Life-changing.

By the time I was 16 I was a DD. I remember...

By the time I was 16 I was a DD. I remember massaging my breasts at night because I'd read about tribeswomen in a National Geographic magazine who did so to make their breasts long and tubular. I thought that if mine were saggy at least I could disguise them better. Now I'm a 32E and, at 5'9" and 135lbs, losing weight doesn't improve the boob situation. People tell me I don't "seem like a big-boobed girl" but I can tell. I hunch. I perpetually have ribs out of place on my chest and see a chiropractor regularly.. and most of all, I'm just uncomfortable in my own skin. I look at my chest and I don't feel like it should be mine. It belongs in Playboy - these enormous, ridiculous tits. I want to wear spaghetti straps and not look like a porn star.

I've consulted with three plastic surgeons over the past 8 years. The first told me it wouldn't be covered by insurance because it wasn't medically necessary (this was before I developed the chronic back issues). The second was at a teaching hospital and I got an entire class of college students ogling my chest. I never went back. The third actually seemed ok. He was friendly and so was his nurse, but my recommendation came from a friend who'd had a nose job, so I was leery. I mean, he might no his way around a face, but can he deal with nipples?

I haven't seriously considered it in a couple years, but I'm back around again and here's my question... am I crazy? Is it worth it? When I broach this question with most girls (not that I talk about it much... but when I do...) I feel guilty because most of them think I'm being ungrateful for a wonderful gift... but they feel like such a burden to me. I feel like they're completely disproportionate to my frame - aesthetically and structurally. You can see the pictures- I'm puttin' myself out here. What do you think? Is it in my head?

But then, if I really am a good candidate for a reduction, I admit: I'm terrified. I'm afraid of huge scars and losing sensation in my nipples. In fact, I keep picturing my nipples, cold and severed, on a tray next to the operating table, and that could be the single most limiting factor to pursuing it any further.

So, in conclusion, I don't know what I'm looking for here...except some objective opinions on the tatas themselves and some insight from women who've done it. I've looked at the photos and read the blogs, but tell me... how was the long term recovery? A year later, how are the scars? How did you choose your surgeon? Can you feel your nipples? (this one is important to me)

Thank you ladies. I'm immensely appreciative for all of you who have been so forthcoming and vulnerable. It can be difficult to get straight answers. I'm happy to have a place to ask them.

Went to see a PS today and SHE. WAS. AWESOME. I...

Went to see a PS today and SHE. WAS. AWESOME. I spent more than 2 hours in her office- most of the time with her. The good news is that I feel 100% certain I've found the right person. After talking to two others, she is the first that made me excited about the procedure- and confident that we have the same vision for what I want to look like afterward. The bad news is that, while my right breast is firmly in the range that insurance would cover for my height and weight, the amount she would need to take out of the left is significantly less... almost 100g difference. So we're seeing if insurance will cover the right side, and I'd cover the left. Otherwise, I'm considering doing the whole $5,000 out of pocket. I mean, I spent more on my car... and I don't get to keep that forever! New boobies are a much better investment, right?

Ok...I need some input... I called today to...

Ok...I need some input... I called today to schedule the procedure and they gave me a date that's about a week and a half away and I thought I was going to faint. I'm not taking it- I think I need more time to prepare myself-but here's my question: is it normal to want the surgery, but also feel ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED? I know I want smaller breasts- I'm done with all the pain and discomfort, but I'm scared of all the "what if's" about surgery: what if I'm too big? What if I'm too small? What if I have complications? And then there's all the other questions - how bad will my recovery be? How bad will the pain be? Is there anything I can do beforehand to make my recovery easier? How long will it be before I can look at my scars and not feel nauseous?

I think I'm fully freaking out at this point. Is that normal, or does it mean I'm not ready?

OMG OMG OMG OMG... I just called and scheduled it....

OMG OMG OMG OMG... I just called and scheduled it. October 30th. I feel like I'm about to jump out of an airplane.

Ok, this is completely stupid, but I just thought...

Ok, this is completely stupid, but I just thought of it... if I can't lift up my arms, I can't blow-dry my hair! Told you it sounds stupid, but I have short hair and it looks soooooooooo bad if I don't blow-dry and straighten it. How long will I have to walk around with dumb hair? (ie. how long before I can wash and blow-dry my own hair?

Hey ladies, I have to call on Monday to make the...

Hey ladies, I have to call on Monday to make the down-payment... that's my NO TURNING BACK point... so I've been researching my doctor obsessively. As I said before, I chose her because I thought her work was beautiful- really nice scarring, symmetry and shape, and I felt so comfortable with her during my consult. She was incredibly attentive and spent so much time making sure I was comfortable. But here's the thing- I haven't been able to find any reviews about her online, except one person who gave her a low rating because they had complications and felt her post-care wasn't good. Now I'm sort of shaken- how much stock do I put in one review? How much info did you find on your doctors before your surgery?

Hey there, I keep thinking of questions! I know...

Hey there, I keep thinking of questions! I know what my PS has said, but I guess I'm wondering what's normal... Two questions: Where did you have your surgery? Office, outpatient center, hospital? Did you stay overnight? Did you go home with drains or did they take them out before you left?

My PS will do the surgery in a surgery center, but I'll stay the night, then I have been told they will remove the drains before I leave the next day. Normal?

Also, did you see your PS before your surgery? I...

Also, did you see your PS before your surgery? I mean, aside from the initial consult, and then on the day of...?

I want to shut my brain off, but the closer my...

I want to shut my brain off, but the closer my date gets, the more I feel like I'm in an all-out panic. Here's what it is today: I've noticed that most of you have had pre-op tests... bloodwork, EKG, etc. My PS hasn't ordered any of that for me because, as she says, I seem young and healthy. My freak-out is this: three years ago my leg was swelling up, so I went to a doctor and he told me it was fine and sent me home without tests because I seem "young and healthy." The problem didn't go away, so I did my own research, insisted on a test and, sure enough, I had a blood clot in my leg. I was on blood thinners for a year. I guess I just get nervous now when doctors make assumptions based on how I look- especially if it could mean complications during surgery. Am I overthinking this? Over-reacting? My surgery is next Tuesday, is it even too late at this point to have tests? My heart is fine- that one I'm sure of. I had to have heart tests during my blood clot debacle, so I've heard within the last couple years that my ticker is fine...

I got a private message from someone tonight who...

I got a private message from someone tonight who said that I was having "disassociation" with my breasts, that I would regret a breast reduction, hate the outcome, and should NOT have the procedure. She said to just "embrace" my natural beauty...among other things...

Ok, so that is SO weird (not to mention wildly insulting to suggest that I'm getting a reduction just to feel pretty) and I'm sort of wondering if this is a random spammer or something. They have no history on the site and just joined today. I sort of hope I'm not the only one who got this message... but, then again, I hope no one else is upset as I am to get such a creepy note from a stranger...

Ok, Tuesday is the day! I'm excited and incredibly...

Ok, Tuesday is the day! I'm excited and incredibly nervous all at once. Thoughts, prayers appreciated!

Well, it's done. Full disclosure, I am completely...

Well, it's done. Full disclosure, I am completely grumpy. Yesterday was sort of terrible. Everything started really well. I wasn't nervous going in and woke up well, minimal pain and the nursing staff was wonderful. Within a few hours, though, I developed a massive hematoma on my right breast, so at 9:00 last night I had to go back into surgery (12 hours after the first) to get opened up again and remove the bleeding. The second procedure took almost as long as the first because it took them more than a half hour to intubate me. When I woke in the recovery room I was so cold and in so much pain I thought my teeth were going to fall out from chattering, and the nurses were SO unresponsive. They weren't any better in my room- even though there were two of them, the only reason I was able to go to the bathroom was because my husband helped me sit up and steadied me while I walked- while they just stood and did nothing. They didn't even plug my IV in when I returned- again, my husband had to do it. Despite the EXTREME pain and dryness from my touch intubation, they wouldn't let me have any water until I ate a cup of ice chips (I didn't have any nausea) and then when I did ask for water, repeatedly, it took them almost 45 minutess to get it to me. Worst hospital experience ever. Hopefully no more complications so I can get the hell out of here and never come back.

Home now, which is great. I'll post pics soon. I...

Home now, which is great. I'll post pics soon. I think it's funny that, despite the fact that my chest was cut open twice, it's my throat that hurts the most! ha... sort of ironic. Did anyone else have a tough time with intubation? And SWELLING- jeesh, I had no idea I'd have so much swelling in my face and arms and legs. Also, did anyone else get migraines from the Percoset? I swear, the boobs aren't bad- it's just everything else that's killing me right now ;) Oh, and I can't feel my nipples yet. Thoughts on that?

Well, it's day 4 and I'm just now beginning to...

Well, it's day 4 and I'm just now beginning to feel how I expected I would feel during recovery. Things were a little tougher for the first few days because of the extra surgery, but my PS said that was to be expected. At this point I can get around pretty well, just tired and still find myself getting dizzy and weak at times. On the upside, I LOVE the new girls. I'll post a picture soon. One's still incredibly bruised from the hematoma, but I really like the size and shape :) I'm wondering what your Post-op experiences have been like? What was challenging? What was helpful? What kind of instructions did you get from your PS (I got about 20 pages of info, but I've found it really difficult to navigate)...

Went to class for the first time today (I'm a full...

Went to class for the first time today (I'm a full time student). Can't believe how tiring everything is! And how out of breath I get all the time. Doc says it's normal, especially considering the amount of blood I lost, so I'm not worrying too much. I feel like I'm calling my Dr's office all the time to ask questions. The post-op instructions they gave me are just so long and confusing. I thought I was a pretty smart person 'till I had to muddle through Dr's office paperwork...ha. Is that just me? I just think there's got to be a better way to administer post-op instructions... did anyone else have a hard time with that?

Today marks exactly two weeks since my surgery....

Today marks exactly two weeks since my surgery. Healing is going a little more slowly than I expected, especially on the right side - but I expected that since I had to be opened up twice there. My steri strips are just not giving up the ghost! I know I should be glad to have them as long as possible, but they're itchy and drive me nuts. I can't wait for them to come off. As I'm healing, I'm noticing some asymmetry with my nipples. The right one is a little more oblong than the left. But, again, I guess I expected some problems from having the second surgery and, at the end of the day, I'm just happy that I ended up with exactly the size and shape I hoped for. I LOVE the way my clothing looks on me now. It's like I got a whole new wardrobe! I had a white sweater with navy stripes in the back of my closet that I loved, but never wore because it looked silly on my big chest, and now it looks GREAT. People keep asking if I've lost weight.. I guess I did, but not the way they think! I'm so so so happy I did this. I'll be really interested to see how my back problems do. It's hard to tell a big difference since I still have to wear the very restrictive surgical bra. I'm looking forward to the lightness of the flimsy little bras when I'm finally healed up!

It's week three and I'm so happy with how my...

It's week three and I'm so happy with how my healing is going. I saw my PS late last week and she removed the rest of my steri strips as well as some of the hard scabs on my incisions. The right side is still healing a little slower-the T-scar is still open on that side and I'm still numb around the top of my nipple, but I really couldn't be happier. Wish I'd done this years ago!

I could not be happier with my experience with Dr....

I could not be happier with my experience with Dr. Kelley. From the first consult I knew she was different than other surgeons (I consulted with three before her). First, her staff was wonderful and made me very comfortable. No one seemed rushed or impatient. When Dr. Kelley came into the room she was the same way- kind, patient and attentive. She answered all my questions and the appointment didn't end until I felt completely comfortable. When the surgery came around, she was really good about keeping my husband informed, too. I had a complication with my surgery, which I don't believe is a reflection on Dr. Kelley's skill (her record is fantastic); complications can occur with any surgery- but I am SO pleased with how she handled it. She addressed the issue right away and went above and beyond in my post-op care to make sure the rest of my healing went smoothly. My results are WAY above my highest hopes or expectations. Dr. Kelley really listened to me pre-op and gave me exactly the size I hoped for. And she is more than a surgeon- she is an artist. I've looked at a lot of before-and-after shots of breast reductions and results like Dr. Kelley's are rare- the symmetry, the shape and the scarring are incredible. I have seen her several times since my surgery and I thank her every time and have to hold back tears- I'm just SO happy with my results. If you are considering breast surgery in the Indianapolis area, please consider Dr. Kelley. I didn't find very much information about her before my surgery- she doesn't market herself very much- but I'm so happy I went with my gut and chose her. She is kind, compassionate and so talented and dedicated to what she does. Five stars!

Hey ladies! Question for you all: My healing has...

Hey ladies! Question for you all: My healing has been going really well, and then the other day I started having yellow discharge from my right breast below the nipple and at the T-scar, which still isn't closed. I know some of this is normal, but I'm wondering, if any of you had this, how long did it last? I'm going on four days and I'm not terribly worried, it's just gross and I want it to go away...

On that icky note, happy Thanksgiving! ;) Hope you all enjoy your turkey day.

Life-changing

I can't believe it's been two years since my breast reduction. I have to say- the surgery was difficult for me, and the recovery was harder than I expected. But there's not a day that goes by that I'm not incredibly thankful that I took the leap. I still can't go to Target without browsing the lingerie section- where I can now purchase a bra... right off the rack! I am thrilled by spaghetti straps, or no straps at all. Every once in a while I don a push-up bra, just to relish in the fact that I'm not suffocating in my own cleavage.

The best thing, though, is the incredible boost in confidence. I recently got divorced and have been dating again after 13 years with one man. At first, I was nervous about my scars, which, on my fair skin, are still very visible. I have been surprised, though, at what a complete non-issue they are. One man told me that mine are the most beautiful breasts he's ever seen... even with the scars. I took my first beach vacation last December and proudly wore a string bikini, and I LOVE shopping again. Everything fits!

I want to say a HUGE "thank you" to all the wonderful ladies who took the time to answer my questions and to provide support and encouragement. Surgery is a difficult and scary thing... I couldn't have done it without this amazing community.
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

I am so glad I found Dr. Kelley. I've been considering a breast reduction for almost 10 years and have consulted with many other surgeons around Indianapolis, but never found one I was as comfortable with. Right off the bat, she took more time with me than any other surgeon- almost two hours in her office for the initial consult! She was very patient, kind and thorough in answering all my questions. In the end, my insurance wouldn't cover the procedure, but I liked her so much I went for it out of pocket. Since her initial consults are so long, she doesn't typically do a pre-op appointment, but she took the time to see me a couple weeks before my surgery to answer my last-minute questions. On the day of surgery she was wonderful, too. She was very good about giving my husband information and taking the time to answer all of his questions. She takes a little longer with the surgery than other plastic surgeons, but I really appreciate that because her results are beautiful. Of all the surgeons I looked at, her work was the most symmetrical, with great shape and size. My results are amazing- it's only 1 week out, but I am thrilled with the size and shape- she really listened and gave me more than I hoped for. But here's the biggest reason I would recommend her: in surgery, there's always a chance of complications, no matter how great or experienced the surgeon, and I think it's very telling how a surgeon responds when a patient has issues. I happened to be one of those people who had a complication. A couple hours after my surgery I developed a hematoma in my right breast. Dr. Kelley's record in this area is stellar- the last time she had a patient with a hematoma was four years ago- that's excellent for someone who performs breast surgeries as often as she does, but I was just unlucky. Here's the thing, though, within 15 minutes of the nursing staff calling and reporting my symptoms (they hadn't even unwrapped me to check out the whole situation) Dr. Kelley returned to the surgery center to check me out- and then scheduled me for surgery THAT NIGHT to correct the problem. I've read other cases where women have gone for days with hematomas, and I certainly wouldn't have blamed her if she wanted to wait - it was a very long day for her. Her attentiveness and after care through the whole situation was incredible. She came back to the hospital the next morning to see me, then called to check on me the day after I got home, made time to see me when I got my drains out (even though seeing her nurse would have sufficed), and still kept my scheduled follow-up appointment a couple days later. At NO point has she felt rushed or impatient. Every time I see her it seems like I'm her only patient. I really couldn't ask for better care, or better results. If you're considering breast surgery in the Indianapolis area, I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Kelley. She has been wonderful through this whole process.Updated on 19 Nov 2012:I LOVE Dr. Kelley. She changed my life- no exaggeration. The outcome of my breast reduction was beyond my wildest expectations, and she has been wonderful through the entire process. I HIGHLY recommend her.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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