Aloha & welcome to my breast augmentation story. I’m starting with the basics, then how I documented the process (the videos I’m saving for YouTube) including week by week photos and a chart which breaks down what I did and ate every day of the first 10 days. Then I include insights. I also get into the WHY as well as the mental health implications. I wrote this to support those who are seeking their own breast aug as much as those who are simply curious why TF I’d go through with something like this! Regardless, welcome all!
The Basics & Common Questions:
There is NOTHING wrong here. However, I was very flat chested after 1. losing weight and 2. having breast fed 2 children for over 2 years each. The fat had gotten sucked out of my breasts (literally, eaten). As a result, I was a small A cup and rarely if ever wore a bra. To me, this gave my body a boy-shape and despite the beauty in all shapes, I wanted something more feminine. Thank you for reconsidering your judgement.
Where: Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery, Honolulu Hawaii. Dr. Ching is a board certified plastic surgeon and voted the best in Hawaii several years in a row.
Size: 345 CC Left, 415 CC Right. My previous breasts were very asymmetrical, as most bodies are. I started at a 32 A and ended up with a 32 DD. My mind was a bit blown when she told me at Victoria’s Secret that I exceeded what I thought I’d end up with (figured a C) but what do I know? The girls fit so it goes to show numbers don’t mean much.
Implants: smooth silicone, medium profile.
Date: April 26, 2023 – my 40th birthday.
Recovery instructions: No surgical bra. Dr. Ching recommends allowing gravity to run its natural course. No weight lifting more than 5 lbs for the first 2 months either (or yoga – or jogging – or any major physical exertion really). Wear a bralette under shirts if need but no underwire – this extends itself beyond recovery time, underwire is not recommended for any breast implants. Practice sex mindfully, no bouncy action for at least 2-3 weeks!
Days I needed physical assistance: 3. I had full range of motion at around 6 weeks and was able to lift my arms fully by 2 months and get a good upper body stretch in. Until 6 weeks, I was able to lift my arms about shoulder height. Either way, make sure you’re not alone the day of and a couple days after surgery. The clinic/surgeon/nurses will ensure you have a driver and physical support for at least 1 week.
Pain Level & meds: Minor. Incisions hurt for about 2 weeks but it didn’t keep me up at night. I took the pain meds on the first day only. Following that I only took the prescribed antibiotics. I also took Bromelain/Quercin which was recommended by a different plastic surgeon to help with inflammation, immunity and recovery. My doctor also prescribed arnica in tablet form which I took the day before and day of surgery. After the cellulitis (see below) I was encouraged to add 4g of Omega 3’s into my regimen. I chose a vegan supplement and upped the ante on flax and chia – which is great advice regardless!
Incision site: armpits otherwise called transaxillary – it’s still invasive surgery but reduces the visibility of scarring. They healed by week 2 and by 1 month they were barely visible. I showered the day after surgery and swam in the ocean by week 6.
Weight: started at 125. I’m 5’9″. Currently at 2.5 months post op and I weigh 126 lbs. My implants weigh approximately 1lb each, so effectively – I’ve lost a pound (lol). Due to inflammation and being mindful of my past with food & body image it was really important I remain calm, patient, mindful and compassionate. That said, I did 2 resets in 2 months, 1 lasted 10 days and another lasted 5 days to make sure I was keeping inflammatory foods like refined ingredients and sugar to a bare minimum. *I hear of women going right back to drinking alcohol and smoking their vapes after surgery. No bueno honey…surgery is a big deal. Be nice to yourself and keep the intoxicants to an absolute minimum.
Digestion/Constipation (you’d be AMAZED at how popular a question this is): Opiates & general anesthesia are a recipe for plumbing issues. I was mindful of this and accepted that constipation would happen and didn’t freak out. I only took the pain meds on the first day and afterward didn’t need them. I proudly pooped on day three (sexy).
Bloating: This part fascinated me! The swelling began around my rib cage and worked it’s way down to my groin by day 5. I could feel the watery build up around my bones and my whole frame appeared altered. My sides jiggled when I walked. This is so normal but it’s not something they really forewarn you about – it was like a little “side note.” For anyone who’s very body-aware it’s got a whoah-factor. Bathe in extra compassion. It passes. By week 2 most of the bloating went down. By 1 month it was gone. I also feel like my Body Resets worked wonders because they helped to rid the water and inflammation. Just know that the bloating goes down – but it helps to help yourself with selective nourishment.
Cost: $12,700. Ie. NOT CHEAP. Don’t under any circumstances make this decision based on money. You’re taking a risk, so pay the money especially for a board certified surgeon and someone VERY VERY good at their skill. That said, I live in Hawaii and everything is exponentially more expensive here.
The average cost of boobs is approximately 9k-15k. Yep. I paid a limb for a new appendage.
In summary, your decision to augment your body takes will, courage and surrender. Those things are priceless – get your surgery where your team of support is close by so if anything happens you’re just a short road trip away. I hear of women flying to other cities which I respect but I believe that’s best if and only a board certified surgeon isn’t close by. Dr. Ching is literally one of the BEST in our state and top in our country so I’m lucky. A thousand dollars here or there shouldn’t be the deciding factor is all I’m impressing here.
Natural UTI treatment – rebounding from so many antibiotics, my bladder and gut really took a punch. I took a high quality probiotic + D-Mannose which cleared it up. The D-Mannose was essential so don’t skip that. I bought these from Down to Earth & the Vitamin Shoppe. Cost $100
Complications: Cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection, spread from one breast to the other then back to the original breast and led to a fever, pain and definitely some panic. Cellulitis can get serious if left untreated. There’s nothing I could have done differently to prevent this – I followed all the protocols which included showering the night before, using antibacterial wipes all over my body the night before and day of surgery, and washing all my bedding. Plus I didn’t allow my pets to sleep in my room for the first 2 weeks. Bacteria lives EVERYWHERE so it was just a circumstance I had to deal with. Also worth noting is that surgery impacts the lymphatic system and takes up to a year to rebound from so the first thing to go is your immunity – it’s harder to fight off infection so patience and self care is crucial.
I was prescribed another round of antibiotics along with a year’s prescription of Singulair which I stubbornly refused to take. All the medications prescribed for the prevention of “capsular contracture” – which is a tightening of the scar tissue that forms around the breast implant, cause mood disregulation which I am not willing to risk. All this means is that I need to monitor the implants, massage my breasts daily and see how my body adapts over time. Some women develop this immediately, some over time, some not at all. For me, it’s not worth having breast implants if it means my body ultimately rejects them.
Reported rates of clinically significant capsular contracture are between 15% and 45% (2–5), with 92% of these occurring in the first year after surgery (6).
After two rounds of antibiotics, one from surgery and one from the cellulitis I got a stubborn UTI which I treated with
Probiotics + D-Mannose *see picture for what I used to treat it naturally.
week 1: none, moving about the house, slow walks to the beach but nothing more.
week 2: brisk walking & light resistance bands on the lower body. Lots of booty work
week 3: walking, lunges, resistance bands, light hand weights
week 4: walking, hiking, weights – 12-15 lbs but nothing above the head. No push ups, no chest presses, no chest flies.
Month 2: finally able to get in the ocean (doc will give clearance once the incision site heals. I held off until my infection went away). Higher intensity training, heavier weights. Started jogging with a tight fitting sports bra.
Lymph Drainage: at 2 months I scheduled a lymph drain massage to help my body detox any remaining buildup and encourage further healing. It really helped! It was recommended to me by Asia Pacific after the cellulitis was treated. The nurse/therapist ran her hands along the lymph sites all over my body. Your lymphatic system heals completely by 1 year post surgery which is probably why the full effect of breast implants can’t really be accurately measured until that time. Patience is a damn virtue.
The morning of surgery – no water for 12 hours! I was so parched.
Just hours after surgery. Kinda loopy. Very curious but didn’t look until day 2.
First meal at 10:30 a.m. I hadn’t eaten since 3pm the day before. Leftover blueberry oat pancake with a delicious strong coffee.
The tops and bottom on my breasts were the most sore (but very manageable!) I didn’t feel pain as much as I felt heat.
Let people help you. Stay humble. You’ll recover faster/better.
Docs will recommend you prop yourself up to at least a 45 degree angle for the first couple weeks. I slept elevated for 1 month
Meds: Tylenol + codine, stool softeners, muscle relaxers, antibiotics. I only took the antibiotics. I took the typlenol on the first day.
The swelling is such a trip. It travels down the body for about 3-4 days.
Swelling around the ribs, traveled down to my groin by day 5.
The swelling was both disturbing and fascinating – fret not little bird!
3 weeks post. Swelling down, curves on.
These boobs have shape – I felt pretty delighted about that even though the bloating was going down still.
Kept my exercise to lower body for the first 3 weeks.
This was after my 5 day reset. Any extra bloating or swelling around my waist completely went down.
2 months post. GRATEFUL. Yes it looks like my boobs are new/maybe implants although I’ve had friends tell me if they didn’t know me they wouldn’t assume they were fake.
The Big Why – THE JUICE
I’m of the mind that believes no one needs to justify their choices because it starts sounding defensive. Yet thousands of women are documenting their process – why? Because it’s a big F’ing deal. From lip filler to botox to implants: what woman gets profiled for getting a hair cut or a new blow out? But we all want to corner the one with boobs – she was real before damnit, but now she’s fake. Amazing what happens after an hour or two of general anesthesia.
No one needs a WHY to reassure others that they aren’t superficial.
No one probably fears judgement more than the woman (or man, no gender bias here) getting her tits done. I’ll tell you why I got this done and it’s simpler than you think:
I wanted to.
That’s it. Nothing more. Curiosity. It wasn’t because I didn’t like my body – I loved by body then, I love it now! It wasn’t because I felt like I needed to measure up to any other woman – I’m that bitch. It wasn’t because I needed or wanted to “feel better,” I actually didn’t expect to feel as good as I do in my body now which surprises me daily. Quite frankly, I think my expectations weren’t that high. I wasn’t dwelling on this decision for years (some women do – I respect that) mostly because surgery wasn’t on the table. Until I realized how do-able it was – not simple, not easy, not cheap, but do-able, I just focused on loving my boobless body. I hadn’t seen it any other way.
As I was considering the whole ordeal, and an ordeal it truly is, I found myself doing the justifying dance – not just for others, but for myself – so here’s the short form:
- I was flat chested after breast feeding. My kids sucked the fat out of my boobs, as they should have, and after some weight loss I was basically left with baggy saggy boob skin & nipples. Beautiful in their own right, a gesture from motherhood – but they were lifeless and I’m not dead yet.
- I have a very thin frame and I was rather flat everywhere so the absence of breasts gave me somewhat of a boyish figure. Why not see what boobs could do to add to the experience? Having said that, I am 110% aware of breast implant illness and cognizant that implants could also take away from my life experience too. It’s a gamble & a risk and the quicker you fear, judge or assume you made the wrong choice the faster you start feeling anxious. So anyone embarking on this needs to give both their body and their conscience plenty of time. I’d estimate 3 months is right around the time you can start critiquing whether it’s the best fit for you and another 6 months to decide if it’s something you’d like to live with for the long term (10+ years before replacing them). Until then – it’s all about patience and adapting.
- I love myself. One reason it was great to do this later rather than sooner (for me) is that I spent the first quarter + of my life doing all the other work to build my self esteem: eat well, recover – continue recovering, learn the value of sleep, become a mother, recover from that (body wise), focus on my career and understand how my body relates and responds to stress: all of these things contributed to/rather than took away from my healing experience.
It’s not the absence of self love that willed me to augment my chest but the presence of it that gave me the courage to change.
Let’s cover breast implant illness, the judgements, fears and caution from others:
It’s natural that anything that comes with stigma will come with backlash. Tits are for porn stars, only the selfish and insecure would change their bodies, people who don’t accept the body God gave them would alter themselves etc. I actually got a lot of positive support – mostly positive. Then there were the few who said: “But what about your daughter!? What about Breast Implant Illness! Katie, no! I loved your small boobs…” The point is to have compassion for the gamut of objections that arise from doing something rather risky so let me dive deep:
What about my daughter?
Shea was 6 when I left her father. I did so with the gusto that what I do for MYSELF will have a huge impact on her. Our separation is one of her biggest pain points but I left so I could show her the happiest, most empowered version of myself which is my pain point (needing a mother who felt confident, happy and empowered). Continually doing things for myself feels like the best thing I can do for my daughter. Also, what I do for myself is FOR myself, not TO myself. My hope – is that, “Mom did for her what she wasn’t able to will on her own. Mom loves herself enough to change something she might not like. Mom has the courage to undergo the needle! Mom bolstered herself after a rough ride with my father and is living her most empowered life. Boobs, for my mom, symbolized independence, strength, self assuredness and self love. I don’t have any less love for my growing body but rather more curiosity for how the body adapts to life, how it changes and what control I have and don’t have over that.”
So yeah. Shea and I have spoken at length about this. I’ve shown her since she was born how much I care for my body through the food I eat, ways I move, boundaries I assert and kindness I speak.
The biggest mistake I made going into surgery was not telling my kids beforehand. I just kinda said – surprise! Or…I actually waited for them to notice, which funny enough, they didn’t for the first hour. I didn’t want them to worry about me. I feared that they would panic or not be able to focus in school so I waited until after surgery and some recovery time to talk about it. I had coordinated my surgery for them to be at their dads so it was thought out. Had I done this differently I would have told both Shea and Bear beforehand so they didn’t feel like I was doing it behind their backs.
What about Breast Implant Illness?
Breast implant illness is pretty real. Some like to refute its existence, doctors and patients, mostly because it’s not a classifiable illness yet but it’s gotten enough attention that it’s causing widespread panic in the medical community. Should you worry? Sure – but I didn’t. I actually didn’t research BII enough to scare me into not getting surgery. Far more people do well than those who don’t. I basically looked into the risk factors and if I fell into that category. Women most susceptible to BII are autoimmune compromised and:
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, people with textured breast implants are more likely to develop this type of cancer. Based on 573 known cases and 33 deaths worldwide, the current lifetime risk of BIA-ALCL is around 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 86,000, depending on the kind of implant and the manufacturer.
Or, if you suffer from a chronic condition like fibromyalgia or have multiple allergies.
So basically I ruled myself out and went on with my day. There’s nothing worse than simmering in a pot of anxiety stew about something that hasn’t happened and I certainly didn’t want it interFEARing with my decision – I had already scheduled my date so what was done was done. That said, when I came down with cellulitis and felt ill for another 2-3 weeks, I definitely lost a night of sleep wondering if I had made the right decision. That’s part and parcel of this process. Please take note.
Things to be mindful of and monitor: soreness, swelling, fevers, vision issues, brain fog etc. Keep an open dialogue with your doctor. Don’t, under any circumstances, fall into the TRAP of doctor google or YouTube scare stories. It’s normal to research but you’re unique and while no one should talk you out of or into what you’re going through, it’s best you consult real medical flesh and bone people. The internet will show you exactly what you’re looking for and you won’t like it.
This might be the biggest unexpected outcome from getting my boobs done. My boundaries sky rocketed once my chest began to settle.
I’m not sure if pre-surgery I was somehow compensating for some kind of lack in confidence and I unconsciously felt the impulse to spill over from my sacred cup, or if I was looking for some kind of validation I only needed from myself.
The obvious is true. To be a woman – I tell you. My small milk drained boobs were beautiful in their own right, symbolic especially, but I’ve had to give voice to the mother rebound. She’s fierce. I’ve always known and felt deeply aware of my feminism, but I’d be lying if years of mere surviving in the throes of an eating disorder and overly masculinized by my conditioning didn’t take its toll. My standards have only gotten higher and the lines in the sand have gotten thicker – more so now than ever. Should I give my implants all the credit? Meh. But it doesn’t hurt to pay a bit of homage where it’s due. So no, I won’t be prostituting myself online or using my boobs to objectify my body or my sexuality. I’m still me, Katie 2.0.
I took these notes to document my recovery during the first 6 or so weeks, click the link for the pdf:
It’s July 8, 2023 as I wrap up this post. If there’s anything I didn’t cover – please don’t hesitate to reach out via DM. I’m an open book and I truly do want to be of assistance or moral support for anyone considering their own augmentation. If you simply came for information or curiosity – cool – I hope you got something out of this too. Most importantly, I hope you got to know me better. I am of service and it fills my cup to fill yours with more insight, less judgement and bountiful self compassion!
P.s. I love my new tatas! 110% worth it in my humble personal and resilient opinion – I couldn’t be happier with my choice.