I've been working pretty diligently to get...
I've been working pretty diligently to get approved through insurance and it finally has been. In just a few more days I will have my surgery on July 8. I am equally scared and excited but looking forward to the relief to my neck and back. Having clothes fit me better will be a definite plus. I am 42 years old, 5' tall, 130 lbs, up to a 34G (sometimes an H).
Years ago I though about this but it wasn't until last July that I actually went for some consultations and tried to get insurance to cover it. They denied me the first time (Horizon BCBS) but told me what I needed. I had to show documentation, actual notes from office visits, for at least 6 months showing that I am doing some type of conservative therapy. I met with a wonderful orthopedic who wrote a letter and took x-rays, I attended my chiropractor 2-3 times per week for 8+ months, plus had office notes from both my gynecologist and general practioner stating that I was wearing support bras, taking ibuprofen and using heating pads with no relief. I visited them about every two or three months. The real tough one was that Horizon wanted the actual notes from the visits. This meant a lot of work for the doctors but each were willing to help me out. (one of them not so helpful, he didn't want me to receive copies of my office visits and he procrastinated). Finally, Horizon sent the surgeon the approval. I never received any notification though! All in all, it will never be totally covered for me as I have an 80/20 coverage for out of network. Even though my Dr. ended up being in network, which is great, the surgical center is not and not sure how much I will have to pay after Horizon pays their 'reasonable' amount. I did have to put down a $4500 deposit, but hey, I'm worth it!
Then the tough part came, quitting smoking. I thought about continuing to smoke throughout my surgery and after, but just not let anyone know. After much research, I realized I would be an idiot to continue smoking. I was able to quit cold turkey during both pregnancies but I couldn't quit for myself! Even with the e-cig, nicotine gum and patches. I tried it all. The patches worked the best but I needed to be off nicotine, not just smoking. I was so bummed but I talked to my gynecologist and prescribed Chantix. Awesome stuff! My husband still smokes (no where around me) but with Chantix it is WAY easier to fight the cravings, what little cravings there are! So now I've been nicotine free since June 18th. I wish it was sooner but it was probably the toughest thing I ever tried to do.
Then I had to find front closing sports bra! Ugh! I ended up ordering some from Sears and Walmart because of the cheap/free shipping. None of them seemed comfortable at all. I wish my surgeon was giving me a surgical bra, that would make my life tons easier! I don't even know if they will work because I am not exactly sure what size I am going down to, but they really do seem too uncomfortable. Could be because I basically don't fit into them right now.
I guess that is enough information for now. If I think of any other tidbit of info that may help or inform others during this process I will add it.
3 more days!
So now I am tying up loose ends, getting food shopping done, cleaning the house, etc... so that I may be completely lazy and recouping without any worries.
8 Jul 2013
Day of treatment
The surgery was the easy part for me at least. Every person I encountered , receptionist, two nurses, anesthesiologist and especially my surgeon were more than comforting. I felt so relaxed because of how kind they all were. Then I woke up and went home! I am in definite pain even with the pain pills and having a bit if a hard time breathing with shorter breathes but I am sure I will feel better tomorrow. I will write more details tomorrow since I am attempting to write this from my phone.
2 days post op
It's been about 47 hours since I got out of surgery. The pain is still pretty intense when the pain pills wear off but I am walking around the house and doing little things. I keep hunching my shoulders though, expecting to feel the weight and it's not there! There is such a free-feeling about it, literal weight off the shoulders. Emotionally it was a bit tough today cause I was able to take a shower and get a good look. They looked so small! I was quite sad by my husband was right there to let me know they look 'normal'. Previously they were only a few inches from my belly button so it is a huge change. I expected everything to look horrible but the nipples are pink and all looks pretty good. I am swollen, and I feel like it looks a little manly because of the swollenness but after looking at pictures on here I see that's normal for the first few days post op.
I highly recommend someone help with the shower, I really don't know how I would've been able to shampoo my hair and get my back, especially without getting the sutures wet in the front. They got slightly damp but I just dabbed with a towel.
So far so good, I really hope everything stays this good!
Day 5 ...almost day 6
Not sure if many are going to read this but did anyone else feel like there is a wire or bar or something under your breasts where the stitches and tape are? I find im trying to relieve this by moving the bra, but it isnt the bra rubbing on it. It is not painful, just uncomfortable.
Majority of Pain has definitly subsided, sometime yesterday. The nights are a tiny sore if you did too much (which i found out last night). So today was lazy day,
Another thing i havent mentioned is the constipation from the suergery and meds. I was a bit constipated even before the surgery so by thursday night i was very ill feeling. My husband bought a bottle of magnesium citrate which did wonders in 5 hours. But then i ended up taking a med on an empty stomach and vomitted on friday. Needless to say my stomach is a bit screwed up. Make sure you are regular when going into the surgery, that would help tons.
Any advice about the bar/wire feeling would be awesome. Maybe the pain will go away after steri tape is removed?
One Week Post Op (writing this a day late)
Saw my surgeon and everything is awesome! Steri strips came off and it looks like I have a brand new aereola! I was expecting skin flaking and stuff but nothing. Oh and I realize that bar sensation was just the steri strips. The pain is diminishing daily, as long as I take it easy. I have had a few setbacks doing too much like simple sweeping, or even picking up a plastic bag with a 3 water bottles in it, but I learned and now I take it easy.
My doc said to just use Neosporin or any bacitracin now in thin layers. That is AWESOME
oops, hit return on accident...
Awesome cause the Neosporin takes any pain away. The 'zingers' are irritating, but not painful really. Repeatedly said by many, I am so happy I did this!
23 Days Post Op and still a bit sore
So today is day 23 post op. I have to start out with the positive, because there really is mostly positive things about this surgery. I have not had one head, back or neck ache since this surgery! It's it unbelievable how freeing it is. Granted, they are still a good size, not tiny at all. I am between a 34 C and D now. I have gained a bit of weight from quitting smoking but I can definitly lose that in time. I am just a bit worried about gaining in my boobs and having the same problem again. I have a bit of a fear of going back to how I was now!
I am surprised though that there is still pain and soreness. I get a 'zinger' once in a blue moon now (use to get them constantly). Hate the muscle-pull feeling I get from time to time on the side towards the front of my armpit. By the end of every day I am sore, even though I'm not doing much! There is not one bra that I can wear all day long, as nothing is comfortable. Even the Genie bra rides up when sitting and bunches under the boob against the incision. Last night I freaked a bit because there was a lump and bruising look on my ribs a few inches down from my left breast. I took an ibuprofen before bed and it is mostly gone today. But as I'm sitting here typing I can feel the bra bunching up and pushing the skin down. I think that was the cause of it, especially slouching when sitting.
The swelling is slowly going down. I do still drive with a pillow for comfort and bumps are still somewhat annoying. I try to get others to drive when possible. Making a turn when driving is uncomfortable as you tend to stretch not only the incisions but the muscle too.
The incisions are looking pretty good. I am trying to upload pictures to show so others can compare at this stage. For some reason some of my skin is peeling slightly as you might see from the pics. The pics make it look 10x worse with the lighting. Redness seems to show up in the pics more than in person. But, there are small openings at the junctions that are 'crusting' (thats what the surgeon calls it) and sometimes oozes a bit of yellowish fluid. It is minimal though, maybe a small drop. I have been cutting up non-stick gauze pads about an inch in size and placing them on the openings, on top of the neosporin, to save from having to keep washing the bras. There is usually only a dot of fluid on the gauze so I know I'm healing.
Finally, one of the coolest things (besides no aches) is bathing suit shopping! I couldn't believe how happy I was and how good I looked (well, on the top at least). I wasn't spilling out or squashed, I just looked feminine! Now to work on the bottom half of my body :-/ Looking forward to that 6-8 week mark where I can start jogging a bit, bike riding, sit-ups and doing laps in the pool.
I think that is it for now. I have been researching where everyone 'is' at the 3 week mark and that has been helping. Hopefully this review will help others.
1 month post op
Everything is basically the same. I am sleeping on my side now with no pain on most nights, unless I pushed myself that day. I still feel bruised inside the breasts as well as the ribs directly under. The bumps in the car arent as bad as they use to be. i still wear a sports bra for the most part since it is the most comfortable bra. All other bras basically lay on the incision. I can lift without straining or feeling it at that moment, but I don't push it. Scarring looks about the same so I won't upload any pics at this time. I am totally ecstatic that I got this done. While I agree you can be up and moving after a week, I can totally say that if you were active at all, it can take weeks (3-5 or more) till you resume your normal activities.
6 weeks post op...
Hooray! I've said it once, and I'll say it again....why didn't I do this sooner?!?!
My spirits are definitly rising now. I am feeling like the old me again, just loads lighter on my shoulders. I have my 6 week checkup tomorrow and hoping all is well. I did start jogging on Monday with only a minor instance. I was feeling a slight pull in a muscle in my left breast going from my armpit to the inside of the breast. It is pretty constant as I'm running but it goes away without any aches or pains. I will ask about that. I need to exercise because I REALLY did take it easy the past 6 weeks. I was too afraid to open an incision!
Speaking of incisions, they do look really good. They are still quite prominent, it seems they are more noticable then the pictures on here of other women at 6 weeks. Most of the pics I've been seeing is in dark lighting so I'm hoping my recovery is normal. I still have the smallest, little openings where the vertical incision meets the areola. I feel like it will never close up totally but I know it will eventually. I will ask my doc tomorrow if there is something I can do to speed it up.
The neosporin worked wonders, I did not get any infections. I have been using Mederma now for a few weeks. I don't notice the Mederma doing much of anything, but I'm guessing it will take time and plus I see it everyday so I may not notice the changes.
Last thing now I'm waiting on is my insurance company to get back to me to see if I receive anything back.
I will upload some pictures soon since they do look different.
Have a great day!