Like many I've thought about this procedure for...
Like many I've thought about this procedure for most of my life time. Ever since I hit puberty and woke up with boobs larger than anything I had seen on any 13 year old girl I knew. I also realized that I had to endure gym class with these suckers and the cruelty of adolescent kids and I knew that my breasts would be problematic. I was shy and introverted and the last thing I needed was something drawing a lot of attention to myself when I already just wanted to hide in the shadows. My newly growing boobs made me want to hide even more.
After leaving years of being able to try and hide my boobs in a catholic school uniform sweater I went off to college not knowing how to really dress myself so I wore baggy men's clothing. Somehow swimming in xxl tops made me feel smaller and made me feel like possible no one could see that I had some giant honkers hiding in there.
For most of my 20s I had mistakenly thought I was a 38DDD. Even wearing that size with my boobs spilling out on the sides and tops, I thought that must be accurate as that was the highest size the stores carried at the time. I had finally gotten measured accurately when I was 29 at a high end lingerie boutique and the sales girl informed me I was a 36G and brought me the 3 bras they had in that size and all 3 were $150+.
I finally decided to move forward with the procedure after talking to 4 friends who had gone through it and had explained it was the best thing they had ever done. I met with a surgeon last year for an initial consultation and realized it wasn't a good fit when I found myself fearful of calling her office with questions (she was a bit too clinical and cold for me). I made another appointment with a different surgeon, Dr. Scott Mosser, February of this year and felt more comfortable with him and his office team who were much more warm and hospitable. They took photos and did all the insurance paperwork for me and let me know I was approved about 2 weeks from my consultation appointment. They walked me through insurance and payment info and how that would work (which was a godsend since $$ was one of my major stress factors about this surgery, my insurance would pay for half the cost basically) and gave me a folder with information about the surgery and a timeline for pre and post operative appointments.
Having as much information as possible was key for me to feel safe and secure and they somehow knew this because I got even more info on what to do leading up to the surgery and what to expect afterwards. I truly appreciate the care they put into making sure all my questions were answered.
My surgeon noted that the goal was to go from my current size of 36G to a C cup, but since bra sizing is not standard across the board, it would be hard to nail down an exact cup size. Right before going into surgery as my surgeon drew on me he asked me if I wanted to err on the side of larger or smaller in regards to cup size and I said smaller for sure.
Surgery day, April 25, I was a big ball of anxiety but once I was in the hospital and had talked to several nurses I who informed me of what would happen, step by step, I felt a bit better. In all honesty, everyone was correct, the anesthesiologist gives you the good stuff and you don't remember anything but waking up in the recovery room.
Waking up and getting home was probably the most painful part and it was mostly due to the anesthesia, I was super nauseous and being moved from a comfortable bed to a wheelchair to a car was not fun. I didn't throw up but the threat was there the entire time. Getting up the stairs to my apartment was not fun either. I was glad I had my boyfriend and a friend of mine who happens to be a nurse there to help me.
My surgery was at 12:15PM and I did not get home until 8PM or so. Apparently I spent quite some time in the recovery room sleeping.
I slept through the evening and most of the next day. I needed help for about 2-3 days afterwards getting in and out of bed and getting to the toilet. My breasts had been taped and I had been wrapped tight in an ace bandage with gauze inside. No surgical bra. I had no lipo done and did not have a lot of trouble lifting my arms which was a god send as i had a bit more range of motion in the arm than some ladies who have this surgery. I think it has to do with getting lipo done or not.
I had a friend take me to my first post-op appointment 3 days after surgery since I did not feel well enough to go on my own (i live in a city and the idea of being jostled around in a cab or the train was not pleasant). My surgeon cut the ace bandage off, inspected everything and said all looked well (bruises and swelling were of a normal range) and wrapped me back up in a looser ace bandage with the surgical tape still on my incisions and gave me instructions to continue to rest up, no major activity and if I wanted to I could wear a soft cup bra or sports bra or just the ace bandage or nothing at all. His only instructions were no underwires of any sort. I had the clearance to shower and while I felt tentative about it, it wasn't too painful. It was helpful to have the boyfriend near by to hand me bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap and help me in and out of the tub. My second shower 2 days later I managed on my own. After that shower I ditched the ace bandage and moved on to a soft cotton bralette from the Gap that did not press on my incisions.
I had my second post op. appointment 7 days after surgery in which my PS took off my surgical tape and snipped some stitches. It wasn't as painful as I had thought it would be. He inspected everything and noted all still looked well. My stitches are dissolvable so he didn't need to take those out (he just snipped some ends that were sticking out). The stitches around my nipples were bleeding so he put some bandage over those but told me to remove them when I got home. I made my third post op appointment for next week for another check in.
Currently, without the surgical tape and bandages I feel a bit vulnerable but not too bad. Using panty liners in the inside of my bralettes is helping with those spots that are still bleeding a bit. I'm keeping careful, washing my hands often and trying not to touch anything directly. I basically stopped taking the pain meds 4 days after my surgery (felt better without the vicodin haze and the pain wasn't awful) but have been taking asprin when i feel super sore. I'm still icing when I feel like they're super swollen, which tends to happen when I try to do to much or move around too much. The bruising is getting better and fading but the incisions are still a bit ugly but it's only been 8 days since surgery.
I look down and see my little chest and i'm so so pleased. The day after my surgery I was walking to the bathroom with the help of my boyfriend and I looked down and actually saw my feet and freaked out a bit. I couldn't believe it. Then I noticed my posture and how I was no longer lurching forward. Even going down steps is different. I'm feeling so much relief already in my upper back, shoulders and neck, it's really amazing.
While recovery is a bit slow going and it'll be awhile before I can get back to the gym, to yoga and my regular activities I am so pleased with my decision to have this surgery. It really is a life changing experience for me and I cannot say enough how happy I am to have done this.
Day 12 Post Op - After my shower last night the...
Day 12 Post Op - After my shower last night the gals looked lovely and looked like they were healing well, lots of the bruising and yellowing had gone away. I come home from my 2nd day back at work and take off my sports bra to see some yellowing in the skin around my nipples that wasn't there yesterday. I don't know what would cause that but I'm sure going back to work and having to ride public transportation to and from may be the culprit. i do feel swollen at the end of the work day.
I still feel tenuous about bending over so I've been squatting down to get things if I need to. That and I'm really good at picking things up with my feet. I wonder if this is what it's like to be pregnant.
Speaking of, the belly still feels a bit bloated though I've been off my pain meds for some time now.
The boobs still feel a bit foreign to me as they're still hard and this miraculous 'drop and fluff' i've been reading about here on this website has not happened yet. I go back and forth from wearing a sports bra that has a good degree of compression and wearing a bralette that has no real compression at all just to give the girls a break as sometimes i start to feel like the compression is too much an too painful. I wonder if this is ok to do to switch between the two or if I need compression 24/7 for shaping? I'll have to ask my PS at my third post op appointment this Thursday.
Still don't regret a thing. Loving my smaller cupcakes despite the soreness. :)
Day 13 Post Op - My right boob hates me.
Day 13 Post Op - My right boob hates me.
The deep kind of sharp zinging pain has been happening a lot in my right boob since yesterday. The skin around my right nipple too has seen better days. The incisions are scabbing and healing but sometimes I feel if I move too abruptly something pulls and the sensation is far from pleasant. I know I've heard that the acute sharp pains are nerves waking up and reconnecting but MAN is it painful and annoying!
I found myself sitting in a meeting at work today holding my right boob (on top of my shirt) in my hand because that somehow made it feel better for a bit. The people I work with are awesome and no one blinked an eye just asked me if I needed anything.
The pain is on and off and it's driving me crazy.
Also: Strange bumps have appeared around my neck and chest region above the breasts like i've had an allergic reaction to something. I haven't eaten or done anything out of the ordinary except wear a new front closure surgical bra. I'm not a fan of the nylon in the bra and while it provided more support than the other bras i've been wearing I think I'm going to ditch it and stick to my sports bra during the day and see if the rash goes away. As I was dubious of the material of the surgical bra I wore my cotton bralette underneath it so it would not touch my poor sensitive healing incisions and I'm glad I did. Ordered a seamless wireless pull over bra made from a company called Barely There and another by Rhonda Shear called Ahh Seamless. Having a limited collection of bras that fit with varying support levels it's hard to decide each day which one to wear that holds the girls in place without been too tight that it hurts 2-3 hours into the day. I only have one sports bra that fits just right (ahh, my glass slipper!) but it's been discontinued.
My third Post-Op appointment is tomorrow. Some incisions look better than others. The ones at the T-Junction at the bottom of the boob and the ones around my nipples still look a bit fragile. I hope my PS can let me know what to do about my right boob pain. I'm out of pain pills and Asprin is not helping as much as I hoped it would.
I'll post updated photos when I get home today but...
I'll post updated photos when I get home today but I wanted to report that I'm so much less sore today than I have been all week! I had my third post op appointment and my PS tested sensation and my left boob is really far ahead of my right in regards to nerve sensation. My right is still numb-ish (pins and needles) and it's the right that I have those deep sharp pains at the end of the day that tells me my nerves are angry. I go back in 2 weeks for another check up but other then the difference in sensation between the two everything else is healing up well.
I asked if i needed to put anything on my incisions and he noted that i didn't need to and if nothing looks bad leave it alone for the time being. After reading everyone's experiences here it is interesting to see how different surgeon's suggest different things. I've had a pretty low maintenance recovery so far which i'm grateful for. I think since I didn't have drains and didn't have any lipo done it's been an easier recovery.
Keep 'em clean and dry and no under wires.
I can handle that.
3 weeks post op!
still some swelling in the side boobs but not bad!
3 Weeks Post Op!
my surgeon had to move my appointment next week so i'll be seeing him at the 5 week mark but all in all, everything seems to be going fine. my right boob still has some numbness in spots but i do feel like i'm gaining back sensation a little bit. it's hard to tell. there's still soreness around my incisions in the under-boob area and swelling in the side boob (both sides) at the end of a 9 hour work day in a sports bra. i'm still running home to take off my bra at the end of the day! that'll change soon though i hope.
i'm not as exhausted after work so that's getting better as well. i can't wait to get back to yoga and the gym.
i can't believe it's been almost 4 weeks! can i start using scar tape?
and i'm feeling better and better everyday. less zinging nerve pain and the girls are now starting to feel more and more like part of my body as they soften up. i still find i get swollen if i'm wearing bra that's not right for too long or if i do too much. i hate icing since the ice packs the hospital gave me aren't too convenient so i went on the hunt for a smaller gel cold pack that did not get completely hard and wouldn't cover the curve of my breast. most of my swelling tends to happen in the side boob. i found this little owl guy on amazon after searching for kids ice pack and it's the perfect size to slip under my shirt but over my bra. hooray for innovation!
if anyone out there is using any sort of silicone scar tape let me know when you started using them. my incisions are pretty much closed up and almost all but one tiny area is scab free. can i start using the scar tape? I don't see my PS until next week. Any info is appreciated!
4 weeks Post Op!
My boobs definitely feel like they are my own now. My right is still numb in places and i've experienced my first real bought of itching and when i went to gently scratch (not my incisions!) i couldn't feel it! It drove me crazy! My brain was so confused and looking for that instant gratification that comes with scratching an itch and I couldn't feel it! The itching felt like it was deeper than the skin surface though and I've been told this is normal. Thank god it didn't last very long. It was only my right boob too. My righty has some issues. It looks like it's healed well on the outside but stuff is happening underneath.
I see my PS next week for a check up. i hope the scar tape helps. I'm using the ScarAway silicone sheets and they stuck well and I know other ladies here have noted they've done a good job. So far still plugging along, waiting for the go ahead to hit the gym and yoga studio again! So ready to test out my new body!
swelling and more antibiotics
i saw my surgeon for my 1 month check up yesterday. i had been feeling pretty run down for the past 2 days and I chalked it up to being on week 2 of no refined sugars (the BR inspired me to start taking better care of myself!). My side boobs, especially the right, has been on and off with the swelling but it was particularly bad yesterday and my PS noticed. We talked about how I was doing and after telling him how I felt like I had flu symptoms he put me on another round of antibiotics. He did say it would be odd to have an infection so late in the game but better safe than sorry! I filled my perscription and took my first pill as soon as i got it. Last night I was a wreck. Exhausted, achy, just plain out sick. I had not felt that bad in ages.
Since I had taken my wedge pillow off the bed a week ago I've been worried about accidentally rolling to my side and I had done that several times in the past 3 days. Last night we broke out the wedge pillow back and put it back in bed. I can't be trusted to not roll over onto my side just yet, especially with my right side boob so swollen and sore. My left is definitely ahead of the game in the healing department! very minimal swelling and no numbness. It feels like normal tissue when I touch it. My right is still numb in places and is hard and warm/hot to touch where there is swelling. I'm wearing my lightest and loosest bralette since any pressure on my right side boob hurts.
I'm not out of the dark yet. Patience. I know. It's hard when all you want to do is just feel normal again.
7 weeks post op - will i even ever need to wear a wire bra again?
15 Jun 2013
2 months post
that second round of antibiotics helped and the swelling has gone down and i'm able to sleep back down off the wedge pillow and even on my left side (the less swollen rapidly healing side) if I want! the right still has some side boob swelling but it has shrunk down just not to the healing point of the left side just yet. i've been doing some self lymph massage and i think that's helping with the swelling but not enough to make it go away completely.
i'm back at the gym too. no real heavy lifting and no running just yet but i can manage the eliptical (with no arms) for 45 minutes and i can do some stretching that involved bending over without much discomfort. i feel so close to feeling normal that i can taste it! my incisions are all closed up but still feel sore on occasion. i'm still wearing bralettes and wireless bras. i feel no need right now to go to a wire frame and wonder if i ever will as the girls really are so much smaller that they sorta stay up there on their own. wires used to be such a necessity for my 36G's since nothing else lifted and separated them but now they're doing so on their own!
i have some workout/yoga tank tops with shelf bras that i used to wear with an additional sports bra underneath and have worn two this week without the second bra and have had no issues with bounce. never in a million years did i think i'd ever be able to be stable with just a shelf bra but ta-dah! my surgeon is a genius!
it's also been a joy to wear button down shirts and t-shirts with images or text on them that are now readable now that my 36Gs aren't distorting them into something ridiculous. it's been such a transformation. the most recent picture posted, the left shows me the morning of my surgery and the right shows me today. since my surgery, on top of the 4.4 lbs removed i've also lost 11 lbs through revamping my diet. i've never been this happy with my body. it can only get better.
eek! a bikini! it's possible!
10 weeks post op and i finally go swimsuit shopping because i have a work retreat and a birthday coming up which involves beaches and hot tubs! I've lost 16 lbs on top of the 4.4 lbs removed from my chest and never in a million years did i think swimsuit shopping would be so much fun!
All is healing well with the exception of some stubborn scar tissue on my problematic right breast. I met with my surgeon last week and he's instructed me to do some self scar tissue massage as it looks like a mass of scar tissue has formed on the lower right side of my breast and has attached itself to the chest wall and is causing my boob shape to be a bit off. My right definitely is a different shape than my left which has healed fine. not a huuuge noticable difference in a bra but it does feel like there is pulling under the incision site when i reach up or out during my gym workouts. If the self massage doesn't loosen it up in a month my surgeon is going to have to perform some scar revision which he noted isn't major surgery. they may need to go in and detach and remove some scar tissue.
i wished i had done some scar tissue massage earlier in the game but you never know and i felt so protective of my incisions. a tip to the ladies, movement is your friend! once your incision has closed up it's good to get things moving to break up scar tissue and help drain some lymph.
other then possible scar revision surgery all is well! i'm back to running at the gym and adding weight training and there's no pain at all and my running gait and form has improved leaps and bounds since i'm no longer being pulled forward by 4.4 lbs of boob!