46 Years, No Kids, 80G (36DDD), Frankfurt, Germany - What Took Me So Long?

First of all, let me introduce myself to all you...

First of all, let me introduce myself to all you wonderful and helpful BR-Sisters. For three more days I am 46 years old and I live with a wonderful husband and two cats in Frankfurt, Germany. We don’t have kids. I am 1,78m (converted 5’10“) and weigh about 80kg (converted 176lbs). My bra size was 80G (converted 36DDD).
I had my reduction on december 3rd, so I am currently 6 days post OP. But let me start from the beginning:

Brief history ;-):
I was suffering from the size of my breasts for a long time, but never seriously considered a reduction. About 5 years ago, for the first time I thought about it more seriously and went to my gynecologist, asking him about my options. He was basically triying to talk me out of it but also referred me to a surgeon with very good reputation. I lost courage and backed down.
3 ½ years ago I met this wonderful man (we are married since this summer) and the closer we came, the more he noticed, me being unsatisfied with the weight of my breasts. He encouraged me to give it another thought. I was still hesitating, I always though if I would be tempting fate to cut off two healthy breasts, that are „nothing“ more than ab „bit“ large and heavy (watch out for ironie ;-) ... and end up with lots of pain, scars and no nipple sensation, and of course the surgery part was more than scary.
Last year I had an incident, I was bitten by an animal and it got infected really bad, I had to undergo surgery 4 times to save my leg, ending up with a huge skin transplant and lots of very ugly scars.
Seriously ... this experience put me back on track. I though, If I can handle 4 surgerys in a year, I will be able to go through this.

July 2015:
I went to another gynecologist for an annual checkup and talked to her about it and she was veeeeeery supportive, she said she has full understanding for my decision. She referred me to that same doctor I was referred to 5 years ago.
August 2015:
Had my consultation with the surgeon. He is not a Plasctic Surgeon, and his practice i part of a regular hospital here in germany. So no fancy practice but very nice and clean and inviting. When I first met him, I instantly new that I am in the right place.
When he looked at my chest he instantly said, that he is 95% sure that insurance will cover it. I couldn’t be more surprised ... what, insurance? I never even thought, that I won’t have to pay it all by myself. I couldn’t belive it. But he said, because of the discinct assymetrie of my breasts, it is very likely they will take over the costs. Wow.
September 2015:
Insurance denied!!! Ok, I told you so. I wanted to give up, but hubby imaginary played the rocky theme in his head ... no, not with us. So we high fived and went into the battle ;-) I called my doctor and he sent in another request, to have me examined by the medical service of the insurance.
October 2015:
I was invited for an appointment with the medical service (Medizinischer Dienst, in case some german ladies are reading this) on October 27th. I had to fill out endless forms about what I am expecting from this, about pain, depressions and many more things. I filled everything out as truthfully as possible. Yes I do have neck, back and shoulder pain, and lots of headaches, but I can not tell if this is caused by my breasts or by any other thing, such as computer work and the like. Anyway, I went in and the doctor (she) was very nice and very supportive. She noticed the dents in my shoulders from my bra, the assymetrie, the size and my bad posture. All that together she said, she will definetely recommend the surgery. I was happy, but I had to wait for the last word of the insurance. Just one week later I was approved!!! Can you imagine my happyness. Of course you can ?

November 2015:
I was scheduled for december 3rd and had my pre OP appointment in the middle of november. I was informed about all the risks, had to sign a couple of papers, talked to the anesthetist and was given further instructions about eating and drinking prior surgery. I was told I would be the first OP in the morning and that I would have to stay in hospital for about 4 or 5 days.

Last week prior surgery:
I was scared and so extremely nervous but never ever had one doubt about my decision. The closer it came, the more nervous I became.

Surgery day, December 3rd:
We came in at around 7am, I was marked up with a black „edding 3000“ (thought it was so funny that they use a text marker fort his ;-) We went to the hospital ward and they showed my my room and all the fancy clothes to wear (don’t you all have to think of Jack Nicholson when you have to wear these half open gowns? ;-) Anyway ... I heard that I won’t be the first OP that day, and since I had to wait and got more and more nervous I agreed to take one of these fancy fluffy pills that provide you with that „Don’t give a s***“ attitude. I was taken into OR at around 9.15am, kissed hubby goodbye and before I could even think to much I found myself waking up again at around 1pm in the wake up room. I felt incredible happyness when I realized that I’ve made it to the other side. I don’t remember too much pain but I was still under the influence of all the drugs.
I was taken back into my room at around 2pm where hubby was awaing me with a smile. I can’t tell you anything about that, because I forgot everything what I must have said. According to my husband I must have announced my incredible happyness to everybody, but I was so out and slept all afternoon.
Around 5 o’clock the nurse came in and wanted me to get up and walk a bit. I remember sitting upright in bed and I almost lost conscience, I got very nauseous and almost threw up, but it was only for five minutes and it was gone. I didn’t have to get up again ;-)
Other than that, I wasn’t nauseous at all. I remember being asked for my pain level from 1 to 10 and answered 7. I was given some meds IV and no pain after that.
I am still very impressed, how low the pain level is in general.

OK, so far I wrote a lot, I will provide more details about my recovery soon and also I will post before and after pictures (have loads of them).

Just one thing for now:
I could’t be any happier about my decision. I love my new boobs even though they are bruised and swollen and uneven ... but they seem tiny, compared to what I had ...

I am so pleased to meet you ... stay tuned for more ;-)

Before Pictures

To be honest, for the longest time I wasn't comfortable at all about posting pictures here, but after reading so many reviews over the past month and looking at so many pictures I felt, I wanted to contribute something. So here we go ... starting with a couple of pictures taken two nights before surgery ... I was actually really amazed about the strong asymmetry of my breasts, it has never been that obvious for me ... but the pictures don't lie

Day 1 - Day 5 Post OP

Ok, I will keep writing a little bit, since I am in the right mood for it tonight and I still remember a lot of details ... ok, where were we:

Recovery, Day 1
I forgot to mention, that I had two drains sticking out on the side of my breasts, I felt very comfortable with it, as I was told it will support healing and prevent swelling and infections (hopefully, because that’s my biggest fear ... but we will see)
The night ... I am not lying, was quite unpleasant, I woke up a million times because of so many different factors ... night nurse came in to check on my vital signs almost every hour, the bed was quite uncomfortable, unusual situation, another person in the room (getting implants ... how funny is that, we kept making fun of how she could have some of mine ;-) ... and last but not least ... sleeping on my back, argh ... I am, as so many of you a side or stomach sleeper, I usually NEVER sleep on my back!
Anyway ... a doctor came the next morning and I was told how much they’ve been taken away from me ;-) Drumroll ... 532 grams from the left side (about 1,2 lbs) and 874 grams from the right side (about 1,9 lbs) – so that’s 1,4 kilo or 3,1 lbs!!! I couldn’t believe it, so much weight. She removed the dressing and I was able to take a look at my new chest for the first time ... I cried. Need I say more?
It was very busy in our hospital room, lots of visitors for both of us ... a good friend of mine came, my parents and last but not least my husband ... I was able to eat and drink and for the first time, I got up and went to the bathroom all by myself ... heaven.

Recovery, Day 2
Night was a lot better, not perfect ... but not at all like the first night. I had minimal pain, felt really good about myself and couldn’t staring at the new me in front of the bathroom mirror. I am so incredibly happy with my new size. I had no problems with constipation ... not at all, only thing, I was bloated all day ... ugh!

Recovery, Day 3
I read somewhere here on RealSelf about a semi-sided sleeping position. I though about my sidesleeper pillow and had my husband bring it to me into the hospital. And it was a true wonder; I can totally recommend this to everybody with sleeping-on-their-back-trouble. I have the pillow on my side and lean with my shoulder on it, so that I am not completely on my side, but somewhat in-between back and side ... does that make sense? But this is sooooo comfortable ... ever since up until now I have no problems sleeping. It is truly amazing.
I went outside of the hospital for a walk around the large building as the weather was really nice that day, lots of sun ... and it felt so so great. Oh and also in the morning, one of the drains (left side) has been removed. It felt wonderful.

Recovery, Day 4
Early morning the doctor came in and was able to take the second drain out ... yippie ... I was discharged the same morning. Also my roommate could go home and so we celebrated the waiting time until we were picked up by our loved ones with a large cappuccino in the hospital cafeteria. We exchanged numbers and addresses as we really got along very well and we definitely want to stay in touch.
When I got home I went to bed right away, and slept like a baby, in my own bed. Nothing better than that.
Pain? No, not really, a little bit maybe, but I did not take any medication that day. So far, I am so deeply surprised and thankful how this all works out.

Recovery, Day 5
First night at home, it was wonderful, I woke up only once and enjoyed being surrounded by so many pillows. Cats had to stay out of the bedroom ... no breast climbing for the following weeks ;-)
I felt so good, that I agreed to join my husband for Christmas tree shopping. We also went to IKEA for lunch and on our way back walked through the whole lower floor of the Swedish store. Shouldn’t have done that ... I was punished with a very uncomfortable feeling and pain ... not a good idea. Stupid me. Listen to your body ... that is what everybody tells you. Well, I listened to it in the morning and he said, hey I am doing fine, wanna take me out ... must have overheard him later ;-) I took Ibuprofen 600mg, spend the rest of the day in bed or on the couch and felt fine again.

So, that was my story so far ... we are on day 6 now and I will post about this separately.
Happy healing everybody ?

Day 6 - Post OP

So now we are on day 6, today … almost one week after surgery. I still cannot believe how smooth things go so far. I am very happy about this, but also I am aware, that there still can be complications and I am very scared about this.
I forgot to mention that I had my first shower yesterday, and it felt great after so many days. Friday I will go for a check up with my doctors and the tape will be removed and the stitches around the aerola will be removed. All the other stitches will be self-dissolving. By the way … I have no nipple sensation yet (is that a bad sign?) and the lower part of my boobs still feels numb.
Also I forgot to mention that from day one my left thumb was numb, all the way up on the left arm. Very weird, but thats gone now.
Please feel free to ask me any questions :-) I will post the "after" pictures now and then will stay away from the computer for today. So happy to be here with all of you :-)

Post OP pictures

So here are a couple of post OP pictures ... I will try and document the healing process from time to time as this has really helped me so much ... when I saw bruised and swollen pictures ... and a couple of weeks later beautiful results ... hopefully I will have them too one day

One Week Post OP

I can’t believe it is already a week!!! I am still, of course, very happy. Though I am starting to feel a bit more discomfort. My breasts feel very swollen and tight … it feels like somebody bond to bricks on my chest, so the “light-as-a-feather” feeling doesn’t occur to me yet. In fact, with the surgical bra, for now, if I am not looking at them, it doesn’t feel any different. But really, I am sure, time will make a difference and as soon as the swelling subsides it will make a huge difference … due to reading so many reviews here, I am able to think more positive ?
Also I am having this stinging feeling everywhere aroung my breasts. Is it normal? It probably is … the numbness seems to get less and the incisions are pushing and pulling everywhere. Took a 600mg Ibuprofen this morning. I am doing ok for now.

Regarding my size: I looked a bit online and there are bra size calculators everywhere in the net. Mostly from famous brands. So according to the measurement below the bust and the bust circumference, I would be currently an 85A (38AA) (how funny is that) … but I assume that the swelling will go down, and my underbust measurement will go back to normal, which usually is about 80cm (36) … so I might end up a 80C (36B) … if that’s the case, that would be my dream size ;-) It is so easy to shop a C cup instead of a G. Mostly I spend a fortune on bras here in Germany, can’t wait to go to our local coffee roaster (Tchibo – they sell everything ;-) and get a cheap cotton bra off the rack, a little dream situation.
But also I am aware, that my breasts are rather wide … so it might end up bigger, who knows, can’t wait to find out one day.

So far I spend most of my time knitting, I am a knitting addict. That really is the perfect hobby for recovery. Also we will be going for a walk this afternoon. See how this goes with all the stinging going on.

Tomorrow I will have the tape and the stitches removed. I am very nervous about it, as the tape sticks firmly to the incisions, and they seem to be the most sensitive part of my body … so ripping a tape off in this region … yes I am scared. How was it for you?

Direct Comparison

I was playing around with a photo app this afternoon. I am still so impressed, what they can do ... how do you like my Frankenboobs? ;-)

Day 11 - Post OP

Today is already Monday, day 11 post op. What can I say, the last days have been a bit more uncomfortable ... but from what I've been reading here, seems like the second week is always a bit more rough.
Friday the stitches around the areola have been removed. Not too painful. And all the tape around the other areas is gone as well. That was the part I was mostly scared of, but it didn't hurt at all. The incisions look pretty good for my judgement. Doctor said, everything looks fine ... healing is in good progress.
Saturday was my birthday. I had some friends and family over in the afternoon and I felt pain and discomfort all day. Same Sunday and today ... I am taking more ibuprofen and it is manageable. My breasts feel very tight ... and it feels like someone has stapled someone else's breasts to my body. Still can't feel the lightness of my new boobs.
I had a shower and the feeling without the compression bra was not good, I felt totally exposed and also it felt like my breasts will burst in one wrong movement ;-)

Reading here is really helping me a lot to deal with all this, as it makes me aware that this all seems pretty normal. So I can't wait to be 2 or three months post ;-) But other than that I do enjoy the extra time that I have for knitting and sleeping and relaxing. Also I am still a very happy camper ... I don't regret a thing :-)

Day 16 - Post OP - Twingyzingy

16 days from surgery, more than two weeks and I guess, there still is a way to go. Last week has been quite unpleasant I would say. Pain level was not too high and compared to the pain after my foot and ankle surgery last year, this still seems like kindergarten to me ;-) But still I feel quite sore and very vulnerable. The worst part for me always is, when I am taking a shower and have to take the surgical bra off. I don’t like that feeling at all, so weird, as I said, as if they were not mine.

Thursday afternoon a very weird pain started, it was a burning sensation on my upper chest, just below my neck between the boobs. It felt like some sort of heartburn or whatever, ex- or internally, it was hard to tell. So I went to see my sister in law (she is a gynecologist, so amazing to have one in your closer family) and she looked at it and said everything looks fine, and that this burning could be part of the healing process, but if it doesn’t subside she wanted me to check with my surgeon.
Anyway, it has subsided, significantly, in fact, it spread out all over the place on my chest, but lost its intensity … so a slight burning sensation on the skin, I take it, is normal, because the nerves try to reconnect?
Anyway … I also get these sharp little zinging twinges from time to time, like little electrical shocks ;-) … I always picture these like lose cables in one of those movies … when they giving off their sparks … funny to imagine it that way, that there are little wires in your body that try to reconnect. Oh well, not too funny, but ok ;-)

Sleeping is quite ok, I don’t have too much trouble sleeping. I am still using my larger body pillow and tons of other pillows and I feel snug as a bug and very comfortable in my bed. In fact, I did sleep a lot this past week.
I was asked to take a picture of my sleeping position. I will see if I can make this work. But to give a description:
Lie yourself on your back with that longer rectangular pillow next to you (also any normal pillow could do the job, I just happen to have this body pillow). Than lift your left shoulder and your left bottomcheek (so basically your left side … or of course right side works as well ;-) and move that long pillow half under your body, then pull your legs towards your body (like an embryo). This is so weird to describe it. Try it out. It totally does the trick for me and my biggest fear of only sleeping straight on my back did not come true.
During the last two weeks I was actually able to move more and more to the side (pushing the pillow more and more to your side), so that I now am able to sleep almost fully on my side, but in this case also the body pillow works cause you can rest your knee on it and so you don’t bend over too far (then the pillow is in front of you of course)
O well, please forgive me, specially when I try to describe something like this, it feels like my English is horrible ;-)

Anyway … today is Saturday … I already missed two Christmas parties last week, but I just didn’t feel like it. Today is another attempt, it is basically a get together with friends in a restaurant, so nothing too fancy. I will try it and hopefully be able to enjoy. I see if I can wear something nice to show my new body. Oh well, to feel more secure about myself I have to get rid of that tummy, I was actually joking to the doctor asking him why he forgot to remove that third boob ;-) I will take care of this after Christmas, now just is not the right time … Germans usually go totally crazy with Christmas cookies and all the other treats… sooooooo bad.

3 week update - a matter of patience

This morning I woke up around 7 o'clock and my First thought was ... exactly three weeks ago I was all marked up, ready for surgery. Wow, three weeks. When I remember ... for how long I have been dreaming about it and now it is already in the past ...

I am still sore!!! And swollen! That's is :-) I am not writing this to complain, I am still so happy about everything. Just mentioning it because it is what it is ;-) no need to worry I hope.
I had a wonderful moment yesterday. I wanted to buy a support bra that doesn't rub so intensely on my lower incisions. So I went to a larger department store and asked for help. I always went to this place to buy my one-man-tents aka 36G's ;-) because the staff there is very helpful. So she let me try on some sports bras. She gave me 38C and it was ... way to large!!! The cups were just to big. And even a 36C was a bit larger than needed. Oh how I loved this feeling ... I did not buy anything cause all of them were not cheap, and I am not spending that much money on something that doesn't fit anymore after everything has settled. But again ... How I loved my breasts in a normal sports bra. I so envy you US girls. There is no such thing as Walmart here. Maybe I should look online.
I am at my parents house for the holidays currently. Today is Christmas Eve.
When my mom saw me yesterday for the first time after hospital in some real clothes she said ... oh ... there's almost nothing left ;-) Trust me mom, there is ;-)
Large boobs ran in my moms family ... all of us where gifted with it ;-)
Anyway ... I really can't wait for the soreness to be gone ... and I am still freaking a bit over the fact that there can still be complications ... I hope not though.

Please give me patience!!! NOW!!! ;-)

Wishing everybody wonderful holidays.

Photos, 3 weeks post

I am wondering ... Is the bright redness of my scars normal? I am feeling fine though, just the usual mixture of little twinges, itching and a bit of swelling ...

7 1/2 Weeks Post OP

I can't believe how time flies and now I am more than 7 weeks post op, incredible. I always want to update, but I keep forgetting. Maybe it is a good thing, because boobs are not my most important topic anymore. Just a few facts:

After 6 weeks I went to see my surgeon and everything looks really good. I was cleared to go back to normal activities, listening to my body. So I can do sports and he said I can start aging to dress a bit more sophisticated ;-)

I know my boobs don't have their final size yet, but I had to go bra shopping … I just had to. I went to my preferred department store, as they have a huge bra selection and excellent staff. I was overwhelmed, because I have so many more options now. No underwire though. I tried on numerous different bras and bought two of the same style in …. tadaaaa … 85B (which is 36B I guess) … after I finally found this one in a B cup I was very emotional. Just perfect.
I love my new boobs every single day. They are perfect to me and I am so, so, so happy.

My scars are itching like craaaaazy … and there still is some soreness from time to time. I do massage them every night before going to bed (mostly hubby does it ;-) and I use Schüssler No.1 cream or BiOil alternating. The scars are still very red, and they become wider. Do I care? Not to much. It is the size that matters most to me.

Sleeping is wonderful. I sleep braless for 2 weeks now and it is perfect. I sometimes even lie on my stomach for a few minutes. But it is not too comfortable yet, but side sleeping … no problem.

I went for a slow run last week, and it felt great. I will try a gym class tomorrow, see how that goes. I also started with weight watchers again to get rid of a few pounds. See how far I will come. But my belly really bothers me, as it is now very "dominant" ;-)

Anyway … I will post a few pictures tomorrow. Happy healing everybody :-)
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