Breast Reduction: Part 1 - New Jersey

Hi friends! I'm so glad I found this community!...

Hi friends! I'm so glad I found this community! You all really give me the confidence to move forward with my quest to have "the girls" reduced to a manageable size! I've been through a great deal in my 59 years, but now its 'my time' to do something for myself! Last January 2011, my husband and I lost our 27 year old daughter and our home to a ferocious house fire. It was, naturally, life changing, as my husband and I are now retired, and happy to have our son and his family living with us in our new home on a beautiful 3 acre property in the 'country'.

I've dealt with very large breasts since I developed early at age 13, and I have finally made the decision to begin my journey for a breast reduction. I am 5' 5", weigh 165 lbs, and my bras range from a size 38DD to a 40DDD, depending on the bra. I have my consultation on April 5th, and I am SO looking forward to it, almost more so than the family cruise we are going on at the end of the month! That should take my mind off my latest obsession of reading everything I can get on BR surgery. We get home on April 1st, only four days before my consultation. I'm sure that last week in March will just fly by. Time flies when you’re having fun!

I don't see any roadblocks with my insurance, as I’ve had back surgery twice, the last time in 2002, and I have been seeing a pain management specialist for my neck and back pain since then. I went through BR surgery with my late daughter when she had the surgery in 2005, and I was so envious of her new shape. Thinking back to that time, I’ve realized that I should have had mine done at the same time, but better late than never!

Hope you have a great 60th tomorrow, Jacquie!
Hi Jacquie!! Nice to hear you had a wonderful cruise!! Dont be nervous--a bunch of us had surgery while you were gone and are doing just fine. (a bit swollen and tender-but fine nonetheless!!)
Good luck at your consult--I went to 4 Dr.s before I picked my surgeon. You will know if you "click" or not!
Thanks, ladies!! I am so glad you were able to find my reply here! I wanted to post it as an update, but it is requiring me to rate my PS already, which, of course, I can't do! [I probably shouldn't have listed one so soon in the first place!] I have another major concern about timing for the surgery, once everything is in place. It's a long story, but, the short version is that we are having an addition put on our home - it's going to be a master suite, for my husband and me, on the main level. We bought this already-large house after we lost ours in the fire, and my son, d-i-l and 2 grandkids live here as well. They basically have the second floor utilized with their bedrooms, etc, and we are using the smallest bedroom up there to store our already-purchased new furniture. We, however, are sleeping on the main level in what is supposed to be an office, so it's small, no closets, etc. That's why our plans all along were to put an addition on the house - there's plenty of property, as we have 3 acres. We are planning to break ground very soon on a huge bedroom, master bath, kitchenette and sitting room - it's like 25' by 45'. My son and d-i-l are suggesting that I wait until after we are moved into the addition to have the surgery, for the privacy, and also I won't need to be moving our stuff into the addition if I have the surgery before the addition is finished. That will mean a delay of 2 to 3 months, which I guess I can live with (tho I am SO anxious to move on with it!). That DOES make sense, I guess, do you agree?? I really hadn't planned on delaying it that long, but I suppose it makes sense....sigh....

Well, here it is, the Monday after Easter, and...

Well, here it is, the Monday after Easter, and I've had a few days to think about my first consult, which was last Thursday. I have to say, my first impression of the PS I saw on that day was that he was pretty serious, maybe a bit reserved, but that feeling didn't last but a few minutes. The consult took an amazing hour and a half. He came into the exam room, I was fully clothed and had my girlfriend with me. She is also planning to have a BR done, and this was her first experience to find out what the surgery entails. First, he described the procedure in full detail as he looked over the medical history forms which I had completed. He covered just about every point I would have asked, including recovery, length of surgery, etc, and said that he uses drains and disposable sutures (glad to hear that!). I had a few questions for him that he didn't cover, and once all of that information was gone over, he left the room and I removed my top and bra, and put on a little hospital gown. His First Assistant, a very helpful RN, had told me prior to his arrival what the consult would consist of, so there were no surprises.

When the PS returned to the room, he looked at 'the girls', showed me exactly how he would perform the surgery, and also informed me that, due to the large amount of ptosis (droopage!), I will have to have the horizontal inframammary incisions in addition to the ones around the nipple area and the vertical incision. That really didn't surprise me, either! Then we sat down and went over any questions we still had, including what would happen if there were any complications and how they would be handled. When the PS finally left the room, his Assistant came back to go over what should happen next if I decide to go with this doctor. She also gave me her business card which included her cell phone number,where she could be reached practically anytime if a problem or question arises. That really impressed me. I happened to mention to her also how unimpressed with the doctor who had performed my daughter's BR in 2006, and assured me that their entire staff is very dedicated and compassionate, which I could see already. She told me that, if I decide to go with this doctor, they will begin the process of gathering info to submit to my insurance company for coverage. She did suggest that I do obtain letters from both my pain management and TP docs to submit. I didn't tell her, but I can tell you all that I am going to go ahead with this surgery whether or not my insurance pays for it!
I just hate this waiting, after finally making this decision!

All in all, I was very pleased with this consult, and the facility is nearly brand new, and is really beautiful. I have another consult scheduled for 4/17, which I will go to, and then I will decide whether or not I need any further consults, and, if not, which PS I will choose.
Thanks, I did! I'm glad I don't feel any older, 'cause I feel old enough !! We had over 20 people here yesterday for Easter, and they had a birthday cake with a candle for me, and my hubby bought me a beautiful bracelet that I was admiring when we were on the cruise! All in all, it was a great week-end!

Well, I finally went to my second PS consult...

Well, I finally went to my second PS consult today, and now I'm a bit more nervous about the whole thing than I was before. This PS went about the consult in a different way. I was already in my hospital robe when he came into the room, and the first thing he did was start marking my boobs, and taking loads of measurements. He seemed really nice and closer to me in age, not that that matters, and listed all the concerns anyone would have with a BR, such as infection, scarring, etc, and he also told me that he generally has the patient stay overnight in the hospital, and that he puts drains in, but takes them out the next day before being discharged (I really like that part!) He also said to get me about a C cup, he would need to remove over 600 grams on the left, and over 900 grams on the right. After all of that, he left the room, told me to get dressed, and then he came back into the room.

When he returned, he started to discuss with me the fact that, since I was so saggy, and the distance from where the nipple is to where he needs to put it is overly long, the right breast, at least, would need a free nipple graft. He said he can probably get by with the simpler method (using the pedicle technique where the nipple remains attached to the blood supply). He also said that I may want to have the nipple graft on both sides so that the end result will be similar. That took me back a bit, but we continued with the consult, and then he showed me a bunch of pictures of other women's surgery, pointing out the scars, etc. He was very honest with me, I felt, and after we finished the consult and was told how to start the ball rolling with the insurance, and I left.

I kept thinking about what this PS said about the FNG, and wondered what the other doctor had thought about the reduction, and if the nipple graft would need to be done. I had gotten from the first PS, a business card which had the principle nurse's CELL phone, and she had said if we had any questions or problems to give her a call. So I called, and she remembered me, and told me that he only does the FNG as a last resort, but once he gets in there, he may find it is necessary to to do the nipple graft after all.

Now I am really conflicted. I really like the idea that the first PS has this wonderful nurse a phone call away, and had a brand new, modern facility. He uses dissolving stitches and drains. I kind of liked this second PS's way of doing things, but they were both very nice and thorough. I am not sure what I want to do, and I'd probably have a good result with either PS, as they both have five star ratings on the Healthgrades rating sites. I will upload the pictures that I had my husband take of the marked up breasts. Boy, they sure DO look so lopsided in these pictures. I guess I really am that lopsided.

Please, please, ladies, what do you think???

I've done further research, and I read that an FNG...

I've done further research, and I read that an FNG is indicated if the N2N (notch to nipple) measurement is over 40cm. My right measurement is about 38cm, and that is the larger one. Wow, this gives me further pause as far as going with this second PS.

Gets more and more confusing...

When I saw my bare pictures for the first time I was amazed (and not in a good way) at how I looked. I thought THAT really can't be me, can it? I never knew they were that differently shaped and that the nipples pointed in different directions. What an eye-opener!

Good luck with your decision! That is a tough one.
jacquie....maybe check out your docs on too. If people have left comments, you can see those as well as star ratings.

I truly appreciate you ladies telling me your...

I truly appreciate you ladies telling me your experiences and stories! I have spent the better part of the past 24 hours turning this one over in my mind... I was really sold on the first PS, whose has also done extensive reconstruction work in a major cancer center in addition to the reductions that he also does a beautiful job with. I went to the second PS consult, which I had, by the way, scheduled first, tho the date was further away. Not only was I more impressed with PS #1's work, knowledge, but also his office staff, first and foremost was the woman who is an RN and his first assistant. As I was leaving the exam room with my girlfriend, we were chatting about how the PS who had done my late daughter's BR wasn't very helpful, did not supply a bra or even suggest one, NEVER said anything about massaging her scars, etc, and this nurse said to me, "You won't find that here. Dr Lynch spends a lot of time with his patients, and is great at the f/u appointments, he really cares about his patients." She then proceeds to give me the doctor's card, with her name right across the middle, and tells me that she has her cell phone number on the card so she can be reached at any time, for any problems or questions. In fact, I called her on her cell a few evenings ago to ask her if Dr L had said anything about an FNG. She remembered me, even tho the appt was two weeks ago, and assured me that he does his best to give the patient what she wants in all cases. So, I made my decision to go with this doctor, and pushed ahead and called the office, where this same nurse answered the phone, and when I identified myself, she said, "Hi Jacquie, this is Rosemary." Just finding her answering the phone was reassuring to me. I told her that I want Dr Lynch to perform my surgery, and then we went on to discuss the next steps to take for insurance. :)

When I got off the phone, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, and I am confident in my decision. I am one happy, excited, tho a bit nervous, big-breasted Grandma.
Wishing you well Ms. Jacquie, and praying that this time isn't moving too slow for us posted about your May 4th appt. So excited for you!
Hi Jacquie. I'm relatively new here, but was very sorry to hear about your daughter. I have two daughters myself (15 & 17) and I simply cannot imagine what you've gone - and continue to go - through. How wonderful that you are FINALLY doing this for yourself! I'm going for my first consult July 3rd. I'm 55 and have been wanting to do this for years and years and even had surgery booked about 10 years ago and chickened out a few months prior to surgery. I can completely relate to your dilemma regarding the 2 PSs. It must be a tremendous weight off (pun FULLY intended!) to have made the decision to go with #1. You're well on your way now! I'll be following your journey as I'm looking for any and all encouragement at the moment. I have days where I tell myself it's not worth all the risks and then others when I wish I could go that very day and just get it DONE. Wishing you the very best of luck in getting an early surgery date. Do keep us posted. May 4th is only days away and you'll have taken another big step towards your goal! All the best!
Hi Piggles, and thank you for your kind words. I can't lie, it's been very difficult losing my daughter and my home, but we're taking one day at a time, have bought a new house, and are getting by. Funny, it didn't really occur to me years ago that a BR would be something I wanted, but did have second thoughts after my daughter had her's done in 2006. Now that I've aged and the girls are really sagging, it seems pretty obvious that I do need a BR! I lost about 15 lbs after the fire, and that's making them sag even more. I am trying to cool my heels, but truth be told, I wish it were May 4th already!! This site has been very helpful, as well as another forum I have joined at BreastHealthOnline - they are even more active over there - you should check it out! They also have lots about a Healing Diet, and drinks with lemon that are supposed to be great to keep swelling down after surgery. Read all you can, and then jump right in, like I did! Hope to see you around - I will certainly keep you all posted on my progress towards my BR!

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~...

~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi gals! Though I would check in and let you all what's been going on! As I think I wrote in the previous update, I was told by my PS that my insurance, Horizon BCBS, requires AT LEAST two letters from professionals stating that a BR will provide an improvement in my pain and overall health in general. Well,, yesterday, I had my appt with my PM doctor, who I had already asked to write a letter for me. He had, and when I went f or my appointment today, I finally picked up the letter. It was a well written and strongly worded letter from someone who has been treating me for chronic pain since 2002. I called my PS's office yesterday before I faxed them over the letter, and told them I would be seeing my TP on Friday and will probably get her letter within the week. They are getting their report, pictures, etc together to be ready once letters have been received. I asked the nurse on the phone about how long would a decision take, and she told me it varied, but she had just received a denial for a woman with my insurance, and she also mentioned someone else waiting on an appeal for EIGHT MONTHS! How outrageous is that? I, for one, will be calling my ins company daily once they have my info and report. I would never sit still for an eight month wait, nope, not me. Meanwhile, I am busying myself with a couple of craft projects, vegetable and flower gardening, and working on our family's latest project - we have basically gone practically VEGAN for the past month without any problems or hunger pains. It's something we had dabbled in and tried briefly a couple of times last year, but are going all in this time! We bought a compost bin, worms to put in that will help with the break down of vegetation, waste, leaves,, etc that we are putting in, and learning as we go. It's fun to go shopping at the produce and health food stores and see what a large variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables that are available to anyone who is interested! Well, enough for now, I will probably check in again Friday evening after my doctor's appointment. Have a great week everyone!
Lol Jacquie! Think we've already exchanged greetings on the other site. I just found it today. Didn't put two and two together, but I have now! Nice to have someone of my vintage around! So pleased you're moving along in the process. I'm feeling stalled until I see my GP next week for 2 more referrals. I just want to see a PS to get preliminary thoughts. The waiting is crazy. Keep us posted; I'm following your story with great interest. :)
hi jj- good luck with everything and i hope that your insurance comes through quickly. i had my surgery 3 weeks ago and i wish i had done it 20 years ago. all my very best to you.
I had a bit of a struggle with my insurance too. They initially denied me and I had to appeal. I got lots of letters, not just the required 2. My chiropractor, PT and Primary all sent letters plus my notes from a former PT showing a long term course of treatment. Good luck! My neck and back feel great now! Keep pestering them and they will approve you eventually!

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Think...

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
Think it's time for a new update! Today, I went to see my GP, whom I've gone to for about 30 years. I needed to have an appointment to discuss my wish to have a BR. We had a very nice talk, and I explained that I feel it's time for ME now, and I have come to the conclusion that I will have a better quality of life if I have some of this 'boobage' removed. I also gave her a copy of the medical necessity letter I received from my pain management doctor, and a business card for my PS. She said that she would be happy to write the letter and fax it to him within the next few days. She also said she will have her staff call me after it has been done. I'm more than happy that this is moving forward! I spoke with my PS office the other day when I faxed the letter from my PM doc, and told them that I was seeing my other doctor today, so would be getting the second letter very soon. Meanwhile, my PS's office is getting their report, pictures, etc, ready to send to the insurance company. Then, as soon as I know that the reports, pix and letters have been submitted, I plan to start a phone calling blitz to the insurance company. I'm not going to just sit around waiting for it to happen! My daughter-in-law, who worked for dental offices for over 15 years, said that when a person continues to call a doctor or ins. company for a decision, they hurry the decision just to get rid of the thorn in their side! I am more than happy to be the thorn!!!

So, that's the latest I have to report, and as the title of my journey says, "Getting closer to my goal of a breast reduction". Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck

Good luck Jacquie! It does sound like things are moving in the right direction!

Not a whole lot of new to report, but I did want...

Not a whole lot of new to report, but I did want to let you all know that I found out that my PS sent all letters, pictures and reports to my insurance company for the pre-auth last Monday. The countdown begins... Cross your fingers for me! Will let you all know what happens next!
Let us know as SOON as you hear so I can uncross everything :)
Good luck Jacquie! May the boob Gods smile on you!
LOL - The BOOB Gods?? You crack me up! It's been one week and counting...these days are going by so s-l-o-w-l-y.

I guess you can say I'm making some progress -- I...

I guess you can say I'm making some progress -- I received a call from my PS's office. They rec'd a fax from my IC, asking for six months of office notes from the doctors that wrote letters of medical necessity. My TP would be useless, since I've only seen her once or twice in the last 6 months, but I know I can get my pain management doctor to send in his notes. I see him every 4 to 6 weeks, and at every visit he gives me a script for 110 Percocet (10/325) and also a muscle relaxer script. I'm hoping they mainly want to make sure that I have actually been going to a PM specialist? Hope so. At any rate, not time to uncross your fingers yet :).

Thoughts, anyone??

For insurance company I provided letters from chiropractor and my personal trainer. Along with records of each visit with both practitioners. Ended up being 35 pages of documents. I also wrote a passionate letter explaining all the quality of life problems.

I would think that with extensive documentation from a pain specialist that you should be in the clear, but I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you! Good luck!
Keeping everything (including my boobs...sadly) crossed for you Jacquie. Sounds as though you've got good documentation going for you. I'm rooting for you!!!

Well, Happy Memorial Day weekend, hope you all did...

Well, Happy Memorial Day weekend, hope you all did at least one fun thing over these last three days!! Well, tomorrow's the day I will be contacting my pain management doc to ask him to copy the last six months of office notes for my IC. Hopefully, that will be all that they need before I am approved for my BR. Of course, if I am approved, I have no idea when I would be able to have my surgery. I just have to wait and see how this whole thing plays out. Actually, I was hoping that I would have been able to have my BR in the spring, like May, or maybe even June. If it gets much later then that, I will have a big decision to make. Some of you may remember that I didn't know if I should go ahead and have the surgery as soon as I could, or should I wait until after the addition is finished on my house. This addition will be a master suite on the main level of my house, which will be for my husband and myself, so when it's done, I will be the one who will be moving clothing, etc, to our new place. On top of that, my husband and I have a ten day vacation at the shore scheduled for mid August. I was thinking that I wouldn't want to have my BR and then not be able to to swim on our vacation. But, who am I kidding, I don't really swim that much, anyway, it's more like just getting my legs wet, and I guess I can still do that! I am also thinking that it would be easier to have the surgery done in the spring/early summer, so that the amount of clothing I will have to wear will be less, therefore, less restrictive. No matter, I still think that once I am approved, I will want to go forward with it asap, who am I kidding!? I will be sure to keep everyone posted, so please ask 'the boob Gods' to cooperate :).
hi yes the wait is just not cool at all but you will get approved im praying for you well i am approved my disappointment is my breast reduction isnt till 5 months away i hate that but i gotta just wiegh it out my diet isnt going that great cause its hard to diet but im gonna keep trying till i get it right but i wish you luck stay in touch i am approved but i still gotta hang on to the girls for 5 more months
Hang in here Jacquie. In a very short time, this wait will be nothing but a distant memory. I KNOW how tough it is now, but one day at a time. We're all here for you in the meantime :)
It will work out!! Have faith!! Theres a reasion for all the hub bub!! Praying for you!! While you go crazy waiting read and prepare yourself for this journey its all going to be good!!!

~~~ June 11th, and still waiting...I feel so...

~~~ June 11th, and still waiting...I feel so frustrated, as my hands are tied and I'm still at the mercy of others.. The last time I updated you all, I had to wait over the Memorial Day weekend, and then go to my PM doc and sign a release to have my six months of office records, plus the list of steroid injections I have had over the years to try to cure my lower back pain. Heck, I thought that would make me a shoe in for approval...So, forms all signed, records had been sent, and I found out by calling my PS office to make sure they had received them, and they told me that they had, several days prior to my call. .I got tired of waiting and hearing nothing, so last Friday I decided to call my ins. co. and ask how things are progressing. I ended up speaking to two women, the second one actually was a patient management consultant in the pre-cert office. After numerous times on hold, both women had come back with the news that, no, they had not received the notes, but were still waiting for them. With this news, I called my PS office and spoke with the same nice nurse I always speak to when I call there, and told her what they said. She couldn't believe this, as she faxed the 21 pages herself. I relayed that the women at the IC kept saying that what they received was a duplicate of information that they already had. She replied, "Well, the first three pages might have been the same, but the records, etc were there also." Didn't they bother to look past page 3 when there were 21 total pages?? To satisfy them, she re-faxed the notes, so hopefully they now have what they need. I will wait a couple of days and then call the IC office. The PS's office gave me the direct phone number to the pre-cert unit, and I also have my case manager's name, and their direct fax number. Being that I have their fax number, I am going to type out a personal letter, explaining my situation and why I feel I need a BR, and that it is medically necessary to improve my neck, back and shoulder pain. Does that sound like a good idea, or shouldn't I get that personal? Please share your thoughts with me on this, as I am planning to go tomorrow to fax that letter! Would YOU send a letter like that?
well good luck so right know your just waiting to get approved right well if i wish you the best of luck please keep in touch i also am waiting well for surgery that is but its funnier to talk to people who is waiting just like me keep us posted JJ.... and stay in touch im hoping they will call me sooner.... though god bless....
Hi Justj, I am so sorry this is becoming such a struggle for you, you deserve this surgery in more ways than one. Insurance companies are a pain as we all know, if you feel better writing the letter then do so, but keep it more like a timeline and stick to the facts more than emotions and keep checking with them. When my ps submitted me for approval it "went to the wrong department" yeah, whatever, but it eventually happened and it will for you too...hang in there!
Thanks, busy. It's just that I am getting impatient and, at this point, I'm not good at waiting patiently. "Went to the wrong department, huh? My company seemed to have not looked past page 3 of a 21 page fax, or maybe the pages got separated? Whatever, it's just a good thing that I checked in when I did, so they at least have everything now. Or do they? One thing is certain, I'm not going to wait another month and do nothing. Now I plan to be pro-active by sending a personal letter and calling in a few days to see if a decision has been made!

Well, I've gone and done it! I wrote a letter,...

Well, I've gone and done it! I wrote a letter, just the facts, ma'am, and read it over several times, and had hubby re-read it, too. He had suggested that maybe I should take out the sentence about the grooves in my shoulders, but I told him, no, having them is actually one of the criteria that they use to determine eligibility! "In that case, he said, leave it in!", he said. I faxed the letter yesterday directly to the pre-authorization office, and I plan to call and make sure they actually have everything they need, and find out if they are close to or have made a decision. *** ONE THING I JUST NOTICED ON A LETTER I HAD RECEIVED LAST WEEK, THOUGH, GAVE ME HOPE -- They had the 'date of service' listed as July 20, 2012! That's news to me, I could be closer to my BR than I even thought! I will be calling my PS to ask about it....I am cooling my heels for a couple of days, though, so I don't make a pest of myself. Now the insurance company, that's another story -- I will be calling them tomorrow one way or another!

So, currently the wait drags on, but there may be a dim light at the end of the tunnel! Will keep you posted!
I wrote a very specific personal letter to get approval. Discussed hobbies I couldn't really participate in. Challenges holding my daughter. It seemed to help. Good luck to you

Doesn't it drive you crazy that for all of the planning we try to do there are so many things that are actually completely out of our hands. What a frustration to us, but try to remember that some times the wait is for a reason. I've got every finger and toe crossed for you and can't wait to hear what you find you when you call your insurance company.

Friends, just wanted to give you the results of my...

Friends, just wanted to give you the results of my phone call yesterday to my ins. co. I called AGAIN, give the girl my ins number, name, etc, and ask her if they now have everything they need (I had also sent my case manager a letter explaining why I believe a BR would be life changing, which I faxed directly to her on Wednesday). I wait....she comes back on the phone and says that they were still waiting for the office notes from my pain manaement doctor. REALLY??????? ARE THEY KIDDING ME, OR WHAT?? After explaining that those notes were sent TWICE now, the second time was last Friday, she puts me on hold I wait again, trying to think of what I will say next if she comes back and says the same thing....she comes back on the phone and says, oh, yes, we DID receive those notes, and they will NOW be forwarded to my case manager for her review, and when she reaches a decision, she will call my PS's office. So, that tells me that they got those notes LAST FRIDAY, and they sat in my file for another week without anyone bothering to do anything with them!! Can you say INCOMPETENT??? Grrrr. At least I know that I moved things along before the week-end. I'm sure it's no big deal to the IC, but IT'S MY LIFE HERE, AND I WANT THEM TO AT LEAST PRETEND TO WANT TO HELP ME!!! Ok, off of my soapbox now...have a great week-end!! Will let you all know as soon as I get THE WORD.
Thanks, Iowa!! It just seems like a comedy of errors to me over at that IC!! Thanks for the rooting, crossing, etc! I am SO anxious to get this over and done with!

Responded to your update on Piggles page, but just wanted to say that I'm rooting for you out here in the boondocks! Good Luck!!
That's just what I did last week, StacyLynne. I kept it to just the facts of how my PS and I believe that a BR will improve my quality of life, reduce my chronic pain, and maybe even help reduce or eliminate the giant grooves in my shoulders! i hoping this letter will help influence my case manager, and help her to approve my BR!

I never thought I would have to change the title...

I never thought I would have to change the title of my 'review' to one of temporary defeat, but I was more than a little shocked to receive a letter of denial today from my IC. I've already been in touch with my PS, but I am waiting until tomorrow to call the Pre-Auth Dept and find out WTF their reason for denying me was. Also, what criteria did they use,, and what information of mine did they actually take into account to make their erroneous decision??? There were so many calls back and forth between myself and the IC, and the last convo I had with them was last Friday afternoon, when I was at first told they were still waiting for office notes from my pain management doctor, whom I've been seeing for TEN years. Then, after the person I was talking to looked again into my file, she acted like she was surprised, as she said, "I do have those notes, and I will forward them to your case manager for review." That was late Friday afternoon, and my denial letter was dated Monday, so did they even LOOK at the notes they were sent? Maybe I will never now for sure, but you can bet I will be calling them tomorrow morning to ask them! Also, in the letter, I was instructed to consult the enclosed pamphlet about appealing the decision. All well and good, except for the fact that they DID NOT INCLUDE A PAMPHLET ABOUT APPEALS! How screwed up IS this IC, anyway?

So, until then, I guess I have to start thinking of what to put in an appeal. Iowa, was it you who said you have a copy of a denial letter that could be tailored to fit my situation? Oh, I just don't know, and, frankly, I'm gettiing sick of thinking about all of this. I did, however, call my PS office and told them that I was going through with this surgery with or without insurance coverage, and I have a pre-op appointment scheduled for july 12, which was the earliest appt. they could give me. I also asked about how the appeal process would work, and they told me that the 'member', me, in this case, is the one that would initiate the appeal. I am a bit disappointed by this, I had really thought that the appeal should partly come from the PS?

Thoughts anyone? Oh, BTW, I could also use some cheering up and words of encouragement!!?!?
I am so sorry to hear that but i do believe if you appeal and keep pressing it with them they will approve you just patient just think you been dealing with the girls all this time just give it a little more time and be patient i know you will get approved soon well i am praying for you and i will be waiting for you to tell us you been approved have a great day and dont let this letter bring you down have lift yourself up and go on with your day and call them tommorrow and do what you have to do ok god bless..... (smiles)
Jacquie, I'm so sorry to hear that you were denied for ....but don't give up. Stay strong and positive and with enough perseverance you will get that much needed and necessary BR.
Best of luck ... my thoughts and positive vibes are with you. Always happy thoughts. :O)
Keep appealing! Do you know anybody else with your insurance who has got it approved?
You could bring that up in your appeal. Don't give up! Good Luck!

Okay, so I've had a whole day to absorb what this...

Okay, so I've had a whole day to absorb what this denial might mean...I've also spoken to someone at the pre-authorization department at the insurance company. I asked her what exactly was in the file of material that was submitted on my behalf, and was there anything that is a major deciding factor that I was missing? Here's what was sent to them to evaluate: One letter from my pain management doctor explaining my years of chronic pain and treatment I've had from them, including meds, and twenty-one pages of office notes from the last six months of treatment, a list of the steroid injections that I have undergone to my lumbar area to try to alleviate my back pain (didn't work), a letter from my TP stating that I have been under her care for many years, and that I have had complaints of chronic neck, upper and lower back and shoulder pain, and she feels strongly that a BR would help to reduce this pain and stress on my shoulders, a letter from the PS himself, describing my symptoms -- abnormally large, pendelous BOBS, pain and discomfort from the bras that I have had to wear, the deep grooves in my shoulders due to the weight that my bras are trying to hold up for nearly 50 years of large breasts, pictures, including a specific few of the grooves in my shoulders, and a letter from me listing the reasons why this surgery is a medical necessity for me to help improve my quality of life. Can't believe all that wasn't enough :irked:.

This girl I spoke with was really pouring over my stuff, trying to see if there was anything that I still needed. Well, there is one thing. you know the letters that were requested at the very beginning from doctors supporting the medical necessity of this BR? Apparently, they require two letters all right, but both from doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system (ie. orthopedists) I guess technically, I don't have two letters from these type of specialists, although I do have an Ortho who did my second back surgery, but that was ten years ago, and the weight of my breasts was never discussed as a causitive factor in my back pain. Well, crap, the insurance company might just as well say that they will never cover a BR, if they are going to be THAT specific on their requirements. Then she asks if I have tried conservative measures, like heat or ice, or a support bra? Duh, are they kidding me, or what? She then gave me another phone number of another department which may be able to tell me more specifically what is needed.

To be honest, I am not, at the age of 60, going to start going to new doctors in the hopes of finally hitting on just the right combination of things that I need to be approved. I don't have the luxury of stringing this out from now until doomsday at my age! I am planning to call this other office tomorrow morning, and then check back in with my PS's office. I was a little disappointed yesterday when the office told me that the appeal process is not something that they do, it's usually the 'member's' responsibility.

Here is the short version, then of what I am planning to do. I will write an appeal letter (Iowa has sent me a copy of the one that she used, and I will tailor it to fit my situation) and request that they take another look at my application. Beyond that, I say the hell with the insurance company! I am going ahead with this with or without their help and, to that end, I have scheduled a pre-op appointment for July 12 (the soonest date I could get) with the promise of a call from the PS office if they get a cancellation. I am moving ahead with my plans, and if I am approved, so much the better! Here's what I won't do -- let them STOP ME from having this surgery. I am WORTH it, darn it, and I deserve to do this for myself, and I have the full support of my husband! A big Thank You to all of you who have offered your support! This place has made me realize that I am not alone, and I appreciate each and every one of you who bothered to reply to my rantings! I've already spent way to much time and energy worrying about the insurance company. Screw 'em!
Jacquie from NJ, 60 y.o. size 38DDD going to ??
planning to be OTR soon, with or w/o ins. co help!

"I am Jacquie. Hear me ROAR!"

You go girl!! You have our suport! Its horrible that our insurance companies are left to decide what is quality if life!! I am so excited that you are going forward! ! Will be praying for you!! All the luck! !
Ha! You GO Jacquie!! Those wankers are going to regret having turned down the wrong woman!!

Today is a new day, and though I am resolved to...

Today is a new day, and though I am resolved to get this BR with or without insurance help, I am finding it hard to swallow that my IC is being so particular in what they think the evidence needs to be to establish medical necessity. I placed another call to the Appeals Dept, and now I am told that I need six months of office notes from two doctors, at least one of which needs to be from a musculosketal specialist. Okay, well I submitted the notes from my PM doc, but apparently that is not good enough. As I wrote before, I am not going to now look for a physical therapist to try to justify my need for this BR. I am just so angry that I have to go above and beyond what has already been submitted. So, I admit it, I want this surgery for cosmetic reasons, but also for the discomfort of the feeling like I have a rope ( otherwise known as a bra) tied around my mid-section. No matter how tight I make the band, or however much I hike up the bra straps, the bra still fits poorly and makes me look matronly.

I'm done thinking about this for now, but I'm going to move forward with my plans. I owe that much to myself.
Hi Jacquie, I have been reading these post & thinking I better get busy. I am 59 with large boobs & hate them. I have been wanting to get rid of them for YEARS now. I was thinking after this summer I would go see couple of PS & see what they say. I wasn't even thinking about the crap I will have to go thru with IC. So I guess I better get moving now cuz it probably will take months. I am going to do it with or without insurance period. I think IC make it so hard hoping people will give up & pay for it themselves. I have lost about 50lbs & feeling so much better but my boobs didn't shrink much. I think I also will need other things done too, like face lift & eye lift : (
Well good luck to you & hope all works out for you. I'm going to go check out & breasthealthonline too. You have really inspired me to get er done, thanks.
Hi Jacquie, I guess you need to go to the ins. co. office, rip off your shirt and say "how is this for a dam requirement"....hang in there, july is right on our heels:)
Lol, oh busy, that's a good one! I'm tempted, so don't encourage me :) ! As ridiculous as they are being, even doing that wouldn't make any difference!

I haven't been around very much lately, altho I...

I haven't been around very much lately, altho I have been reading here and there when I have a few minutes. Hope you all haven't forgotten me! Anyway, I am moving forward with my BR process. After I received my denial letter from insurance, I called my PS's office and we both agreed that I wasn't going to get anywhere with my appeal unless I got another doctor, or even a physical therapist involved. Ain't gonna happen! I said that I am still intent on having this surgery, so we made a pre-op appointment for July 11th, only a few days away. I hope we can settle on a date at this next appointment, but I'm still pretty sure that I won't be having this done until after the middle of August due to vacation plans. Another factor is that our contractor has finally started work on the addition my DH and I are having put on our house. He said he plans to have all work completed by August 31st, so I was contemplating waiting until early September....BUT WAIT -- our dil's cousin has decided to get married on September 29th...wait for our home, since we have a large house and a beautiful park-like backyard, which will be perfect for a wedding! Even though these 'kids' (early 30's) are not really our family, we have been included in all their family holidays due to the fact that my husband and I have no other family here. We aren't related by blood, but by heart! Naturally, I want to be feeling well enough to enjoy the festivities, which is why I think around mid-August would be best.

Anyway, I will keep you all posted on how the meeting goes. My first visit with this PS was an hour and a half long, so there were a lot of issues covered at that time. Still....I want to be sure I cover everything that I'm not sure of at this point. Any suggestions???

Wish me luck!!

Good Luck, Jacquie! Let us know when the big day will be!
Thanks, Iowa. My pre-op is now tomorrow, so I am trying to compile a list of questions of things that he has't already answered! Wish me luck!

Oh my, Jacquie! Good Luck! Can't wait to hear how it went.

Well, I feel much better having this second visit...

Well, I feel much better having this second visit to my PS under my belt. Things went very well. The first part of the meeting, the PS and I sat at a table face to face to discuss things, and I had prepared a little list of questions that I wanted to be sure to ask him -- well, it was actually like a game of 20 questions! I really had a good handle on how this surgery would be done from our first appointment, which took nearly two hours.

All in all, I am pretty pleased with how this will be done, although we did have a discussion about the 'dreaded' you can see from my pictures, I am verry saggy and the N2N measurement that the other doc had taken was pretty close to 30cm. That being said, he said he plans to do an inferior pedicle approach, and see how the nipple does as far as blood supply. He said that when he is in there, if the nipple looks 'a little dusky' [his words] he may have to change to an FNG, and I told him that I was fine with that. Another problem is that Miss Righty is quite a bit longer and larger than Miss Lefty, so he wants to naturally keep the same treatment on both nipples. **** I actually read something that was quite interesting in a book titles 'When Less is More', written by a practicing PS who specializes in breast surgery. It was written in 2007, yet she had an interesting opinion. She said that she wished that all PS would perform FNGs, because that is actually the most reliable way to be sure that the nipple is saved.*** I mentioned this to my PS, and he also thought that was an interesting statement! Anyhow, I think I have answers to the main questions I had, including but not limited to these:
1. He supplies the bra that I will wake up in, and when I asked about the type I should buy to supplement, he told me that his nurse
would give me all of those details. She is great, I already have her cell number, and I'm sure we will be talking numerous times
before the actual surgery date.
2. He does use drains, and he keeps them in anywhere from 5 to 7 days, depending on how much drainage has taken place. I
knew he used them, just din't know how long they stayed in.
3. I asked about how long the incision tape needs to stay on, I was a bit surprised at his answer -- He said that he doesn't use tape
or even too many disolving stitches on the external incision area, HE USES GLUE! He said that with the glue, I won't have
the added discomfort of the tape. Also, because he uses glue instead of tape, I can shower as soon as I feel up to it, which
sounds real encouraging. He did say, too, that after the healing is pretty well underway, I could use tape to prevent scarring.
4. I asked him how I should treat 'open spots' should I get any, and he told me that the glue helps to prevent these, but if I get any, I
should just use Betadine and cover with gauze if needed.
5. As far as size in concerned, we agreed that a C cup would be as small as her would go, especially when I said that I didn't want
my little pot belly sticking out further than my IBTs! He laughed and agreed.
6. I asked him if he used lipo if he found it necessary, and he said that is his standard practice in all his BRs.
7. He said there is almost always minimal blood loss, so my Mediterranian-type anemia won't be an issue.

I know that doesn't seem like much info, but I had most other information from my first visit.

All and all, then, sounds like I'm on target for a BR, hopefully in the second half of August. His nurse is working out the details and said she would be calling me in a few days with a date. I told her that due to our planned trip to the Jersey shore in early August, anything after August 18th would be good.

Oh, one final thing -- THE COST, since I am paying out of pocket for this surgery. The lady that takes care of that stuff wrote it all out for me, including the breakdown of what I'm paying for, and it is a bit less than $9,000! It may seem like a lot, but I am keeping in mind that the other PS I saw gave me a figure that was over $11, 000. All money is due two weeks before the actual surgery, which we can do. Although I could just pay for it all out of my savings acct, earmarked for the addition on my house, I might take advantage of an offer I just received from Discover Card, offering 0% interest until mid 2013, and they sent me checks I can use. How nice of them :D.

Anyhow, that's my update, and I will jump on here just as soon as I receive a date from my PS! Getting excited now! ! ! ! !

Hello again! While I was sitting here in my...

Hello again! While I was sitting here in my currently quiet house, I decided to share a few more pictures. Hope you don't mind?!
Jacquie: I come home to be greeted by this news!! MASSIVE AND HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS!!!  I could NOT be happier for you!! What en ENORMOUS relief to know that this is finally getting done.

On another note, your daughter was stunning; but you already knew that. Again. I truly don't have parent. EVER.

Thrilled for you now though! And with everything you've got going on, your time will be here so fast, your head will spin! And we'll all be here for you every step of the way!
Thank you so much, Piggles. Your BIG>>>>small is getting closer and closer! Can you tell me which post-op bras you finally settled on? I had seen the enormous list when you had posed the bra question a couple of weeks ago. Frankly, the more choices, the more confused I get :D. Anyhow, I'm sure we'll be chatting before the 20th. Keep calm...slow deep breaths.....

Hugs, JJ
Oh man, I HATE the fact that we can't edit our posts!!!! Of course what I meant to say was BIG >>>> small DAY :D

Hey ladies. Not sure if you noticed or not, but...

Hey ladies. Not sure if you noticed or not, but last week came and went and I never received a call from my PS's office with a surgery date....Well, I noticed. So here it is Monday, and I decided to call the office and wondered if they were needing anymore information to move forward. I didn't mention this in my last update, but the OR nurse was unsure if I was going to be able to have my surgery in the surgery center, a beautiful brand new facility, or in a regular hospital. There are a few reasons for this, the first of which is that I take BP pills, and also a medication which is normally used for kidney disease, which, BTW, I don't have. Long story, but back in 2006, I became really run down from a new job and traveling 1 1/2 hours each way by train for job training. I was gone nearly twelve hours a day, and I became really anemic, was given this pill, and after treatment, got back to normal. You know doctors, though, and once I started on this med, he never took me off of it. That's (fake) concern #2. I guess the last straw was that in January 2011, I suffered from smoke inhalation from being asleep when the fire in our house started (thank God I woke up, we were saved by being pulled out the bedroom window by police, who were first on the scene. I was hospitalized for only two days, but was given inhalers to improve my breathing. Hence, concern #3.

All that being said, when I called the PS's office just now, the OR nurse told me that they decided that my surgery should be done in a hospital to be on the safe side.... and the factor she mentioned was the smoke inhalation. She asked me which hospital I would prefer, and I told her I had no real preference. She said, "good, then I'll work on getting you a surgery date", and she hopes to call me sometime within the next several days with a the wait continues....can you say frustrated??
well i pray everything goes well and you get a soon surgery date please keep us posted

It's finally happened -- PS's office called today...

It's finally happened -- PS's office called today with a date for my BR -- a mere 57 days away -- September 13th. I got the call today. I will be having my surgery in a hospital due to the factors listed in my previous update, but need to I'm more than fine with that. That way, in case of anything and I have to stay over, I'll be in the hospital already, rather than in the surgical center. I was worried about the cost, since I figured that the cost would be higher in a hospital but, happily, it's only $600 more.

I am a bit disappointed that it's not going to be in August like I wanted, but this is truly the first date I will cool my heels, at least knowing that I finally have a date!! Yippee, I'm thrilled, but, gosh, that means it's actually going to happen -- in only 57 days!
Sure will!!
@ jj yay im happy for you please keep in touch with me...
yes sorry i took so long to respond this site is confusing a little i forget who i post to so then i have to go find all the comments i wish there was an easier way but yes well you are waiting with me even though you are sooner but around sept really lets me know im on my way but they also might make me sooner they said sept or Oct i hope so but yes please keep in touch and i cant wait for my surgery yay yay i hope i look right please god.... :)

Thought I would stop by and give you ladies the...

Thought I would stop by and give you ladies the skinny on my ongoing preparations for my BR, now only 46 days away. Well, lets see, I've been working on perfecting my green smoothie recipe, because it's an easy way to get in some leafy greens each day. I mean, I love almost every veggie out there, but eating as many veggies as I can has got to be good for me, right? I've also been picking up a variety of post-surgical bras, almost all of them online. Why run all over trying to get the sizes I need when I can order them easily from Amazon? I've got a nice variety, from the Genie bra to a Marena surgical bra, which looks very comfy and has gotten good reviews, even though it's considered a compression bra. I think I have a total of at least eight bras and am, of course, saving all receipts in case I need to send any back. I sure hope at least some of them will fit the post-surg me!

I have to get a few things before I can have the surgery, including medical clearance from my GP. I also need labwork and I have to have a mammogram, even though my last one was only towards the end of 2011. I guess it's better to have it before, cuz I'm sure there's no way in hell I will be able to have another one for at least a year, I think I read. Here's another thing I have to do before my surgery, and that's tell my sister, who is 2 years older than myself and pretty thin. She's never had really large boobs, so she has no idea what it's like lugging them around all these years. In the recent past, she's said 'helpful' things like I should wear a tighter bra/shorter straps to hold myself in. Oh yeah, easy for her to say! I don't think that she is going to be too on board with the whole thing, either. She's always said that if I lost weight, my boobs would be smaller -- NOT! Anyhow, I don't know when I'm gonna tell her. Anyone have an memorable way to give her the news?? Ironically, the day of my surgery is the day that she and her husband leave for a trip to Italy. What are the odds?!?

I'll tell you one thing, I'm still boob-obsessed! I can't help myself, I've read nearly every blog and looked at every picture on the net, or at least it feels that way!!!! I'm sure many of you have been there, done that. (Piggles comes to mind :)

Well, that about wraps up what's been going on with me. I could swear I had something else newsie to tell you, but, for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. Guess my brain is slowly turning to mush, or at the very least crowded out by everything boob-related!
For those of you who are post-op, hope your healing is going smoothly, and for those of you who are on the brink of surgery, wishing you a very successful and uneventful one, with good healing to follow.

Thought I would stop by and give you ladies the...

Thought I would stop by and give you ladies the skinny on my ongoing preparations for my BR, now only 46 days away. Well, lets see, I've been working on perfecting my green smoothie recipe, because it's an easy way to get in some leafy greens each day. I mean, I love almost every veggie out there, but eating as many veggies as I can has got to be good for me, right? I've also been picking up a variety of post-surgical bras, almost all of them online. Why run all over trying to get the sizes I need when I can order them easily from Amazon? I've got a nice variety, from the Genie bra to a Marena surgical bra, which looks very comfy and has gotten good reviews, even though it's considered a compression bra. I think I have a total of at least eight bras and am, of course, saving all receipts in case I need to send any back. I sure hope at least some of them will fit the post-surg me!

I have to get a few things before I can have the surgery, including medical clearance from my GP. I also need labwork and I have to have a mammogram, even though my last one was only towards the end of 2011. I guess it's better to have it before, cuz I'm sure there's no way in hell I will be able to have another one for at least a year, I think I read. Here's another thing I have to do before my surgery, and that's tell my sister, who is 2 years older than myself and pretty thin. She's never had really large boobs, so she has no idea what it's like lugging them around all these years. In the recent past, she's said 'helpful' things like I should wear a tighter bra/shorter straps to hold myself in. Oh yeah, easy for her to say! I don't think that she is going to be too on board with the whole thing, either. She's always said that if I lost weight, my boobs would be smaller -- NOT! Anyhow, I don't know when I'm gonna tell her. Anyone have an memorable way to give her the news?? Ironically, the day of my surgery is the day that she and her husband leave for a trip to Italy. What are the odds?!?

I'll tell you one thing, I'm still boob-obsessed! I can't help myself, I've read nearly every blog and looked at every picture on the net, or at least it feels that way!!!! I'm sure many of you have been there, done that. (Piggles comes to mind :)

Well, that about wraps up what's been going on with me. I could swear I had something else newsie to tell you, but, for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. Guess my brain is slowly turning to mush, or at the very least crowded out by everything boob-related!
For those of you who are post-op, hope your healing is going smoothly, and for those of you who are on the brink of surgery, wishing you a very successful and uneventful one, with good healing to follow.

I just remembered the other thing I wanted to tell...

I just remembered the other thing I wanted to tell you all! I see all summer clothing is already on clearance, and then it dawned on me that I never got any camis, or my one piece of clothing that I consider my 'dream'; something that I couldn't possibly wear now, but should be able to fit nicely into post-op. I selected a 'dream tank' with crocheting across the top, and the straps are also crocheted. You know, the kind of thing that looks best without a bra, or maybe with a thin little strap. That would thrill me no end! Here's the best, most amazing part -- based on the size chart for this line of clothing, I needed to buy size MEDIUM!!! UNHEARD OF...
My surgery was June 21st so It will be 6 weeks this Thursday. I had 633 cc off one side and 620cc off the other so about 1 1/4 lb each. My ps told me not to get too hung up on bra sizes as depending on a persons shape and the brand of bra it is something that you just cannot go by. I wore a 38DDD which is actually an F but was spilling over top and sides so I was probably mored a G or H. The first thing my ps said to me on my first consultation was " and you fit those into a DDD. Lol. She is so
funny. I wanted to be a c when I was done but she told me it may be closer to a D due to my size and body shape. I am not wearing a cup size bra right now but I did try my old DDD on and I fit into it pretty good with no spillage over the top or sides whatsoever . I had a lot of tissue removed from under my arms. Right now I would say I am at least 2 to 3 cup sizes smaller than I was . I am happy as I was worried that my stomach was going to stick out more than my boobs. I want to loose some weight so if I do I will loose it from my breasts too.
hey, it's funny you should mention about not wanting your stomach sticking out further than your boobs, because that's EXACTLY what I told my PS and his answer was that it would not happen! As far as my current size goes, I'm not totally sure what my size is now, because when I went to a couple of sites where they tell you measure your bra size, and following their directions, I was actually a 38G! I really want to work and lose weight before my surgery. Tomorrow, my DH and I will be going with our daughter-in-law to her gym to sign up for a membership (we all live together) because right now they are running a special. We are both retired, so we can go to the gym anytime we want. I'm sure our d-i-l will encourage us to go with her some days, but that's good, we will probably need the encouragement! Or should I say prodding :) ? So glad we can compare notes! I'll let you know how our day at the gym goes!
Jacqui thats so funny because my 17 year old daughter are going Thursday to join gym! Going to sre what i can do before the 30th!!

Today we went and joined a gym. It will be a...

Today we went and joined a gym. It will be a family thing-me, DH, my son, and daughter-in-law, who has been a member there for years. I don't know how widespread this gym chain is, but it's called 'Work out World', or WOW for short! It took us awhile to sign up, but after we were through, I started off easily today, with just a half hour of the treadmill. Unfortunately, my back does hurt more than usual, so I will have to be careful and take it slow. Tomorrow we meet with a personal trainer (its free!) and I can get a better idea of what I can do. Gotta go cook dinner, but will check back in soon! Happy healing to those post-op, and be patient to those of us who are still on the wrong side of the rainbow :).
Hi, Jacquie, Best wishes on your new you, Im 57, and have been very large all my life. DD since high school, I am small framed 118 and DD looks deformed on my small rib cage.. I dont even want to ask insurance, but I have letters from my GP ,physical therapis, chiro,and massage therapist , I also have x rays. I am not holding by breath for approval..I go to my first consultation Aug. 14, If insurance wont pay I guess I will, though I will have to be totaly comfortable with my PS. again best wishes for a speedy recovery..
Thank you JeriLynn for stopping by me blog here! It certainly seems like you have enough documentation for even the pickiest insurance company! My insurance wanted both letters and 6 months of office notes from docs such as yours. Problem was, the chronic pain I've suffered since 1999 was due to a car accident, and I only went to a chiroprator before my two back surgeries. Now, if they would look at my MRI reports, they would see that I hhave bulging discs in both my neck and my back, but they are telling me the pain, etc, wasn't from large breasts, but related to my back injury. It's hard to separate out which pain is from which, and that sucks! Anyhow, best of luck in starting your journey. As you can see, I've been working on this since March. It does take time! Make sure that you go to your consult armed with at least some of the questions that others have listed here, and be sure to keep us posted on how things are going!

Have fun at the gym, Jacquie! I wish we lived closer to a gym, would love to have that kind of motivation so close at hand!

Boy, I have some advice to any of you ladies who...

Boy, I have some advice to any of you ladies who are contemplating having a BR. My advice: DON'T WAIT A DAY LONGER, because the older you get, the more red tape you have to go through just to have it done!! Grrrr, I had an appointment on Friday with my GP to have her complete my 'medical clearance' form for my surgery. I am in pretty good health, but do have high blood pressure, controlled by meds. I also have mitral valve prolapse, but have no symptoms. It's a family thing, and my mom, aunts, and cousins all had the condition too. Doesn't even require any medication or follow up, in most cases. Sadly, the one thing that does happen when you have this condition is that it gives you abnormal EKG results. Yes, I had an EKG in the office, and the results were similar to results I've had in the past.

I guess when you turn 60, they are more careful than when you are younger, so now, I have to go to a Cardiologist to get clearance from him. Will probably have another stress test (which I had in 2006, 'too many years ago', but it was normal), which means at least one more doctor's visit, before I can obtain the necessary medical clearance. Not fun, and most probably not necessary, but what choice do I have?? After that, there is a mammogram I have to have, and then the routine bloodwork.... So, just keep your fingers crossed for me that everything comes out okay, and I can actually go ahead with my planned surgery.

Will be leaving on Wednesday for an eight to ten day beach vacation, so I might not have access to wifi to keep in touch, so all of you ladies out there, keep up the healthy healing, and for you ladies that are like me, waiting for their BRs, try to keep busy, and the days will go by that much faster!

Hey all, I just wanted to do a mini-update. No,...

Hey all, I just wanted to do a mini-update. No, nothing new is going on, but I just wanted to post a few more pictures of my 'before self' for comparison later, if not for all of you, at least for me.


Jacquie, are you losing weight? You look thinner in your new pictures.

Hello ladies! I am actually on vacation, but I...

Hello ladies! I am actually on vacation, but I just can't stay away from here OR the fact that my surgery is only 35 days away, so I decided to post a few pictures of me in my bathing suit, taken from my motel bathroom. The week after we get back from vacation, I have my mammogram, my bloodwork, and a visit to a cardiologist to have a repeat stress test. The last one was six years ago. My DH also has two appointments that week, so I will be kept busy.

Naturally, while we are away from home (son and family are home), they are actually going to finally break ground and work on our addition. I've instructed my son to send me pictures when they finally start. Well, that's it for now. We are really having a nice time here at the Jersey shore, so I will probably be more scarce after tomorrow morning!
Thanks, Iowa, but no! It's probably just the camera angle,lighting, etc. It's funny,just about everytime I see certain people, they ask the same question. It just has to do with the fact that much of my body is so covered up by my boobs that shirts hang down from there, giving the impression that I'm bigger than I really am! Just what I need, huh?

Just wait Jacquie, after you've had the surgery everyone will think you have lost a lot of weight. People are still asking me how much weight I've lost, and I've actually gained more than a few pounds. Hope you have a great vacation!

I'm back from vacation! The shore was great, the...

I'm back from vacation! The shore was great, the ocean beautiful, the weather mostly cooperated. I was, however, going crazy without access to email, internet, or anything else after the first three days. Those three days, we were staying in a motel with free WiFi, and that was great. When we left Ocean City, NJ to go to my sister's beach house in Ocean Beach, NJ, that was the end of our internet, except, of course, for my smart phone. That was okay, until my DH was at the edge of the ocean when he lost his balance, and fell into the shallow water, and my phone flew out of his pocket and into the ocean! I couldn't believe my eyes!! Weird thing is, the phone is basically working again, but it still needs to be replaced. Thank goodness for insurance!!

My surgery date is getting closer -- only 26 days to go!! I have several appointments this week, for mammo, lab work, and a quick check up by a cardiologist (my GP's idea). I also just on Friday received a call from the hospital where I will be having my procedure done, and I go in there on Friday for my pre-op appointment. Yikes, it IS feeling more real to me now!! Just have to pray that all my testing comes out okay so I can keep my surgery date. I can't believe that it's finally going to become a reality -- smaller IBTs, and a bigger smile on my face!

Glad you are home and ready to get this machine moving forward! It will be a flurry of activity from here on out.

The days are just flying by! I believe I have 23...

The days are just flying by! I believe I have 23 days to go (since my DH dropped my smartphone in the Atlantic Ocean, I am using a temporary phone for a few days until my replacement phone comes, and then I'll put the countdown app on my phone. I also wanted to update my review again and see if the glitch that was keeping my review off of the first page is fixed now. I'm sure many of my friends here haven't realized that I have even been updating in the past week or so, cuz it was never correctly changing the date of my recent updates.

I actually feel like this is really going to happen now! I went to a local health food store and picked up the Arnica and the Bromelain and spoke with someone about the other vitamins I am planning to take to speed up the healing process. Today, I also had my lab work done and my mammogram, which I've already been told is normal. Tomorrow is my last hurdle - my stress test at the cardiologist's. Then Friday is my pre-op at the hospital, and I'll be all set!! Great news on the home front also. They have finally started working on my addition. There's a giant 25' X 40' hole next to the house!! It's getting exciting around here!!
Thanks my friend!! I will write that all down!! I found a protien shakewith almond milk, flax seed, frozen blueberriws, banana and baby spinach leaves! I plan on having one every day!! Girl we are going healing good!!
Thanks, Iowa! Yep, I'm feeling pretty happy right about now, even though the grandkids knocked one of our laptops on the floor and broke the screen! Tomorrow is my son's 32nd birthday!!

Oh no! First your phone and now your laptop? Your electronics are really getting hit hard right now!

I got some great news yesterday and Tuesday! My...

I got some great news yesterday and Tuesday! My mammogram was totally normal, and that was great. Yesterday, I went to see a cardiologist, and got the 'all clear' from him! He did, however, say that my EKG was abnormal and, although he doesn't think it will affect my surgery, he wants me to have an echocardiogram so that he can check the structure of my heart and the valves. I have that test next Monday, but he has already dictated a letter to my GP giving me the all clear for surgery! I must say, I am relieved!

Hi Jacquie
I am 62 and scheduled for Sepember 19th. I was so happy to read all your postings and find out tht you are scheduled just a few days before me. So happy for you. After all you have been through, I will celebrate yours and then just a few more days til mine. I was checking into the Arnica and the Bromelain. Also fruit juices/shakes. I want all the help I can get to heal well and quickly. Will be following your progress. We are a good bunch of ladies in September that are just going to be even better by October!
Thanks, Margie! You're never too old to improve yourself, that's what I say! OMG, I looked at my little 'days left' widget on my phone, and it's down to 19!! Getting closer! I'm sure we will be comparing notes all along the way!
Yup. I had a green smoothie this morning, with spinach, a pear, pineapple, and a bit of natural sugar, called 'sugar in the raw'. It's a liquid, and it blends in very easily to drinks, etc. I bought it at a health food store.

Well, I've just done something that most of you...

Well, I've just done something that most of you haven't had to do, but, for me, it really hits home the fact that this surgery is really going to happen! I received a call from the hospital where I am having my surgery with a confirmation of the amount that I need to pre-pay for my surgery. It's the total hospital fee, which, for awhile on Friday, I wasn't sure was the correct amount. When I went for my pre-op at the hospital on Friday, I went to the cashier to pay my fee, and was told that they weren't sure that the figure I was quoted was the correct amount--- they said that the amount I was quoted was only for three hours in the OR, but my doctor had reserved five hours, so the fee might be considerably more (even tho my surgeon's office was given this figure by the hospital). I had figured it out, and was afraid that I was going to have to pay up to $2,000 more to the hospital, which I wasn't thrilled about! I was happy to get the call this morning, and I gladly paid the fee, the original price quoted. I can't back out now (not that I even gave it a thought!).

This afternoon, I have to go back to the cardio doc to have an echocardiagram, so the doc can make sure that the structure of my heart is sound. This, mainly because my EKG showed abnormal findings, no surprise, as this happens everytime I have an EKG. I'm not too worried about this, as, barring any major problems, my cardiologist has already sent the letter to my GP, saying I have the all clear to have this surgery. Just another visit to be poked and prodded... ......So, that's my update....getting more and more excited!
Hope all went well at the cardio and that you are ready to go! Been thinking about you, I had a stress test and an echo last six weeks ago because I had an abnormal EKG and when I saw your posting I went back to the cardio and asked them to send a letter to my PS to put in my file. So thank you for helping me out without even knowing that you were doing it.. We don't have too many more days, Two weeks for you and just under three for me!
You are welcome, Margie glad I could help! I know, our days are getting closer! I'm starting a list with all the groceries and things that I want to have on hand for the first week or so post-op. I know it's going to be a bit hectic around the house, because school will have started, and my grandson's football season, too. I also worry a bit that my husband will quickly tire of being the nursemaid, waiter, etc. Well, we'll see how it goes - I also have my daughter-in-law around. My son and the kids will get off easy, as they will be off at work/school! Anyhow, I'm getting my clothes, etc ready, too, and I have some good movies saved up in my DVR, a couple of good books in my Kindle, a puzzle or two, and a new needlepoint project to start! Sounds like a lot, huh?
Sounds great....ok, so now you motivated me to get cracking and do a little prep around here too...will make the days go faster - won't it? I have a small stack of dvds that I have been planning to watch for about two years now...will get those done and might put together some hand sewing. we will compare notes, LOL

Well, this is less of an update than a plea for...

Well, this is less of an update than a plea for anyone that reads this to please say a prayer that my visit to the cardiologist tomorrow morning will end with an approval for medical clearance. Surgery is already scheduled for next Thursday, September 13th, provided I get this final approval.

Everything else is done -- got the bras, the loose fitting clothes, and already PAID the anesthesiologist and the hospital bill!

I hope to be back tomorrow with the good news. I don't know what I'll do if I don't get the 'all clear'.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, cross your fingers, pray to the boob Gods, anything you can think of!!!!!
Will do: good luck tomorrow...

Well, girls, you can uncross your fingers, I GOT...

Well, girls, you can uncross your fingers, I GOT THE GO AHEAD FOR MY BR!! I saw my cardiologist and, though the stress test was less than optimal, he gave me the all clear. I do, however, have to go for a nuclear stress test this Friday, which is all done thru injections...First a dye is injected in my arm so it will show my heart structure better, and then an injection to chemically induce stress!! He would have waited until after the surgery, but apparently my insurance co. has some quirky ideas about the timing of a test that they have to pay for, and it has to be immediately after an office visit if it is termed important. Whatever, I have the go ahead, and that's all I care about right now! Thanks for all your kind prayers and words of encouragement. They must have helped!!
Good luck! You'll do great!! :) *Hugs*
Thats fantastic news Jacquie! :)

One week! Yippee! Congrats on your clearance!! Nothing is stopping you now!

So, it's only five days to my BR, and I am...

So, it's only five days to my BR, and I am spending the day getting everything I can ready ahead of time, cleaning up, cooking some healthy dishes that can just be reheated when needed, and all the rest. The one draw back to this flurry of activity reminds me of probably my main worry immediately post-op, and that's the issue of my chronic pain. I have chronic low back pain, mostly related to a car accident years ago; in addition, I've got neck pain, hip pain, and and periodic pain in one shoulder or another, as I've suffered torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders. Sounds pathetic, I know. Yesterday, for instance, for some reason, I woke up with pain in my right shoulder, and at my last round of cardiac testing, I had to lay with my arms raised over my head, increasing my pain. I take the strongest dose of percocet on an as needed basis, which turns out to be at least twice a day. I still don't know what type of pain meds my PS is planning to give me a script for, but am planning to call and ask on Monday. Thing is, I'm not sure where my pain threshold is right now, as I've heard that if you have longstanding chronic pain, your pain receptors don't function as they should, thereby increasing the amount of pain you experience. I'm just concerned about how I'm going to deal with it. Maybe I'm just being a baby, but I was wondering how any of you ladies with chronic pain who had a BR managed pain-wise. ------Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not sure I'm making myself clear, but I'm just wanting to know of any experiences any of you ladies have had with this?? Thanks in advance for anyone who understands where I'm coming from...
Good luck jaquie!
I've PM'd you. Debs xx
I had my BR last Tuesday, 9/4. As far as pain I have had very little. My PS had me stay overnight. My last pain meds was around 3 AM on 9/5. I had constant pain in my back, neck and my legs constantly hurt. It's amazing at how well I feel after just 5 days. I have tried really hard to just do nothing and it has actually helped. Remember just because you think your feeling good, don't push yourself.
Thanks for your advice, and glad you mad it through your surgery okay!

First off, I would like to thank those of you who...

First off, I would like to thank those of you who gave me some guidance about my pain question SOS, especially Deb from the UK. I really appreciate your telling me of your experiences! Well, here it is, only three days until surgery. I spent part of the day filling up a big bag full of way-too-big bras to make room for my post-op bras, getting all my button down shirts in order, shopping at the drug store for all the medical supplies I think I need, etc.

I AM READY FOR THIS!! The next update you read will be AFTER my surgery. I'm so excited!!

First off, I would like to thank those of you who...

First off, I would like to thank those of you who gave me some guidance about my pain question SOS, especially Deb from the UK. I really appreciate your telling me of your experiences! Well, here it is, only three days until surgery. I spent part of the day filling up a big bag full of way-too-big bras to make room for my post-op bras, getting all my button down shirts in order, shopping at the drug store for all the medical supplies I think I need, etc.

I AM READY FOR THIS!! The next update you read will be AFTER my surgery!
I hope everything will go fine...cannot wait for your next post!

Thinking of you, Jacquie! Hope you are resting well and feeling so much lighter!
Jacquie!! I am so excited for you!! You made to the other side of the rainbow!!! Its been a long crazy ride!!! Make sure you rest take your meds and drink your water!!!! I cant wait to hear about your big day!!!

It's Saturday. I am sitting in bed with my laptop,...

It's Saturday. I am sitting in bed with my laptop, feeling pretty good, actually. Yes, I do have drains and, no I haven't even peaked at myself yet, but today will be the day! My PS said I can take a shower, let the water run onto my back, etc. To do that, however, I have to unwrap the ace bandage and take off my post-surg bra! I never thought I would be apprehensive about looking at my own body, but it's my NEW body! I have a shower chair, and DH will be right by my side the whole time.

The drains aren't draining much at all, but they do seem to be itchy. Should be able to get them out on Monday morning at my first post-op visit. At that meeting, I also hope to find out how much was taken from each breast. As my ps was marking me up, he said that my girls are structured quite differently. Maybe that's why it took him 4 1/2 hours in surgery. Well, arms are getting tired. more later!
i am so so happy for you jacquie. yay. xoxo
Thanks all. You know, I looked in the mirror at myself this morning and my body overall looks smaller - almost petite :)
So happy for you Jacquie - your wait was long but it appears that your wait was definitely worth it! Rest and take care friend!

I know I've been incognito for several days now....

I know I've been incognito for several days now. I'm not exactly sure why. I am doing very well. When I unwrapped myself a couple of days after my surgery, my DH was pleasantly surprised, as was I. I have a nice little matching pair now, and he and I were both surprised surprised at just how nice they looked for only a couple of days post-op. There is just about no bruising to speak of, and, try as I might, I could not find any incisions! They are all neatly tucked away under my itty bitties. I mean, I do have the incisions around my nipples, which are nice and pink and perky. Everything is neat and clean, no visible stitches, either. The internal stitches are self disolving, and the external incisions are very neatly and nicely sealed with what my PS calls 'glue'. No tape anywhere. I am, of course, very swollen, and also very sensitive all over, not just on my nipples! That is pretty unsettling, but nothing I can't handle. I've been trying very hard to drink as much water as I can, but that has always been hard for me. I haven't had much of an appetite, but I'm trying to eat lots of protein and veggies. I haven't taken any photos yet, but I will try to in the next couple of days. Well, that's all for now. Yes, I'm thrilled and happy, and I am very glad that the surgery is behind me! Time for bed, more tomorrow!

Sounds like you've hit the jackpot! Congrats!
wow sounds like you had a very skilled ps. i can hope for the same. congratulations.!

Hi again, all! Yesterday, I had my PS appt, and...

Hi again, all! Yesterday, I had my PS appt, and then was up and around at home for probably too long, and this morning I ended up feeling lousy and didn't wake up until almost noon. Must have really needed the sleep! Kinda lounged all day so far.

One thing I wanted to report about my post-op recovery room experience. Well, here it is: I REALLY DON'T REMEMBER ANY OF IT UNTIL ABOUT HALF HOUR BEFORE I WENT HOME! That always seems to happen when I have any surgery over two hours long - this one took four hours, and then into my long recovery period. The timeline, according to my husband, is this:

1. Arrival at hospital at 5:30
2. Arrive in OR by stretcher, remember transferring to operating table, time was 7:27 am
3. Don't remember ANYTHING until 3:30pm. My PS's nurse, who is great, said she stayed with me for a few hours post-op, but I don't even remember here being with me post-op.
4. So, basically, what I'm saying is the my recovery time was as long as my surgery - four hours.

I am glad I did this, but I won't be scheduling any elective surgery anytime soon!

Too lazy to unwrap and take pictures, but I promise to tomorrow!!
Congrats lady! Glad you made it to the other side!! :)
Thanks Sydney, how are you doing?
Thanks, Iowa! I feel pretty good, but am a bit uncomfortable wearing my sports bra and still the ace bandage, that PS recommends, which should help me shape my breasts the way he, and I, want. A bit of discomfort for a future of nice perky ones is well worth it to me!

WEEK ONE UPDATE!! Well, I finally got up the nerve...

WEEK ONE UPDATE!! Well, I finally got up the nerve and energy to take a few photos. I was kind of a little hesitant to put them up, because they really still look large in some photos, but, hey, nothing like what I used to look like! I'm happy and, better yet, my husband is happy! He said it's been a long time since they looked this good :D. Anyway, feeling pretty good, still trying to relax and take it easy. As I wrote in the "September Reviews' thread, I've never had any tape, just glue, and everything seems to be healing really well. Haven't seen any open spots, bleeding or oozing of any kind. All that gauze and stuf that I bought is just sitting there, unopened!!

Have a great, happy, healing and anticipating weekend all!!

Congrats, Jacquie! Sounds like you are doing wonderfully!
You look great!
Thanks so much, natalie. Your tine will be here before you know it!

Hi all!! I just wanted to tell you ladies who are...

Hi all!! I just wanted to tell you ladies who are still waiting for your BR and possibly running into a roadblock or two, it is well worth the wait! As you can see from this review, it took me six months from start to finish and, in the end, I decided to self-pay and move on. It is most certainly worth it! Here is what I did today that made me realize just how different I look and feel:

I went to my closet and took out several shirts and also a satin-look lingerie set which I bought in April, but it just didn't fit right or look right before my surgery. I tried them on and they all fit so nicely! I was most excited to try on that nightgown. Not only did it fit, but it looked great, and I was only wearing a barely there Genie-type bra. That tells me that even if I had no bra on, it would still fit me perfectly with even a little extra room to spare! My daughter-in-law was very complimentary and happy for me as well!

The moral of the story above is simple: This surgery is a life changer, so be prepared, weather any little storm that arises in your journey, but keep your ultimate goal in mind. YOU WILL BE SO GLAD YOU DID!!!

To read part 2 of my Breast Reduction story, please click here.

hi jacquie just saying hi and you look great i havent been on your page in a while you look great i am also so happy about my BR:)
just checking up on to see how u were doing!!! hope ur healing well.
Hi, just haven't been on cause nothing new to report! I am doing well, all scabs, lines, are gone, feeling great! Will post an update with pictures soon. Thanks for thinking about me!
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon

I don't know why I was afraid to look at myself, because he did a wonderful job. He had spent over an hour with me at my first appointment, the consult, and made sure I understood everything. He seems to be a perfectionist, and that's why my surgery took four hours, he told me -- to make sure my boobs were even, because my right WAS significantly larger than my left, but not anymore! His staff is great, and especially his nurse assistant, Rosemary, who called me everday after my surgery until I went in for my first post-op appointment. Highly recommend this PS and his caring staff!

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
Was this review helpful? 7 others found this helpful