Finally Took the Plunge! - Mequon, WI

I am 47 years old, and have been interested in...

I am 47 years old, and have been interested in breast reduction since I was in my 20's. When I was younger, I never planned to have children. In retrospect, I am pleased to have waited for the surgery since I eventually met the man of my dreams, and we decided we did want a family (I have three children, all of whom I breastfed).
As I have been getting older, I find my aches and pains a bit more tiresome, specifically in my upper back and neck. The cost of an unplanned hysterectomy in February of 2014 exceeded my insurance deductible, so I immediately began planning for the breast reduction. I did have insurance approval already from a previous inquiry, so I ended up having the reduction just shy of six weeks after the hysterectomy since I already had one extension on my insurance approval.
I wasn't prepared to believe I'd have the surgery until the day actually came. Well, it arrived, and the surgery went well. Today I am 12 days post-op, and feeling pretty good about the results thus far. I can see it will be a bit of a roller coaster ride as far as my decision. I certainly don't regret it, but I do feel a bit of out-of-body every time I look at myself in the mirror.
Today, I am looking at is an opportunity to reinvent myself, physically and mentally, by making the best choices I can to be the best me I can be! I have gone from a 40E to a 40C, and have no room for excuses; here's to the journey!

2 Weeks 1 Day

I am finally picking up a little energy. Yesterday was a full day for me with cleaning, cooking and a houseful of kids. I managed to make it through with no breaks. I also did a bit of treadmill walking, and some light leg exercises - YAY! I miss walking with my dogs, but am afraid they will pull me too much, and I wouldn't want to jeopardize my healing in any way. So, dear hubby has been on dog-walking duty. I am so lucky to have him ; )
As of right now, I am very pleased with the results. There's obviously a lot of healing that needs to take place, but the shape and size seems just what I had hoped for. The one disappointment, minor as it is, is that I had a mole on the side of my left breast. Rather than removing it, my ps left it there, and it is right at the tip of the incision, making it look really funky. I'm sure once I get the go-ahead, I'll be having that removed.
One of my concerns going into the surgery was nipple sensation, and I must say, I do still have it! Right now, since I am still a bit swollen, they are actually hyper-sensitive. Has anyone noticed a shift in weight after the surgery? I know my stomach is large, but it seems disproportionately so now. Is it perception now that my breasts are smaller? Well, it gives me even more incentive to begin my healthier journey!

3 Weeks

I am three weeks post surgery today. I must say that things seem to be coming along nicely, but I am still pretty firm. I know it takes time to reach the final shape, but as of right now, I do like the look of the right breast more than the left.
I will say that I am still tired, which surprises me. I think the fact that I had a hysterectomy just six weeks prior to the reduction has taken a toll on my body, and I'm just not bouncing back as quickly. I don't have pain, just fatigue.

Rib Pain and Mental Acceptance

I have noticed soreness around my upper rib cage. I did not have lipo, and I really have no bruising in that area, so I'm unclear as to why it is sore. When I searched this site for others who have had rib pain, I only find one post from a while ago. Anyone else notice this?
I cannot wait to get feeling more "normal." Right now I still feel surreal about the whole thing. I don't quite feel as if these breasts belong to me. I remember during pregnancies I swelled up a lot, and I would look at my feet and think, these are not my feet. That's how I feel about my breasts right now. I don't mean to sound like I regret having the surgery, either, because I am very pleased to have smaller breasts. I'm sure once they soften and become less tender, I will feel much more comfortable in general.

Softening Up

I am 24 days post op today, and I am finally seeing that my breasts are getting softer, and the nipples aren't quite as sensitive as they had been. Appearance wise, they haven't changed a whole lot. I have mentioned that I like the look of the right breast more than the left. There is a ridge in the cleavage area of the left breast that I hope smooths out, as well as, what seems to me, quite a bit more side bulge.
I continue to worry that I will overdo it, or do something to hinder my healing. I am thankful to see so many pictures of varying stages of recovery on this site, but now seeing some of the complications that can arise pretty far into recovery has me a bit freaked out. I sure would hate to have the incision open, so I am still resisting walking my dogs. They are both about 70 pounds, and can get a little unruly when they see other dogs, which includes strong leash pulling. I know, I should get them better trained. I have walked with my husband a couple times, holding the calmer of the two, and I have also walked on my treadmill. I can't comfortably walk briskly yet, so I have been walking with a high incline in order to get my heart rate up a bit.
I go to see my PS on Monday, and am hoping he will recommend some lotions to help minimize scarring. I had a hysterectomy on February 19th, which was laparoscopic, but the 5 small incisions on my abdomen seem to have gotten slightly darker with time. I do attribute that to the size of my stomach right now. Yes, I am fixated on my stomach, I know, but I swear I am about 5 pounds less, but my weight really has seemed to shift. I'm not happy about it, but I guess I have to accept it for now, and work toward change.
The scabs at both of the suture junctions have now fallen off. I plan to post pictures again on Tuesday, which will be four weeks for me!

In Retrospect - My Surgery

I realize that when I began my review, I was post-op, so never really gave an account of the surgery, and immediate aftermath. My approval process went fairly easily, I went in last September, and was denied by the insurance at first because the PS office forgot to include photos. Upon resubmission, along with a letter from the chiropractor, I was approved by the end of October, 2013. Unfortunately, the PS was unable to get me in until January of 2014, and I was not willing to do that since my $11,000 deductible was met in 2013. In December of 2013, I was told I needed a hysterectomy due to my prolapsing uterus and periods every 2-1/2 weeks. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get that surgery in until January of 2014 either, so my deductible for 2014 was also met (YIKES that's a chunk of change). The insurance company gave an extension on the breast reduction until April 8th, so I had my hysterectomy on February 19th, and the breast reduction on April 1st. My body has been put through the ringer.
My breast reduction surgery went well. I have a history of severe nausea and vomiting after anesthesia. I have tried the scopolamine patches, and every combination of anti-nausea the anesthesiologist can give me. Unfortunately, I ended up with a migraine and severe nausea and vomiting after this one as well. I worried I would pull a stitch, but all was well.
My PS had me wrapped tightly with drains for six days following surgery. I had to spend the night in the hospital, which was fine since I couldn't stop throwing up. When I left the hospital, a was at about 10cc of drainage, and that quickly tapered off to 5cc (within a day), and soon to minute amounts. I didn't find the ride home especially uncomfortable, maybe because my wrap was so tight.
Once home, I was unable to shower, so I tried as best I could to sponge and clean up that way. My husband washed my hair on Saturday, so four days after the surgery. I have been paranoid about pulling a stitch, but have really had no issue with arm strength. At that point I was trying not to reach, but still dried and styled my hair - what vanity. I also began light housework within three days. With three children, two dogs, a cat and several other pets, there's so much to keep up with, and I can't stand it getting too bad. I should also say that for the first two nights I used oxycodone, then only Tylenol. I did feel a little dizzy for at least a week, maybe longer following surgery. Additionally, I had a lot of bloating and constipation for at least two weeks, I still don't feel100% in that regard.
My surgery was on Tuesday, April 1st, and I went to have the drains removed on Monday, April 7th. The PS was out of the office, so his assistant removed the drains. I had been prepared for some discomfort during this procedure, based on others stories, but I honestly never felt it. She told me to take a breath in, and I expected her to pull it out when I breathed out, but it was already out - both sides, equally uneventful. At that point, she put my bra on, so I never even got a look at my breasts, except to look down at them - they were hard, high and perky! When I did look at them at home, I was a little shocked - such a difference. But, I was also pleased because they seemed to have a nice shape right from the start. The PS has me in bra 24-7 for four weeks (I will be going to see him right at my 4 week date, so hopefully I'll be able to use a different bra, and perhaps take it off for sleeping).
I think the biggest issue I have had post-surgery, is that I definitely get fatigued. I am almost up to four weeks, and yesterday I just hit a wall in the middle of the afternoon. I'm hoping my stamina will return soon, I hate dragging myself around like this. My incisions look great, and I had very little bruising throughout the process. I have had some discomfort, but nothing unbearable. I continue to worry about the incisions opening, so I have been trying to watch myself (although I have lifted too much on more than one occasion). This too has been challenging since I live in WI, and we had an extremely torcherous winter. Now that the weather is improving ever so slightly, I would love to get out and do some yard work, but I don't think that's advisable yet.
So, that's my back-story. Mine has been pretty uneventful, and I pray it stays that way!

Four Weeks

I went for a post-op visit today, and all is going well. The Dr.'s office was packed, and there was quite a wait. When he saw me, I could tell he was obviously rushing, which threw me off, and I failed to ask some questions I had floating around in my mind (note to self; write questions down and take along to next appointment). I did ask about the mole I have at the end of the incision on the left, and he told me the dermatologist could remove that, but I should wait for several months before doing it. I also asked about lotions, and he told me, in his opinion, there's very little evidence to show lotions do much good. He recommends the silicone sheets, which are a bit pricey, but I did purchase. So far, I find my results to be very good, so I will trust him, and continue to do what he recommends.
He told me I can gradually resume normal exercise, and at 6 weeks all restrictions will be lifted. When I asked him if I might still be able to "open" the incision, he said that was very doubtful. I did fail to ask when I could start swimming, although if all restrictions are lifted at 6 weeks, I would suppose that would be a safe bet!
I also forgot to ask about bras. I have been wearing the bra he recommended 24-7 up until this point. I suppose I better call the office to see if I can wear a different soft cup bra at this point, and whether I can sleep without. I feel like wearing it all the time is digging in to my incisions. I will post some pics later, but am having trouble with my phone. I really don't see a lot of change, but I do feel as if they are softening more each day.
I am glad that I seem to be getting over the tiredness hump. I still don't feel 100% in that regard, but partially blame my less than healthy choices on that one. I have not been eating the best, and could certainly be moving much more than I am. Also, our weather has not been at all springlike - 39 and raining right now - YUCK! I think sunshine and a warm-up will do wonders for my energy level :)
Oh, and lastly, I don't think I've come right out and said it yet, but I am so glad that I had the surgery, and I do like my new breasts!

Neck Ache

I have read so many reviews stating that women had relief from neck and back discomfort immediately after reduction. I am sad that I have not yet noticed this, in fact, I have a very stiff neck which began yesterday. I am hopeful that it's just because I am still compensating while sleeping, since I still have some tenderness when lying on my side (previously my position of choice), so I most often end up on my back. I also know I carry a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders, so perhaps I ought to focus on some relaxation techniques ; )
Overall, healing is going well. I think my PS did a wonderful job, and the stitches and scarring are very neat. I feel as if my left breast is slightly smaller than the right, however, not very noticeable. I am also still feeling "tight," and think once the breasts drop and soften, they will likely even out.
My emotions have also leveled out - for a while I was wondering if I did the right thing. Last night I wore a lower cut top, and didn't feel self-conscious at all. This is pretty novel for me, since I have always tried mightily to cover, and/or secure my breasts so they wouldn't be the only thing noticed when I enter a room!
One of these days I'll get some updated photos up - I can't believe I'm going to be at 5 WEEKS on May 6th!

Enough Already

I had my BR surgery 5 weeks ago today. Strictly addressing the boobs, everything is splendid! I have had no issues in the healing process, and, although they've yet to "drop and fluff," I would say they look pretty great. The only Physical issue in this regard is that my left side appears slightly smaller than the right, and I have a bit of side bulge on the left that isn't on the right. I also think the nipples are too far apart, but maybe once the breasts become softer that too will change.
My real issue is that I continue to be so tired, and I am getting sick of it. Along with the fatigue comes this fuzzy brain that makes it difficult for me to concentrate and get work done. I have a thought that my thyroid may have gotten out of whack with the anesthesia. I think I'll give it another week then have it checked out.
I used the silicone gel sheets on Sunday night, but forgot to put them on last night. I'll try to remember to do it tonight. Although my scarring isn't too bad (especially the nipple and vertical incision), I have noticed that the lower incisions are becoming darker. That could be from wearing the bra all the time. I actually have it off now, because I want to see the breasts without the bra creases in my skin.
I have made a vow to myself that I must lose some weight, but I haven't been able to stick to any plan. I think feeling generally wiped out constantly has me looking for food to wake me up : ( Now that my breasts finally look nice, it'd be nice to have my whole body complement them, especially once warmer weather finally finds its way here!

5 week photos

Took the time for pictures - sheesh, I am not very adept at moving pictures from my phone to my computer. I'm afraid I've got all these boobie pictures out there for all the world to see - well, at least they look better than they used to ; )

Wish You Could Update a Previous Post

Just wanted to say that this is the first I've really looked at my breasts and pictures. I can really tell a difference now from three weeks, they've definitely dropped some, and look much bigger. Maybe that's why my bra is more uncomfortable (?). I try to delete my pictures as soon as I post them...

Mommy Makeover Musings

In my exploration of this awesome website, I have come across the "Mommy Makeover" forum and reviews. Some of the results I see are simply stunning, and I am so envious of the taught tummies. Last week one of the BR ladies mentioned having a tummy tuck since her insurance deductible had been met, and that got me thinking! I checked with my insurance, but alas, no tummy tuck would be covered - deductible fulfilled or otherwise. Now I do realize that once a woman has a tummy tuck, she must maintain her diet and exercise in order to enjoy continued results, it's not just the PS working her magic, and VOILA, a beautiful new bod for life.
Since having my BR nearly 6 weeks ago, I must say that my thoughts have not been, as some say, mamoplecstatic. I am still dressing in ways to cover my body, rather than show off my breasts. My breasts truly did turn out beautifully, and I now understand that the extra scrutiny I've been imposing upon them is the result of my fear of recognizing that which I CAN change. I am overweight. At 5'11", I weigh 200Lbs, give or take. My ideal weight is between 160 and 170, I am not waif-like by any stretch of the imagination.
I know this is not a weight loss site, but this dilemma does seem related to my BR. Since having the reduction, I am painfully aware of how large my mid-section has grown. I am not menopausal, and although I had a hysterectomy in February, my ovaries remain intact. I am now ready to acknowledge the fact that I need to get a handle on this weight gain NOW, or as I move into menopause, my girth will become increasingly larger, and increasingly difficult to reduce. I also have the misfortune of carrying my weight exactly where it is said to be the most unhealthy, yet have oddly thin arms and legs.
I have mentioned in earlier posts that I have been so fatigued following my BR on April 1st. Finally, within the past couple days, I have noticed a bit of an energy surge. I am hopeful that the affects of the surgery are wearing off at last! I did begin the bromelain within the past couple days, and I do believe I've noticed a difference in the swelling. My breasts are still not what I would call soft and natural, although they have definitely softened some. I still feel like they don't quite belong to my body, if that makes any sense.
Now, to wrap up this ramble, I just want to say that I am extremely pleased with the results of my BR. Now it's time to WORK! I want to be able to enjoy, and show off my new breasts with confidence in my entire body. The way I look at it is that those women who have been privileged to have wonderful tummy tuck results had to endure at least six weeks of discomfort from the procedure itself. I believe that in six weeks, I can form some pretty solid habits that will help me realize my eventual taught tummy. By the coming fall, as I reach my 48th birthday, I will be showing off these breasts I've wanted for oh so long.

Taut not taught

Just realized I did that two times in that review!

The Six Week Milestone!

I made it! The journey so far has been pretty smooth as far as healing goes. I haven't hit any major obstacles, and for that I am thankful. My PS told me that at six weeks, all restrictions are lifted, but I am to see him at the eight week mark. OK, so I pushed the six weeks a bit, and did some heavy lifting on Sunday, which caused a lot of swelling, but nothing too horrible. Yesterday, however, I had a bit of a struggle with my 70 pound, rambunctious, juvenile, American Bulldog/Great Dane mix. He was being obstinate, and would not come into the house, so I physically had to lift his dead weight up the porch and in. Last night, I had pain in my left breast like I haven't experienced before. There are no openings, and everything looks "normalish," aside from the fact that there is, once again, quite a bit of swelling. I'm going to guess I pulled an inside stitch. I should say this pain is not excruciating or anything, just unusual at this point in the process.
This morning, it is feeling a lot better, but I thought it was important to note that just because you reach a magic number, it does not necessarily mean you are healed. I know everyone heals at a different pace, and that it could take up to a year to heal entirely ,so do take it easy, even when you get the go-ahead. In my opinion, a prolonged healing due to lack of insight about my own body (although I had no other choice with the dog other than to let him run), would make this whole process positively disagreeable.
At this point, I feel about 90% as far as energy level is concerned. I think part of my problem earlier was that even though I am in recovery, my kids lives continued as usual. With three of them involved in many activities that spread in all directions, I truly wasn't resting as I should have. My husband was wonderful with doing what he could, but again, work continued and he had to tend to that. But I made it, and feel pretty close to normal at this point.
I still have the feeling that my boobs are alien. I like the way they look, but they still don't feel quite right. When I touch them, they are still quite sensitive. I find myself waking uncomfortably during the night if I roll to my side, and continue sleeping primarily on my back. As I mentioned, the swelling waxes and wanes on a daily, or even hourly basis. When I walk at faster than a moderate pace, I feel discomfort (I am going to look for a good sports bra this week, just haven't had time to go bra shopping yet).
So, that's the six week update. I'll try to get some pics later. I will add that spring has sprung here, at last! I have been enjoying watching the migratory birds, and seeing the bulb flowers finally poking their heads out. This too is a natural boost to the energy level! YAY!

9 Weeks!

Wow, I took a three week break, and what a difference in perspective! I realized that hanging around here was causing some unhealthy fixations on my breasts. This site is an invaluable resource for pre and post surgery information, but I was becoming obsessive in my consumption of its contents, and really needed to take a step back. I had never scrutinized my breasts prior to my BR. Oh, it's true that I loathed their intrusive presence in my life, but I never analyzed them as I did after the BR. I believe I have come to a healthy acceptance of the surgery, and would do it again, and recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat!
Since my last update, I no longer feel discomfort while briskly walking/jogging. I bought a sports bra that I really love (Champion 1602 in a 40D). It's very comfortable and supportive. I also have purchased a couple non-sport bras, which are either 38 or 40 C's. I guess it just goes to show you that regardless of size, bra shopping can be maddening with its inconsistencies! That being said, it sure is nice to be able to find some playful colors and sexy styles right off the rack for under $30.
I rarely experience any discomfort aside from an unexpected nipple zinger, or when laying directly on my front side. I do have itching at the incisions, especially at night when I take my bra off.
I have not been using my pricey silicone gel sheets, but my scars are healing nicely. I use an aloe gel daily after my shower, which I allow to air dry completely before dressing. I would say the scarring is minimal. The vertical incisions have lightened significantly since the beginning, and, in my opinion, look quite good. I feel like the incisions underneath have become slightly darker, but I am confident those will begin fading as well. I do wear a bra almost always, so it is possible that now that I am a lot more active than in the beginning, there is a bit more rubbing that is causing the underside to look more red (I suppose I should look first thing in the morning after my bra has been off for 7 hours).
I still prefer the look of my right breast over the left. The right is slightly fuller and more rounded, with very little side fat. My left breast has a noticeable side bulge with no clothes on. It is nothing that will be seen by anyone other than myself and my husband, so I know I will not worry over it. I am hopeful that it will decrease some as I lose a little weight, and get back into weight-training exercises to tone up. I guess time will tell, right? The slight pucker in the left breast has flattened out, so the cleavage area looks very nice.
My energy levels have also returned to pre-surgery status. I am working at my fitness, but have come to the harsh realization that after two surgeries, and nearly 3 months of relative inactivity, it's going to take a while. I keep reminding myself that I need to take it day by day with a kind approach, and I will be back in shape soon. This is a journey that is ongoing, but I am pleased to be experiencing it, and to have this community to share it with!
Waukesha Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Yousif and staff were very easy to work with, and helped me get my surgery scheduled with some insurance issues. Dr. Yousif is very professional, and explained everything to my satisfaction. At this point I am three weeks post surgery, but would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone interested in this surgery.

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