50 Years Old, 5'8", 137 lbs, Update :: update! 6 months! Ventura, CA

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Hi Real Selfers! I'm so happy to be starting my...

Hi Real Selfers! I'm so happy to be starting my review. I've learned so much from those of you that have gone before me. I love the supportive atmosphere here and I'm excited to be a part of it.

I'm 50 years old and mother to four kids, ages 9 years to 25 years old. I'm married and I have a super supportive husband. In fact, this procedure is a 50th birthday present from him. He loves me just the way I am but we are both excited for my new updated breasts!

I'd say I'm a late bloomer in every way. My breasts never bothered me much, nor did I give them much thought in my younger years, except to be grateful that I was able to breastfeed my four kids. Now I'm more interested in the fun and beauty they can offer me. I'm so looking forward to showing them off in swimwear and cute sundresses next summer.

I had a tummy tuck with Dr. Arthur Flynn in April 2009. Love it! I've never regretted that procedure one bit. Prior to the tummy tuck, I'd lost all my baby weight (from baby #4) but I had a big diastasis--a separation of the abdominal muscles--that made my tummy stick out. It really affected my self confidence in a negative way and I felt like I "couldn't wear clothes." I love my tummy tuck and I feel confident going with Dr. Flynn again. When I went for the consultation re. a breast augmentation, I wasn't prepared for being told I'd also need a lift. Now when I look at these "before" pictures it's obvious that I do! I'm hoping for minimal scarring because my tummy tuck scar is very light.

My surgery is less than three weeks away. My pre-op appointment is coming up this Friday. I'd love any tips and tricks from all of you. What should I buy and have ready? How shall I prepare? Thanks so much for any advice! I'll be updating here soon and adding wish pics.

Wish breasts!

Let's move on to happier photos, shall we? I want rounder, higher, much fuller breasts. I don't want them to be big necessarily-- just round, high and firm. Do I need a high profile implant? Moderate plus? My fear is ending up with flat implants that settle and hang low over time. For the expense, the pain, the scarring--I don't want to go through all that to have "natural" looking breasts. I need to communicate this to my PS at my pre-op visit.

Wish breasts! (Continued)

Here are some more examples of the look I am hoping for.

Pre-op appointment done!

I went to my pre-op appointment yesterday and I'm all set. My PS doesn't do sizers at the appointment but we discussed the size and he is leaning toward the 300-340cc range. I'm fine with that, especially the 340. I told him I want them high, round and lifted and I showed him a bunch of photos of my wish breasts. He wants me to bring those to my surgery. I'm going to see if I can print them out. Dr. Flynn is super professional and just inspires confidence. I'm so happy and excited right now!

I definitely need to purchase a sports bra that opens in the front. Any suggestions are most welcome. Also, I'm not used to sleeping on my back. Should I purchase a wedge pillow? Any tips?

I took some more "before" photos as a point of reference. I also took a bunch of racy photos for my husband which he requested--in my unaltered state! That was super fun. Can't wait to see the "after" though. I hope you're all having a great weekend!

More "before" pictures

You guys, I'm getting so nervous now. I'm freaking out about the implant type. He said he will use a "round" profile implant but he didn't specify moderate, mod+, or high profile. I want high profile or at least mod+ but I'm worried he may not have them available at the surgery? I emailed the office manager and she said she'd ask him for clarification but I didn't hear back from her. Can I be honest? There is one before and after photo on his website that I really don't like--clearly using moderate profile implants. I would be so unhappy with that result! Oh well. I'll hop on the phone Monday. Surgery is not until Friday. Meanwhile I need to rush around and nest like crazy. There is so little time since I work full time and we have little kids. Wish me luck.

Surgery 12:30 today! (So nervous!)

Good morning lovely Real Self ladies. I thought I'd be back here well before my surgery date, but alas real life has just kept coming and I've been busy with all the normal things and haven't had time to post an update!

My surgery is today, but alas not until 12:30! I've showered and taken the prescribed Celebrex. No food or coffee for me this morning. I'm just going to update here and then putter around the house a little.

Over the weekend I e-mailed the office manager at my PS's office and she got back to me even though it was a Sunday. I had been freaking out about the implant type, wanting to make sure he had mod-plus and high profile at least in the room. She reassured me that the doctor is aware and had ordered the implants. I'm much calmer now. I know his work is good. Special thanks to Mama'stired and Mia'sEpiphany for talking me through it.

Mostly now I'm just nervous and anxious in a general way about going through the surgery. Technically, this surgery for me is "just for fun." I don't have a long history of wanting to do this--it is a more recent desire for me, just to enjoy the last of my "youth", rock a bikini top--things I hadn't thought that much about when younger. So weird, I know. But as I said in my introduction, I'm such a late bloomer! I just want to get through the surgery and start healing. I've told myself all along that I'm not "in it" for the immediate results--especially with the lift I know the real results will be 4 months, 6 months, and a year down the road. We are going to Hawaii this summer so I have my sights set on rocking a bikini top for that.

I've managed to do a bit of nesting along with all the other normal life stuff we've had going on. I made a batch of granola, bran muffins, and the freezer is stocked with a lasagna and some healthy soups. I stopped at Trader Joe's Wednesday after work and picked up some essentials so we don't starve--milk, cream, apples, a pineapple, sliced cheese, various crackers. I also have some 7-up chilling for the inevitable post-anesthesia nausea.

Wish me luck today! I'm excited for fuller, higher, younger looking breasts! Hooray for that!!

Last "before" photo

Goodbye to these!

2nd post op day--I made it to the other side!

I got through surgery! My surgery was scheduled for 12:30 Friday and actually started at 1:00 so it made for a long day. He put in 350cc silicone under the muscle in the right and 325 in the left. I haven't seen them yet. I'm still tightly and thickly wrapped until tomorrow when he'll put me into a sports bra. That will be a big relief. So far I've mostly been sleeping and taking pain meds around the clock. I'm trying not to be overly concerned about the size. I feel as long as the healing progresses normally I can work with any size. I'm just looking forward to feeling better and getting around more easily. Also--a big shout out to Mia'sEpiphany for recommending the memory foam mattress topper. It has been a godsend--thank you!

Third morning update

Good morning Real Self ladies. It's the third morning now and I'm feeling much better today. Still tightly wrapped but today I see my doctor and he is going to unwrap me and put me into a sports bra! I can hardly wait. These thick layers of gauze and wraps are driving me crazy. I hate the way they look and feel. And of course it will bring me much peace of mind just to have him check my scars and incisions. I'm not even worried about how they look at this point--just that they are healing correctly.

My little boys--ages 9 and 10--have been little troopers through all of this, and my husband has been so supportive and nurturing. I'm definitely in the guilt phase of the process, , but he reassures me that he is happy to support me through this.

I've been brushing and flossing normally but my skin care routine has been neglected. I've been using baby wipes to wash my face--I do wish I had some nicer facial wipes on hand. Oh well--by tonight I'll probably be unleashed from all these ridiculous layers and I can wash my face properly.

I'll be back to post an update after my appointment. Thanks to everyone who has sent encouraging words!

zipped into a sports bra!

So I went for my first post-op appointment today. The doctor said everything seems to be healing correctly and is well perfused. That is all I am hoping for at this early point. He didn't even let me loo at them--LOL. It feels like heaven getting out of that heavy surgical dressing. That in itself may have been the worst part of the experience!
So, I want and expect to have a good experience as I heal so I think it is best for me not to troll the Realself site looking for people's reviews and stories that include lots of problems. I think I'm just going to keep up with my friends that have had/are having surgery around the same time as me. My PS told me that right now they are a strange shape (high) so they will look good later. He said if they look good now they wouldn't look good later. I'm definitely in it for the long term results.

I'll definitely post bare photos when I dare to sneak a peak. Right now I am thrilled and wanting to take one day at a time and be very gentle with myself.

Day 5--first glance

Hello RS friends. Thanks so much to everyone who has left little encouraging comments. Here is what they look like as of day 5, this morning. Clearly they need to drop--big time. And the flesh colored tape they used really makes it look like I don't have an areola left (I'm sure they're under there somewhere! LOL). I've been freaking out a little, especially at night. But I feel calmer right now and am trusting my surgeon, that they will drop and the shape will fill in. Righty looks rather deformed at the moment! Also, they are really high and tight. All your words of encouragement have been much appreciated. I know this is a process and I'm only at the beginning. Will update more later with more thoughts. I hope you are having a great day, everyone!

Patience, Cassandra!

"Patience, Cassandra!" Is what my BFF texted me last Friday when I asked her to hop on my Realself profile and view my pics and my thoughts about it all (she lives out of state). I told her that will be my mantra when I find myself getting anxious about the process. Thanks so much to all of you, too, who left kind notes and encouraging words. I'm definitely realizing now that this is a process and my implants will be dropping, softening, and rounding out over the next 6-7 months. I'm such an "instant gratification girl" that this is hard for me, but I can cope. I'm back at work today (at lunch now) and super tired but doing ok.

Aside from the look of my breasts I'm also concerned about nipple numbness so am wondering about that too. I'm optimistic that feeling will return but of course I'm concerned by that as well.

I found some stories that are encouraging to me while I'm on this journey:
Lissa120--her implants are similar to mine
LovingLife2--she went through so much but ended up healthy and loving her result
FancyIKnowIt--she also had her implants high at first but ended up with amazing results.

That's all for now. I'm attaching a couple pics.

Two weeks

Hi Realselfers. Just a very quick update and some photos while I'm on my lunch break. You can see from the photos that I am making some very gradual progress and the implants are dropping just a bit. I had my two week appointment on Friday--not much to report. They changed my tapes and I still haven't gotten to see my incisions. I stole a quick glance and from what I could see they look pretty scary. I hope to find a chance to update more soon. I have a lot of thoughts on the experience of this. It is such a process! More later. Best wishes to all my RS friends!

3-week update :: slow progress

Hello lovely Realselfers. It's slow progress around here but I'm still mostly happy and optimistic. I will say I don't think I had fully prepared myself for the emotional side of this body altering surgery and the slowness of the process. But when I compare my "before" photo with my in-progress current breasts I think I did the right thing. On the other hand the nipple numbness is bugging me. I've been told it is extremely rare to permanently lose all sensation and it could take up to a year and a half to regain sensation. But I think the fact that I feel absolutely nothing going on--no pins and needle sensations or sensitivity--is a bad sign. On the other hand, I'm getting excited about my 4-week appointment coming up on Friday. I believe I'll be cleared to full activity and regular bras--hooray! And in the meantime I have work and holiday busyness to keep me occupied.

4 weeks--finally: the tapes come off!

Sorry for the huge photo dump--I'm just really excited to get my tapes off and finally get a look at what's going on under there! I had my four week appointment today and I was cleared for all activities, wearing regular bras, and sleeping on my side. Hooray! Re. my scars, the vertical scars are lighter than I thought they'd be, the scars around my areolas a little rougher. I have my silicone scar sheets ready to go and I'm going to start them in the morning. I might regret it since we'll be traveling but I'm anxious to start right away. I've heard they're a big hassle. I'm definitely going to give them a fair chance though. I'm very willing to wait and see how it all looks in a few months. I knew the scars would not look great right now.

Overall I'm feeling quite pleased with my new breasts so far and happy that I did this. Frankly I'm quite obsessed with them at the moment and so excited to see how they evolve.

I'm still planning to come back and do a full overview of the first month with tips and advice. I very much want to write all that out but I'm having a hard time finding the time.

Happy holidays RS friends! I hope you are all doing well with your recoveries and/or surgery planning.

Photos--4 weeks

Photos didn't upload--here you go.

4 week photos--continued

Here are the rest of them.

Tips and advice for the first month

Hello RS friends. I’ve been wanting to post my notes, tips, thoughts, and advice regarding the first month while it is all still fresh. Perhaps my notes can help some of you who are still in the pre-surgery phase.

On preparations:
:: my life leading up to the surgery was so fast and furious, but I wish I’d had time to do a thorough cleaning of the house. I’d advise that if you can, set aside a day or a weekend before to really clean, because afterwards you won’t be able to lift or use your arms much and any mess is annoying. If you are able to take an extra day off work before the surgery, just to clean and prepare stuff, I think that would be delightful.
:: bras. I didn’t want to spend a ton, but I knew I needed a zip-front sports bra. I wanted to stay in the $20 to $25 range. I ended up with a Champion bra I found on Amazon that was very tight and supportive. I alternated it with a softer Playtex zip front bra for night. Of course you will want to go with whatever your PS recommends, but mine did not make any specific suggestions.
:: meals. I froze a lasagna ahead of time to have for dinner on my first night back at work (which for me was about day 10). I didn't have time to stock the whole freezer so I depended on my husband to feed us the first week. But on the first day back at work it was wonderful to have a meal to pull from the freezer. My first day back was tiring.
:: I overestimated the need for button-front shirts post-surgery. By one week I was cleared to lift my arms and put on regular t-shirts. However, I did buy some pajamas from J. Crew with traditional button front tops and I love them and it felt great to have some fresh new cute pajamas when the rest of me was not feeling very fresh or cute.
:: the mattress topper I bought was a great purchase. I don’t easily sleep on my back but having a memory foam mattress topper made it possible. I got the idea from Mia’sEpiphany and the brand she mentioned (and I got) was Sleep Innovations (purchased through Amazon). Love it!
::plan to stock up on saltines and 7-up or whatever it is you eat when you are not feeling well.

On the first few days:
:: I believe in staying “on top of” the pain. For me, I took my pain mediation as directed on the bottle for 3 days solid and tapered off on day 4. By day 5 I switched to Tylenol exclusively and by day 6 I was off pain meds pretty much. This made the pain manageable and everyone a lot happier.
:: stool softeners help. I was taking a stool softener 3 times a day (as per the instructions on the bottle) to avoid constipation.
:: the first few days I was basically sleeping, staying in bed, and watching videos on YouTube. My husband took care of the little boys and meal prep.
:: this is when the guilt starts setting in, but don’t feel guilty. Rest and recovery are part of the process and to be expected.

On the emotional side of things:
:: at first I was all “why do we women do this to ourselves?” That was my immediate reaction to the pain.
:: Later, I was all “holy crap, they are so big! I’ve messed up my silhouette for all clothes.”
Just be prepared for the emotional side of this. This is body altering surgery and although some ladies do look great right out of surgery, others of us are high, square, rock hard, misshapen, and “up to the collarbone” for some weeks. I’m in the latter group. Try to consider this and really “know” it before surgery. I was focused on the end results, what I would look like 6 months out, but hadn’t really considered the entire process.
:: also, try not to compare yourself with other ladies results’ on the site. We are all different.

On going back to work:
:: it’s tiring, so try to get plenty of rest before you return to a full time job outside the home.
:: I care a lot about style and looking good, so it was hard to be wearing a sports bra and having everything up so high and sporting the “senator’s wife” look (as another RS lady has described it). The sports bra prevents wearing any top with a wider or scooped neck and it creates an unattractive uni-boob. I did buy a top that I found flattering and good to wear during that period. I’d highly recommend purchasing something you will feel good about wearing during those first few sports-bra weeks. My top is a button up collared shirt but has a waistline, sort of a peplum—it really helped with the weird boob look.

Gosh, I guess those are my main thoughts for now? I'd love to hear any tips you'd add. I started my silicone scar sheets at week four--I also purchased those through Amazon. Please let me know if you have any questions.
It really helps to set your mind to an “I’m just going to power through these first few weeks” attitude. You are stuck in an uncomfortable and unflattering bra, have fewer wardrobe options, are still sore and tight, can’t lift stuff. It’s hard but the time passes quickly. Just try to know that this too shall pass. I distracted myself with work and the holidays.

Example: a top for the early weeks

Here is what I'm talking about--the sports bra doesn't show and the waistline makes the high unflattering uni-boob less noticeable.

7 weeks post

Hi RS friends--
I haven't been on the site much and I miss happy happy booby land. I continue to progress in my healing and I'm very happy with my results so far. As you can see my scars are still obvious but I'm not even freaked out. I know they are going to get lighter and lighter over the next few months. I'm just overall SO happy with my breasts! I can hardly wait for summer and bikini tops and little sundresses and going braless. Not much else to report. Sending good wishes to all of you.

6 months!

Loving them! I'm going to upload my photos first and then come back and post my full 6-month update. The good news is that nipple sensation returned. Yay!

6 month review

First of all I want to say I am so so happy! I can't believe it when look at my "before" pictures--they were so sad and limp! Now I love the shape and size. I feel like a porn star--and I mean that in the best possible way. On the down side of course with this procedure there are the scars to deal with. I find them light and not terribly noticeable but they are not fading as quickly as I had hoped. I used the silicone scar sheets for a few months and now am using Bio Oil. I'd appreciate any suggestions. My right nipple still rides higher than the left. It's subtle I think and definitely doesn't bug me too much. I do think the R might still drop some more. I've heard that you don't see the final result for a year. My nipple sensation started returning after the 3 month check. I'm thrilled. Just putting that out there for those of you who are also dealing with numbness longer than expected. I went for a bra fitting at Nordstrom's at month 5 and I am a 32DD. Yay! I love my new bras. I will try to post photos. I'm also looking forward to getting some summer dresses to wear braless. I will post more updates as I think of more I want to say. Overall I am very very happy. For all of you contemplating this journey, I highly recommend. Consider doing it earlier than I did though. I wish I'd done it years ago when I had my tummy tuck.

Update: summer fun

Hello Real Self friends. Just a quick update with some photos from summer. It's been a great summer and I adore my new breasts. Here are some bikini shots and a couple nude poses. Hope you enjoy. I even went topless at the Venus Pool in Las Vegas (a European Style pool at Caesar's Palace) and it was much fun. I hope your summers have been fabulous.

late summer at the beach

I'm having so much with my new breasts! Thought I'd share a few photos my husband took of me at the beach today (when we had the beach to ourselves). I'm legit thrilled with my results and so happy I had the procedure done. I'm feeling way more self confident and younger.
Ventura Plastic Surgeon

Loved Dr. Flynn and his staff for my tummy tuck in '09. I expect the breast lift and augmentation to go just as well. Dr. Flynn is very professional, caring, and low-key, which is a great fit for me.

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