Married. 42 Years Old. Nursed Both Children, Ages 17 & 6. Biggest Size 38I , 36G at Time of Surgery. New York, NY

I suffered from upper & lower back, neck, shoulder...

I suffered from upper & lower back, neck, shoulder pain. Having arthritis in my back didn't help matters. So on the recommendation of my PCP I completed physical therapy for the back pain because I was persistent & wanted a reduction. Therapy was one of the hoops I had to jump through so I kept and open mind & did it. I had dark indentations in my shoulders from the weight of my breast. Minor skin irritation under breasts. Scarring from underwire bras.
I was fed up with wardrobe limitations & high priced bras & quite a few custom bras. They all ranged from $60 - $110. ( Wacoal & Enell brands ) .
I was a B cup in 8th grade. I blame hormone contraceptives for the initial growth spurts. My GYN swore that the pill & injections weren't the blame but I listened to my inner voice ,stopped with the hormones & experienced several immediate health benefits as a result. But no change in breast size :(
At 4 weeks post-op I have to say that the surgery/ pain isn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be.
I had no hospital stay. As soon as I woke up & told the nurses that I had pain they switched my pain meds from Tylenol with codeine to Percocet. About 40 minutes later I was getting dressed to go home with my husband.
The drive home was rough. I felt every bump in the road.
So far I've lost 10 lbs, trying because I'm very self conscientious about my stomach looking pregnant. I hope my breast don't shrink too much more if I reach my weight loss goals. Especially since I seem to be a C cup but I'd hope to go down to a D cup. Slight bummer. My husband's attitude couldn't be better. He's very supportive, helpful & reassuring.
In hind sight I wish that I had prepared my home better so that I felt better about getting the rest I needed. I wish I had precooked meals. I wish I stayed in bed & rested more. Slept more. Did more research. And purchased a few smaller tops to wear after surgery.
I must admit, I miss my silhouette. I feel less sexy, dressed BUT at the same time it's awesome being so perky & firm! I have no memory of such perkiness,LOL. SOOOO I'm really looking forward to feeling more comfortable in turtle necks & going braless in spaghetti straps, tube tops & halter tops. Can't wait to buy my 1st padded/push-up/ Demi & balconette bra.
No more boob sweat.

(35) things I wish I knew before I got my Breast Reduction

This is a lot but I wish I knew all of these things 5 weeks ago or more, so...
My surgery was July 22,2014. My breast look different & better & more natural everyday.
1.Sleep as much as possible. I always felt best the day after a bed of total bed rest.
2.Take pain meds on time. The pain wasn't nearly as bad a I thought it would be BUT I personally needed Percocet over Tylenol with codeine for the 1st 10 days or so. Don't "tuff it out" and cope with unnecessary pain. If you feel pain take your meds. Listen to your body.
3. BUY ; Dial antibacterial soap, gauze, stool softeners ( the Percocet causes constipation )a sports bra that fastens in the FRONT, button down tops/ wrap dresses (Genie bras & that sort are no substitute for a sports bra. You need compression & no stress on drain tube sites if you have them)
4. Have plenty of pillows for sleeping. I read that you're supposed to sleep at least a 30 degree angle. I needed to be a little higher than that the 1st week. Firm pillows at my sides made it difficult to roll over. ( I happened to have a U shaped back & belly body pillow from my pregnancy, it was perfect )
5. Thoroughly clean your home, do all the laundry,pre-cook and freeze meals & food shop (Costco / BJ's) before surgery day.
6. REST. REST. REST! Even if you're feeling better or have no pain. Remember you need rest to HEAL.
7. Don't feel guilty about needing help lifting , reaching etc. Do less & get more rest = faster healing. DELEGATE
8. No heavy lifting/pulling. Tell everyone that you can't lift things. Stress that you could pop a stitch if you're not careful. ( I kept forgetting ) A gallon of milk is too heavy. Buy smaller/ lighter containers ;1 liter soda, quart sized milk etc.
9. Lay SOMETHING out to wear that will actually fit to your 1st post op doctor's visit/ or outing . This way you're not sorting through drawers or pushing/pulling heavy clothes on hangers.
10. Ask YOUR DOCTOR every question you can think of? You can even google a list of questions. Do your research.
11. I had NO hospital stay. But I pack a very small bag just in case. ( I hate when people know they are going in the hospital & ask you to find a list of things once the get there , pet peeve)
12. Have a large button down top to wear home from the hospital & easy to get into bottoms ,maybe some some leggings 
13. Take the smoothest streets home. You'll feel every bump. Ask your driver to scout out best roads.
14. Have something to keep the seatbelt from laying on your chest, I used a travel/neck pillow.
15. Drink plenty of water, flush out meds. Maybe a little cranberry juice. I had a catheter during surgery.
16. If you have small children explain the no lifting & no touching, squeezing, laying on or touching mommy from the front.
17. Avoid reaching up high for anything.
18. Avoid throwing anything. (Balls, I have kids :( it hurt)
19. Avoid driving too soon. It hurt me, 2 weeks was too soon for me.
20. There's no reason to keep your current bras in drawer. Pick out a favorite for sentiment & get the rest outta there. 
My old bras were expensive ( Wacoal & custom Enell ) so I washed & "donated". Saved a loved one hundreds of $$$
It was awesome buying 3 sports bras at Target for less than $40 :)
21. Keep your stitches as dry as possible. Use gauze underneath after showers of if you sweat.
22. I wish I'd remembered to take a photo of the doctor's pre-op sharpie marking.
23. Ask your doctor if they are using drains. They were a complete surprise to me. Never seen or hear of them before. Not all doctors use them. I wore then for 10 days The holes close completely in 2-3 days.
24. Ask what your stitch pattern will be. I thought they would look like an anchor. But there was no horizontal bottom stitch so my stitches look like lollipops.
25. Ask your doctor what you can do to minimize the appearance of scars & how soon you can start.
26. No finger nail polish on during surgery
27. Shower with Dial before surgery
28. No alcohol 24 hr prior to surgery.
29. No pain meds especially aspirin days ( I think a week) prior.
30. Fill your prescriptions before surgery so you have them on you in case there is any delay getting home. You won't want to make any stops before getting home and into bed. 
31. Ask if you are going to have dissolvable stitches will or will they have to be removed. Mine will dissolve. I wish my Dr had told me that. I was so nervous about that pain from removal.
32. Take several before pics. I don't have one braless one to compare :(
33. Weigh yourself before surgery & after. And ask exactly how much was removed.
34. Take pics at each step of your healing process.
35. I was allowed to shower after 1st postoperative visit/about 10 days. My doctor told me not baths or swimming for 2 months :(
36. No vigorous workouts for 6-8 weeks
37. They normally tell you not to buy bras before surgery but my surgical bra was lousy. I was not up to shopping when I realized I needed more support ( after a few days) I didn't realize that the looseness of the surgical bra (a lot of jiggle) was actually causing unnecessary pain. SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME THAT. I could only tighten it so much. So I'd say take a guess at what size you think you'll be (my Dr refused to tell me a specific size) if it doesn't fit you can always have a friend exchange if you're not up to travel yet, for the next size for you.
38. Buy a bra with removable cups. They add a little bit of cushion/protect from contact and sensitivity to the cold. I'm know I'm fortunate to have sensitivity but I'm telling you, feeling even a little bit chilly hurts. Sometimes I wore 2 pair especially when I go outside of it if I feel one breast is a lot least smaller than the other. It just feel more secure with them at times.
I HOPE THIS HELPED

So sorry (38) things in last post, Lol!

List of more than 38 things above
New York Plastic Surgeon

I WOULD RECOMMEND HER BUT only if you are either very informed or have an extensive list of questions. Not very warm or talkative. She mostly, only answered questions asked. Doesn't volunteer much info. She never discussed the drains with me. I'd never even heard of them. So they were a complete surprise. Dissolving stitches. I'm VERY grateful to have them but she didn't tell me she was using them so I was unnecessarily scared of having them removed when I went to her office because of very painful experiences I'd read about. I had no idea she had a different stitching technique. Her's doesn't look like an anchor or upside down T. It looks likes a lollipop. I realized this in the mirror when I got home from the 1st post-op visit because the bandages were removed. We discussed & I wanted the "lollipop stitch" but I also expected to have a horizontal stitch underneath that sort of tighten everything up. I'm HAPPY to have less stitches/scarring but I'm curious about how it will end up looking because I have large folds underneath that she assured me will disappear over the next few months. I TRUST HER. I don't mind it very much but it would have been nice to be informed before hand. The folds were not actually addressed until my 2nd post-op visit. The office nearly forgot to tell me about getting blood work done. I ended up getting it the day before surgery which isn't ideal because I needed to adhere to smoking, drinking & pain meds restrictions up to a week before surgery. She & her staff are very professional & courteous. Her staff is warm & friendly. My surgeon refused to discuss size. Stating that large breasted women have a distorted view of size. But she assured me that she'd leave me proportioned especially since I'm overweight with a belly. I trusted her. I'm still swollen but I've tried on bras. I'm currently a C cup. She wasn't there when I woke up, I don't know if that's customary.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 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
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (1)

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with the community.  Give it some time and you will fully adjust to the new size.  I love having the perky and smaller breasts now.  
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