Goodbye Grand Canyon Cleavage - San Luis Obispo, CA

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I'm 53 years old and have wanted to have this...

I'm 53 years old and have wanted to have this surgery for decades. My insurance finally covers it and I' m here to document my journey. I am currently a saggy 38 F hoping to go down to a C- or B+ I met with Dr. Tsao for the initial consultation as he was highly recommended by my GP. I was very impressed with his demeanor and the professionalism of his staff. After we met, I was told that I did qualify for insurance coverage. I have scheduled my surgery for June 2016. I've begun buying post surgery bras, and trying to get off the last 10 lbs. of tummy flab before my procedure. Pre-op appointment is next week...woo hoo!!!

36HH When properly measured

Holy Crap! So, I go in for pre-op tomorrow and followed the directions for proper bra-fitting on Feeling quite vindicated to find out that I am a US size 36HH. No wonder my neck and back have been killing me. I need to bring up with the surgeon the issue of migrating breast tissue. I have been shoving all this volume under my arms and spilling out all over for years. I'll report back when I know more.

Surgery Day tomorrow!

I'm not nervous, just excited! Feels like the night before Christmas when I was 7 years old. Wish me luck...Ill check in when I can.

Surgery Day +1

Yesterday was surgery day, and I’m finally with it enough to post a bit. I checked into the surgery center at about 7:00 am and was taken back to my “bay” after only about a 10-15 minute wait. Yusan, my awesome pre- op nurse got me into my gown and all comfy in my bed. She then went over all my medical history, etc. and started my IV. My husband was then brought back where we waited to see the Dr. before surgery. The Anesthesiologist and OR Nurse met with us first and answered all of our questions. The surgeon then came in and marked me all up and told me we were ahead of schedule and I would be going in about 20 minutes early…yay! I reminded him again, “There is no such thing as too small.” I was then rolled out to the “Hugs and Kisses” corner to say see you later to my husband and that’s all she wrote…..

Fast forward 6 hours and the next thing I know, I’m waking up in recovery. Apparently, I was really out and took a while to wake up. I was pretty nauseous and super woozy. No pain at all, which was great. I was given ice chips and juice while they got my nausea under control via I.V. Dr. Tsao came back to check on me at around 5:00 and wrote a prescription for Zofran for nausea and did a dressing change before sending us on our way. He took 530+ g from each breast and an additional 100g total migrated tissue under arm.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a blur. There was no pain at all, just discomfort from bandaging and having to stay on my back. The absolute worst post op symptom was my sore throat and DRY mouth. My mouth was so dry that the Zofran wouldn’t even dissolve on my tongue.
About 2 in the morning I seemed to recall someone saying to take deep breaths each hour to clear the anesthesia out of my system. Once I started doing this, things improved dramatically. So, for the first night, I took the lowest dose of Percocet every 5 hours and was cutting them in half by this morning.
My first post-op appointment was this morning and the drains were removed—yuck! Not painful, but gross. I took a pain pill before the appointment, so I don’t know if that helped or not. I was given a refill on the Zofran as I was still throwing up. The ride home was definitely more painful in the morning. I was glad of the advice to bring a pillow for added support.

Things I would do differently:
1. Buy a much bigger post op bra. My Dr. does not provide one, and I was told to get the same band size, but it was WAY TOO tight with all the bandaging, etc. We unhooked the bottom clasps, but I felt like my lower breast was being strangled by the time I got home. I took a bigger one to my post op appt. and it was still too small. I finally ended up with a fruit of the loom band size 44 for comfort. My normal band size is 36 (US)

Sutures Out / Survived 1st Week

I made it through the first week after surgery! The worst is definitely behind me now. Pain and discomfort has been better than I expected. I only needed 1/2 dose of percocet for the first day or so. Now I just alternate Advil and Tylenol. Got stitches out today and it really wasn't painful at all. I did have one internal stitch popping at the inverted t-zone. So, the Dr. removed that and it left a bit of an open spot. I got nauseous and almost fainted when he pulled that one out. It wasn't really painful, just gross and I think I psyched myself out. I am taped up again, and still wearing kotex pads in my bra for drainage. Dr. says the wound will close up on it's own. I won't lie, it kind of freaks me out. But, I'm trusting my Dr. and not worrying about it.

So far the most annoying thing is just trying to get comfortable. I sleep in a pillow nest that helps me to doze off even though I hate sleeping on my back. My husband was home for the first two days, but I've been fine on my own since then. Showering is getting easier, and I can wash my hair with no trouble. I do have quite a bit of swelling and some really hard, tender spots on the outer portion of my breasts and under my arms. My scars don't hurt really. It just feels raw, kind of like a scraped knee where the incisions are. I really have had to stay down to prevent swelling.

Best part of all...NO NECK OR SHOULDER PAIN !!!! None. At. All. It's wonderful!

2 Week update

Two weeks out and thing are improving each day. Saw the doctor today and all tape is off. I still have quite a bit of bruising and tenderness (especially on the left side.) I'm having a very hard time finding a comfortable bra as the anchor scars continue to be very sensitive.

I have been advised to use no ointments or scar treatments and to continue to let the open wound drain. Wearing panty liners over incisions for now.

4 Weeks Post Op...The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Assymetry, etc.)

Well, I finally made it to the one month mark and healing is progressing nicely. It took a full four weeks to not be uncomfortable most of the time. I am now able to wear any sports bra with my correct band size and have no problems throughout the day. The open spot at the T-zone incision has completely closed up and feels great. I was pretty shocked at how quickly it healed. Best of all, my neck, shoulders and back are completely pain free. I haven't had a headache since surgery--Hooray! Most of the bruising is gone, and now I'm left with the, "I hope this resolves with time" issues:

First worry is that my left breast is a full cup size larger than the right. I've seen many people with this concern; just no one updating to say that things evened out. I can't wear anything but a sports bra because my left breast fills a D cup and my right side is a B/C cup at present. (anyone out there have this problem resolve itself?)

Second concern is the dimpling on the right side of my right breast. I don't know if it's internal stitches pulling, or if too much tissue was removed. It's been like this since day one. I wasn't too worried about it early on, but it is persisting and looks really strange.

Third worry, are my "dog ears" on both sides. These are really ugly, gross, and show when I am wearing clothes as bulges under my arms. I know that this is the most easily corrected, so I'm less worried about this issue than the others. My doctor did say that he had to go past the incision line to dig out all the migrated tissue under my arms. I figure that there is probably still some swelling there. Life lesson: don't shove your boobs under your arms to try to hide their girth, as the tissue will actually migrate and stick there...ewww!

Overall, I am happy with the physical benefits of the surgery. The jury is still out on aesthetics. They look pretty saggy, wide, and flat...but that may just be my age.
San Luis Obispo Plastic Surgeon

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