Genetics + Love of Food Are Not Helping! - Syracuse, NY

I'm 34, 5'4 and about 135 pounds. Big boobs run...

I'm 34, 5'4 and about 135 pounds. Big boobs run in my family - my mother, grandmothers and aunt are all "well endowed" and unfortunately I have followed suit. I remember being a 36 C in college, then gradually, I started gaining weight and I got bigger. A miscarriage and a divorce later, I found myself at 185 and a 38 DD and I decided enough is enough. At first, I changed my diet and started exercising and down to 155 I went. I did nutrisystem for about 8 months and now I fluctuate around 135. Now, on to a new issue. Those beautiful boobs that the boys always loved are now kinda flabby and saggy. Yick. I've been thinking about this for awhile and I think it is time. I ache if I go without a bra for a long period of time. I can't sleep on my back because they hang over each side. When I sleep on my side, it feels like one is trying to smush the other. I've always had a bad back, I can't wear anything that ties around my neck and lord knows I can't wear any backless dresses because I can't not wear a bra! To make it all worse, the left one is noticeably bigger than the right. I look in the mirror now and it's kinda depressing. The amusing part of this is that I actually don't know what my size is. I guess I never bought new bras after I lost the last of the weight, and all of the sudden, there appears to be more room in my bra???!!! How did that happen!?!?! So, this is it, my journey with all of you lovely ladies begins!
I have 2 consults set up, one on July 2nd and one on July 8th. When I originally started this, I thought I would need just a breast reduction, but if I am a D cup now, I think I will need a lift and a reduction and maybe an implant? I don't know. I am hoping that the doctors will tell me what they think will be beneficial.
I am so glad I found this website. Reading your stories has been very uplifting. I am so happy to see all of the satisfied customers and I am even thankful for those of you that have posted about your complications. I want the good and bad so I won't be so scared and I know what to expect. I'll take whatever info that anyone is willing to provide about their experiences! I hope to update this as things progress as I hope I can help others as you all have helped me.

BTW, I left the cost at $0 since I haven't seen a doctor yet. I will update the post when I find out.

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Thank you for starting your journey on RealSelf! Sorry to hear about the miscarriage and the divorce. With your recent weight loss and upcoming surgery, it really sounds like you're taking back control of your life. Good for you! Glad to hear you have scheduled more than 1 consult. Often times with a lift, you lose volume so a small implant might be an option. Be sure to look at many before and after photos of breast lift patients that your doctor has performed on. Here are some important questions you can ask your doctor during your consult. Looking forward to following your story!

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i agree, most insurance will pay for reduction, the problem is finding a good surgeon who actually takes insurance. If you want a lift and implant that would be the best time to do it, it will be ALOT less money, and if done as a 2nd separate procedure later on would be @$9,000 (based on my experience). I say go for it and get them feeling AND looking great!
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Saggy2perky - congrats on your decision! If you end up with a reduction your insurance should pay for it. I too, will be starting a story here as we'll, when all is done. I had my implants removed with a lift, and a facelift yesterday. I plan on telling the whole story in a few weeks. Good luck to you!
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Consult #1

I had my first consult on 7/2 with Dr. Denis Branson. He came highly recommended from someone from work. The office seemed a little outdated, though clean and well kept. BEST PART - they were ON TIME. The staff was very nice. I met with his nurse first. She briefly went over my medical history and my family medical history. She explained how the rest of the consultation would go. Asked me to take off my top and bra, gave me a paper top and left me to change. She and the doctor came back, he took some measurements, took some pictures and did a breast exam. I covered up and they brought me to his office to further discuss the procedure.
He is recommending a lift - NO implant since I am okay with a C-D cup size. I do have asymmetry, so he would reduce the left to equal the right, put everything where it should be and that should be (he thinks) a large C, small D. Anchor scar, I forgot to ask what kind of stitches he uses.
Likes - I like the fact that he gave me all of the information up front, including possible complications. I like that he didn't rush me through asking my questions. The surgery is in a surgical center near his office. I really like the fact that I would stay overnight. We live about a 45 minutes from Syracuse, this way, my boyfriend and I would get some rest knowing that staff would be there if something looked funny or if there were any complications that night. The center seems to give plastic surgery patients a lot of privacy, to include a separate check-in area and private rooms. I don't like the fact that my boyfriend can't stay with me (center rules, no overnight guests), however, there is a bed and breakfast about a mile away - $100/night - what's another $100 in the grand scheme of things now?!??!! Drains would come out before I go home the next day - thankfully! Taking them home seems icky! Get to shower that day as well. Don't have to buy $50 surgical bras, he sends you home in your own bra (not sure in my case if that is true, as I only wear underwire) and recommends the cheap zip front sports bras from walmart. I also like the fact that he is the type of doctor that says (after the surgery at least) call me if you need me, if you don't think something looks right or feels right or you are concerned. That put me at ease.
Unsure of - He has no breast surgery before/after shots on his website and I didn't think to ask during the consultation.
Overall - seems very thorough, though he is a little dry. $6600 (his fee, surgical center fee, overnight fee, Anesthesiologist fee and all post op appointments for the first year are all included in that price).
Going in to this, I didn't want implants, now, I am concerned that not getting implants won't leave me with a good shape and size. Anyone have a lift and not get implants? Thoughts?

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PS - Insurance

I forgot to say, he said insurance WON'T cover the surgery. For them to cover it, he would have to remove a minimum of 500 grams per breast which would leave me an A cup. That won't work, I don't think that would leave me very proportionate to the rest of my body. I'll update again after my next consult tomorrow!

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no pictures?

I'll go in to my review of the 2nd consult a little later, but how would you feel if a doctor did not have before/after shots to show you? I know that every body is different and just because it turned out one way for someone doesn't mean it will turn out the same for you...but still, I would think examples of their work of the same procedure would be helpful...thoughts???

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Is this updating?

Is my review updating?

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You had commented on my profile awhile back saying that we had the same insurance. I'm with the Federal Employee Program, is that what you have also? If so, I can tell you how my insurance processes worked.
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alot of PS do NOT take insurance "cases", they make alot more with cash patients. I would recommend, to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (or two) who are in network with your insurance, and seek their advice. I don't know if a certain amount needs to be removed, i guess it does depend on how much tissue is removed, but it should be covered if it is considered a medical condition, not cosmetic. I had a lift but it was after my 1st set of implants 2 years ago, they bottomed out and stretched my tissue. If you had pics to post we could probably tell you our opinion about implant, etc. If you have plenty of your own tissue you may be ok, but most people get a small implant to give you the upper pole fullness you may desire. Implants are about $1,000+ more, but if you have the lift and are unhappy and want implants, you are paying another $5-7,000. Please let us know how your 2nd consult went.
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consult #2

My second consult was with Dr. Anthony Deboni. Once again, THEY WERE ON TIME (why can't my dentist and primary care doctor's be on time like that)? All of the staff was super nice. I met briefly with his nurse first. The doctor came in, took measurements and explained the procedure. He pretty much said the same thing as the first doctor - reduce the left to equal the size of the right and lift both with an anchor lift. He also said that he did not feel that an implant would be necessary, unless I wanted to be a DD or bigger. I told him no, C/D would work for me. Anchor scar. He also showed me pictures of other surgeries that he has done, he left and his nurse took pictures. We met with the business manager, who gave us more information. She also had a lift by the doctor and spoke highly and passionately of his work. She probably would have showed me the "finished product", if i asked, but that was a little weird....
Likes - very personable, showed me pictures. May or may not use drains, would be able to shower the next day, sleeping in bed vs. couch is okay.
Unsure of - he either spoke very fast or he was rushed. He gave me a lot of information, but didn't seem to go in to the details.

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Final Choice -

I decided to go with Dr. Denis Branson. Pre-op is scheduled for September 10 and surgery is scheduled for September 25th.
It was really hard to decide. Both doctor's recommended the same thing for me - same type of scar, no implants, same technique, etc. Both doctor's and their respective staff were all kind, understanding, timely and helpful. The deciding factor was that Dr. Branson spent over an hour with me, answered all of my questions and went in to greater detail. Also, I like the fact that they will keep me overnight. We live 45 minutes from Syracuse or Cortland (2 closests major cities with hospitals), so if there was an issue after I went home, I may dismiss it because of the drive. This way, there are no questions, someone will be there to check me. Hopefully, we will both be able to get some rest.
I've already started my shopping - hoodies, bras from Walmart and men's tank tops. I got a 38 and a 40, just in case for swelling. It's been FOREVER since I have worn a bra without underwire - it doesn't seem like it will hold me up? Anyone have a good bra recommendation that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I don't need a surgical bra, just a front closure sports bra.

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So much has happened...

When I started this journey, I really wanted to stay on top of this and hopefully help others as you all have helped me, but life just gets in the way sometimes...

So, the next step was my mammogram. Due to my age and the fact that i don't have a family history of breast cancer, i was not due for my first mammogram yet, however, the doctor ordered one for a baseline. I got the mammogram the beginning-mid of august. The doctor that read the results ordered an ultrasound too. Originally, i was freaked out about this, but apparently, the state of NY makes the centers do an ultrasound if the patient has dense tissue (which i guess i do!). All came out fine.

Next came paying of the bills, which made this experience REAL. I had to pay the doctor, the surgery center and the anesthesia doctor separate, however they all took credit cards (6600 more miles!).

Between my boyfriend's hobby of dirt car racing and work being REALLY busy, time really flew by. I didn't start to panic until maybe a week or two before. Then it was anxiety - why am i doing this to myself? is the biggest question I asked myself daily. The answers - it couldn't get much worse - I hate how I look, i can't walk around without a bra, I was so uncomfortable when i slept, etc. etc.

Week before surgery - tried to prepare me and the house as much as possible. Had my pre-op, got my prescriptions filled, had to pee in a cup, grocery shopped, cleaned the house, etc.

Day before - I had to work, which was good, took my mind off of everything. Double dose of antibiotics and off to sleep (and i really did sleep too).

Day of - woke before my alarm, was having anxiety about oversleeping and missing the surgery time! We got to the surgery center super early and they were so nice and took me to my room early too. Went over medical history, more peeing in a cup (pregnancy test this time), and i got to get changed - very stylish gown, surgical undies (boyshorts - kinda cute too) and booties. A nurse came in to do my IV (which was actually the part that i was dreading the most) and strapped things around my legs (which would be hooked to a machine to inflate and deflate so i didn't get blood clots). The nurses came in to check on me, the anesthesia tech and anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and the doctor came in to do his markings and measurements. They took me almost on time (9:00) and away I went. The doctor was introducing me to all of the nurses in the operating room as i was getting settled. I tried to ask what kind of music they listen to during the surgery and i was out (and i'm really bummed not to have learned the answer!).

Here's one of the reasons why i picked the doctor - i was staying overnight and apparently the only overnight patient they had, so i got a lot of one-on-one care. I was prepared for pain, but not that much. It hurt to breathe. The nurses were surprised that the pain never went away and took quite awhile to get tolerable. That night, they didn't ask if i want pain meds, they just gave them on schedule. The nurse came in to check me every hour or so and was so nice and pleasant. They fed me crackers and an english muffin during the day. For dinner, i was able to order off a menu. I ordered a turkey dinner, which I think was a frozen meal, but not too bad, and cookies for later on that night to take with meds.

The next day, my boyfriend got there around 7 am, I was able to order breakfast (got a breakfast sandwich and coffee). The doctor came in, re-did the dressing and removed the drains. He sent me home in the bra I came in. I got my discharge instructions and one last pain pill. I don't really remember too much else about Wednesday (surgery day), Thursday or Friday as I slept off and on. I remember my doctor's office called me Thursday and the surgical center called me Friday. Family called me during that time too, but i have no recollection of who called on what day. I think the pain dropped from an 8 on Wednesday to a 6-7 on Thursday to a 5 on Friday and stayed pretty consistent from a 5 until Monday and now it goes from a 3-5 since then. Usually gets worse as the day goes on. I've seriously cut down on the pain meds as well.

Showering - The doctor said i was able to shower that night when i went home, i honestly can't remember if i showered that night or the next day. The first time, my wonderful boyfriend did all the work. After that, he just either stayed in the bathroom while I showered or was there when i was getting out of the shower. He is great with getting my bra back on.

Another reason why I was glad that i stayed overnight - i was draining so much, i think i went through 3 hospital gowns, think of all i would have destroyed if i went home! Old, button downs or hoodies are a must.

Bras - i only bought Fruit of the Loom open front sports bras in 38's and a 40. I've actually been living in my old bras (BF took out the underwire). My doctor didn't care what I wore, as long as i wore a bra. Ran to walmart last friday, The 40 didn't fit, at that time, bought a 48, 46 and a 44, by friday night, they were too big. A 42 would have been perfect. Should have bought that size and more 40's. Back to walmart they will go. Finally got in to a 38 today, 1 week later.

Sleeping - I've been sleeping on a recliner. Too scared to sleep on my side and definitely don't want to sleep on my stomach yet. I've been trying to lean toward my side the last few nights, but i can feel the internal pulling.

Follow up - Had my 1 week follow up yesterday. Good news and bad. Good news, all looks good. The spot where the drain was on my left side is not closing, so he recommended antibiotic ointment there and vaseline on the surgical tape to start softening that up. Bra still 24/7, except when showering. Any bra will do. He wants to see me next Tuesday to check on the opening. Bad news, one small portion of the tissue that he took out did have some cancer in it, but only that spot. When i get better, he is recommending an MRI to check out the rest of my breasts. He is also recommending me to follow up with a surgeon and an oncologist. Thankfully, since i don't have a history of breast cancer in the family, he does not feel that aggressive measures need to be made at this time, however, he feels that this puts me in a high risk category in the future and wants me to be followed to be sure.

So, was this worth it? Since they found cancer that the mammogram and the ultrasound did not, a big hearty HELL YEAH. Guess this journey took a sideways turn...to be continued.

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Denis Branson

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