I thought I should start one of these...
I thought I should start one of these since all of the stories and photos on here have been a huge part of choosing to go forward with getting a breast reduction. I am 18, turning 19 in a few weeks, and have just been approved by MSI (Nova Scotia HealthCare) and have scheduled my operation. I have had boobs seemingly forever... having grown to a size 34H over the course of the years. I am very active and involved in a lot of things and have always been frustrated by my enormous breast size and how difficult it was to find bras, be confident, and be comfortable. I play varsity volleyball at my university and team runs and workouts have become the bane of my existence due to the multiple sports bras I have to wear (well... and I'm a pretty brutal runner).
I have only met with my surgeon once, but he came very highly recommended from close friends and my family doctor. He was incredibly nice at the consultation... professional, kind, understanding, and most of all, supportive of whatever I wanted to do. My goal is to not be too, too small but smaller than my ridiculous size now. I told him D/DD would be ideal and he thinks that is realistic and would be very manageable for him. YAY! During our consultation he said he would not be using drains, using an "anchor" type method ideally, and is hoping to get a nice round shape once all is finished.
I am very excited, and counting down the days until operation... well, post-operation... and would love any advice/comments/helpful hints, anything really to get me ready for the big day! The Dr.'s assistant informed me that I should be looking for post-op bras, generally with velcro, to be able to put on afterward that won't irritate anything. If anyone has found one that has worked well - that would be awesome info for me!
One Month To Go...
I go from being crazy excited to incredibly nervous and back again almost every day. Had my first dream about the surgery going really badly the other night and woke up stressed despite how long I have to go still. Wishing someone I knew personally had this done recently that I could vent all my feelings too... friends and fam are supportive but so many ask "You're so lucky, why change anything!" and that is just far too frustrating to respond to multiple times.
OH WELL. I need to order post-op bras, ones with velcro my surgeon said? Or something along those lines... not sure where to get those but his assistant suggested looking at Shoppers or Lawtons, or ordering off any medical website. Should probably look into that.
If anyone has any tips, feel free to send them my way! August 21 is approaching quickly and I don't know if I should be feeling more prepared or not at this point... eek!
Hoping the nervous feelings melt away as I get more and more excited about the outcome. Fingers crossed!!
ONE WEEK OUT!
Is this real life? One more week to go... so so so excited. Hoping all goes well, I was warned I might start getting panic-y so I'm hoping to avoid that and keep the mindset I've managed thus far. Bought some sports bras that look pretty comfy (and pretty, too!!!) for afterwards - also have my post-op bra with the velcro which I'm relieved about.
I didn't really get any one-week-prior-to-surgery guidelines or anything... not sure if I should be doing anything differently/not doing this, that, or the other thing. Google here I come.
Fingers crossed the next few days go by quickly. Blows my mind that it is coming up so fast.
Where has this summer gone?! I go in tomorrow morning... absolutely cannot wrap my head around it. I'm so excited and nervous and all these things, I just want to know what they're going to look like for crying out loud. Bought so many cute little sports bras and comfy post-op bras to wear. Right now I only have one front-closure surgical bra... hoping that will be enough for now and if need be we can pick up another.
I get my drawings at 4:15!!! Pre-op appt. is this afternoon, I'll be headed right from work and then out to dinner with the fam to celebrate! Ahhhhhh
Any last minute tips are always appreciated!!! My pharmacist friend said I'd need laxatives or stool softener.... joy. Just gotta roll with it I suppose.
I will post pics as soon as I can, and try to update. Thanks for all the love and support - you gals are awesome!
I made it!
Today is Day 1. I can't even wrap my head around it. So excited.
I am in quite a bit of pain... Once I sit down and relax I'm a-ok but the minute I try to get up to go to the washroom, it gets quite painful. The meds I'm on are great - they're called dilauded - or hydromorphone, and I have to take two every four hours. They work for about 3/3.5 and then there's a period of feeling not great.
I am allowed to take off my gauze and swap bras Saturday - so the great reveal (+pics!) will be then. Taking peeks right now i could not be more excited. I really didn't want to become tiny and I think they nailed it. Both my surgeon and his resident came out of the operation and told my family it couldn't have gone better and told me the same when I woke up.
For those of you who are like me and nervous about going under - not nearly as bad as I thought!! My anaesthetist was super nice, spoke to me the whole time he was with me until I fell asleep and then again when I woke up. I did panic a bit waking up when they took the oxygen away because I kind of coughed and my mouth was so dry from the meds I was having trouble breathing in my super-groggy state. A teeny bit emotional when my mom and boyfriend came into recovery for the first time, but other than that I spent 2.5 hours in recovery chatting with a great nurse and felt better by the minute.
KEY TO POST-OP - you have to find a good chair and stick to it. Luckily my parents have this fantastic leather chair in the living room that is crazy comfy - but if I was stuck laying in bed all the time I think I'd go crazy. Much more comfortable to be propped up.
My surgeon was amazing, and managed to do the whole thing with only a "lollipop" incision - so fewer scars! And a nicer shape (said the resident). I'm very excited to see them a few days from now. Dissolvable stitches and no drains are also supposed to make for a speedy recovery. Fingers crossed!
You ladies are awesome as ever. Will update soon :)
What a difference a few days can make!
The first two or three days were pretty brutal to say the least. My mom, brother, sister, and my boyfriend were all on deck and helping me pretty well full-time which was amazing. But, I couldn't get up or down on my own without being in crazy pain. Today and yesterday have been significantly better. I can walk around and move about pretty easily. It has become much more of a muscle pain and feeling bruised and beat up rather than groggy, all-over pain and discomfort.
I showered today!!! My sides felt very bruised out of the bra and I had to be very gentle with all my movements, but overall it felt great to shower and change my bra and remove all the gauze.
The only meds I'm taking now are tylenol when I feel like I need them - I am almost out of my dilauded and don't feel like I need it so I am saving myself the side-effects.
When I got out of the shower and put my new bra on - as you'll see in the pics - there was a teeny spot of blood as if it had snuck through the steri-strips. My mom wasn't surprised, and said she didn't think it was a big deal. Nothing looks out of sorts in the stitches or tape department... any idea if this should be a concern? Otherwise everything looks ok. I feel small but that was the whole point haha
Went out on my family's boat last night as my first outing - they had ordered pizza on the waterfront of Halifax so I went down with my mom and relaxed on the boat for a few hours. Such a nice change from the couch! Going to try and head to homesense with her today to do some back-to-school shopping for my new place at university.
Hope you are all doing well! Any tips and tricks are, as always, much appreciated.
What a difference a few days make! I am feeling so much better. No more pain meds (except for the occasional tylenol) and last night I finally slept through the night. So pleased. My boobs are still quite tender but I am so happy with how they look!! I had my doubts during the first few days but now I have realized I am on cloud 9... so happy.
The tape underneath is starting to pull a bit, and my left side tingles a bit on occasion. I am assuming the tingling is just healing or something, and the tape is meant to keep everything together down there so I am not going to mess with it.
Everything right now scar-wise looks very dark because of the stitches, and what worries me is that they said to watch out for infection which could be light, white, or even dark red. I don't THINK anything looks dark red down there but I really can't tell... they all look like stitches under tape to me.
Went on a few outings this weekend - shopping/to the boat/to my brother's soccer game, and all were very successful. Felt great to get out of the house. The only thing I had trouble with was running into people I hadn't seen in a while and trying to fend off hugs haha. I have a banquet to go to tonight for my work as an end-of-summer hurrah with all of the kids at the camp I teach, so I need to try and hire a body guard or something so they don't all come running and screaming toward me.
As always, you are all awesome.
A little bit of panic...
Woke up this morning to see my duvet had a big splotch of watery-blood on it and my bra was soaked through. I stood up and freaked out and the inside of my left nipple looked to have been irritated and was leaking little drops of blood. I put gauze on it and will be staying in bed for the morning - so far it seems to have stopped. I rolled over in the night and I'm worried I put too much pressure on it or something.
Everything was going too well I suppose. What I found weird was it didn't hurt, and I doubt I would have noticed until I took off my bra if my duvet wasn't stained - couldn't feel it.
I am thinking I tried too much too fast, and combined with rolling over, it probably is just leaking through one stitch. I will be calling my doc when his office opens up because I don't think its bad enough for emerg but I would like some professional advice.
Has this happened to any of you?? I was very freaked out this when I woke up and saw all the blood and that my boob was dripping. Now that I am lying down I'm realizing as I write this that it seems to have stopped.
My post-op with Dr. Tang went well! He is the sweetest. He knew I was concerned I was going to be teeny tiny so when he saw that I was very pleased and very much in love with the new boobs I think he was relieved and very excited for me. He thought everything looked stellar - told me the fluid leaking was totally normal, and if any is in there still it is better out than in, so if it happens again just to let it run its course.
I asked about activity level and going back to normal things like walking to the store and whatnot is all good and he said that if I was comfortable and it didn't hurt that I could slowly start doing pretty well anything. Nothing strenuous obviously but little tasks. This is very good news because I leave for university in three days!! SO EXCITED!
I have switched to alternating between my post-op bras (I have two) and supportive, stretchy, pull-over sports bras. My arms are basically back to having a normal range of movement so as long as I lift the bra band high enough, I find the pullover sports bras to be incredibly comfortable and so much more normal looking...
I arranged for my next appointment with him to be the Friday before Thanksgiving because I'll be coming home. He said "It's a date!" with a big smile and told me he couldn't be happier thus far with results.
Despite a crappy first few days, the recovery has been shockingly smooth. I would caution people (they usually tell you this anyway) to get a laxative of some kind before hand so you can start taking it early... took forever for me to shake the crampy stomach feeling because I took them too late.
I am incredibly relieved about the whole leakage situation because it was a bit of a scare and I wasn't sure how it would effect recovery time.
I did, unfortunately, receive some bad news regarding volleyball. Last year, I played varsity for my university, but this year we have a new coach and he is requiring all returning players tryout again so he can create his new team. BUT, tryouts start Tuesday... and are totally impossible for me to attend. He said he would work with me to get me on a training program fitness-wise and (this is all via email) said he would see where he could hopefully work me into the team if I still wanted to be a part of it all. Such a bummer. I will be meeting with him next week after the first round of tryouts and hopefully get to see the girls and explain why I will be MIA for those that don't know.
That's the way she goes I guess. I still could not be happier about going through with surgery and urge any woman thinking about it to GO FOR IT. So worth it. I know I will be much happier overall, and much more confident in my own skin for the long run.
It's been a roller-coaster of a week for sure, but I had an amazing support team and recovery could not be going better. So glad to be getting back to being more independent and capable physically - I am struggling a bit with the lack of exercise.
Thanks so much for all the lovely words and tips, it is all appreciated. You ladies rock!
Peaks and valleys...
Things are going so well! (were?) Today I did a bit of shopping and lots of packing. Driving myself around again felt awesome.
Thought it was all going very very well - the spot that was dripping a bit the other day started up again. This time with darker fluid - an orangey red. Dr. Tang yesterday looked at the spot and told me it was nothing to worry about and that everything looked like it was closing up well.. so WTF! (pardon my language). I am really hoping to head to school tomorrow and don't want something to be terribly wrong - but I can't imagine what it would be seeing as though literally 24 hours ago my PS said everything was looking fantastic.
Anything like this happen to any of you? So weird. Going to lay low and take it easy for a few hours. I'm a bit bummed.
Thanks, as always, for being so great! Appreciate it so much.
5 Weeks Out!
Does time ever go by quickly...
I've been back at school for about 4 weeks now, and have been loving it so much that I forget to keep everyone updated.
The first few days/weeks were a bit slow going... Walking to class was slow but successful, and friends that I hadn't seen simply thought I lost weight! (Woohoo!) But what was difficult was trying to reunite/reconnect with school friends that I hadn't seen over the summer and having to fend off hugs while trying to tell them that I had had surgery if they didn't already know.
Overall, my roommates have been great, and my boyfriend even better. They made sure I was taking good care of my new boobs at all times and even helped pick out what looks best with the new sports bras hehe.
My post-op appointment is on Friday, and I am really hoping he OKs me to buy and wear some underwire bras because I have been dying to get fitted and get some new bras!
Everything seems to be healing nicely. One (isn't this always the case? ugh...) is much nicer than the other in terms of seamlessness around the nipple and very few scabs, but ultimately the scabs on the less-pretty one will hopefully mean just as minimal scarring. The side with excess amount of scabs has always been the "problem" boob anyway, having leaked early in the recovery.
I feel fantastic! Excited to be able to go back to the gym and whip my butt back into shape but I am able to take long walks and walk somewhat hastily to class when I am running late without feeling pain at all.
The only exception to the scars looking great is underneath one of my boobs is a bit of a wrinkle where the stitches meet, and since I don't have a scar going along my chest or underneath my boob, the stitches kind of end within the wrinkle, and it is hard to tell if they are healing. It still feels somewhat tight when I try to pull up my boob to see into it, so I don't want to push it. I will be asking my PS about this this weekend!
Other than issues with wrinkles (I'm too young for that), all is going well.
I hope all of you lovely ladies are having smooth recoveries or are getting excited. Could not love my boobs more! You wont' regret it.
5 Weeks Pics
You'll notice the scabs under the strips... so far as my tape has fallen off, it has been taking the scabs with it to reveal quite minimal scarring. Hope this continues!
Post-post op appt
Saw the doc today! All is great. His resident took off all of my tape and since it was the first time I had seen him since surgery day he was all compliments about how well I did during/following surgery (all I did was lie there... they did all the work!) But he and my PS were both very funny and happy with the result once I assured them I was very pleased with the size. They did say, though, that it would be best to stick with non-underwire bras (but sports bras and whatnot are fine) until my next appointment with him which is in early December. BUMMER... but, he did say I could go try some on. So, of course, I hustled over to La Senza and Victoria's Secret which are conveniently located in the mall near my house and spent probably two hours trying on all the pretty bras I could find. In most cases 34DD was the most comfortable, but in some push-up or fancier ones the looser band of a 36D was best, or even 36DD with a lot of padding. So much fun! I'm glad I didn't buy any to tempt me over the next few weeks but I know what I will be asking for this Christmas. He did say the sides were still the slightest bit swollen so I am hoping 34DD will be the final of all final sizes. YAY!
When they pulled off the tape there was still some scabbing but, thankfully, it is all closed up and looks to me like they will be a nice shape once they settle. Goes to show that a few scabs and a little leakage is nothing to worry about in the long run. He also addressed my above-noted concern about the wrinkle underneath, and said as they settle they will smooth that right out on their own. Phew!
Thanks for everything, as always. Will update soon!
25 Nov 2013
3 months post
Where has the time gone? Final exams in a few weeks and then I will be home for Christmas... crazy. And with new boobs to show off too!
3 months later and I could not be happier. There was a period between having all the tape off and having them all sealed up like they are now where I was worried the shape was super boxy, but it turns out this always happen and they just settle eventually. I am still wearing sports bras/wireless bras until my next post-op meeting with Dr. Tang which is Dec. 20th....I know what I'll be asking for for Christmas!!
Overall, all is well. Having always been an athlete, I really did NOT expect just how out of shape I'd get with 6+ weeks no working out. Struggling to get back into it but all I can say is ease back, don't push it and listen to your body (and your boobs!).
Looking back through my pictures I can't believe my boobs used to be what they were... I'm so happy now about get compliments all the time about how nice and proportionate they are. And not to mention the shopping! Everything looks better. Could not be happier.
Tried on many bras... officially 34DD/36D depending on the bra. SO HAPPY! My small-chested friends are all a little sour... how I could have had a breast reduction and still be significantly bigger than them. Oh well!
Scars are still a little pink, and under one side I still have a bit of a wrinkle, but the left flattened out after a few weeks and I do believe the other side will too. They feel a little hard under the nipples but otherwise they look and feel as if I was born with them!
Happy holidays ladies! Thanks for all the great support and wonderful words.
One year out!
Checking in on my one year reduction anniversary! Honestly I could not be happier. There is not a day that goes by that I regret my decision or wish anything would have gone differently regarding my surgery. Although painful for the first month or so, the relief and confidence I have gained from having this procedure done is unbelievable. I get compliments all the time from women who know I've had the surgery, and old friends thinking I have never looked slimmer who don't necessarily realize my surgery occurred.
Down to technicalities, my scars are barely visible, although they are very present. The scar tissue underneath feels largely broken up. I have no doubt that they will continue to fade over the next few months but I am in no rush as they don't bother me in the slightest.
From a 34H to a 34DD and I am a very, very happy camper. Also incredibly relieved I didn't go too much smaller... I am big and talk and I think my new and improved boobs suit me much better.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the surgery or for a reccommendation of my doctor, Dr. Tang in Halifax. He was amazing.