Breast Reduction in SF - San Francisco, CA

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I'm 57 years old, 5'7" and weigh...

I'm 57 years old, 5'7" and weigh around 180. I wear a (tight) 42DDD bra. I've been wanting a breast reduction for about 15 years -- my breasts grew to excessive size in my 40s. Tho I've always been on the busty side, in my 40s my upper back and shoulders started to be pulled out of shape. lots of pain around my shoulder blades. I had enough money in savings to pay for this, but my insurance came through for 60%, because I chose an out-of-network doctor.

(I live in a small town and wanted someone female and more experienced than are available here.) The plastic surgeon offered a free consult, and I was very favorably impressed with her. My pre-op was a few days ago, and I got the fistful of prescriptions filled today. I was quite anxious before the pre-op, but everything was explained to me in detail, and now I know what to expect, and i dont Feel as nervous. I'm scheduled for surgery on Monday, February 27, and will be at my sister's till the 1st post-op appointment (she lives a little closer to SF than I do).

Feb. 28, 2012 It's done! I like what I see so...

Feb. 28, 2012
It's done! I like what I see so far. I haven't taken a close look inside the dressings/bra, except to follow the doctor's instruction to check the color of my nipples -- pink and getting good blood flow, not purple or black. I have a drain in on each side, and they are simple to empty and "reset". The vicodin makes me sleepy and kind of loopy, but the highest my pain has been when it wears off has been about a 5 out of 10.

Bless my RN sister who's taking really good care of me. Today we will be leaving our hotel for her house (about 2.5 hours away), and I will stay there till my post-op visit next Tuesday.

Dr. Rajagopal and her staff were very kind and helpful. This doctor has a lovely manner, energetic and warm, and whenever I can take a look at her work, I'll report back on that.

It's day 4 post-surgery, and I'm feeling pretty...

It's day 4 post-surgery, and I'm feeling pretty good. My sister was concerned about the color of my left nipple (bruised looking) and called the doc, who asked us to send photos via email, since we're 2 hours away. She said the pix look good, the bruising is normal (much more on the left -- right looks pretty happy ;-) Along with Keflex, I'm taking 2 herbal preparations for inflammation recommended by the doctor, drinking lots of fluids, sleeping quite a bit. Yesterday was a bit more of a high-energy day, today more of a crash. I'm happy so far with Dr. Rajagopal's work, and will report back after post-op on Tuesday, March 6th.

2 weeks post-op today. I still have the stitches...

2 weeks post-op today. I still have the stitches and SteriStrips on but what I see in the mirror really pleases me. My breasts look like those Greek statues of Aphrodite! I find myself wishing I'd done this a lot sooner.

From what I recall the doc saying in the post-op visit, she took almost 900 grams from my left breast and about 700 from the right. The left definitely had more bruising, and the nipple on that side is still discolored. She had mentioned that the left breast was large enough to put the nipple on that side at risk because the pedicle (tissue and blood vessels that remain connected) would be very long, and the circulation might not be as good as it should be. I will see her again on the 21st, and meanwhile I'm taking homeopathic arnica and tylenol for the (minor) pain.

When I get copies of my "before" photos from the doc, I will post them.

March 21 was my latest post-op visit. Left breast...

March 21 was my latest post-op visit. Left breast slower to heal still. She prescribed more antibiotics, orally and topically. Took staples out of the "T junction" where the vertical incision met the areola one. Next appointment is April 12.

March 31 -- there is still a crescent-moon of un-healed, scabbed area around my left areola. Still putting the antibiotic ointment on 3x a day. Lately what has been bugging me more tho, are two clumps of flesh, one at each of the under-arm ends of the incisions. All the bras I have (seven at last count!) rub or pinch in that area. I'm REALLY hoping that those areas will settle down, perhaps when the ends of the stitches come out.

I'm also feeling ambivalent about the shape of the left breast and what looks like a thick white scar along the sternum edge of the breast, but is actually a wrinkle or a length of empty skin, I'm assuming from fat die-off. :-(

But I'm still very happy when I can sit up in bed comfortably or when I catch sight of myself in a shop window. Then I think, "Much better!"

3 months out, I'm finally all healed up. The left...

3 months out, I'm finally all healed up. The left breast was slow to heal around the nipple (I think I came close to losing the nipple/areola on that side, tho the doc would never say that. It looked to me like blood just wasn't getting there.) While I'm relieved not to have anymore open wounds, and I'm happy with how I look when clothed, I am coming to terms with lack of sensation, and that is hard. I don't think this aspect should be minimized as much as it is beforehand -- I will have to learn a whole new way to make love in the future (i'm currently unpartnered) as my breasts can no longer play the starring role that they used to, in terms of arrousal. So I feel some grief about that.

My breasts are starting to settle a bit and feel a bit more natural in that there's more motion, although there are still areas within that are thick or hard, likely from the 3 layers of stitches. I'm hoping that they all soften over time.

2 years out -- "Good things take time". ;-)

Hard to believe it's been that long. I'm very happy with how I look now -- my breasts have a nice natural-looking "drape" -- not a sag or a droop -- and are a good size for my frame. I no longer feel like they are preceding me into a room. Sensation is still way down from their original baseline. It's the one thing I'm disappointed with.

So to all of you who are disappointed or disturbed with what you see days after surgery, I'm here to say, what you're seeing at that point is only one phase of a long healing process. Our expectations are skewed by all the makeover shows on TV -- "a new body in 45 minutes". This is real life, and our bodies have magnificent healing powers, on their own timetables.
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

I've had a very good experience with Dr. Rajagopal. At 2 weeks, I love the results. She was available by cell phone and answered my questions post-op. I would have preferred to have been billed for whatever my insurance didn't cover, but as it was I had to pay the full cost up front, trusting that I will be reimbursed by the practice when the insurance payment arrives. I was flummoxed by the request that I bring my own sports bra to the surgical appointment -- had no idea what size to buy, of course, and the one I brought was too big and had to be packed with gauze. I think an office-supplied surgical bra would be nicer.

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