After 5 Years of Investigating It; I Finally Got my Breast Reduction from DDD to C Cup. Sacramento, CA

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I am 45 now and have had relatively nice breasts...

I am 45 now and have had relatively nice breasts for most of my life. I was a perky C cup in my 20's, had a baby in my late 20's, gained some weight and went up to a D/ DD cup in my 30's. After breastfeeding my 2nd child for 18 months in my late 30's, the girls were an uncomfortably large DDD and gravity had taken a toll. I have had the typical back, shoulder, and neck problems, strap marks in my shoulders, and rashes. I started looking into a reduction mammoplasty in 2010 when my chiropractor mentioned it. I went to a PS for a consult and was actually a bit scared off by her enthusiasm, lol. My husband was not really a fan of the idea as he has always adored the "girls", so I put it off. Finally this year; after shoulder surgery, PT for my back, and a cervical epidural (with 3 different medical experts recommending a reduction) I did it! My out of pocket deductibles had been paid for the year so it didn't cost me anything (definite plus!) It has been 6 weeks since my surgery, and I felt an immediately relief in my back and neck. My posture is naturally much better and the weight of my breasts are no longer pulling my shoulders forward- amazing to me!

The nitty gritty stuff? Here are my thoughts; my biggest regret is that my surgeon did not use lipo to remove and "side boob". He refused and said that was a weight issue and not medically necessary . I really wish I had been more proactive about that, they feel a bit more oblong and flat- but I am trying to be patient for them to settle into their "final resting place". They used a block and it took about 4 hours. PS said he removed approx 2# from each breast and the surgery was quite extensive. Everything went well in my surgery and post op. I was prepared with a soft pillow for the car ride home to put between me and the seat belt. I slept a lot for a couple of weeks, the bruising and swelling lasted for about 4 weeks. I got those nasty zinger type pains every time I moved or bent over for several weeks and I had to take pain meds for them- highly recommend taking a stool softener for the whole time you are on narcotics! I found out the hard way after my shoulder surgery that thrombosed hemorrhoids are not fun at all! I also used ice and heating pads on my breast and they are a lifesaver!

I was not prepared for the way my breasts react to cold weather! When I get cold the whole breast area feels engorged, like milk needs to let down but it doesn't. Nipples getting hard in the cold hurts a lot! The heating pad is my best friend then. Other than that, the healing went fine until about week 4 when I developed an itchy rash all across my chest. PS didn't know what it was caused from and benadryl cream made it worse over the next 3-4 days, but triamcinolone cream took care of it in about 7 days (very miserable days!). I have also developed several "suture abscesses" that my PS snipped out and told me I could snip on my own if they continue to happen. I think about every single internal stitch they put in is coming to the surface. They start out looking like tiny white heads; I try to wait for them to come through the skin before doing anything, but I have also used sterile tweezers to open it up to get at the stitch. Right now I have about 5 little open areas that are draining a bit, and a bunch of ones trying to pop through the skin. It's frustrating! I can't use scar strips yet because of them. I have no sensation yet in my left nipple, but my right nipple is fine. The outer sides of my breasts had numb areas, but they itch deep inside and I can't feel anything if I scratch, so that is annoying. I have some work to do to get rid of my tummy; my breasts used to stick out further than my stomach, so I carried my extra weight very proportionally- now, I feel like a pear. My husband is actually pleased with the way they are looking, and looking at the before and after pictures really show a huge difference! Sex the first time happened at about the 4 week mark, and I was scared that my breasts/ nipples would hurt a lot; fortunately they didn't hurt at all- but I do recommend caution to minimize making them bounce- that hurts.

One thing I would like to talk about though is my pathology results after the surgery. I have mammograms every year, and usually an US afterwards. They have never showed anything. I was really shocked when my PS called my husband back during a post op appt to tell us that the tissue they removed came back showing Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (while not benign, it is not yet invasive) and Atypical Hyperplasia in both breasts. He did remove the cancer but said where there is one of that type, there is usually more. I have been referred to an oncologist and they do consider it to be a positive cancer diagnosis caught in the earliest stage. I have started tamoxifen and will be having MRI's and all the other tests soon. None of this would have been found if I didn't have this surgery, so I consider myself very lucky- it likely would not have been found for several years and by then it could have been invasive and at a much later stage. It will be ironic if I end up having mastectomies though.

So that is my story to date. Overall, positive but the journey has been a bit bumpy and I have a feeling that the rough parts aren't over yet.

Pictures added

Didn't have pictures up when I posted my original review. The before picture is at the end.

12 weeks post op

It's been about 12 weeks post op. Things are settling now and my breasts feel much softer. I am still having problems with sutures coming to the surface. I had one pea sized area on my left areola that turned black and had a white pus filled center that opened up. It went quite deep and drained for about 4 days. I cleaned it with normal saline and put Neosporin and gauze over it. The pictures are about 2 days after it opened, it seems to be healing ok. The underside of my breasts are tender where the skin is close to my ribs, and the elastic of my bras' rub on it. I still have a lot of numbness that feels strange. When I lean forward, my right nipple does not point straight down, but more off to an angle, and I have 2 "dog ears" on the sides that I do not like at all. I am not sure if those will decrease as I lose weight. I have lost about 5#'s so far. I think they look a little lopsided with one nipple higher than the other; but I know I am hyper critical (and before my surgery my left breast was bigger than my right). My PS discharged me at 8 weeks. I asked him about scar strips or other treatments and his response was "Eh, if they work- use them; if not- don't." Not really very helpful>.< As far as the update for the LCIS- I have been taking tamoxifen for breast cancer for about 2 months now; the hot flashes are no fun. I have my MRI scheduled for 2/5/17. Hoping for no new masses :) Still incredibly happy that I had the surgery, but my self image is taking a while to adjust to this new smaller look.
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Very skilled surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has a lot of experience with breast cancer patients but the cosmetic aspect of PS does not seem like his strong suit. Medical necessity seems important to him and nothing extra. However, it does feel like he is in it for the right reasons, not just to get rich doing elective surgeries. Bedside manner is professional but a bit cool. He doesn't talk a lot unless you ask very specific questions. His answers are very concise and he hasn't provided much guidance with after care, but he was really caring and took extra time to sit down with me and my husband when it came to talking to me about my abnormal pathology results.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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