I slept like a baby and awoken with a sense of calmness… and a growling stomach! Nothing to eat or drink all morning-yikes! We all know how much I love my food 🐷. December 23rd, 2016 finally arrived… the day I was getting my breast implants removed.
My phone was blowing up all morning long with phone calls, texts, Facebook messages etc. I really felt loved and supported in my journey. I then said a prayer for myself, the surgical team, and my family (as I always do). I decided to wear loose fitting sweatpants and a front zipped hoodie for easy dressing after surgery. I had already been told I would need to keep my elbows at my sides for a total of 2 weeks so getting dressed was going to be quite the challenge.
My mother and I arrived at the Feng Clinic around 11:30am. I was ready! I was not nervous at all. I was actually very eager and excited. Sounds weird huh?! That is how poorly I was feeling.
I checked in with the receptionist and immediately they had me change into my surgical gown and a robe. I then walked into pre-op where I had to answer a bazillion questions about my medical history. They treated me to a nice warm neck pillow… this neck pillow puts my treasured Hot Hands to shame! It was a glorious heat.
The Anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bazillion more questions. We decided a Scopalamine patch was best for me as I have had a history of nausea with anesthesia. And yes I have quite the surgical experience. Between multiple hernia repairs, my breasts, and my ankle you could consider me an expert! 🙈. The Anesthesiologist and I had similar sarcastic personalities and we clicked from the get go. “I like you” is what she told me. I said “Well good, considering you’re giving me a shit ton of drugs and could make me never wake up… you better like me!” We laughed. She was awesome. Dr. Feng stopped by after she completed the morning surgery to say hello. I was already marked from the day before so she did not need to really do anything other than ask me one last time if I had any questions. I did not.
I hugged my mother goodbye and insisted she leave the pre-op area as I had scheduled her some spa treatments on the 2nd floor of the clinic. My mother was hesistant to leave, but how awesome is it that if something should have gone wrong they would contact the 2nd floor and let the staff know and would relay the message to my mother.
Around 1pm I walked back with my nurse (who is originally from western Kansas) to the cold operating room and laid down on the table. The nurses began hooking me up to the monitors and an IV was placed. The nurses then tell me I remind them of Charlize Theron. Really?! I don’t see it. Didn’t see it that day and still don’t see it but ok.
The nurses began asking me about my family and home life. I started talking about my daughters and my husband and then………..
I woke up in the recovery room feeling extremely drowsy but feeling good. I remember my eyes feeling very heavy so I kept them closed for a long while. The only pain I had was my throat. I think my throat hurt me more than my breasts did. Surgery lasted a little longer than 5 hours so a sore throat was to be expected.
Dr. Feng saw me after I was more awake and alert. She reminded me that the capsules would be sent off to pathology and I would know the results in about 2 weeks.
“Everything went very well. Your implants were intact and looked brand new. Your capsules were very thick indicating that your body did not like your implants. Your previous surgeon did not repair your chest muscles. One side of your chest was cut higher than the other side, but I repaired them both. You also have an extra chest wall muscle on the right side. It is very rare and I did not know the name of it, but I looked it up and it is called the Sternalis muscle.”
She then asked me to take a deep breath. I remember thinking that was the deepest breath I had taken in years. I never noticed not being able to take a nice deep breath, but apparently my implants were heavy enough on my chest wall preventing my lungs from fully expanding. She was laughing at me because apparently in the operating room I went on and on about Freddy’s steakburgers, fries, and custard…. I don’t recall but c’mon duh! I hadn’t eaten all morning and no amount of anesthesia was going to suppress my appetite! LOL!
Before she left she showed me the photos she took in the operating room. I remember seeing my implants and capsules, but all I really wanted to see was what my breasts looked like currently! —-insert glorious music—-there they were. “Omg” I remember thinking. “They look exactly like they did a few hours ago but just smaller!!!” I was ecstatic. Throughout this entire journey I had attempted to convince myself that it really did not matter what the outcome was if it meant I would feel better, but it did matter to me. I will admit that I can be vain, and I am okay with that as long as that does not supersede more important things.
The surgery I underwent that day is called a bilateral implant removal and capsulectomy with mastopexy via the en bloc method. This means both of my implants were removed with the capsules attached to the implants. I had another set of capsules from my previous implants that she also removed. The entire capsules must be removed or else you can continue to have illness as whatever chemicals, toxins, bacteria, fungus, mold etc are still inside of you.
After I was more awake and alert I went back into my pre-op room to attempt to sit up and eat some fruit. I was tired but still feeling pretty good. The nurse administered 3 Arnica tablets to help decrease inflammation. I still had not had anything for pain. Dr. Feng does a nerve block to both sides of the chest and that lasts a good 48 hours, so I was really doing ok.
While I was enjoying my fresh fruit the nurse educated my mother on how to empty my drains. I had 4 of them and the look on my mothers face was priceless. She was petrified! My mother was going to need to strip, empty, and record the fluid of each drain every 4 hours until my drainage was less than 30ml in a 24 hour period. Average drain removal is 3-5 days post-op. She sure didn’t think she had signed up to empty my bloody drains!
I took my next 3 sublingual (under the tongue) Arnicas and was on my way. My nurse wheeled me downstairs in a wheelchair, helped me into the shuttle, and buckled my seat belt. I was instructed to not pull, push, or lift for 2 weeks. I also needed to keep my elbows to my sides for 2 weeks because of the muscle repair. Those muscles needed to heal and the best way for them to heal is to rest them. The nurse would be calling me daily to check on my drain output, and with Christmas in just 2 days I knew I would not be getting my drains removed for at least 3 days.
Our shuttle driver was phenomenal. He drove slowly and prevented every bump he could, and even wheeled me up to my room. My mother opened the door because remember no pushing or pulling for 2 entire weeks …so much fun… NOT! I am an incredibly independent woman and find it extremely difficult to ask for any type of help, so definitely was not looking forward to this part of the recovery.
It was now time to attempt some food. When you have a surgery with Dr. Feng she sends you home with a signature soup and salad from her clinic. I decided I was going to try the White Bean and Kale soup.
The ones who know me the best and the ones who grew up with me know how picky of an eater I once was. I depised peanut butter. I could not stand seafood. I would not dare allow food to touch each other. I am not that picky person any longer. I truly believe that back in August when I was diagnosed with multiple food sensitivities and was forced to step outside of my comfort zone, that it was preparing me for these days for optimal healing. If I was that same picky eater what in the world would I have eaten during this crucial recovery period?! Low sodium is a must to get your drains removed in a timely manner. Not to mention the majority of the foods high in antioxidants and healing abilities were unique to me. The soup was delicious.
December 23, 2016 was a life changing day for me. I went from my DD’s… back to me. I took my Dr. Feng recommended vitamins, my Celebrex, my Arnica, and my last Xanax and called it a night. My mother propped up 4 pillows behind my neck and back as I was ordered to sleep upright for awhile and asleep I went….. that was until I caught my mom checking on me with a flashlight. I love to give her a hard time but I know she just cares.
From DD’s back to me….. and it feels fantastic let me tell you. No regrets!!! Below are some symptoms of BII and the chemicals that implants are made of. Please reach out if you have questions you would like answered!