I Don't Know if I Can Wait!

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My story is similar to the others in this forum. ...

My story is similar to the others in this forum. I developed early and hated the attention from boys and men from the start. I was thin into my mid-20s, but my breasts kept growing. Now, I'm in my early 30s and ready to finally have the small boobies I never had.

I'm 5'3" and weigh 125. I wearing bras that are 28G or 28H and am looking forward to never buying one of them again! I had a consultation with a PS and plan to see two more. The surgeon measured me as a 32G but he used an old-fashioned way to come to that size. He measured my rib cage a 27, then added 4 and went up to the nearest bra band size. I've read that that was the way bra manufacturer used to suggest sizing women but now recommend using the actual rib cage measurement. Anyhow, he still said I was a DDDD (or G) cup and said he would do a traditional inverted T reduction on me. He estimated a minimum 500cc removal from each breast with more on one to correct asymmetry. My breasts have been so big for so long that I didn't even know they were asymmetrical.

I liked the first surgeon - he has a good reputation in the area, and I felt comfortable with him but his support staff was disorganized and seemed a little flaky. They all had lots of work done though with my PS and were happy with their results so there is that. I'm going to consult with two other surgeons to see who I like most. I'm hoping I'll be approved by my insurance company, Aetna, for the procedure but will pay out of pocket for it if I must.

Anyhow, I'm excited. I have told a couple of close friends, my mother, my sisters, and of course, my live-in boyfriend. I anticipated hearing some criticism or having people try to talk me out of it, but everyone that knows (all 8 people) say they think it's a great idea. Now I know it's not in my head - that I'm not just being vain or overly critical of my body!

I'm hoping that my rounded shoulders will improve after surgery. Does anybody have any experience? Can't wait for your suggestions.

10 weeks to go

I'm not buying any more clothes (or bras) until after the surgery. I have so many shirts and dresses that are ill-fitting and that I don't wear because I hate how they look. It'll be like getting a new wardrobe. Luckily, it's already cold up here so I can wear layers as always and the change won't be so obvious when I return to work post-op.

What do you do with your old bras after surgery? I hate to throw them all away especially considering how much many was paid for them.

2nd opinion

I went to another PS since I want to make sure I'm really comfortable with whomever I choose. This appointment was much better, the staff was very organized, and I like everything about the facility and doctor. It's a practice with 9 plastic surgeons and has a on-site surgery center. I initially wanted to consult with the only female surgeon but would have had to wait until the end of December to see her. At this point, I want to get things moving and don't want to wait anymore!

The PS I did see was very thorough, described in detail pre- and post-op procedures and even took more measurements than the first PS I saw. He showed me a book of some of his prior patients that included patients of all varying breast size and weights so was able to see his work on all types of bodies. There were a few that looked like they were near my size and the results were very nice. He told me surgery is out-patient, and he uses drains that are removed 24 hours after the procedure.

He took careful notes and documented thoroughly my back pain, headaches, shoulder grooves, etc. and will include the photos that were taken in the submittal to Aetna. The first PS I saw was surprised when I asked that they take photos of my shoulder grooves to include in the information for the insurance company which made me think they probably didn't have much success with getting cases approved. Anyhow, I have to wait another 3-4 weeks before getting an approval or denial from Aetna. I'm going to have it done either way but am really hoping it will be covered. I'm still hoping for mid-January since it's the perfect time to hibernate for a month in New England. I won't even have to feel guilty about not exercising post-op!

I was looking through some photos of me, and although I try to hide them, my boobs just look enormous in anything I wear. It's so frustrating wearing stuff that's frumpy just so I'm not drawing more attention to my chest. Blerg.

Insurance approval

7 weeks after my initial consultation, I received the call from the first surgeon's office saying I've been approved by Aetna. They didn't give me any other information although I didn't ask for any either. I've been calling the insurance company every week to get updates and have been told I'm "pending" each time. Finally, last week they said they requested photos from the surgeon. I assumed photos would have been sent in with the initial paperwork. So now, the approval is in but it is for the surgeon I decided was not my favorite. Hopefully the 2nd authorization with my preferred surgeon will go through faster. My preferred surgeon estimated the amount of tissue removal to be higher than the first surgeon, so I don't see why there would be any issues other than confusion with a second request. Thanks for all your kind thoughts - it's helped keep my hopes up!

The countdown begins

I've received the insurance approval with the second surgeon and am scheduled for February 27. Finally! I will have a pre-op appointment two weeks before, and now just have to request the time off from work. My boss is a man so I'm not giving too much information when I put in the request. Now, I have to prepare myself and the house for the big day. I'll order Arnica, a couple of cotton bralettes, and get a couple of button down pajama shirts for the first couple of nights. I'm worried about sleeping since I like to sleep on my stomach. I think I may sleep on our pull out couch which is very comfy but will allow me to prop myself up better than in my bed. I'd love to hear more suggestions if you have them.

Cost information

The total cost including anesthesia and the facility fee is $13,000, and I'll have to pay a $1000 deductible since we'll be in a new year plus the coinsurance. Still, it's better than having to pay for everything out of pocket.

Countdown is on

Only 26 days until the big day! I'm getting just a tiny bit anxious but can't wait for it to be over.

One week...

I had a pre-op last week. I met with an RN and a nurse practitioner but didn't see the surgeon (I wasn't expecting to). They were both really kind and explained everything and took lots of time with me. The RN drew blood (for a complete blood count). She said to wear something comfy on the bottom (sweatpants or yoga pants) and a loose button down or zip-up sweatshirt. I can shower at home in the morning before I go and use my regular soap, shampoo, etc, just no lotion. She recommended not wearing deodorant, too. Too bad for the staff! Important info for this week: no aspirin or NSAIDS, I can continue taking my thyroid medication, and I can also keep taking my multi-vitamin. I asked about stopping drinking alcohol for two weeks (I like my evening wine), and the RN said to stop 72 hours before. I'm going to stop Saturday to give my system a break and just eat light and healthy for the week.

I am to arrive at 8:30 a.m., and I'll have an IV inserted on my hand (not looking forward to that, but I've had it done before). As a side note, I read that being hydrated helps when you have to get blood drawn, so I'll be drinking lots the day before with the hope this will help make it less painful. I know it's not the same, but it's all I can do. The surgery takes about 2 hours, and the recovery period is typically another 2 hours. I'll be on way around 1:30 pm if all goes well. Everything happens at the ambulatory facility at the surgeon's practice, but if something goes wrong, they stabilize you and bring you to the hospital which is a couple of minutes from the facility. The nurse practitioner, who will be removing the drains the day after my operation, gave me a prescription for oxycodone to fill beforehand. I thought they were supposed to fit me for a surgical bra, but that didn't happen. Oh well, I'm sure they'll have plenty of time to get me fitted while I'm in the recovery room.

Now I am getting a little anxious. Mostly excited, but nervous, too. I am looking forward to some time away from work though! I've ordered some Genie bras since so many of you recommended them. I've never, ever been able to wear a wireless bra, and I'm having a hard time believing I'll be able to fit into one. I got them in small and medium so even if I'm swollen, I should be able to squeeze into one. I'm listing my old bras, most of which I've never worn since nothing ever fit properly, on eBay. I am so glad to be getting rid of them! I'll be cleaning like crazy this weekend because that's what I do when I'm not able to relax, and it gets out lots of nervous energy. I'm sure it's going to be hard to sleep next week...

Hope you're all relaxing happily pre-op or post-op.

Tomorrow's the day

Oh boy, am I nervous. Excited, too! I've cleaned everything I can and have my bf and mom to help with things these next few days. I just got two Marena 2 surgical bras so I'll have 4 to rotate through. I've heard from some others on this site that they're great, but I have no idea what size I'll need. I got a small and a medium, so we'll see. Now I just have to figure out how to get to sleep tonight. I am to take 2 Tylenol before bed tonight and 2 in the morning when I wake up. I'd rather be having 2 glasses of wine, but that will have to wait. I'm hoping I can enjoy the time off and get out a little bit towards the end of next week. Happy healing and jitters everyone!

It's over!

Everything went well. The nurses were really nice and the doctor and anesthesiologist were both great. I got the anti-nausea ear patch so I've have no nausea or vomiting. It was pretty painful when I came to in the recovery (I'd 8 out 10) and the feeling was a sever burning on the incisions at the bottom. The nurse gave me a snack and then an oxycodone. It took about 20 minutes for it to kick in but I was much better after. The surgeon said he removed about 700g from one breast and 600g from the other which is almost 3 pounds altogether. They put some gauze on and a surgical bra but I was awake when they did so.
I got home yesterday afternoon and had some pain but it wasn't unbearable. I'm taking Tylenol every 8 hours and oxycodone every 4 so there's a point when I'm coming down from both of them that makes the incisions quite sore but usually lasts only about an hour. I slept on our couch on a ramp-style pillow and was able sleep a bit last night.

I'm going back to the surgeon's office today to get my drains removed and to get the dressings changed and change bras. I'm a little worried about removing the drains because I've read that it can be painful, but the nurse said once they're out, everything improves much faster. I feel kind of gross without showering and probably won't be able to until Monday. I do have a decent appetite and am drinking lots of water.

I'm really glad to be done with the operation, though. The anxiety beforehand was too much and I'm relieved everything went well.

Day 4 Post-op

Had a good amount of pain for days 1-3 and was quite uncomfortable. Slept on the couch for the first 3 nights and slept in our guest room last night (the bed is lower) with the ramp pillow and pillows on my sides and under my knees. Slept much better last night but had to take colace this morning (TMI sorry). Stopped taking oxycodone yesterday. I still haven't taken a proper shower yet so I'm feeling gross but I really didn't like to the feeling of having the surgical bra off. I know it won't happen but it felt like things would come apart. I think I'll try again today since I have more mobility. The incisions are feeling tighter on the underside so I think that's a good sign. Not much itching yet though. I think I'll be sleeping a lot today since I woke up at 5am.

Day 6

I'm feeling much better - less foggy headed finally. I'm still using a wedge pillow to sleep. My partner has been really great; he's cooking, cleaning, doing loads of laundry. I was finally able to wash my hair in the shower yesterday. I felt more secure with the bra off so I was able to lean my head back while he washed my hair. Today I shaved my legs (thank god!) by stepping in the shower and using the tub faucet to rinse off my lower half with a washcloth. I'm still not comfortable getting my breasts wet even with my back to the shower but hopefully that'll improve soon. I really want to shave my armpits!

I should have taken photos form the start but was really not feeling up to it. I had a lot of swelling on my breasts and belly that has gone down a lot. Looking at myself in a mirror, I look almost flat. I am not complaining:) I have no idea what size I am right now and don't really care. When I left after first check-up (the day after surgery), I was wearing a Merena surgical bra in a size large clasped at the largest hooks. Two days ago, I switched to the middle hooks. Now, I'm on the smallest with plenty of room to spare in the cups. I may switch to the medium bra tomorrow. I've lost 7 pounds since the day of surgery, but 3 of that was the breast tissue removed.

I'm taking Bromelain and Tylenol still. My appetite isn't great, but I'm forcing myself to eat and drinking tons of water. I tried Arnica Montana for the first time yesterday, and it made me feel terrible, so I won't be taking that anymore. I got dizzy, light-headed, nauseous and almost felt stoned. Never again! Beyond that little hiccup, things are improving everyday.

Day 7

Thought I'd finally post some photos. The puckering and swelling I initially had has gone done a bit and I have some bruising on the bottom half of each breast. The first time I saw them in a mirror, the swelling was terrible and the nipples looked far out to each side. I knew both were temporary and a glad I had read so many reviews here to know everything was normal. Today was the first day I let water drip down on them in the shower - I'm taking things extra slow. I have lots more energy today and didn't even need a nap at mid-day. I'm off all meds (including Tylenol) and supplements and feel much better today. So far, I'm very pleased :). Happy healing to you all.

Day 8

Saw the surgeon for a follow-up this morning. Everything looks good, no signs of any problems. I still can't lift anything over 5 pounds, but I am cleared to start driving if I'm comfortable. He said to start slathering the tape with Vaseline before showering and letting it sit for 10 minutes to get the steri-strip adhesive to start letting go. He said it will be like removing 50 band-aids so not to try to do it all at once, rather spread it out over many days. After the tape is off, he recommends just lotion, no antibiotics or antiseptics, to help the scars heal or Vitamin E capsules if I want. He did say most women get a small opening at the T-junction but said that I'm so small that it probably won't happen to me. If that happens though, he said to use Neosporin with a band-aid on top. I can wear front-close sports bras now if I want. I guess I need to go shopping! He did say that within 3 months, I should see another 20% reduction in swelling. I see him again in 10 days.

Day 8 - continued

I should have mentioned earlier, but all of my back and neck pain from having large breast is completely gone. I'm naturally standing straighter and my shoulders don't look as hunched over in the mirror already! I'll have to practice standing with better posture from now on:)
Dr. Thomas Vaughan

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