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Memsee’s Story

  •  Breast Reduction

 

I am 38 years old and the single mom of two teenage daughters.  All through my high school and college years I had a very flat chest. So much so that my sister used to joke that I should wear my bra backwards because my shoulder blades stuck out further than my chest.   

 

Then came the wonderful child bearing years, don't get me wrong, I love my girls!  Combination of morning sickness and gaining weight were my least favorite parts of the process.  I nursed both of my girls and absolutely would not change that for the world, but the end result of nursing left me with large breasts.  After nursing my second daughter my breasts never "resumed" their previous shape and I was not happy with the way I looked.  I considered having a breast reduction when I was approximately 30 years of age, but with being a single mom and working with limited time off and a very physical job (I worked in a paper mill); I unfortunately had to put the idea on a far back burner.

 

As my girls started becoming active in sports and wanting me to play and ride a bicycle with them, I started realizing that I needed to do more than just lose weight.  I began researching the procedure of breast reduction and actually decided that I WAS going to have this done one way or another.  I have had my current job for almost seven years and it is a desk job, so the physical labor part was no longer an issue.  I have plenty of vacation time to allow for proper healing.  I actually mentioned having the surgery to a friend that works with me and she had an appointment with a surgeon a few weeks prior and suggested that I contact him as well.  I called my OB/GYN and they made me an appointment for two weeks from that day. 

 

Here is where reality started settling in.  My friend had her appointment first and was told that she really didn't need a reduction, but she would benefit from a lift.  He could do a reduction, but the insurance probably wouldn't cover it.   I was scared to death that he would tell me the same thing.  The day of my consult finally was here – the plastic surgeon came in and practically took one look at me and said that he was sure that insurance would cover the surgery.  Talk about not knowing if you want to laugh or cry. 

 

My plastic surgeon took the information to send to the insurance company and then the waiting began.  I called my insurance company two times a week until I had an answer.  It took them three weeks for the approval to come through.  I got the approval on June 3rd, my pre op was scheduled for June 12th and surgery was schedule for June 20th.  I was never so scared and excited in my whole life!!  For the record, I've never had surgery of any kind and have only stayed in the hospital when my children were born. 

 

On June 12th my sister and I did a “dry run” of what we would do the following Friday.  We visited the hotel that her and my nephew would stay in for the night (at my expense), a trip up to the floor where I would check in for surgery and also view where I would be staying that first night.  Next, it was time for my pre op appointment with my surgeon. I asked my poor surgeon four full pages of questions, of which he happily answered each and every one in detail, which helped me tremendously.  I finally went home and began the waiting period until surgery day.

 

The morning of surgery, we left my house at 6:00 AM for a 2-2 hour drive to the hospital.  My sister dropped me at the Plastic Surgeon’s office, which is right across the street from the hospital.  My Plastic Surgeon did the markings for surgery in his office; he said he preferred to do it there because patients are more comfortable with the additional privacy.  I left the plastic surgeon’s office with a prescription for oxycodone and my newly marked breasts and headed across the street to the hospital to check in. 

 

Check in was pretty easy - usual questions about health, and a run down of what to expect before and after surgery, and also viewing what the recovery room looks like. I returned to my room in the pre op area to wait for the surgery time. A nurse came to put in the IV which was uneventful……but then they told me I was ready to go.  I stayed amazingly calm which surprised me, got wheeled to the "holding tank" as I called it for a laugh.  I really enjoyed the warm blankets that they cover you with.

 

The anesthesiologist greeted me and asked me more medical history questions.  My plastic surgeon stopped to see me – to make sure I was doing okay and to see if there was anyone I wanted notified when surgery was done.  Next I remember being wheeled down the hall being told they were putting something in my IV to relax me.  I really liked that stuff.  I remember them putting the blood pressure cuff on my arm, asking me to stretch out my other arm, telling me to breathe the stuff in the mask and that was the end of everything until the recovery room. 

 

I had a lot of fun in the recovery room.  Not really any pain which was surprising.  The nurses and staff were having trouble with the computers and I actually helped and showed them how to make the computers print.  This amazed me that I could do this under the influence of so many different medications at the time.  I really had to go to the bathroom in the recovery room, but the mention of a bedpan did not sit very well with me, so I decided to wait until I got back to my room.  It seemed like I was in the recovery room FOREVER!!!  Finally Joan, the lady that wheeled me down to surgery, came to get me. 

 

Once I got to my room I was relieved to use the restroom, and that is when I got my first wave of nausea hit.  I told the nurse, but it actually went away, which I was glad.  The hospital stay was almost like a mini vacation, someone to wait on me and bring me food.  Only problem was that I couldn't sleep on my side.  I took into consideration everything that I had learned from my research from the ladies that have shared their stories on the forum.  The next morning, which was Saturday - my plastic surgeon came to the room at 7:30 to change my bandages and remove my drains.  I couldn't wait to see my new girls!! 

 

No one can prepare you for what you see when the bandages come off.  I was actually shocked at the size. They didn't really seem smaller but were definitely perky.  I knew there would be swelling, but was not ready for that first peek.  It was during the removal of the drains that I experienced the worst part of this entire surgery.  I absolutely hated having the drains removed.  It was quick and it pinched, but I thought it was the most painful part of my entire procedure.  My doctor wrapped me back up and told me I could go home whenever I was ready.  I called my sister and left within an hour with the instructions to return for a post op visit on Monday.  I took an oxycodone on the way home to help with any pain I might have; and as soon as I did, I started feeling sick with nausea again.  Apparently this medication was not for me.  I ended up getting sick that night from the medication – and decided that Extra Strength Tylenol would be sufficient from here on out.

 

Today, October 29, 2008 - 4 months later, I am still healing however, I  am loving my new look.  I do wish I was a little smaller, but it isn't the way I look as much as just hearing that I'm still a D.  The sound of a D Cup makes me think I am still big, but I really am not compared to what I had prior to this surgery. It is a psychological mindset associated with that size, however; I need to get over that part.  I would never have been able to go through with the process if not for the stories that I read and those who shared their experiences.  Having the one on one interaction with the forum ladies made the entire process so much easier for me.  I was fully prepared with what to expect and there were no surprises at all.  I now feel like it is my turn - to help encourage anyone who asks about this procedure of “Breast Reduction” and how I can help women live without the burden of having large breasts.

 


 



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