Actually, my journey began about 6 months ago,...
Since I live in Canada, the cost of surgery for someone with my proportions is covered under the provincial health plan. No out of pocket :-)...yey! That also means long wait time to see a doctor and even longer wait for the actual surgery.
ABOUT ME: I just turned 53 years old, have always had breasts that were bigger than my frame, but still in a good shape. I have a petite frame; 5'-4" and until well into my 40's used to weigh around 120 lbs. and wore a size 32C bra. I didn't feel disproportionate, just kind of "Apple Shaped" which a lot of people thought as sexy.
I had early menopause at age 46 (yikes!) and noticed that my breasts immediately grew 2 cup sizes. It's been an uphill battle since then. I kept gaining weight, dieting and losing it, only to gain it back and then some. Every time I gained, my breasts grew larger, but didn't retract when I lost the weight. I currently weigh 140 lbs. and wear a 34F bra. To me, this seems counter-intuitive, as every woman I know complains that she's lost breast volume with menopause. I'm going the other direction!
Even at my current "inflated state" my lower body is still a size-4. On my upper body, size 6 tops fit everywhere except the chest. The shirt that I am wearing in the picture is a size 6. To button it up, I need to get a size 10 which will still be pulling at the chest, but hanging loose & ugly everywhere else.
ABOUT MY PS CONSULT: Can only describe it as "scaaaaary!" I waited 6 months for the initial consultation which I went to yesterday. The PS I was referred to specializes in BR and does the highest number of medically necessary BR surgeries in the Province. He comes very highly rated in terms of his certifications, knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, his bedside manner lags far behind. I went in ready with my list of questions to ask about the procedure, risks, techniques, scar patterns, etc. etc. He briefly examined me and said: "yeap... you're covered, my secretary will be in touch to book surgery date". He did not give me a chance to ask questions. I felt so rushed. He was so dismissive of all my concerns, did not show me any before/after photos, did not want to commit to, or wouldn't even discuss with me what shape or cup size he'd think I'll be after the surgery. So much for consultation :-(
Maybe he does so many of these that to him, it is clear cut, nondescript case and he expected me to know all of that. To me, it's MY body, MY breasts, and I'm not a doctor, I need some assurance of what outcome to expect.
WHAT'S NEXT: I'm told the average surgery wait time is 6-12 months. I understand that it'd be best to be at your ideal weight before surgery. I'm about 15 lbs away now. I am somewhat physically active (power walks, yoga, etc.), will be increasing workout to 5-6 times a week, have already started my diet with the goal of losing 15 lbs before surgery. I am posting my "Before" pictures here to give myself motivation to stick to my weight loss plan.
Weight loss progress before the BR
Happy to report that about 3 weeks, I am a whole 10 pounds lighter, 5 more to go. Yay!
I am dieting seriously, have increased my activities and workout and it's showing. I am really excited. The size 6 shirt that I tried to wear in my initial picture is now buttoning up, though pulling profusely around the chest!
Meanwhile, I called my surgeon's office and requested a 2nd consult. I made sure to mention that the first one was seriously rushed and I did not even get to ask my questions. They usually don't like to do that, but that changed when I said the magic word: that I am also thinking of possibly adding abdominal lipo while doing BR. Long story short, I am scheduled for another consult, hopefully more thorough than the first one, on May 28.
More on that later.
Got my surgery date!!!!!!
I've lost 10 lbs, but stalled after that. Ideally will need to lose another 5 lbs. I'll keep you posted on my wait loss progress.
ooooops! Sorry about typo in previous update.
It's really happening now, REALLY!!!!!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not having second thoughts at all. I really, really want to do this. It's just that as I get closer to the date, I realize more that my physical body is going to look completely different; much better I hope, obviously; and it sort of stirs up some emotions. I have been defined by the size of my chest for as long as I remember. It's almost like having to find a new definition for myself. Not that there's a shortage of characteristics to tag on me, either by myself or the outside world; and not to say that people should be defined by their characteristics, but it's just a weird feeling.
I had my EKG and blood work yesterday, I did the pre-admission interview at the hospital and got my doctor's OK to stay at the hospital overnight. That was certainly good news because the hospital is an hour and a half away from home and who wants to ride in a car in a Friday afternoon traffic right after waking up from surgery?
So far, things seem to have fallen in place very smoothly and I've gotten everything I wished for: a much shorter than expected wait time, a surgery date in early July (for those of you who are into astrology, the lucky Jupiter is in the sign that rules "breasts" until July 16!!!), and overnight hospital stay. I'll let that be my guiding light and keep a positive outlook and have faith that the same will be true through the rest of my journey.
I must mention that this site and the truly loving support from all you wonderful women have been an amazing comfort in my journey. I am incredibly lucky to have found this community. If I don't get the chance to post another update before my surgery, I'll be sure to post one shortly after.
For those of you who celebrate July 4th, think of me with a positive pulse of energy while at your festivities and for those of you who pray, please keep me in your prayers on that day. Thank you all, my loving sisters.
Just a quick update:
I also took one last measurement prior to my surgery, for comparison purposes:
Weight: 133 lbs
Bra band: 32
Waist: 34.5" (yikes, Double yikes! Hence the upcoming lipo)
Stern. to right nipple 27 cm, to left nipple 26 cm
Nipple to nipple: 25.5 cm
Enjoy the 4th and see you all on the other side.
On the other side
They didn't t put in the surgical bra or any type of bandage, just dressing on incisions. I don't know if that's the norm? My doctor had already left, I didn't get to talk to him myself.
Just from the look if things, I may end up with a B cup :-)
First peak at the girls
I mentioned that he left before I woke up, so did his staff nurses and assistant. The hospital where I had the surgery is not his regular hospital. I suspect that he booked the OR here because I was having abdominal lipo at the same time for which I'm paying out of pocket and so he wanted to circumvent the provincial surgery wait time because the lipo part is paid privately. That's how I got the date so fast whereas if it were just the BR, the wait would've been 9-12 months.
Anyway, he never came back to check on me. I thought at least he or one if his own staff will come talk to me before my release. Fat chance! I got released from the hospital with a general "after surgery pamphlet" given to me by the ward nurse who didn't know about my specific procedure and even the doctor. This being the weekend, the office is closed and the pamphlet says to go to Emergency if any problems. That's plain CRUEL. Not that I'm expecting any problems, but just in case. Anyway, I won't be able to shower before the drains are removed and that'll be when I go in for post op appt which I don't have yet because I have to wait until Monday to get to talk to anyone at the office. Yikes, this surgeon's poor bedside manner is only surpassed by his poor after care!
Ok, I feel better now, thanks for listening. Here are some early pix.
I waited for 2 months after my surgery to write this review, because I didn't want to rate the doctor based on my initial gut feeling, but to allow ample time to evaluate his performance. I don't want to sound like a bitter bitch but honestly, no matter how hard I try, I can't find one positive thing to say about this doctor. He is severely arrogant and full of himself, dismissive of all patient's concerns, does not take the time to ask what you want and seriously impatient if you try to tell him what you want. Add to that the fact that he didn't make himself or any of his staff available for after-care. My surgery was on a Friday. He left the hospital before I woke up. A one-page generic instruction sheet was the only thing he left for me. There was no emergency phone numbers left. I read on this site that a lot of doctors or at least their staff nurse call the patient the day after to check up on her. All I got was "instruction" to go to ER in case of an emergency! At my post-op, I raised a concern about asymmetry of my breasts and a dog-ear under the left one. All he had to say was "that's not important". Obviously, it is to me, but he totally dismissed it and even refused to talk about a solution. A word of advice to my BR sisters in Vancouver: If you get a referral to this guy, please ask for another one and good luck!