**Update** July 12, 2012 Surgery. Healed from slight necrosis/scar revision

I have been dealing with back/neck pain for as...

I have been dealing with back/neck pain for as long as I can remember. Currently I am a 38G, at least that's what one of my braas says, others are DDD, the sizes are confusing. Anyways, I always thought to myself, I'll have a BR after I've had kids. Well, I am now 35, single, and no kids. Back in September I went through a pretty substantial break up with someone I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I had brought up the idea of a BR to him and he was not thrilled with the idea (Typical man). I wound up going to a new chiropractor who suggested that they start documenting in case I ever decided I wanted to get BR. After doing x-rays and finding bone spurs on my ribs and buldging disks in my lower back, I decided it was time to do this for me. I've lost 30 pounds, but my chest doesn't seem affected by the weight loss.

I went to my fist consultation with a doctor who was recommended. He told me that if my insurance covered the BR, it would not cover the lift and handed me a paper that had a $2,500 additional fee. I was pretty upset thinking that it would take me a long time to come up with the extra money. After much thought, I contacted some other doctors who said the lift is included in the surgery. So, I went to two other consultations to find the doctor that I liked. I was approved by insurance within a month and my only delay was that I am a teacher and waiting until summer to have plenty of time to recoup. Once I met my deductable, my out of pocket for the surgery is going to be$302, plus the surgery center fee, which I think is $100. I was amazed at how little I am going to be paying and feel very fortunate. This leads me to where I am now. Over 6 months ago I picked my doctor, spoke to the nurse about my desire to do my BR at the beginning on the summer (JUNE) and was assured there would be no problems because it is the slow time of the year for them. I had my pre-op on May 24th and am still waiting to have my surgery date scheduled. When I arrived to my pre-op, they told me they were suddenly booked up until mid-end of July. I go back to work on August 1st and will have to put my classroom back together (move desks, get textbooks, staple into walls, etc). I'm getting kind of anxious. The nurse is still working on trying to get me in earlier than July 18th. (She said possibly July 5th) So, I am now sitting in limbo waiting. I made no plans for my summer break other than to recover and maybe enjoy my new image a little before going back to work. Now, I am just working out a lot to get in as good of shape as I can before my surgery. Yesterday the nurse finally called and my surgery... Yesterday the nurse finally called and my surgery date is July 12. I ordered a bra on-line and it came today also. My PS asked me to stop taking my birth control now and two weeks before surgery, no vitamins and such. With about a month to go, I am focusing on getting into as good of shape as I can before my surgery. I'm a teacher, so I have a lot of extra time right now. Happy 4th of July! Yesterday the surgery center... Happy 4th of July! Yesterday the surgery center called with the details. 7am arrival time, which means I am the first of the day! I'm so ready to get this over with and be on my way to recovery! I seem to think about boobs all of the time. lol Constantly on here reading and researching. I've been to the chiropractor twice this week because of the pain I am having in my back and neck. I was running last week and then...bam! Sore back and neck. I have 7 days to go and can't believe that it is just next week, I'm so over this back and neck pain from these huge boobs!!! Today I am watching my very lively 7 month old nephew ( who is also a bit of a chunky monkey). I love him so much and it makes me a little sad that I won't be able to lift him up and hold him for a while. I wonder how others with kids have dealt with this. He is 20 pounds and definately over my lifting capacity. I don't think I can even risk holding him in my lap because he moves so much that he could probably hurt me on accident. Other than that, I've done almost everything I need to get done prior to surgery. At least I hope so. I plan to go grocery shopping on Monday and stock up, but I'll be at my parents house for about a week. Looking for some good books to read during my down time. I already read 50 shades of Grey series. lol I have a feeling next Thursday will be here in no time. So today I am having a little bit of a freak-out... So today I am having a little bit of a freak-out session. Last night I had some mango that a coworker gave me. Within 10 minutes of eating it, my throat was scratchy. Woke up this am and it still hurts. I'm hoping this is an allergy thing (never had a prob w mango before). I'm less than 5 days away from surgery and I CAN'T be sick! No fever, so that's a plus. On a side note, I was thinking about the new clothes I'll be buying soon. ( as long as I'm not sick and can still have surgery). It's going to be so great to buy some new work clothes. Maybe a suit that has a jacket that fits the way it should. Can't wait! I now have 2 days until surgery!!! I feel great... I now have 2 days until surgery!!! I feel great and got over whatever that cold/allergic reaction was. I feel like I should be doing more to get ready. I already did a big cleaning of my place last week and will probably just do a once over before I leave tomorrow. I'm going to spend the night at my parents house and my mom is going to take me in the morning. I'll stay there for however long I need to. I'm still going between the excitement and nervousness of the whole thing. I've been approved for surgery since January, so I've had all of this time to prepare. It still doesn't feel quite real yet. I'm hoping I don't wake up on Thursday with an gian anxiety attack when the reality really sinks in. It's really strange thinking that I'll only be wearing these bras for a couple more days. I'll have an entire empty drawer that will be waiting to fill with pretty, smaller ones. I can't wait! Surgery was yesterday. I mostly slept the day away... Surgery was yesterday. I mostly slept the day away. I have some pain/discomfort mostly on the sides because my PS did some Lipo there. Went for post-op appointment this morning and they said everything looks good. There are no drains, but I am wrapped in something called Tegaderm. It looks like suran wrap. Yesterday I had an ace bandage, and today they put my surgical bra on. The nurse had to poke some holes In the Tegaderm to drain the fluids. Mostly had fluid on the right side. Then she added another layer of the Tegaderm, put my bra on and I was on my way. They said I could shower today, so that's a plus. Also, I feel very bloated. I've been taking a laxative pill every time I take my Percocet. Overall, I'm doing pretty good. The PS said I should be a full C, but to me they look do small especially ring bound. Today was day 2. I showered last night and today... Today was day 2. I showered last night and today wore a regular pull over shirt. My mom had to help me put it on. Physically, I am doing great. Not much pain except for the sides where the lipo was done. My emotions are a bit all over the place too. I'm worried that my chest is too small. I know that I am still bound and I need to not worry, but I am. I look at what I have and do not see a full C. My stomach is bloated and sticks out and I just feel like I look terrible. A family friend came over tonight and told me that I look great, skinnier. So why am I not happy? I am just going to try to be patient and see what happens. I'm sure I'm just being self conscious. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Today was not the best day. It's been 5 days... Today was not the best day. It's been 5 days since surgery, I had my second appointment today. Yesterday I noticed my right nipple was looking a bit dark in spots. I started to get really concerned but tried to keep it under control knowing that my appointment was today. I still had the tegaderm on and I wasn't all cleaned up yet. So, I go to my appointment and the nurse removes the tegaderm (basically looks like suran wrap). It's not really painful, but was glued on pretty well. I could see her comparing my nipples, but she didn't say anything. I waited... She said she'd be right back and another nurse, one who saw me on Friday, came in to check it out. She walked right up and was like... they were both a good pink last time. I started to cry, fearing my right nip was dying. She told me that it wasn't black, but more dark red. My PS was in right after that and took a look. He assured me that he's "never lost a nipple" and that it was very much alive. I sat up and he poked some holes in my nipple to make sure that it would bleed, thus proving it is still viable. I'm still freaked out. From what I can see and what he sees, it looks almost like raw skin. Like the top layer somehow was removed. (possibly by the tegaderm as the swelling went down. It also looks almost like a burn. It's very disturbing to me because I feel like I have one pretty good looking breast and one that looks terrible. The left side looks round and normal and the right side, aside from the odd colored nipple, has an intersting shape to it. I guess it's kind of the boxy shape people have talked about. So in the mean time, I got a Rx for some nitrogliceride cream to put on it 3x a day. Apparently it helps to bring bloodflow to the surface. Then also add vaslene to keep it moist, oh and a warm compress 3x a day. I go back on Thursday. So I have 2 days till I see him again. Overall, I'm really not in pain. I'm getting a stabbing pain once in a while, again mostly on my right side. I think it hates me. haha I was itching like crazy this afternoon and took a shower to see if that would help. It didn't. I am getting used to the smaller size. I must admit that I was really freaked out at first. Could have sworn to anyone that I was an A cup because they looked that small to me. Then, I thought mayb a B cup. My sister, who never recieved the family curse of overly large breasts, was over tonight. After having her first child, she is now a B cup. To cheer me up she took her bra off and we kind of put it over my sports bra and come to find out I definately would not fit into her bra because it would be too small. So there's a relief. If my Right breast looked more like my Left breast, I'd be so happy. Now I just have to wait and see what happens. I'm going to try to post some pictures too. Feeling a lot better today. Went for another... Feeling a lot better today. Went for another appointment and they removed every 3rd stitch. Not really sure why, but whatever. My PS has assured me that my right nipple is fine. It looks like the top layer of skin on part of it may have come off with the tegederm and of course the trauma from it being moved. So he believes it will all scab over and them I will have a normal color once again. :). I was shopping with a friend today and tried on a few dresses and love the way they fit. You know, the summer dresses that nobody with huge breasts could ever wear. It was a great feeling to know that I can wear them. Just not with this sports bra. Lol It's been a week today and am looking forward to being completely healed. I feel really good physically and mentally. I understand what other ladies have said that your mind and your body aren't on the same page. I did start getting a weird shock-like feeling today in the sides. Its more uncomfortable than painful. I don't know if it's from the incisions or the lipo. Seems to come and go, probably nerves healing. It took me a week to adjust to the size, but I now believe that I am a C cup and I really think that on e everything settles, I'm going to be very happy. I'm very happy to have found this wonderful site. It has helped so much! Seriously, I feel like I'm the only one having an... Seriously, I feel like I'm the only one having an issue. I just knew that my right areola was going to be an issue once I saw the change in color last week. I called today because I thought I may have an infection due to some brownish oozing from the edge of my areola. They had me come in this afternoon and to my surprise, it was actually necrotic fat tissue.The oozing was the tissue that liquifies. Gross! My PS immediately started cutting it out. It didn't hurt, it was just awkward. He said the fatty tissue did not survive and it's important to removie it so it doesn't get infected. Apparently I'm a first for him of with his 20-something years of experience. Lucky Me! He said he's seen it before in other cases, and types of surgeries. I know that he had just come out of surgery, so as soon as he finished, he said some stuff and was out the door. I was fine until he left and then the nurse was finishing fixing me up and asked if I was ok and I just started crying. He said the hole was very small and he stiched it up. The nurse then removed some more of my stiches, but I still have a bunch. I have to put some cream on it they gave me and take more antibiotics. So, I cried all the way home not really understanding why this has happend to me. I'm posting a picture of it today, it's really hard to tell exactly where the hole is because he stiched it up, but it's on the top right side kind of between the patches of brown. I got home and was talking to a friend about my ordeal when my PS called me. I was actually really relieved that he called me himself. It actually impressed me that he took the time to do so. Apparently my nurse told him about my little crying incident and he wanted to talk to me to make sure I understood everything was ok and that I knew exactly what was going on. He appologized for having to rush out of the room earlier and he spent about 10 minutes on the phone with me. He was super nice, answered all of my questions, and told me that everything I was feeling was normal. He also tried to reassure me that within 6 months or so it will improve greatly and will eventually look normal. He mentioned possibly needing to revise the areola (I don't know what that entails), but that it is done in the office and it wouldn't cost me anything. He said that eventually, if the pigment doesn't come back, that I can have it tattoed. I left the office upset and wondering why I did this to myself. Questioning if it was worth it. Of course, I have to be one the low percentage of people that has a problem. But, I know that if I can get past this, it will get better. The thing that scares me the most ,and I shouldn't worry about it now, is the fact that I am single and I'm afraid that it will look terrible to a potential partner (I know my PS said differently, but I still fear this.) However, on the plus side, my neck and back do not hurt anymore, and everyone tells me how amazing and skinny I look. I just wish I could beam and say how wonderful and smooth everything went. I was scheduled to go in on Tuesday morning, but my PS said that since I was upset, he'd rather see me on Monday. I'll update after that appointment. Today is exactly 2 weeks post-op. Feeling a little... Today is exactly 2 weeks post-op. Feeling a little better today. The nurse called to check on me today, and that made me happy. I had a couple of questions. She told me she she was in the office tomorrow if I needed anything. Even with the issues I'm having, I'm so happy with my choice because I really feel like Dr. Kim and his staff care. That means a lot. I go in on Monday. I'll update later. Thanks to everyone and their kind words and support. It means a lot! So today I was laying here on the couch and I... So today I was laying here on the couch and I moved a certan way and I heard a sloshing sound. I heard the same sound a day or so ago, but thought it was just liquid in my stomach from drinking water. I did some more investigating and it is definately coming fro my left breast. Lefty has been so good during this entire process, how dare she act up now. lol I did a little research on the topic and it is something called a seroma, fluid buildup. Yes, there are other possibilities, but I'm going with that one for now, because it apparently is normal. I see my PS tomorrow and will get a certified oppinion. It mostly just sounds really weird. Righty looks maybe a little better, but about the same. I feel more prepared now to go in tomorrow and possibly have him remove more necrotic tissue. Again, I'm no doctor so I could be wrong. I'm just trying to think long term once all the wounds are healed that everything will finally look normal even if I need a slight revision. I'll update tomorrow. 18 Days Post-op. Went to PS today and the... 18 Days Post-op. Went to PS today and the first thing Dr. Kim asked me was "how are you feeling...mentally, not physically". He said my right nipple looked a little better. However, he did more cutting (debriding) of the area. Apparently, I am an anomaly. He has "never" had anyone with this issue. SERIOUSLY???? NEVER???? Lucky me! He went on to explain about how exteremely large breast sizes have greater risk for loss of blood flow, etc. (Stuff I already knew). Maybe that's why there was a new face in the room with me. I'm not sure if she was another Doctor or not (she had on a lab coat) but was mostly observing. I think she was the nurse for another doctor there who deals with breast reconstruction. She asked what size I was prior to surgery and before I could answer, he said "HUGE". I couldn't help but laugh! He told her he took 1000 grams from my right side and I think the other side was about 1/2 of that. The sloshing sound I heard in my left breast was exactly what I expected, seroma and it will absorb (hopefully). I asked him some questions about working out again (would this delay me). He said that I could maybe start some light stuff in a week or so. Running after about 6 weeks total. I was training for a 5K and want to get back into it. When he left, she finished cleaning up and bandaging me. Mentally, I felt much more at ease going in and leaving today. I now have to use diluted hydrogen peroxide, then air it out a while, then put on the antibiotic ointment, then gauze. Dr. Kim said in 3-6 months he will probably do a revision of the scarred areas and briefly mentioned something about nipple reconstruction. It's isn't dead, but it isn't responding to anything either. So, I'm not sure about that one. No tears leaving today, so that's a plus! On my way out, he said to me "hang in there". lol I go back on Thursday where Dr. Kim is going to stay later so I can see him after work and hopefully get the rest of these stiches out. I'll try to do an updated picture later tonight. Not really wanting to look right now :) 3 weeks post-op Went to my PS today. My... 3 weeks post-op Went to my PS today. My necrosis was worse than he thought it would be. I guess the hope was that it would slough off and the damage wouldnt be very deep. The reality was that it didn't get any better since Monday and was deeper than we hoped. He numbed me up a lot and then cut out all of the dead tissue. After that, the nurse cleaned the open wound and prepped the area kind of like a surgery. She brought in her iPhone and started some music (maybe to calm me, it helped). Dr. Kim came back in, explained again what he was going to do and then began sewing the area back up. I need to keep the area clean and use whatever ointment they gave me and keep it covered. They gave me an antibiotic pill in the office too. I won't post a picture because I don't know if it's too gross to post. Maybe in a couple of weeks after its healed up. I will definitely need some sort of revision. Dr. Kim is determined that he will make it look great when all of this is over. 3-6 months before a revision. My actual nipple may have to have some work now because it might not be centered now due to the skin being removed. You would think that I've known all of this for a couple of weeks, but I feel so numb right now. Dr. Kim and his staff were so great with me today too. I was the last patient of the day. I wish my friends and family could understand what I'm going through. I just want to have no open wounds and be trying on cute little tops and dresses without the need for a bra. I go back on Monday afternoon. I added a photo of what my right areola looks like... I added a photo of what my right areola looks like today after yesterday's procedure. It wasn't as gruesome as I thought it would be. It actually looks a lot better with all that dead tissue gone now. The nipple is definately in the wrong spot now, not that it really has looked like much of a nipple lately anyways. But I can tell where it's technically is and it's new location is now very close the the edge of the areola. I don't think it will ever actually work again correctly anyways. So, I guess it doesn't really matter. They said the skin may stretch more and it may go sort of back to a normal location. Just have to wait it out. If anything, I'll have one recreated. Just wondering how that works. Do you have one nipple that is always at attentention? Seems strange. The nurse called this morning to check on me. The positive again in all this is that I know I have a team that cares. 25 days post-op Went to my PS today for a... 25 days post-op Went to my PS today for a follow up since last weeks procedure. I'm finally on the upswing here. Yay! Other than the new stitches from last week, all the other stitches were removed. Dr. Kim seemed pleased with the way my right areola is now healing. It was kind of funny the way he responded when he looked at it, almost surprised by his own good work. Lol. He said that there is a possibility that I won't need a revision. ( I don't know how that is possible, but he's the expert). He said that the skin of my areola should stretch some (hoping it puts my nipple back in the correct spot). I left today feeling the best I've felt so far. I'm still having some drainage and need to keep a bandage on, but I'm hoping that it will scab up and heal super fast. I go back on Thursday for another check up because he wants to see me before he goes away for a week. I'm just happy that he is being so diligent with all of this. Ill try to update a picture tomorrow. Went to my now weekly visit to my PS today and... Went to my now weekly visit to my PS today and again everything looks good. There was one little cabby spot left that was a superficial area of necrotic tissue that came off earlier. Dr. Kim kind of cleaned it up a little with some more snipping and everything underneath it was a good pink color. Everything is healing well. I still have the stiches from last weeks procedure, but expected that because it's only been a week. He gave me some silicone sheet strips to put on my scars underneath and on the sides which I'm supposed to use at night. Overall, nothing new to really report...THANKFULLY! School started on Wed for kids and it's only been two days and I am exhausted already. Thank GOD it's a short week! My PS is going out of town next week, but I'm going in next Thursday so the nurses can take a look and then I see him the following Thursday again to probably have the stiches removed. I'll post new pics this weekend. Updated a couple of pictures today to show my... Updated a couple of pictures today to show my nipple/areola improvement. I noticed an internal stich comming up today on my left areola. I'm not really worried about it, but I go in on Thursday, so maybe they will remove it. Went for my all to familiar weekly update today.... Went for my all to familiar weekly update today. My PS is on vacation, so I saw the nurse. Nothing really new to report. I'm happy with that. She removed a couple of stiches that were starting to poke out. Said everything looked good. (no infection, etc) Back at the same time next week to see my PS. I don't know what it would be like to go a week without going there. lol I'm updating with a couple of new pics today. ... I'm updating with a couple of new pics today. It's been just over two weeks since the removal of a large section of necrotic tissue on part of my areola. Things are healing well. I just want to keep adding pics each week to show improvement for those who may go through something similar. From my experience, I was completely devastated at first and now I see so much improvement. I noticed a few days ago that my nipple is actually working (It reacts to cold), however, it's just not really in the right location because of the removal of tissue and then being stiched up. Will have to wait and see if it lowers a little. I've pretty much decided that I don't want to mess with it if I don't have to. It'll just be off center. I was expressing my concern about this with a friend over dinner the other night. Weird? Anyways, she held up a french fry that was a little curved and said, " you know most guys aren't perfectly straight either, if you know what I mean, but it doesn't mean it doesn't work just as well." It was a good laugh. Nobody is perfect! My pigment is starting to come back and I still have an area where tissue is still filling back in. Stiches should be out next week. 6 weeks post-op ***added photos*** Went for my... 6 weeks post-op ***added photos*** Went for my weekly appointment to see Dr. Kim today. Everything is healing wonderfully! He was very pleased with how everything looks. Thinks there is a very high possibility that I will need NO revision. My pigment is comming back and fingers are crossed that it will in ALL areas. I have been cleared to do whatever I want! Running is in the very near future, swimming, and so are whatever friggin bras I want to wear. YAY! I had the last 3 stitches removed today and there has been a little drainage from them. There is some very hard tissue right around my proplem areola that, from what Dr. Kim said, is probably some necrotic tissue. The expectation is that it will soften up and re-absorb. So, my Thursday afternoons are now free. I don't have to go back for an entire month. I almost feel like it is bitter-sweet. The nurses and I were joking about how weird it will be not to see each other every week! I asked what the heck I'm supposed to do now with my time. haha. Seriously, I've been there once or twice a week for the last 6 weeks. I think when I go next month, I'm going to bring all of the nurses something to show my appreciation to them. They have all been so wonderful to me. Just feeling happy overall. I went through some ups and downs, but pretty happy with how everything is going. My daily dose of of being told how skinny and amazing I look really helps. I love my co-workers! I also had the first comments from a couple of former students today (8th graders whom I had in 6th grade). They just complimented me on loosing weight and looking really great. They were very sweet! I hope that if anyone else has to go through some of the partial areola loss that I went through, they can see that all is not lost. Went for my first run today! YAY! I wore a super... Went for my first run today! YAY! I wore a super tight sports bra, and went slower than I did before, but it was great! AND.... my back didn't hurt from running! I'm probably going to be sore tomorrow though! Today we were off from school due to TS Issac. No... Today we were off from school due to TS Issac. No worries! We just got some wind and rain. Since I was off, I figured I would get into my PS office to get the one stich that was poking out pulled. Turns out it is what is called a running stich. The nurse just trimmed it and it's supposed to dissolve at some point. No worries. After that, I went and found a couple of bras. One is a wonder bra and one is a push up bra. lol I never thought, ever, that I would own those types of bras. So, I decided to take a couple of pics. Oh, I forgot the best part...$15.00 for both bras...

Oh, I forgot the best part...\$15.00 for both bras today! Unbelievable!

Went shopping today and was actually measured for...

Went shopping today and was actually measured for a bra. The lady measured me at 38 C, but I tried on a 38 B and it fit. I almost cried bc I really wanted to be a full C/ small D. And it appears that I am a full B/ small C. I know that all bras vary, but I wasn't trilled w that B cup. The others ,C's, I was fine with. I guess I get what I get. Lol.
In healing news, everything is great. Nothing looks really much different. Still not sure what my right areola is going to wind up looking like. Time will tell :)

4/20/13 It's been 9 months now. Everything has...

4/20/13

It's been 9 months now. Everything has healed very nicely. On my last visit with Dr.Kim, I expressed a desire to to have the dog ear fixed and the scar slightly adjusted to fix the uneven part of the scar. So on 4/18, I had a scar revision surgury. It brings back the memories of the pain from surgery, but definately not as bad. Just uncomfortable. The revision took less than an hour and was done in the office with a local anesthetic. Once I get the stiches out, I'll update with new pictures. You can't really see much now because it's covered with steri strips. I did have issues early in recovery with necrotic (dead) tissue on my areola. Some of the tissue was removed and then re-stiched. Although my nipple is now slightly off center, I am not going to have any corrective surgery to fix it. It is noticable by me, but does not seem to be an issue for the guy I am dating. Also, \it would require a lot to fix. Both nipples have complete sensitivity back and they seem to work noramally. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the procedure and am looking forward to the end results of the revision surgery.
Michael K. Kim, MD

Dr. Kim and his staff have been wonderful. I have had a minor complication, but trust that everything will be great. Dr. Kim called me several times in the days after my surgery to check on me. After a follow up appointment where I had to have some tissue removed, I was a bit emotional after Dr. Kim left the room. When I got home, Dr. Kim personally called me to make sure I was ok. He spent about 10 mins on the phone with me going over the issues and resolutions, as well as comforting me with how I was feeling. That call just made me feel so great about my having Dr. Kim as my PS.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times