Breast Reduction - Can't Wait to Get Rid of the Back Pain! - Plano, TX

At age 12, I wore a 32B. I hated it. All my...

At age 12, I wore a 32B. I hated it. All my friends were flat; I was not. I never wore bikinis and struggled buying one-piece bathing suits that did not look old-lady-like. 33 years and two pregnancies later I am a 36DDD or 36F. I am 5’3” and weigh 169 lbs. I learned to live with them. But then the back pain happened…. What I thought was a cancer turned out to be scoliosis, which caused my upper back muscles and ribcage cartilage (Costochondritis) to swell. This causes a lot of pain, even breathing hurts. The CT-Scan proved me wrong (thank God for I really thought I had a tumor in my lungs) but then I was facing a very new dilemma, a curved spine that cannot be straightened. Physical therapy and yoga alleviate the condition but does not heal it. I realized it was time to get rid of the cargo. My orthopedic doctor agreed; a breast reduction would help with the back pain and she wrote a letter stating so. I visited two PS, joined this site, read all the information I could find on BR’s and here we go. Surgery is scheduled to take place on April 8. 22 days and counting!

My last big bra

I had to buy a new bra yesterday. As much as I wanted to avoid spending money on another huge bra, my two month old black bra was no longer supportive and the back pain was getting worse. I refused to buy the $80 bra I always purchased and went for a "cheaper" $49-option. OMG! Size 38-G!!!

Two more weeks ~ the countdown begins!!!

As of today , no more aspirin or Fish Oil (omega 3) for me. Thank God I've been reading the reviews on this blog or I wouldn't have discontinued these meds. I called my PS today and asked, and yes, two weeks prior to BR you are supposed to discontinue aspirin, vitamin E and Omega 3.

Pre-op is in a week. At that time the doctor will give me a referral for the lab work I must have done prior to surgery. I called my physician and obtained a copy of my last EKG. I don't have to buy bras yet. The nurse explained that after surgery I will be "wrapped" and will not need a bra immediately. This may sound silly.... I remember how thrilled I felt the first time I wore a training bra (age 10 or 11). If only I knew how much I was going to hate bras!!! Well, I'm kind'a feeling that excitement again, but for a smaller size bra!

Concern- while many ladies eat healthy and lose weigh prior to their surgeries, I've been doing the exact opposite. Shame on me! I've been eating more junk and gained a few pounds. I secretly hope I will have very little appetite after surgery so I can lose weight. If I don't, my tummy is going to be very noticeable once DDD's are gone ~ Yikes!!

Pre-Op, getting ready and getting sick *_*

Pre-op went well. The doctor gave me prescriptions for after surgery: Vicodin for pain, Keflex - antibiotic and Phenergan for nausea. I must take Pepcid the night before surgery and the morning of surgery (to help alleviate discomfort caused by tube going down the throat during procedure). I must also wash my chest, stomach and under-arms areas with a disinfectant soap called Hibiclens. I will be wrapped after surgery and will have drains. All stitches will be internal. PS warned me: liposuction area will hurt more than breasts. I will be able to drive in 10-14 days, or once I'm no longer taking pain meds. My first post-op appointment will be 6 days after surgery. Until then I will not be able to shower. I will be able to wear a surgery or comfort bra after the first post-op appointment.

Preparations for surgery remind me of having "nest syndrome" prior to my kids' births. I've shopped for groceries, pre-cooked, done laundry, cleaned the house, sent B-day cards.... As much as I could do. I'm seriously planning to do nothing while recovering. I must still put away winter clothes and restock spring clothes in the closet. I purchased two button-down PJ's and several button-down shirts. the shirts are X-Large. I want to be sure they are comfy and if I am able to wear a smaller size after BR I will be thrilled to go shopping for more :)

All is good EXCEPT I got sick. :( It all started with a sneeze and then two, runny nose, sinus pressure, a little cough, a stronger cough. PS said I could take Mucinex and nose drops. Tylenol for headache. At least I don't have a fever and I hope today was the worse day. I must be better by Tuesday!

Here they are...

Some pictures of "Ladies G's"

Day of surgery

The awaited day is finally here! I feel incomplete... Taking a shower and wearing no deodorant, lotions or powder afterwards... I wore my freshly washed 36-DDD bra for the last time, comfy leggings and a tunic sweater.

Only slept 4 hours last night. I feel better from the nasty cold even though my head still feels like a helium balloon. I hope the tube down my throat doesn't aggravate my raspy throat and causes more cough.

I am not nervous. Typical me, I keep thinking if I did everything I had to do prior to this day. I had no time to swap winter/spring clothes. Oh well... I'll deal with that later.

Time to go. See you on the Perky side!

Getting ready and 7 hours later

I registered, nurse asked for urine sample and then I was taken to the prep room. Compression socks, Vitals, IV and then PS arrived. He did drawings on my chest and confirmed my desired new size: large C - small D. He also confirmed my decision to have a pedicle-type surgery (my nipple will remain attached via blood vessels and nerves, opposite to the free nipple graft). He told me the procedure was expected to last 6 hours because he does everything; he doesn't use assistants so it takes longer. Anesthesiologist came, injected a clear liquid into my IV and I kissed my husband goodbye. I was rolled into the op room but I only recall the room's doors being pushed and I was out.

They were calling my name and I saw my husband. They said I was ready and everything had gone well. I tried to stay awake but kept falling asleep. I was on recovery. Then I was suddenly in my room (I requested to stay in the hospital that night). Nurses, my husband... I learned my surgery had lasted 7 hours, it was almost 7pm. My chest was on fire, my inner elbows were extremely sore and my left toe and heel hurt. WTH! Why are my arms so sore, and my foot? Well, turns out that when you are strapped to a bed with you arms wide open and cannot move for 7 hours, you will be sore. My eyes were very irritated and felt as if I had sand in them. Nurse washed them and applied eye drops which made them better. I never really figured out the cause. Someone said something about some gel being applied to the eyes during surgery to keep them lubricated... No clue. I wasn't hungry but I had some broth and apple juice. I felt very cold and I shivered uncontrollably. The nurse explained it was a normal reaction to anesthesia fading away. At least I had no nausea.

It was a rough night. I took pain meds every 4 hours. Pain was mostly located on the wounds located under the breasts. It felt like a burning, stinging sensation. Meds made me sleepy and I would fall asleep but I couldn't stay asleep because nurses would walk in to check on me or monitors would beep, blood pressure monitor squeezed my arm or compression socks squeezed my legs. At 3 am I was starving; nurse gave me some graham crackers and apple juice. My mouth was extremely dry and my arms very weak. I had a difficult time holding a bottle of water.

I had to pee every 4 hours. The nurse helped me to go to the bathroom and I can happily report I didn't need help wiping. I know it sounds stupid but arms reach will be short after surgery and being able to reach down there and not requiring help was a good thing.

The foot hurt, I couldn't sleep, and I wondered why on earth I had done that to myself. I felt scared and wondered if I was going to regret the decision. Where did all the excitement go?

The 2nd day

Morning came and I was exhausted after a sleepless night. I had a headache, I was hungry and I was in pain but it was not time for Vicodin (hydrocodone) yet. The nurse gave me 2 Tylenols; it helped. I ordered breakfast and felt frustrated because I could hardly hold a fork in my hands. It's amazing how weak your body and strength becomes after a surgery (but there is hope... keep reading). Coffee with a straw? Unthinkable, right? You've got it - I couldn't hold the mug so a straw did the trick. I felt a lil better after breakfast, body needs fuel!

I was released, my husband helped me dress up and I was rolled on a wheelchair to the car. It was a beautiful day outside; sunny and not a cloud in the sky. I thought that was a good thing and maybe I just had to be patient and get over this. I felt every bump on the road even though it's the road I travel every day and I always thought it was pretty smooth. Good thing I had that pillow with me in the car! Do not forget the pillow!

I got home, and into my pj's and in bed. Getting into bed was complicated. I had no arms strength to push me or lift me. I totally depended on my core and legs. So working out your core before surgery helps! A slanted pillow and 2 pillows under my head, my arms resting on pillows and another one under my legs. Sleep..... It is so important and crucial to recover!

Pain came back every 4 hours, and so did my visit to the toilet. I felt bad for my husband who hardly slept through the night checking on me. And I wondered again if it was worth it. I tried not to think about it. Was it possible I had develop apathy towards something I wanted so badly?

4 am - time for meds, and pee.... Getting in and out of bed was an odyssey so I tried the recliner couch - great idea! I propped my arms with pillows and it was easier to get up and lay down. Although My husband had to recline me because I had no strength to pull the reclining lever. I was finally able to sleep 4 hours non stop!

Day 3

Woke up feeling better, some pain but I had more energy. We really underestimate what a good night sleep can do for us. REST, really, as much as you can. It makes a huge difference. Took a shower from the waist down. Handheld showers are very convenient for moments like this. A plastic chair inside the shower tank also made it easier. I sat and let my husband soap my legs and feet. He sponged bathed my arms, underarms, chest and shoulders. Make sure you don't get your dressings wet! My hubby helped me wear a fresh, clean button down pj and fixed breakfast. Back to the recliner couch for more rest. I still took pain meds every 4 hours. My mouth wasn't as dry as the previous days. No fever. Only concern: the breathing exercises - I had to inhale into this breathing meter and reach 1500-2000. I could hardly reach 1000 on the first two exhales. I had to make an effort to get there. The PS wants me to do this 10 times every hour. I hate it.

Some post-op pics

Now I need to loose my belly!

Day 4

I haven't taken meds for pain since yesterday at 8:30 am! I went from taking hydrocodone to Tylenol, to nothing at all. Pain is gone. I am still sore and if I move around too much I will feel discomfort on my sides where lipo was done. Yesterday I washed my hair and was able to blow dry it.

I feel better about the surgery. I guess that as pain subsides I begin to accept the whole thing. And then I thought there must be a psychological process involved besides the physical trauma. It's like when you cut your hair short after it has always been long. It's a shock and you have to get used to it. I spoke to two friends, who had BR's done years ago, and they reassured me my thoughts were completely normal. They also said they don't regret their decisions and this encouraged me a lot. I wonder how they look and wonder how I will react when I see them for the first time.

Post-op visit.

Perky is good but it's weird too! I had my post-op yesterday. Had to keep the drainages because they are still bloody :( but no need for new dressings as wounds are closed and dry :). PS said I looked very well and showed me the before pictures, then stood me in front of a mirror and introduced me to my new body. RELIEF! I didn't freak out with what I saw. They do look a little "boxy" but I knew that was expected. Some bruising, darker on the loop sides. PS said I had to go shopping for a bra and that I must wear it 24-7. He recommended a sports bra, no underwire. Applied some antibiotic ointment to the drain ages incisions, covered them with a little gauze (to avoid staining my shirt) and I had to dress up.

PERKY feels weird! My nipples always looked down, now they look up and they could feel the shirt rubbing on them - weird! I guess it's good because I have sensation but I must get used to it. For the first time ever I walked into Walmart bra less!! I found 3 bras at Walmart. OMG". I couldn't believe my eyes! I am wearing a no-wire, black and hot pink sports bra!!! Now I only have to get rid of the tummy and I'll look like the beach volleyball players you see on TV ;-)

Sports Bra

Here are some pics of the bras I purchased at Walmart. Very comfy and non-expensive.

My favorite bra, so far

This bra comes in a pack of 2. At Walmart.

10 Days Post-OP

Feeling pretty normal. I still must only shower from the waist down because I still have drainages. The right side is still draining blood; it went from red to clear, to thick bright red, to liquid-dark red. The opening is also bleeding a little. I must apply antibiotic ointment to the drains incisions once a day and cover with gauze. The gauze in the right is always bloody. Lefty has been orange-clear most of the time. I'll see the PS later today, we'll see what he has to say and if he will remove them.

I'm still sleeping on the recliner couch. The one night I tried to sleep in bed didn't work. I kept trying to turn and I'm not supposed to. PS said 3 weeks sleeping on my back. Is this week 2? Note - ask doctor.

My arms are still swollen, especially in the mornings after I get up (inner elbows area). Must ask the doctor why and if normal.

I think I have 100% arms reach (no more T-Rex arms!) but I haven't carried things over 2 - 3 pounds. I'm not supposed to. Energy levels are normal but I haven't really done much around the house. Va little load of laundry, cook scrambled eggs, water the plants with a light water can... Taking it easy.

Bye Bye Drainages!

Drainages are gone! I feel so comfortable! Removal didn't hurt; I didn't even feel it! Now I have to apply antibiotic ointment to the little incisions and cover them with gauze. I can start massaging the lipo area, 15 minutes every day on each side. I can use moisturizing lotion or baby oil when I massage. Must wait for the glue on the wounds to fall and then I can wear silicone tapes. See the PS again in one month!

11 Days Post Op

I feel free without the drains! Yesterday was the first day I didn't stay on the couch all day watching TV. Driving, groceries and cooking for the first time; at the end of the day I was exhausted. So today I'm taking it easy (sort of... I'm getting a pedicure right now).

Here are some pictures. Still boxy, bruised and swollen but perky!

Swollen and Zingers

During the day the Under Armour sports compression bra feels better than the softer Fruit of the Loom because it feels snug but at the end of the day I can't stand it anymore. I think my boobs are more swollen today and wonder if the bra caused it or if the boobs swelled making the bra uncomfortable. I ordered 2 Marena bras online. Can't wait to try them. I hope they feel as good as all the reviews I've read claim. I also ordered some Bromelain which is said to help with disinflation.

The skin on my chest is sore and very sensitive. I'm applying moisturizing lotion after I shower and it helps relief the tightness and itch but it almost hurts to touch it. The nipples are extremely sensitive, especially the left one. You know when you are cold and they harden? Well, that hurts! And it happens a lot throughout the day, even if I'm not cold.

My ribs hurt, even touching the skin under my breasts hurts. It's not an unbearable pain, nor I need to take painkillers but it's sore and uncomfortable. Other ladies on the blog have expressed feeling the same way; at least I'm not the only one. I don't know why it hurts there, though.

Bruises are almost gone. I've applied arnica gel after I shower and I think it probably helped.

I moved to the bed 4 nights ago but I'm still sleeping on my back. Can't wait to be able to sleep on my side again.

Swelling and Bras

I am still swollen. Maybe mot as hard as the first two weeks but definitively swollen. Bruising is almost gone and the glue on my wounds has started to peel off. I try to stay as still as I can during the day but when I have to walk away from my desk, the girls move and it hurts. Driving is another story... I place a folded kitchen towel between my chest and the seatbelt. A pillow was too uncomfortable but a towel works just fine. And if there is a bump on the road, I hold them close so they don't jiggle.

The Marena bras arrived today. They seem to be great but they are too big on me. I ordered a L and an XL. I tied the L on the last row (tightest setting) but still fells a bit loose. I'm keeping it but ordering size M to replace the XL with.

Skin is still itchy and I noticed I'm developing stretch marks :(. They will be perky but marked. I guess we can't win...

Feeling better?

I was either too busy today or I'm feeling better because I hardly had zingers or discomfort when I walked.

3rd week

Posting this week's pictures. A little bit smaller, bruises almost gone, glue has started to fall. Possible new stretch marks and dry, peeling skin.

I'm a 36-D!!!

I saw the PS today. He said I looked very well. I must continue to massage the lipo area until it feels softer and begin using Silicone Sheetings to treat scars. He also said I must continue to use bras 24/7 but I can now use bras other than front closure, sports bras but no underwire. He will see me again in 6 months.

So I went bra- shopping and tried several sizes and styles. I'm back to a 36 band and a Cup D!!! Woohoo!!!!!! I also purchased some pullover shirts, size Medium!!!! I am no longer an X-Large :))

I feel sore if I over work myself but I continue to feel better each day :)
Plano Plastic Surgeon

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