Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
Tata to the Ta-tas - Inver Grove Heights, MN
- posted 1 year ago
- updated 7 months ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $1,000
- Sam Economou, MD (Inver Grove Heights, MN)
Hey Ladies! Well, I went from a B to a DD in the...
- 19 Mar 2012
Hey Ladies! Well, I went from a B to a DD in the 8th grade. I had to wear a minimizer bra for track and field in high school and got so many comments from boys and men. It was embarrassing to be hit on by dirty old men and have men stare at my breasts while I was talking. In college my guy friends would make a game of trying to throw ice down my shirt. I went along with it because I thought it was better to have a sense of humor about my breast size than to get irritated and tell them to stop. That's when I started wanting a BR. My female friends would talk about it too and even my mom (who also has a large chest) would make comments about my breasts. Still, I was over weight and didn't want to have a BR until I had lost the weight. I also didn't have noticeable back or neck pain because my stomach helped hold my breasts up.
About 6 years ago I had lost some weight and was at my current weight (170 5'7") but started gaining it back and then some. Of course a lot of it came on in my breasts. Now I have lost 80lbs and hardly any off my chest. I have pain along my whole back from my neck down to my tail bone and I am tired of trying to do ab and core work when it seems like I am not even getting to the abs, just trying not to suffocate while lifting my shoulders off the floor. I'm close to my goal weight and got approved (found out Thursday) for a BR!!!!! So excited. My deductible is very low. I'm a little nervous but mostly excited. Some of my friends can't understand how much I look forward to saying buh-bye to the boobies!
My PS was a recommendation to my PCP from a breast surgeon (they do mastectomies etc) and he did an additional 2 year residency at the Mayo Clinic in breast reconstruction. I was nervous because I don't know anyone who has had theirs done by him and the Dr my friends referred to me has retired and is currently in the Himalayas. I had nothing to worry about, the PS was extremely professional and had a nurse in the exam room with us at all times. I never even got to ask my questions because he answered them all during the consult. He did a breast exam and said that he didn't feel anything suspicious (what a relief b/c breast cancer runs in the family) but if there was anything in the tissue it would be sent out for biopsy. He also confirmed what I suspected, I have very fibrous breasts and he doesn't feel that the last 10 lbs would come off my breasts b/c they are mostly tissue. He even knew approximately how much the insurance would say to take off for it to be "reconstructive" and he showed me on me roughly where they would sit. He can't guarantee size, obvs, but he said it will be around a small C when he's done.
My aunt (dad's sister) had hers done 8 years ago and she said it was the best thing she's ever done. They took 2.5lbs off each side and she's a B/C now. PS said he would take off approx 600g which is 1.5 lbs per side. It was helpful to talk to my aunt about her BR. She was happy to hear I am staying overnight at the hospital so the nurses will deal with the drains and meds for the 1st night (it's a bedded outpatient procedure) then the PS will come remove the drains, fit my surgical bra and send me home! they're going to call me today or tomorrow to schedule. It will be about 5 weeks from now. I am excited, but cannot even imagine what this will be like!
Yahoo! I have a surgery date. Monday June 4 at...
- 23 Mar 2012
I had to buy yogurt the other day so I went to Target and looked at bras. The straps are so TINY. And sports bras are so colorful. I can't wait until I can wear a sports bra for my yoga-tai chi-pilates classes. And on the elliptical too maybe? I don't know I hear different things from different people, one of my friends says she still wears really good supportive bras for running but I don't run so I might just wear the sports bra anyway. I don't have to decide right now. I'm also glad the date is a few months out because I'm still about 10 lbs from my doctor's goal weight for me (I've lost 80 lbs so far and decided I would have surgery when I was 10 lbs out). Right now I'm 170 at 5'7" and I'm a 38 E. Doc says I'll be around a small C cup when I'm done. That's what my aunt is (she had hers 8 years ago) and she loves it.
I'm tripping a little bit about body image, I've had the ta-tas for so long that I'm not sure how I'll look with average sized breasts. Part of me feels like "Oh, I'll look different" and most of me feels like "YES! I'll look different!" I won't miss the gross attention I get for them. That's for sure.
I called the hospital too to see how they bill this. I'm staying in the hospital overnight which I'm thrilled about because I cannot imagine wanting to do two car rides right after surgery.
I will post some before pics as soon as I can. I welcome any input, questions or feedback.
HI ladies! Well, I got the pre-op paperwork to...
- 1 Apr 2012
Well, I got the pre-op paperwork to take to my PCP in May. I made my pre-op appt with the PS, I see him May 17th. I also had several conversations with the hospital and the insurance company to make sure I know what's covered and what's not. The insurance company has been great and the hospital has been awesome too.
My mom emailed me and said that she could come up and stay overnight if it would be helpful and I, of course, accepted. She was asking me about the procedure, but then she said that it was making her queasy and not to talk about it any more. That made me laugh because I can't imagine that she will want to help take care of my incisions. Thankfully, I am staying overnight in the hospital for observation, did any one else do this? How was it?
I am feeling like the day will never arrive. I am trying to be patient, but it is so hard to wait! Two months feels like forever. One thing a friend in the medical field told me is that people tend to heal better in the summer (I'm in Minnesota so it's cold and cloudy here a lot) because of the sunshine. And I am glad that it's being done in the summer so I don't have to worry too much about sweaters or coats.
I've been applying for new jobs, I'd really rather not go back to the one I have now. I drive to my client's homes and I see between 2 and 4 clients a day, so it's a lot of driving.
Well, that's what's new. Any comments or feedback on what was most helpful would be good. I am going to start gathering things for my recovery soon.
So I feel like June 4 is so far away...until I...
- 6 Apr 2012
Starting to think about what to buy. Also exercising regularly (fitness yoga, zumba and elliptical/core exercises) to lose more weight between now and surgery. I'm not going crazy with it because I know my body is oppositionally defiant and if I want it to lose a lot of weight it holds on to it.
So, I thought a couple weeks ago that time would...
- 19 Apr 2012
Thanks for all your support and feedback, it's been invaluable.
Six weeks from tomorrow. Not that I'm counting or...
- 22 Apr 2012
After a long time of debating and talking with...
- 30 Apr 2012
Also, I am realizing that I have always thought of myself as having a large frame, but I don't. When I'm in fitness yoga I can see that my breasts take up a LOT of space. My roommate commented that I will be very long waisted after surgery. And my chiropractor's receptionist brought in her favorite bra (she's not had a BR, but wanted to show me her "pretty, supportive bra") which was nice.
I talked to the nurse and asked her to call me if there's a cancellation, but I don't think there will be. I'm ok with that, I am just stoked that this is happening.
WAHOO! I got a call from my PS office yesterday...
- 2 May 2012
Hey ladies, I got my income tax return and am able...
- 4 May 2012
Oh! and I got this great deal on an hour long massage. I scheduled it for the day before surgery so I can go in relaxed and can sleep well the night before. My mom can't come up for the surgery day, but my roommate (and best friend of 11 years) is going to take me in for surgery and wait while I'm in surgery/recovery. I'm not sure if she will stay the night at the hospital or not but it will be nice to have someone there while I am in surgery. Then I have a wedding on the 26th (YIKES) for a very close friend. Luckily it's close to my house and I can come home and take a nap for a while before the reception dinner. Or, not go to the reception at all.
One week from tomorrow! Definitely in...
- 14 May 2012
Need advice on bras. The ones from kmart...should I just buy the band size or buy one close to my current size? Any other advice would be helpful.
One week!!!! In one week I will be peacefully...
- 15 May 2012
Hi Ladies!! So I had my pre op on Thursday and...
- 19 May 2012
So I had my pre op on Thursday and am so excited. The doc went over everything with me and said the insurance company stipulated that he has to remove 500g from each side, after that it's up to me. I told him I'm not particularly worried about being too small. I wouldn't mind being a full B or small C. I told him "I'm ready to be done with them" he and the nurse (he always has a nurse in the room with him) laughed at that. I emailed my before/after pics to him and he will go over those before surgery. I am pre-registered at the hospital and I have a friend who is a nurse there, so she might come visit me after her shift is done Wednesday morning. I cannot even believe that I am having this done, it is like a dream come true.
I asked the PS a lot of questions. He said not to ice (confirmed by friends who've had this done) as it could be damaging to the tissue. I'm glad because I hate icing anything. Since losing weight (82 lbs!!) I am cold all the time. Everything else is pretty much what everyone on here says. I went to Kmart and bought two front closure sports bras for when I'm washing the surgical bra and for after I'm cleared to be out of the surgical bra.
I talked to my aunt who had this done about 8 years ago and she had some good things to say about after the surgery. I'm planning to spend the day cleaning and doing food prep so that I just have food ready to go. I'm feeling like just lying about all day, but I know I won't be at peace unless I've gotten things in order and ready to go.
Ok, everything that HAS to be done is done and...
- 21 May 2012
Everything seemed so real until today and all the sudden it's surreal to me. It's like waiting for touchdown on a long awaited vacation. Tomorrow's the day! Excited!
Hi Ladies! Well, I am home from the hospital and I...
- 23 May 2012
Here's the way it went.
Roommate and I left for the hospital at 5:15 am. Got to the hospital early and waited for the Ambulatory Surgery Center to open. My surgery prep nurse was awesome and she got me all checked in and ready for the surgery. The robes were so comfortable. I'd love one of them for home ;). The nurse anesthetist came and talked to me, then the anesthesiologist. They set the IV, I went pee and then the PS drew on me. We walked to the OR and the last thing I remember is the feel of the oxygen mask on my face. Next thing I knew I was back in the recovery chair and I was in pain (8 out of 10). Apparently I was on dilaudid. It did nothing for the pain and I couldn't keep my eyes open or my head up, I felt drugged and worse than drunk. The nurses said that I was a "lightweight" even when it came to the anesthesia. They let the dilaudid wear off and took me to my hospital room and gave me a vicodin. The hospital bed was so comfortable and the nurses/staff were very helpful. I didn't have to worry about anything. I felt awesome and watched a bunch of TV and ate my regular food. Then it hit me and the vicodin wasn't taking the edge off...I did too much, just sitting at a 45 degree angle in the bed. So they gave me some morphine and I was off to sleep. Oh, I was up and walking around and going to the bathroom and talking and everything which felt amazing. I slept most of the night, after the morphine took care of the pain (incision and back pain where the ace bandage was too tight) then the vicodin has been enough. The nurses came in every couple of hours and stripped my drains and emptied them. I slept all night with the exception of when they came in for vitals.
So that's the synopsis, but for real, my shoulders, back and neck feel completely better. There is little to no pain in my back, just where the bandage dug into my muscles in the back. I can see my stomach when I am lying on my back! My ta-tas are so tiny and up high. They took 2.5 pounds total and I am already pleased with the job the PS did. The nurses said that it was refreshing to hear someone come in for surgery and have a realistic idea of what will happen afterwards. I owe that to you ladies and all the info/experience you shared with me.
The PS came in this morning at 6:45 and removed the bandage/dressings. He checked the sensation in my nipples and I have feeling there. Things don't look too bad, but I know that the bruising and ugly are on their way now. He showed me how to apply the bacitracin and gauze and put me in this awesome breast reduction bra that hooks and zips. It extends down my ribcage so that the bottom of the bra is around the bottom of my rib cage and away from the incisions.
I only had one nursing assistant who was annoying. She would kind of randomly wander into my room and she was chomping on gum, but she was helpful, which is important I guess. The nurses rocked and they put these things on my calves that squeezed them and felt like a massage.
Ugh, when I was leaving the hospital I was sitting in the wheel chair and this medical assistant/wheelchair assistant looked at me and said "Oh, you had a baby?" It must be because I am in pajamas and my stomach looks so big and puffy. I guess that's what pilates is for.
Ok, well typing this wore me out, so I am going to go rest. I will post pictures later, maybe tomorrow after I shower.
Just took my first post surgery shower. It felt so...
- 24 May 2012
It didn't hurt to shower, except where the soapy water hit the drain spot on my left side under my arm. I am constipated and am using Miralax to try to overcome that. Hopefully it won't be too long since my belly is looking big to me right now.
Overall, I feel pretty good for day 3 (considering surgery day as day 1). It's still hard not to do too much since I feel great, but I don't want to delay healing or get increased swelling. Any tips are welcome!
Hey Ladies, Well, I decided to take it REALLY...
- 26 May 2012
Well, I decided to take it REALLY easy yesterday and basically watched shows on my laptop and slept. Feel awesome today. I cannot even believe how light everything feels. My shoulders and back feel amazing, no weight or pressure what so ever.
I am starting to get the itchies that everyone talks about, which I think means that things are healing. My left nipple was black and blue, but now it's all pink. I really need to post photos which I will take when I change the dressings later today.
I have a wedding today and I am going to the ceremony but not the reception.
My mom had her consult with a surgeon yesterday. She's not sure if she will go through with it but she is very interested in how I am recovering. I would recommend this to any woman who is thinking about it.
Just got home from the wedding. So beautiful. Also...
- 26 May 2012
I've added photos from today. I'll add before photos as soon as I get them from the PS office.
Day 5 and thoroughly convinced of two things 1)...
- 27 May 2012
I'm resolved to spend my time in bed sleeping on and off today. I changed the dressings and saw some green-yellow discharge and some blood - bright red- dribbled out of my right breast from the vertical incisions. called the PS and he said that's normal, just probably pulled off a scab. Very happy with my surgery and also happy to have the time to just rest today.
I have started getting the "buzzies" in my left breast. It's so strange, but funny. I guess that's a good sign, right?
Well, off to sleep for a bit now.
Ok, ladies I am looking for input. I have two...
- 29 May 2012
Aside from that I am doing well. My roommate got me some gauze which is 4 1/2" and is PERFECT. I use half a roll each day and I basically don't even notice that there's anything there. This is nice because the sensation is coming back with a vengeance in both breasts and my nipples are all tingly if I use something other than gauze. I am totally off the vicodin (go the "silver cloud" feeling the other night and decided the vicodin had to go) and using only extra strength Tylenol which works for the incision pain. I feel more alert and am able to sit up and be up for more of the day. I am still sleeping most of the morning after breakfast which is really helpful. I set up my post op appointment for June 14th.
I am so happy with my new little boobies. They are starting to soften and fall a little. I measure them today and I'm about an inch down even with the swelling. It is so good to hear other people's experiences because right now my incisions look a little like the edges of a pie crust (you know how they roll and pinch pie crust) so I am glad to hear that they won't always look like that.
Well, that's all for today.
Today was a good day. Each day that I am off the...
- 30 May 2012
A friend dropped off a sleeping wedge for me and I am excited to use it tonight. My lower back has been hurting and I am hoping that the wedge will take some pressure off my lumbar curve. And tonight I took a hot bath with bubble bath. I was very careful to keep the incisions well above the water. The bathtup in my apartment doesn't allow for soaking anyway, but I needed some bubble bath time. I was able to gently clean away the drainage, bacitracin and ucky feeling while also soaking my back, feet and legs. My cat, who is terrified of the bathroom (long story) ventured in several times to check things out. She came right up to the bath tub and put her front paws up to look in. She was very confused as to why I was sitting in a tub full of water and she did not like it when I put bubbles on her nose or blew a handful at her. It was funny. Not to sound like a crazy cat lady, but I DO love my cat and she has been a dear through this whole process of healing. Aside from my cat behavior, the bath was awesome. IT was the first bath I have taken as an adult where I didn't have drops of sweat running out from under my breasts, nor did my nipples reach the water line (which was around my navel). It was fantastic to see my nipples pointing at the ceiling.
As if that weren't a momentous enough day, I also became un-constipated today. Now, I am NOT one of those people who talks about the elimination of waste with strangers or in public (I don't even like it when I have to ask for directions to the bathroom at a friend's house) but I will tell you that the generic Miralax I used did its job. I think that everything that was inside me came out. I mention this because I have found out that it is possible to go from feeling constipated and bloated to feeling normal in a day's time. Hope that's not TMI! I feel and look normal in the stomach and abdomen again and am happy to report htis because after losing 82 lbs over the past 2 1/4 years I did not like feeling my stomach being that big again. It has helped tremendously with my body image. I am so happy with everything over the past week and I am posting new photos below.
2 weeks today! Yay! Things are healing well. You...
- 5 Jun 2012
I drove myself to the store last night, the first time driving since surgery and it was fine, but I definitely still need a pillow between me and the seat belt. It is wonderful to be able to walk into Target and buy a sports bra or camisole or dress and not worry about whether I'll be spilling out of the top.
Thank you so much for the support on here. I'll keep posting photos and updates too.
Three weeks!! I can't believe that I'm already...
- 11 Jun 2012
Every once in a while I think I am feeling sutures dissolving and letting go. It is a weird sensation. It's like a feeling of tension, then a snapping (like a rubber band) and then a ZING, but inside my breasts. It's kind of relieving because it means less pulling and that things feel a little bit more natural.
The other thing that I am experiencing is that my shoulders and back don't know what to do! My shoulders keep creeping up because they are used to working against resistance that isn't there any more. And my right shoulder tends to curve forward. My chiropractor told me these things were happening but now I am aware of them so I am trying to consciously correct when I notice them. The great things is that one of my friends is a post partum doula and she has a video that some of my friends have used after they gave birth. It helps realign the spine and strengthen back muscles. I am also planning to do pilates once I am cleared for exercise.
I actually forget that I have incisions at times! I have my next post op appointment on Thursday and am excited to hear what the doctor says. I am feeling more energetic and am able to do most things by myself (except grocery shopping - too much reaching and too heavy of lifting). It feels good to be on this side of it. Over all things are going really well. I tried on a regular bra that other day (over my clothes) and I am a 38B which is what I wanted to be. I know things will adjust and change over the next year and I am excited to see how my body adjusts to the changes.
Hi ladies! Yesterday was my post op appointment....
- 15 Jun 2012
Over all I am loving my new body and tried on about six swimsuits today. It is a huge change to try on suits now that I don't have to worry about my breasts. I have no idea how to dress my body, but I am excited to learn! Loving the new body and so close to goal weight. and now I can start shaping it with exercise again. YAY!
Whoa, it's been a long time since I've updated....
- 19 Aug 2012
My incisions are all healed up and my scars are pink. I don't usually scar very much but during the healing process of any cut my skin is bright pink so that's normal for me. for anyone who is considering having this done DO IT! I has been one of the top 3 best decisions i have made about my body in my life. I LOVE IT! Seriously, so much better.
I have been wearing mostly sports bras since surgery, but this week i bought my first real, underwire bra. It's by BarelyThere. It plunges so low in the middle, but I have no problem with that now that I don't have to strap anything down any more. I'm a 38 B right now which I am so happy with. And they are BEAUTIFUL!
Have a great Sunday. Pictures to follow.
Hey! I decided I need to update again. I am trying...
- 12 Sep 2012
I am now wearing real, underwire bras everyday and they feel great. Sometimes they are a little itchy along the horizontal incisions, but mostly they feel great. I am in love with my new body! I look in the mirror and see that I have a typical looking body and I love it! I didn't realize how uncomfortable I was with my breasts until they were gone. I really thought that the surgery was just for my back pain, but I now know that I was constantly self-conscious and uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel so confident now and don't carry around the same worries about men or embarrassment when I am out in public and I get checked out. And I just started dating someone! He's pretty much amazing and I am confident that he is not with me because of my large breasts. I am able to have conversations with him and he thinks I cute and smart. I would never have talked to him before and would have been worrying that he was looking at my chest all the time while we talk. But he doesn't, he actually looks at my face! (Although he's a normal, straight guy, so it's not like he doesn't check me out too). The best thing about this whole surgery and weight loss ( I am in my maintenance range!!) is the confidence I have gained. It was one of the top 5 best decisions I have ever made in my life.
Hey Ladies! Just wanted to update my profile...
- 1 Oct 2012
My Doctor: Sam Economou, MD
Very knowledgeable, friendly staff, prompt responses, took care of everything without hiccups.