47 Year Old That is Tired of Pain and Ill Fitting Clothing! - Houston TX

I have had large breasts since I was a young girl....

I have had large breasts since I was a young girl...my mother called me "Dolly." Women of my age and older could associate the reference. My OB-GYN has been documenting for years the symptoms I have been experiencing with pain, shoulder grooving, and skin integrity issues. I am so tired of having to order special size bras and pay huge amounts of money to be covered and supported appropriately.

I casually was on this site over several months contemplating the idea of a BR. I wasn't really reading the information posted by users of this site but the information provided by the PS. I was naive.

I met my yearly deductible due to a food borne illness and thought....hmmm let me do some serious research. I found several PS on my insurance plan and decided on one that was near. I made an appointment for a consult and provided my insurance information. The moment I arrived at the office I was taken into a procedure room. I was greeted by the director of sales and marketing,not a nurse...hmmm. I was informed that my deductible was met and I would have a additional cost of $4000 for a breast reduction. Now I haven't even seen the PS. She also mentioned that the doctor does great work and I will have a great set of "tits" like a teenager when he is finished....uhhhh WTF? The PS came in and introduced himself and wanted to know where I found out about his practice. He then proceeded to show me a diagram of the tissue removal of the breast and then another of lifting the breast and reshaping. This would cost an additional $4000. He hasn't even looked at my breasts and is telling me what it will cost. He opened my gown while I was seated and took a few photos of my shoulders and a frontal view of my breasts only. I asked a few questions but this was my first consult and was nervous. I left the office with a feeling of uncertainty but also had the high of thinking of smaller breasts were in my reach.

It took only two weeks to have an approval from my insurance company and I immediately phoned the PS to make an appointment. I had several questions for the consultant about the additional fee. Response was like an automated drone...the insurance only covers the fat removal and it is additional to have the breast lifted, shaped and have the nipple resized. Really???? This doesn't sound appropriate...the American Medical Association states the procedural steps of a breast reduction of fat/tissue removal, lifting/shaping the breast and resizing the nipple. Again the same response that it only covers the fat removal. She suggested after being very frustrated with my questions to schedule a consult and have the doctor explain the additional fee. I made my appointment for a post op and after hanging up did some more research. I contacted my insurance company and explained the situation and my concerns. I ended up filing a grievance with the insurance company. This doctor was a provider of my plan and in-network. Part of being in a plan is that the doctors accept a negotiated fee for services. It is not appropriate to charge additional fees for covered services rendered. He wanted to charge me money for something he was being paid by the insurance! I hope this concern is not dismissed by the insurance company and they do some serious research into this doctors practice. He is taking advantage of patients and I hope he is seriously reprimanded for his actions!

New PS and a date!

After all the stress with the previous surgeon, I have found my perfect fit! Before I even consulted with the PS the nurse was able to answer all of my questions appropriately. Funny how this surgeon follows the AMA guidelines for a breast reduction. This office visit was a total turnaround. The nurse reviewed my medical status and the procedure. The surgeon has a great bedside manner. He answered all of my questions and responded to my inquiry of his history of negative outcomes and how they are addressed. Smoking is a big no no for healing and he makes you sign a form that you don't smoke. He then took multiple measurements of each breast and made comment of a possible removal of 1000 from each breast. We also discussed a free nipple graft but after more research I do not want to go that route if at all possible. I want to try and keep the blood supply and nerve source intact. Photos were also take from the front, side, back and with arms raised. Everyone was so warm and welcoming at his facility.
Again it took two weeks for a response from the insurance company. I'm scheduled for a pre-op appointment September 22 and surgery on the 28th. Nervous and excited.....
Any suggestions for comfortable surgical bras? I'm currently wearing a 42H and looking forward to a full C or small D.

Today is the day!

Leaving shortly for a 10:30 am scheduled BR! Will post pics later....

Before and after! Day one

Experiencing a burning sensation and heaviness upon standing. Luckily I have an adjustable bed that allows for steady comfortable positioning when lying down. The top part of my breasts are very hard with some redness. Otherwise I'm doing ok. I couldn't wait to see when the bandages came off. The surgeon was able to maintain the blood supply to my nipples ...no free nipple graft! I'm diligent about taking my medications. I was provided with Bromelian with Quercetin which helps balance the natural inflammatory response and Arnica which helps to reduce bruising, swelling, and pain from soft tissue injury. Along with an ABT, Norco, and phenergan.

Swelling and pain today!

I've been sleeping most of the day. I'm very comfortable when in the bed with my elbows elevated with pillows. The area on the sides of both breasts are extremely swollen and very sensitive I'm assuming from the liposuction. I hit my elbow on the bath doorway and saw stars! I've showered twice and made sure the steri strips were completely dry before adding bandages. I'm using 5x9 inch surgical pads in my bra (3) and nursing pads over each nipple. It's comfortable and stays in place.

Sunday evening day 5

Showed again and it felt so good! My boyfriend and I have it down to a science to bathe, dry bandages on a cool setting, and pad placement in the bra. I have three pads across incisions and two nursing pads over each nipple. Lying on the bed hook and zipper the bar....10 seconds. It's worth having large pads so they don't move and stay put keeping the areas covered. Still swelling and bruising along sides which are the only uncomfortable areas. Sleeping like a baby so far. I make sure I take the pain pill and phenergan at night to help with resting. I tried to ace wrap earlier today to support the sides....BAD idea...didn't go well and affected the skin integrity with pressure areas....so not worth it.

11 days out.....still not much change

Eleven days have past and I'm not feeling much change but a decrease in firmness of the upper breast. Continue with swelling from the lipo....I feel so wide with continuedd visible bruising. My breasts continue to look like pyramids...like little buds from adolescence from my view looking down.. I'm not lying flat at night.... experiencing hypersensitivity to the bra in the zipper area...been padding it to alleviate. Not experiencing pain, tightness under breast and sides.

Another surgery

Wound opened under right breast. Having a surgical debridement and closure tomorrow. I just want this addresed quickly versus wet to dry dressings and the weeks of healing. This can sometimes be a bumpy road but I'm looking forward to smooth sailing. I really admire the women who return to work so quickly after surgery....I've been home and still had a minor set back. Important to have a plan for the good and bad.

Home and awake after my surgical debridement

All hopefully goes well with this revision. I've been instructed to rest and don't move very much. No pushing, pulling, and limit arm movement. Believe me, I'm following! I see the PS again tomorrow ...from what I can tell attention was provided to both breasts. Resting this evening. Luckily I have family help at home otherwise I wouldn't know what to do. Update my f/u news tomorrow.

F/u appointment with PS

All is good after the surgical debridement. Very sore, more so than after the original surgery. I've been instructed....NO REACHING, keep arms at my sides. Believe me...I do not want to have anymore sets backs.

After surgical debridement

Surgery was on Wednesday, this is today. Very sore with tightness unlike before. Happy the wounds are closed.

Staph found in culture

Shocking news! Thank goodness my surgeon took me back in surgery...the cultures came back with scant staph. Currently on a new antibiotic tx and taking it one day at a time.

First day back at work....I'm swollen and exhausted!

I don't have a sit down job, but a very active position in the health care industry. I'm swollen and exhausted! I so missed my afternoon nap today. I continue to have a small area under my right breast that continues to have some drainage. I still place breast pads over areas due to chaffing along bra band and to monitor drainage. I continue to wash with hibiclens for bacteria management, towel dry and use a hair dryer on cool to make sure all incision lines are dry. No fever or redness, so I'm assuming the staph infection has been cleared. MD says all looks good and will f/u with him again in three weeks. Also still very swollen on sides if breasts.

Nipples are healing nicely

Scar tx

Provided my my surgeon.....I'm weeks out but waited for all areas to close before starting scar tx.
Dr Lucian J. Rivela

Dr. Rivela is the PS I am using from The Woodlands, TX. He addressed all of my questions and concerns. The office nurses are very kind and patient answering all questions over the phone before and after consult. I am very comfortable and trust he will do everything possible to achieve my desired results.

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