My Long Awaited Journey Has Begun... - Buffalo, NY

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If you're reading this then you already know...

If you're reading this then you already know pretty much everything I am going to say. My breast's have put a damper on my life since the 8th grade. Sexual harassment, accusations of "stuffing my bra" and pain in my back, shoulders and neck have been my close friend since I was 12. Last Wednesday I received the letter in the mail from my insurance company ( Independent Health) that it's good-bye to all those burdens. I had a consult with my PS on March 9th. It was very quick to the point kind of appointment. He told me all the con's of the procedure, did measurements of my chest, looked at my back and shoulders and basically told me that from that point on it was an insurance waiting game. He also explained that it was a good chance that I would be denied. Wait, Denied?! How?! I am 24 year's old 5'6'' and weigh 160 lbs. Granted, I weigh a little more than when I was 19, but majority of my heaviness is presented nicely in my button-up shirts that seem to be screaming " HELP ME" around the breast area due to my 34 DDD/E/F breast.

On a side note I never found a proper fitting bra because they are SO large so I always bought whatever bra fit comfortably, or whatever bra smushed them against my chest to make them appear "smaller " Which in reality, didnt make them look smaller it only made them look wide or gives you the "meat biscuit" ( The part of the boob that buldges out of the top of the bra)...Ok sorry went off on a tangent. When he told me i could possibly be denied, I immediately went home and wrote a denial appeal letter because I was determined to have this done. It's been the only thing I have ever truly wanted. When I asked my PS why he thought I might get denied, he said the insurance companies have instated a new scale to measure the "medical necessity" based on numbers. It's something called the "Schnur Scale" and it operates by gathering the percentage of weight your breasts make up of your overall weight of your body and it puts a gold standard on who get's the surgery and who doesnt. I suppose it makes sense, they do not want every overweight woman strolling into the office looking for a fast way to drop ten pounds. But to make a "Standard" it's like they're saying " Hey, even though you are a size 4, weigh 140 lbs with 10lbs of that weight is on your chest in your 32 DD tiggle bitties...go home...lose 10-15lbs and come back and your boobs should be a B cup by then..Thanks, Buh-Bye" That seems absurd to me. Every body is different, and even though I weigh a little more, it doesn't mean if i lose 20 lbs it would just be my breasts. Trust me, tried it. I lose the weight everywhere BUT my breasts. And, exercise, Forget it...Don't even get me started on exercise OUCH! It is a genetic deposit of fat cells for me.

My sister, niece and Aunt all had Bi-lateral Reduction Mammaplasty's and still say to this day it was the best decision they have ever made. So, for all you ladies awaiting an approval dont get nervous, just stay positive and believe you will get it and you will. But before I recieved my approval letter I waited 4 weeks and still had not heard a WORD from the insurance company so i decided to call and check up. When i called i spoke with a nice woman whom informed me that my PS never submitted a request for an approval. What?! I'm pretty sure you could see the steam piping out of my ears. I proceeded immediately to calling my PS office and requesting to speak with the office manager immediately. She tell's me that my "file and request just slipped through the cracks..." Slips thru the cracks? You mean slipped up YOUR crack? Were you sitting on it? It was like my heart sunk. Now im thinking in my worried mind " Is this how the surgery is going to go? Are they going to forget my medication? are they going to forget to schedule my surgery? is the Doctor or the staff even dependable? So I bring my concerns to the office manager and she explains how terribly sorry they are and they will do everything in their power to make this situation right. After that incident my request was approved in 2 days. The turn-around for surgery approval requests with independent health is a maximum of 72 hours. So I waited 4 long highly anticipated running-to-the-mail-box-every-morning weeks to get an approval that only takes 72 hours? Oh HELL no. I called the office back when i recieved my approval and explained to them how upset i was and that i do not want to wait due to THEIR mistake. i already waited 4 weeks longer than i should have. They apologized and I explained the only thing that would work for me is if they schedule the surgery around MY time because I was forced to wait because of their mistake. My appointment to set up Surgery date is tomorrow (Thursday April 27th at 4 PM) I am still a little nervous about proceeding with this Doctor because I have some doubts. But everything is set in motion and I dont want to be set back AGAIN. I just want to have this surgery and start living a normal life. Ive been seeing a chiropractor for 6 months and it has not changed a darn thing. It makes my work day more manageable but it DOES NOT relieve my pain or symptoms.

I am a Dental Hygienist and the weight of my breasts put a lot of strain on my neck. In my profession, my neck and shoulder and back need to be as straight and perfectly posturally correct as possible in order to maintain proper ergonomics to ensure longevity in my field. If I couldn't get this surgery there would be no possible way i could continue in my career. I am on my way to having this done, it is such a relief to know it will be covered. But i was only approved for "outpatient surgery" I am under the assumption that means I will have surgery and go home. Well my PS told me it was important that i stay the night to ensure comfort and proper care in a very volatile time. So, should I call my insurance company and see if they will cover an inpatient? I dont know, I am SO confused and kinda scared. If anyone has any recommendations i would REALLY appreciate it. I am so grateful for this website. It taught me so much about reductions and really inspired me to share my story because I am grateful for everyone else's story. I hope mine helps someone.

I also wrote a little "venting" journal about my breasts a few years ago and i would like to share it because if you're reading it. Im sure you can DEFINITELY relate to these What I Would Give To … • Live a day as a normal –chest-sized woman without the bitter weight of two sacks of (in my case) purposeless skin bags hanging on my body. • Jog a couple miles without the restraints of 2 to 3 bras to reinforce their position on my chest, rather than my chin or belly button. • Refuse a drunk man’s request of “show me your boobs!” not because I am embarrassed of the size and shape of my breast, but to say No in essence to preserve my self-dignity. • Buy a dress to fit my size 8/10- body without having to increase the overall size to insure accurate fittings around the jubblies. • Go to the beach without the gawking and whispering of “How much yah think those puppies cost?” • Have a conversation with eye contact. • Refer to my actual bra as the “over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder” rather than the muscle that connects my shoulder blades together. • Wear a strapless top without the need for extra material and efforts from the local tailor. • Wear a button up dress shirt without the middle button looking so stressed as if it were screaming “Help Me” • Buy a shirt because I enjoy it, not because it “makes em’ look smaller” • Ride my bike without knee-ing my breasts with every up-stroke of the pedal. • Avoid Swamp-Tit • Have a normal 24-year-old body that doesn’t resemble that of a woman whom seems to breastfeeding an infant ALL THE TIME. • Work a 4-hour shift and not resemble Quasimodo when I am finished. • Be happy and comfortable in my own skin. Any comments and advise helps!

Thursday April 27th had sencond appt to discuss...

Thursday April 27th had sencond appt to discuss surgery. It went well very brief again. He was in and out and didnt really allow me anytime to think about questions. He told me i need to decide on one of two different incisions for the surgery. This is where i might need some help from you guys. He gave me 2 choices
1.) The inverted T, removes the breast tissue from around the nipple, sides and underneath of the breast leaving a scar around the areola, down the midline of the breast and underneath the crease of the breast.( Scar resembling a T) Pro's - Removing more skin and tissue gives the breast an uplifted look and better overall appreance. Con's - More scarring, scars could possibly be visible in low cut shirts or tank tops that reveal skin around the arm pit region. Longer healing time
2.) The "short scar" also known as the vertical scar. This incision entails a scar around the areola and down the midline. Nothing but that. Pro's - Less tissue removed, fast heal time. Con's - Usually used in woman with 32DDD and under breasts, not really ideal for woman with pendulous appearing breast because it doesnt really give them a "lift" (or from what i read on this site) about the vertical or lollypop technique.

Now everywhere i read there all these different opinions on which incision is "the best" and i understand that it is all according to my breast's and my ultimate goal i am trying to reach. When i asked my PS what he thought he told me " its ultimately my decision" and told me to google the difference. Im really starting to not feel confortable with him. I just feel like he doesnt have time for me and i am constantly rushed in and out. Well i guess that is the business right. So ultimately i need some MAJOR advice from you ladies or if there is a way to ask a doctor on here. Im kinda new to this whole thing and dont really understand how it works. But surgery is Scheduled May 30th at 5:30am. So nervous!

I received my information packet in the mail...

I received my information packet in the mail yesterday. It has all instructions on what to do before and after surgery and it also has my next two appts before my surgery. So, tell me if this sounds weird. My surgery is on Wednesday May 30th at 5:30 am, My "per-operative" appointment is Thursday May 24th. I thought this was strange because my PS told me at my Pre-op appt is usually the day before the surgery and that he would be marking my breast's for the incisions. But they couldn't schedule me the day before (Tuesday the 29th) because he doesn't work or he is in the OR on that day... So will i walk around for 6 days with marking's on my boobs? I'm pretty sure they will wash off or something, im crazy about showering everyday. Every time I call KI cant get ahold of anyone so I guess I will just ask on the 24th. Ive heard alot of women say that they're PS did the marking's on the breast the day of the surgery. So maybe he just wants to look, take notes and talk about the procedure. I go to the hospital for blood tests next saturday at 9:00am. I will update then, any comments would be helpful! Thanks ladies

Well Saturday May 12th I went to the hospital to...

Well Saturday May 12th I went to the hospital to have my pre-admission testing done. I was there for about an hour. The Nurse's there were so nice and ran me through everything and how surgery day will go. I had 2 vials of blood drawn, An EKG and a brief physical (Pushing on my bladder really hard when I had to pee so bad LOL) They said everything went well. I dont think i will hear from them about results or anything. But they did give me a health care proxy to fill out. Ok, so did anyone else have to do this? and did it freak you out REALLY bad??!?! I am just such a nervous-hypochondriac-worry-about-everything-that-is-out-of-my-control kind of girl that as soon as the nurse handed it to me i started to get sweaty palms. Did anyone else feel this way? haha i know im being silly so i wont let it disturb my happiness. I deserve this operation and that is that! So as you guys know if you read my entire review, I feel as though I dont have time to ask my PS any questions and that it frustrates me. So alot of the awesome ladies on this website suggested that any questions i had for my PS, i should post on here too maybe get some insight before going into the pre-operative appt. So here are some of my questions and any comments would be greatly appreciated.

* I've made my decision on the type of incision I prefer for my breast reduction. (out of the inverted T/Anchor VS the lollipop/vertical. I chose Inverted T/Anchor) Before I tell you my decision I would like to verify that you and I are on the same page, In your honest and educated judgement, or if I were your wife or daughter, Which would you suggest that would work the BEST for MY breast structure, breast size and breast shape. Also taking into consideration my body type also. I would like Lift, and reduction of size and I would like the side of the breast to be drawn inward. What do you think? (Hopefully he agrees on inverted T)

* How should I be sleeping at night? Sitting up? Because I tend to roll onto my stomach ALOT. How do I prevent this from happening?

*Will I be given a Surgical bra? If yes, do I only receive one? Will it get bloody from drain tubes? If that is the case, do I buy more? Where do I get it? What size do I buy (Due to inflammation and decrease in size during and after healing?)

*How long do I wait to Shower? Can I wash my hair? Lift my arms? Drive with arms up?etc

* I had a Loratab sensitivity when I was involved in a car accident when i was 16 and my doctor prescribed them. I Took Vicodin a few years later following the regimen of loratabs and did fine with Vicodin even though they are the same family of narcotics. What pain prescription do you recommended for pain management?

* I was told my mother (She passed away 2006 of a Brain aneurysm) had intractable vomiting following General Anesthesia. Is there something you can give to prevent this from happening.

* If I vomit, is there a chance of ripping the incisions?

* What is the best cream/ointment/lotion to buy to help healing and less scarring?

* is it true you should rub the scar tissue to break up the granulation tissue to help the protrusion of the skin?

* Will you do my marking's at the hospital the day of surgery or will go 6 days (Pre op may 24th, surgery may 30th) with marking's on my breasts and take home a marker to make sure all markings stay on my breasts? Will I have a picture for a base line of where markings should be?

and that is pretty much all I can think of at this very moment. Im sure I will think of a million and one more. But if you ladies have any insight or can think of other questions that I should ask PLEASE PLEASE post them! Thank you

Well ladies, here I am. 3 full days away from my...

Well ladies, here I am. 3 full days away from my surgery. I am officially off work for 3 weeks as of today. I had my Pre-Op on thursday the 24th of may. He did the markings where my nipples will be because he said doing the markings for the nipples on the day of surgery is too hard due to the patient being drugged. he will finish the marking on the day of surgery but he sent me home with a marking pen and i have to keep drawing them on because its rubbing off...but its not too bad. He wrote me 3 Rx's. One was a Scalpomine (sp*) patch for behind my ear to help alleviate nausea, 2nd was Vicodin for pain mgmt and 3rd was a script for a 4-day regimen of antibiotics immediately to be taken following surgery. My pre-op was the first appt i had with my ps that i actually felt comfortable and was joking and laughing. Im so excited! the only thing i am nervous about is the anesthesia. Other than that i am ready to fly!!!! I wont post on here probably until wednesday night or thursday morning depending on how doped up i am. Ive never been under for anything so wish me luck and next time you hear from me, i will have new boobies!!! Thank you for all your support.

Ok ladies here I am! May 30th Surgery went...

Ok ladies here I am! May 30th Surgery went amazing! Dr. Said my nipples " pinked right up" I remember everything until they wheeled me into OR. It was funny because all the assistance and residents were dancing and listening to the radio, then the anesthesiologist came in said " ok, you're going to sleep now" and then i woke up in OR recovery. I was doing well but then they sat my bed up and i turned green. They kept me on oxygen thru my nose and had to pump me up with Zofran, I was VERY ill. I started to dose off and they couldn't wake me up. That was very scary but they got me back with some sort of flush, i think they put something to help flush out the drugs in my IV. My surgery was at 730 am, so i had to report to hospital at 530 to get checked in and iv going. My surgery took about 4 hours, i was done at 11:00 am. i was in recovery until about 2 pm. Got wheeled up to my room to find my step mom and niece waiting for me. Everybody was so nice at the hospital and very helpful. They kept me on IV drip to keep me hydrated bc i was so nauseous i couldn't tolerate drinking water. So I have eaten about 2 graham crackers and scrambled eggs in the past 48 hours. Dr. said he took 480 cc from left breast and 490cc from the right breast. I am so thrilled i finally did this, the only downside is that i have not seen them yet. I think if i wasn't so nauseous after surgery they probably would have let me see them. But now i have to wait until Thursday the June 7th at 11 am to see them. I can not remove the bra nor touch the gauze bc of risk of infection . But I did lift the bra up just enough to peek at the nipples and they are SO small and SO cute. I can not believe it. They went from dinner plates to quarters lol! I Have the grenade drains in, i actually only needed to drain them twice. I might have to drain the left one soon bc that one tends to drain a little more than my right breast. Dr. also said that my right breast has always been bigger so it may appear to be a little bigger now also. I'm OK with it though. I think every woman has a little difference in size with each of their breasts right? So, when i was at the hospital i noticed that the pain medicine they were giving me made me violently itchy, I had some allergies in the past to loratab so they put me on Vicodin and Dilaudid. Which both was not good, i have red scratch marks all over my legs and back. They put me on benedryl it helped but after trying 3 different pain medications we finally found one that worked. So now i take Percocets every 4 hours and take my antibiotic every morning and every night. As soon as they take off my bra and bandages i will be posting pictures like crazy! Thank you ladies for all your support.

Ok, a few quick questions for you ladies who are...

Ok, a few quick questions for you ladies who are breast reduction veterans. Is it normal to have sharp stabbing pains through the nipple? I have a constant ache on the underneath of the breast, it becomes more or less a dull ache after i take my pain RX is that pretty normal? Also, I woke up in the middle of the night with the WORST stomach pains. It felt so bad i thought i was going to have violent vomiting but after walking/pacing in the living room i started to let out some gas and I felt like a million bucks. Did anyone else go through this? I know that all the anesthesia and pain medication can create constipation. But m afraid i might be a little backed up and i dont want that pain again.

Hello again! I'm sorry it has been so long since I...

Hello again! I'm sorry it has been so long since I updated. I stayed with my sister for 10 days because my PS put me on Driving restrictions for that long so I decided to just hang with her and her family. So today is the 12th, about 12 days after my surgery. Wednesday will be 2 weeks. My goodness it feels so much longer. I am to return to work this monday coming up. I was supposed to go back Friday but i decided to wait the weekend out. I am still very sore and bruised and feel a little fatigued in the arms. My post op Appt went great. It was last thursday June 7th. He removed the drains and bandages. I chose the inverted T incisions, which one of the "cons" of this incision was that he did tell me there could be "areas of breakdown" where the incision meets at the "T". Well on my right breast i did have slight breakdown and it still leaks from time to time so i keep a little 2x2 gauze pad taped to the underneath of that breast. Overall everything is healing VERY nicely. My PS told me that I looked almost 2 weeks healed at my one week mark! WOO HOO. My nipples are terribly sensitive and i feel very sore and bruised but i am getting around just fine. I stopped taking the RX pain meds about 6 days after surgery and i am just taking Ibuprofen 800's. My right breast was larger than the left as you can see in the before pictures, and just as they were before, my right is still slightly larger but thats ok. So here are some pictures 10 days post op.

Hello gals! Long time no-update! Just got home...

Hello gals! Long time no-update! Just got home from work and im pretty exhausted! I returned to work June 18th with ws 2 weeks and 3 days after syrgery. My ps wasnt very happy with my decision but hey, a girls gotta make money. Ive been assisting instead of doing hygiene just to maintain keeping my arms down so i dont put too pull on the incision sutures too much. Well i thought maybe i wouldnt be ok, but i think returning too early has stalled my healing, no doubt. I have some tissue breakdown at the area where the T meets on my right breast ( check pics) it's just bc the right breast has SO much fluid in it. I was freaking out ast wednesday bc i was in so much pain and it looked and felt as if a water balloon was inside ready to burst. That feeling has pretty much gone away now but the breakdown is still there. My PS said it is VERY normal and to keep in clean with washing the wound and bra frequently, keeping gauze placed over it with neosporin placed on gauze. So that is exactly what i have been doing. The only thing that bothers me is the worry that i think it looks bigger than before. He told me "the size of a dime is normal" but it looks more or less the size of a nickel. Granted when he saw it on Thursday June 21st, it looked MUCH smaller. I think I am just over-do-ing it right now. When i get home, i try to jump right on the couch and chill but i work in very fast pac3 pediatrics office and there is definitely no such thing as "light work" I am going to continue to work though and keep trucking. My next post op is July 26th and he told me i should be "completely healed" by then and that will be my LAST appt. I think thats crazy. So, today is almost 4 weeks post op. All bruising is gone, swelling is subsiding slowly-but-surely and scabs are starting to peel off. They are looking more normal now and less frankenstein-esc. the scarring around the nipples is a light pink, which matches my nipple tone and im starting to get a little suture spitting (where sutures start to pop out of your skin) it will poke me hear and there but not painful. Im so excited. Everyone says i look so much skinnier and that i walk more confident and upright, and thats bc i feel more confident! my back problems are starting to slowly subside too! Im going to vegas at the end of this month and i can not wait to buy cute dresses to wear out!!! WOO HOO. Thank you ladies for being so supportive. Here are some pics
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