32F to C/B Breast Reduction

I am less than away from my surgery date! It's set...

I am less than away from my surgery date! It's set for 8:30AM on May 10th. ::Aaagghhhhhhhh!!::
I am mostly anxious about whether or not this will actually help my back, as my boobs aren't terribly huge to begin with-- But they have been at least a D since the 6th grade and I have tried everything to relief my back pain with minimal results. It's very confusing hearing one thing from your GP and contrary advice from the PT/PS.

24-48 Hrs Post-Op

Right after surgery: I felt like a carved pumpkin. They hooked me up to an IV of morphine solution that I could administer every six minutes with a push of a button. Gave me antibiotics and fluids for the first 24hrs after surgery.
I started my period like 12 hours before my surgery :-/ so that was a little awkward. I had to wear a pad during surgery but then switched back to my Diva cup after returning to my recovery suite. I planned to spend the night at the hospital for monitoring, as I live kind of far from the hospital & it was only a couple hundred dollars more to have around the clock care vs leaving everything up to my husband.
Pain is minimal, but I've been keeping up with my meds (See alarm set up). I was discharged from the hospital yesterday; made the 1.5 HR ride back home pretty comfy with the addition of two pillows (pictured).
As for digestive issues, I was a little bloated the first day and a half post-op (see photo) but I have found that the combo of a cup of coffee and two Atkins Endulge treats does the trick!

My voice sounds terrible-- I'm pretty sure they used a garden hose for my breathing tube ;) so I've been practicing my breathing exercises on the suck-tube thing they gave me at the hospital.

Two days post op

I'm feeling great! A little sore and stiff in my sternum area with deep breath-- but otherwise I feel like my under-boob has a slight sunburn. Not pain, just a little irritated.
My surgeon checked in on me via text, my drains have slowed down a lot & the fluid they do have is relatively clear.
I've watched three movies, read a few magazines & listened to half of an audiobook. Getting a little wiggly already, but I'm getting up to walk about 250 steps every hour with my reminders for FitBit Alta. :) recovery is seriously going so much better than planned!

Three Days post-op: So long, drains!!

I just checked in for my first post-op visit with my surgeon's assistant. She peeled off all the gauze and surgical padding, removed my surgical bra and armpit lipo strap, and my new little boobs were finally visible!
One areola (the boob that was originally larger) seems about 1cm higher; but I really don't care-- and I'm guessing that three days is a little too soon to gauge permanent results.
I was dreading the drain removal-- nthere are so many horror stories on here!! I found the most annoying Part to be the stitch removal on the side of each drain. I then closed my eyes, took a big, deep breath, and she pulled just about 10 inches of tubing out of my breast!!! I had no idea they were so long on the inside!!
I took one pain pill and half a Xanax prior to the hour long drive to her office-- I have severe anxiety and get worked up about medical stuff, especially after too much online research. :) I gotta tell you, it was really pretty painless. (I AM, however, ready to strangle my husband who keeps slamming on the breaks or gunning the accelerator during the drive back.)

A couple photos from the great uncovering included. I'm looking forward to heading back home (if we make it-- hubby is seemingly looking for speed bumps to fly over-- no amount of pillow padding will help with those!!) and retiring for a nap in my cozy recovery room.

Before Photos

Just in case anyone reads this stuff -- here's a comparison of my boobs between last week and this week!

Day Four - Post-op

Well, after getting my drains out, I was pretty much zonked all day and night.

I was able to see what the girls looked like, confirm that my nipples were still there and that flesh eating bacteria had not, in fact, eaten my chest. (I am a huge worry wart, and having everything covered up and out of sight made my imagination carry on to the outer realms of possibilities-- there are WAY too many pics of bad experiences on the Internet!)

But anyway, I have a sense of relief that things are going to be okay, and THAT allowed me to rest. I seriously couldn't even stay awake for more than ten minutes-- how am I supposed to catch up on Game of Thrones if I fall asleep during the opening credits?!!

So, today, I am backing off the pain meds a little-- and will hopefully enjoy some conscious laziness on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. So far so good-- I skipped my 5AM dose of hydrocodone and woke up around 9 feeling pretty darn good.

I plan to peek at the drain tube holes later today to see if they are closing up-- once they are, I'll be able to shower. I'm surprised at how not-disgusting I feel on day five of no showering; baby wipes and dry shampoo has been working well so far. Off to lay down in my den if comfort and will hopefully stay awake long enough to cross some shows off of my to-watch list.

Frankenboob Freak Out - Five Days Post-Op

Great googley moogley. I had finally worked up the courage to peek at the drain wounds to see if I could shower yet. The left side is a little ooky gooky (not infected, just a little leaky and red) and the right side looks great. I nearly passed out once I had my pads and gauze removed-- it really freaked me out to see yellow, tight skin, the dried blood; hard, purple pulled folds of skin magically staying together with invisible glue and small strips of week old tape. Despite bleaching the bathroom surfaces and washing my hands, using new sterile padding to place over my breasts, I still had the overwhelming feeling of terror that I am exposing myself to infectious bacteria just by opening up and exposing my incisions to the world. Clearly, I am not ready to shower (well, I am, but my drain wounds aren't) so I repackaged my chopped chest with the extra materials the PS gave me on Friday, and hurriedly hooked the long row of clasps in the front of my now somewhat stained surgical bra. I began to feel as though I was going to pass out-- the tingly rush, sparkly sight, and seashell swoosh sound in my head-- and put myself back to bed for awhile, with the tightly pulled yellow skin stuck in my visual memory. What did I do to my body?! I think the worsened appearance of sutures and scars was not what I anticipated. On Friday, my breasts looked great-- barely bruised and they definitely looked like MY breasts. Today, they looked like Frankenboobs-- and the shape, texture, color, softness and familiarity of my former self was no longer there. I'm confident things will improve, and that I will have a day in the near future where I can remove my top and NOT want to pass out and cry, but today is not that day-- and it was a shock to look at my body and he completely freaked out by the view. Has anyone else fluctuated from being happy with the results of surgery one day and then been aghast at the miserable state of your chest the next?

1 Week Post Op!

Wow. I can't believe last week at this time I was hooked up to an IV, eating hospital food with fresh surgical wounds. I finally worked up the nerve to shower today-- gave the drain sites FOUR days to heal up instead of the standard 48 hours. Having super short hair and bird bathing it every day kept me totally comfortable. (Hooray for pixie cuts!) I had my husband help out-- designated soap holder and gentle arm pit scrubber :) what a guy. Anyway, all went well. I check in with my PS in Kansas City tomorrow, I ordered a few post-op bras from HelpMeHeal.com, too. It's ridiculously difficult to figure out what size the girls are nowadays! As mentioned in previous posts, I am sort of big-- tall and athletic, but I have small features when it comes to bra fitting. I always have the straps as small as they can go, and usually wear a 32 band. My post op bra is a size L -- and the crappy Fruit of the Loom bras I bought are size 40. Who comes up with these bra sizes?! A super successful and restful day. I'm happy with my results and look forward to when I'm fully healed... Or even cleared to pick up the little family dog again. He's been so confused as to why he can't jump up in my arms anymore, but we have a pretty rad ramp system going on (he had spinal surgery and can't do stairs or jump on the couch) & has gotten the swing of things.

First Week Surgical Follow Up

Today was my 1 week post op appointment with my surgeon. She changed my steri-strips, cleaned the areas with rubbing alcohol, and checked out the girls. Some bruising was hiding under the first round of tape, as well as some sutures-- so they look a little gnarly under the bright medical lights and without strips. I'm cleared to drive and cleared to wear soft sports bras/soft cup, non-underwire bras. I have one week to go until I can hop on a treadmill to walk. Other than that, the hour long car ride felt much more comfortable than last week's speed bump adventure and I've been off pain meds for quite a few days now. Another fun fact-- my nipples were quite insensitive prior to surgery, but now they definitely work! So, that's kind of exciting.

Almost Two Weeks Post-Op

Nothing much of excitement over here-- I received FOUR different post-surgical bras from HelpMeHeal.com and noooone of them worked out. The top border lands right on my areola or they were too big and baggy. I seem to fit a medium in band and arms but need more room in the bust. :-/
I am heading back to work on Wednesday (took a full two weeks off), and I am struggling to find anything in my ridiculously overstocked walk-in closet to wear! I am still rocking the arm out squeezer band to minimize fluid build up where I had lipo-- and that thing is just not possible to hide.
As for the girls, I'm quite sore underneath-- I have been much more active the past few days, and I had to drag around some heavy-ish boxes in my basement-- probably should have left those for the husband!! Hoping the irritation goes away in the coming days.
On the farthest points of both under-boob incisions I can definitely feel scar tissue and inflammation. In general, things are feeling more tight and itchy than painful.
I look forward to not wearing the elastic band, finding some darn bras that fit, and continuing to settle into recovery.
Being rather self-sufficient and self-motivated, it's driving me NUTS to have to ask for help to do practically everything. I am, however, choosing to take the don't lift more than 5-10 lbs thing seriously (other than the boxes today) and haven't driven yet. I am heading on a road trip with a friend this weekend, though-- so hopefully things will be less hurt/irritated and more used to moving around by then!

Two weeks post

I FINALLY found a bra that is comfortable! Woooooo! Downside: it's a 34D. But whatever. It fits great-- doesn't squash the nipples & the band hits well below the anchor incisions. Bra: Renolife by Annette - size 34D My boobs have yet to even out, but it's only two weeks post-op. The billing group from my surgery has yet to contact me regarding their error-- I called them last Thursday (and spoke to them on Wednesday) inquiring about the $20K in insurance charges sent to BCBSKC. I had paid in full out of pocket prior to surgery to be free of insurance bills and billing practices, but it looks like I get to deal with that stress regardless! It drives me NUTS when medical offices don't have their stuff together billing-wise-- and I used to process insurance at a medical office, so I know what they are feeling. I paid $8K out of pocket, and still have to follow up on how they goofed on no less than four bills. :-/ Anyway-- here are my two week photos. My left boob has settled in, leaving my right one about an inch perkier. I'm going to be super annoyed if this is the end result. Measuring the Underboob suture lines, it looks like the right breast has about a cm longer on the incision. Overall, I feeling great and head back to work tomorrow. Dry skin = itchiness, nips are off kilter, and billing is jacked up-- other that THAT, life is grand and I drove for the first time today. First step back to normal life was a success!

Three Weeks Post-Op

Just wanted to check in! I took half days at work all last week as I was super fatigued and my duties involve carrying heavy stuff-- it was difficult to not do my normal day to day tasks, as I'm generally a one-woman show!
Went on a road trip with some friends-- it was hilarious to have to pack my bed pillows, lounge pillow, bag-o-medical emergency stuff, then spent two solid hours figuring out what to wear that goes well with the armpit strap and sports bras that I can get in & out of with minimal assistance. ... I usually show up with a backpack that is prepped in five minutes.

Still rocking the steristrips. I check in with my PS tomorrow, hoping to ditch the squeezing strap as the Velcro has become less adhesive and it boings open at various times during the day, in addition to its inability to be concealed.
I've still been a couch potato when not at work-- didn't drive at all on the road trip and I skipped hotel gyms and pools due to germs and work out restrictions.
Overall, I am feeling pretty good & continue to look forward to the days when I can stop using gauze to pad my bra, and get in and out of clothing without so much help! Hope all of you are happy, healthy, & healing!

3 Week Check-In with PS

Checked in with my surgeon today-- and I won't need to go back for another two months. I'm cleared to resume working out, bike riding, and am progressing wonderfully. As you can see in the pics, my skin is a little jacked up from the steri-strips-- a few layers peeled off when they were removed. I'm cleared to stop wearing my compression strap, boob gauze, and can be steristrip free for the day to give my skin a rest. Considering that I have an autoimmune disorder that inhibits healing, I think my scars are healing amazingly well. Looking forward to dressing like a normal human being with lower profile bras and burning the compression strap. :-D

6 Weeks Post-op Photos

All is well, I reinjured my ankle so I haven't been able to workout in over a month and a half-- so I'm about 10 lbs heavier than when starting this adventure. The underboob crescent incision is still thick and ropy, but other than that, everything feels normal. Probably my last post for a few months, but will take 6 mo/year post op photos for comparison. Happy healing!

Breast Lift/Reduction

After years of being self-conscious and in pain, I sought relief by means of breast reduction/lift. 


Prior to surgery, I was wearing a 32F/34DDD bra and post-op I am a 34B/C.

Back pain has noticeably decreased, and the entire surgical procedure and recovery went by rather quickly and without problems.

Things I have learned as a result of my breast reduction experience:
- Each boob will always be a little bit different than its buddy, and that's okay.
- Drains are nothing to be scared about! Seriously. Didn't hurt to have them in OR remove them-- just exhale on the pull and DON'T look.
- Take at least a week, if not two, to relax and heal. I even slept in the guest room & set up my own personal recovery suite. It was awesome to have 2 weeks of recovery time.
- Put everything at waist-level BEFORE surgery & pre-plan meals/laundry/cleaning/grocery, etc.
- I am pretty sure that ALL medical billing gets messed up, in some form. It's frustrating!
- Hospital food at Truman Medical Center in Lee's Summit, MO is DELICIOUS. (This could have been the IV painkillers-- but they whipped up some awesome gluten free meals for my one night/day stay.)
- Your period might miraculously start five+ days early, on the morning of your surgery. Apparently, being nervous can change your cycle. :-/
- There IS a limit to how many shows one can binge watch and still maintain sanity. Alternate between audiobooks, movies and series streaming to make the best of your armless resting period.
- Using Steri-Strips really helps with scar management. I ended up using them for the full 6 weeks post-op and will continue to use them until I run out. They make the scars less red and far more smooth.
- Post-Op bras are the worst. Nothing really fit and what fits when you're packing gauze won't fit a month later once you're healed. Get 2-3 livable bras and then hold out for two or three months before buying any more.
- Take pics BEFORE your surgery in a variety of outfits for comparison. Clothes fit SOOOO much better afterwards!
- If you're hurting or self-conscious about your chest size, I would highly recommend this procedure. I had such an awesome experience & am so glad that I went through with it, despite being super scared and anxious prior to surgery.

Before/After Example

Before & After - Tight T-Shirt Comparison

Last Follow Up

Well, I've made it to the other side of the breast reduction world. I'm now a strapless dress wearing, bikini bearing, back-pain-free kind of lady that wouldn't give a second thought to jumping on a trampoline.
They may not be PERFECT and they may have scars, but I think my rack looks pretty damn good considering it was chopped up and put back together less than six months ago.
I did happen to gain a few pounds since surgery, and my boobs are not as small as I had imagined them to be prior to the operation, but overall, life is good & I would repeat the surgery in a heartbeat knowing how relatively easy and beneficial it was to complete. Well with the out of pocket cost , and I'm NOT one with a Swiss bank account or a monocle... Just some a chick with new boobs that now fit in my thrift store tank tops.

Best wishes in your search, I hope you all have as good as an experience as I was fortunate enough to have!
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Aylward was great. The results exceeded my expectations and I would happily do the surgery again if necessary. She did an excellent job in terms of size, shape, and technique. I would highly recommend her for anyone considering a breast reduction or breast lift. Even if you don't live in KC, I'd encourage you to meet with her before making your final surgical decisions elsewhere in Kansas City. Coming from St. Joseph, I drove an hour+ each way to see her for every appointment, but it was well worth the commute.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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