Starting on a New Adventure - Massachusetts, MA

I am a 24 year old female. I am almost 5 feet and...

I am a 24 year old female. I am almost 5 feet and 160 pounds with a 40H bra size. I've been contemplating getting a breast reduction for a while now because of back pain and other common symptoms of being large chested.

I got a referral from my doctor to a plastic surgeon, and I went to my appointment today. I got there 15 minutes early and filled out a bunch of paperwork. This included a sheet where I had to rate the severity of symptoms related to having large breasts. I was called back less than 5 minutes after my scheduled appointment time. A nurse took my vitals and then had me watch a video all about the procedure. I learned about the various methods of incision, side effects, etc. After I was done with this video, the doctor came in. She answered all the questions I had. She let me know that she would be using the lollipop method, the type of anesthesia I'd be receiving, and other helpful information.

While my weight was initially a concern, I am not so overweight that she won't operate on me. I am so pleased that this is the doctor that will be doing my surgeon. She is very nice and has an excellent bedside manner. She is also very experienced; she does at least a few breast reductions per week. Before we were done, she took pictures of me to send to the insurance company. After this, I met with the woman in charge of sending information and letters to insurance companies. She said that I should not have much of a problem getting approved through insurance. Based on my height and weight, they require 300 grams of tissue to be removed from each breast, and the doctor said that they wanted to remove at least 800 grams. I was thrilled to hear this. I also got a folder with necessary paperwork about aftercare, pre/postoperative appointments dates, and other information. Last but not least, we set a date for surgery! I am scheduled to go in on September 25, and I can not wait. It should take a week to hear from the insurance company. I will keep you all updated on this journey.

I talked to the doctor's office today, and I got...

I talked to the doctor's office today, and I got approved by insurance. I'm ecstatic! Only 63 more days to go!

I am officially at the 60 day mark! It seems so...

I am officially at the 60 day mark! It seems so far away! I am going to look through the paperwork that the surgeon gave me in detail and make a notebook/binder of all things related to the surgery. I wanted to ask a question of you all though. Is there anything you found really helpful during your recovery or was there anything you didn't have that you wish you did?

Only 58 days left. I just did some organizing of...

Only 58 days left. I just did some organizing of my paperwork. I also wrote some things down to keep organized. I wrote down the following things:

To do list: I need to call my plastic surgeon's office to let them know the date of my medical clearance appointment with my primary care doctor. They need to fax some paperwork to my PCP to have them fill out during my appointment. I also need to eventually go shopping for supplies I'll need post surgery.

Important Information: This is a page with tidbits that are helpful for me to know before and after surgery (such as no driving for 5-7 days or while on narcotics and no lifting greater than 10 pounds or bending at the waist to lift for 6 weeks.) I also wrote my approval number for insurance on this paper.

I made a countdown for my breast reduction. I made a number grid, and as each day passes I cross out that number of days. Can you tell I'm excited? haha

I made a list of question to ask the PS during my preop appointment.

Last but not least, I also made a list of appointment dates relevant to the surgery.

I went to the beach today, so of course I had to...

I went to the beach today, so of course I had to wear the bathing suit that fits the over the shoulder boulder holders. It made me realize another thing that I can look forward to after surgery. I can't wait to get some cute clothes and bathing suits!

Hey everyone. 36 days until surgery! I am...

Hey everyone. 36 days until surgery! I am getting more excited but also more nervous as the days pass. My mind is a jumble of thoughts, so I'll try to keep this as organized as possible. I went shopping this weekend and I bought a dress for an upcoming wedding. It made me realize how much I'll be looking forward to being able to buy normal clothes where I won't have to accommodate Laverne and Shirley. We were visiting family this weekend, and a family member gave me a pillow with arms for post surgery recovery. I also have tried searching for clothes that button in the front, but I haven't really had much luck.

In other news, I called my surgeon's office today with a couple of questions I had. The questions were as follows: 1) I have several piercings in my ears. Is it okay if I leave them in if I put non metal retainers in the holes? 2) I am starting on a new type of birth control shortly. Will having this effect my surgery? 3) I work with young children, so there are times when I may catch whatever "cooties" they have. Being that I am able to, would it be wise to take a few days off before the surgery just so I don't get sick from them? I spoke with the office at around 9:00 and they said the doctor or someone else would call me back with the answers. Dr. Topal called me around 11-12:00. I was impressed with how fast she called back. She said non metal jewelry should be ok as well as the new form of birth control. As for my third question, she said its not necessary to take time off but to do what I think is best.

I am not sure what to do about taking time off. I would be upset if anything such as illness were to interfere with me being able to have this surgery. I am leaning towards taking 3-5 days off beforehand. I want to be able to be physically and emotionally prepared/not stressed before this procedure.

Only 33 days left. I had an appointment after...

Only 33 days left. I had an appointment after work today and some time to kill in between, so I went to Savers (an awesome thrift store if any of you have one nearby) and bought 2 button up shirts for after surgery. They are both size large, so I'm hoping they fit. On another note, I decided to take the week before my surgery off from work. I decided it's very important for me to go into this with as low a stress level as possible. I will do things to prepare for the surgery and do some things to just hang out and relax. On a final note, I have an appointment with Dr. Topal on the 12th, and I am going to make a binder of reduction pictures so I can hopefully show her what size I'd like to be if possible.

This was an update from yesterday, but I forgot to...

This was an update from yesterday, but I forgot to submit it! I'll just add todays information at the end of this post.

Hey ladies! My mind is all over the place today, so I apologize if this post is a little jumbled.

-I have my medical clearance appointment with my primary care doctor tomorrow at 2:15. I'm excited! This means one step closer to the big day.
-I was at the mall this weekend. I found a shirt that I love. It fits everywhere except it's a little snug on my chest. I can't wait to wear it after surgery.
-I am thinking of buying a body pillow for after surgery.
-I was also throwing around the idea of buying a recliner
-I am also going to order some dvds online for after surgery as well.
-I got a bottle of arnica, and I am going to start taking it 2 weeks before my surgery to help reduce bruising.
-When I meet with Dr. Topal, I am going to talk to her about being able to get iv sedation instead of general anesthesia for the procedure. I have never had ga before and I'd really like to avoid it if at all possible.

Today's (September 4th) update:

-I had my medical clearance appointment. It went really well. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes. They basically said I am healthy and am all set to go with the surgery too. I am also down 4 pounds since my last weigh in, which is great as well. I am getting more and more excited as the days pass by. 8 more days of work and 21 days until surgery!

Well, this is it. It is my last week of work...

Well, this is it. It is my last week of work before surgery. This is becoming more real to me now! My pre-op appointment is this week, and then I have next week off to relax and prepare myself for the big day. In other news, I got one of my piercings removed yesterday, which was a bummer. At least it is for a good reason. I'm going to ask Dr. Topal if I can keep in my earrings even though they are metal.

I am officially done with work now! This makes me...

I am officially done with work now! This makes me excited beyond belief. This week is going to be spent shopping and preparing for surgery and just relaxing. I must admit the nerves are starting to kick into gear though, which is a bummer. On a happy note, the surgery itself is $250! That makes me really happy. I'm not sure what other costs will be associated with it, but I will have to wait and see.

I am officially in the single digits countdown! ...

I am officially in the single digits countdown! Today was 9 days left until surgery!!!

I am getting so close now. I am excited but...

I am getting so close now. I am excited but getting really nervous. I picked up some last minute supplies. I filled the prescription for my pain meds today. I also picked up nursing pads to stick under my breasts instead of gauze and some stool softener. I also bought some front closure sports bras from JC Penny. That's really all I can think of. I may pick up some things to do for fun for the first few days even though I'll probably just be on my computer. I also decided I want to buy a new, cozy blanket. If I'm going to be in bed for a little while, I might as well try to make myself as comfortable as possible!

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I am feeling...

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I am feeling nervous but excited for this to have happened. I'll update tomorrow when I can.

I'm home and smaller chested! I will try to do a...

I'm home and smaller chested! I will try to do a bigger update after I rest. :)

I apologize if ther are any typos or bad grammar...

I apologize if ther are any typos or bad grammar in this update because I am updating from my phone. I woke up at 5 am today. I didn't fall asleep until 1am, but at least I was able to get a couple hours of sleep. I put on a button up shirt and some pajamas, and we were off to the hospital at 530. I got there at 6 and i got checked in. Before i go any further, i wanted to tell you all about this neat feature in the hospital. There is a computer screen in the waiting room with the patients initials and their operating surgeon. Your information gets highlighted in a different color on the screen depending on what phase of surgery you are in. I thought it was really neat that my parents could keep track on what phase of the preop/surgery i was in. So i got checked in and signed some paperwork and was then taken back to my preop/recovery room. My nurses were very nice. They checked my temp and all other vitals. Then they got an iv started. My veins were not cooperating, so i had to be poked 3 times. Not fun at all. Then my parents came back and Dr. Topal came in shortly thereafter. My stepfather left the room while she marked me. It was nice to see a familiar face and she chatted with me and put me at ease a lot. The nurse anesthetist came and talked to me and she and the anesthesiolgist put me to sleep. I remember telling my mom i was a little tired, and my next memory is waking up in recovery. I woke up a little bit and Dr. Topal stopped in. The surgery took 4 hours and she removed 1000 grams from each side!!! I was really thirsty so i got ice chips and juice. My parents came in, were shown how to do the drains, and we were on our way home. My boyfriend came over and brought flowers which was super sweet. The Only bad part about today was that i didnt eat much until later on. I felt incredibly sick because of that, but i felt better once i got some sigar and protein into my body. As far as the pain goes, i am doing really well. I started taking arnica tablets 2 days ago which has helped immensely. The only place that hurts is where the drains are and it is completely manageable. Speaking Of the drains, the nurse forgot to give us the cup to measure the fluid. So my stepfather had to run back to the hospital. He ran into Dr. Topal who apologized about us not receiving the cup. He also asked her if it's okay if each breast has a different amount of liquid draining, and she said that it is completely normal. So now i am here. I do not getting this done one bit. My apologies for this being so long, but i just wanted to describe the whole procedure today.

It is post op day 2, and I feel pretty good. I've...

It is post op day 2, and I feel pretty good. I've been able to get up on my own today without any help and am able to sit up in bed comfortably. I haven't had to take any Vicodin yet, which I am thrilled about. I am still just taking Arnica and Tylenol. The only downside is the Arnica makes me feel slightly ill, so I may reduce the amount I am taking. The drains are still really annoying me. The drain sites are the only part of my breast which hurts a little bit, but it's still manageable. The biggest bummer is that I may have to get my drains removed later than I thought. In order to get them removed, I have to have 30 cc's or less of drainage for two consecutive 24 hour periods. I was supposed to get them removed on Friday, but I am still draining fluid quite a bit. If I'm able to shower with the drains in, I wont be as disappointed though. Other than that, I feel fine. There is not much pain, just the infamous 'zingers' and occasional tingly feeling in my breast.

Day 5 post op: I must say that I am doing...

Day 5 post op:

I must say that I am doing pretty well. The only bad thing was I was feeling a little ill even after I discontinued Arnica. I called Dr. Topal's office in a panic, but she said not to worry. If I was eating, drinking, sleeping, and going to the bathroom, then it is probably just the anesthesia leaving my body. I was still having too much drainage as of Friday (it looks like I will be able to get them out tomorrow though), so I decided to try taking a shower. Combined with that and applying ointment and putting new dressings on the wounds, I was feeling pretty nauseous and dizzy. I am feeling really good in terms of pain level though. I took Tylenol when I was day 2 post op and haven't taken anything since then. I should also mention that while my bra from the hospital was in the wash, I wore one of my zip front sports bras to keep everything in place. I fit into a D cup, which I am ecstatic about!!!

I am now drainless! I called Dr. Topal's office...

I am now drainless! I called Dr. Topal's office this morning, and they had me come in for 9:15. The drain removal was so easy. It felt more like a tight tugging sensation than anything. My stitches were also removed today. Dr. Topal came in and looked at me, and she said that everything looked great. She even said that my left side looked perfect. I don't have to go for my post op appointment, which was scheduled for this Friday. She told me to schedule an appointment for 6 weeks from my surgery date, unless a problem arises (in which case she'd see me a lot sooner.) So, I am going back on October 29th.

I was 2 weeks post op today, and I am doing well. ...

I was 2 weeks post op today, and I am doing well. My right breast had some white stuff on it and my incision was looking weird, so I called Dr. Topal's office last Friday. I went in, and she said I have some wound separation and that the white stuff is protein if I remember correctly. She did say that wound separation is common and it is nothing to worry about. I was instructed to keep washing the wound and putting the ointment I have been using on it. The only annoying thing is that there is still discharge, and it was leaking onto my bras. The discharge was smelling a little bit which had me concerned, but there were no other signs of infection. I used a double gauze pad on the area where there is drainage still, and there was ironically no smell. I think the discharge just smelled because it was mixing with my sweat. I really have been feeling good though. I have been going out and have been able to drive. I'm thinking I'll go back to work in a month. This procedure has definitely boosted my confidence. The people I have seen said I look really good and so much more proportionate. They have said it looks like I've lost weight too. I am still in the 42 D zip front bras. They are beginning to feel more roomy on me, so I'm thinking my swelling has went down a lot. I think I'll soon be back to me pre surgery band size of a 40. So far, Dr. Topal's predictions of me being a small D cup seem to be pretty accurate.

On another note, I wanted to get Dr. Topal a little something to say thank you for all she's done for me because she really has been great throughout this process. I'm wondering if this is something any of you have ever done? I don't want to do anything huge; I was just thinking of getting some cookies from a bakery and writing her a thank you card. Another idea I had was maybe getting a plant for the office or something?

It's been a while since I've updated! Things are...

It's been a while since I've updated! Things are going really well. My incisions are healing really well, and the place where the wound separation was looks like it's almost closed. I did have a spot on my left breast which looked irritated, but I saw the other doctor in the office. He said that it wasn't anything to worry about, and it was probably from the bra. The seam on the bra was likely rubbing against my skin and was causing it to be irritated, combined with the sweat. I bought new bras from Target that are wonderful. They are 100% wireless cotton bras by Playtex and are 17 dollars each.

On another note, I have seen a bunch of people for the first time since I have had the surgery and have had all positive reactions. It feels really good. I also got fitted at Victoria's Secret and fit into a 38D. I haven't been that size since high school.

Today was my 6 week post op visit (technically I'm...

Today was my 6 week post op visit (technically I'm 5 weeks tomorrow, but close enough!) Because the office was trying to fit everyone in before the weather got bad, the wait was longer than usual. It was cool being able to talk to other patients though. There was a woman there who was considering getting a breast reduction done, and I definitely gave positive reviews about mine. The nurse took me into a room, and then Dr. Topal came in. She said that aside from a potential spitting stitch, everything looks great. I do not need to set up any more post up appointments unless I have a problem, in which she said she'd see me right away. I'm pretty much free to do anything. I can sleep on my stomach, go back to work, wear underwire bras, and go braless at night! Their printer wasn't working, but Dr. Topal said they'd email me my pre and post op pictures. I wrote her a note on some stationery to thank her for everything she's done, and she seemed touched by that. I keep feeling better and better about this surgery every day. It went so well, and I could not ask for better results and a better surgeon. I do have one piece of advice to women looking to get it done... just do it!

I am feeling more fabulous each and every day. ...

I am feeling more fabulous each and every day. Other than the occasional stinging sensation (which i was told was normal), I would have never even guessed I had surgery. The spitting stitch "erupted" if you will. It looked like a whitehead (sorry if that's gross), but it looks so much better and is now scabbed over! Dr. Topal's office mailed me my pre-op pictures today. All I have to say is my body looks completely and utterly different. Looking at pictures now, my breasts were a lot bigger than I ever realized.

I am 8 weeks post op, and I feel great! On the...

I am 8 weeks post op, and I feel great! On the 15th, I went back to Dr. Topal's office. I had some blood accumulation under my skin, which was also beginning to bruise (it didn't look pretty, that's for sure.) It turns out I had a spitting stitch. She made a small incision in my skin and removed it. While I was there, she also thanked me for the note I wrote and said it was very sweet. I am glad she liked it because she has been an incredible surgeon who has only improved for the better. The wound was getting on my nerves for a little while. This was because I didn't want to wear nice bras since my nonstick pads would always move around in my bra, and then I'd bleed on the inside of the cups. The incision is pretty much closed now, though. I bought some Mederma for my scars and I plan to start using it soon. I know there is some scarring involved with a procedure like this, but I want to try to minimize it as much as possible.

On a happy note, I went to the mall on Black Friday. I had a credit at Lane Bryant for some pre-surgrery bras that I never wore. Their bras were all half off, so I bought a bunch of new ones. I am amazed at how pretty they are and how the straps aren't as thick as a tank top! My current size is still a 38 D.

It is crazy to think that I am almost four months...

It is crazy to think that I am almost four months post op! It seems like it was just yesterday. The only annoying thing is that I still have spitting stitches. They are all occurring in one spot. Needless to say, I guess my stitches aren't fully dissolved yet! I went to a specialty lingerie store to get fitted, and they told me I was a 38 D. I bought some bras from Lane Bryant and Victoria's Secret, but my breasts seem to slip out of those. I think it may be because the straps can't be tightened enough. I think I am going to wait until the 6 month mark and then I will buy some new bras from the specialty store.

I had a doctor's appointment today at 4:30, so I...

I had a doctor's appointment today at 4:30, so I got sent home at 3. Since I had some time, I had called Dr. Topal's office earlier in the day to see if they could squeeze me in. Normally, I get out at 5 and she leaves at 4 so I was lucky to be squeezed in today with such short notice. I showed Dr. Topal the area where the spitting stitches have been occurring. She said it's a little odd that there are still stitches popping through, but it's not unheard of. She said that they should just stop on there own. Dr. Topal said that if I am still having spitting stitches at the 6 month post op mark to make another appointment. We'd further investigate what was going on; it may entail removing a piece of skin. Whatever it is, she said it could be done in the office.

I can't believe it's been a month since I last...

I can't believe it's been a month since I last updated. There is not much to update on. Things are still going well. I haven't had any more spitting stitches, which is a relief. I'm going to start putting Mederma on my scars more regularly so they will hopefully go away.

almost 9 months post-op

I will be 9 months post op tomorrow! It literally seems like I just had my surgery yesterday. Time sure does fly! My spitting stitches are pretty much gone (I just had a baby spot where I had two fairly recently, but that's it.) I'm definitely glad about that. I know they usually dissolve quicker, but I guess that my body handles surgery differently than other peoples' bodies. The scars on my left breast are fading very nicely. The ones on the right breast still have a ways to go. I'm not too worried though, because I had all the issues with wound separation and spitting stitches on my right breast. It looks as if my final size is somewhere between a 36 D and 36 DD. It really depends on the bra though. As I was sorting through clothes, I found some of my preop bras. I had to think to myself "Was I really THAT big?" Anyway, I think that's all for now. I am still eternally grateful that I was able to get this surgery done. It only changed my life for the better.
Florence Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Topal is amazing! My primary care physician referred her to me, and I can see why. She is an amazing doctor who clearly cares about the well being of her patients. She answers all questions with thoroughness and kindess. Whenever I've called her office, I have gotten a response within an hour or two. She is also the nicest lady. I was nervous today, and she talked to me when she came in and marked me, which I really appreciated. If anybody is in the Massachusetts area and is even moderately close, I give Dr. Topal my highest recommendation possible.

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 (37)

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So happy to hear that you are doing so well! Doesn't it seem like a few blinks ago that we were counting down together.... I am also feeling very well and healing is going well too. I was out of town and just got back so my post op will be the 20th when I will take two month pictures.... wow hard to believe. hugs to you
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Awesome...I'm very happy for you,,
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Congratulations on your successful outcome!! Treats for the doc and her staff and a written card are perfect - that always goes over great!!
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So glad you're doing well!!! That's awesome that you've not been in a lot of pain. Hope you continue healing beautifully, Arielllie!
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WOO HOO ARIELLE! so very happy for you friend! The future is so bright you need sunglasses! :-)
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Great arielle, so happy you are doing well. Hoping for your drains out tomorrow! I am feeling well also. You had a big reduction and you will have a huge relief - there are sunny skies in your future for sure. Keep us posted on the drains and how you are feeling. Try really pushing the fluids that has helped me a ton. Take care and rest. :-)
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Thank you Ann! I definitely do want children in my future, but I couldn't imagine waiting until I have kids a few years down the line. I've hated coming out of the general anesthesia as well.
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Same here! How did you feel when you came to? I was grouchy and demanding people around (I think). One of my first memories of it though was telling the PS to give me a hug and he said, "Now you want to be all cuddly." Haha, hope I wasn't too bad. Did you have a sore throat from the tube? I could barely talk the next day!
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I was fine when I immediately came out. I was just groggy and a little light headed. I was more thirsty than anything though. I remember trying to lift my head to find a clock to see how long the surgery lasted, and I was too tired lol! A few days later though, I've still been a little dizzy/light headed and nauseous. My PS said that it was just the anesthesia leaving my body, especially if I hadn't taken any pain meds.
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Congrats on your recent surgery! Can't wait to see post op pics. I am on day 6 post op! I hated coming out of the general, I didn't want to touch food! Now I'm trying to "curb" my apetite. 1000 grams, you'll feel like a brand new woman! Can't wait to hear more updates. Best of luck with your healing process.
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I forgot to mention that I'm also 24 and have one child. I am not sure if I will have more children but I have to state that this was the right decision for me.
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Congrats Ann, mine was on the 19th and the right and best decision for me also....only wish is that I had done it years ago.... My appetite is not back, I will also post pictures soon.... :-)
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WooHoo! Congrats, Ariel!
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So glad to hear from you so soon, and happy for you that all went well! Get lots of rest, and try to eat lots of protein and drink plenty of water, juice, etc. Congrats on making it to the other side, or as I have also read, 'over the rainbow'!!
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Thank you Jacquie and Margie! I am just taking it easy and relaxing. I have been drinking liquids like it's my job haha! And, I agree with you on the protein part. I definitely don't feel as good if I don't have any.
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Hooray Arielllie
so happy for you! Rest and drink alot of water to flush all the surgery meds out of your system, it will also help the swelling down...i know that sounds backwards but it is true it works. Congratulations again!!!!
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congratulations!
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Good luck tomorrow, Ariel! Will be anxious to hear how you do!!
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Yahoo! It'll be here before you know it!
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woo hoo!!!!! and it WILL go very fast...especially if you keep busy doing the things you want to do before your big to small day.... hugs!
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Hey all. I just had my pre-op appointment with my PS today. This seems more and more real to me now! First, the nurse took my family and I into the exam room and talked to us about pain medication and a list of pre-op supplies that I'd need. It says to get Aquaphor or a similar ointment, gauze/cotton pads, and a stool softener. Then Dr. Topal came in. I talked to her about my concerns related to GA/nausea and narcotics/nausea. She said they can put Zofran in my IV. As for the narcotics, she said I can take half a pill and to take it with food. She also said I can take Tylenol and only take the narcotics if necessary. I got all of my questions answered too, the most important of which was my bra situation. I am going to get sent home with a surgical bra, and Dr. Topal told me to get a 42 C or 42 D front closure sports bra from JC Penny. I have to wear those for the first three weeks. The only bummer is that she said she may have to do some cutting underneath since I am so large chested. I was hoping to avoid an anchor type scars, but I totally trust her. And, if it helps me have a good results then that's okay with me!
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I have the anchor Ariel and they look really good. You can't see them at all and they give my breast a really nice shape. I was hesitant about them too, but they have not cause me any issues at all.
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Thank you for telling me! I was a little nervous because I thought it may be harder to wear bras at first since the incisions will be in the way.
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My first few bras were just the bandini-type and cheap walmart sports bras (picture on my review) and they didn't bother my incisions at all and worked great for holding my dressings in place. At about 4 weeks post-op I got a Bali Comfort Revolution that was wonderful. And I was at about 3 months when I started wearing underwires again. Thought I would never wear one again, but they are still what I find to be the most comfortable.
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good luck to you.we will be waiting to hear your story!!. *hugs*
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