I am approaching 40 years old now, and wanted to share my story with your viewers/site visitors in the hopes of assuring women who are in the contemplative stage of having surgery. Generally I am a very "private" person, but seeing the faith and genuine compassion your visitors have for other women who have had augmentation or reduction surgeries really convinced me to share my story and photos also. I would not have decided to have my surgery had I not had access to your site and all it has to offer. I am currently listed as Mrs. Bob R. in your visitor gallery, I believe number 127.
Settle in, grab a coffee and read on. When I was 20 years old, I was in an auto accident, and suffered a broken jaw, broken ankle and multiple contusions about my chest, face and legs. I had to endure six weeks with my jaw wired shut and eight weeks in a cast on my right leg, thus, no driving either for those eight weeks. I also sport a surgical stainless steel screw in my right ankle, which will remain there unless and until it gives me trouble. My jaw did not "set" right, so I needed more surgery, about three years after the accident.
That first surgery on my jaw was to install a Vitek proplast Teflon implant at the condyle (joint) in my jaw on the left side. After about ten years, I began noticing increased pain and clicking in my jaw, specifically at the site of the implant. I had determined to go back to the oral surgeon that installed the implant and ask for a review and reason for my increased pain. I was then notified that the implant was flawed, had begun to deteriorate my jaw, and had caused "giant cell tumor response."
After that diagnosis, I went to two other surgeons and got the same prognosis. The implant had to be removed, and we should take other steps after the removal but not decide immediately what to do. Instead of having the surgeon that installed the implant remove it, I went to another, reputable and world-renowned oral surgeon, whose advice was to remove the implant, clean out the tumors that had formed and were threatening my vision, let the jaw fall back into place, then use my own body to rebuild my left condyle. How? Amazingly enough, by harvesting a rib and some cartilage from my hip, he could graft the rib onto my lower jaw, wire it shut for another six weeks, let it "set" properly this time and watch my progress carefully. That whole process took over three years to complete.
Now to the need for reconstructive breast surgery. When my rib was harvested, the surgeon who actually performed the procedure took the surrounding tissue as well, inexplicably. Because of that, I was left with a large "dimple" in my right breast, which was even more pronounced when I would lie down on my back. This caused me to experience shame and disgust with my appearance while in bed with my husband, and we took a very long time to actually make a commitment to the decision to have the implants. After much searching and going from assembly line clinics to inexperienced surgeons, I finally came to the University of Michigan hospital system where I met my surgeon. He listened to my story, saw my need, and was able to justify that need for reconstruction to my insurance company, which did, in fact, pay for the entire procedure.
You have to realize, I have been married to my husband since I was 17 years old, and at that point in my marriage, both of us approaching 40, I felt a great need to keep myself attractive and comfortable enough with my appearance so that I could be with him completely. I had been constantly covering myself up, doubting his attraction to me, doubting my own self-worth. I realize logically that it wasn't true, but the heart has a very loud voice.
My heart was telling me I could improve myself…physically and emotionally…by having this done. I looked at your site, with my husband, nightly, chatted to the other ladies, looked seriously at the different types of implants available, and had I not visited your site, I would not have known what questions to ask my surgeon! These were so helpful!
I went in for surgery as an out-patient on March 22, 2001, at 7am, got prepped, and went into the operating room around 10am. My husband was there with me up until they wheeled me back, and he held my hand until they made me let him go, and he gave me a final kiss before I took my trip to my new life. When I awoke, I felt like a Mack truck was parked on my chest. I was wrapped up like a mummy from my hips to my armpits, and there he was, holding my hand again, on the left side of my bed. My daughter was on the right side, having driven there from work to see if I was all right.
After a few moments though, and kisses from both of them, I felt the pain. I have to admit, it was quite intense, and my throat was very, very, very sore. Bob (my husband) told me that they did do a lift on the left side, and that I should now be a 36C cup. I went in as a deflated 36A. I smiled, held his hand tighter, and then asked him…"Did you get to see them?" He smiled and said, "I tried, but I can get a pretty good idea." I asked him, "Do you like 'em?" He smiled again, then said, jokingly of course, "No, take 'em back. Let's get the doctor back here." I laughed but it really hurt to do so.
Just then an intern came by and asked how I was doing. I tried to answer him, but couldn't, so Bob answered for me, telling him I was in a lot of pain and my throat was really hurting. He was so attentive and caring and loving. The intern brought back some crackers and a cup of water with a straw for me, but I couldn't eat the crackers, even after I'd had some water. I couldn't keep my eyes open either, but the intern kept telling me I had to wake up so I could go home. I tried, but could barely move.
He walked away, then Bob said, "You gotta get up or he's gonna put you in a wheel chair and kick you out anyway." I giggled, painfully, and moaned that I was trying. Bob said, "If you can just try to sit up, I can do the rest." I did sit up, Jessica (our daughter) helped steady my back, and when I got my balance, she brought my things around to Bob's side and pulled the curtain closed. Bob dressed me, and when we got to the socks and shoes, the intern came by and opened the curtain.
He saw Bob putting my socks onto my feet and said, "Oh how precious. This is your HUSBAND??" I nodded and smiled. He then said, "He's so sweet! You wouldn't believe how many women come through here and all their husbands do is drop them off at the door then pick them up there when they're done. For this surgery too!!"
I patted Bob's arm and mumbled, "He's my sweetheart." That was a precious moment in our lives. I will always treasure that. Well, they wheeled me out to the doors, then Bob walked me to the car, which wasn't very far away. That night, I threw up after having water and meds, not able to swallow anything else, not even broth from the chicken soup. The retching really caused a lot of pain in my breasts and chest. I was in tears.
That was the worst of it though. My surgeon wanted me off work for four weeks, but I only felt comfortable taking three, and with some convincing he allowed me to return to work with limited capabilities (no lifting, no strenuous activities of any kind). He didn't want me to drive either for those first four weeks, but after three, I did anyway. I could see why he didn't want me to. I have a Jeep with a manual transmission. Shifting was a nightmare. Very painfully I had to drive myself to work, but I did it!! Eventually I got right back into the swing of things, my breasts have since fallen into place and the scars are almost invisible now.
I have round, smooth, saline implants, but I don't know how many cc's were added to each side. The justification for doing both sides was that the right side was smaller than the left side after the surgery, but the smallest implant available would cause the right side to be larger than the left, leaving me with continued asymmetry, so they would have to place an implant on the left side and overfill the right side to match the size of the left breast after the implant was placed. In order to achieve uniformity as well, as far as how low my breasts would hang, the surgeon had to perform a lift on the left side.
I feel wonderful though, and would highly recommend this surgery to any woman who has feelings like I had, of insecurity with the way their breasts hang or fill out their clothing. The benefits are endless, and damn those who say we do this for our men. We do this for ourselves to make ourselves feel better, which is a natural benefit to any man we choose to give our attentions to. Confident women, happier women, women with some sense of self-worth are a treasure, regardless of how they got to be who they are.
Thank you for letting me tell my story. I hope this has helped someone out there, regardless of whatever decision she's come to. I can wear my bikini, I can wear underwire bras, I can wear low cut blouses and dresses if I feel like it, and this is a true closing note, I have actually stopped traffic since I had this surgery. Two different occasions, I've heard tires squealing and horns honking from cars behind trucks whose male drivers are slowing or stopped to watch me walking past, and I have to admit it feels WONDERFUL!! Thank you!!
- Mrs. R
View My Photos - Mrs. R