10 Days and Counting - Evansville, IN

I knew in the fifth grade that I would inherit the...

I knew in the fifth grade that I would inherit the infamous "Boettcher Boobs". As a teen, they attracted some welcome attention but after giving birth to three daughters who were breastfed for a total of five years, their 36G size became far more of a burden than an asset. Like many of you, I too developed deep grooves in my shoulders and constant pain in my back and neck. And clothes shopping??...let's just say I'd rather scrub toilets than search for clothes that actually fit and flattered (which seldom happened.)

My insurance company wasn't as convinced as me (and my surgeon) that a reduction was the answer. In 2003, I consumed more health care resources with an MRI, multiple visits for PT, consults, and assorted meds to support their denial than would have been expended had they approved in the first place! At the urging of a co-worker, I re-visited the idea of a reduction in the fall of 2011 and this time, the insurance company (a different one) approved surgery within 5 minutes of receiving the work-up from my surgeon!

So now I am ten days from surgery and counting the seconds! Multiple people have told me that they have never spoken with a woman who regretted her decision to have a breast reduction. The nervous but excited energy is beginning to build. I am certain that I'll have all of my spring cleaning done before surgery! This weekend I'll buy the bra recommended by my surgeon (a sports bar with a zipper front closure) and drool a bit as I see the wide variety of bras from which I'll soon be able to choose!

My surgeon is absolutely wonderful. He spent at least an hour reviewing in detail what I should expect with both me and my daughter. A co-worker shared her photos of her journey..so I think I'm prepared for the evolution from pre-op to immediate post-op to finally achieving a perky and average shape several months out. So fellow members of the "I was never in the Itty Bitty Titty Committee as a Teen" club, I'll update you as the big day grows nearer. Right now I'm too excited to be nervous. Let's roll!!

Down to five days!! The new bra is hanging in my...

Down to five days!! The new bra is hanging in my bedroom (such a thing of beauty that will actually fit!) Still in warp speed mode trying to get everything done before surgery. I'll have plenty of rest time post-op, right? I know one thing..I was instructed to eliminate any meds with anticoagulation properties (like Advil) two weeks before surgery. Secretly I think it is so your pain level is such that you won't back out! Tylenol is great for most headaches, but doesn't do much for the back pain that I have.
I'd score my "nervousness" level at a 2/10..I just haven't made time to think too much about it yet!
Evansville Plastic Surgeon

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Congrats, Finally! I, too, was told by someone 10 years ago that my insurance co. would never cover a BR...it was a plastic surgeon, my first consultation. I think he just didn't want the hassle of dealing with the paperwork. So, I did not have the money needed and saved about $100 a month and promised myself when I got to a certain weight and had saved enough, I would have it done.

Well, I gained steadily over the next 9 years. I had breastfed my twins (one for too long, lol) and my breasts were so large for my body and so ugly, I think I was very depressed and had such a low self-image. It also affected my relationship with my husband since I was so ashamed of my body. As I gained, the size and position of my breasts of course worsened. Then about a year ago, for my 50th BD, I asked for a treadmill. My husband was nervous, since I was a couch potato for many years and he was afraid it would sit and gather dust!! I began using it and as I did, I felt better mentally and had more energy (I started slowly, then slowly added to my distance and speed and eventually ended up even running!). By then, I started tackling my eating issues and lost 35 pounds over the next 7 months (went from a 38DD to a 36DD and had been a C cup at this weight before I had kids). I was very close to the weight I wanted to be when I decided to get a BR (I had raised this weight from 10 years ago to a number I knew was more realistic for me to maintain long-term and still enjoy my life...I work at a cooking school, enjoy cooking and having a glass of wine or two. I can't imagine food not being an important part of my life...I just learned more about portion control, making better choices as far as adding more veggies and whole grains, logging my calories and, most importantly. making exercise a part of my daily life.

So, I went to a plastic surgeon a girlfriend recommended. I walked in with the expectation that it would not be covered by insurance. After he took measurements, etc. he felt certain my insurance would cover it. Because of my small frame and the degree of sagging, the DD's were too much for my body. The shoulder and back pain, grooves in shoulders, infections under my breasts, having to wear two jog bras to exercise, etc. also played a roll in his determination. So we started the paperwork and found that my insurance is one of the worst in this area.

Over the next 2 1/2 months, the PS's wonderful billing person stuck with all the "hoops" we had to jump through and so did I. Finally, the insurance co. requested a letter from an ortho. doc (I had already requested and letters from my primary care and gyn. physicians had been sent) stating it was a medical necessity and proving that at least 6 months of conservative therapy (core strengthing, exercise,weight loss, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories,chiroprators, etc., etc.) had not worked. My family doc recommended a wonderful ortho. doctor and she agreed to examine me, knowing that I was seeking a letter from her to aid in getting insurance company to cover my BR. She did a complete exam, took x-rays,etc. and said there was no way my insurance should not cover it. She wrote an amazing letter explaining my weight-loss, exercise, that muscle relaxants were contra-indicated (I have 13 year-old twins to drive around, that a lower spine curvature that could be worsened by a chiropractor contraindicated this type of treatment, the fact I had taken anti-inflammatory meds for years, wore two jog bras, etc., etc). She also explained that the pain from my arthritis in my lower back had improved with exercise, weight loss, core strengthing, etc., but my middle and upper back had not and worsened as the day wore on. Finally, she asserted that in her opinion, a breast reduction was a medical necessity.

The billing person at the PS received her letter, and mailed it to the insurance company along with a receipt for three very expensive sports bras I had purchased two years ago(they would not allow faxes!). 2 1/2 weeks later, they claimed not to receive these items! She convinced them to accept a fax and told them their policy to take another 30-45 days to review the additional info. they had requested was ridiculous. I also called the insurance company to complain as did my husband (his employer contracts with this insurance provider). They finally agreed they would "try to expedite" it. This was Dec. 22 and I knew I needed the surgery to happen by mid January at the latest, since I had to be back at work on Feb 6 at the cooking school (we had the month of January off).

We got call on Dec. 30 from the PS office that it had been approved (yeah!! I sent a thank you letter to the ortho. doctor that same day!) and the PS had an opening on Jan 13. I decided since I had saved a significant amount of money that I would also have a tummy tuck at the same time (the excess skin on my belly from carrying twins and my yo-yo dieting was not going to ever go away with any amount of exercise and weight loss!). I had my surgeries on January 13th and would do it again in a minute. My breasts are now a perky small C cup and finally proportionate to my small frame. I was most excited about the BR, but am also very pleased with the tt, although from a recovery standpoint, the tt has been much more painful and difficult.

I am going to add this super long post (sorry I rambled on, Finally) to my review so that people who might see it know that if one doctor says insurance won't cover it, see someone else. And, if your insurance company denies you or makes you jump through hoops...do it!! And, choose a PS that has someone who knows how to work with the insurance companies and stays on top of the situation and is persistant. I guess I owe that PS from 10 years ago in a way. I wouldn't have saved enough money to allow me to have the TT with my BR. But, I would have had 10 less years of pain and a low self image.

Never think you are "too old" to do this for yourself. Sure...it makes you look and feel better about your body...but it is also a medical issue. I have had NO middle/upper back pain or shoulder pain since my BR. I will be able to exercise so much easier. Congrats, Finally and for anyone reading this who is wondering if their insurance should cover this...if you have pain...pursue it to the max!!
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Doing very well!! Being sedentary had not been in my vocabulary..though I think that I'd better embrace the concept STAT! My healing is exactly on target. I do have drains which I empty twice/day (only about a teaspoon from each side). My PS prescribed Percocet which is a bit too much. I am now splitting the tablet in half. Thank goodness it is raining, dreary and gray or I'd be tempted to go outside. But after waiting too many years for this surgery, I WILL follow directions to a "t" and be certain that the final product is a success. Here's my smile for the day..my 18 year old daughter tweeted, "I'd give anything for my mom's new perfect boobs!" Thanks Dr. Orr for your artistry and to my friends, family, and co-workers for all of your thoughtfulness!!
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How are you feeling? Hope everything went well!
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Today was the big day, hope all went well! I had my surgery on 1/11/12 and do not regret it at all. Get lots of rest and use lots of pillows to help you get into a good sleep position. Very happy for you.
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I have surgery on the same day as you....and like you I am not too nervous yet. I will get nervous when I get into my hospital gown and start the process of prepping for surgery. This is my 5gh surgery so I'm not at all afraid of being put to sleep, it's the waking up afterwards that scares me!!
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Hi TallOne...Hope your recovery since waking up has been flawless!!
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One week to go! Congratulations and best of luck!
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Thanks for your support!!
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congratulatios on your approval for surgery, Msy I ask who did you have before for insurance (when denied) and who do you have now for coverage?
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The original insurance company was Anthem and my current insurance company is a local company, Welborn Health Plans.
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Welcome to RealSelf!

I am so happy for you and know you are going to love the new girls.  You will feel like a new woman very soon.  All good things are worth waiting for so here you go!

I know all of the ladies will show you the love here.

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Thanks!!!
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