34K to 34FF- 3 months post op

Madison Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
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Hi everyone! I'm a 24 year old female from...

Hi everyone! I'm a 24 year old female from Wisconsin. I'm 6'1" and about 210 lbs. I currently wear a size 34K bra. I've been thinking about a breast reduction basically since high school and it's finally going to happen.

My biggest reasons for wanting to get this done are back pain, exercise, and poor posture. I've developed poor posture because standing up straight makes my boobs stick out and garner unwanted attention. Also, the weight of my boobs seem to pull on my chest. It's especially noticeable when I don't have a bra on. People think I'm a good two inches shorter than I actually am because of it.

Another motivation for this is that I'm getting married next August. I know that if I go dress shopping with my boobs the way they are now, it will only end in tears. This surgery will give me so many more options.

There are small reasons, too. Things like not having to straddle my leg with my boob when I'm trying to cut/paint my toenails, or not looking like a grandma when wearing a bath robe, or being able to buy bras in a store. I already have to order my pants online because of my long inseam, I don't want to worry about my bras too!

I had an appointment with my plastic surgeon on October 8th. He said my boobs were larger than the average reduction patient he sees. I received a letter from my insurance less than a week later telling me I had been approved. I have a $500 co-pay for the surgery, which seems well worth it!

I have my pre-op appointment scheduled for November 8th and the surgery scheduled for November 28th. I wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving because I'll be traveling.

I'm really excited for this surgery and not apprehensive (although those wound separation photos are a bit disturbing), so my biggest worries at this point are about being able to sleep on my back for awhile and not being able to walk my dog for some time (she's a puller when she sees other dogs).

My plastic surgeon said the smallest he could get me down to would be D. I think a D or DD would look well on my body. I'm really looking forward to smaller areolas and nipples that point outward, not towards the ground.

I went in for my pre-op appointment today. I met...

I went in for my pre-op appointment today. I met with a nurse and my doctor's PA and we went over my medical history and what to expect. They didn't draw blood because I'm pretty young and healthy with no family history of anything that might cause complications. They said they would provide all of the healing supplies like bandages and two surgical bras for me, which means I don't have to do any shopping before my surgery. I got a prescription for anti-nausea pills and Oxycontin, as well as a suggestion for a stool softener. I also got a tour of the surgery area.

I was told that for the first two weeks after surgery, I shouldn't take baths or go swimming and that I shouldn't exercise more vigorously than walking. I can take showers starting the day after my surgery and washing the area with soap and water is encouraged. The PA (who was absolutely fantastic, by the way) said that my breasts will be pumped up with saline solution during surgery so that will be the majority of what comes out of the drains, and it will look like cherry KoolAid. I had never heard of the saline thing before, so I'll have to do some more research. I'll only have drains in for a day and I'll have dissolvable stitches so I don't need to worry about them getting taken out. The take-home sheet also said not to wear underwire bras for the first two weeks, but everything I've read says hold off even longer than that. I think I'll be enjoying wearing cute sports bras so much that I won't want to rush in to underwire bras.

I also looked at the before and after photos my surgeon had. They weren't as great as the before and after photos that I've seen from other surgeons online in terms of symmetry. The "after" areolas were bigger than I would want but the nurse said I could request smaller. Most of the patients in the photos were older and naturally had breasts that hung to the side more so than the front, so they were kind of hard to relate to. But I then I think the ones posted online (by surgeons, not actual people) are the best jobs they've done, not the average, so I have to be realistic. I asked the nurse what percentage of patients have wound separation issues. She said in the years she has been working there, they've only had one woman who had issues and she was a big time smoker. That's definitely reassuring. She also said she thinks my doctor is a very good surgeon and he's been who her family members have used.

So that was about it. Surgery is less than three weeks away! I can't wait! It's really amazing how much you become aware of back and neck pain and other inconveniences of big boobs when you pay attention. I've gotten so used to blocking it all out of my consciousness.

I had my surgery yesterday. We arrived at the...

I had my surgery yesterday. We arrived at the surgery center at 6:30am. They asked me some questions and had me fill out some paperwork. Then I met with the resident of my doctor. My doctor was doing a clinical study to test the affects of adding a small amount of lidocaine to the epinephrine saline solution they pump in your breasts, so his explained it all and asked if I wanted to participate. The drug is supposed to ease the amount of post-op pain and nausea. I agreed to be in it. They couldn't tell me if I was going to get the drug or not, but based on how I did, I definitely think I got it. I wasn't nauseous at all and my pain has been very manageable.

After I met with his resident about the study, my doctor came in and marked me up. I wish I could have gotten a picture of that. Then I met with the surgical nurse, the anesthesiologist, and his assistant. Surgery went off without a hitch. I'm not sure exactly how much my doc removed, so I'll check on that when I go to get my drains removed this morning.

Since the surgery, I've been doing well. I was able to eat and drink right away with no problems. I spent the rest of the day watching movies I had already seen a number of times so it didn't matter if I kept drifting in and out of sleep. My surgical bra is very itchy all over, but especially where the drains and tape are underneath my armpit. I can't wait until I get those out!

It's been 1 week since my surgery. Now I'm...

It's been 1 week since my surgery. Now I'm entering the itchy phase of healing. I'm really glad I have a good chunk of time off work yet. Even walking more than a couple of blocks is too much.

I'm mostly happy with how I'm healing up. I have two worries: my right breast seems to be bigger than my left breast, and there is an area of stitches that is puckered. As for the different sizes, I hope that's just one more swollen than the other. I posted a picture of the puckering. I don't know if this can be fixed or if I need to let it heal completely. I just worry that it won't heal flat. Does anyone have experience with a puckered incision or "dog ear" on the side of the breast? I have my an appointment tomorrow to check out my progress, so I'll ask about it then.

I had my one week post-op visit today with my PA....

I had my one week post-op visit today with my PA. She assured me that the puckering on my left side will go away with time. She said everything is looking really good. I have one more week in the surgical bra and then I can move on to sports bras. She said to wait until the 6 week mark before laying down serious money on underwire bras because the breasts can still be swollen.

One more week until restrictions like exercising and taking baths (my all time favorite winter activity) are lifted. Besides that, she said everything else should be done at my comfort level. I hope I'm able to sleep on my side sooner rather than later. Sleeping on my back is not enjoyable at all. I can also switch from Tylenol (which doesn't really do much for me) to ibuprofen. She said to wait until our one month appointment to decide if I need to use scar lotions. I asked how much I had taken out and it was a little over 4.5 lbs! What a huge weight off my shoulders!

I'm almost two weeks post op. Either the swelling...

I'm almost two weeks post op. Either the swelling in my breasts has decreased a lot or the surgical bras I got stretched out because my breasts have been moving around in them a lot. Time for a sports bra! I got a sports bra from Target on clearance for $11 that fits me. It has these tiny little spaghetti straps to hold it up! Quite funny when I compare it to the Enell sports bras I used to wear that are absolutely amazing for controlling motion but then ugliest bras on the face of the planet. I'm going back to buy a couple more today. It will also be my dry run to see if I'll be o.k. driving to work.

I'm healing up well. I had some peeling along the incision lines which I think is a good sign. I'm not 100% closed up yet, but definitely getting there. The only thing that bothers me in terms of comfort is the suture ends around the nipples. The stitches poke out so it sucks if there's any movement and it rubs my bra. I've starting putting lotion on my breasts as per my PA's instructions. Rubbing my breasts is still a weird sensation. The top skin is no problem, but rubbing the sides and the bottom is weird in terms of what that skin feels. It's like my brain is still working on remapping those nerves.

Posted two week post-op photo. You can really see...

Posted two week post-op photo. You can really see how the skin underneath my breasts was discolored from the constant rubbing from my sports bras. Hopefully that will go away.

Almost to one month post op. A couple of days ago...

Almost to one month post op. A couple of days ago the stitches poking out of my nipples started falling out. Sweet relief! Once they came out I was able to stop taking ibuprofen. That was definitely the turning point for me. It also makes taking a shower much more enjoyable because I don't feel like Frankenstein's monster when I'm washing the incisions.

I've posted some updated pics. The right breast is still bigger the left, but I'm hoping that's due to swelling. It definitely feels more swollen when I touch it. I met up with some friends two days ago and did some hugging that I probably shouldn't have.

I have a one-month appointment with my PA in two days so we'll see how I'm healing up. I've been able to sleep without a bra on and without a pillow under my knees. I'm thinking another week or two before I'll be able to sleep on my sides. Definitely feeling good about the surgery.

Posted a picture of what I looked like 3 months...

Posted a picture of what I looked like 3 months out. Now I'm a bit past that. I can definitely notice the shape of my boobs changing from my 1 month picture. They're dropping into a more normal shape. Scarring seems to be o.k. I have my last follow up appointment on April 1st so we'll see what they say. I still have a bit of wrinkling at the ends of the incision lines near the armpits, so I wonder how long it will take for those to smooth out. The right boob is definitely a bit bigger than the left, but it's not noticeable when I have clothes on.

I was fitted professionally for a bra and ended up at a 34FF. The size is good on me because it's proportional to my height but I'm somewhat bummed because I still have to order online or go to specialty lingerie stores to find that size.

The other day I had to buy more sugar at the grocery store and was kind of amazed to see that a small bag of sugar weighed a bit less than what I had taken out. I tried to balance it on my chest to see what it felt like, but I couldn't even do that anymore! Definitely glad to have that weight gone.

I'll try to remember to post pictures when I get to 6 months out from surgery.
Madison Plastic Surgeon

I chose Dr. Rao because out of the five doctors at UW Health that did breast reduction, two specialize in nerve injuries as well. I figured they would have higher rates of patients retaining nipple sensation. Dr. Rao had been practicing longer out of the two, so I chose him. Maybe that's weird reasoning, but I'm o.k. with that. He was also named one of three plastic surgeons on Madison Magazine's 2012 Top Doctors list.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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