You've read the same story (different woman) over...
You've read the same story (different woman) over and over again on RealSelf...but truth is, no matter how many reviews you've read and photos you have studied...you still found courage, strength and confidence in the testimonies of each one of them.
I'm no different from you but yet I hope that my journal of this experience will give back to someone the same gift that the testimonies of those who have gone before, gave to me.
I've considered breast reduction many times over the years...I'm 44, have two grown daughters ages 22 and 20...so this factory is closed for production...it's time for me to do this for me. Insurance won't cover me so I've had to save my money to pay for this on my own. Im ready for the top half of my body, which is currently a size 38 DDD, to match the bottom half of my body which is a size 6. I am 5'7 and as of this morning, I weighed 159 lbs. My breasts completely by-passed training bras in puberty and went straight for the gusto...I've can't ever remember wearing anything less than a 34D. It's been slow and steady growth of the boobs since then. When all is said and done, I pray to fit comfortably into a C cup bra (if I chose to wear a bra at all) *wink wink*
My procedure is scheduled for six weeks from now. Some of the things I'm wondering about has everything to do with after this is all over, like... will the grooves in my shoulders at some point fade away? Will I finally feel comfortable enough to wear a 2-piece bathing suit? Will I be able to improve my golf swing once "the girls" are out of the way? Will I finally be greeted "eye to eye" by men versus eye (theirs) to chest (mine) when out in public? I'm just saying...these are the thoughts, among others quirky things, that are running through my head.
After childbirth twice, natural and c-section...I'm not worried too much about the pain and recovery...as long as there's med's to help with that. Not too concerned about scars...I chose Dr. Horndeski (Houston) and frankly, pictures of his work and the testimonies of his patients, and my interaction with him during the office consultation have me sold that I've made the best choice in him. Besides, I studied and researched quite a bit before choosing Dr. Horndeski. His "Ultimate Breast Reduction" procedure is just what I need to live fabulously in my FORTIES and beyond. I've got a fantastic family with their support, so no stress there...I'm just READY for the journey to begin ;-)
Getting closer...Ultimate Breast Reduction approaching soon.
So I've been doing quite a bit of reading in preparation for my upcoming UBR. Three weeks away now and the anticipation is building. What seems to be the biggest unknown but an extremely important issue is having the "RIGHT" bra for post op recovery. I have no clue on what to buy, but according to what I've read at least on this site, the right bra can make a world of difference in the "reshaping" of my new breasts. The good news is, I have quite a few bras I've purchased in that past that I've barely worn. I've never been good about returning bras that didn't fit properly. Maybe one of those prior purchases will work in my favor after all. I'm sure I will be spending an evening (before my surgery) going through all of those bras looking for possible options for wear after my surgery...kinda difficult to nail down when I'm not really sure of what size I will be.
My pre-op appointment is set for exactly one week before my surgery. Fortunately, I had a recent mammogram and blood work results from my primary doctor that I was able to provide, everything is normal. Now, I'm just looking forward to getting this done.
"Houston, we have a problem..."
Ever heard this phrase: "the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem..." HOUSTON, I have a problem...I've been a BRA HOARDER.
There...I've admitted to my problem, I've faced it, documented the problem (see photos), and now, I'm headed down the happy road towards RECOVERY :-)
I had to call my daughter in to help me "tackle" the bras today. Together, we counted a total of 53 lovely bras (of which, 90% haven't fit in years). As I inspected each bra, one at a time, I had her log the size of the bra. Here are the results of the log by size:
19 BRAS, size 38D (obviously, this is the size where I became stuck in denial)
13 BRAS, size 38 DD
7 BRAS, size 36 D
1 BRA, size 36 DD
2 BRAS, size 40 D
5 BRAS, size 40 DD
4 BRAS, size 42 DD
2 BRAS, size 34 DD (these must be left over from High School...ha!)
And the really sad, shameful admission to my bra exploration this afternoon...not one BRA is the size that I'm measured for...42 DDD. I've gotten close, but no cigar. Is it just me, or are there any other undercover BRA HOARDERS out there?
Come on, you know who you are, you're shopping, it's a really, REALLY PRETTY bra, your wishful thinking kicks in (it will fit), it's the LAST ONE in a size even remotely close to your actual size and you're sure you can make it work (ha, ha)!!!
Well, it's time to DOWNSIZE, in more ways than one :-) The COLLECTION will be reduced, the numbers must DECREASE...on the road towards recovery.
During our bra adventure this afternoon. My daughter asked me multiple times...why did you even by this one mom? And because I'm working towards recovery, I boldly replied: Because sweetie, I could "see" myself one day wearing that beautiful bra, comfortably ;-)
Guess what my REAL SELF Girlfriends..."one day" is almost here! Yes, I'm coming out of wishful thinking and moving confidently towards the reality of buying and wearing a beautiful bra that actually fits and molds my breasts wonderfully ;-)
Can I get a witness, anyone?
Couple of updates...I went to this website: http://www.85b.org/bra_calc.php
Followed the instructions to measure (it's a bra size calculator), and the results were: 38E.
I wanted to have an accurate "before" measurement to compare to in a couple of months from now. If you google Bra Size Calculator, you should be able to find the site. I've never been an E Cup when professionally measured (sized) in the recent past. I had my daughter take the measurements 3 times just to make sure it was accurate. So I'm going with 38E as my size prior to the surgery...speaking of which...
I got a call today from Dr. Horndeski's office (Jana). She wanted to let me know that the surgical facility in Sugar Land has substantially increased their Facility Fee. By substantial, we're talking a $3,000 increase! Fortunately, they can perform the surgery on the same day at the Lake Jackson facility. Unfortunately, it's about an additional hour drive time for me. But all things considered, I'd rather get up a little earlier and drive a little further, than pay an extra $3,000.
I really appreciated the call, well in advance to prepare for the change. I also appreciate the fact that the price I was quoted will still be honored, even if it comes with a little more drive time on the day of surgery. It may even be a good idea to drive down the night before and pay a little for a hotel stay (a lot less than 3 grand). It will all work out fine, just wanted to share the realities of this journey...to be continued ;-)
6 DAYS and counting...
My pre-op appointment with Dr. H was this morning. I arrived a bit early and sat in the parking lot for a little while, made sure I remembered all of the questions I intended to ask during this visit.
Just so you all know, my first visit for the consultation was back in September, 2013 (7 months ago). Thats a lot of time to think of a lot of questions but thankfully, many of you have answered my curiosities with sharing your own stories, so thanks again!
As I was sitting in the parking lot, an older model Hyundai pulled into a space, and dressed in green scrubs, Dr. H gets out. I wasn't expecting that and had to look twice to make sure that he actually got out of THAT car, lol! I admit, I'm guilty of assuming that he may have been driving a more fancy or newer model vehicle. But the truth is, after more time spent with him today, it simply emphasized just how "down to earth" his personality seems to be.
My boyfriend accompanied me to this appointment. Even though Dr. H had explained his procedure to me during the initial consultation, he eagerly explained it again today when I asked him to (for my boyfriends sake). He was thorough, detailed and patient. I showed him a photo of one of his prior patient's results (as my ideal post surgery results), and he smiled and immediately recognized who she was (no face in the photo). He spoke kindly of her as a patient, said she was healing nicely and explained to me his goal was to create beautiful breasts for me. I felt really good once again about the choice I made to have this done by Dr. H.
He examined my breasts again, took measurements, and explained that I've been measured incorrectly by "the pros" at VS. AFTER all the bra sizing drama, Dr. H's measurement results were......34K! I was shocked ...WTH!
In any case, he indicated he would be removing 1.5 pounds from each breast approximately. He explained the concept behind a reduction being related to the amount of tissue being removed versus the goal of trying to achieve a certain bra-cup size. I understood and felt confident as I prepared to leave there that I would be happy with my results.
So, I have my prescriptions to be filled, my written post op instructions, my hotel room in Lake Jackson is booked for next Thursday night, my cousin, whose a nurse will accompany me and care for me next weekend...to be continued...
Should have been 34E NOT 34K
Today has been busy...I'm sitting in my hotel room, now. I checked in at pre-op at the hospital earlier today. Had a lot of paperwork to complete, visited with the pre-op nurse who reviewed everything with me regarding what will happen tomorrow. I had to have some additional lab work done (wasn't expecting that). They took blood, chest x-rays and completed an EKG. Oh, and I had to pee in the cup. The pre-op nurse gave me a "special body wash" to use when is shower tonight and in the morning.
The X-Ray Tech was a really sweet young lady. She and I chatted the whole time about the procedure I'm having done. Ironically, she said she had recently worked with another patient of Dr. H, and according to her, the results were amazing. That was encouraging to hear coming from someone unbiased.
Anyway, my cousin and I left the hospital and went for a trip to the mall. I still hadn't found a pair of cute pj's that button down the front...but I found them today at JC Penny. Nice and soft :-)
While we were in the mall, she snapped a photo of me holding a bra up to my face...one cup of that bra, which was very pretty by the way, covered my entire head. The bra was a size 42K. I am so excited to be going in the opposite direction tomorrow...I'm convinced that my breasts would one day fit into that bra if I don't get this done tomorrow :-/
Well, I have to be there in the morning at 9:30 AM...hope I will be able to sleep tonight...I shall post an update as soon as I'm feeling up to it (after I've crossed over to the "other side"). I'm almost there...
Hurting BUT very HAPPY!
Yes, I'm hurting a little right now, but I'm so very happy to have done this :-)
So, I got to the hospital around 9:20 and was greeted by the friendliest most hospitable staff in the Same Day Surgery unit. Lo, Jo, and Jen had my cousin and I laughing and smiling with their bubbly personalities as the helped prepare me for the surgery. The anesthesiologist and his assistant came in and spoke with me and they were also very friendly and kind. Funny, they both checked out my teeth and commented on how nice they were, and promised to take good care of me will I floated in the Twilight Zone, lol!
The surgery was scheduled for 10:30 however, Dr. H was a bit delayed and did not get there until 11:00 am. I such good company while waiting, so it was cool. So, he pulled a document from his briefcase. I soon found out this paper and my personalized "formula" that he used to mark his drawings on my chest. Too cool :-)
After he was done measuring and drawing on me, he asked if I had any questions, I said no, and then the staff came to take me into surgery. I was served with the BEST Chocolate Martini (happy gas...anesthesia) and woke up bandaged and thirsty. I'm wrapped pretty tightly with an ace bandage right now, and even though I can't see my boobs, I can tell already they are smaller and sit up nicely.
The surgery took a little more than 4 hours and I spent another 2 hours in recovery. My cousin and the nurse helped me get dressed and we were on the road headed home by 7 pm. Last night I got a little rest, just having to empty my bladder FREQUENTLY. I'm moving slowly, very sore...a little lightheaded when I'm up but otherwise, doing well.
I have a follow up appointment with Dr. H on Monday afternoon, hopefully I can have these drains removed. I'll get some photos and post soon.
Let me start by saying that I am ABSOLUTELY pleased and truly satisfied with my results.
My post op appointment went very well. I could not have the drains removed today. Dr. H wants the fluid being drained to be down to under 30 cc per day. My next appointment with him is on Wednesday.
So, the pictures I'm posting are combined before and after. I made sure to take pics today in the same bra from one of my earlier posts. My left breast is larger than the right because of some swelling. My nipples are SUPER SENSITIVE! When I look at myself in the mirror, my nipples also look even and placed naturally.
As I type, I have an old tube of mascara nestled nicely between both breast (to help mold a beautiful cleavage. I could not have hoped for a better result. Once the swelling goes down, I should be around a 34D. Meanwhile I've been instructed to wear an under wire "stiff" cup bra, size 36DD.
Drains were removed today, yay!
They are still a little numb and hard to touch. Yesterday I started using an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time on each breast to help with the swelling.
I'm feeling pretty good, taking it easy. Too much movement, too fast makes me light headed. I should be able to have the tape strips removed next week.
It's just amazing how my breasts sit up firmly by themselves. Dr. H said that now, my BREASTS holds up my bra rather than my BRA holding up my breasts, lol! But it's true...they look fantastic. I wrapped an old tube of mascara with gauze and wedged it between my breasts to create separation. I have more swelling on the right breast than on the left.
I'm really looking forward to trying on some of my old clothes to see how they will fit (with my smaller breasts). Right now I am comfortably wearing a 36DD. I know this will change as the swelling goes down more. I will be keeping a photo journal to capture the changes in the appearance of my breasts.
Just like others who have posted on this site, my only regret is that I did not have this done SOONER. I'm so totally happy and pleased with my outcome.
Back to my office today...
Recovering well, I went into my office today. I typically spend 70 to 80 percent of my day sitting at my desk. I couldn't wait to get home to take my bra off for a few minutes, ok maybe more than a few minutes :-)
I will be sure to put it back on before I go to bed.
I took a photo with my tank top on and no bra...they look like my teenaged tits! LOL! They are still somewhat numb but sensation is slowly returning. Very sensitive and tender around the areola, but the girls are round, perky, full, and firm. I love the way in look in my clothes. My torso looks more elongated, my waist looks smaller, and overall I look more shapely, proportionately. Everything I'd hoped for.
I have an appointment for this Friday to have strips removed. I will update then.
Two Weeks post surgery...healing progress.
I'm posting some pics of the tits now that the tape has been removed. I am still happy with how they look. My breasts are still numb to the touch around the outsides (nearest to my arm pits). My left breast around the lower outside and back towards my side is still a little more swollen than the right side. My body is still healing and recovering. This was a MAJOR procedure (which I knew beforehand), but the God is amazing and his creation in the human body is phenomenal. Considering all that was done to me just over two weeks ago, my body is making awesome progress. My body is healing slowly and surely.
I don't recall reading on any other profiles about this, but I am experiencing dryness of my skin and some skin shedding on small areas so my breasts. My first shower (while removing the tapes) was heavenly ;-) I'm using palmers coco butter cream to help with the dryness and bio oil around my areolas. Another thing I noticed right after surgery was a lot of little nicks and scratches on my chest and stomach area, like little staples were used to hold paper down on my body during surgery. I'm using the bio oil on those areas as well. Hopefully these little scratches will fade over time.
I've read where a lot of women are unhappy with how their nipples look after surgery. To be perfectly honest, I feel that my nipples look better now than they did prior to surgery. Not only are mine more defined now (previously they just kind of blended and faded into my breast, with no definition), they are also smaller. I felt they were too big and uneven prior to surgery. I am satisfied and feel they have been improved as well.
I'm able to semi sleep on my side. So no longer using the wedge pillow I bought from Wal-mart. That pillow was extremely helpful when it wasn't so easy to sit up and get in and out of bed. I'm able to stand a little more pressure on my arms when raising myself from a laying down position. I test my range of motion each day with my arms, careful not to stretch too far. Looking forward to when I can get back in the gym (doc says 12 weeks post surgery). Meanwhile I will try to keep my activities light but consistent until then. Oh, and continue to be very conscious of my eating habits (don't want to put on any extra pounds).
I'm finding that I must consciously be aware of RELAXING my shoulders. I guess I'm subconsciously trying to "protect" my breasts from pain by hunching up my shoulders (tense). I am experiencing the "ZINGERS" that so many of you have written about in your post op experiences. They are doozies!
I haven't really been anywhere out except for work and short errands to the store. I've shared pics with my sister and my mom and they seem just as excited and amazed at my new look as I am. Today I am wearing a size 34D Bra and it fits perfectly. Keeping a bra on 24/7 is challenging but I can see visually how it is helping to shape my breasts. So...I will continue to wear the bra for at least another month.
This photo didn't post the first time.
New Wardrobe in my future...
Just wanted to share a couple pics in a new dress I added to my closet. I would never have purchased this dress before surgery. I am NOT wearing a bra in these pics...!
One Month Later
So, I had my one month follow up appointment today. I am healing well and feeling fantastic. Still wearing a bra 90% of the time. I followed a whole lot of the post-op advice posted by RoyBlue (also on Real-Self). She and I have had very similar results although her procedure was about 2 months prior to mine...same surgeon.
Although I still have some swelling, my pain is 99% GONE. I am still experiencing the infamous ZINGERS (random shooting pains through my breasts and nipples), my incisions are completely closed and feel smooth when I run my finger across them, and I have no open wound issues. Thank God.
Cosmetically, I have had since surgery, some pleating on both outsides of my breasts, more prominently on my outside right side breast. However when I look at my photos immediately after surgery and the ones I took and posted tonight, I can see that it is already starting to smooth out nicely. Visually, they look smaller in clothing than naked. My nipples look great, nice and smooth all around, no visual scars around the areolas. I have one tiny spot on the right breast where a scab came off prematurely and it's a little lighter on that spot. By the way, the nipples are VERY sensitive to all touch.
My breasts are starting to soften a little but they remain perky and " alert" LOL! And that's with and WITHOUT a bra ;-) I currently have about 5 bras that I wear regularly. 3 of them I purchased after surgery and they are sized 36DD. The other two I had prior to surgery and they fit nicely as well. Those 2 are sized 38D.
Dr. H told me today that after 6 months, he would address anything I was unhappy about. Although, right now, I don't feel that will be necessary.
Dr. Horndeski is the BEST
31 May 2014
2 months post
It been 9 Weeks since my procedure...time for a few recent photos. I'm still so very pleased with the results!