Plastics

Wham BAM: My Perspective of both Sides of the Augmentation Looking Glass- Pre-Op

Hey, all!

So, this next series of blog posts will be my favorite to date. I hold this topic very near to my heart.

Let’s paint a background, shall we? I’m a registered nurse. I have been so for over two years now. Whilst working full time on a cardiac floor in the hospital (3- 12 hr shifts,) I figured I’d like to pick up a PRN (as needed) job for a little extra cash money. So, I started working at Vinings Surgery Center for Plastic Surgery. It’s a very nice outpatient clinic, equipped with a fully accredited OR. My gig at VSC eventually became my full-time job, and I was exposed to an ever-growing array of plastics procedures. However, breast augmentations (BAM’s) and Lift’s were always the most performed. Usually my role was just to be an RN, but starting in early July I started training to become a surgical RN where I actually assisted in surgeries themselves.

So, I’ve longed for breasts ever since I was in the 5th grade, trying on my trainer bra, and putting my brother’s baseballs in the bra to get an idea of what it would look like to have boobs. (Embarrassing, I know!) However, to my dismay, I never really developed any breasts all throughout puberty (and even college!) I was an “A” cup at best. For whatever reason, I really identified having breasts with being a woman, so this was a big source of psychological discontentment for me.

However! Working for Dr. Colgrove at Vinings Surgery Center has been such a wonderful learning experience. I’ve really enjoyed soaking up everything there is to know regarding plastic surgery and esthetics. And of course, since I worked in a plastic surgery center, I knew this would be the best time to have my own breast augmentation.

I’ll be using this series to compare what I perceived having a breast augmentation was like as an RN taking care of breast aug patients, as well as documenting my own personal journey of receiving a breast augmentation. From here on out, I’ll be referring to a breast augmentation as a BAM (Bilateral Augmentation Mammoplasty.)

As a nurse, I have seen and heard it all. All of the different shapes and sizes of breasts. All of the reactions after waking up from the procedure, etc etc. I also know in depth everything that could go wrong, all the risks, etc with elective surgery and breast implants. I also have a very thorough knowledge as to how and why implants are sized, and the pro’s/con’s of picking saline, silicone, or “gummy bear” implants.

The majority of the patients I’ve cared for have described the discomfort afterwards as “tightness,” “hard to breath,” or “like an elephant sitting on my chest.” Some patients acted as if they had no pain at all, others writhed and cried and acted as if it were the worst pain they’ve felt in their entire lives. Pain is such an interesting perception from person to person– I’ve always found that fascinating. So I was a little apprehensive as to how I’d feel after waking up.

There’s a lot that goes into picking the right “size” for you. Your height, weight, body frame, and of course, personal preference. For me, I wanted to just be the size my padded bra made me, of course though, without the assistance of the bra. My frame is considered “medium,” and my shoulders and ribcage are much broader than my hips. So I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t look “top heavy” or too broad up top. That was my largest deciding factor in choosing the “right” size for me. I also wanted to be able to keep most of my clothes I spent years acquiring, so I tried to remain conservative there as well. (Who has the $$ to spend on a whole new wardrobe on TOP of a BAM, anyways??) Other factors that helped me decide upon size were how heavy they would be and how much they would bounce during exercise and other activities. And I didn’t want my areola to stretch out, nor did I want to aid in them “sagging” too early.

The way I went about choosing my size were several different avenues. I used LoveYourLook.com to see endless before-and-after pictures of many patients. You can plug in the size you are currently, and the size you want to become. As an RN, I always suggested for my patients to find someone the same height and weight as you, and as close as you possibly can, find someone who has similar sized and shaped “before” breasts as you have. Another aspect of choosing what size you should be is actually trying on sizers during your consultation. Also, if your plastic surgeon has this technology, using 3D simulations is a great way to predict what you will look like post-op. At Vinings Surgery Center, they have this high-tech machine called the Vectra which constructs a 3D image of you in order to simulate what different sized implants will look like on your own body! And lastly, I performed the “Rice Test” at home so I could try on the size I was contemplating with different tops/dresses/etc.

It took me a minute, but I realized that I would have to give up all of my beautiful bra’s and swimsuit tops that I’ve collected so meticulously over the past 10 years!

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Some bras were a part of beautiful lingerie sets, and now I’ll have plenty of swimsuit bottoms with no matches! (Luckily mix n’ match swimsuits are popular these days…)

IMG_7161So that being said, let’s move on to the type of implant and size I picked, then we’ll look at some before photos!

My Stats:

Height: 5’4″

Weight” 123 lbs

Ribcage measurement directly beneath my breasts: 29″

Measurement across the fullest part of my breasts: 32″

SS Right/Left Nipples: 19 cm (the measurement from your Suprasternal Notch to each nipple)

Initial size: 34a/32b

My final decision on implants were 325CC- Moderate Plus Profile- Silicone gel

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So there are my “befores”! Can’t wait to show you step by step the progression of my implant journey.

Please feel free to ask any and all questions (I’m an open book) about surgery, etc. As a plastics nurse for the past 1.5 years I’m pretty familiar with the in’s and out’s of breast augmentations.

See you on the other side of the knife!

!preop

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