Orange County, CA | Asymmetrical Breasts Pt. 1 - Breast Augmentation | Dr. Corbin Plastic Surgery

The beginning to a two part personal story of a patient who has had to deal with asymmetrical breasts and was compelled enough to take action.

Transcription

Laurel Kellam: Every morning when I get out of the shower and look at myself in the mirror, I feel like a freak. And all I want to do is feel like a woman. I'm not having a boob job. I'm just doing it to be normal. Just have them be the same size. That's it.

Laurel Kellam: My name is Laurel Kellam. I live in Anaheim, California. I'm a 22-year-old single mother. Briston means everything to me. I wish my daughter would have come with an instruction book. It's fun. It's definitely the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life. And I look at her every day and thank God.

Laurel Kellam: And when I was about 11, and I started developing, my right breast never completely developed to be the same size as my left. Being an 11-year-old, you don't know what's going on. And I just figured it would fix itself. Maybe that's just how mother nature works. Dancing was the most important part of me growing up. I did it from as soon as I could walk,.it seemed like for years I had perfect costumes. I could hide it all the time.

Laurel Kellam: Never ran into a problem, until one year we have this beautiful blue dress, but it had this open back. There was no way I could wear a bra with it, no way. And I didn't have time to go downstairs and change. I had to change right after another number. I had one number to get changed on the side of the stage and get back out there. So everybody was watching me change, and a lot of my classmates saw it. And at that point, their eyes bugged out of their head and were like, "What's wrong with her? Oh my gosh." You could see them whispering and pointing. And I just stood there. And I was so embarrassed.

Jill Kellam: When Laurel was growing up, I could see a difference. And I remember she was about to go out to movies, and I took her upstairs and put her in front of the mirror. And I go, "Look, I don't think you should wear that top." And that was the first we talked about it. And over the years, I just thought they'd kind of even themselves out and caught up with each other or something. I didn't realize she was covering it up so well.

Laurel Kellam: I'm a 36A on the right and a 36C on the left. And in order to give the appearance that everything's natural, I've had to use padding in my bra for the past nine years. I guess I hid it so well that everyone thought nature just fixed itself, and the problem went away. And I guess that's why my parents didn't know in the end.

Laurel Kellam: In July, when my dad got married, my stepmother and I went out dress shopping, and she's looking at all these cute strapless things. And I'm like, "How am I going to explain to these women that I can't do that?" So finally I told Nora what was wrong. And she broke down in tears, and I broke down in tears. There we are crying in the middle of the Robinsons-May. And that was the first time I'd ever told anybody.

Nora Kellam: I had known Laurel for almost four years and had no clue, had no knowledge. She carried herself so strongly.

Laurel Kellam: She actually told my dad without me knowing, and I was actually quite upset. He's my dad. How could I tell a guy this? And when I found out she had told my dad, I was pissed. But my dad, from that point on, has been wonderful.

Guy Kellam: Okay. Who needs to know the Dodger dog? How are we doing cheeseburgers over there? We okay? All right. Put a couple more on.

Guy Kellam: I was surprised to hear that the problems still existed. I had heard about it several years ago.

Laurel Kellam: I should have let my parents know what was going on, but I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. I didn't know what to say. How do I tell somebody that? I thought maybe it would fix itself eventually, but it's just getting worse.

Guy Kellam: Okay, this is the last of them.

Laurel Kellam: I wish I would have told him sooner, but now he has discussed things with me that I never thought a girl could say to her dad. If I can share this with him, I can share anything with him.

Laurel Kellam: Jaime has a way of walking into the room and just making me feel better. And I haven't ever felt that way with anybody. He treats me like a princess, and he's absolutely wonderful with my daughter Briston.

Jaime Lopez Jr: When Laurel told me about her problem with her breast, it was like, I don't know what to do. Then she told me what it was, but I didn't really think it was a big deal. But then explaining it to me all this stuff she had to go through, and it was pretty sad.

Laurel Kellam: Just thinking about having this procedure finally done, it's given me confidence that I haven't ever had. I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to get this fixed. And I just can't believe it's here, it's time. We're going to do this. And I'm going to be able to be a normal person. I can't describe how excited I am.

Laurel Kellam: In the beginning, my mother didn't quite understand why it was such a big deal to me. She just didn't understand how drastic it was, and she couldn't relate. No woman on this planet can relate. You just are lucky enough to have had gone through life with two beautiful, perfect breasts. Since I decided to go forward with it, she's been very involved and very supportive, had lots of questions, wanted to meet the doctor, wanted to be there for everything. And she'll be the one taking care of me afterwards.

Speaker 7: Come on back.

Laurel Kellam: I've been researching it now actively only for about six months, but I did meet with about 13 different doctors, ranging from just your normal plastic surgeon to people specializing in the field. I found Dr. Corbin on the internet. I went and met with him and saw hundreds, if not thousands of before and after photos of what he had done.

Dr. Corbin: Let me ask you, first of all, some quick questions. And then we'll get to the reason why you're here.

Dr. Corbin: I think that patients ought to see more than one physician because they'll hear more than one story about what's in their best interest. I think it also gives the patient an opportunity to develop a rapport with the physician and with the office staff.

Dr. Corbin: When your breasts started to develop, one side is bigger than the other? Of the two breasts, I imagine one is now drooping more than the other.

Laurel Kellam: Correct.

Dr. Corbin: Okay. Well, obviously, this is a complicated problem, but there are some solutions. One can make the smaller breast larger using an implant, and then one can reshape the larger breast to get it more the shape of the breast that we've just enlarged. Obviously, that means operating on both breasts.

Jill Kellam: The one breast that's being lifted, do you actually take skin away from that?

Dr. Corbin: Yes. Skin is removed and the actual breast is reshaped. There is only an incision around the nipple areola complex and then one going down. And the final result gives you a shape that would be very similar to the implant that you're going to be placed on the other side, so the breast should look very similar. What stitches you will have will actually be very minimal to be removed, if there are any. Most of the suturing that I do is buried, or in other words, the knots are underneath the surface. There is no actual stitching on the surface. And the reason for that is, again, to minimize scarring.
Okay. There's going to be a significant physical difference, but not that anybody's going to be able to tell. Only me. Only the few people that in my life I've let in and let know what's going on. It's all going to be emotional and personal and give me confidence in myself, build up my self esteem, give me a reason to feel good.

Dr. Corbin: Okay. So you want to just stand up real quickly for me one second, and let me just make some quick measurements. And I'm just measuring the distance. So on this side, on the smaller side, and you're 19 centimeters from the sternal notch to nipple. Measuring on the left side, and that's 25 centimeters, so there's a six centimeter difference. And this is where actually where your nipple really should be.

Laurel Kellam: After talking with Dr. Corbin today, I feel much more comfortable going into the operating room, as before today, I wasn't quite sure how they would actually place the implant and how it would affect me further on down the road.

Jill Kellam: I'm incredibly excited for Laurel because I can't even imagine what affect it's been on her and lived with it. And she's right, she's hid it. When he did that exam, that's the first time I've seen her since she was probably 10. So I didn't know what she was dealing with.

Laurel Kellam: I've lived with it for 11 years.

Jill Kellam: So I'm very happy that she has this opportunity to, and then she's pursued it. And it's going to like really happen.

Laurel Kellam: So many people just think, "Oh, she's getting a boob job," and that's it. All of a sudden you look incredible. I had no idea how much pain and recovery time is involved with this. And I'm not able to drive a car for a week, and I'm not going to be able to play with my daughter for two weeks. So I'm just going to have to adapt to things like that.

Laurel Kellam: It's going to be more like soreness, not like pain.

Laurel Kellam: I get a little scared when I think of exactly what they're going to be doing to me, but I'm definitely more excited than I am scared.