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Implant Exchange (oYo) ~ Anyone go/stay SMALL?? (B cup)

SusansGarden
SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
edited March 2017 in Breast Reconstruction

I'd love to hear from those of you who have had reconstruction and decided to stay smaller (or reduce their previous size). 

I had an NSM BMX w/TE's.  I am in the process of "filling" and am really afraid of going too big!!  I was a small B (even down to an A when I'm thinner) in my B.B.C. (before breast cancer) life...and would like to end up really no more than a full B in my A.B.C. life. ;)

I enjoyed being "small" and not "having" to wear a bra.  It seems like most of the reconstruction ladies end up being D's or higher and I can't seem to find many smaller gals on here.  I think the bigger ladies look wonderful, but I'm just not a "busty" kind of gal :) ... plus it seems the bigger gals end up being required to wear a well constructed supportive bra almost 24/7.  If I stay under a C... will that kind of support still be required?? I understand I may need something for the first few months for encapsulation... just wondering if after that, I could get away with "lighter" support.... even go braless on occassion (like a shelf tank top) if I wanted?

Wondering what the "B cup reconstruction ladies" are experiencing?  If you are a full B/small C even... what were your implant size/types, ribcage measurements? Did you get measured at Nordstrom's afterwards? What did your final post exchange bra size end up being?

Thank you in advance for any info/experience you would like to share! :)

~ Susan 

Edited to add:  I have learned so much since starting this thread. Probably the biggest thing is that most of us (including me!) have a somewhat skewed idea of what bra cup sizes actually look like and are most likely wearing the wrong size bra.  I thought I was an 36/38 A/B before all this when in actuality..in a properly fitted bra..I was probably a 34C.  I found this great website that was explaining our skewed bra cup idea and showed this picture.....

 

This woman (who has not had any reconstruction) measures a 34D.  I would have never guessed that before!! I would have swore she was a B or C cup at the most.  So apparantly THIS was the size I was aiming for all along!  And I'm happy to tell you that I was successful! :)

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Comments

  • mom3band1g
    mom3band1g Member Posts: 87
    edited January 2011

    me!  I was AAA/ AA before surgery and am not 100% sure of my new size but an not big now.  I had my exchange surgery 6 weeks ago.  I ended up with 325 Natrelle implants.  I won't need a bra.  Whippetmom is amazing and I would rec you pm her your info and she can help you with size.  I am 5'5 120lbs (a few lbs heavier than I normally am) and my rib cage measures 28-29".  I have pics over on timtam's site.

  • SuebeeBC
    SuebeeBC Member Posts: 545
    edited January 2011

    Susan not that I can help too much YET as I havent had my MX yet....but I am a small A with a small rib cage (just lost weight and probably around a 33 inch chest) now and plan to have recon/TE/implants when I am done.  My PS actually scoffed when I said C cup and strongly suggested that I go no larger than a full B because of the size of my frame.

    Given that, Ill see how the TE goes and get a good feel for how comfortable I will be at different sizes.  The PS is going to let me fill until I say "yep, thats how big I want to be" and then fill a little more for the ease of the exchange.

    Upon reflection, I dont think I really wanted to be all that big....just 'even'.  I really dont want people looking at me like "oh yeah, THOSE are fake!".  But I DO love the Tshirt that says "Yes, they are fake- my real ones tried to kill me!"....I might get that shirt for my first day back at my Zumba class!  LOL.  Good Luck to you!!!

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Thank you both for your replies!

    mom ~ I did see your pics on Tim Tam's site ~ you look absolutely beautiful!  You are quite a bit smaller framed than I am.  Yes I did get some wonderful advice from whippetmom!  She suggested 533cc's to 600cc's (different styles/projection) .. but I'm chickening out and just worry that by going that big I will be trapped in a bra 24/7, which does not appeal to me at all! :(  I'm wondering if I might be okay with the look of a smaller implant.  I really don't want the "busty" look on me.  (I also posted my pics on Tim Tam's site. :)

    SuebeeBC ~ Wow... I can't believe your PS scoffed at you!  I've seen plenty of people on here go from a small A to D and beyond! It seems like that is more common than staying on the small side.  My PS too told me to fill until I felt comfortable.. go try on some clothes, etc.  But it just seems hard to tell because the TE's are shaped so different than the implants.  I also LOVE the "real ones tried to kill me" shirt! I want to buy one too! :)  I just started back with my Step class and hope to resume Zumba in the next couple of weeks when my arms are stretched out!!! :)

  • memory
    memory Member Posts: 13
    edited January 2011

    I'm done with the process, getting my second session with the tat lady this week, and I'll have to say, I'm satisfied with being "small."

    Though for me, it's big: I was an A all my life, close to a AA when I was thinner. PS encouraged me to go for full B cups, said they would suit my body. Turns out he was right. It's been a big adjustment for me (no pun intended), sometimes I actually miss being AA. But I probably have the best body of my life (ironic, it took cancer to do that, huh) and even though I'd take my cancer-free body back in a heartbeat (if it would STAY cancer free) I'm happy.

     I go bra-less around the house, but if I'm going out somewhere I put on a bra. Which is how it was before: even though I was small the nipples would show through. If I'm wearing a thick sweatshirt or sweater I don't bother with a bra. I don't think I would enjoy being a D. It's been tough to get used to having weight on my chest. My step-daughter, who is a DD, told me by no means go higher than a B. "You're active," she said, "You don't want to be lugging those breasts around." If she could afford breast reduction surgery (her insurance won't authorize it) she'd have it done. She rides horses, drives a tractor, farms, and says her big breasts are a pain.

    Lots of ladies love their Ds, but that's our two-cents from our corner. I think you should keep in mind that it's your body: if you're more comfortable with Bs, then go with Bs. I should also add, I so rarely wore bras that I'm still having a hard time finding decent ones. I'm going to have to break down and get fitted; your plan to go to Nordstrom's is a good one.

    AND, if I go too long braless I get sore. So you shouldn't plan on being bra-less 24/7. I can sleep without a bra, though.

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Thank you so much memory! You answered a lot of my questions!  And no, I don't plan on or want to go braless 24/7 ... I would just like to not HAVE to sleep in one or be required to have major support ALL the time. :)

    So do you think you ended up a "B", Memory?  What size implants did you end up getting? What size is your ribcage? :) 

  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370
    edited January 2011

    Oh, so glad I found you ladies!  I am 5'10" and thin.  My PS keeps saying that I can carry bigger ones.  I like to be small and trim.  So, I am in a quandary.  I was 430cc each, when they did my path.  He wants to put at lease 400 -550 in me.  They would be nice and high, and enormous!!!  I really want to be a B, like i was before (actually I was an A/B) due to the sagging/nursing of babes.

    I may just trust the PS and the nurse...because of my height, they think this is right!

    Annie 

  • lago
    lago Member Posts: 11,653
    edited January 2011

    I was a A-small B. I've had 4 fills before chemo and have 1 more chemo to go. My PS knows I want to stay the same size. He thinks I need a few more fills which will have to wait till after chemo.

    I made sure I went to a PS who could actually show me pictures of small breast reconstruction. My upper torso is so small/thin that they had to use a juvenile port on me.1st PS I went to didn't seem to have pictures of any women below a large C.

    From what I have heard & seen it seems most women don't have to wear a bra for reconstructed implants if they didn't go too big. The only reason why you might have to is because if you have nipple reconstruction they are always "alert." Some women opt for 3D tattoos instead of the nipple reconstruction. Granted you probably will have to wear something for a while after surgery.

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Thanks Annie and Lago!

    I'm glad people are responding... I sometimes worry I am the one and only member of the "Itty Bitty Titty Committee". ;)

    Lago ~ I'm going to ask my PS today (have a fill today) about the "bra" question.  If there is some sort of "threshold" of cc size for me of when he would be concerned about wearing major support all the time.. then that could definitely be a deciding factor for me! :) 

  • Sassa
    Sassa Member Posts: 98
    edited January 2011

    I was freak of nature big before my bilateral mastectomies. No way would I go back to that size or even C or D cups (been there, done that, have the bad back and shoulders to show for it and a ton of tops bought just to fit around my bust line, not the rest of me).

     I am nice full B cups.  I go bra-less 24/7 and will never willingly wear a bra again.

  • xtine
    xtine Member Posts: 15
    edited January 2011

    I had a uni mx and am a D cup in my remaining boob. I always thought my breasts were a little too big, and resented not being able to wear button-down shirts without gaping, or having a hard time finding swimsuits. Personally, I think B cups are about perfect. I am currently trying for a C cup, with a small reduction/lift to the left. I still have the expander, and have finished expansion to just before it would be the same size as my previous... my PS said when many people say they want a reduction they actually just want a lift... I am sure I actually want a reduction. A little terrified that he will take too much off and I'll regret it, and a little bit wondering if I should have gone for my magical B!

  • mom3band1g
    mom3band1g Member Posts: 87
    edited January 2011

    susansgarden - thank you!  I am so darn insecure about these new foobs and it helps so much to get positive feed back.  I know I was not the norm for my ps in not wanting to be big.  Every time I saw him I reminded him about how small I wanted to be.    He started to joke with me about it and then I knew he was listening!  I had all my fills before radiation and when I was a little bigger than I wanted I said 'stop'!  He did ask me a few times if I was sure and I was!  I may have shed a few tears.....so embaressing but true!  He knew I was serious.  I guess I would look at your TEs in clothes and decide when it looks good to you and then say stop? 

    Let me know if I can help at all.  It's so hard and takes so long to adjust to these new bodies.  I liked my old flat self but as the t-shirt says.......  I love that one too!

    kathy

  • memory
    memory Member Posts: 13
    edited January 2011

    I wear a size 36 bra, and I wish I could remember what size implants I have. I'd have to go look on the card they gave me; they're silicone implants, and they give you a card to carry, like with artificial valves, and such. I'll have to go find it. (No, I'm not carrying it on me yet.)

     btw, like I said before, it's your body. If you're more comfortable with Bs, go with Bs. Tell the PS, too. You're going to have to live with the results, no matter what he thinks "looks right."

  • takeadeepbreath
    takeadeepbreath Member Posts: 68
    edited January 2011

    Hey ladies...I just started the process---prophy NSM 12-14 with TEs. I was an A (more like an A-) my entire life (except for when I was pregnant), and honesty was fine with it. I am only 5'1" and 110 lbs so I think more than a solid B will look crazy on me and I would be too self-conscious (been spending waaaay too much time this past year dwelling on the boobs as it is). PS put in 250 expanders, filled to 150 on surgery. He added 30 cc's yesterday for first fill and I am already probably bigger than I started (and feeling like I was filled with cement instead of saline!). I am documenting each weeks progress that I will post on pic site, as I agree---it was very difficult to find pics of women that stayed relatively small. I think a nice B will make clothes fit better, be a bit sexier but not get in the way or make me look like a weeble!

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468
    edited January 2011

    Susan we are diagnosis twins....I have the same stats as you.  I am having BLMX on 1/27 and am a small B now.  I am a smaller person - only 5'3" and don't carry much body fat - especially on my chest area (it's super lean).  I want to go slightly bigger as now that I have lost even more weight on the "cancer diet" (you know, the immediate weight loss after getting diagnosed) I am an A again.  I have been an A most of my life until having my son and just getting a little flabbier from being pregnant.  I met with two plastic surgeons, they suggest a full B or small C.  I don't know what to do!  They did say I can keep filling until I want to stop though so I kind of figured we would play it by ear.  I am afraid of having fake looking boobs and having people notice.  I want to have a feminine appearance and feel good wearing a bikini or sexy dress.  I have always wanted to be just a little bigger, but I would have never gotten augmentation, so now is my chance.  A full B would be bigger to me!  One surgeon suggested about 350 -400 cc's.   I am meeting with the other surgeon again, hopefully next week to see what he recommends. 

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,468
    edited January 2011

    Susan...I was a small B preBC....I forget now how many cc's I was expanded to (I think 400cc), but my original implants were 300cc and they were too big for my likings....I felt like everybody was looking at my chest!!!I now have 200cc Mentor silicone implants.....I'm pretty much the same size as before BC....I don't wear a bra and haven't since PS gave me the go ahead to stop wearing it post surgery....I had to have a couple revisions and on the second one, I told the PS to go as small as he could..I swapped out both implants...its been 2 1/2 years and I've never regretted getting the smaller implants...

  • gutsy
    gutsy Member Posts: 26
    edited January 2011

    I was size C/D before surgery and I am now a full B, which suits me fine. I had a unilateral mastectomy with alloderm and implants all done at the same time. The other breast has been reduced. All the big bandages came off today, and looking down it looks fine. I was self-conscious my whole teen and adult life about my breasts. I would always hide them under baggy clothes. So hooray, I will be able to wear a t-shirt now without worry.

  • Ann97
    Ann97 Member Posts: 142
    edited January 2011

    Thank you for posting this thread. I was kind of wondering recently if there was something wrong with my thinking. I've had a hard time finding pictures of women that had gone with a B cup.

    I was a large A on the non-cancer side, small B on the cancer side and had a BMX. My PS has stretched me to BIG and it makes me miserable. I hate everything about the TEs anyway, but the size is just too large. He has done it on purpose, saying he wants extra skin, but also keeps asking me if I'm sure about the size I want. I'm good with them both being the same size finally, and the small B would be just right. I too am 5'1 and was weighing about 108 when he told me I could go as high as a D cup but that he would not recommend that for my frame.

    Thank heavens for Deborah (whippetmom) :). She recommended the Allergan Natrelle Style 15 midrange, volume 397 for me. I will see what my PS recommends and make sure it is not larger than that.

    Mom3band1g, can you tell me the name of your thread on TimTam's site? I've tried searching using your username here and didn't come up with anything. I was able to see one person's photos on the photo site where the size was around what I'd like.

    By the way - the PS's nurse told me yesterday that what usually happens is that their clients say they want to stay the same and just look normal up until it gets really close to the date of the surgery. And at that point most of their clients start to change their minds and want to go bigger. :)

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Hey, I'm glad I started this thread too!  I've had so many people say "Hey, don't miss this opportunity to go really big!!"  ... but...but.. I've never WANTED to be really big! lol!

    Thank you SO much, ladies, for sharing your experiences/thoughts.  It really does help to know you are not alone. :)

    ~ Susan 

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468
    edited January 2011

    I talked to my PS again yesterday and just wanted to share what he told me.  He said he would be filling my TE a little larger than I plan to be because once they take them out to do the exchange the skin and muscle wants to go back to how it was before so he overstreches a little so he can have a little more room to get in there and get everything placed properly.  So once I am full to what I like, I think they will do one more fill.  I think I will be a full B when done if all goes to plan which will be big for me and what I am use to.

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Sounds like a good plan mdg! :) ... it is funny how every PS is different... mine doesn't overfill? I feel real confident with him though... he is a very sweet, compassionate man that specializes in BC reconstruction and I have seen and liked his work.

    After my fill a couple of days ago.. my hubby and I talked about it and we both agreed that I am ready to stop (at 430cc's).  We did my measurements with the TE's and I was measuring a full C, almost D... so if after the exchange.. that puts me at a full B, I will be really happy. :)

    I will be going in next week to discuss it with my PS.  This means I could be doing my exchange as early as Mid March! Yippee!!! 

  • lago
    lago Member Posts: 11,653
    edited January 2011

    BTW My PS told me he stretches a little bigger so you can have some drop. Made sense to me.

  • mom3band1g
    mom3band1g Member Posts: 87
    edited January 2011

    ann97 - my thread is called My radiated TE's to implants.  Hope it helps and it's nice to know there are more of us who don't mind being 'small'!

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    lago ~ my PS says he used to adhere to the "overfill for drop" strategy... but has since stopped because .. as he said... "why would you want to start out with droopy boobs?"  Heck, I don't know! How confusing!    I actually don't mind the way my TE's look right now and do already have the inframammary fold (right from the beginning actually).  So maybe that's because he uses the alloderm and also the reason he doesn't overfill???

    From some doc on the internet:

    "Alloderm is a dermal matrix derived from human skin.  The skin is treated to remove all the cells from the tissue, leaving essentially a sheet of collagen.  Alloderm is used as a sling to cover the lower pole of the expander.  The upper 2/3 of the expanders are placed underneath the pectoralis muscle.  The Alloderm allows for exact placement of the lower pole of the expanded breast thus creating a much more predictable reconstruction.  Over the ensuing weeks, the body will grow blood vessels into the Alloderm and will eventually incorporate the tissue.  There is anecdotal evidence for lower rates of capsular contracture with use of Alloderm, as well as less pain from expansion.  In my opinion, I believe that dermal matrices are becoming the norm for breast reconstruction with tissue expanders/implants" 

  • lago
    lago Member Posts: 11,653
    edited January 2011

    SusanGarden, that makes sense in your case. My PS didn't use Alloderm. I've seen implants that have no drop. They look odd IMO. I my former extrememly dense breasts had a little drop, not much but a little.

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    I know what you mean about them looking odd with no drop, lago! :)

    I'm sure it just must be different with the alloderm.  Time will tell for me! :) 

  • SuebeeBC
    SuebeeBC Member Posts: 545
    edited January 2011

    WOW where did my post go? 

    Susan, I was just saying that I will be having alloderm, AND my PS does the extra fill....but he didnt say anything about droop - he said that it was to allow for the healing skin to more easily handle the exchange...

    I have a new PS today!  My old on broke his arm and I had to choose between having the MX next week without TE or wait a week and get a new PS.  So I met my new one today and actually like his way better.  I left feeling more confident about the whole ordeal.  We talked about the alloderm and I liked that too.

    I also had to laugh about your comment "but I never wanted to be big!"....so true.  Before my diagnosis, I was planning on augmentation but never wanted to be that big either.  Now the PS is backing me up again (the old one was the one who said no way to a C) but stopped short of saying no to a C until we see how the fills are going.  He wants me to look natural and beautiful. 

    Besides, my BFF is a small framed yet big busted gal and would have my HEAD if I tried to go big...LOL while she wishes she could cut hers off!

    Sue

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Sue ~ glad you like your new PS.. maybe it was meant to be! :)

    I didn't have rads so maybe my skin doesn't need to be stretched more? ..I also had a skin (and nipple) sparing BMX.. so there really wasn't any skin to stretch since I'm not going any bigger than I got when I was nursing? My PS will make me wait a minimum of 2 months after the last fill before I can do the exchange.  He said that is for the pec muscle to "relax" and get used to that position so it won't squeeze too tight on the new implant.

    Hoping for a speedy, smooth recovery after your MX next week, Sue!! :) 

  • vmudrow
    vmudrow Member Posts: 415
    edited January 2011

    SusanGarden - I was barely an A cup before surgery - but with the PS recomendation and whippetmom I was filled to 400ccs and exchanged to 450cc.  PS said that size looks around a small C.  But I wear a 32DD (implants are wider)  I am happy to be a little bigger than before, I am getting used to it.  My ricbcage measurement is 29.  I have pictures on the picture forum if you are interested - before, during and after.  Good luck with your decision!!

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,468
    edited January 2011

    I was soooo miserable after my last fill, that I made my PS take some out...I couldn't stand all the pressure....I was having rads after chemo and then had to wait at least 6 months to do exchange, so I was facing 10 months after last fill to exchange....I had my exchange 12 1/2 months after Mx.....I don't have any sag/drop, but that may be due to the small size...I think my implants look like hamburger buns on my chest......one of the reason I didn't like my bigger implants was because they were too perky for a middle age me........the original implants were 300cc high profile....I now have 200cc mid profile....the best compliment I was paid was shortly after swapping out the implants one of my bff said to me...you look like your old self (talking about my chest)...thats just what I was looking for :)

  • SusansGarden
    SusansGarden Member Posts: 754
    edited January 2011

    Thanks Valerie! ... I just tried to go back into the picture site and it's giving me an error? Hmmm, I will try again later?

    Karen ~ I think that is a great compliment your friend gave you! :)