Three months post-op

February 21, 2008

Hello everyone!  Once again I have been bad with my updates, but hey, I’ve been having too much fun with my new boobs to worry about it! (Ew, that sounds pretty disgusting….I don’t mean I was having fun on my own…although, I DO like to look down and go oooohhh I have breasts! Still a surprise sometimes!) Anyway, so I’m approaching three months post-op and my, how time flies when you’re recovering from breast surgery…when I think of the week before my op it’s all hazy and weird. I was pretty freaked out at times. Then afterwards I was tired, and a bit sore, and taking painkillers, and worrying about how they would look, so I didn’t really stop to think of the future and how they would look in a few months and years.  It’s only now I realise how happy I really am with them. Sure, I mentioned that occasionally I get slightly annoyed with the continuing perception some people have of this procedure but mostly I’m just delighted I did it. I’m going to post pictures VERY SOON but I can tell you they are almost completely in my natural, pre- op shape (not really high and ‘stuck-on’ looking) and they continue to soften. The outsides of each one are much softer, and underneath, where the scars are, is the hardest place. But even that is much softer. Scars are still pretty visible but I think the Bio- Oil has reduced the redness. I don’t know if they look really fake or not…they definitely look less fake than they did week 1, when they looked like Posh- style baloons….but I think they still have an element of fakeness….which will continue to fade.  So, anyone reading this who is currently in week 1 and feeling pretty miserable (believe me, I remember), take heart– it passes, and soon you’ll look and feel great.  Happy boobies! xx 

Post-op swelling is NORMAL!

February 12, 2008

In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten loads of nice emails and comments asking me questions about my surgery and my recovery, and I want to answer them because I remember how panicked and worried I was at times before my surgery. And after.
So, one that comes up a lot is worry about size and swelling. Before my surgery I was pretty clear to my surgeon that I did not want to be that big, so when I woke up and groggily looked down I was actually surprised by how kind of high and perky they were. As day 1 and 2 went on they continued to swell. I was then perscribed an anti-inflammatory drug called Difene by my surgeon to reduce pain and swelling. I had 260cc implants put in behind the muscle, remember, so right after surgery I was a D cup. There is more pain and swelling from behind the muscle jobs.
But swelling is completely normal, and actually, one of the nurses told me that it’s more weird if there is NO swelling. (I really need to look up ‘swelling’ in a thesaurus and come up with an alternative…)
If anyone is in their first week of recovery and is sore and swollen, honestly, stop worrying. Talk to your doctor about taking an anti- inflammatory, or maybe take an over the counter one like ibuprofen. But obviously check with a doctor/pharmacist about safety, etc. Use ice-packs to decrease swelling and bruising, or bags of frozen fruit or veg if you like. Sleep upright and keep your arms elevated on pillows or cushions, this will also help reduce swelling.
It won’t last– it can take a month to pass, and even up to 3 months, according to my PS. He told me I wouldn’t see my actual final result until SIX months after my surgery. But I’m over two months now and I’m actually happy with them already. I don’t want them to de-swell more!
Just relax and wait it out, that’s all we can do. We were cut open, had something shoved into our chest, then sewed back up– of course we will be swollen! It’s the body’s natural healing process, and when it’s over, man is it worth it…

Sorry I haven’t been updating the blog, and actually I have a great post half written in response to some fucking dick who mailed me with “28 reasons not to get a boob job” (the reasons included: you can die, it’s pathetic, men don’t like it, and other such bullshit) but I haven’t managed to finish it because I’ve been sick this last week. Not boob sick, just had that awful vomiting bug. I won’t go into details but trust me, it was violent.

Anyway also in the last week, I’ve noticed a mild and occasional pain in my left breast, it’s kind of a milder version of the original pain, if you know what I mean. I had a mini freak out until I noticed my left arm was also occasionally sore. It’s not BAD pain but it comes and goes. My completely uneducated guess is that it’s my muscle aching. Maybe I’m doing too much?
I’m just a little over two months post-op and I really hope this doesn’t mean I have some problem. Mostly because the anti- implant idiots would love it.
I have my two month check up on Thursday with my surgeon so I’ll talk to him about it. I should also mention that I have a ‘weak’ left arm, ever since I was a baby, due to a bad birth and an incompetent obstetrician. Maybe it’s just strained.

Other than that I’m doing good. They look more natural…they’re softening…and the scars seem to be slightly less scar-like…but maybe that’s just my imagination.

Because we’re worth it

December 14, 2007

Last night I went Christmas shopping, and in the usual tradition of me, ended up buying more stuff for myself than for anyone else. I went into Marks and Spencer and got sucked into buying loads of lovely bras just because I could.
I used to hate bra buying before, it was more damage control than joyous lingerie gathering. I would buy the one that I thought would make me look bigger (most padding) and ones that I thought would give me more cleavage, and they NEVER really did. I spent loads on Wonderbras, on Calvin Klein bras…none of which fit me now of course. But now, I can choose any bra in my faaaabulous 34C size and I know I’ll look good in it. I bought five bras last night…one is a gorgeous padded push up one from M&S and I couldn’t wait to get home and try it on. It looked brilliant on me–I have cleavage and shape and fullness and when I put on a lovely blue dress I could never wear before…I wanted to go out in it there and then!
(I know I’m not supposed to be wearing underwire yet– but trying them on can’t hurt, can it?)
Anyway I should have taken a pic. I was so excited. It probably sounds stupid but when you spend years looking at yourself in the mirror and then trying to hide/change what you see, and then that change happens, it’s an amazing feeling…and it’s all been worth it. The pain, the discomfort, the worry, the money….ALL of it. I would go through it again tomorrow. And even if something did go wrong, I’d do whatever I could to fix it and keep my implants.

Recovery, day 5 on

December 10, 2007

This is where it eased up for me. I could use my arms again (slowly) and I could put stuff over my head. I also tried on a sports bra for the first time. THAT moment made it all worth it for me. At that exact moment, as I looked in the mirror and saw something I have wanted since I was 16, I finally realised that I DID IT! Focus on this moment, ladies.
It’s not all plain sailing from here–but it’s easier. The mornings are still pretty bad. But I kept taking the painkillers as timed until they ran out, then I bought more because I still needed them in the mornings.
I was still wearing the boob tube bandage at this point too, which annoyed me because my nipples started to hurt (they still look kinda squashed!)
I still took things slowly though. Get a lot of rest and don’t over-exert yourself.
After day 7 I could put on a sports bra, THANKS BE TO JESUS because (and this is pretty gross) my boobs had this weird, greasy look and feel because they were cooped up in the tight bandage. I started panicking thinking I had this weird secretion. But apparently it’s normal, just vile. I could also shower after day 7 too, as long as I changed my incision plasters and kept them dry.
At this point I was still kind of worried about complications, I guess I can’t help being a worrier. But it’s pretty normal to have moments of panic I think…So I’m taking it a day at a time. Tomorrow is my last day of covering my scars, and in one month I can wear underwire…YAY. At the moment I’m massaging and waiting for them to soften. One is actually harder than the other (my right) this could be ‘cos I’m right handed…
Also in week 2 I was still stiff in the mornings and couldn’t completely lie on my tummy or side in bed, but that passes.
I’m trying to think of more details, I guess me saying “It hurts a bit” and stuff isn’t much help. I was pretty much back to normal life, which for me is pretty unstrenuous anyway. I wasn’t having sex which you have to wait a while to do and I don’t lift heavy stuff, or exercise, or dance around…wow I’m a poster girl for the good life, aren’t I??
You have to wait about a few weeks to do all this stuff anyway.

Things that are normal, but that you may worry about:

1. Pain in ribs and upper abdomen–I was like “Gah! My muscle has split open!” and stuff. But of course this area will hurt as your muscle heals.
2. Itchy, tingly scars
3. Sudden sharp pain inside boobs (I don’t know what causes this but I asked and it’s normal! And doesn’t last. It’s more like a small, fleeting stitch than a pain.)
4. One breast softening first
5. Uneven scars–I freaked about this–but my left scar is slightly longer, not much. A nurse said to me, think of each breast as a different entity–the surgeon does each separately and manipulates them differently–he must have had to make a bigger hole in my smaller boob.

The day of surgery

December 5, 2007

So I had my boob job on Friday November 23rd, at about 9am. I say ‘about’ because the time from when I got to the clinic at 6.30am and the time I fully came around from the anaesthesia is a weird, twilight zone memory.
When I arrived, a nurse brought me up to my bed in a ward with about 8 beds, it looked like your standard hospital ward. I was expecting some fancy private room, not a hospital setting, with IV tubes and curtains and nurse stations.
Anyway, I had to undress, put on a gown and these vile white compression stockings (so sexy) and scrub my chest with antibacterial soap. After all this fun, the surgeon came around and asked me more questions, confirmed what size I wanted, and took ‘before’ photos. Which I’m sure are fabulous. He also drew “cut here” lines on my chest with a big purple marker. I then watied for some time (not sure how long) in a kind of daze.
I was really calm and silent, no panic or anything. I was led into theatre and this is when the dream-like quality kicked in. I felt like I was underwater or something. I remember lying on the bed and seeing loads of nurses etc above me, reassuring me.
The anaesthetist stuck a very large needle in my lower arm and I waited to fall into oblivion. Last thing I remember is a purple oxegen mask thing being lowered onto my face and thinking “Why am I still awake?” I think I felt a bit drowsy, then sweet nothingness. Of course I don’t remember the nothingness. Next thing I know I’m back in my bed with an IV in my arm and an oxegen tube in my nostrils, moaning with pain (yes) and shivering like crazy. The girl in the next bed, who was going in after me, said I was crying going “Owww it hurts, it hurts” or some such rhubarb. I’m such a wimp.
I just remember an awful, throbbing pain in my nipples (even though my incision site was the crease) and being absolutely freezing. I kind of slept/passed out for a while then. A nurse came over and propped me up (my arms were useless from this point until about four days later) and gave me water and food. I was starving, what with all the fasting and surgery. I took off my gown and put on my PJs and got my first look at the new girls.
I was expecting huge, swollen, bruised things but instead saw nice-looking, only slightly swollen breasts. They swelled more as the day and night went on but that’s normal.
I stared at them like they weren’t mine and then just went back to sleep. It’s a weird feeling.
Anyway, the next few hours and days weren’t fun city. The first night was bad because you have to sleep basically sitting up so the impants don’t end up in the wrong place, and for circulation to flow to the wounds. I, like most people, sleep curled up on my side so I found it hard.
For people wondering about pain right after–it’s not that bad. It’s less pain, more this heavy, tight, stiff feeling as your skin and muscles stretch. Plus you’ll be on painkillers, so don’t worry about the pain. The worst bit is the muscle strain, which can be dulled with painkillers but which means every action becomes a struggle.
Walking upright (I walked hunched over for days), pulling up pants, pulling tops over your head, hoisting yourself up with your arms…all this is hard for the first few days.
After a few days I became less stiff and then the twinges started, mostly in my ribs and inside my breasts where the muscle was healing.
Remember I got my implants placed under the muscle, which is more painful with a longer recovery time, but which generally gives better results in the long run, especially for women who were small breasted to begin with.
Anyway, I would divide my recovery into two phases: getting used to the new boobs and the muscle pains/twinges they bring, and then looking after the scars. This is a bit of a pain in the ass. I’m currently in this phase now.
I’m on day 12 post-op and I’m doing good. Swelling is minimal, they’re not even that big, just a nice full C cup. They’re still pretty high but getting softer, I’m massaging gently every day (which feels weird. You can’t feel the implant moving or anything but you can feel it. It’s a nice, squishy, booby feeling 🙂
My scars are very noticable but it’s only been over a week (as I’m telling myself daily). They’re still covered in big plasters and as a result the surrounding skin is kind of red and raw. Also itchy.
The whole bra scenario is a whole different story…more on that later.
This probably isn’t full of the right detail. I’m trying to remember what I wanted to know pre-op but I was mostly worried about not waking up from anaesthesia, and about getting an infection. So far no infection (I was on Augmentin for a week) and obviously, I did wake up from the anaesthesia. So yay-men to that.
Anyone worried about the anaesthesia? Don’t, it’s the best part. It’s amazing to be completely knocked out, thoughtless and painless, while you go through what, lets be honest, is pretty invasive, what with all the muscle slicing, incision manipulation, and implant squashing…
It’s like a split second in your head– lying on operating table– then lying in bed with new boobs. Yay!

Under or over?

September 25, 2007

Position of implants

I’ve taken this from this article on breast augmentation:

“The placement of breast implants is either sub-glandular or sub-muscular. Sub-muscular can either be partial or complete. With partial sub-muscular placement, the bottom third of the implant is not covered by muscle. With both partial and complete placement bellow the muscle there are usually fewer instances of complications and mammography tests are easier to perform. When implants are placed sub-glandular, insertion is faster and easier, and there is usually a shorter recovery period.

The primary difference between sub-glandular and sub-muscular is the type of look that the breasts have. For sub-glandular, the implants gives a distinct cleavage line which extends up over the top of the breast. For sub-muscular, the cleavage is not as distinct and does not continue up over the top of the breast. The degree to which the placement affects the final result depends upon several factors.”

Basically what this means is, if you get the implants behind (or under) the muscle, you have a longer recovery time, more pain, and less ‘high’ cleavage; but you also reportedly have less rippling or moving around of the implant, a more natural look, and apparently, it is easier for radiologists to detect breast cancer.

Mine are behind my muscle because I was too small to have them put on top.
Rates of capsular contracture are reportedly slightly lower with implants placed behind the muscle, which made me happy. I’d rather have more pain at first with more benefits later on.
But of course it’s different for everyone…and implants placed over the muscle obviously have loads of benefits too…they are softer faster, they drop quicker and your muscle isn’t sliced open…