Hello, everyone! Laura here. (I know, that alone will send a lot of you in the other direction. That's okay.)
I'm so thrilled for Brittany that she's getting a breast reduction. So many women have unavoidable, miserable, life-impairing back & shoulder pain due to large, heavy breasts. A good bra can definitely help, but when good bras are literally near impossible to find due to unusual bra size, it makes things difficult. I've been lucky enough that I don't really suffer any back or shoulder pain due to my bra size, but both my mother and sister do. They've both made the decision not to get a reduction, and that is their decision. I respect it. However, Brittany has decided to go forward with one, and I couldn't be happier for her.
I think Brittany is incredibly brave for sharing her breast reduction surgery with everyone. It's a difficult decision to make, and as I'm sure you can all imagine, she's had some "dissenters."
One of the dark sides of blogging is the comments you receive from anonymous people. I tend to comb through the comments in the pending approval queue every few weeks, since this blog gets a whole lot of them and it's difficult to do it constantly.
I deleted all of these types of comments:
"nooooo don't do it"
"why would you do that to your body, you're so pretty and perfect as you are!"
"can you take before pictures at least?"
Dear Anonymous Men of the Internet,
Brittany's breasts have never existed purely for your happiness. No woman owes you the existence of her breasts. No woman must endure persistent pain just for your viewing pleasure. No woman is going to change her mind about drastically improving her health and quality of life just because you enjoy staring at her body in its current form.
Stop your whining, stop being so selfish, and stop feeling entitled to telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies. This blog was never intended for you. You somehow found it anyway, and decided to make this bra and clothing resource for women all about you.
That doesn't mean we ever agreed with you. That doesn't mean we ever decided to start catering to you.
If you're truly a fan of Brittany, you should be happy for her. Post-surgery, she will still be beautiful. Why? Because she's a beautiful person, inside and out, and her beauty is not dictated by the size of her breasts.
P.S. -- lol @ concern trolls. Brittany, and every other woman who goes through breast reduction surgery, knows that surgery comes with risks. Do yourself a favor and give some credit to the fact that Brittany has a brain as well as boobs, weighed the pros and cons, and is making the right choice for herself.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Hi everyone! Phew. It’s been a long few months since I last posted. It’s been quite the journey to where I am now, but before I share the story, I’ll share the news: I finally got approval for the reduction surgery! The date is set for next week. Eeep!
Getting insurance approval for breast reduction is… quite a process.
If you’re considering a reduction, the first thing you need to do is talk to your primary care doctor about back pain. Get documentation of it being a problem as early as possible. Get whatever tests your doctor thinks are necessary done to rule out any other causes, and start going to physical therapy if at all possible. Chiropractic and massage can also be good options. It’s important to have documentation of all relevant treatment options you’ve tried in order to manage your pain. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for many months, which was important to my getting approved. I was also taking Aleve (naproxen) nearly daily to manage my pain, and made sure to mention that to my doctor. Taking NSAIDS such as Advil or Aleve long term can cause serious side effects, so both my insurance and doctor were concerned about getting me off of them as quickly as possible.
My doctor is a D.O, or Doctor of Osteopathy. Osteopathic doctors can be great for issues like back pain, since they have full credentials as medical doctors, but extra training in, and focus on, structural issues of the body such as skeletal and muscular issues. I feel that her skills in this area gave her a better sense of whether or not a reduction could help me. She asked me specific questions about my pain and felt along my upper back and shoulders, accurately predicting where I hurt most just by touching me and feeling the tension in my muscles. She has been nothing but enthusiastic about the idea of a reduction and believes it will really help me.
My doctor suggested several plastic surgeons in the area who she thought highly of, and I did some research and picked the one who felt best to me, who had good reviews and used the surgical technique that I wanted. Then she sent in the referral.
I needed a lot of documentation in order to get approved. I had to submit letters from my doctor and physical therapist as well as extensive notes and medical records. Different insurance companies have different requirements, and your surgeon can guide you through the process of gathering and submitting everything you need. Ideally, everyone on your medical team will be supportive. If not, you may need to seek out another doctor.
Many insurance plans do not cover breast reduction surgery. Last year, my partner’s company used Aetna, and while they technically do cover breast reduction, they have a requirement for the amount of weight removed from each breast that is unusually high. So basically, they only approve it in extreme cases. Since we were able to switch my insurance over to Anthem Blue Cross at the beginning of the year, which has a more reasonable requirement, I was able to get approved.
We were really conscientious about the process and kept checking in with the insurance company. The surgeon’s office really appreciated that we did this and said that it helped things move faster and more smoothly. The patient is often in the best position to contact everyone and make sure communication happens. It’s especially useful that we were able to get direct contact information for someone helpful at the insurance company.The first time my surgeon submitted my application, the insurance company claimed they didn’t have it after all (they “lost” it, I guess?) and we had to re-submit. Then they wanted more information and to haggle with my surgeon over the removal amount.
It has taken a long time to get approved, but once things were through, scheduling the surgery has happened rather quickly. I’m excited about the possibility of getting rid of my shoulder pain for good, but also I’m understandably nervous. Wish me luck!
Posted by Brittany at 3:33 PM