50 Y.o. and Ready to Be Fabulous. 42 I/J Wanting to Be a C/D with FNG (free nipple graft).

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Ok. I have been reading reviews on real self as I...

Ok. I have been reading reviews on real self as I process my desire for a breast reduction and I wondered if I would actually write one. Since reading others have been helpful to me, I'm writing to hopefully be helpful to someone else. I'm 50 y.o, 225 lbs, 5'1" tall. Currently I am a 42I/J hoping to be a 42D.

Like others I have been big breasted most of my life. As I look at pictures from the teen years, I look huge to me. I have the shoulder grooves, neck, back and shoulder pains. Interestingly my shoulder grooves aren't as bad as they used to be because of wider bra straps, and I wear multiple bras and spread the straps for support. The weight of my breast have impacted my physical activity levels and posture. In my 20's I tried seeing a chiropractor, but it just seem to never end. The root cause wasn't changing. I have always been overweight, but tried to address that as well. From Nutri-system, Weight Watchers, Medifast, Physician directed weight loss programs, over-the-counter diet pills, and even acupuncture. Although I had minimal success with some of those things, it was never sustaining.

I ultimately just wanted to feel good, be healthy, and be more physically active. I always wanted a breast reduction, and as I got older I realized the health issues my large breast were causing me. In around 2006, I developed sciatica. In 2011 I had a pinched nerve which caused my right arm and hand to go numb. It was extremely painful. I believed the size of my breast contributed to my pinched nerve. Wearing a bra during that time was also extremely painful because the straps would put pressure on the muscle in my right shoulder. I ended up doing physical therapy and basically getting functional again. However I still get numb on the right side sometimes. I have an in-home traction machine that I use periodically. Within the last year I have noticed that my back pain is worst. I take over the counter pain killers every day. which isn't good.

In 2010, I did 2 consults for BR. The first PS said I would have no problem getting approved but he would do a FNG and I felt like he was just running a chop shop. The second PS said I would need to loss weight. I got discouraged and just stop pursuing it.

Last year when I turned 50, I decided enough was enough. I researched and identified a PS. I did change jobs and have different insurance and I felt my chances were better. In late November 2013, I call to make a consult appointment. The first available that would support my insurance and what I wanted to do wasn't until March 27, 2014.... that was almost 4 months away.

Well... fast forward and it's March.. and my appointment is this coming week. I just had a mammogram this past week so that wouldn't be an issue. I'm very hopeful about this process. Mentally I am ready to move forward. I have been reading, researching and talking to women who have done this. The group on Facebook has been an awesome resource. So my next post will be after my consult. Pray for me.

Completed my consult. Surgery date give, but still need to submit stuff for Insurance authorization.

So I had my breast reduction consultation today. Over all I was very pleased. I felt comfortable with my doctor. And I have several follow-ups to do. So I have to get my notes from my orthopedic doctor and from my physical therapist. I have a surgery date of June 6. I have to have that scheduled before the insurance can authorize. She indicated that she would remove approximately 1000 from left breast and 800 from right breast. So that's about 4 pounds total.
The downside is I may still have to have a free nipple graft because of my size. I'm hoping that that's not the case. But I'm giving the doctor the option to decide during the surgery. I understand the pros and cons. I'm excited and looking forward to it happening. June 6 seems like it's a long way away.
My request to the doctor was to take me down to the size of cup C, a full size C. I think that will work for me. The doctor seems to think that would be fine. She used my BMI as a reference a lot, to let me know that some decisions were because of my size. I am going to continue to work on my weight loss. I am down 15 pounds since January 1. I am trying to average about 5 pounds a month. So my goal is 10 more pounds before the surgery.
I asked about side boobs and she indicated that she did remove some of it as part of surgery but some would remain and she would shape it so that it tapered. She indicated that because of my size typically women don't have significant issues with side boobs. The result would look natural.
I have a slight overhang in the center that she would adjust so my incision would probably go all the way across.
From a time away from work she said at least a week. She would recommend 2, but I should be able to return to work after 1 week.
I asked about drains and she said she rarely used them. Typically used when people with a lot of loose skin that fluid could accumulate. I asked about sutures, glue, tape, staples.. She said she uses dissolvable sutures inside and Xeroform stripes externally with a firm wrapping and the bra until the follow-up. Surgery is usually on Friday and follow-up is usually on Monday.
Overall I was very pleased with the appointment. I’m kind of glad that I have some follow-up to do but I also have a surgery date. It gives me something to do to move the process forward.

Things are moving along.

So my todo list from my consult was to get copies of the doctors notes from my orthopedic doctor and physical therapy from when I had a pinched nerve. My consult was a week ago. I'm happy because I've been able to get the reports that I needed. And the bonus was an additional report from 2004 where I saw the ortho for my chronic back pain. I still have to get a letter from my current PCP, but I have an appointment with her on Monday. Things are moving along. I am making copies for myself and I'm going to drop off copies at the PS office.

I've also been re-thinking what cup size I want to be and have decided that a D/DD would look best on me and my body frame. Going down to a C would be too much. I am use to having a full chest and I think a C would feel too small.

Current State

Ok. Here is my official before shot.

Surgery Date moved and still waiting on approval

This has been really challenging for me. My original date was 6/6/14 but it got moved to 6/24 due to the booking of the operating room. I have my pre-op appt with the PS on next wednesday and I'm still waiting for approval from my insurance company. I talk to my PS office today and they will call them on Friday if they don't have any updates. It's a painful waiting game.

During my last visit with my PCP, she really listened when I told her I was taking tylenol every day. They did a blood test and my liver levels were elevated. They told me to switch to ibuprofen. Of course that messes with my stomach so I have to take pepcid also. Meds leading to meds.

I'm fighting hard to not get discouraged. I know some people's journeys have been harder than this but it doesn't make it easier for me.

I have been continuing to work out and I haven't lost a significant amount recently, i was doing really good when I was taking Tylenol. Ibuprofen makes me drowsy. But I haven't gain anything back. So that's good.

On the other side, FNG. Hopefully a d cup

So I have a lot to update but my surgery was on June 25th. I wasn't sure if it was going to happen because the insurance process was really crazy. But I finally got authorized at 240pm the day before. Thee good thing was I had done all my pre op stuff so I was ready to go. My mom came in town the night before and I had to be at the surgery center at 630am on Wednesday morning. My surgery was scheduled at 8am. Everything went smoothly.

I did have a FNG. So I'm prayerful about that. I will post some initial pictures. The pictures are after the first 48hours and I was changing the bandages.

Right now I'm resting a lot. I switched to Tylenol after the first day. It seems to be fine for pain management.

Posting Initial pics Post-op.

I meant to post these before. I apologize for the mess on the counter.

Back to work and doing ok

So I went back to work actually at my 2 week point. I remember my PS telling me that most of her patient are back to work in 2 weeks, and I didn't believe her. But I was generally feeling pretty good. Only using Tylenol as needed. At my second post-op appointment she said I could resume my normal activities.

Just to give a general run down on my progression after surgery. I slept in a recliner for the first 12 days. I switch from the narcotic pain killers to Tylenol on day 2. I had major nausea but I manage it with peppermints and peppermint tea. I didn't have much of an appetite until day 4 or 5. I did drink a lot of water and I walked. On day 1 I just walk from my bedroom to the end of the hallway in my house. Day 2, I walked downstairs and around and back up. Each day I increased my walking. On day 10 I walked 3 miles outside.

I'm at day 19 and I'm working partial days at work, driving, and generally doing normal stuff. I just get tired by early evening and I am ready for bed.

My healing is progressing. I have to remind myself constant about being patient with the FNG. I'll get ugly before it gets pretty. I'm still concerned about the pigment coming back. If it doesn't, I totally plan to get it tattooed. For wound care my PS has me putting Bacitracin Ointment and surgical pad over the FNG and vertical incision. My horizontal ones are basically closed except at the T point. Tip for spreading the ointment is to use a wide Popsicle stick. I picked up a pack at the craft store.

My biggest adjustment right now is my clothes. I started losing weight before the BR. So at this point I'm down 30 lbs w/ BR so far this year. Most of my clothes don't fit. I plan to really increase my workout once I'm healed a little more, so I don't want to spend money on a lot of clothes. Plus with the BR, I have to change the style that looks good on me. These are all good problems to have.
My only other adjustment is having to wear a bra all the time. Even though the sports bras are comfortable. Fruit of the loom front closure.

Ok. That's it for now. I'll post more as I think of it. I'm trying to post stuff that I think would be helpful to someone else on this journey.

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