After many years of putting it off, I am finally...
After many years of putting it off, I am finally scheduled for a reduction next month. I am a 36 year old mom of 2 young children and a self-employed business owner with my husband. My breasts are simply way out of proportion for my body's build. I am 5'5 at 135 lbs and currently wear a (tight) 34F bra, but measurements say I should be in a 32H or so (British measurements, I find British bras fit me better). I was recently on the path to losing 5 more pounds when I realized that I was almost in a size 4 pants with no change to my boobs since I finished breastfeeding my second child.
I love yoga and running, although I do more incline walking on the treadmill than actually jogging/running. I developed later than most girls in my class so I first went through a couple of years of being teased for being super skinny and flat as a board. At the end of grade 7 they started growing and by grade 8 I was around a D cup. I hated it, hated the attention, especially because I went from one extreme to the other. During high school and college I basically stopped eating and developed anorexia in an attempt to control the boobs. I was 5'5, 95 lbs and still had to stuff myself into a too small C cup bra.
In my early 20s I worked to overcome the eating disorder and that is when I first began researching breast reduction. Throughout my 20's I had very little physically pain and although I was unsure about having children I didn't want to risk future breastfeeding. They still caused massive emotional issues though and it was my number one fear when I got pregnant--how big would they get?! Still, I did have 2 children in my early 30s and I breastfed them both for a year. Between kids my doctor started mentioning breast reduction but I did not take any action until after I had my daughter and the pain began. After I had my first child, my son, I was exercising a lot and got down to 130 lbs and able to squeeze into some store-bought brands of 36D bras. I could live with that, and I still didn't have much pain. After my daughter I also worked out and was able to get close to 130 but the breasts stayed large. For a while I could wear store-bought 36DD's but eventually as I lost weight the bands became too lose and the cups too small. So I moved on to internet order bras with the smaller bands and bigger cups, hoping it would help with the neck, shoulder and back pain but it hasn't.
Last November I talked to my family doctor about the reduction again. He referred me to a surgeon that does hospital work at in a city about an hour away from me (I live in a smaller city). The consultation was arranged for February and during the exam she said I would have no problem at all with approval, I was a good candidate and more than met the insurance requirements. Surely enough I got a call at the end of February, early March with a date of April 14th! I was expecting a longer wait so this threw me off a bit, I felt like I hadn't really fully committed yet, but here was a date waiting for me. I took it and still can't really believe it is so close. I had both of my children naturally with no medication and have never had a surgical procedure before, not even any dental work, so I am very nervous. My surgeon was very calming and I feel like I know enough information to feel confident, but the general nervousness about surgery is still there. Totally normal, I know! Today I have the pre-surgery visit with my doctor to clear me for the surgery, so I am waiting around for that and really thinking a lot about it. I am about 80% excited and 20% nervous, to sum it up :-) I would love to be a B/C cup in the end but I think it will be closer to a D cup. As long as they are smaller and lighter I will be happy.
I had some anxiety over the weekend now that I am...
I had some anxiety over the weekend now that I am only 2 weeks away but some good talks with family helped and now I feel even more ready for this. I am going to focus on getting some things done this week and prepping items that I will need before and after surgery. I think at this point my biggest concern is that I will not end up as small as I'm hoping for, so this is something I will discuss with my surgeon before the surgery.
I will try and be brave and post a before picture soon. Have large breasts has always made me uncomfortable with having my photo taken (even with clothes on!) so it will be hard but I want to document it. One big positive I keep thinking of is how I won't be as self conscious after the surgery and I can do more with my kids and take pictures with them without thinking so much about how I look.
In my original post I made a mistake and listed my...
In my original post I made a mistake and listed my date as April 14 but it is actually May 14! So I am getting even closer, just a week and a half away from surgery now. This week I have got some tops that do up in the front and am organizing pillows, ice packs and getting things in easy to reach places. Thankfully I will have the help of my husband and parents for the first while, with 2 young kids there is a lot of lifting, bending, reaching, jumping to get stuff, etc. haha!
Ugh, I have a bit of a head cold today that I hope...
Ugh, I have a bit of a head cold today that I hope clears up in the next couple of days. I'm going to get extra rest and hope that helps. I also get seasonal allergies around this time of year but if I don't go outside right around the surgery I shouldn't be bothered by it. I am not taking any medications at all right now just in case, especially not for the allergies.
I have a surgical bra coming in this week, bought based on a recommendation from this group, so I'm looking forward to seeing it. I also have a Lululemon ta-ta tamer that is small in the cup right now that I think will work to wear while washing the surgical bra. I am going to do up baggies of peas this week and I've got lots of pillows and extra blankets ready both for at home and in the car (I have an hour+ drive home after the day surgery). I kept a body pillow and soft breastfeeding pillow from pregnancy and babies that I think will be really useful. I'm also going to order some healthy frozen meals for my family (they eat meat, I don't) so that my husband doesn't have to do a lot of extra work while he helps me. Speaking of meals, does anyone have good suggestions for food to help with healing for vegetarians? I am particularly concerned about protein because I keep reading how good it is for healing, and know that is one area I lack in.
My mom is coming with me to the hospital for surgery and it is great that she is so supportive (my dad and husband are too). She has considered the surgery for a long time and may even do it herself in the future.
Less than a week until surgery. Added my "before"...
Less than a week until surgery. Added my "before" photos, front and side. How embarrassing! As you can tell, I'm way too big for my frame. I just hope that adding another set of pics to the site will help someone out there who may find themselves close to me in size.
I did 3 miles on the treadmill last night, it is a...
I did 3 miles on the treadmill last night, it is a great way to clear my mind and get a good night's sleep, plus I want to get in the workouts that I enjoy since they will be limited for a while after the surgery. My shoulders hurt a lot from my bra though and I always feel like I'm suffocating under the weight of my breasts while jogging/power walking. I absolutely cannot wait to see how good it feels to exercise without all of this extra weight on top.
At this point I don't really feel nervous, I just feel ready for it. Bring it on! Let's do this! I am so looking forward to being on the other side, post-op. Every once in a while I get the worst case scenario thoughts, mostly what it would do to my kids if something went horribly wrong, but I just acknowledge the feelings briefly and then move on with the positive thoughts.
It doesn't seem real that I'm only stuck with...
It doesn't seem real that I'm only stuck with these huge boobs for 3 more days! Right now I still have some worry and of course am preoccupied with lots of little things while preparing, but the truth is, this is a dream come true for me. I keep remind myself of that to keep me sane in these final days before the surgery. My one big flaw that has caused me so much suffering over the years will be GONE on Monday! I feel a bit like it is too good to be true, I don't deserve this, something has to go wrong because I shouldn't be able to just change myself so easily. All silly thoughts, I know, but that's how I feel. I am going to be normal, heck, I may even look GOOD... that is just crazy and makes me so happy to think about :-)
So I called the hospital this morning to confirm my arrival time and everything is set to go barring any emergency rescheduling. I arrive at 8 and my surgery is at 9:30. My surgeon's office called yesterday and gave me my post-op appointment which is 10 days after the surgery. One frustrating thing, the surgical bra that I ordered and paid extra to have quick shipping on is showing that it was delivered already, but I did not receive it. I've put in an inquiry to the website so hopefully I hear back soon. I wasn't planning on taking it to the hospital with me so there is still time for it to arrive. Today I did some extra shopping to stock up on stuff for my family and I've got everything ready for my son's birthday which is a couple of weeks after my surgery. I'll do some laundry and cleaning this weekend, get in a couple of workouts and then try to relax. I've been sleeping pretty good all week so let's hope that holds at least until Sunday night.
Getting ready to shower and leave for the hospital...
Getting ready to shower and leave for the hospital soon. I can't believe the day is finally here and I'm doing this. I had a good night last night, was able to fall asleep at a decent time and even fall back asleep an hour after my daughter woke me up at 2 am (go figure, haha). I will hopefully have the energy to post when I'm home later--iPads are great for getting online easily!
Everything went awesome, I have been home for an...
Everything went awesome, I have been home for an hour or so now and feel really good. I feel so small, light and oh boy, they are really up there. Feels amazing, just what I wanted! I will post a more detailed overview later but wanted to check in and report how well everything went :-) I feel no ill effects from the anesthesia and was given Tylenol 3s for any discomfort. I mostly feel the tight pulling feeling and most noticeable on the sides of my breasts. I rated the pain about a 3 when they asked right after surgery, but said it wasn't pain, just some discomfort. Thanks to all of you for everything, it has really helped me get this far and stay calm!
An overview of my surgery day - May 14,...
An overview of my surgery day - May 14, 2012:
Everything happened exactly as explained to me by my surgeon, her office and the hospital, no surprises which was great, and everything was right on time. My mom came to get me this morning, it was a beautiful day for weather so a really nice drive. We arrived in the city of the hospital early so walked around a garden centre for 20 minutes to stretch our legs. Then we reported to the hospital, very minimal wait at admissions and then went right up to the day surgery suite. Again, minimal wait and I was called in to answer the general questions and change into the hospital gowns and slippers. I then sat down in the waiting room inside the day surgery area and was expecting to pass about 45 minutes by myself but the nurse that had first seen me was super nice and said she could allow my mom in to wait with me since there was no one else scheduled immediately after me. Chatting helped keep my mind off of any worry, I did really great with no anxiety, that alone makes me feel so good about the day.
I was asked the standard questions (allergies, any medical problems) again by a nurse who was going to be in the surgery, waited a bit longer and just after 9 my surgeon came out to take me for the drawing part. All of the staff kept saying how she was a real artist with this, that I would be very pleased with the results and how nice she is. Very nice to hear and helped keep my spirits up! She drew the lines, measured and traced the template, I really remember the smell of the marker, lol! Then I met the anesthesiologist, again, he was super nice just like everyone else. And then after another brief wait it was time to go into surgery.
There were three nurses there, one prepping the instruments and two setting me up on the table and hooking up the IV. We talked a bit about the city I live in and then the anasthesiologist was there and we did the mask, I was out fairly quickly. Then I was waking up, which felt like I was waking from a deep sleep and dream, in my mind I was thinking, what was I just doing? Oh yes, I made it!! One nurse was asking me about my pre-op size and then just asking how I felt. The main thing I recall is the tight feeling and feeling like I wanted to be very careful with any movements. My regular bra that I'd removed the underwire from last night and washed was on with lots of padding, so one of the nurses said don't worry, you are small under there, that is all stuffing! The straps are just hovering over my shoulders, they don't even touch, that is how loose it is even with the pads! They asked about my pain level and I said about a 3, but it was more discomfort and a stretching tight feel. They gave me two t3's and a pack of crackers with some water. I ate one cracker. I felt great, no nausea, a bit hazy vision at first but that was it. Around 1:30 they asked if I felt another half hour would be good and I said yes, so they told my mom who went to get the car.
My instructions are to leave everything on until Friday and then I can shower and change the dressings myself. My post-op appointment is next Thursday. I got an email from the site I ordered my surgical bra from saying it was sent back to them so they've resent and it will arrive in a few days, so that's good.
My husband thinks I must be flat under the padding, because in comparison it must look that way. I peeked in to check for bleeding and assured him no, there are nice boobs under here! It is hard to say at this point obviously but I bet I'm between a c-d, but it could even be just a c which would be awesome! I'd be happy anywhere between a b to d cup, I'm not picky because I can tell that the heaviness is gone, and a letter is just a letter. Even with the padding and old bra I look in proportion to my lower half. Amazing!
Right now I can tell the local freezing has come out, but I prefer being able to feel what's going on. The Tylenol is helping with the discomfort too. They also feel more swollen than they did this afternoon so I've done a bit of icing near the tops and sides. I did have a small dinner and an apple, and have had one nap already. I think sleeping should be okay, so here's hoping for a good night!
I changed into my old Lululemon tata tamer (sports...
I changed into my old Lululemon tata tamer (sports bra) this morning while I wait for the surgical bra to arrive and I'm thrilled to report that at a 36d with the straps done up tight it is still too big, and I still have 2 big abdominal surgical pads in there with some other padding, not to mention the swelling. This is way better than I'd ever hoped for, i thought I'd still be a full d! I'm doing well again today, not really hungry but not feeling sick either. Had a nice 3 hour nap this afternoon and now I'm just resting. It is gorgeous weather again today so it is amazing to just be able to sit outside and relax. I feel the most sore after getting up from sleeping, but it is totally bearable, not what I would call pain.
Thanks for all of the comments, I can't wait to share some after pics! Amazing since I was so hesitant and embarrassed sharing the befores!
It has been 2 days since the surgery now and...
It has been 2 days since the surgery now and everything is still going well. I have periods of tiredness, a bit of soreness and some swelling, so all normal uneventful stuff, which is great. I am taking my Tylenol 3s on a regular basis and using ice every couple of hours. I keep myself elevated when resting and be sure to get up and walk around as well. I can't wait until Friday when I can shower and have a full look at everything, time is going by fast but knowing there is another whole day of enormous padding is kind of frustrating. I don't want to jump ahead of my doctor's orders though so I'll be patient. I'm still not hungry but am getting in the protein and just had my husband go out and re stock up on salads and veggies. It is hard with the kids not being able to have their usual routine with me but they love having more time with their grandparents, so that makes it fun for them. I don't think I've taken this much time for myself in 5 years, since having kids, so it is strange to rely on other people for a change!
So I had my husband remove some of the side...
So I had my husband remove some of the side padding last night because it was really thick and where the drainage had hardened it was digging in to me. I feel much more comfortable now with less padding, but I am still waiting until tomorrow to shower and fully change dressings. Can't wait! From what I can tell my right side has a lot more bruising and swelling on the under side of the breast and across my side where the bra band sits. The left side is pretty good though. I do bruise easily so was expecting this. I had two Tylenol 3 when I woke up but napped during the next scheduled time and when I woke up I didn't feel I needed them, so I've been pain med free all day now and feel very good. When the sides get sore and swollen I used ice, but not really more than a few times a day. Tomorrow my kids are going to my parents in the morning so I can have my first shower, I can't wait!
Had my first shower which was so nice! My hair is...
Had my first shower which was so nice! My hair is almost to my waist so it feels great to have it clean again, thanks to my husband's help. My boobs look pretty good, very small compared to what I'm used to but bruising, swelling and the tape lines underneath make it hard for me to picture the final results at this point. I am not discouraged though, they are so high and nicely sized I know they will turn out great, but I don't look nearly as good as others have posted at 4-5 days post op, or maybe im just being critical because its me? Bruising around my nipples is already yellow so on its way to disappearing. I have been wearing an ace type bandage for the past two days and it is comfortable, plus it feels so weird and good knowing that I'm sitting around with no real bra on and they still feel and look good. No bra straps, how cool is that?!
I'm totally off of the pain meds now and swelling is better with the bandage for compression. I've been even more tired than usual today so there is probably a lot of healing going on. I even felt some itching near the insides of the underneath incisions this morning.
So this is day 6 after surgery and I'm seeing some...
So this is day 6 after surgery and I'm seeing some shape coming now, yay! Before today everything was so swollen it was like I had two puffy lumps with incisions digging in below them. Now the breasts are softer and curve down slightly over the lower incisions. I should be able to take pics on Tues if my surgical bra arrives (I'm so mad about that!) because right now I get out of the shower and my husband has to either wrap me in the ace or do my sports bra up in the back for me, i have no control over my own undergarments :-)
I'm getting minimal amounts of the clear yellow drainage and my tape looks really gross underneath, but I guess it will be changed at my appointment on Thursday? I hope so. I have feeling in my right nipple, even though it is the right breast that looks the most beat up. Lefty looks really good now, just some light yellow bruising.
Sleeping has finally gotten a bit difficult. I'm using a foam wedge, an expensive medical one we had purchased for a family member, but it is making my back sore over the past two days. I'll have to play around with pillows tonight since there is no way I want back pain now that I'm free from my breasts causing it!
Overall things are great though, I am thrilled that my body finally looks like ME, in proportion, and I love the size so much. I think I'll be a 34D in the end, which is basically equivalent to a 36C, an awesome average size! I will be able to wear so many clothes that I never could in the past. I am saving my tax refund money for clothes, clothes and more clothes! And bras!! :-)
Another update, more just a thought I had when...
Another update, more just a thought I had when looking in the mirror today. I am wearing my regular clothes today and feel more like my usual self, so when I look in the mirror I feel like me but I look younger! I am 36 but have always been natural in terms of hair and makeup, so I feel like from the neck up I look mid to late 20's. Well now my body does too! My upper body looks thin and youthful again, I was beginning to think of myself as having no midsection at all because of the breasts. Now I do! I can't wait to start on Pilates again when I can work out, I had basically given up on it because I couldn't see my core with the old G cups, lol! I also felt like poor posture really didnt help my abs, yoga made me aware that how I stood made my gut pop, but now it will be a lot easier to work on that. Just dreaming of the near future and all the positive changes :-)
So over the weekend I began feeling...
So over the weekend I began feeling even better, it kind of makes me realize how uncomfortable I was last week in comparison, but it also wasn't that bad, I have had it really easy. I have a lot more movement in my arms these past couple of days where earlier I felt like if I moved too much it would pull or hurt something. I can see why everyone says that it is harder to limit their activity in the second week so I am being careful not to overdo it.
Pictures... my first impression is that the front on pic looks bigger than I actually am, but the side pic shows how small they really are. Makes sense since I had wider/round boobs to begin with and I know that the width pretty much stays the same. I still have a good deal of bruising on the right breast and more swelling on that side as well. Swelling has gotten much better these past few days but I know it is still there as they are softer but still firm and my skin has that shiny look to it. Also note for these pics, I have not yet had my first follow up appointment so this is the tape from the surgery and it is starting to fold and peel, plus it just looks awful. The side shot is of my "better" boob, my left. I plan on doing pictures once a week for a while to watch and share the progress.
And some good news--my surgical bra JUST arrived now, off to try it on!
My surgucal bra fits really nicely and I can...
My surgucal bra fits really nicely and I can definitely see the advantage to it over the bandage or sports bra. It is one of the Marena types with the 2 inch band in a medium size. I think it will really help with swelling and shape, and it makes me feel extra secure. Good timing too because I went to my sons's first night of soccer this evening! I'm 1 week and 1 day post op so I had worried about being able to make it but I must say it was a breeze. My tiredness has gone way down and the soreness isn't even too bad after a couple of hours being out. I'm still being really careful with lifting and moving my arms though, I don't want to risk damaging the incisions or doing something to affect healing.
One thing I'm sure everyone notices after, I can totally see the ghost of my old bra lingering around! I not only have shoulder indents but my skin is darker where they rubbed, and I have side indents where the band went. I would always wear the ultra minimizers, squeeze into too tight bras in hopes they made me look smaller, and this past year I only went braless to shower I hated them so much. So we will see how long it takes the markings to fade, or if they even do.
My follow up appointment is on Thursday so I will update after that. Hopefully my surgeon says everything is healing up well!
Had my follow up this morning and she said...
Had my follow up this morning and she said everything is looking great, no concerns at all! I got the lower strips replaced and will go back June 4 for the tape removal if it hasn't come off by then, and to check on the incisions again. She had my pathology report (all good) and said she removed just over 620 (or was that 640, will have to see on full report) from my right and a bit over 700 off the left. Total off is about 3 lbs, exactly what I was expecting! I knew more would come off the left, that's why I'm surprised that side has been healing up quicker.
First negative I've discovered... I need a bigger...
First negative I've discovered... I need a bigger closet now!!! And more money, lol! I went clothes shopping quickly this evening and oh my, how easy and fun it is to shop when you have a nice even size 6 body, who knew!? No more size 10 dresses that look like sacks or only buying tank tops with super wide straps, or skipping them all together and only being able to choose tshirts. I've *never* been happier with myself, even when I was younger and in better shape. I bought a few tanks that I had to try on braless because ive only got the big surgical bra at the moment... wow, looks amazing! My husband almost died when he saw me!
My bruising and swelling is really going away this week, the left side looks really good. Can't wait to compare me week one pics with week two.
2 weeks today and still doing really well. I feel...
2 weeks today and still doing really well. I feel almost back to normal, I just tire easier and of course have the lifting/moving limits on my arms. I had to buy a white bra to go under a shirt this weekend so I picked up a firm support, no underwire in 36C (all that was available where I was, no smaller bands) and it fits but is loose! Loose! I know it is too early to tell but I'm crossing my fingers for a 34C.
I'm uploading my week two photos. I notice a lot of improvement from last week, way less bruising and swelling. The tape came off the bottom of my left side but I replaced it around the area where the incisions meet just in case.
I'm starting to miss exercising at this point, even though I'm tired I just want to move! Just have to be patient and it will all be worth it to see how much easier yoga and running are!
Got my period yesterday morning and I am so...
Got my period yesterday morning and I am so uncomfortable with swelling! I actually took two Tylenol 3s last night it was so bad. I've always experienced swelling and breast soreness before and during my period so I expected this, but it is a bummer because I had just started to feel normal again. Oh well, this will pass. The good thing is I feel comfortable taking my bra off for the first time in my life so that helped! I am able to sleep without the incline now and partially on my side which is also nice.
Part of the tape around my nipple finally came off and I am surprised at how nice and clean they look, like no stitching or incision marks at all. Not sure what method my surgeon used for them but I'm impressed! I will probably wait until Tuesday to do my week 3 pics since I have an appointment on Monday and am hoping the nipple and vertical incision tape will all come off then. All of the lower underneath tape has been off for a few days. I will ask about starting some type of scar treatment at my next appointment.
Sorry I haven't updated since my appointment, I...
Sorry I haven't updated since my appointment, I have been wiped out by a massive head cold these past few days. I'm starting to feel better now. My appointment on Monday went well, everything looks like it is healing perfectly and she said I can resume my normal exercising and routine next week! So I plan on starting with incline walking on the treadmill and maybe a pilates DVD. I'm not going to return to yoga yet, but then the session is out until July so I will begin that then. I can also start scar treatment (lotion and massaging) next week and she also said no restrictions on bras either, but I still find that I feel better wearing the surgical bra for the majority of the day and night. My right side is still more swollen and a bit tender. Left is doing awesome, and I'm so surprised since I had 705 g removed from that side! Just one quick photo today because I'm still not feeling 100% thanks to this cold. I hope everyone else is doing well!
I got my first "you've lost weight" comment this...
I got my first "you've lost weight" comment this weekend! This is from someone that I'm not telling about the surgery so I just say yes, I've lost about 5 pounds... and the person got a strange look on their face so I quickly changed it to '5 or 10' and they said, no way, it looks like way more than that! So I said "maybe it's the shirt" and they said "yes.... maybe, but it still looks like you've lost a LOT more!" Isn't it amazing how 3 pounds off in this area changes the whole look of a person?
I had the anchor style reduction with almost 3 lbs of tissue removed (620 from right and 705 from left). Everything went smoothly with my surgery, I am very happy with all aspects of the care I received.
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars