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Over the rainbow - 9-week photos

Hi gals - So amazing to join this team of amazing...

Hi gals - So amazing to join this team of amazing women who bring so much comfort, education, and support to this very emotional process. I'm having a moment of insecurity tonight (along with probably too may champagnes tonight celebrating summer's final arrival) and decided to join Realself finally.

I have read many stories so far and feel very encouraged by all the details shared - with great laughs, comraderie, and intamcy! Thank you for being here! I HAD to join because of what you have given me so far!

I am 43 yo and 34G (per Nordstrom but still can't wear it comfortably - spill out and they are put on a platform for all to see - so I actually squeeze into a Bali 34DD (hate underwires) to minimize). 5'6" and about 180 lbs (no kids) and have tried for 12 years to lose 40+ lbs with very concerted effort and I believe the metabolism is now dead! I have had 2 half marathon goals and got to the 5 mile point of training and failed due to chafing boobies and life. I desperately want to run without having to hold my boobs in place with the whole neighborhood watching. Not to mention the clothes, bras, neck/shoulder pain, and overall selfconsciousness we all feel. These puppies just grew from my 20s onward and I don't see an end in sight.

I had my first consult with a PS about 3 weeks ago. She was very nice and encouranging, and the office was spa like (kinda prefer the clincal feel myself), but I didn't feel a connection and after the consult I perused her before/after photos and was not convinced that she was going to give me what I expected. Only 2 out of about 100 outcomes would I have been pleased with. Mainly the areolas were in an odd spot (facing far out) and overall everything seemed too wide. This is definitely an art as well as a science (I know cosmetics is not the main priority when going through this - the elimination of pain and embarassment with clothes is utmost for me - but I want to feel good about myself naked in the mirror for the first time in years).

So I decided to schedule a second consult - both my gyn and an acquaintance have recommend this next PS with 25 yrs experience and an educator - I am hopeful. My appointment is this Tuesday, Aug 7th. Was trying to lose 5 lbs before the appointment but somehow gained that much - must be psychological sabotage - not deserving of this gift since I cannot lose weight.

My fears tonight...my belly! All I can see right now when I look down are the boobies. But when I hold them up/push them into normal position, my belly is big. What if this is a mistake and afterwards all my focus will be on the belly. I am so hopeful that after this looooong desired surgery, I will get all this new energy to start my running goals again along with planks to get this flab gone. But what if I I can't? I know I'll never be Jennifer Aniston or even the 116 lb bride that I was, but a reasonable 40+yo weight is all that I wish...and of course to walk around the house without a bra and without the shirts tucked inderneath, and without the huge grooves in my shoulders.

So...this process is just beginning for me and I am very anixous at this point but also comforted by the support I know I will get here - nobody else knows the feelings you share with me - not even supporting husband, family. I am hoping insurance will cover this and am still waiting for the first consult to be submitted and acknowledged by insurance. Their non-insurance/cosmetic quote total was approximately $6800 with anesthesiologist/hospital, etc.

More to come after my consult. Thanks again for this sisterhood!! You are the BEST. Hope everyone is healing well - I think of you and check in often and wonder how it must be....
(PS - the bulldog thing - we love English bulldogs - joy of joys)

Had an excellent consult yesterday, as hard as it...

Had an excellent consult yesterday, as hard as it is to bare yourself in front of a stranger, but quickly got over my modesty and let it all hang out, or low in my case. I figure he'll be getting much more acquainted with my boobies than even I am. He definitely is "the one"! Office and staff were great - felt like friends already. The doc was very caring, thorough, detailed, and an expert. I know he'll be with me throughout this whole process. He explained in detail the pedicle procedure he uses, why he uses drains, why he will not do lipo, possible complications, the stitches and scarring, how he uses tumescent to limit bleeding. I like that during the procedure he will sit me up to determine the nipple placement. He didn't "dumb" it down for me, but used clinical terminology - just what this perfectionist/A type needed. Just an excellent experience and now I have so much confidence and understanding. The anxiety and fear is replaced by excitement and just wanting to be on the other side. He estimates 450-600 removal - he likes to start low with insurance and then they can't come back and say he didn't take enough and then deny - that would be a nightmare - as it is I have a large deductible plus 20%. But will still choose to do this if denied - just have to save up more. So should hear in about 3 weeks from insurance, then about 4 weeks out for scheduling - hoping no later than the end of September. Patience is definitely the key here - difficult since I wanted this yesterday! But good things are worth waiting for from what I am reading here. I'll check in when I hear anything. Will also get up enough nerve one day to post my before photos. Might take more liquid courage instead of just this coffee this morning. Hope everyone is doing well!

Just checking in and posting my pictures. Still...

Just checking in and posting my pictures. Still waiting for insurance. Never heard from first PS and its been 6+ weeks, so another sign that they are not responsive and not the clinic for me. The PS I chose called 2 weeks after my consult and said they have everything ready and are submittig for insurance - that was 1+ week ago. So can't get my hopes up yet. I am posting my before pictures and hopefully can put my surgery date up next. I've noticed a considerable increase in my shoulder/neck pain and twinges. Maybe I'm more acutely aware of it now that I started this process. Can only get worse with age. Sending well wishes to all those in recovery - rest up and be kind to yourself. xxoo

Called insurance just now - they have denied it =...

Called insurance just now - they have denied it = "direct plan exclusion" - she said a letter I should be getting will go through the appeals process. I have no idea what to do now. I have not gone to any docs and complained about my pain - I just suffer with it day in and day out. So I think I'm screwed. So frustrating because my premiums are outrageous and I've paid for this procedure many times over. It'll be a while/a year? before I can save enough to pay out of pocket. My bras are in desperate need of replacement, which I was holding off on. Guess I need to splurge and get a new one now. Thinking of you all and will check in to follow how you are doing. Take care.

Plan B: No insurance coverage - "direct plan...

Plan B: No insurance coverage - "direct plan exclusion" (excluded right below sex change operation - why didn't I read that closer before all this??) So much for United Healthcare. SO - shop around for a reasonable yet skilled surgeon. Have a 3rd consult this Monday - In the middle of the price range but highly recommended. Will have to use CareCredit plus a little of my own money I was saving for the deductible. Maybe now I can be more demanding comsemtically. I'll keep you posted gals. Thinking of you Ohiogirl as well as Adore and WakaWaka (those waiting for approval and healing). So happy TooBigLongBeach that you are doing so well and a happy girl - you had me worried there for a while - thanks for sharing your exciting journey! Take care all - I'll be in touch.

Fantastic PS appointment today (3rd and final). I...

Fantastic PS appointment today (3rd and final). I felt so comfortable - he was so natural and friendly and I can tell he's an extraordinary surgeon, and a decent price range too. He pretty much only does the vertical pedicle with short scar - it was the first time that I saw this style described and drawn out - I thought most of them were similar to the inferior pedicle. I like how he described it and am very excited he uses this technique. Guess it makes it not as flat/more full. Has anyone had this particular style done? My preop is on Sept 26th already and then I'll be good to go. Quite scary but I'm trying not to think about it. Can't believe I even took the plunge and committed - emotionally and financially - I just jumped right in today without hesitation! I am very confident in the surgeon and look forward to talking with him again to make sure we are on the same page size wise. Seems like such a fine line between too big and too small, and to leave that all up to him in the end is strange since I'm a little control freak. The October girls I think are adding up so let the countdown begin.

Preop was yesterday. What a comforting appointment...

Preop was yesterday. What a comforting appointment. My hubby was there with me and glad he got to hear everything the surgeon discussed. LOVE my surgeon - so relaxed and reassuring. He was so positive that I am doing the right thing and that I will be happy with outcome. Feel better about size - I was requesting a middle of the road C and wanted to make sure we were on the same page so I actually showed a picture of Kate (my gold standard - hope you don't mind Kate!!) and in his opinion its more of a D - so it shows size is in the eye of the beholder! So will be very happy if that is the size I end up with. Actually, I have no idea what a C would look like, as I don't recall being that since I was 16. So regardless of the cup that I end up with I feel great that we are at least on the same page. He was happy with the photo of what I was aiming for because leaving too little tissue makes it difficult to shape and tends to be too flat with no projection, and also causes circulation and healing problems. And I am more curvy so he wants proportion. Boy, all that release paperwork is scary but you have to forge ahead and sign away! Never been under general anesthesia so hoping for no problems. Have to see my cardiologist for a clearance - I have occasional atrial tachycardia that is benign and haven't had an episode in a long while but they don't want to take any chances so I will probably have to do an EKG. Otherwise all set and paid for! Here we go......

In 2 weeks I'll be on the other side recovering -...

In 2 weeks I'll be on the other side recovering - slowest 2 weeks of my life!!! Let's get this over with....

My nerves are shot - don't know how I'm going to...

My nerves are shot - don't know how I'm going to do this. The angst is severe. I think I need to call my PS' office and get some questions answered and reassurance. What have I done and what am I about to do? = Posted this to October reduction area recently. Still anxious. Will call my PS after my cardiology appt tomorrow to discuss and hopefully that will help. Good news: lost a few lbs and feel better about going into this lighter, found my postop going home clothes at 2nd hand stores because I don't have anything front closing except PJs. Will definitely need a sunny vacation this winter to celebrate this when its over!!!

I'm alive and well and now can heal. Today has...

I'm alive and well and now can heal. Today has been surprisingly comfortable. Initally right out of postop there was burning on a 7 scale, but once home and on my oxy and eating something I feel great - had a bannana on the way home really helped. No nausea whatsoever, but I've never been prone to puking. Hubby taking good care of me and my doggy. My surgeon and staff couldn't have been better - loved their sense of humor! No hitches. Looking forward to seeing the results - probably not until Monday at the ostop where I assume drains will be removed and bandaged changed - very little fluid draining so far.. Was able to empty it myself since I don't think my hubby likes the sight of the fluid too much. I realized you end up having to totally rely on your surgeon to do the right thing with size, contour, safety. He said he'd make me as small as he could wihout compromising blood flow and nerves. My hobby is upholstering furniture, so it was funny that after he left the room after marking me up, I totally manipulated them in the position I saw him mark and could see how it all worked, just like sewing a garment or pleating the back of a chair. haha. I'm am anticipating a rougher day tomorrow as most have, but so far so good. Take care everyone!!

Been laying low these couple of postop days and...

Been laying low these couple of postop days and taking it very easy. Feeling better than expected except for the upper back pain and GI pain. My trusty baked kale has come through for me. The drain location is the only thing that I can say is slightly uncomfortable and hopefully they'll come out today - not much draining. Only on Tylenol now. Looking forward to my first postop appointment this afternoon - Maybe I'll get a peek. Overall surprised at how great I feel and excited to see the outcome - I think they'll be perfect and I love my surgeon and his staff. I'll post pictures for the reveal. Thinking of everyone who is healing and those gearing up for their big day - you can do it, just forge ahead and be strong.

My postop was today - The big reveal! So far I...

My postop was today - The big reveal! So far I think they look great! They feel like mine already - just the way they should have been all along. Still a little swollen but that will go down - only day 3. Doc said sx went smoothly and didn't see anything concerning regarding pathology. Love my doc - so down to earth and skilled. He took out the drains - didn't hurt at all. Just a little tenderness where they came out now. Niplles have normal feeling so far. He retaped and said I could shower now. Washed my bra and walked around without bra for first time in years = freedom. Took out about 450g left/360g right - so not as much as many gals here but I don't think I was very dense - pretty flabby stuff. Have no idea what size I'll end up (probably a D) but they just seem natural and fit with my frame. Overall I feel wonderful and seem to be healing well. Now just have to take it easy cause I feel so great. Don't want these sutures to open up. Next postop scheduled 10/31.

1 week postop - fighting a little boredome today -...

1 week postop - fighting a little boredome today - still have another week off work! Although I have in my mind all these things I'd love to accomplish while at home, I just don't feel like it. So instead I am entertaining my doggy, reading, and whiling away the hours on RealSelf :) Feel a little biggish these last few days - most likely from swelling from what I've read. No pain, only slight burning. Out of my Zolipdem/sleeping pills - boy were those great! Back pain and stiffness in mornings is severe but doesn't last long. No other changes to report. Will check in next week after next postop appointment. Hope everyone is doing well waiting and healing...

Adding photos today - feeling great

Adding photos today - feeling great

Updating photos now 8 days PO. Feeling great.

Updating photos now 8 days PO. Feeling great.

Had my 2-week postop yesterday - have I said how...

Had my 2-week postop yesterday - have I said how much I love my doc? What a great person! He answers all my questions before I can even ask them. He removed the steri-strips. All the sutures are still closed, they are dissolvable so it was a relief to know he doens't have to remove any stitches. He then applied the scar tape that I need to change ever 4-5 days. We discussed the right area that bothers me - on the inside its a little square and seems to have extra flesh/fat - if that was gone then I think they'd look and feel more equal - Just needs some more contouring - I have to adjust this area frequently inside my bra cause it gets smooshed in the band - without me asking he immediately said he could easily revise that in office under local for n/c! I didn't even have to ask he offered and said we can discuss that at 3 months. What a relief! Just amazing he cares so much that I am 100% satisfied. Otherwise everything is perfect. Next appointment at the 6-week mark where photos will be taken. I don't feel like I've even had surgery - of course it helps that nobody really knows so no comments from people. No real pain or discomfort - every once in a while a twinge or the band hits a stitch and I need to adjust it. Holding off on bra shopping cause I just don't know for sure what I'll need. Heading back to my desk job today. Actually worked last Saturday night at our restaurant and "tried" to take it easy - although the dish washing is too tempting to walk past so I was slightly sore in the morning. Thinking of everyone this week heading for sx or recovering! Your in my thoughts...

1-mo postop and sharing some photos to show how...

1-mo postop and sharing some photos to show how the scars are healing. Feeling fantastic - Still a little sore at the end of the day. I can feel some hard spots internally but they are getting softer as the weeks go by. Having troubles finding bras that are comfy for me. Still go back to my surgery bra because I can wear it all day without discomfort. I think I'll be a 34DD still, which is a very difficult size to find off the rack with no underwire - wanted to be out of the doubles but I think weight loss will accomplish that, so kind of glad I have that buffer so *when* I lose # I should go down to a D. Still only cleared for walking - no running yet. So much more comfortable in my clothes and feel normal now and not self conscious or trying to hide - its a great feeling!! This has been a wonderful experience and life changing. Best wishes to all who are waiting and healing.

Updating photos since I really appreciate seeing...

Updating photos since I really appreciate seeing others' progress too. I am now approx 9 weeks po and feeling awesome! What size do you think I look like now? Important to contemplate because I think I look way smaller than what I am measuring and fitting in bras.....wanna guess? Answer: 34DD. I think I don't look any bigger than a 34D so its deceiving. Hope this helps some put into perspective what we are requesting from our surgeon and when they say they can't promise a certain size its true and its because it ultimately dosen't matter as long as they are proportionate to your body, look and feel good, and give relief to the pain we experience. With that said, however, its still difficult for me to go bra shopping - not only am I picky, but there are not that many comfortable options in the doubles and up. So I simply went shopping in my own closet and low and behold I have plenty of options right here without spending a dime (although a bra burning bash was on my dream list). Had my 6week po and was cleared for everything: exercise, underwires, scar treatment. Next po in 6months to check on scars. Scars are fading very slowly - they are still pretty red and the horizontal ones are still slightly raised - those are sore in the mornings so I lightened up on the massage. PS gave me a sweet gift of premium sunscreen to put on under my bathing suit - a must he said - although I haven't seen the sun here in months!!

Thinking of all my past buddies and hope you are doing well in recovery and the newbies that just came out and all those on the tarmac awaiting take-off - try not to worry - the anxiety and waitng is the hardest part of this. Take care everyone and happy healing. Enjoy your "noobs"
Shahram Salemy

I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with Dr. Salemy and his staff. I knew the day I consulted with him that he was my PS - he had a high degree of skill and training, had a good artistic eye, knew the most up-to-date procedures and would ensure that I was happy with my outcome. I am thrilled with how my breast reduction turned out. They are beautiful, symmetrical, natural, and my healing was flawless – all of this because of Dr. Salemy. I enjoyed his communication style – he is down to earth and I felt relaxed in his care and comfortable asking questions, and I knew he would be there for me if I had problems. He knows what he is doing, and his preop and postop processes as well as the nurses, technicians, and anesthesiology ensured that I had the best outcome possible. I liked that my surgery was in their own ASC and not at the hospital. Also his fees and the costs are reasonable – worth every penny and more. Love him and his staff and my whole experience.

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 tmes
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You have amazing results! Thanks for posting pics . I am a little over 5 weeks and love my newbies :-)
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Such an incredible transformation! I am so excited for what my surgery has in store! Thanks for uploading the healing pictures at 9 weeks. It really helps to see post-op pictures that are further along. It gives me a better idea of the "final"result, rather than the healing process. You look amazing (and SO MUCH thinner)!
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Hi it's To B's or Bust! Wow! Amazing !! What a transformation! You look amazing and you lost so much weight. You look beautiful!! My doctor said I don't need a lift but I guess 6 months will tell me if I need one. Your Doctor did an amazing job! I can see why you are so happy! Thanks again for writing to me! Hugs to you!
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So glad you are doing well Niesey! I too am still in the DD club and finding bras can definitely still be a challenge. I have had some luck w/ the Bali Comfort Revolution Wire Free bra (model # 3463) for out and about and the Bali Sure Size Wire Free Bra has been great for around the house and sleeping. They sell them on Amazon and at Target too, better range of colors on Amazon but then you can't try them on. I haven't decided if I will venture back into underwire-land yet. You look great!
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Thanks ladies!! I will definitely find the Mederma scar gel, Agab, and give that a try - I've been using Palmers and a silicone gel called "Scarfade" that the PS office provides, normally costs $30 but thankfully they gave it to me. Appreciate the tip...
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congratulations. you look fabulous!!
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You look great! Instantly you look 20 pds thinnner. Very nice result!
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If you haven't, try Mederma scar gel - it works wonders - takes out the redness completely and quickly. It also minimizes scarring - you can tell. I found it at Walmart the cheapest, about $16 w/coupon or $18 without. It's expensive for a little tube, but worth it. You look great!
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You look Great! I hope I am so lucky! Congrats!
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You look AWESOME!!
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You look so fab! Great news your recovering well! x
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you are looking amazing, you have healed really well! xx
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lookin' good!!!! I can't wait to be at the point you're at! you look fantastic and everything healed so nicely!!
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You look great and the scars have healed tremendously - the progress looks fantastic. Best wishes for a continuous and speedy recovery !!!
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Looking gorgeous!!! So glad u are healing so quickly!!! So much better for ur frame to not have big boobies taking up the pic. Now u see a waiste and real curves!! Before too long u will find the type of bra that is comfy. I was still switching back and forth at 4 weeks so pretty soon they won't bother ur incisions.
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OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY goodness!! You look AMAZING!!! wow, they came out SO beautiful! The shape is so awesome and your nice and symertrical and your sew job was fantastic! He did good! You did good! I"M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!! It's all downhill from here friend. Get through the itching and minor discomfort the next 2-3 weeks and your home free..................so much fun now, and so much fun to be had! xo
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You are the sweetest - thanks for that boost of confidence!! I think there will always be one side we like better than the other, like you, but I may have him revise that little square corner on my left - it keeps getting smooshed in my bra. However, nobody would ever notice except me so why bother. We'll see as time goes on. I remember the troubles you expressed with your "deflated tire" and it looks like that filled in beautifully!! You look awesome. Thanks again for your fun-loving enthusiasm!!! Can't wait for summer or a Cali road trip this winter!!
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looking good!!!!!!
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so glad ur doing so well. i know u waited a while for this. u look great! yeah id wait on bra shopping. my experience the past few weeks playing dress up was ok but my bra size was not what i was expecting. i wore a 36h before surgery and now the bras i bought this week were 38d. i just got a few in case the swelling is why the band change. im thinking who knows maybe i was wearing the wrong size to begin with as i was then compensating for huge breasts. but i dont worry too much anymore as its comfy on the incision under my arms. anyways i cant wait to see what u end up buying for ur first post op bra! hugs
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Niesey, you look great! So glad you are so happy with your doc, that really helps. I feel the same about mine, which is what I tried to say in my very last update before I was cut off at the knees! Continue to take it easy; sometimes its bad if you feel so good, cuz then you end up doing too much! You have a long healing process to come, as do I still. Take care!
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Had my 2-week postop yesterday - have I said how much I love my doc? What a great person! He answers all my questions before I can even ask them. He removed the steri-strips. All the sutures are still closed, they are dissolvable so it was a relief to know he doens't have to remove any stitches. He then applied the scar tape that I need to change ever 4-5 days. We discussed the right area that bothers me - on the inside its a little square and seems to have extra flesh/fat - if that was gone then I think they'd look and feel more equal - Just needs some more contouring - I have to adjust this area frequently inside my bra cause it gets smooshed in the band - without me asking he immediately said he could easily revise that in office under local for n/c! I didn't even have to ask he offered and said we can discuss that at 3 months. What a relief! Just amazing he cares so much that I am 100% satisfied. Otherwise everything is perfect. Next appointment at the 6-week mark where photos will be taken. I don't feel like I've even had surgery - of course it helps that nobody really knows so no comments from people. No real pain or discomfort - every once in a while a twinge or the band hits a stitch and I need to adjust it. Holding off on bra shopping cause I just don't know for sure what I'll need. Heading back to my desk job today. Actually worked last Saturday night at our restaurant and "tried" to take it easy - although the dish washing is too tempting to walk past so I was slightly sore in the morning. Thinking of everyone this week heading for sx or recovering! Your in my thoughts...
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Oops - always seem to add my updates in the wrong spot. Sorry for the duplicate.
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You look really great! Thanks for sharing your journey and please for us Nov girls keep updating!!
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I have to tell you! your boobs look so good! my inspiration especially the two pics next to each other! thanks for all your help and advice!
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well, had to bring some humor into this hurricane sandy situation
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