So Worth It! 44DD Plus...to a 44B...So Happy! - Bensalem, PA

This is my story… I am 40 years old, mother of...

This is my story… I am 40 years old, mother of two ages 10 and 5. I have wanted a breast reduction for about 15 years now. In college, I was thin and size 36c…perfect perky breasts. I started to gain weight after college and into marriage and after having two children, found myself spilling out of a 44DD. Ugh. I hated them…nothing fit right, wearing a bathing suit was mortifying. I would not make love to my husband without a shirt on. Sleeping was getting difficult as I am a stomach sleeper and they always seemed to be in the way. My self esteem was so low I couldn’t take it anymore.

A friend of mine had her br last year and I was so jealous. I had often thought about it but thought I had to lose lots of weight before I could do it. I even called a ps once but was told I was too overweight to qualify. So…I forgot about it. Well, my friend is not thin, not fat but not thin so I thought if she can do it, why not me?

I went to see the ps and he said I should qualify…turns out he wasn’t’ the ps for me…his office was so slow, not friendly and he ended up being a jerk. After 2 months of me thinking my claim had been submitted, I called for a status only to find out that he didn’t submit it yet, he wanted to see me again.

At this second meeting, he said he didn’t think he could meet my insurance company’s requirement of 750cc per breast. He never explained to me why, what size that would leave me, etc. He just said I wouldn’t be happy. Whatever…see ya.
So I went to a second ps and I am so glad I did. He was awesome. I loved him immediately, loved his staff and just felt so confident and comfortable there. I told him about my first experience and he said it was unfortunate but that he would take care of me.

He measured me, (first ps didn’t do that) and we talked about insurance requirements, scarring, the procedure, etc. he showed me before and after pictures, and then he said he’d submit it and see what insurance said.
I received my approval 3 days later! Holy cow! I was so excited…so I set my date for June 1st and off I went!
I went for my pre-op and he examined me again. We talked cup size. I said I’d like to be a C. Not a C spilling over into a D but a C. He said he uses shoulders as a guide to get the proportion right.

So now it is June 11…I am 10 days post-op and could not be happier.
Here’s my surgery story:

Friday: I went to the hospital around 6:30am for a 7:45 surgery. They took me right back, got me into a gown and started my iv. Anesthesia came to visit and then my ps came in to mark me up. I thought I’d be embarrassed but at this point, I was full of adrenaline.

I walked back to the OR and laid down on the table. I laughed and said the last time I did this, I ended up with a baby…(c/section). They put something in my iv and I remember saying that I feel it working already. The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery. The first thing I asked was how much did they take off…1050 cc from left and 850cc from right. Average of 2.5 lb each I think. So…the first ps was full of it!

My pain level at this point was a 7 out of 10…not too bad. My throat was scratchy and my lip hurt like hell. I either bit it or they scraped the tube in my lip because I had two cuts, a fat lip and numbness (which I still have today).

I was given something in my iv and was more comfortable. I felt like a mummy all wrapped up in the surgical bra. My husband came in and then I started drinking water. I was so thirsty.

Once my pain was under control and I ate a graham cracker, they let me go. I was home by 1:30…live about 15 minutes away from the hospital.

My pain was never too bad…I took Percocet every 4 hours religiously. I had no drains and was pretty comfortable sitting up with lots of pillows surrounding me. Especially the beanbag type pillows under each arm like a recliner…those were great.
I drank lots of water with lemon and ate raisin toast with margarine. Nothing else appealed to me but I knew I had to eat.
Saturday was kind of the same…I iced with the big reusable 3m ice bags…took Percocet and switched from the bed to the couch every few hours for a change of scenery.

On Sunday, I was bored…so I spent most of the day on the couch…I slept much better there and napped most of the day. The Percocet was giving me terrible headaches so I just took Tylenol for pain and Ambien to help me sleep Sunday night.
Monday (3days out) was awesome. I sat on the couch all day, only took Tylenol for pain. My mom washed my hair in the kitchen sink which made me feel so much better. She took me to my post-op appointment in the afternoon. The Dr. took off the bandages and said all looked fine. He told me to wear whatever I felt comfortable in…sports bra, surgical bra, cami, etc. He said to try to wear the bra most of the time but if I needed a break, don’t’ sweat it.

I looked down as he took off the bandages and felt so flat. Lol…it was surreal. I was told that since I was no longer taking paid meds, I could drive if I felt comfortable and had full range of motion. I appreciated that but was not ready yet.
That night I took a shower for the first time…it was so weird. I felt so flat and childlike. The incisions make me squeamish so I didn’t touch or look at them. I was able to wash my hair but couldn’t bend over to shave my legs. I just let the warm water fall over me and it felt really good.

I needed my husband to help me dry off my lower half because I couldn’t bend.

Tuesday: day 4…again, much better. I spent the day on the couch…went for a mani/pedi with my mom and 5year old. I even went out to the store with my family in the afternoon…I drove…no pain…just uncomfortable. I couldn’t believe it!
Wednesday: I told my husband to go back to work and my mom to stay home. I took my kids to school and went shopping! I tried on new clothes…down a pants size and shirt size…tried on bras…44B! I know I said I wanted to be a C but this is great! I cried in the store…the saleslady hugged me when I told her my story…lol.

I even bought a negligee…first time since my honeymoon!

Shaving legs was difficult as I still couldn’t bend. I got a Tupperware bowl of water and used my intuition razor while sitting on toilet. It was much easier!

Thursday: and Friday: more of the same…Tylenol for pain if needed…taking it easy but functioning. Loving life. I went to my 10 year old’s school picnic…loved the reaction from the other moms!

I get tired earlier in the night but other than that…sleeping well with Ambien and lots of side pillows.

So today is my first day back to work…10 days post-op. I feel great. I still have some discomfort but no Tylenol even needed the past couple of days. My kids were with their grandparents all weekend so hubby and I went out to lunch on Saturday and lunch and shopping all day Sunday. This has definitely sparked our romance…Sunday morning was fun! I was cautious but it was nice to surprise him with the new negligee.

Pre-br I weighed 215…I’m down to 199 today. I can’t believe it. I honestly feel like a different person. My self-esteem is through the roof. I look forward to getting dressed…seeing people, etc. My kids keep telling me how skinny I am…I am eating better, drinking lots of lemon water and just making such an effort. I had no motivation before my surgery. Now the sky is the limit!

Items I was glad I had:
Wireless doorbell: I got it at home depot for $12. I kept the button with me, hubby kept the bell side. He slept on the couch if I was in bed and vice versa to give me room…so it was nice to know he was a bell away. It worked great.

Button up nightgowns : 2 from Avenue.com

Zip up sports bras: 3 from jms.com (just my size.com) I bought my same band size, A/B cup instead of C/D. Fits great and is so comfortable.

My nipples are very sensitive…seatbelt hits it in the wrong spot so a small pillow between my chest and the seatbelt is very helpful!

3M icepacks…large…two. In hindsight, I would have bought 4 so I could have 2 on and two refreezing.

Squishy pillows for under neck and arms.

Heating pad for neck if it gets sore from sleeping elevated.

Resusable plastic water cup with bent straw for drinking in bed…use lots of lemon…diauretic!

Colace: started this day before surgery…no bowel problems whatsoever. I took it when I took pain meds.

Second opinion: if you aren’t 100% sure you love the first ps you see…don’t be afraid to see another!


Cell phone charger and kindle charger right by bed…made it easier to stay connected!

If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know! I get my steri-strips removed tomorrow…I am not sure about the sutures.

Ok so I know the dr. was going to take the steri...

Ok so I know the dr. was going to take the steri strips off this afternoon but I couldn't wait. They were hanging there so I took them off in the shower this morning. I thought that would be less irritating. The look great...I will post a before picture later but here is my day 11 picture.

What a great review, Happy! Thanks for sharing. The doorbell is a great idea. And I wish I had thought of the squishy pillows! They would have been great for propping and positioning myself just perfectly. You look wonderful! And a HUGE congrats on the weight loss. It is amazing how this procedure doesn't just change you physically, but it really makes a difference emotionally as well. I have more confidence than I've had since I was a kid. So thrilled we get to follow your journey!!
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You're looking wonderful! And only 11 days out...WOW! Congratulations; you must feel like a brand new person!

Great list - brilliant idea re: wireless doorbell! On my list now, too - thanks!

Hope your recovery continues to go smoothly!
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Welcome to RealSelf.

Thank you for sharing your detailed journey.  Love it and this is so very helpful to others.  Keep posting!!

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So I went for another post-op yesterday. I had...

So I went for another post-op yesterday. I had already taken off the steri-strips so all he did was cut the looped stitches. The others will disolve. He said all looks good and is healing well. I am still swollen laterally so will thin out a bit.

Other than that, I have clearance to swim, exercise (no heavy chest lifting or anything), etc. He said to keep a bra on most of the time to help the swelling go down. Ice at night for a while.

My pathology came back and while it is not bad, it is not 100% normal. I have atypical lobular hyperpasia. He said there are some questionable cells. Does not mean cancer or pre-cancer, just for me to be aware and make sure I do self exams regularly and never skip a mammogram. I am going to fax the report to my GYN for her second opinion on that.

I asked the nurse to email me the before picture so I can post it since I didn't take my own.

Still happy! Each day is getting easier...and my weight loss continues! woohoo!


oh...and i got my true numbers of what was removed...1075 grams from left and 855 from right...holy moly!

I faxed the pathology report to my GYN. She...

I faxed the pathology report to my GYN. She called me back within the hour (that can't be good) and said that this means I "may" be more susceptible to breast cancer. Given the fact that I am adopted and do not have medical history, she wants me to see a breast surgeon to have them review my report and prior mammograms. She said they may want me to come in for semi-annual breast exams in addition to my annual mammogram.

So, I have an appointment next Wednesday. Oy vey...damn boobs, still haunting me.

OK, so I'm thrilled for you that you are doing so well post-op, but also want you to know that you will be in my thoughts until we know what the follow up plan is for you. I agree with Piggles, that we gals seem to worry until we have covered all of our bases and I'm sure you GYN is just being cautious and helping to ease your worries. That being said, if there is something to be worried about, then this surgery has done more than just made you one freakin sexy momma and more comfortable, it found what could be an issue before it has become one...many women don't get that chance, and if its nothing to worry about...then one more thing to celebrate. Best of luck to you and keep us posted!!!
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Thank you ladies! I will keep you posted!
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First of all, I bet your GYN called back as quickly as she did because she knew you'd be freaking (to one degree or another). I really and truly HATE saying this...honestly...but when it comes to some things, I do find female physicians - generally speaking - are more attuned to those hot buttons of worry. And secondly, I truly think everyone is just erring on the side of extreme acution - and thank God they are. Keep us posted, but think of this (and no joking here AT ALL; whatever they decide is the best course for follow-up/monitoring etc. you have one hell of a lot less breast tissue to monitor. So that's a pretty big win right there :)

Keep us posted. And TRY not to read too much into this 'til you know more. (I know, I know...easy for me to say....)
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Day 13...feeling great. Still using a bean bag...

Day 13...feeling great. Still using a bean bag pillow to sleep on my side and under my seatbelt to drive. Other than that...discomfort is minimal.

My ps emailed me my before picture...holy cow! Plus, I never realized my left was bigger than my right, strange.

Wow...what a change! No wonder you are so happy :-D Looking at the new breasts in relation to the old ones totally puts a new perspective on them, doesn't it? Congrats!
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Ok, so over the weekend my boobs changed color.....

Ok, so over the weekend my boobs changed color...especially th bottom half of my right breast. And, it felt hot and more sensitive. The color isn't really bruiselike, it was like a burnt orange, strange color. I called the dr. and the on call dr. called back. She started me on antibiotics again and said to call the office monday if no improvement.

This morning, my dr. office called and asked if any change, I said not as sensitive but still discolored. I made an appointment for tomorrow at noon and texted the picture to my ps. He texted right back that it is most likely brusing but he will see me tomorrow.

What do you think...just brusing?
I'm so glad I found this board, and what an inspiring story. I'm 44 years old and wear a 34H. I've wanted BR since I was 20, but always too chicken. I'm going for a consult on July 25 and hope I get the nerve to go through with the surgery this time.

thanks for sharing.
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Hi Missy. I was a 34H 10 months ago, and can tell you that I am thrilled with my results! Good luck at that consult!!
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I found your blog very inspiring. I am in the very early stages of possible breast reduction. I have an appointment on Thursday to meet with a ps about breast reduction. Not sure if I am measuring myself correctly, but my last bra I bought was a 42DDD. I had weighed 255 lbs, but have lost 60 lbs in the past 1.5 years. I have 40 lbs to go for my ideal body weight for my height. My breasts have not lost any since my weight loss. It's difficult for me to run because of them. I have a sports bra in an XXL, but it doesn't fit me correctly. I am very self concious of my large chest size, but at times I like them because I feel like it hides my flabby stomach. Ha! Thank you for your story!
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Ok, so i just went to see my PS again. He asked if...

Ok, so i just went to see my PS again. He asked if I missed him, lol. Seriously though, the discoloration is just bruising. He said the bottom of the breast is the last place for the swelling to settle. He said not to be surprised if the discoloration goes even a bit below the incision. He further said that if there was an isolated spot of redness/hotness, that would more than likely be infection, this is just normal bruising. woohoo!

I still go see the breast surgeon tomorrow about my biopsy results. Will keep you posted on that.
Good luck tomorrow, will be praying for you!
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Will be thinking of you tomorrow!
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Fingers crossed for your visit tomorrow with the breast surgeon.
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Ok, so I saw the breast surgeon today about the...

Ok, so I saw the breast surgeon today about the ALH biopsy results. It was sobering. Based upon the risk scale (factors such as bmi, onset of period, first childbirth, family history, etc.), I have a 32% 1 in 3 chance of developing breast cancer. The average woman has a 1 in 8 chance so I am at high risk.

There are things I can do to lower my risk, lose weight, eat healthier, exercise.

Precautionary things are to have a mammogram yearly and an MRI yearly (6 months after mammo) to stay on top of any further developments.

I also have to see an oncologist to get recommendations of further precautionary routes to take.

Scary place but very imformative.

On the plus side, she said my boobs look great and incisions healing nicely!
We are now in Myanmar and I had a last visit with the wonderful Dr Komwit. There was some redness on one site & as we are going further "bush" he gave me another course of anti-biotics & suggested I paint with Beterdine before and after showering which my wonderful husband is doing. I found out he & I are the same age & the "tissue" is left with the patient before being disposed of so you can see what you've lost! He also suggested if I continue to lose weight I might like to think of a tummy tuck in the future. I really have not felt any pain at all - discomfort yes, pain no. Now I have to massage "firmly" & it feels a bit like when I was breast feeding and overdue to feed - a bit tight & a bit sore but really the blister on my foot is causing me more pain! The bruises are fading fast, the eyes look super but feel a bit "sticky" - he says I should think of 3 months for everything to be normal but maybe a year to really get over it. I feel good - still not 100% sure about my boobs - they are all me right, but they don't feel like me .... yet!
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Thanks for your honesty and putting your story out there. My surgery is scheduled for Aug. 15 and of course I have many of the same concerns as you. My doc just sent me for a pre op mammogram. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Much continued success on your new journey...
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Monday 9th here in sunny, steamy, smelly Bangkok! Just seen the wonderful Dr Komwit who took all my stitches out -both in my eyelids and my boobs without any pain! He pronounced himself very happy with everything - said my healing was excellent especially around the nipples & tells me that everything will get even better and by 3 months, it will be perfect. He pronounced me fit to go to Myanmar on Saturday but suggested I come and see him one last time on Saturday morning so everything is fine!!!!! Hurray!!!
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