Let's See How This Plays Out... - Minneapolis, MN

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I am 38, 5'6" and weigh 143 lbs. I am desperately...

I am 38, 5'6" and weigh 143 lbs. I am desperately trying to lose the last few lbs. of the baby weight from my 1 year old son. My goal is to be at 137 by surgery day. My pre-pregnancy weight was 133-5ish, so if I can get within 5 lbs, the breast weight won't fluctuate enough to matter. Also, 137 is the weight I need to be at for my BSA to match the insurance minimum of 400g per breast to be removed. I am currently wearing a 30GG bra (sized and purchased from a wonderful bra boutique in Edina). I've met with and scheduled surgery with a PS in the hopes that insurance will cover it. He was kind enough to put me on his schedule before the official approval. He told me that he would have to remove about half of my breast tissue to meet the 400g insurance requirement. He couldn't tell me what size bra I would wear, but I gathered it might be around a C-D cup. I've never seen a 30C/D cup up close, so I don't know what this really looks like (it seems really small.) I also found out that my rib cage is "flat" which helps my overly large pendulous breasts look not quite so enormous while clothed. (I've always dressed to try to de-centuate them.) However, this is also going to make them look smaller than my my actual post surgery cup size. I've only known large breasts, so I'm a little concerned about being too small. I have another appt. with a different PS in a couple weeks for a second opinion, hoping to get more information about the final result and see if I like her better. In the mean time, my case has been submitted to BCBS and I'm DYING to hear what they're going to decide. It's only been 10 days and I'm already going crazy wondering. I have a 12 year history of migraines, along with 10 years of chiropractic care for various issues with my back and neck. So, I have a good case, but I'm nervous they'll say no and I'll have to appeal and then move it to next year. I've met my deductible and out of pocket max this year, so I'm anxious to get it done before the year ends, preferably before the holidays. On the other hand, if I pay for it myself, I will have more say in what my final size will be. So, let's see how this plays out...


I just called my insurance carrier and found out that my surgery has been approved!!!! I'm all of a sudden feeling both ecstatic and terrified. My motivation to lose that last 5 lbs is renewed and re-energized. WHOOOOOOHOOOOO!

bra shopping

I decided to go get a "goal bra" to take to my next PS appt. I know I don't have a lot of control over my resulting size since insurance dictates my minimum at 400g per breast, so because I can't readily find 30 band size bras, I picked up a 32C and a 32D with the hopes that the doc can tell me which one looks more like what I'll be. I can't wrap my head around either size because they seem so small compared to my GG's.

more questions than answers now

I'm feeling frustrated. I met with a female surgeon yesterday who said she's not sure I would be left with even a C cup after removing 400 grams per breast. She said that though I'm big, my breasts are not very dense and heavy compared to many other women. She said that I'm right on the edge, but she thought taking off the insurance minimum would make me smaller than I want to be. Though I'm thankful to be fully informed and have a woman's perspective, I'm feeling deflated.

I have another appointment with the first surgeon tomorrow to ask more questions. I think I'm going to stick with him (he has more experience and actually trained the female surgeon from yesterday's appointment).

Anyway, I feel like I'm forced into a difficult decision and I have 3 options:
1. risk being too small
2. don't do it.
3. pay the $6700 (which means I either wait a couple years to save up or take a loan to pay for it.)

After talking with my husband and my mom, I am at a loss as to what to do. I've only known huge and I can't even visualize what it would look like to be smaller than a C/D cup.

Anyone else out there have regrets or feel like they're smaller than they want to be?

It's on.

I've chosen my surgeon. I trust his advice. After sleeping on it and talking to my chosen PS, I lean toward the opinion that the female surgeon was encouraging me to be a cash paying customer because cash patients make her more money than insurance paid patients. Though I can't judge her true intentions, after praying for wisdom and clarity, I feel that I trust the first doctor I saw much more than I trust her. Though he didn't give me a cup size, from what we discussed, I'm confident that I will be equivalent to a 32C or 30D. He assured me that I would be in good proportion to my weight and height and frame. (I'm within 3 lbs of my max goal weight as of this morning!)

I held in my hand an 800cc implant today, which is what my PS said is aprox. equivalent to what each of my breasts weigh. I know they're heavy, but holding it in my hand made me realize what I've been carrying around for so many years. I can't even fathom why anyone would ever add that weight to their chest! Holding a 400cc implant felt and looked like a perfect size.

4 weeks away

Well, I'm 4 weeks away from my surgery date. This post has no real agenda other than to share my thoughts.

I'm feeling excited and tenative. As I'm losing weight I'm noticing that my 30GG bra is chafing under my armpits, which leads me to believe that I'm losing a little side boob during my weight loss. As I've been doing exercise classes at the Y, the mirrors constantly show me what I'm feeling...the bounce. I've got a Panache sport bra, the best I've found ever, and though it reduces the bounce significantly, I still feel and see the pain during higher impact portions of the class. I want to push myself, but I find that I have to modify quite frequently.

I'm not telling a lot of people that I'm doing this (other than the entire world wide web). About 6 of my friends and colleagues know, but half of them are friends who've either had a reduction or plan to get one once they are finished having kids. Every one of my friends that knows is thrilled for me, which gives me added confidence that I'm making the right decision. In fact, my best girlfriend is hosting a "ta-ta to tatas" party. I'm not sure what it will be like, but I'm thinking it will involve a bra burning. :)

Don't know if anyone is reading this, but if so, I hope you find it a little helpful.


I hate that we can't edit these once published. Very annoying for this grammar freak. I spelled tentative wrong up there.

Pre-Op tomorrow.

I'm feeling more nervous these days. I'm not so nervous about the surgery, but about the recovery. I've had such a busy month and it doesn't show signs of slowing down. I have everything in order for 2 weeks post surgery as far as help with childcare and driving kids around to their stuff. I am scheduled to bake and decorate a small cake and 7 dozen cupcakes 2 weeks post surgery and I'm a little nervous how that's going to happen. I've had 3 C-sections and with my last one, I went back to work 2 hours each night at 3 weeks postpartum. In my mind, I think this surgery will be a walk in the park compared to a C-section, but after reading a lot of reviews and stories out there, I'm starting to wonder if I'm overestimating what I'll be ready for. My PS said I can do pretty much whatever I want after 2 weeks, which I interpreted, "whatever I have the energy to do." (maybe I'll ask my mom to help with the cake order).

Anyway, I had my basic pre-op with my general practitioner on Monday and she cleared me for surgery. I have the pre-op with my PS tomorrow morning and I've got another mile long list of questions for him. Every time I've seen him, I've left feeling excited and with fewer nerves, so I'm looking forward to the appointment.

1 week to go.

Well, I did a wellness exam to get a discount on our health insurance premium for next year. When I found out about it, I kind of freaked out thinking that I've only got 2 months to lose 10 lbs so my BMI could be within the healthy range. (Little did I know I'd have a stronger motivation to lose even more as I was soon to get a BR on the calendar.) My blood pressure has always been around 110/60 since I can remember. Even while pregnant, it was low. I was on migraine meds for a few years that would drop it even lower so I had to be closely monitored. At my pre-op, I didn't even pay attention to my blood pressure reading since I've never worried. My results came back from this wellness test as "pre-hypertension" from my wellness exam. 128/86. I checked it on my pre-op form and it read 122/82, so it couldn't have been a fluke reading. I'm a little in shock as I've lost 65 lbs of baby weight over the last year, recently started a regular exercise regimen and I've been cutting out sugar and high fat foods. I suppose it could be from the stress of everything going on lately, but it set me in motion of feeling really discouraged and confused. How am I suddenly on the verge of being unhealthy? How can I be 70 lbs overweight with normal blood pressure and suddenly when I start eating right and exercising, it's high? Am I just getting old? Can stress raise it THAT much? Last night I was feeling pretty down and confused and started talking to my husband about how stressed out and terrified I am of this surgery. Yes, I want it, but I'm afraid of the temporary physical pain and limitations; I'm afraid that I'm going to look like a scarred up dis-proportioned freak when I'm done (as opposed to a saggy dis-proportioned one now). The words that came from my man (the skeptical one) totally surprised me. He said this (and I put quotes around it not because it's word for word, but this is what I heard)

"You've been wanting this for over 10 years and God has worked it out so that insurance is covering the entire cost. You've done your homework and now need to trust your surgeon to do a good job and that God will take care of you. You're not doing this just so you will feel more beautiful. You need to keep looking at it as a treatment plan for your back pain and migraines. I'm here to help you and I support your decision to do this."

This wonderful voice of reason came from the love of my life who, when I started down this path, said, "The idea of you going through a big surgery like this scares me." He put it all back in perspective for me. I love this man!

Party time

My boobilicious party is tonight! I'm making molehills out of mountains soon and it's time to celebrate and laugh my fears away.


My boob voyage party was Saturday. It was a lovely quaint time with 4 of my friends who have heard my boobie woes for years. The rest of the weekend was full of cleaning, doing laundry, changing bedding, etc. Today I spent the afternoon making cinnamon rolls for my kids' breakfast, and pizzas and soup to freeze to help prepare for my family. Tomorrow I hope to make a few more freezer meals so my husband and mom don't have to spend so much time with food.

Emotionally, I'm trying to prepare for not being able be there physically for my kids. I won't get to hold my sweet baby boy for 2 weeks. He's a snuggle bug, but he's a very active 1 year old. I've noticed that he can't be held without headbutting or punching my boobs. Ouch! My 5 year old is kind of quiet as to what's going on. She knows I'm having surgery, but doesn't concern herself about it or ask questions. She takes it all in though. My 7 year old wants to know every detail of why and how and when and what to expect. She asked me early on, "can't you just pray that God will make them smaller?" I don't know if I can adequately explain that this surgery is the answer to that prayer. She made me a card today that said, "I hope your surjry goes well." I love 2nd grade spelling!

I'm feeling emotional. Feeling nervous. Feeling excited and determined to use the underwire bras as fire starters on Friday afternoon as I sit in my recliner with my little perky tatas sipping hot cider, watching a movie with my family, and healing. 2 more days!


My alarm is set for 5am. Here goes nothing!

Did this really happen?

After taking my horrible tight underwire bra off (for the last time!), I went to bed. I fell asleep just after 10 because I hadn't slept well during the previous 2 nights. I woke up at 3, played on my phone for an hour and then decided to just get up. I showered and shaved and put my owl jammies on to head out to surgery. Dropped my son off at my parents' house at 6am (the girls spent the night). Spent a few minutes soaking up some snuggles and then went off to the surgery center for my 6:30 check-in. Signed some forms, changed into my robe, met with the anesthesiologist. He was very nice. He put me at ease right away by telling me that the highest risk for the day was the drive home. Then the doctor came in and marked me up...

I walked back to the surgical room. The most discomfort there was the IV. I was talking about where I grew up and was notified that the sedation was coming. Felt a burn and that was it.

I woke up a little in shock that this actually happened after 15 years of "someday." I'm a little groggy still, so this post may be a little disconnected and incoherent at times.

Here's the information I know:

I had just under 800 grams removed from both sides, the right side was almost 100 more. Yay for symmetry!

It took around 2 hours.

I woke up and had some pain that felt like a cross between burning and pinching. The nurse asked me to rate my pain while I was barely waking up, and I think I said a 4-5. They gave me a couple doses of pain meds and Vistaril in my IV. I took a Tramadol before I left for home and one again when I got home. That worked better than what they gave me at the surgery center.

I do not have drains and was not instructed to use ice. My PS is of the opinion that drains just create extra scarring and don't prevent the what he refered to as the more dangerous swelling.

My blood pressure was back to normal-for-me, one of my readings during surgery being 114/59. The one right before surgery during my prep was 115/74, so I'm pretty sure the higher readings were due to stress. My husband asked for an official printout and is going to appeal since it will save us $200 on our insurance premium for next year.

I did not have any adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Had hot cider and toast for lunch.

My babies are coming home for dinner. I'm feeling emotional and want them near me (but not ON me)

Post op tomorrow at 10am. I plan to post before and afters soon.

So far so good.

Before and after

Finally feeling brave enough to put nudes out here.

Side view


I'm feeling pretty groggy still. I slept weird last night. I would fall into a deep sleep and then wake up what seemed like hours later only to check the clock and see that it had only been about 10-15 minutes. I think I'm one of the few people whose reaction to pain medication is insomnia. I get very sleepy, but don't actually sleep. I wasn't terribly concerned because I knew I'd be able to sleep during the day.

I have to admit that I am pretty thrilled with how the girls look even after only 1 day. I was slightly concerned that I'd be too small after talking to the second opinion doc. As much as I ruled her out in my head, there was still a question of whether she was right or not. I really think my new size is perfect for me! I wouldn't want to be any bigger.

Things I'm excited about in my future include sexy little unsupportive underthings, having my boobs on my chest when I'm lying on my back as opposed to them lying on the bed, and my husband not having to have his nose in my armpit when he is enjoying them.
Speaking of husband, he was pretty happy with the size too. I think he was a little worried about them being too small as well, though he never said it. He said that the size doesn't look that drastic of a change. I sure do feel the change though! I felt an immediate relief from the shoulder pressure. I'm hopeful that the constant golf ball knots are going to be a thing of the past!

At my post op this morning, my PS told me that my breast tissue was almost 99% glandular, meaning that I could have lost all the weight in the world and it wouldn't have shrunk my boobs. I kind of suspected as much since I was wearing the same size bra from my post baby/nursing weight of 175 lbs until 137 lbs. I'll get the path report at my week post op next Thurs. He was not concerned that there would be anything abnormal.

I have to say that I love how down to earth and laid back my ps had been. I feel like God directed me to him as his name came up 3 separate times as a recommendation from 3 separate women who have never each other. He has been just what I needed to click with my somewhat high strung personality. First, at my preop, he said bras are only needed if I feel I want some extra protection. Today I told him that I've been reading about Silicone strips and asked if they were useful. He said they'll cost me $300 and don't do anything more than a good moisturizer does. I just feel like he is honest and ethical and isn't there to try to make money off his patients, he's there as am artist to help women be healthier and happier.

Now off to showering my new tots for the first time! I plan to use Aquaphor once the bleeding stops.


This tramadol that I'm on for pain is doing a great job for pain control, but it's making me itch all over just like vicodin does to me. The palms of my hands, my armpits, my nose, my tummy, even my ears - it all itches. I'm either going to take some benadryl or switch to Tylenol #3 for pain. I have an ongoing prescription for Tylenol #3 for migraines and I don't really use it very often as it's a backup if my rescue meds don't work.

My right breast is starting to swell a little more than the left and I'm noticing a little bruising where he lipo'd my pits, but the pain is significantly less today. I feel pretty good, despite the itching. I hope to be off the pain meds tonight or tomorrow. I was able to lift my arms to wash my hair with very little pain this morning. I even tried on a couple things from my closet. The difference in how things fit and looked was amazing! I can't believe I have perky little boobies!

Genie bra.

It's a little tight and flattening, but comfy and inexpensive. It'll so just fine for the next couple months.

3 days post

I'm feeling pretty good. The pain meds are annoying me with the itching and constipation, so I plan to switch to Aleve for my next dosage of pain meds. As far as discomfort goes, my biggest complaint is that I feel like I have a big chunk of bread or something stuck in my throat. I noticed it yesterday afternoon when I took my antibiotics and it felt like they just got stuck half way down. Then during dinner, I could hardly swallow much because it seemed like there was something stuck in the way. This feeling has continued through today (it's about 1pm). I'm not sure what it's all about, but I'm going to just continue to drink lots of water and see if it goes away. It's very weird. It's not really painful - just annoying and uncomfortable. I think it has something to do with the constipation from the pain meds. Hopefully I'll get some relief from that in the next day or two.

My friend came over to see the new girls today and spend some time with me. She was pretty impressed with the surgeon's work and my new proportions. It was nice to have her affirmation.

The skin is really stretched tightly and as they heal, the doc said the "ruffling" of the stitches will go away.

day 4

I started my period this morning. It totally surprised me as I ALWAYS have a migraine the day before, if not 2 days before. I started getting a headache around 4pm today, and it went away with my rescue med. I'm kind of feeling hopeful that this surgery might have more of a healing effect for my chronic migraines than I had thought. Overall, I'm feeling pretty low energy today (and rather emotional due to my hormones). I took my daughter to dance class and it wiped me out.

The majority of my minor pain today is where the doctor lipo'd by my armpits. He told me that any lipo would hurt more than the incisions, but I figured it was worth it to have the girls the way I really wanted them.

I'm noticing things that I didn't know I even thought about. I wore no bra all day and it was glorious! It feels so strange to not have heavy breasts lying on my stomach. That area of my body can finally BREATHE real air! I'm so hopeful that when I've got my energy back, I will have a quality of life that I didn't realize was possible.

I'm so thankful that my mom is here all week to help me with my baby boy. He's SO squirrelly and strong that I can't hold him for more than a few seconds before he wants to punch me in the chest and get down. Today I got to rock him and give him a sippy cup after he woke up from his nap. It felt good feel like mommy again for a few minutes.

My throat feels a little better today. Still a little irritated when I eat, but not when I'm drinking water, so that's good.

Oops, day 5

I guess I'm 5 days post, not 4. Time flies

a week out

I'm doing better every day. I had my post op and the doctor said everything looked normal. He relayed that the biopsies revealed nothing dangerous, just that I had fibrocystic changes which i knew already based on the overall lumpiness of my breast tissue. He confirmed everything I'm feeling, like a lack of sensation on the actual incision, phantom shooting pains at random times, and overall fatigue. He advised me to put on a good moisturizer at least once a day. I think I mentioned before that I'm going to use Aquaphor. I think I'll use that at night and something less greasy in the morning like Cetaphil or other dermatologist recommended scent-free product. My PS said, "Your husband is good with the size since you're not flat? I don't take men's opinions much into account since they're not the ones carrying these things around all day." Made me laugh. I'm so happy with his work and laid back personality. He said that my breasts, though they will relax into a more natural shape should stay perky unless I have more kids or gain 100lbs, so I'm pretty excited to have teenager boobs for life!

I've been sleeping in my bed the past 3 nights (as opposed to a chair. I don't feel like I can roll around like I normally do, but I'm able to spend a little time partially on my side with a pillow under my boob and behind my back to prop me up a little. It gives my back a little rest.

The lipo'd sections are still sore and it hurts to lift my left arm because of it. It's annoying more than anything. The incisions are starting to smooth out.

I'm still a little in shock when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I have to pause and examine how different I look. I find myself smiling ear to ear and I find myself grateful for the scars. My husband is really happy with the results too. I tried on a cute little pink lace thing last night and nearly had to fend him off with a stick. That made me feel happy. It's been years since I've been confident enough to accept that he actually finds me sexy.

Healing some more...

Almost 2 weeks post. My breasts feel very engorged this week. There are some lumps and bruises that are surfacing, but things are going along well. I can tell that they're swelling as they look bigger to me than they did right after surgery. Looking forward to seeing them a little smaller again. The scabs (hate that word) have been washing away in the shower a little more each day and are almost gone. I think the underside looks a little weird as the skin is stretched so tightly that it has wrinkles. I'm pretty confident that it will relax, but even if it's not perfectly smooth again, I'm still content with my new girls.
Doc said after 2 weeks I'm idiot proof and can do anything that isn't painful. I'm feeling like all my work at the gym is disappearing more every day, so I'm wanting to get back and at least do a few sit-ups and low impact stuff. Lifting my left arm is still a bit painful. I overdid it today and ended the day a little more sore than I have been and completely exhausted, but I'm almost done Christmas shopping, so it was worth it.
Can't wait to sleep on my stomach again some day.

feeling almost normal

I can't believe how different I have felt over the last few weeks. Shopping has suddenly become fun!

I worked out at the Y on Monday and today. I did the Body Pump class on Monday. The only part that was uncomfortable was the overhead shoulder weight stuff. Today I just walked on the treadmill and did abs. I wanted to jog, but when I stopped at Target to pick up a cheap compression sport bra, they only had XS and XXL. Not a medium to be found in the whole store. I should have known better. So I just wore my comfy Genie bra and walked. I probably didn't HAVE to have a sport bra, but I'm so used to strapping the girls up as tight as possible to exercise. I suppose I want to keep them contained to protect them anyway.

Anyway, not much to report. I'm feeling pretty good. Sleeping on my side regularly. I pretty much am at full energy. I do feel a little pain at the end of the day when I am really active all day long, but for the most part I feel completely normal, with just an occasional feeling similar to milk letting down - tinges of pain, but not really too bothersome. It's starting to get cold here in MN, and I'm noticing that when I get cold and shivery, my breasts hurt. Like an intense aching. Weird.

As far as the incisions. I'm noticing some little scabs showing up along the incision. I assume they are the dissolved sutures surfacing. The "ruffling" effect that you see in previous pics is almost completely gone now. I expect by this time next year, I'll have thin little white lines. I expect that they will look less boxy across the bottom in another month or two.

LOVE the results so far and I would do it all again if I had to.


This may sound weird, but most of my life, every time I put deodorant or antiperspirant under my arms, I'd automatically also put it under my boobs. I figure it'd help me sweat less under there. I still don't know if it really helped, but it made me feel better. (Am I the only one with this daily ritual?) Well, today it hit me. Of course I'm not doing it now because of the incisions, but I'm not going to have to do it at all any more, even when I exercise. Wow.

This has been random thoughts by "Jill Handy."

3 month post op tomorrow

I am reminded to update now since I have my 3 month post op. I think it's actually been about 10 weeks. I haven't taken any additional pictures and maybe will post some tomorrow if the dr. takes any. I'm still giddy about how I look and feel. The squared bottom of my breasts continue to round out. My big question for the doctor is when I can expect to spend real money on a bra. I want to get replace my GG underwire Panache sports bra with my new size, whatever that is because I still jiggle a little in the compression sports bras, but I don't want to spend $60 on a bra that may not fit in another month or 2 when I'm at my final size.

My sister is actually starting on the reduction process with an appointment with her primary care doc next week. She needs a referral and has a surgeon picked out based on recommendations from her friends in the medical field. I'm just giddy for her. And a little nervous. She thinks the biggest issue will be getting the referral from her new primary doc. I'm praying that all goes well without a hiccup and that she is approved without question. The genes in my family have landed me and 2 of my sisters with very large breasts. I had such an easy and positive experience that I am tempted to go up to random strangers and encourage them to do it too. I don't, but I'm so excited for my sister! Now to convince my more skeptical sister #2!
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

My Doctor was recommended to me by 2 different women who don't know each other. I had an absolutely incredible experience from start to finish. He answered all my questions, even squeezed me in an extra consultative appointment at the last minute to address some additional concerns. The staff allowed me to book a surgery date before my insurance approval came through because of the specific timing I needed for work. I am more than thrilled with the results. He was very accurate in estimating my final size (by showing me, not by telling me cup sizes). I absolutely LOVE that he did not use drains (he said they aren't proven to do much and they just leave extra scarring). I love that he did not ask me to wear a bra for 2 months after surgery. His style seems to be "less is more" as far as healing goes. He does his job well and then he lets the body heal naturally without compression bras. He has a low-maintenance personality and a calming and reassuring demeanor. He is very up front an honest about the scarring and the reality of the surgery too. He doesn't make promises that the surgery will cure your shoulder and back pain. He does excellent work and I would recommend him to anyone in the Twin Cities. I could not be more thrilled with my results and experience.

5 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
5 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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