Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
I have a few questions now, help? -- Asymmetry Correction, Reduction and Lift - British Columbia, Canada
- posted 9 months ago
- updated 8 months ago
- Worth It
- British Columbia, BC
Aug. 20: I took a while to post here as I've...
- 20 Aug 2012
Aug. 20: I took a while to post here as I've already had the procedure done, and I'm a week post op. But, i thought that i would share my story incase there was somebody out there who was in a similar place. I have found this website to be an enormous resource, so i'm really thankful to all the ladies who have posted, and shared photos etc.
Basically, I'd always been a 36B or C, depending on whether my weight was up or down, and of course, I had one breast that was slightly larger than the other, but not too bad. Then I had a baby, and everything went sideways, literally. ;) After I was done nursing, I ended up with one breast at a C cup, and one at an F. Super lopsided. And no, I didnt nurse more on one breast than the other.
I figured this was just something I'd live with... until I had a few extremely disappointing bra shopping experiences, where I ended up having to buy 36F size bras in order to fit my one large breast, with my other breast floating with enough empty space in the cup to fit a muffin in there. I cried. I felt horribly unattractive. I never wanted to let my husband see my breasts. So, I began to look into my options as far as what I could do.
At the same time, I started to develop all these weird body thing-- like tendonitis in my wrist, in my shoulder, ribs on the right side popping out, neck tightness etc etc. And it wasnt until a few years later that I realized that these likely had to do with my body asymmetry. I was slightly twisted, compensating for the heavy right breast.
I visited one plastic surgeon, but he didnt have any photos of asymmetry corrections. Just reductions. And frankly, I thought that the 'after' photos looked like 'frankenboobs', all scarred up and not nice shaped. Not at all better than the before photos. So, I left, disappointed, and resolved to just live with my shirts always pulling to one side, and to wearing very very uncomfortable extra large bras.
Then, I had another bad bra shopping experience. And I made an appointment to see another plastic surgeon. This one was referred to me by a friend... And he was wonderful. The first appointment was pretty hilarious-- i felt like he was tossing my boobs around like they were flap jacks, very methodical in his analysis of them. He lifted, he measured, he pinched, he even held a level up to them. And to have him say that I did have a significant size difference was incredibly gratifying. It made the whole visit worthwhile. He told me that I would qualify for a breast reduction paid for by our provincial health plan. Amazing news!! So, without thinking much about it, I just went for it. I signed up for the wait list, and waited for a surgery date to come up. And in the meantime, I read as much as I could about it, and tried not too think too much about the fact that he was going to be opening up my boobs like peeling a banana, and shifting my nipples to a new place, etc etc.
My surgery was a week ago today. The day of the surgery, I had to be at the clinic at 7.30AM...I was marked up (he used a template that he had made himself) and we confirmed again what size I would like to be. I had originally wanted to go down to a B cup, but he was concerned that with my frame (I'm 5'10"), they would be too small, so we settled on a C. The surgery was completely easy. I was laid on the table, we chatted about the Olympic closing ceremony and then I was waking up in the recovery room with a giant tensor bandage wrapped tight around my chest. I was home on my way home by 2.30PM, feeling super groggy and cross eyed (they gave me gravol and that stuff always knocks me on my ass).
The only pain meds I was given were Tylenol3's (they have codeine in them) so the pain management regimen is quite different and much lighter than what the ladies in the States get. I think they're really concerned here in Canada about the addictive qualities of many of the pain management meds.
That first day, I was taking 2 Tylenol3's every 4 hours, and after the first dose, I realized it wasnt doing anything and the pain was pretty distracting. But then I realized that two Tylenol3's and two Advil where the magic combo, and from then on, it was smooth sailing. No pain.
Day 1, 2x Tylenol3s and 2 x Advil. And ice, lots of ice. I was icing about once every 2 hours, to help keep the bleeding down, and also the swelling. I had also bought SinEccht (that Arnica Montana stuff) and was following the recommended dosage for those.
Day 2, 1x Tylenol3 and 2x Advil, about every 4-6hours. And lots of icing. And taking the Arnica stuff.
Day 3, 2 x Advil only. Lots of icing. And beginning to introduce a warm compress.
Day 4, no pain meds, less of the ice, and more of the warm compresses.
Day 5, no pain meds, warm compresses only and that's what I've been doing until today.
As of today, I find that I'm mobile. I'm able to raise my arms over my head, but I take it easy. No sudden jerky or pushy movements. I do find that I am getting tired quite easily, but I'm moving around and doing regular things. But I rest when I need to. Lots of downtime. I have steri-strips over my incisions which I have to keep in for 2-3weeks, as well as a surgical compression bra, which I need to keep on 24-7 for at least 6 weeks. Showering is OK as long as I pat dry. I was a little leaky about three days ago, but since then, my incisions have dried up. The incisions themselves feel ok, but last night it felt like I was having lighting bolts shooting through the inside of my breasts. I think that's normal? He used dissolvable stitches, and I had no staples, or drains put in. All in all, it's been super easy, and much much easier than I thought it would be.
I find that the hot compresses feel amazing. The warmth encourages the blood vessels to dilate and more blood rushes to the area... it feels so soothing and I find that any discomfort I'm feeling is made better. I'm really concerned about not having my nipples fall off (necrosis) so I want to encourage as much blood flow to the area as possible.
I've been eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and absolutely not smoking, as I've read that smoking can greatly affect healing and your chances of getting necrosis.
One thing that I would mention to women who are looking to get this procedure, is with regards to button up shirts. Two button up night shirts are super useful... but I've found that I can wiggle into most of my clothes, some of them I pull on from the bottom, and others I'm able to get over my head as long as I take it easy.
With regards to sleeping inclined, I have been using one of those Thai triangle pillows, with some additional pillows, and it's made the whole thing much more bearable, though it still feels like sleeping on an airplane. I'm now down to just using three pillows to prop myself up, and perhaps it might be overkill, as I think most of my swelling is done, but I'm playing it extra safe with my healing.
So, that's it for me. I'll post again in a few weeks, and we'll see how the boobies are looking then. Right now, I'm just SO pleased with the result. My shirts now button up again, and I feel lighter. They're so damn perky. It's awesome! :) I think one might be slightly larger than the other, but I want to wait until the swelling has gone down, and they've settled into their shape. But it's definitely something I can live with. Either way, they're a huge improvement over what I was working with before.
**************************** Aug.28: I dont...
- 28 Aug 2012
Aug.28: I dont think i'll update any photos until my steristrips come off.. and it looks like those will be hanging on for another week or so. But we'll see. I may change my mind and update a two week post-op photo.
I'm supposed to wait until they fall off on their own, with them staying on ideally for 2-3weeks.
I had my first post op visit with my surgeon last week, and he's really pleased with his work. Says he feels that he hit it it out the park, "home run". My healing looked good... and I have to say that my bruising is hugely reduced. That arnica stuff really works!
He said that I was to wear my compression bra for another 6 weeks at a minimum, because my incisions are healing and my scars are setting up on the inside, so having my boobs supported in an 'up' position will mean that the scars will set this way and I'll have a better shape, and longer lasting results. Makes sense to me. Though, I cant say that wearing this compression bra is all that great. It goes right into my armpits, and is not all that comfortable.
I've been told to lift and place my boobs so that they're facing forward, when in the compression bra. I'm 'training' my new boobs into the position they're supposed to stay in.
I'm two weeks post op, as of yesterday, and so far the electric bolts through my boobs have subsided, but now I'm finding they're very reactive to changes in temperature. And when that happens, they hurt alot, but mostly the ends of my nipples themselves. I think this is a mixed blessing, because at least it means that my nipples are responsive. Good, right?
I find that the pain is radically reduced from last week... last week, everything I did kind of reminded me that I hurt. Especially driving. Nothing like forgetting that your boobs are all stitched up then trying to manouver into a tight parking spot to remind you that moving your arms around is a bad idea. From then on, I was driving like I was holding pennies squeezed into my armpits. My energy levels are much better this week, and if the boobs have a little bounce when I walk it's not cringe inducing anymore. So, all positives, I think. I'm able to reach and stretch overhead with no problems. And the swelling has reduced drastically. Boobs feel more boob-like (soft and malleable) instead of like hard pointy melons.
So. Healing is progressing well. I did some reading and as a result have been taking huge quantities of vitamin C (important for tissue healing) and Bromelain (reducing swelling, bruising, speeding healing). I figure it all helps.
I've also got some silicone strips on order, to wear once my steri-strips come off. From what I've read, they are more effective than just using micropore tape to reduce scarring.
Anyhow... that's it for now.
*************************************** Sept. 6 :...
- 6 Sep 2012
Sept. 6 : Well... I'm past the three week mark. I finally managed to pull the photo I took at two weeks post op off my phone, and onto my computer. I'm uploading it today... I'm no longer in danger of inadvertently showing my coworkers a photo of my tits as I scroll through the images on my phone.
Nothing is really different today, with regards to what they look like... Maybe a little less bruising. The steri-strips are still on there, believe it or not. The surgeon said I should leave them on for three weeks if possible, and that they would fall off on their own. They show no signs of loosening. I have a few edges lifted up, but for the most part, they're on there solid. I'm going to email my surgeon in a day or two and see what, if anything, I should do about that. I'm actually starting to feel a little anxious about it, as I'd like to get them off, give the area a good wash, and move onto my silicone strips.
The hyper-sensitivity to cold, breezes, or any change in temperature, is a little more manageable now... thank god.
I know we're supposed to avoid exercise for a while, but that stationary bikes, or eliptical trainers are ok at this stage... but I was a bad girl and rode my bike yesterday, to get my daughter up to a park to see an outdoor movie... I took it super easy. Was conscious of my arms and arm extension. It was a short ride, maybe 5mins total. And I didnt notice any soreness above and beyond my standard 'I'm slightly uncomfortable, but not completely healed' feeling.
I have a few questions if anyone feels like answering:
- I have a few areas along the incision line that are tender... mostly out towards the edges close to my armpit, of the anchor incision. And at the bottom of the vertical incision where the anchor and the vertical meet... This is normal, right? Other parts of the incisions feel totally fine/normal.
- Has anyone experienced incisions opening up, once they were past the three week date? or is it safe to assume I'm in the clear now, for that? I'm starting to get antsy about exercise, and I want to start being a little more physical. I'm dying to do some yoga, or get back on my bike.
- Today I noticed that starting at the bottom of my right breast, and going in a straight, slightly angled line, towards my lowest rib, was something raised that was tender to the touch, and kind of hard. For a minute there, I freaked out and of course jumped to the worst conclusion-- "OMG the surgeon left a needle inside me". But then I realized that a needle for stitches is probably curved, and also, it's most likely a raised vein or lymph node or something. Has anyone else had something similar?
- When can I start to expect feeling fully healed? No sore incisions. No fears of popping open. Back to sleeping on my stomach, and doing pushups and yoga? Can someone tell me if there's an 'average' week, when you start feeling like you can do normal life things again?
Thanks in advance for your helpful (and anxiety reducing) answers!
My Doctor: name not provided
This provider was amazing. Super thorough. Answered all my questions, and is one of the best rated doctors in my area. He specializes in breasts.