I'll give a bit of background on me - I've known...
I'll give a bit of background on me - I've known since I was about 16 that I'd probably be going down this road sooner or later. My parents offered to take me to a PS when I was in high school. I was a 36DD when I was about 16 and they've only gotten bigger. I didn't pursue the surgery then for 2 reasons - #1 I knew I'd want to breastfeed (I thought a reduction would eliminate that possibility) and #2 I was very worried that I'd never find someone who would love me with scars (this is stupid, but I guess I was stupid at 18).
So here I am now. I'm 35, babies done and have a supportive and loving husband. I'm wearing a 38DDD bra but it's really too small. My back hurts, my shoulders hurt, I hunch, I can't run comfortably or do stuff like Zumba or jumping rope. I saw some people mention migraines, yep, got those. I feel totally out of proportion. I have cried tears in fitting rooms over dresses, swim suits, bras, and even just shirts. I've had people make fun of me, I've been fondled by strangers. Yeah, big knockers are so great.
My concerns right now are all about my weight. I have a consult on Tuesday and wonder whether the doc will want me to lose weight before doing the procedure. Obviously, being a healthy weight is always better, but I worry that if I'm not able to lose, I'll end up living with these things forever.
Bra Shopping with Big Ones
Another example of why I want --- no NEED --- a reduction. Bra shopping today. I went to Macy's and perused their entire selection. I was able to find 2 40 DDD bras that I could work with, but the only bra that fit properly was a size 40H for $60. I would have gotten it, but the thing itched like crazy.
I came home even more determined to lose weight (as I know this will provide *some* relief) and to be honest and open about what I want in my consult with the PS on Tuesday.
I want to be small. Not smaller, not "in proportion" as a DD", but a C cup. That's what I want.
Initial Consultation w/PS
Today I met with a plastic surgeon for a consultation. It was a very positive experience. First off, it was the fanciest doctor's office I've ever been in. The seating, lighting, and reception area both seemed very luxurious, probably so that patients paying for botox & juvederm feel like they're at a spa rather than a medical office LOL
The first person I met with was a nurse who explained that on my insurance they would need to remove at least 1000g from EACH breast in order for insurance to cover it. She showed me (using implants) how much 1000g is and it's a lot!
When the doctor came in he explained the procedure and that with as much as I would have removed it would be the full anchor incision. He said that removing 1000g shouldn't be an issue and that a result of about a C cup should be doable (bearing in mind that cup size isn't guaranteed and sizes vary by brand of lingerie). He said that he is always able to do a reduction without a free nipple graft (he said that in 15 years he hasn't had to do one). And he hasn't been doing any lipo with reductions lately because insurance companies are starting to bounce that back on patients. So we'll see about that.
After meeting the doctor, the nurse came back in and took some pics and then I met with the business manager who talked me through the insurance approval process. She estimated that it would take 4-5 weeks for approval and after that we could talk scheduling.
My two biggest concerns at this point are timing and financing. Even if my insurance covers this, I will be on the hook for quite a bit out of pocket. That's how a high deductible plan works. I'll need to figure out where that money would come from. As for timing, in addition to being a stay at home mom, I'm a graduate student. Fall classes begin right before Labor Day, so my options will be either I disrupt the end of the summer for surgery/recovery (somewhat of a challenge with 2 kids), the semester (I would likely need to miss a week or 2 of classes...not ideal) or I'd have to wait until the semester ends in December.
Insurance Coverage Snags?
So my consult was a week ago and it went very well. I got a call this morning from the patient coordinator at the PS office. She asked about whether I had ever seen a chiropractor or done doctor prescribed physical therapy for my back pain. I haven't. She told me that my insurance would likely deny my claim. She will submit anyway and we'll see what happens.
So now what? I guess I have a few choices. I can either pursue some alternative treatment for back pain first to hopefully satisfy insurance requirements and try again. Or I can self fund (about $8k in total). Giving up on the whole thing isn't an option for me. A breast reduction isn't only a medical vs. cosmetic thing for me and for most of us. It's a physical (comfort) and emotional thing as well. I am done with them and I will get this done. I just need to figure out how.
No Coverage :(
Just got an update from the coordinator at the PS' office. Apparently the health insurance we have specifically excludes breast reduction surgery. No appeals or reviews possible. No extra documentation or alternate treatments will help me. I will have to self-fund. The quote from the doctor's office was $8500.
On The Schedule!
I called today to find out what the next steps were if I wanted to move forward with the procedure and she put me on the schedule! Dec 31st!
I suppose I could have gone sooner, but I want to try to lose some weight first and with my class schedule (I'm a grad student) I can get through the semester and the holidays and take the winter/spring semester off.
I'm super excited!
Four More Months
Here we are on Labor Day in the US and it occurred to me that 4 months from now, I'll be on the other side. New year, new me :)
I am gung ho with my weight loss efforts - well I will be once this long weekend is over. I will be updating over the next 4 months to let you all know how that is going.
With 4 more months before the scheduled date, I have a lot of time to consider the surgery. I know I'll have tons of questions. My first question is how many times did you see the PS before your surgery date? I saw him at the consult, will I see him again before the surgery date? My second question is how small can I go? I'm pretty big and I know they 'll go down a bit with weight loss (although not nearly small enough to avoid surgery altogether). Can I go from a H cup to a C? I really don't want to do surgery and end up with DD+ breasts....
Still No Surgery
I had scheduled surgery for 12/31/2014, but my husband lost his job in the fall and we lost health insurance so I canceled. It was a major bummer. Having to cancel was the only reasonable thing to do, but it was honestly the most depressing thing about the unemployment period. My husband is back at work and our insurance is back (yay), so I'm starting the process again.
I've scheduled a consult with another PS on 3/11. I'm not hopeful that the insurance will cover it as they didn't want to cover it before, but I am determined to proceed even if I have to self-pay.
SCHEDULED! April 20!
This has been a big few days. Yesterday I went for a consult with a second doctor, a recommendation by an acquaintance. The result was that I really didn't like him as much as the first doc I saw, so I decided yesterday to go ahead with the first doctor. And this morning I called the office and was able to get surgery scheduled for APRIL 20th! That's like 5 weeks away! So exciting. Pre-op will be April 6th.
After that I had a few more calls to make to reschedule some things that were on my calendar - OB appt moved out a month, PCP appt made for 3 weeks prior to surgery, etc. Tomorrow I have to drop by the PS office to give them a check for $1000 as a deposit.
I'm THRILLED! I'm EXCITED! I CAN'T WAIT! I'm sure that April 20th will be here so fast.
Now, to lose a few lbs and strengthen abs prior to surgery.
on the other side.
I'm updating from my phone so bear with me.
Surgery was noon yesterday. It lasted about 3 hours. Then i was in recovery for a few hours. The chart said they took 1400+ grams on one side and 1500+ on the other.
I have no idea what size they are but that feel a lot smaller.
Pain is not too bad. I'm on keflex and percocet. Just resting.
Six Months Later
Surgery was 4/20 so it's been close to 6 months. I started at a 40H and I've settled into a 38C/D depending on the style of the bra. My back pain has disappeared, my clothes fit better, I no longer think first about what bras I have that will work with a top, I have all options available to me. Amazing.
My husband has not complained about scarring, the scars are red/dark, but flat. I'm not using any treatments for the scars.