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I am hoping by sharing my breast augmentation experience that I can help answer questions for those who are on the fence about getting plastic surgery. I am not trying to influence anyone into getting plastic surgery or abstaining from it, but instead to share my personal experience and my reasons behind doing so.
So why did I choose to have breast augmentation?
- First off you have to be doing this for you and not for anyone else. I grew up overweight most of my childhood, not losing most of my weight until my senior year of high school/freshman year of college. So needless to say I grew up with pretty poor self-esteem and poor body image.
- When I was over weight I never really had huge boobs, maybe a full B small C, but when I lost weight (going from a size 13 in juniors to a 4-6) my boobs shrunk to a big A small B and are no longer perky.
- Well I dropped the weight and got into shape, but sometimes the damage is done and nothing can fix it except for surgery.
- I feel that I am not proportionate, having a pear shape (big glutes and small breasts) and that by getting breast augmentation that it will make me more proportionate and help me feel more comfortable with myself.
- I recently had pre-skin cancer removed from my right breast, close to my areola. I had a biopsy done and then they had to go back and take extra margins to be sure that they got all of the abnormal cells. By doing so, my areola was a little messed up. This was just another reason behind having breast augmentation.
- For me, having the surgery is more about gaining confidence, feeling better about myself, finally having a good self-esteem and finally overcoming the negative body issues that I have been tackling all of my life.
First you should research plastic surgeons in your area and extended area. Pick a few to go see and talk to so you can feel them out.
- Are they sales men and trying to up sell you on anything or trying to get you to purchase other procedures? If so run away and don’t go back.
- Does the doctor have a good bedside manner? Does the he or she talk to you in layman’s terms and answer all of your questions without you feeling stupid.
- Do you know anyone else who have been to these doctors or know anyone who works for them? What were their experiences? Are they a good boss to have?
- How well is he or she known in the medical profession?
- I am lucky enough that I work in the medical profession and my family has lived in the same town forever and my boyfriend’s mom is also in the medical profession so that really helped me narrow down my choices.
- Also one of my friends went to the doctor that I ended up choosing and she loved the way her surgery turned out.
At your initial consultation
You will fill out all of the normal paper work that you normally have to fill out when seeing a new doctor (past medical history, name, date of birth, social security, health insurance, etc). Next the nurse took me on a tour of their facility and then we ended up in a consultation room where I was introduced to the doctor and he told me a little about himself.
He then asked me what procedure I was interested in. I explained to him that I wanted breast augmentation. He then asked to examine me. He asked what size I was interested in and then explained what size he thought was best for my body. He then talked about over or under the muscle (I went with under). He describes the different types of implants (saline, silicone gel, and formed silicone gel). He explained the different ways to have them inserted (belly button, arm pits, under the boob and through the nipple. He asked how active I was and explained that the bigger you go the more wear and tear your boobs will go through.
Think about doing sprints with DD’s and then doing sprints with full C’s. The full C’s are smaller and won’t fly around as much and in the long-term they will probably look better than the DD as you age. At the end of the consult we went over everything again, but in less detail. I chose the formed silicone gel, under the muscle, through the nipples and full C/small D. Since I had been over weight most of my school years I needed to have a mini lift. Not the whole T incision up the front of your boobs, but instead removing a couple of inches of skin from the top of my breasts above the nipple, that way they could hide the lift scars with the nipple incisions used for the implants. We also went over my past medical history and family history. Both my mother and her mother have had breast cancer. Because of this their oncologist recommended that I start getting mammograms at the age of 35 and with breast implants it makes it just a little bit harder to have the mammograms. Having had a mammogram at the age of 19 because of cysts I can attest that mammograms are not the most comfortable procedure to have LOL.
At the end of the initial consult I was given an estimate for the cost of the procedure. Since this was not my first consultation (my first was about 4 years ago and I was told I would need the mini lift then too), I was aware of how much it would approximately cost and I was ready to set up my surgery date. After the surgery date was set they also gave me a lab slip to get some blood drawn a week prior to surgery to make sure that I don’t have an infection.
Follow up consult 1 week prior to surgery
This is to make sure you are ready to have surgery (some people get cold feet), to get all of the measurements done so the doctor knows how many CC’s your implants will need to be and if the implants will fit in your desired route. Since I wanted the formed silicone gel and I was going though the nipple, they had to measure to make sure it would fit, and unfortunately it would not. The doctor explained this to me, and gave me the reasons why and I understood. I would have gone with the formed silicone gel but then I would have to go another route and end up with double incisions and scars. I ended up going with the silicone gel (non-formed) 325cc in the right breast and 375cc in the left breast. It is very common for women to have different sized breasts. After all of the measurements, you get dressed and then the hard part, you have to pay for it. They also give you a prescription for pain medicine so you will have it ready for after your surgery.
The week leading up to surgery
Is the most nerve-racking of them all. You are excited because the surgery is so near and you can almost feel your new boobs, but then you are afraid because it is a surgery and there are risks and what if something happens. They ask you to stop all blood thinners a week before surgery. This includes Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, fish oil and vitamin E. So if you get a headache in this week leading up to surgery you are stuck with Tylenol or just dealing with it. The night before the surgery they ask you to not eat or drink anything after midnight (NPO after midnight). This means no coffee in the morning (it’s such a struggle to get up and moving without it).
The day of the surgery
They ask you to wear warm comfy clothing and a shirt that either snaps or buttons up the front. Do not skimp on the button up (I will tell you why later). They had me arrive at the surgery center at 6:45am. The surgery center is in the same location as my doctor’s office, but just a different entranced. Here you will fill out more paper work stating you understand the risks, confirming what surgery you are getting, confirming who you are, date of birth, social security number etc, understanding HIPPA and more of the sort. After that you are led back to a pre-op area and you are given a bracelet with your name, date of birth, social security, and allergies. This is where you will meet the nurse, nurse anesthetist, anesthesiologist, and your doctor. Everyone will ask you about your name, date of birth, and allergies.
They have you change into a gown, wear a hair net and booties (for your feet), take off any jewelry you may have and ask you a bunch of questions about past medical history and if you’ve every had any signs, symptoms, diseases etc. The nurse will put these plastic leg warmer looking things on your legs. These are to help prevent you from getting blood clots (DVTs). The nurse will also start an IV. I got Flagyl (an antibiotic) and Decadron (a steroid). Next the doctor will come in (by now it is close to 7:30) and draw on you with marker. Him and his nurse take out a measuring tape and measure you every which way leaving you covered with marker. This is so that they make the breasts even with the lift and making the nipples the same size and so that they are symmetrical.
Next the nurse anesthetist comes and asks you if you’ve ever been under anesthesia and if so did you have any reactions. She explains that she will be giving me a calming drug prior to starting the anesthesia (If I remember right I think I was given fentanyl). She then explains about the tube that would go in my mouth/throat (not totally intubated). I remembered being wheeled into the OR room but nothing else. The next thing I remembered was waking up in a recovery room. My nurse was right there with me when I woke up. The doctor popped by when I was still drowsy and told me that the surgery went well and that he would stop by again when I was more awake. They called my boyfriend and told him that I was in recovery and that he could come back and see me.
The doctor said that the surgery went well and with no problems. He explained that I would be sore and swollen and that the nipples would be tight for a while. He explained that I would need to sleep with my head and chest propped up to help with the swelling. He said no showering or removing the bra and bandages that I was in until he sees me the next day. The bra was white, made of cotton, had clasps in the front, velcro straps by the shoulders and was surprisingly very comfortable.
By now it was close to 11:15 am and I was starved. Having had nothing to eat since 11:30 pm the previous night, I was craving what every girl craves…iced coffee. So this past weekend I was at Disney and I tried a Tiramisu Frappuccino at Starbucks and it was amazing. So lucky for me, there was a Starbucks on the way home from the surgery center so by boyfriend went through the drive thru and got me one. I took a few sips of it and became instantly nauseous. We still had about a 25 minute drive home so I sipped on water instead.
When we got home I propped myself up in my circle chair, popped some pain pills and waited while my amazing boyfriend mixed me up one of my favorite concoctions. I know this may sound gross but you need to try it. One large ripe banana, mashed up in a bowl, topped with 1-2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter, a little honey and topped with dark chocolate chips and then swirl it all around in the bowl and devour it. It tastes like a banana-y cookie dough goodness. It’s perfect to get the nausea to go away.
You never really know how much you use your chest muscles for day-to-day activities until you can no longer use them properly. For example opening and closing doors (building and car doors), pushing yourself up from a sitting position, lifting your arms up, brushing your hair, putting on deodorant, brushing your teeth, putting on a t-shirt, putting on underwear and pulling up your pants. Do you get my drift??? Not only do your boobs hurt because you’ve just gotten them augmented, but now your simple day-to-day activities have become excruciatingly harder and more painful.
The once independent female is now dependent on another to do the most mundane tasks. The doctor tells you to do nothing for the day, just try to relax, sleep and recover, oh and you can now go back to taking your vitamins and fish oils that you were previously asked to stop taking. I ended up spending most of the day in my big circle chair, catching up on my TV shows and working on blog posts. I dosed off from time to time, but for the most part I was awake until about 11:30 pm.
The next day I had my follow-up appointed with the Dr. at 9:30 am. He removed the bandages and told me that everything was looking great. He stated I didn’t have to wear the bra anymore and told me to buy cotton ones that clasped in the front. When he took the bra and bandages off I was a little afraid. The areolas were all puckered up and had internal stitches and external glue holding everything in place. My implants are sitting pretty high (he explained that this is normal and that they will eventually drop) and they were swollen and cone-shaped (think Madonna bra). He gave me instructions similar to the ones yesterday except now I can shower and get the incisions wet. I still need to sleep propped up to help with the swelling and that he wants to see me back in a week. He didn’t want me to put anything on the incision (no Neosporin, polysporin, or bacitracin). He said once the incisions are closed that he would give me something to help fade the scars. I only took a week off from work and he said that was fine since it is a desk job and I do not do any lifting for it.
At my next appointment (next Tuesday) the doctor said he will go over further instructions about massaging the implants to create pockets and what not. But for now he said to take it easy—I don’t know what easy is. I am always doing something. He said no low impact cardio for at least 3 weeks (bike or elliptical) and no weight lifting/high impact cardio for at least 4-6 weeks. I’m going crazy just thinking about it. I am normally at the gym 5-6 days a week so this will be torture.
So here I am, 1 day post op sitting on my couch and popping pain pills while catching up on the newest season of Survivor. Hopefully this very (too) long article will give insight to others that are thinking about having breast augmentation. I started writing this today as a journal for myself and thought that others may be able to benefit from my experience as well. I’m hoping you all have a fabulous Friday! I will be relaxing on my couch and watching Netflix until next Wednesday…I may or may not throw in a blog post here and there 🙂
*BREAST AUGMENTATION UPDATE*
- Here’s my first update (scroll down to the bottom)
- Also a post on 10 Things You wish you knew before getting breast implants