Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
25 Days Post-Operation & Feelin' Fine!
- posted 9 months ago
- updated 8 months ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $1,500
- Stephen E. Zucker, MD (South Bend, IN)
Only 11 days post-op. Stiff, but lots of back pain...
- 26 Aug 2012
Only 11 days post-op. Stiff, but lots of back pain has been relieved, which was goal. Not a mother yet, so only glaring con was inability to breastfeed in future. Surgery was largely covered by insurance. Healing perfectly, no complications. Pleased with procedure so far, can't wait to see full result.
Can't say how life has changed just yet, but am excited to buy new bras and clothes in near future. Also excited to no longer hunch over and to possibly get rid of shoulder indents. Anticipating exercise to be much easier.
I am currently 12 days post-op. I am still having...
- 27 Aug 2012
What I'm struggling with now is the swelling underneath my arms. I still cannot full put my arms down at my sides. There is a constant burning or stinging sensation around my sutures, but it is slight. My surgeon assured me that because he did not manipulate muscle and did not open the chest cavity, that my pain would be minimal. I don't know that I would use the word minimal ;) However, the intense pain immediately following surgery last just a few days. Since then I've mostly had to deal with itching, burning, stinging, and being stiff.
I return to work today for my typical 8-hour shifts. I was back to work two days ago but only worked 4 hours. I still tire easily...I anticipated pain, but I guess I didn't anticipate being so fatigued all the time too. That is definitely something you should prepare yourself for. If you've had the surgery, please tell me when you returned to work and how you did? I unfortunately stand for 8 hours straight at my job, no sitting...that's been difficult.
Will update again soon!
Almost two weeks post-op and I'm feeling alright....
- 28 Aug 2012
After my stitches are out, I'm going to invest in some Mama Mio products. They're expensive, but I've read fantastic reviews and I would really love to be proactive about diminishing these scars.
I have been cooking some small things, done a load or two of laundry (with help carrying it up and down the stairs), doing dishes, and have returned to work. I thankfully have the next two days off and I'm going to be lying low. I will tell anyone getting this surgery to be sure to rest rest REST. Everything is so exhausting! Overall though, feeling pretty good considering I'm still stitched from armpit to armpit ;)
I've received a couple of comments regarding my...
- 29 Aug 2012
Feeling about the same today as I have been without too much pain. There is still quite a bit of swelling. Sutures and stitches all look pretty good to me. They are smoother than I thought they'd be. YAY!
One other thing worth mentioning...I've had continuous muscle spasms just below my ribcage, in the diaphragm area, for the last several hours. I do not have abdominal pain, gas, or hiccups. It is not painful but is uncomfortable. I highly doubt it's even related the procedure as this is only the second or third time I've ever noticed it. But! It's very odd indeed.
New pictures! Nipples cracking and peeling, but...
- 30 Aug 2012
Hello everyone! It is the 1st of September (oh my...
- 1 Sep 2012
When I first started my review, I thought there was a word limit and that's why my first entry is very short. I blame my oversight on the drugs ;) I basically want to take this opportunity to explain a little more about my history and why I chose this procedure for myself (for anyone who cares to read it).
Like many of the women on RealSelf, I developed early. My cup sizes were B by fifth grade, C by sixth grade, and DD by eighth grade. I went through high school and college and eventually ended up being a DDD/G. I was teased about my weight all through my school years and the "girls" didn't help. But the emotional and physical pain I went through was acute. I struggled with chronic back pain from about the age of 16. The indents in my shoulders were awful (and will probably never go away). For almost two years of college, my sciatic nerve was pinched and I often couldn't walk to class or even get out of bed to walk. I've also struggled with depression from the age of 11 -- which obviously wasn't caused by having a large chest, but it did exacerbate and amplify my emotions at times.
Over the years, I've researched the breast reduction procedure hundreds of times. I pretty much had my heart set on it from age 17...but the timing was never right. I was either in high school or college (I attended classes through summer). I graduated from college over two years ago and *finally* got the ball rolling in February of 2012. My surgeon had performed the same surgery on my grandmother and my aunt also had the surgery a few years ago (see a pattern here?). It took four months for paperwork, photographs, recommendations, and records to be gathered, sent to, and reviewed by my insurance. THANK GOD I was approved without incident. I was very, very lucky that I did not have many issues. There was a little misunderstanding with the surgeon's office that added to that time frame, but that story is for another day ;)
I was approved for surgery in June and then scheduled for August 15th. As you may have read above, my experience has been pretty smooth. I am pleased with how everything has turned out and cannot wait to have my stitches removed on the 7th. I had 1100 grams removed from one breast and 1024 removed from the other -- about 2.5 and 2.4 pounds respectively. I had drains inserted, stayed overnight in the hospital, and then was released without incident the next morning. Those yellow things above (still don't know what they're called!) were on my nipples for 5 days. My nipple stitches came out an additional 5 days after that. By the time September 7th rolls around, I will have had all the other stitches in for 23 days! I also had a 100% full nipple graft.
Besides being overweight, I am generally healthy. I am glad I didn't wait any longer to have the surgery. Being 24 definitely has its benefits as far as bouncing back and my skin looks to be handling everything well too. YAY!
Thanks for the kind words and support everyone has shown me here. It's made me feel less alone in this whole process. Good luck to everyone with planned surgeries and recovery coming up. You've chosen an amazing community to be apart of.
Well it looks like I spoke too soon ladies. I'm...
- 2 Sep 2012
Anyhow, as I've mentioned before, I am *supposed* to change my paper tape and bandages everyday. Because the whole process has been so painful and time-consuming, I reverted back to showering every other day and bathing on the in-between ones (that way my tapes don't get wet). This is where my sister would called me a Naughty Naughty Rule Breaker. I also iced my breasts periodically and took a little ibuprofen a week after my surgery -- under the supervision of my mother, who's been an intensive care nurse for many years.
With all that said, I bring you to this morning. I woke up with not one, but two problems. My skin is completely raw in spots, the top layer has literally been ripped off by the constant tape changes. Not to mention I have tape residue everywhere that sticks to everything! My left breast developed a blood pocket overnight where the skin was trying to heal -- nowhere near my incisions, so thankfully there's no complications with those. THEN on my right breast, there's an open sore that is now oozing. They both developed overnight and my bra was stuck to the right side this morning.
I've been feeling super positive despite my general discomfort...but today is just not a good day. I'm also not sure what to do about that sore. It is small and not too deep. But because I cannot be without a bra, it constantly rubs against cloth and rips back open. I have some gauze in there now as a barrier, but even the gauze will most likely irritate it. I thought about sleeping without a bra for one night. Is that a super big no-no? Help? :(
Yesterday was my first real excursion since...
- 4 Sep 2012
The sore on my right breast is healing very, very slowly. It hasn't gotten infected or anything. I am a little concerned about healing properly under my right breast. The incisions look different than on the other side and may be separating. It's painful at times. My mother says I'm a worry-wart. My sister says I should call the doctor. I'll see him on Friday morning for stitches to FINALLY come out. Hallelujahhhh!
I received my first bill from the hospital today and thought you all may be interested to see the detailed costs. This is the total before insurance. This does not reflect my balance with the plastic surgeon's office. Ready? ;)
IV Solutions (CIAS) $899
Sterile Supply $531
OR Services $10,020.45
Drugs Requiring Detailed Codes $36
Self Adm Rx No Detail Code Req $44
Recovery Room $1,930.30
That all adds up to a grand total of $18,319.85! I don't even know what some of these things are...but I'm sure my mom can explain it to me. Let me know of this compares with your bills, ladies!
Earlier, I meant to write that I'm going to try...
- 4 Sep 2012
I went ahead and took new photos today. I am now...
- 5 Sep 2012
Stitches come out tomorrow -- so stoked! Went bra...
- 6 Sep 2012
Went bra shopping last night and seem to be a large B or small C -- may change over time.
Nipples are looking great -- more peeling and cracking with new skin underneath, SO ITCHY!
Sleeping is getting a little easier -- thanks to one of you lovely ladies for "hugging the pillow" suggestion.
Breast sizes continue to fluctuate -- some days the left is bigger, some days the right looks bigger.
Will update after doctor appointment tomorrow -- may put pictures up after stitches are removed too!
I had my stitches removed on Friday as planned. ...
- 10 Sep 2012
I'm almost totally back to my regular routine, although I'm still pretty cautious with reaching, bending, and showering. The scabs have fallen off my nipples and the incisions look pretty freakin' fantastic in my opinion. I do still have swelling underneath my arms which I completely loathe. The doctor also told me to keep my skin moisturized on and around my incision lines. No particular brand or type of lotion was suggested. They told me to use whatever I wanted -_- Gee thanks! Any suggestions would be helpful. Right now, I'm using baby lotion because I figure it's pretty gentle and it doesn't irritate my skin. There is some skin separation underneath my right breast like I suspected. The PS assured me it was superficial and should heal just fine. It's the only painful incision spot I have right now. The sores on my breasts where the skin had been rubbed raw are almost totally healed too. Yay!
Finally, I am so excited to say that I got four bras the other night from Walmart for...$25! Most of my bras before cost $40-60! Granted, they are the comfy, not-so-cute ones BUT still a huge victory for me. Also went dress shopping for a friends wedding coming up. I actually fit into and purchased a STRAPLESS dress! I felt like crying when I came out of the dressing room in that. My grandma bought it for me as a surprise and said it was a, "...first dress with your new boobies present!" I sure do love that lady.
Will post pictures soon!
PS -- A word of caution for you ladies who like to shower once a day (or more) like me...be careful with the temperature of your water, especially so soon after your surgery. My incisions were super red today because I overdid it with the heat. Not to mention the skin around the incisions is so sensitive, the hot water will dry it out and cause even more discomfort. That's all for now!
My Doctor: Stephen E. Zucker, MD
Dr. Zucker was highly recommended by family members. He'd performed the same surgery on my grandmother (large breasts run in my family) and my mother has seen his work on her patients in a local hospital. The office staff was agreeable for the most part; I especially love the nurses. I also chose Dr. Zucker because he was the best surgeon covered under my insurance plan. Overall, I'm pleased with how everything has gone and I am happy with the decision I made.