week. In Sydney, there seems to be a price cutting war for breast augmentations. I have read that people fly from Melbourne to Sydney for their breast augmentations. I am very happy with Dr Jake Lim and his team. They are professional, courteous and highly skilled. There are many reviews for Dr Lim but few as lengthy as mine.
Post Op Day 26: scars are becoming smooth
When reading the October breast augmentation forum, I am surprised to see other patients ask when they should start massaging, sleeping on their backs, how much pain medication everyone else is taking etc. That sort of information should have been provided by their surgeon.
Every surgeon has their own protocol. It is not appropriate for me to outline my surgeon's protocol for another patient. It might be entirely inappropriate for them.
After my first consultation, Dr Lim's office gave me a folder with several A4 pages of notes including instructions before and after surgery. I read it many times before the surgery. Supplemented with what I read on RealSelf, I felt very prepared.
Over the past two days, I noticed my incision scars do not feel thick. I had to look in the mirror to make sure I was rubbing the vitamin E cream and petroleum jelly on them. Previously I could just feel for the rope-like scar by touch. I spend a couple of minutes rubbing Vitamin E cream onto the scars. Then I smear a thick layer of petroleum jelly over them. Before lowering my crop top, I place a couple of folded hand tissues (one on each scar) just to protect the fabric of my crop top. The goal is to keep the incision area moist to promote healing.
Post Op Day 27
Stretching: I find extending my arms to the sides and externally rotating my arms - so that the thumbs are pointing behind me (like a hitchhiker) - feels nice.
I went to the hairdresser today for a long needed overhaul. I don't normally care much about my appearance. I am the opposite of a fashionista. I dress for comfort: elasticised waists and running shoes. Now that I have the new breasts, I started browsing through clothing catalogues and thinking "I can wear that now!"
Post Op Day 28: 12C / 10D
I went to Big W to try on bras again. Following the guide I found on my "post op day 19" post, I feel most comfortable in 12C. The wire goes right around the whole breast and almost ends in my armpit. I don't feel tightness in the bottom of the cup. The cups don't wrinkle. 10D cups also feel comfortable but the band is so tight that bra roll is really visible. The gore sits just above the skin in both band sizes.
The breasts are feeling softer and more fuller in the lower pole. Righty is still high because the muscle is tight. I noticed that it is difficult to stretch my right hand and thumb because I use the computer mouse too much (right handed).
I am still taking ibuprofen twice daily but I should cease it this weekend. It only hurts if I touch the outside edges of my breasts. So I don't touch them.
Post Op Day 29: finding the best clothes for our body shape - Imogen Lambert
It is frustrating to buy expensive clothes which look good on someone else but don't look good on me. Since I already thought there was something wrong with me for being flat chested, it never occurred to me that I lacked knowledge of what my body shape was and what I should wear with it.
I found a blog, which explains the different body shapes and how best to dress for them. It's written by Imogen Lambert: http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/2008/09/body-shapes-explained-v-shape-inverted-triangle.html
My body shape is "inverted V": wide shoulders, narrow hips. I also qualify for the "H" shape because I have a short waist. When there is very little gap between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the pelvic bone, that is a short waist. Short waisted people should not try to achieve an hour glass figure because we're not tall in our torso. We also can not display a "six pack" of well developed abdominal muscles for the same reason.
Ms Lambert's advice is to wear clothes which draw attention above the waist or below the hips. Ornaments around the waist like belts and any detailing will draw attention to the least appealing part of my figure and therefore should be avoided. Armed with this knowledge, I now know why I always remove the belt from any dress I own.
I found Ms Lambert's explanations simple to understand. I'm motivated to revamp the wardrobe after my implants have dropped.
Post Op Day 30: Confronted by my Mother
Today I had lunch with Mum. Mum has short term memory loss because she's ageing. A lot of people say she's a bit of a character. As I got up to leave, she said "Excuse me. Your breasts have become big. It's good. You're young. You went to a doctor to make them bigger. My mother and I did not have any. Look. I'll show you."
Before I could respond to this barrage of words, Mum unbuttoned her shirt to prove that she indeed had flat saggy breasts.
I'm glad we got that conversation out of the way.
She makes breast augmentation sound as simple as a trip to the hairdresser: "I'm going to get a boob job this morning. I'll pick up some milk on the way home."
Post Op Day 33: hot flashes
From about the second week post op, I've been feeling hot flashes. I am in the age range for menopause but I had my last period in September. I have never had hot flashes before the surgery. Without warning, my face suddenly feels warm. It subsides when I remove a piece of clothing. Sometimes at night, I get very warm. If I undress, the hot feeling subsides quickly.
Right breast is still higher than left. I stopped wearing my velcro strap a few days ago but I've decided to resume wearing it.
Scars are feeling softer.
Post Op Day 35: comparison photos
Today is actually day 38. I take photos every day and these are from day 35. It's all going well. Mum continues to be bemused by my breasts. She asked me if the doctor used a needle to put something in there. I'm glad she was not my surgeon.
Hot flashes intensify when I either think about hot flashes or feel a little anxious about something. It subsides very quickly - within one minute. Yesterday I was at the Japanese Festival in Sydney's Darling Harbour and never felt hot flashes. Maybe I need to keep moving around?
Compared with day 28, the right breast seems to have dropped a little. I have my next post op follow up appointment this Friday.
I wear a sports crop top at night with the velcro strap. During the day, I wear the surgical bra and wear the velcro strap only if I am wearing a high collar (t-shirt, sweatshirt etc). I put lots of vitamin E cream and petroleum jelly on the incisions with the aim of keeping the incisions moist. I also stretch my arms by extending them to the sides like aeroplane wings.
Post Op day 43: follow up with Dr Jake Lim at Parramatta (Sydney)
Dr Lim asked about nipple sensation and I confirmed there was no problem there. However, the areas below the nipple and to the sides (underarm side) were numb. He said that the area of numbness will slowly diminish but there may always be a small area of numbness around the incision, where some nerves were cut.
Dr Lim was happy with the way my incisions were healing. It could take three months (or longer) for the incisions to soften. He mentioned that Asian people have darker incision scars at this stage. I told him that I put vitamin E cream and petroleum jelly on them to keep them moist. When I removed my bra, I exposed the tissue pads, which I use to protect my bra from petroleum jelly stains. The right incision feels quite firm because the dissolvable stitches below the skin are still there.
Dr Lim took some photos for his records. He showed Mum a sample of the implant. She lined it up against her own breast. The implant feels heavier when it is held in my hand than when it is inside my body. It is quite soft and wobbly.
Mum noticed that I was bigger at the top of my right breast. Dr Lim said that my right pectoralis major muscle is a lot more developed. He looked at my pre-op photo and noted that my right pectoralis major was obviously bigger at that time. Dr Lim assured Mum that it was muscle, not implant. I use the computer mouse a lot.
I am cleared for wearing underwire bras. I am not to over-exert myself with arm movements. I will see him again in six months for my next follow up appointment.
I asked Dr Lim if I would be a candidate for abdominal liposuction. He didn't think so because my subcutaneous fat layer was not very thick. If I had liposuction, the skin would be a lot thinner but it would probably hang over the front and I wouldn't be satisfied with the result. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) would be suitable for patients with bigger bellies.
At the end of the consultation, Mum asked Dr Lim the politically incorrect "where do you come from?" question.
Post Op Day 53: hot flashes are gone
Between weeks six and seven, the hot flashes became less frequent. I googled the hot flashes issue and learnt that other patients stopped getting them after about week six. The only changes I made at that time were to reduce my ibuprofen intake and not wear the strap 24 hours per day. I ceased ibuprofen altogether now.
The skin in the lower poles feel tight when I wake up in the morning. There is not much change in nipple sensation or numbness in the skin (below nipples bilaterally and on the underarm side of the right breast). The sharp pain on the underarm side of my right breast is almost gone and it only hurt when I push my fingers into that area. The skin on the incision scars is smooth. Beneath the skin, there are dissolvable stitches and I can feel them.
I bought a bottle of Bio Oil on the weekend and started applying it to the scars twice daily. It smells nice. I haven't been going bra less when I'm at home. When the scars feel dry, I apply a bit more vitamin E cream or Bio Oil - whatever is nearest.
Post Op Day 61: 2 months
There is no correct bra size because it varies between bra manufacturers. If I were to get measured at a bra shop, I would use that size as a starting point and try on the next size up or the next size down until I found the most comfortable size.
I have two sports bras, both Triumph Tri Action. One is a size 12B. The other is a size 12C. The 12B feels tighter but I am comfortable in it. I have been wearing 12B all day today because 12C is in the wash. I also have a Bonds Slinky 12D, which felt more comfortable than the 12C.
I added a a photo of the Bio Oil, which I started using about a week ago. I apply vitamin E cream and Bio Oil first thing in the morning, after shower and just before going to sleep.
I am still wearing the velcro strap overnight. Sometimes I wear the surgical bra overnight to protect my nipples from rubbing against the bed sheets.
Post Op Day 74: ten weeks and a bit
15 Dec 2015
2 months post
I was hoping to take photos on the 10 week (day 70) anniversary but I was sick with a cold last week. Anyway, day 37 / day 74 comparison photos are rare on this web site. The upper pole fullness is continuing to shift on both sides. Righty is starting to feel softer. The numbness in both lower poles and the armpit side of righty is still there. Tonight I scratched righty with my fingernail and could feel a hint of sharp sensation.
I am telling myself to stop vacillating over the asymmetry. I was disappointed about not looking like a supermodel. When I first went on this BA journey, I thought I would end up looking like a supermodel. The reality is "there are about 3.5 billion women on the planet and only eight of them look like supermodels". I'm 50+ for goodness' sake! I'm also too short and I enjoy eating food.
I am continuing to apply either Vitamin E cream or Bio Oil after my evening shower and as soon as I awaken in the morning. I am not using petroleum jelly any more. I also haven't worn the strap for about a week.
Post Op Day 88: twelve weeks and now sleeping on my side
28 Dec 2015
2 months post
I finally get to roll over in bed! My surgeon's protocol required me to NOT sleep on my back for twelve weeks.
Here are comparison photos - three weeks apart. I can see the thick part at the top of my right breast appear less prominent over time.
I stopped wearing the strap two weeks ago because righty has dropped enough. These days, I'm trying not to over-analyse and over-think about it. They're sisters - not twins. In my case they're big sister and little sister.
There is no pain from the stretched breast tissue or skin. The nipples are still easily irritated. At night, I want to wear something close fitting (surgical bra or singlet) to protect them from rubbing against night clothes.
I caught up with my extended family over Christmas. No one mentioned how I look. I am still wearing the same clothes I had before surgery: loose fitting tops / t-shirts with high necklines. They were intended to mask the flat chest. Now they're masking the enhanced chest.
Last week, I went for a 6 minute run, wearing a Triumph Triaction sports bra (12C). I don't know if this product is available outside Australia. I was comfortable and the breasts did not bounce or feel heavy. I didn't even think about the effect of running on my breasts until about one minute into the run.
Post Op Day 96: 3 months
The doctor's questions and answers pages suggest that a patient needs to wait at least three months to see the 95% of the final result.
The breasts continue to soften. They are still not as soft as my belly fat. I cannot dig my fingers into them and squeeze. A bit of cleavage is forming. This is surprising because one of the surgeons I met said that the breasts would have a gap. It is better to be forewarned and pleasantly surprised later. The numbness on my skin is starting to diminish.
When I'm topless, I have looked in the mirror and wondered if I went too big. I can fit into either 12C or 12D (34C or 34D) cup. The C cup is very snug and there is more exposed breast. The D cup has more coverage. I always check that the underwire and gore are actually against my rib cage and not pressing on the sides of the breasts.
I read on this web site that 100-150cc would add about one bra size cup. Since I was a AA, I calculated that the first 150cc would fill an A cup and the second 150cc would fill a B cup and there was 45cc more. It is a surprise to me that my bra size is somewhere around 12C / 12D.
Under clothes, my breasts do not look huge or overwhelming. Before surgery, I thought they might get in the way and I'll have to lift my arms around them. This has not happened.
My tub of vitamin E cream is now empty. The incision scars are still highly visible. It is a concern because I am travelling to Japan this week. Japanese public hot baths, known as onsen, require everyone to be naked. Men and women are segregated. To be honest, I'm not ready to expose my tell-tale BA scars to an unsuspecting public. It could be embarrassing for me as well as them.
I went running last week with a sports tank top and in-built shelf. I won't be doing that again. I need the support of the sports bra. It didn't bounce a lot but I could feel a dragging sensation. I feel a similar dragging sensation when I lay on my side. I now prefer to sleep on my back. I might even go back to wearing the surgical bra at night.
Post Op Day 115: greetings from Japan (16 weeks post op)
24 Jan 2016
3 months post
The first thing you will notice about these photos is that they're not in my bathroom. I am posting in Japan whilst enjoying a ski holiday.
Skiing and breast implants
No problems at all. I have not noticed the silicone making me feel colder. It is cold here. -10'Celsius. If you dress warmly, it's fine. I wear the Triumph TriAction (sports) bra when skiing. Today I was skiing over bumps and propelling all over the place. There is no bouncing of the breasts. I've also worn the wireless sports crop top. That was comfortable too.
Numbness is still there on both breasts. Underneath the left breast. Underneath and to the armpit side of the right breast. It seems to be receding. Sometimes I think I can feel something when I scratch my skin. Overall, it still feels like I'm wearing a padded bra. Sometimes I wear the sports crop top at night to protect the nipples from rubbing against my night clothes.
Softness / Squishiness
They are getting softer. Left is more soft. I'm right handed. The right side feels more like rubber. I can give them a gentle squeeze. I couldn't massage them like dough. I do not really want to try that anyway.
I finished my Vitamin E cream at New Year. Although I am not required to to any more scar treatment, I still have my bottle of Bio Oil. I apply that every morning. The ridge / rope-like feeling is almost gone from the incision sites.
If I've anything that I have neglected to mention, please ask.
Post Op Day 147: what other people think about breast implants (21 weeks post op)
24 Feb 2016
4 months post
Skin sensation is gradually returning. When I put my cold hand on my skin, the area above the incision feels cold but not as cold as the skin area below the incision. I have not noticed much change in nipple sensation. It may only be a subtle change. I can feel them being moved or rubbed up against clothing.
Recently, I read other BA patients comment about the possibility of being ridiculed for undergoing BA. Pibgorn mentioned a Facebook entry about how to tell if someone has breast implants. I would like to post a Facebook entry on how to tell if someone doesn't have a life. The first point would be about people, who need to ridicule people.
When I was in the onsen, I thought I heard the word "scar"' in a loud whisper but I could have been imagining it. Being previously flat chested, we're in a no-win situation. If we're flat-chested, people pity us. If we get breast implants, people shame us. It's impossible to win. Therefore, don't think about what other people think. It's none of their business. As a friend told me "Don't let other people occupy your mind rent free!"
Attached are comparison photos (7 weeks, 14 weeks, 21 weeks).
Post Op Day 189: six months and one week
Back in Australia now. Thanks very much for your positive comments to my previous post.
Single shot photos: day 189
Comparison photos: day 14 post op (just after removing the steri strips) and day 183 (six months).
Sensation is gradually improving. If I scratch my skin, I can feel the irritation on the right side of my right nipple. Previously, that area was dead numb. I remember being told it could take a year for sensation to return. I can feel the nipples when they're moved but not touched.
I'm pleased with the way the scars are going too. I still have some Bio Oil remaining in the bottle. I'll continue to apply it until the bottle is empty. I had some cryotherapy to remove sunspots from my skin about 2-1/2 years ago. Those were visible for longer than one year, but they're gone now. I expect the incision scars to take a couple of years to fade. Asian skin.
The left side feels softer and easier to squeeze than the right. I can carry much heavier things with my right hand. I also think the left has dropped a little more but it's not so significant that I would want to re-open wounds and adjust the right.
Since the surgery, I've started noting the size of other women's breasts. I'm looking at them and thinking "they're a bit flat" or "they're a good size" etc. I have not been so aware of other people's chests since I was in high school. I suppose I'm just used to checking out other people's breasts because I have read so many reviews here. I would like to go back to not noticing other women's breasts.
Post Op Day 200! Size 12C (or 12D depending on the bra manufacturer)
18 Apr 2016
6 months post
Breast measurement is now 88cm. Pre-op (underbust) was 78cm. I am so glad that I went through with this surgery. I do not regret doing it later in life because there were serious safety issues twenty years ago.
I am not a more confident person after the surgery. I am not performing better in anything. I am not more motivated that I used to be at anything. I don't walk with a changed posture. I am as lazy and disinterested as ever.
However, I do feel happier. When I see myself in the mirror, I look at the new breasts and I'm really pleased.
I chose high profile over moderate plus profile because I wanted maximum projection. Being flat chested all my life, I thought more about projection than the overall shape.
Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. I have enjoyed following your journeys as much as posting about my own. The comparison photos are spaced twenty days apart so that you can get an idea of how long it takes to drop and fluff.
Post Op Day 260: size 12D / 14C (34D / 36C)
18 Jun 2016
8 months post
Here are further comparison photos, 20 days apart. As far as I'm concerned, they have "dropped and fluffed". I am not conscious of them most of the time.
Sometimes I wonder if I should have taken the moderate plus profile (330cc), instead of the high profile (345cc), because these breasts make my upper body look broader. I already have broad shoulders and a short torso. Dr Lim did not instruct me to choose one profile over another. The choice was entirely mine.
I saw Dr Lim last month for my six month post op check. He is happy with the result and took some photos. He advised that I should have ultrasound performed every two years in place of the mammogram breast screen. He also suggested that I consider replacing the implants after about 14 years because "implants are not permanent". There is considerable difference of opinion between plastic surgeons about the lifespan of breast implants. I noticed on this web site that some doctors have recommend swapping them out. Others say that they can stay in there for life. If I am feeling well and happy with these implants, in 14 years' time, I would be reluctant to go under the knife again.
The lumpy bit in the upper right side has diminished a lot but it's not completely the same on both sides. Before surgery, the breasts were asymmetrical. It is not obvious unless someone is really peering at me (which would be a creepy thing to do anyway). Any asymmetry before surgery will still remain after surgery.
I found a video on this site, where a patient with one breast a little higher than the other was taught to put pressure on the upper part of the higher breast so that the skin beneath the nipple would stretch.
I bought a couple of balconette bras and found that size 12D (or sister size 14C) fit me more comfortably. I read that 100-150cc would be expected to add one cup size. In my case, 345cc has brought me from 12AA to 12D.
Skin sensation: right side of right nipple beginning to return. Below both nipples is still quite numb. If I put my cold hands on that skin, I feel nothing at first. Then, after a little while, I can feel a faint sensation of cold. It is as if the nerve endings need a little time to respond.
Nipple sensation: can feel when they are moved or bumped, which is not the same as if they are being lightly touched. I hope it does improve. After eight months, I expected it to be better than this.
Scars: right side is fading faster than the left. Dr Lim expects them to take at least two years to disappear because Asian scars take longer to heal. I know this to be true from previous scarring.
Post Op Day 335: 11 months and very happy
31 Aug 2016
10 months post
Not much new to report since three months ago. I posted some more comparison photos at 20 day intervals.
Skin and nipple sensation is still diminished. I can't tell if it has improved or not. If I scratch the skin, I can feel it. It is not the way it was before surgery.
I went skiing last month and fell quite hard on my right implant. The muscle felt like it was being pulled. It was not painful. I told my ski instructor that I had breast implants because I was concerned immediately after that fall. He's 20 years younger than me and he's been teaching me for five seasons. He did not know about the implants. He thought it was funny when my mother confronted me about it. He likened it to a teenager hiding their tattoos: "there's nothing to see!"
The fifth comparison photo: pre-op versus now. The left incision was made just above the sunspots under my nipple. When Dr Lim told me he would make the incision there, I was surprised because that's a long way down from my nipple.