No Longer Have to Cross my Arms to Hide the Girls! - Halifax, Nova Scotia

I am 43 years old, 5'7" and 166 lbs. I was flat...

I am 43 years old, 5'7" and 166 lbs. I was flat chested all through high school, but in my early twenties they started growing....and growing....and growing. It is a family curse! By my late 30s I was a 36E/F depending on the bra. I finally asked my Dr about a reduction and she put in a referral. In my province in Canada it can be covered by insurance if you meet the criteria, but there is a long waiting list. After almost 3 years, I finally saw a plastic surgeon in Dec 2013, and 6 weeks later. I had the surgery!! It's been a whirlwind, but a good one. Since I love seeing what everyone else is going through at my stage of post op - I thought I would share too. So here it is:
January 16th, Surgery Day:
A friend dropped me off in the morning. I am very independent and didn't see the point of anyone hanging around waiting all day. I sat in pre-op for hours, and was petrified that someone was going to come say, "There's been a mistake, you're not approved after all." Or that it would get postponed. But finally my surgeon came and did the markings, and soon after I was taken to the OR. Next thing you know, they are waking me up. For a brief minute I thought, "Oh no, they couldn't it" but then I was snoozing again. I snoozed the entire two hours I was in recovery, and then I was wheeled to my room. That was around supper time. My parents came to visit for a bit. I started throwing up from the anesthesia, and I had increasing pain in one breast. By later in the evening it was so bad I could hardly move my arm. The painkillers weren't working, and I was alarmed because I wasn't expecting this much pain. By morning it was decided that I had a haematoma, and within an hour I was again in the operating room! I had been warned that this was a possible but rare complication...luck me :( However, after I awoke from that surgery, the pain was 90% better. And feeling better, I finally got a good look at myself in the mirror. Even with the swelling and the bandage wraps, I was floored by the difference!

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First 4 weeks

After two nights in the hospital I went home. As I live alone, I stayed with my parents the first night. Slept a lot. The next day I had them take me to my place, where it was basically lots of the same - sleep. I was really surprised by how much it all took out of me, as I am a very active person. The pain wasn't too bad. Mostly just random, sharp, shooting pains that lasted seconds, not really any constant aching or anything. By the third day I was able to zip up the compression bra I had bought before the surgery, though it was VERY uncomfortable. Not so much in the breasts, but across my ribs. The ribs actually hurt a lot more than the breasts did. In fact, now at almost 4 weeks that is still the case. I had no feeling at all on the skin from the nipple down to the middle of my ribcage on the left side, but I knew that was a possibility, so I wasn't worried.

I ended up taking a couple more days off than planned, so a full week of work plus 2 days. I figure having had to be under anesthesia twice probably wiped me out more than just the one surgery would have. Honestly, that first week, other than being uncomfortable all the time, and having to sleep on my back, wasn't so bad other than the fatigue.

I went back to work during the 2nd week post-op. The first day I left an hour early, but I made it through the full 8 hours the rest of the week. As far as changes to the breast, the bruising was pretty much gone except one area on the breast that had the haematoma. The swelling also decreased significantly, and by the end of that week I gave up on the compression bra and switched to a couple of wireless Bali ones I had picked up.

I got my external stitches out on day 13, and they also snipped some internal ones that had broken the surface. The surgeon thought everything looked great and said he didn't need to see me for 4 months, which kind of surprised me. When I got home that night I was finally able to get a good look at the incisions, now that the steri-strips were off. Wasn't as bad as I was imagining, but not pretty either :) I saw someone else mention this in a post, and it was so true for me too - for the first few days after the strips and stiches came out, I was afraid of falling apart - physically. Like it would all just open up. It was a strange feeling, but is gone now.

Now I am at almost 4 weeks. I am now wearing regular, wire-free bras during the day, and the Bali ones at night. I can sleep on my side comfortably, but not on my stomach yet. The incision lines look pretty good to me. I keep non-adhesive padding on the lines under the breast, as no matter what bra I have on it seems to irritate. I have regained some sensation in my left breast, though some areas still feel a bit numb, sort of like you've had freezing by the dentist.

All in all, I have had a pretty great experience, other than the haematoma. I am still amazed when I see myself in the mirror. It is like it is someone else's body some times. I have to remind myself that they are mine to keep :) I can't wait to get back to the gym and see how it feels to workout without being embarrassed by my bouncing boobs!!

If anyone is planning to have the surgery and has any questions, please feel free to ask. I found this site incredibly helpful - stayed up late the night before the surgery still reading stories! And it is still helpful to read and see what others at the same post-op point are feeling.

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What a huge difference in your pictures! You must be thrilled with the outcome. My surgery is on 3/3. I am starting out a 38I, the surgeon said she could get me into the D range. I am really hoping for the smallest D possible. I would love to end up as small as you did you look great.
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Thanks so much! I am very, very pleased with my results, and so far the recovery has been easy, with all of my incisions staying closed and dry from day one. You only have a couple of weeks to go, how exciting!!! I hope you love your results as much as I do - I will watch your profile to see how you make out :)
Thank you very much!

I have passed the four week mark!

I officially passed the one month mark on February 13th (and one month from the haematoma surgery on Feb 14th) and I must say, I feel 90% back to normal. I have been sleeping on my side for the last week, and this weekend I slept on my stomach! I couldn't stay that way long as it started to pain a little after about 30 minutes, but it was a great change!

My incision lines took great. You can barely notice them at all around the areaola, and the other lines are a light pink color. No redness, no scabs anymore. Nice and flat. I have not done anything with them, as in oil or tape or any of the things I have seen mentioned, since they are doing so well on their own. If anything changes, maybe I will try something.

I still have pain in my rib cage area. It was started to get better, but then I had a bad flu with a bad cough, and that seemed to irritate all over again. It is sore to the touch, but nothing I can't handle. Still, I really wish it would get better. I am nervous to work out for fear that I will irritate it more.

I still have some random, shooting pains now then, and I still have a fairly large area of numbness on my left breast from the nipple right down to just below the horizontal incision line.

One areola is larger than the other, and the smaller one has a slight pucker at the top, but those things don't really bother me - small price to pay, completely out-weighed by the benefits this surgery has provided me with!

Still amazed every day by the change, and love being able to wear any style top I want. I can honestly say I haven't had a single moment of regret since the surgery, and I hope those waiting to have it will feel the same joy soon :)

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Backwards

I just realized in the past day or so that my right breast is a bit larger than my left. I was expecting them to be different, but the funny thing is that before surgery, my left breast was much bigger, and the surgeon thought it would still be bigger afterward. In fact, I think he said he removed more than double the amount from the left side than the right. I have always been used to the lefty being bigger, so it is funny to have them switched! That is my random thought for today :)

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Mine did the same thing for a while, still changing and swapping places as it were. swelling going up and down. someone said think of them as sisters, not twins. i like that! i am happy to accept a small difference in size, nature gives 25% of women that anyway.
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My surgeon actually made the same comment about sisters and twins! I expected them to be different, and like you said, I am more than happy to have them like this than how they were before :) And the difference is pretty slight anyhow, probably I am the only person who would notice because I am always staring at them, looking for changes, lol.
I know the feeling....big love affair!!!!

Bra Shopping Fun at 5 Weeks :)

Last night I bought 5 bras for $80 in total! That is less than the cost of one of my old bras, which I either had to order online or buy at an expensive boutique. I couldn't believe what I have been missing out on all these years - Calvin Klein bra for $10!!! The big bras never go on sale!! Can you tell I had fun shopping?

At 5 weeks today and all is well, expect my ribs. The darned rib pain is, pardon the pun, a real pain in my side. It is still very tender to the touch in one are of the rib cage and is a tiny bit swollen, and it is preventing me from getting back to the gym. I don't see my surgeon again until the end of May (apparently when you don't go to a private clinic, they don't follow up much - one appointment at 2 weeks to have stitches removed, then no more check-ups for 4 months!) so I am not sure if it something I should call about, or just wait a bit longer and see if it gets better. I know the rib pain is common, but anyone still that tender at 5 weeks?

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So happy to see you doing well - this surgery is a true blessing !!!
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Thank you, and yes, it is definitely a blessing! I just checked out your profile - what an amazing difference!! You look fantastic :)
I am not having rib pain now, but I remember it with my first BR and it was because the bruising fluid had slipped down with gravity and settled on my ribs. I had no boob pain but can remember feeling like someone had jumped up and down on my ribs. Is that how it feels to you? What size a re you buying in bras and are you wearing wires this soon?
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Check Up

I decided to call my surgeon's office and see if I could get the rib pain checked out. It seems to be getting worse, and the area of discomfort larger, so I guess it can't hurt to see what he says. Am able to see him on Tuesday. I am so anxious to get back to the gym, so I'd like to see what I can do about this problem.

Last night I tried on one of my old bras. Hard to tell in the picture, but there was a LOT of extra space, lol. The blue bra is my favorite of the new ones I bought the other day. Simple but comfy, and the color is pretty. I love being able to wear the plunge style!!

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What a "huge" ;-) difference. You have a great shape in your new $10 bra. I can't wait to buy my first inexpensive bra in my life!. 9 days and counting for my BR.
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You don't have long to go!! I hope the surgery goes well and can't wait to hear what you think of your results! It is so freeing and amazing, I am sure you will be happy!
Thank you so much. It seems like all I can think of, is the upcoming surgery. So far, I am leaning towards excitement more than nervousness. I can't wait for my huge difference. One of my issues is I am allot bigger on one side, so I haven't been able to wear an underwire. I have been stuck with a minimizer bra and uniboob for the last 15 years. YUCK!

6 Weeks!!

Well I have officially passed the 6 week mark! I saw my surgeon earlier this week about the pain over my ribs, and he thinks it is phlebitis - inflammation of a vein. He told me to use warm compresses and ibuprofen, and the compresses actually seem to work. Either that, or it is has finally run its course, because it is getting better for sure.

I finally went to the gym!!! I would have gone earlier if hadn't been for the rib pain. It felt so amazing to get some exercise again. I did a Zumba class, as they are less high-intensity than other classes I like. Other than a couple of twinges, it was like a pre-surgery workout....other than the fact that when it was time to "shake it", the girls didn't shake ;)

I have been very lucky. I love my new size, I wanted a B cup and that's what I got. Other than the haematoma, everything went smoothly and I never had an opening of my incisions, or any drainage. I couldn't be happier, and I hope everyone out there waiting for their "big" day is as happy with their results as I am.

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You look fantastic! Thank you for sharing.
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Thank you so much! I just read your profile and it made be smile because I am also a BRA HOARDER!!!! And the bad part for me is that I think it has gotten worse since the surgery! I had to buy my old ones in specialty shops and they never went on sale....now I can get my size anywhere.....I have already bought 12 and I can't even wear most of them yet because they have underwires! Hope you are as thrilled with your results as I am - will watch for your updates :)
Congratulations! You look great and are lucky you're already back to exercising. I hope I do as well as you. I can't wait to get off the wedge pillow!
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8 Weeks!!!

Well, I've made it to 8 weeks. I really don't have anything new to tell. I have been very fortunate to have such an amazingly positive experience (other than having to have the haematoma surgery the day after the reduction!) and such great healing. Honestly, my swelling was pretty much gone by the first month mark, and other than the fact that they have dropped and softened up - they actually jiggle now if I shake them, instead of seeming like stone - they really haven't changed much. They were a size B right after the surgery and still are. I asked him to go as small as possible, and he exceeded what I hoped was possible. Scars are fading to a nice pink color and losing their redness. Still get the odd random pain or sore spot, but have been sleeping on my stomach and doing everything I did before the surgery. Except wear an underwire - wore one for a few hours at an event and it was very uncomfortable. Can't wait for the day when I can! Take care ladies! Hope everyone else feels great at the 8 week mark!

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You look nothing short of fabulous in your blue bra. I would love to be able to wear something like that but alas even after my reduction I am still too big for that type of bra.
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Glad to hear you are doing so well! I am 11 weeks post-op and have been wearing underwires for several weeks now. At first I would bring 2 bras to work just in case I got uncomfortable. No issues for quite awhile, but my incisions are above my breast fold so the underwire may not bother me as it does others. I have not had a professional bra fitting yet, but I am not sure I am going to change shape/size much more.
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all great, i believe 4 months is recommended point for bra fitting and underwires
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I have a problem....

I can't stop buying bras!!! Every time I go out, I buy another one! They are cheap, and I am in love with the "B" on the tag :) (And I have started wearing all the pretty underwire ones when I go out on the weekends, and even to work sometimes, with no issue) Hope everyone out there is having this much fun!!

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Thank you for the review. I am already eyeing bras and I'm not having surgery until the 27th. I do believe I will also not be able to stop biting them once I know which size to buy!
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I see you have had your surgery now - hope the healing is going well!! I am at 5 months now and have quite a collection of bras.....more than 25 so far, lol :)
You look great! Nice to hear about when you started working out, I'm anxious to get going again, too. You will have a wonderful summer with all your cute tops and B bras!
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Dog Ear Revision

It has been 5 months now since my surgery, and I haven't updated in a while as everything has been just fine. Still get the odd zinger, and breasts are more achy with my period than pre-surgery, but scars are looking good and still thrilled with my results. I went for a checkup 2 weeks ago and mentioned to the surgeon that I had a "dog ear" on one side that bothered me - my underwire irritated it. He said it would be no problem to fix - and in fact he has done it already! I went on Tuesday morning and he froze the area, removed the excess skin/tissue and stitched it up. So easy. I can't see the incision because it is covered in Steri-Strips, but it isn't very big at all. Will just make my scar come out a little further towards my side, but I would rather that than the little bump I had. Stitches out in two weeks, and I don't think I need to see him again after that. I am thankful that I was paired up with this surgeon as he did a brilliant job, never rushed me when I had questions, and had a great bedside manner.

Hope all of you are doing well. I am going to read some updates to catch up on everyone I've been following on their journey!

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A few photos

Here are few new photos and one old one to compare scars.

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Looking Good!!!!
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Looks like you are healing beautifully
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Another Nova Scotian here. I am a 34FF and hoping for a C or D, but if they can go smaller I would be happy with that so it's great to see that you got to a B! I have already bought 6 sports bras and 2 surgical bras for after surgery. I can't imagine once I know my actual size how many bras will be added to the collection. Thanks for posting, it really does help to read other peoples stories to know you're not alone.
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Dr. John Stein

I only met with my surgeon once before my surgery date, but he spent a lot of time going over things, explaining every thing in depth, showing me before/after pictures, etc. And the results are spectacular. Better than I had every imagined. I told him I wanted to be a B cup, and he said that was not likely possible at my pre-op size. However, last week I bought a 36B and it fits perfectly :) Also, my incisions look fantastic, and bruising and swelling were minimal. Bruising was mostly gone in one week. I would definitely recommend him! My only issue was that I was sent home with very minimal instruction. In fact, all the sheet the nurses gave me said was "No shower for 72 hours. Wear sports bra 24/7." That was it! Noting telling me what to watch for in case of infection, nothing about not lifting or raising my arms, etc. He told me some of that in the first appointment, but that was 6 weeks prior. A detailed instruction sheet or booklet would have been great. That is the only reason I gave 4 instead of 5 stars.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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