My BRCA Surgeries: Part Three

Pre-Op – December 22, 2022

My plastic surgeon, Jennifer Scwartz with O’Neill Plastic Surgery, explained that the the first surgery was to remove all of my breast tissue and put in implants.  The second would be months later, after seeing how the breasts settled.  Since all of my breast tissue was removed, that wouldn’t give much skin to cover my implants.  And if you’ve seen clear implants before, you’ll know what I mean here.  The rippling or bumps from the implant appear if you don’t have your normal breast tissue to cover it.

Not the best angle, but was trying to show my markings, pre-op.

For the second surgery she takes fat from another part of your body.  Trust me, don’t get too excited on this.  Like fun! I need lipo!  She doesn’t take much.  And then she takes a needle and adds the fat to the ripples on my breasts to help smooth out the areas.  In my case, she took fat from my inner thighs.

Wheeler called to check in, right after I got out of surgery.

I also replaced my implants with a different kind that was a little firmer and a little larger, to help with the rippling.  This time there were no drains thank goodness and the recovery was much much easier.  Downtime was still about six weeks, but nothing like the recovery from the first surgery.

This go-round, the surgery was the same-day and not an overnight. The kids were happy to have me home that night this time.
They also kept me entertained while I sat around.
One of six areas where she injected my fat to the rippled areas.
Day Two – Post-Op
Day Two Post Op at our church’s Christmas Eve Service. This was probably pushing it to be out and about so soon, but I couldn’t miss Logan playing Joseph and Wheeler playing the Angel Gabriel in the Christmas Pageant.

I had this second breast surgery done three days before Christmas.  Again, I didn’t have much flexibility on dates, so I went with it.  Plus, I wanted to get it in before the end of the year for insurance purposes.  She initially had wanted me to wait until February 2023, but I’m still so glad I made the decision to do this surgery sooner.  So happy with the results!  They’re not perfect by any means, there’s still rippling, scars, etc.  But everything exceeded my expectations and I’m just so pleased.  And also so thankful that there weren’t any complications.

You’ll notice my amazing hair in this post!  I decided to get extensions a few weeks before this surgery.  I know it sounds crazy that I got this done while I was going through all of this, especially since I’ve never had them before, but honestly it was the best thing!  It was so much easier to take care of and I could go so much longer without having to wash it.  I ended up loving them so much, I kept them in until June – only moving them up every 8 weeks when I got my hair colored.  Super manageable.

All of these surgeries took a toll on me, for sure.  Add that to the fact that I was used to playing tennis 3-4 times a week to playing none at all.  And I had to stop running.  So many of y’all asked why I’d stopped.  Finally explaining why.  Sorry it took so long!  Thankfully, it was an eventful Fall/Winter in 2022, so I was able to take my mind off of it.  A huge thank you to my family for all of their help, my friends for their support and for my amazing doctors!!

Am I happy with the results?  Absolutely!  Now have fun going back on old posts and comparing my boob sizes.  Haha.  Like I said, I’ve never had boobs before, and many of y’all probably already know this, but it’s weird how sometimes they can look big and other times they can look small, depending on what I’m wearing.

For More: My BRCA Story // My BRCA Surgeries: Part One // My BRCA Surgeries: Part Two

12 thoughts on “My BRCA Surgeries: Part Three

  1. Prayers for continued good health and I know there will be many that will benefit from you sharing your journey. As a breast cancer survivor I’m glad you got ahead of this awful disease.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My family has a long history of breast cancer and my BRCA testing is negative, both the first time I tested ~15 years ago and with the newer more accurate test ~5 years ago. I feel so lucky to not carry the gene! I did have both fallopian tubes removed back in April when I had an ovary with a huge cyst removed. I don’t need the tubes so they removed both just in case thanks to my family history. I’m sure your posts will encourage someone to get tested and hopefully save a life!

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey. What a role model for your children as well as an inspiration to us all. Glad to hear your are in good health and spirits. God Bless

  4. Wow, wow, wow! Women (you) are so strong! I’m kind of at a loss for words at the moment but this is so inspiring to all women to be their own advocate. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. 🙂

  5. Oh Ashley you are a shining example of light and love. You live your truth and your help to others is beautiful through these stories. Sharing and caring and showing Christs love to others thru this journey. You are such a strong Woman and a wonderful example to your girls and being open …. So helpful. Thank you for sharing. I am sorry you have had to do this and for the pain I am sure you had to endure. I hope the healing has you feeling better each day.
    Love your blog and I so enjoy all your sharing. As a nurse… married to an Interventional Cardiologist I so appreciated the pictures. Be Well. And… Thank you.

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