As much fun as it was announcing to total strangers, "You know... not everyone has nipples," eventually the game grew old and that's when I knew I was ready.
So, while some of you were busy Christmas caroling or dreidel spinning, I was strapped flat to an operating table. Hours later, I had my very own set of nipples.
So far, this is what they look like, only double the size - HUGE by gorilla standards.
Some of you might be wondering, how do they make them?
Well first, they start with a liquified corn syrup base, then they add some dye, mold it into a gummy form and POOF, you've got DOTS.
Nipples are a bit more complicated. Different surgeons use different techniques. My surgeon extraordinaire, Dr. Sandra Margoles, used a technique called a CV flap.
Isn't it adorable!
In the center of my reconstructed nipple is a slice of cadaver skin. This tiny morsel of cannibalistic goodness is used to prevent the nipple from flattening out. Believe me, the last thing I need are flat nipples.
In addition to getting nipples, I also had some fat grafting. This process was a bit more involved. First, I had to grow the damn fat. That was time consuming. Then they needed to "harvest" the fat. Turns out fat taken from my thighs had the best chance of surviving since its been around the longest so they used that.
The down side is, now I look like this...
(I have no idea why I'm holding this orange)
Once Dr. Margoles harvested my fat, she injected it into areas surrounding my implants that needed tweaking. Implants under breast tissue (as in breast augmentation) typically look fabulous, but implants under pectoral muscle (as in breast reconstruction), with no breast tissue, tends to have some issues.
With issues now gone, lets focus on the orange. See how nice and round and plump it is...
And this is me, four days post surgery.
On the top of my chest, by my collar bone, are two initials. An "M" is on my right and an "S" is on my left. I thought that meant righty is for Mark and lefty is for Shannon but it turns out that's medical jargon, for (Dr.) Sandra Margoles - her way of tagging me so there was no confusion as to who was operating on me. I for one am relieved - it tells me that, unlike my first surgeon (aka DICDOC), she really did do my surgery.
I am going to make you wait a bit longer for the full unveiling - right now they're slathered in bacitracin and shielded behind what looks like water bottle tops but I'll tease you by saying that I am thrilled with the results! These nips have transformed lifeless mounds into titillating bosoms - something I seriously doubted would ever happen and if you've followed along from the beginning of my breast debacle, I'm certain you did too.
Once I'm healed, I'll travel to the top nipple/areola tattoo artist in the country, Vinnie Meyers, and get my areola and nipple tattooed a lovely shade of ... pink. Yes, as crazy as some of my design ideas have been, I'm beginning to think that "normal" might be the way to go.
To see how I got here visit CATSTIR the other "C" word that rhymes with Dancer