My goal for my BR was to be able to exercise and live without pain and discomfort. This was my 1st surgery ever and though I had some complications from the anesthesia, I'm VERY happy with the results of the reduction. The procedure was a standard pedicle method with an anchor incision pattern. I never lost sensation in my nipples though there are parts of my breasts that are still numb. She performed a significant breast lift as well. My breasts are as high and perky as they were in high school.
I got measured for a bra last week (Week 2 post-op) and currently fit in a 36C in a sports bra though I am mostly wearing my surgical bra and the spare surgical bras I bought on Amazon. Why? Because one of my incisions has not entirely healed and the surgical bras sit lower on my chest wall, allowing the scabs to heal without friction. I have kept a journal during my recovery on an online blog and plan to publish it soon. Right now, my focus is on resting and following my physician's orders but I will say right now, 3.5 weeks post-op, that I have minimal swelling, zero pain and the scars look good.
Regarding the cost: I'm in the Northeast in a major metro area and the hospital I went to was absurdly expensive so my costs are not typical. But my procedure was deemed medically necessary and my medical insurance covered all but my deductible of $2K. Overall, this was hands down the best gift I've ever given myself. If you are considering a BR, ask around - you may be surprised how many of us are out there. Women who've had this procedure are the best source of information about it.
Last tip: Don't be discouraged if some of your friends and family are not encouraging about this procedure. I encountered a distinct lack of support from some people who I thought would understand my motivations. I realized that their reluctance had nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to do with me, my breasts, and my life living with huge breasts. It had to do with their body image, their feelings about surgery and their own breasts. Only after the procedure, when they saw me and realized that I had chosen small breasts (from a K to a B) that I had done the BR for medical and comfort reasons, not for reasons of vanity. So take heart, it's your body. Listen to yourself, not others.