Best Decision I've Ever Made!!! Charleston, SC

It feels as though I woke up one day when I was...

It feels as though I woke up one day when I was fourteen and suddenly, I was wearing a D-cup bra. Now, I'm 22, wearing a 32 DDD, and I've had enough. I was approved two years ago, but was unable to have the surgery because I was leaving to join the military.

Everyone said, "Oh, honey! Just do some push-ups and they'll perk right up!" I can definitely tell you, that after two solid years and countless push-ups, these girls are no perkier than they were the day I left for basic training.

So, I'm doing this. The kicker for me was spending the day at a water park a few weeks back. I've never felt comfortable in a swimsuit in my life, and as I stood in line for a ride in my extremely top-heavy one piece, I found myself wondering, "How would it feel to be confident in a swimsuit? What would it be like to just enjoy the day, not worrying about how large and dumpy I look?" For the record, I am NOT dumpy! I try very hard to dress for my frame, but almost every shopping trip ends with me in tears, or very close to it. When I look in the mirror, I see a fat slob, and I KNOW I'm not!

I want what's on my outside to match what's on the inside: a carefree, spontaneous, not afraid to rock a halter swimsuit, girl. The other day I asked myself:, "Can I live like this for the next sixty years?" And the answer was a resounding, "No!" I don't want back and neck pain, shoulder grooves that won't go away, and nasty rashes between my saggy breasts! I don't want to spend hours shopping, only to find nothing and be miserable at the end of every trip! And I certainly don't want to look like a slut if I wear something even marginally tight.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my physician to talk about my options. If he says he won't refer me, or if insurance eventually denies my claim, I am going ahead and paying for it myself, because one this is for sure: I can't do this for the rest of my life. My breasts are not my whole identity, but I feel like try are the only thing people notice, so I am hopping off this crazy train at the next possible stop! Wish me luck!

One Hurdle Down!

Wow! My initial post was up for less than an hour before I got a nasty comment! I won't lie, seeing their unkind words made me rethink whether I should be posting my experience at all, but then I got a message from a woman who said she knew exactly what I was going through. She said she found herself nodding through my whole post, so I’m thinking that I need to stick with this.

I had my appointment with my doctor today to discuss options regarding pursuing surgery. And big news! I got a referral to see a surgeon! This is amazing! I feel that I have jumped over a huge hurdle today. I was really afraid that my doctor would laugh me out the door. Thank goodness my fears were unfounded!

He basically gave me a list of criteria. I sneaked a picture of it so that I could share it with readers who may be curious about what requirements are needed to be eligible.

Please keep in mind that these requirements are for my facility only. They are in no way a guarantee that you will be referred if you experience these same symptoms.

Requirements. I had to meet each of the following requirements.
• At least 1 of these symptoms:
o Arm numbness consistent with brachial plexus compression syndrome
o Cervical pain
o Chronic breast pain
o Headaches (Check!)
o Nipple position greater than 21 cm below suprasternal notch
o Persistent redness and erythema (intertrigo) below breasts (Check!)
o Restriction of physical activity (Check!)
o Sever bra strap grooving or ulceration of the shoulder (Check!)
o Thoracic kyphosis
o Upper or lower back pain (Check check check!)
• Estimate of breast volume of 750 cc or greater, or bra cup size of D or greater (I’m a DDD!)
• Failure to relieve symptoms with nonsurgical treatment that includes 1 or more of the following:
o 4 to 8 visits of physical therapy or chiropractic care, and 2 to 4 months of home exercise for cervical, shoulder, or upper or lower back pain (Check!)
o Medically supervised weight loss program for overweight or obese patient (Not necessary. I’m 5’6 and 135 lbs)
o Topical and oral antifungal agents for intertrigo
o Wound care for skin ulceration
• Predicted removal of 250 cc or more of breast tissue or 1/3 more of estimated preoperative breast volume (Check! I’d like to go from DDD to a B cup)

According to these criteria, I am a great candidate! Technically, I still have to wait for the referral to be approved, but I have a good feeling that it will be. I should know within 3 days. Then I’ll be off to the surgeon to be evaluated. Then I have to wait for my insurance to approve the surgery. Then I can have the surgery!

It seems like a long process but I feel like each step is getting me closer and closer to smaller breasts and a happier life! I was reading through my last post and realized I had a lot of negatives, so I'm going to start with my goals. What do I hope to gain by having smaller breasts?

1. I want to be able to be more active. I am in the military, and as such I lead a forced active life, but I want to have the desire to exercise more. Right now, I have trouble just getting through PT. I would like to be able to do more physically and not feel hindered by my large breasts.

2. I want to wear clothes that fit me. It seems that I can never find clothing that is flattering. I wear a lot of plain, often baggy, t-shirts. I want to wear cute tops and swimsuits!

3. I don't want to feel ashamed/fat/dumpy. I shouldn't be spending my life in misery. I want to enjoy outdoor activities without gross boob sweat and nasty rashes.

Those are my main goals, and I think with breast reduction surgery, they are totally achievable. Hopefully I’ll have a referral soon and then I can see the surgeon!

Documenting this experience is already proving cathartic. I just need to stick with it until the end so you can all see my results!

Until next time!

Consultation Booked!

Big news! A few days ago, my referral for a consultation was APPROVED! It's also coded ad "Evaluate and Treat" which means I don't have to go back to my physician after the consultation to get the surgery approved. The surgeon can make the recommendation directly to the insurance company.

After a little more thought, I've decided that I'm pretty sure it will be approved, but it is stressing me out. My stress is marginally mitigated by the facet that I am prepared to pay for the surgery myself if it doesn't end up working out.

There was also something else pretty cool about the referral getting approved. I'm not sure how other insurance works, but when you get a referral for something off-base for TriCare, they tell you who you will be seeing. You can always call and change it if the specialist you want to see takes TriCare.

But my referral was already set up for the surgeon that I want to see! So, I just feel that so far, everything is going very smoothly. The only issue is that I hate waiting, and I still have a week and half until my appointment, but I've been getting myself through by telling myself that by the end of October, I will know whether insurance is going to pay for the surgery or not. I believe TriCare is supposed to get back to you within two weeks, so I'll definitely know by October 22nd. That makes me feel a little better.

I wanted to add some more photos of what I've been going through because I know it's been a huge inspiration for me to see other girls' photos. That's really the reason for today's post. I also wanted to put, in writing, a checklist detailing the remaining obstacles to be overcome.

1. Go to consultation. - I have photos printed out of the results I hope to attain. I really want us to be on the same page and I am really big into expectations management. Now, I just hope I like the doctor!
2. Get approval from TriCare for the actual surgery. - This is GOING to happen! I'm just trying to stay positive!
3. Have the surgery!

Wow, now that I've written it all down, it doesn't seem quite as insurmountable.

The other things, not surgery related, seem a little bit more daunting.

1. Move into new house. -This is happening mid-October, but we've barely packed. We're not moving too far, but it still seems like a lot of work ahead of us!
2. Pass classes. - I start two classes this fall, humanities and math. The last day of class is mid-December. If I'm approved, I haven't decided if I want to wait until after classes are over, or just go ahead and have the surgery asap. My deep shoulder grooves say ASAP.

Ok, maybe not so daunting. I have other things I need to do, but those are the big ones.

It might be a little early, but I already bought some adorable pajamas that have button-up tops. I also included the photo of those because, come on, they're ADORABLE. I think I'm going to shorten the sleeves on the pink ones so I have a long-sleeved set and a short-sleeved set.

I also bought the remaining seven seasons of "Smallville," because, come on, Tom Welling is ADORABLE. I'm determined to let him and the cast of "Downton Abbey" help me through the recovery process.

My next post will hopefully be on the other side of my consultation!

Is the the real life?

Ok. Wow. Where do I even start? My last post was several weeks ago, before I had had my initial consultation with my potential plastic surgeon.

About an hour before my appointment, a nurse from his office called and said that he was running about forty minutes behind. This was officially the first snag in my breast reduction process. I went on time anyway, just in case he caught up or someone cancelled, and ended up waiting forty minutes past my appointment time, as predicted.

I was starting to feel very frustrated, but I tried to take a deep breath and remind myself that it probably just meant that he was very thorough.

When I finally got to have my consultation, I was wowed by how friendly he and his staff were. They apologized for making me wait and he was indeed, very thorough. We talked about my goals, (32B cup!), and he laid out some information and told me he thought my goals were reasonable. He was able to articulate that what I wanted was to be smaller, but still very effeminate.

He explained the procedure, and mentioned that he isn't really a fan of using drains, which made me nervous, but husband reminded me that this man has done plastic surgery for a long time, and if he didn't think I'd need drains, then I probably wouldn't. Then he examined me, we talked about the insurance requirements, and I went on my way, confident that I was a good candidate. "I meet all the criteria!" I kept saying to myself over the course of the next week as I waited for an authorization to show up in my email.

Finally, about a week after my consultation, I got a message from TriCare that I hadn't been approved because their information was insufficient (snag number two!). I called the surgeon's office and the nurse said that there was an issue with the picture quality and she'd have to send them in again. Then I didn't hear anything for another few days, so I called again and she said she'd call TriCare and try to get them to push it through.

The next evening, as I was getting into bed, even though I was super tired, I thought, "I'll just check the website one more time, just in case." And much to my surprise and joy, I was APPROVED.

I can't explain the feelings of relief and happiness that washed over me at that moment. I was ecstatic! I was able to say to myself, "This is ACTUALLY going to happen! I will finally be able to be more active and comfortable." I can already tell my self-esteem is going to go sky-high.

The day after that, I called and was able to schedule my surgery for December 15th! That's right, just before Christmas, I will be going under the knife, and hopefully achieving what has been a very long-time goal.

For now, I have the month of November to get through. I have my pre-op appointment December 1st. The next six weeks are going to be agony. However, I have night classes, and we just moved, so I still have to unpack all of our boxes. At least I have a few goals to keep me occupied, not to mention all the work I have to do at my actual job.

Still, as of today, there are 46 days until surgery!

Thank you, everyone!

I just wanted post a quick "thank you" to all of the users who have given me such uplifting support! I have moments where I've worried about if this is the right decision, and it always reassures me to see everyone's positive attitudes and helpful advice. So, thank you to everyone! I was apprehensive about posting on this site, but it has been such a great experience. It's wonderful to be in touch with other women who have been in my shoes. Thank you for welcoming me into the sisterhood!

Pre-Op Tomorrow!

I can't believe it's almost here! Just two more weeks until I have my surgery. It's starting to feel close, but not real, not yet.

Ugh, I was just scrolling through my blog posts and realizing how many mistakes I've made. Real Self needs a option so you can go back and edit past posts. I'm a writer for a living, but you would not be able to tell. I just get so excited that I leave out words and sometimes type the wrong thing. I guess this is why we need proofreaders!

Anyway, I'm not nervous yet, just anxious. Now that it's within a few weeks, I feel as though none of my tops fit and I find myself wondering, "Why did I ever buy this?!" I feel like nothing looks good on me, which has really been getting me down. I just want to be comfortable in my own skin, for goodness' sake!

So my pre-op is tomorrow morning, and I have no idea what questions I should be asking the surgeon. I feel pretty familiar with the procedure; I've read hundreds of blogs and watched several videos of the actual surgery, so I feel pretty good about my expectations.

But I could use a little advice! Most of my remaining questions are logistical (i.e. Where do I need to be and when?). I don't really know what to expect once I get to the hospital, so that's one thing, but other than that, I think I'm ready. If you can think of anything that would be important to ask or that you wish you had known, I'd appreciate it!

I'm signing off for now, but I hope to make a post tomorrow evening after my appointment. Thanks for your support!

Monday Pre-Op

Ok, so on Monday, I had my pre-operative appointment. It went great! I didn't see the doctor, only spoke with an RN, but she was so awesome.

I had to sign a ton of paperwork, stating that I understood that there were no guarantees, that the doctor would do his best, but they couldn't make any promises, that I might be dissatisfied with the results.... It was a little discouraging until the nurse pointed out that as long as my expectations are realistic, then I'll more than likely be completely happy with my outcome.

I believe my expectations are realistic. I know that they will probably be a little uneven and that the nipple placement won't be symmetrical, and I am fine with that. I just want some relief!

She explained that the doctor planned to remove AT LEAST 350 grams from each side, which should put me in the B-cup range. I made it clear that I would definitely prefer to be on the smaller side. She laughed when I said, "I can always wear a padded bra!"

But I've thought this over a lot. Of course, I have an ideal in my mind. My main concern is that I will wake up and still be a D-cup. Fortunately, 350 grams from each side will not leave me a D.

We talked about what I should and shouldn't be doing in the next two weeks. No aspirin, naproxen, cold medicine. If I get sick, she says the hospital won't cancel my surgery if I have a head cold, but if it moves to my chest, they will cancel.

She recommended that I try to consume 100 grams of protein a day. This has been the biggest challenge so far. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only for the next few weeks. I will not be forcing down gross protein shakes for the rest of my life. She recommended the ones made by Bolthouse Farms, and I've discovered those are BY FAR the best tasting (even though they smell like a chocolate fart!) I've tried several different brands. Many of them have sucralose, which is a fake sugar that leaves the most horrible aftertaste. Bolthouse Farms and Boost make ones that don't have artificial sweetener.

It's now Wednesday and I've done my best to get in that 100 grams and balance it out with other good things. (Spoiler alert: That much protein daily makes you THIRSTY!) Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty gross from eating constantly, but this morning I woke up feeling very good, so hopefully that's a sign that all of the stuff is going to proper use.

She also recommended that in the post-op phase to drink as much fluid as I can. She said water would be best, but to drink anything that I could (aside from alcohol.) She said, "If you can only drink milk, drink milk. As long as you're getting fluid."

Three days before my surgery I have to stop shaving, and start taking one dose of MiraLAX every day until they tell me to stop. I've heard, and seen on several reviews, that narcotics tend to slow things down *ahem* digestively speaking. The night before and the morning of surgery, I have to wash with a special soap that kills surface bacteria.

I won't have to go back to work until January 5th-. I do have to go in one day two weeks after my surgery, but I will have almost three whole weeks off!

For now, that's all of the instruction I have. The hospital is supposed to call me the day before to let me know where to be and when, but for now the surgery is scheduled for 11:30 on December 15th.

Until then, I'm just strolling through life, trying to get in as much nutrition as I can and trying not to worry about getting fat. :)

The Other Side

Hello, everyone! I'm just making a quick post to let you all know that I made it through surgery with zero hiccups and I'm home resting now. They look amazing! I've posted a couple pictures and I'll try to get my surgery story in within the next few days. I'll just say that I feel so blessed to have been able to do this. I can already tell the new girls and I are going to get along great!

My Surgery Story

So, I'm one day post-op, and I have to say: I feel pretty dang amazing. I thought I was going to be completely run down by this surgery, but that has not been the case. I figured now is a good time to write everything down. Hopefully my experience can help someone else on their journey.

Yesterday, my surgery was scheduled for 11:30 am. I had to be at the hospital at 9:30 am, after not drinking or eating anything since midnight. I checked in for surgery and was almost immediately brought back to a pre-op room, where I was dressed in a very fashionable blue gown, socks, and compression sleeves for my legs.

The nurse came in and asked me a bunch of questions, verified what procedure I was having, and chatted with me while she got an IV ready.

I am the kind of person who knows when they are even a tiny bit dehydrated, so I knew that after fourteen hours of drinking nothing, she was going to have trouble finding a good vein. Also, I have itty-bitty veins. There was a little bit of a struggle, but she found one in the back of my left hand and only had to stick me once. Thank goodness!

After that, she told me that the anesthesiologist would be by to chat with me and Dr. O'Neill would be in to mark me up. They brought my sister back to hang out with me, and we talked and watched "Maury" while we waited about an hour.

Dr. O'Neill came in to mark me up and we discussed my goals again: No droop over the infra mammary fold, and I want to go as small as you can make me. When I told him I'd rather have to wear a padded bra than be too big, he laughed and said he could make that happen.

Once he was gone, the anesthesiologist came to talk to me about my medical history and explain everything. I felt very calm, though excited, about the whole process. Then they wheeled me to an operating room. The last thing I remember is the nurse chatting with me while she hooked up my compression sleeves.

It seemed like ten seconds later, a nurse was nicely asking me to wake up. I opened my eyes, but I don't remember seeing much. I vaguely remember her taking off my oxygen mask at one point. "Wait. Is it over?" I asked. "Yep!" she said cheerfully. And then I remember crying. I wasn't unhappy, just emotional. She asked me if I was ok, and I just remember saying, "I'm just really happy."

I lay there for I don't know how long before I started to feel really coherent. My head felt like a block of lead every time I tried to lift it up. Eventually, she sat me up and gave me some ginger ale. I drank it all down and asked for some more, and drank most of that too.

They brought my sister into the recovery room. I remember I was in a little bit of pain, but as I became more and more coherent, it really wasn't all that bad.

After a few minutes of talking to my sister, I felt a wave of nausea. Luckily the nurse handed me a sick bag before I threw up all of my ginger ale. Then I put my clothes on and was discharged. I sneaked a little peak while I was lying there and could tell they were really small and pretty. :)

The drive home was bearable. I had told them I'd wait until I got home to take any pain medication. This was probably a poor choice on my part. The hospital didn't have a dispensary, so we had to go to Target so my sister could pick up some Norco and Ibuprofen. I stayed in the car.

By the time she called me from inside to tell me that Target was out of Norco and wouldn't have any until Wednesday, I was in tears. She was able to get the Ibuprofen and then we drove around the corner to Wal-Mart to get the Norco.

I was in pain, but I don't think it was that bad. I was extremely emotional though, which I have since learned is a side-effect of anesthesia. I have a history of panic attacks and I was pretty close to one last night when she told me it was going to be a 20-minute wait. Looking back, I realize that I might have overreacted . Haha. I took some Ibuprofen while waiting for her to come back and it had kicked in enough that when she got to the car, I had calmed myself down.

We got home around 6:30 pm. I had a glass of milk and some Norco, then got into bed and fell asleep until around 10 pm. When I got up, I noticed a big red spot under my left breast. I took off my tank top and saw a big spot of blood on my surgical bra. When I took off my bra, a line of blood started to run down from just to the left of the t-junction. I screamed a little bit and my sister came running. She freaked out a little bit more than I did and almost threw up. We had a good laugh about that later.

As I was applying pressure, I realized that my right breast was bruising pretty darkly, but the left one, the one that was bleeding, didn't seem to be bruised as badly. I figured it was just draining, and not actively bleeding. Dr. O'Neill didn't place any drains in my incisions, so I'm pretty sure that's what it was, but blood got all over my shirt and my pj pants so it was pretty scary!

At this point, I'm so glad I bought an extra surgical bra in advance. I really didn't want to put my bloodied one back on, so I was able to use the one I got from AdoriWear. I would definitely recommend getting an extra bra beforehand, just to be safe. My incisions are covered with scar tape, so the gauze doesn't stick too badly to them.

I threw my bloodied clothes in the wash, and was starting to feel pretty woozy so I had another glass of milk and one pill. As I was going up the stairs, another wave of nausea hit me. I thought I was going to be able to keep it down, but I was standing in the bathroom doorway when I realized that it was definitely all going to be coming back up. Luckily, I did make it to the toilet in time, but it did splash on my feet (yuck!) so I had to throw ANOTHER pair of pj pants in the wash.

After I threw up, I felt 100% better. I went back to sleep until about 1:30 am. I got up and carefully had a small cup of granola with milk, then waited a few minutes before taking more medication. I kept it all down and slept on and off until 8:30-ish.

All day today I've felt pretty good. I changed the gauze this morning, and I've only had a few tiny drops of blood on my bra since then. I did feel more tightness in my chest today than I did yesterday, but it hasn't be bad at all. It's well-controlled with the Ibuprofen and Norco.

I napped on and off all day today. My husband made me scrambled eggs for breakfast, tomato soup for lunch, and by dinner I was itching to get out of the house. Since it's my sister's last night in South Carolina, we went out and had some yummy fried chicken. Maybe not the best diet choice, but darn it tasted so delicious! After we ate, I still felt really really good, so we went to the mall and walked around for about an hour.

All in all, I've felt fantastic today. I was expecting to be completely incapacitated by this surgery. I thought I would be in constant pain and hardly even be able to move. I don't know why I've been so lucky, but I am very grateful.

I don't know how tomorrow will go. My husband says day 2 is always the worst, but at the moment, I feel like I could do anything!

I'll continue to post updates as things happen. I hope seeing my photos and reading my story is beneficial to other women who are considering this surgery. I'm one day out and I already feel that this is one of the best decisions I've ever bade.

Long- Lasting Effects of Anesthesia

Ok, I know the doctor said the effects of anesthesia can last up to two days. It's just such a shock when I find myself throwing up all the time! Hopefully that will get better today, as I will be hitting the 48-hour mark. Also, I added a photo of the cute compression bra I got from AdoriWear.

Trouble posting.

I don't know what went wrong, but here's the photo of that cute compression bra. Also, I just had to try on one of the $3 bras I found at Some department store. I can't believe it's a size small!

First Post-Op Today

I'll try to make this quick! I know my last post was miles long. I had my first post-op today. I only saw Dr. O'Neill's physician assistant (PA), but she told me I look very good. She said I was really swollen, which did not surprise me. But since she said that, it got me wondering what size I might be when this is all over. Anyway, the scar tape will come off at the two week mark, but I have another post-op before that, just before Christmas. For now, I'll just share a few photos from this evening. I'm still very numb in general. Also, I got to take a shower after my appointment this morning! It felt amazing. No pain, no stinging or burning. I was very nervous beforehand, but it was all good. Let me know if you have any questions about what I've experienced so far!

Lots more bruising today!

My bruises are looking very yellow today. I tried not to peek, but I couldn't resist. I've been trying not to take any heavy narcotics, so I've been a little more uncomfortable , but I was able to get out of the house and take myself to a movie. The benefits of minor discomfort far outweighed being bored out of my skull.

I think I'm getting some feeling back. They still feel very full. That's the only way I can describe it. I will not miss this swelling.

But other than that, things are going smoothly. I'm really tired all the time, but I have time off work so I can just sleep whenever I feel like it. Let me know if you guys think I'm posting too much. I just want to thoroughly document the process.

Noticed a weird spot today.

I noticed a strange spot on the underside of my right breast today. It's like I can see the itty bitty veins just under the surface and there's an odd white spot. I submitted a question to the "Ask a Doctor" section and now I'm just waiting to see if this is something to worry about.

6 Days Post-Op

Well, I've made it to 6 days post-op. I'm starting to get more uncomfortable as more feeling comes back. I've gotten most of the feeling back in my left nipple, but not my right. I have another post-op Tuesday, but my tape doesn't come off until the 2-week mark.

Bruises are really yellow today. A lot of the really dark red spots have dissipated. As to the funny spot under my right breast, it's not bigger, it's not draining, and I don't have a fever, so I'll just bring it up at the post-op. Ok, nap time!

Day 8

Whew! Made it past the 1-week mark! The bruising has faded substantially in the last few days. My newest concern is my left nipple which is slowly oozing yucky yellowish gunk, which the nurse said is perfectly normal.

The doctor's office called me yesterday (Monday) and asked me if I would mind coming in for my second post-op that morning instead of Tuesday. I don't think it had anything to do with me no think they were just busy. I can't blame them for wanting to clear up their schedule before the holidays, and I was glad to be seen earlier.

The RN took a look at the problem spot under my right breast and said it was probably just the capillaries straining to take all of the dead blood away. She drew around it and said to call me if it got any bigger. Other than that, she said I look great.

Next Tuesday I'll finally get all of the tape taken off and the knots in my stitches clipped. Can't wait!

12 Days Post-Op

I am happy to report that my left nipple has healed up almost 100%, the bruising has faded significantly, and I am getting more and more feeling back each day.

My only complaints are the swelling on the sides, which is pretty uncomfortable, and this dang tape! It's so itchy! I can't wait to get it taken off Tuesday.

The incisions are pretty red, but I'm hoping that will go away with the removal of the tape. I'm still pretty bored lying around. I go back to work the middle of next week. It will be nice to get out of the house.

The tape is off!

Whew! I am glad that's over!

Although, it was too bad because I'm still quite numb, it did smart a bit. They also clipped the knots at the end of the stitches which was probably the most painful part.

I asked the doctor how much the swelling would go down and he said probably about 10-15%.

I started draining fluid from the t-junction in my left breast. The PA tried to staunch the flow but it ended up being too much, so she drained it with a needle. Luckily, I didn't feel a thing. She drained just over 90ccs (3 OUNCES) from the left side. I would have to say that that was probably significantly more than 15%! :) When it was done, I was VERY lopsided. Cartoonishly lopsided, actually. (I added pictures for your enjoyment.)

But that did slow down the drainage enough for her to put a big wad of gauze on it and send me home.

I took a shower a bit later and slathered it with antibiotic ointment. Now I have a pad under it so my boobs look a little more even. They assured me that the swelling would go down and they would even out probably by the 6-week mark.


For some reason I have trouble posting photos from my phone. Anyway, here are my 14-day photos!

Day 14 Photos

For some reason, my phone doesn't like to post photos. Here we go!

4.5 Weeks Post!

I can't believe I'm already here! Although, it also seems like it's taken forever to get to this point.

My incisions are almost completely closed. I'm still having trouble with both my t-junctions, but the doctor seemed to think they look totally normal, so I'm trying to be content with that. I do feel a little soreness if I raise my arms too far over my head, and towards the end of the day, I find myself a bit sore, too.

I no longer have to wear the compression bra. My surgeon said I could start with underwire at four weeks post, but I went to try some on and I didn't find anything comfortable. I think I'll wait until around two months post to shop for underwires.

Other than that, I feel pretty great. They said I can return to normal activities, but I'm not quite ready to jump back into working out the way I did before. I'll probably wait until at least six weeks to do any real working out.

Also, I LOVE them! All my adult life, I have been plagued by insecurity. I've always felt I didn't really look good. I'd always be checking my reflection and tugging on my clothes, trying to make myself comfortable in my skin. But the other night, we went out to dinner with a big group of friends and I had so much fun! As we were leaving, I realized I hadn't looked for my reflection even once that night! I was comfortable and happy the whole evening. It was the first time EVER that I hadn't worried about my looks.

It was absolutely liberating. I am in love with my new body and I am so glad I made this decision. I can't wait until I'm fully healed so I can really start living!!!

P.S. For some reason, my phone has trouble posting so I'll try to do pictures in a separate post.

Almost 11 months post! Wow!

Every morning when I wake up, I thank God that I was able to have this surgery. It has changed my life for the better so much and I have NO regrets. None.

I remember telling Dr. O'Neill that I would prefer it if he went too small and left me with mosquito bites than leave them too large. He definitely delivered. I know I told him that I wanted to be a 34B, but that what was more important was that they were perky and smaller in general.

I am now a very comfortable 32D. It sounds big, but it isn't. I have a very small band size. If I wore a 36 band, I could probably be in the B cup range. Either way, I could not be more pleased with the results.

My confidence is through the roof. I no longer cry when clothes shopping. I am a little addicted to shopping now, just because things that I could have never worn before now fit like they were made for me.

A few notes: I have feeling in my left nipple, and intermittently in my right. I still have a few spots on the sides of breasts that tingle when you touch them, so the feeling isn't quite normal, but it's not a big deal. I still experience zaps of pain, which I was assured is feeling working its way back into the breast. Also, you'll notice dark brown spots under my nipples in the vertical scars. These are parts of what used to be my areolas. At my last appointment before I moved overseas, Dr. O'Neill offered to excise them for me. They really don't bother me, so I opted just to keep them as they are.

Before I had surgery, I insisted that I didn't care about the scars, I just wanted smaller breasts. This is still true. The scars remind me of where I was, and how happy I am to be here now.

I think I got so lucky because I did a lot of research on my plastic surgeon first. He was rated number one in my city and was a member of several boards, like the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

I was also very clear about what I wanted. I took in photos that I borrowed from people on this site and drew him pictures of what I was hoping to achieve. He was very clear about what I could hope for and helped me to be realistic about my results. It also helped that I had no hesitation when it came to scarring or future breastfeeding. I was willing to give up scar-free skin and possibly breastfeeding for a chance to live a fuller, more active, more confident life.

The bottom line:
If I had to, I would have this surgery again in a heartbeat. There were no complications that caused me lasting pain, and I can't overstate how happy and confident this procedure has made me. I would recommend this surgery to anyone who is held back by their breasts.

Dr. O'Neill and his staff were incredible. They answered all my questions and they took amazing care of me. I will be eternally grateful for the amazing gift he and his staff have given me: they gave me my life back!

Please let me know if you have questions. Honestly, this was such a good experience that I can't recommend it enough. If it's an option for you and it's something you want, go for it! You won't look back!
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

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