A short history of my boobs: Ever since I started...
A short history of my boobs: Ever since I started developing at age 12 I've hated my boobs and have tried to hide them. I don't think there was ever a time in my life where I've liked them. I've always felt self conscious about how big my chest was. Practically overnight I went from a 32A to a 32C and by the time I was 13 I was wearing a 32D-32DD. I've always been on the slim side with a flat tummy and slim arms which seems to make my boobs look even more prominent. As someone who loves fashion and works to stay slim so I can feel comfortable in my clothes, and wear what I like, I've still always felt so limited and restricted by what I can't wear. I always have to consider that I have a matronly thick strap bras on and can't choose strappy or even slightly lower cut dresses as I either bulge out or my bra shows - or both. I've always found my self wondering "who do they make these clothes for?". Bikini's - forget it! I've always had to either avoid the beach or order DDD under-wire matronly bra-like bikini tops from special online vendors. AND- all the loose skin in my boobs puckers around the bikini cup edge and looks downright awful! I'm constantly having to re-adjust myself. Putting on halter neck bikini's involves having to hoist my boobs up 10 inches - and then I get sore neck from the ties! Ugh.
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.
Here are some current pics
Hi - I'm so excited to be sharing my story with all the ladies here. It somehow makes it more real and its so nice to be in a supportive community. I'm looking forward to blogging my thoughts every day (even if I bore some people on here silly!).
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've been very busy with work these past couple of weeks which has been good as my mind has been on other things. Now that I know my surgery date is all set I've been able to stop obsessing so much and feel more relaxed. I have a mammogram scheduled for Monday and I'm hoping that goes off without a hitch and that my breast tissue is normal. my previous mammogram raised some questions as my breast tissue is very fibrous so I'm hoping they don't send me off for a biopsy as I don't want anything to delay my surgery.
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
In 2 weeks I will have just had my surgery. I wonder if I'm taking enough time off work. I'm scheduled to take a week off however I'm wondering whether I should take a few more days. I suppose I can always go home early from work if I find myself too sore to make it through the day. I wonder if I'm being realistic here. Anyone? I have a desk job and I keep an exercise mat under my desk which I can pull out and lie down and rest on if need be (with office door shut). I just hope my recovery goes smoothly with no complications.
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 for my pre-op today and my PS told me I didn't need side lipo - yay! Hopefully that'll make my recovery easier. It was all very brief - she answered my questions and examined me again to reassure me that I wouldn't need side lipo and reassured me again that she could get me down to a large B-small C using the lollipop technique. She told me that I'm going to love the result! I signed a consent/waiver, received my meds and then I was out the door. I feel that my appt. was really brief however I understand that she's busy. My appt was at 9.45 but she didn't see me until 10.45. I walked back to work (just 10 mins away) however, by this time the headache I'd woken up with had become a full-on migraine and after 30 minutes of trying to focus on my computer screen in my darkened office and achieving nothing, I gave up and went home. It's now 5pm, and after 4 hours of lying down my migraine's still not better. I thought I had licked these menstrual migraines months ago, and wasn't expecting this. I have no more sumatriptan left so I'm trying to get by on ibuprofen. I'll be better prepared next month. My in-laws are coming to stay for the weekend and my hubby and I are planning a big dinner party tomorrow night so I really hope I can kick this migraine by tomorrow.
My surgery is just over a week away and I'm starting to get really excited. I've taken the advice of the ladies on this site and have extended my time off work for a few more days. I feel better about the fact that I won't have to rush back to work.
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
The eve before my surgery. I'm very excited and I'm wondering whether I'll be able to sleep tonight. No biggie if I don't as I know I'll have the whole next week and a half to rest. I'm still worried that the lollipop incision won't get me small and perky enough but I know its what my PS wants to do and that its her preferred technique. I'll be reminding her tomorrow to make me as small and perky as she possibly can. I also want to quiz her again as to why the lollipop is better for me.
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!
I hardly slept the night before I was so excited. I awoke the morning of my surgery with a cold and sore throat! Can you believe it? I said to my hubby John "don't tell them that I have a cold" as I was so scared they'd cancel my procedure.
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 am moving a bit gingerly and there seems to be pain under my breasts where the incisions are. Getting in and out of bed is a slow process. I have a cough and hope that I don't strain my stitches. I'm already sick of lying in bed so I'm going to go for a walk today and get some fresh air and maybe do some cooking later. I'll just see how I feel. The tylenol seems to be enough for me.
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 know they look very different - higher and tighter but I fear they are a D cup and not the B-C's I wanted :-( I know I should be happy but I feel a bit disappointed. Anyone else feel this way?
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
I actually slept really well last night (except for having to dash to the bathroom three times due to the ducolax!) fortunately the constipation has now resolved itself. I recall waking up last night and thinking - there's no pain. Its now only discomfort I'm feeling underneath each breast where the stitches are - esp in the right breast that underwent the anchor incision. I even managed to sleep on my side for a while!
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 noticed that I feel more swollen and tight. The skin across my breasts and esp in between is stretched so tight that its shiny. I find myself massaging the skin between my breasts over my breast bone for relief. Some yellow bruising is evident around my nipples but nothing too bad. I thought I'd be very bruised but I'm not.
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
Shopping for bras...depressing
So I went shopping for a cocktail dress yesterday and decided to try on some bras. I found a great dress at GUESS that looked great without a bra! Yes you read that correctly. I was overjoyed! It was the first dress I tried on too. Exactly the sort of dress I've always dreamed of wearing with a low back and tiny straps..one that I would look at in a past life and not even contemplate taking into the fitting room. THEN I decided to go to Victoria's Secret and to my dismay I was too big to get into their 32 D's! Remember I started out as a 32DDD. Immediate mood drop :-( I did buy a nice negligee that I looked nice and perky in but I couldn't shake the feelings that came up after trying on their bras. I did try on one lacy dark blue 32D that was a pretty good fit but my left breast really needed a 32DD. Can you say DEPRESSED! Still, not one to give up easily I decided to go into Neiman Marcus and try on some bras there just in case Victoria's Secret is devoted to the freakishly small. I did find a lovely purple bra and panty set...but it was 32D (and really my left boob could go up a size). I know some of you are thinking just give it a few weeks/months and I'll be the 32C I wanted to be BUT I can tell that even once the swelling goes down the smallest I'm gonna be is a 32D. I'm currently a large 32D. Maybe I was too wide and she couldn't get me smaller? maybe my breast tissue was all glandular? Who knows?
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.
I must say though, that from what I can see (and can't see) through the steri-strips my surgeon did a remarkable job with the clean stitching and almost complete lack of bruising I've experienced. How did she achieve that?! I've seen so many others results here and many have bruised and leaked badly. I am grateful for her expertise -yeah even though I wanted to be smaller (I am trying not to be ungrateful and will get there because I am a realist, and truly grateful for my good health. My recovery (touch wood) so far has been a breeze. This cold I have has been my biggest source of discomfort. Whoever said emotions tend to roller-coaster after surgery is right.
1 week post-op
I just came back from seeing my PS for my 1 week post-op. I talk a nice long walk in the snow and now am curled up again with my cat Cleo (she is getting very used to having me home).
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 softening up a bit, but no size reduction yet - I'm still a sizable 32D. It just aint gonna happen - no way will I go down to a C (its not in the cards). My doc admitted that she had erred on the side of leaving me bigger to preserve a nicer shape. Yes, I'm still a bit swollen but I think that as the swelling goes down the shape will just smooth out and I'll get a tinier bit less puffy - but I'll remain a D.
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 went for my 3 week check up yesterday and everything is going well with my healing. My PS took my steri-strips off - a little shocking at first to see my nipples again and the gathered stitching around them - like when I had my braces off my teeth when I was 14. However, I know the scars will flatten and recede in time and I'm completely fine with how they look. I can't help refer to them as my little franken-boobies :-) I was advised to get some mederma scar cream and start massaging it into the scars twice a day.
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 am extremely happy with my results and I'm having alot of fun trying on all sorts of dresses. I can wear a dress without needing a bra now which is something I never imagined I'd be able to do. Dr Halperin did an amazing job. I am a 32D and for the first time in my life I do not feel self conscious about my boobs! I feel normal and I feel my breast size is perfect for my body. I can wear anything I want!