Since I was a teenager I have had large sized...
Since I was a teenager I have had large sized boobs to which everyone believes to be 'proportionate to my body size'. I am a tall woman so my weight seems evenly dispersed, but my chest is way too large. Because of its size (44 JJ UK) my boobs sag a lot, and this sagging causes chest pains when I am not wearing a bra. My doctors tell me I need to lose weight, but I cannot exercise properly because of my breasts. My lower back feels stiff and aches from time to time, and I believe it to be directly linked to my chest. I have scheduled an appointment with my primary physician on Monday to ask for her to send a pre-authorization letter to my insurance company. I had gone to her before explaining my back pain, but all that was done was an MRI (which revealed nothing). Today I wrote down a list of things/reasons to explain to my doctor for my appointment. I'm fully prepared to plead my case because she seems like the type to not prescribe things easily. I also called my insurance company, but they were literally of no help. Here's to hoping for a good appointment on Monday!
After reading more stories on this site, I realized that I need to start the process of selecting a surgeon. Especially since they will be the ones sending in the pre-authorization letter to my insurance company. Well, I found about 4 doctors near me that offer free consultations. I'm not sorry about the free part cuz...money. So far 3 have replied and will contact me today about setting up an appointment. If any of you guys have any tips on what I should look for please leave a comment. I'm currently writing down a list of questions to help with the elimination process.
Weight Comments from Doctors... Just a RANT for today
So, I asked a question on this site asking doctors how I would be able to get my insurance to cover my surgery. One of the doctors, Robert L. Kraft, MD (New York), commented that he stresses "I practice good eating habits". This comment completely irked me because he came to the conclusion that I MUST be unhealthy because of my weight (270 lb). I eat relatively healthy and I do have days (once or twice a week) where I treat myself. I make my own food, I am on my feet and walking at a fast pace 5+ hours a day, drinks a SHIT ton of water, and eat fruits and veggies. I will never be thin. My question pertained to insurance and BR surgery. Why would he make such a comment and insinuation about my health? So a big girl is big cuz she eats junk food, huh??? I cannot respect any doctor that so passively comments on a person's weight and health strictly by the number on the scale. Just a rant for today
So, I just got back from my first consultation with Dr. John Paul Tutela. He asked me all the right questions and took measurements of my breasts, etc. From his observations, he felt that I was definitely qualified for BR surgery since my breasts were almost to my belly button. Without me even mentioning it, he made sure to bring up and write down details that would help in the insurance approval process, i.e. rash under the breast. He knows the insurance game pretty well, and he made sure to write down things in my favor. He did bring up that my BMI is slightly elevated, but that it was not of a medical concern in the surgical and recovery process. He only said that the incision might bleed because of the weight of the breast and distance from my breast to the fold under the breast. I mentioned that I have United Healthcare and he stated that he has had problems with my insurance in past surgical inquiries?. With past clients, he offered to charge the insurance $0, but they still DENIED him. He is out-of-network. He said the insurance might deny the claim even though it is medically necessary, but I can appeal their decision. It's crazy that they would deny a claim even though the doctor tries to work with the insurance companies. I didn't have to ask a lot of questions because he answered them in the initial observation process. I like that he seems to be trying to write down all the right things for my insurance company. I sincerely hope they approve Dr. Tutela because he seems like a good fit for me. I, however, have another consultation with another doctor next week. It doesn't hurt to have a back-up.
Finding more doctors...
It is very likely that my insurance company is going to give me a hard time about my surgery since most of my scheduled consultations are with out-of-network surgeons, I am now trying to find doctors that accept United Healthcare. I have had problems in the past finding doctors through my insurance because most of the information listed is outdated, i.e. doctors no longer accept my plan. I have made a second list of doctors (in-network) and plan on calling every single one of them before work tomorrow morning. Does any of you know how much surgeons charge as a consultation fee (average)?
The 3 things NEEDED for insurance companies to approve BR surgery 95% of the time!
I spoke to a specialist over the phone who stated that insurance companies approve BR surgeries with these 3 things:
1) Script referral from primary care doctor
2) Letter from primary care doctor on a letterhead stating your back/shoulder/neck pain
3) Letter from orthopaedic doctor on a letterhead stating your back/shoulder/neck pain
I'm doing all 3 now. Hopefully, I will have another update by next week
Successful Orthopedic Evaluation!!
Since my in-network plastic surgeon said that I needed a specialist to confirm my chronic pain, I went to see an orthopedic doctor this week. Man, it was such a pain to find an orthopedic doctor that accepts my insurance and does evaluations (many only perform surgeries and such). After a quick observation of my mobility and X-rays of my lower and middle back, the doctor wrote me a note stating BR surgery will help to alleviate my pain. Phew!! I thought the doctor was going to give me a hard time, but he just had to rule out any degenerative back diseases that might be causing the pain.
Afterward, I immediately drove over to my primary care physician to drop off a copy of the orthopedic doctor's conclusions. With the specialist's support, she should be able to write up a pre-authorization letter to help approve the surgery for the insurance. Since it is the holiday weekend, Memorial Day, I have to wait til Tuesday to request the orthopedic doctor write me the letter as well. Fingers crossed, that I will be able to schedule an appointment with the Board Certified Breast Reduction Surgeon next week!!
Thinking about my desired bust size
I can't believe I'm at this point where I can think about how small I want my breasts. I have an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon next week. I have all my documents gathered (letter from primary care doctor, letter from orthopedic specialist, and a referral), and now I'm contemplating how small I want to go. My current bra size is 34 JJ and I want to go as small as possible. I am thinking a 36/38 C cup bra. I know that they will get slightly larger if I decide to have kids as well as through aging so I want to go a little smaller. It will be a dramatic change from my current size, but I want to be comfortable. I also want to look good not wearing a bra, and also want to be able to wear a bralette (a dream). Has anyone else wanted to go so small?
Well today I had a consultation with a surgeon at a University Hospital near me. Let me first say that I hate going to this hospital because the doctors there usually piss me off in some sort of way. Well, today was no different. I will just say that I'm going with him as my surgeon solely because of his skills and experience. I don't have to necessarily love the doctor for them to give me the service I want, at least in this case. I have to wait until Monday to schedule a surgery date and everything will then be left up to my insurance.
Sidenote: Since when is a woman asking about her 'after' size and showing pictures of what she's looking for bashed because it seems like I'm doing it for cosmetic reasons?? I'm inquiring because they're my breasts and I want a general idea of how small they're going to be. During my consultation with the first PS, he asked me about the size I was looking for after the surgery. Because of this, I was going to ask this doctor how much would be removed (g) from each breast. But apparently that makes it seem like I'm doing it for aesthetic (cosmetic) reasons. Today I had to put a doctor in his place for his attitude. Apparently being Russian and old school is an accepted excuse for a doctor to be a dick. *Rant over*
So No Word from Doctor
It's been a month and no word from Dr. D about setting a surgery date. I have called multiple times and left my contact information for this woman (the person that sets the dates) to set a surgery date. No call backs. I don't know if it's simply because of the volume of patients at the hospital or if the doctor doesn't like me. (However, I think it's the former since I have gone back to the same hospital for a different problem, and the same thing is happening with setting surgery dates). This is absolutely ridiculous!
The ONLY reason why I haven't flipped my lid is because of other health problems that have come up since June, i.e. thyroid and liver. (This in no way would affect my scheduling a surgery since I have only been back there last week about my thyroid). I am going to call Monday and get to the bottom of this. This is so unprofessional on their part! Why should I be calling them about this?? That's their job (and they're failing at it).
Bad Communication---Waiting for Insurance Approval
So, I called back today and they told me that the lady had put down a tentative date for surgery and sent it off to the insurance company. They explained that that is the case when it comes to Breast Reductions. Why did they tell me I would get a phone call to set a date then??! Anyway, it has been 45 days since the consultation and I was told that last Thursday the hospital had sent over clinical files to my insurance company (at their request) for approval. It's just a waiting game now.
I GOT APPROVED!!!!!
Today the hospital called to tell me UnitedHealthcare approved my BR surgery!! Girls, I was soooo happy when the nurse called me. She asked if I was available for surgery NEXT WEEK! Sadly, I had to say no because of travel arrangements. However, I was able to schedule the surgery for AUGUST 25th!! I was told the surgery would take 5 hours and I will be kept overnight at the hospital. More instructions will be given the day before surgery.
No more big, saggy breasts. Most importantly, no more back pain. This past week at work, I was in excruciating? pain from the weight of my breasts. It looks like I will say goodbye to all these problems, and welcome my 23rd birthday with new breasts. I AM SO HAPPY!
Well tomorrow is the BIG DAY
I'm scheduled to arrive for my surgery @5:45am tomorrow morning. Here's to hoping that there are no complications and everything goes as planned.
This might be the last day I ever wear these gigantic bras. I recently bought two bras from Walmart with a front zipper for about $12 each. I wore one of them to show how my current breasts fit into them. The bra is shown zipped, but believe me when I tell you the zipper kept coming down because there was not enough room. I will do a size comparison after the procedure.
23 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
Hi guys! I was discharged from the hospital an hour ago after my surgery. I was supposed to stay overnight, but found out my insurance did not want to pay for the overnight stay. The surgery was 7 HOURS because of difficulty due to the size of my breasts. 750-800g were removed from my breasts (2 lbs)!!!!!! The OR room was cold as fuck and I was given an IV to help me relax before the anesthesia. I don't even remember falling asleep; only waking up in the recovery room! I woke up very groggy and in a lot of pain. I had to moan out "PAIN" for the nurse to hear me due to the grogginess in my voice. I apparently had a breathing tube in my throat during surgery. It only causes a slight discomfort at the moment.
I was sent home after finally being able to pee on my own. I was given prescriptions for the pain medication and antibiotics. My PS advised me not to take the pain meds UNLESS I was in severe pain because it causes constipation. Instead, he told me to take over the counter extra strength Tylenol (I'm taking it in liquid form since I cannot swallow pills). I also have drains attached to each breast to vacuum out fluids. I was told to not have them fill up past the halfway mark and to change them twice a day. Every time I drain it, I am to record the amount, which side breast, and the time. I was sent home in bandages and in a surgical bra (I was given another one because my drains had leaked because it was too full).
I will update in the morning.
Day 2 Post OP
Well, it has officially been 2 days since I had half of my breasts removed. The drains have definitely been irritating and I have been on a strict schedule with my antibiotics and Tylenol (I'm not taking the prescribed pain meds due to doctor's recommendations).
Things that have helped me tremendously so far:
1) Buy an elevated toilet seat! You will need it, especially if you have a low seat like mine. You will not be able to move a lot the first few days and I didn't want to risk tearing anything.
2) Only rest on elevated platforms. My nurse told me to sleep on the couch so that I can be in an upright position at all times. I had to switch to my bed the first night because my couch is too low and sinks in when you sit. It was a struggle to get out of the first few tries. My bed is carefully constructed with a mountain of pillows. I have 6 pillows behind my back, 2-3 under my legs, 2 under my arms, and one under my butt.
3) Your butt WILL be sore from all the resting in the upright position. My best advice is to move around every few hours. I cannot wait until I get the go-ahead to sleep on my side.
4) You will be sleeping a lot. My body has been so tired from the surgery, anesthesia, and the meds. I've been taking it easy, but I find myself dozing off in the middle of the day.
I was supposed to switch bras after a sponge bath today (it was bloodied from a leak), but the nurse gave me the wrong size. She gave me a Large, but the one I was put in after surgery was a 2XL. I'll have to ask for more tomorrow. My next appointment is tomorrow morning. Hopefully my drains will be removed then.
Post OP pics
Here are some pictures that I took today. I have some minor leakage that started today and found out it is common with breast reductions (I'm still monitoring it though)
Guys, I am so HAPPY! I can see my stomach and I do not have any back discomfort. My breasts are swollen and feels hard to the touch, but I was told by my doc that it will go down significantly with time.
Turns out my PS is a sweetheart
As you can read in my earlier review, I did not originally like my PS for reasons told already. However, my view of him has since changed after my procedure. He comforted my mother after my procedure (because it had gone on for 7 hours compared to the 5 hours we were originally told). He was also gentle with me when I was in the recovery section of the hospital. During my first Post-op the other day, I gave him a smile and a card to thank him for all that he has done. I found out that he is the type of guy that appears hard on the outside but is an actual sweetheart. I love my PS!
Drains were FINALLY removed today!!!
My drains finally produced <20cc of fluid in a 24 hour period the other day. I got a call this morning asking to come in and drove myself over to the hospital. This was the first time I've been behind the wheel of a vehicle since the surgery. I only had limited movement in my upper body due to the drains at my side. (I did, however, manage to scrape my driver's side mirror while pulling into the parking deck. Oh well. I made it to the hospital lol). The drains being removed was not nearly as bad as I was expecting! My aunt, who had a mastectomy due to breast cancer, told me her horrifying story when she had her drains removed. When it was my turn, I was bracing my body and mind for the pain. All that happened was a pull and a "pop" sound from the suction being removed. I exclaimed, "THAT"S IT??!" to the Doctor's Assistant after the right side was pulled out. Everyone laughed. It was the best feeling in the world when the left one was removed. I told them, "The left drain was a BITCH!" After a few laughs, everything was over.
Also, during my appointment, I mentioned to the Doc that my left leg slightly hurts whenever I sit down or stand up. Apparently, it may be due to my immobility since the surgery. At my job, I am literally standing and power walking for 5+ hours at a time. My body is used to being mobile and active throughout the week. The surgery and recovery have hindered my mobility and activity level. I started to implement light leg workouts for me to do during the day, i.e. squats, leg lifts, calf presses. I will also include walking outside a lot more during the recovery process.
I took my first shower
Well, my first shower since the BR was uneventful, but of course my mind was bracing for the pain. I applied some Neosporin around the nipples and the rest of the breast, and set medium size gauze at the base of the nipple.
Yesterday was amazing in that I felt like my pre-reduction self. I'm telling you, the drains were hell to move around in and sleep with. I spent the whole day with my boyfriend and I did not complain once about pain or discomfort. Also, I finally finished my antibiotics yesterday! Here are some pics of the new breasts!
I was concerned when the incision under my left armpit felt dry towards the end of the day. It didn't hurt but it felt like it needed to be moisturized. if that makes sense. I decided to change my dressings and re-apply my antibiotic gel when I noticed that my dressings had black/brown bits stuck to it where the nipple was. I inspected my nipple and noticed that around the areola, some spots were pink. I felt the area and nothing felt sore or worrisome. I realized that parts of my incision were scabbing over, and with me being black, the color of the scabs are of my skin tone. It seems my breasts are healing very well at the moment. I thought I would write this since other reviews that I have read never mentioned scabbing.
Thoughts on bras
After years of wearing wired bras, to which many left indentations in the skin and stabbing in my sides, I am thinking about wearing non-wired bras from now on. For one, I don't want the band/wire rubbing against my incisions. Two, I never felt comfortable in those types of bras. I'm thinking about bralettes and bras that have support, but no wire. I mentioned this to my cousin, who had a minor augmentation and lift, and she was concerned about my breasts dropping from the lack of support. I know that there are bras that have support but are non-wired. Thoughts??
Hey ladies :) This one is going to be short..
Today I had my stitches removed and I do not have to see my Doc until December (3 months from now). My boobies look really good! My Doc told me I can start applying Vitamin E cream a month from now, so I'll have to stick to the antibiotic cream until then.
For anyone wondering about post-op care and the products I use:
- Antibiotic gel
-Medium size gauze
-Padding (friction is real and hurts!)
I have a surgical supply store by me and I have become a regular in just the past two weeks alone! Tip: stock up on your post-up supplies. I am a basic and frugal person and I am no different in this situation. I don't suggest going to a drugstore for your stuff because they tend to be more expensive. At my surgical store: Antibiotic gel, 1oz. : $6; Medium sized gauze, 25 pack (they have two in each), $6; Combine pads, pack of 24 (They're originally intended for the abdominal area, but I cut them in half and apply to each nipple): $11. These last me for about 3 weeks. Also, I used to use the Band-Aid brand gauze, 10 pack, but I found a cheaper alternative (the 25 pack). Hope this helps. This is all that I use and it doesn't cost me a lot.
I've been thinking about this since I was released from the hospital, but never put it on here for whatever reason. I'm talking about my weight and the change in my body post-op. Since I had a substantial amount of my breasts removed, my stomach is more prominent. My stomach was able to hide behind my breasts when they were huge. Now, my stomach is out to the world. The first week after surgery I had a lot of stomach bloating. Idk what it was, but it was huge. It has gone down some in the past week. To go along with my stomach size is the fact that I cannot be active or workout until I'm given the all-clear. The months leading up to my surgery, I was in the gym every week and I had gone down in weight. The two weeks leading up to surgery, I was out-of-state on a work trip for 14 days. I was in a hotel room and survived off of complimentary breakfast and frozen meals.
I knew that I would not be able to go to the gym for a while post-surgery, so I froze my gym membership for the month of September. Today I went for a walk to the park and back (about 4 miles roundtrip) and realized how much I miss exercise. At the gym, I did a lot of weightlifting and high-intensity cardio. I have gained a few pounds since August and it has made me somewhat dispirited. Also, since the breast reduction, my cousin has commented on how my body shape has changed. I used to have an hour-glass shape, but now I am pear-shaped. This is not really a big deal, but it did strike me that I never thought about this change pre-surgery. She also commented that I look much younger than before. I am only 22, but my breasts always made me look more mature. Actually, since I was 12 with big boobs, men and women always assumed I was older. Now I look my age or maybe younger. It's amazing how breast reduction has changed my life in just a month. I'm genuinely happy, but I'm still adjusting to the change.
So I just sized myself...
With it being officially a month since my breast reduction procedure, August 23rd, I thought it would be a good time to check my current bra size. My breasts are not as swollen anymore and are starting to bounce and they feel less hard (my boobies are dropping!). Using the same technique I used to accurately measure my old bust (38JJ UK sizing), I found out my breasts are currently..............................................38F (UK sizing)!!! The difference between my old bust and my current one is 7" meaning my bust was cut in half!
To anyone that may be asking how I measure my bust, here is a link to a Youtube video (skip to the 6:05 mark) :