Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
Smaller boobies here I come!
- updated 11 months ago
- Worth It
- Cost: $9,100
- Pasadena, CA
Hi.... I am in a quite different place then most...
- 29 Nov 2011
In short, I am heart broken because trying to pay for this surgery has been a terrible emotional roller coaster, and it now looks like it's not going to happen for quite some time...
Let me first introduce myself... My name is Aimee and I am getting a masters in PolySci with the hopes of working for a nonprofit next year when I finish. I'm an itty bitty thing (except for the boobies of course ) at 5'2" and 125lbs. I'm also a 32H cup. I've honestly never had a problem with being built like a tiny Christina Hendricks and have been blessed to be oblivious/self confident enough not to be bothered by the leers and jeers over the years...
Then the back pain came! Over two years I went from no pain ever, to occasional pain sometimes, to what I now term "all of the pain all of the time".
So I decided to kiss the twins good bye for the health of my body and I was ready! I got recommendations form my GP and a chiro then found a good surgeon who took my insurance (BCBS of GA...Where I lived pre college) that was when the hell began...
After an amazing consult the docs finance guy started telling me that I should "pay out of pocket"... When I made it clear that as a student there was NO WAY for me to do that, they quit taking my calls. I was heart broken. I'd never heard of this happening before, but I guess they lie about taking insurance to get you in the door. I looked at all the other Pasadena docs who take my insurance and all I can say is EEK!! I wouldn't let them work on my dog. Maybe I am too picky or something but good lord... misshapen breasts, horrible scars, etc. etc. And most of them have been docs for very, very short periods of time.
I'm a pretty resourceful girl, so I came up with two alternate routs to get this funded... The first was to dip into a college fund my great grandfather set up for me and take out a little money for this. I have gotten lots of scholarships so it's still quite healthy. The trustee in charge said he was totally fine with it, and to book a date! I met with two more docs (who didn't take insurance) fell madly in love with one and booked January 10th :D I was over the moon!
Three days later I am getting a call from the trustee saying my mom went behind my back and blocked the payment by the bank :( I was so depressed. I was shocked. I confronted her but she lied about it so I couldn't even get any closure. I should have known something was up when she went from telling me to just "live with my back pain" and that all I needed was to "lose weight and go for a walk" to being eerily calm and supportive...
My last resort was to apply for a loan so I sucked it up and went for it.... and I was denied. Not surprisingly not very many people want to give a loan to a grad student with 20k in educational debt, who's husband has 275k (he's a doctor in his residence right now... so someday we will have a bit of money most likely, but as of now we are hand to mouth both living on students incomes.... I called and canceled the procedure. It broke my heart
I could maybe put this out of my mind and live with it, accepting that it just doesn't seem like it's going to happen right now, unless I take my husbands advice and start selling boob squeezes until I raise the money ( I have a very silly adorable husband) except that I have bad daily pain to remind me of the problem... And now I have crashing self esteem.
The funny thing is once my breasts started causing my pain I no longer felt like a mini Christine Hendricks... I felt like I was deformed. Heavy. Unattractive. Matronly. I had already reconciled myself with the changes to come twice....First when finding a great doc who "took my insurance", then when I thought I could draw from my college fund..... Now I am having a lot of trouble getting back to the old body love...
To make matters worse doing it in two years when I will likely have a job and some means of some sort will put it within 3 years of when we had planned to have a child... Something you are not supposed to do according to the docs I talked to. So now where am I? 8 years more with these things? 10? 15?
And there is simply no way we will have 9,100 in the nest few years. For me to take on an extra job would mean sacrificing the degree I have worked for over half a decade for... We have nothing to sell... I simply don't think it can be done and I have to find a way to accept it :(
Thank you for reading... Any encouragement is welcome...I'm sure there must be some women around here who went through this...Updated on 1 Dec 2011:Hi wonderful real self ladies :) So after the encouragement I have reopened the search for a doc within my insurance network. It is true that after clicking link after link of TERRIBLE work, or doctors with 0 web presence (which tells me they are very early in their career) I got frustrated.... BUT just because it is going to be a lot harder to find a doc this way doesn't mean I won't.... And hey, I have nothing better to do while I try to save up money, right?
I have realized that some of the doctors on the list are professors at really prestigious teaching hospitals around here.. After a few calls I found out that you can request NOT to be a teaching case and still see these docs... I've lined up a consult with one lady who is a true expert in boobies... She even has a center named after here... We'll see how it goes!Updated on 2 Dec 2011:I have one more insurance option to consider :) My wonderful OB/GYN made a call today and got me an appointment with the chief of plastic surgery at the hospital my husband works at. Online his work looks pretty good, and I have no doubt the guy is a good doctor! I'm excited!Updated on 3 Dec 2011:Feeling brave tonight (no liquid courage involved, I swear!!) so I am going to post some "before" pictures :D
I firmly believe that as far as very large breasts go they are by far not the ugliest ones in the world.... That is a lot of the reason that it took me so long after the back pain got so bad to reach this decision.
Any oh man I should have taken pictures in my early 20's.... they looked like the arms up pic 24 hours a day :p
Feels a bit liberating to post them!Updated on 6 Dec 2011:Quick update: Tomorrow I am meeting with one of the two Dr's recommended by my Ob/Gyn who takes my insurance out of network. This means I would have to pay my 4,000$ deductible, but I actually have really close to that, unlike the 9,100 to do it privately.
His name is Dr. Robert Applebaum, and he seems to do a lot of short scar technique. I'm a bit up in the air about short scar... So far the other two surgeons I have met with said I would get the best results from an anchor since I am so large. Who knows, he might say the same, but if he recommends a shorts scar and I like him a lot I will have a ton of research to do :D
I have also only gotten glimpses of his work on his web site so far (two cases).... It is very good, but I am soooo mercilessly picky. I need to see a LOT more to know how I really feel.
Will update you ladies tomorrow :D This could be good!
I also have the consult with the chief of Plastic Surgery at my hubby's hospital NEXT Mon. He takes my insurance out of network too. Lots of updates coming!Updated on 6 Dec 2011:Oh laides... thank you for all the support so far...
Today was such a disappointment :( The doctor was wonderful, and we discussed everything I would have hoped, but then once I got back to his insurance lady she explained to me why I keep getting turned down by docs who "take my insurance"...
So, as stated, I have a 4g deductible. It seems that money that I PAY goes to the insurance company and AGANST the doctor. So, if the insurance company agreed to pay the doctor 5g, my 4g deductible goes AGAINST that. I pay it and the insurance company keeps it out of the doctors 5g...
SO CRAZY!!! Another reason we need serious insurance reform.... But it also seems I will not be able to find a good doc who will do it for less then 1g take away and I understand why!!
Ugh :( I am so sad. I don't think insurance will be an option for me here. That leaves me pretty optionless.... This is getting to heart breaking and I would love to be done with it but this daily back pain tells me otherwise....Updated on 7 Dec 2011:To add to my issues, I woke up this morning and car barely turn my head or lift my left arm :( For some reason the shoulder pain escalated to an all new high last night :( Trying to decide if I need to go to the doctor or ER right now....Updated on 10 Dec 2011:So-- quick update. Here is where I stand. I was instructed to reapply to take money out of my college fund by the trustee. I collected a lot of proof and gave a great argument. My mother decided to punish me for asking by shutting off all benefits to me from my college fund. I have no idea what to do. Friends and my in laws have told me to lawyer up. Since I have a little sister involved I don't think it is the thing to do. The reality is I think she can deny me access to my money, then take it herself, and there is nothing I can do.
Hubby and I were denied for a loan. Still heartbroken over this issue. The pain is getting worse. I visited another doctor in hopes of finding a bandaid and he told me thinking but a breast reduction would stop the pain at a 32H and anything else would be a waist of time and money.
I am thinking about dropping out of grad school and getting a job... But I have to find one first. Here in Cali we are at 17% unemployment. I am in so much pain I broke down crying at the closing party for one of my classes in front of everyone.
I genuinely have no idea what to do. I have no idea how a mother can be this cruel to her child... I talked to her today and she told me "she was sorry I was in pain but I needed to learn to get a few jobs while in grad school like everyone else instead of looking for handouts".... I guess money from the college fund my grandma set up for me before her death last year is a handout?
I am thinking I might need to stay away from this site for a while because seeing all the women getting to move on with their lives without all the pain is too hard.
If I had better insurance I wouldn't be going through this. Under my grandma my college fund provided better insurance. After her death my mom paired it down to the cheapest insurance possible, hence my super high deductibles and no doctor being willing to work with me.
I am a girl who got into a difficult to get into college, graduated with a 3.9 in 2 1/2 years, got into grad school, and genuinely believes that I can do whatever I set my mind to, but ladies this is breaking me. Nothing I do helps, and now because I asked for the help I needed my tuition might not be paid next semester...
I genuinely don't know what to do.Updated on 12 Dec 2011:Today I am feeling better... I'm just going to have to accept that this is not going to happen right now when I want it to.... And not for lack of trying. I can rest knowing I truly exhausted every option, and look forward to doing this in the future.
In one year I will be done with my masters, and able to get a job. In six months I will be able to go on my husbands health insurance (have to wait for the next enrollment period) and have a normal, 250$ deductible instead of the 5,000$ I currently carry. All the doctors who couldn't work with me now because of my deductible will likely be able to to then, and it would be wonderful to do this over the summer!
Honestly, I am glad that I learned how awful the insurance my family had put me on was, and how much better my husbands is. If one of these doctos had taken me I could have paid 4,750$ more in deductible, then 30% of the total instead of the 15% on my husbands plan. That is a LOT of money to do it six months earlier!! And I may have let my family keep me on that awful plan for years... Then if something serious had happened I would have been genuinely screwed. Just imagine if I had gotten into a car accident and needed a million dollars of care... I would have been at the very least 300,000$ in the hole. God works in mysterious ways (so cliche) and I think there were some things I needed to learn here.
But, if once I get on my husbands insurance I have trouble getting approved, or I can't do it over the summer for some other reason, I am going to have to accept that. I have prayed over the issue. It will happen when God is ready.
One great things has come out of this: I have realized how truly, truly sick my mothers treatment of me over the last few years has become. I was in total denial, but now I know. Now I can deal with it head on. Maybe that is why God put me in this situation to begin with... There was a lot here that I needed to see.
In the meantime, I am going to hang around here and cheer all of you ladies on :) Thank you for all the support so far! I am going to keep doing the things that have helped a little in the past.... regular massages, custom fit super expensive bras, and avoiding super strenuous exercise (frowny face here because running in the winter in Cali is the best)...
I've done everything I can!! It's in God's hands now. I can accept that :) For a while at least ;)Updated on 21 Dec 2011:So here is where I am: I got a part time job that would raise enough money to get the surgery by mid summer if going on my husbands insurance doesn't work out.
Also, I found one doc with great reviews who says she WILL take my insurance, high deductible and all. The catch is I can't see any of her work until I get there.... I am SO picky, I am very skeptical.... BUT she is a teacher at a really highly ranked medical school out here specializing in breast plastic surgery.... Seems like she would have to be pretty good, right? We'll see.
That is on January 15th :)
BTW, one more small good thing to come out of this crazy, terrible situation-- the part time job is amazing! It's with a not for profit woman's health org I really admire, and they are super comfortable with being flexible with my school schedule. I am really glad I found it!
On the bad side, my shoulder pain has really been escalating.... It's not longer even responding at all to over the counter meds, and the strong scrip stuff still helps, but so many side effects it's barely worth it. Intense pain, or nausea and tiredness coupled with a general high feeling? Gee. Great choice.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I hate how...
- 28 Dec 2011
I hate how updates are no longer broken up by date :( Adding the +'s to make the updated portion findable.
Well ladies... I held of writing this until I was absolutely POSITIVE because this has been such a rough journey of ups and downs.... but....
I got my Christmas miracle!!!!
It is so interesting how when you ask you higher power for something you truly need it will happen.... even if in a way you never would have expected. In my case, I was very focused on getting this done through big solutions... Taking out a loan to cover the whole cost, insurance, putting grad school aside and getting a job, etc... and what happened? It happened piecemeal and out of nowhere, of course!
For the past few months I've had 2,000$ saved up. I need 9,000. Never thought I would get there any time soon.... but... I got about 800$ in random Christmas money, so there is 2,800. My wonderful in laws who are aware of the situation gave me 1,000 more. That puts me at 3,800. My amazing uncle, who is also aware of the situation called me and offered me 3,000 more, free and clear, as a gift and because he knows someday when I am out of school I will make it up to him somehow. He hinted a family vacation would be nice :) Really wish my mom could deal with me in this way....That put me at 6,800! I have been offered a part time job which should easily get me the rest in a few months, but since it is so close my hubby said he is OK with me putting the rest on a credit card, borrowing it from his savings, etc. if the job falls through.... Soooooooooo....
I contacted the office of the surgeon I felt the best with and put down a deposit for my spring break on March 27th :D :D :D
It's official!!!!!!!!! It's happening!!!!!!!!!!
Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it.... Now how am I going to wait until March 27th?!
- 9 Jan 2012
Hi Ladies :D *wave*
So, as you can imagine, life is pretty good over here! I still have a ton of shoulder and back pain every single day, but it is funny how much more tolerable it is when there is an end date in sight!
I have picked a doctor, and checked that he is available the date I need, but I am not going to put down the deposte until the end of the month. I am enjoying the possibilities right now, and feeling out two more possible doctor options just because why not? One takes my insurance (and I already went over the deductible issues with her, and she promises she will take it.... Of course I have heard that before so we will see), and one is out of state, so that is an unlikely possibility, but good gosh is his work good!
I have also been thinking a lot about gathering the things I need... I know my doc will tell me what he wants me to have as far as surgical bras go, but I am thinking about things like button front pajamas, and a wedge pillow for sleeping (We don't have recliner, and I doubt I could sleep in one anyway... I found a wedge to be very comfy after I had my nose rebroken and repaired 7 yrs ago though)... All the little things! I want to enjoy gathering them, and knowing that it IS going to happen over my spring break :)
I have also discovered a new hobby of asking women, discreetly of course, what their bra size is, lol! I have found that most of the women I think are perfect and bother to ask are 32D's.... Great! That sounds like a wonderful size to me... of course docs can't promise sizes, but this little exercise has helped me to realize that the pics I am looking at and loving are actually a size I would want. If, on the other hand, women who are about the size of the pictures I am showing the doc, were all 36DD's, I would know i had a problem, because that would still be an F cup on my frame...
Quick update-- I found a doctor I like who will...
- 25 Jan 2012
Here are the things I am mulling over:
-- Takes my insurance
-- Is very clinical and precise... Noticed things about my breasts others did not.
-- LISTENED! After I told her what I wanted in, say, nipple size, she actually went through her book and showed me pictures similar to that to make sure were on the same page.
-- Works at a really highly respected educational institution as a Professor of breast surgery... she is up on all the latest techniques, and plans to use a short scar under the breast, which I like because from what I have seen that leaves the most natural shape.
-- With my schedule the best day for me to get this done will be Friday or Monday, and she does surgery those days.
-- CON: She uses drains, and those seem to make recovery a lot more miserable.
-- CON: Rotating anesthesiologists... could be anyone.
-- No insurance, but rate is reasonable (for LA)
-- I adore the way he shapes breasts... he gets this thing I call "milk maid" breasts, lol! They are very round and full, with a tiny high nipple.
-- He listened well too, although he did not prove comprehension by giving me examples of what we were discussing like she did.
-- I really like the credentials of his anesthesiologist, which is important to me, since I have a few allergies and the cocktail will have to be mixed a special way.
-- I like the idea of a private surgical center vs. a hospital because hospitals are grimy and crawling with things like MRSA.
-- CON: Obviously, the extra 5,000$
-- CON: he only does surgery on Tuesdays and Thursdays... This will effectively cut 4 days off my healing time with how my schedule is arranged.
-- CON: I do get a little bit of an assembly line feel from him.... But if I like what the line is assembling (which I do) then maybe this is not a con.
So that is where I am! All in all I am super excited and ready to get this over with!
I HAVE A DATE!!!!! Can you believe it?! I can...
- 28 Jan 2012
I will be having surgery on March 15th.... Just seven short weeks from now :)
Whoops :p Just got my confirmation packet and I...
- 29 Jan 2012
Hi guys... I am having a full on five alarm freak...
- 4 Feb 2012
Here are the issue...
The first is that I was told he DOES NOT use drains or removable stitches.... the packet says I will have stitches around the nipple which will be removed at 7 days, and stitches along the incision which will stay in for two weeks...
It also says I will have drains. One of the main things I chose this doctor for was the lack of drains. As silly as that is, it was a deciding factor for me.
Next, there is a big old form saying I am not allowed to post on blogs like this :/ I am assuming this is Ok as long as I don't share his name with anyone, but who knows? And why doesn't he want his patients talking online?
Lastly, and most importantly to me, it says I must have a mammogram three weeks before surgery or I lose my deposit... I clearly asked him if this was needed and was told no because I am under 30. I asked again at scheduling and was again told no. Then here is a packet saying I will lose my deposit if I don't... Why does this matter to me so much? Because it is not standard (do a search here and you will see that most docs say mamos in women under 30 with large, dense breasts pre-reduction are neither necessary NOR effective, and if indicated due to family history an ultrasound of MRI should be done instead), and my insurance doesn't think I need it and won't pay.... So there is 500$ more to add for an ineffective test I was told I wouldn't have to purchase...
But most importantly.... All of these things are contradictory to thinks I was told and discussed with the doctor... How am I supposed to trust I will come out the size we talked about? Or won't be given the antibiotic that makes me sick? etc. where there is this little consistency?
Am I over reacting, or are these valid issues? Should I try to get my deposit back?
Ummm, can March 22nd hurry up and get here...
- 19 Feb 2012
So, I've been gathering things and making lists... These are my gathers so far:
-- Two zip up sweatshirts. One to wear to surgery, and one to wear to my follow up the day after.
-- Two sets of button front pajamas.
-- Wedge pillow
-- 7 day pill organization box
-- Funny movies for the first 24hrs spent in the hotel post surgery
I have also been hit with a new paralyzing fear... That they will still be too big after surgery!! I want to come out of surgery a D cup... I swear I would name my first born after my doctor if he can land me right in a D (totally only kinda kidding, haha!), but of course they can't guarantee size... And I have become very afraid that since I am so petite to begin with, with such huge boobies... I mean, theoretically he could do a significant reduction... Take three whole cup sizes off... and I would still be an E cup!
Urg. I am going in the week before the surgery for another consult, and I am going to stress that while I made it very clear I didn't want to be too small at my first consult I will he heart broken if I don't end up in standard cup sized bras after this!
My doc has pictures of HUGE reductions on his page so I'm sure he can do it.... But, it has totally become my new thing to obsess over.
Can March 22nd get here?!
MY BRAIN HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!!!!! I'm not...
- 13 Mar 2012
I'm not sure if it's the fact that I have been feeling a little under the weather or that I now only have 8 more days to wait until surgery, but my brain is totally shot. I cannot think about anything, or do anything in more then a half brained, scattered way :/
I have a paper due in about 30 hours and I haven't begun. This is super, super unusual for me!! Even at my worst, say, when I have a flu with a fever, or have been through some sort of a tragedy, I keep up with my school work. I did finals on the plan home from my grandmothers funeral!! Every time I try to do something though my brain simply refuses to engage, and I get frustrated and go back to distracting trashy TV.
I think I am just going to have to deal. I'm going to have to muddle through the next week of assignments and take my B's on them.
I am also having trouble organizing for surgery :/ I should be thinking about doing laundry to pack my bags, taking things to the dry cleaner since I won't be able to pick them back up for a while post op, doing bulk shopping so we don't run out of things like paper towels over my first two weeks post op, and preparing meals to freeze so I have good healthy food to eat during my recovery, but it's the same with the studying... I will start doing something, then make silly mistakes, get frustrated, and stop. "Ok, today I will make crock pot meals to freeze and heat up, and some soups and broths for the first few days"... Then I go to the store with a list and inevitably forget something very important. Come home, realize it, and decide to go back to watching Real Housewives! Uuuuurrrrrrgggg.
I also thought I would be obsessed with surgery at this point, but oddly I am not thinking about that either... seriously, it's like my brain went "That's enough. I'm checking out." Meeeeh. I really thought I would be antsy and ready to go at this point.....Not so frustratingly blah.
Hi guys!! It's almost time!!! So, yesterday was my...
- 17 Mar 2012
Today I got everything ready. I did all my grocery shopping for me, my husband, and our pets for the next three weeks (obviously except fruits and veggies) then stocked and organized the kitchen. Foods that I am focusing on for my recovery are:
-- Blue berries
-- Protein shakes
-- Chicken soup
-- Kale chips
-- Sweet potatoes
-- Microwave popcorn (good source of fiber actually!)
-- Greek yogurt
-- Almonds and pistachios
-- coconut water
-- and a few comfort and emergency foods such as: sprite and gluten free crackers in case of nausea, classic lays and cheetoes in case of caloric comfort being needed.
This is pretty much my normal diet, nothing really altered on it for the surgery except that I left out a few of the salt and garlic bombs I usually like :) My doc has warned me that too much of either is bad for the first few weeks. I'm also going to try to avoid unnatural sources of sugar, since I have to imagine blood sugar surges are bad for healing. We'll see how that one goes ;p
I also stocked up all of the food for out pets, and did all of our dry cleaning since I am not counting on being able to haul around bags of cloths for a while :)
I feel really ready! Five more nights before the girls get downsized! Can't wait!!
Well, here we are!! In just 24 hours I will be...
- 21 Mar 2012
The only thing that gave me any pause was waking up snug and warm in my bed this morning. I was keenly aware that that wouldn't happen again for a while. Tomorrow I will be yanked out of bed extra early, then I have a feeling it will be hard to get super comfortable for at least the first few weeks. It's quite a small price to pay for not spending my afternoons and evenings in pain for the rest of my life though!
Today I will check into the hotel, hopefully get a few hours of sleep, then it's off to surgeon's office at 8AM!
Hi guys! God gosh and I drugged up, so I will...
- 22 Mar 2012
Hi Ladies! Day two and I am doing well :)...
- 23 Mar 2012
Day two and I am doing well :) Yesterday I was actually in a surprising amount of pain... I'm not sure if it was everyone always saying you just feel sore making my pain expectation overly low or what, but I felt like all of my incisions were on fire :-/ My hubbs called the surgeon and got me switched from vicodan to percacet and that did the trick. So, I had about three hours of bad pain then it was over. This afternoon I felt well enough to go back to the vicodan.
I was really scared to look at them today too! I was positive they would be totally disgusting looking, but they actually aren't. They look quite nice! Right now they look like pointy little cone boobies with nice pink tiny round nipples. This makes me really happy because from what I've sen it's the boobies that are really "stacked" to begin with that fall down into a perky and full shape. I will post some pics within the next few days.
Oh! And all the strain from my neck and back is GONE! I go to stand up and feel myself bunch and contort in such an unnatural way out of habit, then I remind myself to put my shoulders down and stand strait and it feels like a 35lbs. weight has been removed from my neck :)
Day three! All is going well. I am at that stage...
- 25 Mar 2012
On the plus side, I haven't needed any pain relievers at all today! Not even tylenol. I'm simply not in any pain, which is awesome. I am also already surprised how much they have dropped and filled out in just three days. They look a good bit bigger and more breast shaped then they did the first day. That cone boob look is fading!
Both nipples are pink, which I believe is a good sign, and even better then that they are both reactive! When I took a shower this afternoon they both jumped up. Yay! only one had sensation though... Honestly, I'm not worried about it at all. If they are both reactive and only one has sensation forever, I don't really care that much... Although the doctor says it will most likely get sensation back, it just needs more time.
Hi guys! Time for a big update and some...
- 28 Mar 2012
So, surgery day was a breeze. I got to center at the time I was supposed to, was put into a surgical gown, fuzzy socks, and given an anti-nausea tablet. I was also given an antibacterial wipe to use across my chest, and a portable heater that plugged into my gown called a bear paw (my husband let me know that the giant portable heater they use for hypothermics is called a bear hug... cute naming for medical devices!). I was pretty calm! Then my doctor came in and we talked about size one more time and he took me to the marking room where we casually chatted about politics and movies. I appreciated that he marked me, took a closer look, decided he could do better, then started over on one. It looks like it paid off because they seem very even!
From there I went to the OR. I expected to be terrified walking in since I can't tolerate anti-anxiety drugs and was going natural until the full sedation, but I think I did OK. The nurse put the mask on me, then decided to take it off for a second to ask the color of my nail polish, haha! It IS an excellent red.
The next thing I knew four hours had passed and I woke up feeling like I had to pee more then I have ever had to pee in my entire life! I was rushed to the bathroom where I felt like I peed buckets, and then it hit me that I was in pain :-/ A LOT OF PAIN. It felt like my incisions were on fire. They took me back to recovery and gave me an IV pain med and a vicodan, but it didn't do the trick.
We went back to the hotel where I took a second vicodan and a nap, and it still didn't do the trick. This was surprising to me because most people don't report a ton of pain after this procedure, but I think the a few things may have been at play. First, I was quite active right away since I had to pee so badly. No happily and slowly coming about. I was probably not delicate and gentile with myself like I should have been. Second, I have a tolerance to vicodan since I have been talking it a few times a week for my back pain over the last few months. At any rate, my husband called the surgeon and got me switched to perkaset and that did the trick. No more pain!
It was a pretty crazy drug though :-/ I basically drifted in and out of sleep for the first the first day, having strange auditory hallucinations as I did. My hubbs told me this is normal with pain killers. None of them were scary, I would just hear weird conversations I kind of knew weren't real.
Day two was much better! I traded back down to vicodan. I went into the doctor for my 24 hour check up and as soon as I showed them to him he said "wow!", haha! I guess he was pleased with his work :p I was terrified to see them, but they actually weren't scary at all! I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that he used all internal stitches. No frankenboobies. Just taped up little cone boobies.
I had mixed emotions about the cones. On one hand, I know from reading blogs that these tend to heal the best. Gravity drops them down into something perky and full, that you don't seem to get if you come out of the OR with a great shaped breast to begin with. Yet, there I was thinking they looked so small and pointy, and the majority of the mass of the breast seemed to sit above the nipple. It's VERY VERY hard not to go "I don't like them :-(" at this phase, and I was definitely sort of bummed out for day 2-4. I also felt like my emotions were flat. I didn't have the attention span to watch TV or read a book so I kind of just sat. I tend to be quite emotionally strong, and very rarely experience any sort of depression, but I would say I was depressed from day 2-4. Then at day 5 I seemed to turn a corner. I woke up and it was as if my brain had enough energy to spare some on feelings finally.
Now, at day 6,I am feeling great! I actually cooked dinner last night, and went and bought a few stretchy gap body sports bras today. My energy is of course still low, but I feel functional. Every day seems to be a little better! I have also stopped seeping finally, which I think means my incisions are closing. Another sign they are closing-- My boobs itch like crazy!! Urg. I am trying very hard not to scratch and am instead just gentily passing my finger over the itches when they come. It works OK.
I will keep you guys updated, but for now I feel like I am though the woods.
Oh, and one more thing... Not a single pinch of shoulder pain since surgery! Wahoo!
- 28 Mar 2012
Hi guys, quick update! Went in for a one week...
- 29 Mar 2012
I also want to say how much I am in love with my docs follow up. I emailed him in the middle of the night that I was itchy and he responded first thing. I'm very glad I went with him!
Ten days out! I feel great! Most of my incisions...
- 1 Apr 2012
I am actually kind of surprised how fast these first ten days passed! Every time I get frustrated about not being sleep on my side (which seems to be reinvigorating my back pain) I try to remind myself that ten more days will pass in a flash too, and pretty soon this will all just be a distant memory, only rememberable by the sight of my awesome new boobies :)
Day 12! This is where I stand: The difference...
- 3 Apr 2012
The difference in my energy level now and before surgery is negligible. I think this has something to do with the fact that my back was so bad I would usually be in too much pain after 5-6 hrs in a bra to keep doing most things anyway... Now, yes, I am exhausted after 5-6hrs. out of the house, but life feels pretty normal! So interesting to think how much MORE I will be able to do in a few weeks! Wow!
I am still oozing from one annoying breast. For some reason having this small opening makes me CRAZY!!!! I feel like because there is an opening at any moment it could spread and the whole incision could open back up. I also feel like I am at a really high risk for infection... Did I touch my dog then my bra? Did I wash my fingers well enough after cooking that chicken before adjusting my bra? etc. etc. Hate. It. Plus it teases me every day. I wake up to no oozing... Sometimes no oozing until 8PM and I go "finallllly!!!!! It's closed!!!!!!"..... then it starts oozing again :( Plus the area has widened, so I can tell it is going to form a scar shaped exactly like this --=--- right along one of my vertical incisons. It is actually almost exactly this size too: = . So tiny yet it is making me crazy!
Sleeping... In a bizarre turn of events I found I could sleep on my side last night, but didn't want to?! I ended up back on my back. Interesting. I'm going to stick with the back as long as I can since it now seems to be my preference :)
Food... I have a bag of cut up cucumber, a dish of pineapple, and fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice in my fridge and I put one in my mouth each time I walk by it. I am hoping this will help the hole to close up, but have a feeling I am being a little over hopeful with that one. I think it just helps me feel like there is something I can do proactively to close it.
I have a follow up on Friday for my two week appointment, and will hopefully get some answers about this hole. I kind of wish he would just numb me up and put another stitch in, but I have a feeling the solution won't be that easy :( I think this is one of those things that will take weeks to months to go away completely :( Meh.
I am just trying to remember that at some point in the not so distant future this hole will be nothing but a tiny distant memory or annoyance, and I will have no back pain, wear normal cloths, etc. etc.... Buuuut.... I still just want it to close! Lol!
Well ladies here we are at two weeks!! I made a...
- 5 Apr 2012
Hello! It has been three weeks since my surgery!!...
- 12 Apr 2012
This week has been really good! The main point of excitement for me this week has been that all of my incisions finally closed about three days ago! Wahoo! no more oozing! And thank goodness, because I was really not down for going back to class with maxi pads stuffed in my bra :-/
Going back was fine, as my energy seems to be back to its normal levels. I am also beginning to gain some range of motion back. I am no longer afraid to reach for things over my head.
I am also seeing a lot of the scabbing clear up this week. Good old fast healing lefty has no more scabs. Righty has a few small ones left.
The negatives of this third week of healing is a funny shape (which you will see in my pictures) and over sensitive skin. With regard to the funny shape, I can tell that it is the breast mass beginning to fall into a tear drop, but it's only about 1/3 of the way there. So, instead of an over perky breast like I had before it began to fall I have an odd shape where 2/3 of the tissue sits above the nipple and 1/3 below. Yuck. I know it will even out, but not fun to look at right now.
As for the skin... Last week my doctor had me begin to massage in the shower with a soapy washcloth. This has been great for clearing away dead skin, scabs, etc. and I am hopeful it will allow me to bypass the dreaded itchy phase. After the shower he has me coating the whole breast in a protective petrolium ointment (aquaphore). This seems to be working really well! Every time I get a little itchy or dry it is gone after my shower, and aside from the fact that aquaphore is a real pain to get out of clothing I have no complaints... But, the skin does feel like it has heightened sense. For instance, the slight movement of my breasts inside of my bra while doing something like driving feels like rubbing them on a very scratchy surface. Annoying.
I am also fitting into a D cup this week, but just barely. Hopefully I will drop another 1/3 to 1/2 a cup size and land smack in the middle of that D cup, but if not I may end up on the line between D and DD, which is fine with me. I would rather be there then the line between C and D! Plus, when you are a 32 a DD is really not all that huge... Looks about like a 36C. The whole 32 factor was the reason I was scared to go below a D. I have a girlfriend who is a 32C but just barely (almost a B) and people make cracks about how she has no boobs all the time :-/ Too small!
ONE MONTH UPDATE!!!!!!! Wahoo!!! So here is...
- 22 Apr 2012
So here is what one month loos like for me:
Pain: There is hardly any. I did have a friend hug me too tightly yesterday and it hurt a tiny bit. almost exactly like when you are hormonal and your boobs are a bit swollen, which makes sense, since they ARE a bit swollen.
Sleep: I can now sleep normally in any position I like :) Yay!!!
Self image: I have been shopping up a story y'all! Whatever price they give you, pad it in your head for new cloths!! I mentioned to someone else around here somewhere that I am fashion obsessed, so I wasn't wearing ill fitting cloths to begin with. I was having things altered for my H cups, or seeking out rare styles that worked with them. As a result very few things in my closet fit well after my reduction :(... Some I will have altered again, others will be bid farewell.... At ant rate, I have been having a lot of fun trying on all sorts of styles and it is SO FUN when something I never could have worn before fits like a glove!
Other people's perceptions: No one has asked me if I've had a breast reduction... All the comments have been about what diet I'm on because I've lots 20lbs. So amazing. I also ended up showing them to 8 of my girlfriends in the bathroom a few night ago (it's LA, we all have little surgical adjustments to share.... sad but true stereotype) and I was scared they were still frankesteiny, but I could see in all their faces that they thought they looked great. So now I'm warming up to showing my husband. We both agreed it would be best for him not see them until they are out of their most freankenboob stage.
Size: My breast shape has changed a LOT since day 1. They have softened, and they giggle, and they fall down into fullness instead of being cones.... Now the good news for some and the bad news for others.... As far as size goes, they have only changed a tiny bit. The first week I filled out a D cup nicely (just what I asked for!) and today I fill out a D cup nicely. The bra of course fits very differently, as before it was just sort of laying over cones, and now my breasts actually fall into the cups, but it still fits. In my case I don't think my size is going to change dramatically from day one out. My surgeon doesn't either. if I gain or lose any more cup sizes it will be 1/4 to 1/2 a size, so I think I can pretty safely call a D cup. Which is awesome!! that is exactly what I asked for!! I wanted to be Scarlett Johansen, not Jennifer Anniston, and I got it.
Asymmetry: It is slowly but surely getting better! My asymmetry seemed to peak in week three, when one had dropped and the other hadn't. At this point they are still a little uneven, but it literally gets better each day. There was a solid week though where they were so uneven one looked bigger then the other in cloths and I was so scared people would notice!! It is normal and it does get better.
Energy: It's better then it ever was!!! Not having so many back issues has given me more energy then I've had in years!
Back pain: This is of course why I had the surgery.... I wish I could say it's 100% gone, but it's more like 70% gone. If I find myself doing something that involved leaning over (ie: into the position my breasts put me in for a decade) it pops back up, but it is far less intense. I think with issues as far progressed as mine I will also need physical therapy... That is OK. I feel like this reduction cleared the way for me to stop doing damage and start healing, but it wasn't a magic bullet.
Lastly, let me just sum up by saying I am SUPER HAPPY! I am so glad I picked the doctor I did, and although most of this first months was hard I feel like I am in the clear now... I can see how worth it it was.
And now for the best part... The pictures!
Ahhhh! I've gained a few lbs :-/ Nothing massive,...
- 25 Apr 2012
One week from today will be my six week follow up so here is hoping I will be cleared from all restrictions and able to start working out again before I gain MORE weight!!
Also, one day shy of five weeks today, I was finally able to sleep without a bra last night. Felt sooo good.
Well ladies today I am FRUSTRATED!!!!!! My six...
- 1 May 2012
I went to get some new wireless "real bras" today instead of the stretchy pull over's I've been wearing. I didn't expect it to be a delightful experience, but I also didn't realize it would be quite as frustrating as it was. For one thing, I measured at and fit a 34C (!!!!!). I know to a lot of you that sounds like heaven, but I'm a girl who went outside my insurance network and paid out of pocket largely BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO GO DOWN TO A C!! I still wanted to be big. Really big! I would have been fine with a DD. I had two consults with the doctor instead of one just to stress I didn't want to be a C... it was the last thing I said before going into the OR... "Not as small as a C!" and he said "Oh yes, I agree."
However, I am also normally a 32 band and have been my whole life, so I'm not sure what's up. Maybe there is more swelling along my sides then I realize and I will eventually be a 32D instead of a 34C, so I can deal for right now... But that is not the end of my frustration...
Next on my list... Wireless bras are all granny. Ok, this isn't and issue with my boobs so I can deal. I will be out of these things in about 5 months. However, one of the main things we all look forward to is no more granny bras, so you can imagine I was bummed that there was nothing cute in wirefree styles. They all looked almost exactly like my old minimizers :( Plain. Cut too high up the chest for a lot of styles of cloths I want to wear, and with really wide, nude straps. Yuck!!
And last.... Unnatural shape. Ok. After all the granny wireless, and the 34C's I decided to try on some gorgeous Calvin Klein wired bras... The sexy things I used to look at and sigh when I had H cups. I thought that would cheer me up, by my boobs honestly looked terrible in all of them. I am still more swollen (which equals upper fullness) on one side then the other so the bras always looked like they were on crooked... And instead of filling the cup up in a pretty, soft way my breasts just sort of sat there like awkward little mounds stretching the pretty bras in weird ways.
I am hopeful that all of these things will pass, but honestly I thought I would be a lot closer to normal then this at six weeks :( Swimsuit season started like yesterday, and they look really weird in swimsuits still :(
Hello everyone! I haven't updated in a while...
- 5 Jun 2012
I am currently 2 1/2 months out. There is absolutely not more pain, or over sensitivity, or itchy skin, or anything of that nature yet, and all my incision spots are firmly enough closed that I can manhandle them without fear :p My scar are beginning to fade... There are some you can't see, and others you can, but I have a feeling they will all disappear almost completely within the year. It seems that once they turn white they just blend seamlessly into my skin tone :D
As far as things I am not thrilled with... My nipples are still a little uneven in size. I'm not sure if this was surgeon error, something to do with my anatomy, or part of the smaller one died off... The effect is that they appear to be slightly wall eyed. It's not something it would be worth it to me to "fix" though, so I don't give it too much thought.
Size is a trip right now! The sales girl at Victoria's Secret measured me as right between a 34C and 34D. I can wear either, but I get more cleavage in a C and a smoother fit in a D. This is odd though, as pre-op I was always, always a 32. I had been measured in some of the best shops in the country in NY and LA where I had ridiculous bras custom fit and was always a 32.... Sooo... I'm still not sure what to make of it. In a 32 I am between a D and a DD. Sooo... It's frustrating to not know what size you are. Especially when 34C sounds itty bitty to me.
At any rate, they are NOT itty bitty. As an H cup I was used to looking at C's and thinking of them as quite flat. Enough boob to not be depressed over, but nothing miraculous to speak of, or turn a head on the street.... Well, they aren't that. On my petite frame they are actually still quite big!! When I wear something sexy they look downright huge, but when I want them to blend and not be the center of attention I can wear a bra that gives me less lift and get a smoother look. They really are that versatile Katherine Heigl look I was going for. So, I try not to get too hung up on size. Plus, I can get around my own desire to still have the best boobies in the room (which I used to equate purely with BIG) and acknowledge that super full C/small D is pretty much the perfect size.
Never mind the fact that bra size isn't all that important because I really don't need to wear one right now! I am perfectly fine in Gap body stretchy pullovers, or Ah-brahs! No need for an uncomfy underwire.
The shape is also perfection!! They are a perfect perky tear drop. They are truly one of the best shaped pairs I have ever seen, real or implanted or reduced. It's just perfect. Since shape was my #1 concern (not wanting to be flat at the bottom, or heavy at the sides, or anything but round) I would gladly take perfect shape along with an ambiguous size.
Best of all I haven't had a single bit of shoulder pain in months :) It is totally 100% gone. No more need for daily pain pills, no more having to be careful how I sit, stand, etc. I have been totally freed. All in all I am thrilled with the procedure and would do it over 100 times, even with my minor complaints.
Hi ladies! Three months!! Wow! I thought I...
- 24 Jun 2012
I thought I would drop by and update because I feel like I have had a somewhat unique experience... It's really only been in the last two weeks or so that my real shape has become visible. I had previously been expecting it around six weeks, then two months, and got very frustrated when it refused to arrive... but, finally, my swelling is starting to go away and I am losing the surgery shape and getting a beautiful sloping tear drop. I can finally say that I am beyond thrilled with them!!
As they drop, I have also begun to fill out a D cup nicely. I am exactly the size I wanted. The scars on one side have faded, and the stubborn old other one has not, but they aren't nearly as bad as the dusky light in the picture makes them seem :)