After thinking about having a BR for two years, I...
After thinking about having a BR for two years, I finally made the decision to go for in January. I am 5'3" (was 5'4" until the weight of my breasts made me hunch over) and around 185 lbs. I had the shoulder groves and rashes underneath seemingly forever, but developing nerve problems in my neck, back and arms was what tipped me over. Exercise was extremely painful, as was sitting or standing for any length time.
As part of the process, my gynecologist made me get an updated mammogram and ultrasound. Her office has everyone get a baseline at 35 and then the next one is at 40, unless there are problems. All I can say is thank goodness she did this. Three biopsies later, I am sitting here with a diagnosis of LCIS. Now I know and can take more preventative measures to hopefully keep breast cancer away. The final biopsy was an excision and doubled as a lumpectomy, removing a 5cm mass.
It was a battle for me to get insurance to cover the operation, until the LCIS diagnosis came. Two days later, procedure was approved. If you have Cigna for insurance, demand to have a patient case manager assigned to you. Mine was great helping to keep the approval process going as well as managing my stress. Also, go ahead and meet with an orthopedist and physical therapist if you can. They can add to the documentation of medical necessity and Cigna really wants to see if you have tried alternatives to surgery. I had letters from both to add to the plastic surgeon's report.
I had the surgery yesterday and other than insomnia waking me up 5 hours later, I am feeling great. Some pain, but totally manageable. Especially since I lucked out and didn't need drains! Dr. Passaretti took out 3.5 lbs from each breast and the first time I sat up in recovery, I could feel the difference. Some bleeding from the crease incision, but not bad. I obviously haven't measured yet, but I look to be around a 36C, which is what I wanted. Such a HUGE difference! I can't be more happy that my surgeon was able to accomplish this while keeping my nipple attached, I had the pedicle method performed. Now just waiting on the pathology report from the removed tissue to make sure nothing else was lurking.
I would urge anyone thinking about this operation because of pain or limited movement to go for it. I wish I had done this sooner.
Two days Post-Op
I'm in a bit more pain today now that the bruising is coming to the surface. Still not as bad as I thought it would be. The best part of today was taking my first shower. Icing along the crease incision has been helpful in managing the pain.
In the post-op instructions they recommended someone be with you for 24-48 hours. I would say it should be longer, at least when changing dressings. I am not able to move my arms enough to clean and put ointment on the incisions yet. Thank goodness I have my mother with me for at least another week.
I guess the most important thing is I am still ridiculously happy with the results and very glad I finally had the operation.
4 days Post-op
Significant improvement over the last couple of days. I have halved my painkillers and will be trying Extra-Strength Tylenol during the day today. Mainly feels like a hard workout and your muscles are tight. Can't wait to get my stitches out on Tuesday next week.
Despite feeling better, I am still relying on my mom for incision care. My incision along the crease goes back almost to my back (further evidence of just how much he took out). There is NO way I would be able to reach around to clean/put ointment on. I am hoping to be able to do this myself once the stitches are out.
I guess my biggest tip right now is the use of arnica (the pellets, not the cream). I was told to start taking it a week before surgery and to continue use until all bruising and swelling was gone. I am convinced this is why I didn't have to have drains and my incisions are healing as well as what they are. Very little bleeding, the gauze pads are really just providing cushioning for the incisions. I can't help feeling extremely lucky that my recovery is going so well.
Stitches are out!
My stitches were removed yesterday and OMG, the itching has improved. Made a cooked breakfast this morning, just because I could. Still bleeding a bit at the T junction, but my surgeon said that is normal for people who had as much as me removed.
Also happy to find out that pathology didn't show anything more than what had already been found in my 3 biopsies.
I'm amazed at the pain RELIEF I have experienced as a result of this surgery. ZERO nerve pain and ZERO back/muscle pain. My surgeon said I was already standing straighter. Can't wait to see my physical therapist so he can fix the last of my neck/shoulder issues.
Itching back BIG time
I am sitting here tonight not sleeping because of the itching. I knew it would come back. Happened to me after my excisional biopsy. My skin, not around the actual incisions, is flaking off as if I had a bad sunburn. Not sure why my skin reacts to surgery this way. Doesn't help that I am also touch sensitive. It feels like all nerves have been set to high. At least I know I have feeling everywhere in my new breasts. I can't wait to get past this phase.