My story is similar to many others' I have read...
My story is similar to many others' I have read here. I was a C cup in 7th grade, and I remember forgetting to put on a bra one morning and crying when I got home from school, because I had felt so gross all day. By the time I was 15, I was DDD, and I knew that I was going to get a reduction. It has taken me a little longer to get here than I would have hoped, but I was waiting on having good insurance. Now, Surprise! Insurance will not cover this. Even at a 28HH/30H, it is still considered a cosmetic procedure.
Like many, I have back pain on an almost daily basis. I also have frequent neck and shoulder pain, mostly later in the day. In the summer, I often get rashes due to the bras I have to wear. I am so glad that companies like Freya and Curvy Kate exist, but prior to the last 3 years I had no idea, and was stuck with ill-fitting, bland undergarments. And the cherry on the cake is that I cannot find clothes that fit me AND are flattering. Petite clothes typically seem to expect petite boobs. When I do find clothes that are flattering, I have inches of cleavage. Sometimes that's okay, I guess, but I would really like to be a little more modest, especially in public.
Up until a few years ago, I was very overweight (about 31.5 on the BMI chart). My bra size was a 34J UK. Over the next year and a half, I started to go on walks with my now husband ranging from 1-5 miles a day, and restricted my calories to just above starving, and got my BMI down to 23-24. I did also go down a few cup sizes! But I am still in the H-HH range today, and I don't think I will be able to get them down further on my own.
I had my first consultation in Feb 2015, but was not entirely comfortable with the surgeon, and his staff miscommunication a couple of things to me and my husband that cost me over a month of waiting. Then, I submitted the paperwork to my insurance company, United Healthcare, and they denied my claim, saying reductions are cosmetic procedures and therefore not covered. I appealed the claim, and it was also denied. This time, I did not receive the denial letter until after the 60 days were up, because the insurance company sent it to my old address. So at this point, it looks like insurance is a no-go. So, out-of-pocket it is! It'll make this next year a little tight on funds, but it has to be done.
Less than a week left!
Last week I had my pre-op appointment, got my prescriptions, and had a chance to sit down with the staff at the PS office again and go over the plan. I love the office staff and the surgeon. They answered all of my questions and were very sweet.
While I like my surgeon, since I scheduled my surgery, I haven't been sleeping well at all. I toss and turn almost every night. I am really looking forward to being able to sleep through the night again. I am definitely looking forward to being smaller, but I am still really nervous about surgery, post-op, and the uncertainty about the results.
I have amassed most of my post-op supplies. I borrowed a recliner chair from my in-laws. I got a travel pillow as a Christmas gift. I bought a couple of soft cup bras in what I am guessing my size will be (Somewhere between a 30C and 30DD). I also took a trip to the library and got a stack of books, which will be one nice thing about being pretty much useless post-op.
Just 5 days to go.
14 hours post
I had my reduction yesterday. I got to the surgery center yesterday at 9 a.m. After a short wait, I was lead to my room, which was a private room that I was in pre and post op. They did a pregnancy test just in case.
They let my husband sit with me when I got my catheter in, then they gave me a little sedative. Then, they used an ultrasound to see my nerves and did a nerve block on each side to reduce my feeling for a while. Shortly after, the wheeled me into the OR.
The room was really cold, but that was the worst thing. The ceiling was painted with flowers. They gave me a meditation that made my arm burn, along with other very sensitive body parts, and then the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery.
I don't remember seeing the PS post op, but she talked to my mom or my husband, and she got about a pound from each side! Most of it was tissue rather than fat. I think that means it will be better, but I'm not sure.
The nurse brought my husband back, so he got to stay with me until we left. She asked about my pain a few times, and when I told her I was feeling okay, she asked my husband if she should take my word, or if I was being stoic, then she gave me more pain meds.
The worst part after was when she raised the head of my bed to get me sitting. I got really dizzy and nauseated, broke out in a sweat, and all of the color drained from my face according to the nurse. She gave me another medication to make the nausea stop.
Overall, I think it was a great experience at the surgery center. I liked having my own room and waking up in a familiar area. I also had the same nurse the whole time, when I really liked. She was very sweet.
I got to go home at 4. I have been taking my meds every 4 hours because I am a wimp, but it helps keep the pain level down.
I have taken a couple of short walks to the bathroom and back to my chair, and the first time, I felt like I was going to black out on the way back. My husband had to pick me off the floor. The second time, my husband wheeled me over in a computer chair, so I was only really standing for getting to the toilet and washing my hands.
I have mostly been sleeping so far. My best friend came to visit and brought Mr a care package of ice cream, chocolate, a coloring book, and some crayons. She knows the way to my heart! :)
My only real complaint so far is that it is so difficult to get up. I also feel very swollen and tender - my boobs feel like rocks that are going to explode. Hoping that feeling stops soon.
First shower picture
Just unveiled the new breasts. Very swollen right now, and they still look gigantic. Hoping that when the swelling goes down, they are significantly smaller. I will just have to wait and see.
3 days post
I'm a few days post now. Still very swollen, and my breasts look like a horror show - so many different colors! They are yellow everywhere that they're not blue, red, or purple. I am walking around the house every couple of hours, but still spending a lot of my time sitting in the recliner. It'll have a permanent me-shaped indent when I'm all recovered.
Yesterday evening I had terrible headaches, probably the worst I've ever had. I spoke to my PS, and she said that sometimes the pain meds can cause headaches, and recommended I switch over to OTC Tylenol instead. I'm a little more sore without the other stuff, but I only have little headaches today, so definitely worth it.
I had the patch for nausea, and I took it off yesterday evening because it had been 72 hours. I didn't replace it because I hadn't had any nausea. That was a terrible idea! This afternoon I was nauseated for a couple of hours. I put another patch on and ate some gentle food, and it's better now.
I am also experiencing some fun sensations that I have read about in other reviews. I have muscle twitches and tremors in my chest area.
One thing I am really concerned about is that I still feel so huge! How much does post-op swelling influence the size they are right now? I know she took about 2 pounds, but they still seem just so big.
I am really grateful to all the reviewers on here, because for a lot of this stuff, it's given me some perspective on how things should be going. I think that everything I have experienced is pretty much to be expected. I think I would be a basket case without reading other people's stories.
11 Days Post
Just a few updates from the past week:
From Sunday night on, I started to have trouble sleeping. Hours awake on Sunday night before getting to sleep at 2 a.m., then, Monday night, I didn't sleep until 6 a.m. I went to bed at midnight. I tried all of my usual tricks, from counting my breathing (in for 5, hold for 6, out for 7), making my mind blank, letting my mind drift. At 3 a.m., I gave up and read a book for a half hour, then tried again. By 5 a.m. I was a basket case. I went in for my first post-op that afternoon, and got the OK to try melatonin, which I use on occasion when I have difficulty sleeping. It has been helping a lot.
On the upside, I was told that I am healing well! They reapplied my steri-strips, but on Sunday I will get to take them off and start using antibiotic ointment on them twice a day until my next post-op visit. They are still pretty bruised, but the bruising is starting to go away. I was told it might take a few weeks before it's gone.
I went back to work yesterday (Or, I tried to.) Driving to and from work was awful - one of the main roads I take to and from work is pot holes more than road. Most of what I did was filing paperwork and writing emails, but after 5 hours my incisions started to burn and I was getting really sore, after being mostly painless over the past few days. I asked for today off. I figure I'll be more ready to get back into the swing of things on Monday.
My main concern is still how big they are. I am really hoping that they are still very swollen and will go down a few more cup sizes, but I don't know how realistic that is. How much of the volume will be swelling at this point? I see other reviewers that are ecstatic about their size immediately post-op, and I'm crying because my button-up shirts still don't close nicely over these things. I'm just so worried about what size they will end up being when all the healing is done.
3-4.5 Weeks Post
I had my 3 week post op appointment 1/27. My PS said that I am still super swollen and full of fluid, but it's diffuse through the tissue, so there isn't a place she can tap to make the swelling go down. She also thinks that that's why I'm not happy with the size right now. She told me to give it a few more weeks and we will see where I am at that point.
Since then, the swelling has actually started to go down just a bit! Still sore on the sides throughout the day, but I am only occasionally taking ibuprofen at this point.
At my 3 wk appointment, I started on scar therapy called Embrace. They are silicone strips that you place over the incisions to relieve the tension on the outside, making less of an external scar. Prior to putting on the first set, my incisions still looked like big angry zippers, and there were huge folds of skin. However, the past week they've really flattened out. They still have quite a bit to go, but so much nicer.
I also still have lots of bruising everywhere. My PS said that during the surgery, I had a lot more bleeding than is typical, and it will just take some extra time for the bruising to go away.
7 Weeks Out
Finally, finally things are looking better, and my healing is going well. Mid Week 5, I had an infection scare and visited my PS. She said everything was fine, but we talked about my swelling and bruising again. She asked if I had ever been tested for clotting disorders like Von Willebrand. Long story short, I'm getting tested with my primary care physician just in case.
However, in the past few weeks, my swelling has gone down considerably. I finally feel like I had a reduction! Currently I'm barely spilling out of a 30DD. 6 whole cup sizes down! I'm still hoping to settle down to more of a C or D. Especially once I get back into a 28 band size.
I still don't have sensation in either nipple at this point, but I knew that was one of the risks.
Over the past two weeks, I've started to feel so much more like myself. I've started working out again, and I've had little to no pain even while exercising.
I had just typed out an update stretching from April to today, and my computer lost it! Super brief update, then:
In April, went back in for post op recheck, and my surgeon agreed that I had healed asymmetrical, and I had adhesions on my vertical incision on my right side. Scheduled revision for 6/21.
Went in for my revision with oral sedation. Afterwards, slept for almost 18 hours straight due to the medications.
Now, I'm going on 2 weeks post revision, and took another updated photo. I am still swollen from the revision, and still a little sore. However, the nipple placement does look a lot more symmetrical now.