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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Breast Reduction Surgery Pt. 1

The big one...Why?

Because I wanted to. No, really! People fill in the blanks "for me" and talk about back pain which yes! I did have pain! But really, I did it because it was something I'd decided on. Long before the pain started, I'd say I was getting  a lift at 40. And then, around age 30, they started growing. And growing. And growing.

Please don't suggest someone who is interested in a reduction "just lose weight". Not everyone drops cup sizes/appreciable volume in the bust when they lose weight.

I didn't immediately connect my neck and shoulder pain to my bust size...but once the connection was made, I began thoroughly researching the topic. In 2017, I learned that having the procedure covered by insurance was a possibility. I went in for a consultation and was denied. Dr. A couldn't believe I'd "want to go so small" and I'm thinking whatever he submitted to insurance wasn't enough for them to consider it medically necessary. Dr. K, who performed my surgery, was on board with me from the beginning and I was approved within a few weeks of my consult.

I don't have the same story that many others seem to have. I wasn't carrying around a large bust in 6th grade, for example. I was a late bloomer and remained fairly small even after delivering both babies and breastfeeding the youngest.


8th grade * Junior prom

At my baby shower with the oldest :) I was at least 8 months pregnant

2002 - Post kids and with a bit of weight gain

Teenaged me, pictured above, was around 125-135. I was probably 165 in the photo above with my dad. By around 2004, I weighed over 200 lbs and was probably a 38C. After losing weight, I was around a 34DD

2008

Around '08, I started having the "what the heck?!? my boobs are so huge!" thoughts and I hated it! I'd never been so full up top. They were heavy, they were hot, they annoyed me.

Aaaand about 2 years ago, I had to buy 36FF bras. I lost about 25 ish pounds in the second half of 2018 and have been in a 34F, dreaming of a B cup.

So, bye-bye boobs!

I had my surgery Tuesday morning. I was nervous as all heck over the weekend (didn’t realize that’s what it was til I was up cleaning and baking!). I could not fall asleep the night before -- went to bed after midnight with a 5:30 am alarm set and I am a 8-9 hour a night person.

We got to the hospital and waited a few minutes before the nurse came. She seemed very spacey and I was a little nervous. She took my vitals and placed the IV. She did a good job with the IV and my apprehension went way down.

When the Doc came in, we had a good laugh over the tiiiiny 34B bra I brought with me and chatted about everything. Once she was done making her markings, the OR nurse stopped in to ask those repetitive questions (this isn’t a complaint, keep me safe!!) - name, dob, allergies, etc.

The anesthesiologist came in and explained what he planned to do. I didn’t realize the breathing tube didn’t go in til you were already out. WHEW! That’s what I was most nervous about! Then the nurse anesthetist came in and started the IV and a Valium-like drug (can’t remember the name). My husband left out and we wheeled into the OR.

I woke up and was running my mouth a mile a minute DOH! My pain level was about a 5-6 and they gave me Percocet which is my at-home med. Then, I spent a long time in the 2nd recovery area. I just couldn’t wake up. I was lucid and coherent...just SO sleepy. She said I couldn't leave until I was more awake.

I remembered my pillow for the ride home (pro tip!). The ride to the car in the wheelchair was tough over bumps. And in the car, hugging my pillow (under the seatbelt) helped so much. 

I have a low pain threshold and will be taking my meds on schedule for at least the first few days regardless of how I think I feel. The past couple of days, my paint went from a 1 to a 3/4 when I got within an hour of my next dose of pain meds. 

She told my husband she removed 2.5 lbs. I wonder if they assume people aren’t comfortable or familiar with metric and so they use imperial. It's a bit over 1100 grams. 

I didn't need to have drains inserted - the other point of fear. The pain hasn't been too bad. I'd definitely call it "discomfort" over pain. There were a couple times when I accidentally twisted tot he side and OW! And showering was extremely exhausting. Whew. 

Day 4 and I'm still pretty tired, there's aching and tingling, but very little pain. My appetite is almost back to normal and I've managed to make it out with no nausea. 

I go for my first follow up next week.
I'm sure people didn't think my bust was disproportionate to my body...
but I feel even more like ~*~ME~*~ now! With the bonus of relieving neck and shoulder pain.

Much as I blog my sewing projects primarily for myself, I will update weekly during this (critical) 4-6 weeks of recovery. They will always be titled as such so feel free to skip these posts if you aren't interested!


37 comments:

  1. As someone who's never been overly endowed I have no concept of what it's like but I have known two people who went through what you went through. They both said "I wish I had done it sooner, it made such a difference." Good luck on the recovery and the ensuing rework of the wardrobe.
    Theresa in Tucson

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    1. Thanks Theresa! That is the sentiment I hear expressed most often too!

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  2. Sounds like you are well on your way to a complete recovery! Yay! No more complex FB alterations. (maybe?)

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  3. So glad your surgery went well and I hope your recovery goes smoothly.

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  4. Good on you! A good friend of mine has just had the same procedure (it was her 50th birthday present to herself) and had over half a kilogram removed from each breast too. She is absolutely thrilled with the result and has recovered really well. It sounds as though you are recovering beautifully too!

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    1. Thank you! I swear I've pretty much only heard positive results...even from women who had less than ideal recoveries!

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  5. My first thought when I saw an "after" photo was, "She looks younger!" You're going to have so much fun sewing for your new, youthful body.

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  6. Good for you! Hope recovery is smooth.

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  7. Remember, it takes about six months for the swelling to go down, a full year to see the final shape of the breast. So please wait a bit before readjusting your bust measurements on patterns. I had breast adjustment surgery sons ago, and it was the best decision I ever made. Thank God, I work in the operating room so I knew what to expect.

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  8. Congrats! Had the same surgery in my kid 30s. Best thing I ever did! Remember to take it slow. I drove 7 hours to Visit a friend my third week of recovery. Sort of set myself back. LOL Enjoy discovering your new shape.😇

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  9. So glad you are recovering well. I hope you continue to improve and I will be thinking of you.

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  10. Good For YOU. My reduction was the Absolute BEST decision I ever made. I went small too. I wasn't HUGE; just 2 large, distinctly different sizes & one pointed straight out, the other pointed down, thanks to breast-feeding 3 kids. I had shoulder strap lines, shoulder pain, upper back pain, dealt with inappropriate comments from middle-schoolers and a "spot" they were watching. I love being small, no more pain, no more comments, no more iffy spot, so much easier to fit when I sew. =D

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  11. Too big is just too big. Congratulations on your decision and follow through. You seem well on your way in your recovery. I did it and it was the best thing I ever did! Enjoy your new self.

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  12. I'm so happy for you! No more back pain from carrying around that extra weight, and you look wonderful! I would dearly love to be able to have that surgery, but I want to wait till I lose more weight & am retired, a couple of years from now..... Deb

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  13. i have been both tiny and what i feel is huge chested in my life. from barely As to DDs, man these things are heavy! I'm glad you chose to do you and keep pushing for what you wanted after that 1st doc. as i read about your fears and procedure I kept thinking "hasn't she ever had surgery before?" lol. then I remembered that not everyone has had as many as me :-) I spend too much time in chronic health groups so surgeries seem like the norm. So glad you are starting to feel better. And that you are happy with the outcome! The tiredness will begin to fade and you will be beack to normal soon.

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  14. That surgery was the best thing I had ever done for myself. I was able to do so much more afterwards. So glad to hear all went well for you and you'll find yourself to be more active because there is no more neck, shoulder and back pain.

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  15. It's all about restoring proportion, as you said. You look great and it sounds like your surgeon did an excellent job.

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  16. Glad to read that the procedure went well and that Dr. K was a blessing! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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  17. Congratulations! I know at least 12 women who have had this done, and without exception, they all said it was the best decision they ever made. No more back and shoulder pain. I am so happy for you.

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  18. I'm glad all went well for the surgery, and send good thoughts for the rest of your recovery. I'm a bit envious - I'd love to have this done, but sadly no (not enough?) pain to get it covered.

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  19. Good for you for doing what you knew was best for you and finding a supportive doctor!!! I hope your recovery goes well and appreciate you sharing!

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  20. Glad to hear all went well. Have been thinking of you. Also....the only reason you *need* to have is "becuase I wanted to". Enough said. Happy healing!

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  21. Awesome! Congrats on taking care of yourself!

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  22. Congratulations on your positive outcome! You look marvelous and so pleased. I have a friend who did the same and as others have said, "I should have done it years earlier" is her opening sentence to any discussion. So glad you had a great doc.

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  23. Thanks for the update. I'm happy it went well.

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  24. Yay! I’m glad you are feeling better! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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  25. Glad to hear all went well! I had around the same amount removed from my breasts back in 2007. I was in the Army and, once I discovered they did it, it was a 5-year process to get to surgery. Frustrating, but I persevered and sure wished I had started pursuing the surgery earlier! My daughter was in high school and burdened like me, and the surgeon who did mine agreed to do hers as well - she was an athlete and they really interfered with her game! Anyhow, I will echo "everyone else" by saying it was the best decision I ever made. I hope your recovery is as quick as mine was!! :-)

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  26. That Valium-like drug was probably Versed. Wonderful stuff, I've often thought if everyone was walking around with a bit of Versed in their system the world would be a better place, lol. I had a complicated breast reconstruction called a tram-flap. My body rejected any implants-an autoimmune response to foreign objects. The doctor made me much larger than I was before and I've never felt love me "me" since. So I understand completely how you felt. It takes a few months for all swelling to go down so give it time. You just do YOU!!!

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    1. Shoot! Should read 'like' me not 'love' me. Sorry I didn't catch that.

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  27. So glad to hear your recovery has been smooth! And proof that doctors can be incredibly patronising, thinking they 'know' what you want or whats best for you. Always, ALWAYS get that second opinion. Very happy for you!

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  28. I’m currently a 34M and working up the nerve.... so glad yours went well!

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