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Brenda’s Journey

  • First Breast Augmentation and Lift – October 6, 2004

  • Second Breast Augmentation -700 cc  Silicone

  • Tummy Tuck - Lower Body Lift – Liposuction – February 2, 2006

 

My Situation

I am a 54 year old mother of three sons. I have gained and lost weight several times over the 34 years Hubby and I have been married.  From a high of 260 to a low of 125 and pregnancy, my breasts had lost their volume and developed stage III ptosis.  After staying at my doctor’s recommended weight of 155 pounds for well over a year, I decided it was time to do something about my breasts.  I was ashamed of them.  I was ashamed for my husband to see them.  I was ashamed for my doctors to see them. My clothes did not look as good on me as I knew they should.  I had to wear a 36C bra to gather the loose breast tissue and hold it in place.  If I had only had a breast lift, the result would have been a full 36B.  I couldn’t see spending all that money and only have a 36B to show for it.

 

 

 

 

My Research

 

All my research was done on the internet.  I started with Google and Yahoo searching for breast augmentation.  I found several forums and joined them.  The ladies on the forums were very helpful to one and all.  The signature (siggy) pictures added a bit of personality to the otherwise cold typed postings.  After a few weeks I started participating in the discussions because I felt comfortable.  The comments I made were based on my research, comments I had read, and my consultations.

 

 

 

 

My Consultations

 

I had three consultations.  The first was with Dr. DeWire of Richmond, VA.  He came very highly recommended by the staff and members of the forums.  I sent him pictures my husband took of me, by e-mail, and received a prompt reply.  He wanted to do two separate surgeries.  The first would be the breast lift, the second the breast augmentation.  I asked about silicone, but he did not address my question in his reply.  I was very disappointed and decided not to go with him because I did not want to go through two surgeries.  I am afraid of not waking up.

 

 

My second consultation was with Dr. Fontana of Waldorf and Silver Spring, MD.  He described in great detail what the single procedure would entail.  His preference was for full-under the muscle placement.  He also said I was not eligible for silicone and it would be illegal for any doctor to augment my breasts with silicone.  He also said the surgery would take about 4-1/2 hours.  He was going to take that long to make absolutely sure there was no bleeding.    I knew I was eligible for silicone implants based on my research.  My research also told me that 3 hours was a normal time for my surgery.  I did not want to be put under for that long.  He quoted me a price of about $13,000, partly because of the long surgery time.

 

 

My third and final consultation was with Dr. Lowe of Annapolis, MD.  He had all the right answers.  He asked if I wanted silicone or saline (silicone!).  He asked what size I wanted (full 36C).  He asked what shape I wanted.  When I paused on that one, he volunteered “perky”.  Right answer!  When I asked how long the surgery would take, he said 3 hours.  That was when I knew he was the one.  I was quoted a price of $9,345 for the breast augmentation with mastopexy and areola reduction.  My implants would be MENTOR smooth round moderate profile 3rd generation silicone gel implants.

 

 

My husband was with me for all meetings with doctors and staff.  We discussed everything in great detail during our nightly walks.

 

 

 

 

 

The Wait

 

My initial consultation with Dr. Lowe was on July 13, 2004.  My preoperative consultation was on September 16, 2004 with my surgery three weeks later on October 6, 2004.  My preoperative photos were taken at the September 16 appointment.  I had to put down a $500 deposit at my initial consultation to reserve the operating room.  The remaining amount was due at my preoperative consultation.  The wait from July to October was pure hell.  Each night during our two mile walk, hubby and I talked about little else.  My husband was doing as much research as I was so we had a lot to talk about.

 

 

At my preoperative appointment and right before my surgery I told Dr. Lowe that I had changed my mind and I wanted to go bigger.  I told him I wanted a 36D cup.  He asked me three times to make sure I wanted to go larger.  At one point I said “forget C I want D.”  I am very happy with my decision to go bigger.

 

 

 

 

My Surgery

 

Hubby and I spent the night before my surgery in a hotel within walking distance of the surgery center.  I was paranoid the car wouldn’t start or there would be a traffic problem during the 20 minute ride or the bridge would fall down.  I wanted to leave nothing to chance.  We went to Copeland’s for dinner to celebrate.  Before dinner and before bed I took a Valium.  I highly recommend them for everything that ails you.  They may not fix it, but you don’t care.  I threw away my bra and panties to mark the transition.

 

 

B-Day morning we got up and I showered.  I scrubbed my old breasts hard with a washcloth and Dial soap to make sure they were good and clean.  I did not use any deodorant or makeup as instructed.  At 6:45 we drove the 0.2 miles to the surgery center.  We waited in the car for 10 minutes and went up at 7:00 sharp.  We were the first there (Surprise).  They took me back and put me in one of those fashionable medical gowns and started an IV.  They gave me antibiotics, anti-nausea, and a relaxant.  Hubby came back and sat with me until the doctor came to mark me up.  The anesthesiologist talked to me for a while and then I waited and waited.  About 8:45 I was wheeled into the operating room and moved over to the operating table.  I was laid out with both arms out to the side.  I started to think “I wonder when they are going to put me out”, and then I woke up.

 

 

I woke up wondering where the hell I was and who put those elephants on my chest.  It then dawned on me where I was and why I was there.  I checked and I had BOOBS!  I was in the operating room for 3 hours and the recovery room for 2-1/2 hours.  They sent me home with hubby about 2:15.  Hubby did not leave the surgery center for breakfast or lunch.

 

 

I wore a white T-shirt and no bra to the surgery clinic and a 2XL HOOTERS T-shirt home.  Everybody made a comment about it and loved it.  One of the other plastic surgeons asked where the orange shorts were.  I was too out of it to reply.

 

 

I had two beautiful, great, wonderful, new “450cc Mentor Smooth Round Moderate Cohesive Gel Mammary Prosthesis”, and one butt ugly surgical bra.  The girls were high, hard and boxy, and I loved them.  I had cleavage and when I hugged hubby my boobs touch first not my tummy.

 

 

 

 

My Procedure

 

Dr. Lowe performed a breast augmentation mammaplasty with mastopexy.  The implants were placed partially under the muscle.  He had to do a full anchor lift because my nipples were 3 inches below where they should have been.  (Think of Granny in Playboy.)  My incisions run along the bottom of my breasts from the center to the outer edge.  They also run up to and around my areola.  My areola has been reduced to 50mm in diameter.

 

 

 

 

My Recovery

 

I slept in a recliner and hubby tracked my drugs and made sure I took all of them.  He slept in the other recliner.  He went with me to the bathroom every time I had to go.  When he changed the dressing because a bit of blood had seeped through he gave them both a light kiss.  I ended up spending the first four nights in the recliner and a few other nights when I was tired of sleeping on my back.  I took the pain and muscle relaxants religiously for the first seven days.  I then switched to extra strength Tylenol.  I had to take them on and off for about eight weeks.  Remember, I had a very extensive surgery. 

 

 

I have had three post operative appointments.  The first was at day one.  The doctor took the surgical bra off for the first time and checked for bleeding and swelling.  Everything was just fine.  I was told I could take a shower when I got home but had to wear the surgical bra for three days and nights.  I then could switch to sports bras.  I had to wear them 24 hours a day except when I took a shower.

 

 

My second post operative appointment was at day eight.  At that time my steri-strips were removed, getting them off felt so good.  Some of the discomfort I was feeling was from the steri-strips pulling on my skin.  I was told that I had to wear a sports bra 24/7 for two more weeks.  Then I could wear a regular bra but no under-wires for the first three months.  I could go braless if I wanted too.  I was also given a strap to wear two or three times a day for one hour each time.  I used it for three or four days and stopped.

 

 

My third appointment was at five weeks.  My breasts were still a little high and need to drop and fluff a bit more.  The scars are healing just fine.  Some of the dissolving stitches had started coming through the skin so the nurse pulled them out and cut them off.  The nurse referred to it as “spitting stitches”.  My three month appointment was uneventful.  Everything was healing just fine.  I have more appointments at one, three and five years.

 

 

Dr. Lowe and the surgery center staff did an outstanding job.  I am very glad I went for the larger size.  I only wish I had done it a year ago.

 

 

 

 

My Decision to go BIGGER!

 

Slowly over time after my first breast augmentation and breast lift, I became dissatisfied with my new perky boobs.  They looked good enough when I was naked or had a very tight top on, but there just was not enough projection when I wore a loose top.  I didn’t expect anything when I wore a sweatshirt or bulky sweater.  I was a 34DD and strangely that was not enough for me.  Hubby never said anything about my boobs not projecting enough.  He was happy they didn’t hang to my belly button. 

 

 

At about 9 months after my BA & BL I told my hubby I was not satisfied with my new boobs and wanted bigger.  I was very happy with the width but not the projection.  Hubby found and downloaded the Mentor Product Reference Guide.  In it my 450cc Moderate Profile silicone implants were listed as having a diameter of 14.9cm and a projection of 3.4cm.  The closest Mentor High Profile implant had a diameter of 14.8cm and a projection of 5.8cm.  This would give me 0.1 cm less diameter and 2.4cm more projection.  Hubby lobbied for me to get the 800cc HP implants but I didn’t want any more width.  He will survive. 

 

 

I also started researching tummy tucks.  I knew I needed one bad.  Three big sons and my loosing 110 lbs was showing bad.  My boobs had been fixed now it was time for the next step. 

 

 

 

 

New Implants and a Belt Lipectomy

 

At the one year visit with my PS, I brought up that I wanted a full tummy tuck and bigger boobs.  I told my PS I wanted 700cc HP silicone implants.  He thought for a few seconds and then said “OK”.  He then had me lay back and he examined my stomach to determine the extent of the damage my pregnancies caused.  He then had me stand up and had me turn around so he could see my back.  He then had me sit down so we could discuss things.  He said I would be able to carry 700cc HP implants without a problem. 

 

 

As for my tummy tuck, I would need more than just a simple tummy tuck.  I would also need a full muscle repair and a belt lipectomy.  The belt lipectomy would make my tummy tuck go all the way around.  My PS and the nurse stepped out to do a price estimate and hubby and I talked.  We agreed that the belt lipectomy was necessary.  When my PS came back in we told him we wanted all three procedures.  He then left us with the price sheet to decide whether we wanted to put a deposit down right then or wait.  We put down the deposit.

 

 

On February 2, 2006 I had my surgery.  As before I was prepped by the surgery center staff and my PS drew reference lines in preparation for my surgery.  I went to sleep and woke up with my tummy hurting like you wouldn’t believe.  I also had two big beautiful boobs.  I was given a shot of pain medications.  After a while hubby was brought back to take me home.  The surgery took 4-1/2 hours and I stayed in the recovery room for 2-1/2 hours.  It was a full day for everybody.

 

 

 

 

My Recovery Again....... 

 

I could not stand up straight.  I was told I would not be able to stand erect for two weeks.  They were correct.  When we got home I went directly to my trusty recliner.  I spent two weeks there.  I started taking my prescription medications before the pain killers they gave me during surgery wore off.  However when they did wear off I hurt like mad.  Hubby made sure I took my pain meds on time to keep ahead of the pain as best as possible. 

 

 

For the first two days I could not wipe myself, hubby had to do it.  That is true love.  I also could not shower until day three.  I was wearing a surgical bra and surgical long-line pants.  I also had four drains.  They were removed on day 7.  I had a visit on day 3 just to make sure things were going as planed.  They were right I could not stand erect for the first two weeks. 

 

 

I went back to work after being off for two weeks.  I should have waited another week.  The full tummy tuck with muscle repair and belt lipectomy was a much harder hit than I expected.  You may have noticed I said nothing about pain from my implant replacement.  The pain from my tummy tuck totally overpowered the pain from my boobs. 

 

 

I am very happy with my choice of 700cc high profile silicone implants.  Having a flat tummy after all these years is wonderful.  I can now wear a bikini and feel comfortable.  I would do it all again in a heart beat.    The only loss in my surgery was my tramp stamp.  It had to be sacrificed to my belt lipectomy.  It has been replaced by a bigger, more intricate tramp stamp. 

 

 

P.S.  At my two year checkup my PS said I had the boobs of a 20 year old.  He is right.

 

 

Brenda's Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

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