36H Soon to Be 36D!! - Walnut Creek, CA

Hi everyone! It is a dream to be planning for my...

Hi everyone! It is a dream to be planning for my breast reduction surgery. I just turned 38, I'm 5'7", 185 lbs. I've been thinking about getting a breast reduction for the last 20 years. My fear of surgery and needles and pain has kept me from pursuing the procedure.
I am like every other woman with large breasts - I suffer from all the pain and discomfort in the neck, back, shoulders, numb arms, irritated skin, headaches, ill fitting clothes, etc.

I've put off talking to my healthcare provider about wanting a breast reduction because I am a Kaiser patient and I've read online and heard stories about 2 year waiting lists and having to make numerous doctor's appointments to prove breast reduction was the only way for me to achieve overall health. One day I had enough with the aches and pains and I made an appointment with my OBGYN to discuss my issues and request a referral to a surgeon. That was on Friday, April 5th. By the time I left his office I was set up to meet the surgeon first thing on Monday, April 8th and scheduled for a baseline mammogram the following Friday. ***The mammogram is a WHOLE other experience! I almost fainted from the pain (which lasted for over two weeks) and had to ice my boobs all night. I now have a sticker on my Kaiser card that says: Last mammogram April 2013. My response to that is EXACTLY! I'm not running down to do that again anytime soon!***

I met with my surgeon, Dr. Landfair, and she went over the entire procedure, what I should expect, she took pictures, did a breast exam and pretty much told me it was absolutely medically necessary and wanted to know when I was available to do the surgery. I was SHOCKED, to say the least, that it was up to me when I was ready to do the surgery versus fighting and pleading to get it done. I told her that I wanted to drop some weight before surgery and we agreed on the beginning of June.

So here I am, just days before my surgery, and I am so very excited! I am nervous as well, but I know the short-time pain will be worth it compared to life-long pain and discomfort. I am officially on a 6+ week leave from work. I am taking Monday - Wednesday off to clean, shop, prepare and Thursday, June 6th is my surgery/medical leave. I am excited to have my mom fly in to help me. We will spend Wednesday running around getting last minute groceries and having girl time. I bought us matching pajamas for our week long "slumber party." She will be my 24 hour nurse while my boyfriend goes to work.

If I get the courage, I will post before and after pictures, but we will see how that goes. I have to say that this website has been my saving grace for my mental and emotional preparation. I really feel like I have a sense of expectation now as that is the hardest part for me.

3 Days post-op and feeling really good!

Well here I am post operation and I am so happy. I've read other reviews that say they felt the relief of the removed weight immediately and it is so true. My surgery went well and the entire process was very smooth. I really have to give kudos to Kaiser for a great experience for me and my mom and boyfriend who were in the waiting room. Patients are assigned a special number that is visible on monitors in the waiting rooms. It shows the progress of the patient as they move from one area to the next. It was very helpful for my family as they always knew what part of the process I was in. (kinda cool!!)

I had to check in at 5:25 am, which wasn't so bad considering I only live about 3 minutes from the hospital. My surgery was scheduled for 8:00 am. The waiting time in the pre-op area wasn't bad. They had me put on a gown and these long compression thigh highs for the special socks they put on to keep blood flow. They gave me a patch of sedative behind my ear and put in my IV. I never felt loopy or out of it, but the sedative just made me feel normal, not nervous in any way. I was really worried about feeling scared before the surgery, but that wasn't the case. I really felt a sense of excitement because it was finally happening. My surgeon greeted me and made my markings, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about her part in the surgery and my surgical nurse came in to let me know that she would meet me out in front of the surgery room to give me a bigger sedative before we went in.

Right on schedule I was wheeled out of pre-op to the surgery unit, kissed my mom and boyfriend goodbye and my bed was parked in the hall out in front of surgery room 4. I was alone or about 1 minute and took that time to say a prayer. My surgical nurse came out of the room and I told her that I was getting a little nervous. She said that is expected and that is why she was going to give me a sedative before they took me into the surgery room. Once in the room, they had me scoot over to the operating table. My surgeon and everyone took turns saying who they were and what their roll was. My anesthesiologist told me that I was going to go to sleep now and put a gas mask on my face. She didn't have me count down - I was just OUT!. Next thing I know she was waking me up in the operating room to tell me they were done. All I remember for that quick moment was saying how happy I was that it was over and thanking them and bursting into tears. I also remember telling her that I felt really nauseous. The next thing after that I was opening my eyes in the recovery area.

My surgeon met my mom and boyfriend in the waiting room at about 11:20 and said I'd been in recovery since 11:00. The hospital was a little backed up and I wasn't able to move from recovery to post-op for a while, so the nurses let my visitors come see me for a few minutes. Once I was finally in the post-op area I was able to eat crackers and drink juice. I woke up hungry and I must have drank 3 juice boxes and 3 packages of graham crackers and a thing of jello!! LOL. I arrived home around 3:15 and ate another snack of crackers and drank vitamin water. I tried to sit in a chair to watch TV, but I ended up just going to bed to rest until about 6:00.

I have to say that I really haven't had any pain. The first two days were really just discomfort, as if I worked out really hard in the gym. I only took my pain meds during the day on the first two days, but now I'm just taking it at night to sleep well. I am just taking Tylenol during the day. Itching from the meds or maybe the healing is annoying, but antihistamines really help. The hard part is feeling much better than expected and thinking you are capable of small tasks - BUT YOU AREN'T! I have to keep telling myself that I just had a major surgery.

My first post-op is tomorrow morning and I will get the dressings off, drains removed and put on my sports bra. I am really excited to see the results thus far. My surgeon told my mom that she only made the incision under the breast about 2 inches long versus the full length like she expected. I am really happy about that.

I will update again and try and get some pictures up this week. Good luck to all the ladies still waiting for surgery day! I have faith you will do great! xoxo

Healing is going really great!!!

My 6 week recovery is over on Thursday and I go back to work on Friday! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. My recovery has been by the book and I am extremely happy with my results so far. I am still a little swollen, but that will decrease with time. My doctor did a fabulous job!! Thank you Dr. Song and her PA Alicia for making me look so beautiful!

To anyone reading this that is thinking about a reduction or terrified about an upcoming surgery date- GO FOR IT!!! You have nothing to worry about!! You won't regret it for one second! I had ZERO pain - not once! Just discomfort, like sore muscles feel. The absolute worst part of the whole process was waiting for the surgery day to arrive. I was so anxious, but on the day of I was so at peace and calm.

I am finally posting my before and after pix....
Kaiser Permanente - Walnut Creek Medical Center

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 (23)

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Wow, looks great. I have been dreaming of reduction surgery for 15+ years, and am getting ready to just finally do it. I also have Kaiser. Can you tell me how much $$$ you paid for your surgery? Was any of it covered? Thanks.
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Looking at your pics makes me feel better. I'm worried about how in healing.. You look great!
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Thanks! I'm one year this last week. I am 100% happy. The scars are fading nicely and I love the results. Good luck!
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You look awesome! I live in Hercules, CA. I too have Kaiser!! I'm getting a Breast Reduction soon could you be so kind as to please give me the full name of the doctor that performed your surgery:-)
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Dr. Angela Song, Kaiser Walnut Creek.
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You look fantastic!! I'm too an H cup and my PS suggested a D cup. I was a little concerned about that because I'm thinking a D cup is still a little large.I don't want to be to small nor still large. But looking at your pics a D looks really good.
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Depending on your height and weight a d is a good size. I was slightly larger than an H (but I squeezed them into an H cup) and I became a d and I think it is the perfect size for me.
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I am a 38 H and have the same thoughts however this post helps elevate some fears.
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Thx!! I was worried that a D would be too large, and my doctor didn't think she could make me smaller than that. I love the size! It's perfect for my height and size, and I couldn't be happier!
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I'm so happy my profile helped!
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You're results look fantastic! I'm greatful for stumbling upon your page...you have given so much information and helpful tips and for that I thank you! I do have one question, why place tape over the incisions? Does it help in the healing process?
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Thank you so much! The tape is to help the scar from stretching wide. So far so good. My scars are thin, for the most part, and have not spread out and have healed great!
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You look fantastic! Did your doctor tell you how long it takes for all the swelling to go down? After looking at your pictures - I must go out and get some ice packs. I think you're right it's the anticipation and waiting that is the hard part. I go in on Friday and I am jumping at the bit to get it over and done with.
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Thank you so much!! Good luck to you on Friday! Try and stay calm as much as you can. The procedure will be over before you know it and then you will be on the road to recovery and back to your normal, but new life! Ice packs are a must! I used the Therapygel hot cold packs. I used the 6"x10" under and on top of my breasts and I used the 6"x6" on the sides of my breasts. A large kitchen towel laid over the packs kept everything place. :) My doctor said the swelling can take at least 3 months or longer. I noticed a significant reduction in swelling each week. It was really much easier to manage once I moved into a more compressed fitted front-zip sports bra. My post surgery bras became too big and not supportive once the swelling started going down. My first compression sports bra was XL and now I'm L. You will really need your breasts tight to your body to help with swelling and healing as well as for jiggle when you start walking around more. Also, sleeping upright on a wedge with elbows supported by pillow really helped too. Best of luck! You will be in my prayers. :)
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Thank you for the tips - where did you get the Therapygel cold packs?
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I bought mine at my local sports store. You can also get them at any drug store and Amazon.com. Any brand that allows for hot and cold treatment is best. You will need the cold for the first 3-4 weeks for swelling. I found that after my incisions were healed is when I was most tender and the warmth really soothes that. Also, when you are allowed to carry more weight and have more range of motion your tendons and muscles will be tight from under use and the warmth helps so much!
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I will get some tomorrow. Thank again for the helpful tips. You really do look fantastic. I hope I come out looking as good.
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You look awesome! Do you know how much they removed from each side?
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Thank you so much!! I feel great! They removed 440g from my right and 574g from my left. A total of 2.24lbs!!! :)))
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Good luck! It was hard to post before pics, but after a few days of them being on I honestly got more comfortable with them, plus I thought it's so helpful to be able to see other people's before and after pics so I can see better what to expect (and to prepare my husband as well) I hope everything goes well with your surgery! Please let us know how everything goes :)
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Congrats ajw on your upcoming BR . BTW I live in San Jose so we're neighbors :-) Dr Lepore was my PS .I am very happy with my new girls . Best of luck . This is a life changing experience with beautiful results.
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Hi neighbor!! :) Thank you for the well wishes! I checked out your pictures and you look beautiful!
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Thank you for your nice comment. I look forward to following your journey . So excited for you :-)
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