Breast Reduction: StoriesWrite a Review
After 25 Years, Taking the Plunge - Washington, DC
- Se1f 1ove
- posted 1 year ago
- updated 9 months ago
- Worth It
- Dr. Otero (Washington, DC)
Hi all, I can't tell you what a relief it is...
- 5 May 2012
- 26 days pre
I can't tell you what a relief it is to find this site! I'm scheduled for surgery on June 1 and I'm so nervous about it. It's so reassuring to read all your stories and see that my feelings are shared by so many of you.
I'm 46, 5'1", 120 lbs and I've been a 30G for the last 15 years. I get by with a 32DDD bra, but my right breast is always leaking out of the cup. People are always shocked to find out how big my breasts are - I guess I hide it well. But I've been thinking about having this surgery since I was 21. My breasts have been large ever since they developed and I was super self-conscious about it as a younger woman. I'm glad I waited until I got past that to have this surgery. Now, I really love and appreciate my breasts and all the fun I've had with them! (visualize all my past lovers raising a glass - here's to N's awesome rack!) But my back, neck and shoulders really take a hit from all the extra weight and I want to have plenty of time in my life to enjoy a lighter load.
I'm very lucky to have the surgery completely covered by my insurance. I've seen three PS's about this over the years, and each one has looked at my chest and said "Oh yeah, you'll be covered."
I'm still really nervous. I've never had major surgery and I'm scared of the pain! I'm also scared my breasts won't be pretty afterward. I'm single, and I'm scared that any new man in my life will be scared off by my scars - I know that's kind of silly, but I'm just puttin' it out there. Oh yeah, and I'm scared of what all those pain meds will do to my digestive system. Let's just say it slows down really easily. Anyone else out there had trouble with that? I already take Miralax every day, so I'm wondering what else you've found worked after surgery.
Mostly, I just am glad to have found this community. Thanks to all of you who took the time to write about your experience and post pics. You gave me the courage to take pics of myself.
I have my pre-op app't with the PS on Wednesday. Any suggestions on things I should ask her that day?
I had my final pre-op app't with the PS today. I...
- 9 May 2012
- 23 days pre
I asked her about taking ibuprofen (my go-to drug for cramps and I'll get my period about a week before the surgery). She said to stop using it the Monday before the surgery (5 days), which seems do-able. We talked about bras, meds for constipation (dulcolax), and the schedule of the day. My dear friend, R, is not only getting up in the middle of the night to bring me to the hospital at 5:30am but planning to stay for the day, which makes me cry it's so lovely.
So here's a question for all you fabulous women: I have one more app't for pre-op tests. What happens there? What do they test for?
thanks and sending warm thoughts to all of you having surgery soon or recovering now.
Hi everybody, Well, two weeks from tomorrow is...
- 17 May 2012
- 15 days pre
Well, two weeks from tomorrow is the big day! Holy cow - I'm nervous and excited. I'm having all sorts of panic about whether I've chosen a good enough PS, have I done enough to prepare (some of you brought PICTURES to your PS! that never occurred to me. DO I need to do that?!). Did any of you freak out along these lines before surgery? She's board certified and does tons of these surgeries, but had no pics to show me at the pre-op :-(
I also just found a super-sweet apartment I'd like to move into but it's available mid-June and I know my PS would say absolutely NO moving house in June. I may be able to figure it all out.
Hey, for all of you who've had the surgery, how long was it before you could switch from shirts that button up the front to ones you could pull over your head? I don't have many button up shirts, so trying to figure out how many to buy. I bought one surgical bra but am wondering if I should also buy some sports bras now or wait til later?
On a more philosophical note, I'm also thinking how I will miss my girls. They've been such a huge (ha ha) part of my identity for so long. And that I might feel disappointed if people don't notice, even though I know they will not.
So glad I have this place to come to for encouragement and support and stories. Can't imagine going through this surgery without all of you!
Hi everbody! Just 9 more days to go. Last night, I...
- 22 May 2012
- 10 days pre
That apartment I was looking at is already rented so I don't have to make a hard decision - thanks to all of you who pointed out to me what a crazy idea that was.
And thanks for all the reviews you have written. Reading your stories is so reassuring.
I had my physical today - went really well. The PA...
- 24 May 2012
- 8 days pre
On a lighter note - I've noticed that I'm obsessed with other women's racks like I'm a 16 year old boy. I just find myself staring at boobs all the time, wondering "will mine look like those? or maybe more like those?" It's pretty funny - I just hope I'm not offending all those women ;-)
Holy cow, gals. I am having the grumpiest damn day...
- 26 May 2012
- 6 days pre
Fresh from the lingerie section at Macy's trying...
- 28 May 2012
- 4 days pre
Tomorrow is the big day! I'm definitely feeling...
- 31 May 2012
- 1 day pre
My period (or lack of one) has been driving me crazy! It's finally started, almost a week late. I was really concerned I might be pregnant, which would definitely have thrown a wrench in things. I think it was just nerves and stress. Anyone else had BR while menstruating? Did you wear a pad or a tampon?
Also, did anyone else ask their PS or anesthesiologist to say anything particular to them during surgery? I'm using this book called "Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster" and they recommend having the surgeon or anesth say healing statements while you're going under and as you're coming out of surgery. I like the idea, but wonder if the doctors will...
Hi all! All is well. I'm in my room and feeling...
- 1 Jun 2012
- On day of treatment
Hi everybody! I made it. And it was just fine....
- 2 Jun 2012
- 1 day post
Probably the most pain I had was right when I came to, and that wasn't so bad. They gave me dilaudid, and then I was pain-free and somewhat loopy. Everyone in the hospital was really lovely and nice to me, but the organization there was bad - I waited over 4 hours to get into my room. But I was comfy in the recovery unit, so that was ok.
When I got into my room, they switched me over to percocet. I was drinking a lot, but not hungry - I think I ended up eating a few grapes and crackers yesterday, nothing more. I was able to pee. Did anyone else notice their pee smelling really weird? (sorry - that's a bit graphic, but I really noticed that). The biggest challenge last night was nausea, so I'm glad I was in the hospital, since they were able to give me Zofran and some other stuff which made that go away. Thanks drugs!
This morning the PS was supposed to come around 6:30 but she forgot! We ended up paging her around 10am and she came and was super-apologetic. She took off the big gauze pads and said my breasts were "perfect." I guess there had been lots of discussion of my cup size in the OR, with the other staff insisting that I could not have been a G cup, and her saying "yeah, but her rib cage is so tiny, she needed that big cup." Wish I could have been awake for that!
We got home (thanks for the pillow tip - big help!) and I got settled on the couch. It was so great to eat some good food and be in my own space. I did have some bleeding from my nipples, especially on the right. I paged the doc and she said it was normal - I could apply some pressure and should really take it easy. I can tell that's going to be hard, but the bleeding was scary, so I'm committed.
I wanna take a pic, but I don't want to take off my bra just yet. I'm allowed to shower tomorrow (ain't it funny how different the instructions are from different doctors?). I'll get my friend to take a pic of me then, after I'm all clean.
Just had that first shower. I almost passed out,...
- 3 Jun 2012
- 2 days post
Well, I'm having some day 3 blues. Feeling...
- 4 Jun 2012
- 3 days post
I also have a rash just below my bra band and on my shoulders. I think it's a reaction either to the antibiotics or the pain meds or something else. It's a little itchy, not bad. I talked to a nurse at the PS's office; she said I could take benadryl for the itchiness, but that it wouldn't help the rash. As long as I don't have open sores or bleeding, she's not concerned. I lay down on my bed and unhooked the bra for a few minutes - that felt GREAT. I think the girls could use a little more air. I'll do that again this afternoon when a friend is here.
That's all for now - back to the couch and more sleeps.
Hey all, quick question: what have you found works...
- 5 Jun 2012
- 4 days post
Just got back from the PS - I think I have the...
- 6 Jun 2012
- 5 days post
I am developing a rash where the band of the bra sits against my skin. She said I could use hydrocortisone cream for that, so I picked some up and a little bottle of spray-on benadryl to give myself two options. I think my skin is just sensitive and I'm getting a little sweaty there. I'm currently wearing the Marena with a two-inch band, so I'm gonna order the one with the one-inch band and see if that is better. I have to wear a bra 24/7 for three weeks and then I can go without at night. I think I might go without just half the night, since I want to ensure I end up with a nice shape, but I also think my skin needs some air!
I'm having some puckering and bulging right in the middle of my chest, right where the two horizontal scars end. She said she didn't want the scar to extend right across my chest, and so left that area uncut. But if the bulge doesn't go down, she can take care of it right in the office (gulp). I'm gonna work at the whole massage thing once my incisions are closed and see if I can get it down myself. I'm also developing some dog-ears right where the drains came out. I almost went back to her office to ask about that, but based on what all of you have said, I knew her answer would be the same - see how the incisions heal and she can address it later if they don't disappear.
Kate, I asked her about using tape on the incisions and she said it wasn't necessary. Once she sees how the scars are healing, she'll recommend microderm or another product if I need it. I may decide to try it, since it won't hurt anything.
One last thing. I asked her about moving my arms over my head and she said don't do it. I told her I woke up this morning and found myself stretching and her eyebrows went right up! Gosh that stretch felt so good, but I have to be careful to keep my arms down now.
I'll take some more pics tomorrow after I shower and take all the bandages off.
Just had a moment. I'm enjoying my self-appointed...
- 7 Jun 2012
- 6 days post
Added pics from today :-) With the yellow...
- 7 Jun 2012
- 6 days post
With the yellow gauze off, I look a bit rougher, since you can see the incisions and the bruising. I think some of the yellow is actually from the goop on the gauze, and some is bruises.
It's been a tricky couple of days. I think the...
- 9 Jun 2012
- 8 days post
Anyway, thanks for being my community of breast reducers! It's a big help to share all these wacky experiences with people who get it.
Just a quick check-in. I'm feeling better today,...
- 10 Jun 2012
- 9 days post
Ugh, ladies, I am having a rough time. Not with my...
- 12 Jun 2012
- 11 days post
But my stomach is still really queasy, I'm having diarrhea (sorry if that's gross), and my energy level is in the toilet. I read about others who had surgery more recently than me going out to lunch or working half a day and feel despair. I had much more energy last week, but now I just feel exhausted all the time. I'm not sure what's wrong. I know the antibiotics could be the culprit - if they took out too much of my good bacteria that could be affecting my digestion and causing the low energy. I'm eating yogurt and taking probiotics, not sure what else I can do. Thoughts? I see the PS tomorrow.
Ladies, a very big day. I had my stitches out and...
- 13 Jun 2012
- 12 days post
Went sports bra shopping today and the one I could find that you don't have to pull on over your head (that still feels like more than I'm ready for) is a 32D. Bigger cup size than I expected, but boobs were spilling over the sides in the C cup. So that may or may not be where I end up, but I am feeling so friggin' delighted with this new rack I couldn't care less what letter is attached to them! I did a little clothes shopping, nothing too racy until I can wear a normal bra, but still!!! EVERYTHING fit better. It was just so amazing not to battle with these huge boobs that distort how everything looks and force me to wear clothes that either are too big everywhere else or make me look like a walking ad for "Big Tits" magazine. I am SO glad I did this.
Back to the couch today. Talked to the nurse about...
- 14 Jun 2012
- 13 days post
Has anyone else noticed any impact on their memory from the anesthesia. I forgot both the password to my blackberry (which I only use for work and turned off the night before surgery) and for my computer at work. Finally decided it was time to log in today and couldn't! Maybe two weeks away would have caused me to forget anyway. Wish I'd had the common sense to write them down!
16 days post-op. Sorry I haven't checked in a few...
- 17 Jun 2012
- 16 days post
My open spots continue to be open, but don't seem to be getting worse. Like Sammysmomma, I'm still having quite a bit of soreness and pain in my incisions, but I figure that's partly because I'm taking less medication (I've been off the Percocet for a week, and just use ibuprofen or acetaminophen when I remember) and partly because my nerves are healing. At my last visit, the PS said I don't need to wear bandages anymore, but that was before the open spots. So I'm putting bacitracin on the incisions and covering them with telfa pads under the bra, both to keep the bacitracin on and to keep the bra from rubbing the incisions. They are still VERY tender in spots, so massage for me yet.
Oh, that's one more resolve - I'm resisting the temptation to compare my healing progress with you guys! I think it makes me worry more. Eating lots of lean protein and green vegetables, also yogurt, kefir and kim chee to help my gut recover from the antibiotics. I'm still feeling nauseous some of the time, but it's better today.
Hugs to all my cyber-BR buddies! I'll post pics later this week.
Just posted a pic of me in that same t-shirt. I...
- 18 Jun 2012
- 17 days post
Either the work or the weird sleep is catching up...
- 19 Jun 2012
- 18 days post
Hey, anyone out there used bromelain for scar reduction or minimization?
Forgot to add that today also marks the...
- 19 Jun 2012
- 18 days post
Here's a long overdue update. Today is day 23...
- 24 Jun 2012
- 23 days post
I'm posting some pics and you can see my incisions are coming along. Still a few dissolvable sutures working their way out, but not too many. Overall, I think progress is good! I see the PS on Wednesday. Here are my questions for her:
1. Any concerns about the junctions? It looks like there are some open spots still - do I need to worry about those?
2. There seems to be more breast tissue under my arms than before surgery - is this swelling or did you need to rearrange a bit to accommodate the nipple pedicle?
3. Do I need to worry about dissolvable sutures where there are also scabs?
4. Can I start scar treatment? What do you recommend?
Those of you who already had your 4 week follow up, can you think of other questions I should ask? I always feel like I forget the obvious ones when I'm in there.
Hugs to all.
Oh, insomnia, why do you torture me so? I even...
- 26 Jun 2012
- 25 days post
Post op day 28. TGIF!! Holy cats, I am so glad to...
- 29 Jun 2012
- 28 days post
I'm definitely feeling better every day. My incisions are healing and my breasts are continuing to "drop and fluff." I'll try to post pics tomorrow.
The PS was really pleased with my progress and I don't have to go back for 4 more weeks. She said I could use scar treatment if I wanted to, but that my incisions are healing well and she's not sure it would make a difference. I bought both Mederma and some Palmer's Cocoa Butter formula with vitamin E. The Mederma made my incisions feel tight and maybe even a little more irritated, but the Palmer's lotion feels wonderful, really soothing and nice. So I'm going to stick with that until the incisions are more healed.
I got my first comment from someone who didn't know about the BR. A colleague saw me today at a meeting and exclaimed "Are you ok? You've lost so much weight!" I blamed it on my surgery and reassured her that my appetite is back in full force. It's interesting to realize that I look different to other people, too.
Just whining. Tomorrow it's 5 weeks, and my...
- 5 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
Just shy of 6 weeks post op. I'm loving how I look...
- 12 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
Posting new pics, sorry for the blurry. Also bought a bathing suit this weekend - wheee! Not quite ready for a bikini, but I got a super cute tankini with teensy shorts for bottoms (because I HATE shaving my bikini line), and a halter top. Are you reading this, Piggles? A HALTER TOP.
Adding pics of the new tankini, as per request ;-)
- 15 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
7 weeks post op. Healing happens! I now can go...
- 21 Jul 2012
- 1 month post
I've started massaging with the Palmers Skin Therapy Oil basically because of peer pressure from this site (you know who you are). It does feel nice. I'll post pics in the next few days - incisions are still red on the sides, but the vertical lines from NAC to crease are fading nicely.
All in all, I think I've been incredibly lucky in my feeling and I deeply appreciate that. Thanks to all of you for your great advice. Eat your greens! Drink your lemon drink!
8.5 weeks post op. Saw the PS today. Of course, as...
- 1 Aug 2012
- 2 months post
Here's a wee tip from a book I read: ask your PS for a copy of your surgical report. It's handy to have down the line if you ever need another surgery on your breasts for whatever reason, and it makes for interesting reading if you're into that kind of thing.
All in all, things are continuing to improve. I still have soreness, both a kind of hot irritation on the incisions - often in the middle of the night or when I wake up - and inside my boobs when there's a lot of bouncing (running down the escalator in the metro). I notice that sleeping on my back leads to less of that first one, so I think I'm going back to that for a while. What an amazing thing that I was able to learn how to do that! Proof that you can teach an old(er) dog new tricks. I'm massaging twice a day with either lotion or the Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil. Can't tell if one is better than the other - both feel good. It's time for pics - I'll try to get help with that so the pics are better quality.
Sending a shout-out to all of you who are waiting or recovering. It gets better! And to all my RealSelf best buds - Piggles, Kate, Iowa, Sammysmomma, PNW - you know who you are. Thanks for being that.
Got fitted for a bra today! (Drum roll, please)......
- 10 Aug 2012
- 2 months post
It's a shock. I was thinking 32C. Maybe even 32B!. Imagine my horror when the 32DD was too small. I felt downright depressed. But she brought back a 34D and it fit like a charm.
I think what happened is that I've ended up with lots of breast tissue under my arms - it's like the PS built me a minimizer bra out of my skin. So even though when they measure my rib cage, I'm still a 32, when I try on bras, the 34 fits better. And once I can wear underwires, I think I will have some nice choices.
I'll admit it, I'm disappointed. I was hoping for that C cup, I really was. I'd like to be able to walk into VS like all my other Real Self friends and buy a bra off the rack. Tried that last week and it was an epic fail. But
a) my boobs look great
b) my back feels great
c) I can go BRALESS now, so being able to buy the right-sized bra is much less important.
It's so typical - I've been the one on here saying for months that size is just a number and it doesn't matter. Now that I'm the one with boobs bigger than I had hoped for, it feels like it matters! OK, ladies, remind me what is truly important here.
My Doctor: Join to view doctor's name
I would very highly recommend Dr. Otero, especially if your surgery will be covered by insurance. Where I rate her lower, it's basically because she is running a super-busy practice that is focused a lot on patients who need reconstructive surgery and are on insurance. So not the kind of personalized attention you will get from a private practice. You can expect to wait if your app't is in the afternoon and she is all business. That being said, she is friendly, direct and very supportive. She worked really hard to give me a fabulous outcome and so far I'm really pleased with the results.