Where do I start?
Back in 1997 I had my first BA...
Where do I start?
Back in 1997 I had my first BA (at the suggestion of my general practitioner) to correct an asymmetry. I was referred to a PS who performed the procedure at no cost through my provinces health plan: he augmented ONLY the smaller side with a round saline implant. I was a small B on one side and large A on the other.
From the get go I was unhappy - imagine one non augmented breast and one round high profile implant: it just looked wrong.
In 2005, I went to see another PS who did a revision replacing the one augmented side and augmenting the other - with his best guess at size (going slightly larger to "compensate" for any future weight gain). He used what was brand new at the time - 410 FX gummy bear implants in 190/280g. This took me to what I've been wearing - 34C.
After surgery I was immediately unhappy as the difference in sizes I was hoping to correct was not fixed; the PS simply said: "why did we do that?" When I saw him for the post op. Very cold and unconcerned The results were poor. That being said it was better than prior! Under
Clothing or in a bra they looked great.
What is known now that was not known then is that these particular implants tend to 'flip' over time - which my right one did (and I was unaware)
I was very insecure with the asymmetry and ultimately it has affected my life as far as being in certain clothing styles or intimate situations.
I suffered with this insecurity and embarrassment for many years until this year when I decided to see another PS who is known for being highly skilled in breast augmentations/reconstruction.
This is my final hope to finally feel normal!
I made an appointment in May - for the end of July. The staff & PS at the clinic were wonderful and so warm from the get go.
Immediately the PS was able to tell the one implant was rotated and I had CC further distorting my breast.
His recommendation was to explant/remove the capsules. He then suggested if I wanted to re-augment I wait 3 months to allow for healing and the chance to see what my breasts were like size wise rather than guessing at the sizes.. I was impressed by his genuine compassion for my 'situation' and recommendations at what would give me the best results - no matter if I chose to consult elsewhere.
I know so many of you want to get rid of your implants - but I am honest scared of what it will look like after - will it be worse? I feel like I am losing part of what makes me female.
I received my pre op info and a month later received a call that there was a cancellation I could take - I will be going in next Monday the 19th. 6 days notice!
So much planning - appointments to cancel and work to inform. I'm pretty nervous!!
2 days out jitters
I knew this surgery would be coming but I don't think the reality really sinks in until the day is really close.
I've been wavering between being really scared of the actual surgery to very teary (pulling all my bras out that will now be unusable) to .. I don't want to say excitement - but the thought of having this hard lump out!
I cannot blame the original PS for using these anatomical implants that are high risk of rotating and not telling me the risk - at the time these were new and I was basically under a trial phase in Canada.
Thinking back now I recall being out and feeling a tearing feeling in my right armpit - I thought it was maybe muscular & didn't attribute it to the Pocket. I wonder now if that was when the rotation started.
I was never told to massage or not; to have an MRI every few years; or if heavy physical activity (which my job entails and I'm a daily gym goer with lots of weight training) was a risk of rotation..
I really didn't research as I was young and naive. Sites like this didn't exist! It is a blessing to have a place to learn and get an honest view of what to expect and where to start.
I have stocked up on clear fluids and groceries for the next week. My home is tidied and I've taken a week off work and my boss knows my return will partly depend on drains (I didn't fully tell her what the surgery was for as I'd rather keep details private) and feel im pretty much ready for recovery. I live alone so I'm worried slightly about this but have family and friends close by if I need.
I just can't believe in 2 days I will be experiencing such a huge change. I'm a little too shy to post too many photos but will keep posted!
Thank you to the folks who've sent kind words!
Less than 24 hours!
Tomorrow is the big day and nerves are setting in!
I am confident though that I am prepared and that this is 100% the right thing to be doing!
Thank you again for the kind messages of encouragement! This site has been so helpful and filled with so many wonderful ladies!
19 Sep 2016
Day of treatment
Today's the big day!
I am pretty sure I woke up every hour on the hour last night and am wide awake at 5 am; I guess I'm more nervous than I thought!
The unknown is the worst - im just ready to have the surgery and start the healing process. My breasts have made me so self conscious I'm ready to move past this stage!
Post op day 1
I will post about the whole explant experience later as I'm still pretty fatigued; woke up because of the discomfort and figured it would be a good time (5 am
I should add) to take my antibiotics/T3 and empty my drains (10cc left and 20 cc right - which wasn't surprising as the right was the side that had rotated) as it was last done 12 hours ago.
I actually had a difficult time unscrewing the medicine bottles with the safety lids as it hurt my pec area to do it!
There is so much truth to people talking about 'morning boob' pain when waking up and moving. Moving around isn't too bad - but there is definitely a lot of discomfort in my chest when I move..
Speaking of my chest - it's surprising and sort of difficult to look down and see virtually nothing there anymore. I've been used to having full boobs for my entire adult life and now I'm tiny and the asymmetry I originally had the surgery to correct is definitely there... I'm worried to conceal this from my coworkers and the people who didn't know I had had the implants originally or had this removal ..
Right now I'm only wearing a mesh sleeve - not very compressing. My PS had wanted this left on for the couple of days my drains were in then suggested I could go to a sports bra and in 2 weeks (after follow up) look at a regular bra (which I will need to shop for as my old c cup bras won't cut it..
More to come later of the actual day yesterday!
The big day
So yesterday went 'well' - my surgery was scheduled for 1 and I had to be there an hour and a half earlier to get admitted and start the preop process.
From admitting a nice volunteer walked me to the surgical waiting room - which was very lovely to have that company for the walk over. After a short wait they brought me into the change room to change into a gown & then into the recovery area.
In recovery/pre op area (after some difficulty thanks to my small arms/veins) I was hooked up to my IV and given a bag of fluid. The nurses confirmed all my information and let me know the PS and anesthesiologist would be coming by shortly.
My PS came to talk with me about the operation and answer some questions about post op recovery. His bedside manner is amazing - though I was very nervous, he helped put me at ease. He asked if he could take a few photos for teaching purposes of 'why anatomical implants shouldn't be used'... Ouch. Very heart breaking that my disfigurement is a good teaching case!
The anesthesiologist came and chatted briefly as well and shortly after I was off to the OR.
I awoke and it was 90 minutes later - I think - my vision was really blurry and I was seeing double like one too many cocktails lol - a pretty quick procedure.
They had to give me a second bag of fluid and I heard them mention my heart rate had gone up to 130 during the extubation - but otherwise a smooth surgery.
I looked down and saw my flat chest and immediately started crying as I just felt like I'd lost a piece of myself! The recovery nurse said the tears were common after having anesthesia..
I dozed off and on for about an hour before I was transferred to the ward to wake up and get my post op teaching for emptying my drains etc (the drains stay in for 2-3 days or until I am draining less than 30 cc in 24 hour)
Shortly after I was able to change into my own clothing (and cry looking at my chest again) and they called to have my parents come pick me up.
The rest of the night was spent dozing and relaxing. I had difficulty sleeping as I'm more of a side sleeper and my back was the only comfortable position to be in.
I'm still very weepy looking at myself. I know from reading other posts (and thank God for this site) that the first days are the worst and there will be some fluffing up in time ... Right now I look like a 12 year old boy. Very heart breaking
2 days out
Sleeping is a huge pain - I find my back is still the only way I can sleep and any movements deviating from that is painful (I'm guessing as the t3's wear off).. Going from laying to sitting in the morning - darn is that chest pressure a killer! ????
Good news is that virtually nothing in my drains this morning (12 hours since last empty) so hopefully can get them out tomorrow! A little freedom to leave the house - though I'm feeling so self conscious.
Going to try washing my hair in the sink today - I think that at least will make me feel a little more human again.. Still incredibly weepy.. I've scrolled through so many profiles on here with beautiful symmetrical chests and girls wanting to enhance - I know we all have our own reasons for wanting to change - but what I wouldn't give to be some of the 'before' shots that someone else hates.
I made an appointment yesterday for today to get my drains out as they were draining under 30cc in a day.
i was a little nervous about the removal being painful but honestly removing the tape dressings 'hurt' worse than the actual drain removal - which I am not sure how to describe.. You can feel it being pulled out/moving but there really isn't any pain..
The nurse Maureen was very sweet and explained everything she was doing (snipped one stitch etc) and was very gentle - such a lovely lady! The wonderful bedside manner of all the staff I've encountered has made this journey so much easier.
Instantly I feel better without the drains - hopefully the removal will also help with my sleeping & being able to take less T3's as the codeine is (tmi) horribly constipating.
So having the drains out - I popped on a lightly padded sports bra & decided to make a little trip to Walmart to maybe pick up a couple inexpensive bras to have for when I'm ready.
The smallest size I could find was a 34 A - that didn't fit.
Seriously the most demoralizing and humiliating experience. I left the store and broke into tears in the car ..
I feel about as low & non feminine as anyone could possibly feel ????
It's been 3 days short of 2 weeks - hard to believe..
I'm back to work and very restricted in duties (very physical job) which makes the recovery process harder.. I don't have much pain and am not really taking the pain meds anymore but once I start doing anything remotely using chest muscles (even as simple as opening heavy doors ) I feel the pain.. My chest is also very tender to touch.
My left side is looking okay; the right is ... Depressing to look at. Honestly, I can't help but cry most days I feel so gross..
I don't particularly want to reimplant for many reasons but I can't live with my asymmetry ..
I can't see myself posting much more here - I really just wanted to share my journey in hopes it could help someone else with theirs with a "what to expect".. Thank you all again for the kind words and sharing your journey as it did help me to not feel so alone
22 days post
I wish I could update saying I was feeling great and love my body - but unfortunately I don't.
I'm still on restricted duties at work which is difficult in a physical job.. Its really adding to my low state to feel really useless at work. I know the restrictions are for my own good during the healing process - but Its still very difficult to be so limited.
I've been off pain killers for about 10 days now though my breasts both feel very sensitive.
Certain movements like taking a shirt off over my head give me a lot of pain in the .. Under-boob area around the incisions. Certain movements (it's hard to explain this feeling) almost feel like my chest is ripping - I'm following post op instructions but I can't avoid things like taking off my shirt.
I did also go to a La Senza to try on bras - these speciality shops have the 32 band which most general stores like Walmart don't so I was hopeful to find something that could fit after my disaster previous trying to find a bra. The 32A were way too tight but the 32B fit my left side nicely and concealed my stupid right side enough to make me feel comfortable .. I grabbed one bra on clearance as I don't want to be spending too much on new bras as I am really thinkinh future surgery.
That being said - the pressure of underwire on my incisions was very painful .. While it feels great to have a bra off to shower; Its sort of uncomfortable to have it off for too long still.. Honestly, I don't remember this much discomfort with my BA..
I see the PS this week (should have been 2 but he was away) so I am hoping to learn what he had to do in there, the state of the implants (I never thought rupture - more curiousity), when I can increase my activity and small things like moving to a bra from sports bra and soaking in a tub.
I feel caught between the worlds on this site here of pro-explant and pro-implant. If I didn't have this asymmetry - I can say I would never have had augmentation in the first place. I've a small frame so the left boob doesn't look horrid on me .. While I do think a fuller chest looks nicer in so many clothing types I'd have accepted my smaller chest .. Having had surgery to help fix things which really end of the day was for my own self esteem - I understand and root for the gals augmenting to help them feel better about their body...
I love the comments and pm I have received from both the ladies who have explanted and are loving their natural bodies (I feel like I'm letting them down not accepting mine) and the gals augmenting (I feel like I'm the failure of their world) ... I'm just not sure where my story will go and where I 'fit'..
I had my follow up this week with my PS: sutures out (thankfully! As they were irritating - a lot of discomfort I felt was related to the sutures as I feel great now where certain movements before were uncomfortable) and the a-okay to resume normal activities (accidental "workout" running from the hospital to my car to avoid a parking ticket as the wait was a little longer than expected lol - no pain during activity! I increased my cardio at the gym & tried a little weight training for my arms with light weights which felt great) as everything looks great as far as healing goes - I was also over muscle so it's a quicker recovery without their involvement.
From what I gather; the implants themselves were in fine shape; which really makes little difference in the scheme of things but good to know there were no tears or rupture. I guess good for folks to know too that I'm incredibly physically active - my work involves lots of lifting with patients and I exercise daily including weights that involved the chest. They're made pretty tough.
We discussed my future options:
1) Stay as is - not ideal with my asymmetry
2) Lift and reduce my larger breast to match the smaller - if rather stay lopsided than reduce down to a barely A
3) Lift the larger side slightly and augment - this is the route I'm leaning towards
I've apparently enough natural tissue and the fact some of the deformity I was seeing from the rotation (nipple off center) was corrected with the explant that I could have a good result.
I'm quite aware that I will never have perfectly symmetrical breasts (and he emphasized that too) but it could be better. End of day; I just want to be comfortable in my own skin.
The one thing I will add that my PS acknowledged the fact that while physically the healing was progressing well; he understood emotionally how difficult it probably has been.
It's something small - but to have that compassion is huge. Many doctors look at the physical aspect only and aren't interested in you beyond that. These small details of being treated so kindly will 100% have me choosing him for my future surgery.
27 Mar 2017
6 months post
Seeing as RS turned my last review into a story - or I did, I am just going to update my experience here.
6 months post explant and capsulectomy I have decided to go the route of new implants... which is happening in a few hours! Eeek!
If I did not have the asymmetry, I would not be doing this. My natural breasts are small but the larger side is something I could live with.. The asymmetry is just too difficult mentally and had to find clothing that fits properly or conceals.
As the day has approached, I have become more and more anxious. I got a cold a week ago that has passed - worried this would end up lingering and cancelling my surgery. Worried about am I choosing the correct size.... Worried about the recovery.. Worried abotu the end result.
My stats: 5'2 and 110 lbs. Small frame.
Thinking I will have 250 MP+ on one side and 325 HP other - yes, there is a big difference. They ordered different sizes to play around with.
I have done everything correct pre op, did my research and have a very competent and skilled surgeon - the rest is up to fate!
I leave 2.5 hours!
Surgical day & day 1
28 Mar 2017
6 months post
A little bit about my surgical day;
I arrived at the clinic at 11 where I was taken almost immediately into a preop room. There is a television in the room which was a great distraction for my nerves waiting!
I had two different nurses - one took my vitals, while one got my pre-op meds (pain killer And gravol) started.
I was given a gown to change into along with the token hair cover & TED stockings which was a surprise to me.
My PS arrived next to make some markings and explain again the plan for the surgery. We also discussed post op planning. I really appreciate the time taken to really explain everything and have time for questions.
After that the anesthesiologist arrived to get my airways , listen to my lungs and explain the intubation/anesthesia process. Another very kind man who helped make me feel calmer.
I was taken into the OR after that - about an hour after arrival. I tell ya, trying to get onto the OR table when you're short without having your gown fly open (I had a blanket I was trying to hold) and not flash your underwear-less lower half to everyone is something else! ;)
The nurse applied some heart monitors on, blood pressure cuff on my right arm while the anesthesiologist placed my IV in my left.
I have to say the least pain I have ever had and the least difficulty anyone has ever had (my veins are small and for any blood work people tend to sruggle). It also really touched me that he held my hand as the IV started and while they put me under. Again, those little things speak volumes.
The next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. It was about 2:30 so a relatively quick surgery I think. My last surgery I woke up seeing double like I'd had one too many cocktails, was crying and felt horrid with a sore throat and pain- this time I woke up feeling good!
The recovery nurse Val was another gem of a lady! We chatted for the next half hour while she helped me get dressed. My last surgery I was given my bag of clothing and was on my own - having someone help you after was lovely.
Val helped me sit up - thankfully still feeling good. I was given a Celebrex (odd to me as I've never had that but I understand why). My ride was called and by 2:45, Val helped me into the car and I headed home.
The first few hours while all the good OR meds were in me I felt great. I had a bite to eat, a good nap and spent the next few hours watching TV.
The pain started kicking in around 7:30 pm - from a 2/10 post op to about a 6/10. Two T3 at 8 and to bed by 10.
This morning I woke up feeling stiff, sweating quite a bit which isn't normal for me, but not feeling terrible. No morning boob like with my explant which was a nice surprise!
I'm worried about seeing the scars around my nipples; but everything else looks good so far. I'm still in disbelief that I will have a normal looking chest... That actually brings tears to my eyes!
Day 1 & 2 post op
29 Mar 2017
6 months post
I'm now 2 days post op - yesterday was an interesting one.
I woke up feeling great - very little pain and feeling like myself.
I downloaded an pill reminder app to plug in my antibiotics & pain meds - not that I was having trouble remembering but it gave me something to do lol
Late afternoon I had a shower (taking off my sports bra they put on after surgery eeeee; not fun) and peeled off the thick bandages as requested. My first real peek at everything without bandages!! My breasts are both still very swollen and high (as expected) but I'm in disbelief still that they are the same size. I know that sounds stupid but I've been so used to my asymmetry that it's hard to break that image from my mind.
I still have the steri strips underneath my breasts and around my nipples so I can't really tell what that will look like. I'm actually really nervous for those scars.. It was the right decision to add that into my surgery for the best results but it's another area that can 'go wrong' I guess.. I'm so used to wrong as I've said, I worry.
As the night wore on I progressively felt worse and worse - very queasy and flushed
I lay in bed for 45 minutes sipping ginger ale trying to take my last antibiotic of the day as I was really worried about it coming back up. I guess all the OR meds finally wore off/the effects of the anesthesia hit me. I went to sleep at 9 as I just felt too crummy.
Waking up today (5 am) I know it's going to be a little tougher. Sitting up I feel a lot of pressure on the girls (but I've also been 10 hours without pain meds so really it isn't bad) and my stomach is still gurgling..
I had put nursing pads into my bra after my shower and there is one tiny drop of discharge on the right side (the side they did more work on) ..
All in all, I think I am where I should be!
30 Mar 2017
6 months post
I have to say, I'm a little surprised at my recovery compared to how I felt post-explant/capsulectomy. This is easier.
Yesterday, (I'm posting my reviews in the morning so really covering the previous day's events) was a day filled with television watching, reading and napping.
I had downloaded a pill reminder app and took my antibiotics as the reminders chimed but honestly didn't feel I needed my pain meds! I took my t3 first thing in the morning as that is when the pressure feels the worst (I honestly don't think I'm moving at all over night from my semi propped up position) but the rest of the day... I don't feel sensation free like preop but it's not medication worthy. I think the fact I didn't go below muscle plays a factor.
I felt well enough to go out in the evening to a club I attend (sitting around so not much different than what I'm doing at home lol) for 2 hours, knowing I could leave if I needed to. It felt good to get out to say the least!
I was meaning to post a little more detail of my pre/post stars: I'll start with saying I was never properly fitted for a bra post explant as I didn't want to spend excessive amounts of money on bras knowing I was leaning towards more surgery. I bought two bras for every day use (otherwise sports bras and bralet which are size forgiving). Here, at least, 32 isn't a common strap size of you aren't going for an A cup so one bra is a 34A and the other 32B. The latter Being the better fit.
Pre surgery : left 32B bra, right probably 32A or AA.
left 250 mentor round moderate profile implant.
Right 350 mentor HP implant.
They were placed ABOVE muscle which seems to be a little more uncommon.
My breasts are swollen right now (and feel huge to me which I'm worried I went too big but know once the swelling goes down they'll look better) but after my shower before putting my sports bra back on I placed the cups of a 34c bra I was wear before my explant on and it fit.. Barely. I'm thinking when the swelling goes down this will be a good fit.
It's very interesting to see how a small implant can add so much volume. I guess it's a good point to prove that the same implant size will look very different in each lady - so don't get too hung up on CC size!
Day 3/4 post op
31 Mar 2017
6 months post
Yesterday was day 3 post op.
I did take a t3 first thing as I had mild pain upon first waking; the rest of the day I either didn't take my scheduled pain meds as not needed or took a regular Tylenol for the dull ache. I did take a t3 before bed though.
Day 3 was a sleepy day - other than having a shower (where one bit of steri strip around my nipple was coming off - I peeked and was a little mortified at the incision around my nipple - I couldn't look or peel the rest off; which they said day 3-4 I could do) I spent the majority of the day on the couch reading, watching tv and a whole lot of napping.
I napped from about 6:30-7:00, woke up and watched a little TV until 8:30 when I fell asleep again until 9:15.. I got up, brushed my teeth and went to bed where I slept solidly for 9 hours which is verrrry unlike me as a norm.
The swelling in my sternum area looks a little better today but everything else is still very swollen and high.. I have to attend a function this evening & im actually quite worried about concealing my chest - only 2 people at the gathering know about my journey.
On a TMI side note: the stool softener they prescribed combined with some Metamucil is helping. I'm 100% constipated and I haven't been able to fully get everything out but at least I'm passing a little which is making me feel better as my stomachs been off with the bloating.
Day 5 post op
Like the past few days; I have pain in the morning in my breasts going from lying to sitting. It's mostly in the top part of my breast and takes a while to settle.. Otherwise my side boob area is tender to touch as in my sternum. It's all tolerable though. T3 first thing then the rest of the day very little pain med or regular Tylenol.
My post op instructions have me taking off the steri strips day 3-4. I had been too nervous to do it until today in the shower(loosen the adhesive).. As I expected the strips pulled off some scanning so there was a little blood. I had bought nursing pads to put in my sports bra - I'll be using these for a few days I think. I started polypsorin on the incisions today as well.
I can honestly say that looking at my breasts in the mirror after showering was difficult. The left is dropping slightly while the right is still high and swollen. Combined with the incisions around my nipples being fresh and the slight bruising the strips were concealing ... It made me cry.
I know I am too early to know results yet and that I am a good healer as far as scars go - any I have from injuries (sutures and all) look good. It's just very difficult to see this mess right now.
a good reminder I have a long recovery ahead.
Day 6 post op
I really can't believe it's almost been a week since the surgery! It's been a long week but it's also gone by quickly.
With the steri strips off; I am now applying antibiotic ointment to the incision sites. I have to say; I am cringing trying to rub that ointment into my nipple area.. It's uncomfortable and honestly just makes me emotional to see.
This was a decision to give me the best hope at symmetry but these hideous incisions ... It's not easy!
I probably won't bother updating anymore for some time.. No one is reading this so its not serving to help anyone; just make me feel crummy.
As mentioned I don't think I'll post as no one is reading .. My one last post for sometime:
I went to the mall to shop for a pair of pants and ended up trying on some tops.. I can't tell you what a relief it was to be able to try on a blouse with a lower cut and look normal. It makes me cry (happy tears) to look normal in an I padded sports bra and regular top...
I don't think someone can really understand how damaging it is to someone to not feel that if you haven't struggled with something like that.
My post op instructions are to start wearing an underwire bra as of today (day 7) and sleep in a sports bra; I honestly don't think I can as the incisions around my nipples are far too tender...
Very much against what I thought I'd do in going to post a photo of my poor nipple.. It's hideous with the scars at the moment ...
This is a 34C bra - I should get properly fitted once my incisions are healed.
16 days post op
12 Apr 2017
7 months post
I had my 2 week post op/suture removal earlier this week - my PS seemed okay with my progress.
He's a little concerned with my previously larger side maybe sitting too low once the implants drop; but mentioned doing a procedure in office if that's the case (I honestly didn't ask further as my heart dropped thinking about needing more work... But will wait to see what he feels when I see him in a month. One day at a time)
I was cleared to go back to the gym; being over muscle he cleared lower impact cardio exs, lower body exercises and some upper. I'm really happy to be able to get back to being active!
My nipples feel much better with the sutures out (and a lot better when I went back the next day to get the sutures they missed the day before out - a little frustrating as I waited over an hour to be seen for a scheduled appointment and had to come back. The staff were wonderful though and made time for me to come in when I called in the morning explaining I had sutures still in - the nurse was awesome and was very thorough removing dried skin, etx to ensure everything looked okay. She mentioned I may get a few more internal stitches poking through as the body often pushes them out like a sliver)
Otherwise my left breast is uber sensitive in the upper pole area and I have what I think is nerve pain in the nipples. All very normal from what I've read.. Very uncomfortable though! It feels better to have a little pressure on the area - but I can't very well walk around cupping my boob ????
The incisions also look much better with the sutures out and all the scabbing/dry skin off! I'm sure they won't be noticable in time ...