As you all know, on August 14th I had surgery to place the tissue expander under my pectoral muscles. I’ve been asked by some folks what the expander is like. They want to know if it’s like an implant. The answer is no. It is not like an implant. It is like a man’s wallet. Seriously. It has approximately the same size and rigidity as a wallet. An angry, painful wallet.
The angry boob wallet will gradually be filled with saline in order to stretch out a place for an implant to go. No, this is not the same procedure that is used for the standard breast augmentation. In that case, the implant is stuffed under the breast tissue, but on top of the muscle. Remember, I have no breast tissue on that side. The remaining skin does not have an adequate blood supply unless it’s attached to the muscle. So, the implant needs to go underneath.
Dr Grasee added some saline when she placed the expander, and because of that, and well, the fact that there’s a wallet in there, I had a little mini-boob immediately. It’s kind of cool, except that now I really can’t wear The Foob. This wasn’t a big deal when I came home from the hospital, because when I went out, I simply tucked my drain up in my bra to fill out that side.
That’s how it was when I went a couple of weeks ago for my post-op appointment. It didn’t even occur to me until Hubster mentioned it that once the drain was out, I’d be pretty flat on that side. “Did you bring anything to put in there?” he asked. Oops. Hmmm…What can I make a mini foob out of?
Fortunately, we had a few minutes before my appointment, and there was a Meijer nearby. Gettin’ my Macgyver on, I said, “Let’s swing through Meijer, and get some cotton balls and one of those shoe try-on footies.” The result looks less like our friend The Foob, and more like a prosthetic Quasimodo. But, it serves its purpose nonetheless.
Yesterday I went back to Dr Grasee’s office for my first fill. I had read that she would use a magnet to locate the port on my expander, but my attempts to find it using refrigerator magnets had failed. (Yes, I did try to stick refrigerator magnets to my chest. This was Angie’s idea, and would have been stinkin’ hilarious had it worked.) So, I asked Dr G how she would locate the port, and she confirmed that she’d be using a magnet. I then proceeded to tell her how I’d tried to find it with a refrigerator magnet—I like to establish my reputation early, and reinforce it often. She chuckled and asked me why I wanted to find it. No reason, I told her, I just wanted to see if I could get a magnet to stick.
Dr G put 80cc of saline into the expander, which is roughly a 1/3 of a cup. Hubster got to literally watch the new boob grow before his very eyes. It has been a little sore, but it’s really nothing compared to the pain I had from surgery. It is not, however, comparable to the muscle pain one might have from a hard workout, which is what Dr G and Tricia the nurse said it would be like. It’s more comparable to how I felt after some really bad bike wrecks as a kid, where parts of me were bruised and scraped and hurt to move.
Now that you’re all up-to-date, I’d like to announce a new contest. Or, maybe not a contest so much as an opportunity for some audience participation. As we ALL know, October is breast cancer awareness month. If you’ve read me for a while, you know that in the past I’ve poked fun at all of the pink ribbon hype that October brings. So, I thought it might be amusing to see what kind of ridiculous pink ribbon infested products everyone can find. I’d love to be able to post one each day in October. Witty commentary is encouraged. Email your photos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org