My name is France, I am 38 years old, 5'2" tall and weigh around 120lbs. I live in Canada. I am fairly healthy except that I smoke cigarettes and I suffer from genital herpes, a virus that recurs from time to time. I take suppressive medication for that. I had surgery on the 23rd of November. On the advice of my surgeon during my initial consultation, I stopped taking Vitamin E three weeks prior to surgery. I was also told not to take aspirin either. My pre-op visit consisted of deciding on size, placement of the implants and placement of the scars (I was a small 34B and decided on Mentor, round, smooth, 275ccs overfilled to 300ccs, placed under the muscles, with incisions in the folds below the breasts). My surgeon helped me decide on all of these issues. He also took before pictures and I asked a lot of questions. I paid the operation in full and went home.
The day before the operation, I was quite jittery and was wondering about how it would all go. I also had a scratchy throat. I slept fairly well nonetheless. On the day of surgery, a friend of mine picked me up and drove me to the clinic (my surgeon has his own), where I was told to undress, put on a surgical gown and wait. The anesthesiologist came in to ask a few questions and to check my throat, for safety reasons. He felt it was safe. When he left the room, I heard a woman moaning in the other room. She was obviously in pain. I was really scared then. My doctor walked in and told me that the woman had just awakened from her surgery, a breast augmentation and a mastopexy, and told me that because of the dual operation she had had, she had suffered more trauma to her body, and thus had more pain upon waking up. The anesthesiologist went to see her and I didn't hear anymore after that.
My surgeon then made some markings on my chest. We went over what we had previously discussed (to make sure that what I wanted was still what I wanted). I walked into the operating room, laid down on the gurney and while the nurses were preparing me, the anesthesiologist made an IV in my hand and injected some drug, so I could relax. I did. Then, he told me he was putting me to sleep and I drifted off. It was around 12:30 p.m. I woke up around 2 p.m., in no pain at all. My anesthesiologist looked at me with some concern...my pulse rate was only 45 bpm and he thought I was pale...so, he injected something in the IV to take all of the anesthetic away, and my pulse became normal. The nurse gave me a codeine injection in my buttock for pain.
They kept me for about an hour or so, then I went home. That first day wasn't so bad, it turned out. I rested a lot, had no nausea, drank fluids and ate some soup. I wasn't particularly hungry. I managed to make a few phone calls to let everyone know I was fine. I also took 2,000 mg of Vitamin C and two Tylenol 3s (6 hours apart) that day.
Woke up at three o'clock in the morning later, did my dishes, then went back to sleep.
November 24, 1998 -
Well, got up very early to go to my doctor for my first post-op visit. I felt terrible and in much greater pain than yesterday. I also got my scratchy throat back and it seemed worse. To make things even more fun, I got a painful genital outbreak that started today despite being on suppressive medication. Not fun. I managed to get to my surgeon's office with the help of a friend and couldn't wait to go home again. I get cranky when I'm in pain.
The doctor noticed that one side was slightly larger and higher than the other. Before the operation, I already knew that my right side was slightly bigger than my left. It just seemed emphasized now. He told me not to panic because sometimes, one side heals slower than the other. So, I'll have to wait and see how it all heals up. I then asked him a few questions like: When can I start taking Vitamin E again? He said two weeks. When can I start showering? He said today or tomorrow is fine, it's actually good for the stitches. What about sex? He fumbled a bit over that one but managed to say that I should wait a bit and not let anyone manipulate my breasts until they were healed.
Today was the first time I looked at myself. I thought "it's not that big, which is good, but it's so hard and so high!" The right side seemed so much bigger than the left. He said to rest, keep taking pain medicine if I needed it and come back in a week. I went back home, lay down on my couch and slept...boy, did I sleep! Almost all day. I woke up a couple times to eat and that was it. I had bought this box of 'meal replacements' called Met R/X...it is full of vitamins, minerals and is very high in proteins. I drank one today and I also took 4,000 mg of vitamin C and three Tylenol 3s for pain, which by the way, didn't take all my pain away. I chose to not drug myself silly because if there is something really wrong going on in there, I'll be able to feel it.
Day 3 (Wednesday, November 25) Wow! I feel much better today. I'm still in pain but it's more manageable today. I still haven't taken a shower yet (I know, it's pretty disgusting but what can I say?), but I wash by hand, only where I need to. I am scared that soap will get on my stitches and create an infection. I am also very limited in my movements...and I am also alone. So, I'll wait until tomorrow.
Day 4 (Thursday, November 26) I woke up this morning feeling grubby because I haven't washed my hair since Monday. I still can't really move well, so I've decided to go to this hairdresser across the street from where I live and get him to wash my hair...much easier there than me trying to do it at home. Just sit back and let him do the work. It worked great! Came home feeling good. I am ready for a shower. It felt wonderful to be under that hot water! But...when I stepped out of the shower, I really looked at myself and I didn't like what I saw. It is like looking at yourself through a distorting mirror...with one side 'still' bigger than the other. My nipples are pointing down a bit because they are sitting so high and haven't gone down yet, so swollen and hard like a basketball...I suddenly feel a bit depressed...it's better that I don't look anymore.
At least, I feel very clean and I am picking up some energy. I'm also able to sleep on my back...finally! I was having so much pain there from sleeping half sitting on my couch.
Day 7 (Sunday, November 29) Today, I feel really good as far as energy goes...it's back and I'm glad. I went for a walk around town and it was good to be outside and doing something. I've been having very strange sensations in my chest in the last couple days. I am told by women who've been there that it's all quite normal. I find it a bit unsettling. Creaking when I feel around them...gurgling when I'm just sitting there watching TV...shooting pain that starts inside the left breast and travels to my nipple when I bend over...nerves 'jumping' in my left side for no apparent reasons once in a while...I guess it's all part of the healing...I've noticed too that my nipples are getting more sensitive with each day.
I find myself not wanting to look at them too much because when I do, I start to feel depressed a bit...not good for me. I'm going to see my surgeon on Tuesday, December 1st, and I can't wait...I need some reassurance. I'm scared that I'll stay this way or that it won't heal right...I know, I know, I'm a bit paranoid...but I'm trying to stay positive about the whole thing. I still have a bit of pain but no longer take any medication for it. Just good nutrition, plenty of rest and vitamin C.
December 1st- one week post-op yesterday -
I went to my doctor today and I must say that I'm not real happy with my results so far. The right side seems bigger and higher than the left...that right side also has quite the "hump" on it and when viewed sideways, looks retarded, for lack of a better word. Because of that hump, the nipple seems to hang lower and it just looks weird. The nurse removes the remaining stitches and both her and the doctor seem pleased with what they see. They say that the scars look really good so far and they do. I, on the other hand, express my concerns about that right side. The doctor tells me to give it at least three months for everything to settle and if I'm still not happy after that, he'll operate again if I want him to.
He approved taking Vitamin E at this point, at 400 IUs twice a day. He also says that I can put Vitamin E on the scars as well. I ask him about wearing a strap or something else to help the hump go down and I'm given an Ace bandage. I'm told not to wear it too tight. I'm also told to go braless whenever I want to and I'm really happy about that...although later not so, since there is extreme sensitivity to my nipples. When the doctor leaves the room, I ask more questions to the nurse, who is terrific. The strange pains are all normal and she suggests that I not massage yet, because it could damage the tissues inside. It's best to wait until all the pain is gone.
I guess I am lucky...the healing process is going well and I have no major problems. So, I comfort myself with these thoughts and hope that things settle nicely in time. I also decide that I have to get out of the house or I'll get really depressed. I went out to see a movie with my ex-boyfriend tonight and had a nice time, but I find that I tire rather quickly. My next appointment will be on December 21st.
December 8 - 15 days post-op -
I went shopping today and bought my first bra! A 36D!! It must be a small make because there is no way that I'm that big. It fits nicely though. I'm just starting to be comfortable with these new "twins", as I call them. I still worry about that right side though and wonder how things will be when I get back to work. Driving isn't too bad, but parking the car is still difficult at this point.
December 14 - Three weeks post-op -
First day back at work (I am a dancer) and of course, all the girls wanted to see "them." So, I showed them with a little embarrassment and everyone complemented me...maybe they're just trying to be nice...anyway, it's good to be working again, I was getting pretty broke.
December 21st - Four weeks post-op
Today was my third visit to the doctor since the surgery. A month has gone by and although the changes have been subtle, they have occurred nonetheless. It is not swollen anymore and they have started to drop, but very slowly. That right side is still weird, but not as much as it was before. The nipples are still very s sensitive and the doctor says it will go away eventually. I am happier today than ever since my surgery. I do not miss my "before" breasts at all, which I think I find a little strange. I talked to my surgeon mostly about massage. He wants to know how I am doing and I am fine. I am staying positive about the end result and I think to myself "Why didn't I do this sooner?"