40 Year Old, 2 Kids, BR, TT, Hernia Repair - West Orange, NJ

I'm having a breast reduction from 32DDDD...

I'm having a breast reduction from 32DDDD (Chantelle bra size) to C, abdominoplasty, flankplasty, diastasis recti repair, ventral hernia repair, and hip lipo on Wednesday. I keep meaning to post about but the time keeps slipping away!

I have been wanting a breast reduction since I was 22 because my breasts were always too large for me. I Kat weight after I had my kids (breastfed for a very long time and I'm one of those people who lose a lot of weight breastfeeding) and after the pregnancies, my breasts are less full but they are just as big. In comparison to many others', my breasts are not that big and I'm not going down that much (so insurance won't cover it) but I feel confident that my new size will be good for me.

I'm also getting the tummy tuck because I've always had a belly but it got worse after my pregnancies. Little did I know, my abs separated big time. My surgeon said it's pretty significant. And I have a ventral hernia.

I feel ok when I'm naked but very self conscious in clothes because nothing fits well. The things that fit my chest are stretchy in the torso and make me look pregnant. I've had a very hard time finding dresses too. With this surgery, I will have a true hourglass figure and be able to find clothes that flatter my entire body.

I am taking three weeks off from work, using state short term disability and vacation time along with FMLA (so I don't lose my job).

I am single (divorced for 4.5 years) so I don't have anyone at home to help me out 24/7 in recovery but my dad is going to pick me up from the hospital for the first 24 hours and then a friend is going to stay with me for a few days. Afterwards I'm not sure what help I'll need or have. My mother will be out of town for the first week. And my ex is keeping our kids (6 and 10) at his house for two weeks. I'm worried about them mission me but I've asked for them to be able to visit me.

I'm really not sure of what to expect from recovery. My surgeon said it's not too bad, and one woman I know who had it said she was walking her dogs a few days afterwards, but I've also heard it's brutal and that I will want 24/7 help for two weeks, a month off from work, and to sleep in a recliner.

The surgery is in four days so I'm in the home stretch. My to-dos this weekend are: I bought a raised toilet seat and I will be pre-cooking a bunch of lean proteins to eat the first week. I made a list of things I want to do while in bed: TV shows to binge on, professional enrichment (webinars), and personal enrichment (practicing my Spanish), but I'm ok if I don't get that all done. (I'm sure I will do the TV part :)

Day 3 update

The first two days were excruciating but only for the tummy tuck, not gbr breasts. The incision along my hips burned like a mutha and was the worst. It's easier now but that pain is still very bad.

I have absolutely no appetite which is bad because my surgeon wants me to eat 100 grams of protein a day and s lot of fiber. On the recommendation of a coworker who is a fit bodybuilder competitor, I bought Dymatix (I think that's the brand) so I'll try to drink a bunch of those shake today.

I definitely needed around the clock help for these days at home following a two night hospital stay. My friend is leaving today and I need someone else to stay with me to feed me.

Breasts seem to be healing well

I have some itchiness along the incision lines and all around my back and sides.

I see the doctor tomorrow for my first post-hospital post-op.

Day 4 update

My incision sites near my pelvic bone really burn when I move. It feels like they are stretching and are very painful.

So much less pain that the first two days. Less output on the drains too.

I have had absolutely no appetite which is very bad because my doctor wants me to have 100 g of protein a day. That's about four chicken breasts. I can barely stomach one.

I had been kept in the hospital an extra night because I wasn't able to pee so they re-catherized me and made me pee on my own the next day.

I still haven't pooped which the surgeon's nurse said was bad so she told me to get and drink magnesium citrate. Even in grape flavor it's disgusting. Bitter and sour and nasty even when I hold my nose while drinking it.

11 Days Post Op

What a difference two weeks make. BR from DDDD to C plus TT/diastasis rectus/hernia repair on May 18. I'll be 41 in a few weeks, 5'3", around 145-149 lbs usually, breastfed my kids for a combined 6.5 years. I waited till my breast tissue involuted following my son weaning but was then told by my uninformed internist that a BR would make it difficult to read mammograms so I had resigned myself to these huge knockers. A chance encounter with a thrilled patient 2 years postop sent me to a consult with the man who would change my life, almost as much as my ex-husband.
First set of photos: The tee in the second photo was one I would only wear to bed because it was way too tight and made me uncomfortable to wear it outside of the house. Second set of photos: Mother's Day with my kids (10 & 6) and 8 days post op (first trip outside). Face is thinner because I didn't eat for the first four days postop. The first three days were HORRENDOUS. I stayed two nights in the hospital instead of one because I couldn't void without the foley and was in so much pain and immobilized, I didn't even think I could get from the wheelchair to the car and the car up the few steps to my first floor. The PCA dilaudid only dulled the pain, didn't take it away. The next three days I spent in bed, watching Netflix but never making it to the end of episodes or movies because I was doped up yet still in pain. No appetite so my PS's office told me to d/c the Percocet. Day 6 I finally had a bowel movement after drinking half a bottle of that nasty saline laxative. Day 8 I walked a few blocks to pick my kids up from school and took a trip to Whole Foods to stock up on fruit. Day 9 I had a friend and his son over for an impromptu BBQ. The same night I gave myself the last injection of lovenox (which was really difficult for me because I have a serious needle phobia) and was able to switch to ibuprofen the next day which is much more appropriate for inflammation than acetaminophen. Today is Day 11 and I plan to stay in bed all day because tomorrow I am going to help my friend with his 3.5 year old twins because his wife is out of town. Yes, I am still sore, my stomach skin has no sensation, I don't feel comfortable when I'm not wearing my compression girdle, it drives me nuts that I have to undress when I think I have to have a bm, my breasts are swollen to the point that it reminds me of when my babies went too long between feedings, they look like Frankenboobs, my hip to hip incision looks pissed off at me, I'm sore and black and blue in random spots (probably from the lipo), but I feel happier than I have in YEARS.
My body matches my vision of myself in my head. My shoulders don't hurt. My intestines aren't poking out of my sides. I can already feel a slight improvement in my pelvic floor. I've always been comfortable naked but almost always uncomfortable in clothes. I can wear shirts without spilling out of them. I will be able to wear dresses that aren't wrap dresses and don't make me look like pregnant (no joke: people have asked me if I was having a girl or a boy). I am so happy I did this and wish I had done it sooner. NO REGRETS.

15 Days Out

Here's what I look like in clothes.
West Orange Plastic Surgeon

So far I have been very impressed with Dr Spiro and his staff pre-op. Hopefully I will be even more pleased afterwards!

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