Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
It's Finally Time - Michigan
- posted 1 year ago
- updated 6 months ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $60
Hello all! I thought I would write about my...
- 23 May 2012
- 2 months pre
Hello all! I thought I would write about my experience here, since all of the reviews and youtube videos I've found of those who have explained and answered questions about their breast reduction experience have helped me so much in my process.
Plus, things are starting to feel a bit more real in this process, since I scheduled my surgery yesterday!! I am set to have a breast reduction on July 9th. I can hardly believe it, since this is something I've thought about since high school. A little about me... I am 25 years old, 5'8", and weigh around 205 pounds. My bra size is about a 36/G or 38/F depending on what I can find that fits.
Growing up, I developed early and just kept going. I remember having to wear a bra in third grade...and still getting bigger throughout even high school. About 2-3 years ago, I lost about 30 pounds when I decided to change some lifestyle habits and get healthier (I am still on this journey). After losing the 30 pounds, I discovered that none of the weight loss had seemed to effect my breasts. Perhaps they sagged a bit more...but I was still in a 38/F bra. My breasts have always been a point of love and hate for me. Sure it's fun that I can put on a sexy top and go out to the club and attract attention...but that is only fun for so long and it's not really the attention that I want to attract. These breasts have given me pain on my ribs (from the underwire having so much weight on them), marks on my shoulders, as well as chronic shoulder, neck, and back pain. Sometimes I don't even notice the pain until I'm doing something like driving and I think "hm...why do I feel sore between my shoulder blades...oh...." I have always had to go up sizes in clothing to accommodate them and have never been able to successfully wear anything strapless. They have caused me pain and have had a negative effect on my self-esteem and self-confidence.
For years I've been having my primary doctor document that I have been having pain associated with my larger breasts, and for years I have contemplated getting the procedure done. I was a fine arts major during my university years, so there was never much down time for me to recover and be on my feet again in a short amount of time for my busy schedule and rehearsal hours...so the idea of surgery kept getting pushed back further and further. Then, when I turned 22 I got kicked off my parents' insurance and suddenly was left feeling upset that I had not acted on the idea of having breast reduction surgery. Because of the changes in healthcare, I am able to be on my parents' insurance again until I am 26. So, the time to act is now! I have grown so much as a person in the past few years, so I feel as if I am emotionally ready for the surgery now.
My first consult was on April 10th, 2012. The ps was informative and positive. I felt comfortable and felt that his work looked really consistent and liked what he had to say about the procedure and how his patients have done with it. Plus, a family friend of ours has had the same procedure, a breast reduction, with the same ps and loved her results. He and I both agreed that a nice full D cup would be a good idea for me. He also brought up taking out some of the adipose near my armpits, since that is actually breast-like tissue. He said this happens to many women with large breasts. I was surprised, but it made sense to me. I have always wondered why I have these little pockets of tissue there. Everything he said made sense and felt right, and he had a good sense of humor, which was nice. My mom and I both liked him (she went with me to the appointment). He felt that I would definitely benefit from the procedure and was optimistic about my chances of being able to breast feed if I have children in the future. To me, that says that his clients tend to have a good success rate with this, which is very important to me.
My second consult was...less than good. The ps told me that I was "right on the bubble" of the probability of being covered by insurance for the procedure. He basically told me to lose 50 pounds. It was really upsetting...since I've already lost 30 pounds and am working on losing more weight currently. My large breasts make exercise difficult! I basically said to him "yeah..I know I'll never be down to under 140 pounds because I'm just not petite..." and he told me I could! I was flabbergasted! He then looked down at the BMI chart on the table infront of us and was like "oh, well 160 would be healthy for you." Um...160 is definitely not 140!!! So weird. All it did was make me feel horrible.
I made both consult appointments at the same time, so I could get a second opinion to make sure I was happy with whichever ps I went with. Well, the second ps definitely showed me I'm making the right decision by going with the first ps I went to see! I had almost canceled the second consult, but went through with it anyway.
Then, about a week ago, my insurance company called me to tell me my procedure would be covered! Woohoo!! I went down to the ps's office yesterday (I don't live too far and was out running errands) and scheduled my surgery. I'll be getting it done on July 9th. Arriving at the hospital at 10:30, surgery at noon. Should I keep the time of surgery at this time or switch to a day where I'd have an earlier surgery? I'm fine with the whole not eating the morning of...I just want to be sure I choose a time where the ps will be at his most alert, to ensure the best possible outcome from surgery. I'm weird, I know. lol Just want to make sure things go as smoothly as possible! Hopeful that I won't have complications with sensation coming back or breast feeding options in the future, once the surgery is completed.
Well! That's it for now. Anxious! Just wanting better health and a great outcome. :] Thanks all!
I'll post some pictures too that I took tonight.
Got my surgery consent forms in the mail yesterday...
- 26 May 2012
- 2 months pre
Still can't believe this is happening!
So I'm wondering if I should move my surgery to...
- 28 May 2012
- 2 months pre
My point with this? I want to make sure I'm getting closer to my ideal weight as possible prior to surgery. I fluctuate between 205 and 210 right now, and want to get down to between 160-170 ideally. I've been on a weight loss journey for a few years now. Lost 30 pounds in 2010-2011, but then got a really bad case of epstein barr/mono, and couldn't work out for awhile, which really threw me off. I maintained my weight loss, since I had developed better eating habits. I've been able to keep maintaining this year, and know that if I'm able to work out regularly again, that I can lose this 30-40 pounds... I'd love to go down 10-20 before surgery. I just don't want to have a negative effect if I lose 30+ pounds after surgery I guess.
I know this sounds crazy too...but part of my method of scheduling a surgery date comes from my astrology background. There's certain times I don't want to touch, as far as when certain planets are retrograding...etc... Also, another factor to take into account is that I would love to be able to audition for more community theatre in the fall, and I feel like having surgery in July would help me be able to recover in time to be able to be at my best for auditions...
Sorry for my rambling! Just some thoughts that are floating around in my head. Not sure what to do! Should I workout from now till a July 9th surgery or put off surgery till late August/early September and have more time to keep up regular exercise, though it would cut into my performing opportunities.
So, long story short, I got my gym membership up...
- 1 Jun 2012
- 1 month pre
I think I'm going to give myself till June 9th to decide if I want to move my surgery back a month or two, in an effort to lose more weight prior to surgery. See how I feel about it after a week and a half of exercising regularly again.
I must say...last night definitely reminded me why I'm having this surgery though! My chest was moving all over the place and felt so heavy, making my neck hurt! Can't wait to be able to workout without feeling this way!!
Thanks all! The support community here is great.
I scheduled my pre-op appointment today for July...
- 21 Jun 2012
- 18 days pre
Ahhhh!! lol I can't believe July 9th is almost just 2 weeks away...
Did anyone else have an experience of having the side boob extracted as well? I believe they call it the tail of spence. The little bags near the underarms of breast tissue. My ps had said he wants to remove them. Any thoughts? I'm all for it...I'm just nervous that the incisions there might be more painful during the healing process since they're near the shoulder joint, which is used so often. Also, I'm hoping it won't have any sort of negative effect on the lymph nodes in the axillary area (armpit).
Just thinking out loud! Nervous, but I think I'm doing the right thing with all of this! It's just scary when you've never done anything like this before.
So, my pre-op appointment was this past Tuesday.....
- 7 Jul 2012
- 2 days pre
I cannot believe the surgery is on Monday! It just feels so bizarre that it is finally here and happening. Feels sooo surreal! The only things making me nervous are the whole wanting a great result and some other things having to do with timing besides the losing weight part (I'm really into astrology, so I try to time things just right). I'm going to be going to the health food store later today or tomorrow to pick up my favorite vitamins (vitamin code for women, my fav!!) and get the arnica homeopathic sucrose tablets to take post-surgery. Maybe a smart water too...I felt so sick last night suddenly (I'm ok, maybe just a little dehydrated today). I think it is because I was stupidly using a plastic water bottle over and over again for 2 weeks..used it for my water at zumba yesterday and felt horrible about an hour afterward. Time to hydrate today! lol Don't use plastic water bottles over and over again...lesson learned!
Also, some other notable things from my pre-op appointment were he said I would be wrapped with a big ace bandage type thing around and around after surgery and that I would come in the day after surgery for him to take it off. He said they would fit me with a bra at the office (post surgery type one I'm guessing), and that I could shower at any point after that. Said if I'm feeling up to it I could exercise any time after 2 weeks.
I need to find CHG soap to shower with tomorrow as well as the morning of the surgery. The hospital pre-op ladies called this week and told me to have fresh clean sheets and clothes the night before surgery as well as sleeping with a pet on the bed. Sorry to my kitty who will have to find another bed for the night! lol
I also need to go to the store and pick up like one or two button up shirts that will be comfy for right after surgery...I don't own too many since they never fit because of my breasts! lol
Many things happening! Good things though!
Looking forward to having dinner with a friend tonight for some pre-surgery relaxation!
My surgery went really well! The Dr said...
- 10 Jul 2012
- 1 day post
When I woke up I felt really tight and uncomfortable in my chest area. I felt like I was going to vomit, but they gave me this aromatherapy thing to smell, which stopped me from feeling like I needed to throw up (thank god). I was really tickled by this since I'm really into holistic health and have taken a class on the therapeutic use of aromatherapy. I loved that they were using it at the hospital, and boy did it help me and worked! Shortly after that they gave me some ice cubes to munch on. Recovery room time was definitely not my favorite part of the experience. The nurse who was watching me initially had had a difficult patient besides me, and she was really distracted and seemed stressed out (um hello, just assign a different nurse to me if that's the case!! lol). She made me feel like she didn't really want to help me. Whatever. Another nurse did take over for her and she was much more attentive and nicer. My parents came back and I was freaking out since my left hand was numb. The nurse called my Dr to make sure it was ok, and he explained that with removing the ectopic breast tissue from my axilla (armpit) area they numb that area with a local anesthetic as well (think of it like how you feel after being numbed at the dentist, but down your arm and hand since it numbed the area where the major nerve that travels down your arm/hand is was numbed instead...odd sensation!!!). I was so frustrated since they weren't giving me any pain medication and I was in so much pain at this point. My nurse helped me sit up and I was wheeled out to the parking garage where my dad had the car waiting for me. The drive home was absolutely awful since I didn't have any pain meds in me and all the bumps and turns felt so painful to my chest area. When I got home, my mom had me eat some light foods and I quickly was given my pain med to help ease the discomfort. It was a pretty uncomfortable evening, I must say. I was able to breathe a bit better and relax from the meds, but they don't feel that strong. I had some dinner as the evening went on (surgery was at 12:30, got home after 6 PM) and just tried to relax. I ended up sleeping on the couch propped up to nearly sitting level with one of those armed upright pillows with another pillow for my head on the upper part of it...with my legs on another chair in front of that. Not necessarily the easiest or most fun sleeping set up, but it worked for having me in a more upright position for the night. I did sleep finally, and got up at 5:30 AM to take more pain meds. I woke up for the day at about 8:30 AM and my mom called the PS's office to see what time they wanted us to come in today. The staff member who answered the phone said we were supposed to come in at 9:30 (it was 9 AM when my mom called them) and we were just like "uhhh no one said to come in at that time!" They told us to take our time and try to get in before 11 AM. My mom ran out and grabbed some breakfast for me, and we were off. We took my car instead of my parents' bug, since their stick shift had felt awful during the drive home yesterday.
When we got to the PS's office it was only a short wait time before the nurse (the same one who had been in the OR with me) got me and my mom and took us to a room in the back with her. She then cut my big tight bandages off and peeled some of the bloodied tape off, leaving the armpit tape and padding on since she said that will be much easier for me to remove in the shower. BOY did it feel so much better to have that tight bandage off!! DEFINITELY helped my comfort level, although I'm still in quite a bit of pain from the tightness of all the incisions and such. She said I looked great and from what I could see, I agreed! The Dr. came in shortly after that and looked over my breasts saying that things looked really good. He then helped me into the surgical bra and we discussed showering (said I could shower today, but my mom and I agree that it'll probably be better and easier for me to wait till tomorrow to shower with the pain I've been having). We discussed how long it'll be before I can use any type of vitamin E oil and massage the scars (wait at least 2 weeks or more he said). The nurse and him both said not to be alarmed if it looks like blood is going down the drain when I take my first shower, since the incisions have dried blood that will fall off when I get to shower. He was really great, as have been all my interactions with him thus far, and I left smiling and feeling more comfortable in my new surgical bra. I'm still in quite a bit of pain, but things are feeling a lot more comfortable with the new bra on. I do feel that this surgery was worth it, but I'm going to check that box once I've healed up a bit more.
I keep looking down and going "OMG!! They're normal sized now!!" with a big grin on my face. :]
I'm so glad to be on the other side of surgery now and on my path to healing. The anticipation leading up to the surgery was probably the worst. I'm just so glad my surgery went great and that my results seem to be great as well. Didn't need drains or anything. Woohoo!
I'll try to post a pic of my scars at some point when I can snap a pic of them. For now I'm comfy in my bra and really don't feel like taking it off right now. Sometime soon...maybe when I shower.
Thanks for the well wishes!!
I posted some pictures today (Day 2, the day after...
- 10 Jul 2012
- 1 day post
Well...today had a rough start. I had some FIERCE...
- 11 Jul 2012
- 2 days post
After resting up, I was starting to feel a bit better. I put on my bathing suit bottoms and climbed into the shower with my mom nearby just incase I needed her help. Boy was the shower EXACTLY what I needed. It was relaxing and refreshing and everything I needed. Washing my hair wasn't hard at all, which I thought it would have been. I washed my body and only needed help from my mom with putting soap on my back. The only hard part was removing the tape that was holding the bandages over my armpit incisions...that hurt a bit, even with wetting the tape with the water from the shower head. I was fine after they were off though, and I lightly soaped up and rinsed my breasts and armpits. It wasn't painful and it just was so nice to shower. After I got out, we put my surgical bra in the wash and I let my breasts air dry for about an hour or so, until the bra was dry. We used light day pads (no mesh) to create a cushion and absorb drainage from the incisions between my breasts and the bra. I'm now in fresh clean clothes and feeling like a whole new person. My mom got me my favorite matcha frappe drink (hence my screen name on here haha) and it was so tasty! I was finally able to go to the bathroom (the pain meds were making me constipated and feeling sick from that). I took a probiotic earlier...that combined with stopping the pain med and drinking the matcha greentea drink really helped. I feel sooo much better after all of this! I took some pics and am posting them... Thanks for the well wishes! Hopefully I'll continue to feel better!
Yesterday was a little rough since the...
- 13 Jul 2012
- 4 days post
So, last night I finally figured out that some of...
- 14 Jul 2012
- 5 days post
I hate to say this...but I do feel a bit unsexy. My large boobs hid how overweight I am. So I'm painfully aware of how big my stomache is...which makes me want to exercise, which I can't right now. Ahhhh!! lol I mean, I'm pretty sure my new chest size isn't tiny or anything, but boy is my stomach not hid at all now! New motivation in my weight loss path, I guess. But it has been hard to not feel a bit...sad about it all in that regard. Also, thanks to everyone who is commenting. I love reading your comments and I'll try to reply to some soon. :] Thanks! Maybe I'll post a pic of the new sports bra soon.
Well! It's been awhile since I updated. Oops. ...
- 28 Jul 2012
- 19 days post
I had a post-op appointment one week from the day after surgery...so like day 8? He peeled off some more of the tape at that appointment and it made the top of my nipple bleed since he ripped some dried blood. Freaked the crap out of me and me wanting things to go great decided to put tape from the first aide kit at home on it...well it wasn't surgical tape, not sure what kind of tape it was. Took it off, in the shower, a day after putting it on and peeled that skin off so it looked raw, which only freaked me out more. It's ok now, it's scabbed with dried blood.
I noticed a difference in my pain tolerance like the Sunday (day 6?) after surgery....I was still quite uncomfortable, but it's been an increasing amount of comfort since that point onward. I don't feel up for jumpy exercise (I miss Zumba!!!!!!!!!!) just yet at just under 3 weeks post-op (3 weeks will be this coming Monday).
I was able to drive about day 7 or 8, but I still find wearing the front part of the seat belt that crosses my chest uncomfortable.
I would get so bored during the past couple of weeks and want to go out, but I would be exhausted by the time I went to 1-2 stores/places. I found myself taking at least one nap a day and feeling exhausted. I'm just starting to feel ok without a big nap, though I still do take them when I need to (I took one today, for instance).
So I put some arnica gel on the skin surrounding the incisions, not directly on them around day 9 or 10. All it did was irritate my skin. It was around that time that I managed to get the rest of the surgical tape off (little by little I worked on removing it, mostly after showering, which made it easier). I think this was a turn point in the process, since the fluid from the incisions could be released as it needed to and was able to scab over. Shortly after removing all of the tape, the incisions were able to close up and scab over (if they needed to, the bottom/underneath incisions have the most). My skin looked super pink at the incision areas, especially the lower ones...that as well as the irritated skin from the arnica freaked me out, so I called on Monday morning (day 14, 2 weeks after surgery) and get in at 3:45 pm that afternoon just to check in with my PS. He was super nice about it and just said that as the fluid settled (because of gravity) it would look that way and it wasn't infected. Since the tape was removed and things had closed/scabbed over, no more fluid could escape so it was pooling and making the area look pink. That made me feel better! I had been afraid of the possibility of an infection. He also said that my right nipple would probably look better after healing since two spots had skin peel off when the tape was removed. He said it would give it a more blended and natural look after healing, since things aren't so perfect naturally. It made sense to me and reassured me! The vertical incision/scar on my right breast also was something I asked about since it looked worse when I took the tape off. He said it was fine and that sometimes there's a pucker/opening between stitches that can happen with a little wider opening than there normally is. He said it would heal just fine. Whew! I left feeling a lot better.
Armpits: As far as the armpit incision sites go, the left has healed great so far. The right one looks puffy and odd since one of the internal stitches hasn't released and is making it look puckered up. My PS said to massage near the incision everyday and that sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll 'be massaging it while watching tv and it'll just release.' He said it will heal up just like the other one. It's just taking longer since the stitch is making it look puckered. He said they took more tissue from the right, so that could explain some of it. It looks ugly though! haha Can't wait for it to heal up and look normal. I also smell a bit at times since I'm unable to shave or wear deodorant yet (not anything my PS said, I'm just too nervous to approach that near healing incisions just yet....maybe after 4 weeks). lol The fun of healing...
Now as I approach the 3 week mark there's something else that is bothering me. Things seem to be healing great for the most part and I am feeling more comfortable by the day. Yay! But....right at the middle point of the bottom across the mammory fold incision line...at that top spot (where the middle cleavage is when wearing a sexy top for instance), the scar is looking odd on the left side/left breast. I'm wondering if it is just a raised up scar and will go away??? Ughhh...I really don't want it to look ugly since that is the most visible area of my breasts when I wear most clothes!! Any idea of things I can do?? Or even what it is?? I hope it didn't heal weird. I really think it might just be raised scar tissue at this point?? Thoughts?
So...I know it's been awhile since I've written and all that. But, here's my big update on the last two weeks! Love your comments. Thank you for them!!
I will post pictures after I submit this in just a second here. :]
I bought some organic booda butter today. My...
- 30 Jul 2012
- 21 days post
So...that being said...
How long do you wait before you start putting things like booda butter or vitamin e on your breasts/the incision scars? My PS had said not right away. I'm 3 weeks post-op as of today (right now actually, crazy!!). I had thought of waiting 4 weeks...but I'm so excited to use this new stuff.
Thoughts on how you approached this?
How long should I wait before I go to the beach/have a beach day? As long as I put sunscreen on, I'm pretty sure I could go now and sit on the beach...but what about swimming? Should I make it to the 4 week line? Maybe 6 weeks, just to be safe?
You ladies rock! It's great to have advice and support from here.
It's been awhile since I've updated! I was able...
- 23 Sep 2012
- 2 months post
As for the appearance, things are really coming along I would say. My right armpit has come along a bit better; still isn't exactly what I was hoping for, but boy does it look less swollen than it had before!
Sometimes my breasts are sore and have a little reddish tint (especially after exercise), but nothing crazy to worry about.
Still no underwire bras yet. I tried on an old one for the heck of it last night from before surgery, and ended up giving myself a couple little bruises on the side breast area where the wire pushed in, even though I only tried it on for like less than a minute. Guess I still have some time before I can wear them again!! I'm getting anxious though...lol It is fun to try on all of my fall clothes, and some old items I had given up on having as part of my wardrobe, and see that things fit in a more flattering way. I'm excited for the cool temperatures to keep coming!
How long did it take for you guys before you were able to wear under-wire bras? I thought I would never want to wear one again...but I really really do now! Figures right? lol I can't wait to wear a shaping bra!
I'm still getting things settled with my insurance and such before I update the cost...there were a couple of annoyances with the wrong date put on something that had to be refiled, etc. But it is being worked out!! Thank goodness! lol I was approved prior to surgery, so everything should work out just fine.
I feel like I look so much better now! It'll be great as the scars fade out a bit...they're in a pink stage right now. Sometimes they are tender and sometimes a little itchy, but I think that's a good thing! They are healing! Yay!! The weird part near my cleavage has mostly gone away with time as my breasts shift into a more natural way of sitting too. :]
I will update a picture after posting this!
5 months and 4 days post-surgery as of today! ...
- 29 Nov 2012
- 4 months post
My Doctor: name not provided
He is fantastic! Made me laugh while thoroughly answering many of my questions. My results seem great so far.