The short story: I got new boobs. Nope, I did not get a boob job so please don’t compare this to yours or your friend’s or your mom’s. I had a double mastectomy, and this was Part II of that surgery. The long story: I haven’t seen The Originals in over three months, those smallish B-cups that were with me for 29 years. We went all around the world together, we had our (quite literal) ups and downs, and then I broke up with my breasties. Yep, just like that I had them chopped off like bad melons awaiting their dooms day (but not before throwing them a ta-ta party!). Bad genes aren’t wanted around these parts.
Like I stated previously in my Naked Truth article, I was never super attached to The Originals. I took pictures so I can look back and compare/contrast/laugh/cry, but I’m definitely over the crying stage by now. I’m not sad about it, I’m not mad about it. In fact, when I’m 80 years old, I’ll probably be the best looking one in the nursing home. How ’bout dat? When life gives you lemons, a (not so simple) operation can give you melons 🙂
After three months of waiting, healing and gradually filling my expanders, I went under the knife for the second time the day before the 4th of July. I don’t know what it is, but I have a knack for really screwing up some holiday weekends 🙂 My double mastectomy was scheduled a few days before Easter. Sorryyyy familyyyy. For everyone wondering how my second surgery went, let me put it this way. The double mastectomy was a 10/10 on the pain scale. This was a 3/10. I went to a July 4th BBQ the day after, and even three days later, my chest is still sore but manageable. I can raise my arms, I can walk around, I can drive, and I can even carry my nephew (probably shouldn’t but shhh don’t tell my doctor). I only took pain pills the day of and the day after surgery. I can honestly say I walked into the hospital at 5:30am that day excited to go back to sleep via anesthesia. That’s how worried I was (read: not at all). I’d already been through the hard part!
My first post-op appointment was today. We unwrapped, we unzipped and we unveiled the new girls. Truthfully, they’ll need a bit more time to “mold” with the rest of me, but I think they’ll fit in juuuuust fine. They are lumpy and bumpy and bruised and SQUISHY AGAIN(!) and swollen, and to be honest (and I KNOW this isn’t the case) but a little part of me feels like I took a step back only because I healed greatly in those 3 months between surgeries. I could do all of my workouts, I could sleep on my side again and I could carry just about anything. Right now, I can only walk for exercise, I’m sleeping on my back and I’m limited in what I can carry, but it’s all a means to an end. These implants will be perky and pretty in no time (read: hopefully by the end of the month because this girl is going to Aruba!) I went around and around on the implant discussion with my plastic surgeon. In fact, the week I had my double mastectomy was the same week the news broke about Breast Implant Illness. Great timing, huh? The U.S. FDA is linking a certain type of textured breast implant to a rare cancer. Out of the 10 million women in the world who’ve received implants, 359 women have been identified with this type of cancer according to my plastic surgeon at UAMS.
It hit pretty close to home when the same week that I underwent my double mastectomy, my yoga teacher got her 17-year-old implants taken out. She had been sick for years, and doctors couldn’t ever pin point the problem. Turns out, that problem came from her textured implants. They were inserted in 2000. It’s now 2017. A lot can happen in 17 years. New products have hit the market, and I am not worried about contracting a rare cancer from my new beautiful boobs. Here’s what I ultimately chose, but let me first preface it by saying I’m not a doctor. Below are my thoughts, my beliefs, my research findings, my experience, and my conversations with my doctors. Perhaps you’ve seen/heard/believe/experienced different things.
Saline or Silicone?
Silicone (pictured right, above) because they are the better choice for mastectomy patients, feel and look more natural than saline and tend to ripple less. If patients choose saline over silicone, many times this is due to the fact that they want to be bigger, as silicone only goes up to 800 CCs.
Tear drop or round shaped?
Round because it’s the the traditional route taken by most women and this option has a tendency to make breasts look fuller in the upper pole. Because round implants have the same shape all over, there is no concern about them rotating out of place and creating a problem with symmetry in the future.
Smooth or textured?
Smooth/non-textured because textured have been known to be associated with Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma.
High, mid or low profile?
I went with a mid-profile implant…or my doctor went with a mid-profile implant, rather. I was comatose on an O.R. table, so he had final say and he chose wisely! You can see the difference between low and high profile below, and I went somewhere in between 🙂
Did the implant go under or over the muscle?
Actually, both. I went the dual plane route, which is partially under the muscle/sub-pectoral, making for a good cosmetic outcome.
Immediate reconstruction or delayed reconstruction?
If you’ve been keeping up with me the past three months, you know I went with delayed reconstruction. Immediate reconstruction happens when the plastic surgeon comes in and places implants in the chest cavity instead of expanders immediately after the breast surgeon takes out all of the breast tissue during the mastectomy. I went with expanders and had saline fills injected for four straight weeks as my chest was gradually stretched (slightly bigger than I previously was) and readied for reconstruction. Delayed recon makes for a better cosmetic outcome.
How many CCs?
I had 460 CCs during the expansion phase and now have 500 CCs after reconstructive surgery.
Everyone has a different path and story. Please share yours below! If you have any other mastectomy or implant-related questions, leave them below as well!