I've been lurking here and reading for awhile and...
I've been lurking here and reading for awhile and finally decided to document my journey. I'm just going to start with the background and then catch up to the present over the next few days.
I'm 44yrs old. I've wanted a breast reduction for years. In school I was a perky 38C. I seemed to gain a cup size with each pregnancy. 38D, 38DD, 38DDD. I had gained weight and didn't lose it also. I had my first consult with a ps in August 2014. I knew my insurance wouldn't cover any of it and I would have to pay. I wanted to see what my options were and what they would say. I saw Dr. O'Halloran. She was amazing and told me a reduction would change my life. I left excited about one day having the surgery. Fate stepped in and delayed the surgery. In Dec. 2014 I had to have a total hysterectomy and three weeks after that I had to have my gallbladder out. 3 months later, all wisdom teeth needed to be removed. Financially, a Br just wasn't feasible. I dedicated myself to the gym and losing weight for the next year.
More tomorrow! It's late!
Continuing the journey!
So, as I said, I spent the next year dedicating myself to the gym and eating healthier. Over he course if of the year(actually about 2yrs), I managed to go from 245lbs to 190lbs. I was still struggling to save the money to have BR done. Christmas 2015, my husband surprised me with the money to have surgery! I had a consultation with my dr set for March 2016! My (2nd) consultation went great and she agreed that I would love having smaller boobs and I asked to go as small as possible. I have a son with muscular dystrophy so we had to arrange schedules so my husband and oldest daughter could do all his care for 8 weeks, so surgery was set for May 16, 2016 @ @9:30am.
Pre-op was done on May 11 and I paid for surgery that day. All blood work came back fine and I was ready!
On May 15, my husband and J celebrated our 25th anniversary a few days early by going to see Wicked and out to dinner. It made the hours pass by faster.
May 16--surgery day!! We got to the outpatient surgery center at 7:30am, got checked in and waited. Wasn't long before I was taken back to change into a gown and have an iv placed. My husband and oldest daughter(she is almost 24) were brought back to wait with me. Dr. O came in and marked me up and I was shocked at where she said my nipples would be placed! I was walked back to the operating room about 10min later. I joked around with the nurses and Drs until I was out. When I woke up in the recovery room, I was miserable! I had been told there would be some burning pain along the incisions but I honestly wasn't prepared for the intensity of it. It felt like my skin along the bottom was on fire. I was given ice packs which helped tremendously!! I was wheeled into the step down waiting where my family was. I finally peeked in my shirt and said, they are gone!!! Thank heavens!! My dr doesn't use surgical bras, so I could see! I was then ready to go home. The ride home wasn't bad. I had been given pain Meds before I left. Got home and immediately went to bed with ice packs. We have a bed that raises up the head and feet so I was able to be comfortable. I slept off and on the first day with ice packs on almost continually!!
Day 2(May 17)was not bad. I was really swollen. My dr had taken out as much fat as she could under my arms and that's where I was hurting the most. On the sides and under my arms were hard as rocks and felt like stone pillows! I mostly just slept and watched tv all day. I had drains in , but they really didn't bother me all that much unless they got caught and pulled.
Day 3(May 18) I had a follow up with my dr this day and was having the drains removed. I was too afraid to take a shower so I just washed off with a washcloth. We live about 35min from the Drs office so I took a pain pill before we left. Every bump was uncomfortable, but not bad. The appt was quick. The nurse took the drains out. That wasn't fun but the pain only lasted a couple seconds. The dr checked in and said she had taken TWO POUNDS out of each side! She told me I could wear a sports bra if I chose, but the most important thing was to be comfortable. We left there, ran a few errands and then headed home. When we got home I was ready for more pain Meds and sleep, so I put off taking a shower.
From day 4 until now--24 days post BR
Ok, so now to get caught unto where I am now.
I finally took my first shower on day 4. It was the fastest shower I have ever taken. I couldn't lift my arms very far, so my husband washes my hair and dried it. I jumped in, washed off and the was back out. It was exhausting but felt great! The days between then and now have been all about healing and taking it easy. I have had many days of panic where I thought my boobs were going to end up square, or bulging on the sides and flat in the middle. The swelling can be intense at times. I didn't start this update when I had surgery because I was afraid I would panic and freak everyone out! Instead, I panicked and drove my family crazy. The shape changes almost daily. I have always loved the fact that they are so much smaller, I was just panicking over the shape! I sometimes get panicked that they are still too big.
I have been out to eat, a couple Drs appts, some grocery shopping and brief shopping trips. I wear a tight sports bra to keep swelling down. I'm usually pretty tired when I get home and ready to get out of the sports bra and just rest!
Last update for today!
Ok, last update for today and then I'm caught up.
Sorry the pictures are out of order, I'm just adding here and there as I scroll through and see them.
This is by far the best thing I have ever done for myself! I'm having a couple complications, but it's still worth it!
The worst complication is nerve dysfunction. My skin feels like when you have a sunburn and clothes rub against it. It's really uncomfortable and painful. I've been assured that it will stop in the next couple of weeks!
Other than that, it's just swelling and heat rashes(it's Texas, no surprise).
4 weeks today
Today is 4 weeks. I'm really feeling better every single day. The sunburn feeling is still there, but not as bad. I can wear soft tops that touch my skin without crying now. I still think my boobs seem far apart(there is a wide space in the middle), but Dr. I told me they would settle and I would have beautiful cleavage. That's a weird bought because I always tried to hide my cleavage. The sides are still really hard and swollen with some numbness. I go for my 4 week post op checkup on Wednesday. I've been trying to get out and move around more, but this is Texas and the heat and humidity causes me to get itchy! However, we had to go to Dallas yesterday so I stopped at the outlet mall. I bought a pair of new jeans and a shirt. I have always dressed in clothes that are too big for me. I didn't want shirts to hug the huge boobs and I didn't want my belly to hang over the waist of jeans. Over the last two years, I have lost weight. 60+ pounds. At my heaviest, I was wearing 3xl shirts and size 22 jeans. Even with the weight loss, I was still wearing the same sized clothes. Yesterday that all changed!! I bought a pair of jeans that are size 15/16!! I just fit into a 14/15, but I kept thinking, if they shrink, they will be too tight, so I didn't get them. I also bought an xl shirt! I could fit into a large, but it showed the muffin top I need to work on and that made me uncomfortable. I shopped in a regular store! The store has a small plus side section, but I didn't even go in it! This is the first time in 20+yrs that I haven't had to shop in a plus sized store! It's like a whole new world has opened up! I'm holding off buying more until a little more swelling has gone down and I can wear a regular(not sports) bra!
4 weeks post op
I saw my ps yesterday for my 4 week check up. She said everything is healing great. I still have a lot of swelling on the sides. She told me that with the amount of skin and tissue she took, the swelling would take quite awhile to go down. I have one small place under my right boob that opened up whe she removed all the tape. She put a small piece of gauze over it. Having NO tape on feels great! She told me the sunburn feeling is my skin and nerves being overly sensitive and would calm down over time. With the Texas heat, she told me I should go bra less or with a very soft and lightweight bra to avoid the rubbing and sweating as much as possible. She said when I'm completely healed, she thinks I will be a large B, small C! I told her I would be ecstatic with anything D and under! I've started back at the gym walking slowly on the treadmill for a few miles. In two weeks I can start back with light weights. I still want to lose another 25lbs or so. I'm trying desperately to get back into my normal routine! The sensitive skin and nerves and swelling combined with the heat and humidity make it difficult. I start the day feeling great, by about 3pm, I'm ready to curl up with ice packs and watch tv! My dr assures me that it will get better. I think, now that I have smaller boobs and no back ache and can wear clothes that fit, I'm just impatient to get into the gym and get out and go go go!
I don't see my dr again until Sept unless something comes up between now and then. She still doesn't want me to wear anything other than a soft cup bra or sports bra and absolutely no underwire until she sees me in Sept.
For anyone even considering a BR, go for it. Don't wait. Make a consult appt and go for it. It's, by far, the best thing I have done for myself so far!
This update is just a simple whine. My family has been great through my surgery and recovery and even my panic that my boobs were never going to look right. However, it's like once we reached the 4 week Mark, they were done. Other than not being able to handle the physical aspects of taking care of my son(he has muscular dystrophy), they expect me to be back to 100%. I would put myself back at about 80%. I can do most things, but I get tired and my boobs swell and hurt by around 4ish. My husband is currently working on building a pad for concrete and a new storage building. He doesn't understand why I can't be out there helping him. It's Texas and the humidity and heat kill me and then I sweat and itch and break out in a rash. I've also heard from a few friends...your surgery was 4 weeks ago, you should be 100% healed by now! Frustrating and a little disappointing in people.
BUT, my boobs are looking better every day and the sunburn feeling is slowly getting better!!
Dr told me I could get a soft bra to wear when I was out so the tighter sports bra didn't rub me and aggravate the skin in our Texas heat. I bought their grey one today. The cups seem so tiny!!
Today is 5 weeks since surgery. I really feel like I'm finally turning a corner on the swelling and inflammation. I still have swelling but it's not as bad until later in the evening. The sunburn feeling is better. It's good in the morning, but by the end of the day it's hurting. I think I have reached the point of frustration. I'm ready for my boobs to feel "normal" and to go out and buy new bras and shirts! I'm impatient! My dr doesn't even want me thinking about anything other than soft cups or sports bras until somewhere between 4-6 months so I have awhile to go. Patience. Patience! I'm back working out with weights in the gym. Light arm weights. I really thought it was pointless, but my arms are sore! My boobs are finally softening some on the top and inside. The bottom and outside(closer to my armpits) are still hard, swollen and inflamed. They seem to be slowly dropping some and taking on shape. The skin doesn't feel so tight and pulled.
Sometimes I feel like my healing is slower going than many stories I read on here. I keep telling myself that everyone heals differently. An unexpected thing for me is the mental aspect. I'm actually having trouble sometimes seeing my new boobs for the size they are. When I try on shirts, I still pick up the 2 or 3xl ones that I always wore to try and hide my boob size. I've spent 25yrs trying to hide my bust size and I can't seem to undo that in a few weeks! I'm trying though!
So I'm 6 weeks post-op. I feel a little. It better every day. I still have numbness on the bottom part of my breast. There is also still inflammation. The areas of inflammation are smaller, but by the end of the day I'm hurting and it's red and irritated. The "sunburn" feeling is slowly fading. There are two areas where it still bothers me. It's at the top of each breast, almost at my underarm. I usually start out in the morning great and then end up swollen and sore by the end of the day. I'm still trying to figure out clothes to wear. I did finally buy a few shirts. I also tried on some bras. My dr doesn't want me wearing underwire for a few more months so it's been hard. I have a couple sports bras and a couple of soft cup bras. I still have no clue what cup size I will be. When I tried on sizes, a C seemed to be the best, a D fit in one style. I'm trying to be patient with it all but somedays it is a whole lot harder!! Some days I look at my boobs and panic and think they are still big and I go crying to my husband and he assures me that they aren't. It's hard to get your mind to accept the changes.
But ladies, this surgery is life changing. I am back to working out. Treadmill and light weights. I walk, not run. My goal is to eventually be able to jog an entire mile. My huge breasts made it too painful before. I need to find a really really good sports bra. I don't want my boobs to move at all while working out! Now that my boobs are smaller, it's time to lose the last 20lbs I need to lose and tone up! I'm determined!! I feel like I am "normal" now. People see ME, and not huge boobs. I feel like I have more confidence.
I went to the store today and tried on many many bras. The 38B fit the best but I wasn't totally happy with the way it looked. I decided that right now I will just stick with the xl soft bras. Oh, I also bought a new sports bra that I'm hoping will keep the boobs from moving!
It may sound weird...
But, I have always wanted to be able to throw on an old T-shirt, with the sleeves cut out, and go work out. I never had been able to because I had on a couple sports bras and tight tank tops just to hold me in, and then an XXXL shirts over that in hopes that no one could see my boobs still bouncing. Anyway, today, I threw on a soft sports bra, grabbed my husbands T-shirt that is a large, threw it on, and it fit!!! Happy happy day!!
Today is 7 weeks post op. I'm finally feeling almost back to myself. My energy still isn't 100%, I would put me at about 90%. I'm back in the gym on the treadmill and light weights. It makes me feel better. I start out the day feeling great and then by around 5-6pm, I can feel the swelling and I get achy. I mainly swell on the sides and bottom. The bottom outside part of each boob is still swollen and inflamed, you can still see the redness. I also still can't sleep on my sides or stomach. I can lay on one side for about 20-30min but then I start hurting. I don't like sleeping on my back, but I think I have finally adjusted. I have a folded up blanket under my pillow to prop me up some. I have a few spitting stitches, waiting to hear back from my dr on what she wants me to do. Oh and the bottom sides of my boobs are still numb. I'm not sure if I will get full feeling back. I'm trying to be patient. One of my nipples also seems to not want to come out. I feel like my boobs are wide and all of the tissue left is on the outside. I also feel like my nipples aren't evenly placed and maybe a little high. My dr keeps telling me to be patient and it will all settle. I'm trying! But don't get me wrong, I am totally thrilled with my boobs! I can walk in any store and pick out clothes now that actually fit! My dr doesn't like underwire bras until around 6 months, so I am still wearing my favorite soft cup bra. I bought three of them. I love it. I'm starting ab workouts this week. My gut has to get in shape now that my boobs aren't laying on it!
In this picture, the white bra is a 42DDD and I am squeezed in and bulging on the sides. The black bra is a 38B!!
I realize this sports bra gives me a total uniboob look, but this is the first time in my adult life that I have ever actually fit into a Nike sports bra, so I will take it! I did 4 miles and an ab workout and it held my boobs still!
12 Jul 2016
2 months post
So today I am 8 weeks post op. I'm feeling mostly back to normal. I still swell in the late afternoon/evening. I think a lot of the swelling is because it's so dang hot
In Texas. If I stay inside and do not go outside, the swelling isn't as bad. I can now sleep on either side, but I definitely can't sleep on my stomach yet. I still seem to sleep a lot sitting up some. We have a bed that raises and lowers so it makes things A LOT easier.
I saw my ps today. I had three spitting stitches she removed. She said everything is looking great and that as long as I still have redness on the sides and bottom part of my breast, there is still inflammation and swelling. I have to keep being patient! After I left her office, I ventured over to Target. I've tried on many many many different styles and sizes of bras and nothing seems to fit quite right. The 38B's are the closest but it seems like I have a lot of boob on the side and not a lot in the middle where cleavage would be. I guess I'm going to have to start looking for one that maybe squeezes my boobs together a little? My dr says that my boobs actually haven't dropped much yet because she pulled the skin so tight. When they drop, they should fit better in a bra cup. Right now, the soft cup bras are the most comfortable and fit the best.
I still panic sometimes and think they are still big or maybe too big. My family says they look like the perfect size for me. I know it's a mental thing. All of that aside, I LOVE my boobs. I love walking in any store and being able to actually find tops that fit! I'm ready to tone up and lose the rest of the weight! My dr wants me to wait 2 more weeks to go back full force with workouts and taking care of my son. When taking care of his needs, I use all my upper body. She wants to make sure I don't read anything by jumping in too soon.
That's it for about now!
12 Jul 2016
2 months post
Forgot to add the pictures. These are all from the last week.
Pic 1 is before and after sports bras!
Pic 2 is a cute little tank top that I would above NEVER been able to wear before! I don't even have on a bra!
Pic 3 you can still see the redness, inflammation and swelling on the bottom and sides.
19 Jul 2016
2 months post
I'm at a little over 9 weeks now. I've had a few more spitting stitches, but nothing major. I still swell by the end of the day. I think they are starting to drop and settle some. One faster than the other. I finally feel like I'm starting to lose the major side boob! I'm trying to be patient! Some days I look at them and think they are perfect, some days I think they are still too big. It's generally according to what I'm wearing. I still don't got on any "real" bra. Some C cups fit and some B cups fit. Now that they seem to be dropping I'm sure that bras will start fitting differently. I still think my nipples may be slightly too high and off center, but that's also changing. My dr keeps telling me that they will continue to change and settle for the next few months. I'm not doing patient very well!!
19 Jul 2016
2 months post
A before surgery and today pic and one that is from a couple weeks ago and today.
12 weeks tomorrow
I can't believe the time has gone so fast! I have forgotten to update the last couple of weeks. I've been busy! Not a lot has changed. My left boob has dropped and settled some, the right one not as much. I still think they are a little on the wide side with extra fat/tissue on the outsides. I also think my nipples are still slightly too high. However, with all of that, I LOVE them! I feel like I have more self confidence now than I have since I was in my 20's! I wear sports bras and tank tops to work out in without being self conscious. I wear t-shirts and tank tops with or without a little cotton bra and feel fabulous! I recently saw some fiends that I haven't seen since before surgery and they were shocked! They told me I looked like I had lost a ton of weight and my boobs looked so perky and little. It made my night! I feel like I almost have a new life. It's fun! I have more energy and go and do so much more. It's amazing how "weighed down" my huge boobs really made me!
Anyway, my scars are pretty intense, but I knew they would be. I always scar horribly. I told my dr the scars do not bother me. At all! Only my husband sees them and he doesn't care! He keeps wanting to just put his hands over my boobs. We have been together for over 28yrs and for the majority of that my boobs have been saggy and several handfuls. This is the first time since I was in my early 20's that they have only been a handful!
I will post pics shortly. Oh, I've also lost about 5lbs so far. Three years ago I weighed 245lbs. I'm down to right at 181/182 right now. I had gained a few pounds after surgery with all the laying around. I'm finally back to full force workouts and slowly increasing the weights I'm using. It feels great! My "goal" weight is 175lbs. I know I could get myself smaller, but I'm pretty happy at 175. I just need to lose the last 5-6lbs and then tone up!
I said my right one had dropped, but it's my left! It looks a little fatter on the side, but I'm not freaking out over it. My nipples are not even right now either, but one side has dropped faster/more than the other. You can only see the difference when I'm naked. In clothes they look perfect!
The pictures in the white bra....one is before and then the rest are how big it is after. It's hard to see in the pictures, but I could fit three of my boobs in my old bras!