Last week I received my insurance approval for...
Last week I received my insurance approval for surgery. Currently, I'm 125lbs.; and I wear a bra size of 30-32E (ideal size is a 31E). This surgery is something I have wanted for the past 7-8 years. After my mid-February consultation, I was surprised at how easily it was for me to:
obtain insurance consent and approval,
make post-op plans that are more than acceptable (for me, family, school, etc.),
and schedule my surgery in the coming weeks perfectly in-between my scheduled needs.
Of all things, my biggest fear is being under anesthesia. I freak out at the thought of going under (maybe I can take some Valium or something first).
I will plan on adding photos and more details in the near future. Reading the stories and experiences of others is becoming a positive and motivational factor in my own confidence and courage. So thanks.
So I thought I would add a little bit if history...
So I thought I would add a little bit if history and information on how I have gotten to where I am today. After all the stories I have read, how could I not possibly contribute?!
Well, I started wearing a bra in 4th grade, a B cup. So, for as long as I can remember, I've had boobs. I don't remember caring much either way about having to wear a bra. And, in spite of always being a 'girly girl', I never felt that my chest significantly defined my feminity. So even though 'they' were there at an early age, I didn't pay much attention to them. It was more so the attention that I received from others, that has left me with early memories about my breasts.
By high school, I was a D cup. I attended an all-girls private school, which I'm sure had limited the attention, thankfully. As I can recall being given the nickname 'titney' in middle school-- how depressing, ya know? Anyways, I don't think that my chest restricted my activities much during school-years. And by the time I entered college, I had decided to use my chest to my own advantage. For four years, I worked in a topless club.
Although these four years were not my finest moments in life; they paid the bills, helped pay for school, and ended shortly thereafter.
Needless to say, I have seen my fair share of breasts in my time as a result. I think this is when I began to realize how much bigger my natural breasts were, compared to so many other women. At one point in time, I was convinced that I had needed implants to fix my 'problems with my breasts'. Because they were large, heavy, and seemed to sag-- I thought that this was the logical solution. Thank goodness I never followed through with this idea. I couldn't possibly imagine coping with the nightmare of having implants! So what changed my mind?
Well, my entire life, I have always weighed between 112-120 lbs. Shortly after I quit dancing, around age 24, I lost weight. The weight loss was a result of stress, graduate school, getting married, and moving half way across the country (I grew up out East). Within a few months I dropped down to about 100lbs. Normally, my breasts never changed much in size. But at 100lbs, my chest shrank to a C cup! So for several years, I have found myself battling weight issues to maintain not just a slim figure, but more importantly to me, a smaller chest.
For the past 8-9 years, I have struggled with healthy weight. I have spent many years weighing in around 95lbs. As a result, I have experienced sleeping issues, mood swings, a lack of motivation, hair loss, psoriasis, and other various issues... About once a year, I would decide I wanted to put on some weight. As soon as I became about 110-115lbs, I would instantly return to a DD cup. And each time I decided that I wanted to put on weight, they seemed to get a little bigger. And so, my only saving grace, had seemingly become to lose all the weight all over again.
About two years ago, I started to mentally prepare myself to gain weight, without loosing it. I have two kids, and a husband, who I know this has had an effect on. So I started preparing healthier meals, more balanced dinners, even making breakfast in the mornings.
A little over a year ago, I allowed the weight to start to return, including my breasts. I have been so sad in seeing them return. I haven't been motivated to go out at all. All the things I love to so have come to a halt-- hiking, canoeing, swimming, and most outside activities, which require me to be in a tank or tee; they reveal how massive my 32E breasts truly are. I have always been an outdoor person. And I simply love the warm weather. But last year, I barely went outside during summer. This past winter, I didn't take a vacation (I normally return home- south east- to escape the frigid winters in MN). It has felt like to much work to find clothes- just to feel comfortable. In fine, my breasts have had a major impact on my lifestyle.
In knowing that loosing so much weight again was not an option, I decided to see my primary doc and my OBGYN, in regards to having a reduction. I requested, and received a letter of recommendation from both to bring to my consultations.
I did my homework, and was sure to schedule my appointment with a PS who was already approved by my insurance company. In my opinion, the letters of recommendations, and seeking out a PS who already was approved in working with my insurance company was very advantageous in me being approved ao quickly. Because my approval later had come two weeks later!
It took me about 2 weeks to schedule my appointment after the approval, simply to nerves. Finally, it's almost over. I'm nervous, excited, thankful, anxious, and I nearly cry everyday, due to all the overwhelming emotions that I have right now. This site had been so invaluable for me and my process. I cannot overstate how thankful I am to everyone for all the stories, thoughts, questions, and comments.
As for now, my goals continue to be to stay positive, eat healthy, exercise moderately, keep my house clean (and pray it doesn't fall apart while I'm recovering-- omg-- this freaks me out). I will be sure to post before and after pics of my day in surgery. And I will update my experiences post-op shortly after. I look forward to having wonderful things to say about the whole experience : )
-(hehe. me being positive).
I haven't yet had the bandages removed; so I...
I haven't yet had the bandages removed; so I haven't fully seen them. But oh my goodness- totally worth it. I can see the upper part of my breasts and they look awesome. I can't believe I can finally say, "I had a breast reduction"; to say it in past tense is so cool. It was simply amazing how wonderful my PS and everyone else was. Everyone made me feel so comfortable. I could have never imagined how easy the whole process has been already. This is going to be life-changing!
I will post some info on my PS & photos of the pre-op & post-op soon : )
It's now been four days since my surgery. I...
It's now been four days since my surgery. I decided it was safe enough to take my first real shower & wash my hair; and --oh wow-- it felt so good.
My biggest issues at this point probably have to do with my own ability to be patient. I feel mostly okay, as long as I'm not up and moving around. When I get up, after a while, then I feel some pressure on the incisions, and that begins to hurt. Also-- if I raise my arms above my head for an extended period of time-- that hurt too-- I had decided to blow dry my hair-- that was tiring.
Otherwise, the itching has disappeared, I was having shooting pains that have gone away, I'm not draining, nor leaking, and I don't have much brusing. I have been able to feel my nipples since the recovery room (not sure if I said that). I'm fairly soft, and the swelling doesn't feel bad at all. The stitches don't bother me much; and I'm not being affected by the tape.
In spite of my horrible sleep schedule, and minor digestive issues-- I feel pretty good, which is awesome-- though my fear is that this feeling of competence might cause me to over do it.
I suppose it's in my best interest to just chill out until the stitches are removed on the 22nd. I'd love to go on a walk, but it's friggen snowing outside! I didn't prepare much for 'at rest projects'; but I will be spending the rest of the evening looking for something crafty to do. Hopefully, this will ease some of my cabin fever.. I'd recommend planning something -anything- beads, knitting, stich-sewing, scrap booking, or whatever you are into- you may feel well enough to do these things in a few days : )
Three weeks out feels pretty good. I've noticed...
Three weeks out feels pretty good. I've noticed that my tighter sports bras tend to become uncomfortable and may increase the swelling when I'm active (cleaning, walking reasonable distances, general stuff for periods of 2+ hours at a time). I usually end up taking them off and feel much better! I tried sleeping without one... I also tried sleeping on my side, thinking it was a good idea... yea, not so much. I woke up in both situations- to put a bra back on and to adjust myself sleeping position to being on my back again (sigh). Everything otherwise- is healing really nicely. My bigger issue- I'm starting to get anxious over the lack of exercise I've had. Does anyone know how long it is recommended for us to wait before returning to cardio types of workout? This surgery has increased my motivation not just to maintain a healthy weight-- but to be fit. That's a good thing :)
I think my overall swelling has decreased a fair amount within the past week. I will add more photos shortly and hopefully there will be a noticeable difference..
Has anyone else found themselves cutting off parts...
Has anyone else found themselves cutting off parts of their internal stitches? I had kept the tape off for a few days... I just put it back on because of this. I have horseshoe shaped stitches poking out (or surfacing the akin) in a few places- one I cut, which my skin then healed right over. And there was some nylon-based-thread stitching, starting to randomly unravel over my skin surface. That too, I just cut and pushed the ends of it back inside me. I feel like a stuffed animal, being mended left and right, because some kid has dragged me everywhere for the past 30 years! Nothing is red or looks infected. It just hurts and is becoming considerably annoying. Oh-- how I actually want to wear a regular bra!!
Last night, and the night before, I slept all...
Last night, and the night before, I slept all night on my stomach!! OMG did it ever feel so wonderful to have slet the past two nights :)
I think I'm still amazed at how I look. After...
I think I'm still amazed at how I look. After spending so many years feeling depressed and complaining about myself, I couldn't be more thankful to have had this surgery. It has also been wonderful to read everyone's stories and see y'all's changes as well. No worries and no regrets :) I can't wait to see how they will finally look after all has healed and settled. My internal stitches are still pretty hard. They're affecting the shape still, making them look boxy. I will add some photos in a few weeks... I'm sure the time will pass before I know it.
Today I received a complete bill for my surgery. ...
Today I received a complete bill for my surgery. Without insurance, my procedure would have cost me $14,086.85. Although I paid a fraction of the cost (I have a PPO), I corrected the cost to reflect the true bill...
Brief Update: Six Weeks PostOp
Well, I'd add photos, but as for size and shape, I look the same. No major changes in the past two weeks. The scars continue to heal, doing nice. Im not using anything on my incisions to aid in healing. After reading a few stories, about incisions re-opening & breaking down a month or so later, by ladies using various oils & creams, it gave me a bad feeling... So, I'm kinda going with my personal intuition on this one. My cup size is a 34C. But I'm not yet wearing a regular bra. I've started exercising again (running, cardio, etc.). I think this has really helped the healing process. In the past week alone, 99% of my internal sutures and stitches have dissolved, disappeared, broken-down, or whatever. It's great. They were bothering me quite a bit; hopefully I will be wearing a regular bra soon! In about two weeks, I transition into tattoo removal. Hopefully, I won't experience any further pain from the BR after I start these lazer removal sessions. That would really suck.
Everyone on this site has continued to be SO supportive! So glad to have shared so many experiences with so many wonderful ladies. Thank-y'all :)
Six Weeks Post-Op
Hmmm. I'm not sure why my last update didn't post last night... I had written a review. Anyways, I didn't post any photos, because I look the same. My swelling has gone down a bit more. I'm a 34C but can't yet wear a bra because of all the sutures, internal stitches, and the incisions in general. I'm healing nicely. I'm not using and bio-oil, creams, lotions, or anything else on the scars yet. After reading a few reviews, where some ladies experienced breakdowns in their incisions, it gave me a bad feeling. So I'm going by my intuition on this. I've started doing cardio again (it really does feel good). And next week I'm starting tattoo removal. My fear, is that I will have "bad days" from the BR, while both my arms are burning from the laser treatments. So that's kinda where I'm at. I will post more photos in about two weeks. Hopefully, I will shrink a bit more and be wearing a bra by then :)
Two Months Post Op
Hi ladies! Everything is looking and feeling the same. To be honest, I wish they were a little firmer. But I can't complain. They look great compared to before.. I've now started tattoo removal (laser treatment); it's the second part of my process, towards wearing a tank-top and/or bikini one day... Maybe next year *sigh*.
Ten Weeks Post-Op
20 Jun 2013
2 months post
I think my obsession with my surgery is beginning to dissipate, finally. Though I have truly been thankful for this site and everyone on it. And so, I will do my best to check in, add photos, and say hello.
I'm 10 weeks post-op, and everything is coming along well. If I could change anything, I do wish that I stressed to my PS the desire to be a bit smaller. I was measured about 10 days ago, at a 32D. Im thinking they aren't getting any smaller. I have lost 10lbs since the surgery (to my painful surprise, I weighed 137lbs for the first time in my life, aside from pregnancy). I will be loosing another 10lbs by the end of the summer. And so far, I don't seem to be loosing any volume in my breasts, which is probably good. Because I don't want to seem deflated. But knowing I will weigh around 115, I think I would have been a bit happier in a B/C cup. I should have stressed this more than I did with my PS.
That said, I suppose I shouldn't complain. I know they look great in comparison to what they were (um yeah, they were scary). And I'm SO SO, SO happy my breasts are lifted and separated from each-other. In all, this surgery is one of the better choices I have ever made for myself.
I know many of you ladies are also in the process of weight loss... So I will update on how this changes my breasts post-surgery... Hopefully they won't change to much.
Photos added, they are pre-surgery
Hi everyone. I think I look the same still. So I will add some post-op photos in few weeks. Maybe there will be a bit of a difference then... I did finally add some pre-op photos, which I HATE!!! But kinda hard not to when y'all have been so amazing in (and long before) my recovery :)
3 Months & 3 Weeks
28 Jul 2013
3 months post
I'm almost four months post surgery (which is hard to believe). So far, I'd have to say that one of the best things in all of this has been the absence of ALL back and shoulder pain. The relief that this surgery has given me cannot be understated. There were so many moments in life where I questioned how much of it was psychological. It wasn't.
I've come to realize that I focus on my breasts WAY LESS than I ever have in life. I think part of the reasons I don't think about them nearly as much as I used to (in spite of how much better the look and feel), is because they aren't such burden anymore. They don't hurt, they aren't heavy, they aren't causing secondary pains or problems, and they aren't affecting my choice in clothing... It's really been a blessing.
There isn't really anything I have been dissatisfied with up to this point. I think my scars are a little pink still, and sometimes I wish they were a tad smaller and firmer. But I went into this with realistic expectations. So anything that might bother me is fleeting in thought rather quickly. I would do this all over again with less than better results or healing, and would still do it again, and again, with no regrets. I would absolutely recommend this surgery to anyone considering it. Assuming it's for the right reasons, I cannot imagine a reason anyone would regret it!
Almost 4 Months Along
28 Jul 2013
3 months post
I almost forgot...
I almost forgot to mention that as of recently, I have no feeling in my left nipple, and the right might be headed in the same direction. They were both super sensitive for the first three months (zingers and all). But honestly- I really don't care. It's another one of those things that's so small in comparison to the bigger picture. I had a moderate amount of tissue removed: 450 on the R and 400 (so even less) on the L. But not so much that I thought I would loose feeling. In time, I think I will probably forget what the sensation ever even felt like. But I'm okay with not remembering what it feels like! They still both get pokey when I get cold though, lol.
18 Aug 2013
4 months post
Everything is looking good. No complications. So that's a plus. I'm about 4 1/2 months post-op; and my plans this summer have been to drop weight, in a slow and healthy way. As of now, I've lost about 17lbs since surgery (137 to 120). My goal after my BR has been 115, and still is. Though, I'm not sure that I like what the weight loss has done for my breasts. I feel like they sag a bit more now; and that the little bit of volume I have is equally measured to the loose skin that's now there. I keep thinking about a "breast lift" being the answer to my concerns. IDK- maybe I'm crazy and everything looks just fine. It scares me that I might always find something about my breast, worth criticism... I'm worried that the amount of weight I wanted to loose should have been considered more prior to surgery (knowing it would further change the size and shape I was given by my PS- who I worked damn hard to find, might I add, because of wanting his credentials, aesthetically speaking). Maybe I just need a different perspective... don't know right now. I will add some pics in a few days. So y'all can see what I'm taking about. Has anyone else lost weight and then felt less satisfied with the outcome of surgery? I do feel like my PS did a great job. It's just now I'm screwing it up :(
5 months post-op
At five months post-op, I feel okay. I think less and less about the surgery. Probably because my breasts don't get in the way of so many things anymore... there's just less to think about :)
I've hit a wall in my weight loss, and I'm not that thrilled about the fullness that I have lost in the process. And I'm kinda freaked out over the outcome as I loose a little more weight. But over-all, I guess I'm mostly happy with the results. Whenever I start to question how I look today, it helps to see a pic on this site how I used to look (I didn't save any). So that's good.
I'm not using anymore creams, tapes, etc.. I never really stuck to a routine anyways. The tape bothered me and the StriVectin migrated south, I started using on my hips instead (lol).
The feeling in my nipples are jacked. I can't figure out what's going on. It's not really there, but sometimes, on rare occassion, it sort of is. I still think the feeling will be altogether gone in time. Still- I'm okay with that.
In all, if anyone were to ask about the surgery and if I'd recommend it... I would still do it again, and again, and I'd follow up to do it again after that if I had to. I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin. I don't know that words can truly express that.
6 months post op
15 Oct 2013
6 months post
Almost 6 1/2 months post op... Kinda hard to believe the time has passed so quickly. I feel okay. Some days I wonder if I'm still bigger than I want to be. Other days I don't think they are as firm/perky as I wanted them to be after this process. I know I've expressed these views pretty clearly in the past few months in my updates...
In any case, I've realized that I will probably always have that little voice in my head that rivals my ideals of perfection. I think it took me a while to accept that I will never completely "accept" everything about my body. And that's okay too. If anything, realizing that I will always think I could look better, has helped me feel better about the way I look now. So- I think my frustrations in the past few months have been more normal than I've realized.
And as for the surgery itself, again, it has been an amazing experience. Totally worth it, and I'd absolutely recommend it :)
almost eight months
23 Nov 2013
7 months post
Well, it's been almost eight months. There's not much to say, except I'm still very happy with my decision. There haven't been many changes in the past two months, when I last posted... My scars haven't changed much. I've started to regain some sensation in my nipples. My breasts still swell during my cycle (though, for the first time, I don't mind the way they look when I do). Otherwise... I thought I'd add a few pics. I'm still happy with the size, shape, symmetry, etc... My PS did a good job.
Happy Holidays :)
10 months post-op
5 Feb 2014
10 months post
Okay. So it's been 10 months already since my procedure. I thought I would update my review and then add some pics within a day or so (since I haven't had time to do both at the same time these days).
I'm still thrilled about my results- although I'm not nearly as fixated with the whole process, like I may have been six months ago. I haven't had any additional complications. Not that I really had any major post-surgery issues to begin with. But we've all read stories...
My final size is a 34C. There was a part of me for many months that really wanted to be a B-cup, for whatever reason, I was obsessed with the idea of the letter-B. But I don't feel that way anymore. Just knowing that my C-cup is full, and perky, and not a C-cup filled with saggy skin (which many women have in their 30s), feels really really really good! I do think I was given a rock star lift. Aesthetically- I'm happy.
I haven't had any back pain since the surgery. That's awesome. I have had some headaches and felt tension in my neck when I've been stressed, and feel like they've been related to the wearing of underwire bras. There's no doubt about it- I'm more comfortable in bras without wires. I've also been more physically active in this past year- then I have been in the past several. I think I'm sleeping better too. Not having to sleep in a bra anymore is a big deal, medically speaking- the surgery has been a really good thing.
Shopping for clothes has been a heck of a lot easier. It's so nice to be able to wear fitted shirts and to not feel like I look whorish. I don't feel like people (particularly men) are staring at me all the time, so that's good. I'm a lot less harder on myself when I look at me in the mirror. There's no question about it, that this surgery has been advantageous to me, psychologically.
So yeah- ascetically, medically, and psychologically, surgery has been good to me. I don't feel the need to go under the knife again anytime soon. I guess there was a part of me before the surgery that was worried that I would never be satisfied (even after the surgery), that I was unleashing a train-wreck of emotions that would cause me to want more and more procedures. But that never happened. So that's good and I'm thankful.
That's really about all I've got ladies. I wish there was more. But in some ways it's probably better that there's not much more to say. I'm moving forward. And that was the goal from the beginning, to move on with my life and to not spend my days preoccupied with my boobs :D
Happy Healing to all :D
10 months post-op
10 Feb 2014
10 months post
10 months after.
10 Feb 2014
10 months post
14 months post-op
Hi all- it's been so long since I've updated this review (about six months). There isn't really much that has changed. I'm still as happy as ever about my choice to have this surgery. I couldn't possibly imagine myself shaped any differently these days.
The one thing worth commenting on- Sometimes I have these weird ghost pains along the scars... I feel like the scalpel from the surgery is cutting me open; as if I can feel my PS making the incisions. It's really creepy. I usually get up and walk around. It's happened a few times this summer. And my surgery was really easy- I don't remember anything. It's not like I experienced any trauma or anything. So yeah, kinda interesting. Anyways, that's about all I've got for now ladies. I thought I'd add some newer photos. Happy healing to all - realself is such an awesome place to be in this time of life :)
17 months post op (surgery was April 2013)
I liked this photo and figured I'd share it. Though it's in black/white, you can see my scars; they've healed pretty well, not raised or anything like that. And I don't think I've posted that many pics from different perspectives- I'm laying down (no mirror image for once...). I still can't believe how much time has gone by since the surgery. As always, very happy with my transformation- physically, mentally, and emotionally. My warmest regards go out to all of you :)
I researched & sought out my PS online. It was important for me to find someone with: working history (20+ years), hospital affiliations, prior 'service work' in his/her profession (using his/her skills in areas of poverty), the ability to demonstrate competence when communicating with insurance companies, as well as someone who has had various experiences with a variety of cosmetic procedures; as I felt that this type of PS would be more responsive in meeting my needs.
My PS went above and beyond, in meeting my expectations. I would highly recommend him to others, even if you live out-of-state.
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