Let's See How This Plays Out... - Minneapolis, MN
I am 38, 5'6" and weigh 143 lbs. I am desperately...
more questions than answers now
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?
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
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.
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.
"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!
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!
Did this really happen?
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.
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.
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!
3 days post
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.
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
a week out
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...
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 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 has been random thoughts by "Jill Handy."
3 month post op tomorrow
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!
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.