I get a lot of questions about my breast reduction surgery so I thought I'd so some Q & A posts to answer some of them.
Why did you do it?
Let me give you some background: I began developing at the age of 8, and I was teased about it from that point on and throughout my years in school. Boys can be cruel and very rude. So can girls, for that matter. After years of tolerating men having conversations with me while never once looking me in the face, I decided I needed get serious about surgery. I had wanted to do this for many years, but wasn't sure if insurance would cover it, and I also wanted to nurse my babies so I wanted to wait until I was finished having children. But, honestly, the main reason I did it was because I was tired of my back hurting all the time.
Did Insurance cover the surgery?
Yes. I was blessed to have excellent insurance. It is standard for companies to approve the surgery if there are at least 450 grams per side to remove. Even with my large size, it still took several months for approval. And the process was horribly degrading. During my surgical consult with my plastic surgeon, the nurse had to photograph me for submittal to the insurance company. I was horrified. I was always extremely self-conscious - and Mr. C had not seen me without a shirt on in broad daylight (we'd been married for 15 years at that point). But the insurance companies require it to determine if the surgery is medically necessary so I had no choice. I had to have my back problems documented with my physician, as well. After review, the company approved the operation and it was scheduled.
How did you decide what size you wanted to be?
During my initial consult, my surgeon asked what size I'd like to be and I replied, "I'd like to be a B, but I want you to make me a C, and tell my husband it is a D.". He laughed heartily at that and I explained to him that I was serious. Mr. C was less than thrilled with this idea of mine because he was, um, quite fond of that area apparently. My surgeon explained that he would determine final size while in surgery. It is easier to gauge at that time because he tries to make your post-op body look natural with your build.
Did it hurt badly?
Holy buckets, yes!
How much did they remove?
I ended up having 6 lb. 4 oz. (THAT'S THE SIZE OF A BABY!) removed. The first thing I noticed when I woke from the anesthetic was how much easier it was to breathe. Mr. C was standing there telling me how well I'd done and he said,"You look great and you are a D now!". My first thought was, "But I might be a C...". LOL. But after recovering and the natural settling process, I am a D. My doctor told Tom that he made me a size that we could both be happy with. There are times I wish I was a bit smaller, but Mr. C wishes I'd have gone a size larger - so I guess we both compromised. ;)
How long was the recovery process?
Recovery from the surgery was about 6 weeks, but it still took several months for my muscles to stop getting sore so quickly. I also find that, even now, I get phantom itching and it drives me nuts. I have heard about amputees having this issue, so I assume it is a similar condition. I have areas of numbness (and probably always will).
What was the initial recovery period like?
In a word: horrible. I had drains coming out of my incisions. I had hundreds and hundreds of stitches (both internal and external). Someone in the OR forgot to look at my bracelet (where it indicated I was allergic to steri-strips) so they placed them on my incisions. I didn't discover this until 5 days post-op when the itching was unbearable - almost burning. I asked Mr. C to look and he saw large welts coming out from underneath the bandages. He called my dr. who had us go directly to his office. He took one look at me and took all the bandages/strips/etc. off and had to scrub my poor wounds with alcohol and peroxide-soaked gauze. He then put me on a steady regimen of high-doses of benadryl and pain meds. The next week is a blur. I was also unable to raise my arms for several weeks. Mr. C had to wash my hair for me for the first couple of weeks (before I could shower) and nearly drowned me with the sprayer. LOL. He isn't used to washing so much hair. I was not allowed to lift more than 10 lbs. for 6 - 8 weeks, which made grocery shopping difficult.
Are you happy with the results?
Very. I would go through all of it again in a second to get the results I have.
If you have any other questions, you can post them here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .