Hi there! I've been on and off of this forum for...
Hi there! I've been on and off of this forum for a few months now and am ready for the next step towards my breast reduction surgery. I am 5'1'', 31 years old and currently 175lbs. I am a fairly active person. I live in South Florida and I enjoy the water and scuba diving. I have a great gym with some great trainers and really enjoy spinning in the mornings. But, my true past time is playing roller derby with an amazing team and amazing coaches in Broward County. However, it saddens me that I can not perform these hobbies or play this sport without the frustration and aggravation of my giant breasts. I am popping out of a 38DDD (honestly, I think I'm larger but I don't know the next size). The strain on my neck, back and shoulders, as well as migraines, are a constant reminder of my lifelong struggle with "the girls". I've acquired these lovely divots in my shoulders from my bras and the weight of my boobs. Finding sports bras, uniforms, bathing suites or clothing in general has become a grueling task from all angles. When I am training with my team or in the gym, the bouncing and pressure on my chest is terrible. It definitely affects my breathing too. Doing crunches or sit-ups is always fun with your boobs squeezing into your throat. Running is out of the question. I am sure I am preaching to the choir here so no need for me to continue to go into details. Bottom line is that it's time that the girls need to go. I am ready to train harder and become healthier and I think this decision is an important one to allow me to get there.
I had my consultation with a second doctor back in June. I really liked the doctor and the practice. We talked about my desire to drop to a LARGE C or a nice D and he agreed the size fits my frame. I don't want to go any smaller than that because I love the look of large breasts, just in a natural and healthy capacity. He measured me and said that my nipples will have to be moved about 5-6 inches up and that one breast is slightly larger than the other so they will sit me up towards the end of the surgery to make sure they've taken enough from both sides to leave me even. I have very pendulous breasts and the tissue is not very fibrous (aka I'm saggy like crazy at 31!!!). I can't even imagine what it would be like to have nipples on the FRONT of my boobs instead of pointing down to the ground. Also, a normal size areola?!?! I don't even know what that would look like. We took the pictures, measurements and did the paperwork to start the journey of getting this covered by insurance. Within 2 weeks, I received the call and letter that the surgery was approved, the provider was in network and the only expense out of my pocket will be for the inpatient surgery center since that is out of pocket. I have the option to have the surgery moved to an in network hospital but I am on the fence because my gut tells me the doctors probably enjoy doing surgery at their facilities whenever possible and I feel like the best work is done by comfortable doctors! Even if I stay at the out of network facility (even though the doctor/practice is in network and covered and in the same physical building?) my out of pocket is going to be about $700-800, so not to bad regardless. Has anyone heard of this before with the surgery centers that are part of a covered practice?
The last step was to schedule the date. I didn't want to do it in the summer because I had already bought into this huge roller derby convention in Las Vegas so I called after I got back to pick my date and so they can send the new date back to the insurance so that I am ready to go. I also was coming off of a derby injury for a torn PCL earlier this year so I needed to get back on skates for a little bit before I moved forward with this (another reason why I was fixed on doing the reduction this year --- I had met my $2000 deductible for the first time ever!!!). And, I've lost 20lbs since my consultation bringing me to 175lbs so that is exciting news too! I selected October 7th so fingers crossed the insurance doesn't change their minds on my preauthorization!!! Ironically, the week I chose to do the surgery, my boyfriend/hubs is out of town on business so won't be home with me. I contemplated changing it but I don't really mind much though, because I feel like I will sleep through the first couple days and then have a couple of days feeling like crap. And then he will be home and can deal with my aftermath. He's always been 100% there for me through everything else so I am not too concerned he will be away. My mom will be traveling down from PA to take care of me during and after the surgery. It's been something she has offered to do since I was about 20 years old and started considering a reduction. So, I will play my last game on October 5th (and my mom will be here for the first time to see me skate) and then gear up for surgery on the 7th.
I am confident in my decision and hope that everything turns out well. My hubs and my family and friends are all so supportive. I can't wait to see the new boobs!! I'll be starting a countdown soon... once I hear back from the office that we are all set with my new date.
My hands down biggest fear is my nipples being completely crooked OR my boobs ending up two very different sizes. But, I guess nothing can be worse than how it all looks right now! What do other people usually worry about? Here are some questions that come to mind for now. Anyone who wants to share or chime in, please do so!!!
Pre-Surgery - Should I be starting and vitamins or skin creams/oils to help with recovery or scarring? What do I need to go out and buy beforehand? Bras -- how many and what type for the recovery period? How long does the surgery last and does the anesthesia make you really sick? Any food, drinks or otherwise that you need to stay away from before surgery? What types of meds do they give you? Tramadol makes me extremely ill so I can NOT use that!!
Post-Surgery - Do you lose your appetite? Will I be able to stand up and walk to the bathroom on my own? Showering...how do I do it? Do you have to keep your incisions dry? How long do you keep in your drains and do you clean or empty them during that time? Do you have your boobs wrapped or the sutures covered? What are zingers? Is it realistic to think I can go back to working from home on my computer the following week? When can I start light workouts or leg exercises? And the million dollar question is, how long do you think before I can go back to skating and when can I start skating???
I guess that's all for now. I am sure I will think of more things and will be posting often with all my updates. Before pictures to come soon too. Thanks for letting me start my journey here and looking forward to hearing from everyone!!
10 more sleeps!!!
So, it's been a little while since my last update so let me bring you up to speed. I received my approval from the insurance company with the new surgery date of October 7th @ 7am at the outpatient surgery center in the office. I had my pre-op appointment on Monday 9/26 and asked a barrage of questions and I feel like I did a really good job of explaining the size I am looking to go to and what my expectations are (a D, just a nice D, a small D or at worst a very large C --- I am too curvy and big for anything smaller). He did a really good job explaining how he was going to take the "side boobs" away and be able to meet the insurance requirements for tissue removed. I also told him that I wanted him to save my boobs so that I can see if before they send it away. I know that sounds gross but I am really curious what it looks like. I am feeling pretty confident and starting to get excited for the surgery. My boyfriend will definitely be out of town for this so that's still a little weird but my mom is coming down from Philadelphia to take care of me so that is great. I started all my pre-op stuff. Gotten off vitamins and medicines (though I was fighting this cold so I kept taking the Zinc and Echinecea --- but I've finally won!). Got some homeopathic stuff for afterwards for bruising and healing, etc. I have Vitamin E oil, which I can't really use until the wounds close so, oh well. I opened an FMLA/STD claim with work just in case I am out more then just the week that I had submitted. My boss is on board and I'm starting to delegate some of my stuff out for the time I will be recovering. I have a post-op apt scheduled on day 1, day 4 and then the following week and I have them scheduled. Another kind of weird thing I did was a living will/advanced directive. You never know. I'm sure the folks that I gave rights to are probably freaking out right now but I wanted to do one anyway so that's all taken care of now for when I'm 100 :-) I had my visit with my OB-GYN and she said I am good to go. I had an appointment with my PCP yesterday and all is well with her also. She wanted me to take a flu shot but I wasn't going to risk that so close to surgery. The only thing that is a little bit goofy right now is that I had a mammogram last Friday. My OB-GYN called and said results looked fine. But now I got a letter from the screening place that they need me to come back for more screening (possible MRI or Ultrasound). I called my surgeon when I got the letter but they had left for the day... so now I am freaking out a little bit because there are only 5 business days until the surgery so I don't know what this means. The nurse said maybe since it is my first one they don't have a baseline or anything to compare it too. Either way, it makes me anxious.
Aside from that, I think this weekend I want to pick up at least one bra other than the 2 surgical bras that I have from the doctor. I also need some pillows of various shapes and sizes. I need to buy some button up shirts or pajama tops for the first few days and a couple pair of comfy pants. I need to take my pre-surgery pictures.My derby team wants to "cast" my boobs this week. All these crazy girls say they can't believe they've never seen them and I am getting rid of them blah, blah, blah. Next Saturday I play my last derby game of this season so it's sure to be a blast. The after party will be rather lame though because I p;robably shouldn't drink too much on Saturday night with Monday surgery scheduled. On Sunday I am going to pick up anything I might need from the food store with my mom ( I can't wait to request all sort of delicious home cooked things I haven't had in years since I moved). I dropped off my scripts at the pharmacy already so I just need to pick them up (Keflex and Vicodin ES). The office said that in the event they needed to give me any first aid type stuff or gauze or whatever that they doctor will tell me at my post-op appointments. I feel like I am kind of unprepared but not really sure what else I need to get. Any other suggestions please send them over.
The only thing that has hit me this week is that I had this awesome vision of when I did this surgery, being laid out on the couch in recovery and being catered to by my hubs and mom, with my dog cuddled next to me making me feel better. Well, he passed away about 6 weeks ago and the thought of him not being around for my recovery makes me sad. Nothing I can do about it, I just miss him bunches.
I promise to get some pictures up soon. Talk to you soon!
It's bout day!!!
Today is my last roller derby game of the season because I go in for surgery in 2 more sleeps!!! I'm going to miss it so much while I'm recovering. I've got a great support system so I should be back in no time :)
My mom is also flying in today for Monday. Gonna use tomorrow for any loose ends before surgery.
I might have mentioned about my mammogram coming back indeterminate.. Well, they did send me for an ultrasound, however, no one ever called me back on Friday so I'm assuming all was fine. If not, I guess I'll find out Monday.
My hubs flys out tomorrow for work. I think he's starting to feel bad that he's gonna miss this but I am fine with it. He won't have to see all the gross recovery stuff. Ick!!
That's all for now. Sorry I haven't posted my before shots yet. I promise I will. The Grrls on the team are a little sad because they wanted to cast my boobs in plaster before Monday. Clock is ticking so that might not happen. I'll update again tomorrow!!!
9 more hours!!
Finished laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping, getting rx's and buying sone comfy, but ugly, button up shirts today. gotta be there at 7am. mom is driving and derby 'wifey' is meeting us there. never got to do the plaster casting today. too busy :( Going to bed now but wanted to try to post some before shots, finally. Gonna try to load from my phone so fingers crossed.
About 24 hours out...
Appointment was yesterday at 7am. Went with my mom and a close friend came by while I was getting prepped (I have the best derby wife ever!). My hubs was out of town for work but very supportive all day. Got changed into a gown, compression socks, slipper socks and hair cap. went over all the post op stuff, how to clean the drains, when to eat and take meds, etc. then the aneasthisologist came in and put my line in my arm, explained they will give a sedative in the line to relax me (said it would feel like i had a frw cocktails) before the surgery then when the surgeon was ready, they'd administer the aneasthisia in the IV then I'd be out and they put in the breathing tube and also administer aneasthisia that way. She gave me the relaxer and I was out in 30 seconds before they gave the anesthesia. Lol. I was back in the OR by 8:30am and underway by 9am. At 11:30 the surgeon went and told my mom that they were done and I was being wrapped. No issues and that I looked great. The aneasthesiologist came out about 30 mins later and said I was starting to wake up if my mom wanted to come in. I was so confused when she came in bc I thought the surgery hadn't even started yet. About 30 minutes later I was mostly awake. The aneasthisia and breathing tube loosened up some phlegm in my lungs so I easily coughed up some mucus goodness. I could taste the aneasthisia in the back of my throat a little and when I blew my nose. They took me to go pee came back and gave me a juice and pudding and I was ready to go by 1pm. Got home a felt really good. Had mom make me a grilled cheese bc I woke up hungry. The nurse said the IV pain meds would wear off by 4pm so if I came home to sleep, the pain would prob wake me up. Since I was told to eat with the Vicodin, I just took it at about 2:30pm when I ate. Stayed up until about 4pm then took a nap til 6pm. Woke up and ate dinner around 7pm with another Vicodin. I'm staying a head of any pain. On a scale of 1-10, I'd say by doing this, I'm at 2 or so. I took another at 11:30pm. Went to sleep and woke up at 3pm to pee then 4:30 and took another Vicodin with 1/2 PB&J sandwich. Slept until about 7am. Not a bad first night sleep. Had breakfast and a pull this morning. Getting ready for my post op appt now to take off the gauze and see the girls. My drains are ok. Left is draining about twice as much but even that is not much. There was a lot of leaking from my right drain and since less is coming into the bag, I'm thinking maybe its not in right or whatever. Hopefully they'll just take them out today or tomorrow. Otherwise, nothing else eventful here. I'll post after the post op with updates and pics. :)
Day 1 Post Op
Went to the surgeon today. Got off all my bandages. Still have my drains though. No concern on the amount of leaking from the drain site on the right side. They are pretty 'boxy' looking. He said they will round out and be full when the swelling goes down. Current in a D bra. Looks so small but also makes my belly look so big! Lol... I see a trainer in my future. The cuts look nice, nipples seem positioned evenly and, holy shit, they are pointing forward!!! The righty dtill seems a bit latger. it always has been though so no biggie. its too hard to tell with all the swelling anyway. My mom and dr are very pleased. I am too, maybe a little in shock at the size but they do look nice. Still no pain. Doing the meds and ice thing for now to be proactive. Not much bruising yet either. I do feel really awesome and the dr has been great. Giving me ample time, answering all my questions, going over everything. Makes me feel very comfortable. So all and all, good visit. Gotta call in my drainage amounts each day until they day it's low enough to take out the drains. I'm guessing Thursday but we will see. Here's the pics from today :)
Almost 48 hours post-op...
Slept like a rock last night. It was fantastic. I've been in the recliner but I might attempt the bed tonight. Drainage is starting to get clearer (vs red) so hopefully I can get these out tomorrow. The surgical bra is kinda annoying bc I'm so swollen I feel like its just not sitting right. Plus, the top of my belly fat causes the band to roll up. Urgh! Using some ice on and off during the day to try to help with the swelling. But, from a pain perspective, it's been extremely tolerable! The worst, most annoying thing though, is that I haven't gone to the bathroom (#2) since Sunday. Ugggggh!!! I'm extremely regular usually, going twice a day and this feels gross. I feel like I have 10lbs of food in my body! I know it's the aneasthisia and pain meds but I need something to start this process, any suggestions? I'll post some pics later today of my pretty boobs and my distended stomach. Lol!
Just some Post Op Day 2 pics
Day 3 Post Op
I slept for about 8 hours straight through last night! Score!!!! In the bed too :) The drainage has slowed down some more also and is starting to be fairly clear. So, hopefully we can get rid of the drains today. This damn bra is annoying as hell. The band keeps rolling up from the bottom and I feel like its pressing right into the incisions in the crease. Can I just sit around with no bra? Or maybe just wear a tight cami or something? I don't know how this can be good for the crease wounds. So far, it's not irritating the healing to much, it's just not quite comfy. What did everyone else do?
More pics to come later today :)
Day 4 Post Op
Drains out! Yay!!! Surprisingly, not as painful or gross as I would have thought. One little "tug" ferling in the inside top side of my boob and then they slid right on out. All my dressings look good. No oozing anywhere. They told me to watch the cotton strips for any weird seepage or discharge with odor over the next week. I have another follow up next Friday. I have to wait until the drain holes close in a day or two to take an actual shower. Since the bra was sitting right on my crease incisions, my mom brought me some maxi pads and I slid them right under the bottom strap. Feels a million times better. I asked about taking off the bra. They recommend wearing it as much as possible to help with swelling and support. So I'll keep using the pads for now until the swelling goes down. I hope to start some mild leg exercises this weekend (body weight squats, lunges, wall sits) once I am cleared to shower. Gotta work off my gut now that the girls don't act like a tent and cover it up ;) Very excited to get my ass in shape!! Gonna take some more pics in a bit to post. Also, I get to pick up my hubby at the airport in a couple hours. Hope he likes the new boobies... He doesn't have much choice ;-D
Day 4 Post Op Pics
You'll see the right side has more swelling and a slightly different shape so far. Maybe because it was the larger one to begin with? Anyone else have this? Do they tend to magically round out and fall kinda even? That's my only 'concern' this far and it's too early to be an issue. Plus, they were never the same size to begin with so as long as they are close after I'm healed, I'm happy :)
Day 6 Post Op
Took my momma to the airport this morning after she's been here for a week taking care of me. It was a nice visit, even if she was probably bored out of her mind and we watched a ton of bad movies. Stopped at Walmart on the way home and grabbed a random 38D $7.94 bra for the hell of it. It's comfy and soft. Never grabbed a bra off the rack before and walked out. Never spent $8 on one either. When I was walking around Walmart this morning with my hubs, I felt like I was being photoed as one of "the people of walmart". I didn't match or anything. LOL. Today is the Red River Shootout so we are watching the game and relaxing at home. I took a bath earlier and it felt nice to get clean. I shaved and lotioned up my legs so I feel great. I also put on some makeup so I don't feel like such a Frankenstein right now. Down 5 lbs from where i was on monday. not bad considering all ive eaten, that I've done nothing and can't stay "regular" bc of the pain meds. Trying to spread out the meds today. Yesterday was the worst of the pain since the surgery (still only a 4 or 5 out of 10). maybe bc i had the drains removed, maybe bc i skipped the meds... either way, im taking them today. Checked all my incisions and dressings after i took my leg bath. it all looks great. healing is still coming along well. Took some Day 5 pictures, and of my comfy new non underwire bra. Enjoy! Go Texas!!! ;)
Yesterday was Day 5 Post Op... Today is Day 6... Whoopsies...
Nothing too much to update today. Woke up with a headache and feeling sore from sleeping on my back. Having a lazy Sunday today watching football. Boobies feel great today though. I think the swelling might be going down some. I also feel like the little bit of bruising I had is already going away. I have to take the gauze pads and tape off from where they removed the drains but the tape is sooooo stuck to me and it looks like they taped over some if the cloth steri strips that are over my crease incisions. I'm not messing with that stuff so I might cut that gauze pad off leaving some if the tape for now. Not much else to update. Here are today's pictures :)
Day 7 Post Op
I went back to work today, from home. I worked about 8 hours. Was pretty tired afterwards. We will see how I feel tomorrow. I finally had my honey take off those gauze pads from my drains. He put band aids over them because he couldn't tell if they were closed or not. Incisions still look really good. Took a bath today and noticed that I had a little bit of dark bleeding through the cotton strips near the t-junction on my right boob. Nothing to be of concern I'm sure. I'm still really swollen on the sides of the boobs and they are pretty numb. My hubs says he looks like they are less boxy though. I still feel really swollen though. I haven't taken any Vicodin today, just 2 Tylenol. I'll probably take one before to be safe though. I have my next follow up on Friday. Took some more pics for the heck of it. I'm still liking the results :)
Post Op Day 12
Not a whole lot new to report. Girls are doing fantastic. Had a post op yesterday and the nurse said everything looks clean and healthy. She was shocked my tape hasn't even come off yet but I reassured her its been bc I've only been sponge bathing ( lol- I was being over the top careful with everything!!!). Took the most delightful shower this morning so hopefully the tape will fall off soon. Also was told I can start treating scars after 3 weeks. Got some ProSil but does anyone have any suggestions on other silicone products? I go back in 2 weeks to have the 2 "anchor stitches" removed, everything else will dissolve inside. She said they normally clear you to resume all normal activity at that point. Thank god bc I'm packing on the pounds!! I can start taking my vitamins on monday - Woot!! The only weirdness I'm still having is that the sides of my boobs, near my armpits, are numb. Like, a super-swollen, numb feeling. The nurse says that's completely normal for now bc everything in there is still in the process of healing. I can feel everything else just fine including my nipples. I've got some bruising that comes and goes but nothing serious. I'm still waiting for them to fall and round out, though I think that's starting bc I can almost put my arms down straight finally. Started working from home on day 7, drove on day 8, stood around at derby practice and hung out with the girls. This week i was able to start lifting my arms and i can almost sleep on my side. I thought I'd be doing leg workouts this week but I still felt too tight plus, I can't bend over or reach so I didn't want to push my luck. Still gotta go shopping and get some sexy bras. Trying to wait for the swelling to go down the most I can. Everything is doing very good so I'll keep you updated. That's all I can think if for now.
Day 23 Post Op
New and exciting!?!? Not so much... But uneventful is good in this case. Since my last update I showered everyday and at about 20 days, all of those little cloth tapes finally came off. Which was great timing because the nurse said I could start treating scars at about the 3rd week. Just a few tiny scabs remain. I was totally pleased with my nipple and vertical incisions. They look great, thin lines, very clean and healing nicely. Scarring will be so minimal. The sides are still the worst but I'm confident they will fade after I start treating them. I like my left better than the right, which is the side that had more consistent drainage with no leakage. As for the horizontal incisions under the breasts, I like my right better. It's cleaner and the skin seemed to be pulled down nicer. They will both be just fine though once the swelling is gone and they round out some more. Two things bothering me right now... First is in my cleavage. I had alot of stretch marks before bc my boobs sagged alot. The part that is now my cleavage arra is that stretch marked skin. So on the inside corner of my right boob, I've got these scars that look like 2 pimples. I'm hoping there is a stitch under it that will dissolve so it will eventually lie flat but, holy crap it's annoying because its all I see when I look down at them. The second thing is the T junction on my left boob is trying to push out a stitch I think. I called the dr and sent pics and they doubt it was an infection and said its very common. They called in an Rx ointment until my appt on Friday. It's not getting worse so that's a plus. It might actually look better but now I'm obsessing. Lol. Only other thing I have going on is occasional itching on my upper chest. My skin is freaking out from all the changes I think. I started yesterday with silicone sheets and ointment for the scars (not near the t junctions yet) and mederma for the stretch marks. I get my 2 stitches out on Friday and hopefully get the all clear. Still have swelling, slight bruising and a little numbness on the outside part of my boobs. totally feel my nipples though and think its awesome seeing them poking at my shirts when I'm cold. I'm back on all my vitamins and hope to start working out (low impact) next week if I can muster up the energy. I don't think skating will happen for a few more weeks. I've been working just fine and just been lazy and tired most nights. Did some Halloween stuff this past weekend and got banged around a little bc I went to a concert... Damn elbows and crowds. Starting to see claims come through from the surgery and preop stuff. Thank god for insurance. A little nervous about any other bills I might get but I'll figure it out. I'm guessing my boyfriend likes them. He's supportive and glad I did it but I'm not getting any other feedback either way. I still haven't gone shopping but i think its time for new bras. I love all the comments I'm getting about losing weight.... Even though nothing's changed except the boobs (I think I've actually gained weight these past few weeks). Perception is a funny thing! I can't think of anything else to update on. Here are by pics from today. More to come after my Friday visit. Happy Halloween!!! (I wanted to go get a sexy costume to show off my new boobies but I'm just not feeling it-party pooper!)
So far, great practice with great staff. Everyone has been helpful and available for questions or when needed. Doctor has a good bedside manner and is very open in discussing reasonable expectations and possible risks/complications. More to come after surgery is complete!
Update Post Op Day 1: this surgeon has taken every minute required to answer my questions and provide medical logic and make me feel comfortable with my treatment. Super knowledgeable, seasoned and open to discussion. The nurses, facility, anesthesiologist have all been excellent thus far. I am extremely pleased with my results and experience so far :)