My Long Awaited Breast Reduction - Saint Marys, OH

BEFORE: So I've always had large breasts....

BEFORE:
So I've always had large breasts. But after years of not wearing a bra, having babies, weight gain, etc. they had grown to be over 8 pounds each and I could feel all 16 pounds around my neck, shoulder, and back area. I would hate wearing a bra because it would cut off the circulation in my arms. It would also make the back of my neck ache which also gave me massive migraines. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could take the bra off.

Pain is the obvious reason to why I wanted a breast reduction. Another reason was the way my breasts looked and that made me feel really self conscious. I admit that having large breasts was always a good thing especially when it came to guys. When I told them that I was a 38 H, eyes popped! But that was IN a bra. That 38 H hung to my stomach and looked awful without a bra! Besides the way they looked and how painful it was, another one of the biggest reasons why I decided to have a breast reduction was because I NEVER could find the right size clothing. I am in a size XL but a normal XL shirt would fit me differently than it would someone with a smaller size breast. I couldn't wear cute shirts or dresses, especially if they were to be worn without a bra. And I could forget about wearing a strapless bra. The point is, there was no other way, I HAD to have a breast reduction.

AFTER:
When I awoke from surgery, I must have had a bad reaction to the anesthesia because I got sick many times. The pain was unbearable. They don’t give you a pain pump like you would have some other surgeries. (I’ve had them all from lasik eye surgery, wisdom tooth removal, tubes in my ears, cercloge, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, and c-sections). Besides pain, there was a burning sensation, mainly around my nipple areas. When I asked for something for pain, the nurses brought me a pill. I told the nurse that I was in pain now and didn’t want to wait for a pain pill to kick in. I was lucky because I was allowed to get shots of morphine in my IV and I alternated between that and pills of vicodin.

The hospital stay was alright. I’ve been in better hospitals. I hadn’t eaten since midnight the night before and I was starving when I woke up. I asked for food around 3pm. They finally brought me a sandwich at 8pm. However my throat was too irritated from the breathing tube and I was unable to eat the sandwich. They did bring me crackers and juice which I snacked on until breakfast the next morning. Another problem I had with the hospital stay was that I had to ask “permission” to gain access to the internet. They also made me wait to plug in my cell phone and laptop until a maintenance man could “check out the plugs”. I was lucky in having my own room though. There was a patient down the hall that hollered her daughter’s name and “help me” every 20 seconds for an entire day. That wasn’t so bad because I could shut my door and not hear anything. What really upset me was that a few of the nurses who were leaving for lunch made laughing jokes about it. I tried to get up out of bed so that I could holler at them but I wasn’t able too. I did, however, go online to the hospital’s website and sent in a complaint about it. The hospital director did come to my room and apologized.

I was in the hospital for a little over 24 hours. I will say that sleeping in a hospital bed is a lot more comfortable than sleeping on my couch and my bed. It’s been 4 weeks and I still cannot lay flat on my back or on my sides. If I do, my arms go numb and I have a really hard time getting back to sleep. I started having chills my 3rd day home. I called the doctor but he thought it was from the anesthesia and told me to take several deep breaths every few minutes. I got my stitches out 3 weeks after the surgery. I wish I would have left them in longer because my incisions have started to separate. My incisions were red, inflamed, and still leaking at that time. He said that I should be healed within another week.

That didn’t happen and I found out a few days ago (Jan. 21, 2011), when I went to the hospital, that I have Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. It’s a bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics. Again, the doctor is unconcerned and says he sees both the separation and the infection all the time. He put me on an antibiotic and a cream. He says I will be healed in another 3 to 4 weeks. Meanwhile I’m still infected, still leaking, and still hurting, not to mention I’m stuck wearing the same hospital issued bra that I was sent home in. Luckily I was given two of them and can wash one while wearing the other.

I am majorly disappointed in the fact that my scars will be worse than what they should have been because this separation is adding about the size of a dime of extra tissue that now needs to heal on my right breast and the size of a half dollar on my left breast. The other parts of my breast seem to be fine. I was scared that my right nipple had died as it was black around the areola. I was relieved when it started to come off. It was dried blood. As for being 4 weeks post op, my biggest complaint besides the obvious infection and separation is that when my nipples get hard, it’s a little uncomfortable. I’m not sure if it’s because the skin is being pulled or what. On a scale of 1 to 10, I am satisfied to the point of an 8. I love the new shape of my breasts. They are fuller and perkier than they’ve ever been. I was measured and I am now only a 40 D. (The doc took out 4 pounds off of each breast!!) I have tried on a regular sports bra (which I can’t wear for long because I’m not fully healed) and it fits! I could never have gone into a store and picked a bra off the shelf and it fit. The sports bra seems to fit better than a regular bra. I tried a 40 D bra at Wal-Mart but the band was too tight. After some investigation online, I found that not all bras are the same so that 40 D might not fit but another 40 D will. It also says that I should try on many different types of bras and to never buy a bra unless you try it on. I have also bought a few new shirts even though I’m not able to wear them yet. But when I’m fully healed and the problems are gone, they will look mighty nice on me. I have also been able to wear some of the shirts and dresses that I had but they never fit well. ? I am SO happy with my decision! I would do it all over again even knowing the pain, sickness, and suffering that I am dealing with right now.

Dr. Reeder

He did an excellent job; there is no doubt about that. He is very nice and courteous. He's even nice on the eyes. :) I don't like the fact that he isn't as worried as I am especially about the infection or wound separation. He told me that because I had smoked (I quit 9 months before the surgery), I was overweight, and just an unhealthy person (I have been sick with a cold for the past few days) that this was why I was having so many problems healing. I was just a little shocked because he never expressed any of these things before the surgery. He has many offices so it's pretty convenient and you can choose which office you want to go too. I do wish he would have seen me in the hospital before allowing me to go home (he released me via telephone) but that’s only because I’ve never had that happen before. I also wish he would have sent me in for testing when I first started getting the cold chills. Maybe the infection could have been detected then and I could have had it cleared up before the wound started separating. The only problem I had with the many offices is that not all of them can accept your money. I was only charged $800 for the liposuction part of the procedure (to be done on the sides). I only needed $400 down but when I went in to pay at the office I usually went too, the ladies in the office couldn’t take it because it wasn’t his regular office. I had to wait until the day of surgery which was almost forgotten but the doc had enough sense to ask about the payment. Wait times were not a problem. The staff is as nice as can be. I even asked for my before photos and they were mailed to me promptly! I am very well pleased with the doctor and his staff

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 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
2 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (8)

Thank you for sharing your experience you look fab. I would avoid your PS like the plague. There is absolutely nothing normal about infection, people are disfigured and even die from it.
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YAY YOU LOOK AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
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You look great! I'm glad you went to see a wound specialist. It doesn't sound like your doctor was taking your infection seriously enough. Thanks so much for the update and I'm glad you're healing more everyday.

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Wow nice results and what a difference!
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OMG, that infection sounds horrible! Hang in there and I hope you're feeling better really soon. *sending happy thoughts*

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Thanks Sharon. I decided to go for a second opinion from a wound care specialist. He took me off the cream that the hospital/Dr. Reeder put me on. He also put me on the antibiotics for another 5 weeks. He said one week was not enough. So tomorrow (2/2/11) would be one week since seeing the wound care specialist and so far, it's looking better. Instead of looking really angry, it's starting to look a little pink and healthy. :)
The antibiotic is taking it's toll on me though. I'm sick to my stomach and having frequent potty breaks (watery #2). Can't wait til this is all said and done! :)
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Oh my! Well at least you're getting it taken care of. Sounds like you're turning the corner, thank goodness.

BTW, off-topic, but your avatar makes me laugh every time I see it. :) Is that your dog?

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Ya, Her name is Hannah. She is a chihuahua.
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