40 DDD 53 Yr Old - Surgery Decemeber 19, 2012 - Lawrence, KS

I have had large breast most of my life. Didn't...

I have had large breast most of my life. Didn't mind them much until about 7 years ago when I started having issues with my back and neck. I am a massage therapist and they just got in the way all the time. We had met our deductible on our insurance last year so I made the call to my insurance company and asked for a Plastic Surgeon who was in my network. I was referred to Dr John Keller in Lawrence, KS. I am so pleased with the surgeon and my outcome. The amount listed is what I have spent so far, still waiting for insurance to finalize.

I am now 27 days post op, the itching for the past...

I am now 27 days post op, the itching for the past 2 days has been horrible. I have had to take Benadryl and use an anti itch cream on my breasts. I know its a sign of healing, but good grief, I can only scratch my breasts in public so many times before people start looking at me strangely. My being a good patient is thinning. At least I can partially lay on one side with the help of a couple of pillows. Ok, rant over! :-)

Benadryl is helping very much, itching is not so...

Benadryl is helping very much, itching is not so bad. It's amazing how much better I feel in just the last 5 days. I am a massage therapist and have decided that next week I can start scheduling clients. Will start out slow for the first week, so I don't over due myself and cause any set backs. Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post op.

Also, I failed to mention in my initial post: 804 grams was removed from my right breast and 769 grams from my left. My right breast was more dense.

Taking the following homeopathic supplements to...

Taking the following homeopathic supplements to aide in healing; Arnica Montana to reduce bruising, Horsetail to help heal the skin, Bromelain to reduce inflammation. I started taking the Horsetail and Bromelain 2 weeks prior to surgery and immediately after surgery added the Arnica, 3 tablets - 3 times daily along with the 500 mg of Horsetail 2 times daily and 500 mg of Bromelain 3 times daily for 2 weeks. I no longer take the Arnica Montana, but I am still taking the Horsetail and Bromelain.

I also follow the Eat Right For Your Blood Type Diet, started this diet in January of 2010, I keep my body very alkaline (this aides in healing) You can purchase Ph strips at the health food store, I try to keep my saliva Ph at 7.0-7.2. I was very strict on my diet for one month prior to surgery, restricted all sugars and ate healthy and at least 1 raw food meal a day.

I have mixed my own scar remedy; Organic Rosehip Oil, Chamomile, Frankincense, Myrrh and Helichrysum. 10 drops of Chamomile, 10 Drops of Frankencense, 5 drops of Myrrh, 5 drops of Helichrysum, all these added to 50 mil bottle of Rosehip Oil.

Tips for after surgery:
1. Might need to bring some form of cough drop, being intubated made my throat very sore and hurt to swallow - Ricola cough drops helped.
2. My mouth was VERY dry after surgery for several hours, from the anesthesia, cough drops helped with that.
3. Bring a pillow for the car ride home, I placed it over my chest to keep seat belt off the new girls. Also gave me extra protection from bumps in the road.
4. If it's wintertime, make sure your ride home warms up the car, getting hard nipples is really painful, at least for me it was.
5. I had to replace the gauze daily, I bought several boxes of rolled gauze. I only had a small discharge for about 3 days afterwards. My drains were removed the next day by my surgeon before I was discharged from the hospital. I would lay down on my bed with my surgical bra on, but opened in the front. My hubby would start under my armpit area and unroll the gauze across both breasts to the other side and go back and forth, then secure the bra. I did this for the first 10 days, the gauze gave me some extra padding, my nipples were really sensitive and rubbed on my surgical bra.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide is great for washing blood stains out of your bras.
7. Buy a second surgical bra, best advice I ever followed. Those surgical bras need to air dry, so it was nice to have a second clean bra to wear. I tried to wear the sports bra like recommended, but the bra rode on my anchor incisions and hurt.
8. Get plenty of rest, take naps and drink lots of water. The pain meds will make you feel like you "feel good" don't push it. I almost fainted twice in the first 5 days. I was up moving around too much.
9. Eat healthy, avoid salty things, they make you retain water.
10. If you have a family to take care, prepare easy meals ahead of time and put them in the freezer.

Just an update, 4 days ago I noticed these tiny...

Just an update, 4 days ago I noticed these tiny red spots around both of my areolas. They itch like crazy, so I called the surgical nurse and she said the Bacitracin cream they told me to use was causing an allergic reaction, so stop using it. Had to take some benadryl and use an anti itch cream on the area. That helped a lot and they are starting to clear up. Posted a close up pic of one a breast so others could see the spots.

Removed the surgical tape last night from my...

Removed the surgical tape last night from my anchor incisions. Very pleased with the scars and how smooth they look. Slathered my essential oil blend I made for scars before bed time. I do plan on applying the surgical tape the the T junction under each breast for awhile longer. This seems to be the area that is most likely to open, and I don't want that to happen!!

I return to work tomorrow, I am a massage therapist and work from my home, will also wear my surgical bra for added support.

Saw my PS last week, I have 4 areas on the right...

Saw my PS last week, I have 4 areas on the right breast where stitches are starting to spit out. They look like tiny whiteheads, one on my vertical incision under the right areola actually came to a head like a pimple. I used some hydrogen peroxide on it and it sort of popped and a small amount of clear fluid came out. I can see the stitch. I have 3 around the edge of my areola too, I can feel 2 of them when I rub my finger over them.

The PS said, "keep them clean, leave them alone, DON'T pull them out, they will come to the surface like a splinter!!!!" So I do just that, clean them with peroxide and keep them moisturized with my essential oil blend.

I am able to massage the girls with more pressure, they are starting to loosen up and move around. It is not too painful to massage now as it was at week 3. I am still numb across the bottom of both breasts. I do get some really sharp pains, twinges, zings, in both breasts. Some make me stop what I am doing and breathe for a few minutes till they pass.

I am a massage therapist and this past week started back to work. I work from my home, so I can set my own schedule. I wear my surgical bra still while working and still apply the surgical tape across the T junction and my anchor incisions. Just like the extra support since I am reaching and using both arms.

I love that I can sit down to eat a meal with ease, no more food in my bra of on my boob shelf, no more straining my neck forward to not drop food on the boobs. I can sit in a booth at a restaurant and not have my boobs resting on the table. My posture has improved so much and I feel great. Even doing massage is so much easier for me, I don't have to lean forward so much to see my hands. I can keep my back straighter, which keeps my low back much happier!

Added new pics!

Added new pics!

Received some more bills for the surgery, will...

Received some more bills for the surgery, will update soon. Monday I caught this crappy crud going around, ran a fever of 102 for 2 days, coughing so hard, my ribs are so sore it brings me to tears now. Thanks to the butt head that couldn't stay home when they were sick last week on the 2 days I got out of my house.

I have received all the final bills, total charges...

I have received all the final bills, total charges were $16,000, my out of pocket was $2000.

I have been released by my PS about 3 weeks ago. Healing nicely, girls have softened up. My anchor incisions under my arms are tender some days, I get sharp zings in them. Some small zings and little pains in the breasts still, but the PS told me that could happen for up to a year.

Been bra shopping and I am now in a 42 D, I love Bali bras, those are so comfortable for me.
Topeka Plastic Surgeon

I was referred to this doctor through my insurance company. After checking his credentials and meeting with him I was pleased with him and his staff. I was also pleased that he is also a reconstructive surgeon, this was one thing I was told to look for in a PS.

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 tmes
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Comments (56)

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Your incisions look great! At what point did you start using your scar oil? I read helichrysum should and shouldn't be used on open wounds so I'm wondering at what point I should start.
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thanks for all the tips and photos, your "girls" look amazing.
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You look wonderful, thank you for sharing all of your pictures, it really helps.
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Thanks for posting the pictures. I am positive now that my scars are not right. Dang. Mine are thick, red, raised and ropy looking. Shoot. So glad you posted! , I was wondering about you!
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Hey Mothera8, Are you buried in snow? Ready for round 2? We got 11" of snow out here, not happy about another 12"+ on Monday night either. I have been good, back to work full time now. I still get some sharp zings on the incisions under my arms. My boobs have softened up quite a bit lately. You might try doing some cross friction massage on those scars to help break up the keloids. I have also been using Castor Oil on my scars.
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We are still pretty well snowed in from round one! We need the moisture and I am a serious homebody so I don't mind the snow...just hope we don't lose power as we often do. After you mentioned that you used essential oils On your incision I bought a helichrysum blend from Birch Hill. I had pretty dramatic results on the already fading tummy scar! Nothing seems to impact the red raised ropey scar on The underarm part of the breat scar. I am pretty sure it is keloidal but just haven't had the time or money to go back in to Keller to get it fixed. The zinging type pain lasted quite a while for me but I don't have it any more.
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Mine are still red too and they itch really bad some days!
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The itching had pretty much stopped for me around month 12 but since starting the helichrysum it has come back...big time! Gives me hope. :-)
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Hi, did you start paying for your surgery before or after the procedure was done. I'm confused about how this works.
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Darton, I had to pay $227 to my PS prior to the surgery. Everything else was paid afterwards. It took about a month for bills to start coming in. My insurance covered 80% of the entire bill, we had met our deductible for the year too.
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Oh man...I hate that too! The worst was sitting in church last Sunday and the guy behind us hacked away so hard it moved my husbands hair! People are so gross...just stay home-
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I am finally feeling like a human being again. My husband got sick a couple of days after me. This virus is WICKED! The coughing was the worst.
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I couldn't help myself...I pulled my stitch fragments right out :-)
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I want to also, but on Facebook Breast Reduction support group, one lady pulled a stitch out that was about 8 inches long, shortly after that her vertical incision opened and she developed a huge infection and lost more tissue. That was the first pic I saw about BR. Freaked me out, so I am leaving that stitch alone and will let Dr Keller do with it what he pleases. He told me to leave it alone and let my body spit it out like a splinter.
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That is horrifying!
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Looking awesome!!
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Hi! Thanks for much for posting about your experiences. We are a very similar age/size and it really help me imagine what is going to happen and what it's going to be like for me. I really hope my experience is as good as yours; sounds like it's going great for you!
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You're welcome GailB, hope yours is a success!
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Hi there! I have a question for ya! I know you use the silicone sheets and I just saw my PS today and she had me order some to use. She told me to keep them on all night and then put lotion on the scars for the day time. She said I would be getting 2 sets and that each set would last for 3 weeks. So my question is, do you keep yours on 24/7? I have read about others that do that so I was curious if you did. Also, how do you clean them? Do they lose their "stickiness" over time? Sorry for all the questions! But I knew you were the pro!
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Hi January, I use the silicone cups to cover my areolas. No, I don't wear them 24/7 either. The skin needs to breath. I normally wear them during the day, at week 2 my nipples were very sensitive and they rubbed on my bras. The cups helped. Now the nips have settled down and aren't so sensitive, but I still wear the cups during the daytime. I put my own recipe essential oil on and put the cups over them. The cups came with their own cleaner, once that was gone I just use an antibacterial hand soap and let them sit out to dry off. They are now beginning to lose their stickiness, but they stay in place under my bra. Once them warm up to skin temp they stick nicely. I have to peel them off at the end of the day. I also put my essential oil blend on at night too. I keep the incisions moist all the time. I don't want them to dry out and stay dry, that tends to cause scars. My PS said keep them (scars) lubricated. Hope this answers your questions!
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Thanks so much for the info!!! I can't wait till I get the silicone cups in the mail :)
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So, how did it go this week?
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I had my first massage client on Monday since my surgery. Went well, it was a 90 minutes massage and by the time I was finished, my boobs itched liked crazy. Had to go take some benadryl. I have another client on Friday and next week 2 clients each day. Went to see Dr Keller today, just to get a check up on some stitches that are starting to spit. I have 3 on my right breast. He said just watch them and leave them alone, they are like a splinter and work their way out. This was the first time he has seen me since 5 days after my surgery. He said "wow you look great, you are healing really well." I go back on Feb 5th.
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You llok fantastic and healing beautifully. Well done you!
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Thanks, I am very pleased with my healing! The girls are so much nicer than my "fun bags" as my husband so dearly called them!
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