Hi, Wow! I did not know such a community existed...
Wow! I did not know such a community existed but boy am I glad I found it. Since middle school, I have been wanting a smaller chest. Here we are, 15 years later, and my day is finally approaching. I cannot believe this is happening! Eeek!!
A little back story... In 2011, I became more vocal with my physician about ongoing back pain. His first suggestion was to stretch before and after exercising, something I'd been doing for years. I brought it up again in 2012 and was given the same advice, then referred to a chiropractor. I knew my size 38F was the underlying reason but my physician did not seem open to the idea of a breast reduction. Fast forward to 2014. In January, during my annual woman's exam, the OB/GYN asked ME if I'd ever considered having the surgery to help with back & should pain and improve posture on my 5'4" frame. To me, it was an answered prayer. He put in a referral to plastics on 1/3/2014 and I was at my consultation appointment on Feb 18th (less than a month ago). It took no time for the surgeon to recommend me for the surgery. Because of his booked schedule, I wouldn't be scheduled for the procedure until early summer. I was a little sadden because I wanted it done STAT but I was still happy just knowing it was going to happen.
Last week, 3 weeks and 1 days after my consultation, I received a call from the Physician's Assistant and she informed that they had a last minute opening in OR for the NEXT week, 3/20/2014. Without giving it a second thought, I immediately accepted the date. Luckily, I decided to take online classes for grad school this session, so I did not have to get time off work/school approved. What I did not factor in was childcare for my 5-year-old [LOL...don't judge me] or help for myself during the first week. Thankfully, he has amazing grandparents. PawPaw will be caring for him upstairs and granny, who is an RN, will be the driver and helping me downstairs.
My pre-op was the day after I got "the call" (3/13/2014). Everything went well. Now, I am impatiently waiting on Thursday, March 20th. I have to be at the hospital at 0700 and the surgery is scheduled for 0800. Everything is happening so fast...but I am honestly okay with it. I'll admit, I am nervous. This will be my first time "going under", so the butterflies are there. I'm hoping she stays gone but I do believe "Mother Nature" will show up either the day before or the day of. I've done my own research on recovery tips and just trying to learn as much as I can on my own about the surgery and aftercare.
FOUR DAYS LEFT!!!! Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated...
[I will do an update at least two more times, providing before pictures, before "the day".]
Tomorrow, Tomorrow! THE day is TOMORROW!
I just received my "courtesy reminder" call and asked final questions about what I should do to be prepared for tomorrow. Now, I'm simply counting down the hours... This time tomorrow, I will likely be in terrible pain but on the road to being FREE of back/shoulder/neck pain.
As promised, I added my "before" pics. Sorry about the closeup shots. I had to take the photos myself. Somewhat insecure about the way they look now but knowing this is the last day offers some comfort. As soon as I am authorized to take off the dressings, I will post "After" photos.
WISH ME LUCK!! :-)
5lbs of Boobs Lighter!!!
7AM - I checked in at the hospital. The RN met with my driver and within twenty minutes, I was in the back, undressed, getting my IV started.
7:45AM - Met with my surgeon (and everyone else on the team) and did a recap of my consultation. We discussed size, recovery, etc. I was re-measured and marked, photos were taken.
8:15AM - I entered Operating Room 1. I laid on the bed, got all of those wires untangled, and....I HAVEN'T THE SLIGHTEST CLUE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.
1PM - I woke up in Recovery. I didn't remember falling asleep, being wheeled out of the OR, or anything. As soon as I woke up, I started to feel pain (although minimal at the time). I was told the surgery took roughly 3 hours and they removed FIVE POUNDS of "boobage"; 2.5lbs from each breast. My heart rate was a bit elevated, so I stayed in Recovery a little longer than normal. I was given morphine for the pain...it did NOT help. After so long, I was ready to go.
2:30PM - I exited the hospital.
Yesteday afternoon/evening was pretty rough. The pain did not subside until after dark, when I took my third dosage of pain meds. I did not receive a surgical bra (something the RN said I would get over the phone days before). I do; however, have the binder, so everything is snug fitted right now. I also did not get the drains but did have some bleeding on each side, which the binder caught. My right breast had/has more swelling than the left. I have yet to take off the binder but I did peep down inside and saw nipples...in the proper place! My stitches will dissolve on their own, so I don't have to worry about getitng those taken out. As for food, I had vegetable soup for a late lunch and homemade potato soup for dinner. I even had a small scoop of mashed potatoes and a little piece of steak. I did not sleep as well as I thought I would last night. I dozed off a million times but woke right back up soon after. I was told it is just the anesthesia wearing off. It's supposed to rain today and rainy weather always relaxes me. Hopefully it'll be just what I need to get some rest. Umm...I'm sure I'm missing something but that's an overall recap of yesterday.
TODAY - I was supposed to take my pain meds at 3AM but waited until 5AM when it was time for my son's dad to get up for work. I've only had some yogurt and a few crackers to eat. Not because I can't hold anything down, I'm just not very hungry. I've been thirsty more than anything. My pain level is about a 2, so I'm doing well. I keep having these sharp pains (feels like around my areola) every so often. IT SUCKS! I've had a little itching but nothing too crazy. On the positive side, I have NO back pain. It was instant relief. All in all, I'm very happy with my decision thus far and I highly doubt that will change. First follow up appt is next Wednesday.
When I take the binder off today, I will upload a few pics. In the mean time, if anyone has recovery tips/advice she'd like to share, I'd gladly accept it.
24 hours post op
I will upload more after the binder comes off.
There is still bruising near my areolas and swelling on both breasts. The right one, which was slightly larger than the left, is so sensitive right now. Even with my arms down, I can feel a little tingling. The binding has been removed and I wearing a Fruit of the Loom seamless wireless bra that feels wonderful. I do have dressing over the incisions to catch any bleeding or drainage. I am still taking my meds, despite them not working half of the time. A little relief is better than none at all.
Between 8PM last night and 8AM this morning, I managed to get about 4-5 hours of sleep total. I know it doesn't seem like much but night #1, I barely slept two hours. Slowly but surely, I am feeling better.
QUESTION: Were you afraid to touch the area during a shower/wash up? I was so afraid I would hurt myself that I left the markings that were too close to the incisions without washing it off my skin. I palmed water into one hand while my back faced the shower head and let it drip from my hand down to my breast. I used Dial soap to try and wipe around the incisions. It was so complicated. Any suggestions on how to clean the area?
First, I want to thank everyone for their comments, advice, concerns. It's a wonderful feeling knowing people genuinely care and wish you the best...
I had my first follow-up appointment this morning. The first thing we talked about was my physical/emotional feelings following the surgery. I told Dr. K my pain level was pretty much gone, although I still feel the soreness, and there is a little bruising. Emotionally, I cried a couple days ago because I felt a little "boy-ish" in the chest region. I still have enough to palm; however, I can't remember the last time they were this small, so it had me a bit emotional. We discussed the itching, which feels unbearable at times. He did give me the OKAY to use a very small amount of hydrocortisone only in certain areas.
Before he did the visual exam, he informed me that, as precaution, the tissue removed from my breasts was tested for abnormalities/cancerous cells. Those tests came back NEGATIVE [thank you, God]. As he began the exam, he confirmed my right breast is still a bit swollen and firm, unlike the left. There is also still a little bleeding and leakage coming from it on the side [I noticed it when I took my comfort bra off for the exam]. He gave me extra ABD pads to keep over it for a few more days so I won't stain my bras.
He clipped the stitched down [it hurt like hell a couple times] and removed the remaining surgical tape. The skin glue is still around my areolas but should fall off in time. If it does not fall off by my next follow-up, he is going to simply peel it off. My next follow-up is scheduled for April 16th. That's when he's going to take photos and we'll do the whole comparison thing. So, overall, everything went great.
Home life is okay. I am able to rest while my son is in school, so that helps a lot. Yesterday, I tried on a dress...braless! The "girls" were sitting very nicely and I was extremely pleased. I'm still not ready to go without my comfort bra but I was so anxious to see how I would look with perky breasts that I could not resist a little sneak peek. :-D I have added photos from the past few days.
How's everyone else healing/recovering??
Two weeks Later (as of tomorrow)
How is everyone's week going so far? Well, tomorrow I will hit WEEK 2 since my surgery. I'll discuss the pros first....
1. My back/neck/shoulders feel great (although I could use a massage since I'm still sleeping all weird like, making sure I don't put pressure on my incisions).
2. "They" look great braless. Can't remember the last time they were THIS perky.
3. No general post op pain.
4. The incisions have started healing, thankfully. Lots of scabbing, which is a good thing.
5. Very little itching. Thank goodness because I was ready to chop them completely off at one point. :-)
6. The sensation in my nipples is overwhelming...but I'm loving every bit of it.
Now, the cons...
1. Swelling and soreness. Last week, I relocated and did ALL of the packing and a lot of lifting myself. I knew I shouldn't have been doing it but I didn't have a choice. After that, the swelling/soreness that had already subsided came back. I've been resting since Monday, hoping to feel 100% sooner than later.
2. While both are somewhat firm, my right breast is still a fuller than my left and I honestly believe it will stay this way. Hopefully not. They were extra, extra large before...but even. I'm hopeful these will even out over time.
3. Light bleeding. I did not have the drains, so I do still have a little bleeding towards the outside end of the incisions. I'm not sure if it's normal or if me doing all of that lifting last week was a contributing factor. I've been resting since Monday evening and today, there was NO leakage on my ABD pads, so I'm guessing the latter was the cause.
Sill sleeping upright. I try to sleep on my side but (as my photos show) the incisions are longer than "normal", so depending on how I lay, it becomes very tender/sensitive to the touch. There's still a little difficulty raising my arms (especially the right), so I try to keep them down as much as possible. I know it sounds like a lot -- and it is -- but overall, everything is going well. I'm going to FOLLOW DOCTOR'S ORDERS and not lift more than a few pounds and get as much rest as I can this week, so that I won't delay the recovery process anymore than I have already done.
I added some updated pics from today. What do you all think about the healing process?
3 Weeks Post Op
Thankfully, I don't have a LONG update this week. My incisions are healing well and the skin glue is continuing to peel off on its own. Generally, I have bare minimum pain (here and there) each day. I laid on my stomach (with very little resting on my breast) a few days ago, just to see how it would feel to sleep on my tummy. Just as I suspected, I'm still not healed enough to sleep in my favorite position just yet. There is no leakage, holes, etc. Some swelling is still there and I do have a little itching from time to time. I'm still limited on lifting but I am not complaining. It feels good having someone else handle certain jobs/responsibilities for me. :-) All in all, everything is going well.
My next follow-up appointment is on Tuesday, April 15. I will do another update with the PS comments. Until then, I have attached a few photos from this morning. The "crusty" area along the incisions, on top of the scabbing, is skin glue.
Dr. Kirman is by far one of the best medical professionals I have ever encountered. He's attentive and thorough. I went into my consult nervous, with lots of questions. I was pleasantly surprised when he answered them all...before I could even ask. In less than a month after meeting him, I was in the operating room. The morning of the surgery, we reviewed everything from out consult. He asked my opinion on sizing which turned out to be the exact same as his recommendation. I highly recommend his services for any military veterans.