I have really large breasts (but so does most...
I have really large breasts (but so does most everyone else in this forum) and a fairly small frame. I recently lost about #60 and my frame just can't hold it all up anymore. My insurance approved a BR for shoulder grooving, back neck and shoulder pain, and numbness in my arms. My surgeon anticipates I will be a full B or small C. I guess we'll only know that for sure when it's over. I don't have my heart set on a certain size. I'm just ready to feel better so whatever size I get I'll be happy with. He does say that I will likely need a free nipple graft. All will be revealed tomorrow. Hard to believe after a year long process of getting approved the day is finally less than 12 hours away.
3 Days Post Op
I am 3 days post op today and feel great. I have no pain, just some itching and a little discomfort. My back, neck and shoulder pain has virtually disappeared. I sleep better and I can already say that I am happy that I have had this done. I will go back to the surgeon today for a follow-up and to have the drains removed. I thought that changing the dressings would be hard for me and that I would have trouble adapting to the way that I look, but that is not the case. I did get a little lightheaded when I was changing the dressing the first day (I had some help), but I love the way they look. I anticipate that I will be a C cup when it's all said and done. I do plan to post some photos this week, especially of the free nipple graft. I wasn't able to find much information about the graft when I was looking on this site before.
Almost 3 Weeks Post Op
I will be 3 weeks post op on Thursday of this week (today is Monday) and I feel better every day. I returned to work last week on light duty and can tell a huge difference this week in my energy levels. Lots of people notice that something is "different" but not many are bold enough to ask. ha. ha. This is, hands down, the best thing I've ever done. My results are looking better everyday too!! I was apprehensive about posting photos here, but I've been helped so much by looking at the posts of others on this site that I couldn't NOT do it.
Itty Bitties? not really
My first comment in recovery (I was rather drunken on the effects of the anesthesia) to my husband was that I had itty bitty titties now! And wow! Look at how high my nipples are. For the last few weeks this has been fodder for a great deal of jesting by my daughters who are each a size A or B cup. They inform me that my swollen D's which are likely to end up a full C do not qualify for this exclusive club. sigh. oh well. They still seem itty bitty to me..... and coming off the G cup I will probably forever call them that.
3 Week Post Op Update
Today is Saturday and these photos were taken this morning. I was 3 weeks post op on Thursday (2 days ago) There's a big difference in the appearance (to me) between the last set of photos and this one so I wanted to go ahead and post some more. I've done alot of healing this week!! yay. You may notice that one of my breasts is visibly healing slower and is noticeably larger. It still has more bruising on the stitch line and has generally been slower to heal than the other. This breast also had much more drainage during the first week (when I had drains still) than the other. I'm told this is normal and the breasts should even out. Hope so :) It's been a good week as far as my energy levels but I have had some discomfort. I think that I have pushed myself too much trying to get caught up at home and work from when I was off with my surgery. I've noticed more swelling, itching, and overall discomfort later in the day. I'm going to try to take it easier this week.
Went bra shopping for some more comfortable bras yesterday with my daughter. I found several that I didn't buy that had underwire, but I just had to try them on. I'm anxious to see what size I will be :) I cannot fit a D they are just way too big, so it's looking like a C right now. yay!! I'm sure there will be more settling etc, but i'm just a wee bit impatient.
Also, thank you so much for all the positive feedback and sweet comments. I've also had some wonderful private messages.
4 Weeks Post Operative
Just an updated photo at 4 weeks. Healing nicely. Will see the PS on Monday.
One Month Followup with PS
I had my one month follow-up yesterday (I will be 5 weeks post operative on Thursday). PS was very happy with my progress and prescribed the silicone sheets for me to start. He also wants me in a supportive bra with under-wire for work (as soon as I can handle it.) They are high and tight now, but gravity is a force at work against us all I suppose. 6 weeks of scar therapy and then I go back in early November. I can't do the under wire yet, but will continue with the good support bras I use currently without the wire.
I've also noticed recently that I had gotten into the habit of holding my shoulders forward and hunching over as a mechanism to hide the size of my breasts (as if) prior to my BR. It is now taking me a real effort to remember to hold my shoulders up and not do this. I never even noticed that I did that before, but a friend at work has told me several times since the BR to stand up straight.
How I handled BR surgery with SLE Lupus and my Rheumatologist Appointment was today!!
I didn't address this in my previous posts, and here I am 1 month post operative on the BR, but I wanted to touch on a subject that (possibly) other people may be dealing with. I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in 2011. Let me just be clear from the start that I am very very fortunate as I am one of a small percentage of people who have no organ involvement. My Lupus consists of 4 of 11 symptoms and is accompanied by Fibromyalgia and a pretty severe case of Reynaud's Syndrom. Obviously, we can't know what the future holds, but today and the right here and now is good. Thanks be to God.
When I got diagnosed in 2011, I did extensive research into non-traditional and alternative treatments and lifestyle changes. Using a combination of these things, the result was improvement in my Lupus related symptoms, including relief from the Fibromyalgia, improved health overall, and a weight loss of around 60#. The weight loss is one reason that I ended up needing the breast reduction as I no longer was able to support the weight of the boobage.
Last year I had quite a scare when I had a total hysterectomy and ended up being readmitted to the hospital with an unexplained temperature spike and required an additional 3 days of IV antibiotics. No one ever said this was Lupus related, but I felt very strongly that it probably was and my OB/GYN just didn't have enough experience with autoimmune disorders to say one way or another. I had not thought to keep my rheumatologist informed, so she was out of the loop as well. In hindsight, she does feels that it could have been related but we're just not sure. So for my BR, I was determined to address this on the front end. I worked very closely with both my rheumatologist and my PS prior to my BR. All of my doctors, including my internist, were informed and kept in the loop about this surgery. I spent the week prior to BR on a 7 day dosage of oral antibiotics. I had the normal antibiotic shot the day of surgery and went home with a script for 7 more days of oral antibiotics post-surgery. I was very worried about doing this as antibiotics are known triggers for lupus flares. No problems though. Today at my rheumatologist followup I received news that all of my targets/markers are normal and bloodwork looked good. It seems that I had no adverse effects from the surgery or the antibiotics.
If you have an autoimmune disorder and are considering this surgery, just know that you may need to take some special precautions for your condition and work closely with ALL of your doctors. Just a note: This is what worked for me.
5 Week Post Operative
These are my 5 week photos. I'm happy with the healing. My leftie is still larger than my right. That may or may not resolve itself. I hope it does, but am happy regardless. Blessings!!!
Itchy Itchy Itchy!! Silicone Scar Sheets have arrived.
These are the Biodermis silicone scar sheets. I began using these on Friday night. I have very reactive skin and had to use the blue paper tape made for sensitive skin, when I was padding my breasts in the first couple of weeks. The tape was pretty hard-going for me, and it's made for sensitive skin...... so you can imagine what the silicone is doing to my skin. These things make me itch like crazy by the end of the day. I can also feel a slight heat underneath. So far no rash or reactions. I am watching very closely for signs that this is too harsh for me. In the meantime, I took a Benadryl last night and it really helps with the itching. Even by the end of the work day it was much better today. I know that my window to use these is limited, so I want to make it work, if I can. AND they were expensive. Any advice about using these???
The PS said I could probably handle underwire his early and he was right. I love my new bras! Got 2 at Dillard's with matching panties. Nude and dark grey. Wacoal in a 36C. I'm pretty sure if I continue to lose weight and have to go down a band size I will probably be a D cup then. For now through I'm liking being a C.
6 weeks post operative
Just a couple of photos for update. Today was my 6 weeks post op anniversary.
Shifting Changing and Healing
I am six weeks post operative and I felt like most of my bruising and swelling is gone. I had several days last week where I wasn't even aware of my breasts. Meaning that they weren't uncomfortable, itchy (even with the scar sheets), or feeling weird. The FNG and loss of sensation does take some getting used. This is what I mean by feeling weird. Anyway.....today I notice that my breasts are the same size again. I can't figure out if the swelling is down on the left side or the right side has just joined the party. Either way the swelling issue is shifting gears and there are some pings and aches in the scar lines on my sides that I did not have issue with previously. Maybe the nipples have healed more and when they were healing I didn't notice that so much??? Who knows..... I just know that healing is certainly not done at the 6 week mark. I can sleep on my side (pre BR I couldn't sleep on my side as it made my arm numb) with no problems, and I've always been a back-sleeper - but no tummy sleeping yet. Let the healing commence :)
Also - just a note about the scar sheets. Cortizone makes a roll-on anti-itch gel that has saved my life. I can't put it on the silicone sheets - but I roll it on the skin just outside the scar sheet. It seems to calm down all the itchiness. I don't know how, but it's working. (it might be a mental thing). who knows? who cares? It's working. Blessings ya'll!
The Protein Shakes
I think protein is a big part of why I healed so successfully and quickly. just wanted to share a couple of my shake recipes. I have one of these every morning without fail.
Peanut Butter Banana
2 scoops PB2 powder
1 banana frozen
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk
2 scoops PB2 Chocolate powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 cup dark chocolate almond milk
1 banana frozen
7 weeks post operative | 2 weeks biodermis
I will be two weeks into using the silicone scar sheets tomorrow (Friday). There's a good bit of redness along the scar line from nipple to T-Junction. This is due to my reaction to the silicone in the sheets. I guess it's a good thing I didn't have an augmentation done with silicone implants. no telling how my body would have reacted to that. I am happy with the way my scars are responding to the sheets and I'm just going to soldier on. 4 more weeks of these sheets to go!!
I do hope my nipples will lighten up with time. Not sure. Most everything I read about FNG says that there is loss of pigment. Right now they are darker than what I started with. Leftie is still bigger than rightie most days (including today). ??????blessings ya'll.
8 Weeks Post Operative | 3 weeks Biodermis
I am 8 weeks Post Op today! I am 1/2 way done with my silicone scar sheets. Just 3 more weeks of that to go, but I can say that 3 weeks into it I can really tell a difference in the scars. Sorry the photo is a little dark. We are having a huge storm here. Blessings ya'll!
I have struggled since about week 2 with the size of my breasts being different. It's not a huge difference and doesn't bother me too much, but still..... you know what I mean here. It's there. So I also noticed that when I was applying my scar sheets that the scar lines sit differently so I used a drinking straw to determine where my breast fold sits on the wall of my chest. They sit differently on my chest wall, so maybe the boobs aren't that different after all :) lol
9 Week Post Operative | 4 weeks Biodermis
I'm really starting to see a change in my scar from using the silicone sheets. I still itch like crazy but I'm determined to tough it out. Lots of settling has occurred and leftie is larger still.
On a positive note....I love them still. They are so much better than before.
My Boobs are not a Billboard
15 Oct 2014
2 months post
I am 10 weeks post op this week, but decided to lay off the graphic photos for a couple more weeks in the hope that I would see a much more dramatic change. Pre-BR I would never have worn this type of hoodie. I always felt that the boobs were so huge it made any graphics across the chest into a billboard. Not anymore!!! I found this in my kid's closet. She wasn't wearing it anymore because she doesn't like the kangaroo-style pockets. So it's mine now; and it's a unisex size L. Not a 2X!! So Yay me!! and Geaux Tigers!!
3 Month Post Op Appointment with PS
13 Nov 2014
3 months post
So here's the update. I was not discharged, as I thought I'd be. He is happy with the results and the healing of my scars, but I am to continue to use the Biodermis Scar Sheets and return to him in February at the 6 month mark. The scars in the middle of my chest are thicker than he would like and he wants to see them again in 3 months. This may resolve itself, but if not we will talk options then. Overall, however, we are both pleased and I am so happy that I had this done!