59 Yr Old Retired Nurse, Went from 40 G/H to D Surgery on Mar 15/16 - Victoria, BC

Well I finally did it, never late than never. I ...

Well I finally did it, never late than never. I have had large breasts since in my 20's, somewhere in the 40 G/H range. It was OK when I was young, the guys like them and my girlfriends were jealous and I was of that generation you just put up with what you were given.. Then my nieces inherited by breast DNA and 2 of them had reductions in their 20's. Hmmmm , maybe I should too. Tired of the poor posture, always having to buy clothes that are too big otherwise, sore neck, can't wear pretty summer dresses, back packs that don't sit right, life jackets that ride up to my chin, ugly bras that don't fit, oh the list goes on and on. Then looking at pictures of me with my arms tucked over or under my breasts, trying to hide them. or pictures where I didn't that looked horrible.. Luckily I live in Canada and although the process is slow due to wait times to see surgeons and then get the OR date, the procedure is financially covered. So today I am Day 8 post-op ! I have had 900 gms off one side and 800 off the other. Instant 3.75 lb weight loss. ;) Brief review so far. Surgery was booked for 3 hours but only took 2.5, which is great because that means all went smoothly, no complications, bleeders etc. I was sent home 4 hours later. A bit nauseated but quite comfortable. I had pre-made a big potfull of chicken noodle soup and had a bowl for supper, watched a movie and went to bed . Tip #1 make a bunch of food to have in the freezer for days you will not feel like cooking. I took it easy day 2 , taking my pain killers ( Tramecet -Tramadol and tylenol combo) as prescribed but only one at a time instead of two. Day 3 I did a abit too much and got quite sore.. lesson learned, The surgeon told me to not walk any more than around the house but I went to coffee with my friend and grabbed some groceries...it was amazing how that wiped me out. First issue was that I had only had one bowel movement since my surgery so started eating some prunes. So lesson #2 -don't forget that surgery, the dehydration and the pain killers all contribute to constipation so have something that works for you on hand, and drink lots of water post -op Day 4 I got my big bandage off,, this is something unique to my surgeon, he taped my up with his own version of a surgical bra. but my skin was glad to get all that tape off ! I bled very little but have one big bruise. I have 64 steri strip tapes that will stay on for 10-14 days and fall off themselves. I can shower cautiously, so as not to have the strips rub off. PS advised me to wear a sports type bra 24/7 for the next 2 weeks. and when I felt how unsupported I felt without the big bandage I can see why. Actually I am wearing 2 during the day and one at night. So far the nights are not great as I have sciatica and sleeping on my back is quite uncomfortable. I sleep over to one side with pillows propped here and there and then over to the other side or onto my back for awhile, certainly not comfortable in any position. By day 6 I was feeling stronger and since my husband is away for a few days I had some errands to do.. of course while I was out I might as well do a few more things.... oops paid for that activity with with increased swelling and pain the next day, so today and the rest of the week I am staying put. Thanks goodness for the internet and movies, which is what lead me here to this site, because I was looking at info re recovery etc.
so now it is day 10 and I think the worst is over. I was wondering why my pain seems to be worse than what I read about here,most saying the pain is subsiding day 5 or so. Put then realized I have chronic pain, back and arthritis and that I had taken myself off some of those meds pre-op and now just on the Tramacet post op . so that was not evough to cover my chronic pain and the operative pain, I was sleeping so poorly which we need to heal.. so last night I took an Elaviil that I was on previously for sleep and the chronic pain and slept 12 hours....and I feel so much better today.. I will go back to my old pain regime and see how that works.. Luckily I have a nursing background so I find all of this very interesting Something else i wanted to mention is that there are a few good videos on you-tube that show the whole surgery.. I never thought to watch them before the surgery and maybe glad I didn't but if you are the curious type like me, look them up. It sure explains why things are so tender afterward ! Well that's all for now. I am having trouble loading photos, I will try again later.

Finally got the photos uploaded

Day 11, the worst is over, doing more and sleeping better. I had weaned myself off Elavil Rx for a month pre op. I was taking them for chronic pain and the resulting poor sleep and minor depression. Took them again the night before last and slept 12 hours.. ahhh, that feels better, down to 2 pain pills a day. Bowels are back on track too... full steam ahead.

The worst is over

Yippee, I survived the first 2 weeks. Been trying on some of my clothes, so nice to not have them stretching over my chest. And I bought a sports bra in a normal store yesterday and threw out some of my old ones. More will be thrown out soon. I still have some annoying pain on the incision lines more of a burning and some of those zingers especially my right side where he had to take off more than the other side. I have one moment that really hurts deep in my breast, reaching down and across my middle , probably a really tight internal stitch or something so I am learning to avoid that movement. Incisions are healing beautifully. and I am able to sleep on my sides again... Also went for my first real walk outside, a beautiful spring day. I wore two bras, took it slow and stayed on a nice flat trail and it felt so good. I have lost only a few of the steri-strips, as I have been very careful of them but think I can safely remove the rest of them now, then I will post pictures. I have some scar cream ready to start tonight. Summer tops here I come.

Not there yet day 19

Hmmm, had a terrible night last night, lots of pain in both sides, lower part... the swelling above is lessening but the lower parts are still very swollen and sore, but the incision looks great, just a tiny bit of redness and the skin seems thin, stretched and itchy. . Wondering if my sports bra is pulling down on me instead of lifting up? I have been wearing two most days for support. Maybe a reduction as big as mine ( 900 on one side and 800 on the other)should have had drains?? I felt if I could only stand on my head for awhile last night the swelling would shift.. tossed and turned all night finally got up at 0300 and took a couple ibuprofen and that eased it a bit.. Gee all i did yesterday was go grocery shopping, and make dinner. so taking it easy today, again. It sounds like a lot of you are back to fairly normal activities at 3 weeks post-op ? Am I being too impatient ? I am signed up for a 10 km walk on the 26th but at this point not sure I should do it.. I am an avid hiker and this laying around is getting old real fast ;)

Those who told me it was a long recovery were right

Just over 3 weeks.. I am still quite sore , taking the odd OTC anti-imflammatory , but it doesn't seem to help that much anyway.. and then there are the zingers, not too many but kind of embarrassing when you yell ouch in the middle of a coffee shop ;) My main area of concern is the long incision along the bra line.. it takes a lot of pressure from the heavy still swollen breasts and is where all the swelling seems to be settled, so having to wear a snug bra that rubs on it constantly has made is very red, inflamed and tender.. I happened to be handy to my surgeon the other day and was able to make a quick appt to have him check it out.. he didn't think it was infected because the redness was only above the incision line , but he did put me on antibiotics just in case it got worse. there is a wee bit of leaking so for that and the fact it adds a bit of a buffer between me and my bra I am tucking a maxi pad along that line.. and also airing them out whenever I can.. I was starting with the anti scar get but wondered it maybe it was too soon and causing further irritation, so I have stopped that for now. Any other ideas how to reduce the constant irritation in this area ? It is too sore to go bra less, except at night. My nipples and vertical incisions look awesome though still sore as well.. I can't imagine people going back to work after 3 weeks, but maybe those are gals that have less than my total 1700 gms taken off. I know I am being an impatient patient.. apparently it is a nurse thing. ;)

Meant to add my week 2 photos

week 2 right after I took off the steri strips, great healing on the incision lines, one small gap that I reapplied new strips for a few more days. they looked better than now at week 3

4 weeks already

The time has flown. And all those stay at home projects I was hoping to do are not done. I am still sore especially around the ribs. Zingers have subsided for now.. Still trying to figure out how to take the pressure off my horizontal incision. Tried sports bras with lower rib bands, old looser bras, Mini pads, maxi pads, flannel, a camisole under my sports bras, sometimes I change it up during the day. Still can't find anything that doesn't rub there and going braless doesn't feel good either, they are still quite swollen and heavy at the bottom. Tops are softening up . But the redness is better and no more leaking, just a had few drops last week, on a couple spots that were particularity swollen. I have girls road trip this weekend so hopefully the long days won't set me back. I am still spending 10 hours in bed at night, can't wait to get there to get my bra off and not sleeping that great yet. I can sleep on my sides but not for long before finding another position. Getting better at sleeping on my back. Then don't want to get up and deal with the annoying rubbing again. I tried on my bathing suits this morning, they look great, with the girls fitting in how they are supposed to !

5 weeks tomorrow

I have overcome another plateau.. week 3 and 4 I did not see much change or improvement in how I felt, the horizontal incisions were very irritated, so my surgeon started my on prophylactic antibiotics because they were very red and looked almost infected in a couple spots so we thought it best to prevent any infection from setting in. Then suddenly a few days ago the pain subsided and I felt able to do more. I am walking again, hit my 10,000 steps Saturday and today, and spent the weekend away with girlfriends. I am seeing my PS tomorrow and I am sure he will be as pleased as I am with how things are healing. Not sure if it is a coincidence or not but I started using TraumCare ointment on them a few days ago. not sure why I didn't think of it before. it is a combination of Arnica and a few other natural anti inflammatories/healers. I will also restart my scar gel. I tried it a couple weeks ago but seemed to be irritating the already irritated scars.

Almost there

Saw Dr White today. He is pleased with my progress and I don't need to see him again unless I have a concern. I think this is mainly because he is moving back to Vancouver ???? Have his Ok to use my judgement as far as excercise goes. My 8 km walk yesterday left me sore last night so only did 5 today. The few lbs I gained post op are gone and I am actually down another pound ????

Cleaned out the old bra drawer :) and a few personal discoveries.

I am going to a function this weekend and want to wear a dress. Wow, what a great feeling to have one I liked in my closet but was a little too tight in the chest to fit just right, so I didn't like wearing it. My body looks so much longer now that there is space between by breasts and waist line .....I look taller and of course better posture will help too. I think I will be less camera shy from now on. I'll get hubby to take my picture this weekend with the dress on and share it. Threw out most of my old bras and found a couple sports bras that were too small and I had fooled myself into thinking they fit but now fit actually my swollen breasts with shape instead of just squishing my old boobies into them ;) I will wait a while yet to buy new ones.

8 weeks today

I am doing fantastic and like others on here, the better you feel the less you post. I am back to all more former activities, with no pain or discomfort. No more zingers ;) I still have a bit or hardness and swelling under my breasts where the incisions meet and a bit of discolouring.. the horizontal incisions are still red and a bit lumpy but I am putting my scar gel on twice a day and giving the incisions a good massage. I smile every time I see the new and improved girls. With most of the swelling gone they are starting to settle down into place. I can walk around without a bra and don't feel like I have to support them every time I move like I did until about week 7. I bought my first ever spaghetti strap sundress with built in bra.. to wear to nieces wedding in June. I think they will be just the right size for me.

slow but sure

9 weeks. most of the swelling is gone and that angry looking dark spot underneath is diminishing. Noticed a few weeks ago that one of my nipples has an interesting tear drop shape, I presume it will stay that way? don't really mind as no one else will know and it makes me a bit unique. Or are there others out there that have this.. I would tease my surgeon about it but unfortunately i have no more follow up appts with him. I went through my bra drawer today and got rid of half of them but found half of them fit just fine, even after 1700 grams removed ! guess I was really squeezing myself into those things , spilling out over and under ;) I have a very slight tenderness left in my sides and hoping a little swelling left, either that or I have some upper body work to do . Scars still reddish but improving, using scar gel twice a day. Posture and confidence is improving. I don't mind wearing T shirts any more. Just thought today how lovely it will be to put my life jacket on and not have it ride up to my chin. photos for comparison.

4 months post op.

Well I now know why so many of you lovely ladies no longer post after a couple months post op. Life gets back to normal, the pain is gone, we live our lives without thinking about our big boobs all the time. Clothes fit, people don't stare, men see our faces not our boobs. Life is good. My hubby still has to look twice once in awhile as he was used to the old me for 30 years. My scars are still red/pink despite my use of scar gel twice a day since week two. One nipple is still and will always be a bit tear shaped but no one is going to see it so who cares.. but my breasts are perfect sized, soft,perky and comfortable. Looking forward to going to the beach. I am a happy gal. .;
Dr Colin White

I was so lucky to get referred to Dr White after seeing another PS that wasn't willing to take the amount of tissue off that I knew I needed. Dr White's favourite surgery is Breast Reductions. Post-op I was a a bit concerned about the redness and increased pain and he saw me that day , reassured me without making me feel like I was over reacting.

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 Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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