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Vikki’s Journey

  • Breast Augmentation

  • Revision Breast Augmentation and Modified Anchor Lift

  • Dr. Andrea Koegel – Redo Breast Augmentation / Lift - September 29, 2005

 

I started this when I was 47 and am now 51 years young.

This is my amazing journey of the past 4 years.

 

Starting with my first Breast Augmentation which was performed in June 2004 until my redo on September 29, 2005 – the changes are phenomenal.   The pictures you will see are a bit scary and shocking at first, as all mastopexy (breast lifts) photos usually are, but you will see the fantastic transformation between the two surgeries.  The photos are graphic, however there was no pain associated with this procedure.   I did experience some soreness and itching from the blisters post op with my redo, which was caused from an allergic reaction to the tape that I had on the incisions – however the pain was totally manageable.

 

It's been quite the journey to say the least and one I would do all over again, minus the first breast augmentation and the wasted money on that one procedure.  But what you will see what a difference two different plastic surgeons can make.  I have documented the entire process showing my first BA when I should have had a lift.  The fear of the scars and the length of surgery were overwhelming to me, so I elected to try to just have a breast augmentation with no lift the first time.  Deep in my heart I was hoping that just the BA would be enough to lift my breasts back up to where they use to be before having children.   Shortly after the first BA – I knew I was in trouble with my decision I had made.  Besides needing the lift I also found that the first plastic surgeon over-dissected my pockets and as you can see in my photos, the outcome was a total mess. 

 

So a year and a few months later, I finally had to do something to fix this "mess" and went back to the PS whom I should have had do it from the beginning!   I've taken many pictures from day 5 through now to show how a lift originally looks and how the progression of the scars fade and actually become meaningless.   I also did all of this in hopes to help others who like me are afraid of scars and having a lift.  The best words of wisdom from what I have learned are to listen to your plastic surgeon if you are marginal or in need of a lift procedure. 

 

Getting a breast augmentation is nothing more than enlarging what you had pre operative.  Every flaw, problem, etc. will be magnified with getting just a straight BA.  Unfortunately I learned the hard way, with going with the least invasive route the first time, and it was the worst decision I have ever made.  It took me a couple of BA’s to get this right, so anyone reading this should try to learn from my mistakes, as it will save you time, money and pain in the long run. 

 

I really am beyond thrilled with my outcome and the talent of my current plastic surgeon.   I strongly recommend her to anyone close enough to Kansas.  The name of my plastic surgeon is Dr. Andrea Koegel at the Hutchison Clinic in Kansas.  

 

The implants that were used for my second BA and lift were Mentor Cohesive Gel - 400ccs. Moderate Profile, with these dimensions:  14.5 cm. diameter with 3.2 cm. projection.  And the lift procedure that was performed was called a “Modified Anchor Lift”.  I upgraded from my first Breast Augmentation in which I had saline to silicone implants, and I can say without a doubt, that silicone implants are 100% better.  They feel so much more natural and the results of the second surgery are just phenomenal. 

 

Thanks for sharing my journey, I sincerely hope it helps some of you in your decision making process of what you might need in order to get your brand new set of  “perky” breasts again.  And, even today 3 years later – I can still pass the pencil test with no problem.  The lift is perfect and holding.  If there is any advice I can give any of you is that in order to preserve your new breasts so that they are still appearing perky is to always make sure you keep the implants supported with some kind of bra or a cami top with a built in bra inside of it.  Going the extra mile with always keeping your breasts supported will give you years of a great result from surgery.

 

   

  • My First Breast Augmentation

After 2 kids, ages 19 and 22, my once incredibly perfect breasts were shrunk, saggy and horrible to look at – at least in my own mind. More than anything I missed having the cleavage and firmness I had once had.   I learned to hide my flaws with wearing a padded Miracle Bra from Victoria’s Secret, however sadly enough once the bra came off at night my “secret” was over!  

 

I had shown my sister-in-law a new bra one day and she started laughing at the loose skin on the upper portion of my breasts.  So, this was the incident that prompted me into thinking I had to do something about this permanently.  I read everything I could possibly get my hands or my “mouse” on…..including looking non-stop at pictures of breast augmentation so I could get an idea of what I might be able to achieve.  I think I saw more pictures of “boobs” than most men do in a years worth of Playboy!  I soon became obsessed at what I could look like once again.

 

One of my friends recommended a doctor where I live – and I made the first call to schedule a consultation.  I soon found out that this doctor was recommending a lift for me.  I was not receptive to all the possible drawbacks of this procedure, so I closed my mind to it, when in essence I should have listened to my surgeon.   I left the office not scheduling the surgery as all of this information was too much for me to think about.  I thought I would just have to live with ugly boobs the rest of my life. 

 

I ended up calling my own family practice doctor for a recommendation for a plastic surgeon to do this surgery for me; however the plastic surgeon was over an hour away.  I was not giving up my quest to find the right surgeon, so I continued to ask for referrals from anyone who had some sort of breast surgery.  I ran into someone who recommended the same plastic surgeon as my family doctor did, as she was looking for a good plastic surgeon for a breast reduction.  I decided at that point that this plastic surgeon was going to be the one for me!  I called his office and even before speaking to me, I knew in my heart he was the “one”.  I made the appointment for as soon as possible, as I was hoping to get this done for my 47th birthday, (which at this time was a month away).

 

I thought in my own heart that I was well informed by the time of the consultation and asked so many questions from the sheets I had printed out about the surgery.  I made sure I had my pictures of what I was envisioning my results to be and also of what I didn’t like.  I felt very comfortable with this surgeon, and liked the way he took the time to answer all of my questions.  His wife is his nurse in his practice and that made me feel really good about the entire process.

 

After measuring me we discussed the issue of needing a lift or not.  He thought I would have a 50-50 chance of not needing one, so with those odds I decided on just having the straight breast augmentation, and take my chances on the end result.  Going into this procedure, I was like most women having one breast that was slightly bigger and saggy with the nipple also being lower.   I felt very confident in my heart that the given the high recommendation of this referral that I would have a great outcome.  

 

After the consultation I booked and paid for the surgery immediately. I was very happy and nervous all at the same time because I was going to have new boobs for my birthday after all.  Pre-Op for the surgery was five days later, and the actual surgery was booked in eight days!!  I was on an emotional rollercoaster, as all I did was dream about boobs and I couldn’t sleep.  Definitely border-lining obsessive with this entire procedure!

 

Because of my chronic health issues with fibrocystic breasts, lungs that are not great due to smoking, having chronic fatigue syndrome/fibro, and aorta insufficiency, I started to panic!  My plastic surgeon was not all that concerned about my pre-existing conditions – except for the fact that I smoke and I have a heart condition.  The thought of anesthesia was scarring me because I was concerned with breathing and not waking up. 

 

I had to get all of my records from my cardiologist faxed up to the plastic surgeon’s office, and also had to have a mammogram done.  Everything was looking good, so surgery was a go.  I had surgery on the main surgical floor because I had to have general anesthesia instead of twilight due to my heart valve.  That scared me as well.  The night before surgery I had serious thoughts of calling off the entire procedure, as my emotions were in high gear with all the anticipation of doing this.  Not smoking also was contributing to my stress factor, and just made things look overwhelming!  Surgery was set for 11:00 AM and I had to be there by 10:00 so I could sign all the documents and paperwork.  The “living will” was hard to sign especially with my daughter looking over my shoulder.

 

Shortly thereafter, I was taken to a room where I was getting ready for surgery.  All the monitors were hooked up and I was given a warm blanket. My blood pressure which is normally on the low side was higher than a kite along with my pulse racing.  The anesthesiologist made a visit to me, to see if this was going to be a go.  The anesthesiologist had such a calming nature about him (he was just awesome) – shortly my blood pressure came back down within normal limits and after he put in the IV I knew I was on my way.  My plastic surgeon came in shortly after the anesthesiologist left, and started to mark me where the incisions would be.  I was very emotional as I was being wheeled in to surgery, telling my girls that I love them.  I remember being wheeled down the hall and wanting lotion on my “parched face” and my bangs pulled out of the cap.  I do not remember anything else till I woke up sitting in recovery.  The surgery only took an hour and 20 minutes. 

 

The first thing I asked for was a cigarette, which surprised the nurses!  I didn’t get sick at all and had virtually no pain, and my new implants looked awesome.  I asked for a cup of coffee in recovery which tasted so good, but I was still craving that cigarette, so I asked if I could go home.  I knew of course I shouldn’t smoke, but I really needed one badly.  My girls were telling me all the things that I had said coming out of the anesthesia, which seem to delight them no end!  Three hours after surgery began I was finally on my way home.  I was not experiencing any pain yet, but was anticipating it as I knew that there was pain associated with this procedure.  However, surprisingly I didn’t have any real pain to speak of.  I went home with drains and was told to return for my first post operative appointment four days later to have them removed.

 

I took my pain medication every four hours along with the antibiotic.  I drank pineapple juice, and ate applesauce, yogurt, and kept drinking a lot of fluids for the first few days.  I was lying in a semi upright position in the recliner chair with pillows under my knees - on the sides of me and behind my head.  A couple of days later however, my back was hurting quite a bit, so I found comfort in having a heating pad applied for a few minutes.  I only needed help emptying the drains for the first couple of days.  The sports bra that I was sent home in was tight, and I found a great deal of relief in pulling it away.

 

My kids and my boyfriend were so supportive during this time, as I had them all prepared for the worse, and the fact I might not be able to move by myself for a few days following surgery.  I was actually quite shocked at how easy it was to move and to get mobile again.   My surgeons wife, who is his nurse called every day to check on me which was really nice, and she had also popped into the surgical room before my surgery to wish me luck!   His nurse/wife made for the entire procedure to go that much easier for me.

 

My bed was full of pillows in order to support me when I was sitting upright and of course sleeping.  I had a complete pillow fort on my bed. The more you can get up and walk around for even a few minutes, makes you feel so much better.   Wet wipes are a must in the bathroom, and using a sippy cup to drink from or a straw are all “must haves” during recovery. Using your legs when you get up is so important - make sure you do not attempt to use your upper body.  At 16 days post op I was feeling great, just a bit sore, though I did get more tired than usual – but felt new energy every single day.  

 

I didn't have any real pain just overall soreness.  It was a bit uncomfortable with the bra on top of the breasts for those 4 days post op. The only problem I had at all and it wasn't really a problem was on the 4th or 5th day I had swelling in my stomach and my feet, and had gained 10 pounds.  I called the Dr and was told to get my feet up higher than my heart which helped reduce the swelling immediately.  Other than that, everything was great and I could not be happier. As far as my new "boobs" they were settling nicely and not so hard to the touch.   My doctor wanted me to massage my breasts, so I am making sure the exercises are done as instructed.   I kept thinking to myself this was the best money I have ever spent!

 

My second post op appointment was at five weeks.  The PS visit went great, and the implants are getting softer by the day.  I was instructed to start taking Vitamin E 800 mg twice a day and Vitamin C once a day.  There are times they are harder than other times I guess it depends which position I am either standing or sitting in. I did get a bit freaked out because I had dissolvable sutures inside and when the steri-stripes fell off – I saw a few sutures working themselves out of the incision.  The scars were looking great.

 

I did get some ScarGuard for my scars – which I used twice a day.  I didn’t apply ScarGuard or any scar remedy until I was instructed it was safe to do so.  You need for those incisions to be completely closed up, and this can take several weeks.

 

The end results were – my right breast was a perfect 10 and my left probably a 7 or an 8.  This was pretty good, as remember there was a 50-50 chance I'd need a lift.  I was very happy they turned out as good as they did without going through with the lift especially compared to what I had prior this procedure.  The only thing at this point I was thinking was maybe I should have had the PS  overfill the smaller one a little bit more.  My implant size was 390ccs. filled to 420ccs on one side and 430ccs.on the other side.   I started to feel some bubbling and rippling once the swelling went down.    The rippling was not visible to the eye; however you could feel it once the swelling had gone down….but I knew of this happening especially with saline implants.

 

At one of my appointments my PS did tell me that if I was not happy with the alignment of the areolas; that he could lift my one side up to match the other.  I was still on Cloud 9 even though they were not perfect, because of what I had prior this procedure the results were night and day. I was constantly reminding myself that I finally had the breasts I wanted, and I knew in my mind that Playboy was not going to be knocking on my door for a centerfold photo shoot at the age of 47.  

 

At my third post op appointment - my PS seemed to think a lift would not be worth the scar, so he seemed to be happy with his work.  That was reassuring news, as it was not that big of a deal to me that the left one was a bit droopy, however it feels and looks more real than the right "perfect" one.  One thing I learned with this process that getting a straight breast augmentation will only enlarge what you had to begin with.  I knew of the problems I had going into this, and basically I accepted this, because anything was better than what I had before surgery.  

 

If anyone would like more information on my first procedure please feel free to email me or PM me on the forum, as I am still so thrilled to finally have much better breasts!   The obsessive mode doesn’t go away with surgery, it is only the beginning.  The next phase is dressing your new implants up in all the gorgeous bras.  That is when the real fun begins.

 

 

  • Breast Augmentation Redo / Full Modified Anchor Lift:

After a year and three months of having my first implants, they continued to migrate downward and the perkiness I had envisioned was slowly going away.  I became pretty unhappy with this, so I decided to start a new mission with finding the right Plastic Surgeon to do my redo. The first surgeon I consulted with was very clear and frank in the beginning with telling me that I really needed a lift, but I was so frightened of the scars, I just blocked that procedure completely out of my mind.  I wish I would have listened to her, as she was so right – and after a year I had sub-standard results.

 

I still think the world of my first surgeon, his wife and their staff.  He did tell me I had a 50-50% chance of not needing a lift; and because of my mindset at that time I was not prepared to go there anyways.  I had a result where the implants looks like two different breasts now so I was getting more and more disheartened by the day.  So I started my new journey with trying to find the best PS for me.

 

In January I decided to go back to the first Plastic Surgeon that I had a consult with.  I know first hand that being board certified does not make a plastic surgeon great; however word of mouth – seeing results – and recommendations are worth their weight in gold.  My regular doctor (internist) told me she had seen lots of her work, and that all of her results are fantastic.

 

I was trying very hard to stop smoking again during this time as around this same time I had a scare with the possibility of cervical cancer, however thank goodness everything was okay.  September of 2005, I rescheduled an appointment and had another consult with Dr. Koegel.  The news wasn’t good; as I found out that my breasts dropped another 2 centimeters since January……my new implants were slowly heading south!  I scheduled surgery for September 29th, and got the charge card out.  I wanted this fixed once and for all, so what is a few more thousand so I can be happy!  I was not successful in my stopping smoking pledge, but did notice I was not nearly as nervous this time around compared to the first time. 

 

I knew this surgery was going to be more extensive with not only the procedure but in time.  Dr. Koegel told me I was going to be under a minimum of 3-4 hours.  I have never been under anesthesia that long, so this was concerning me.  Dr. Koegel gave me Valium to take the night of surgery and also to take the morning of to help keep me calm.  I was okay the night before so no need to take the Valium, but the morning of surgery I did need them!  Surgery was scheduled at 10:30 AM, and I had to be at the surgery center at 9:00 AM.

 

Facts about this surgery seem to not to be as clear as it was the first time around.  The last vivid memory I have is being wheeled into the operating room and for me to slide over to a small table.  I felt I was going to fall off, as it was so tiny!  My last words to the anesthesiologist were I expected him to make sure I would wake back up. The surgery lasted 3 hours.  The next memory I have is being in recovery and hearing someone say to take deep breaths. I was very thirsty with a bad sore throat from being intubated.  The nurse gave me ice chips and sprite, which I ended up drinking way too fast and certainly not a good thing to do when you are feeling nauseated.

 

Arriving home from the surgery, I found my surgeon sent me a dozen red roses, which was so thoughtful.   I was not feeling too well from the anesthesia and felt very nauseated.  I had an anti-nausea patch behind my ear before surgery, but it didn’t seem to work.  My surgeon had white gauzy bandages wrapped around me this time and I was given the okay to take a shower the following day.  After my shower, I had to blow dry my bandages so they wouldn’t be wet.  There was very little pain if any, just very sore and itchy between my breasts. 

 

My first post op appointment with Dr. Koegel was the following Monday.  My surgery took place on Thursday.  I had my bandages removed, and found out I was getting blisters from the gauze bandages. I was instructed to use Polysporin only and was told not to use Neosporin.  The only thing the doctor put over my nipples was clear tape like they use to hold IV in.  I was wearing a soft surgical bra in which I had to wear for several weeks.  Seeing my breasts for the first time was a little shocking – they appeared as though they should hurt.  There was no real pain associated with this surgery, only a little bit of soreness.

 

The only thing that was aggravating was the blisters and my allergic reaction to the tape.  I couldn’t get over how much better my breasts looked when I first saw them.  Even through the bruising and the incisions and tapes…….I knew this time it was going to be great.  They were perky and the areolas were aligned finally!  Dr. Koegel had to do a lot of internal work with my pockets, as they were over dissected from the first surgery.  The best thing was I was not experiencing any numbness in my breasts from the surgery at all……the feeling was there right from the beginning.

 

My main reason of going back to the first plastic surgeon I consulted with the first time around was that I really wanted silicone implants and my first surgeon told me I could not get them.  I ended up paying $7,000 more for the redo surgery instead of going back to the original surgeon for thousands less; however this was the right decision for me as she did an amazing job with her lift technique!  And I can tell you now that I have never been so happy.

 

I am currently now three years post op and still elated with the end result I have gotten.  I am so glad I bit the bullet and decided to get the lift, because as you can see by my photos the difference is like night and day.  I still keep my breasts support almost all the time in some sort of bra.  The crease on the left side ended up stretching slightly, but this is totally fine with me as they still look amazing!  There are times I wish I would have gone bigger, but it passes when I see how perfect my results are in the mirror.

 

I highly recommend my second plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrea Koegel at the Hutchinson Clinic in Kansas.  She does amazing lifts and breast augmentations and I can say without a doubt you will be going to the best of the best with no hesitation at all.  Would I do all of this over again – the answer is yes!  And I am finally so happy I got my “dream breasts”. 

 

 

                         

                         

 

 


Vikki's Stats:

 

5'-9.5" Tall - 145 lbs.

 

  • First Breast Augmentation:

  • 390cc filled to 420cc & 430cc Saline

  • Under the Muscle

  • Post Op: 36D / 36DD

 

  • Revision Surgery:

  • Breast Augmentation & Modified Breast Lift

  • Mentor 400cc Silicone Moderate Profile

  • Under the Muscle

  • Post Op:  34F

 

 

 


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