A short history of my boobs: Ever since I started...
I went through a phase in my 20's when my breasts would swell to enormous proportions (probably due to estrogen spikes in my cycle) and they would be sore and uncomfortable. At those times I would be bursting out of my 32DD and was miserable as none of my clothes fit. I was always on anti-diuretics trying to get them to deflate to no avail and those times I couldn't wear any of my summer dresses. I felt like a freak.
When I turned 30 I started having severe back problems - both upper and lower and ended up in the pain clinic at the local hospital, several times for the next 7 years getting steroid shots in my spine to relieve the inflammation caused by slipped discs. I still periodically suffer back pain which always starts in my shoulders and middle upper back and then sets off lower back spasms. Not fun. Living my life on ibuprofen can't be good for me.
Upon becoming pregnant in my late 30's I swelled to a 34G almost overnight and after I gave birth and began breastfeeding they swelled even more - so much so that I remember having trouble finding a bra to fit them at Lady Grace. It was some crazy size like H or I that I had to buy. I stopped breast feeding after 6 weeks as none of my tops fit and I was tired of wearing baggy track suits everywhere I went. Immediately they shrunk back down to a 32D-DD and looked shrivelled and deflated. I'm now 49 and starting to go through peri-menopause and, although I've maintained the same weight as always (122lbs on my 5ft 2" frame) my boobs have grown bigger in the past year and I'm now a 32-DDD and even a 32-DDDD at certain times of the month.
I remember looking in the mirror one morning, about 2 months ago as I was getting dressed for work, and seeing myself in a slim-fitting dress which clung to my chest making me look ridiculously huge and realizing I couldn't walk out of the house looking that way. Although it was a warm day, I automatically grabbed one of DKNY wraps and covered up my top half. Better, I thought. Cozies, wraps and big scarves have become my trademark at work over the past 20 years, and although most people admire them on me and they do look elegant and professional, I only wear them to hide my chest and avoid men gawking at me. I think that morning was the last straw for me and after arriving at work I immediately went online and started to research breast reduction. I liked the results I saw and thought why shouldn't I do this for myself? I've had other procedures like rhinoplasty and a minilift the year before so I'm quite comfortable with the idea of surgery. I set about looking for a PS nearby in Brookline and found Dr Halperin whose work I admired. Bolstered by another woman on real-self who was waiting to have the same procedure with Dr Halperin, I got on the phone and immediately booked a consult. Four weeks away - once I'd decided to have the procedure, I couldn't wait for the time to go by and impatiently started counting the days till I saw Dr Halperin. I also got my hubby to snap some pics of me so I could have a record of what I looked like pre-surgery. I was shocked at how much worse my boobs looked in photos. OMG - I really need this done! Why did I wait so long?! Maybe I was scared of being deformed by the surgery scars (I'd heard several horror stories over the years). However, I don't think I can look much worse than what I look like presently.
After a week of waiting my PS's office called and told me I had been approved!!! I'd called my insurance every day for a week asking if I'd been approved and they kept telling me they hadn't received my paperwork from my PS. I kept asking my PS's office to re-fax my paperwork and as soon as they did so I was approved the very next day. I am so relieved. I was prepared to fight for this if I had to.
I took a fantasy visit to Victoria's secret last weekend and looked at all the tiny 32-B bras and I'm thinking to myself - how in the world will my PS make me look like this?! I still can't believe I'm going to be much smaller. Even a C would be okay but I REALLY want a B. I'm wondering if I'll need any lipo done at the sides - I will ask on the 22nd when I have my pre-op.
My surgery is approaching
I wear alot of close fitting dresses and every time I wear one I think to myself "this is going to fit so much better "once I'm smaller and then I scrunch my breasts down to try and imagine how I'll look :-)
I'm scheduled for my pre-op this Friday the 22nd and I have the following questions for my PS:
Will you be able to get rid of the loose skin/wrinkling I have at the top of my breasts?
Will I need side lipo-suctioning?
Can you get me as pert and small as I want to be? (I'm planning to show her a couple of after photos I've seen. I'm scared I'll still look droopy post procedure and I want to emphasize that I want to look high and tight.
What do I need to buy for my post surgery recovery?
Does she recommend the genie bra which many ladies here recommend for recovery?
I'm getting excited again writing this out! I'm dreaming of buying myself a new low-cut dress for xmas!! Something I've never been able to wear before!
2 weeks away
I've told everyone in my office that I'm taking a weeks vacation to entertain friends coming in from out of town. Only 3 of my female co-workers know the truth. No need for the men in the office (including my boss to know). I do wonder if I'll look different?!
I went online last night and ordered myself some fruit of the loom front closure sports bras and also a couple of genie bras. I wonder what my shape will look like wearing these bras under my clothes? I've never worn these sorts of lightweight bras in my life, never veering from a heavy duty under wire type. I'm a 32DDD and so I went with the size 34" in the fruit of the loom which was the smallest size available. I hope they fit once I'm reduced. I'm also laying down a supply of books to read and making sure I eat healthy and low carb for the next week to drop a few pounds before surgery. I'm looking at clothes I haven't worn for years sitting in my wardrobe and dreaming about how they're going to look on me - esp. form fitting, chest hugging long sleeved T's and turtlenecks. I'm looking forward to buying myself some new sweaters after my surgery. Usually sweaters make me look bulky and my boobs look even bigger and so I currently avoid them.
The thing I'm most concerned about is whether the vertical scar lollipop technique will really work for me. I'm fairly droopy and some surgeons say that droopy boobs respond better to a full anchor lift. My PS is confident that the lollipop will work just great for me so I'm going to trust her judgement. God knows I don't want to be having revision surgery down the road! Is there anyone out there who is as droopy as me and who has had a great result with the lollipop incision?
Surgery tomorrow at 7.30am
I'm all prepared. I have someone covering for me at work so my mind's at rest about that and I have all my post surgery bras and my meds and anti-nausea patch at the ready. My hubby is taking the next 3 days off work to take care of me.
I've been looking at all the before and afters, looking at people with breasts as big and droopy as mine and looking at their results and praying that my results will look as good. I'd hate to go through this and still look flabby.
On the other side!
We arrived at the surgery at 7am and immediately I was whisked in by a very kindly nurse who had me change into my gown, took my vitals. The anesthesiologist came by and asked me a series of questions and then my PS did my mark-ups. I asked her if she was going to use the le Jour or Hall Findlay (both lollipop incisions) and she said probably more like the Hall Findlay. She also explained that she might need to do an anchor incision for my right breast as it was so much droopier than my left. I told her - whatever you need to do to make me perky! I asked if John could come in and take a pic of my markups. Check it out - boy do they look flabby.
I had my drip put in and was walked over to the operating room. I don't remember too much after that. The anesthesiologist told said I seemed very relaxed - the only give away was my pulse which was much higher than usual.
So..I awoke with a very sore throat and a tight burning feeling in my chest. No nausea though. Immediately i was encouraged to take deep breaths as my oxygen levels were very low. I wanted to close my eyes and fall asleep but the nurse kept chatting to me and telling me to breathe deeply. I ate a bit of a graham cracker and a few sips of a soda as I needed to get my blood sugar up and then I asked for water. I took some oxycodon for the pain.
Not sure how much they took out - about 375g in one and over 275g in the other I heard someone say. I'll ask her at my post-op next week. I was wrapped in my surgical bra with surgical padding inside. I took the bra off when I got home and took a look and to me they look like C's but at least they're very perky!
I was very drowsy all day yesterday and napped all day - on my back which is a tough position for me to sleep in. Not sure if I actually slept though. By night time most of the tiredness had worn off and I didn't sleep great last night.
I decided not to take anymore oxycodon as that stuff constipates me and I'm doing pretty well on extra strength tylenol every 4-5 hours. In another day I can switch to motrin.
Overall I think my PS did a good job though I think they're still a bit big and the nipples turn outwards a bit. I can't wait to see what they look like in a week. I took lots of photos so I can stare at the photos and not have to peek under my bra all the time
I woke today with a cough and laryngitis and I feel like my chest is beaten up.
I have been peeing like crazy since yesterday afternoon - maybe that's all the fluids they pumped into me, however I still haven't had a bowel movement. I might go buy some laxatives today to get that moving. Oxycodon - even one dose does that to me.
Looking at my before and after pics side by side I see such a dramatic difference. i can't wait to try on some of my clothes to see how I look in them!
I am very tired of lying around in bed all day and am getting restless - and its only Day 2! Today's walk did tire me out though so I know I need to take it easy.
Ah well, Grey's Anatomy is on tonight so that might cheer me up. That and a little wine with dinner :-)
I still haven't
Feeling much less pain
In looking at my surgeons work it seems that she does a good job of making women nice and perky. I realize they will drop but I think they're going to look okay.
My surgical bra is a little uncomfortable around the bottom where the stitches are but nothing unmanageable. I haven't had to take any pain meds so far today.
I don't think I'm a B and maybe I'll end up a large C but I think that will suit my frame as I do have curves.
I get to shower later today so I'll post more pics.
Everything feels tight..
I've been napping lots over the last 24 hours and just taking it easy. My husband and I walked down to Wholefoods on Beacon St and back yesterday to pick up ingredients for a spanish dinner we were making ( we love to cook) but by the time I got back all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. I came out in time for dinner though :-) For once I didn't feel like a second glass of wine.
The cold I have is making me cough at night and is making me feel tired - I think the bulk of the tiredness I'm feeling is this cold I have rather than from my surgery.
Oh yeah - Today I noticed that my shoulders feel far more relaxed than usual and the pain and tightness I walk around with all day is gone!! My posture looks better too. I think my PS only took out 1.5lbs total but obviously that was enough.
I do still wish she'd made me a bit smaller - I think I'm a large C small D but I'm really happy about the shape and the perkiness. The girls have never looked this good - even with all the stitches and steri-strips.
This morning I tried on some of my clothes including my favorite strapless blue dress that I've always had to wear with a strapless bra which just falls done and makes me look dumpy and flat at the top of my breast and surprise! - I can wear it without a bra!! I said to my hubby, lets go out somewhere nice so I can wear this dress in case they decide to drop again!! I've gotta say that I feel sexier with my breasts this pert...even though I wish she'd made them small C's. I'm worried they will drop too much as they're just sitting up on my chest like torpedos - lol. I think my tissue was mainly glandular but will ask at my post op next week.
I am going to a black tie event in early January and will need to find a suitable dress. I'm thinking maybe something strapless. We will see. I better start looking though!
I will post some pics later
How the dress looked before
How the dress looked before
Shopping for bras...depressing
I know I should be grateful that I have a better shape now but I really wanted to be a 32B-C and my PS promised that I'd be no bigger than a small C. That's a SMALL C - yes she said that.
I have my post-op appointment on Wednesday so I will ask her what happened. From where I sit it looks like there was lots more tissue she could have taken out. I have full nipple sensation. But what do I know?!
I had set my heart on being no bigger than a C. I know that I now have more choice in bras than I did before at 32DDD but at 5 feet 2" I feel I'm still too small to be a D.
Lets hope that at least these boobs will hold up and not droop.I'll be annoyed if I end up big and droopy again.
1 week post-op
Okay so re. the size...bottom line is its a size vs shape issue. She says that she could have made me smaller but the size shape would've been flatter and not as nice looking. Also, I had alot of skin and my tissue was very glandular which made the procedure a little more challenging. I guess if I was asked if I wanted a flatter shape and a smaller size or a better shape and a larger size I might have chosen the better shape...but I don't know. How flat is flat? I've seen some women here on real-self with smaller and flatter and they look great. I've decided to just accept what I have - which is a whole lot better than the larger, droopy, unflattering shape I had before.
My PS said she took 327g from the right breast and 262 from the left. There was a LOT of skin to remove (I'm not surprised). She said that's a cup and a half smaller. However she also thinks I'm still very swollen and she estimates that I'll shrink by 25%. I take that with a pinch of salt! We shall see. She says that I should wait till weeks 6-8 to assess size and get new bras.
I do have to say that my new size/shape is nicely in proportion to the rest of my body - I'm curvy so maybe smaller boobies might not look as good on me. She also said that because of the type of reduction/lift technique used (supero-medial pedical, Lollipop) they're not going to get much droopier - YAY - they'll just soften up!! From my understanding, essentially they removed the lower pedicle of my breasts which means there's less down there to droop.
I'll see my PS again in 2 weeks.
Overall, I like my new boobies and think my PS did a nice job.
They are getting yellower (maximum yellow reached today, I think) from the residual bruising though its strange that the bruises first appeared as yellow as opposed to going through all the different color phases first.
One of my steri-strips fell off today and I was concerned to see that I had some gathering/puckering of the skin on the inner side of my left nipple. I'll have to post a photo to show you. I hope that it will smooth out - I'd hate to have to have scar revision surgery though I know its always a possibility with this surgery.
I've been doing some reading about all the different breast reduction techniques and I'm so glad that my PS used a vertical technique on me as I can understand now why it results in a perkier lift and prevents bottoming out over time (as opposed to the older style anchor reduction). Ladies, if you can, find a surgeon that has lots of experience doing a vertical lift I would recommend you go with them as opposed to a surgeon who only does wise-pattern anchor lifts on everyone.
Almost 3 weeks
I have very little discomfort at all. I do have some swelling over my lower ribs which feel a little bruised. My PS said that's where the fluid collected as it has nowhere else to go. No biggie and I can live with that slight discomfort.
I mentioned the size and told her I had really wanted to be a C and asked her if she thought I would eventually shrink down to a C. She told me that she made me as small as she could given the large amount of loose skin I had. I can live with a D cup - much much better than the old droopy DDD's I had! I think she did an amazing job with the shape - AND she reassured me that they wouldn't drop - that they were all mine!
Oh - and I should mention that my hubby loves them and I feel more confident, sexier and younger! I feel the shape and size suits my body frame so much better than the baggy saggy ones I'd had for so long.
1 month update and photos
Considerable healing has happened in the past 2 weeks.
Something I forgot to comment on is that I have had swelling and soreness under my ribs and across my stomach following my surgery. In my case, this was where my swelling/fluid accumulated. It looked like a bad bloat and there was mild discoloration over my ribs. At 1 month this is much improved and the bloat has gone down. The soreness is no longer on my ribs and is now only mild and I only feel it across my stomach when I press there or make a twisting movement while sleeping.
In the past 1.5 weeks the puckering around my nipples has improved significantly and the scars, although pretty red are much smoother. I have been using mederma on the scars twice a day. I'm not sure if the mederma has worked or if its just the passing of time.
I am now able to wear a proper underwire bra all day long without any discomfort. I never had much swelling in my breasts, so they haven't decreased any in size since day 1 however they are softer and have dropped slightly. I am currently wearing a 32D Chantelle minimizer which seems to fit pretty well, although my left breast is a bit bigger and could probably use a DD cup. I still feel the need to "minimize" as I only decreased 1-2 cup sizes. I have ordered a 32DD minimizer to see if that fits me better.
I am very happy with the shape and happy with the size as I do look significantly smaller in all my slim fitting clothes. I look much much nicer in lingerie and can wear a strapless dress without needing a bra as they are so perky! I'm really looking forward to summer when I can buy strappy summer dresses and go braless, if need be and to buy a string bikini!! No more being restricted to dresses with wide straps and struggling to find bras that look decent under summer dresses and that still support me (is there such a thing?).
I'm posting a couple of pics to show you what I look like at 1 month.
2 month update
I met Dr Halperin at my consult on Oct 21st and she seemed really nice - very unaffected friendly and down to earth. I felt comfortable with her, though would have liked more time to ask questions. I will do that at my pre-op. I'm so glad I went with a female surgeon and glad that she is close to where I live.