As I mentioned earlier, the surgeries went fine yesterday. One of the surgeries was a delay procedure and it is designed to eliminate blood flows up to the abdominal area so that all blood flow comes from above the area. (I know that there are medical directional terms but I can’t figure them out.) The reason for this is that blood flow to the breast comes from above. In the abdomen the blood flow from below is a lot stronger so Dr. Welk made two small and relatively shallow incisions to my abdomen to cut off blood supply in that direction. That will make the flow from above stronger, which will reduce the chance of complications when the tissue is moved to my breast.

The other procedure was the placement of the tissue expander. See below for photos of deflated and expanded tissue expanders. They come in different shapes and sizes but all look like they have a yolk in the middle. When it’s implanted, it’s filled up a little bit with saline solution but since they don’t want to torture women, they don’t fill it all at once. So there needs to be a minimally invasive way to fill it incrementally in the weeks following surgery. The yolk is a magnet that it used to find the port into which the saline is injected. Dr. Welk says he uses a device like a stud finder (I suggest “babe finder”) to locate it. One of the pictures shows the tubing that is attached to the syringe to fill up the breast. So why am I eager to fly? Because the metal yolk sets off air security alarms! I have my very own “Device Identification Card”, signed by Dr. Welk to prove that my breast means no harm to the people of Earth!

In the mean time, I am resting and also trying to figure out how to pad out my bra on the right side a little. I thought I was really smart and organized when I ordered a smaller breast form. Dr. Welk said he’d fill up the expander about half way. I guessed that half would be about an A cup and then further guessed at the size of a breast form. I considered just waiting and getting some of those “increase your cup size” inserts at Target, but I figured that I’d end up lumpy and lobsided. To make a long story short, I’m more like a B cup so the breast form is too big. It is also shaped differently than newly leavened breast. When I put the breast form in, I was about a size G on the right side. Plus, it just looked weird because the breast form angles differently than my breast. I can’t explain it without showing a picture and I’m not going to put a photo of my breast on this blog. Let’s just say that since skin from the top of my breast was removed that now that it is filled, it appears to be defying gravity, especially once particular area, resulting in a major googly eyed effect. I suspect that this effect will not go away until the TRAM procedure, during which Dr. Welk will add some skin to my breast from my abdomen. I’m hoping that he avoids using the skin decorated with my pregnancy stretch marks. The guy is all about aesthetics so I’m sure he will.

So now you know how the expander looks. As to how it feels, it feels like I have a water balloon right below my skin, which is basically the truth. If I tap on my breast with my finger, it sounds like I’m tapping a Tupperware container. Maybe I can push on it to “lock in freshness” or practice Morse code or something. Finally, pain-wise I am doing okay so far. I took a couple of Percoset (not at the same time) yesterday but today I have switched to Advil combined with Traumeel, a homeopathic pain reliever that is actually evidence-based. (I have long been leery of any kind of homeopathy, and remain so as a general rule but this one looks like the real deal. Check it out for yourself here.)

I’d like my breast sunny side up, please!