31-yr-old 34 I or J, Wants to Be B. - Minneapolis, MN

At the moment, I haven't really done much. I'm a...

At the moment, I haven't really done much. I'm a vet, so I just got into the VA system, and spoke to my primary care. She agreed right off the bat that a breast reduction is an option, and told me she'd put in a referral to the plastic surgeon. Right now, I'm waiting for him/her to call me, which is the general procedure at the VA. The PS will decide if I medically need a reduction or not, but I suspect he'll agree that I need it.
I'm rather large, as my title says, and very floppy. Wearing a bra makes me break out wherever the straps were, and my breasts are very tender when I take them out, plus of course my shoulders hurt. Wearing a corset makes my back feel a LOT better, but I can't breath with one, and it makes me even more sore when I take it off. I can go without support for a while, but I need to wear a tight t-shirt to keep them closer to me, and if I sit, I tend to hunch and then backache, and I can't turn fast or my breasts flop and slap my torso.
Ideally, I would love to be a B, but I've gotten the idea from others on this site that it's not likely to happen. Honestly, if the surgeon takes me down to just a D/DD, then I'll take out a small loan or something to go down further after I heal, most likely. I'm pretty petite, and I've never once been happy with my chest size since I developed.
No pictures yet, because I'm too tired to format them into something managable.

Have an appointment!

I got a letter yesterday from the VA, I have a consult (I think...) on the 20th of May. It's 8 am, and I use the bus, so that won't be so much fun, but I don't really care. I finally have an appointment.

From previous experience with military hospitals, I might have to wait a bit more before getting approval or not, but once things start, they'll go FAST. So, here's hoping...

And, as I got around to pictures, here we go. One's, clearly, me in a corset (actually very comfortable), and the other one is wearing something over the corset. I know they're not the best for judgements, but it's what's on my comp ATM. Both images taken by someone taller than I. I'm about 5'3", to compare.

A real date!

So, for those keeping track, I had the first appointment today. It was indeed a consult, and I do have to admit, I was nervous. I wasn't sure that the doctor would agree with me about any number of things...

But! The doctor totally agreed that a) I should get a reduction and b) if I'm willing to take the consequences, I can indeed go down as small as I want. In this case, 'the consequences' mean a free nipple graft and the attendant loss of sensation. He says that this method will allow me to be both smaller and 'flatter', which is better for me. So, I'm going to take a look at some more before and afters, research specifically this method, and triple check that what I think I want is what I really do want.

Unfortunately, the doctor's rather booked out, so I won't have my actual surgery until Sep 22. I guess four months out isn't too bad, really, especially since I need surgical clearance from my primary care, and a mammogram- as near as I can tell, these are just SOP at the VA, even though there's not much in my history that would suggest I need such things. I'm not going to complain, I'd much rather play it safe!

Better pictures

Yeah, basically that's all this is for. Finally got a decent camera and some time. Ignore the 'bruises' on my one shoulder, they're actually hickies. I had forgotten I had them when I took the pictures. Also, the little 'grooves' on my breasts are just from sitting at my desk.

Wow, looking at these, I suddenly feel like I have a huge tummy. I don't think I -really- do, but I guess I have something to work on until surgery.

Oops.

Realized I needed to change a photo.

Not much new...

Really nothing new at all. Went on vacation, met a potential new in-law, life goes on. Currently packing to move to more of a down-town area, then waiting for new roommate to show up. Then school start, so, plenty to keep me busy. At the same time, I think way too much, start worrying, stuff I know doesn't really help or anything. Life, eh?

So, mostly this is just to say hi, I'm still alive, everything's still on track. Hope all of you are doing well too!

Moving!

Nothing new about surgery, which I guess is a good thing- at least it's not been delayed! And I spent my 4th of July weekend moving! Moving and unpacking, and hopefully it'll be done before school starts (the unpacking, that is. Moving is done). Also had some major car problems, so feeling really tired and down right now. I keep trying to remind myself that the new place is good, but... yeah. It's hard.

On the upside, found some old clothes. I have so much stuff that will look so GOOD on me once I'm smaller. I'll have to get pictures, as soon as I can.

One month...

Well, okay, this is two days off the one month mark, but yeah. Close enough. Nerves are starting to hit... I have a round of appointments on the 29th, including an X-ray and EKG. I mean, what on earth? And I need to schedule a mammogram still... Gonna check the student health center when classes start, because I think I can just carry in a report... I'll ask about that for sure on my appointment.

Bought some shirts at a yard sell. I'll be well set up for summer, at least! Winter, I'll just use t-shirts and layers...

Yeah. Nerves. I'll try to get pictures before the end of this month, and set up some 'before' shots in various tops.

Pre-op done

Yup. Today I went in for a whole battry of tests. Blood tests, X-rays, EKG, and then meeting with a doctor. Considering my age, it didn't surprise anyone when the tests came back as completely normal. I'm to stop taking my BC pills, because of clot issues, and that will cause some emotional upheval, but nothing I can't survive. I have to go back in for a mamogram on the 9th, but that's okay. I'm just glad my VA started offering mammograms...

Well, a friend's over, and my homework is done for the week, so I'm going to enjoy my long week-end. Have fun, everybody!

Photos!

These are the 'before' part, clearly. I plan to post comparisons in a couple of months! None of the shirts fit, clearly, and the dresses... Would you believe the red one was actually made, by me, specifically to fit? These are without a bra, because that's usually how I wear things. Bras give me headaches super-fast... Hopefully that will change!

Allergies.

So, apparently going off the BC pills I was on, my allergies get really strong. Now I'm allergic to milk, which I knew would happen but still sucks, and all of a sudden I'm allergic to pollen. I spent all of Tuesday feeling half-dead, then I finally called the VA and it turns out I can take anti-histamines. I'm trying not to take many of those, but I still have school, so I need to function just a little. I'm also trying to get ahead in schoolwork, but it's hard, because I really don't -care- about the school topics. Oh well. I've got... four days? Last day of work tomorrow, and then cleaning and packing on Saturday, last go-over of plans Sunday, and we're off.

Day before.

Well. I go in tomorrow. Today I change the sheets on my bed, bathe the cats, bathe myself, clean my clothes, pack... Yesterday got taken up by adding a router to my LAN, so all we got done was shopping. Couldn't find bromolide, so we got a pineapple instead. Also got the important stuff done for school... So, I'm in a pretty good place right now.

done

So, had surgery. Just got home. more when I can think.

Day after.

So, just got out of bed. I'm... not really in pain. Like, a 2 out of 10 at most. THat may be because of the cathiter I have, it's got some pain meds in it. I'm also just... really good at tolorating pain.

Story time! I was due to go in at 9 am. At 7 am, when I was doing my last disinfectant wash, we got a call. Spouse answered, and it was the VA. THey had more rooms available, so could I get in ASAP? We were headed out half an hour later, got in by 8 am. Got called to change a quarter to nine, hugged spouse, and went back. Didn't get marked up until all my stuff was gone, no pictures of that then, but I did get a lesson in the marking, becaus the doc was teaching someone else. Then I was taken to the operating room, still conscious, and then they knocked me out. I was under for ~4 hours, and then they just sent me home. Most of the post-op instructions were given to spouse.

There's a chance he didn't do a FNG, but I do know I went -way- down. It kind of looks like a C atm. Small C/large B. Also, heard from spouse that he took out 3.5 lb, or 1,588 grams, in total. Dunno what each booby lost. I didn't see the doc after I went under. I'm going back in on the 9th, I think- have to call to be sure.

So, now I'm sitting at home with drains, cathiter, and cats that want to walk on chest. I push them off, but they really like sniffing my dressing. I think they're worried.

Strange thing.

When I stand up straight, I feel a stretching 'tug' around what I assume are the inscitions. It doesn't really hurt, just a stretch feel, and I know it's not re-opening anything, because it doesn't hurt and there's not a sudden trickle of blood. I was wondering if it was normal/if anyone else has dealt with it. I did have some strange zings on my hands and breasts, but I think that's just the oxycodaine.

Pictures!

Still not removing the Ace, though we were told that we could. We'll probably do that tomorrow, after my cathiter runs out of meds and needs to be pulled out.

Aaand... reveal.

Took off the ace just long enough to rinse. I was shocked, there is NOTHING on under the ace. And the doctor said I could leave it off if I wanted! I didn't want, I've got new ace on. Bad cell-phone pics again.

Late evening.

First, I was wrong. There -are- steri-strips under the ace banages, I just couldn't see them before. We took everything off, and pulled out the cathiter, so the bupivacaine is no longer being administered. I'm keeping the pouch that held the cathiter deviced, though, because it's actually kind of cool. Taking off the clear plastic holding everything in place was -not- fun at all, but with two oxycodone, I managed not to freak out.
Then I got a nice spounge bath, which got some of the crusty stuff off, and felt SOOOO good. Changed the dressings around the drains, too. Didn't like removing them (Spouse was VERY gentle, I was just terrified something would go wrong). Cleaned more- our roommate used to make shampooes and stuff, so we actually have a cleanser specifically for spounge bathing, from a nusing home. No-rinse, acts as a moisturizer, super nice to have. Put the new dressings on, wrapped myself back up, still with Ace, and took a very short nap. I think I'm going to use Ace until the drains are out, and then I'll see about a sports bra or camisole or something.
All I have on now is the ace banages, with the drains pinned on, and a nice men's button up shirt. OMG, having these men's shirts has been a LIFESAVER. So glad I thought to use them.
No pictures; you've basically seen it all. We'll see how I do with less pain meds!

More pictures.

Finally, with the cathetar out! Drains are under the shirt, pinned to my ace. I love it, there's no gaps with the shirt now! Also, a picture of the drain on my right side, you can see the stitches keeping it in. We put gauze over it after the picture.

Day out!

What with one thing and another, I ended up going to school at my normal time. I didn't do anything more than sit at a desk for most of the day, so I don't feel too bad. Meds were left at home, so that wasn't great. Biggest problem with today is that I had a field trip. That was an hour of walking. I think I'm okay from it, I still have the drains in, but... meh. Just got home, and now I'm resting. Took pain meds, but I'm not feeling too bad. First follow-up appointment tomorrow!

First Post-op.

Today was my first post-op appointment. Had to get up early, and was out the door without breakfast. Big mistake there, almost threw up in the train. Luckily, spouse had some granola bars, and that was enough to settle my stomach. So, got up, took a dose of oxycodon because I knew what was coming, and went to the VA.

Nurse unwrapped me, said I looked great, and clipped the sutures holding my drains in place. I was thrilled, because I've wanted them out for days now, but not looking forward to the pull. One of the stitches was super tight, so I guess the nurse ended up clipping ME by mistake, but I didn't really feel it. This is why I took the oxy! A quick tug, and the drain was out, and on to the next side. That one was easy, and now I'm drain free. Whoo! Also bought a bra, 36D, which is too large in every way, but should fit with the swelling.

I also found out just what was done to me. It appears that the PS did NOT do a FNG, which is for the best. 865 g were removed from my right breast, and 787 g from the left, for a total of 1,652 grams, or 3.6 lb. Whoot!

So, I'm now cleared for shower, but I haven't had one yet. Next post-op is in five weeks, so sometime in October. I don't know exactly when yet. And for those wondering, the fall-out from the walk yesteday was pretty non-existant. I feel just fine.

Old bra!

I found one of my old bras. So of course I tried it on! 36DD, used to 'sorta' fit because my boobs were squishy. Sorry about the cell-phone quality.

Also, I found a C-cup bra. It's a 44 band, so I can't really use it, but just fitting the cup over my boob, the cup is too big for my breast. It seems like a hopeful sign, or am I reading too much into it?

New pic

So, I took off the glue. There are still internal stitches, but you can't really see them. The light wasn't good, so I couldn't get under the breasts, but here's some idea of size.

How far out?

I'm, I think, a month and a half out. I've only been back to the clinic once, to get the drains removed, and that was by the nurse. I finally got my next appointment- it's for the 18th! That's almost two months out, in total! I'm honestly kind of upset, because I want to know if I'm allowed to exercise, use silicon sheets, use moisturizer- MN in winter is dry as can be!
Well, to be perfectly honest, and considering that all my insicions are closed, I have been using some coconut oil on my insicions. They itch without it, and coconut oil is good for healing. I kind of thinking the nurse said I could do most things normally after a month, or when I was closed and felt like I could handle them... But still! I haven't seen the doctor since my surgery. I'm not even certain he'll be there at this appointment. I just wanna exercise!
In good news, I tried on some more clothing. I can wear a strapless dress! I've never been able to! It's going to be my graduation dress, I think... And I -will- get pictures up, soon.

Got a hole

Sometime during the night I woke up and scratched a little. I guess there was a scab or something that I hadn't noticed. I woke up with a small hole in the incision of my right breast. Cleaned it with anti-bactiral soap, used some hydrogen peroxide, and put on some ointement before adding a bandaid. Not too bad, but not fun at all. I was doing so well...

No picture, because I didn't think to grab one before the bandaid went on. I have an appointment the 18th, so I'll probably ask about it there, unless it takes a turn for the worse.

All good

Well, reading these boards really helped! I just used ointment and bandaids on my hole, and it's all closed up now. I've got a little scab still, so taking care of it, but nothing worrisome. Glad I knew what to do!

I still don't have any actual size. I want to get the last appointment done before going to Victoria's Secret or any place like that. Sooo impatient!

Over-due update.

Wow. I guess this is LONG overdue, isn't it? So... lessee. I did go to Nordstrom and VS, and got pretty much the same size; 34 DDD. Not at ALL what I wanted, but certainly better than what I'd been. Mostly, I was unhappy because it STILL cost me a good $60 to buy a bra!

And then around 6 months ago? I kinda stopped wearing bras, because I still had the shoulder-pain, and because more recent studies have shown that bras can actually increase sag. Wow! I've been wearing re-usable nipple covers when I go out. That's been nice, though I have to be careful what shirts I wear.

Even more recently, like in the last month and a half, I've been making a concerted effort to lose weight with my wife. I'm down about 10 lb so far! As part of this, I've been looking at sports bras, and this lead to me re-measuring, and then going to the store and trying on, and... I'm a 36D now. So, there's a lost cup size somewhere. (Band went up, but 34DDD should equal 36DD). That's not bad, and at least I'm down to $20 bras now!

The bad news is I still don't have any real sensitivity in my nipples, and the back pain is starting to return. I think core exercise would resolve the back pain now, and I'm currently doing bodyweights from a free site called darebee. The other bad news is that I haven't taken as many pictures as I meant to take.

photo

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

He was pretty much the only option for me, since I went through the VA. All the nurses and such said he's a really good doctor, and I LOVED that he actually listened to me. I've heard too many horror stories about that. I do wish he had spoken to me after surgery, but I understand why he didn't. He did talk to my roommate, who was there while spouse was taking exams. I never called or emailed him, so I don't know how responive he would be. Same with payment process, I got it for free because of how little I bring in. VA offeres no-cost if you make under about 25k/year.

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