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  • Just had a breast reduction

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    Old 07-11-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
    yomamab
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    Join Date: Jul 2004
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    yomamab HB User
    Just had a breast reduction

    I thought I would give my account in case anyone is thinking of having it done. First of all, let me say that I'm about the biggest chicken that there is when it comes to stuff like this and never had surgery prior to this. I was very scared about being put to sleep and expressed my anxiety about this to the doctor and to the nurses/doctor/anesthesiologist when I was in the pre-op area. As a matter of fact, I was so worked up about this surgery that I had diarrhea for four days before I went in to have it done.

    When I was in the waiting room at the surgical center I felt like I was going to face a firing squad and was very near crying, I was that worried. I don't think it was so much the fear of pain as it was the fear of never waking up again that had me so bent out of shape. Everyone there though was very reassuring and calmed me down. I had seen a picture of the operating room when I looked at the doctor's website on the internet and although I'm sure it looked as nice as an operating room can look, seeing that made the whole thing even more of a reality. I was afraid that if I'd see the operating room in person I'd freak out, but I was asleep before then and didn't see it at all.

    I was asked many questions at when I was in the pre-op area and they were all very thorough. I asked to go to the bathroom one last time, changed into a gown and was given a hat to put on. I expressed my concern about the possibility of becoming nauseous after I would wake up; they gave me two pills before I was asleep (two different meds, don't remember what they were) to prevent that. They had me breathing oxygen, but I honestly don't know how long I was breathing that. I think I still had the mask on before I feel asleep though. A nurse put an iv in my hand and since I was so worked up, I didn't even realize exactly when they actually started the medication going through the iv. It mustn't have taken long at all for it to take effect because I know the anesthesiologist was standing over to my side and I didn't really get to say much to him before I started feeling myself getting dizzy. I remember saying that I was feeling dizzy and I don't remember anything after that.

    My surgery was scheduled for 8:00 AM (I was told to be there at 7:00 AM), and I believe I woke up around noon in the recovery area (it was the same place where I had been before the surgery). The pain wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be. As a matter of fact, the first thing that I realized was that I was very thirsty. I was given a cup of water. I had to go to the bathroom, so a nurse helped me into a recliner and rolled me over to the bathroom in it. I walked to the toilet by myself, she waited outside the door and told me to pull the cord (buzzer) when I was done. When I did that, she was there right away to help me back into the recliner and rolled me back over to where I was before. I was given some crackers and I chose apple juice to drink this time. It was nice to eat and drink a little something since I hadn't been allowed to eat after midnight and couldn't have anything to drink later than two hours prior to my arrival time.

    I don't really know how soon after waking up it was that I noticed my breast size (very pleased, by the way!), the surgical bra (front opening hooks and also hooks on the shoulder straps), and the drains, but I expected all that ahead of time. The doctor had given me a booklet a month or more before the surgery so that I would know what would be happening to me.

    I had been given two Percocet pills shortly after waking up and so I suppose that contributed to my dizziness, but I figured better that than being in pain. I can't stress enough that this surgery didn't involve nearly as much pain as I thought it would, but I realize that of course everyone is different. I knew that I had Oxycodone pills at home to take when these Percocet pills wore off. The doctor had given me a prescription for them and for the antibiotic about a month ahead of time so that I would already have them waiting for me at home after the surgery. The directions on the Oxycodone bottle said to take 1 or 2 pills every 4-6 hours. The first day I took two pills every 4 hours; then the second day I decided to take two pills every 6 hours. The third day I was down to one pill every 6 hours. That's the same day that I went back to see the doctor (plastic surgeon) to have my drains taken out.

    Before I forget to mention it, I went home around 1:00, only an hour after waking up. They told me that was a little soon, but they let me go. My husband took the day off work so he could drive me home. You definitely can't drive afterwards. I wasn't allowed to drive for four days.

    When I was at the doctor's office on that third day afterwards and he examined my breasts, he was very pleased with the results. He had me take a deep breath when he took out each of the two drains, but it really didn't hurt (I supposed that's why he had me do that). I had been given a paper in the recovery area on which I was to record the amounts of fluid that I would empty each time I emptied my drains over the next few days. I had to bring that paper along to my office visit so the doctor could look at it. I asked him what size I was now and he took a good look and said a large B or a small C cup. Before surgery I was a 44 DDD! What a difference! I had told him before surgery that I'd like to be about a C cup but no bigger and that I would like to lose a little bit more weight over the coming months. So he probably wanted to keep me a little bit on the smaller side, which is fine with me. He told me to come back in a week to get some of the stitches taken out.

    One other thing that the doctor told me at the office visit was that I would probably want to start taking Extra-Strength Tylenol for the pain because of the side effects of the Oxycodone that I would probably have. I asked him what those were and he said nausea. That same night I started feeling very sick to my stomach, so I knew then that it was time to get off of the prescribed pain pills. So I was only on the pain pills for three days. After I switched to the Tylenol, I found out that I could handle the pain just by taking those.

    My surgery was just on Tuesday and I was expecting to be bedridden that day, although I hadn't asked beforehand what to expect because I knew that everyone is different. I was groggy that day, of course, but I was able to walk around here in the house and do a few things. I did walk very slowly on account of being dizzy.

    Being that I had a lot of gauze on me after surgery (still have to have gauze on them), and I didn't want to mess around with them too much, I couldn't really tell exactly what my breasts looked like. I could get a pretty good idea, though, just by glancing down at them in the bra and could definitely see that they were a lot smaller and were also now perky. The doctor did a breast reduction and lift.

    I wasn't allowed to take a shower until Friday, so that's when I really got to see my breasts. The doctor had told me that the yellow surgical tape that was on me would come off when I showered and not to worry about it. Before I took a shower, I of course took my bra off and removed the gauze pads. Like he said, the surgical tape came off in the shower. I washed very gently and dried off real good. I put on an antibiotic ointment like he had told me to to prevent the gauze from sticking to me and to also help the healing process. It was a little bit of a challenge putting on the new gauze pads that I had bought at the store and trying to keep them in place while putting my bra back on, but I managed to do it. I kind of wish that I'd have been given an extra bra because I knew this one needed laundering, so that is what I did. The bra should be worn day and night, but I was told that it was alright to take it off long enough to wash and dry it, so I did that before I put it back on after my shower.

    I guess I should mention that when I was in the bathroom after I got out of the shower my husband came into the bathroom, I suspect to sneak a peek. Even though I probably looked like I was in a car accident (black and blue and bruised and stitched up), instead of being disgusted, he said something like, "Wow, you look like a young woman!" He was very happy with them! Believe me, he was smiling from ear to ear!

    The reason I had the surgery is that I've put up with back pain for over 15 years. I finally decided to look into having a breast reduction because I really didn't want to live the rest of my life that way. I'm 48 years old and still plan on living quite awhile and having some fun! Because of my back pain, the insurance company paid for everything (except our $25 doctor office co-pay that I had to pay for the two visits before the surgery...the surgerys afterwards are covered under the surgery charges). I forget the exact amount, but the surgery, if I'd have had to pay for it myself would have cost about $5,000. I feel so lucky to have been able to get this done. I'm hoping that my backaches have disappeared now because of the breast reduction. An added bonus from this is that I have a hunch that this will put some zing back into my marriage. Judging from my husband's reaction when he saw my breasts, I suspect that he can't wait until I heal up! Heh.

    I wanted to tell my story and hope to help others who are considering having a breast reduction. I don't regret having it done one bit, even though I am still black and blue and still hurt a little. That's to be expected, though, since I did just have my surgery five days ago. If any of you decide to have it done, I'm sure you will be glad that you did. I really feel like it will change my life so much. I already feel a thousand times better about myself!

    Last edited by yomamab; 07-11-2004 at 02:11 PM.

     
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