"The breasts of a 17 year-old!" I swear...that is what he said!- Iowa

I had my initial consultation with the plastic...

I had my initial consultation with the plastic surgeon on Thursday, June 30. After years of thinking about it, I was finally ready. I was nervous that I would not have enough documentation ready for the insurance company. My problem is that I work as a nurse for my primary care provider, so a lot of my discussions with my doctors have happened around the lunch table (we have very few secrets in our office!) I do have some documentation of manipulations to my back and exercises that were given to me, but that was from about 3 or 4 years ago. I took a letter from a previous co-worker/PA and my mammogram reports that described my breasts as very dense and fibrous. I had my approval two weeks later.

I am 40 years-old, have had 4 children, like to try to stand tall enough to be called 5'1" and weigh about 140, with a bra size of a very full 34H. I remember being in 5th grade and being teased that I looked like a boy, but when I started 6th grade they teased me about stuffing my bra! And from then on I have been what some call "blessed" As a teenager, every boy thought I was a brainless tart who adored their drooling. My husband of 21 years, spent our first couple of years together "defending my honor." The best thing in the fashion world that has ever occurred was when they started selling swimming suit tops and bottoms seperately! In the 80's you couldn't buy a size 3 bottom and 13 top, unless you bought two suits.

And I can't decide which is worse, the psychological trauma or the physical trauma. I have not been able to run since I was about 11. I did not participate in sports in school. As an adult it has become increasingly difficult to exercise. I do like yoga, but any cardio exercises are not only painful, but embarrassing to do in front of other people! Mid & upper back pain have been steadily increasing over the last couple of years, and I'm noticing that it is becoming more difficult to stand with straight posture. I have talked about a reduction for years and my husband has always been supportive. However a few years ago he watched some show on cable which showed a reduction and it totally freaked him out. The part about removing the nipple is what bothers him the most. I think he is very nervous about it. I will admit that in my research I did watch several on YouTube and I was a little taken aback at first as well. But it gave me a good idea of what I will be going through and what to expect afterward.

So here I am, one week to go and I'm still ready to do this. The surgery and recovery do not make me nervous. I think I am most worried that something will go wrong and they won't look good, I know it sounds shallow. As ready as I am to get rid of these things, they have defined me for about 30 years. I'm worried I should have lost weight so I don't look fat afterward, as I've always had quite a difference between my breast and my tummy, but I have been calming my nerves with sweets so that weight loss I was hoping for hasn't happened!

I'm hoping to end up a C-cup, but from what I've read some people are either left a little bigger than they wanted to be, or wish they would have had more taken off, so I'm going to be very clear in reitterating that I would rather be a large B than a small D.

Will keep updating as I go along...or as any new thoughts pop into my head. I think everyone around me must be sick of hearing about it, so it was wonderful to find other people who are obsessed with boobs as I have become :-)


This is it...I will be heading to Des Moines in...

This is it...I will be heading to Des Moines in just a few hours! Can hardly believe that after all of these years I am finally doing this! I'm incredibly excited...a smidgen nervous...but totally ready to get this show on the road!

Going to try to get a little bit of sleep, but figure if I can't its no biggie since I will sleep most of tomorrow anyway!

I'll be in touch in a couple of day :-)

Just got home a couple of hours ago. I feel pretty...

Just got home a couple of hours ago. I feel pretty good actually. I wouldn't call what I am feeling even discomfort, more just like a tugging, tingling pressure around my nipples.

The biggest problem I have had is trying to stay awake, they think this might because of the combination of anesthesia and hydrocodone since I have never really had a pain medicine. I'm going to switch over to Tylenol #3 and see if that helps me to be more alert.

Other than that everything has gone very smoothly. Doc did tell me that tomorrow would probably cause me more discomfort, but after that it will be smooth sailing!

Doc also told my husband that he is a lucky man, because he is now married to a woman with breasts like a 17 year old. My husband resonded by saying, "Her breasts didn't even look that good at 17." I don't know if I should be insulted or flattered!

So if there is anybody out there who is on the fence about this, so far my recommendation would be to just go for it! I can tell a difference already. I actually got a pair of pajamas that have a button front so it would be easier to slip on and guess what...a size medium fit me without stressing the buttons, and it is even a little bit baggy in the front! Can't wait to be healed so that I can shop, shop, shop for clothes that will actually fit me!

I'm almost two weeks post op and I will say that...

I'm almost two weeks post op and I will say that its pretty amazing how good I feel. I have said that I almost wish I was in a little more pain because I know I have been too active. My biggest issue has been getting my sleep schedule adjusted(obviously since it is 4:30 in the morning and I'm still awake!) I had a reaction to the Scopolamine Patch they gave me prior to surgery and it caused me to sleep almost continuously for two and a half days and now I tend to be mixed up on my sleep cycle and am having some difficulty with that, but am going to have to get it straightened out before I go back to work.

I go back to see Dr. Cherny on Tuesday, August 30 and am anxious to see how he feels I am doing.

One thing I did find was that wearing a seatbelt is excruciating right now. Was able to get a Waiver Form that I carry in my billfold that had to be signed by my primary care doctor. I hate not wearing it, but it rubs right on my nipple and really hurts. Though when someone else is driving I do put in on around my lap and just hold the shoulder strap down(too hard to do that though when I'm driving)

Had my two week follow up today. Everything went...

Had my two week follow up today. Everything went very well. Sutures were taken out of the nipple. That stung a little, but I was just glad to know that there is still plenty of feeling there :-)

Doc is really happy with my incisions. Even to my oh so critical eye, there are places where you can hardly tell there was a cut at all, so that is very encouraging. I'm to start my scar treatment today with a silicone based cream called "ScarZone" I had already bought some other products, but this is what they asked me to get. It was over the counter and actually less expensive than some of the things I already had, and I figured since I was paying him the big bucks for his opinion, I should just do what he says.

I will go back in two months for follow up, sooner if necessary. On my long scar under my right breast there is a bulge/pucker that he is watching. If it doesn't smooth out at my appointment in two months he is going to numb it up and trim that off. He said it would just require a couple of stitches and can be done right there in the office, but that it should resolve on its own as everything starts to settle in to place.

My incisions are healing so nicely that I was released to raise my arms and can lift maximum of 10 pounds per arm. Another two to three weeks before I can vacuum (though I did manage to do that yesterday with some modifications) or exercise. Will probably go back to work full-time next week after Labor Day.

At this point I can't say enough how happy I am with my results. My breasts feel great and look FABULOUS! And the one little area that isn't perfect bothers the doctor more than it does me and he is intent on correcting it if necessary. Dr. Cherny and his staff have been spectacular to work with and I couldn't have asked for better care.

I am posting my 5 week post-op pictures. I think...

I am posting my 5 week post-op pictures. I think my scars are looking really good. My right breast still doesn't have the perfect rounded shape of my left one, but that isn't such a concern for me, as PS said it would be easily fixed at my next appointment if necessary. I'm not sure how well the redness will show up in the pictures but it is in the lower half of each breast, not an infection or skin irritation, just appears to be my tissue's healing reaction.

I am a bit concerned that I am still measuring at a full DD. I have great hopes of being a C-cup and am trying to not get discouraged. Though a quick peek at my before pictures proves that I am smaller!

Over the weekend I did have an issue with a stitch that popped through my skin. It was the first pain that really bothered me. I went to the surgeon's office on Monday evening and he made quick work of getting it out. Pressure was instantly released and I felt much better.

I'm still very happy that I had the surgery. I feel so much better. And I guess I must really look better because a patient at work last week (who doesn't know about my surgery) told me that I looked like I'd had a complete makeover! And I sorta feel like I did :-)

I rearranged my pictures so that it is easier to...

I rearranged my pictures so that it is easier to see the progression of healing. I started with the frontal view, then left breast, then right. Since I have so many pictures I thought this might make it easier to compare and see the changes. Plus it helps me to realize that while I'm still larger than I ultimately hope to be, I am certainly much smaller than where I started!

OK girls 2 1/2 month post op pictures have been...

OK girls 2 1/2 month post op pictures have been posted. Still some swelling, and sometimes they seem to swell throughout the day, like today when I tried on a bunch of bras. In my frontal view picture you can see the ridge left by my bra around my nipples and that seems to be from the swelling. Its not just a bra mark, it is an actual indentation but there is no redness to it.

Had follow up this morning and doc is very happy with my progress. I will go back in February for a 6 month follow up and at that time we will discuss taking care of the puckering on the sides, as he thinks that will smooth out a bit yet and may not really be such an issue after all of the swelling goes down.

I've been meaning to go through my EOBs from the insurance company to get the total cost charged vs what I actually had to pay, but haven't yet got that done. Will try to do that this weekend.

Have to say that I'm ecstatic about the procedure. In the last two weeks I have been shopping by myself 3 times (something I never have done before) and have spent a ridiculous amount of money on cute, fashionable clothes for me! Totally exciting and my husband likes the clothes so much that he has yet to have a stroke when he sees the receipts :-)

OH! And I had another first today...While eating my lunch a piece of tomato fell off my sandwich and landed on my....wait for it...LAP! I have ruined many shirts with food, but never a pair of pants!

So here is the breakdown of the actual cost of my...

So here is the breakdown of the actual cost of my surgery:

Plastic Surgeon:Charged $4,320.00
Ins Allowed $2,475.00
Ins Paid $2,103.75
My Bill $ 371.25

Surgery Center: Charged $11,040.00
Ins Allowed $6,612.85
Ins Paid $6,520.59
My Bill $ 92.26

Anesthesia: Charged $1,005.00
Ins Allowed $ 915.00
Ins Paid $ 777.75
My Bill $ 137.25

Just got my last EOB: Pathology Charged: $480...

Just got my last EOB:
Pathology Charged: $480.00
Insurance Allowed $302.00
Insurance Paid $287.00
My Bill $ 15.00


So total charges were $16,845.00
Insurance Paid: $ 9,687.09
My Our of Pocket Cost $ 615.76

OK girls. I have found a wonderful sports bra....

OK girls. I have found a wonderful sports bra. Wish I had it when I was fresh out of surgery. It is a back closure, so if you are just out of surgery you will need help with it, but it is very comfortable, has a wide band underneath, and has a lot of support, and it is very smooth, so it doesn't jab in to you at any place. It is a Jockey C-cup & Up super shaper sport bra.
Here is the link: http://www.jockey.com/products/C-cup-Up-Super-Shaper-Sport-Bra
Hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

So tomorrow I will officially be 6 months post-op....

So tomorrow I will officially be 6 months post-op. I had my follow up with my PS today.

As some of you know I've been a little disappointed in the fact that I'm still a quite full 34DD. Now I'm happy I'm not still an H, but DD is still pretty big on a 5 foot nothing girl :-)

I spoke with Dr. Cherney today and I explained to him that I'm thrilled with the shape, and could not be any happier with my healing and scarring, but the fact that it is still difficult to find a bra has caused me some frustrations. He then explained to me that he took as much as he felt he could while still maintaining a healthy amount of circulation...which I'm so thankful for because that is probably why I've healed so wonderfully!

So what we have decided to do is a bit of liposuction on the outter potion of each breast and under my arms. I did not want to go back to the hospital for more surgery and also had concerns about losing any sensation or circulation. He said that he could do lipo all over each breast to reduce them more, but I was then worried about losing some of the shape and fullness and about any sagging that may occur, so we came to the decision that if we just take the tissue under my arms and a bit from each side that I should be able to maintain my shape and at least get comfortably in to a DD :-)
I think I'm satisfied with this conclusion. He is providing his services free of charge, though I do have to pay for the equipment, which is about $400(ridiculous I think, but will be well worth it if I can eventually buy a bra without trying on every one in the store!)

Beyond that I have to say I'm thrilled to have done this! I am so much more comfortable! Even though I'm still considered large my pain is practically gone. And guess what!? I've started running!! ...OK, really not running yet, but a running program that is suppose to help me be able to run for 20 consecutive minutes within ten weeks. That's pretty good for a girl who has never in her life exerted any real effort in fitness :-) I can trudge along that treadmill and my back, shoulders, and neck don't hurt. And it's not embarrassing to be on the treadmill in front of my boys! Though my youngest son did tell me yesterday that either I start wearing a bra again under my pajama tops or he is going to quit wearing underwear LOL! Guess he doesn't care how proud I am of them :-D

Sitting at the surgeon's office. They are running...

Sitting at the surgeon's office. They are running about an hour behind so I won't be going back for at least another 30 minutes. Good thing there is a Menard's close...my husband was getting antsy, so I sent him to run errands :-)

Hello Ladies! I am home from my lipo. The surgeon...

Hello Ladies! I am home from my lipo. The surgeon ended up being 2 1/2 hours behind schedule. So though I was suppose to be there at 2:00, I didn't end up going back until 4:30 and I walked out at about 6:00. The procedure was pretty painless. The numbing with the Lidocaine was the worst. They gave me some Valium before they started to relax me and let me tell you...I now know why so many stressed out mothers of the '70s loved that stuff...cuz I'm as loose as a goose!
Anyway...I forgot to ask how much he sucked out, but it didn't really look like alot. They did say they don't like to take a bunch at one time because it can leave indentations, so if after four weeks I still think they need a bit more removed I will go back and he will do it at no additional charge until I am satisfied. And the pain wasn't so bad that it would keep me from doing it again.
I'm in a compression garment for 2 weeks with 5# weight restriction, but can resume activities as tolerated...though don't think I will be able to tolerate vacuuming or laundry for quite some time :-D

I am now 9 months post-op and I'm very happy that...

I am now 9 months post-op and I'm very happy that I had the surgery. I have been a little disappointed that my size is still larger than I had hoped. However a 34DD is significantly smaller than a 34H!
I did go in about 2 months ago for some lipo to the sides of my breasts and that did take some fullness out, but I haven't gone down even a full cup size yet. I went for a follow up with my PS two days ago and he suggested a revision as probably my only real option to get me down much more. The procedure would be done at his clinic. I would have an intrathecal for anesthesia, he would make the incisions along my previous lines and take tissue out of both the inner and outer aspects of each breast. I have scheduled the procedure for June 15, but after talking with a friend, who's opinion I really appreciate, I have decided to give myself the summer to think about this decision. Like she said, I haven't even given myself a chance to get use to the new me. I need to get acquaineted with my new breasts, instead of just seeing the flaws with them. And I really don't want to be recovering during the summer when I will want to be on the lake or riding roller coasters with my boys. I have told myself that I won't make any decisions until August 17--which is my 1 year mark.
I appreciate everyone's encouragement and advice. I have posted 9 month pictures(I hadn't realized I hadn't added any since the 2 1/2 month mark)

OK Girls, the picture I just uploaded is for all...

OK Girls, the picture I just uploaded is for all of us...those who have left our old breasts behind...and those of you preparing to...hope it gives us all a smile even when our anxiety is the worst!

Today on the spur of the moment I went bra...

Today on the spur of the moment I went bra shopping. I drove an hour away to go the the Hanes/Bali store. I spent almost 2 hours trying on every bra in the store. But guess what...I found 4 bras that were very comfortable and while I was only going to buy one, I decided I was worth all four! One was a Champion that is just like one I ordered from Amazon and I really like. I also got three Bali bras: One Smooth U, One Smooth U Lift, and Passion Comfort. In addition to that I also got a pajama set. And you know what? All of that only cost me $75.50...that is what I would spend on one bra before my surgery. Two of my bras were 34DD and two were 36D...one is light green, one is blue with polka-dots, one is boring beige, and one is...giraffe print! Totally cool, huh?
And since I was so happy that I found some bras I went on over to Vanity Fair and got six shirts, a pair of sunglasses, and....wait for it...a swimming suit...off the rack...and it was on sale for $30.00! Last year my suit cost me $142
So all in all it was a pretty good day!

OH YEAH...forgot to mention the little nightie I...

OH YEAH...forgot to mention the little nightie I got too. Never had one of those before! Lets just say it was well received at the premiere!

Des Moines Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Cherny did a great job. He is a soft spoken man that puts you totally at ease. During my initial visit he spent at least an hour with me, discussing what I wanted and answering my questions. I even asked him why he doesn't do a specific reduction technique, and he honestly said that while he had tried it, it wasn't a procedure that he was comfortable with or even mastered and felt that the inverted T worked much better for him. I really appreciated his honesty with that. I was released from the hospital the folloing morning and then went to his office to have the drains removed. Everyone at the surgical center and Dr. Cherny's office was very considerate and caring. I would definitly recommend Dr Cherny and the surgical center to anyone! As for the items I marked at a 4, those are the services that I haven't yet dealt with very much.

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
4 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
Was this review helpful? 11 others found this helpful

Comments (370)

Sort by

I think you look fabulous and the DD's certainly don't look ungainly and oversized, but perfect!
  • Reply
Hi Iowa :). So nice to hear you are in a happy place with your lovely girls. :) (((hugs)))!!
  • Reply
Hey Ana! I was just ogling your amazing figure the other day! You look so great! I truly am in a happy place. I think I needed some time with just me and my girls to come to terms with how happy I was with them. Now I am so use to them and the new me and that is a great position to be in. Hope you are feeling as FABULOUS as you look!
  • Reply
You're too kind and sweet as ever!! I'm doing really good, thanks. :). Happy and enjoying the new me. I'm still in the mindset of "damn, I can't believe how much better life is with smaller boobs!" I get those Awww moments :).
  • Reply
Just ran across your story. It is much like mine. I had my BR on 10/24012. Just last week I had lipo in hopes of decreasing the width and under arm boobage. I go back to the office for follow up tomorrow. Had a question... Do u recall how long after your lipo you noticed a difference? Other than major bruising, I see no difference. I am wearing a DD bra mainly due to the width. Summer is approaching and I fear I might not fit into the tank tops I was so looking forward to wearing for the first time in 20 years. I may decide to do revision surgery after the summer but hesitate As I lost nipple sensation in one breast during the BR. I don't want to risk losing both! Would love any info you can give in regards to how you feel now and if annoying has changed a lot.
  • Reply
I didn't have any major reduction from the lipo. I was rather disappointed by that. However, my impression of myself drastically changed when I put on that swimming suit last summer and felt so good in it! I may not have been as small as I wanted to be, but with my breasts in the perfect position, I felt amazing! Even at a DD, clothes fit me so much better and I don't have the back and shoulder pain that was a constant companion. I don't think I will ever be the C-cup I had so dreamed of being, but I have come to the conclusion that it is ok. With that being said though, I totally understand where you are coming from. How did your appointment go? What did you decide? How do you feel when you are in your clothes now. Do you feel too large, or can you see the difference? What size did you start at?
  • Reply
One option that my doc did give me was having a smaller revision done that he could do in the office. It sounds as if you still have a wide base, and I wonder if that would be an option for you. He said he would make a football shaped incision on the side of each breast, remove tissue to make that area smaller, and then suture it. Did your doctor suggest anything like that? It's not as invasive as a full revision, doesn't affect blood supply to the nipple, but you could remove a decent amount of tissue.
  • Reply
No, he didn't suggest this but I go back in a month and ill be asking. I am not doing any more surgery u til summer is over. Did you have this revision? If so were u pleased?
  • Reply
I did not have the procedure. I decided to stop after the lipo. As much as I loved this site, I did have to take a break from it for awhile. I found that I was absolutely obsessed with breasts...mine and everyone else's...and I found that once I took that break from constantly looking at them and comparing my results with everyone else's that I was much happier. I started focusing on living, and not just mu bra size. I don't say that to discourage anyone from using this site, because the information and encouragement I received her was invaluable to me. But I did find it very addictive and all-consuming. I think that waiting until after summer will give you a chance to get use to your new self. How much tissue did you have removed?
  • Reply
Wi agree... The longer I have my new breasts the longer I think they might just be ok... Pre op I was a 38 DDD. BUT I stuffed my saggy breasts into it and the popped out on the sides. Without a bra my breasts were droopy but not wide at all. I ordered my bathing suits from Europe as they make a great underwire suit. I ordered an American G I believe. My PS remover 1000 out of each breast for. Total of 2000 cc. He thought h was only going to need 700. I'm thankful he "thought again" and took more! In the lipo he took out 250 TOTAL but I am not sure if that includes the liquid he injected too. I see very little difference since the lipo. Looks like I might be able to wear tank tops now though. The breast reduction mashed my breast high (which I love) and wide. Like you I love this site. It has been e trembly helpful especially when I was recovering and having all the odd pains and mishaps. I didn't know I could look at so many breasts and still want to see more haha. I don't frequent it as much as I did right after surgery... I am definitely going to wait awhile before making any decisions. Hopefully shedding 25 pounds will help as well. Thank you for your encouragement. It is really appreciated!
  • Reply
One of the things that I found was that the lift I got with the reduction helped to boost my self-confidence significantly! The fact that I can take my bra off, and my nipples don't swing at my belly button is a tremendous feeling! Have a great summer enjoying the new you! I bet that after the next couple of months you are going to know what is right for you. Good luck!  
  • Reply
Hey Iowa, I just had to come back here and tell you that you and I look pretty similar in our breast size and shape! Like you, I didn't get the 'perfect C' I was seeking, but, realistically, I don't think that was really possible considering the severe ptosis of my right breast, especially. I feel so much better when looking at some of the other ladies here, including you, that seem to be about my size. Hey, we DO look pretty good for our age, huh? I had no trouble with healing, and I'm so happy that I went ahead with my BR!! On another note, don't know if you realized this or not, but I am now unable to add any more updates to my review. I really wantd to continue documenting my journey. Is there any way I can start a new review like Piggles did? I will try again today, but have not been successful in the past. I'll let you know how I make out!
  • Reply
Hey, summer's over, what have you decided? I'm a H too, I hope to be a b/c so I totally understand that you weren't happy with a DD but I bet you look great. I can't see any pictures though?
  • Reply
After refreshing the pics were there?? You look amazing. It looks like a very good quality job and seeing you in those bras esp the polka dot is beautiful. Makes me excited!
  • Reply
Hi Disprop. I couldn't have asked for a better quality job. My scarring is minimal and my shape is natural. I have full sensation, and it is actually even better than it had been prior to surgery. You have probably noticed that I took some time away from RealSelf, and I have found that the break has actually helped me to put some perspective on my breasts. I think I was just obsessing about not only my own, but everyone else's too. But during this time off I have come to accept them with less negativity. I certainly wish they were smaller, but if they were smaller I could also have many of the other undesirable side effects of the surgery, so I am content with where I am.
  • Reply
Thanks for taking us on your journey! It is nice to hear stories that are not just fresh post op that the time has lapsed. You look great!
  • Reply
Thank you so much, Cat! I'm a year and a half post op and feel great. I'm so thrilled with my healing and couldn't have asked for a better recovery. Wishing you just as much luck!
  • Reply
Hi!! What scar cream did you use? You look great!
  • Reply
Oh, Thank you so much, Twisa! My PS recommended I use ScarZone. You can get it over the counter at Wal-Mart for just under $10. It is a silicone-based cream. I used it twice a day once my incisions completely closed. I also was conscious to massage my incisions while in the shower. I used firm circular motions all over each incision to help break up the scar tissue. Good luck!
  • Reply
Hi Iowa71 - you look amazing! Thanks for sharing your journey. It's great to read about your experience over a long period of time. Hope you're doing well!
  • Reply
Thanks, Lucky! I am doing well. I know I have been extremely fortunate in my recovery and my results.  It did take me a little while to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't the much-dreamed-of "C-cup" But after a bit of a pity party I really am happy with my results!
  • Reply
Your results look fantastic! Thanks for being so supportive of us all and taking the time to answer questions. So happy for you! And I agree, you now have the breasts of a 17 year old!
  • Reply
Thanks, Biddy! I'm so thankful that I had the surgery. Wish I hadn't waited so long, but know that I truly appreciate it now because of the years I spent suffering. I hope you are as happy with your results as I am with mine. Feel free to holler out anytime I can be of help!
  • Reply
Thanks, Ann! I appreciate that so much! ...Now if I just had the fanny and thighs of a 17 year old!! Hope all is going well for you! How are you feeling now that you are past the first week?
  • Reply
Haha! Do breast reduction patients become plastic surgery addicts? After have my BR, I've been thinking of other things I'd like to "fix." ;) I'm feeling alright, but the numbness feeling of my breasts is kind of going away and I've been feeling more discomfort now than I have before. My left breast still feels harder than my right. Did you have one that did that during the healing process? I see my PS on Wednesday.
  • Reply