Just scheduled my surgery today. Will be April...
Just scheduled my surgery today. Will be April 21st. I am 39 yrs old, 165lb, 5'3", approx. a 36/38H according to an online bra calculator, but wear a 38DDD, squishing them in for modesty reasons (I'm extremely self-conscious about them). Excruciating back pain for years now, and it has become unbearable. My chiro has said that it is time to get it done.
It has been an upsetting ride thus far, fighting with insurance, and I have decided to give up on that fight. I have decided to self-pay. I have a $5000 deductible anyway, and the quote I received for the entire procedure is just under $6000 so it'll work out fine. Sure, it would be nice to have my deductible met for the year in case I need it for anything else, but it is what it is. Very excited to have a date set! Now time to start prepping.
What I know: since this is self-pay, it will be done in a surgical suite (not hospital); I will be off work for about 2 weeks (I have a very light duty job); my husband will be off with me for a week and a half to take care of me; I will have drains that will be in for 7-10 days (eek!!) that will come out at the same time they remove the stitches. And they said no (real) shower until then (double eek!!). I'm a little nervous about the surgery itself, and the final outcome, but I need this done.
Less than a month away!
I am in the "less than a month" category now. I have been prepping like mad. I have bought a shower chair to help with showering post surgery, several bras for recovery, a neck pillow for sleeping in recliner, checked out the comfort level of the recliner that I will move upstairs into our living room for sleeping, and ordered Arnica Montana tabs. I have been reading reviews/posts on here like crazy as well to absorb as much information as I can.
This weekend I will do some shopping to see if I can find some comfy button up shirts and pjs. My husband is so supportive and I'm sure I'm driving him nuts because all I seem to talk about is the surgery. Last night I showed him my "goal" pictures of what size I want to be, and we watched a video of a BR surgery. Showed him some "after" pics as well. Talked about him helping me with things like showering and emptying my drains (showed him pics of what those look like too). Nothing grosses him out (he's a firefighter and has seen it all), and he knows they will not be pretty in the beginning. He's not worried about any of it. He truly loves my current breasts, but knows the severe pain they cause me. So he's taken the stance that soon he will have "new boobs" to play with :) And a much happier wife that doesn't complain as much, lol!
Next milestone is meeting with my PS on 4/5 to discuss lipo for under my arms for the "side boob" thing. I will find out if what I want done will be included or if there is an extra cost. Either way I want it done. I already have spillage over the sides and I believe it will be more prominent after the reduction.
I want the next month to go by quickly in some ways, even though I know recovery is tough, but I want to get on with it so it's over sooner, and I can enjoy my summer. (Note, we just got 12" of snow overnight, after having no snow on the ground at all for several weeks. YUCK!)
Is anyone having surgery the same day as me? I'd love a surgery-sister!
Keep posting your stories, I love reading them all, along with your updates!
A pic of my shoulder grooves
I forgot to add a pic of my deep shoulder grooves in my original post. I really hope these lessen, if not eventually go away completely one day after surgery. I hate them. The pic does not do them justice, they are bad. I had a good friend of mine ask me what that was one time because he noticed it through my clothing. Ugh!
Small steps toward the big day!
On Good Friday, I received my information packet from my surgeon's office. Ok, so I'm a geek in that little things like this get me excited.... it's getting closer, and it's getting real! I was excited to read through it.
One thing that they hadn't clarified with me prior to this was if I needed a pre-op physical and clearance from my regular doc for the surgery. In the letter, they had checked the box that I needed my doc to fax over office notes from my last physical. (For anyone who is curious, the other options they could have checked were (b) that I needed a physical AND a complete blood test, or (c) that I need a physical, complete blood test, AND an EKG.) Anyway.... the last time I was in to the doc was in October, and the letter didn't say how recent it had to be. I also wondered, since I didn't really count that visit as a physical in my mind (I have high blood pressure - controlled with meds - and this was a checkup for that, so they did check my BP and vitals, the basics...), would it be good enough, and was I going to have to rush to get in for one prior to surgery? Turns out they just want it to be within 6 months of surgery (I'll be over that time limit by 2 weeks, but it's ok with them), and they said they are ok with the notes my doc's office faxed over since I'm relatively young, and healthy. Whew! Side note.... I'm not a fan of doctors, and the thought of another appointment (and the cost, since it's all out of pocket for me) didn't exactly delight me.
Still slowly compiling the things I will need for recovery. Hubby and I went shopping last weekend and I was able to find some button-up pajamas (super comfy and soft). Some were from the second-hand store, because I couldn't see paying for new if I didn't have to, as I don't normally wear pjs, so they will only be used for a little bit ;) I have some long sleeve and some short sleeve (after all this is WI and the weather is all over the place this time of the year - today we will have 60 degrees, and this coming weekend will be a high of like 35!) Also per "txngrl75's" suggestion, I have some bras waiting for me to pick up at Walmart to add to my post-op bra collection :)
I am making notes at the office for others to use as they cover my position while I'm gone (I manage a VERY busy funeral home). Some of my coworkers know exactly what I'm having done. The others I will likely tell I'm having "back surgery", and I am not telling my family anything about it (other than my husband and son, and a cousin I am close to). My family doesn't live close to me, so they won't be "dropping in" during my recovery. My mother is very much a worrier, and doesn't need the stress she will put on herself.
Next week will be very busy for me so it should go by fast. I visit the PS to talk about under-arm lipo on 4/5, and my son's birthday is next week, as well as a banquet for the fire department that I, my husband, and son all will be attending. Lots to keep my mind busy (hopefully!)
Best wishes to all out there reading, whether you're counting down surgery like me, or on the other side recovering!
23 days to go!
Oh the PAIN!!
I think I'm becoming more "aware" of all the pain these beasts cause me. I feel that from my neck to my hips is just a train-wreck on me from all of the aches and pains. I don't think it's getting worse really, I just think about it more, and I think about how nice it will be not to have it at all.
Not much else new in the prep world. My son just started track in school, so I am making plans for the day of surgery for someone to get him home after practice (or after the meet, if there happens to be one) and get him some supper, just in case my surgery is scheduled in the afternoon, or they don't let me go home right away.
I think this weekend we will repaint our bedroom. Been wanting to do that for a while. It's so dark now, I want something lighter. It'll also be something to keep myself obssessive self occupied lol. Still enjoy reading everyone's reviews and conversations on here, helps pass the time!
Getting things done
Today I am spending the day repainting my bedroom. When we purchased the house 5 years ago, it was a dark burgundy color. I LOVE the beach, and wanted something lighter and brighter. And what better day to pass the time and calm my nerves.
Taking a break to let the first coat dry, and checking in on my BR peeps. As I was reading some of the recent reviews and updates, I find myself almost tearing up looking at some of the amazing transformations from prior to surgery to after, and I am so happy for each and every one of you! I know some of you are in pain, but my gosh, you have a whole new lease on life! I truly don't think anyone else who has not gone on this journey can fully understand how important this is to all of us. I have told very few people about my surgery (only a few close coworkers, and of course my hubby and son) and they have all been very supportive, even with 2 of the coworkers being male. But they know the pain I deal with on a daily basis.
Hope you all are having a great weekend, no matter which side of the journey you are on :)
This is what I did to occupy my time last weekend, lol
Redid our bedroom this past weekend, made it more bright and "beachy"!
Just got done with pre-op visit
Just got back from my pre-op visit. My PS doesn't do an official pre-op, but I wanted to talk about size (and a few other things). He asked what I want to be. I said "small C - I want to be closer to a B than a D". He said "ok, small C it is!"
I also asked about adding lipo under my arms. If I have nice boobs, I'd rather not have a large overhang. Of course I wanted to know about the added cost (my biggest worry), and it was an added $1500. No problem.... we're doing it! I'm not updating the cost of my review, because adding the lipo is my choice. Grand total is $7165 with the lipo.
Got the ok to keep taking my meds to keep my blood pressure under control. He gave me a general idea of what to expect before and after surgery. Three hours total, hopefully one hour in recovery, and then home.
One thing I was glad to hear is that I may not have to keep my drains in as long as I thought. In the original general instructions they mailed me, it said the drains would be removed at my first post-op, which is 7-10 days. He told me today, that as soon as the drainage drops below a certain level, I can come in and have them removed. (SUPER YAY!) Even if it's the next day. I get how important they are to have, but after reading others' stories, I'll be glad to get rid of them as soon as it's safe to do so.
I was pretty nervous before this appointment. Don't know why. My PS is supposed to be one of the best in the U.S., however I did feel a little rushed at the first consultation. But I'm sure he gets a lot of "window shoppers" and can see the point in not going into too much detail until it's a for-sure thing. This time I felt much more at ease, and we joked around. Makes me fee much more relaxed about everything. So now just the final wait...!!
And lastly, I needed to pay the final balance in full. They require full payment 2 weeks prior to surgery for self-pay peeps.
Prescriptions received.... one week away!
Today I received my prescriptions in the mail. They are for Keflex, Norco, and Zofran. It's a little thing, but I was weirdly excited to get the envelope today, I think because it's another step closer.
Trying to stay positive. Not many people know about my surgery, but the ones that do are treating me with such concern, and I'm not one to like "attention". Exactly why I have been very selective about who I have told. Some just know that I'm having surgery, but not the specifics. I have still chosen not to tell my family (other than hubby and son) anything about surgery for this very reason.
This weekend my son is having a bunch of friends over for a birthday party, and I will be doing a lot of last minute preparations (cleaning, grocery shopping, packing a bag for surgery day) so I'm sure the weekend will go fast.
Best wishes to all my fellow BRs, no matter where you're at in the process!
Last night I got my prescriptions filled. Felt a little bit like a junkie asking for my 5 prescriptions at the pharmacy, lol. (Three were for surgery, and the other two were my normal blood pressure scripts.)
This morning as I showered, I thought to myself, only 5 more showers by myself. And I told my husband to make sure on surgery day that he brings along a bucket in case I get sick on the way home. It should only be a 10-15 car ride, so I'm glad it's not longer.
This was one of those mornings that I woke up in so much pain, all up and down my back, from my neck to my butt. I really hope this surgery helps. My chiro has been the one that pushed for this surgery so I hope he's right. Took a tramadol to take the edge off the pain so that I can get through the day at the office.
I live in WI, and the weather finally decided to start getting "nice" the last couple days, so that has lifted my spirits. We're finally in the 70s, and it is supposed to stay that way. I was hoping the weather would turn nice before my surgery so that when I am recovering, I can spend some time out in the warmth under my tiki hut relaxing :) Our backyard is so peaceful. I am currently planning on returning to work on day 18. I do have flexibility if I need it, and plan on working half days for a bit that first week back.
I know there are a few others on here with the same surgery date as me. Hope everyone is doing well.
I have a surgery time!
Just received the call from my PS's office about tomorrow. I finally have a surgery time! I am scheduled for 8:30am, have to arrive at 7:45am. Works out perfect, as we'll be able to get my son on the bus, and should be home long before he is done with practice after school so hubby can pick him up. Supposed to be a 3 hour surgery, and then 1 hour in recovery before I go home.
Was hoping to be early in the morning, because I get really sick if I go too long without eating. I'm also glad though that I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and be rushed either. So this would have been the exact time I would have picked if I could have.
Last night we re-arranged our bedroom to fit our recliner in there for me to sleep in. Tonight I will be doing last minute cleaning/sanitizing (especially the bathroom). I am eating a pretty strict diet today that I read up about online. I had toast with honey for breakfast. Just had a little bit of applesauce for now. And chicken noodle soup for supper. Snacks in between will be yogurt or something else light. I have a list of foods to avoid, as I read that some foods make the anesthesia stay in your system longer and make you more prone to sickness. Trying to be very proactive.
I went to the chiro on Monday, and yesterday was treated to a one-hour massage, compliments of a coworker. I also have one last chiropractor appointment this afternoon, since I know I won't be able to go for quite a while. I am surprisingly calm. I'm sure the nerves will kick in, if not tonight, for sure in the morning. But for now I am feeling quite positive about things.
I have a bunch of "wish boob" pics that I am taking with to show my surgeon in the morning. I have already expressed my desire to be a small C if he can safely do so.
21 Apr 2016
Day of treatment
Hello... it's me..... (in my best Adele voice).... Hello from the other side!
I made it. Things went well. Better than I thought. I showed up at 7:45 sharp, but the doc wasn't there yet. Waited just a few minutes and they showed up to open the office (my anesthesiologist and an office gal were there waiting already too). I had a very caring nurse and a great anesthesiologist that got me ready. Hubby stayed with me for a while, then they moved him to the waiting room. Got IV started, doc marked me. Asked me again size, said small C and had my nurse show him the pics I brought. He said ok, and we were ready. I went pee once more and walked into the OR. Once I laid in the table, I don't remember anything else. Woke up dizzy and nauseous. Not sure what time surgery actually started (guessing 8:30). Next thing I knew it was around 12:15 or so that I was able to comprehend what was going on. They brought hubby back to see me and show him how to empty drains. He moved the car around while I the nurse dressed me. Once I woke up things seemed to move fast.
Short drive home, maybe 15 minutes, but I don't remember anything other than feeling nauseous. I have nausea meds and a nausea patch behind my ear until tomorrow. Got home around 2 I think. Had some crackers and went to sleep. Felt much less "out of it" when I woke up. Now it's about 6:30. About an hour ago, I was up to pee and hubby emptied my drains. There was a good amount in them. Got very lightheaded being up. Much more comfy in my recliner. Took 1st pain pill around 4:30. More of a burning/stinging sensation. Trying to stay away so I can sleep tonight.
Overall I was much less nervous this morning than I thought I would be. I did cry after I said goodbye to my son and he got on the bus before we left. After that meltdown I seemed ok. Hope all my surgery sister did fine today as well, will look for updates on you ladies, and I will update more tomorrow!
Day one post op
Feeling really great. Not much pain. Lots of stinging from lipo under arms depending on how I move, can't rest my arms at my side. Just emptied drains, around 5 ml in them this morning. Yesterday right after surgery there was around 30-35, and a few hours later was like 25 in each. So definitely dropping off. And turning more clear fluid. Very thankful for them though because I don't really feel swollen.
Went to bed around midnight. Was up from 2:30-4am and up at 6am. Feel very well tested which is unusual for me with little sleep. I don't feel any after effects from the anesthesia. I ate a very controlled diet the day before surgery that is supposed to help metabolize the anesthesia. Some foods slow it down so I avoided those.
Taking it very much easy. Had 2 scrambled eggs and toast with honey for breakfast. Thankfully I'm not retaining water like I've heard can be a problem. Probably because one of the pills I take for high blood pressure is a water pill. Glad to not be swollen from that. Scared and excited to see them for the first time. Not sure when that will even be.
Carry on my healing friends!
Pretty uneventful here. Had kind of a broken sleep again last night. Was up from 2:00-4:00am or so. Got up at 6 because my son had to get ready to go to a special all-day firefighter training today (we are a firefighter family, and he is part of the youth firefighter group). A little worried because neither my husband or I will be there - if it weren't for surgery, we would be - but he's going with all the other guys (adults) from the fire dept. so they will keep an eye on him. Happy that he gets to experience it, because it's a very rare and cool training he is doing.
Definitely can't wait to (hopefully) get these drains out Monday. Drainage is minimal. I think the drain sites are the most uncomfortable right now. When hubby empties them, when he strips the fluid out of the left one, it stings soooo bad at the drain site, but it stops as soon as he is done. Must be creating some additional suction when he's doing that. He's definitely not pulling on it, so not sure what else it would be.
I have not seen the girls without a bra yet, I was told not to disturb anything. A little nervous about seeing them. Emotionally, I don't think it's really set in yet, I'm sure when I see them "in person" it will make it more real.
Going to attempt washing my hair today (hubby actually) probably over the kitchen sink with the sprayer. Then after that maybe a sponge bath to clean the lower half of my body.
Prayers for speedy recovery to you all!
Drains GONE!!! - Amazing Day 4
Just got back from a trip to town to get my drains removed. My output was under 20ml in 24 hours so they could come out (last three times we emptied, there was less than 5ml in each, each time.) SOOOOO happy to have them gone. Yes, it was painful. Hubby said they were in there a good 8 inches or so. Felt like someone cutting me with a knife, but it was over very quickly. I did take a Norco before we left home. I am in NO pain as of right now. SO much more comfortable with them out.
Was the first time my bra was off since surgery, but still couldn't see anything as the dressings are still on until Thursday at my first official post-op appointment. I will try to remember to ask how much he took out. Original estimates were going to be between 750-950 per side. I asked for a small C, and I'm thinking so far that he nailed it.
Had a little itching before bed last night around my stitches, so I took a Benadryl and slept like a ROCK. Woke up feeling so refreshed. Hubby was able to see some of the bruising under my arms, and said he can see why it hurt. But after getting the drains out, I can say that most of the pain was because of them.
Hubby washed my hair again this morning, I actually put makeup on to go to my appointment, and I had another "lower body" shower. That on top of the drains being removed, I feel AMAZING! I expected this experience so far to be MUCH worse. I usually do not do well with anesthesia, pain meds, etc. I feel like I could run a marathon! (Don't worry, I'm only recliner surfing for a very long time yet!). I just pray that things continue to go smoothly. I have no other plans for the next two weeks other than rest and relaxation. Hubby has been absolutely amazing with everything. He is off of work until 5/2 to cater to me. Since I'm doing so well, it gives him a chance to get some things done around the house as well.
Best part..... my neck and shoulder pain is GONE. And I know it's not because of the pain meds or anything, because I can still feel the pain in my lower back (from other issues - had a herniated disc last year). The muscles from my neck to my shoulder used to always be so tense, all the time. Pain was constant and unbearable. All gone. And I have full range of movement in my neck. Unbelievable. When others have said their pain disappeared right away, I couldn't believe it would actually happen. Thank you God!
I'm off to hopefully read some updates from you ladies, and I pray for each and every one of you that things are going well. Sorry for no new pics, nothing really to show as far as changes. I will post some as soon as I am able to!
Just found out how much they removed. Drumroll please! .......
700 grams per side!
A bra change
I have I think 4 or 5 different bras I bought for recovery. The one I've been wearing since surgery has been great, wore it 24/7 for the last 4 days, never took it off. Very good compression, and has removable padding. I think this may end up my regular sports bra after recovery:
Today I decided to change out bras so I could wash that one, and well, since I have a bunch of different styles, I might as well try them out. I am now in this one:
So far seems pretty comfy. Still have bandages on under my bra and around the sides.
Day 5 - Bloating, swelling, itching, and bruising
That sums up my day. Still have a lot of belly bloat. I've been doing everything I can to sort that issue out. It's def not a #2 problem, I've probably dropped a few pounds from going so much today! And I'm drinking lemon water, both for swelling and bloating. I've been reading up on the post-surgery bloat and it sounds like it just takes time. Not sure how much swelling I have, I really have been staying off my feet. I really only get up to go to the bathroom and stretch. And bruising, well I have yet to see how bad that is, as I still have bandages taped all over my boobs.
Itching comes and goes around my stitches. I would assume I will have them out at my one-week appointment on Thursday, since I won't see the doc again for another 3 weeks.
This weekend I will need to try to become more self-sufficient. Since surgery, I have had my husband with me 24/7, and will until he goes back to work next Monday.My son is also old enough (14) to take care of himself. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have someone to take care of them, and to those who are/have done this on their own, hats off to you. I plan on being off work until May 9th, hoping that is enough time. It's office work, and since I'm the boss, I can take it as easy as I need to.
My pre-surgery weight was 162 (down from my all-time high of 182). Today I weigh 159. It's been a long time since I've been below 160. Hope I can keep going, and that this surgery is the motivation I need to push harder once I'm healed (since I'll be able to exercise much easier).
I am trying to keep up with everyone's reviews that are around the same time frame as me. It sounds like despite a few bumps, everyone is doing well!
A few evening pics
The bra here is this one:
This one is really comfy. I had tried the ever-popular Fruit of the Loom one this afternoon that I got in the 2-pack from Walmart, but that feels a bit too snug yet. I think they will be great once swelling goes down. I'm glad I have a variety of bras to rotate through.
One week appointment - Stitches out
Today was my one week follow up appointment, and my first chance to see the girls. First the PS assistant took off all the bandages (ouch!). She said my PS would look at my incisions and if they looked ok, he would take out the stitches. He said they look great, and I will be a "perky C" like I wanted, and proceeded to remove the stitches. I did take a pain pill before I left home, but some of them still did sting a bit (just like a bee stinging me, over and over).
Afterwards, when I was putting my bra back on, I got really light-headed and sweaty. Not sure what was up with that, but I had to sit down. Once I got outside in the cool air, I was much better. He told me to clean the incisions daily with 50% peroxide/50% water mixture. After a week of that, he prescribed me a steroid cream for the scars, to be put on daily.
I was a little saddened by the fact that my nipples are uneven (not level) but as I did some more reading on here, it is common and many times even themselves out as they heal more. Regardless, I got what I wanted - relief from the excruciating pain I was in because of the weight of those puppies. My husband is the only one who will ever see them. He even asked me "Were they uneven before the reduction?".... he never even noticed before if they were or not, so he reassured me that he is fine with however they turn out, because he knows I have pain relief. My next appointment with my PS will be at 4 months.
I did pop another pain pill when I got home (other than today, I have not been taking them anymore). Hubby also just returned from a run getting me some "comfort food" from town :)
Take care everyone!
Day 8 Post Op
So yesterday was very physically and emotionally draining on me. I slept pretty good, however still waking up in the 2am-4am timeframe like clockwork.
This morning I did my first solo, full shower and washed my own hair. Had hubby wash down my incisions with hydrogen peroxide afterward. I put some makeup on and clean, comfy clothes. Did my hair. Going to take it easy today, but try to cut back on my daytime sleeping.
I have to say, since getting my bandages off, and stitches out, when I don't have a bra on, I feel so weird, like they're not my boobs, lol or like they will fall right off. I think I'm still getting used to the feeling of not having breasts laying on my rib cage and upper abdomen. It appears that my right boob has started to drop a bit, and lefty is holding higher yet.
So, not much else to update, other than lots of pics to share. Bruising under my arms where I had lipo has subsided significantly over the last 4-5 days, however it is still tender. I don't have any pics of what it looked like before, as everything was well covered in bandages until yesterday.
Mama's Day Out - Day 9 Post Op
Today was my first real day venturing out. Hubby did the driving yet though. I went into the office for a couple hours, then we got a bite to eat at the mall, went grocery shopping, and made two other quick stops. Out and about for maybe 6 hours total. Still have great energy, and while my boobs were starting to ache a bit and give me more zingers than usual, I don't think I ended up with very much swelling. Definitely starting to feel a lot better!
One thing I noticed when we were at the food court in the mall (my first "public" outing) is that I was much less self-conscious. I didn't feel like everyone was staring at my chest, and I wasn't constantly trying to cover it up. I just felt "normal". And it felt good. While we were eating, I explained this to hubby. I don't think he ever really understood how much it bothered me. And I don't think he ever realized how much I had to deal with people talking to my chest instead of me. (I never really told him how much it happened - i.e. ALL the time.) Ahhh, it feels good to be on the smaller side!
Quick 2 Week Update
Hard to believe that it's 2 weeks today since surgery. I'm doing well. Incredible amount of energy, and generally feeling well overall. Back pain is almost non-existent (other than from sleeping on my back). Few small wounds that are working on healing up on the underside. I also notice that I am waking up feeling more rested, and I can actually BREATHE without the weight on my chest. I knew leading up to surgery that my large breasts were causing me to breathe more shallow than I should. So it makes sense now that I'm breathing easier, that I am also sleeping better and have more energy.
I will return to work on Monday at 18 days post op. I feel great and don't usually nap anymore (unless I'm bored), but I will probably start with shorter days for the first week. I've been working some from home the whole time I've been off, just to make sure things keep running smoothly at the office. I've been getting out of the house and doing more things.
My breast and incisions are doing well. Completed my week of wiping down twice a day with 50% hydrogen peroxide/50% water mixture. Starting the prescription steroid cream on the scars now for 30 days, just avoiding the little spots that aren't completely healed over yet. Overall I am very pleased with the size and shape. Depending on the shirt I'm wearing, I go back and forth between thinking they look so tiny and thinking they're still too big, lol. I think they're really somewhere in between. Pain and bruising from lipo under my arms is mostly gone.
So far, this has been my favorite bra, and I just ordered two more:
That's all for now. Happy healing to all!!
1st Day Back @ Work
Today was my first day officially back at the office. I got up a little before 6am, and got to the office just before 8. I told myself and the staff that I would try to make it whole days this week but might leave early if I needed to. Well I made it all day and then some. Left the office around 5:30pm. It was a very busy day, and while I do feel a little swollen, it's nothing more than I felt at the end of an average day at home. I was meant to go back today I think. I manage a funeral home and a family that I know personally had a sudden/tragic death and I felt good that I was there for them. The day went really fast. Overall, glad to be back. I am too hard on myself though in that I expect to get all caught up in one day after being out for over 2 weeks. I just have to be patient with myself.
Physically, not much new. My small surface wounds are healing well. I just have one spot under my right arm pit, toward the back that is still really swollen, bruised, and hard from the lipo. Kind of like a half of a golf ball size. Hoping it levels itself out. The other side isn't as bad. Overall seeing progress though!
3 Week Update
Today is my 4th day back at work, and 3 weeks post op. Sometimes I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already, and sometimes I can't believe it's ONLY been 3 weeks. My energy level is good. I've been working long hours all week (my choice - I set my own hours) and doing better than I thought I would. Feels pretty good to be back. Although I am looking forward to the weekend.
Healing-wise, I am making progress. One is still more swollen than the other (can't really feel it, but can def. tell by looking at them) and a stubborn lipo spot under the other arm that is lumpy and bruised yet. Surface spots on my t-junctions are making good progress.
Yesterday I went shopping. Ended up buying a lot of tops. I used to HATE clothes shopping. I always ended up sad and depressed because of how my boobs made all shirts look. I still have some weight to lose and would like to tone up, but yesterday, instead of having to buy tops in XL to accommodate the girls, I was able to buy some tops in SMALL and MEDIUM! And I liked how they looked.
I even bought a dress and a skirt. All of my adult life, I can literally count on one hand the number of times I've worn a dress. My husband liked watching me try on clothes and actually enjoy myself.
I'm getting back into a workout routine. Been riding my 5 miles on my exercise bike as many days as I can, and this morning a lower body weight workout. Not to mention the TON of walking I did yesterday shopping :)
Hooray for cute tops!
I am still giddy after my shopping trip this weekend. Today I am wearing a babydoll type top - in size SMALL yet too! I could never wear that style before because it overly emphasized my chest, and to top that off, they way they would hang under my large chest also made me look pregnant.
I also bought some supportive (non-underwire) white bras, because I have to dress up for my work, and while I've made it so far wearing sports bras, I want to be able to sneak in a day or two of wearing some tops that I can't wear with a sports bra (like this one). As soon as I get home I plan on switching back into one though. I was a tad excited when I was trying on bras yesterday to see that I really am so far a C cup, and maybe even a small one at that! (Three are 38C, one was a 36C, for some reason the 38 band on that one was too loose). If I do have any swelling left (which by the time I got to trying on bras, I think my girls were already angry from trying on swimsuits!), I would even be able to fit into a B in some styles.
4 Week Update
This will be a quick update, as I'm heading to bed. But I'm feeling good. My breasts are starting to soften a bit more to the touch (they're starting to feel like their MINE). I have been applying prescription steroid cream for a little over a week now. I will continue for a total of 30 days. The scars are flattening out. My nipple sensitivity is getting a bit better, although they still stand at attention most of the time. My left still feels a bit more swollen yet. Not much else to report, which I guess is good :)
Braless for the first time
The weather is beautiful here, and I went braless for a bit yesterday and it was so nice (shhhh.... don't tell my surgeon!!)
6 Week Update
Feeling amazing for 6 weeks out. I have no real pain, no more zingers. No more hyper-sensitive nipples (that resolved about a week and a half ago), so sensation is back to normal as pre-surgery. Today I am wearing either a 36C or 38C (can't remember which, I didn't look when I put it on this morning - I have both), and it is "roomy" which confirms that I received what I asked for - a small C. If I do happen to go down to a large B yet, I will still be thrilled. Hubby was allowed to "handle" them for the first time the other day, which he was (and still is) like a kid in a candy store, lol.
I am still putting prescription steroid cream on my scars. I will do that one more week yet. Then I will be applying petroleum jelly to them after that. I do still have an issue in that one nipple sits higher than the other, however I know that it's a very easy revision if I so choose down the road. I have not seen my surgeon since I had stitches removed at one week post-op, and I will not see him until 4 months post-op. So I will address it then. I notice it more at some times than others, so I'm not sure if it's still one more swelling than the other, or what.
Backing up a few weeks, I wanted to address a couple issues I saw some others address following surgery. I know txngrl had mentioned "anesthesia hair". After probably 2-3 weeks, my hair did start to get noticeably dry. The stuff I have posted in the pic has helped a lot. At about 2 weeks, the skin on my hands started to peel terribly, it looked bad. I already use some great cream on my feet that daily, and when regular lotion wasn't working on my hands, this cream helped tremendously.
I really don't think about the surgery much anymore, but I LOVE looking at the girls, and looking down to see how small they are. Back/shoulder pain is much improved. I have had 2 chiropractor adjustments since surgery (after the one month mark), as I have other problems with my lower back (osteoarthritis, herniated disc, and congenital defect in one of my vertebrae) to still deal with. The adjustments went well. The first time, I wouldn't let him push on my middle back. The next one, a week later, I let him adjust me normally. He did comment the first visit that the reduction made me look like I'd lost 20 pounds. I've received many compliments. From people that don't know I had surgery, they want to know how I lost "so much weight".
My husband has always been so good about reassuring me that he loves the way I looked no matter what (he was neither for or against the surgery, always said I should do what I think is best, always supportive), but when I press him on it, he does say that he likes the way my smaller boobs make me look. He stares a lot more now, lol. I'm sure some of it is more confidence on my part. I did go through my lingerie drawer over the weekend, and eliminated a LOT of outfits that no longer fit, but I also kept many that now fit the way they're supposed to, and look so much better on me.
Bra sizing - my experiences
I know there is a lot of talk about proper sizing of bras. Apparently there are so many different ways to try to figure out your correct size. I've gone to several different stores and gotten different results. I see many women get upset because when they go to get measured, the sales person gives them some off the wall size that they're sure can't be right, and doesn't feel right. I've also been told before my reduction that I must've been wearing the wrong size to be in so much pain and to have such large grooves in my shoulders (no, they really were that HEAVY and dense!). I've been pointed several times to a site (http://www.brasizecalculator.tk/) "A Bra that Fits". Before my surgery, it told me I was like an "H". Which, maybe.... I thought...? At the time I was squeezing into a DDD most times. So after surgery, I thought I would take the measurement test on there again. It was telling me that I'm still like a D/DD. So I realized this is way off, because the bras I'm wearing are a C, and they are ROOMY, meaning I could probably get away with a B (which I'm THRILLED about), especially if I go down any more in swelling. No way possible would a D/DD even come close to fitting me. I also registered on some sites as a 36 band. I can do that in one bra I bought, but in the others, I can't get the back straps of a 36 to even come anywhere near each other, lol. I started researching some websites that might give me a more realistic sizing. One that I found that has been what I feel is most accurate for me (before and after surgery) is this one: http://www.lasenza.com/customer-service/size-charts/size-chart-bras
I just wanted to throw my experiences out there; don't get hung up on what someone or some website tells you about your size, because apparently, the results are all over the place!
8 Week Update
17 Jun 2016
2 months post
Truly not much to update. Going about my day-to-day life! No problems or healing issues at all along the way.
12 Week Update
12 Jul 2016
3 months post
Hard to believe it's been 12 weeks. Seems like surgery was just last month. I have been on a bra-buying binge. Just cute little soft non-wire bras. (I don't ever want to wear an underwire again!!) Still anywhere from a 36-38 band, and B or C cup, depending on the brand/style. I have more C cups though. Only a couple of B's fit ok.
I go back and forth between thinking my breasts are still too big and then thinking they are just right. I think I am happy with the size, but am just so scared that they will grow back. So because of that fear, I keep thinking that if they were even smaller, I would be ok for longer before they grew back to what they were. But I've also decided that if they ever DO grow back, I will not hesitate one bit to have another reduction one day down the road (hopefully MANY years from now, if ever).
Over the past couple of weeks or so I have noticed a little more soreness in my breasts than usual (sort of like dull premenstrual pain, but that's not what it is). I've gotten some stabbing pains once in a while as well during the same time frame, and a little more soreness along my incisions. I'm sure it's all part of the healing, nothing that concerns me. Just enough to notice. Likely because I am back to my full activity level over the last month (working out and resting less) so I'm putting the girls to the test. I was instructed to wear a sports bra for the first 3 months, but I was maybe a bad girl and was getting away from that a little too much with some regular bras during the day, as the sports bras I had don't work that well under my work shirts. I did go out and get some of these
(I wouldn't have been able to wear this style too much before this time though as the way this style is, the bottom rubs on my incisions and starts to bother me by the end of the day, so I switch back to the other style when I get home - which I've had since surgery):
Plus the old FoTL sports bras I had were a 40 band to account for swelling after surgery. The newest ones I bought are a 36, so I have some more compression than before. Also still loving my front zip ones from Amazon.
I've managed to tame my top buying addiction for a bit, although I do have the itch for some new clothes. We've had some other expenses come up so I'll have to stay out of the mall a little longer!
I do have a hard time walking past a mirror without checking out my new chest. Totally in love with the fact that I look *average* again. I also notice the difference when I'm around men that I get much less attention to my chest - FINALLY!
4 Month Update
25 Aug 2016
4 months post
The mood struck me in the dressing room at TJMaxx to take some pics, the lighting is better than I have at home, haha!
As the summer starts to wind down, I am 4 months post surgery. Having this surgery has made this one of the more enjoyable summers I've had. Boob sweat is pretty much nonexistent. I've spent a lot of time in my swimsuit/floating in our pool, all the while feeling confident, comfortable, even a bit sexy. I still love shopping for new clothes and bras. I have a drawer full of cheap, non-wire bras.
As far as my results at this stage, if I want to be picky, I would say that they are still a bit bigger than I would like. I would have been happier with a "B" I think (after years of them sagging, I don't want them even touching my chest wall underneath - if that makes sense - and depending on how I move now without a bra, they do touch underneath). However, they are pretty much right on what I asked for based on the pictures I had given my surgeon, so that's no fault of his. So what I'm saying is I got what I wanted, but if I had been able to "try them out" before the surgery (lol) I would have said that I wanted to go even smaller. But it is what it is. They are a little uneven, not sure if I have any residual swelling yet that would account for that. I'm guessing not likely. One nipple is higher than the other (in these pics it doesn't look that bad, sometimes it looks worse than others).
I had my 4 month follow up with my surgeon 2 days ago. I hadn't seen him since he took my stitches out a week after my surgery. Which is just fine with me, as I had a completely uneventful recovery. He asked me if I was happy, and I told him yes. But I did address the un-evenness and he said that we will look at it again after the 1st of the year (I am scheduled for Jan. 10th) and it will be an easy nip/tuck to fix if it looks like it's still a problem. I can live with that. I had told my husband before I went that if I were to have any revisions done, I wanted to wait until after the 1st of the year anyway. Hubby tells me all the time that they are perfect, so I guess that's what matters. He's the only one that will ever see them, other than you all, haha!
I went through a timeframe recently where my breasts constantly felt like mild PMS boobs, which was weird (because that wasn't what it was - and it lasted for weeks). So I don't know if I'd been doing too much (started lifting weights again) or what, but it seems to be better now.
Size: I mostly wear a 36C now. Depending on the bra style, I could also do a 38 band, or a B cup, or any combination of. I ordered a sexy 38C push up bra online, and it's definitely too big in the cups - huge gaps at the top.
That's all for now! Hope all my April breast-buddies are doing well.
Another "Before" pic I found
25 Aug 2016
4 months post
Here is another "Before" pic I found on my computer. My God they were heavy :(
One more - Comparison
25 Aug 2016
4 months post
One more to compare before and after, noting the location of a small mole on my stomach for reference.
6 month update
21 Oct 2016
6 months post
The surgery is just a distant memory now. I have no pain from my incisions. Just a little itching sometimes mostly on the one side where it is still a little red and looks like the scar has widened. My left breast and nipple are noticeably higher without a bra and looking straight on. Not at all noticeable with clothes. I mentioned it to my PS at last appointment. Going back in January and we will discuss options hopefully.
Overall I'm very happy and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Hubby is also VERY happy lol. I'm mostly wearing a 36C. If i could go back, I'd ask to be even smaller, but I think that's just emotional baggage from carrying those big girls around for so long and the unwanted attention.
While I'll always have some back pain, it's greatly improved. Much more self confidence too. I put it off way too long. If you're considering it, just do it!
One Year Post-op
So I've made it ro the one-year mark, lol. Healing was pretty much uneventful since my last update. I'm still a 36C (I could possibly go down another band size, haven't actually tried it yet though). Size really hasn't changed at all since shortly after surgery. I never had much swelling (I thank the drains for that, as much of a PITA as they were). My scars seemed to be slow at lightening compared to some others on here, which isn't surprising to me. They probably appeared more red than others as I normally have very pale skin tone. At the beginning of this year I decided to try some Mederma Advanced (prior to that I had only tried scar tape, which helped flatten some areas, but not fading). I have to say I was VERY impressed with the results from that. I was skeptical but saw a huge change. Wire-free bras only for me. That's a perk of surgery - I don't NEED one, not sure why anyone is ever in a rush to go out and buy one after surgery, I don't ever want to see one again :)
When I saw my surgeon in the fall I mentioned that while I was happy with size, I didn't like that they were so different, specifically that one nipple was positioned noticeably higher than the other. So he said to give it until after the 1st of the year, and he would do a revision at no cost. I was super pumped. So I looked forward to that. In early April I got a call to schedule it.
I also had vacation planned to Key West in the early part of April, so I scheduled revision surgery for after that. The trip was amazing, my first vacation post-surgery. My self-confidence was through the roof! I hadn't worn a 2-piece swimsuit since I was probably a teenager. I decided to go for it (although a modest one, lol). My husband was so excited :) I love how I look in vacation pics now. I'm still working on being healthy and hope to lose a bit more weight, and this surgery has been excellent motivation. I also went back to blonde for my 40th birthday in January, so overall I'm loving the new look.
Now to the revision. I was a little nervous because I knew I would be awake for this (local anesthesia only). When he started marking me up, he marked both breasts which was a surprise to me. And he only marked underneath each breast. Nothing to indicate the lower nipple was going to be moved. When I asked if the nipple position could be raised, I only received a crushing "no" answer. We proceeded, with me hoping that tightening up underneath of them would somehow make a little difference to even the nipple levels out (if he took more out of one than the other).
Getting the numbing shots was a little painful. I was in the same operating room as my original surgery so it was strange being in there awake the whole time. Definitely a little bizarre to be able to feel the cutting and pulling, and stitching, but no pain. I focused on happy vacation thoughts. At this point, I'm still not clear why we were doing a revision, if it wasn't going to fix what I wanted fixed. Apparently he saw something he wanted to fix. I had very little pain after, and went back to work (office work) the same day, just a few hours after surgery.
I was a little depressed after the procedure knowing what I was looking forward to having fixed, wasn't going to be fixed. After removing the bandages I could see they were still the same as before. I love the way they look when I have clothes on, and overall I'm super happy with the procedure and pain relief. I just don't like looking at them being so uneven, even after a revision. I realize there may be a reason as to why the uneven nipples can't be fixed, but an explanation would've been nice. I've decided for my own piece of mind, once these incisions have healed, I will get a 2nd opinion from another surgeon in town. I'll gladly pay to have them evened out. And yes I'm being picky. But I paid out of pocket for this, and I don't feel it's too much to ask to have this fixed, as I've seen others be able to have it fixed with a simple incision above the lower nipple to remove some skin.
I don't want to be all negative, as this was the best thing I've ever done. Would do it all over again hands down. My husband is in love with my new breasts. Even a year later, he can't stop staring at them. He says he totally doesn't notice they're not perfectly even. He has been the best nurse taking care of me both through the original surgery, and the revision. He loved my old larger breasts, but has been nothing but supportive through it all and I think he likes these a bit better. You know men and new toys, lol.