9 weeks post reduction

I will be having a breast reduction on Dec 17. I...

I will be having a breast reduction on Dec 17. I am 43, 5'4 and about 240lbs. I am down from a high of 308 and I was hoping to do this after I lost the weight, but my weight loss has stalled and I have significant pain issues that get in the way of exercising and are now affecting work, so I have decided to go ahead with the reduction now. My breasts have changed shape with my 60 lb weight loss but have only gone down in band size. Currently I am a 40GG.

I decided to log onto realself in search of support. I am starting to get nervous and excited about the procedure and I would love to find some BR buddies to go through this with :-)

So today was the day... surgery was at 730 this...

So today was the day... surgery was at 730 this morning and I was home by 1230. I have had no pain to speak of, just a bit of shooting discomfort and it feels like I am wearing a bra that is too tight and that comes and goes. I am taking my meds on schedule trying to keep it at bay. I will go back and see the Dr on Wednesday and he will change my bandages. The dr had me wear a nausea patch to the surgery and I felt a very small amount of nausea and it passed very quickly. The last surgery I had I woke up throwing up in recovery room so this has been very nice!

The experience at the surgery center was very positive. Everyone was nice and everything seemed to go smoothly. The Dr and his nurse were very kind and unhurried with me which made me feel comfortable and listened to. Recovery room was very short lived but I liked it that way. They gave me something to eat and drink and when I was feeling up to it they wheeled me to the door where my boyfriend was waiting with the car. We headed straight home and went to bed and I have been asleep most of the day. I think the girls are starting to swell a bit which is registering as a little pressure, but not really painful.

Once home I was able to look at my figure in the mirror and I was pleased with what I could see. On that note I think I am going to put the computer down and go back to sleep... I will check in again as things progress.

I am one day post op and had to take the bandages...

I am one day post op and had to take the bandages off to get a picture for the Dr's office. My right breast is much more swollen. So while I had the chance I took some pics. My breasts have not been this small since Jr high. I can't beleive how wonderful my back feels, and my boyfriend swears I am taller because I am no longer being pulled forward. These small breasts will take a bit to get used to but I am really please so far. I will upload the pics so folks can see.

So I am three days post op and today has been a...

So I am three days post op and today has been a rougher day. I am having problems with the meds I am taking and I am getting hives. The pain is well controlled but I am somewhat loopy and over emotional. My dr said I needed to go ahead and raise my arms occasionally but whenever I raise the right one I feel my nipple getting pulled in. I told him about it during my appt yesterday and he said just to stretch it. It does seem to help when I stretch and give it a second to adjust, but it really scares me. I fly fish and my right arm is my casting arm so I hope this goes away as time passes. I am also concerned with the shape of my breasts, my dr told me to bring in pics of what I wanted and I did and asked if he felt he could give me those results. I also brought in pics of results I didn't like. He said he felt he could but that he might have to do a free nipple graft because that would give him more freedom to build the shape I liked. The morning of surgery he said he felt he could do it with out doing the FNG and I said that the shape mattered more to me than the sensation but if he could do both that would be great. I am afraid my shape was sacrificed for the nipple sensation, which really bums me out because loss of sensation would not be a big deal to me, because I never had much to start with . Currently my breast shape looks like one of the pics I brought in that I did not like. I know this will all change and I hope for the better, but as I mentioned I am over emotional today so it all feels really bad right now. I suppose that even if the shape does not turn out how I like it, the loss of the back pain is going to be so worth it!!

Well I am now a week out. It has been a much...

Well I am now a week out. It has been a much harder recovery than I thought. I thought this surgery was going to be no big deal, I have a high pain tolerance and they are just removing and arranging a couple little fat blobs right? When I was reading other peoples posts before the surgery I remembered seeing a lot of folks who were down a few days and then ditched the meds and were back to normal life with a few restrictions. I think that was the recovery that I wanted so that was what I was saw. Now I am seeing a lot more folks who are having recoveries like mine, I guess I had been looking for the easy stories and skipping the rougher ones.

I have been all over the map emotionally this week. One thing I didn't realize was how my breasts would change day to day, sometimes hour to hour. There were times I felt like I had a masectomy and times I was afraid they left too much. My nipples moved in and out, had feeling, lost feeling. The Dr took close to 5 lbs of breast tissue off plus some lipo and I came home 17 lbs heavier. The number on the scale was not the issue, but the pain on the incisions from being so blown up and tight was severe. There were times that I felt like my incisions were going to pop. The meds they gave me has kept the pain in check and kept me groggy, sleeping and itching in bed. The benadryl has helped a lot with the hives the meds caused. At 7 days later I am down 12 lbs, so the fear of popping my incisions from water retention is easing and I am starting to ease off the move off the pain meds and onto extra strength tylenol. Hopefully things will start to clear soon and I can get on with life and healing.

Well here we are 13 days into it. Things are...

Well here we are 13 days into it. Things are getting much better and I will add some updated pics. The pain is minimal, feels like I am engorged and sensitive to the touch and the incisions only hurt on the occasion that I move wrong. The emotional ups and downs from all of the foreign chemicals in my system have eased and I am feeling much better emotionally. As for activities I can do most things as long as it doesn't take reaching above my head or holding my arms outstretched with anything that has much weight to it. What that looks like is glasses that need to go up on a shelf can be managed as long as there is no stretching, but if a larger plate needs to go on the bottom of a pile of plates I will ask someone to lift the plates for me. I can do laundry with our front loading machines, but when I transfer the wash to the dryer I have to move just a couple pieces at a time. I am driving now but I try to keep it to a minimum as my right breast is still my problem child and swells up if I use my arm too much.

I am no longer worried so much about the shape of my breasts... that seems to change a lot so it will be some time before I get to see the final result and the fact that smaller breasts feel so much better (yes, even ones that are still healing) makes that less important for me at the moment.

As a bigger girl I worried in advance that this would make my stomach more noticable but I don't feel that it really has particularly in clothing. I look like I have lost 30 lbs at least because my upper abdomen (which is my thinnest spot) is visible and I am able to fully stand up straight. Before the surgery my breasts pushed down on my abdomen and pushed out the belly fat and created more of a roll. Once the reduction and lift was done a huge amount of breast tissue was taken and it was all pulled up creating a bit of a lift affect. I did have lipo but that was only on the breast roll under my arm but it looks like I had more done. My boyfriend says that before I was more of a pear shape because everthing including the breasts "were losing the war with gravity" and now I have curves where they are supposed to be.

Peoples reactions have been a lot of fun. My favorite was my sister... the first time she saw me her job dropped and she walked over staring at my breasts in shock.... when she finally spoke she said "I have never seen you with out boobs before"... and then she started poking them with one finger. Most people just comment on how they could never see the top of my abdomen and that it looks like I have lost 30-40lbs. Now that I am starting to feel better I am going to get on the walking and see if I can get my other areas going the right direction.

I went and saw the PS and his nurse today. They...

I went and saw the PS and his nurse today. They are both very friendly and patient with all of my questions. They took a look and said everything looks good and that the shape will round out as the breasts relax into place. My left has started coming down but the Rt is still high and tight. The Dr feels the pulling in my Rt arm should resolve itself, and that it is just the dissolvable stitches deep inside. He also said to start massaging the scars and recommended taping them to flatten them out. The nurse cut out the stitches that were obvious and it opened something up and a lot of fluid started coming out. Thankfully it wasn't infected, just a normal pocket that develops. That was the left side and my right side is much more swollen and I am wondering if it will open up as well, or if it will just absorb. I was supposed to go back to work next week but I am not even close to ready so I am going to take a bit more time off. I spoke with my boss about it today and thankfully there is coverage so I can just focus on getting as close to 100% before I go back.

21 days out and things are going pretty good. I...

21 days out and things are going pretty good. I am still careful with carrying weight over my head, and I can't lay on my stomach or Rt side but things are getting better all the time. I still have to limit my activities because as soon as I over-do the Rt side swells up. I am going to post pics from today and then this will be the last time I post them for awhile... I am not seeing much of a change in them other than the swelling.

Well I am 26 days out and I am still exhausted. ...

Well I am 26 days out and I am still exhausted. This suprises me but I am seeing a lot of the other girls in the forums are having the same issue. An example of this is yesterday I took my son to school in the morning, I came home and picked up my partner and we went out to lunch and then to 1 store. We shopped for less than 30 minutes, couldn't find anything and headed home. Once we got home I was so exhausted I went to bed and slept until dinner time.

Other than that I am healing up nicely. The Rt arm still has more fluid in it and swells a lot if I eat too much salty food or if I do too much with it. My incisions are healing up nicely and the Dr has told me to start taping incisions and massaging them with oil. I have found I can not tape it because it makes me break out. I am oiling my breasts with palmers oil and last night while running my fingers down the incisions I started feeling pops inside that felt like I was popping bubble wrap. I am assuming it was stitches letting go but I don't really know. Most of the pops didn't hurt but then I got to one that almost brought me to my knees. The pain passed and today I had a couple more pops but they were painless.

I decided to post some more pics because it seems...

I decided to post some more pics because it seems like things are changing a bit. It seems like most of the swelling is gone and things are starting to settle. I went and had a bra fitting today and I am betwen a B and C cup. I had been going for a full C to a small D, the Dr reccomended a D. I have been concerned off and on about how small I ended up but I think if I had to err on the side of being too small or being too large I would rather be too small... I can always add a padded bra if I need to! I have to say I am loving not having all the shoulder, sternum and back pain and being able to wear sundresses and empire waist clothing designs has been a lot of fun!

Here we are at 9 weeks post reduction. I have...

Here we are at 9 weeks post reduction. I have been back to work for 2 weeks. Even though I had taken 7 weeks off the first week back was exhausting, the second week back was much better. I got off work Friday night and I still had energy... I am so excited! I have been able to get things done around the house this weekend and I feel totally back to normal. My breasts are healing up nicely and I am finally used to the smaller size. They sort of remind me of a short haircut, always looks nice but you can't do much with them ;-)

Almost 2 years out

So here I am almost two years out. The pain in my shoulders, back and sternum are gone and most of the scars have healed nicely. I have settled into a 38C. What I didn't realize going into this was how much attention I got because of my large breasts. When I walked into a room everyone looked...After the reduction no one does and I had to deal with feeling invisible. There was a lot more emotional stuff to deal with than I expected where my breast size was concerned. Now that I am past that and don't feel like I had a mastectomy I love my breasts. As the Dr who did my last breast exam said they "feel real" and not all do after surgery. The scars have lightened significantly and in some areas are completely gone. They are perky and comfortable. I did have a cyst develop in the LT breast so you sill see some scarring around the nipple from when it was removed but I am very happy with them.
Medford Plastic Surgeon

I chose him based on personal references from the Dr's I work with as well as friends who have had breast cancer and needed reconstruction.

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