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.


Insurance company denied mine but after providing them with chart notes with everything I tried to alleviate neck and shoulder pain, a letter from my family dr, and a letter from me discussing impact to my life, they overturned the denial. You may want to try again...good luck with your journey!
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Thanks but I worked with Health Advocate, and there is no changing an exclusion put in by the company I work for. I have no history of breast cancer so it is denied. My doctor showed plenty of proof of medical neccessity, but that wasn't why it was denied :(
Bummer. I had decided if insurance wouldn't cover mine I was still going to go thru with it. At 20 days post surgery, I am so glad I had the surgery and I know I would feel the same way even if I had to pay 100% of it.

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

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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 :)

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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.

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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.....


I'm right there with you, lol. I've been trying to find out what time my surgery has been scheduled for, but every time I call it goes to voice mail. Right now I'm a nervous wreck!!!
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I'm ok today. I just went over all my medical information with the surgery center and they've changed my surgery time to 7:30 am. We have to be there by 5:30 am!! Which is good because I will not have time to freak out!! We will be fine!! :)
I'll be 30 minutes behind you.


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.


Doing great, always best to go up a band size in post op bras to allow for swelling. Bromelain 3 -4 times a day between meals can help with swelling and back sleeping in a Bed is fine using the 5 pillow method- 2 supporting the head and shoulders, one either side to rest your arms in and most important of all, one under your knees to prevent back pain.
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I've tried the 5 pillows in the bed, exactly as everyone has described and I keep waking up with an aching back. I've slept on the couch all week, half reclined with lots of pillows and slept really well so I'm going with what works for me :) As for the sports bras, I have bought 1 and 2 band sizes up and still feel like I am being suffocated. I hate wearing bras, no matter what, so I think it's just me hating the feel of them!! I guess I totally missed anything about taking Bromelain.... My doctor didn't say anything about it. Is it too late to start taking now?
congrats! you look great!
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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 :)


Hi dreamgirl and peediewife, I am thinking about having my BR with Dr. Lett in Mount Juliet, I am really nervous having the surgery. I am a 34-36DDD and have been up to a 44DD and then lost several bra sizes. My neck and back has always hurt since I was in 5th grade. I am 5' 2 and 133lbs small frame. What scares me is when the doctor mentioned I could have a lot to scar tissue and could have abscess after surgery of course I understand that is the worst scenario to have. Any suggestions or encouragement you can give me and is there any other information you can share. Did any of you have any regrets having the surgery since you have been heavy for so long? Thanks for your input.
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No, not too late. bromelain will continue to help with swelling, it comes from pineapple, so that is an alternative if you cannot find bromelain
Pineapple can do you nothing but good but you could never eat enough to get the concentration of the substance that relieves swelling that you get in the supplement

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!

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8 Days post op photos - tape removed!!


Your incisions look great! That is good to know about the top swelling causing the nipples to point down, I was wondering about mine.
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Yeah it was a big concern for me. My friend told me though that if after a few months they still point down, it is an easy fix for him to do, so I'm not worrying!!
Wow yes for 8 days post-op you have healed extreme well! I have a visit with PS today. I will be 3 weeks post-op tomorrow. He does not use tape method. He has me putting antibiotic ointment over incisions and then covering with gauze -- this is getting old! And I'm am yet to find that perfect sports bra ... Oh well!
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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.

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Some updated photos

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


You look great! How long does a reduction take to lose swelling, etc?
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Thanks :) My PS says anywhere up to 6 months. I saw him today and he said i still have tons of swelling and the size and shape will change over the next few months. If there is anything I'm not happy with, he does not consider making any changes until after 6 months to make sure everything is fully healed.

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 :)

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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.


Wow! You look great! I am 13 days PO and i have quite a bit of bruising still and soreness. My PS did take over 5 pounds of tissue off me though! Glad to see you are healing well!
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How much time did you take off work initially? Your boobs look great by the way!
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He removed around 1/2 a pound each side. I have not asked him exact amounts though. I feel like my right is way bigger than the left but I'm hoping it's still swelling.....
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. 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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