Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fill 'er up

Learned some stuff this week!

I saw my breast reconstruction doc on Monday, and had some time with his nurses first off. I asked about the implant gadget that I received a couple weeks ago, and they brought me two a
lternatives to look at and touch - very similar, but they weren't sure which one he used.

Nice soft sacks, with a round magnet about the size of a quarter on the inside (you can just see it). As I found out soon thereafter, the doctor uses a magnet finder, sliding it gently over my skin until it locates the magnet inside, and then he marks me up again (he really likes to draw on skin!) so he knows where to stick the needle in to line up with the internal magnet.

The nurses were very chatty and informative and helpful. I asked about their thoughts on saline vs silicone in the implant, and their vote is for silicone. They brought out a sample implant full of saline and one of silicone for me to feel. I couldn't really feel a difference. I still have some time to decide, so I guess I'll ask around some more. Everyone has an opinion - that's for sure!!

It seems I may have mislead you, my readers, on the procedure I had a couple weeks ago when the temporary implant was inserted. I mentioned it was like when we lift the skin off a turkey breast to put a flavored buttery baste in to keep it moist. Well, what he did is the same principal, except he lifted more that the skin. I thought it went on top of the TRAM-flap fat transplant, but the implant is slipped in under the transplant, rather than on top of it. So what do I know? I was close!!

Anyway, the doctor inspected his handiwork, and then used the magnet finder to locate the magnet inside the implant, marked me up and brought out a HUGE syringe. He stuck the needle in where he had marked it, and wiggled it around a bit until he found the hole in the internal magnet and finally slipped it inside. That was fun.

He attached the monster syringe and said 'just let me know when you feel some pressure'. Huh? All I can feel is the needle! So he slowly injected 60cc of fluid (
60 cubic centimeter = 2.029 ounces) and I didn't feel any 'pressure' yet. So he refilled the thing and put in more - 60cc more - at which point I did feel a bit of pressure.

It had filled all the available space in the chest area and was pushing hard up against my skin - hence the term 'skin expander'. The constant pressure makes the skin produce more cells and makes the skin stretch and grow to be comfortable with that thing pushing on it from the inside (kind of like when we eat way too much at Thanksgiving and feel like we're going to explode - if we kept that volume of turkey and pie in our bellies for an extended period of time, the skin would grow to accommodate it!).

In two weeks, I go back for another fill-up - presumably no where near as much fluid as this time. And will do that until I reach 'the size I want'. At that point, having kept track of how much saline he has injected, he'll remove the temporary implant, and replace it with a permanent model, filled with an amount equal to that we had used before. Then I plan on a reduction of the remaining 'real' boob, reshaping, resizing and repositioning, to match the new one!

The first night was quite uncomfortable - I simply couldn't find a comfy way to sleep. But after that, it's been pretty much just an ache - a gentle ache. Nowhere near as bad as I feared - some gals have a lot of trouble with this part of the procedure, but so far I've been lucky.

I asked the doctor about the horrid pain I experienced after the last surgery, and he was apparently quite surprised when I explained what I went thru. Had no idea what might have caused it, and said it was most unusual. Not that that helped me much, but the pain is long gone, so it's just another one of those weird things that happens that no one can explain, like UFOs!

Then I complained, forcefully, about the damned bump, protrusion, whatever on my belly under my new little tittie - that it simply is not normal and I wanted to know what it is!!! I mean really, having a third boob, after having one big one, then one big one and one little teenage one, and now three boobs, isn't my idea of fun. He didn't argue at all, and wrote me an order for a CATscan, which I'll be getting on Monday. No guarantee it will tell us anything, but at least it's a start!

More soon!

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