Reconstructive Surgery: WHEN and HOW?
Alright readers, I need some reader participation to make this post helpful. There are a variety of surgery options and I think the best way to address them is with personal testimonies.
I will share mine. Will you please share yours?
Someone is considering surgery and they don't know what to ask or which option to choose. They are getting their doctors opinion, but their doctor has never lived with a breast implant. You and I have.
As for the WHEN:
There is some wiggle room here. Generally surgery is done after puberty starts. Somewhere between the ages of 14-17. You want your daughters frame to be strong enough and developed enough to withstand the surgery. You want, not necessarily completed breast growth on the unaffected side, but something there so that it is a process of matching sizes. Insurance works differently today than it did 18 years ago and children are able to stay on parent policies for longer, but be aware of what is covered and for how long.
If you have decided on surgery it is easiest to get it taken care of while your daughter is still under your roof and on your policy as a minor.
Summers are often the best time because it allows recovery before school starts up again. For me, no time was a good time because no matter when the surgery took place it was going to interfere with my soccer seasons. We ended up scheduling my first surgery in August, on the heels of the soccer tournament we had been training for all year. As a result, I missed the first few weeks of my high school soccer season.
There simply was no best time. But as you consider, take into account recovery time and how that will affect your daughter.
I had a lat-transfer surgery and a saline implant.
My first surgery was inserting an empty saline expander. I went back to the office every few weeks after that for the doctor to slowly fill the expander with saline and properly stretch the skin. When that process was over and it was at the right size I went back in for surgery. The expander was replaced with an implant. My doctor also removed part of the lat muscle on my affected side and transferred that to the front of the breast. It is supposed to help create a more natural look.
(my doc said that muscle wasn't all that important. In his words, they were "left over muscles from evolution when we needed those muscle to flap our wings." I quickly found out he was wrong. While doing physical work I will often get pain in the spot where the lat muscle was. It is a bizarre and very uncomfortable pain. On the flip side, the muscles act somewhat like a pec muscle and I have slightly more strength in my chest than I otherwise would. Hard to tell if it was the right decision or not).
I lost count of my surgeries at some point, but I do know my last one was when I was 18, and a college freshman. My surgeon removed some skin from the top of my leg to "rebuilt" a nipple.
Who else has had reconstructive surgery??
Help out the other folks reading and share your experience.