36H Soon to Be 36D!! - Walnut Creek, CA

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Hi everyone! It is a dream to be planning for my...

Hi everyone! It is a dream to be planning for my breast reduction surgery. I just turned 38, I'm 5'7", 185 lbs. I've been thinking about getting a breast reduction for the last 20 years. My fear of surgery and needles and pain has kept me from pursuing the procedure.
I am like every other woman with large breasts - I suffer from all the pain and discomfort in the neck, back, shoulders, numb arms, irritated skin, headaches, ill fitting clothes, etc.

I've put off talking to my healthcare provider about wanting a breast reduction because I am a Kaiser patient and I've read online and heard stories about 2 year waiting lists and having to make numerous doctor's appointments to prove breast reduction was the only way for me to achieve overall health. One day I had enough with the aches and pains and I made an appointment with my OBGYN to discuss my issues and request a referral to a surgeon. That was on Friday, April 5th. By the time I left his office I was set up to meet the surgeon first thing on Monday, April 8th and scheduled for a baseline mammogram the following Friday. ***The mammogram is a WHOLE other experience! I almost fainted from the pain (which lasted for over two weeks) and had to ice my boobs all night. I now have a sticker on my Kaiser card that says: Last mammogram April 2013. My response to that is EXACTLY! I'm not running down to do that again anytime soon!***

I met with my surgeon, Dr. Landfair, and she went over the entire procedure, what I should expect, she took pictures, did a breast exam and pretty much told me it was absolutely medically necessary and wanted to know when I was available to do the surgery. I was SHOCKED, to say the least, that it was up to me when I was ready to do the surgery versus fighting and pleading to get it done. I told her that I wanted to drop some weight before surgery and we agreed on the beginning of June.

So here I am, just days before my surgery, and I am so very excited! I am nervous as well, but I know the short-time pain will be worth it compared to life-long pain and discomfort. I am officially on a 6+ week leave from work. I am taking Monday - Wednesday off to clean, shop, prepare and Thursday, June 6th is my surgery/medical leave. I am excited to have my mom fly in to help me. We will spend Wednesday running around getting last minute groceries and having girl time. I bought us matching pajamas for our week long "slumber party." She will be my 24 hour nurse while my boyfriend goes to work.

If I get the courage, I will post before and after pictures, but we will see how that goes. I have to say that this website has been my saving grace for my mental and emotional preparation. I really feel like I have a sense of expectation now as that is the hardest part for me.

3 Days post-op and feeling really good!

Well here I am post operation and I am so happy. I've read other reviews that say they felt the relief of the removed weight immediately and it is so true. My surgery went well and the entire process was very smooth. I really have to give kudos to Kaiser for a great experience for me and my mom and boyfriend who were in the waiting room. Patients are assigned a special number that is visible on monitors in the waiting rooms. It shows the progress of the patient as they move from one area to the next. It was very helpful for my family as they always knew what part of the process I was in. (kinda cool!!)

I had to check in at 5:25 am, which wasn't so bad considering I only live about 3 minutes from the hospital. My surgery was scheduled for 8:00 am. The waiting time in the pre-op area wasn't bad. They had me put on a gown and these long compression thigh highs for the special socks they put on to keep blood flow. They gave me a patch of sedative behind my ear and put in my IV. I never felt loopy or out of it, but the sedative just made me feel normal, not nervous in any way. I was really worried about feeling scared before the surgery, but that wasn't the case. I really felt a sense of excitement because it was finally happening. My surgeon greeted me and made my markings, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about her part in the surgery and my surgical nurse came in to let me know that she would meet me out in front of the surgery room to give me a bigger sedative before we went in.

Right on schedule I was wheeled out of pre-op to the surgery unit, kissed my mom and boyfriend goodbye and my bed was parked in the hall out in front of surgery room 4. I was alone or about 1 minute and took that time to say a prayer. My surgical nurse came out of the room and I told her that I was getting a little nervous. She said that is expected and that is why she was going to give me a sedative before they took me into the surgery room. Once in the room, they had me scoot over to the operating table. My surgeon and everyone took turns saying who they were and what their roll was. My anesthesiologist told me that I was going to go to sleep now and put a gas mask on my face. She didn't have me count down - I was just OUT!. Next thing I know she was waking me up in the operating room to tell me they were done. All I remember for that quick moment was saying how happy I was that it was over and thanking them and bursting into tears. I also remember telling her that I felt really nauseous. The next thing after that I was opening my eyes in the recovery area.

My surgeon met my mom and boyfriend in the waiting room at about 11:20 and said I'd been in recovery since 11:00. The hospital was a little backed up and I wasn't able to move from recovery to post-op for a while, so the nurses let my visitors come see me for a few minutes. Once I was finally in the post-op area I was able to eat crackers and drink juice. I woke up hungry and I must have drank 3 juice boxes and 3 packages of graham crackers and a thing of jello!! LOL. I arrived home around 3:15 and ate another snack of crackers and drank vitamin water. I tried to sit in a chair to watch TV, but I ended up just going to bed to rest until about 6:00.

I have to say that I really haven't had any pain. The first two days were really just discomfort, as if I worked out really hard in the gym. I only took my pain meds during the day on the first two days, but now I'm just taking it at night to sleep well. I am just taking Tylenol during the day. Itching from the meds or maybe the healing is annoying, but antihistamines really help. The hard part is feeling much better than expected and thinking you are capable of small tasks - BUT YOU AREN'T! I have to keep telling myself that I just had a major surgery.

My first post-op is tomorrow morning and I will get the dressings off, drains removed and put on my sports bra. I am really excited to see the results thus far. My surgeon told my mom that she only made the incision under the breast about 2 inches long versus the full length like she expected. I am really happy about that.

I will update again and try and get some pictures up this week. Good luck to all the ladies still waiting for surgery day! I have faith you will do great! xoxo

Healing is going really great!!!

My 6 week recovery is over on Thursday and I go back to work on Friday! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. My recovery has been by the book and I am extremely happy with my results so far. I am still a little swollen, but that will decrease with time. My doctor did a fabulous job!! Thank you Dr. Song and her PA Alicia for making me look so beautiful!

To anyone reading this that is thinking about a reduction or terrified about an upcoming surgery date- GO FOR IT!!! You have nothing to worry about!! You won't regret it for one second! I had ZERO pain - not once! Just discomfort, like sore muscles feel. The absolute worst part of the whole process was waiting for the surgery day to arrive. I was so anxious, but on the day of I was so at peace and calm.

I am finally posting my before and after pix....
Kaiser Permanente - Walnut Creek Medical Center

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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