34 G to who knows?

I developed early and with great gusto, and I've...

I developed early and with great gusto, and I've always felt self conscious and embarrassed about my chest size. I'm 40 years old, 5'2", 140 lbs, and my bra size is 34G.

Like most of you, I suffer from neck and shoulder pain, exercise is difficult, clothes don't fit, I have grooves in my shoulders, terrible posture, and I'm just tired of it.

I have always had the idea of a breast reduction in the back of my mind, but never really made any moves towards it. I never had the money or the health insurance, and when my kids were little, it didn't seem possible.

Now I have insurance, and getting approved with Kaiser was simple. I got a referral from my primary care physician, went for a consolation, and it was as simple as that.

I have a date on the calendar, a terrible case of nerves, and I'm scouring websites for stories, photos and information. I'm trying to get as prepared as possible and I'm exercising, eating healthy and really working on not freaking out.

My main concern is infection. I have a positive MRSA culture, and I am terrified of developing a post surgical infection.

I've really loved reading the reviews and stories here, it seems like a wonderful community.

Thanks Iowa! I'm so glad to have found this community. The pictures of everyone's healing process is so helpful. I'm washing with hibiclens head to toe every day pre surgery, and then during the surgery, I'll have strong IV antibiotics, so I should be good. Here's hoping!
Reply

Thanks for joining us, Violet! Infection is scary. My PS had me using Antibacterial Safegard for two weeks prior to surgery and I continued to use it with every shower over my entire body for several months post-op. I thought avoiding infection at all costs was my top priority. I'm sure your PS will be aware of your MRSA status and maybe will prescribe you a potent antibiotic post-op. This is something I would definitely discuss with him. Good luck and keep us posted.
Reply

Two weeks to go! I'm getting a pretty bad case of...

Two weeks to go! I'm getting a pretty bad case of nerves and self doubt, like many of you have had. I'm trying to keep busy and get prepared.


I want to go into this surgery as strong and healthy as possible, and feeling that I've done what I can to prevent complications.
How are you feeling now , Arielllie?
Reply
I am feeling great, thank you for asking :). I had some wound separation, but my doctor said that it is common and it happens because the skin is so tight around the breast. I do not have much pain at all anymore. I get occasional stinging sensations, but they go away within a few seconds. I did not have to take narcotics a single time, and I haven't taken a tylenol since day 2 post op. This is literally one of the best things I've ever done.
Reply
Arielllie, I'm so glad that you're feeling great. And that you don't have pain! I've never taken any pain killers before, so I'm hoping that I'll have a similar experience.
Reply

Pre-Op I had my pre-op appointment this morning,...

Pre-Op
I had my pre-op appointment this morning, and they didn't care a bit about the cold, which is good. I seem to be in fine enough overall health. They didn't order any blood work or anything else, I had a full panel done in June, and things looked good.

My PS showed me photos of his work, which I hadn't seen yet. It all looked good. We talked about size, and I told him that I wanted to be a C or smaller, and he said a C would be possible, but it could end up being a D, depending on how much underneath the nipple he would have to leave to achieve a nice natural shape.

I still really like my surgeon, and think that he is very caring and a clear communicator, which is great. But a few things are making me feel concerned. Some are small things, others feel like more of a big deal.

small things:
They had my size wrong on my chart, I'm a G, they had me as DD. They did not weigh me, or take my temperature or any of that stuff.

larger things:
You only get one follow up appointment at Kaiser. I will come in for a short appointment 3 days post op to have my drains removed. After that, they don't see you again. Isn't that kind of weird? It seems that most other BR patients have a one month or six week follow up.

Incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches and glue, but no tape. Which might be fine, but it seems like most people have tape or steri-strips. Because of my past MRSA, I am absolutely terrified of open wounds and I really would like to have the incisions heal as fast as humanly possible.

When I asked what percentage of his patients have healing complications, he said about 25%. This seems so high to me compared to what I've read about, that it took me by surprise. When I asked him to clarify, exactly what type, he said the vast majority is open spots at the t-junction of the incisions, and he said it mostly happens in smokers, overweight people, and diabetics. I don't know if 25% of his patients are smokers or what, but I really didn't like hearing this.

The positive things are that I really like him, and feel comfortable with his personality. He does one or two breast reductions every week, so is experienced. The photos of his work looked good, no one seemed to be left too big, and the scarring for the most part looked good. The physicians assistant was very kind and professional, and she will be assisting with my surgery. She said that my doctor does excellent work, and has great results, so that's good.

Ugh..can I just sleep until Tuesday? I'm feeling very anxious and confused right now.
I was similiar size to you 5'2" 34f now 7 days post op. i was shaking in the operating room but i have to tell you not sure if i am just lucky but i feel amazing. I am so happy and you will be too! Best thing i have ever done.
Reply
That's great that you are feeling amazing! I'm so glad to hear it.
Reply
Thank you, Texxxan. The MRSA thing definitely has me freaked out, but my surgeon says that infection is rare in this surgery. I guess I just have to trust him and take the plunge! I'm glad to hear that you are recovering smoothly. I'm planning to do pretty much nothing for at least the first week. Two weeks or more if I need to!
Reply

I'm feeling less anxious today, and just ready to...

I'm feeling less anxious today, and just ready to be getting on with it.

I'm on day 5 of my pre-surgery MRSA decolonization, and that is helping with the nerves. I feel like I'm doing what I can to prevent infection ahead of time.

I've told a lot of my friends that I'm having the surgery on Tuesday and everyone has been very kind and supportive, and have offered to bring us food and help out around the house, which is amazing.

I'll be prepping some meals today and tomorrow, and I've got my supplies pretty much in order.

I got a call yesterday from the nurse educator at Kaiser, who walked me through what will happen when I check in, and gave me some pre-op instructions. That was very reassuring. I also got a call from the surgery scheduler. My time is 9:30 Tuesday morning. I wish it was earlier!
Good luck tomorrow, Nellienell! Hope that all goes smoothly, and you are home happy and recovering before you know it!
Reply
I'm very happy for you...im scheduled for the same date.. 10-9-12 and i too am 5'2 but 193 and know im wearing the wrong size bra for years but stuffing myself into a 38 ddd ... few more days to go and i am nervous but excited for the change to come. i wish you allll the very best and a safe speedy recovery
Reply

My surgeon gave me a prescription for valium, and...

My surgeon gave me a prescription for valium, and I've been taking half of one at bed time to help me sleep, and it's working perfectly. I figure going in to the surgery rested will help me more than taking half a valium will hurt me. The nurse educator said to feel free to take it even on the morning of the surgery. Just to let them know that I have it "on board" when they place my IV.
This is your day....Good luck Violet.
Reply
Will be thinking of you tomorrow Violet and can't wait to hear how you did. Best wishes!!!
Reply
Ah yes, the hibicleanse ;) You're going to be just fine and on the other side very soon! I wish I'd had some Valium for that night before surgery. Sound like your surgeon has you well taken care of. I'm very excited for you.
Reply

The surgery is over, now it's on to recovery phase...

The surgery is over, now it's on to recovery phase.

My appointment was at 9:30 yesterday. We arrived early and went for a bit of a walk to calm our nerves. After I checked in and was taken back to the pre-surgery ward, I changed into a pair of comfy socks they gave me, and a weird robe that had holes in it like a vacuum cleaner bag so that they could fill it with warm air and keep me warm during surgery. I didn't bring my phone with me, so I didn't get any photos of the markings.

It took a long time for a nurse to be able to get to me. Over an hour, because they were busy,but my surgeon came by and marked me. I was surprised that the marks where my nipples were to go were only about a half inch higher than before. I told him I really didn't want them by my elbows any more! But whatever looks natural and good.

Lying in the bed waiting for the nurse felt like an eternity, and I was right across from the clock. When she came, she had to ask me a long list of questions, and start my iv, because the vancomycin needed to infuse for an hour pre surgery. They gave me anti nausea pills too. I had a small reaction to the vanco, so they turned down the rate. The anesthesiologist was very nice too and had lots of questions. After all the questions, they finally gave me a sedative, and then the anesth. who would be with me during surgery came by and gave me more sedative. I remember thinking that I liked her face and she seemed really nice, and then I woke up in recovery and it was all over!

I think it was about 4:30 when I woke, and my husband came in and stayed with me until I was lucid enough to leave at around 6. I immediately felt smaller and lighter, and like I can breathe better! I haven't seen myself yet, and I won't until Friday when my drains are removed, but so far so good. My surgeon dropped by in recovery and said that everything went really well, and he thinks I will be a C cup! I haven't been a C since I was 12!

I had no nausea from the anesthesia, and the pain medicine is agreeing with me so far. I have a wedge pillow and a little nest of arm and leg pillows so I'm pretty comfy in bed and I plan to stay here and watch lord of the rings all day, drifting in an out of sleep.
Well, welcome to a new world of strapless dresses and cute bras! Im excited for you. Treat yourself like a queen right now and allow others to do everything. Rest those Breasts, lol. Wasn't the warm air in the gown nice! I had that too. They keep the hospitals cold, my husband was envious.
Reply
Nice to hear the good news! Congrats.
Reply
Glad ur home now. Relax and let others do for u :). Happy healing !
Reply

It's Friday now, which I guess is day 4. ...

It's Friday now, which I guess is day 4.
Yesterday was a bit of a rough day, but not too bad. I had a minor reaction to the pain meds, itching all over, so I stopped taking them and got some Tylenol 3, which is much more gentle.

I went in yesterday and had my drains out, which is nice, but I got very woozy and almost fainted. They tried to stand me up and show me my new chest, which they said looked great and is healing nicely, but I was too faint to do it. So I still haven't really had a look.

I'm hoping to shower later, and I'll check it out then.

I showered, I looked, and they are cute! No...

I showered, I looked, and they are cute! No pictures yet, but tomorrow I'll get some.

I think today will be another day of rest, but...

I think today will be another day of rest, but every day I'm feeling stronger and better. My husband was folding laundry, and showed me my big hot pink bra, the one in the photos above, and I put it against my chest, just to see, and it was ridiculous! I am so much smaller and lighter now. I just had him throw it away, because there is no way I'll be needing that giant thing again!

I slept pretty well last night, and that's got to be helping my energy levels. I'm not a back sleeper, but I've made a little nest with a wedge pillow with a softer pillow on it, and then soft pillows lifting my arms, and one under my knees.

Yesterday turned out to not be the best day. I...

Yesterday turned out to not be the best day. I tried a different bra, and it cut off my circulation for a bit and my hands went all cold and numb, and it took me a while to recover. Then later I checked myself out in the mirror, and the bottom of the left side looked all red and swollen and different than the right. I got super scared and called the PS, who scheduled me to come in later that afternoon. My husband came home from work a bit early and took me in to get checked out.

The nurse hit me in the left boob while taking my blood pressure.

Then my dr. came and checked me out and told me that it was just a pink shade of bruise, no sign of infection, and i'm healing well, which was a huge major relief to me.

Riding in the car and being upright felt pretty good to me, so my husband and I went to walmart and picked up some larger sized FOTL bras. I'm now wearing size 40, when my normal band size is 34.

I ate dinner and some fruit, took a tylenol 3 and went to bed early and listened to my healing meditation.
I am still only sleeping for little bits at a time, but I think I got at least 6 hours.

This morning, I woke up and lefty is still very swollen, but no worse than yesterday. Bruising is so interesting and weird. But the dr. said that new blood vessels are forming and old fluids are finding their way out of the body, so I'm trying to think of the swelling and bruising that way. The body is just healing itself.

My right side has a new bruise this morning to match the left, up high near the armpit, with a little lump underneath it. I'm hoping that's just fine and normal.

I took a little walk down the street and back, now I'm super tired, but it felt good to get things moving.
yeah i have increased two inches in band with since my surgery im 3 weeks now and it hasnt really went down that much. i asked my PS about it today and he said that swelling is normal and over time it will improve so i guess we all be buying a few things until that happens. i dont wanna invest too much into the bras for a few months i think. maybe just get one or two to tide me over until i feel smaller again lol. im glad ur healing well. happy healing!
Reply

The bottom of the left side is still looking funky...

The bottom of the left side is still looking funky to me, and it's starting to leak a small amount of old looking blood. I put some pads in my bra, and I guess it's better out than in!

I'm resting and drinking lots of water and eating healthy foods, taking arnica and just trying to wait it out. I took some photos this morning, and I'll have my husband check it out when he gets home from work.

I realized today how much I miss hugs and baths. Hope it's not too long before I can have both again.
congratulations!!
Reply
glad u are doing well. keep us posted ....hugs.
Reply
I am glad you are doing well. I just completed one month, and I still have a little soreness, but not much. Your healing shouldn't be that bad because I had the glue and no strips also. Not having to worry about stitches on the outside really made a difference.
Reply

I think I'm having some post op depression. I...

I think I'm having some post op depression. I feel like I am still way too large, and that I won't end up with cute perky boobs like others have, and that I'm going through all of this, and putting my family through it for very little gain.

I spent this morning crying in the shower and just feeling super low. I'm not feeling like I will be able to wear different styles of clothes, or that I look much better. I feel like I'm still a large breasted woman and this feeling is not fun. I emailed my surgeon to ask how much was removed so I could get a reality check, and what he told me left me crushed. He only removed around 550 grams total, even though I repeatedly asked to be taken as small as possible, and he told me that he would get me to a C.

My left breast is very swollen and painful and there are blisters along the sides of the vertical incision.

Despite how I was feeling this morning, I have to...

Despite how I was feeling this morning, I have to say that I really like my surgeon. He has been very compassionate and responsive to my questions and with the issues I'm having on the left breast.

I'm just going to have to wait out this post op emotional crash.
hope u had a good weekend violet and that u are feeling better. hugs xxx
Reply
Thanks for checking in! The weather here was lovely, and I did go for a few walks and help my daughter with her halloween costume, and that was wonderful for getting my mind off of things.
Reply
awww i bet that was nice to be out. maybe we all need a catered lunch at home and a good chick flick with popcorn as well!! lol
Reply

I'm feeling a little stronger and better each day....

I'm feeling a little stronger and better each day. I'm currently wearing one of my old tshirts that used to stretch until it was nearly see through when I wore it, and it's now baggy and loose, so that's awesome! My blisters and bruising are working on resolving. It's just the hematoma and hard swelling that will take a while longer to heal. It's making my left side quite a bit larger than the right. The weird sad obsessively disappointed feeling seems to be passing, thank goodness!
You look fabulous!! I can see a big difference in the size, shape and hold. I get excited just thinking of how much fun you will have going shopping for new clothes!!! :~)))
Reply
Yay glad to hear ur seeing improvement. I hope ur doc is keeping a good eye on ur hematoma. They do usually resolve themselves in time hugs xxx
Reply
Violet - You look really great and much lighter - Hope you feel better day by day!
Reply

I'm feeling like the worst of the negative...

I'm feeling like the worst of the negative feelings have passed, and once the hematoma on the left one dissolves, if it become the same-ish size as the right, I will end up with reasonably sized, natural looking breasts, that are not low and flappy like they were, so even though I wish that more weight was removed, my shoulders and neck already don't hurt as much as they did, and once I can exercise again, I can work on correcting my posture and I should be much better off than I was before. That post surgery emotional crash is a doozy!

My right side is healing normally, aside from a small hematoma. The left side has a hematoma the size between a golfball and a lemon, and then it has blistering along the vertical incision, as well as bruising. Underneath the left NAC one of the blisters went through it's process, and then came off and there is pink skin underneath. So far no open spots. I've been trying to take photos daily to track the progress, but I am using the front camera of my iphone and the quality is not great.
wow sounds like it may take a smidge longer for u to heal up and feel good again. im so sorry u are having a hurdle. u know we are all here if u need to vent and dont feel like u made a mistake just yet. ur body has went thru a huge trauma and it will take time for everything to settle. gentle hugs xxxxx
Reply
Thanks! It will take a bit longer to heal, but I have plenty of time to rest and eat healthy. As long as I avoid infection, I'll be happy.
Reply
Your post-op pics look amazing! There is a huge difference! I go in tomorrow for my surgery and am a 34FF, so I'm close to your starting size. I hope mine look as good as yours do! Relax and enjoy the "new you"!
Reply

Not much to report. Healing is moving along...

Not much to report. Healing is moving along slowly but surely. The right side is healing up nicely, and the surgical glue is starting to come off. I had a few bad days with the left side, with the previously blistered skin opening up and bleeding and just being troublesome and painful.

I'm still doing as the dr. ordered. Showering daily and then applying polysporin and gauze. I realized that the worsening of the wound on the left coincided with me buying new gauze at CVS, so I checked out the box and saw that it was made of polyester and rayon, not cotton, so I got some better 100% cotton gauze and within the day the area improved.

My energy levels are still low, but I'm doing more each day. I went shopping at goodwill yesterday and got two cute dresses that make my chest look SO SMALL! Very encouraging. I'll try to get some new pictures up to show my progress.
Glad your healing well and feeling good...yes when you are up to it we would love to see your girls all dressed up!
Reply
Thanks for sharing your story!! Glad to hear that the healing is coming along although a little slower than I presume you had hoped for. Your pictures are fabulous! what a change! You look fantastic! Keep us updated!
Reply
I'm glad ur seeing improvement. I am slowly healing too. But now the last bits are showing more healing now if the pesky stitches would stop showin up lol. I can't wait to picks of ur dress!! It is a relief to know things will fit. I am still trying to get used to fitting the cute little cami tops! My eyes need to adjust hahaha
Reply

I'm having a down day. My hematoma on the left...

I'm having a down day. My hematoma on the left side is very swollen and painful. My boobs seem disappointingly large and un-perky and I'm feeling sad that more was not taken out.
How are you doing now that it's been more than a year since your surgery? Are you happy with the outcome? I'm scheduled for a consultation with Dr. Lin next week and, like you, am feeling anxious. I would appreciate any insight you may be willing to share.
Reply
I had the same issue with a hematoma on the left side. It was REALLY painful and It's making the girls not look the same size and like one is higher than the other. I think in time everything will even out. Honestly Violet, you are looking really good and it is a big difference from before. Once that hematoma goes down, hopefully you'll see the difference like the rest of us see between your before and after shots. Hang in there!
Reply
You look amazing!! Don't worry about the post surgical blues and still feeling large up top, it's going to take some time to be able to see yourself in this "new light"! Just know that you look AWESOME!!
Reply
Fresno Plastic Surgeon

I have Kaiser insurance, and in my area there are two surgeons to choose from. I chose Dr. Lin because he made me feel very at ease, and answered all of my questions in a professional, kind and respectful manner.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful