November 11, 2015 – the day of my breast reduction surgery! If you have been following my blog you may have seen this post: 5 Steps to a (possibly) Insured Breast ReductionIf you are thinking of getting breast reduction surgery bookmark this page to get the latest on my experience.

My day started bright and early – 5:30am – so that I could be at my plastic surgeon’s office. By the way, Dr. Ronald DeMars is pretty fabulous. He’s got an excellent bedside manner and near-perfect review record. So if you are in the Portland area I would very highly recommend checking out his office. I showered, put on a t-shirt hoodie, and yoga pants and headed across town to be there at 6:45am.

Here are some specifics in preparing for your surgery day:

  1. Wear something that opens in the front. I opted for just a hoodie for going home. It will be tough to get something over your head right after surgery.
  2. Do not eat or drink anything – even water!
  3. No nail polish, makeup, hair spray, perfume, or deodorant.
  4. You should have your prescription medication filled by the pharmacy and with you on your surgery day. I took an anti-inflammatory before the surgery as directed.
  5. Have someone drive you to and from the appointment.
  6. Put some pillows in the car for the ride home. putting a pillow between your chest and seat belt will ease some discomfort.
  7. At home make sure you have clean sheets on your bed, plenty of water, and someone to take care of you for at least a few days if not a full week.

I was lead into the prep/recovery room and my nurse explained the process to us as she took my vitals. The anesthesia doctor Mark would be in soon to give me an IV and Dr. DeMars will also come in to mark up my breasts for incisions. Then I would get some relaxing medication through my IV before I went into the operating room.

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I got undressed and put on a hospital gown, disposable booties, and a hair cover. The IV was placed in my hand by Mark and he explained his role and process. Part of the process was placing a breathing tube in my throat which will make my throat scratchy after I was put to sleep. The relaxing meds were very similar to Valium, they relaxed me just enough but didn’t make me feel loopy at all.

Then at around 8am I was taken into the operating room. I laid on the table and secured so that I wouldn’t fall off. Mark placed a pulse oximeter on my finger (that clamp thing) and told me it was measuring my oxygen levels. A monitor cord was stuck to my side/back to monitor my lungs. At this point I am sure that Mark told me he was giving me the medication that would put me under completely, but I don’t remember. The last thing I recall was the pulse oximeter.

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Before I knew it I was waking up in recovery and looking at my husband who was sitting next to me. I was weak and tired. I asked for my phone but could barely lift it. The nurse gave me a few sips of water and I started getting some strength back. Luckily I didn’t feel the slightest bit nauseous, but that is a side effect of the narcotic pain killers usually given during surgery. As I continued to get some energy back I had some juice and crackers and was able to walk to the bathroom on my own. My doctor came in and checked on me, told us how the surgery went, and explained the drain tubes. He had said that I bled more than normal which I expected because with a previous surgery I had that doctor told me I was very vascular (I have lots of veins and blood flow), so drains were necessary. Otherwise it was smooth sailing. He also mentioned he took out a little over 1 1/2 pounds from each breast.  I was in recovery for about an hour before I was released.

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My dressings consist of gauze, Steri-strips keeping the incisions closed so they can heal, a bra that kind of looks like a sports bra with hook and eye closures in the front, and draining tubes that need to be emptied of the fluid collecting. Thankfully the drains will be coming out tomorrow.

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On the way home I was feeling better and better. I wasn’t in any pain and was craving some Starbucks and protein. I got home, took some perococet, and went to sleep for about 4 hours. I really felt pretty good! Despite all of that I kept a limit on my movement, getting up only when necessary and keeping my room quiet.

 

On my way home!! #breastreduction

A photo posted by Carol (@mommywants) on

Now it’s the morning the day after my surgery. Last night my sleep was pretty restless and I woke up in a little bit pain, but mostly my incisions are itchy. I am not able to sleep any way but on my back (and I am not a back sleeper!), so it was a rough night. I took more pain medication this morning to stay ahead of the pain and am feeling a bit better because of it.

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Looking forward to getting the drains out and healing more!

6 Comments

  1. Having way too many cases of breast cancer in my family, I’ve always read up on mastectomies, etc (totally different I know), but I had always been curious about drains. What they looked like, etc? You did a great job of educating people and I think it will help answer questions for many. Feel better soon!

  2. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It gives me an insight to what will occur pre and post surgery. How long did your pain last?

    Kind regards,
    Deepa

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