Breast Reduction

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Like everyone else, I have a 'story,' but I will...

Like everyone else, I have a 'story,' but I will spare you the minor details and say that I have wanted this done since I was fifteen-years-old and I'm now twenty-eight. Like most of you, after each pregnancy, they got bigger and bigger. Now, three kids later (and my tubes tied), it's time. I'm 5'9" and 190#. Currently, I am herniating out all sides of a 38E. According to my surgeon, I fall under every criteria: hideous rashes in the summertime, drooping, indents in my shoulders, neck/back pain, arm tingling ... my boobs even extend under my arms, which he said he will liposuction.

Now I carry Federal BC Basic. I've heard that you can't get much better insurance, and I'm hoping that's true. I called my insurance yesterday and they do not need a prior authorization, just a predetermination. It's so difficult to wait. I just want to know.

Some questions for any ladies that have been there, done that:
*How do you know if you will receive drainage tubes or not?

*My husband is supportive, but when I showed him pictures of what I was thinking, he was stunned. He pointed out sizes that he preferred, but were still 'big' to me. Because this surgery will be important to reduce my pain, it's even more important to me to have it done correctly the first time around. I'd rather go smaller than larger (like a B cup) but I am large framed, so I don't want to look awkward. How did/do you handle this situation with you husband/significant other? Did they want you to go bigger than you were less comfortable with?

* Did you receive liposuction as well? Such as around the breasts, under the arms, sides and/or top of breasts? If so, did it really make that big of a difference?

I've debated putting my pictures up here for weeks now, but I decided to because so many of you have posted pictures of your journey, and I hope that mine will help someone, too.

Surgery is Scheduled!

Surgery is August 9th! I'll believe it when it happens :)

2 months seems like forever to wait.

I see my big boobs and I immediately feel like the rest of me is big, too. Now want a tummy tuck :)

I hope the next 2 months goes quickly. I can't wait to be comfortable.

Bump in the Road

While waiting for my pre-determination letter, my insurance decided that they now need "more evidence" to support the need for a reduction. Insurance seems to move so slowly, and my surgery is scheduled for August 9th, so I'm worried that it will be pushed out further. I am growing slightly impatient.

Post-Op Question for my Ladies

How was the healing from your reduction? I'm having mine done on a Friday when my husband is off work, so he'll be with me Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, I'll be back to taking care of four kids by myself. Is this realistic?

Two weeks after my reduction, we were thinking of taking a family vacation. How did you ladies feel two weeks post-op?

3 Weeks & 1 Day Away From The Big Day

Tomorrow I will be 3 weeks away from my surgery. I still hadn't received the pre-determination letter from my insurance, so I spoke with my surgeon's office and they said that they resubmitted some more paperwork and should hear back sometime next week. If not, then the surgeon himself calls my insurance for a peer-to-peer review. I didn't think the insurance would be so difficult to deal with, but hopefully they come through just fine.

Every time I go to the mall or the store, I stop and look at bras. It's unfathomable to me that I will eventually have smaller breasts! My shoulders and my neck are so ready to have relief.

I'm beginning to think of all the things I'll need after surgery. Any suggestions on what will help make my first week or so more comfortable or easier?

18 DAYS AWAY! So much on my mind!

18 days from the surgery feels so much closer than 20 days! Haha! :)

I'm now beginning the 'emotional' phase that so many women on here have talked about. I'm elated one minute, terrified the next. I know for a fact that I will still go through with the surgery-- I'm in too much pain and discomfort not to. The closer I get to my surgery date, the higher my self esteem goes, and I haven't even had the surgery yet!! I can only imagine how my self esteem will elevate after the surgery is actually done.

Was it weird to accept your new body? After 15+ years of having breasts that were too large for my age, size, shape and frame, I have come to base my self image on them. I hated them so much, which naturally resulted in low self esteem, and, at times, downright self hatred. Is this an automatic change post surgery?

My daughter (she's 9-years-old) asked me the other day why I'm always lifting them up. I guess I didn't realize that I did the 'lift and readjust' maneuver so much. Ya know -- the one where, no matter how tightly you have your bra in the morning, by the afternoon the weight of your breasts have stretched out the bra's fabric, and you must manually lift them and the bra straps back into place? I sure hope that's not just me!! :)

My husband and I were lying on the couch yesterday evening and I had to squish my boobs down to see over them. Also, they're so wide that they touch my arms (even with a bra on), so I don't know what it's like to have my arms fully down at my sides. My boobs are everywhere!! AHHHH!

I love this site. I really do. I felt so alone before. Having other women to talk to who truly understand on such a deep level is part of the pre and post surgery healing that we ladies must go through psychologically, I believe.
There was a book that was recommended to me by a lady on here and I bought it off Amazon. It's been great. It's called "When Less is More" by Bethanne Snodgrass. I am more than happy to mail it to another lady who wants it. Just let me know if you want it, and I'll get it sent out. Maybe this will begin a chain for the book around the world! :)

Before I Forget ...

Has anyone else on here had a spinal fusion surgery? I have always wanted to learn how to jog or run once my boobs were reduced, but since my fusion, I'm wondering if I should be extra careful. My neurosurgeon said I can begin light jogging 6 months post-op, which should be about the time that my breasts are healed.

17 Days ...

I may post an update every day until surgery, that's how excited I am!

Today I am taking my kids swimming, and I've spent the last hour trying to find a way that my boobs will stay in place in a bathing suit. No viable options exist. They just do not fit regardless. I can't wait to put on a suit and have them fully covered on ALL sides!

16 Days ...

I came up with a list of questions to ask at my pre-op appointment. If you can think of any others, let me know.

- Will I have drains?

-What is the chance that the stretched out skin with all the stretch marks will become tight?

- What shape will I be? Teardrop or rounded?

- Will you make my areolas smaller to go along with the smaller breasts?

- FNG or pedicle?

- Lollipop or anchor incision?

- How small of a size are you willing to try and bring me down to?

- Is my skin too stretched for my new breasts to stay perky for years to come?

- What can you tell me now just by looking at my chest's width and natural shape? Will I have wider than average breasts post-op because of my large frame?

- What will happen to my breasts if I begin jogging and lose weight (up to 30#)?

I plan on showing him pictures that I've found of what I do and don't want to end up with.

If you can't tell, my biggest fear is to be left too large (any larger than the average C cup).

12 Days!

Today I went on a cleaning frenzy and donated 8 bags of clothes to Goodwill. I have adorable shirts that I have never even fit into correctly (can you say "button ups"?!?). I got rid of a ton of the clothes/shirts I HATED wearing, but had to in order to hide my size ... even though there's no hiding these monsters.

I can't wait to shop once I'm healed.

Freaking out and unsure.

Suddenly, I'm:

Afraid of being left too large and still uncomfortable.
Afraid that my husband will not like my new breasts.
Worried that it's going to be more pain than I want to handle at this time.

This is normal, right?

2nd Update for the Day. I embarrass myself sometimes. Where's the delete button?!?

Okay, I've calmed down :) I'm pretty sure I'm pms'ing hardcore right now.

Good news! The surgeon moved my surgery up by one day. So now it's August 8th, pre-op the 7th. That's next Thursday!

One Week Until Pre-Op!

Sometime this week I will be going to the store and purchasing bras with no underwire, basic medical supplies, and possibly a recliner. Anything else that you can suggest that made your recovery easier or something you wish you would have had handy?

I'm now so excited that I can't sleep! I'm dreaming about surgery now! :)

Insurance Info If You Have FEP

For the last few weeks I've been updating you guys on my insurance, and the issues I've had. Come to find out, I not only didn't need an approval, I didn't even need a predetermination letter.

If you have Federal Insurance (not Tricare, but FEP - my husband is a civilian engineer in the army), this is how it goes:

Your surgeon sends a letter saying that it's medically necessary, you have the surgery, and then insurance pays. The insurance gal at my surgeon's office didn't realize my insurance was so simple, and kept trying to get them to send a letter, but my insurance doesn't do that.

However, when a medical office sends a request for predetermined services, it opens up a file and the insurance will ask for more information, regardless of the surgery, so ANYONE who asks for a predetermination, regardless of whether you need it or not, will be predetermined.

Hope that makes sense.

Surgery Is 6 Days Away!

Oh my gosh, I am getting more and more excited as time passes. Less than a week now! I've been INCREDIBLY uncomfortable today in my giant bra with my giant boobies. I can't wait to see how instantly I don't have these shoulder and neck discomforts anymore!

I was at Wal-Mart this morning looking at post-op bras. What size am I supposed to buy for post-op?


Only 3 more sleeps! Pre-op Wednesday, surgery Thursday!! I hope this week goes quickly! I'm so ready!

Pre-op Tomorrow Morning, Surgery The Next Day!!

Tomorrow morning I pre-register with the hospital and see my surgeon. It keeps becoming more and more real. Tomorrow is my last full day with these giant boobs!!


Just got back from my pre-op appointment. He's such an understanding surgeon. Wow! So much was talked about, and I'm even more excited than before. What I learned is:

* I may or may not have drains. For some reason, I don't react well to internal stitches, so I will probably end up with them in case my body decides to revolt against the stitches and become infected.

* Size wise, I want smaller than average, and he agrees that is what's best since I also have a 3-level spinal fusion and my spine needs less weight on it than a normal person's would. We're shooting for a small C/large B cup even on my 5'9" frame.

* Anchor incision with nipple pedicle.

He wrote me a prescription for Ultram, Percocet and Keflex which I will go fill this afternoon.

Words cannot describe how I am feeling. Twice in the last ten years, I have been close to receiving a breast reduction, but circumstances got in the way of those surgeries. Now, it really really is happening.

Also, he mentioned that with my spine history and my awesome insurance, I should try for an insurance approved tummy tuck once I'm healed. The worst that can happen is the insurance says no, so I'll eventually try it out.

This is going to be a life changing event, I already know it. I can feel it.

Done! Years of waiting have come to am end!

I'm home from surgery now. I will write more when I'm coherent enough to do so :)

2.2 pounds removed from each side. 500 grams liposuctioned from around breasts. I can't believe how much lighter I feel.


Sorry, I guess you want pics too. Haha.

One more "before" picture.

Bandages are now off!

They are perfectly what I wanted.


Day Four Post-Op

Okay, time for my surgery day information (if I can remember it all!)

I arrived at the hospital at 6am, checked in and was sent to the same-day surgery unit. The nurses were all great, and the anesthesiologist was telling me about how she felt after having a breast lift done. Once my IV was inserted and the doctor drew all over me, I became seriously nervous and began crying. I was so excited to be having the reduction, yet it was unbelievable to my brain that it was actually happening at that exact moment! I am an incredibly emotional woman, and I wear my heart on my sleeve at all times, so crying isn't new for me, but the situation definitely was!

I was wheeled to the OR, and they had me lie on the operating table. I had the clear gas mask placed over my mouth and the next thing I knew I was back in my pre-op room, being asked if I could feel any pain by my pre-op nurse. I said no then about an hour later they let my husband come back and when I saw him I got so excited and said, "Look, my boobs are gone!!" :)

After I woke up enough to use the restroom and get dressed, I was wheeled out to my truck and my husband drove me home. By the time I got home (which is 1/4 mile from the hospital) I was pretty sleepy, but in no pain. I sat on the couch for the rest of the evening, smiling like an idiot every time I looked down and saw how small my chest was. That night I slept on the couch upright and slept pretty well. I took half of a Percocet at 3am and never really felt 'pain,' but soreness.

The next morning my husband drove me to the surgeon's office and he removed the bandages. I had a full length mirror in front of me while he was doing this, and I was so so so so happy when he removed the last bandage and I saw small, perky, light breasts that were MINE -- ON MY BODY! He said I should end up a B or C, but most likely a B when all the swelling is gone. He put a post-op bra on me and told me to come back in two weeks unless there are any issues.

I have been so incredibly worried throughout this whole process that my husband would not like my new breasts. He really enjoyed the old ones, which I hated, but when we got into the truck, all he could say was how amazing they look, and how my surgeon did an incredible job. :D

I felt so good that Friday night we hooked our camper up to the truck and drove four hours away into the wilderness and camped. I'm glad we did. We had a fun time and I was in no pain at all. We got home Saturday evening.

Sunday morning I took a shower, which was glorious, and my husband helped me wash my hair. He kept looking at them and smiling like a dork. He said he wanted to touch them, but he didn't want to hurt me. I am so glad he likes them.

Sunday afternoon we walked around the mall and I looked at shirts and bras that I've always had to skip over before the reduction. There was no way in heck I would ever be able to buy a button-up shirt from a store before, but now I can. And all the pretty bras - oh my - I forgot that they made such cute designs!!

This surgery has already changed my life. My outlook on my entire body has changed. Before, I saw my large breasts and felt that the entire rest of my body was just as large. Now, my shoulders don't look so masculine, my stomach doesn't seem so big, I like my womanly curves and child-bearing hips, and when I look down, I can see my feet. I feel more feminine, much lighter, prettier, and more self confident. My husband says that he has never once seen me this ultimately happy. I keep thanking my husband for providing me the ability to have the surgery -- the insurance is through his employer, which he has because he's a driven and intelligent man. I feel as if I owe him many thank yous, but he keeps saying that as long as he can touch them when I'm healed, that's all the thanks he needs. ;)

So, now it is Monday, four days since my surgery. I am definitely sore where the liposuction was done around my breasts, but I have no pain still. In fact, the soreness from before isn't even as bad as it was the last few days. I have not taken any pain medication since yesterday (and that was just extra strength Tylenol) and while I don't feel capable of cleaning my house top to bottom, I'm able to resume my normal daily activities, just a little slower than average.

I love my breasts for the first time in my entire life. It's such an odd feeling to WANT to see them, to WANT my husband to see or touch them, and to smile when I look in the mirror. As of right now, my nipples are slightly uneven, but my surgeon said that it has to do with the swelling. If they don't correct themselves within six months, he will fix them, but honestly, they are the least of my concern. I'm so happy with the rest of my results, that I feel like I can live with uneven nipples any day.

Thank you to everyone who cheered me on, gave me encouragement, and talked me through the worst parts of the emotional aspects.

Day 5

Feeling good. "Zingers" began this morning. Nipples still uneven. Swelling going down. Bruising galore!

Still incredibly delighted.

Just For Fun ...

Went to Walmart and tried on some bras.

1 Week Post-Op Update

Liposuction areas are still tender, but getting better. Nipples still uneven, but I love my breasts anyway. Fit into a 36B at Macy's today. Nearly cried.

I can't feel my left nipple and barely my right. How long does this continue usually?

Recent intimacy was a whole new experience. :)


I'm still ultra swollen around the sides, and I'm still terribly sore from liposuction. How long does all this last?

Bruising is going down, but my right breast is more tender and larger than the left one.

Day 10

Day 11 - Not As Happy As I Was Before :(

My breasts look awful to me today. My nipples are crazy uneven still, my right boob is way swollen, the liposuction areas hurt like heck, and this morning I found a golfball-sized lump between my right breast and my armpit. My surgeon's nurse said to put warm compresses on the lump and see if that helps.

I'm impatiently ready to be fully healed. The itching is driving me crazy. I still feel too big, too.

Is it normal to feel like a bit of a mess right now?

Almost 3 Weeks Post-Op

Okay, I'm feeling much better now than I was a week ago. My boobs have evened out some, I'm not as sore as before, bruising is minimal, and I decided that the post-op bra was not happening for me. I went to Victoria's Secret and bought two underwire-less bras - 38C to be exact! I fit into the B cup on my left, but with my right side being more swollen than the left, I just went with the C. Let me tell you: I cried. In the dressing room. In front of the employee who was fitting me for the bras. It was a magical moment. I feel much better about life with a beautiful bra on.

The semester began yesterday, and I noticed that my breasts didn't rest in the desk in front of me. NOT EVEN ONCE! I have more confidence wherever I go, and when I went shopping, I bought a medium size shirt when I was previously an XL just to fit my boobs.

In my new bra, I haven't had to "adjust" myself once. No more tucking them under my armpit, no more holding them in place when I bend over so they don't fall out, and no more cleavage protruding over the top of every shirt. So freeing. And, walking around in my pajamas without a bra - glorious.

If you are deciding whether or not to go through with a breast reduction, do not wait a minute longer. Do it. You will never look back.
Geoffrey Stiller, MD

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