The Never-ending Journey- 38DDD/F to Hopefully Small C - Baltimore, MD

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I’ve really struggled with writing this. There...

I’ve really struggled with writing this. There is so much good information on this site that I wasn’t sure my story would offer any fresh insights. But, due to recent events, I think it may-or at the least selfishly offer me some comfort and support.

And now the stats: I am a 44 year-old woman, 5ft 5in, 180lbs (blek), and approx. 38DDD/E
Unlike many of you, I really did not have large breasts in my teens- they were perfectly normal. (34B maybe a small C) So normal I really did not pay much attention to them, but that all changed when I went to college. It seems that just one morning I woke up and had DD’s and then DDD’s. Freakishly, this was not due to weight gain- I was still 125-130lbs with giant 34DDD’s. At first, I was like cool. Then the realities set in. Buying bras that fit was an expensive near futile nightmare, men no longer looked me in the eye, and there was the constant shoulder and neck pain.

When I hit 30 (many pounds heavier) and my breasts located no-where near where they were supposed to be, I had endured enough and started thinking about breast reduction. I recall announcing to my then boyfriend, “I want small freestanding breasts that kiss the sun”. Sadly, I wasn’t in a position then to make it happen. Fast forward 14 years…
I decided this past fall (2014) that I was going to finally take care of the boob issue, but it wasn’t till I learned that my husband was to be transferred to England that I got a move on. (I wanted to have my surgery here in the States) After much research (I had yet to find this site) I found a doctor and facility that I felt was well qualified, and I called for an appointment. It took approximately a month for me to secure a consult. It should be noted, that before scheduling an appointment with the plastic surgeon I called my insurance company to make sure I did not need a referral to see him and to ensure he was in network. I was NOT required to get a referral and he was in network.

This part was surprisingly easy. (I should have known that nothing in my life is easy) My consult was on 2/17/2015 with Dr. Lickstein (Belecara – Baltimore, MD.) He was great. At that time, he and his assistant measured each breast from various angles (can you say awkward) and took pictures. He asked me several questions regarding why I was seeking a reduction and what I expected from the procedure. He was somewhat concerned that I was interested in going down to a B cup and felt I would be happier with a C. After his explanation, I agreed that a small C would probably be the best choice. They indicated as I was looking to have insurance pay for my reduction that it would take at least a couple of weeks to secure approval.

My insurance approved my surgery on March 6th and the doctor’s office received the go-ahead a couple of week s later. (I had already called to check) Kellee called me on April 2nd to schedule my surgery. At that time she told me I needed to have a pre-op physical and mammogram (if I had not had one in the past year) by Thursday April 9th so we could go ahead with my surgery on April 15th. I was soooo excited! I immediately called my primary care physician to set up my physical the next day. My physical went great but unlike my previous doctor (I miss her) I had to schedule to have a mammogram offsite the following Tuesday, as I had skipped it this year because this office did not offer it on site and I just did not want to go. My previous doctor believed in one-stop shopping – that way she could ensure that you had all of your necessary tests. But I digress…

Monday April 6th I had my pre-op form fest at Dr. Lickstein’s office. Kellee was so sweet. She went over all the forms and answered any question I could think of. I told her I had already taken care of my pre-op physical and that my mammogram was scheduled for the following day. All of the results were to be sent to their office. This is where things begin to go wrong.

On Tuesday the 7th I had my mammogram at the radiology place. They were super aggressive with the boob smashing. I had “enjoyed” two previous mammograms when I lived in Nashville, but this was by far the least pleasant. But what the heck- it was for a good cause. The rest of the week I trolled this site and busied myself gathering all the stuff I would need after my surgery. I was really nervous over the weekend but promised myself a mani/pedi on Tuesday before my surgery on Wednesday.

On Monday I received two phone calls (both left messages) one from Dr. Lickstein’s office to confirm my surgery time on Wednesday and one from my PCP regarding my mammogram. My PCP did not return my call on Monday. On Tuesday, a nurse from my PCP called about my mammogram. He said that there was a slight abnormality but it was nothing to worry about and they were NOT going to request any further testing. I said, “okay, you do know I am having breast reduction tomorrow…” He then wanted to know if my plastic surgeon had my results. *boggle I was like… ahhh I hope so, that is why we ordered the mammogram. He then said he was going to fax them over just to be sure.
That afternoon at 1:30, the day before my surgery, Dr. Lickstein called. He had just got my mammogram and did not want to proceed with surgery till I had additional testing. I was so upset, but not with Dr. Lickstein. He was really wonderfully kind and explained his reasoning. A bit later, Kellee from his office called and offered to set up my additional tests. (So sweet of her) She did and I enjoyed those on Friday. (Those were really awful- another mammogram, a compression mammogram, and an ultrasound) After seeing those results, both the radiologist and Dr. Lickstein want to see my two previous mammograms. We are waiting for those to be sent from Nashville.

So, that’s where I am now. The lesson/warning to be taken from this is go ahead and have your mammogram well before your surgery AND when you move, make sure you take your previous mammogram results with you on disk so they are easily available. I’m on a time crunch…we are moving to England officially in June. I need this done and I need there to be no problems. I’m just really worried and freaked out.

Still no word.

Still no word from my radiologist regarding the images sent from my old doctor. They allegedly had not received them as of Thursday. Really, they must be using the pony express to get them here.

I really appreciate everyone's kind words. This site has been a godsend.

The girls are good! Bra Burning is on!

Spoke with the radiologist today and after comparing my previous images with the new ones I'm good to go! (Cancer is not expected) So im just waiting to hear back from my PS about a new date for my surgery.

If I had been able to have my reduction on the 15th as scheduled, I would already be feeling much better. I just hope they can work me in soon. I am ready to host a bra burning!

Tomorrow!! 5/13/15 7:30 am

Well, when i posted my last update I had in fact spoken too soon. But, one 3D mammogram and specialist referral later and I'm good to go-- For tomorrow!

I can't believe it; the office phoned me yesterday to get me scheduled after my appointment last Thursday (where i was finally cleared) and they had an opening on Wednesday. I really appreciate them getting me in- with the move to England coming up on June 25th I was starting to freak out. So much to do...

But I digress. I think I have everything I need-- if anyone had anything that made this easier please let me know. The doctor has prescribed me a Lorazepham to take tonight to chill me out and let me sleep and also a Transderm patch to put behind my ear tonight to prevent nausea and vomiting.

After surgery I will be taking Vicodin for pain, Promethazine for nausea, and Cephalexin as an antibiotic. So funny, as I am typing this the hospital called to finish my check-in information. I will be having surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, or GBMC rather than the surgical suite at Belcara simply because that's where the doc will be tomorrow. I kinda wish it was at Belcara rather than the hospital (because it is so nice) but, it's fine. I just want this done.

I know I am rambling, but I'm a bit anxious. My mother-in-law suggested I borrow her ice cooling machine that she used after her knee surgery. Has anyone else used one of these?

I just can't believe that tomorrow at this time the girls will be soooo much smaller. I'll post more pics with the markups and results when I have them. Thanks everyone.

Made it!

First I would like to thank everyone for their comments.b they really mean a lot.

So this morning went really well got checked in no problem. I did not get markup pics however- my poor husband begged me not to make him take them. I think my reduction bothered him more than he ever said. He is being amazing!

So the actual surgery that was supposed to take 2-3 hours, took closer to 6. Not that I knew it. Allegedly everything went great- but I haven't seen the girls yet.

I just be having just a small amount of bleeding as one little spot made it onto my super attractive surgery bra. But boy are they sore! Well, I'll update more later. Think I'm going to takea napl

5 Days Post Op

feel pretty well, just wanted to update my pics- do you guys think the swelling under my arms is within normal range and will go down?

Two weeks post op

Just got my tape off yesterday. The large bulge in my previous pics was actually fluid. They drained it today. Did not hurt at all. Sorry these pics are so blurry.

Things NOT to do 2 weeks out

Well, so yesterday my inlaws were getting back from a two week cruise. So I thought I should take care of a few things around the house. I vacumed, did laundry, washed dishes. You get the idea. Well- last night after all of this productivity, the girls swelled up and became hot to the touch. They hurt! I iced them down and took some ibuprofen and went to bed.
They are better this morning. But still a bit swollen and painful. (Normally I feel great in the morning-today, not so much). Learn from my mistake. ????

6 weeks out! Perfection

I LOVE the girls. My back and neck love me. We are all a happy family. Yeah i know, super cheesy, but it is true.

I feel so much better now. (and I look better) I went home to see my family for two weeks and my two sisters were overcome with jealousy. (Of course I practically flashed them when I got off the plane) But there really are so few people you can show your boobs to! (well, without attracting undue attention).

The pics I am posting today feature silicone scar sheets and liquid silicone. So you won't get a look at my scars today. (I had just applied the stuff and did not want to take if off) But you can see the great shape they have. They have softened up a lot and dropped just a bit. So i no longer have immobile boobage.

I still have little bit of swelling and this tends to happen in the late afternoon - but no real issues. My pictures are not great, but I assure you my boobs are perfectly even and I could not be happier. (I can wear a sundress without a bra!) As to size, I really could not say. And I don't care. I have just been wearing these really soft no seam bras from Fruit of the Loom I got at Walmart for $11.00. They conform to your shape. (And $11.00!! I could buy an armful compared to what I used to pay for a bra) I will say, in a couple of months I do plan to be properly fitted, but if I ever see under-wire again it will be too soon.

I had a follow-up with my doc a couple of days ago since I'm leaving the country and we all feel they look great. I was also really reassured that should I need anything they are just an email or phone call away. I highly recommend Dr. Lickstein and Belecara.

One year later. :)

The breast reduction is still the best thing I have ever done. The girls are completely dropped and I have had absolutely no issues. I wasn't as proactive on the scar cream and strips as I should have been, but I really could not care less. Size wise, I would say I am a full C. I had hoped to devote time to exercise and what not after surgery so that I could lose weight, but I failed horribly at that. (I do plan to address those issues though) The only thing I would change is my side fat - that may go down with weight loss, but if not I will have a bit of lipo to address it. I promise to whip out the camera and post the one year pics so you can truly see the scar and drop progression.

One year pics - thoughts? Would the side stuff be easily corrected?

Dr. Lickstein and Belecara are wonderful. Dr. Lickstein was very patient and understanding through the entire process (which I really appreciated with the little snags I had) I found the surgery center and staff to be top notch. I was never made to feel uncomfortable and always welcomed warmly when I arrived. (Although I did jokingly suggest they hire some unattractive women. They were all gorgeous and I would never want to stand next to them) In short, I would recommend Dr. Lickstein without reservation.

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
4 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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