No More H Cups, Ready to Live Without my Own Body Holding Me Back -Illinois, IL

About me: I am 25 years old and 5'9". Before...

About me: I am 25 years old and 5'9". Before surgery I joined weight watchers (I highly recommend the program) and lost 30lbs. I started at 220 and pre surgery I was 190lbs. I wanted to lose 40 before the surgery so further loss will not deflate my new boobs but -30lbs is still a victory, can't complain. My goal is to be around 140lbs within the next 2 years and my huge boobs have been holding me back from exercising for too long.
After having big boobs for years I decided to end my back pain, shoulder grooves, and activity restriction with a reduction. I went from a 36H to a 36 ? I'm not sure what size I'll be until the swelling goes down. I'm most excited to begin exercising again. Hopefully it will be easier to just go and work out without having to spend 15 minutes pulling on super tight sports bras that pinched and bulged and left red lines on my band line. I ran a half marathon a few years ago at 180lbs and it chafed the hell out of me. I played soccer tennis and swam competitively through out high school and college and have dealt with this problem, looking back I don't know how I tolerated them for so long. I really believe that I'll be able to throw on a sports bra and go run with ease.
Some pros:
No more unsightly bulging, $50 bras in only 3 colors (tan, white, or black), giant cups that are bigger than my head. No more people gawking or making jokes about them. No more wearing deodorant under my boobs because they sweat like extra arm pits. Before surgery I refused to go bra less due to the weight of my boobs pulling on the skin of my chest being so uncomfortable. I don't hit my legs with my boobs when trying to shave. I look 10-15lbs lighter and all my jackets and button ups fit so much better. No more special ordering bras and swimsuits from Europe. No more boobs sticking together in the summer or chafing. No jumbo bras peeking out from under shirts, dresses, thin strapped tanks, etc.

Recovery: The best part about recovery is that I get to wear regular (from a normal store!!!) sports bras that don't kill my shoulders like my old bras. Although I did buy the genie bra and still had to get a 2x, which is still a bit too small. Not amused by that bit of irony...
The worst part is the itching and sleeping only on your back. I am a stomach/side sleeper and sitting/sleeping on my back for so long actually made my butt and tailbone hurt for the first few days. Also, when the tape and bandages are taken off for the first time they look terrible. Like so terrible that it freaked me out and I had to sit down for a minute.

Pain management: After the first two days I switched from taking norco to extra strength Tylenol and sometimes Aleve for swelling. The norco made me very nauseous and I didn't eat from the night before surgery, 12/19 at 11pm, until 12/21 in the morning. I couldn't walk to the toilet without seeing black spots. However I did drink a minimum of 2 liters of water everyday which helped a lot. I was seriously constipated from the meds and didn't have a decent BM until Christmas Eve. The doctors need to inform patients of this side effect because I didn't know that this could happen until I read some reviews here!! I ate a bunch of fiber one bars which helped my digestion get back to normal. I only iced occasionally when under my arms hurt. That part has swelled the most, around the bottom of the anchor incision line under my arms. My incision lines and around the nipple are still puckered and sore to the touch. This bothers me and I can't wait for the scars to flatten out. Today is 12/30 and I haven't needed to take anything daily for pain for a few days. Usually I take some Tylenol as needed if I've done a lot of walking/light activity that day. I get some "zings" of pain sometimes, usually in my nipple area, but I've read that is normal and means the nerves are healing. Also, sometimes my nipples are really sensitive to the point that it is a bit painful. It's not terrible pain but it is uncomfortable. I'm just happy that they have feeling in them at this point.

Showering: I got to shower on Christmas Eve which is a cumbersome process but felt amazing after so long. I usually point the shower head towards the wall and guide the water where I want it to go with my hands since I don't have a handheld shower head. I use the standard recommended procedure: wash above your boobs/on your upper chest and then let the soap run down, repeat with water to rinse. My doctor didn't tell me not to lift my arms and a lot of reviews said that I shouldn't but I was able to lift them over my head from day one. (I try not to do it too often though) I didn't have any pain washing my hair. Actually the entire showering process was pain free which surprised me. I was expecting the water and soap to sting on my stitches.

Healing: I posted some after photos that show my healing after 9-ish days. The doctor told me that the dark spot on my medial right breast is normal and should go away soon. My stitches are still intact, I have the dissolving kind. I have one good nipple that is healing brilliantly and one "bad" nipple that is a little dark and crusty but still healing well. The pictures show that I am still yellow from the bruises but it is decreasing by the day. Healing is slow and tedious since I feel good enough to do everything as normal but I still have to restrict myself which is frustrating at times. My doctor told me not to get my heart rate over 100bpm until I'm cleared to exercise so I've been feeling pretty lazy. I don't take my age for granted, I know that my recovery is easier than many others due to the fact that I'm younger than the the average BR candidate (most are 30-45 yrs old). I'm used to healing in a few days, not a few months!

Overall, I think that surgery is really worth it. Even while I have sore stitch lines, bruises, swelling, and nipple zingers, I am already more comfortable in my day-to-day life than I was before the procedure. The first few days are a bit rough but once you tune into your body and your healing process, it is actually quite easy. (Plus everyone else has to shovel the snow because I can't lift anything for a while. Heheheh) 9/10 would recommend

Some more details that I realized I forgot to put in my review a soon as I hit submit:

-My insurance, BCBS, is covering 80% of the cost.
- During surgery 800cc was taken out of the right side and 808cc was taken out of the left.
- My doctor prefers to not use drains. I'm glad he doesn't like using them because I'm sure that I would be too fidgety to tolerate them for very long.
- I was sent home in just bandages, not a surgical bra. I'm not sure how common this is but I had non stick gauze directly over the incisions, regular gauze wrapped around like a bandeau and around my neck like a halter top, and then an ace bandage over the top. The nurse cut them off at my first visit post op.
- The surgical bra I was given at my first post op visit, 10/23/13, was so so awful! It was a weird shiny fabric which wasn't so bad itself but the straps had Velcro on the part that sits on top of your shoulders and it was so itchy and scratched my skin. I threw it out the day after I got it...so if you're having surgery stock up on comfy bras ahead of time just in case.
That's all I could remember for now, if I think of anything else I'll have to post is later.

Photo update

It's weird posting photos of your boobs on the internet, Hahah! :-P
So some parts of my incisions are scabbing over and getting tighter feeling. Like they pull more if I overreach or move the wrong way. I think this is normal plus the weather here is really cold and winter is pretty dry in general.

Dissolving stitches kind of suck

My stitches have been coming out at different rates since about a week and a half after surgery. Especially at the T, aka underneath my boobs where the anchor stitches come together. I have some loops sticking out on the left side but now I have a gooey, yellow patch where one of the long stitches fell out a few days ago. It looks gross but doesn't hurt as there's not much feeling on the underside of my boobs since there's still a lot of swelling there. It popped up between Sunday night and Monday evening, probably because Monday was my first day back at work and it was exhausting! I was not expecting to feel so tired. Luckily I see my doctor tomorrow for another post op check up so I can ask him what to do and if it's infected or not. I don't have a fever so I think i should be ok for now.
It's a bit upsetting since I was healing so well with literally no complications or incisions popping open. I've been rinsing the gross area with some Band-aid wound rinse stuff, dabbing neosporing on and around the area, then covering it in sterile gauze so it doesn't get fuzzy from my bra/clothes. Other than that I haven't used neosporin for any other areas, but I did dab some coconut oil on my nips because they're so dry and flakey! It looks so gross and I don't want them to get itchy because having itchy nipples in public is the worst!

Other little details I've forgotten to include~

- I had to run out and buy a New Year's Eve dress last minute so I went to Target and grabbed anything I could find. The good part is that usually I would have to get an XXL or larger just to fit my boobs but I got an XL, tried it on, and it fit perfectly! Victory!
- I used to have a mole on my left boob that was about the size of a nickel. I completely forgot about it until a few days ago but it's gone! I'm not sad about it, it's just something random Ive had my whole life and completely forgot about.
- In case anyone is waiting for surgery and wondering about their stretch marks, yes, they're still there and visible after surgery. There's a lot fewer of them and you can't see them as much because my boobs stand up on their own now. When they were larger they were saggy and the skin pulled downward makes a depression where the stretch mark is. But now they're not saggy anymore so voila, less visible marks :)
- The worst thing about surgery, probably the only con, is that making your boobs smaller makes your stomach look larger from the side. I was looking in the mirror post surgery like, "wow I look 10lbs lighter!" But then I turned sideways and was like, "whooooaaaaaa! Wtf!" So I'd like others to mentally prepare for that...because I wasn't ready! Haha!

3-4 week update!

Days 14-22 were definitely more painful than initial post op recovery and the week after. More sore, not as many zingers but soooo achy. Now I'm sleeping on my side more. I woke myself up a few nights ago bc I tried to roll onto my stomach while asleep. Ouch... Over stretched my scar tissue and it woke me up from pain. But overall I probably take Tylenol for boob pain 1-2 days a week. I got some Victoria's Secret sports bras and bandeaus this past week and they fit!

Is it just me or....

Am I the only one who just wants to be 100% healed and completely back to normal like RIGHT NOW!!! It creeps me out how I don't have feeling in the scar tissue, I'm sick of my one overly sensitive nipple (the other one is fine), and I've gained weight from the holidays and lack of exercise!!!

Rant over. Sorry guys...
On a happier note here's a pic of me wearing my first bandeau EVER!

More photo updates

I'm waiting at the ps office for a post op visit so why not update my review, right? I had to put on one of those awful paper vests for the first time since before surgery and what a difference! Also, an updated front shot.

I got cleared to exercise today!!!

Bought a spinning bike on amazon last week so I need to test this bad boy out!

Ouch...

Today was a random sore day of epic proportions! I couldn't even put my hands over my head bc everything was achey. I think I've been rolling all the way onto my stomach at night and then I wake up feeling like a human punching bag. Otherwise everything is pretty normal. I've noticed that the nipple on the side that had a harder time healing is a bit numb unfortunately, while the other side is super sensitive. I've been massaging everything so here's to hoping I have normal sensation and appearance within the next few months.

Picture updates

I haven't been on this website much mostly because I don't think about my boobs 24/7 anymore like I did pre-op. It's funny how much they dictated my actions and behavior as silly as that sounds. I like how they're settling and filling out into their tear drop shape. I will have to go bra shopping again soon because the 2 vs bras I got in size 38DD are both gaping in the cup and they feel too big around even though they are fastened on the smallest hooks. Hope everyone is having a good new year so far since we're already into February (!! Can you believe it?!)

Oops!

More pics

Still not thinking about my boobs update

I'm getting ready to move out of my parents house again after moving home for 8 months to save up for my reduction. I moved a handful of boxes up and down the stairs and didn't wear a bra!!! Victory! Also my scars are more red than usual these past 2 weeks which seems to be a trend this far along. I've been using bio-oil and Mederma alternating days and haven't noticed anything yet. (It's too soon to see changes anyway) Most of the sports bras I bought the week after surgery are now too big around so I'm planning a trip to the store after all this moving chaos is over. Even after my reduction I've found that I'm not a huge fan of Victoria's Secret bras but I sill have $100+ of gift cards from Xmas to spend!! Good thing they also sell clothes and undies ;)
Like I said in an earlier update, I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about my boobs and now it's like they're a normal part of me that don't require constant accommodating. Love it!
Rockford Plastic Surgeon

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