Breast Reduction (Through my Insurance) - New York

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*Treatment results may vary

So Monday July 11th I had a consultation with Dr....

So Monday July 11th I had a consultation with Dr. Keith Blechman (in my network) here in NYC to discuss whether I was a good candidate for a medically necessary breast reduction. After a physical examination of my breasts, he did in fact think I wouldn't have any problem with insurance approving the procedure. Dr. Blechman was so welcoming and informative. He made me feel comfortable and confident in his ability to help me. After Dr. Blechman took some pictures as well as measurements, I spoke with his assistant who said she would get on sending my info to the insurance company right away. So I guess now it's just a waiting game. I have a pre-op appointment set up with him on August 15th, hopefully we get the approval by then. And as of right now my surgery is set for Sept 14th. (BTW I have United Healthcare, through the empire plan).

Restart Journey with Dr. Cangello (Insurance)

So I had my first consultation with Dr. Cangello today. After arriving I was given paper work to fill out and was asked for my ID and insurance card. When I was done filling out the paperwork the receptionist walked me thru the glass doors to Dr. Cangello's office. When the doc came in we went over my past and current health history (pregnancies, smoke/drink, surgeries, etc). After he was done with his notes he gave me a robe and told me to get undressed from the waist up. When he came back in the room he examined my breasts as well as took measurements and pics to submit to my insurance company. After we were done with that Dr. Cangello told me to wait in the waiting room for Amanda the patient coordinator to discuss the financial part of things. Amanda gave me a folder filled with information (pre and post-op checklist, meds and supps to avoid, scar care, etc). Also included in the information was the price for the procedure (not including the O.R. and the Anesthesiologist), that I would have to pay out of pocket if my insurance doesn't cover it. [SN: I was approved before with another surgeon a month ago. So I don't see why I wouldn't get approved with this surgeon.] Amanda was very enthusiastic and assured me that she would get my package to my insurance company righy away, and hopefully have a surgery date set for the end of Sept.

Life Changing Breast Reduction Part 1. *Day of Surgery*

So I had my breast reduction with Dr. Keith Blechman Oct 26th. He called me the night before to see if I had any last minute questions for him and to explain what was gonna happen the next morning, which I thought was very thoughtful of him... I arrived to MEETH with my husband @ 5:45am. We stopped at the front desk where I was asked for my ID and insurance card, after making copies we was told to sit in the waiting area. About 15 mins later I was called into an admissions office to sign papers as well as pay my $40 co-pay. Finished with that, we were taken directly to the "ambulatory surgery" area where we were placed in a cubicle, there I met the nurse that would later be taking care of me first thing she asked me to do was pee in a cup. She gave me a plastic bag and instructed me to remove everything except my panties and put it in the bag. I was given a pair of socks and a paper-like gown with this plastic lining, she then attached this hose to my gown and it started to warm up and BABY pure bliss. Tired as heck but super comfortable with my heated gown, my anesthesiologist came in and gave a run down of things I needed to know. She told me my piercings (tongue, labret, and micro dermal by my left eye) needed to be removed. I removed the tongue and labret but also informed her that i couldnt remove the dermal, she told me the Doc would have to remove it (I was SOOOOOO upset about that becuz i felt it was far enough from the surgical site, but i understood why he needed to do it). She had me sign papers and then placed the IV in my arm that would be used for surgery. About 15 mins later Dr. Blechman came in and marked me up. After he was done around 7:55am my nurse came to take me to the OR. She walked my husband back out to the waiting area then we took the elevator to the OR. In the OR I was told to lay on this narrow table and the rest was history......

Life Changing Breast Reduction Part 2. *The Wake Up*

Surgey Day Update (10/26): before (36HHH) and after (idk yet, but small lol). Woke up to my husband beside me in the recovery room a little woozy and stiff. Shortly after a nurse came in and asked me how i was feeling/pain level I told her I was fine. She proceeded to check the drains the Doc had placed on each side of my breasts. About 20 mins pass before another nurse came in to take me to the discharge area. She assisted me into a reclining chair and rode me to the discharge area/cubicle. There I was given crackers and a drink. There the pain started to set in, so the nurse gave me a pill. About 30 mins later I had to use the bathroom, so the nurse helped me to my feet and escorted me to the bathroom. She stood outside the door while I did my business, just in case I needed her. INSTANTLY I noticed a difference, I just felt lighter. After successfully going to #1 on my own the nurse started my discharge. She came back to the cubicle a couple mins later with my bag of belongings and said I could start getting dressed, then she left. While getting dress the nurse came back with a folder that had my discharge papers and instructions on drain maintenance. After going over everything, she demonstrated how to empty my drains. She documented the amount of fluid that was removed and I was sent on my way... Now when I was planning for surgery, I had every intention on taking a taxi home after surgey. But in all honesty I felt so good I took the MTA train home (I kno crazy right) I sat in the corner and my husband shielded me the pedestrians lol it was fine. I made it home without a hitch.

All in all I'm so happy thus far. The relief was so instant. I can't thank Dr. Blechman enough for what he's done for me. I'm so anxious now, but patient none the less. ????

Life Changing Breast Reduction Part 3. *My First Week Post-Op*

Day 1 post-op Update: Woke up VERY sore but in minimal pain this morning. Just very uncomfortable. Took 2 percocets today along with my stool softener. Not much mobility with my arms becuz I am swollen something serious. Can barely wipe myself after the bathroom. I'm sure it'll get better as the healing progresses. Haven't seen what's under this bra yet.

Day 2 post-op Update: Woke up with the worst headache ever. Ugh. Don't kno if it's the anesthesia or the percs but it's bad. Decided not to take the percs and took 2 extra strength tylenol instead. Relieved my headache. Still very swollen but in no pain.

Day 3 update: Haven't taken my pain meds since yesterday morning. Feeling no pain, just discomfort. Drains are still in place until Monday (fingers crossed). Arms are more mobile than day 1, was able to give myself a sponge bath, but still restrictions tho. Been taking stool softeners 3 times a day since Monday, but haven't pooped yet. Also started taking bromelain and arnica 30c.

Day 5 update: Today was my first post op appt since my surgery on Wednesday. Today I got my drains removed (which was not as bad as some would think, the anticipation was way worse than the actual act. Lol). Along with the removal of my drains, my surgeon removed my initial steri-strips and replaced then with new ones that he told me to just let fall off on their own. He also gave me a new bra. Follow up is in 2 weeks (Nov 14). And he said I was healing well, he also made me aware that he removed over 7.5lbs combined from my breasts.

Day 6 update: The swollen-est I've been thus far. No pain just uncomfortable. Took my first shower today, was very cautious, so it wasn't so relaxing lol. Bought a front zip sports bra from target in a L but it's tooooo much compression for me right now, so I'll just stick with the new surgical bra my surgeon gave me.

Day 8 update: I finally pooped and BABY... sheesh. Today was also day 1 of the itching sensation on the incisions and I can tell you from now it's not gonna be fun.

Day 9-10 Update: OMG I'M HAUNTED BY THE ITCH!!!!! ????????????????????I just wanna take a back scratcher to the incisions under my breasts. ???????????????????? ... all jokes aside, how I'm handling right now. I put hand sanitizer on my hands emphasizing on the tips of my fingers. Rub em real good. Wait for them to dry. And I LIGHTLY stroke my incisions NO NAILS, JUST FINGER TIPS. It's working FOR ME RIGHT NOW. (I'M NOT INTERESTED IN TAKING DRUGS. THANKS)

DISCLAIMER: This may NOT work for EVERYONE. I'm just sharing MY experience. ????

Besides the itching. I'm healing great (I think). I take bromelain and (5) arnica 30c pellets AN HR BEFORE I EAT, 3X A DAY (8am, 2pm, 8pm) and its helped with bruising and swelling. I love the way my incisions feel, they feel so flat and thin. I can't wait for the rest of my tapes to fall off so I can actually see them.

Life Changing Breast Reduction Part 4. *Updates & The BIG Reveal*

Day 13 Update: So this morning I was getting ready to shower when I saw some discharge on both sides of my bra. Wasnt enough to draw concern so I showered and just padded the spots... when I got home last night my breast felt super heavy and  numb and more bruised than I've seen them, so I took my bromelain and arnica (which I also took throughout the day) and called it a night.

Day 14 Update: Woke up to more discharge and extra swollen breasts, sore but mostly numb. I took pics and sent them in an email to my surgeons assistant (because I knew he would be in surgery). She called me back about 2 hrs later letting me know that she got in contact with my doc and sent him my pics, and that he would be contacting me soon. Another 2 hrs went by before my surgeon called me (he's in surgey Wednesdays and Thursdays). He reviewed the pics I sent and thought it could be fluid buildup and wanted me to come see him today to drain.
Within the hr I was at my surgeons office. He examined my breasts and decided it was time to take the remainder of the tape off. After removing the tape he cleaned the areas where he was gonna drain. Now although my breasts were numb I could feel the drain needle so he numbed the area with novacaine and proceeded to drain, but surprisingly nothing came out of either breasts. He gave me a couple of possible senerios, infection being one. So he decided to give me a prescription for antibiotics.

 Day 16 Update: Everything seems to be fine. The swelling is back to normal. I am on Day 2 of the antibiotics, as well as my bromelain and arnica. Today will also be my first day back to work. I'm so happy.

PS- just want to clarify, I wasn't in pain. Just uncomfortable. The discharge has stopped and was never more than a droplet. I was given antibiotics to prevent infection. I appreciate my surgeon for his sense of urgency and for making me feel at ease.

 Day 19 Update: Today was my 2nd post op appt. since surgery on Oct 26th. My surgeon is surprising pleased with the way I'm healing (because the reduction was so massive). He removed my stitches and gave me clearance to work out as well as massage my breasts and incisions. He recommended I use aquaphor. He also told me to finish off the rest of the antibiotics he gave me last week at our emergency visit as they are working, apparently I had an infection that we caught very early before it got worse (thank goodness, TRUST YOUR GUT LADIES.) We have an appt. in 2 weeks where we'll discuss scar treatment. Yippee

Life Changing Breast Reduction Part 5. *1 month post op visit*

Day 33 Update (11/28): Today was my 1 month post op appt. He's very pleased with how I'm healing for such a major reduction. No major complications and nothing minor to worry about. He took "1 month post-op" pics, and did discuss the "dog ears", he said they're there because had he cut further the incisions would have been visible. He said we'd discuss revision if needed at our 3 month appt (he said to be patient lol) I was also given the okay to start scar treatment. He recommended I use biocorneum twice a day, everyday. In his office a bottle goes for $60. I will be searching around for cheaper prices. My next follow up is in January, I'll be 3 months post op.

Day 49 Update (12/14): Feeling FABULOUS. Everything seems to be better after surgery... but I DISLIKE my scars ALOT. specifically the ones on my sides. They feel very braille like. I haven't started scar treatment (been to busy with work to make it back to the office) but I PRAY when I do that it will help. I haven't spoken to Dr. Blechman yet about my concerns, I'll wait to see if time and biocorneum will improve it.
New York Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Blechman and his staff was amazing from consultation to post op care, and anything in between. Dr. Blechman is well educated and he makes sure you leave educated as well. He's confident and realistic, he let me know the pros and any possible con, and I appreciated that. Mirsis; his assistant is a doll who loves what she does and it showed with every interaction I've had with her.

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
4 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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