Hey, guys. I've spent hours every day reading your...
Hey, guys. I've spent hours every day reading your stories and looking at your photos. Thank you so much for sharing.
I'm a petite, shy, 26 year old who had been wanting a BR since middle school. My back, neck, and shoulders hurt every day. I've weighed 115-140 lbs, and my breasts hardly change. They bring so much unwanted attention (me being so shy, etc) and they are so out if proportion with the test of my body. I was a Chiro for the first time yesterday, and the first thing out of her mouth was "You are very top-heavy, have you considered reduction?".
Anyway, my first visit with my family Dr is Sept 12. Any insight on what questions I should be asking? Ps I live on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
Pps I'm hesitant to post photos, so to ease my anxiety I've stickered over my Nipples. I'm sure I'll get more comfortable with the drs, but I have no idea who is going to see this online.
Some pics with clothing
It's hard for me to find photos of my chest with clothing on, because I usually hide under baggy clothes. I managed to find some in dresses.
I don't even own a bathing suit. My band size is so small, that even specialty places don't have anything big enough in the cup and small enough in the straps/band to not fall off me.
First appt today
Just got home from my GP's office. He's put in a referral to Dr Jennifer Robinson in Victoria, BC for a consult. Now we wait. He wasn't sure how long I'd be waiting for an appt, but I told him I'm open to paying for it instead of going through insurance, if it'll expedite the whole process.
Anyone currently waiting for BR in BC Canada?
I forgot to ask, is anyone else starting their breast reduction journey In BC Canada? My GP is sending a referral to surgeon Dr Jennifer Robinson in Victoria, BC. I'm curious how long the wait might be just for a consult. I haven't 100% decided if I'm going to try to go the insurance route, or just pay for it myself, but if there's a significant time difference in paying privately, I'll probably do that. I've waited this long, I'm yearning for it now that I've been researching every day etc. The wait times for all these I've reviewed from the USA are crazy quick - I can't seem to find many answers for Canada for the year 2016!
How do I tell my family?
I need help with this. I feel like my family will think a reduction is completely unnecessary and a waste of money (I'm probably paying privately). I'm 26 and moved out when I was 18, but my parents are still very much a part of my life, as are my grandparents etc. I know my siblings will be supportive, but I feel like my mother especially will think it's ridiculous and try to talk me out of it. I can't not tell them. Has anyone else dealt with this? When did you bring it up? I don't think they have any idea I'm seriously considering it. I've joked about "just cutting them off" when bras or clothes don't fit, but I really don't think she knew that deep down, I was serious.
Referral to surgeon
Alrighty, so my family Dr have me the phone number for Jennifer Robinson (the surgeon I'm interested in), and her office informed me that (in bc) you can not get an earlier surgery date by paying out of pocket. This means that I had to call my Dr back, ask him to send in the referral, and now I wait to hear about a consult. I'm told (by the surgeon's office) that the wait for a consult with this particular surgeon is approx 2 months, and surgeries are being booked for 6-12 months after the consult.
I was originally told that it would be a minimum of 6 months just for a consult, and 2+ years for the surgery after that, so I was going to just pay out of pocket, but now with the shorter wait times, I'm going to at least try through insurance.
Ps the surgeon's office asked me to tell my Dr to include my BMI in his referral letter, and they informed me that I need to be at a BMI of 30 or less (mine is 23, so I'm fine!).
Consult date set!
I'm so excited to hear back from the surgeon's office. My consult is 8am Oct 31st! The only thing I was told to "prepare" for the consult is a list of my medications (which is just Celexa).
Any tips, questions you wish you'd asked, etc, please post!
Photo, being brave.
Different angles. Sometimes they seem gigantic, and other times (usually in some clothing) they don't seem that big. I know insurance coverage differs so much based on so many things, but here I am, wondering if I'll get covered. I'll pay for it if I must, but yeah... I'm just thinking and getting excited since I have a consult coming up. This is starting to feel like it might happen for me.
Are you close to my body type?
I've been analyzing my body lately, and just curious... Will my curvy hips stand out way more if I get a reduction? Or am I just being a typical woman, over-analyzing? I feel like my shoulders and torso are petite, but almost like I should have large breasts because I have larger hips and thighs. I'd love to be a B cup (for the pain I'm in plus I've always thought smaller breasts are attractive) but I'm afraid my surgeon might want to make me a D or something, too match my hips. I will obviously ask during my consult, but what do you guys think? Is anyone else close to my shape? 5'2, 130 lbs, band size 30", over the Nipple 38", belly button 27", hips 37".
Wish boobs & questions
Just under two weeks until my consult, and I've decided to document my "wish boobs". If these are your photos, thank you for posting & I hope you don't mind me re-posting (ONLY on realself, I promise!).
I've been searching for women's stories who are around my height and weight (5'2, 130 lbs). I really, really love these after shots!
*Do most insurance companies require 400 grams to be removed? Do you have an estimate of how much I'd need to get removed to get around these sizes? I have no idea how much mine weigh yet.
*I'm in Canada and I DON'T have documented back pain etc because I would just take pain meds instead of going to a doctor. Do you think this will be a huge issue in trying to get approved? I have the shoulder indents, and I've been doing chiro/acupuncture/massage 1-2 times per week for about two months. Also, I'm hoping my size will be a good indicator as I'm a small frame with 30i sized breasts. I know I'll ask my PS this, I'm just asking because I can't stop wondering!
*My biggest concerns are not going small enough, and nipple symmetry. I don't know if I'll ever have a child, but my mom and sister were not able to breast feed, and we all turned out just fine. Also, I really don't care about scars.
*I'm thinking I'll have the anchor as opposed to lollipop because it'll be a bigger reduction, do you guys agree?
Consult was today.
I had my consult today, and it went really well. I was there for approx 30 mins. I filled out a brief medical info sheet, then the receptionist took me to a room and asked me to undress from the waist up, put on a front-closing gown, and the Dr would be right in.
The Dr came in, asked me why I wanted a reduction, what size bra I wear, what age I got my first period, if I'd had kids, if I had a family history of ovarian cancer etc.
She then went over the procedure, types of incisions, scars, possible complications. She then took some measurements from collarbone to nipple, and nipple to underside of the breast fold. After some photos, I got to cover up again.
The Dr told me that my right breast is a little bit bigger than my left. I will not need any underarm lipo. My breasts are very dense. I have a particular amount of tissue on the outer sides, like where my arms brush against my breasts, which she said she'd make note of to make sure she took enough tissue from that area. She said I am a good, healthy candidate, without much weight to lose; so once my breasts settle after surgery, the only thing that should change them much is if I gain a bunch of weight or get pregnant. I showed her some wish pics, and she took note that I'd rather be left too small as opposed to too big.
The Dr did not seem concerned at all about insurance coverage - She said, "Breast reduction in BC is covered, if it's for medical reasons. Your breasts are obviously too large for your frame, and you aren't getting relief from chiro. So, should we book you?" I was SHOCKED. I was expecting to hear that coverage is really hard to get, and that I'd need a bunch of documentation, but she assured me it shouldn't be an issue. I'll remain pessimistic in order to avoid disappointment, but it's still exciting that she thinks I'll get covered.
She said it's approx a 6 month wait, and to wait for a call. After that, I left! I was told over the phone it'd be a $150 charge, but it wasn't asked to pay anything, so... Cool? I wasn't thinking about it, so maybe the receptionist forgot, too, but she just said "I'll call you, and put you on the cancellation list, too. Bye!"
Lying down pics.
My breasts are especially out of control while lying down. Photo shows me holding them (they look like freakin' implants to me), then same position but letting them flop. If I sleep in a tank top without a bra, I wake up with at least one breast slipped out of the shirt, and into my armpit.
Next photo shows a side view. When I wear clothes, I look chubbier because my shirts hang from my breasts. This week I am completely focused on the cosmetic appeal of smaller breasts. I would love to wear more form-fitting clothing without people thinking that I'm trying to show off my chest. I have been asked before whether or not I've had implants...it drives me crazy.
Still waiting + clothed pics
I'm still waiting to hear about insurance approval and a date. I'm going to wait until at least the 4 week mark before calling to inquire (I really don't want to be annoying, and it seems the average approval takes 4-6 weeks). I am generally the most impatient person for anything and everything!!
My bf and I are going to Hawaii in Feb 2017, so I had to try to find a bathing suit that fits! I lucked out and found a top @ La Vie en Rose in size "D+". The neck and band parts are tie up instead of hook, which means I can adjust it to my 30" band size. AND it covers my boobs! I have always spilled out of the bikinis I have tried to wear. This will hopefully be the last suit I need to buy with these breasts, if surgery happens in 6-8 months.
I am also uploading pics of me in a shirt. You can tell how wide my breasts are, and how much they hit my arms. View is head on, then from under. No wonder I can't see my toes unless I hold my chest up out of the way.
Approved! & cancellation offer.
Yesterday was an exciting, yet anxiety-filled day. I got a voicemail from my surgeon's office offering me a surgery date of Dec 9th 2016. Two weeks away, WHAT? They'd had a cancellation. I was so shocked, because I haven't heard a word since my consult Oct 31st 2016.
That being said, 15 days' notice is NOT enough time to mentally prepare myself for something I was expecting to have to wait 6-8 months for. I also need to make an appt with my family Dr to get paperwork filled out for time off work, and he's booking 1-2 weeks ahead for appts. Also, it's so close to when my out of town family is coming for Xmas (Dec 16th). AND I'd have to cancel our Hawaii Trip (which isn't a big deal, but it's the cherry on top of my reasons).
So I called the surgeon's office back to decline the offer, but I had questions. "I haven't heard back about insurance coverage, does a surgery offer mean I'm approved?" YES YES YES! I'M APPROVED!
I also asked how does this work, do I get a date? She said not yet, they usually call patients 4 weeks in advance when they know the OR schedule (much more time to prepare paperwork etc).
She let me know that the wait time now is not 6-8 months, it's more like 2-3 months! This puts me around end of January or end of February, if it's accurate. Our trip is Feb 2nd-12th, so if it's the end of Feb, that would be perfect timing. I work for a big company, and it's not a worry about someone filling in for me while I'm gone. I'd get one last hurrah with my boobs in Hawaii, not to mention how nice of a distraction vacation would be) then come back, work a couple weeks, then take time off for surgery and healing.
Now, if they offer me a date in, say, January before our trip, I'm hoping I can just ask to postpone a month. I really don't want to cancel our trip (refundable tickets, but besides the point), but it won't be the end of the world if we do. My boyfriend says "We can go to Hawaii any time. You've waited 10 yrs for this". I should marry him, right? ;)
Anyway, this is a long post, but I wanted to update!! Especially for any other Canadians!
Ps I don't remember if I've mentioned, but they are estimating a 3-hour surgery for me. Is this normal? I know there will be pre-op and recovery at the hospital as well. Do you know how long your actual surgery took? Thx!
I have a date!
This just got SO REAL!! I got the call! I'll be on vacation in Hawaii Feb 2nd-12th, come home, and 5 days later I'll be in surgery! I check in @ 6am Feb 17th.
How long until you were able to drive yourself?
How long did you sleep in a recliner/propped up?
When would you feel comfortable walking a dog on a leash (pulling?)
What was involved in your pre-op physical? My family doctor needs to do a physical, and I'm not sure what's involved! I know we won't be doing a mammogram, but I'm assuming a manual check of my breasts will be involved? Blood work?
I won't be seeing my surgeon again until surgery day for markings, going over size again, etc.
Rant!! Removed photos for now.
I have removed all but 1 photo because I keep getting messages on here (coupled with real life comments) of people trying to talk me out of surgery. I am terrified enough as it is, I do not need people telling me what I do and do not need done to MY BODY.
*ON TOP OF THE DAILY PAIN AND STRUGGLE TO FIND CLOTHING THAT FITS MY PETITE FRAME*, I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have had countless meltdowns in dressing rooms. I hate the attention my body gets... At 16 I was mortified by the cat calls and sexual advances, by 26 you'd think I could handle it, but I can't. I'm shy!!! I'm a very conservative, modest young woman. Anything I try to wear brings unwanted attention and makes me feel like less of a professional when I'm at work. I want to be respected.
I'm sick and tired of the $100+ bras that are a struggle to find, even in specialty stores.
I'm 5'2, the rest of me is tiny, I would like my breasts to be small, too.
I LOVE swimming, but haven't been without a T shirt on in years (which is a shame, because I've lost the 15 lbs of student weight I'd gained). I should feel PROUD of my body, not constantly trying to hide it under over sized shirts and sweaters. And don't tell me to not worry what others think or say. Easier said than done, and I've had enough.
As for the pain, it's a daily struggle. My bra straps dig into my shoulders, my neck is constantly sore, as well as my back. "You should try working out!!!" No effing s**t. I have! I love working out! Guess what? It hasn't helped, and it in itself is very painful. I am a VERY active person.
I do not and should not have to defend myself on a website that is supposed to be informative, and a place for us to seek help. So before you message me or comment on my posts, I hope you've read this far. I've made my decision, and it's been a 10 year long decision. I do NOT care to hear your alternative methods of dealing with my pain. I've tried whatever you have to say will fix my physical pain, and nothing can help my emotional pain caused by breasts that are way too large for my frame.
17 Feb 2017
Day of treatment
I got to the hospital at 530am to check in at 6am (better safe than sorry with traffic). Got my bracelet, then headed to a waiting area with my bf for approx 15 mins, until they told us to say goodbye. I got into a gown, put my clothes etc in a locker, then got into a bed in a new waiting area.
Waited 45 mins until we went through questions, and I was given oral meds for anxiety (I was doing pretty well, but they gave it to me anyway). PS came to mark me up, then someone wheeled me to the OR at 7:45am.
Got onto the table, got my IV, and a few minutes later I got the gas mask and was out. Surgery was 8am-11am.
Woke up in recovery #1 pretty cloudy, but aware of what I was doing there. Nurse asked how my pain was, it was maybe a 5/10, just a burning feeling. She gave me iv meds to make me more comfy, waited maybe 10 mins then took me to recovery #2.
They said I was the easiest patient, which is pretty cool. I woke up quickly, wasn't in too much pain, and was generally "waking up" like a superstar, they said.
Once in recovery 2 a nurse checked on my pain, and I told her someone gave me something a short while ago. She gave me Tylenol 3 anyway.
Asked if I was up to try to urinate, and I got up just fine. No nausea!! Took a good long pee, peeked at my new boobs (no bra or gauze so you can see the shape!).
Walked back to my bed in recovery # 2 and asked if I could text my parents and bf. I don't know how much longer, but my dressings were checked, pain level checked, went over post op care, and got dressed on my own!
The ride home was fine, and we stopped for slurpees. Had a little nap propped up in bed, and feeling much less groggy now. I didn't sleep well last night, so I think that contributed to my need of some sleep on top of the anaesthesia, of course.
SO my surgery took 3 hrs. No drains. No lipo. No FNG. No bra. No ace bandage. I will start a sports bra in a few days. Dressings need to be changed by me in 48 hrs. I can shower in 48 hrs, but be careful of water etc getting on my chest too much. I can sleep on my side once my ps gives the ok at one of my post op appts. My stitches are all dissolvable! 409g removed from the left, and 415g from the right. Doesn't seem like much, but check my pics, I can already see a difference! I started at a 30i and asked to "look like a C cup" (my band size makes sizing wonky). She did what she could, given my wide breasts.
Overall feeling fantastic, just took a Tylenol 3 as I woke up a tad uncomfortable and want to keep up on pain management. Not hungry yet, but very thirsty.
72 hrs post
Other than being reeeeally tired, I don't have much to report. I have feeling in my right nipple, but the left is still numb.
I haven't needed prescription pain meds since 24 hrs post op (I am now just taking Tylenol).
I've changed my dressings, taken a careful shower, and am in a sports bra as of today.
I went about a day and a half without a bowel movement. Lots of fruit, water, and prune juice helped.
I find it difficult to sleep propped up in bed, so I've moved to a recliner, and it is SO much easier!
All in all, so far I'm having a very easy recovery... I'm waiting for something to go wrong!
Today is 5 days since surgery, and I haven't taken a pain pill of any kind! Feeling great, just not sleeping great. I got out of the house today to look for a second sports bra. I'm happy to report that the car ride (I wasn't driving) was fine with the bumps, but I used a pillow across my chest for the seatbelt. Still no dizziness or nausea, so I think I'm out of the woods in that regard! My stomach bloat is subsiding, my appetite is back to 100%, and I still have feeling in just one nipple.
Posting pics of straight on (regular light and bathroom light), and each anchor incision. The steri strips on my right folded up so I had to remove & got my nurse family member to reapply.
Hey guys, I've added some more photos today. Nothing much to report, other than some steri strips have started coming off.
I'm still not taking anything for pain (I honestly don't have any pain, other than the occasional twinge if I move the wrong way, but it goes away as quickly as it came on).
I've started going for walks around the neighbourhood, and it's going great. I feel more easily fatigued, but I'm sure that's normal post-op since we do a lot of resting compared to normal.
I'm feeling super happy and confident with my new proportions - even with the swelling and slight asymmetry so far - I can't wait to get back to normal life activities. Shopping is going to be so much fun! :D
2 weeks post
Yesterday was my post op appt, and my surgeon is very pleased with my healing so far. She trimmed one little stitch sticking out at my areola, other than that, everything is going as planned. No infections, holes, or anything of concern. She said I'm still quite swollen (yay) and should go down in size.
I forget if I've mentioned on here that I am fitting a 30f or 32ddd. I'm happy about the 32ddd because I should go down to a 32dd, and can shop in regular stores for bras :) It's really nice to be able to wear a 32 band on a tighter hook than a 30 band, because I won't feel so strapped in. It's truly amazing how much of a lift you get with breast reduction surgery!
I'm off work for another two weeks, then will go back on lighter duties. I drove for the first time today, and it was fine. I held my hands on the lower portion of the wheel, because it was more comfortable.
Attached are photos from the past few days.
If anyone is still following this, I'm really getting more comfortable with my new size so far. I'm fitting a 32DDD because they're wide, but I'm starting to really understand that I am proportionate now.
I do not LOOK like a DDD - the small band size really throws off measurements. 32DDD is about the same cup volume as a 36D. A lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around the sister sizes.
OH and my pathology came back - no signs of breast cancer :)
3 weeks tomorrow
I'm 3 weeks post op tomorrow, and everything is going great. I'm finding a lot of joy in buying new shirts, sports bras, a bralette, and trying on my old bathing suits from years ago.
I'm so happy that I can buy inexpensive little flimsy bralettes and bathing suits!! I haven't had fun shopping in years.
I'll be going back to work in two weeks on light duties (careful lifting and reaching). I'm very excited to start getting into my usual routine, and can't wait to start working out when I'm allowed to.
I'm still sleeping on my back. I'm off pain meds. I have feeling in one nipple, but both react to cold/stimulation now! The under sides of my breasts are still numb, but I have feeling on both sides of both breasts. Had a check up with my family Dr today, and he's impressed with my healing. My swelling is slowly going down, but my right breast is still noticeably wider and bigger than my left (in person). I'm not going to mind much if it doesn't even out, I'm just so happy over all!
Photos show my scar progression during weeks 1 through 3. Today is day 26.
I go back to work next week (restricted duties), and am actually kind of excited about it. I'm ready to get back to my normal routine.
I'm still sleeping on my back, and really wish I was at least comfortable lying on my side, but it's still sore to do so.
I am using Nexcare tape over my incisions, and changing them when I shower. I'm noticing (from the pics) that they're looking a lot more flat, which is great!
I am wearing a sports bra almost 24/7, and have purchased size medium bralettes and a wire-free bra (also medium) for back to work, so I feel a little more normal and less squished.
Depending on the bra, I am still fitting a 32dd/ddd, but I'm not buying any of those yet. I'm sticking to the mediums because my cup size will likely still change.
I like to keep my nipples covered because of some nasty comments I was getting, BUT my right areola may need a revision. My Dr and surgeon both gave the opinion that it may smooth out, but may not. It's almost as if the areola is heart shaped instead of oval or circular - the top dips down. We'll see, it may not bother me.
Overall, I am still loving my new breasts, and feel way more proportionate.
Hey, ladies. Today marks my second completed week back to work (on modified duties but full 8.5 hours), and let me tell you, it is so nice to be back to my usual routine.
I've been getting the odd soreness here and there, but overall feeling good.
I still have zero feeling in my left nipple/areola, but that's OK.
My breasts have dropped and softened quite a bit - they feel like normal, squishy boobs again.
I'm comfortable sleeping on my side, as long as I have a pillow there to relieve the pressure.
I'm using Mederma on my scars, and keep my incisions taped with Nexcare almost every day.
Hiking and short bursts of jogging are all I'm doing for exercise outside of work so far. My fitbit tells me I do 15,000 steps on average during a work day.
My 27th birthday is coming up, and I'm really going to focus on diet & exercise to catch up from 4 weeks of being inactive!