Nicole, I found your web page before my BA (February 25, 1999) and have visited since. Here is my story and thoughts about this procedure.
I am 43 years old and have two grown children. Both my children were born at home and I breast fed both of them for several years. I do not regret my decision of breast feeding for so long. But as it is a fact that women have breasts for this purpose, once we use them for this purpose, we then have to live with them (our breasts) for the rest of our lives. I was no longer willing to live with them in the state they were in so I decided on a breast augmentation and lift. Before children I was a full B cup. During pregnancy and breast feeding I was a D to DD. Years later I was told I was a saggy B-. Now that the kids are grown I took the step in "fixing" my breasts. I choose a Board Certified surgeon in Beverly Hills. I liked him out of the 4 I interviewed because he was more medical and realistic and offered the procedure through a low interest payment plan.
I am 5'7" and weigh 130 pounds. My waist is 26 inches and my hips are 36. And as I mentioned before, I had sag to my breasts. The surgeon told me if we go with a larger implant it would add fullness and lift my breasts without a surgical lift. We decided on a 375 mentor smooth implant filled to 400cc or to 420 cc. and that it would be under the muscle. I was scared before the surgery, not about the outcome but the fact I was going under. That fear if "Am I going to wake up? " even though I read on the Internet that "Going Under" is safer than flying or driving a car and probably in my case, safer than the divorce I went through!
Well, I woke up and was told the 2 hour surgery went very well. I was in pain but nothing like child birth!! Or like breaking my arm last year. I did throw up on the way home however. Which was the first time that happened after a surgery due to the drug used to put me out. I only needed pain medicine for 2 days and enjoyed that. I learned that the surgeon had put my implants over the muscle and filled the 375 implant to 400cc.( I still get a kick out of the fact that both implants are registered with serial numbers) My fear about it being over the muscle is that they would have a higher chance of getting harder later on. I was told not if I follow the doctor's orders for the post-op. I was told that by putting them over the muscle gave me the best lift and fullness for my saggy breasts and if they were put under the muscle (because of my breast tissue) later on I would get a bottomed out look.
Of course with the surgical bra and bandage all wrapped around my swollen breasts I looked huge. My arms looked like that of an anorexia. I also had drainage tubes (which I am glad now because it helps the healing process, I believe, swelling, etc). After 4 days, the Surgeon took the drainage tubes out and did the unveiling. (I want to also mention that I did not have any numbness or loss of sensitivity in the nipple and my breasts soreness is that of the feeling before you have your period).
I was really pleased by what I saw though they are not settled yet, but they looked really full and like a full D cup. There was a bruise on the left breast and I have a very deep cleavage. My breasts are not far apart at all. In fact without a bra I have a very definite cleavage. My family could not believe how natural they looked. The Surgeon said they turned out better than he had anticipated.
By my 3 week appointment it looked as though my breasts were shrinking. They look smaller. I was told that though they haven't settled yet this will be close to the true size. It's a full C cup (but I need a 36 D in a Victoria's Secret Miracle bra). Of course for 3 weeks my BA has been my obsession and all I do is look at them. I must be getting so use to the size, that they now don't seem big enough. I find myself comparing my size to your before and after picture site.
My incision was around the nipple and the stitches are out. I must be a good healer because you can't even notice any type of scar. My input and advice to anyone about this before and after procedure: I wouldn't do it before children. Your breasts change dramatically after children. Also, it was nice having my kids grown when doing this because if I had little ones at home, I would have been flapping my arms all over the place, cleaning, laundry, doing bills, cooking, etc. (you have to keep your arms to your sides for a week, and can't raise them over the head until later on. This includes no driving. )
Believe me I walk and move like a robot even now. I am a clean freak and my 17 year-old that is home with me said, "If you ever do this again, wait until I have gone to college!" She has done everything for me. I may be ridiculous but my doctor is very strict and he literally doesn't want me to do anything but relax. I took two weeks off work and my workout consists of only lower body exercises like butt crunches. And so I watch my calorie intake now. I mean I don't want to look like a Buddha after all this.
My other advice is go bigger than what is suggested so you won't have in the back of your mind, "Next time I will go bigger." Try and make it a one time procedure if possible. After all, it will take at least 3 years to pay this instant gratification off. I would invite anyone's' comments who has a similar case as mine as far as over the muscle and size. Thank you for letting me share.
PS (I have received a few comments such as, "Do you have fake breasts" and my reply is, "No, my breasts are not fake, but I do have an implant behind them." I don't understand the "fake" breast comments. My surgeon did not take my breasts off and make synthetic ones. He just simply put something under the tissue to enhance them.
9 MONTH UPDATE - firmness and a lump but a positive outcome
Well, it's been 9 months since my BA surgery. The last time I wrote was at the 3 month post mark. It took until the 4th month for my breasts to finally settle into their pockets. Since then my breasts have become quite firm (the left being firmer than the right; I had problems with the left to begin with) and round and look like augmented breasts. I am embarrassed to hug anybody because of the firmness. Though I can squeeze them and the skin is soft, they sometimes feel like melons. However, my significant other still loves them ( he doesn't like natural floppy breasts) and it has not ruined the benefits for me as I must admit being so firm has definitely gotten rid of the sag I was once so concerned about. I mean, I'll take this any day rather then sagging breasts. I massage everyday and it was even suggested by a plastic surgeon that I lay on my stomach at night, thus adding pressure to them which help them stretch. Also, last month I discovered a large lump in my left breast. (about the size of an apricot) I had an ultrasound and it was discovered that I had developed a cyst which was benign. They were able to drain it by sticking a needle through the breast tissue while viewing the procedure on screen (ultrasound) without interfering with the implant. I am not convinced that this cyst developed because of the implant but it was suggested that it could of been the culprit. During this procedure, I also had my first mammogram since my implantation. Though I have "Overs", thus making it more difficult (supposedly) for the technician to take the mammogram, I was relieved to find out just how experienced these technicians are today in doing mammograms for implanted woman. In fact, the technician said to me that every other patient she receives has implants ( I live in Southern California, which is probably the implanted capital of America). The reading of the mammogram came out very clear for my doctor, so for those of you who have "Overs" or are considering overs have no fear.
I noticed that at 9 months, looking at my breasts in the mirror that the left is lower than the right but they were like that before the implants were inserted. Initially, my breasts look like they did before except now they are a larger more uplifted version. I had 400cc's in both sides. I wonder now why my PS didn't correct the left side by putting in more cc's.
At 3 months I believed I was a full C but have discovered since then that I am actually a medium D (36) cup. I measure 10 1/2" around each breast. However, as I mentioned in my original story, I'd like to be at least a cup size larger and fuller even on my tall thin frame. I find it just as difficult now as before to find that "perfect" bra. Victoria Secrets just doesn't cut it. The majority of the VS fashion bras do not come in a 36D nor do the Miracle Bras (to my amazement since Tyra Banks models those bras and I know she is a full D if not larger) so, I find myself at Frederick's of Hollywood buying a majority of my sexy bras. (The Hollywood Kiss bra being the best for that vamp look) My breasts are still close together so I have a very definite cleavage even without a bra, however, in certain outfits I still want that real pushed-up look. My everyday bras are the Champion jog bras I find at Big 5 Sporting Goods (not the halter kind but the kind that hook in the back like a regular bra) They look good in t-shirts and sweaters because they aren't pointy like some bras. The bra gives a natural full look at the same time giving you the ultimate support and comfort. JC penneys has their own bras as well that I have found quite comfortable. I work out a lot and I want support. I've been saggy before and don't care to go there again. A majority of my friends with implants are now sagging because they didn't understand the concept of heavier, larger breasts equals support. A spaghetti strap shirt doesn't do it.
I find that my breasts still have some soreness here and there but not consistently and during my menstrual cycle they become so engorged that I go up a cup larger. They look like they did right after the surgery (swollen) during the PMS cycle. But other than that, I have pretty much taken ownership of these foreign objects that are now a part of my breasts.
I will most likely have a re-do in the future, perhaps to relieve the firmness and to go a little fuller. But, I plan to get some wear and tear out of these babies first. I consider this set as my trainers. With these trainers I have experienced enough to know exactly what I want when the time comes for new ones and just want to expect. However, I still believe I will go with "Overs" again. I feel it was the best choice for me. You'll all find out when I update my story in the future.
So, Am I still happy with my BA? .....absolutely, anything negative I have experience with having implants can't outweigh the benefits. And what has enriched the experience even more is all the support from the women on Nicole's web page. I have learned so much about my own implant milestones from their questions/answers, concerns, otherwise I would of been running to a PS every other day!!
July 2009 - 10 year update - Deborah reports that everything is fine!