I have felt very large in my chest since I was in...
I have felt very large in my chest since I was in high school, but I kept telling myself that I really wasn't that big. After all, I was only wearing a DD. Little did I know that like many women, I was wearing the wrong size bra! It wasn't until I was out of college that one of my girlfriends saw the bra I had been wearing and was flabbergasted that I had been wearing something that was obviously WAY to small for me. She took me to a store to be properly sized and I found out that I was actually a 32GG! I was able to buy the right size bra, but more importantly, I finally felt vindicated in my long-time desire to have a breast reduction!
However, I was destined to wait. Having gained 40 lbs between college and marriage, I knew I would want to thin out a bit before I took away the two things that camouflaged the weight gain. After two SLOW years of hard work, the weight was finally gone and I started hunting around for a surgeon. Once I decided on my surgeon the whole process went very smoothly. Unlike many other posters, dealing with my insurance company was very easy and they approved coverage for the procedure on the first review. The procedure was scheduled for April 19th and the countdown was on!
I had really done my research on breast reductions. For anyone that is considering this surgery, I think the best thing to do is find a good forum, like real self, and also watch you tube videos. I searched so obsessively that by the time the day finally arrived, I was felt more relieved than anything else.
I was nervous and excited the day of, but the whole medical staff was absolutely wonderful. They were relaxed, encouraging, and their whole demeanor just really calmed any nerves that I had. By the time I slipped on the operating table I was completely relaxed and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery. The first thought that went through my mind was "this is going to be a breeze"! I had my appendix rupture and removed two years earlier and it was a hard healing process; I was very ready and realistic about the amount of pain I would have, but I was very surprised at how little I felt in comparison. Of course everyone will respond to pain differently, but for anyone that is considering this surgery my experience is that the pain was entirely manageable.
My surgeon had told me to keep my post surgical bandages on for 24 hours. Once removed, take a shower and clean the area with a good anti-bacterial soap and put on freshly-cleaned clothes. I was really surprised when the bandages were removed; I was still taped up with steri-strips, but I was expecting to see what I have been referring to as "Frankenstein boobs". Not the case at all. I was definitely able to see what the end product could end up looking like.
I'm now two weeks post-op and am finally taking the time to post my review and pictures. I don't have any before pictures besides the ones the surgeon took, and those are currently not on hand - sorry. I'm to the point where my nerves are starting to wake up and am having a lot of sensitivity, but again, not anything that I can't handle.
Well, I'm now three weeks post op. I made it...
Well, I'm now three weeks post op. I made it through the awful period where my nerves were just starting to "wake up" and I was very over-sensitive. Most of the numbness has also disappeared. Now I'm fighting through the horrible itches! For the most part though, I've had a wonderful recovery. I do need to remind myself to be delicate though. Last week, I woke up to my alarm and twisted around, very groggy, to try to turn it off and ended up feeling a shooting pain through my left breast. I called my surgeon and they thought that I had probably torn a bit of the scar tissue, but as long as swelling, bruising, or drainage didn't go up, they said it was nothing too serious. It just goes to show though how very simple movements can really affect you in a big way when you're in recovery. I think it will still be a couple weeks before normal exercise feels like a possibility. . . which is a shame. I've really missed my workout routine.
I've been having these great little moments when I realize how liberating it has been for me to loose some major girth off my bust. The other day I was at work and noticed I was slouching, so I decided to sit up . . . and it was so easy! And when I sit up, I don't feel like I'm pushing my chest way out like some bimbo trying to get attention. I didn't realize just how much strain was there. And the shopping has been amazing! I've gone bananas for blazers! I've never been able to wear them before because they looked completely wrong on me. If I found something that fit through my bust, it was huge in my waist. I know you can pay to have a blazer tailored, but it was hard to even imagine someone making a blazer look right on me before. I now own four and will probably purchase more in the near future! And my boobs are starting to feel like boobs again. They were so swollen and hard before that they felt completely fake. It's nice to feel them and know that they're going to be like a real breast. Week three has been very good!
I've been poking around a little bit and it seems...
I've been poking around a little bit and it seems like a lot of the PS that people have worked with have recommended taping the incisions for the first three months to promote good healing of the scars. I'm feeling a little apprehensive now; my PS told me to just concentrate on healing for the first month and to not tape or use silicon strips. I'm sure every treatment philosophy is different, but I just want my final results to be as fantastic as some that I've seen here.
My insurance covered most of the charges related...
My insurance covered most of the charges related to my surgery. All I had to pay was a $300 deductible. I finally just got in the last payment detail and between the facility and the doctor's fees the total cost was $12,186.55! WHEW!!! That's way more than I feel I ever could have saved to do on my own. I'm so thankful to my insurance company for making it a very positive experience.
Next follow up tomorrow!
I will be 5 weeks post op this Friday and my next follow up appointment is tomorrow. I really need to try to remember to ask the surgeon for my pre op photos so I can actually post a proper before on here!
I've also been really concerned about how my scarring is coming along. I look at some of the pictures on here and see some pictures of other people 5 weeks post op or less and the incisions that look really great are the ones that have been taped from the beginning. My surgeon told me in my first post-op appointment that the incisions will probably heal into ropey-looking scars at first, but will fade after time. He seemed very nonchalant about the scarring. My mother had a breast reduction about 5 years ago and she healed astoundingly well! I can't even see any scars from her surgery; not just that her scars are fine but it literally looks like nothing was ever done. So maybe because of that history he's not overly concerned. However, I had an appendectomy two years ago and I still have a noticeable scar from that; not over the top but it may be an indication that I will not heal nearly as well as my mother did. My mom said that all she did was massage the scars and use lotion and got her great results. I didn't do any kind of scar intervention on my appy incision.
My husband keeps reminding me that it's a long healing process. I know that it can take up to a year for you to look the way you're going to look, but I'm still worried. I feel like early scar intervention will yield the best results. It's still all been totally worth it, but I guess my vanity gets the better of me sometimes. . . .
I had my 5 week post op appointment and it went very well. My surgeon said that I could start using the gel strips and gave me a prescription. Feeling very relieved.
He also stated I'm cleared for all exercise!!!!! So excited to go to one of my classes this week. I just need to only do what I can do.
Also, I found out how much was taken out during surgery; about 1 lb from each breast. If felt like more! And I also saw my before pictures and was surprised at how quickly I had forgotten what I looked like. Of course I've been spending a lot of time looking at the new knockers, so I guess seeing the old ones could be a surprise to anyone.
Bought my first real bras!!!!
I've gotten to the point where I was wanting to have a little more support and separation again. And my surgeon said that it was okay at this point to go back to wearing a normal underwire bra. So off to Victoria's Secret I went! It took awhile to find my new size, but it appears that the new gals measure in at a 32 DD. I know it's not that big because I have a small band size, but I'm relieved that I ended up where I did. There was a fear that I would be too small after surgery, but my surgeon landed me right where I wanted to be! So much fun to shop tonight!
Silicone Scar Strips
Well, I was cleared by my PS to start using some of the silicone scar strips, but I found it really hard to do the shopping. There seemed to be a lot of different options out the market, but I found it hard to understand the qualities of the different products. I really wanted to get a scar strip that was self adhesive vs something that you need to tape on, but a lot of the shopping sights did not offer a great description of how to actually apply or reuse the scar sheet. Maybe I'm a dullard for being so worried about it, but I want a scar strip that's going to do as much as possible for my scars.
Well, anyway, I ended up going with the Scar FX post mastoplexy strips. They are anchor-shaped, self adhesive, and are very large which is great because you can trim them to the perfect size for your breast. And they stick very well. You're also able to wash them without them loosing their adhesive capabilities, which is very nice because they are kind of gnarly after 8 hours of wear. They've already helped though! Under my armpits, is where my scars were the most harsh . . . very rigid and raised. I've only been using the scar sheets for about a week now and they have really flattened out the scars. After seeing so many people taping after only a week I was so worried that waiting a month would mean that scar treatment would be less effective for me. Feeling very relieved and optimistic.
I finally got before pictures!!!
16 Jun 2013
2 months post
Well, last time I went to my PS for a follow up visit, I asked for my before pictures. They very graciously printed them off and mailed them out. However, because they were printed, the images had to be scanned back into my computer, so they're a little grainy. Sorry about the quality, but you can definitely get an idea of my size starting out. I was a little stunned to see these . . . how quickly we forget! They were obviously far too large for my small frame. I"ll try to get my two month post ops posted before too much longer. Hubs and I are going to Vegas this weekend so they will have to wait.
I still wake up every day feeling thrilled with getting to put on my new, smaller bras. I've even worn one of those support tanks for biking and it fits beautifully! For all the pain and angst I felt in making this decision, this will forever be one of the best decisions I've ever made!