66, 195 Lbs. Breast Reduction + Arm Lift- Folsom, CA

I am scheduled for my pre-op on June 21. I can't...

I am scheduled for my pre-op on June 21. I can't believe I am doing this, but the deposit I made says I am. Plus I have been wanting this for a long time, just didn't think I was the kind of woman to do it (whatever that means). It's a little tight, timewise, as I have lined up a conference, then a week in NY, then the surgery. 3-4 weeks later, a book release event and more marketing on that. I am concerned because my husband, who is my helper, has Parkinson's, relatively early stages, but tends to get anxious. And I'm loading it on him maybe too much? But he is not going to be better later, I will only be older and saggier and less able to be active. So there won't be a better time.
I am hoping that the second week of recovery, I will just need help lifting things. Surely, I tell myself, I will be on my feet by then. Luckily, lying in bed and reading is one of my favorite things, so I won't go crazy. I do presently go to the gym for cardio workouts 6 times a week. But I have to make myself. My sister may be able to come for a visit and give my husband a chance to regroup.
I am combining the breast reduction with an arm lift procedure. Flappy arms. It's not as much about looks (hubby likes me fine) as it is about comfort. I don't see where there's a June sign-up, but will do that when it shows up.
Too much information?
Will add a photo when I figure out how.

Hard to believe this is me! (But it is)

Just a few weeks to pre-op

I posted a pic of me in apparently a few different places. I am technically challenged, but hopefully will get up to speed, as I appreciate more than I can say all the posts I've read. And I want to commit to posting pics as well for the whole first year of recovery.
That said, I'm planning in the back of my mind to have a tummy tuck in December to complete the tidy-up.
Thank you for the encouragement you offer through your words and also through the evidence from the photos. You are so beautiful!

Counting down

I clearly don't know how to use this site. I end up posting things when I'm responding to an email. (Can't make Facebook work for me either). LSTM (laughing softly to myself). I am counting down to the surgery but with two or three big things between now and then, so I can switch my anxiety to those.
My husband says I need to let my 33-yr-old son know about this surgery, and he's right. But I can't think of the words. Maybe I'll email him instead of calling.
Thanks for all the good wishes and advice.

Suspense

It turns out the anesthetist doesn't quite like my pre-op ekg. Not sure why. But he wanted to see an earlier one, which I could have sworn I didn't have. But my HMO (humungous medical organization) found an ekg from 2008 and is sending it. I don't know what's at stake, but it's making me nervous. Which makes my heart race. Which really makes me nervous. But if there's a problem (there isn't), I'd rather find out now than not. So I'm talking myself down.
Thank you all so much for posting and sharing even the tiniest details of your journey. Those of us at the starting gate really appreciate news from you.

Cleared for take-off

I am pleased to say that my EKG is cleared and I'm on schedule for the procedure on June 16th. Glad not to have a new life-and-death issue to deal with. Glad to be back on the journey to a tidied-up front. I didn't share all the jittering about that. But will share all the rest of the jittering! Thank you all for your support!

Things are happening too fast!

I am now up to the point where I go to NYC for a week. Yay! I get back on the 13th and then have surgery on the 16th. So I am trying to get ready for two things at once and probably not doing a very good job. My husband is really scared about having me undergo surgery and the general anesthetic. I am assuming that it will be fine -- groggy for a day or two, not really myself for a week or two, and then increasingly better but with less stupid weight hanging off of my body.
I hope the June babes will keep posting -- I'll be on my laptop and will share with you when I can. I'm scheduled for 6-16! Best to all!

Back in Town, Surgery on Monday!

Back from NYC where I had a wonderful time. Now I'm home and planning to spend two days unpacking, straightening up the house, and getting food and supplies in. I'm very aware that one my arms and boobs are right-sized, my stomach is going to seem worse. TT later maybe? Not to worry about it today. I imagine I'm going to get nervouser and nervouser over the next two days. I hope this isn't all a big, expensive mistake. Write me, okay?

On the other side

Surgery yesterday! Feeling pretty okay today, went back to get unwrapped and checked, and all appears to be well -- looks icky and like hell, but having seen other people's pics on this website gave me realistic expectations, which was good. Lots of bruising because lots of lipo. Didn't really take off much breast, 1 pound off of each, but they went from long and droopy to nicely compact, which is what I wanted. Arms (because I had a brachioplasty as well) look nice and shapely, though I know they are swollen..
will post pics when I wake up from the nap I'm bout to take. I have a feeling there's aroller coaster ahead over the next days/weeks, but getting to read about other people's experience makes such a big difference in not freaking out. Thanks so much, all of you.

Post-op day 4 and counting

Hi everyone! I'm experiencing some of the mood swings I read about, but my sister is coming today for a day or two, and that will be good. She is ultra-sweet and loving. I'm adding some photos from yesterday. Just ignore the untucked tummy -- that will be another story. I am happy with my results so far -- the breasts seem a little on the small side, but nice and obviously will soften, change, etc. I am so sorry for my fellow br and brachioplasty friends who are having a rough time. Let's just take care of ourselves and keep an eye on the rewards to come -- no more grooves in the shoulders, no more back aches. I'm pretty sure we'll be glad we went ahead with this! Sending best wishes to all!

Feeling tired

I think my recovery is going about average, or even better than that, and I am grateful.

Adding pics to show the arm surgery, which is by far the most troublesome part of this for me. Still waking up needing pain meds in the night.

My sis and bro-in-law came for the day yesterday and went grocery shopping for me. So helpful, and now the fridge is full of things to eat! It was such a kindness, since they aren't in the best of physical shape themselves.

I would caution anyone who is a caregiver to a spouse, as I am, to make lots of provision for outside help. My husband, who has Parkinson's, is as kind as a person can be, but not able to un-focus on his own stuff and give me the kind of empathetic care my sister and friend can. He also asks a bit more than I can do at this point (help with building chores, for example). But it really is a brain condition, so I don't fault him at all. I just wasn't quite realistic about the situation when I was planning for the surgery. And we have survived so far!

Weds. will go for one-week follow-up and expect it to be routine. Have been trying on shirts that used to bulge at the breast and squeeze at the arms. They fit so nicely and I am looking pretty darn cute!

Ouch!

As usual, I spoke too soon. Yesterday and today have been pretty owie -- probably trying too hard to get through with the serious painkillers and onto just otc stuff. That's because I want to drive instead of relying on my husband, who usually relies on me!

I was advised to cut off the tags of surgical tape that are hanging off of the incision. I feel strangely reluctant to see what's under there -- a whole new mess to keep track of. I have a little seroma thing, which they can take care of on Weds.

Got some arnica, which usually works on bruises for me. I'll use that tonight while the tape is still on so that I don't get it on the incisions. A little depressed today, but every day gets me closer to being healed and moving on, lighter and less encumbered with wads of breast. It's an amazing process.

Healing and pleased

Today was better than yesterday in terms of fatigue. The really sore part of this is the brachioplasty. My arms are numb and a little swollen and quite bruised to the wrist. (Arnica is okay, bromelain not because of my iffy liver).
I think my husband is worried that I will gain weight and put the fat back on, and it's not a stupid worry. But I can't diet and work out until the healing is further along. I'm being sensible right now. I am looking forward to getting back to the gym and working on arm muscles, which will actually SHOW now!
I hope you all are doing well. RealSelf has been such a help to me, and that means YOU!

One-week check-up

My one-week check-up was great. No problems, just the standard pain from swelling and bruising. No complications at all. I feel so fortunate and wish you all the best with the next stage of your healing, whatever that may be. Stitches out from my arms, but a few left in my breasts. They'll come out next week. I'm attached photos to show what I look like now -- gross and icky but presumably on a good path to complete healing.

Not a Happy Camper

Almost three weeks post-op and so sore and swollen. Not the breasts so much, but anyone considering an arm lift should be forewarned. I feel like I have a severe sunburn on my arms, so that I am constantly changing clothes, looking for a texture that isn't awful. And tennis balls in the armpits. By 3 in the afternoon, I'm a mess, so tired of hurting. I'm wearing some compression, but the garment is so tight I can't get it on.
Sorry to be a complainer, but I didn't realize it could get worse instead of better. Here's hoping for an upturn!
At the same time, I'm not sorry I did it, just impatient for healing. My incisions are fine. My breasts are a lovely shape and size. Having the weight of arms and breasts gone makes me feel like a kid. So it's not all bad!
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

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Your results are stellar! Here's to an upwardly progressive healing!
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Thanks for sharing the photos ... my bandages are coming off on Wednesday and I am nervous to see what is there ... trying to prepare myself. I hope by 19 days I will also be saying 'my breasts are a lovely shape and size' ... it would be the first time I ever said something like that. I am already impatient to be healed and it is less than a week ...
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Waiting does appear to be the hard part -- because it's hard to be uncomfortable every day. Speaking for myself! I think next week my breasts will be a different shape and size. I seem to be a big sweller. I'm prepared to like what I get out of this -- freedom, mobility, okay, better clothes! Best of luck to you, Bee35!
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I agree and I know that I will love the outcome ... it will make a huge difference to my life on so many levels. It was the initial challenge of seeing myself for the first time that I have had to come to terms with ... my breasts had been compressed almost flat for 7 days and looked like two square plates!
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I had the sunburn feeling all over my chest and sides. Not so much where the incisions are, just everywhere. It lasted a whole month! I didn't have any lipo, just incisions. I hope you feel better soon, the swelling looks so painful :(
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Thanks, MyMyMy. It's good to know I'm still on the map, recovery-wise. I'm at three weeks post-op tomorrow and expected to be in less (or no) pain by now. This appears to be how I'm spending the summer! Yuck. I think the swelling recedes a little each day, but just a little at a time. It doesn't seem like swelling because my arms are so much smaller than pre-op even swollen. I have to remind myself to let my poor shoulders relax -- they're so used to hoisting up my droopy chest. Feels good. I wish there was a way to sort reviews by time -- like see how others are doing 3 weeks out. Not a tech person myself. Thanks for your response! How are you doing in working with your ps on shape?
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I think I'd ask for a different compression garment! My shoulders aren't automatically relaxing either, although it's much easier to have good posture when I'm thinking about it. As far as my shape goes, I see my GP today and will discuss the possibility of seeing a PS outside the VA system that's an expert on this kind of thing, but she'll probably tell me to talk to the surgeon who did it. I'm not looking forward to that conversation :/ I see him on the 15th.
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I found an old bicycling bolero with skinny arms and that seems to be about right except for being so hot (100 degree weather here). I also got some over-the-knee tube socks, which work great with the toes cut off. The pain was really bad yesterday, but better today. Good luck with your concern about shape!
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i found it so much easier to lose weight after the surgery. the smaller boobs are such an incentive to make the best of myself now that i have a much greater choice of clothes and an actually look good in them. i found the website myfitnesspal a huge help, on 1200 calories a day, protein at every meal and minimal carbs
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Peediewife, after surgery did you gain any during the recovery period??? That's what I'm worried about. No exercise and I may gain. Some have said that I will lose weight faster after surgery but I'm not sure why
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Hey ladies, so far I have found all that working out I was doing pre op a positive on surgery day. I am down 8-10 lbs and refuse to weigh again until many weeks post op. a diet & fitness expert told me people usually lose weight post op bc they have a tiny, bland limited appetite. Also my very strong quads are helping me sit on the toilet.
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Congrats on the weight loss. I hope I'm as lucky... I'm stuck at 205-208. Wanting to be under 200 by the 16th.
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did not gain but took care with my eating and very quickly started losing
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Note taken....... I don't want my hard work to go out the window.
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I'm worried about weight gain also. I'm wanting to be under 200 pounds by time I have the surgery on the 16th. My arms are extra flabby especially since I've lost 50 pounds so far. So I'm looking into working out extra hard to tone these arms up. Congrats on your surgery.
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I'm glad that your surgery went well ! You will be so HAPPY ! WELCOME TO THE OTHER SIDE ! BROMELAIN is what helps with the Swelling and I got Mine at a Health Food Store as the Drug Stores didn't carry it - or WalMart either ......... and it is 500 mg Capsules and take One of them - 3 to 4 Times a Day - BETWEEN MEALS - and WITHOUT FOOD ! Or it will not Work for Swelling. For Bruising - there is ARNICA ( 30 c ) Tablets that you can get and they Dissolve under your Tongue - and they also make an Arnicare ..... Arnica Gel - that you can rub on your Skin - but NOT on any Broken Skin or Incision Lines. The BROMELAIN - just about saved me - as it helped me MORE than any of the Pain Meds. Cause - the main PAIN - I HAD - was FROM the Stupid Swelling ! And Ice - Gel Packs seem to help a bit too . I Hope you start to feel better !
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Thanks, Wendy1956. I thought of the arnica gel, but found an almost empty tube, so used that (it seemed to help) and will try to get more asap. Will ask my doctor about bromelain. I have a weak liver, so have to be very cautious about herbal things. It will probably be okay and hope it will help. Ice is also a good idea. I have a hard time remembering the things that might help. It's hard to be drugged AND pro-active.
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You can go and Google It - as it is an Enzyme that is really Concentrated - that comes from the Stem of the Pineapple Plant !
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You look just great and I can hear the enthusiasm in your updates. Take it as easy as you can and enjoy your recovery.
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This was a very thoughtful and helpful review. You look amazing, even with the post op bruising and swelling. Good for you!
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You look terrific! Boobs of a 20year old :)
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what a great result, just rest and heal.
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Wow! You look great!! I think small boobs make women look and feel much younger and we all want that!!! I would love it if mine had ended up smaller. So happy for you.!
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Thanks! I am a little discomboobulated at the size, but it's also a nice look. And so light! I am already feeling like the increase in my self-esteem is going to pay off in terms of libido, once I'm cleared for "vigorous activity."
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Glad you made it to the other side!!! Pray you have a speedy recovery!
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