Day after surgery!

I made it through surgery just fine!

My surgery started around 7:30 a.m. yesterday.  I woke up in recovery round 11:00 a.m.  I was definitely in pain.  I told my nurse I was a 5 out of a 10 on the pain scale so she gave me some morphine which immediately made me throw up.  They then gave me both a patch and meds for vomiting.  I described the pain to my family as hot cattle branding irons being pushed on my breasts.

I could be wrong, but it seemed as though they didn’t give me anything for pain during the surgery, they just knocked me out with anesthesia.  My guess is that they waited till I woke up to gauge how much pain I was in to know the level of pain killers to give me.

The surgery center released me at 11:30 a.m., we made it home at noon.  During the ride home I was in a lot of pain and wouldn’t talk to anyone in the car or let them play music.  I was quite the diva!  The road was definitely much bumpier home than it was going to the surgery center.

When we got home I propped up on the couch.  I wasn’t able to move much or talk because of the searing pain I was feeling.  I asked for the nausea meds and of course the Hydrocodon.  Finally, by 1:30 p.m. I felt relief from the hot pain.  I was able to talk and move around to go to the bathroom.

I’ve been able to see my breasts since we have to unsnap my compression bra to insert new “panty-liners” to collect the little bit of blood and fluids.  They’re amazingly firm and perky.  The surgeon said that he removed 2.7 lbs, which amazes me that it wasn’t more, considering what the look like right now.  It seems like more to me!  I have no idea what cup size they are since I think some my size right now is due to swelling.  When I go for my post-op appointment next week I’ll make sure to ask my surgeon what he thinks!

I’m trying my best to take it easy and let my husband and parents take care of me.  Since I’m able to walk, it’s hard to not want to help them out around the house.  I need to really take it easy, that’s what everyone that’s had this surgery has stressed.

Tomorrow I get to take a shower (yeah) and wash my compression bra which needs to be done because it has a few blood spots on it.

My family and friends have been great.  My husband as been so awesome throughout this whole experience.  I feel so proud and lucky to have him.  He’s such a catch!  Love that man!

That’s all for today!  Looking forward to seeing these babies heal!

Night before surgery!

Just a few hours till I have to be at the surgery center! I’m a excited and anxious. Soon I’ll be taking the Valium pill that the doctor prescribed me to relax for the night before.
I can’t eat or drink after midnight tonight.

Here’s what the big day looks like:
4:00 a.m. – Wake up
Shower like crazy; wash my hair and shave since I won’t be able to shower for 48 hours. Yuck.
Brush my teeth, but make sure not to swallow any water which means I skip my morning pills I usually take.
Luckily I can wear deodorant!
Dress in comfy yoga pants, zip-up hoodie and slip-on crocs so that dressing after surgery is as easy as possible.

5:00 a.m. – Leave the house

6:00 a.m. – Arrive at the at the surgery center for pre-op
My doctor will mark me up and go over any last minute concerns

7:00 a.m. – Surgery starts
Each breast takes about an hour

9:00 a.m. – Move to post-op to be monitored

10:00 a.m. – Released to go home

My husband and parents will be with me during my surgery and will be taking care of me during my recovery. I’m feeling very blessed and happy right now!

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My out-of-pocket cost using insurance

  • Plastic Surgeon: $444.51
    • I’ve already paid for this; it “reserved” the surgery date on the surgeon’s calendar and of course is a portion of his profit
  • Surgery Center: $639.50 which is the 10% my insurance doesn’t cover + $250 insurance deductible I need to meet this year = $889.50
    • Due the day of surgery, Sep. 25, 2014
  • Anesthesiologist: ~$80-100
    • Regular cost is $400 per hour; my surgery will take about 2 hours
    • I’m responsible for paying the 10% that insurance doesn’t cover
    • Bills via insurance, I’ll receive their invoice in the mail

In total, I’ll be paying around $1,434

Without insurance, the surgeon’s office quoted $6,450 for a breast reduction.

I’m saving around $5,016 or ~80% of the true cost.  I am thrilled to have insurance cover so much of the cost for a procedure that I have dreamed of for so long!

My prescriptions

Sunday I picked up my Rx’s for my surgery this Thursday; here’s what my doctor prescribed:

  • DIAZEPAM – To take the night before surgery, so I’m relaxed (generic of Valium)
  • CEPHALEXIN – To prevent the growth of bacterial infection
  • HYDROCODON – To take for pain, as needed
  • PROMETHAZINE – To prevent nausea from taking pain medication

This past weekend I received my compression bra from Amazon.  The size Medium I ordered seems to be the right size for my size 34 rib cage.  The cups of course to not fit, but will hopefully be just right once my reduction is complete.

As of Sunday I’ve begun using my Hibiclens soap each time I shower.

Post-Op shopping list

I’ve read a ton online regarding what I need for post-op. So I’ve pulled together a shopping list for surgery next week:

Hibiclens
To use the before surgery to prevent infection, recommended to me by my sister-in-law

cleans

Post-op Bra
Marena Surgical Bra with 1″ Elastic (F5 Certified Compression Garment)Top

Silicone Scar Sheets
ScarAway Long Silicone Scar Healing Sheets

Vitamin E
Nature’s Bounty E-400Iu Natural Pure D-alpha
I decided to go with capsules because I couldn’t find any lotions/gels that specified how much Vitamin E they contained.
This seems to be the most concentrated, even though it’s synthetic Vitamin E

Pillow
Don’t need to buy, just have to remember to bring it for the ride home to buffer between me and the seatbelt

Panty-liners
Use these to stick inside the bra at my incisions spots to absorb blood/fluids so they don’t soil the bra. Genius!

How I got here…

preDEver since I was in my mid-teens I have struggled with my ever-growing chest size. I didn’t like the way I looked in clothes or feeling over-sexualized even when wearing the most modest of clothes. I have often hated my body and the discomfort I feel on a daily basis. I’d dreamed of getting a reduction, but thought it would be a very expensive procedure that I would have to work hard to save the money for if insurance wouldn’t cover the cost. It was always on my mind though…

My (now) husband and I are members of a crossfit gym near our house. After a workout one day I heard a woman say, “…Back when my boobs were bigger, I couldn’t do that…” Something compelled me pull her aside and ask her if she had a reduction. She said that she had and that her doctor went through her insurance so that a lot of her cost was covered by her insurance company.

From earlier research I knew that a lot of plastic surgeons don’t bother filing insurance on behalf of patients. Instead patients are left to deal with their insurance companies, which is a huge hassle especially if their insurer denies their claim. To hear that there was a plastic surgeon that was willing to deal with insurance was very encouraging to me. I set up an appointment to meet with her surgeon the following week.

It was early 2014 when I had my consult with my surgeon. As soon as I removed my robe he said, “You my dear are in need of a reduction!” It was such a relief to hear someone validate what I already knew. He said that he felt confident that I would be a candidate for insurance coverage and that his staff would file the necessary paperwork and photos with my company.

I waited anxiously to hear back from my employer’s insurance company for several months. Finally, in March 2014 I contacted the insurance company regarding the status of my predetermination. They informed me that unfortunately my plan did not cover reductions. I was heartbroken. In retrospect, I now know that I could have called the company prior to my surgery consult to ask if reductions were covered within my plan.

Luckily, I was getting married in April 2014 and knew that I could move under my husband’s insurance plan. I had my soon-to-be husband call his insurer to confirm that reductions were covered before we decided that would be our next route.

July 2014 I had the surgeon’s staff resubmit my pedetermination paperwork under my husband’s insurance company. In early August I still hadn’t heard anything so I contacted the insurance company to check the status of my predetermination, but it wasn’t showing up in their system. Finally, on August 15 they confirmed that they received my paperwork.

The following week I called again to check on the status. I proceeded to call daily for status updates. As annoying as I felt, it was good that I kept calling because a few days into the processing, my paperwork was incorrectly marked as closed so I was able to have it reactivated in their system to keep it moving through the process. Aug. 25, 2014 I receive the all-important predetermination letter that confirmed that my request for a bilateral reduction mammoplasty met medical policy criteria.

Since it had been so long since I had met with my surgeon, I scheduled an appointment on Sep. 10, 2014 to meet with my surgeon again to ask questions regarding the procedure and what I could expect.  I also wanted to make sure he understood that I wanted to be reduced to the smallest size possible.

Then on Sep. 12, 2014 I had a pre-op appointment to discuss in further detail how to care for myself before and after surgery. Now I am all set for my surgery on Sep. 25, 2014 and I am VERY excited!