Most Awesome Decision Ever: Possibly - Tulsa, OK

I'm five feet tall and weigh almost 120...

I'm five feet tall and weigh almost 120 pounds, and have always been petite except for my boobs. They have never been considered small, though they weren't quite as large before having two babies. Those babies are now 10 and 7 years old, and my bra size had gone up to a 32F (or 32DDD). Almost ALL of my breast tissue is dense (90-95% of it), with very, very little fatty tissue involved. I lost 20 pounds and didn't lose an ounce of boob size. A recent mammogram showed some possible problems, but the sheer amount of dense tissue made it very difficult for radiologists to see.

My mom had breast cancer at an early age, so this just reinforced to me that it was time for a reduction. Physically, I was just done with carrying them around. I would have up to four migraines a week brought on by neck and shoulder pain, and I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was also tired of trying to find shirts that fit my small frame but didn't look crass on my huge breasts.

I interviewed several doctors before finding one that I loved. Through this process I learned how important it is to keep having consultations until you find a doctor that you trust implicitly, and who you feels respects and values you. The surgeon that I chose is out of network for my insurance, but it was really important to me to use him, so I did. Insurance may or may not choose to cover the surgery, but I have no regrets.

I'm now 11 days out from surgery, and feeling pretty great. The first two days were rough, mostly because I am terrible about actually taking pain medications (I hate how they make me feel), so my pain wasn't managed as well as it should have been. My doctor includes armpit lipo in the surgery, and so those sites were REALLY sore for the first two days, and then they mellowed out. I slept a lot for the first few days. Like, really a lot. So much that I was almost embarrassed, but it was exactly what my body needed. I felt light-headed some days, as if perhaps I was anemic (oh, my period started two days after surgery...awesome timing!), so I started taking iron supplements and making sure that I had tons of protein, and that really has helped. Now I'm just swollen, bruised, and getting those painful zaps as the nerves regenerate.

I seem to have full sensation in both nipples, for which I'm hugely grateful. My hope was to go from 32F/DDD to a 32B, but most likely I'll end up a C cup due to blood supply restrictions. This is absolutely fine with me, as I have complete confidence in whatever my doctor needed to do that way. I can't possibly recommend this surgery enough - I haven't had a single headache, let alone migraine, in the 11 days since surgery, which is pretty much a miracle. I have no neck or shoulder pain and just feel so much lighter and more energetic. I no longer feel frumpy or matronly in my clothes, and I can't wait until the swelling goes down to see the finished product.

You'll see in my photos that I started out with my right breast being significantly bigger (and lower, hee!) than my left. Surprisingly, my right breast is healing the fastest and with the least bruising/swelling. Ol' lefty is still super swollen and bruised, but I'm holding out hope. For the first week after surgery I was in thick white tape over the incisions (no gauze) and a soft surgical bra that did not compress at all. Now for the next five weeks I'm in this thin tape that you'll see in the photos, and sports/compression type bras. It's been really interesting to me how different doctors are in terms of their post op instructions, so I just wanted to note mine.

Three weeks out as of yesterday, and I'm still...

Three weeks out as of yesterday, and I'm still completely thrilled with my decision to have this done.

I will admit that I have had days of feeling down or frustrated that the healing process doesn't happen overnight, and I was surprised by how tired I felt for the first two weeks. Even now, I'm wiped out by the end of my work day, and my job is hardly considered strenuous. I think that it's a combination of the anesthesia and other meds leaving my body, and a lot of energy going towards the healing process.

At my one week post-op appointment, my surgeon put thin tape on all of my scars, and said to leave it on for five weeks, or as long as it lasts. That was only two weeks ago, and the tape is coming up in a lot of areas, so not sure how much longer it will last. I'm also in sports bras until my six week post-op appointment. That's been kind of a pain in the ass under work clothes, but again, it's worth it.

I read and read and read reviews and forums and blogs all over the Internet for years before finally deciding to do this, and for those who are reading and still in the decision making process, let me just say: DO IT. Really, just have the surgery as soon as you're able.

I feel lighter, happier, have no neck or shoulder pain, haven't had a single migraine (I used to have to carry my prescription around with me, that's how frequently I had them), and people keep noticing the difference. At least twice a day people at work will say, "wow, you look really great. Did you lose weight?", and because I lost five pounds, I smile and say, "yep".

I'm really eager to be further down the road in terms of healing. I want to see what's under the tape! And I want to be done with the swelling and bruising. But I would do it all over again for how great I feel.

I'll post new photos soon. My husband is crashed out on the sofa, so my photographer is unavailable right now. :)

Back again. Yesterday was four weeks from the date...

Back again. Yesterday was four weeks from the date of surgery, and I can finally say that I feel all the way back to normal in terms of energy level, being able to sleep however I want, etc. I feel really, truly great.

I still have just a little bit of bruising on lefty, and it's still very firm, but righty has dropped and looks about like it is going to. I really need to take new photos, because they've changed/improved a lot over the past week.

I'm still in sports bras and tape through the end of January (which will be six weeks from the time of surgery), and I've got to say, it's going to be hard to convince me to get back into real bras! Sports bras look awful under my clothes, but I've gotten used to them and they are so comfy. I can't imagine ever going back to underwire bras.

One thing that I haven't mentioned yet is that I felt so huge and bloated for the few days/week after surgery, but then I promptly dropped five pounds. I felt like I was burning through food, especially protein. So for those of you about to head into surgery, make sure that you've got tons of high protein meals and snack available. I kept eating very small meals, but I ate them frequently.

Next update will have photos. No, really.
Dr. Angelo Cuzalina

It's really impossible to explain how incredible this surgeon and his staff are. If you live in the area, I really suggest that you go and see for yourself. We NEVER, ever waited in the waiting room more than about a minute. My appointments were always exactly on time, and everyone in the office, from the person who greets you to the financial counselor to the surgeon were kind, patient, friendly, and helpful. I'm a researcher by profession, and so I was constantly armed with a lot of questions, and I never felt rushed or as though the doctor didn't have time for me. I've also looked at a lot of before and after photos over the past two years, and I felt very confident in his work. It's still too early to say how my girls are going to end up, but I'm extremely pleased so far. On the day of surgery, his staff treats you like you're a precious punkin' princess, and they gently escort you through having pre-op photos taken, getting marked up, and then you're led to a super comfy recliner and are given a warm blanket while an IV is started and you talk with the anesthesiologist. And then somehow you wake up on your own sofa, in no pain at all. I'm sure that a lot happened between that recliner and my sofa, but heck if I can remember any of it. Absolutely top notch practice, all the way around.

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
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Comments (24)

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Your breasts look amazing! If mine turn out like that I'll be more than pleased! xx
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Wow your results are amazing. So is your review! Im hoping to have similar results my breast are about the same size. Im not as nervous after reading your coments. Im heading to my sergeon in 6 days and surgery March 12th!
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So.... how do they look with the tape off? :D
Have they "dropped" a lot since the early days of post-op?
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Glad the bruising is gone! I'm looking forward to seeing the changes since your last photo.... I'm slightly obsessed with shape and size right now, as that is my biggest worry regarding my own surgery (Feb 29th). So I'm focusing on the success stories as a way of channelling positive energy!
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Beautiful shape! They look really natural! How is the bruising now?
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Thanks!
The bruising is all the way gone now, and they actually look a lot different now - the swelling has also gone down and they have a better shape. I'm waiting for my six week post op appointment next week to take new photos, because I'll get the tape off then.
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"Getting a second or even third opinion is critical. The extra effort and additional consultations will undoubtedly educate you further… which is always self-empowering."
This is a quote from your surgeon (I googled him). You hit the jackpot, missy!!
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Thanks, my surgery is on 23 Jan so not far away and I'm looking forward to getting it out of the way. I'm also having all my lymph nodes taken out on one side as my cancer had reached there. I'm in the UK. I started my treatment with chemo it was more successful than I could imagine it reduced my tumour completely.
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Oh that is wonderful news! You will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers. And I will be anxious to hear how it all goes for you.
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I am awaiting surgery and am really encouraged by these photos. My surgery is not through choice as I have breast cancer and need a lumpectomy which will reduce one side (I'm 5'7" 34F) so I'm opting for a reduction on both sides to 34D. I would never have chosen surgery, it scares me but I'm really encouraged by your pictures and know the outcome will be great.
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When is your surgery? I wish you all of the best during what I am sure is a difficult process for you.
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Scribs, I'm sorry that I'm just now seeing this.
I'm sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis. My mom was diagnosed in 1993, and also had a lumpectomy. She sees how pleased I am with my new perky boobs, and is now considering surgery to even hers up!

I'm so glad to hear that the chemo worked so well. That is fabulous news. I truly believe that if you read through the reviews here so that you know what to expect, you'll be well-prepared for surgery and that it will go beautifully. These women know what they're talking about!

Please keep us updated on how you're feeling. I know that the days and weeks before surgery can be filled with emotion. Take very, very good care and know that I'm thinking of you!
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Only 9 years? your skin looks like that of a 20-year old! Could it have something to do with the fact that you don't tan??? Hmmm...

BTW, that tan you see there is a total fake bake (air brush). I live in Miami but am paying the price for being a sun worshipper all my life so these days I only fake bake. I also would have to be out in the sun 24/7 to get that savage tan!
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Hi. Your before and just-after pictures are very similar to mine (although I can tell I'm about 15 years older than you) and based on this you should have excellent results. It looks like our doctors have very similar techniques. Look up "New Boobs This September". Lots of luck! You look amazing!
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Thanks so much! I'll definitely go and check your review out right now. I'm anxious to see how things will look down the road, and it will be especially cool to get to see someone with similar before and after photos. (And will give me a morale boost, because I've hit the three week woe is me period.)
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I had mine September 6 and while I went through a "WTF have i done?" period I now marvel at them every day. It's like the best thing I ever bought that I get to wear daily and every time I get dressed or go braless or put on a no-wire lace bra or don't spill out all over the place it's like getting the gift all over again. Best. Investment. Ever.
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Also? You're only nine years older than me, and from your photos you looked the same age, only much, much more tan. My skin sucks, and insists upon being so white that you can trace every vein from beginning to end.
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I just realized those photos with the tie-dye boob are only 11 days post-op?! I was all sorts of colors for weeks! Also, I too had a larger (lower) boob before surgery, my left, and that turned out to be the A Student. Healed right away, didn't stay bruised as long as the right one. Wonder why.
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Wow!! Your shape and size is amazing!! I cannot wait to see how you continue to heal, and I am so happy for you :)
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Thank you so much! They've changed a lot in the five days since I posted photos. I'm going to give it a couple more days and post updated photos. Still bruised, but much better.
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You look beautiful!  The pretty colors will all go away soon.  You certainly have a perfect shape and size now for your frame.  

Keep posting your update pictures.

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Thanks! I am very, very happy with them (though I think that I would have preferred that they were a bit smaller). I'm going to give it a few more days and post new photos. :)
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Welcome to RealSelf. You look wonderful. Your doctor did a great job! Hope you continue to feel well and heal so nicely. I'm 4 1/2 months post-op and am so thankful I had the surgery!
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Your shape looks beautiful! I wish you so much luck in your healing process :) Take care of yourself and be patient with your body, thanks for sharing your story.
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