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Will write more soon...need to sleep now ;-) Cost...

will write more soon...need to sleep now ;-) Cost reflects that the breast reduction was covered by insurance. Planned this for 10 years, but didn't think I would have a tummy tuck since I thought BR would not be covered. Saved for 10 years and when insurance came through, I had enough to add the abdomioplasty.

After twins, weight gain and my final weight loss journey, I decided I was worth it. Soooo happy and only 5 days post op. Am so thankful I found this site and the wonderful women who have been so supportive and informative.

Ok, a bit more detail. I first checked into a...

Ok, a bit more detail. I first checked into a breast lift over 10 years after my girlfriend had a TT/breast lift. She showed off her results and I was sooo jealous. I was about 138 pounds at the time (had gone up to 178 in 1998 while preganant with my twins) and almost pre-pregnancy weight. I saw a PS in my town and after my exam, he told me ai would need a reduction and a lift to see results that wouls last. H evn said implants wuould be best. I did not want that and he said there was no way my insurance would cover the BR.

I had no monet at the time to have it done. So, I told my husband I would start savign and not have it done until I was down to 125 pounds and maybe wouldn't need the reduction part. During the next 10 years, I put away $ every month, but slowly yo-yo dieted enetually ending up at 170 pounds last January. Iwas an emotional mess, not a good mom, had no feelings of self worth, didn't want my husband t see me, much less have intimate relations and my marriage really started to suffer. I turned to food and my nightly wine or cocktail for solace. I also work at a cooking school, so food was the center of my life and cooking the only thing I felt I was good at.

Last January, I decided I had hit rock bottome. I told husband I wanted a treadmill for my 50th BD in Feb and wanted to make a positive change. He was worried aboutht einvestment (I wanted a decent one) and that I would follow my usual pattern. Start something, loose interest and the TM would sit there and gather dust.

Well, being the wonderful guy he is, he agreed. I started using the treadmill lightly in early Feb., got a terrible cold, stopped a few weeks and really got moticated in MArch. I had lost about 3-4 pounds. In April, I learned about a program through Rodale Press called the 400 calorie fix (I think Rachael Ray had tried it and promoted it on her show. I bought both the program book with recipes and the subsequent cookbook. You basically paln your meals around 400 calories. aiming for 3 to 4 meals a day (1200 to quick start and then 1600 calories). I was able to really stick with it since I never felt deprived, keeping up the treadmill. I added more activities like swimming in the summer, walking dogs at park and made a deal I could have a glass of wine only on the days I exercised at least 40 minutes.

By October, I was down 25 pounds and made an appt. with the PS one of my local friends had recommended. I was so shocked when he told me we should be able to get our insurqance to cover the breast reduction, which was also a lift!! Over the next months, we (the billing woman at PS who is a wonderful person) and I did all the hoop jumping the insurance company required (of course I have the company with the most strict and difficult qualifications). Finally, a ltter from an orthopedic doctor documenting my weight loss, upper back and shoulder pain, etc., etc. got the job done.

So, when I first saw PS, I started to ask about the TT, since I had lost 25 pounds and the belly looked almost worse! I decided if I got the BR covered I would also do the TT, since I had enough money saved. My husband was very supportive, even though I thought he secretly wanted a new patio with that $ I saved!! I think he will end up appreciating this a whole lot more ;)

I got the call Dec. 30 that it was approved. The PS knew I needed it done in early January due to the fact I had to be back at the cooking school by Feb 6, so they had Jan. 13th open. I jumped at the chance, put the check in the mail that day and things started to move FAST!

I had pre-admissions testing that following week, then my pre-op with PS two days before surgery. Luckily, I had called earlier to find out what meds I couldn't take, what garments I needed, etc., etc.

I never saw any pictures of my PS's work. They do not offer, was not on website and I felt wierd asking. I had seen my friend's results, but went to that appt. expecting to ask to see just a few examples. I actually chickened out. It felt ungrateful since the office had worked so hard on my behalf. I later found they would have gladly showed me some, but I put my faith in my doctor.

I was very worried about fat pouch above BB. PS said he coulod thin that as much as possible and it would be more evenly distributed over my entire abdomen. He was so goos about setting realistic expectations, assuring me he would do his best and telling me he never goes into a asurgery thinking hewill go have to do more later. He did say he couldn't o lipo in that area because all the cutting. Nerves and tissue could have been sucked away with the fat and it was just too risky. I can go back later for a touch up with lipo in that area if need be, but I really don't want have to do that and felt I don't need perfection...it would have to be so much better than what I had now!

I left for the hospital at 5:00 last Friday morning. I drove myself the almost 1 hour there so my hubby wouldn't have to make 2 round trips that day and could drive down to meet me after and he could come with my Dad, and I could see both their beloved faces and that's how both cars would get home.

Arrived at 6:00, went into pre-op at 6:30. The nurses were great. I was oddly calm at that point. Of course I had gone through a freak out of leaving the kids if something happened, feeling guilty, scared, selfish, etc., etc. But talking with my son and calming his nerves the night before helped calm me, too. I even slept 6 hours the night before surgery (amazing since I hadn't slept more than 4 any night for a week before surgery!)

I was worried about nausea, since I have had several bad experiences with that in the apst. I actually vomiited on the operating table as the twins were being delivered via c-section. Then, the anti nausea medicine (copazine) gave me a terrible reaction. I tremored violently for 3 hours after delivery. To the point my muscles were in agony and I couldn't talk or hold my babies. The anesthesiologists were very responsive to my concerns and my PS ordered zofran under my tongue 1 hour before surgery. My next fear was the IV. I have had BAD IV experiences and learned the reason is rolling veins. A nurse called for an anesthes. nurse to do the IV. She gave me a little numbing shot and decided to put my IV port in my inside elbow area. She got it first time and I did not feel it. Could have kissed her!!

Next, my PS came in and got out the Sharpie. As he marked my breats and belly, I asked about the bromelain and arnica I had read about here and he was very positive about their benefits. So, it was time to go in. They gave me a little IV sedation to calm me. They warned me as we went in the OR that it would be cold. OMG, it was freezing in there. All to keep germs at a minimum, I am sure. I joked they should all wear long johns. Luckily, they did not make me stand and bathe me. I would have froze. Have since read some have that done. Iuded the hibiclens (that of course I heard about here!) the night before and morming of. They put some oxygen over my face, told me what it was and then said I would soon be going to sleep. That was it until I looked at the clock in recovery at 1:45 (so surgery was from about 7:45 until 1:15). The PS came out to see my hubby and dad at 1:15 to say all had gone well and that they could go up to my room to wait for me.

My PS and anes. doc were first to greet me back to the world of the awake and both said I did great. I asked PS how it had gone and he said "really well, I think you will be very pleased". Music to my ears. No nausea and I was sure to thank the anes. doc for that! I was so glad to wake up, know I had come through fine and now I was "on the other side".

I went to my room about 2:15 and had a nice short visit with dad. The dear guy is 83 and was very happy to see his "little girl" awake and doing well. Hubby stayed for about 2 hours and I sent him home to be with the kids.

I loved the delaudid pump in the hospital and was able to eat a little ice cream at about 9 pm. Biggest discomfort was dry mouth I couldn't relieve except by having an ice cube in my mouth at all times. And, my throat was a bit sore and raspy from breathing tube. That and the catheter were inserted after I was out. I

I slept alright, remained comfortable and got the cath ou the next morning after PS saw me. He though everything looked good and exaimined all incisions. He brushed gauze against each nipple to see if I had sensation, which I did in both.

Was able to pee and left hospital about 3 pm. Drive home was the pits. Hard to get in car. Dear hubby didn't think and brought his stick shift, bumpy older CRV. 50 minute ride home was bad. Felt nauseous and every bump. In hindsight, should have asked for anti-nausea meds before the ride. Made it home with no vomitting.

Day 2-3 were a bit difficult. Just ouchy upon getting out of my propped position in bed. No appetite and hard to get in a comfortable position. Was worried about my large dogs jumping on me. They calmed down pretty quick and we bought an extra crate so they can sleep in those at night and I don't have to worry about them jumping on the bed. May be a permanent thing!!

Was nauseous Day 3 and 4, but more food helped that. Day 5 went back to PS and had drains removed. He was pleased with progress and gave me some directions to resolve lack of BM. Poor January tummytuckers forum had had to endure my trials and tribulations over last night and evening, but glad to report everything is fiannly working properly. That was the worst part so far. Next worst was coughing fit and sneezing last night. Tried to be off vicoden and just on tylenol and a little valium, but resorted to a vicoden after that episode.

Posted my pre and post-op pics last night. Haven't received any feedback yet, but the improvement to me is nothing short of miraculous. Jokingly saying I am afraid I might start flashing my smaller, perky boobies to people at the grocery store ;0

a FEW FRIENDS CAME TO SEE ME, ONE A NURSE AND THOUGHT i SEEMED GREAT AND LOOKED AT MY BELLY AND BREASTS AND FELT THEY WERE GOING TO TURN OUT REALLY WELL. wILL BE 51 IN fEB, DON'T THINK a bikini is appropriate at my age, but may have to get one just to look at myself in it occasionally.

Have lots of swelling, some bruising in breasts and along flanks where liposuction was done to contour my new belly into the sides. That's a bit ouch. Hoping my saddlebag swelling in upper thighs goes away soon.

I loved my PS and every person at his office. They have all been wonderful. Am especially grateful to my husband and friends who have brought meals, my kids who are trying to not fight so I can rest and have been doing some chores without the complaints, my Mom and Dad for moral support and the wonderful women in this forum. I would have been so much less prepared without you and have received such wonderful support, information and care. THANK you!!!!!!!

Just want to apologize for all the typos in my...

Just want to apologize for all the typos in my earlier review. Just read it and was embarrassed! Between the pain meds and lack of sleep last night, my normal typing accuracy and spelling went out the window! Tried to go back in to correct evrything, since some parts are hard to follow, but I can't figure out how to do that. Sorry!!

Thinking we should all post pics of us in our...

Thinking we should all post pics of us in our "nests" (no faces, of course). Might be fun to see how everyone is setting things up. And could give those coming up some ideas. Gonna post mine now, my son just took it for me (he thinks I am silly)!

I am adding a new post because there have been a...

I am adding a new post because there have been a lot of ?s about the BM problem many of us are having or have had. Typing a reply can be so tedious on this site for me. It took me 2 hours tonight to post 3 comments. Typing lags, then takes forever to submit, but that doesn't happen when I do a review update, so here goes.

I was concerned before TT/BR about constipation since a friend of mine said that was the worst part for her. I started drinking tons of water 3 days pre-op (plus I always am a big water drinkeer). Also ate 35 plus grams of fiber per day including prunes and figs. Started sennakot S day before surgery and hoped to go morning of...no luck. I took sennalot S in hospital, but I was alone when PS gave me my discharge info. He said to take BOTH sennakot-s AND dulcolax (2 tabs sennakot, 2X daily and 2 tabs dulcolax, 1X daily). I thought he said "OR". Came home day 2, drank LOTS of water, ate yogurt and not much else and took the sennakot. When I went to post-op visit day 6 and told him about no BM, he asked if I had done both meds, and of course I said no. He suggested at that point to take two dulcolax when I got home and use a dulcolax suppository. Tried that, held suppository for 20 minutes as directed, no luck. By then, I was feeing VERY uncomfortable, crampy and my anxiety level was so high!!! How hard should I push, could I hurt anything, etc. Called PS office and asked if I should do an enema. She said that would be too aggressive and to give it a little more time. About 1 hour later, things started slowly. Then another hour after that I had a little more with some moderate pushing. Then...all hell broke loose (lol). and I was in the bathroom all night with diarrhea. It was tiring and I had painful cramps. But I felt better the next day!!! Oh...and I had eaten prunes from day 3 through 6. In retrospect, should have been taking a softener AND a stimulant together or used Milk of Magnesia (which many on this site swear by). Now off vicoden (a big culprit for BMs), but on some codeine cough syrup for cough (also constipating). Now taking stool softeners 2x daily, 2 tabs (sennakot-s), 2 dulcolax orally, eating prunes and drinking TONS of water). Still feeling like I might have another problem (went a little Day 8, but no luck today and I am eating normally now...actually I have been ravenous). If no luck tomorrow will use another suppository with my 83 year-old dad's advice which was "hold that sucker in there for at least an hour, don't listen to the 15-20 minute directions". Now, he has experience, let me tell you! SO, I will hold it laying down as long as possible and believe me it will get uncomfortable. But, I want to avoid letting it go so long again. Hope that helps anyone having problems. Your doc may recommend something else. This was the worst part for me. I am always so regular, cuppa joe in the am...straight to the bathroom. I like it that way. And, who wants to worry about damaging any of the work that has been done on our new tummies (I asked my PS's nurse and she said that could happen so do not push too hard...but what is too hard??? SO, DO NOT "STRAIN". Just enough pressure to get the "job" done, or get up and wait awhile. TMI, but that's what this site is for, right. Hope it helps!

Forgot to mention "Smoothe Move" herbal tea. ...

forgot to mention "Smoothe Move" herbal tea. Hubby got some for me but pharmacist said it is very addictive and to be careful that your body doesn't come to depend on it. I read the box, and was too scared it would interact with my other meds. Think I will take it back, or at least ask my doc about it. Don't know if anyone else has tried it or asked doc about it.

OK, quick BM update/revision. I felt very...

OK, quick BM update/revision. I felt very constipated yesterday (even though I had the major breakthrough Wed into Thurs. Not much had happened since. I had backed off Dulcolax and was just using Sennkot-s after first success (followed by diarhhea) since doc said to be careful cause once things start you can have the opposite problem. So yesterday and last night, felt I needed to go, but no results. Took 2 sennakot yesterday am, then again around 6 pm and drank tons of water all day. After another stressful, unsuccessful try at 9:00 pm, I took two dulcolax pills. At 5 this morning, woke up and felt like something could happen. I tried, but would have had to strain to much. Waited, tried again, no luck. I had seen a GREAT yoga position you can do on the potty on The Doctors last week (may be on their website). You basically gently lift each ankle (one at a time til both are held) by reaching down as you are sitting on toilet, grasping ankle gently by bending at knee to get your foot/ankle back far enough to grasp ankle. Once you do that (it doesn't hurt your belly), you are in a much better position to gently push. Well...it worked, yeah!! However, after that I got diarhhea again for a few hours. Moral of story...think I should have taken only 1 dulcolax when the sennakot wasn't working alone, not 2. Also, drink lots and lots of water and especially when taking dulcolax and hot tea helps relax you and hydrate you. Hope this helps any going through this. I know there are lots of methods out there, but just adding what works (and works a bit too well, lol)FOR ME. I know how upsetting this can be and we don't need stress as we heal. Good lUCK, any questions/comments are welcomed.

Day 11 post op and I am feeling wonderful! Off...

Day 11 post op and I am feeling wonderful! Off all pain meds except naproxen for swelling twice a day and two tylenol and one valium at bedtime (when I get off my feet to "lay down", or should I say "prop up", my muscles in my stomach start to spasm a bit, get tight and are a bit painful. Also helps with falling asleep. Sleeping for longer stretches, but then I worry I am not getting enough water since I don't pee as much!

Started taking armica montana a few days ago (ps said 5 tablets twice a day, a little different than other dosages I have read) and I think that is helping with soreness. Still taking bromelain, 500 mg 3X per day for swelling. My upper thighs are no longer swollen. Belly is a little and am hoping my one breast which is more brised than other is also more swollen than the other, accounting for the difference in size. Still worried about being noticebly lop-sided!

Will start to drive tomorrow or Thurs for short distances, since I can get in and out of car with no major discomfort and am off pain killers during the day and only take 1 valium at bedtime.

Also planning on getting on treadmill for a slow pace for 1/2 mile today. Doc wants me walking and it's cold out and there is only so many times you can do laps around the house.

Go back to work (just cooking school, no house cleaning!) in early Feb. and think I will be fine to do that by then.

Still loving all the support from this site. Anytime I have a question, think something is a little wierd, funny, etc. I just post it and get lots of helpful feedback. SO glad I found Realself and the January tummy tuckers forum.

Have my next Dr. appt. Feb 1st. Planning on posting more pics, soon.

Had my 17 day P.O. appt. today and got all...

Had my 17 day P.O. appt. today and got all steri-strips off. Really strange to see incisions for 1st time!! I litlle overwhelming about how to care for them, but wrote it all down. Am pleased with how low TT incision is as well as overall length. Am also happy breasts are looking more symmetrical and think that will continue to improve. Surprised at how little areola and fine the lines are for areoal and vertical incision. Happy with size of incision under breast and was expecting the puckering and feel confident all will smooth out. Hubby was great about taking some pics to post. Doc really got on me about moving too fast (saw me hop on and off exam table using abs too much) and read me the riot act on protecting my abdominal muscles for 3 1/2 more weeks (til 6 week mark), or I could loosen tight stitching he did. Going to heed his advice, slow down, use abs less and do less laundry, dishes and lifting! All in all he was pleased with progress and so am I. Can't believe differences when I compare before and afters side by side, OMG!! So, posting some pics...Oh, and BB fungal dermatitis much improved. Still looks a bit red and funky, but he was happy with improvement from pic I sent last Friday, yeah!

Great day, more shopping for tops that will now...

great day, more shopping for tops that will now fit my smaller breasts!! Have to be careful not to break the bank and build little by little, but shopping has never been so fun!! Went with a girlfriend and her jaw just kept dropping when we were modeling our possible choices. It's hard to shop and pick things off the rack I never would have considered before...going to take awhile to adjust and figure out what I look good in now. It made me feel so good when she said my PS did a fantastic job and how thrilled I should be...and am!! Going to post some pics next time with cute undies (another shopping trip since cute undies were never on my to-buy list!!) and maybe one of my cute new outits instead of so many close ups of incisions and BB (that still doesn't look quite cleared up).

Ooops, just saw I wrote outtits instead of...

ooops, just saw I wrote outtits instead of outfits, must have been a freudian slip ;-) Can't wait to be able to type again without all these typos...still blaming the anesthesia for some wiftiness...think that excuse is getting old with my family!

First night back at work tonight. Work 3X a week...

first night back at work tonight. Work 3X a week at a small cooking school. Wsan't as bad as I thought it would be. A little more pain and swelling tonight than usual. Girls I worked with really helped with bending/lifting heavy pots, trays, etc. Was so glad to get paid :))) Psoted a pic of me in some clothes...novel for this review!! Tomorrow I am trying on my new size 8 one piece bathing suit and going to post that pic and some of me in my undies and new smaller bras!! Just would like to have a few on here that show what I am looking like when you can't see all the incisions!! And BB is looking better, so hoping that will completely clear up soon. It's a little big, but I actually think it makes me look longer through the torso. Overall...very happy with results so far and how I am healing. Just have to remind myself everyday not to over-do, or I pay for it in the evening.

I am adding a post I left for a member on the...

I am adding a post I left for a member on the January Breast reduction support forum. I really had to go through a lot to have my insurance company cover my breast reduction. After writing the post I decided to cut/paste it into my review so that anyone reading this who might be wondering about insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery might have a bit more information that could be helpful. SO , here it is:

"Congrats, Finally! I, too, was told by someone 10 years ago that my insurance co. would never cover a BR...it was a plastic surgeon, my first consultation. I think he just didn't want the hassle of dealing with the paperwork. So, I did not have the money needed and saved about $100 a month and promised myself when I got to a certain weight and had saved enough, I would have it done.

Well, I gained steadily over the next 9 years. I had breastfed my twins (one for too long, lol) and my breasts were so large for my body and so ugly, I think I was very depressed and had such a low self-image. It also affected my relationship with my husband since I was so ashamed of my body. As I gained, the size and position of my breasts of course worsened. Then about a year ago, for my 50th BD, I asked for a treadmill. My husband was nervous, since I was a couch potato for many years and he was afraid it would sit and gather dust!! I began using it and as I did, I felt better mentally and had more energy (I started slowly, then slowly added to my distance and speed and eventually ended up even running!). By then, I started tackling my eating issues and lost 35 pounds over the next 7 months (went from a 38DD to a 36DD and had been a C cup at this weight before I had kids). I was very close to the weight I wanted to be when I decided to get a BR (I had raised this weight from 10 years ago to a number I knew was more realistic for me to maintain long-term and still enjoy my life...I work at a cooking school, enjoy cooking and having a glass of wine or two. I can't imagine food not being an important part of my life...I just learned more about portion control, making better choices as far as adding more veggies and whole grains, logging my calories and, most importantly. making exercise a part of my daily life.

So, I went to a plastic surgeon a girlfriend recommended. I walked in with the expectation that it would not be covered by insurance. After he took measurements, etc. he felt certain my insurance would cover it. Because of my small frame and the degree of sagging, the DD's were too much for my body. The shoulder and back pain, grooves in shoulders, infections under my breasts, having to wear two jog bras to exercise, etc. also played a roll in his determination. So we started the paperwork and found that my insurance is one of the worst in this area.

Over the next 2 1/2 months, the PS's wonderful billing person stuck with all the "hoops" we had to jump through and so did I. Finally, the insurance co. requested a letter from an ortho. doc (I had already requested and letters from my primary care and gyn. physicians had been sent) stating it was a medical necessity and proving that at least 6 months of conservative therapy (core strengthing, exercise,weight loss, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories,chiroprators, etc., etc.) had not worked. My family doc recommended a wonderful ortho. doctor and she agreed to examine me, knowing that I was seeking a letter from her to aid in getting insurance company to cover my BR. She did a complete exam, took x-rays,etc. and said there was no way my insurance should not cover it. She wrote an amazing letter explaining my weight-loss, exercise, that muscle relaxants were contra-indicated (I have 13 year-old twins to drive around, that a lower spine curvature that could be worsened by a chiropractor contraindicated this type of treatment, the fact I had taken anti-inflammatory meds for years, wore two jog bras, etc., etc). She also explained that the pain from my arthritis in my lower back had improved with exercise, weight loss, core strengthing, etc., but my middle and upper back had not and worsened as the day wore on. Finally, she asserted that in her opinion, a breast reduction was a medical necessity.

The billing person at the PS received her letter, and mailed it to the insurance company along with a receipt for three very expensive sports bras I had purchased two years ago(they would not allow faxes!). 2 1/2 weeks later, they claimed not to receive these items! She convinced them to accept a fax and told them their policy to take another 30-45 days to review the additional info. they had requested was ridiculous. I also called the insurance company to complain as did my husband (his employer contracts with this insurance provider). They finally agreed they would "try to expedite" it. This was Dec. 22 and I knew I needed the surgery to happen by mid January at the latest, since I had to be back at work on Feb 6 at the cooking school (we had the month of January off).

We got call on Dec. 30 from the PS office that it had been approved (yeah!! I sent a thank you letter to the ortho. doctor that same day!) and the PS had an opening on Jan 13. I decided since I had saved a significant amount of money that I would also have a tummy tuck at the same time (the excess skin on my belly from carrying twins and my yo-yo dieting was not going to ever go away with any amount of exercise and weight loss!). I had my surgeries on January 13th and would do it again in a minute. My breasts are now a perky small C cup and finally proportionate to my small frame. I was most excited about the BR, but am also very pleased with the tt, although from a recovery standpoint, the tt has been much more painful and difficult.

I am going to add this super long post (sorry I rambled on, Finally) to my review so that people who might see it know that if one doctor says insurance won't cover it, see someone else. And, if your insurance company denies you or makes you jump through hoops...do it!! And, choose a PS that has someone who knows how to work with the insurance companies and stays on top of the situation and is persistant. I guess I owe that PS from 10 years ago in a way. I wouldn't have saved enough money to allow me to have the TT with my BR. But, I would have had 10 less years of pain and a low self image.

Never think you are "too old" to do this for yourself. Sure...it makes you look and feel better about your body...but it is also a medical issue. I have had NO middle/upper back pain or shoulder pain since my BR. I will be able to exercise so much easier. Congrats, Finally and for anyone reading this who is wondering if their insurance should cover this...if you have pain...pursue it to the max!!

Adding some photos 32 days post op. Belly button...

Adding some photos 32 days post op. Belly button still having some issues...other than that, PS seems really pleased with how incisions are healing. I look in the mirroe and like what I swee. But when I look at these pics, they look so clinical...I have to be asier on myself. I feel and look so much better and know all the scars will fade. Also know I can get back to my regular working out in 2 weeks. I also HAVE to remember, I am 51...and no surgeon could make me look like I am 20 years younger. So happy, but know that in a few months, things will look even better :)))

Feeling so much better about my body today. I...

Feeling so much better about my body today. I tried on all my 15 year old honeymoon lingerie and it fits and looks better than it did on our honeymoon!! Am posting a couple of pics. The girls are up in the nighties where thay are supposed to be, not below the lace and breast seams where they were on our honeymoon. DH will be psyched :))) Also tried on all my new C cup bras and new panties from Soma gift certificate I used yesterday. I really like these photos better than the ones that show all my incisions. Had to post a few. Feeling much better!!

Posting some new pics today. Changes I see are...

posting some new pics today. Changes I see are shrinking breasts :))), breasts getting more symmetrical and ny BB is clearing up!! Can't wait to get back to some regular workouts...am walking and doing some slow jogging, but will start some light weights and abs tomorrow...will be interesting!

Heading out today for a consult on getting my...

Heading out today for a consult on getting my horrible areas of spider veins taken care of on my legs. Had them forever and bought a Groupon for two teatments in NJ. Hoping two treatments will really help, since I can't afford more. Wanted this for years, but the BR/TT was first prioity. When I saw this deal back in Nov, I grabbed it and am now getting to it. Then...that's it...no more work other than my hard work on this body :))) I can see how this could get addicting. At 51, would love some botox on my frown crease and some injectibles on my marionette creases, but where would it all end, lol...We'd be so in debt my DH would surely divorce me ;)

I had my two month follow-up today and everything...

I had my two month follow-up today and everything is progressing/healing nicely. He took out two stitches that were not dissoving and poking thru. Just a pinch and he was done. I asked if I have a dog ear on the one side and he said no, it's just some puckering at the one end of my incision. He expects it to smooth and flatten nicely, but did ask me to continue to wear something that will compress the area at my incision to help with the smoothing. I might try JC Penney's for a waist nipper. He also said to wear something supportive at night as well, both a bra (soft sports-type bra is ok) and something that compresses my stomach. Funny how some docs are ok with no CGs and others want you to continue with a stage 2 type for a long while. He warned me I may continue to have days where I swell for up to a year!! Depending on how active I am and the weather as it gets warmer. BB looks good and he told me I need to tuck my one breast into my bra to get the side support area of the bra to help smooth the lower incision on my left breast. I also asked him about some hard white ridges I have under the skin on each of my breasts towards the inside middle. He said they are engorged stretch marks (never heard of these!!) and that they will soften and flatten over time. I asked about the hard 1/2" ridge all along underneath my incision and he said that is fat (which doesn't heal as well as normal tissue) adhering to the dissovable stitches and cluping. He said to continue massaging incision and it will soften over time under there. Very informative visit and I am cleared to start doing some tummy toning exercises but to listen to my body. Exerciing the abs will pull on the internal repair he did and to take it easy if it hurts too much. All in all a good visit. I don't have to go back for another two months!!
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

I only saw two docs, and Dr. DiBello was the 1st. I was amazed when he measured me and told me I should qualify for insurance coverage for breast reduction, given my size, frame size and symptoms. Turned out I have THE WORST insurance company for getting this approved (Horizon B/C B/S of NJ). The person in his office that handles this was WONDERFUL. I cannot say enough about how she stayed on top of the process, kept me informed, instructed me on each hoop they wanted me to jump through, etc. It was several months and she was with me every step of the way and if not for her (and a great orthopedic Dr. I saw who wrote an incredibly effective letter on my behalf), this never would have happened. Because of this, I was able to afford to get the tummy tuck as well. The rest of the staff is caring, friendly, responsive to phone calls and absolutely professional. Dr. DiBello is reassuring, very matter-of-fact and NEVER rushes you (hence my 4 stars on waiting time...I am not at all bothered by waiting knowing I will soon get the same attention is is currently giving another patient). I felt he was thorough in explaining risks and evaluating if I was a good candidate for the surgeries. He answered every question thoroughly, even if it might have sounded silly. He also does a great job of helping to set expectations. I felt confident I would get great results but knew that perfection can never be guaranteed. But I knew he would strive for it. He uses tried and true methods that might be more time consuming in the OR (he said some advancements are strictly developed to reduce the length of procedures). I was happy for him to take his time when he was doing my surgeries!!! Very highly recommend him. Also have a girlfriend who he had done a TT for a few years back and breast augmentation. She also loved him. Her scars look great and the work he did looks awesome. I am confident I will have the same type of final results.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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where did u go
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I am so sorry, Donica! I haven't been checking in on Real Self. Life got crazy and my recovery went great and I guess I was just lazy!! Quick update. Had my TT/BR in Jan this year. Recovery went well. All the normal difficulties, but overall recovered very quickly and was back to my housecleaning job after 5 weeks (should have waited 6 because that first week was really hard, even though I only cleaned one house!!). I have had several post-op checks with the dr. and he is pleased. I do have a little asymetry with my breasts that I thought was apparent pretty early. The one is slightly larger and the scars underneath are in different places, so that adds to it. But, I think as the scars continue to fade...that will get better. They are a light purple now. Since I am 51, I don't have to be perfect...and my hubby seems happy ;) I still have a lot of numbness around my belly button. Speaking of BBs, I think it looks good and finally feel like it's mine! My TT scar is also light purple and looks good. I have a few hard lumps that are getting a little smaller that the doc says are from fat necrosis around the scar. I am thinking one or two may not go away, but they are not visible. I can just feel them. I am having trouble maintaining my weight which scares the hell out of me!! I was 135 before surgery and 4 months after surgery I was 130, which was a 40 pound weight loss from Jan 2011. I am now 134 but went up to 137. When I saw the doc, he alleviated some of my fears and said that weight swings of 25-30 pounds would be most damaging to my results. However I am really trying to be on top of things. I worked too hard and went through too much. Anyway, I would do it all over again tomorrow if I had to. I am SOOO happy with the results and how I feel, both phsically and mentally. My back pain is mostly gone and my waistline looks so different...I finally have a waistline after having twins 14 years ago!! Anyway, how are YOU, Donica?
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TT- You had a good report, you look fabulous!! I was thinking too when it gets hot and humid here this summer we will be stuffed pumpkins, but I guess it is all part of the journey!!! You look amazing and you are so tiny!!! I cant thank you enough for the visit last week, I really was in a funk and you gave me a lot of hope!!
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Hi kathe and thank you!! He didn't do lipo on my upper belly fat pooch...he did do it on my flanks. He said the reason was with the amount of work he was doing on the muscles, etc...there would be too much of a chance that nerves, blood vessels, etc. (stuff I need!) could get sucked away along with the fat. He said he would thin it, and I am assuming he did this with a scapel. Then, when the skin was stretched downward the remaining fat was "stretched" along with the skin and distributed over a larger area. It worked really well...I am pleased. I think when the fluids that I am still retaining, less all the time, do subside I will have just a thin layer of fat between my muscle and skin all over my belly...but nothing clumped in one area like I had before. And, I don't think there is very much. Whatever he did worked really well. Very happy with my PS :))) I will look at your update to see when you are scheduled. Good Luck!!
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ttbrjan, well he did a great job. You know what I wonder? If we TTers can use some of that little remaining fat for some facial fat transfer. (Thinking ahead you know).
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ttrbjan, I just looked at your pics and you look AMAZING! Thanks for sharing so much info. It really does help. I'm going to have to keep re-reading your history and Bejewelme's for encouragement.

I do have a question for you. You mentioned this: "I was very worried about fat pouch above BB. PS said he could thin that as much as possible and it would be more evenly distributed over my entire abdomen."

Did your PS finally end up doing that?

If he did, how did he do it? Lipo in the upper abdomen, or did he do it surgically?
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Hi, looked you up because I'm in Philly area too. You look great! Love the jeans and brown top..you totally can rock that look! I would also reconsider the bikini...you look great, you should be proud!
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Thank you, Zoom. I may wear a two piece, but not a true, low bikini. Feeling more confident all the time and think I will show a little of this belly :)) Thank you for the kind words!
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Glad the vein consult went well!!! I have those deep puffy veins that stick up, ins will most likely cover that since they are more than a 1/4" raised but have bigger issues but they are high on the list, I need to quit my job and have everything fixed so I can recover for like a year, LOL
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Thanks...love that bra, too. Came from Soma and it looks really pretty under blouses peeking out. I got a black one, too. Loving finally being able to wear something pretty, but sticking with super support most of the time to keep these boobs perky :)
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I love that white lacy bra! I can not wait to wear bras that are cute and not just utilitarian.
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Let us know how the spider vein treatment goes. I have them really bad on both legs...but I just make jokes about them. I have now saved enough $$ to go get glabellar botox again. It is no miracle but does have a slight impact on the frown line worsening, especially with summer coming and I will be squinting more in the sun. I've had it twice over the last 5 years and it gave me a bad headache both times so I have to "scchedule" it into a time space when I know having a headache won't be a disaster! I had Restylane in my marionette and smoke lines and that looked just bizarre...not me....good thing it lasted less than 3 months! I will never do that again!
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consult went well and they think two treatments will make a big difference. I have a lot, but two areas in particular are very bad. Little kids always ask me how I got such a bad bruise when they see them!! Wanted to do something for years about them. One treatment on March 13 and another 4 weeks late. Will post an update. Interesting about the restylane...didn't think about not even looking like me. They are such a part of my face...I have always had a prominent mouth resulting in some deep lines from nose to corners of mouth. I am not going to worry about it and just use some good wrinkle cream!!
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Is the treatment an injection into the vein with saline?
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You look so absolutely amazing! I'm really happy for you! Now it's time to enjoy!
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Good luck at the consult I know it is addicting, you look at stuff and think OMG that could be fixed and this could be fixed, LOL We need to win the lottery! No wonder stars look so good like last night at the Oscar's they can afford it!!!
We are going to have to sign up for a race together, I will drag you to one of those tough mudders with me, it is encouraging that you are running already! I will be so anxious to get back to it!!!
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TT-you look A-MAZING!! Absolutely beautiful!! :)
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TY, Bella!! I am feeling really good, back to my old energy level most of the time. Enjoying tucking things in and wearing belts :)))
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Well that is good to know, I probably would have looked at it like WTH??? LOL I know next week at this time, I will be under!!!!!!!
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TT_you look awesome, wow your breasts are looking great, that anchor scar looks really good-- I say try the silicone it cant hurt only help! So good to talk the other night, cant wait for mine! DO you wear the CG inside out cause of the seam??
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I asked the PS about that (actually the nurse) and in order to get the control panel in front, they said that is the way it is worn. Both styles of my CG garments and post-op bras all have labels on outside...maybe it's for comfort reasons?? Great chatting...6 days!!!!!!
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TT - you look amazing!
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Thanks Janes and Maumee...am feeling pleased and glad to be getting back to a normal routine pretty much pain-free and feeling so much more confident :)))
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Lookin Goooood Tt!!!
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