From 38J to 38C (Hopefully!) - Tampa, FL

So ladies, this is FINALLY happening! After years...

So ladies, this is FINALLY happening! After years of suffering with neck, shoulder and back pain, I have finally made the decision to have BR surgery. I cannot believe that I waited this long to seek relief. I have read a lot of your stories, and I appreciate all the insight that your experiences have provided. I hope to be a similar inspiration to others. I know that this decision will be an improvement both on my physical AND mental well-being. When I left the department store in tears because I had just tried on 20 different tops and NONE of them came close to fitting....I knew it was definitely time to take the plunge. I scheduled consultations with two different doctors the very next day. My first consultation was 5/11/16 with Dr. David Halpern (who is amazing) and my second (with a different doctor) was on 5/19/16. As soon as I got home from the second consultation I immediately called Sylvia (also amazing) at Dr. Halpern's office and scheduled the surgery. I am scheduled for my pre-op visit on 6/22/16 and my surgery is on 6/28/16! Pinch me please!!!! I have been poring over all of your photos looking for ideas to show Dr. Halpern. I think my husband is starting to get a little jealous.....LOL! Seriously though, it's like shopping! I'm concerned that I am trying to go too small for my body type. I am 5'4" and currently weigh 192 lbs. If I go too small, will it make me look heavy. I already feel at my current breast size that I look bad, so will making my breasts smaller make my stomach look bigger? Did anyone else consider that? And if so, what did you do? I do plan to lose weight (don't we all) and had actually gotten down to 158 two summers ago, but gained it all back. Which brings me to my next concern...if I lose weight and have chosen to be a C, will my breasts shrink even smaller??? But on the other hand, if I go with a D cup and don't lose weight, will I continue to be unhappy??? Oh the dilemma! Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Anyway, I am excited to be starting this journey, and I cannot wait to hear from you!

Recovery Bras!

Yes ladies - I am totally planning ahead. I spent days poring over bras to get me through the recovery period and finally settled on these. I started with surgical bras, but couldn't quite decide which size I should buy because I have no idea how bandaged...how sore...how small...I will end up. After reading several of your reviews, I decided to go with something stretchy yet form fitting that could be stepped into and pulled up versus trying to fasten closures (even from the front). I know that the surgeon will put me in a surgical bra after surgery, so I figured I'd try these. Has anybody else used these, and if so, what was your experience with them? They are Hanes Cozy Softcup and appear to be very similar to the Genie bra that several of you have used. I like that it has a wide band at the bottom that hopefully won't rub on the incisions.

Another hurdle cleared...

Received the results of my mammogram and all looks good! I'm so happy that things seem to be moving along smoothly.

Pre-op Appointment

Hi everyone! I had my pre-op appointment yesterday. Everything has moved along so smoothly. The doctor went over everything with me and gave me my prescriptions (which I picked up today). The surgery center called me this morning and did all of my check in stuff over the phone. I have to be there at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning with surgery scheduled for 9:00. I'm not nervous at all but I'm anxious... If that makes any sense. I'm just so ready to have this done and be on the recovery side. Hope everyone is doing well! Will update you all after surgery.

One day post-op

Good morning ladies. My surgery went well although it took much longer than expected. Feeling pretty groggy but the pain is tolerable. More sore than painful. It seems strange to look down and see my body instead of my breasts! I haven't taken the surgical bra off yet so I really don't know what I look like, but they seem so small to me. My husband said that the doctor told him they were "perfect" and that he took seven pounds off. SEVEN?!?!? I was only expecting two or three pounds. But apparently I had very dense flesh - whatever that means. I'll know more on Friday when I go for my post-op appointment. I was so out of it yesterday that I don't remember a thing he told me. Anyway, thank you all for your well wishes. I will post more later (with pics) as soon as I feel more lucid.

Feeling human again....

Second day post-op and feeling much more lucid. Took a shower this morning and washed my hair. That felt good. Pain is mostly gone. Just sore. The doctor told my husband that my breasts should be like an old pic I had given him (which was a D cup) but to me they look more like a B or small C. If they look like this swollen....how much smaller are they going to get??? Also, I know things will soften and smooth out but I have strange flat spots on my right breast. I'm trying not to get stressed out until I see the dr tomorrow but I really don't know what to think right now. Thank you all for the well wishes.

Totally annoyed...

Ok. I can be reasonable. I know things come up and schedules have to change. But I showed up for my post op appointment this afternoon only to be told that the dr was out of town. Apparently someone forgot to contact me to reschedule. Fortunately I'm not having any problems that were of any concern but I was looking forward to talking to him and having some of my questions answered. I guess since everything else has gone so smoothly, I should have expected a bump. But this was not on my radar at all.

8 days post op.....

Had my follow-up appointment this morning with the doctor (after last Friday's cancellation). He seemed quite pleased with my progress thus far. I have had no problems at all and my only concern is the flat area under my right breast which he assures me that gravity will take care of. In the back of my mind I know he is right because it has softened some since surgery, but I'm nothing if not impatient! :)

When I went this morning, the steri-strips were still in place for the most part. He told me they were ready to come off, so I came straight home and got in the shower to pull those suckers off. What relief! There are angry spots underneath both breasts which he says look normal - no signs of infection or anything like that. They don't hurt or anything...just look ugly.

Before the surgery, I had the typical neck, shoulder, and back pain that we all complain about. The good news is that all that pain is G-O-N-E gone! I also suffer from intense low back pain which stemmed from a horseback riding accident as a teenager. My husband tried to convince me that after the surgery, I'd probably feel better there too. I thought he was crazy...the two weren't related. However, I am pleased to say that I have not had the first twinge of low back pain either! I am amazed. I so wish that I had done this years ago!

I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. I have attached two sets of pictures (one from the 3rd and one from today).

Two weeks post op

Hi everyone. Just a quick update...had another follow up appointment this past Monday. Everything looks good but the incisions are having a tough time healing and staying closed. The dr prescribed a stronger antibiotic ointment which seems to finally be turning things around (slowly but surely). Luckily things don't really hurt...they just look ugly. Other than that, I'm so excited to say I can fit into a regular comfortable bra that before would NEVER have provided enough material to cover me! BEST. DECISION. EVER.

Four weeks post-op

Hello everyone. Hope you all are doing well. Today is my fourth week post op. Saw the dr yesterday and started wound care. He snipped all of the exposed sutures and put something called Oasis (like a skin substitute) on both wounds, then covered each with a padded 4x4 adhesive bandage. I'm to keep the areas clean and dry (no dressing changes) for the next week and return to see him next Monday. He said everything was progressing well with no infection. I can't wait to see if there is any changes in appearance next week. Other than that everything is going very good. Still haven't gone shopping for new bras yet. But I did try on a couple of my old DDD bras the other day. They were a little big but not overwhelmingly so. If I had to guess, I'd measure out at a DD right now but I'm still swollen. I figure when everything settles into place I'll be a D which I'm happy with.

6 weeks post op

Hope all of you lovely ladies are doing well. Not a lot to report here. Saw the dr today and we are continuing with the Oasis treatment on the wounds. Everything continues to heal up nicely but still am dealing with bandages. He said this will continue for another couple of weeks at least before we move on to the next phase of healing. On a bright note I visited Victoria's Secret yesterday and tried on a 38 DD bra (before surgery measured 38J) which was too big! That made my day!!! I'm still not interested in purchasing anything yet as I do still have bandages in place and some swelling. But to know I'm smaller than I've been in years is amazing. On Monday I wore a v-neck blouse that before showed entirely too much cleavage but now fits perfectly. I admit that I couldn't get enough of staring at myself in the mirror! This has been the best decision!

11 weeks post-op (graphic photos)

Has it really only been 11 weeks? I have gotten so used to the new me that I don't even remember the "old" me. There has not been a lot to report...still dealing with the wounds which are closing slowly but surely. Have been seeing the doctor on a weekly basis, but this past Friday he decided we would try a two week visit to see how I progress.

So far, he has used Oasis (which is a pig-based cellular material that feels like onion skin), a powder that he calls "fairy dust" (which is bovine-based), Epi-fix (which I understand to be some sort of human stem cell treatment), and this past week he used another bovine-based cellular material that was a bit more substantial that the Oasis and has a texture similar to a lightweight foam. I joked that next time I come to see him, I was going to dress in one of the cow costumes with the udders or sport E-I-E-I-O on my bandages! I'm beginning to feel like Old McDonald! But hey, whatever works.

I did finally go visit Victoria's Secret a couple of weeks ago and had a bra fitting. Imagine my delight when I measured a perfect 38C which is exactly what I asked for! I said I was only going to buy two new bras to celebrate, but I couldn't help myself. Once I got into the drawer and saw all the pretty colors, I ended up with SEVEN! I bought the soft cup t-shirt bras (no wire) and I absolutely LOVE how they look and feel. And no more bulging out the top or sides and the straps don't dig into my shoulders. It's funny because I'm so used to having to wrestle huge boobs into their proper spot, and now everything just falls right where it's supposed to all on its own. What an incredible feeling.

I've finally decided to post some pics of the wounds so that hopefully others that are experiencing the same thing can see how things have progressed. I apologize in advance for the graphic nature of these photos.

Hope all are doing well!
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

I am so thankful to have found Dr. Halpern. The entire experience has been such a positive one. Dr. Halpern, Silvia, and all the other ladies in the office have been so wonderful to work with. I love that Silvia treats me like we've been friends for years even though we just met one month ago. Dr. Halpern has a terrific personality that instantly puts you at ease. I knew the moment I met him that he was the only one I'd trust to accomplish my goals.

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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