34H to hopeful 34C-D — 25 Years Old, No Kids, Finally Ready to Be Free from Pain

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Now that I'm under the one-month mark until...

Now that I'm under the one-month mark until surgery, I thought I'd stop being a lurker on RS and make my own post! Like so many women here, I have also struggled with a large (okay, huge) chest size, specifically in relation to my small frame. I have always been so, so self conscious of my body because of my breasts and just the thought of being free from pain and worry is so liberating.

Growing up, my body was always super different from other girls because even though I was similarly slender and small, my chest was always so developed. I remember being teased and mocked for the majority of middle school because of it, and the worst came from girls who would say condescending things. I'm also a graphic designer and work in the advertising world, and I am in love with colors and patterns. So, to miss out on so many cute fashion trends because of my breasts is something I am constantly sad and depressed about. Not to mention the pain... Because of my job, I spend my days hunched over my laptop at a desk, my face inches from the screen, and my back has slowly begun to deteriorate because of it.

So... on to the reason I'm having my surgery :-) I have struggled with the financial burden of the surgery for almost a decade, as well as getting insurance to cover it (although I have done everything they ask). I was recently engaged in June and although I was thrilled to be marrying my best friend, I was so sad that I would have to get married in a body that I had grown to despise. That's when one morning, I saw a story in a newsletter about a plastic surgery firm here in my city which was offering a large sum of money for 10 patients to receive their surgeries which they had previously been unable to get in a program called Emerging Hopes. I wrote a heartfelt application letter, had my mom and best friend write recommendation letters, and sent it all off to wait... Two weeks later, I learned I had made it to the "second round" and was scheduled for a consultation!! I had that a few weeks later, and only a few days after that...

I GOT THE CALL. I found out at work one morning last week that I am scheduled to have my breast reduction surgery with Dr. Kortesis on August 27th, 2016! Aside from the cost of prescriptions and a few odds and ends, the procedure is entirely covered by Emerging Hopes. I am going for my pre-op appointment next week (August 3rd) and then I just have to wait a few weeks until the end of the month. I am so SO excited! And so happy to have found this page!

I will post pre-op photos soon, but wanted to go ahead and make my post for now :-)

The back pain is getting to be unbearable... 22 days pre-op...

Today I am 22 days away from my surgery and my back hurts more than it ever has in my entire life. I feel nauseous from the constant throbbing ache in my lower back, and I feel like I can't breathe comfortably because of the pain. I have tried bringing a sports bra to work with me and changing into it when the pain gets too bad, but even that hurts after only a few hours (I work as a graphic designer at a desk job).

I am starting to become incredibly anxious. How am I going to be able to make it until my surgery with all this pain!? Next week, I have to entirely cut out painkillers to get my body ready for surgery. I'm really worried about that. I'm barely able to keep my head above water taking 800mg Ibuprofen and Tylenol, so to think about having none of that for two weeks..... I am so nervous.... How am I going to make it!?

Has anyone else dealt with this? Any advice? I should be so excited for my surgery... But instead I feel myself slipping into a deep depression from the anxiety of knowing the pain will continue.... Please help...

Pre-op pics and a new sports bra!

Well I'm officially 14 days out from the big day. I'm still in a lot of constant pain because of my back. So much that the other night, I slept on my neck wrong, and now I can barely turn my head to the right. I also spend all day at my desk with a heating pad on my back to help the pain...

I went to Target for a few things yesterday and was pleased to see they now sell front-zip sports bras which my surgeon wants me to wear for a few weeks after the operation. I was so excited to actually be able to consider fun colored bras that I bought the brightest one they had.

I also tried the bra on just for laughs... And because I am so worried that I won't be able to tell a difference in size post op and i want to have something to compare to. Well I think it will work because as you can see, I can't even get the damn thing closed now! What a difference it will be when I finally can!

Post-op survival kit preparation has begun!

Less than two weeks to go!!!

I picked up my prescriptions today but realized I forgot to have them fill two of the most important ones — my pre-surgery wash and the narcotics. Ugh! Back to the pharmacy tomorrow.

After that, I went to Target for a few survival kit things. I mainly wanted to start getting comfy sweatpants and leggings to wear since I can't get tops until after the surgery. Retail therapy helps my anxiety haha. I picked up a few cute pairs which I'm actually excited to lounge around in. Which I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of post-op!

I didn't realize it before I went but now is an awesome time to stock up on pillows for the post-op couch throne since its back to school and everything is on sale. I grabbed a body pillow (which I read will be great to help me sleep upright at night and eventually comfortably on my side), two King size pillows and comfy soft jersey pillow cases for other propping needs, and my favorite find — a "boyfriend" pillow! I'm attaching a pic so it makes sense. These are so awesome to use to help sit propped up. I know I'm gonna need all the help I can get since we're having to make-shift my spot on the couch with pillows and things.

Also grabbed some necessities like some more Tylenol (which I found out I can have after all!), stool softener (because... you know. yech), and a new cup with a straw to help encourage water consumption. I was pleased to find the biggest one I could get was also insulated and has a handle.

Still got a few things to get like a few zip up hoodies to lounge in. I rarely wear lounge clothes now so I'm having to stock up considerably on post-op comfies!

Soooo I guess that's about it!! Kind random and maybe not totally helpful but it's helped me feel more at ease to get a few things for after the surgery. The 27th can't come fast enough!


I CANT BELIEVE IT!! I'm one week out from my surgery!! This time next week, I expect to be laid up in bed, enjoying my new itty bitty boobies! So so so excited! I'm sitting at the nail salon right now as I write this, and my back is killing me while I sit here with my toes under the dryer. I can't wait to do simple things like this and not hurt!

I've read SO many reviews lately. They are helping sooo much. In reading them I've realized I still need to get some things but for the most part I'm good to go.

However one thing I'm worried about is that I didn't take enough time off work. I'm only taking a week off after and I've read a lot of ladies on here got significantly more time than that. I work as a designer and sit at a desk all day so it's minimal movement but I don't want to overdue it.

Any advice? How long did y'all take off work? I can ask for a week and a half off or maybe even two off and work the second week from home. I just want to ask my employer for the correct amount of time off before!


Adding some before pics to reflect on!

Ugh. Clothes.... Clothes have always been the main reason I resent my breasts. I am in LOVE with fashion and beauty and the fact that my outside never seems to match the image of me in my head just really hurts my confidence. I can't wait to wear the clothes I want... So here's me now in some of my favorite tops and one I can't wait to wear!

5 days to go... And I'm coming down with a cold!

HELP! EMERGENCY! I started to have a very subtle sore throat yesterday and now I'm feeling kind of stuffed up and a bit lightheaded like I do before I get sick... And I am so worried they are going to postpone my surgery if I do come down with a cold.

What should I do?? I am going to call my dr in a second to let them know and see if there's any OTC meds I can take to help out, but I wanted to ask y'all too. I'm thinking I'll start downing some Zicam and Vitamin C (once my dr gives me the go ahead of course).

Has anyone come down with a *maybe* sickness just days before their surgery? How did you overcome?

A little over 48 hours to go!

Yesterday, my mom and I went to Walmart to get the two-pack front-close Fruit of the Loom sports bras that everyone here and on Reddit have been suggesting. I laughed out loud when I saw the two-pack cost only $12.... Just a fraction of the cost of the bra I was currently wearing. That about blew my mind. I grabbed two sizes just to be sure — 36 and 38.

I decided when I got home to try one of them on for comparisons sake, since I still have this irrational fear that I'm going I wake up and not be able to tell a difference in size... Hah as if!

Posting pics for comparison. And a laugh. I think the biggest thing these pics show me is that because of my breasts, I've let the rest of my body go because it seemed easier to be seen as "big" and not "big busted". I have always been a very, very healthy eater but because of the size, pain, discomfort and lack of confidence, I avoided working out and sought out yoga as a way to help stay flexible and active... Which I soon stopped doing as well because big heaving breasts make it a little embarrassing and cumbersome to practice.

Speaking of fears, yesterday I had a pretty significant breakdown over my fear of anesthesia. The closer I get, my excitement turns to dread. I feel so confused to be so excited for this for the most of my life, and now that it's almost here... Why am I feeling a sense of regret? I know this is going to be the best possible thing I could do for myself... I just wish I could focus on the facts about general anesthesia being safe and not the irrationality of "never waking up" (my fear). Has anyone else battled these feelings? How did you cope? I just want to be excited again...


My procedure went tremendously well! I arrived home at noon and slept for hours. I'm awake now watching some TV! I will journal my full experience tomorrow but for now, I just wanted to pop in with an update. Yay!

Day 2 post-op!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to pop in with an update :)

I'm two days post op and I'm definitely starting to feel the soreness. I'm trying to wean myself off the pain meds so I'm not taking them as frequently and I can definitely tell. The pain is still minimal however. It's just mainly soreness and tenderness.

Anyways, here's how my surgery day went down:
My fiancé and I woke up at 5:30 am and I hopped in the shower to wash with the body wash they prescribed me as my fiancé got my bag ready. We got to the surgeons by 6:30 and I was being marked up and had pictures taken by 7:15. I kissed my fiancé and mom bye for now and walked with the nurses assistant into the OR. I then had to get on the table where they started putting these boots on my legs which pulsates randomly and the anesthesiologist started the IV in my hand. I remember clenching onto the nurse's hand when it went in, but after that it's all a blur and I fell asleep.

They said I woke up with a huge smile on my face :) I definitely didn't even feel too bad upon waking. I was able to get up and use the restroom with the nurses help after a few minutes and I was discharged to go home with my family about an hour after that. The ride home wasn't as bad as I had anticipated but I was still glad I brought the pillow.

I got home and climbed straight into my pillow throne in bed. I've been sleeping that way sense and it's really been helping me get a good nights sleep on my back when I'm a side sleeper. I'll attach a pic to this post in case someone else is worried about the quality of their sleep while sleeping upright. I know I was!

I've been taking it easy these couple of days just to be safe. Today was my first post op with my doctor and it was also the first time I got out of the house outside of taking occasional walks. He gave me the go ahead to start wearing new bras (no underwire) and since I don't have an issue raising my arms about my head, I returned the front clasp bras and got some soft seamless bras instead. The one I'm wearing now extends down my torso a good bit which I thought would be nice to hold the gauze pads in (it is) but it's also kind of tight so I may not wear it to bed tonight.

That's all for now!

Day 5 post op! Nerves coming back in my right breast. Owwwwch!!

Yesterday was by far my most normal day! I went out to a belated birthday dinner with my parents since I was too tired on Tuesday (my actual birthday) to go out. However, I did get to go out on Tuesday and go to the mall. I bought a strappy sundress and strappy spaghetti top dress which I LOVE being able to buy :)

Anyways, yesterday was almost normal. I took a shower (with help from my fiancé) and went to Walmart to return a sports bra. I got another one of the long-torso stretchy bras, this time in a size L because my swelling is going down and the girls are getting smaller. Yay!! I've found I love these bras the most because their long torso is super comfy and supportive to my incisions. I'm also still wearing maxi pads under my breasts where the big incisions are just because it's more comfortable.

Ughhhh today is a little bit harder because I'm definitely having some nerves come back in my right breast. I keep getting these weird shocks and jolts up my right breast if I move my arm or chest muscles weird. I'm hoping this is just one of those fabled "zingers". Either way, I assume it's a good thing.

Oh, also, I can feel my nipples!!! Whoooo!! I didn't think I'd feel them so soon. I also noticed that they're already responding to warm and cold! Last night, I was wearing a thin cami around the house and my nips were standing straight out. WOO!! Who would've thought I'd be so excited about my nips showing through my shirt. Hah!!

Well that's all for now. I'm going to a Panther's game tonight with friends which is the most adventurous I've been since my procedure. Wish me luck :)

Before and after pic in that sports bra

So I simply must share the difference in size with that purple sports bra (that is somehow the cover image of my review... I'd love to change that... Anyone know how?) since I see it every time I come to update my review. The difference is quite amazing :)

my favorite thing that friends keep saying is, "you literally have *the* perfect breasts now". That's the dream, am I right!? So so so happy I did this!

Returning to my one true love — SHOPPING!

So today is day 9 post op! I am returning to work, and subsequently the real world, tomorrow. I'm feeling great and I'm happy to announce that the majority of the nerve pain is gone, too!

I was able to go shopping and try most of the tops on that I wanted without discomfort :) I can lift my arms totally above my head without issue. I've been super surprised how easy that part has been. I was prepared to only wear button down shirts for a few weeks but I've never really had an issue raising my arms up. I've been wearing the longer stretchy racetrack seamless sports bras around the house and as an everyday bra because they are definitely the most comfy ones I have. They're super supportive and comfy on my incisions. 10/10 would buy again!

I have my next appointment with Dr. Kortesis this coming Thursday and I am super excited for him to see the healing and progress. He'll take off the white tape then, too. My boobies look absolutely amazing, I think! They're a *teeeeeeny tiny touch* bigger than I'd ultimately like, but I am keeping two things in mind:
1) They may still get smaller as the weeks go by and the swelling goes down
2) Once I get to return to exercising, they may get even smaller :)

Either way, I LOVE THEM!! They're so manageable and proportionate to the rest of my body. I went out with friends last night and my friends were so sweet and supportive about my procedure. They kept saying how good I look and talking about my "new baby boobies". I had on a new lace bralette and a spaghetti strap top and finally got to wear something a woman in her mid twenties would wear out with her friends for drinks — something sexy and hot! Instead of frumpy and stumpy :) Finally!!

Since today is my last day of vacation, I went to the mall by myself to shop the labor day deals. I used the gift card from my fiancés' mom at Victoria's Secret and got a few black lace bralettes, and I loved every single second of trying on whatever tops and dresses I wanted to without worrying about my boobs, bra straps, or looking bigger than I actually am. I got a few strappy tops and a lacy halter bra which is so incredibly comfortable and cute. Love love love!

I know my breast size will continue to fluctuate they heal, and will change as I return to exercising, but I'm already loving shopping and the confidence my new little boobies have given me :)

That's all for now!

5 weeks!

I'm at 5 weeks and couldn't be happier! I don't really remember life before he surgery at all. I've been loving shopping even more than before and I'm able to wear normal bras, even underwire. My fave are the stretchy wireless t-shirt bras from VS!

7 weeks post op! Finally at a consistent bra size

I'm at 7 weeks now and I seriously cannot be happier with my size. I am soooo happy I went through with this procedure :)

I picked up a few new bras over the past few days at Target and Marshall's for like $6 bucks each. I couldn't believe the price! I'm comfortably fitting into a 38C and a 36D. I'm happy to be able to fit into a C cup sister size now. It has opened up a whole new world of bra shopping opportunities!

I did have an issue with the joint incision on the bottom of my left breast a few weeks ago. Apparently it is a normal thing to happen and it didn't really even hurt. I wore Vaseline on the spot with a bandaid for a few weeks and now it's all better :)

I saw my surgeon last week and he was super happy with the results, too. I don't even have to go back to see them until after the holidays and even then, they said it would be only for pictures :) I'm so excited!!

6 months post op and 10" smaller around overall!

Since getting the go ahead from my surgeon to resume exercise, I hired a personal trainer and I've been doing high intensity interval training three times a week. I haven't lost any weight, but that wasn't my intention. I've been focusing on taking control of my body back and building lean, toned muscle. I am so happy to be free to lift weights, run, and do so many different hobbies I never enjoyed before. I'm sharing a before and after pic of my journey so far!
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

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