Thursday's the Big Day ......less Than 48 Hours! - Maryland, MD

Hi everyone- just to share I am 41 years old and...

Hi everyone- just to share I am 41 years old and probably like many of you this is something I have been thinking about for a LONG time but it has gotten to the point that pain and feeling self conscious ALL the time in pictures- even my wedding day. The most wonderful day of my life- I had more than one friend tell me how large my chest looked in my dress. So last year, I made a consult, after initially fearing it wouldn't be approved or I couldn't afford it. I though it doesn't hurt to check and speak with the office. Fortunately, the PS that I chose- his office worked with the insurance company and took care of everything. I had to go see a pain specialist but I was approved. My goal is to just feel better and I want to enjoy wearing clothes that fit ME, not my breasts! I was definitely feeling nervous before but this group has been very helpful. Noto so much nervous about the surgery but being under anesthesia.The only other thing that concerns me is I wish I could have lost weight prior to the surgery. I am 5'2" and am about 160. My PS is removing 450 g and 440 on my breasts. My concern is how the weight loss will impact the way the breasts look/feel. I know if I lose weight they will ultimately become smaller but not sure with tissue being removed already how that will be impacted. Anyone have any feedback?Anyway nervous but excited and will update you on my results.....
Google helpmeheal. That's where I bought mine . Good luck .
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Thank you! I appreciate it. I hope they feel comfortable ;-)
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They aren't bad . The underwires I wore for years were more uncomfortable than what I'm wearing now .
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Hi all this Thursday ( May 9) will be two weeks...

Hi all this Thursday ( May 9) will be two weeks post op. My left breast is doing better than the right. The right still has some bruising. They both still have swelling. I also had two small areas that are/were openfor which the PS prescribed a cream for.However, overall I am still in pain and hoping once the stitches are out things will improve. I bent over yesterday though and feel liked something pulled in my right breast and its been aching ever since. Calling my PS later today. I am trying to post pics but have not been sucessful.

My breasts seem so sensitive all over -even with...

My breasts seem so sensitive all over -even with my t-shirt touching them. I dont know if its nerves or why? Is anyone else having this issue?

Your breasts are going to be super sensitive for a while.  This is normal as everything heals.  Hang in there and know it will get better.

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Thanks- yes I am learning about the healing process!
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It's an adventure:)  Just wait until the itching starts...good lord I walked around scratching in some very uncomfortable places...LOL

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This past Thursday I went for my 2 week post op...

This past Thursday I went for my 2 week post op and was hoping to get my stitches out. The PS said to come back in one more week b/c there was still swelling :( He said it happens in about 20 percent of his patients. My left breast looks good - my right not so much but he seemed optimistic. My right breast is still draining alot of fluid. I have the small opening under both still for which I have to apply an antibiotic ointment. I was really hoping to get them out however, my breasts seemed even more swollen then before - I had started my period so I dont know how much that played a role in it. I still feel sore/pain under my breast where the bottom incisions are. Anyone else still have pain there? Any tips for helping to keep swelling down? I am back to work but I do primarily paper work, computer, medical interviews etc- not a lot of physical work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'll be 3 weeks on Monday and my bottom incisions are still sensitive. I had my period last week and the pain from swelling was noticeably more. I have been taking arnica and eating lots of fresh pineapple (or you can buy bromelain pills) both of which are helpful for swelling/bruising. Rest as much as you can, believe in your body's ability to heal, and you'll do great. :)
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I had been taking arnica and just re-started it today. Ill get pineapple tomorrow! Thanks for the advice i definitely agree about rest which I try but working and a 4 yo makes it challenging. Ill definitely take advatage of Mother's day tomorrow.
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3 weeks

Hi all- had my 3 week follow up and I had my stitches out. What a relief! However, my right side is still problematic. I dont want to sound negative but now there is a new problem. Between my nipple and incision under the nipple - it has slightly come apart! I can see tissue or something. Its a small area and it just happened tonight. Has anyone else had this? Ive seen some cases that werent so good with big openings but this is small- at this point. Trying not to freak out- any feedback?

Day 22....feel like I am going backwards

Day 22 5/17- here is pic of my not so nice left side- sorry I know it's gross but this is why I am freaked out- as you can see it's gotten worse :( PS has assured me it will get better soon but if not in the next week or so I am going for 2nd opinion
i am so glad you went in early to see you PS..let us know how you are doing?
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Thank you - I posted an update with a pic but the picture is a little graphic.
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I'm so sorry that your healing isn't going as well as you'd hope. I have looked at a lot of breasts on here and noticed when it turns black without the breast being hot, having bad odor or oozing that it is your body healing itself. Has your PS done any debridement? Thank you for sharing with us. Hoping things get better for you!! Sounds like you are doing everything right.
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4 Weeks

I went in today - and the PS said it was worse than he expected. He did take off alot of the gross looking stuff that you see in the picture from May 21; however, what is really gross is that now I have a huge opening wound that I have to pack.He said this typically only happens in about 3% to 5% of his patients...lucky me. It literally looks like raw meat. I will post a picture with it packed but I think without it will be too graphic. I held it together in his office but completely broke down in my car. I dont mean to sound negative and I chose to do this however, I did not realize this type of complication could occur. It's emotionally draining to have to do wound care on such a big wound that is on a part of your body that you really identify with as being a woman. Not too mention extremely disgusting...I could never be a wound specialist. My PS was trying to be comforting and I think he felt bad b/c I had called him and he didnt think it was as bad as it was. He also talked about once it heals he would do a scar revision for me if I felt the scar was too big. He said it will likely be two weeks before I show any improvement. I am trying to keep my head up and just hope that by posting this it may help the other small percentage to know they are not alone. Also, I really appreciate everyones feedback and support as well as everyone's sharing. This is has been a helpful and supportive forum.
thinking about you ...keep us posted .take care!!
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Thanks Idynrd- I am hanging in there. I have an appt with the PS on next Wed. I am still having to pack it. He said it will be about two weeks before I see any difference. I also made an appt with a wound center for next Tues. However, I may wait to see the wound center till after I see my PS. I havent decided - I need to do what is best for me but cant see both for the same thing. I have researched as well as spoke with some friends who have wound backgrounds and the "wet to dry" method of wound dressing is an older format. There is the though that the dressing should always stay moist to promote healing and the wet to dry methods pulls off healthy new tissue with it. So we'll see. I can maybe tell a slight improvement but not much.Thanks for checking.Maybe I'll post a pic this weekend.
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My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine going thru that. Stay strong and I hope u get well soon
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Almost 6 Weeks

Hi Everyone...this Thursday I will be 6 weeks post op. I wish I had exciting news to share but it is what is. I am to see my PS tomorrow. I called him last week to let him know I wanted to see a wound specialist and he was completely supportive. He said there are other methods that will be quicker but they will require more effort on my part and may be problematic as far as carrying them out i.e. a wound vac. So .......I went to the wound specialist today to discuss options for my wound. They measured it is 7 cm in height and 5 cm across. Fortunately, no infection. However, I literally still have a hole in my breast ;( Their initial recommendation was a wound vac(which is what my PS said)- some of you may know what that is already. It is basically a sponge type covering that goes over your breast. From that sponge is a tube that connects to a motor and drainage container. It continuously makes a suction and drainage goes into the container. You have a pack to carry around like a purse which is where the motor and container is. For work purposes it is not very discreet esp with tubing coming from your breast area under your shirt! They are also looking to see if my insurance would cover a hyperbaric chamber- which would help speed up the healing process as well. However, this is for 2 hours a day 5 days a week...I guess I could take advantage of a nap. For now they gave me a dressing called Puracol Plus which is a dressing that has collagen in it. I only have to change it every 3 days which is better than twice a day! The frustrating thing is that they said I am looking at several weeks.....not thrilled about that but I am taking all precautions. I was reading over literature about wounds and asked the nurse to confirm ..but wounds left untreated or not healing over a period of time can have cells turn cancerous.....that has me freaked out (although she said this is for people who try to treat on their own and not seek treatment typically)
My right areola looks bigger now than my left b/c my right side has been more swollen and with wound I think it has stretched it out. Has anyone else had this exp related to more swelling on one side--one areola becoming bigger?I see the wound specialist next Fri 6/14.
Thanks ladies for all your support and I enjoy seeing everyone posts - it keeps me hopeful knowing that their is light at the end of the tunnel.
You will know more after the appt. with wound specialist and you will be able to process this info better. This wound healng is a long process but you are young and should have great results. Later on you can discuss scar revision. It seems when something happens to you it is so hard to accept because it is there right under your nose 24/7. You will heal, it will just take a while. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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Thanks me- I met with the wound specialist yesterday and my PS today. My PS says that he is seeing improvement and that a wound vac, as the specialist's initial recommendation, would speed up process but does not think it is necessary if I want to continue to do a type of dressing. I see wound specialist again on Fri 6/14 so I will mull it over. Thanks for your support
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Sounds like you've had very bad luck, but the good thing is that there's no infection. I think I'd probably read up about the pros and cons about the vac and discuss whatever information you find with your PS. Best of luck with your healing.
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Follow Up with PS..6 weeks tomorrow

Met w/ PS today (wound specialist yesterday...see above update for details). My PS said the wound vac option would help to heal things faster, however, the downside as I mentioned above is basically everyone knowing I have one first of all, secondly having to have wound nurse come out 2-3 x a week. He said he sees progress with my healing since my last visit. That it will heal this way as well ( I did change dressing as wound specialist recommend- now using puracol). He again said he is supportive either way and again mentioned he would do scar revision and help touch things up once everything is healed.....so just hanging in there ladies. I'll post some pics later this week!
Hello, I am praying for a remedy to your recovery. I know this is a tough time but I hope that the specialist can ease this process for you! xoxox
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Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I posted an update and I am starting to see progress finally....however, I think my PS method works better for me. I still have a ways to go but I am glad I can see healing finally. :)
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Pics@6weeks+1 day

Hi Everyone here are some pics from tonight- 6 weeks and one day. I am posting a pic of the left. It has been doing well. It's so funny when you use the camera they can appear totally different then what you see in the mirror. The right one, the problem one, looks really small but right now it is larger than the left one due to swelling. I am seeing an improvement but I have to say I think that PS original method of wound healing I may go back to vs the wound specialist. While the PS's method is more inconvenient it seems more hygienic...I like keeping it changed twice a day vs every days. I dont like having to use more time in doing it but after seeing the difference I like the outcome of twice a day in what you see. I had to call my PS tonight b/c I thought I was getting an infection ...I'm not. Anyway, I can finally tell that in a little over two weeks I am healing....I have a way to go still. There is still an open area but it is healing from the inside out- which is what you want. Not as deep. Again, I am posting with bandage over so not as graphic. Thanks all for your support!!
Im sorry you are still having issues, how awful. Did your PS or wound care nurse say why or how this happened?
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Thanks - basically what my PS said is that they have to pull the sides tight to create the shape or else youd have flat breasts. He said that my right side did not respond well (obviously) to the tension. You know I question, like others have raised, did he do something wrong? However, right mow I have to focus on the healing part. My PS has a good reputation. He operated on my sisters breast ( not a br but correction bc of defect she had that she was born with). I have friends who ate nurses who have spoken highly of him. Its all puzzling. But he said this happens in about 3 to 5 percent of his patients. I am healing just slowly. Congratulations on your upcoming surgery! I remember being anxious and excited. Work was busy so that helped pass the time for me. I dont like what I am dealing with or the thought of more surgery to correct but i am glad to have them smaller. Youll be so glad ince its done :). Keep us updated!!
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Excuse my typos above!
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7 Weeks

Went to the wound specialist today...wound is looking better but still have a ways to go....they are going to let me know on Monday if my insurance will pay for the hyperbaric chamber...and then I have to decide if that is how I want to proceed. It is 2 and a half hours every day typically for 6 weeks........alot of time commitment or I can continue with the current dressing treatment.

Roller Coaster

Ok so my wound is healing which I am thankful for although it's extremely slow. Now, which I wasn't anticipating is that I have a staph infection. It's not MRSA thank goodness. I dont really have any symptoms other than I noticed a slight odor with changing the dressing every 3 days. Both my PS and specialist didnt think I had an infection but did a culture to be safe. I could also be a carrier possibly ..meaning Ill always test positive but not have any symptoms. However I am being treated regardless. Am just praying that this infection clears up soon and fully.
I hope you're doing better, can't wait to see the latest update. Hopefully my PS will have some options for me tomorrow. Thank you for your reassuring words!
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You're welcome :). While I did go to a wound center I dont think it was really necessary. I needed to for myself and see what other options there were. My PS was supportive. I was hoping to do the hyperbaric chamber but my ins denied that. My ins is usually pretty good too. But keep us updated with your progress.
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Your looking much better!! I hope you are feeling better and that sounds is healing!! Xo
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11 week update.....still on the journey of healing but making progress

Ok, so the staph infection cleared up, thank God! The wound i.e. hole in my breast has filled in with new skin however, the outer layers of skin must now close. It's sitll not pretty but much better looking than before.So in other words I dont have to pack it but cover it now. There is still skin that must grow but I am on the mend. The unfortunate part is that my right breast is an odd shape and I'll have to have a scar revision in about year. My right areola is larger than my left :( and I have fat necrosis on the top of my right breast. My PS is assuring me it will dissolve back into my body...I hope so b/c the thought of surgery on top of the breast I have a huge scar on is not fun.. While I am glad the pain in my neck and shoulders are gone. I dont know if I would go through it again if I knew what all I had to go through now. My left one is great. Happy with that so I will just need to focus on the positive.
Hey Andie, how are you going now?
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Hi, sorry just logging back on after a break. I'll be going back in Sept 2014 to meet with the PS to talk about surgery to hopefully correct this. Right now it "healed" but it doesn't look pretty!
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Hey all the best. I had a terrible experience as well.
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Follow Up Aug 2014

Hi Everyone
Just letting you know I have an upcoming appt with the plastic surgeon in Sept for the surgery to correct my right breast. I'll try to be better with updates but it has been a bit of challenge dealing with the disfigurement as a woman. Hoping things will improve moving forward :-)
WOW!!! I'm sending you a HUGE hug!!! I think he really dropped the ball by not listening to your concerns - several days were wasted where he could have been treating that! Definitely make sure tha the corrects all the damage - after you have healed! I feel really bad for you - instead of enjoying your first summer free of the weight you are dealing with this instead! IF the doctors think that the chamber is the best method then fight insurance if they say no. The squeaky wheel gets the oil! Good luck to you honey!
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Thank you. It is helpful to have the support from everyone on here.
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Good Luck on your Reconstruction ! I'm sure they can do something - to even them Out !
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smith

Hi Everyone- I am 4 days post op and probably the normal - I have LOTS of swelling! I know it can take time to subside so I know I must learn patience! I've been drinking alot of water, lemon water, eating protein but I have to say it is definitely uncomfortable!. Initially things were going good and still so but I ended up with alot of bruising on my right side. The PS thinks this may have been from the binder and told me not to wear it. Which is great for now but when I go back to work - will be a problem! Can anyone direct me to a good site to purchase a post surgical bra?

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