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finally!!!! - Iowa City, IA

So, after years of waiting, I have finally decided...

So, after years of waiting, I have finally decided to take the big step, and get my breasts reduced. I'm35 years old, 5'2, and wear 44G. I'm one of those girls that went from nothing to a "C". Training bra, you ask? Never heard of it. Even years ago, when I was smaller waist size, my breasts were massive, and I'm amused at how many conversations happen to them, instead of to my face.

Counting down...

I swear, my friends and families are going to get tired of discussing my breasts :) . Thanks to so many informative posts on this site (thank you to all of you!), I think I'm really getting a good idea of everything now, including questions I never thought to ask before.
One thing that does make me nervous is getting "sick" after I wake up. I'm terrified of vomiting, so that is a bit of a nerve-wracking thought. But my mom will be with me for the surgery day, and the doctor has told me I will be staying overnight in the hospital, so she will bring me home the next day. My thirteen year old is on vacation the first five days after, so she can help me at home.
My surgeon did recommend I get another ultrasound before the surgery (I can't do mammograms apparently. I was told by a technician years ago that they were to dense to get a read). I'll call my PCP tomorrow to set that up, or possibly my gynecologist? I'll figure that one out.
Now I'm just waiting for the insurance to go through, which he seems to feel is not a problem. Then I can "confirm" the date they have me penciled in, and go from there.

Pre-op with PCP

I called my PCP today to set up for the PS's requested ultrasound, and was told I had to have a pre-surgical exam within the two week period before the surgery. Good to know, since I haven't heard about this before, and I work out of town. I was able to schedule for my next day home (the last day off before expected surgery date.) I think I had better call back and let them know they need to go ahead and schedule ultrasound and any other tests ahead of time at the local hospital (not where I am doing surgery), because I won't have time to take another day off before surgery.
Now I'm a little worried. I'm overweight, and the PS does not see that as an issue. I just hope the PCP doesn't. Another little bump in the road...

Insurance Approved!

Insurance approved the surgery. so I called to have my surgery date set! Definitely October 16th, at 7:15 AM. Yikes!
I am a little peeved, because I mentioned to the scheduler (very sweet) that when I called my PCP for the ultrasound, I was told that I had to have the pre-surgical exam within the two weeks before exam. She was all "Huh??" So I explained that they told me I had to see them and have some form filled out and she had no idea why I had to get that done. I just saw them in January, and visited my gynecologist two weeks ago.
She was checking to see what day to do post-op, since doctor is gone for two weeks before surgery, and she wanted to make sure his PA was there. So I think that I'll call back tomorrow to speak to the PA. She was who pointed out I would need a new ultrasound, so if she does the post ops, I figure she'll know what's up for sure. Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal, but I work an hour away from home, and I'm really trying not to blow PTO time at this point. (I'm having the surgery where I work, not the horrible hospital at home.)
Aside from that- I'm excited!!! And scared.... But excited!

oops

I meant we were scheduling pre-op, not post op. I'm not that fast!

Ah hah!

The PS said I don't need a pre-surgery eval with my PCP, since other than being overweight I don't have any existing medical issues. They will do what they need at pre-op visit, which is MONDAY!

I tried to call the gyno to schedule the ultrasound, who decided the PS's office needed to schedule that. So I'll deal with that on Monday.

Time is flying!

Pre-op visit

So I went in for my pre-op visit on Monday. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update about it!

They checked my blood pressure, weight, meds, etc. Then I stripped down to the lovely poncho top (which is clearly NOT made for large breasted women! Er...Hello!! I did mention that to the nurse). The PA came in, and we discussed general anesthetic, filled out paperwork and all that fun stuff. I confirmed that I will stay overnight at the hospital, and that they will put a surgical bra on me. She tells me I don't need any maxipads or other padding, unless I feel the bra is rubbing. What does everyone think on that one?

She also said I could fully shower within a day or two of coming home. That seems a bit early, especially when he and I already discussed some likely healing issues since I don't heal very quickly from wounds. I'll check with him on surgery day. Writing a list to bring with me.

Then the nurse came in. No reason to get that pedicure (darn it), because I can't have ANY nail polish on. She handed me a container of Hibiclens (smells yucky) to wash with the night before and morning of surgery. Also, no deodorant. Not a surprise, but I'm sure glad it's October! We discussed my concern over nausea afterwards, and I will talk to the anesthetic the morning of surgery. She thinks they can put a patch on, but says they rarely have much trouble with that.

One of the girls at work has been an absolute doll, and brought me in some dry shampoo she loves. Since I'm a wash the hair daily kind of girl, that will be a relief. When she said no washing my hair the morning of, I was kind of bummed, so I know that by the time I get home, it will be driving me nuts!

I'm getting more nervous as the days click by, but I'm excited too! I keep wondering how it will feel to not have such heavy weights dragging my shoulders and neck down!

One week from today...

I'll be done with surgery and spending the night in the hospital! I'm a little scared that something will go wrong and I won't wake up. Is that awful to admit? But I just keep reminding myself that it will all be okay.
Today I finalized my time off at work. I'm taking just short of three weeks off. The doctors I work with, my co-workers, friends and families have all been really supportive, so that's great! My thirteen year old is sick of hearing about it- LOL! I know I need to pick up medication for constipation (blech). But I think I have just about everything else under control. Going to clean the house this weekend so it will be fine when I come home. Books already ordered for kindle on their release dates. Bills all paid. My parents are coming up with me, and my daughter will stay with her other G-ma, since she's off school that week. I have a friend/ my kid/ parents all checking in on our pets. All in all, I really hope I'm about ready to roll! Now it's just waiting for the days to tick away!

2 day pictures

2 days later

So, I was very nervous before the surgery! We got to the hospital at 5:15am, for the 7:15 surgery. Dr. Laurence came in and marked me up, all the nurses were helpful, and the anesthesiologist was great. I was asleep right after I got to the surgery room, of course, and woke up in very mid pain in recovery. Aside from having to go to the bathroom every half an hour (which was a challenge having to bend without causing pain!), everything was great. No real pain. I was discharged by 10:30 the next morning. More detail about that later, because I'm sore right now! Yesterday was a bit more painful, but today is the most uncomfortable.
I did take a shower this morning, as he said I could. My poor thirteen year old had to help a bit. Dr. Laurence did tell me that my breasts should smooth out, but since I had so much skin and didn't want the nipple graft, the nipples are bruised and the skin around the nipples a bit pintucked. That should settle in time.
I can't believe how small they are! Now I have to work on losing that tummy!

day 4 pics

Day five post op

All in all, I think I'm doing pretty well for five days out. No nausea or vomiting, and I feel pretty okay. Definitely some trouble moving around, and I'm not able to drive well due to meds and/or some discomfort trying to move arms as needed. The bruises are fading, and overall the stitches are doing well. I did find the surgical bra very uncomfortable and tight below the breasts. When I called today to the PS office, I explained I was low on pain meds, and could I get a refill, that I had some yellow discharge (not something I was worried about, seemed to be with some red and brown on gauze) and that I needed to make sure I could change to sports bra. In fairness, Dr. Lawrence had seen me morning after surgery and mentioned that I could use a sports bra. However, the discharge info made it clear to use surgical bra 24/7 , and I had been so tired I just wasn't sure I had it right.
His office called back, fine about the pain meds, and she was a little sharp on the "He said he told you you could use the sports bra." Yes, and I was running on almost no sleep, meds, and with conflicting info. I have to admit I was a little taken aback. But, it's Monday and they probably had all sorts of crazy calls.
I changed my gauze tonight around my nipples tonight, and now I'm a little worried. There is definitely a small amount of yellow, sticky discharge out of the left nipple area. Strangely, that breast also feels like a "current" is running through it. It has always felt harder and more swollen of the two. Should I be worried about this? I see him on Friday. As I said, I did mention it while babbling on her voice mail but she did not say anything when I spoke to her, and I wasn't worried at the time. I wonder if I should just give a call and double check. Has anyone else had this?

Sorry it's been so long!

Where do I begin? I'm sorry it's taken so long to update.
I've been so very lucky overall. I had no problem with nausea. I definitely recommend asking for the patch if you are nervous about that before surgery. Also, pain has been pretty minimal. I used pain meds for about a week, then went to Tylenol, with just the occasional pain med if it was a long day.
Overall, everything is healing well, but I have had some major dryness! Dr said I could use lotion, and that has helped a bit, but I do feel pulling a bit at the sides, and the flaking is gross! I have also said some mild bleeding below the nipple rarely, and since the skin is so dry, when I removed tape with the gauze over the bleeding, it ripped open some skin to the side! Yikes! So I've been trying to keep gauze in place without tape.
Work has been a little challenging, because there are a few things I can't do, and I'm a little tired. But really I'm glad to be back to routine, and I'm eager for everything to get healed up!
I went from a g cup to what appears to be a c cup, which is what I wanted. I'm still eager to see how everything looks when it's all healed.
I'll post new pics later. And I have to say thank you to everyone here for all your help!!

Oh, I forgot...

He removed 2115g from the right breast, and 2260 from the left. 10.6 pounds total!

Insurance bill

OKay, I got my insurance bill in the mail. $10,180 for "outpatient surgery" (even though I stayed overnight). $2,163 for "assistant surgeon," $2,536 for anesthesia, and a whopping $21,575 for everything else. Holy Moly. Good news is, my patient pay is 0.00. Thank heavens. I have to give a huge thanks to my job, since otherwise I never would have been aboe to do this. I will now look at my small boobs and think..."my $35,000 lovelies." perfect or not, they're mine, and seeing this bill, I'm pretty happy about it.
Iowa City Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Lawrence was very friendly and knowledgeable. He answered any questions I had and was,very calming.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (61)

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Has anyone on here had any infection issues after surgery Or any issues with Dr. Lawrence's staff not getting back quickly or being rude or condescending? I've not had that with him or his PA, but I have from some others... Maybe it's just me. :(
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Wow 10.6 pounds - that is amazing. How are you healing? How is everything?
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I'm feeling great! Truly the best decision I've ever made. I have had a little problem with a stitch abscess that has had trouble healing, but all is doing well again. Thanks for asking!
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Wow! That's unbelievable! You must feel amazing! :))
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Liz, I know right? The overnight stay cost more than the surgery. I'm jealous you are paying $0 out of pocket. Good employee discount. My insurance is through Rockwell Collins (DH's insurance). We are going to have to pay $2419 out of pocket. Beats $31,000
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Still pretty good! Isn't the cost horrible? Thank heaven for insurance!
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That was a lot of weight! You must feel so much better, I hope so, its nice to here you call them your lovelies, happy healing Lizzie :)
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wow that is a huge amount off your shoulders- congrats and so good with the L scar :)
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Thank you! Yes, my shoulders and my back feel so much different! Way better!
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I was in your neighborhood today. I had to puck up a prescription at the hospital Glad you're doing good. I go back in 2 weeks
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Pick up that is. I see Dr. Lawrence again on 12/30
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LOL- I see him on 11/22. Glad to see you're doing so well!
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Hi Lizzie. How are you doing? Are you on your way to feeling better? I am going in on Tuesday! Thanks for keeping us updated!
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For peace of mind you should call. Better safe than sorry and you are the patient. Never hesitate to ask questions when your health is at stake.
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I agree. I just called and spoke to the resident on call, and she feels that since there is no redness, fever or heat in the area that it is probably just normal body fluids. She said to call back if it worsens. That area was the section that bled the longest, so it could be the body working to hear itself. Oh, on the electric sensation- that is apparently a cut nerve. Should settle down in a few days.
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Yeah, what she said
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So he gave you the flower nipples too :) Your new girls look good
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You look amazing! Congrats!
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Meant to say mine is Monday
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Welcome to the other side. When is your follow up? Mine us mo
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Congratulations and welcome to the other side!!!! Glad the surgery went smoothly!!! Looking good for two days post op!!
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So how'd you do? Did doc Lawrence tell you hello from me?
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Did well! He did! Glad we both made it through---now to recover!!
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Waving at you from the hospital bed at U of Iowa. Dr. Lawrence is a rock star!!!
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Waved right back!
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