One of my patients has agreed to tell me her story. Below, she describes in her own words each aspect of the process – from the initial consultation to the recovery phase.
During my breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Kelly, I didn’t know what to expect. I was self-conscious about my body for a very long time. I felt as if my breasts were awkward looking and I was the only person in the world that looks like this. I wanted to be able to fit in certain tops without them hanging on me and making me look like I’m too thin and unhealthy.
After going over the procedure with Dr. Kelly, I felt more comfortable. She comforted me in a way that I had not expected and not experienced it before with other doctors. I felt like I knew what to expect and she knew what I wanted to achieve.
Once the procedure was explained and all my questions were answered, we went on to see the various options for the breast implant. I already researched the different sizes and saw pictures on the website, so I had a pretty good idea of what size range I wanted. I started out as an A cup and I wanted to be a C cup. At first, I liked 300cc breast implants. Then, I went up to 325cc and even 350cc. I liked the way the larger size looked, but I was concerned that other people would notice. I’m a very modest person, so I didn’t want to look showy or unnatural. After having seen myself in the computer simulation, I chose the larger size since it just fitted my body better. The proportions were just right for the way my body is built. In the end I trusted the experience of Dr. Kelly.
The next difficult decision was choosing the best date for surgery. I knew I wanted the procedure done before the summer so that I would be healed and able to wear a bathing suit comfortably. I also didn’t want my family and friends to see me while I was swollen and getting used to my new body. Deciding to have the surgery in the winter allowed me to cover up with baggy sweaters until my implants settled and looked normal. I decided on December so I would be fully healed for the summer.
In all that I am so happy, that I had the surgical assistants and nurses taking me by the hand (almost literally) and walking the next steps very closely with me. From arranging the pre-op examinations – in my case bloodwork and mammography – providing me with all the information and forms for the actual procedure and anesthesia. We also arranged the date for the anesthesiologist to call me before the operation.
On the day before my breast augmentation surgery, I had so many mixed emotions and I felt like I was walking around like a zombie. The surgical assistant called to arrange the entry to the clinic and asked a final set of questions to make sure, I had all my stuff together. When the anesthesiologist called and she went through my medical history, I got the sensation that I was already in very good hands. They cared so much about my feelings and my wellbeing.
I was very nervous that I would do something wrong or forget to do something. At the same time, I felt overwhelmed that I didn’t have everything prepared for surgery. I was most nervous that I might have a complication or would look unnatural. I couldn’t wait until the surgery was over so I could stop worrying about this constantly.
I was excited that surgery day was finally here. I was extremely nervous and worried about all the things that could go wrong. As soon as I walked into the surgery center, everything moved very quickly:
The next thing I knew, I was waking up in my private room. The nurses and anesthesiologist were there making sure I felt good all the time. At first, I felt really tired and it was difficult to keep my eyes open. Other than that, I was feeling very good.
The nurses came to look after me with a lot of detail. My husband was with me in the recovery room. I was able to walk around fine; I was just a little sore. Then Dr. Kelly came to see me and discuss the operation. There was no difficulty during the surgery, and she was convinced that we took the right decision to go for a bigger implant. The nurses also made sure everything was okay and then I was able to go home. They sent me the post-op instructions, which I had already received before the surgery again and discussed them with me in my room.
I woke up feeling very sore the day after my breast augmentation procedure, as if I had pulled a muscle. It was difficult to get out of bed, however the pain was tolerable.
I took it easy and spent the majority of the day on the couch propped up with a few pillows. It felt better to sit upright than it did to lay completely flat. I was swollen and was eager to shower and see what my new breasts looked like.
I was still sore and swollen. I wanted to feel better quickly, but I know it takes time to heal. I was able to lift my arms a little more on day two. My muscles seemed to be getting better, but my stitches were uncomfortable. It felt as if the weight from the implant and inflammation was pushing on my stitches.
I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Kelly. The assistants removed the post-op bandages and Dr. Kelly said everything looked good and normal, which eased a lot of my worry.
It was the first time I took my compression bra completely off and was able to a get a good look at my breasts. When I first saw them, I felt like they were huge! They were swollen, and they looked so weird because they were hard as rocks. I just tried to stay positive because I knew they were going to change day by day. Taking a shower was a bit of a challenge.
It was difficult washing my hair and it was uncomfortable washing my chest and underarms.
I wasn’t as sore, but the stitches still felt a little tender. The shower helped relax my muscles a little bit. I was now able to lift my arms almost completely above my head, and I was able to walk around fine.
No pain medication was needed. I was trying to get used to my new body, and it felt a little uncomfortable. I realized it was going to take time to adjust. It actually felt better to walk around the house rather than sit on the couch. When I sat on the couch for too long, my muscles and the stitches seemed to get sore.
I had been sleeping on the couch every night. It made it easier to sleep on my back because I’m usually a stomach sleeper. I was starting to feel a little bit depressed and uneasy. Why did I put myself through this? I felt so uncomfortable and just wanted to feel like myself again.
I was trying to get used to my new body. I was having difficulty figuring out what tops I could wear that weren’t too tight or revealing. I was starting to get frustrated. I wanted to feel normal again so that I could do everything I wanted to be able to do. It was hard to do everyday tasks such as grocery shop and carry the bags, do laundry, take the trash out, and clean the house.
I woke up starting to feel a little more like myself again. I felt more confident and was getting used to my new body. I was starting to not care if people noticed that I had breast augmentation. I believed I went with the right implant size for my body type. I thought they looked natural and fit my frame. I knew they would look even more natural once they began to drop.
I felt good and was getting used to my breast implants. I felt less awkward in my tops. I was getting more feeling back. My breasts felt a little numb at first, and I was experiencing a little bit of strange nerve sensation. Overall, I was happy that I chose to do this. I felt a lot more comfortable now. I started sleeping in bed instead of on the couch. I was still sleeping on my back because it was uncomfortable to sleep on my side.
I felt surprisingly great. The scars already looked pretty healed. The strange sensation in my one breast had subsided and I was regaining feeling in both my breasts. I felt that my breasts changed shape almost every day. The swelling seemed to be going down, but they were still hard and sitting high on my chest. I was hoping that they don’t get much smaller because I was happy with the size they were now.
I was really excited and happy with my results. They were starting to take shape and look normal, and I felt a little more confident now. My blouses and sweaters that I wore before surgery fit and looked even better now. They were a little tighter, but they were more form-fitting.
I started to pick up my exercise routine again. Light jogging and cycling did the trick for me. I felt pretty out of shape, but it got better every day. My breasts didn’t look or feel as hard as they did before. They were still sensitive, and I got some nerve pain every once in a while.Overall, I think I picked the perfect size and I’m extremely happy that I did this.
Finally it was time to take off my compression garment (extra tipp: get a second one in a different color). What a relief. I knew it was important to follow the recommendation from Dr. Kelly to wear it that long, but at the end it felt very restricting. I went to buy myself a set of new bras and underwear to fit my new chest. I already got a new set of bras from my husband which was a bit surprising since he didn’t buy me lingerie for quite some time. The surgery must have done something to him as well.
It was time to meet Dr. Kelly again for my final control. In the past weeks, my breast has taken a nice round shape. In the first weeks after the breast augmentation, I was a bit anxious that people would notice my transformation. I was afraid that they were judging me. But that feeling went away very quick.
Why should I feel responsible for the feelings that other people had. It was my decision and I feel great about it. After the first control pictures taken by the lovely staff, I saw the before and after comparison and I had to look twice. Was that really me? I felt that I had taken the absolute right decision.