Smashed into a 36FF, down to a D. - San Jose, CA

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I'm one month from turning 39 and am currently...

I'm one month from turning 39 and am currently cramming myself into 36FF bras. I've been as high as 36I and I've come to hate them. I try to look at them as what "other women" pay thousands of dollars to try to get, or so I've been told by men who think "I'm out of my mind for REDUCING them." But, enough is enough. Other women are NOT paying thousands of dollars to have to buy bras online, to not fit into blouses, to have button up shirts pop open at the bra line and gape open all day without me realizing. They aren't trying to get back problems or see a chiropractor week after week. And so on. About the only thing we have in common is that, they are probably trying to find contentment with themselves or their bodies.

I've thought about breast reduction for 15+ years. In the mid 90s, I investigated it. Insurance had even preapproved it. But, I was in my early 20s. I hadn't had any kids and was worried about the impact on breastfeeding. And the scars. The scars scared me to death. Diagrams of scars, not even photos, would scare me to death. I chickened out and that was that.

More recently, I became interested in lipo. I've seen a lot of info about new method like laser and freezing that are a lot less invasive than "traditional" lipo. So, having struggled with other areas of my body for years too, I went for a consult. While I was there, I also shared my interest in a breast reduction. They pulled in the PS who specializes in that and...the ball was in motion. I suddenly felt excited and totally on board. I've had one child and, for reasons I won't go into here, I wasn't able to breastfeed her. Talk about irony. So, if we do decide to have another, bf won't be an issue. And, the scarring...well, techniques have some a long way in 20 years and it just doesn't look as Frankensteinish anymore.

I'm now looking forward to words like "perky" and seeing how clothes are "supposed to fit," not to mention how I will feel not feeling like a spectacle when I wear something form fitting or looking like I'm wearing a muumuu when I wear something looser. I'm looking forward to better posture and less strain on my mid/lower back and shoulders. I'm looking forward to being able to exercise (first time in life I've said that) without having to strap up in a $200 sports bra that looks and feels like a giant uniboob, and not having my shelf jumping up and down, tugging on my body. I'm also looking forward to NOT having pimples and sweat in my cleavage from sleeping on my side or wearing bras that smoosh them together, creating cleavage that goes all the way up to my neck.

Right now, I'm I'm feeling intimidated by the surgery and recovery. It's just over a week away and I'm so excited and nervous and scared and happy. I just want to get it over with already! I have my preop tomorrow, and I'm sure that will help soothe some fears while creating anxiety of what I need to do to prepare. I'm really afraid of not being available for my beloved 3 year old daughter, the light of my life (most days). Not holding her, tossing her around, rocking with her in my lap and reading to her. I'll feel terrible if a "month off" changes our relationship. I cherish these moments with her still. But, in the grand scheme of things, one month shouldn't be that big of a deal, right? I mean, her dad is here and committed to helping out more while I'm recovering. And, hoping that I'm feeling great by the holidays, I'll have a chance to rekindle a bond with my girl. My other significant fear is waking up and seeing myself for the first time, smaller and with them placed where they should be and being in shock. Will it be too weird? The first time I'm able to feel them without bandages, will it be shock all over again? LIke...this isn't me. Whose are these? Or, will I be in love with them? Of course, I lean heavily on the testimony of those of you who've been through it already and only regret not doing it sooner.

Things I've already learned are sort of scattered. I've gotten tips from this forum, for sure. And, I've quickly learned that community is a huge positive force for me. I'm so glad to have found this forum. THANKS Kimmers! I've added many things to my list of questions to ask my doctor like, how to prepare for sleeping. that ok? My preop bloodwork showed some blips in my liver values--does that change the game plan for pain meds? Will I be able to back at work after 6 days, like I'm hoping...or am I kidding myself? (I'm the sole income for a family of 3, so losing face at work is a problem for me.)

So, with that, my count down begins. It's Sunday evening and I am to check in for my surgery at 6:30am on week from Tuesday. I have one week to clean and do laundry (one weekend, actually) put myself through something major that I'm hoping will change my life. No pain, no gain. Right?

I've never been one for pep talks. I'm more of a reality girl. But, I think in this case, I'm loving all of the positive support I'm seeing between women who have in common only BR and the woes they've experienced before and after.

I'll get before photos up before the procedure, and will try to share the after photos right away, and months down the road. Thanks to this community for your interest in my story, and the support of everyone else on here. It's making this a lot more real an less fearful for me.

One week to go. I had my pre-op today. For the...

One week to go. I had my pre-op today. For the most part, the appointment was pretty uplifting (no pun intended!). We talked about what time I'll be home (check in at 6:30am, start by 8am, home by 1pm or so) and I asked about drains and such. He said he doesn't expect to need drains. Woo hoo! He said my areola will end up smaller to stay proportional to the new size, and he also said he's doing a lollipop short scar procedure with a

My post a moment ago was totally cut off. I didn't...

My post a moment ago was totally cut off. I didn't know there was a character limit. Sigh. To sum it up, I'm excited to have learned today that I'm having a lollipop short scar procedure with a tiny

2 1/2 more days... Laundry and pumpkin carving...

2 1/2 more days... Laundry and pumpkin carving this weekend...because I wouldn't want to miss the carving with my little girl. I'm already exhausted and anxious and eager, but oddly calm. Here's to a couple of productive days...

On my way out if the clinic at 1:30pm this...

On my way out if the clinic at 1:30pm this afternoon, I said, to the very nice gals at the desk, "Enjoy my boobs! They're yours now." I'm home and recovery has begun. Becoming out if anesthesia was a bit brutal. I was very nauseous. In fact, I still am at 6:45pm, but I've been able to keep down toast and fluids.

I definitely look smaller and higher, but its wrapped up tight so it looks like a shelf-bra uniboob, especially with all of the padding. Oh, and two words! drains! :)

While I'm definitely sore, im feeling ok. Taking it easy. Groggy, sleepy. Tummy uneasy. Glad grandma is here to tend to my little girl....who was very happy to see me after spending the night at grandma and grandpa's house, then being at school all day.

Time to shut my eyes for a bit...

Third day since BR and I itch all over my torso,...

Third day since BR and I itch all over my torso, under the wraps. I guess my boobs feel hard, kind of, but they're well concealed. I feel the incisions around my nipples if I don't keep up with the pain meds. So staying with those since I'm able to be home and veg. I can see a little bit of cleavage. It's cute. :)

OMG! Hadn't BR on Tuesday and now I'm itchy. My dr...

OMG! Hadn't BR on Tuesday and now I'm itchy. My dr said I could take off the dressing and wrap! Wha? I wasn't expecting that! Should I? Do I want to look yet? Will it look scary? OMG!

Day 4... I took off the wrap and dressings! What a...

Day 4... I took off the wrap and dressings! What a relief!

All looks healthy. The crazy itching was coming from areas I can now see are a little bruised, and from irritation from the wrap itself. I'm in a sports bra now. It seemed like the right bra to pick (I have a few in my drawer), but after getting it on, I'm not so sure. It's not the most comfortable. I'll see how it is after wearing it a bit longer. It's been in the drawer for more than a year, so maybe it needs to stretch out a bit. It seems like the best option if it can be made comfortable. I bought it to use for running with my old 36FFs in a half marathon. It has great construction, the material is soft and won't chafe, and it wicks. Hopefully, it's the last astronomically priced, industrial strength sports bra I'll ever need.

One word I've never been able to use in context of a bra---separation! I keep looking down. Separation is awesome. I have it even in this sports bra. :)

I wasn't as afraid of looking at my boobs as I thought I would be. They don't look Frankensteinish. But they do indeed look very strange. They hang funny. One seems larger than the other. Both are kind of hard and lumpy all over, and one has a hard, sore area above the boob that actually sort of looks and feels like an implant. Size-wise, I expected to think that they're too small and be afraid that I made the wrong choice. But, they look bigger than I expected! Maybe he didn't take enough? I really hope they look smaller. My significant other says they do, and I guess there's extra room in this 36I sports bra I'm wearing.

Knowing that things continue to settle, shrink and drop over time, I'm charting all of this up to swelling and the result of being strapped down by bandages. I wish I could fast-forward to 4 months from now to see how they look.

I'm not ready for photos just yet. Will post next week or so.

I forgot to add... I still have nipple sensation.

I forgot to add... I still have nipple sensation.

Went out this evening for a short while to say bye...

Went out this evening for a short while to say bye to my folks. They're traveling to Australia! I put on a comfortable, long sleeve tshirt. Right off, it felt different. My boobs didn't seem smaller, they seemed closer to my body. I don't know how else to explain it. The decal on the front was over my higher-up boobs instead of being inches above my saggy shelf. My favorite part was how the arms/armpits fit right. The arm holes weren't stretched forward to accommodate bosoms way bigger than the shirt is designed to decorate. I don't love how they look I'm a sports bra. Not the most flattering, but I sure can see a difference! And I don't feel like I am or that I look flat. AND because the front wasn't stretched beyond capacity, the back of the shirt hung down the right way in the back too! Can't wait to see the new goods in normal clothes with a cute bra. OH--I was 36FF and I'm comfortable in a really soft, seamless, Champion sports bra from Target in whichever size was equivalent to 36D (the tag had a chart). I tried it in before BR just to make sure I could really see. I was spilling (more like raging) out of the top, bottom and sides. It was ridiculous. And now I sit with them happily bucketed. What a miracle. :) I can't wait for the swelling to go away! I'm eager for them to be a little smaller still.

Debating going back to work tomorrow. I'm leaning...

Debating going back to work tomorrow. I'm leaning toward one more day at home...a quiet day to recoup while my daughter is at school. It's been a little less restful over the weekend with her at home. I'm not actually expected in the office. I'm registered for a local work-related conference. Definitely leaning toward taking it easy at home. Tomorrow is day 7 and my post-op is late in the afternoon. I sure wish I could have a long night's sleep flat on my tummy in my bed.

Had my first post-op today (one week). Dr. says...

Had my first post-op today (one week). Dr. says all looks good. I asked about the pain and swelling above my breasts. especially on the left side. He said there are sutures under the skin there that were used to anchor the breast in a more upright position, especially while it heals.He thinks they will definitely shrink more as swelling subsides, and I'm happy about that. He also gave the green light to shower. Yippie! Extra Strength Tylenol is what he recommends for pain moving forward.See the dr. again in one week... I also bought some MOM that I'll try tonight. Things started moving yesterday, but not enough.

I go back to work tomorrow, so I'll have it on hand just in case. Who knows how being back to a full day will affect my body? He said he took about 600g (~1.5Lbs) from each side. When I look right now, I wish he'd taken more. But, it's hard to know what it'll look like in another few weeks.

I think I'm going to try to sleep in bed tonight instead of the big sofa chair. Hope that goes well. The chair is starting to affect my back.

First day back at work was ok, but I got home...

First day back at work was ok, but I got home totally exhausted. I woke up really early, like 4:30am, and couldn't get bank to sleep until after 6am. That messed up my morning a little. Being at work was ok, but I underestimated how touting it would be just to sit and concentrate, up carry my laptop to meetings, so carry my purse, etc. Whem I left, I was ready to be home. But tonight, my little girl swims. So I picked her up at school then went to her swim class. She was thirsty, but couldn't reach the water fountain. I tried lifting her up. U G H. She's 35Lbs. The weight was tough because I was already tired. But lifting her meant pressing her against me and that was not at all comfortable. I was elated to be home tonight...7:30pm. Getting her into bed now do I can crash. Tomorrow will be long too. Her dad has night classes tues/wed. But, at least no extras. Just work, pick her up, and home. My pecks are very, very tender now and my nipples look a little chafed. My back is achy. But, all in all, I'm doing well. Tomorrow is a new day.

Dr said bacitracin for the nipple chafing. (aka...

Dr said bacitracin for the nipple chafing. (aka Neospirin).

Third day back at work and feeling better each day...

Third day back at work and feeling better each day. Yesterday (day 2) was SO MUCH easier than the first day. I didn't have as much to carry, not as much to catch up on, not as much to bring since I brought it all back the first day, etc. I was still quite tired by the end of the day, but I wasn't ready to drop. I also didn't have as much going on after work yesterday either. I was able to get through the day, pick up my little girl from school and take her home--we made brownies together. :) All in all, I'm improving every day. Still sore, so I'm still obsessed with buying the most comfortable yet flattering bra that exists, but also trying to hold off on any real bra investment until I can see where the girls are going to end up. It's nice to be more comfortable in my work shirts, blouses and sweaters! I have a couple of compression tank tops that have built in shelf bras. They are actually quite comfortable and as supportive as my sports bras. But the most exciting thing about the is boobs fit in to them! I'm used to spilling out the top of a shirt with a built in bra, or for the "bra seam" on a top to cut straight across my chest instead of being below them where it should be. It's great to know I can actually fit into "normal" tops, and that as time goes on, these babies will only get more comfortable. I'm also really happy that I haven't experienced any anxiety or fear about them being too small or not mine. I'm REALLY glad I haven't been scared of the incisions or tape. I don't feel butchered or ashamed at all. I am, however, very cautious about getting dressed with a curious 3 year old in the house. I haven't let her see any evidence of surgery. She just accepts that mommy is sore because "the doctor fixed part of mommy's body that wasn't right," and it needs time to heal.

So, on Monday, I'm having my two-week post op. Tape comes off and then I'll ask questions about massage, scar creams, bras, sleeping, etc. Then on Tuesday, I'm having a pre-op for lipo. I have a tire around my middle that no amount of exercise can eliminate, and I have genetically tree-stump like thighs I have wanted to reshape. While I'm at it, I'm also going to have my upper arms done. It's not under general anesthesia, which is great. But, lipo can be quite painful, so I'm nervous about that. Recovery is quicker, though. Back to work in a day or two after. If any of you are also doing lipo, feel free to chat with me. I won't muck up this BR blog with my lipo stories. But, I haven't decided if I'll post a lipo review yet.

I'm so excited that by the holidays, I'll have a more normal bra size and more flattering curves.

Updated my post-op photos. I didn't like the last...

Updated my post-op photos. I didn't like the last photos--the lighting was horrible and I looked too fat. :) But seriously, I decided to post now that they are becoming a little less swollen and less sore, before the surgical tape comes off on Monday.

I just bought 8 bras off the rack in under 30...

I just bought 8 bras off the rack in under 30 minutes for less than $15 each average. OMG. I haven't been able to buy bras from an actual store in 20 years. =**-)

Uuuuuuugh. Cramps. Started my period today. That...

Uuuuuuugh. Cramps. Started my period today. That explains why I'm in more pain in the last two days than I was earlier in the week. My breasts feel like the skin is burning. Even the super soft bras hurt. It's not infected at all. Just really uncomfortable and over sensitive.

Got surgical tape and stitches off today. That...

Got surgical tape and stitches off today. That felt odd. Dr said to use bacitracin (Polysporin) on incisions 2x/day for a week. Not Neosporin--because he's known people to develop an allergy to Neosporin. No exercise and no real bras for at least two more weeks. It's ok to sleep on my back without elevation. I wonder if I can! I haven't had much luck getting comfortable in bed yet.

The girls look stranger without the tape than with, because of the nipples looking like a puzzle piece plugged into a hole. Will be better with more healing time.

He said NO scar guard or creams until I see him next. He doesn't want anything getting into the incisions.

That's it for the next two weeks...

15 days post op. The incision below my right...

15 days post op. The incision below my right breast is oozing today, after having the tape off yesterday. The Dr. says it's normal, but I wish it didn't ache. I'm using bacitracin 2x/day and covering with gauze pads, though it's leaking through. The underneath side of each breast feels so full. It's a wonder they don't burst open. I'm using Extra Strength Tylenol for the achiness, but I can't say it makes much of a difference.

21 days post op today. A lot of the soreness is...

21 days post op today. A lot of the soreness is gone, but I still get the zings from time to time. My left breast is still very sore above the breast where there are sutures under the skin. My vertical scar is also uncomfortable this evening. None of my bras or tops are comfortable because of the chafed feeling, even though my skin isn't chafed. I'm using Polysporin 2x/day on the incisions and nipples to try and sooth the irritation. The shape looks pretty good, I guess, but I'm wishing they were smaller still. I wonder how swollen they still are, or how much more they will shrink. The black bruise on the side of my left breast is sore, and is lasting forever. I guess there was lipo there. I feel like I'm still in early recovery, yet at the same time feel like this is enough already....I want to see the finished product! I want to buy real bras that look cute in tops I haven't been able to wear for years. The clock moves quickly some days and slowly on others. I just added a series of photos from today.

One month PO today with the PS. I can't believe...

One month PO today with the PS. I can't believe it's been a whole month! He said everything looks great. My incisions are all closed and healing. Not too much puckering. And he removed the annoying whiskers. The shape is settling down nicely. He says they will still drop and even out. Next PO is at two months! I'm pretty pleased so far. The hard part is well over. :)

Today I turn 39...and I am so happy to have given...

Today I turn 39...and I am so happy to have given the gift of more manageable boobies to myself! They're still lumpy and hard in some spots, but the incisions are all closed and healing well, and the nipples are calming down some. No real bras for another month to two months, doctor's orders. I'm able to sleep on my sides, and almost on my tummy again. They're perky and I love the "little" cleavage! Happy last day of November, everyone.

I had my 2 month PO yesterday and everything looks...

I had my 2 month PO yesterday and everything looks great. I was cleared to wear normal bras, but the PS advised not to make a big investment in them for another six months as they will continue to drop and could get a bit smaller. So, I bought four inexpensive Maidenform underwire t-shirt bras from Target, totaling less than $60---the lowest price I'd ever paid for ONE bra before my BR! What's awesome about these cute little bras??? The straps are skinny and there are only two-hooks on the back instead of thick, ugly industrial strength straps and four hooks on the back! And, the part in the front between the cups doesn't come up 4-5", so I can totally wear v-necks again! :)

Before the BR, I was spilling out of a 36FF and after trying a few different sizes, it looks like I'm about a 38D now. I'll get professionally sized again in a few more months.

My PS also advised that I start massaging the vertical scar to soften it up and allow the breasts to drop more, and also recommended Kelo-cote scar cream, which I still need to pick up.

Later this week, I have two formal functions for which I'll need to wear nice dresses, and I'm so happy that I'll be able to be in a real bra! Sports bras and comfort bras just don't flatter the girls under formal wear. :)

I'll post updated photos this week. Next PO is not for another two months!

I'm not 5 1/2 months post-op. I can't believe how...

I'm not 5 1/2 months post-op. I can't believe how much time has gone by! I updated my photos today. As I saw the before and after pix side by side, it's like I had forgotten just how huge I was before surgery. They look even more obnoxious to me than they did then, now that I've had time to get used to my new set. In the photos, you can see that there is still some healing to do. The scars are barely starting to fade. They look like red circles around the areola of each.

My PS recommended Kelo-Cote silicone-based scar cream. I've used it a few times, but I'm finding that I don't like how sticky it feels. I really should be using it 1x/day, though.

Size wise, I think the left is a little larger than the right, but it's a bit tough to tell because there was more removed on that side, and the doctor says also more scar tissue. The vertical incision is still tight with scar tissue, holding the breast up a bit, giving it a bit of a boxy shape, still. When those vertical incisions soften even more, the breasts on both sides will drop a little bit more, which will also mean that the "pockets" of flappy skin sort of under the armpits, as shown in the pix, will not be there anymore either. So, I'm just trying to be patient.

I still feel zingers from time to time, mostly on the left side of the left breast. It's very uncomfortable when it happens, but is happening less and less. The nipples are still hyper-sensitive. In the earlier weeks, they were so sensitive, I couldn't touch them at all without discomfort. Now, they're able to be touched (and the sensitivity is definitely there for the more intimate moments), but I also still need to cover them in the shower with my hand because a zap from a stream of water is a bit too much. What's awesome is that I'm able to sleep in pretty much any position now. And, I haven't needed to see my chiropractor nearly as often for back strain.

I feel so much more comfortable in clothes, especially now that I don't have to wonder if buttons will close, or stay closed. And, I feel like I can stand up straight without feeling self-conscious about sticking them out there. I love my cleavage and how it doesn't leave a crease that goes all the way up to my neck! And, I'm able to walk around in tank tops at home without a bra and not have my boobs in my lap when I'm sitting.

My significant other hasn't chosen to look at them up close and personal yet. It took months before we both were comfortable in a sexual situation, and when we finally did, he turned the lights completely off. It was pitch dark. I'm not sure if that was for my benefit or his. I didn't ask. I'll just let things continue progressing naturally.

Six months ago I was spilling out of a 36FF and now, I'm between a 36DD and a 38DD. I'm not sure why that matters to me so much, but I hope I'll be in a D cup when all is said and done--it's been my target all along. The 36DD band is too tight, but the 38DD band is a bit too loose and the cup is too big (and a D cup is too small). These are bras from brands I'm not used to, though, and also cheap, from Target. My doctor advise that I don't spend any real money on bras yet while things are still settling.

All in all, I'm very happy with the shape, and can't wait for them to settle into their final position and for the scars to heal!
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon

I was referred to Dr. Fazilat by the founder of my dermatological clinic. This practice offers services from cosmetic surgery to routine dermatology to cancer treatment and reconstruction. The doctors are reputable and the doctors I've chosen are liked by their patients. Initially, I sought out a different doctor to discuss liposuction options. Through out discussion, I asked about breast reduction and the staff enthusiastically referred me to Dr. Fazilat. In fact, rather than suggesting I book another consult to speak with him, he graciously joined my appointment as he was in between surgical procedures at that time. When Dr. Fazilat entered the room, I felt an instant sense of ease. He was professional, but not too clinical. When I told him I was interested in a BR, he looked at me and at first glance, as if to relate to the burden and discomfort my breasts had caused and said, "Ohhh, you'd feel A LOT better." From there, I asked him several questions about the procedure, what technique he'd recommend, whether or not he thought I'd be a good candidate, etc. When I got home later that night, I started researching Dr. Fazilat and found nothing but positive reviews from patients (and not one review by anyone angry or dissatisfied) along with pretty realistic-yet-good looking before and after photos. His medical training was of very high standards and in the current phase of his career, he's considered a breast procedure expert. Dr. Fazilat is easy to talk to and easy to understand. He is confident, not arrogant, and gave me a sense of comfort that I was in good hands. He's friendly, has a good sense of humor, is respectful, and showed respect for my modesty during exams and during the BR preparation on the morning of surgery. His bedside manner has been superb in the exam room and throughout my recovery so far. And, his support staff is also responsive, ultra helpful, and easy to work with. On the fourth day of my BR recovery, I was feeling very itchy. I was not having an emergency nor was I in distress. I had emailed his staff asking if there was something I could do to help alleviate the itching. Instead of receiving an email response, I received a phone call from the doctor! I missed the call because I was putting my daughter to bed. So, I expected to reach a phone service when I called the number back, but I didn't. Dr. Fazilat answered the phone directly! I was so appreciative (and surprised!) that he made himself available, especially for such a "silly" question. I would recommend Dr. Fazilat to anyone looking to have a breast procedure done. I've felt very comfortable with him and with my decision throughout the whole process. I'm now on day 10 of recovery and am eager to see him at my next post-op in a few days so he can guide me onto the next stage of recovery.

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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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