Tired of Ill-fitting bras - Salt Lake City, UT

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First bra at 12, steady but not overly much growth...

First bra at 12, steady but not overly much growth after that. Well, except for not stopping! I moved rapidly through D, DD up to DDDD in my early 20s. It's been over a decade since I could buy a bra in a local clothing store. I never wore underwires, after learning more about bra sizing I realized it was because there was never a cup size large enough to let the front middle touch my chest underneath. I've been professionally fitted several times, with no luck. I tried again earlier this year at a local specialty shop and purchased a 38L (have been wearing 40G from Playtex for years). I was excited, but soon realized it was the same problem: too large of a band and too small a cup. So I ordered some bras from Britain (36K, close to US 36N) and those didn't work either.

I gave into my mom's urging, as she had obtained a recommended surgeon from a happy patient, and had a consultation on June 18. I liked the atmosphere and the doctor's manner. She estimated some 700cc could be removed from each breast, if I recall correctly. There's still some lingering questions on insurance, but initially it looks like mine will cover the surgery for medical reasons.

I'm nervous about missing work as I've been pretty busy lately and I'm lower than I'd like to be with paid leave. My employer is great so I'll be able to take whatever time I need ultimately, planning on two full weeks off. I was able to schedule surgery after all summer travel and six weeks before I'm planning on performing music with a band I'm in.

I had not really considered this option before, figured it was my lot in life, but perhaps not!

3 days until surgery

Yesterday I returned from a a business trip and now have only a few days to get everything ready. This mostly stems from my personal need to be prepared so I can feel calm during any changes from regular day-to-day life. Even if it's "just" outpatient surgery, it will be the most I've ever had so far with only wisdom teeth and some LASIK behind me. Insurance will cover half the cost as a "reduced benefit."

My bras are all so stretched out, I would have replace several of them already but for the changes ahead. I have found many reviews on this site helpful so I will try to keep up on updates.

24 hours out

I find everything medical can be so awkward (those hospital gowns am I right?), but the profession is full of caring wonderful people so my surgery experience was quite positive. Mine was first thing in the morning, but that also means it's over with sooner in the day! I got home in the early afternoon and had a nap while watching a history documentary--specifically recorded for that purpose really :) My pain and discomfort has been manageable. My mom is helping me out, staying the night while I slept in a recliner. At times the night felt long but I actually got a good amount of sleep. I'm grateful that I do not react badly to anesthesia so my stomach has been fine, I ate pretty normally yesterday. My surgeon's office had recommended grapes for constipation so I had a bunch of those, plus some bran this morning for breakfast (and it "worked" you might say).

With my long hair that still often acts like an oily teenager I'm REALLY looking forward to a full shower before my post-up appointment on Tuesday. I'm going to give dry shampoo a try in the meantime.

First Post-op

Just returned home from first post-op appointment with surgeon. When did car rides get so bumpy? Things are doing well overall. We had removed some of the top gauze this morning with a shower (which felt really, really good). Also rinsed out the post-surgical bra that I hadn't even touched or moved since getting home. The surgeon, whilst manhandling me back into the bra with some new gauze, mentioned how fragile patients feel not daring to even move. That had been me, and even though it pinched a little to shift things back into place like that I'm relieved that I don't have to actually be that careful (nothing's going to break, pull or burst especially this many days after surgery). Surgeon also wanted me to shop for a kind of transitional bra that has a proper cup to support shrinking skin underneath as the swelling continues to go down. I'll probably end up around a C- or D-cup (!) They also confirmed that about 950g (or almost a full liter) was removed from each breast.

Now my recovery will be about getting a little sunshine and enough activity to sleep fully at night. I think I'm done with pain pills, taking 5 or 6 each day anywhere from 3-8 hours apart. My stomach had been fine until yesterday so another reason to stop. It's okay to take the likes of Advil now, so I can pick whatever will work best. I never had sharp pains much, mostly discomfort and pressure from the swelling I think.

I'm not sure what to do about sleeping now. The third night I tried to move from the recliner to the bed with lots of pillows to support and keep me on my back, but I felt like a turtle on their back and it kind of hurt to get situated so back to the chair. But the recliner is seriously putting out my neck and shoulders. Though I actually sleep pretty well, usually 3-6 hours without waking.


I didn't want to have to get my bra back on today again, but here's a picture.

It's been 11 days

The second post-op appointment was yesterday with the surgeon--everything looks good. Also, car rides (and even driving) are not as bad. I still have one little spot in my incisions that sometimes has a spot of blood coming out, but otherwise I'm healing up very well. Still swollen, but looking better everyday.

At this point, I mostly get impatient. It's easier to reach and move around but I can still be so uncomfortable, especially the bottom incisions area. I'm careful to make sure the bra band is not anywhere too close, but there's still just weight on them most of the time. Sometimes I'll lie down to shift the weight and not because I'm tired.

I'm sleeping in my own bed again with a great wedge pillow I got last Friday. The last two nights I didn't even wake up during the night at all. I am having trouble falling asleep early enough to wake up very early (and not using an alarm clock). And by early enough I just mean getting dressed by say 9am to work from home, or have my mom pick me up for some errands (like today at Costco where I'm not a member myself). I'm happy to be showering and washing my hair everyday but it's such a process! I always feel like I need another nap after getting my bra situated again for instance. I'm currently using some light gauze just to cover and protect incisions. I actually still have surgical tape on the horizontal ones underneath, when I asked the surgeon about them yesterday she said to leave them on (not that they're coming off, even when exposed to water). I still take one Lortab at bedtime and maybe one full dose of Tylenol or Excederin during the day. Yesterday I also asked about the sore bruise on the side and it turns out there was some liposuction. First I'd heard it was done, though at least I was not surprised thanks to reading about other experiences here.

And the surgeon warned she's going to bug me about weight loss every time she sees me, oh bother. I actually dropped about 9-10 pounds right after surgery, but now with appetite returning and less activity I'm holding steady at best. I did get a replacement stationary bike (the electronics quit last year so I couldn't change the resistance), so hopefully I can get that habit going again.

Six Weeks

It's amazing the difference a couple weeks make. I had a PO appointment with the PS after one month and everything was great. She removed the steri-strips on the underside and those incisions were both smaller than I expected and looking quite healed. There's still some loose puckered skin in the area. After I no longer had anything "weeping" I was able to stop applying gauze and just wear a very light cotton undershirt with my compression bra. I still haven't purchased a "regular" bra because of lack of time and just not wanting to try them on and off. I stopped wearing a bra at night about a week ago. It happened somewhat by accident--I woke up and realized I'd never put it back on at bedtime!

My PS did not recommend scar cream when asked, just said to keep area moisturized. Bruising is gone and just a little tenderness if I try and do too much. The overall shape is a little off, hoping that will improve with time and maybe some molding with proper bra cups soon. It's really not entirely obvious to most people what has changed, but I notice it for sure. Huge improvement.

This weekend I played music with my friends for two evenings and a whole day at a Renaissance Faire and it was wonderful. I had to stand aside and not help with putting up a pavilion and hauling a lot of stuff, but people understood when I reminded them (I mean, just barely 6 weeks from a surgery after all!).

About 10 months now, doing fine

I've been more or less back to normal life for quite awhile now. I do still notice some discomfort if I do a lot of physical activity that requires reaching and pulling. The PS had mentioned that some healing continues up to 18 months PO. I had an appointment with her a couple weeks ago and everything looks great. I've ended up generally wearing a 40DD bra, though the one style seems like 38DD might work better. Scars are starting to fade, especially if I compare with earlier pictures. The only treatment I use is actually for some dry itchy skin around the nipple that I had before surgery, for which I use some ointment with mineral oil and lanolin. I figure it helps with the scars too since I was told to keep them moisturized. All in all, grateful for the good results!
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon

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