Breast Reduction - From DD to Hopefully B Cup - Nashville, TN

Ready to have smaller boobies!! Insurance has...

Ready to have smaller boobies!! Insurance has denied due to an exclusion that there is no way around, so my husband and I are paying for it. The surgery is scheduled for September 23, 2014 and my pre-op appointment is on September 3, 2014.

Very very nervous about this being the right decision - it is partially due to discomfort and shoulder/back/breast aches, and partially due to me hating the way I look. I have wanted this surgery for many years, but had not seriously considered it until recently. I am 47 years old, am a small frame, 5ft 4 and around 140 lbs (which is about 10lbs overweight for me) and I wear a 34DD.

I have a friend who recently had the surgery and she has sent me a list of questions to ask the PS and all kinds of comfort tips for afterwards, so she has helped immensely.

List of questions for pre-op

My friend who had the surgery last year, sent me this list of questions. Maybe it is helpful for others :)

What technique do you use and why do you use it? Why is it best for me? Are there other options?
-Ask what size you will be in.
-Will you be required to wear compression?
-What materials do you need to bring to the hospital?
-Do you see any issues with my skin healing
-Do you have video of you performing the procedure
-May I have contacts for someone 3 months post-op, 6, and a year out from my same surgery (you can ask them about the surgeon, facility, what they like/dislike)
-Do you keep the nipple and areola attached or do detach it. If attached how do you do it? (This will affect your sensitivity)
- Will I have a catheter?
-Will I be on blood thinners? (If so how long) (tell him if on birth control)
-What is the primary complication you see?
-What happens if I do not like my result? Does the price I'm paying include revisions?
-How can I reduce the visibility of scars? Do you suggest any scar treatments (I've read a lot about silicone sheets)
-What % of your patients experience fat or skin necrosis? Why did th at happen?
-Will I have drains?
-What pain meds do you offer?
-Can you show me what my breast will look like after?
-How soon can I return to normal activity/lift over 5 lbs
-Are you on call 24/7. May I have your cell number?
-Ask him about "dog ears"- Will you correct this problem at no cost?
-How many years have you done this
-Will anyone else be assisting you? Who is it? (You can request no one else but him work on you)
-How long will I be under?
-Will I have meds I need to fill before I arrive?
-Do I need a mammogram before the procedure?

Hospital list-
Shirts that open in the front
Extra pillows
Stool softener
Hand mirror

Pre-Op appointment

So I had my pre-op yesterday, got my meds, paid for everything and talked with my PS for almost an hour. He answered all my questions in detail and went over the whole process of surgery through recovery with me. We talked about complications etc. He really made me feel much less nervous and I am happy I chose him :)

Before surgery pics

So this is a few days before surgery. I have gained at least 10lbs over the past few months, so excuse the rest of me looking flabby also :( I plan on doing something about that once I recover!! I am usually around 130lbs and 5ft 4. I am a DD cup and a pretty small frame overall.

Freaking out.....

So today I started totally freaking out about the surgery. I emailed the office and asked them to send me more before and after photos and was just generally panicking that I had made the wrong decision to do this, wrong doctor, what could go wrong, just freaking out... Went to dinner and had a large margarita and now I am calmer :) I'm sure this is normal right? Sigh.....

Photos!

Feeling pretty good today. Went to Walmart with my husband to get a different sports bra. The ones I have were too tight around the incisions. I got 2 Danskin ones in a bigger size and they seem to work well. I was surprised at how much tissue my PS removed. He was very conservative when we discussed but I let him know I wanted to be a B cup if possible and I am pretty sure he gave me that :)

Everything is very swollen and sore right now. I am taking pain killers at bed time to help me sleep and I'm on the couch because it's easier to stay on my back there. Overall I'm pretty happy! My husband has been a trooper and is waiting on me hand and foot. He is such a good guy.

Nipples still face down :(

So from the front the photos look fine, but from the side, you can really see that my nipples still face down.... I really hope that this changes with time and swelling going down..... I have my follow up with the PS tomorrow, so I will be sure to address this. He assured me my nipples would point forward and no more down facing nipples. I'm totally happy with the size, even with all the swelling though.

Feeling great today, no painkillers for more than 24 hours, and then I was really only using them to help me sleep. My biggest problem, other than my boobs itching like crazy is constipation :( I've drank prune juice (lots of it), take stool softeners, eaten Fiber One bars and after 5 days had to resort to suppositories.

I've lost a total of 5 lbs since surgery (1 lb of tissue during surgery), mostly from not having much of an appetite, which is great, because I've been struggling to get below 140lbs for a while now :)

Follow up with PS

I had my follow up yesterday. He removed all the tape and was thrilled with how everything is healing. He was also thrilled that I have full feeling in both nipples, and said that does not happen often so soon. Regular showers and just wash the incisions with soap and water and no other extra care needed for them. I asked him about my nipples facing down and he said the above flesh is still very swollen and he fully expects once that swelling goes down the nipples will start pointing the way they should. He is not worried and assured me that it takes months for everything to find it's place.

He gave me permission to sleep on my side as long as it doesn't hurt, and to exercise lightly - walking, jogging etc. Still no vacuuming or heavy lifting for a month. I still need to wear the sports bra 24/7 for another week and then for 12 hours a day for 2 weeks. Then I have another follow up.

Very happy with this meeting. Got home and even tried on some dresses for an upcoming wedding and everything is lose on the top!!! Never had that problem before..... Will post a photo without tape later today. The incisions look amazing!

8 Days post op photos - tape removed!!

Feeling good!

Sleeping on my side again is such a joy!! I've been putting a thin pillow under my side to give it some support, but not having any pain, so I'm doing it!!

I tried a different sports bra today - Best Form brand from K-Mart and it's not so constricting as the others. I could not have worn it last week though, because it's a little shorter than the others and starts to ride up when I sit.

Really feeling good about how my boobies are looking right now. The nipples are still lowish and pointing downward but I know that will change as swelling goes down.

Some updated photos

Feeling really great and healing well. I feel like i've been super lucky not to really have any problems!

Going back to work tomorrow :(

I've really got used to sleeping until 8 or 9 am and dreading getting up at 6:30 tomorrow. I hope I can last the whole day - luckily I have very laid back desk job so I will be sitting all day, and can get up whenever I need to for a short walk or rest. I do know that if it gets too much, I will be able to leave, but I won't get paid for hours I don't work.

I'm healing really well and not had much pain or even soreness during the last week. Go figure today, my boobs ached all day!! No idea why, but I took Ibuprofen and it helped. I also started taking Bromelaine yesterday between meals so hopefully that will start helping with swelling. My PS said I can start leaving the sports bra off for up to 12 hours a day now, so I've been in a tight tee all evening and it feels wonderful to be bra-less!!!

Today I started noticing that my right breast is bigger than my left. It was before the surgery, and I'm hoping that is swelling but I don't think it is..... That bums me out but either way my boobies look wonderful compared to before so I am happy overall :)

More photos - trying to include lots to document the healing process

I am at 3 weeks post op tomorrow. I've been hurting more the past week than even the first week. I had to take painkillers on Thursday and couldn't even go to work on Friday :( Luckily today was a holiday!! I feel like they are even more swollen now than before and they just hurt all the time..... Ready for that to end and was not expecting that at 3 weeks. Have a a follow up in a week and will start Bio-oil then.

5 weeks update!

This week I finally feel like myself again! My scars are healing wonderfully and I can actually wear a wire free bra for a whole day at work without it bothering me. Last week, I couldn't even put a bra on!! I've been using bioCorneum plus SPF 30 Advanced Scar Supervision from my PS and it dries out the skin but works great. I still have some aching at the sides and underneath sometimes, but overall am not really hurting any more. I also am not totally worn out after being at work all day! So many things are better this week :) I still am concerned that my right breast is lower and bigger than the other. I voice my concern to the PS and he said once the swelling is all done we will take a look at it. I still really wish he had taken more tissue and gone smaller. Currently I am a small C (after trying on a bunch of bras), but I was hoping for a B . That is a little disappointing, but I knew he was going to be conservative - and I should be thankful because I do have full feeling in my whole breasts and nipples.

6 week update

Had a follow up to remove a few stubborn stitches that kept working their way out of my skin! PS is very happy with my scars and healing. Told him about my concern of still feeling too big and the right being bigger than the left. He continues to tell me to be patient because I still have swelling and look boxy and that will very slowly get better. I need to figure out how to make a photo of before and after..... I think that will make me realize how much smaller I really am!

Comparison Pic - 6 weeks

7 week update with pics

I'm still feeling bummed that they are not smaller. I'm really having a hard time with spending so much money, and going through so much for them still to be heavy and much larger than expected :( It's really bringing me down and I can't seem to get past it. I know I am healing wonderfully and they do look good, and I am grateful for that at least. They seem a little perkier this week, so maybe some of that deep swelling is finally going down.

2 more 7 week pics - along with a before

Some more angles of photos and a before to compare to.

9 week update

So I have been really sore all week, especially at the sides. They hurt to touch or put my arms down. And my incisions underneath have been throbbing also, which I haven't felt for about 3 weeks. I have not been physically overdoing things, so I don't think that is the problem.

I've also been very depressed about the size. I am trying not to dwell on it, but I expected a much bigger difference and am upset about that. I do need to lose about 15 lbs at this point, so maybe once that happens, some will be lost from my chest also ( I usually lose some there). Need to get motivated to lose the weight, so I can really tell. Have a follow up with the PS on Dec 17th.
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Cannot say enough good things about Dr. Burgdorf!! i would highly recommend him. His staff are also absolutely amazing - always quick to respond to emails, questions, concerns etc. He is kind and compassionate and spent lots of time explaining every detail of the surgery and recovery. I had tons of questions and he went over them all patiently with me. He was honest and explained any complications etc. At my first follow up, he eased any concerns I had and was very happy with the results and the progress of my healing. After 5 weeks , most of the swelling is gone (I think) and really wish they were smaller. I asked for a B cup and he said he would try to get close, but he did not remove much tissue, which is frustrating. After paying so much, I was hoping for a bigger difference and I am disappointed about that. I think he was a little more conservative than I would have liked but he is still a wonderful Doctor. I self paid for my surgery, and he may have been a little more expensive than others, but I know that every penny was well spent!!

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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