Relief is in Sight! - 4 weeks-New Pics Minneapolis, MN

Hi everyone! I've been lurking here for a...

Hi everyone!

I've been lurking here for a couple weeks. What a great site! I can't tell you all how much it means to me to be able to read everyone's stories and realize that there are others out there who "get it".

I got my first bra at the age of 10 and of course the teasing started then too. I was the first to develop in my class and let me say that the girls were much more cruel than the boys during my teen years. I had a lot of (unwanted) attention from boys which made the girls not like me. I remember a girl in high school lifted up my shirt in front of the whole class and really didn't understand how horrified I was that she would do that. I've had a lack of self confidence and a lack of trust in people because of all that, and I spent many, many years trying to just be invisible.

I didn't know there was such a thing as a reduction, but when I found out, I was in my "mom years" so I didn't want to cause problems with breast feeding. I was hoping that like some of my friends, the girls would shrink after I was done with nursing, but they got bigger and stayed bigger.

I have had back pain for years and had a ruptured disk which required surgery to relieve the pain and numbness. I went to a chiropractor and tried several ways to relieve my back and neck pain but it has gotten steadily worse.

A few weeks ago, I went to my doc with an unrelated issue and mentioned my back pain. She told me shed write a referral to a PS. I was also due for a mammogram and when I was there and talking to the tech, she recommended a PS too. I booked an appointment, took my pictures and just today, I received my approval letter. It looks like insurance is going to cover everything!

Next step is another appt with PS to look at her pictures and then pick a day for surgery. After so many years of waiting, it seems to be moving very fast all of a sudden!

I'm 5'9" 195 lbs and am wearing a 40DD. When doc measured though, my band size was 38. Ive been back and forth on the losing weight first vs surgery first thing, but the PS said that unless I'm losing a massive amount of weight, there shouldn't be much shift in size of my new smaller boobs.

I'm hoping for late October or early November for surgery. I'll keep posting as I have updates.

Went in for my pre-op today. The doc answered all...

Went in for my pre-op today. The doc answered all my questions and had some before and after shots of some surgeries that she had performed. Scheduled my surgery for Oct 25th. She does great work and I can't wait to be on the other side of this!

I was surprised at the post op suggestions. She says she will wrap me in an ace bandage for a day. I can take it off and shower after a day and then I can wear a camisole rather than a surgical or sports bra. She is recommending that I use Aquafor rather than steri strips or vitamin E oil. Anyone used aquafor? Hoping it goes as smoothly as it sounds like it will.

So, I went for my preop clearance and all is well....

So, I went for my preop clearance and all is well. Now I just have to wait...and shop! :) My PS has said I don't need a compression bra, just a camisole, but I think I'd feel more secure in a sports bra. Maybe that's the big boobs talking though. I can't even imagine what it'll be like to go braless and feel comfortable. I'm going to get a few different hings to see what feels most comfy. Front zip sports bras, camis, and tank tops. Anyone else told they don't need the support right after surgery?

What a roller coaster. Major Anxiety today...

What a roller coaster. Major Anxiety today...

Kind of strange reading all the reviews about how...

Kind of strange reading all the reviews about how everyone goes through a period of doubting their decision. That's been me this week, and although I expected it at some point, today was the first day I was seriously considering postponing the whole thing. I talked with an old friend and realized just how much of my identity is centered around my chest size. I was always so uncomfortable, but I tried to play it off and laugh it off when comments were made. I always hated that attention but I wonder if I'll have an identity crisis when the girls are not my biggest asset anymore. Mostly though, I feel like I will finally get to just be myself. I won't have to try to ignore the fact that people are staring at my chest when I'm trying to have a conversation with them. I won't have to pretend it doesn't bother me. I won't have to feel like I must constantly prove that I am more than a pair of boobs. I am really aware lately of just how much my breast size has affected me...not in a good way.

2 weeks and 2 days can't come soon enough! So glad to see all the great October results so far. Looking forward to being an "after".

Busy, busy, busy trying to get everything done...

Busy, busy, busy trying to get everything done before the big day. I'm feeling really encouraged by everyone else's stories this week! Lots of good results for my October sisters. I'm still feeling a little bit anxious about things but mostly it's just wanting to be on the other side. Soon, though, very soon!

Day 1 post op- I am, as they say, over the...

Day 1 post op- I am, as they say, over the rainbow! everything went great yesterday. I got to the hospital and checked in by 7:15. Through pre-op questions, urine test, changed into a warming gown, met with anesthesiologist by 8. Was scheduled for 8:40 but my surgeon was held up on another case for about an hour. Not a big deal. My "responsible adult" daughter was keeping me company and we were having a good old time just hanging out and talking. The doc came in and did measurements- I showed her a few pictures of what I was looking for and what I didn't like and she said my small C should be very doable. I requested a B/C if possible rather than a C/D. Go small or go home! :)

I walked down to the OR at I think about 9:30. Intros to everyone, several checks along the way of who I was and what I was there for. Everyone was super nice and reassured me that they would take good care of me, and they did. Next thing I remember, I was waking up in recovery around noon. The anti nausea med did it's thing and I had NO nausea at all. My awesome nurse gave me some ice chips and I dozed off and on for about an hour. I had a bit of stinging on the incision, but not too bad.

As I woke up more, the stinging did get worse and was about a 5-6 on the pain scale. They gave me something in my iv which helped a little and then a bit later they gave me some crackers and a hydrocodone. That got me to about a 3. Very bearable.

The nurse asked if I'd like some coffee and that's when I first really noticed a difference. I could hold my coffee cup in front of my chest while elevated in bed and drink it without stretching my neck way out! Oh, joy! :)

I hung out in recovery until about 3 and headed home. I had a pillow between me and the seat belt, and daughter took things slow and steady and it was not bad at all. The hardest part was getting out of the car without pulling myself out of the bucket seat like I usually do. That's a leftover habit from a back injury years ago. Got in the house just fine and daughter put our dog on a leash and brought her to see me. She was very curious about the new smells and sniffed at the bandages and hospital wrist band. Lol We gave her a chewy bone to keep her busy and calm while I got settled in the recliner. I have been able to pee since I was in the hospital, but still waiting on a poo.

I spent most of the rest of day emailing, did a little work just forwarding emails and delegating a few things. I walked around the living room and kitchen a few times when my back was getting sore from sitting and dozing, and had only 1/2 a pain pill and felt good. Really surprisingly good! I'm really forcing myself to ask for help and take it easy-both difficult things for me, but necessary since I want to heal up the best I can.

I took a full pain pill at 10 and went to bed about 10:30 and slept through until about 6am. Feeling a little more sore on the sides today, but took a pill and am just hanging in bed with my iPad- movies, games, emails (only the absolutely necessary ones) and naps are the plan for today.

Honestly, I'm just so surprised at how good I feel. The girls are small and perky and I can't wait to see how they settle in.

Oh, and my recovery nurse said no arnica, but only because she was not real familiar with it and wanted me to check with my dr. I'll let you know what she says.

Happy healing to those in the process and good luck to those going in soon!

Oh, and I just wanted to add to the older...

Oh, and I just wanted to add to the older gentleman who was volunteering in the recovery area who brought me an orange Popsicle...I think I love you. Xx :)

Day 2 post op-I was getting a little uncomfortable...

Day 2 post op-I was getting a little uncomfortable and bloated so I started taking a mild laxative each time I took a pain pill. Things are moving again! Yay! My recovery nest is so comfy I fear I may never want to leave, but I have been getting up and walking around several times a day. I find that my shoulders are still creeping up and tensing up like they used to, but I'm catching it and am able to relax them again. Seriously, the headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and breathing issues are all soooo much better already. I'm amazed! I definitely have some swelling and bruising going on, but I'm just taking things easy. I'm taking Arnica and will try icing later to see if that helps. I've been using my iPad and can't seem to upload pictures from here, but I've got them and will post later. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

6 days post op- I was feeling so good yesterday! I...

6 days post op- I was feeling so good yesterday! I had a friend over for lunch. She brought everything and I just cleared the table, but I guess I did too much. Toward the end of our visit, I started feeling sore and within the next couple hours, my lefty was swollen almost to preop size!

I was really scared I would pop some stitches. I tried icing (over clothes and not on incision line as per PS office) but it didn't help much. I was really sore and woozy. Almost passed out few times. Luckily I already had a post op scheduled for today so when I went in, PS immediately said it was a hematoma.

She tried to drain some in her office and got a couple syringes full of blood, but said it takes awhile for it to "liquefy" enough for her to drain it that way. Like 8-10 days. So she recommended going back into the OR and opening the incision to clean everything out and possibly put in a drain.

I go in first thing tomorrow morning. It's only about a 15 minute operation, but I still need to be there 1.5 hours before and will still be in recovery for awhile after. Up until yesterday, I was thinking I might go back to work on Friday. I think I will just plan to take the entire 2.5 weeks and just do a little bit from home next week.

I still don't regret it! Righty is looking good and feeling better everyday. Hopefully lefty will catch up soon. :)

Day 8 post op-feeling much better today! They got...

Day 8 post op-feeling much better today! They got a lot of the hematoma out yesterday, and the drain has pulled even more out in the last day. I need to keep it over the weekend, but will get to have it out on Monday. I had some conflicting instructions on how to care for the drain incision so I got that straightened out. My PS likes to have everything open and just shower and put aquaphor on the incision. It makes me a bit nervous having the drain site open, but the nurse said I could cover it with gauze if that felt better. I was able to get a full shower today...washed my hair and everything. Man did that feel good! I'm taking things super easy and I'm back to waiting on my next poo, so that's always fun. Had an awesome meal delivered today from a friend. One of the benefits of being stuck at home I guess. Lol

I'm just glad the girls are back to being almost the same size again. I think they're going to be great once the swelling goes down. Two surgeries in a week has been tiring! I've spent today either in bed, in a chair or in the shower and I'm already beat, but my incisions are healing up nicely and the bruising and swelling is getting better everyday.

Day 9 post op-2 days after drain was put in lefty....

Day 9 post op-2 days after drain was put in lefty. Drains...ugh! I really dislike having the drain in. It feels like it really limits my mobility, but I guess I can live with it. I only need to have it til Monday. If anyone is dealing with "stripping" the drain, my nurse told me to put lotion on the fingers that were doing the stripping. What a difference that makes!

The 2 ops in a week are wreaking havoc on my GI system. I also started my period yesterday, so I'm just really uncomfortable today. This too shall pass. Other than belly issues, I'm feeling pretty good.

Finally got some pictures uploaded.

Finally got some pictures uploaded.

Almost 4 weeks post op (3 weeks post-hematoma...

Almost 4 weeks post op (3 weeks post-hematoma drain). Things are healing pretty good I still feel a bit uneven, but the PS says it's because I'm a week further along on one side and to just give everything some time to settle. I'm definitely happy with the size though and have been pretty comfortable wearing an Ahhh Bra.
New pictures added of incisions and overall shape and size. These were taken 3 weeks post op.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

1 year post op

Hi ladies,

Just a quick post and picture update. I'm still thrilled with the outcome and have finally had a summer where I wasn't completely self conscious wearing summer shirts, t-shirts and swimming suits! My neck and back pain is much better. I rarely get headaches anymore either. I still get a few zings here and there, but nothing crazy. I have even started jogging! If you're reading this and unsure about this surgery, I highly recommend it and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Best of luck to you!

It's been a long journey

Minnesota Plastic Surgeon

Recommended by mammo tech who said she sees a lot of PSs work and Dr. Luong has great results. Amanda, Dr Luong's assistant, has been very available and great about answering any questions I have had. If she isn't available when I call, she calls back within 1/2 hour. Super friendly!

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 times
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Thanks for coming back with an update. Your breasts look fabulous - very sexy pic! Yep illustrates that big boobs are matronly. I wonder what your opinion is about having people look after you. I have a 22 year old son at home who will drive me. I have 3 friends who really want to be involved taking care of me. I am worried that their bossiness will upset me - they think I will need much more help than I realize - what do you think? Did you manage with just your daughter? thanks!
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Hi Ty, Thanks for the compliment! It's great not being "matronly" anymore. What a difference in the clothes I can wear now! I would maybe tell your friends that you will need a lot of rest. Honestly, the first few days, I just sat in bed or in a chair. Things that they could help with are maybe making meals, cleaning, walking pets if you have them. You are not going to want to lift ANYTHING! I parked myself upstairs (near the bathroom) all cocooned in bed (a wedge pillow to prop myself up with as well as pillows stacked under by arms so they could rest mid-chest level)with a cooler in my room that was restocked every day. Water, snacks, fruit, chapstick, applesauce, etc. And I also had some cool washclothes for my face and hands. You could probably get by with just your son's help, but if your friends want to be involved, maybe just limit the time that you are having people over. Best of luck to you!
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Looking good! pics r great hope your healing well...keep us posted
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Thanks, Mia! Things are going well except for a slight rash on my upper belly. I think it's from the elastic band in the Ahh Bra so I'm taking a break from wearing it. Incisions are a bit more red too, but I'm guessing that's temporary. It was a busy weekend with the holidays and I could feel things pulling a bit. I'm feeling so much better and lighter that it's hard to remember I'm still healing and to take it as easy as I should! Hope all is well with you!
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Hi, My story is very similar to yours so I won't repeat as you know exactly what it feels like to be so big and heavy boob wise. I had my surgery 5th Oct 2012.I am seven weeks post surgery. I was petrified before the op and could not bring myself to think about what the surgery involved exactly so I focused 100% on what i would feel and look like afterwards and being able to buy clothes that would fit me and also that my body proportions would look somewhat normal..... I'm never going to be a stick insect.... but at least I don't look top heavy anymore, sooooooo happy. It was so unfortunate for you to have the haematoma, that must have been so awful. I'm so glad your on the mend. I regret not doing the before and after pics like the others have on this website. Your new boobies look amazing. I myself feel like a different woman and I wish I had done it years ago but only recently had a back injury with lots of upper back pain which has brought me to the decision to have this surgery done. Well done to all the ladies out there who make the decision to have this operation done. I sincerley hope that all went well for them too. It has certainly been the best decision I made. Kindest regards from Val
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Hi Val, congrats on being 7 weeks post op! I feel like a new woman too and I've realized that I don't know how to dress anymore, but it's fun trying new outfits and tops that I never would have tried before...and to not be spilling out of everything! I don't have a SO to tell me I look good so thanks for the compliment. You ladies here are the only feedback I get on how I look as I've been too shy to show anyone else. I feel good though! Yay for us for having the courage to do this for ourselves! Take care. :)
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Thanks, ladies! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too!
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So glad ur doing well. Ur looking great!! Hope u have a good turkey day!!!
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You look great! Have a wonderful Thanks giving!
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Super, glad to hear you're doing well! Yes, please post updated pictures, I'd love to see your progression since our processes were so different for this identical procedure....I'll be going back to work next Monday - honestly > NOT looking forward to it at all. I love being home! lol
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Lol! Me too. I was just saying how I wished I had taken three weeks. Not because I need it, but because I'm getting kind of used to just hanging around the house with the dog. The best part is that I'm "too delicate" to clean! :)
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Exactly! I've been doing the same. I feel a little guilty for spending all this time at home and doing so little. My husband has been doing most of the cooking (under the supervision of my Mom. She's teaching him how to make homemade soups from scratch...lol). I've been having the cleaning Ladies come to take care of the messes at home and all I've been doing is hanging out with my dog. Who, has always been my "shadow," but now, since I've spent all this time with her she doesn't leave my site at all....lol I'm really afraid she'll go into shock when I start working again next week.....I just hope it won't turn into a serious problem. I don't want to panic, but my sister-in-law's dog went crazy when her husband went to work after an extensive amount of time spent at home. The dog started chewing on furniture, shoes, and biting his paws. It got so bad they had to consult a vet. It was determined that the dog was having separation anxiety. OMG'sh!!! I hope this does NOT happen to us....lol
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Well, back to work for me this morning. I updated with a couple of new pics, but the site isn't working quite right and one photo is posted three times (two of which are upside down). My little guy is lying at my feet right now. I think he's gotten very used to me being home. You were smart to take a little extra time off. I feel like I need to put on catcher's gear to go back to work and not have someone bump into me! We just moved into a new house, so I didn't do the cleaning ladies...yet. Did your PS tell you to start using any lotions yet? If so, are you suppose to put it on the incisions? My PS is so laid back. I think he figures if I break something, he can always fix it! He said any lotion I want and if I didn't want to, that was okay too. Same thing on bras. The only way I can stand to wear one of those is if I have a tank under it so it doesn't rub against anything. P.S. If you live close to where you work, you may have to come home at lunch time so your friend isn't alone all day. :)
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Good luck to you this morning! Keep in mind this week will probably be the toughest. But it'll get easier as your health continues to improve, you'll also start getting back into the "labor grove" lol I do live close to work (about 10 min drive). My job is literally a couple of streets over...lol So thanks for the good suggestion of coming home for lunch for the first week or so to check up on my "girl." In regards to lotions, my PS said to stay away from all that stuff. He told me to only start using Mederma scar gel cream once all the scabbing falls off - which will be very soon, probably by next week. It's applied once a day on the incisions. His advice was to definitely stay away from oils as that can loosen up scars. You should also wear a bra - as a matter of fact, the tighter the better. The breasts will continue to shape for up to 6 mo, maybe even longer from the date of surgery so you need good support to insure they'll get into the right shape. I still wear my surgical bra, but since its gotten loose (the swelling has subsided), I put on top a bali semi-sports bra. It's uncomfortable, and my incisions, the ones underneath, still bother me, so I have been stuffing patchs of gauze there - that seems to help a lot. It also helps to not disturb the scabs that form, allowing them to naturally mature then fall off.
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How are you friend? Would love to see more pictures and the progress you're making. Wishing you the best. ap
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So far so good. Back to work tomorrow. It's hard to believe it's been two weeks already! I'll post some new pics soon. You look fantastic!
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Super, glad to hear you're doing well! Yes, please post updated pictures, I'd love to see your progression since our processes were so different for this identical procedure....I'll be going back to work next Monday - honestly > NOT looking forward to it at all. I love being home! lol
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How are you doing?
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Hope you are feeling better, and were able to get your GI system back on track! How long will you have the drains in?
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Thanks Violet. I just got home from having the drain taken out. I talked to my PS for the first time since I went back to the OR to have the drain put in and she said it was good I went when I did because she got about 2 cups of fluid out when they opened me up. Plus a bit more over the next couple days. No wonder it felt like lefty was going to explode! Feeling MUCH better now. Still more swollen on the left which is making it sit higher and to the side, but PS says that will work itself out. I'm just further ahead on my healing on my right side. GI issues swung hard the other way for a day, but I'm good there now too after a bit of a miserable weekend. I was out shopping today and realized i have no idea what even works for my body shape now! At least I can start looking further than just black and baggy stuff. Yay! Hope you're having a good day Violet!
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Yikes! I'm glad you went in when you did too. My surgery is tomorrow. Is a hematoma a common complication? I'm not sure if I will be smart enough to know what's normal and what's not. Take care of yourself!
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Hi Minnesota9- good luck tomorrow! Here's a little info about hemetomas and seromas. http://www.cosmeticsurgeryforums.com/hemosero.htm It says hemetomas happen about 2% of the time. You'll know if it happens. I could definitely feel when it started and then it got worse over the course of a few hours. Icing didn't help with the swelling and it was very painful. It really felt like all my stitches were going to burst and I was swollen to pre-op size and rock hard up to my collarbone. Looking back, I think I over exerted myself when my friend came over for lunch. Between getting myself ready, clearing off the table, laughing while she was here, and then feeling good and just being too active for a couple hours, It was just too much. Just take it easy after your procedure! Any last minute questions/concerns?
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Thanks for the link and the good wishes. I'm a bit of a nervous wreck tonight and probably won't sleep too well. I'll be glad to get this behind me!
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yay glad ur back home and the procedure went ok. hopefully that takes care of that road bump. now its time for healing. and maybe an extra week or two for the problem side. definitely rest and take it easy. did u get some mirolax for ur tummy???? try taking that and it might help get ur tummy going. maybe add a bit more fiber to and lots of water. hope u heal soon!!! xxx
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So glad to see you are feeling better. :)
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