42, , So happy with decision!- Boston, MA

I started thinking about this a couple of months...

I started thinking about this a couple of months ago. My breasts have always been large, but as I got older and gained weight (in my 20's I weighed 145 at 5'9", now I weight 185) my breasts got much larger. I have pretty much realized this is the weight I am going to stay at (-10 pounds maybe). Even though I wear properly fitting bras (I swear if one more person posts that they are a 40DDD I will scream "you are not! you are a 34H!) they are uncomfortable, prevent me from running despite the best sports bras, and my choice of clothing is limited. I'm a lawyer so my outfits are important.

I haven't had kids, so my breasts are pretty full with the right one fuller than the left. I would be fine going down to a D, which I think is what I used to be. But since doctors don't actually know what a real D looks like (if they think breasts the size of a small baby are DDD) they will probably make me a C, and I'll fit into a D bra.

WIll post before photos soon.

before photos

a couple of before, clothed, photos. I'm wearing a 38G bra, which is not the right size but I sleep in it because the band is looser so it is more comfortable.

Thinking of post-poning surgery

My surgery is scheduled for July 8th, and now I'm thinking of postponing it until mid-September. I am moving my office in August, and will be in no shape to do so even with hiring movers. And I think I need some more mental preparation time.
Doing it later gives me time to save some money to hire home helpers for a few days (I live alone, and while friends will probably stop by and visit they won't be doing my laundry or dishes...) and just kind of get used to the fact of removing part of my body.
I will call the nurse tomorrow and talk with her about it.

Pre-surgery info came in the mail

I got my pre-surgery info in the mail. I won't need to go in for pre-op work, it will just be a phone interview.

I won't have bandages on when I leave - the incisions will be sealed with skin glue over the sutures.

I can shower after 24 hours. I thought it would be longer than that.

I have arranged for a personal assistant-type person to be the "responsible adult" who takes me home. It's in the middle of a work day so I don't want to ask friends.

So that's the update. Still thinking about it. It's weird. Now that I know I have the option to do it, I am less certain.

Made hotel reservation for the night before surgery (surgery is Sept 23)

I live in the suburbs of Boston, and my hospital is smack in the middle of the city which would have meant battling rush hour traffic to get there. So, I made a reservation at a hotel right in the medical district that caters to patients (I wish they had some kind of "stay here for a few days after and we'll take care of you" package, but no luck). I will have a friend drive me in the night before, and then she'll come back to get me in the morning. This way I can sort of relax the night before and not worry about getting there in the morning, since it is just a block away.

Nerves starting

Surgery is a week from tomorrow - the 23rd. I am going to pick up my hibicleanse (that I have to wash with the night before and the morning of the surgery) and some gauze that they recommend having on hand afterwards.

I bought some smaller soft bras yesterday, but then realized they are all the kind you slip over your head so I need to get some front closure.

I also have no button up shirts, so I will get some of those, too for the first couple of days.

I have started to prepare some meals for myself to keep in the freezer,

And since I live alone, I will probably hire someone to come and be here for a few hours the first 2 days, to do laundry or dishes or just help me. My friends will come and see me but I don't want to be like "Hey, can you scoop up at the cat's litter box?"

Hiring a caregiver?

My surgery is next Tuesday. I live alone. I have some great friends, but they have families and aren't going to be visiting for long periods and I don't have family near by who can come and stay. I have a friend picking me up, but do you think it would be wise to hire someone to come and be with me for 2 hours the first evening I am home, and then 2 hours the next morning and maybe even the next evening?

There are a lot of agencies around here and the prices aren't bad. I figure just someone to help me out with laundry or dishes and food prep and making sure I'm not getting an infection or anything. Assuming you could afford it and lived alone, would you hire someone to come in for a bit?

Serious Prep Today!

My surgery is Tuesday. I'm going into Boston tomorrow afternoon to stay at a hotel. That will calm me down some, I know. I am making meals to freeze today and getting the last cleaning done. Bought some button front shirts and have packed my hospital stuff.

Mostly nervous about being hungry and nauseated when I wake up and feeling car sick on the drive home. Nausea is my least favorite thing in the whole world. Was it a problem for any of you?

Before

Here are some before pics.

24 hours!

I am reading articles about my surgeon and how good he is, which is making me feel really safe and calm. And I have found posts on other sites about how good the nurses are, too. Just called and confirmed my surgery.

Doubt is normal, right?

Surgery tomorrow. At the hotel in Boston. And just thought "um, what am I doing tomorrow?" That's normal right?

More before

I sometimes think - maybe they aren't so big why am I doing this. And I see a picture of myself and I realize they're bigger than my head. It will be nice to look like a normal person in these shirts.

Done!

In car while friend picks up drugs. Feel ok like I was stabbed. All docs and nurses super nice. They feel amazingly small and comfortable. No drains or bandages, just bra and a little gauze under. Glued shut and I can shower tomorrow. I'm so hungry I could eat a giant meatball sub.

Pics

Home helper

I'm so glad I hired someone to come help me this morning. She just served me eggs and coffee in bed, fed the cat, and is now doing the dishes. Heavenly!

Pain is fine so far. Going to take a peek at the girls later and will post pics.

After pics

Long incision

I called the Nurse with some questions and mentioned the long incisions on the side. She said they were either because there's a lot of extra tissue there or to prevent a roll of fat. So yay for bonus fat roll removal.

And then I puked

I had some steak for lunch, a friend came to visit and right after she left I puked. First time. I guess no steak yet. Napped a few times today, just waking up from the second one at 8pm.

shower attempt

first, it felt so weird have the bra off, like they were going to just fall off my chest. I did manage to wash the incisions some, and get myself a little cleaner before i thought I was going to puke and had to get out. It was on an empty stomach so next time I'll try it after eating.

Switched to Tylenol

Stopped the oxy today in hopes it will get things moving, and I think it was making me sick. Xstrength Tylenol seems to be helping and without the oxy I can have a xanax to help sleep.
I used ice packs a little on the sides and underneath. I hope I sleep through the night.
I'm also wondering if my surgeon took photos. It would be neat to see how much came out.

5 pounds lighter!

Despite not having pooped since Monday (today's goal is to remedy that) and having a bloated belly, I am 5 pounds lighter than the day before surgery!

I love them!

I stepped into this tank this morning, since I wanted some more support, and oh my goodness I love them.

Day 3

Feeling ok today with no meds (except the antibiotics and probiotics and colace).
It seems a little bit like my bladder doesn't know when I need to pee. I have been hydrating well, but I never feel like "I really need to pee" I just realize that I probably need to pee and so I go. I have left a message with my PS to see if this is normal but I haven't heard back yet. I think my surgeon is better at surgery than at human relations.

Shower #2 a Success.

I braved a second shower. My biggest fear was not having the bra on since it feels like they are going to fall apart, so I rigged one out of one of my old bras by removing the wire, cutting the front open and wearing that while I washed and shampooed, then removed at the end to soap the incisions. Then I could put the actual post surgery bra back on.
I feel a lot better. Tomorrow I plan to leave the house and walk around the block.

Comparison pic

Day 4 - hello toilet, my old friend

Ugh. Trying to remind myself that at some point my bowels will be normal again. Not even colace and probiotics has made this pleasant.

Drove!

Well big day - I drove 2 miles to the drug store to get more gauze. It felt very weird to walk across the parking lot, and I walked around the store with my upper arms pinned to my sides like a T-Rex. Then I drove home. Now I'm tired. But I do feel good that I got out a little bit. If I can make it 10 miles tomorrow, I can go to a store to get another bra so this funky one can get washed.

Day 5 - going to see nurse at urgent care

Checking out my incisions before my shower I noticed a new small dark bruise where there hadn't been one the day before. It is also the side that is more painful. I called the urgent care place for my primary care doc (not my plastic surgeon, his office is too far for me to drive comfortably and frankly I'm annoyed at their follow up attention or lack thereof) and am going to see them in an hour.

The shower went well, It still weirds me out to touch the incisions but I made sure to gently wash them and was able to finally shave my legs and under my arms. Now resting and hydrating before going to the doc.

I'm down to 180.2, which is 7.5 pounds lighter than pre-surgery. I will probably want to kiss the scale when it says 179, but it will hurt too much to lean over.

I slept well last night. I am taking some xanax before bed which is helping.

Update after nurse visit.

I'm so glad I went to see my nurse. She looked at the wounds and the new blackish bruise and said they looked really good. She said that more bruising would come out and things would change but to just be on the lookout for something that looks "angry" - that's when its a bad sign. She said as long as they are both equally "warm" which they are, and not a lot of seepage, and no temp (which I didn't have) then they are fine.
It was really nice to have that reassurance. And my follow up with the PS is on the 7th so she said if anything comes up between now and then to call the 24 hour advice line and don't hesitate to come back in.

Back at Work

I work in an office, and am the boss, so I came back to work today for a little bit. It feels good to be out and sitting and back engaged in the world. I realized last night that I'd been in a little dream world for a few days. I had to think "Yup, you have smaller breasts, but the whole rest of your life is still the same so get a move on."
It was what I think the "when I'm thin my life will change" mentality is like. And then you realize the only thing that has changed is your weight.
So, for me that mean I just have to keep plugging along working, getting clients, writing, maybe starting to try to meet someone again at some point, etc.

And back at home

My assistant just pulled a Mom Move on me and sent me back home. 3 hours was too many. But I was able to go through the mail which made me feel better and less anxious.
Tomorrow I will limit myself to 2 hours, bring some cheese to snack on and leave while I still feel good.

Deciding where to expend energy

After going to work for 3 hours yesterday and then being sent home by my assistant (and feeling queasyish) I'm trying to do a better job of doling out my energy today.
I have a few things I have to do - meet a friend's mom at the hospital to have her sign some legal documents (people, please get your affairs in order sooner rather than later so that you lawyer isn't dragging herself to the hospital a week after surgery while you are on your deathbed.) I also need to stop and get a new, tighter, bra.
I feel like these 2 trips are going to take a lot out of me so my plan is - hydrate beforehand, take tylenol, bring water and a small snack with me and walk really slowly.

Amount removed

Just talked to the nurse - 768 from the right (1.7 pounds), and 512 from the left (1.1 pounds). Wow, if you think of 4 sticks of butter being a pound of fat that is a lot of mass taken off.

Insurance Criteria

I just relooked at my insurance criteria for reduction. for my height/weight he had to remove 600g from each breast. But then I found a section that said in cases of asymmetry, the reduction will be approved if the larger breast has the minimum amount removed. And in this case the total amount removed meets criteria, I just happened to have a boob that was .6 pounds heavier than it's neighbor.

Is day 8 the day you wonder if he took out enough?

I just found the letter my PS wrote to my PCP after our first visit (It was in my electronic medical record but I didn't know it was there until I just got an email about how I could read the "note" from my phone call with a nurse.)
Anyway, in the letter he said he anticipated taking out 900 grams from the right, and around 700 from the left. That's 200 grams more from each breast than he actually took out.

I know they are still swollen and I have no idea what size they are now, but I am beginning to wonder why he didn't take out what he planned to and whether I'm still going to be bothered by them.

On the positive side, my bowels seem to be well on their way back to normal! And I have someone coming to clean my house because there is way too much for me to do alone.

Pics

Pictures are helping me see the size difference.

Day 9

Worked for A few hours today. Only pain issues are on the right - needling pain around my nipple and stabbing pain on the outside. That was the trouble maker boob before so it makes sense. I can sleep on my side now as long as a place a roll between my breasts, and that has made things so much easier. I feel better having the compression bra plus a tight tank top on. they put me in an xxL bra at the hospital but it sometimes seems loose. I still get tired after being out and around for a few hours, and they seem to swell if I standing for too long. I'm going to keep taking it easy to avoid what seems to be a week three crash if you go too much too soon.
Incisions are doing really well just dissolving stitches and glue.

Day 10 - one step up and one step back

I woke up this morning feeling more normal than usual. But then I came to work and, maybe its the grey skies, but I am so sleepy and my guts that seemed more normal this morning are like "hey, not so fast, don't get used to anything normal."

Solution - move non-critical tasks to next week, get protein smoothie and go home to lie down.

Day 10 pics

I love them. I love where they meet my torso. I love how little and cute they are. Love.

Back to the Gym!

I went back to the gym today. Sat and did the recumbent bicycle for 50 minutes, nothing strenuous but it was nice to get my heart rate up, and breathe (I feel like I held my breath for the first week) and sweat.

Before and after.

Did I lose a double chin in 11 days? Or did I just have really bad posture?

Bleck

My legs are still like tree trunks but not having to haul those things up mountains will be nice.

Day 12 - trying to be good.

Trying to keep the house from falling apart without pulling and lifting and bending too much. Not easy. I did stock up on pineapple juice to see if it will help with the swelling. The left one seems to be swelling which I think has caused a little split on the under seam. Trying to stay hydrated and ice it a little to keep it down.
I have to get up early for work tomorrow for the first time in 2 weeks, but sleep has been good lately so hopefully it will be fine. It involves a highway drive but a friend is driving me.
Then back to the plastic surgeon on Tuesday - that is a long drive on the highway and then through the streets of Boston but I will hopefully be fine.

Little incision issue

And then...

my boob started spilling orange fluid out of that seam. As in, I took off my bra to take a shower and orange fluid trickled down my stomach. It looks like orange soda. Ew.
The on-call surgeon returned my call in about 20 seconds and reassured me that it is normal and just "serous fluid: typically pale yellow and transparent, and of a benign nature, that fill the inside of body cavities." Lovely. I guess better to have it out of me. That boob was looking a little swollen so I think it is happy to have some of the pressure released. Even if in a gross manner.

Post op visit.

Saw the plastic surgeon today and his lovely nurses. Everything is normal, surgery was "unremarkable" and wounds look good. The nurse trimmed off a dissolveable stitch that was sticking out at the end and I'll go back in 2 months.

First walk!

I actually put on my sneakers and went for a walk around my neighborhood today. It was really nice and felt good to move. Then a really cute firefighter had to come to my apartment because the alarm was being wonky and instead of being like "hi, my boobs are the size of my head" I was like "hi, thanks for your help" and not at all self conscious.

Feeling normal!

Today I have felt the most normal since my surgery. I had a productive day at work, didn't wind up feeling exhausted at 3pm and I just feel normal. I have been able to sleep on my side again which I think is helping with my quality of sleep and making a difference. I am so so happy I did this.

Holy cow

I got this shirt before my reduction, but never wore it since it looked like I was carrying a small toddler under my shirt. Look at the difference!

Showered without a bra!

This is a big step for me - I showered without a bra on today. Before I would keep the bra on until the end when I washed my incisions. I am hoping this will start helping the glue to come off. The glue has been keeping the dark purple ink on me so I don't know what my incisions look like under it.

I love $10 bras!

I went to Target for sports bras. They were $10! I used to spend $65 on Panache sports bras. Now I can buy $10 Champion bras with the tiniest little cross-back straps. Seriously, this makes me so happy. I am determined to never ever have a bra strap going over my shoulder again unless it is 1/4 inch wide.

Back to the Gym

I went to the gym for the second time this morning. I can do 2.5 mph walking on the treadmill at an incline - I did it for an hour. Then I still had to finish my book so I sat on the recumbent bike for 1/2 hour. It felt so good to be active again, my lung need to get back in shape. I also worked on lifting my 15 pound dumbbells which I think will help my stiff shoulder feel better. I am still so happy I did this.

Incisions at two weeks five days

Glue has been coming off the last couple of days. Give me a chance to see the incisions look like they're healing well. The T incisions still ooze a little which is normal. Measured my bra size tonight- band is 34" and around my breasts is 43" which I think is a G cup size, which is why talking cup sizes with docs is pointless. Or even worrying about them. Whatever letter they are, they are so much smaller and I love them.

36G bra fits

I guess I don't have to buy all new bras. Some of my old ones still fit, just a heck of a lot better than before.

Bio oil and scar sheets

My bio oil and scar sheets arrived today. The vertical incisions are still healing, but I think I can begin using the scar sheets on the under-breast ones. The bio oil smells kind of flowery, so I might just use that in the evenings and wear the scar sheets during the day.

Pinched nerve

Ugh, I had a pinched nerve in my back before surgery, and then when my shoulders were all tense for a couple of weeks after surgery it got worse. It is horrible now. My doc put me on Flexeril and Vicodin, neither of which feel like anything but I think they take the edge off. Nothing like the oxy I had after surgery which made me sick and loopy. My incisions are healing well and everything feels fine with them. I just want this pain to leave.

New pics

Healing well. A little oozing out of the T junction but that is normal. I have started the massage or scar sheets since some spots need more healing.

4 week pics

Glue is off. Healing well.

Tried on new bras today.

I went to try on new bras today and got measured. They measured me at a 36D, but that was way to small. I'm a 36DDD which I think is really a 36F. So basically I went down 2 sizes. I think I'm still a little swollen, so I just bought one bra.
The girl working at the store said "but you are so tiny!" then she wanted to know all about the operation and recovery. I gave her my doctor's name, she said she has wanted a BR for a long time.

Swelling still going down

I think the swelling is still going down. Some of the sports bras I bought that were quite snug for a few days are loosening up. There is just one tiny spot that is still oozing a little but I'm sure will heal up soon.
I've been getting physical therapy for a pinched nerve and it feels good to stretch out and get some strength back.

Got fitted for bras

I went to Nordstrom to get fitted for bras. My incisions are closed and I wanted to be back in pretty lacy bras. I'm a 36G. POST SURGERY. Grrr. So much for "I'll make you a D."
Although I LOVE my new bras and the way they fit. I no longer spill over the top, my right boob isn't a size and half larger, and everything is so much more contained.
And the bras are comfortable to wear all day. I kept the straps very loose over my shoulders and my breasts stayed where they were and didn't fall down my chest like they used to.
So, I'm still spending $70 on bras (If you can find the Panache Envy bra, it is amazing. This blue one is Chantelle brand) but I love the way I look and feel in them. And I can still wear $10 sports bras from target with tiny straps.

Comparison pics help

Ok they are definitely smaller. I will pay no attention to bra size and instead look at this when I feel like I'm still too big. Before, day after, 5.5 weeks after.

No more shelf for snacks!

I was just sitting on the couch watching a movie and tried to balance a cracker with cheese on my boob like I used to be able to do. It used to sit there like an actual shelf, perpendicular to the floor, but this time it almost fell off since the top of my breast slants downward now. A nice little (or not so little) change.

New pics, almost 2 months.

Plugging away, small shape change

so my surgery was 2.5 months ago. I noticed a little indent on my left breast near the nipple on the side. I think it is because everything is still figuring out where it goes. I've been keeping up with massaging the scars, and wearing the scar tape. They are still quite dark but smooth and well heeled. I am very very happy with the surgery and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Hope everyone else is doing well.
Arlington Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Tobias came highly recommended by a colleague who had her post-cancer diep-flap reconstruction by him. He also did a reduction for her friend's daughter. His office staff was very nice. Our meeting was very brief but he seemed to know what he was doing, and he had a surgical resident with him who will probably assist with the surgery. He answered all my questions. His staff submitted the paperwork promptly and I had my approval in about a week and a half.

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