Posted by Jules on Sunday, 22 September, at 11:55 p.m.
It's been a whole year since my surgery, and I can hardly believe it! In the past year I spent time on the beaches of Maui and in the deserts of Arizona, and I actually enjoyed wearing a bathing suit and tank tops!! I feel so much better about myself and really enjoy showing my new additions off. It's nice not having to wear a bra all of the time...my friends are jealous of that. :) Hopefully I'll have some "after" pictures within the month so I can send them to be posted on this site.
The year went by very quickly and without incident (thank goodness!). I'm still doing my implant exercises every day. I still wake up and am amazed at how I look, even though they feel like they've always been there.
I've been getting continued feedback from people reading my journal and I encourage anyone to email me with any questions or comments. I'm glad this site is here as a support forum and information source.
Take care and I'll hopefully post my pics soon!
Posted by Julie on Friday, 2 November, at 2:17 p.m.
I just wanted to give you a little bit of an update. So far, things have been wonderful. I am delighted with my recovery. I am finally getting soft and am moving a bit more. I started working out a week or 2 ago and was happy to feel them moving when I was jogging. Trust me, the smallest things amuse me and please me! I'm still wearing a bra pretty much all of the time, although I didn't wear one to bed last night. Now, usually when they aren't supported for an extended period of time they are sore. But that's not the case anymore! I woke up this morning with no discomfort at all. I actually had to feel them to make sure they were still there!
I got my "before" pictures back the other day and will take my "after" shots soon. I'll hopefully have them posted on Nicole's site within the month.
Julie's Satisfaction Survey
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Tuesday, 30 October, at 1:51 p.m.
I received Julie's Patient Satisfaction Survey today. We send them out to all patients who have had surgery in our office to find out whether they have any recommendations for improvement. Julie gave us a glowing report and was very pleased with her results. Of course, Julie is one of the nicest and most delightful patients we have, and we have been just as pleased to be able to care for her and provide her with results of which she can be proud. Thanks, Julie!
Posted by Julie on Tuesday, 16 October, at 11:12 p.m.
Sorry I'm so behind with this...
As you read in Dr. Loftus's post, my mondor's symptoms went away, so I was pleased with that. It figures...I woke up Monday morning, the day of the appointment, and they were gone. I'm pretty happy with that, though!
I've been doing the massages and implant displacement exercises and it's been going great. I got to wear a real bra for the first time today and it was wonderful!! I'm still going to be wearing a sports bra at night, though. Dr. Loftus advises me to do this because I'm still swollen, and I wanted to do it because my breasts are very sore when they aren't supported for more than maybe a half an hour.
My scars are starting to turn very red, but Dr. Loftus said scars tend to start looking worse before looking better. It's a part of healing, I guess. I'm patient with that, I don't expect them to disappear in a few weeks.
That's all for now. Things are going great! I have a few weddings to go to this weekend and am so excited to dress up! I can't wait to show off my new look, especially since I don't have to wear that cumbersome sports bra. :)
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Tuesday, 16 October, at 5:40 p.m.
Julie has had some Mondor's symptoms, which have now resolved. Mondor's symptoms are simply benign harmless vertical bands below the breast. We do not know why they occur, but we do know that they are harmless and that they go away on their own within a few weeks. Sometimes heat and anti-inflammatory medications help. As Julie's have already gone away, she needs none of this. Her breasts look excellent, and her implants are in good position. I will see her back in 4-6 weeks.
Posted by Julie on Sunday, 14 October, at 10:16 p.m.
While doing my scar massage on Thursday night, I noticed that I have developed what appears to be Mondor's cord in my left breast. The left one is a little higher and more firm than the right one, and a little cord appears when I bow my back.
I'm going to see Dr. Loftus tomorrow morning (Monday) to see what she thinks. I've been massaging and I believe that has helped soften and drop my breasts. It's going really well other than that!
I went shopping for bras on Saturday and it was quite a fun experience! Shopping for bras when you have something to put in them is a lot more fun than shopping for bras when you're flat-chested. No more searching for the most padded or water-filled bra! I found a few bras that work well and are supportive. I was measured and am a 34C! After tomorrow I can wear (or not wear) regular bras (with or without underwires). I think I might continue to wear my sports bra at night just for a little more support and comfort.
That's all for now. I'll update you after my appointment tomorrow.
Julie's 2-Week Visit
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Monday, 8 October, at 4:11 p.m.
Julie is now 2 weeks out from her surgery, and both she and I are very pleased with her early result. Her implant position is excellent, and her swelling is coming down. The tuberous lower poles have expanded nicely. The only slight problem is that her right nipple is numb at this point. Based on the technique I used for dissection during surgery, I think there is an excellent chance that her sensation will return fully - in fact, I will be surprised if it does not. I showed her how to perform implant displacement exercises, and she has promised to do them each day. All in all, Julie has done very well, and I expect she will continue to do so.
2 week check up
Posted by Julie on Sunday, 7 October, at 9:25 p.m.
I went to my 2-week check up with Dr. Loftus this past Friday and it went great! Dr. Loftus said that my implant placement is perfect and that the tuberous condition was virtually corrected. I have to agree, they look great! I'm so happy with them. She also took out the stitches I had on the either end of the incision site (my stitches were absorbable).
Dr. Loftus started me on implant displacement exercises, which I have to do every day for as long as I have implants. That should help soften me up and help me drop a bit. I'll also do breast massage and scar massage. I got a special prescription lotion/cream to use on the scars, so hopefully they'll fade nicely.
Since my breasts are softening and starting to move around more, they're a little sore. When I wake up in the morning they're a little sore and when I move around a lot they are. Nothing unbearable, just something I notice. I still have no feeling in the right nipple and am over-sensitive in the left nipple. Dr. Loftus told me that massage will help bring the sensitivity back and will help with the over sensitive one too.
In about a week I'll be able to wear regular bras and start physical activity again. I can't wait! I want to get back into shape so I can look a little better with my new additions! Everything else is going very well.
Back to work
Posted by Julie on Wednesday, 26 September, at 4:22 p.m.
I went back to work today for a half day, and it felt good. I wasn't too tired but felt good about only doing a half day. I need to take things one step at a time.
I am dropping more as the days progress. I still have very little sensation in my breasts, but I'm not worried too much. I haven't taken any pain medication for a few days now. I stopped taking Tylenol on Monday afternoon and haven't had to take any since then. I have gotten just about all of my strength back. I'm ready for a nap around dinner time, but fight it off so I can sleep better at night. I'm starting to get a little more comfortable at night. I can sleep on my side, but I experience a little aching every now and then when my breasts move or pull.
Overall, I'm feeling very well! I was very surprised at how quickly I bounced back, but I'm not complaining at all!!
6 days post
Posted by Julie on Monday, 24 September, at 12:24 p.m.
Well, I'm almost a week post-op! I'm feeling very well today, not really sore at all. My muscles are still a little tight and I still have a limited range of motion, but other than that I feel fine. By "limited range of motion", I mean that I'm able to wash my hair and lift my arms but I don't have the ability to fully extend my arms to reach way above my head.
The bloating is slowly going away so that's great. I've been able to wear shirts that go over my head since Saturday, it's just a matter of finding shirts that are big enough! I stopped taking the muscle relaxers last night and am just taking two regular strength Tylenol every 4 hours. I feel wonderful! I am able to sleep on my side now with little discomfort, which is great because that's my most comfortable position to sleep in. I have even noticed that the "sisters" have dropped a bit since surgery. I think they look awesome! I can't wait to get out of this sports bra, but that won't be for another 3 weeks. I can't wait to bra shop!!
Posted by Julie on Saturday, 22 September, at 12:42 p.m.
Today is Saturday and I'm finally off of the pain medication. I slept very well last night and had to be woken up for pain meds. I made sure that I was taking the Tylenol around the clock, every 4 hours. I woke up with little pain and the stiffness was not too bad. I'm going to shower on my own today because I have a better range of motion. I'm trying not to overdo it, but I'm so eager to get back to my normal routine.
I have to go and find some clothes to wear today!
Getting around better
Posted by Julie on Friday, 21 September, at 8:58 p.m.
I am 3 days post op and am starting to feel a lot better. I'm going to try to stop taking the pain medication tomorrow to see how things go. I'm a little constipated because of the medication, so that's not really fun. Other than that, things are going a lot better than I expected.
I slept on my back in a bed last night instead of the recliner and slept a lot better. I would have actually slept through the night too but I needed to get up to take the medication.
I got up today and once I was up I felt fine. Getting up after sleeping on the bed made me very tight and sore but I shook it off. Went and got my hair done and that felt really nice. It felt good to get out.
Well, that's all for now.
2 days Post-op
Posted by Julie on Thursday, 20 September, at 12:56 p.m.
Hi! I had my post-op visit with Dr. Loftus yesterday and she said all is OK. I don't have sensation in my right nipple and my right breast is a little bruised around the incision site. Other than that, I'm lookin good!
I was in a lot of pain for a few hours after surgery, then I started feeling better...I guess the drugs finally kicked in. I was up and moving around on Tuesday. But yesterday, Wed, I was a little more sore. Dr. Loftus numbed the nerves around my breasts, which helped tremendously the first day, but it started to wear off so I was experiencing more discomfort.
Today I'm still very sore and tender. I'm going to attempt to shower and move around a bit more. I find that sitting in the recliner all of the time makes me more stiff so I'm going to try to get up more often. Still using the ice packs, they seem to make me feel better. I think I'm a little bloated because I'm drinking so much water and sitting around.
I'm looking forward to the pain/discomfort going away.
Julie's first postoperative visit
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Wednesday, 19 September, at 10:44 a.m.
Julie is now one day postop, and came in for me to take down her dressings. As always, Julie is in a chipper and positive mood. Her implants are in excellent position, and her suture lines are healing nicely. The lower poles of her breasts look great. Of course, as is always the case with subpectoral implants, her breasts have an initial block-shaped appearance. I told Julie that this will last a few weeks, and that she will begin to see her final result after that. I will see her back in 2 weeks to check her progress and to start implant displacement exercises to minimize the risk of capsular contracture.
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Tuesday, 18 September, at 12:29 p.m.
I just finished Julie's surgery, and it went very well. Julie chose to have her implants placed under the muscle, and she chose 390cc for her final volume. The constriction of her breasts was fully released, and I was very pleased with the appearance of her breasts with the implants in place (I always sit patients in an upright position to evaluate them during surgery). Overall, everything went very well.
The big day
Posted by Julie on Tuesday, 18 September, at 8:40 a.m.
Just wanted to say really quickly that I'm very excited and feeling fine. I'm leaving in about 2 minutes so I'll make this short. I probably won't get too nervous until I actually get in the operating room, but by then I'll be semi-sedated. Tootles!
The day before
Posted by Julie on Monday, 17 September, at 7:44 p.m.
Well, tomorrow is the big day! I'm more excited than anything else right now. I'm sure as the night progresses, I'll get more nervous. But that's only to be expected!
I had my pre-op visit with Dr. Loftus this morning and all is well. She marked me up and asked me to leave the markings on so she didn't have to redo it tomorrow morning. Since I have constricted breasts, she had to actually take measurements and things like that, so that will save her time tomorrow morning. Because of this condition, I have no breast crease…so she has to create this too. Tricky, huh? She's a great doctor, so I'm not even worried!!
I asked Dr. Loftus to give me something for my nerves, because I am one to get so nervous I make myself sick. So, she gave me some Valium to take tonight, and she also gave me more anti-nausea medication for after the procedure. I got those all filled and now I'm set! My mom got to take the day off of work tomorrow, so she'll be taking me to the procedure with my sister. I feel a lot better about that since she is a source of great comfort for me.
My boyfriend is going to come over soon and we're just going to kick back and relax for a while. I really don't have anything to do until tomorrow morning. I still have to take some "before" and "after" pictures so hopefully I'll get around to that tonight.
I'll try to post tomorrow morning before I leave. If I don't get to, I'll post again as soon as I can. Cross your fingers for me!
Julie's Preop Visit
Posted by Dr. Loftus on Monday, 17 September, at 10:13 a.m.
My name is Dr. Loftus, and I am Julie's plastic surgeon. I was delighted when she told me she wanted to post a journal of her experiences and also that she wanted me to participate.
Regarding my background, I have been practicing plastic surgery since 1995, and perform primarily cosmetic surgery. My number one procedure is breast augmentation, of which I perform over 100 each year.
I first met Julie in January, when she came to see me for her initial consultation. We again met in June. We have spoken several times since, and her preoperative visit was today.
Today, I answered her questions, performed her pre-op physical, took photos, and marked her for surgery. Julie told me that I should feel free to discuss her particular issues in this journal, and she is in fact sitting here as I make this entry.
Of course, Julie's case is not simple. She has constricted breasts, which means that the lower half of each breast is concave rather than convex. The cause is not always known, but is most likely congenital, meaning it was destined to be that way at birth. The problem with constricted breasts is that there is a paucity of soft tissue of the lower half, so that even after a surgeon "releases" the constriction during surgery, there may still be some concavity afterwards. Fortunately, Julie is symmetric, and therefore is more likely to have a symmetric result afterward than someone who has only one constricted breast. She understands the goals of surgery and the limitations, and she is eager to proceed. She is a very collected, calm, and intelligent young woman, and I am looking forward to performing her surgery.
Posted by Julie on Saturday, 15 September, at 2:40 p.m.
As my surgery date draws near, I'm starting to get nervous. I've been mostly thinking of the recovery time, what I'll need, and how uncomfortable it is going to be. I haven't even started to think of the anticipation the morning of, or the events that will happen like getting marked up for the "cut", thinking about what is actually going to happen during the surgery, and things like that. My mind is really beginning to wander - especially right before I go to sleep. Don't get me wrong, I'm getting really excited as well! But that is long-term, once I achieve my results. I have to get ready for the grogginess from the anesthetic, the gross taste in my mouth from that, and other gory details. It's reality, I guess and it's finally hit me.
It's hard to believe, but I go in for my pre-op visit in 2 days! And surgery is in 3 days! I just can't believe that it's actually going to happen…it's no longer going to be just a dream. I was looking at a dress catalogue today thinking that I would actually be able to wear the stuff in it since I'll finally have a chest to fill it out! That is so exciting to me! I don't think anyone who isn't in my current situation could ever understand that, the need to feel feminine. It's so important!
That's all for now. I've got a lot to think about and go over in the next few days. I'll keep you posted!
5 more days
Posted by Julie on Thursday, 13 September, at 10:06 p.m.
Well, I talked to Dr. Loftus today. She said that I will be taking the nausea medicine right before and right after the procedure (and after that if needed), so I had that prescription filled this evening (Zofran). I'm not going to question her judgement!
I am always SO much more excited after getting off of the phone with anyone at her office. :) I double checked everything today for the last time (am I compulsive about this?) and will just sit back now and enjoy the last few days.
The only thing I'm concerned with now is the actual recovery time. I want to know when I'll be able to lift my arms and wash my own hair, etc., but there isn't one set answer to that question. In case you haven't noticed, I like to have things planned and like to know what's going to happen. This is going to be unpredictable, which I can live with. I'm just eager to get the recovery going and see the final results. I've been preparing for this procedure for almost a year now, and I’M READY!!
Posted by Julie on Wednesday, 12 September, at 10:47 p.m.
Hello! I'm sure everyone can agree with me when I say that yesterday's terrorist events in America were absolutely horrifying. These events really made me think of my own mortality and just how precious life really is. With less than a week to go until surgery, I'm starting to doubt whether I made the right decision to have a breast augmentation. Is it worth it to me to go through with this surgery? I mean, I'm a healthy young woman who has her whole life ahead of her…should I jeopardize all of that just to look better in some clothes? I really tried to do some soul searching and came to a conclusion. Yes, life is short and we should take advantage of every opportunity we have. I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity to make myself look a little better and feel A LOT better about myself. I never seriously thought about canceling the surgery, it just gave me another outlook on it. I'm happy to say that I'm still very excited about it.
Let's see…just about all of my preparations are complete. I am now 6 days away. I have gotten a few things to eat post-op, like banana muffins, bananas, soup, crackers, cheese, etc. Little stuff that I can snack on is ideal. My mother, who is a RN, has told me that after surgery I should continuously flex my feet and legs to prevent blood clots; she's even suggested that I wear support hose. I am also supposed to breathe deeply every hour to help expel the anesthesia from my lungs, which I think might be painful with the pressure and restriction on my chest. I have been advised by Dr. Loftus to drink lots of water, and some of my medication requires me to take it with a lot of water. I have rounded up button-front pajamas and a few shirts, and have purchased the zip-front bras. I bought mine at Target when they were on sale for $12…they seem really comfortable. I also purchased a t-shaped pillow (pillow with arms, I think I already mentioned this) and have borrowed a neck pillow to support my head. I have plenty of movies to watch; hopefully they'll help me sleep at night.
I have filled all of my prescriptions except the medicine for nausea. I'm going to call Dr. Loftus and see if it's possible to have it put into my IV instead of having pills. This might not be possible since I am having my procedure done in her office and not in a hospital. I don't really want to fill this prescription unless it's necessary, and I'm not going to find that out until after surgery. I guess I'll see what Dr. Loftus recommends.
I'm just getting very anxious, and anticipate that these last few days will really fly by.
Posted by Julie on Monday, 10 September, at 11:39 p.m.
The anticipation is growing! Things are slowly starting to come together...I pretty much have my things bought and packed for recovery. I've checked my lists to make sure I will have everything.
I went to fill my prescriptions today and had a hard time finding my nausea medication. It turns out that my pharmacy carries it, but they're concerned about the dosage. So, the pharmacy is going to call Dr. Loftus tomorrow to make sure my dosage is correct.
I'm starting to feel a sense of real anticipation now. With surgery being only a week away, I finally feel like this is really going to happen! I'm starting to take a good look at all of my clothes to determine which ones I'm not going to fit into next week. That thought just seems so crazy to me.
Well, I'll sign off for now. Tomorrow marks the one-week countdown. So excited!!!
Posted by Julie on Saturday, 8 September, at 12:22 a.m.
Well, I'm about a week and a half away from surgery. Dr. Loftus's office called today to inform me that my procedure has been moved back an hour. It's now at 10:00 instead of 9:00. At first I thought "good, I'll get to sleep longer", but realized that I'll probably be too nervous and excited to sleep anyway. But that's OK!
I pretty much have everything purchased for recovery. I will be recovering at my sister's apartment so I have to pack a few things up. I've purchased a t-shaped pillow (the kind with a back and arms), 2 zip-front sports bras (will probably need more in the future), I've rounded up some button front pajamas and big tee shirts, a neck pillow, straws and water bottles, comfortable sheets to wrap up in, and a couple of big ice packs. I saw an ad on TV for Lever 2000 wipes, so I may check those out. They are supposed to refresh you without taking a shower, sort of like a sponge bath. I am a freak about needing to be clean, and since it's going to be a chore to do anything those first couple of days, I think this would be the best way to go to wash up and refresh a little. Also, I'll be filling my prescriptions on Monday and will need to get a few last minute food items sometime next week.
It's been a little challenging this past week to stay off of any medication. I have to do this for 4 weeks! I usually don't take a lot of medicine, it's purely psychological...I know I can't have it so I think I need it. I'm just afraid of overlooking a detail like this, causing me to have to postpone my surgery. I have little notes written everywhere to avoid Advil, etc. so that has helped.
I'm starting to get very excited!! I went to a concert tonight and saw all sorts of girls wearing tank tops and other cute shirts...I can't wait for that to be me! I'm excited about the prospect of even going bra-less, something I have been too embarrassed to do all my life. It's the little things that make this whole experience worth while.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but you can email me with any questions you might have. I'll try to answer them as best as I can.