After a Couple of Serendipitous Provider Changes, I Am Finally Getting my BR! - Rochester, NY

I have had large breasts since Jr. High school. I...

I have had large breasts since Jr. High school. I started 6th grade in a b-cup, and by the time I graduated I was a DD. The girls became part of my identity, and not in a good way. I was teased about them. I tried several sports, but just couldn't take the running.

I have wanted a breast reduction since my early 20s, but held off and sucked it up with the back pain until after I was finished nursing my son. I first started looking into getting a BR in 2012. A good friend of mine had just done it, and said she felt fabulous! I had an Insurance plan that didn't require a referral to see a PS, so I scheduled a consult. She took photos, we chose a tentative date, and then the scheduler gave me a template for the letter of necessity I needed to have my PCP write for insurance coverage. Uh-oh! I was in trouble at this point. I was brought up in a very poor family. My parents were self-employed, and as a consequence we did not have health insurance. We were conditioned to only take urgent medical issues to the Doctor's office. Aches and pains were to be endured, so I sucked it up, and didn't go to my doctor for the back pain prior to that PS visit. So, long story short, I had to cancel the surgery. I did visit my doctor, though. My spine was X-ray-ed and I was dignosed with cervicalgia. He sent me to physical therapy and told me to sleep on fewer pillows. I felt like my breasts were the elephant in the room that he didn't seem to want to talk about. I did 12 weeks of PT with a chiropractor which was successful in the short run, but continuing the exercises didn't keep my back pain free. Unfortunately, I was not accustomed to asking my Doctors for what I needed, and just didn't go back to the PT because the neck adjustment freaked me out! So... I suffered some more with the upper back, shoulder, and neck pain. A little later, I was back in the office for a raging rash under my breasts. He prescribed Nystop powder and sent me on my way.

Last spring, I was informed that my PCP had suddenly left the practice, and I was being assigned to a new Doctor. Also, the Nurse Practitioner I saw at my OBGYN had resigned, so I startes seeing the Dr. who had delivered my son. It was like the stars aligned! At my annual gyn exam, the doctor finished his breast exam an asked me if I was having problems with my breast size! I of course said yes, and we spoke about my symptoms (Back pain, rashes, and severe skin pulling on the sides of my breasts, which was his concern). He said he thought I would have no problem getting coverage for a BR. I had an appointment with my new PCP, and he said I should definitely have her refer me to a PS. I told her about that conversation and she agreed with me. She referred me to Dr. Evangelisti, who a very close friend of our family had been to for her BR.

I had my consult in June, and I was very impressed with the office and Dr. Evangelisti. The office was very clean and comfortable, and Dr. Evangelisti put me right at ease. we talked about the problems my breast size is causing, and he showed me some photos of some of the surgeries he has done, including an overview of the procedure he would use for me, and photos of breasts at various stages in the healing process. He took a series of photos to submit to BCBS. Luckily, I happened to be having a nasty flare-up of my under-breast rashes. At the end of the appointment, I sat down with his scheduler. She gave me a checklist of documentation to obtain for insurance coverage. This made me a little nervous, because I had not been in very often for my back pain and rashes, but I did have a 4-year history.

As soon as I got home, I messaged my Doctor, OBGYN and the Chiropractor for letters. My Dr faxed a letter to Dr E and My OBGYN faxed over the office notes from my last annual exam. The Chiro responded by saying he couldn't submit anything without me coming in for an evaluation. I didn't want to waste money and time on any more PT for this, so I had Dr. Evangelisti's office submit without the PT documents. Two days later, I got the call that my BR was approved, and we set the date for August 15th! I am sooo excited! My advice to any of you thinking of getting it done is to get to your doctor with that back pain and get that paper trail going. Also, make sure you be very direct with your doctor and bring up your desire for a BR, because often times, they won't.

Did a little pre-surgical shopping

So I had my pre-surgical consult, and boy, I am getting nervous. Excited too! Of course I thought of questions after I left the office. This one may seem like a bit of a dumb question but I'm going to ask you all. I know that I should avoid cigarette smoke. I myself am not a smoker, and noone in my household smokes. But I have 2 issues. The first is that I will be camping the week before my surgery. There will be a campfire. It will generate smoke. Can I sit by it? Or is wood smoke not a problem? Also, What about people who smoke. I don't need to avoid them entirely, right? Just while they're smoking?

OK back to the appointment. I first sat down with Dr. Evangelisti's nurse, who gave me my pre-op and post-op instructions in a folder, and sent my prescriptions for antibiotics and pain meds to my pharmacy. Then Dr. E came in and said "I'm sure you have lots of questions for me." And I could think of very few, but forgot the ones above. Anyway, since I am only going to get one bra from them, they told me that while I wash it, I can wear a sports bra. I saw that the Fruit of the Loom front hook bra has been very well liked on here, and at less than $8 each, I picked up 2 at Walmart. I was also looking for a zip hoodie, but came up empty until I decided to visit a thrift store, and found a nice lightweight one in my size for $7, which I got a 20% discount on for dropping off some donations with them! Win-win! Then I don't have to be so sad if I bleed on it.

So I am also looking for some advice on sleeping. I would really like to be able to stay in my bed. Do I really need to get a wedge, or can I manage with pillows? I have a LOT of pillows in my house. I'll be updating as I continue on my journey, so until next time, thanks for all the support.

OMG! 2 more days until surgery!!!

I got my call from the surgical center yesterday. I was scheduled for 10:30 arrival, but got a call later that it has been changed to 7:15. I have so many thoughts and feelings going through my head right now. I am excited, but also pretty nervous! My mom will be coming to stay with me to cook and help me out after. I will post more after.

1 day postop

Well, it's done! The surgery went well. I didn't have any ill effects from anesthesia, and came home around noon. Only thing was that the iv pain meds wore off leaving my breasts in a lot of pain. Took a couple of Percocet and was able to have a nice little snooze in my recliner. I will be showering later today, as I need to wash my surgical bra. I had a good amount of fluid draining from what I gather to be the Lipo wound on my right side. I ended up with big wet spots on my hoodies from it so I'll be washing those too. The discharge seems to have stopped though. My right hand is very pudgy right now from water retention. All in all I would say it was totally worth it so far. I some after pics a little later.

Took a shower and now I'm kind of regretting it.

So I had my surgery yesterday and was told by my ps that I could shower today. I had some postop bleeding and wanted to clean up myself and my surgical bra so I had my mother and our friend who also had a BR help me. I guess it went ok until we had the gauze back on and they went to close the bra. My left nipple got pulled a little and now I have discharge on that side coming through. I have been crying on and off since. I never imagined it would be so difficult to put that bra back on! Anyone else have something similar happen? It doesn't hurt any more since I got the bra out and around the nipple, so I am hoping I didn't pop a stitch. Regardless, I'll call my ps in the morning to make sure I didn't do any damage.

Nervous for PO Appointment Tomorrow

This is going to sound crazy but I am really nervous about my post op appointment tomorrow. I have followed instructions, taken it easy, and I guess my incisions look ok. I have had issues though. For the entire week I have been fighting with the elastic band on the surgical bra to keep it from riding up under my breasts due to my big swollen belly. So I am hoping for the best with my lower incisions. Also the vasoline infused dressing I was told must not come off has started coming up on the edges. For that reason I have been sponge bathing rather than taking another shower. I've had no pain except from the lipo under my arms. So maybe it is just the control freak in me having no control over this. I will let you all know how it turns out.

1st followup went well

I had a very good 1st week followup! MY PS removed the vasoline-infused bandages, told me to expect some peeling at the T-junctions, put new gauze on, and closed my bra back up! He said that everything looks good, and I am actually less bruised than average. I went home and took a real shower - felt sooo good! Now that the dressings are off, I need to wash my incisions with soap and water, and apply a generous layer of vasoline after patting dry. I am still in the surgical bra for a couple more weeks, although he did make several cuts in the elastic band to loosen it a little. It helped a lot. I go in for another followup in 4 weeks.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H?!?!?! - NO!

I am now 11 days post op and doing pretty well. I had a good night's sleep in my recliner last night, and feel pretty good this morning. Just soreness and the itchies under my arms where I had lipo done. Apparently, I now need to be put in restraints when I sleep because I woke up and caught myself starting a great big overhead stretch! OMG! I immediately put my arms down and said to myself, "No! No! Stop!" It didn't hurt so I don't think I did any harm, In fact It kinda felt good, but sheesh! My body is making it hard to follow Dr's orders! I do look forward to when I can do that without worrying about hurting myself.
Rochester Plastic Surgeon

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