Hard to believe my procedure date is just 5 days...
I developed early and have very vivid, very unpleasant memories of being teased in Elementary, Middle and High school. My mother was barely a B cup and my sister, who is younger and taller, is just a full B. Who knows why I was "blessed" with such a large chest. Perhaps it's the genes as I do recall my maternal grandmother having what I thought was an extremely large bosom.
I'm 49 years old, married, 5'6" tall, size 10 with a 36F chest. A few years back I got my weight under control losing 75 pounds in 2 years just thru diet and exercise. I went from 225 pounds in a size 18 with a 40F chest to 150 pounds in a size 6/8 with a 34F chest. The girls basically went no where since all I lost was band size, not even one cup size. A few pounds creeped back on and right now I'm at 165 with a 36F chest. I guess the F-cup has stuck like glue ;) After the weight loss, even though the cup size didn't change, the sag factor really took over. I'm aiming for a full C cup and lifted back up where breasts belong :-)
While my insurance company will cover it, I don't want to choose a surgeon based on the fact he's a contracted provider. I want a true artiste, a sculptor doing this work so I am paying completely out of pocket.
I was referred to this particular surgeon by another friend whose augmentation he did. Her results were nothing short of amazing. Everyone I've encountered in his office has cream of the crop in terms of professionalism, warmth, compassion, helpfulness, understanding and kindness. A colleague at work had work done by the other surgeon in this practice just three weeks ago - he looks fantastic, is healing beautifully and had a wonderful experience all around.
I'll update more in the next few days leading up to the procedure... and I'm sure I'll update more after it's done.
I'm grateful for the existence of RealSelf and everyone who takes the time to post! I've taken a lot and want to give back :-)
Trying to keep busy...
Any words of wisdom from those amongst us who've done this? What's the ONE thing you wish you'd known?
I've got all my food cooked and separated into single serving containers for DH to just reheat. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all covered.
Went and had a pedicure tonight though decided against the manicure.
My check in time is not until 11:30am and I've been guzzling water the past few days to ensure I'm nice and hydrated and hopefully able to provide an easily usable vein :-) I think I've gotten in 4 liters which is like 33-50% more than usual so of course I've been peeing like a racehorse!!!
I'm looking forward to taking my valium just before midnight but I'm still very worried about the actual procedure itself. Still super worried he will take care of one breast, get it all nice and fantastical looking and then get part way thru the second breast and realize there's a problem and they can't proceed... leaving me with one excellent looking breast and one really mangled up one.
I heard from the nurse this afternoon - pretty much reiterating what I've been told / read before. I was a bit disappointed the anesthesiologist did not call but the nurse said they don't always call unless they see something in your history they want to discuss. I just hope the anesthesiologist and surgeon are not out binge drinking tonight! bwaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha
I'd like to say I've got butterflies in my tummy but that'd be an understatement... feels more like a flock of California Condors!
Today's "THE DAY" :-)
The surgery lasted a little more than 5 hours as he discovered a lot of cysts in each breast and took care of them along the way. I was diagnosed with Fibroadenoma at the age of 17 and have had more cyst removals and Fine Needle Aspirations than I can remember. I'm grateful my surgeon was super patient and took his time as he encountered approximately 40-50 cysts in each breast! Wowser!
Yesterday I returned to the SurgiCenter for the dressings to be changed and I was so pleased with how things looked when I took a quick peek :-) Tomorrow I go back for the drains to come out and then Monday for suture removal.
One question I have (and hope someone has an answer) is how do I know if I need to ice? The nurse told me yesterday to ice if I felt I needed it (avoiding the NAC) but I don't know how to tell if I need to.
Drains out today?
Drains still in :-/
The Percocet was not working out for me. Gave me terrible head congestion in my ears and awful awful awful headaches presumably from the inter-cranial pressure. He gave me the option of switching to Vicodin or Norco but I opted for just Extra Strength Tylenol instead. The pain isn't bad at all. Yes it's more of a discomfort from the tape and the drains - I'm sure I will just overall feel better once they are out. With the Extra Strength Tylenol the headaches continue :(
I've gotten more sleep today which is good. Prior, I would get very drowsy, sleep for 1-2h and then be awake once again. Now it seems I'm getting better quality sleep.
Hopefully I can just sleep my way thru tmrw and then Monday get the drains out. (crossing fingers).
5 days post...
Please say a prayer, send up positive thoughts, whatever is your thing... I just want these drains off and the tape removed from around my back, under my armpits, down my stomach etc. Please please please
(and yes... I do realize I'm whining... I apologize but I'm keepin it real)
Drains are O-U-T
One week post-op
No pain at all :) Full sensation :) Extremely minimal bruising which is just slightly yellow :) Only two stitches remain in each breast and they are at the "T" junctures. It's my final day of antibiotics - hooray! After all the medications I feel like I need a round of detox to clear out all of the chemicals from my entire system.
The doctor and his nurse are both super pleased with my recovery - I've had 4 follow up / routine checking appointments in this first week - whew!
This morning when I was getting ready, I was walking around the bedroom and dressing area topless!!! ME!!! The woman who spent the past umpteen years covered up and trussed up so even I didn't have to see the saggy boob bags hanging down to my waist. I can't believe how fantastical my breasts look and it's only been ONE WEEK! I didn't expect to look this good at one month let alone one week after surgery.
Before the reduction, I was a size 36DDD (US) / 36 F (EU) and today was able to walk into The Gap, buy a bra off the rack in a size 36C. Granted I still have some swelling so I'm a very full C cup but it felt magnificent to pay $28 for a bra.
I absolutely LOVE my results!
Two weeks post op - with photos
I don't see any difference between my one week and my two week post op photos but I'm posting anyway for posterity :-) I'm super pleased to fit nicely into my goal bra which is a Calvin Klein 36C. I bought it a few days before my surgery and back then was spilling out of it in every way possible. I think it fits nicely now and in the pic you can see it still has the tags! hahahah
I'm itching, a lot. I hear that's a good sign of healing. The incisions themselves don't itch, it seems I'm itching where I don't have visible suture lines so I'm guess that's internal. I will discuss with the PS when I see him next week. I'm also curious how much was removed from each breast. I think I remember in recovery he said 2/3 of a pound from each since it was a lot of excess skin along with breast tissue... but I was pretty fuzzy so I want to ask again.
The first week they had me with steri strips over the incisions. When I saw the nurse this past Monday she "graduated" me to Aquaphor on the incisions covered with gauze w/paper tape as she wanted the scabs to start coming off. Ok, I gave it a good three days and even switched brands of paper tape but that stuff is a NO GO for me. It makes me itch itch itch! Not the gauze, but that stupid tape! Ugh! Right now I'm using the Aquaphor with the gauze but instead holding the gauze using steri strips. Blessedly I am able to work from home this week so aesthetics are of no issue - I'm still wearing the loose fit bra-lette the PS sent me home with after surgery. Really all it needs to do is keep the gauze on me and eliminate irritation so I'm ok with it.
Of course I hit up the After Thanksgiving sales and picked up a variety of bras and bralettes that were on sale... probably 10 in all. Yup, I went a bit crazy but have found the Racerback Pullover bras, Simple Pullover bras and Favorite Wireless bras all from The Gap have worked out super well. I'm a 36C and for the pullover bras size L fits nicely right now. The wireless Body by Victoria bras from Victoria's Secret are very nice but sit in a position which causes a bit of irritation below (not under) my breasts. They don't sit ON the incision line but for whatever reason cause irritation - I almost wonder if it's some kind of allergic reaction or something. Not sure yet.
I'm excited for all my sisters out there going thru their BR journey. I continue to cheer each of you on and provide comments as often as possible. I wouldn't have been able to get thru this without those who came before me so I want to pay it forward to the others. This site has been invaluable and that's because of all the wonderful ladies who post.
I'll update again next week!
Favorite Post Op Bra :-)
Anyway, I just wanted to pass this along since I'm about 16d post op and this is the first "real bra" that feels really really really comfy on me.
It has soft cups so nothing irritates (strangely my nipples are very sensitive the past 1-2 days), doesn't sit anywhere near my under-breast incision line and has a regular back closure so I feel like I'm wearing a grown-up bra (vs. the bralettes you pull over your head).
Also,there's a nice amount of separation (no "uniboob") so I do indeed appear to have two breasts and they're not smashed down either.
I found it runs pretty True To Size (TTS)... I'm a full 36C (maybe sometimes a 36D depending on the bra) and took a size Medium which is just about as comfy as can be.
Anyway, like I said, just wanted to pass this along as it might help someone.
Three weeks post op - with photos
My surgery was on a Wednesday (11/20). With weekends and the Thanksgiving holiday I took 6 days of Paid-Time-Off (PTO) but was off work for a total of 11 days. I had returned to work full time last week when I was 12 days post op, but chose to telecommute each day. This week, at 19 days post op, I returned to my hour commute each way and being in the office full time (6a-3p). No issues or problems whatsoever although I do find that by about 6:30pm I'm tired and pretty much done for the day. My breasts have felt swollen so most days I've taken a morning dose of 2 Advil around 8am and then an afternoon dose of 2 more Advil around 1pm or 2pm. About 8pm I take 2 Advil PM and sleep comfortable thru the night.
On Wednesday 12/10, I had my 3 week Post Op visit with the surgeon. That morning, at home, when I went to remove the steri strips I discovered two sutures that hadn't been removed. I left them there and didn't mess with them figuring I would mention it to the surgeon. He told me they sometimes do find an errant stitch left behind that was previously hiding under a scab since when they remove the sutures, they don't want to dig into/open up a scab to get to a suture. They know once the scabs are gone, they may find a stitch to be removed and in my case that was exactly what happened. Overall, his feedback was nothing but good. He said I am "healing remarkably well - you usually see this level of healing on patients who are much further along". I was over the moon hearing that! He's said I no longer need to use anything to cover the incision lines but may choose to use gauze or steri strips on the T-junctures if I find it is more comfortable. So far I've been doing the latter just for peace of mind as I know those areas are stress points where two incisions come together and I like to give them as much protection/support as possible.
Still loving the Bali Comfort Revolutions Smart Size Wireless Bra (style 3484) and wear it a few times a week. I alternate bras pretty much every day depending on what I'm wearing. I like that option as before I only had a choice of two bras that worked for me... a beige one or a black one and that was it. Now, I have lots of different bras in different styles and colors... of course no underwire :)
I haven't found that anyone has noticed my breasts are smaller. That's a-ok and fine by me. I find my breasts are so much more manageable now. Bras are just for coverage/protection... they no longer have to "work". I don't have to hoist up my breasts and stuff them into the cups and move them to the side (to eliminate spillage) or position them correctly or check on them umpteen times a day (especially if I bend over) to be sure nothing's moved around in an unsightly way. Nope, not at all. Now, I put on the bra and basically just forget about my boobs - I don't even really think about them. LOVE that. Best of all, when I take off my bra at night, my breasts stay right there! They don't droop to my belly button when I'm standing, they don't roll off my chest and hide in my armpits when I'm laying down. I don't have to hold them out of the way when I get my armpits waxed. I don't have to move them to the inside of my thigh when I bend over to shave my legs. They're just not in my way and THAT is a good thing :-)
I'm anxious to return to my exercise routine but the surgeon wants to wait until he sees me at my next post op visit (day after Christmas). I've followed all of his instructions so far and have healed beautifully with no issues to speak of... I'm not about to suddenly disregard what he says, think I know better, do what I want and land myself in Problemville ;-) Not worth it. I'll just stay low key and keep doing my walking. He says we'll talk about scar treatment at my next visit (oils, gels, strips, serums, etc). My breasts are not red or irritated or dry or flaking at all.
I'll update again next week when I'll be 4wk/1mo post op!!
Four weeks post op - with photo
This week has been about as uneventful as can be in terms of healing. I'm feeling just great. No longer taking any Advil for swelling. I still get tired earlier than usual but now it doesn't seem to happen until about 8 or 8:30pm! What a night-owl ;) LoL!! I'm not taping my T-junctures as I'm not seeing/feeling any negative changes by not doing so. I've noticed a little dryness around the under-breast incisions so I've been applying a bit of unrefined shea butter which definitely feels great and seems to help. I'm able to sleep thru the night, even on my side, without any pain or discomfort.
Most days I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about my breasts... and that's just how I like it. I wore one of my new Victoria's Secret bras again today - the one I mentioned in my December 5th entry - and it didn't itch/irritate/bother me one bit today. I called myself smart by tucking a comfy Bali bra into my purse before leaving for work this morning jussssssssst in case the VS bra bothered me but everything was fine and I didn't even need it.
I love that I don't really think about my breasts. Oh sure, don't get me wrong, I can look at my pictures and see my breasts are not perfect... one's dropped a bit while the other hasn't... my areolas don't match exactly... my under-breast scarring still feels rope-like... blah blah blah. If I spend time examining closely for perfection, sure I'll see imperfections and find things to complain about but they were far from perfect when I went into this and I didn't go into it seeking perfection. I'm simply thrilled beyond belief that they look **better**! I was a DDD/F cup before and didn't go into this seeking an exact B cup or C cup. I'm pleased as punch that they're **smaller**! Will I end up a C cup or a D cup? Truthfully I dunno. And just as truthfully I don't much care. That's not my focus now nor was it ever. Instead of my breasts being exceptionally pendulous and hanging down to my waist like a 90-year old great-grandma, they're now up on my chest and positioned where and how breasts should be :-) WOOfricketyHOO!!!!!
Christmas is a week from today. My next post op visit with the surgeon is the day after Christmas. Last time he said we'd discuss scar treatment options in this next visit. I'm interested in hearing what he has to say :-)
As I end this update I wish to give hugs to all - I hope you're recovering nicely or waiting as patiently as possible for your own surgery date to arrive.
Five weeks post op - with photos
I posted a pic of a silly pattern VS bra - this one is a size 36D and it's a bit big I think. The cups gape a bit at the outer top part, near my armpit. I bought this bra simply because I could! LOL! Before my BR I never got to buy a cute or silly bra... bras had to be functional, bras had to work and in my size such a bra was never available in a cute or silly pattern. So on Black Friday, when I saw it, and it fit, I bought it even though I doubt I'll get much wear out of it.
I have a follow up appointment with the PS tomorrow. I don't have a whole lot of concerns to talk about at this point. I mean, it'll still be another few months before they really settle into their final appearance and until then I'm just letting them do what they want. I don't have any pain, I have full sensitivity, I'm no longer getting any zingers, etc. Things are as they are. I'm hoping I'm still a bit swollen and they'll shrink a bit as they drop but eh, who knows. In comparison to what my BEFORE photos look like, well, yanno, c'mon I think I look like a million bucks! :-) :-) :-)
Hope everyone had a happy Christmas and is either healing well or waiting as patiently as possible for your own surgery date to arrive!
Six weeks post op - with photo
This week's update is a couple of days late as we were out of town celebrating New Year's Eve/Day. The photo was taken in the bathroom of our hotel room so please excuse the odd lighting.
I'm still using the Bio Oil on both the vertical *and* nipple scars but starting yesterday I began using the ScarAway strips on my horizontal scars. I'm hoping this will really improve the texture and appearance of the long scars under my breasts. I'm actually not all that concerned about the scars around my nipples or the short vertical ones as I think they will continue to fade nicely just with the Bio Oil. Time will tell.
Based on last week's follow up appointment with the PS, next week I will start wearing under wire bras. Of course that means I have to buy one. I have found I'm most comfortable with D cups as they seem to provide the best coverage side-to-side. C cups are a bit too "porn-star" and show too much cleavage for me to be comfortable. To be honest it's a bit of a disappointment as my breasts suddenly seem "too large" but then again I don't honestly feel as if they've dropped at all. They seem to still be sitting up very high and I'm hoping they will shrink but since I'm now at the 6-week mark, I don't think they'll be getting noticeably smaller.
I suppose I should be over-the-moon thrilled *just* with the fact my breasts are no longer sagging down to my waist and instead are up where breasts belong. That's a dramatic improvement in and of itself but I cannot deny I was hoping they'd be a bit smaller. Maybe it's all the holiday eating and extra weight since I did have my surgery the week before Thanksgiving. Maybe once I'm back to work next week and back to my normal healthy eating... and working out... I will feel better about things. I do worry, though, that once I drop these holiday pounds my breasts will seem even MORE large in comparison.
Oh, I was cleared to go back to exercising. I guess I didn't plan this out so well as I didn't get around to ordering my favorite Panache Ultimate Sports Bra until a few days before New Years. We got back in town, I opened the box and tried it on... 36C... and it was too small. I will have to order it in a 36D and wait for it to arrive. Luckily I did go thru my stash and find a 36D Champion heavy duty sports bra that will be fine for yoga in the mean time. I won't go back to Zumba or even attempt to jog until I have a proper fitting Panache though.
At this point I probably won't update/post a picture for another two weeks (8 wk post op) and then after that go to monthly updates.
I hope everyone is either healing well or waiting as patiently as possible for your own surgery date to arrive!
Eight weeks post op - with photo
While I was previously cleared to return to any/all exercise, I didn't plan well and have spent the past couple of weeks shopping for an appropriate sports bra. Sadly I discovered my former favorite... the Panache Ultimate Sports Bra... no longer works for me. Of course, I don't expect my old 36DDD to fit but I've tried 36C and 36D but neither of them fit either. The cups of the 36C are too narrow and the outer part of my boob hangs out. The cups of the 36D are wider and provide better side-to-side coverage but they're too deep and pucker badly. If I were to go up to a 38 band that would be too large. So I've been stumped. I've had to go back to the drawing board and I'm frustrated. It's an absolute *requirement* that my sports bra have underwire and while I'd prefer the straps convert to racerback, a permanent racerback style would be do-able as long as you don't need to be a contortionist to put it on or take it off. Everyone has an opinion on underwire and mine is that it's always been, and continues to be, a non-negotiable. While my breasts are nice and lifted after surgery, I'd like them to *stay* nice and lifted. Bouncing my way thru kickboxing, zumba, crossfit, running, etc is not about to happen. So... until I find a new, truly supportive sports bra, I'm sidelined. Truthfully, I'm ok with that. Since I paid 100% of the cost of my breast reduction, I want to protect my investment as best I can. Even the sports bras that say "maximum support" or are designated as "high impact" have been extremely disappointing. The best I've found so far as been from Natori Power Yogi and unless I find something I'm happier with, I may have to settle and go with it. Am I being too picky? Maybe I am but I paid a LOT of money for my breast reduction and being thrilled with the results I don't want to mess it all up by wearing an inadequate sports bra. I'm confident I will find one that works for me and be back in the gym before the month is over!
Hope everyone is healing well or waiting as patiently as possible for their BR-date to arrive :-)
3 Months Post Op - with photo
I'd like to say "I hardly ever think about my boobs" but that would be rather disingenuous. Every time I see them in the mirror I'm reminded what a great decision it was to have my Breast Reduction! I'm no longer self conscious about my breasts and think about how hideous I look without a bra. I love getting ready in the morning, topless, and admire the beautiful job my surgeon did. Putting on a bra is a delight - no bending over to harness the girls, nothing to hoist up, maneuver or position, no worries about the nipples facing the same direction and being relatively level - and I don't spend my day fretting over concerns of "is everything still in place? has anything shifted around?". Instead, I just put it on and go - not thinking about it again until I take it off at night. It's a total joy to not be consumed about boob-thoughts or boob-fears of any kind :-) I'm still never sure what size bra I am. It seems to go between 36C and 36D depending on the manufacturer and style. Even a professional fitting at Nordstrom came up with the same result.
I ended up settling on the Champion Powerback® Underwire Sports Bra. I don't think it's super amazing but it seems to be working out just fine and especially at a $20 price tag. It's possible I'll find something I'm happier with but it works for now and I'm not actively on the hunt for perfection.
I had my 3 month follow up with the surgeon on Thursday. He expressed a concern the scars around my areola feel as though they are thickening just a slight bit. Not keloids or anything unsightly, just a slick thickening he wants to address. He provided round silicone sheets with a cut out for the nipple. They're worn daily but removed to shower, swim or exercise if I'll perspire. I'll wear them until my next post op appointment in 6 weeks and he'll see if it's starting to make any difference though he said it usually takes 12 weeks to really tell. They're comfortable and I don't even notice they're on.
I had been using Bio-oil on my scars twice a day but noticed I was getting small bumps, like acne breakouts, on my chest. I switched to Marula oil which for now seems fine. I'm using up the Bio Oil on my tummy which is like a wrinkled shar-pei puppy (this will probably be my next "to-do" and I have a consultation with the same surgeon in April).
No pains or complaints to speak of. I'm happy with size and proportion and in my opinion everything is healing just great. I'll wear the silicone scar sheets until my next post op appt and see how the doctor feels about the areola scar thickening at that time.
Still 100% pleased and absolutely no regrets whatsoever. I only wish I had done it sooner but hindsight is always 20/20. I hope everyone is either healing well or waiting as patiently as possible for your own surgery date to arrive!
Dr. Stephen Bresnick is truly top notch... the creme-de-la-creme! You could not ask for more professionalism *or* better care, concern, warmth, comfort, understanding, experience, judgment and safety. His entire staff is fabulous and make you feel as though you are their most precious and only patient. I went for consultations with several different doctors but knew Dr. Bresnick was THE ONE for me. Dr. Bresnick said my surgery would take longer than I originally expected but explained this was because he was the ONLY one who would be cutting, suturing, etc... he would have no "2nd/Assistant" surgeon operating on one breast while he did the other nor would he have another surgeon close after he did the bulk of the work. No, Dr. Bresnick performed ALL of my procedure and this was something that I had always assumed would be the case as it hadn't occurred to me some surgeons would operate in any other way. This is important. You should know ahead of time just how your surgery is going to be handled. It's not about being quick and its not about being cheap. It's about creating breasts that are in proportion to your body! Dr. Bresnick is by no means the cheapest but when it comes to cosmetic surgery you want the right surgeon, the sculptor, the true artiste re-shaping your body not just the one that gave you the best price. I would recommend Dr. Bresnick to anyone and everyone considering cosmetic surgery... especially anything related to breasts. I have friends who've had Dr. Bresnick do their augmentation and his work is nothing short of amazing - natural and proportioned. He did my breast reduction with full lift and the results are absolutely above and beyond my wildest expectations. I could not ask for better nor could I possibly more highly recommend Dr. Stephen Bresnick!