Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breast Health: How Have We Helped You?

At we've help tens of thousands of women through breast surgery and recovery over the last decade. This help also includes one on one help with our Healing Diet and more. These tools and skills go on to help women well past their surgeries, in effect helping to promote better overall health for women and even their families for a lifetime. This is the basis of true breast health.

  This posting is for our members to come and leave comments about how we've helped them.  They are comments about how we've helped them through surgery, recovery, with our healing diet, with their weight loss or overall health and beyond. It is our permanent record, otherwise is lost in a sea of posts on our very busy site.

  Thank you to all our members. Without you our amazing organization wouldn't exist.

  Annette (Anni) Bricca
Founder & CEO

  If we've helped you, please leave your comments below. We'll moderate and post them as they're added.

TY Shari :D


  1. BreastHealthOnline has been a wonderful support team that helped me tremendously after surgery in answering questions about my recent Breast Reduction. I am a nurse and felt I knew how to care for myself after this surgery but found my knowledge lacking in information regarding Breast Reductions and BreastHealthOnline was a great resource with wonderful nurses and staff to assist each person. They were very prompt in answering all questions posted usually within an hour or less. I had posted on another web site for Breast Reduction support and they didn't even bother to answer back, which I found very unprofessional if they are going to claim to be a support site. I have recommended BreastHealthOnline to a lot of friends, and have gained a lot of new friends from being a member of BreastHealthOnline. Thanks everyone for your help

  2. BreastHealthOnline empowered me to take on a situation with my HMO who was denying my surgery based on an unreasonable criteria, and win. I also received the support and information necessary to go through with my surgery with a full understanding of the process, benefits and of course the risks. As a result, my surgeon was thrilled to have a patient who was knowledgeable and who required no pre or post-op counseling from him or his staff. I didn't freak out when complications did arise because I knew where to go for the support and information from the incredibly comprehensive FAQ boards. I've continued to be an active member of BreastHealthOnline, and lend the same support to others on their journey.

  3. BreastHealthOnline answered a lot of questions about what to expect before and after surgery. I would have been unprepared for the degree of swelling, bruising, and drainage had it not been for the support board. I've had a few problems with healing, and BreastHealthOnline has reinforced the explanations and instructions that my plastic surgeon gave me.

  4. BreastHealthOnline has been a lifesaver for me going thru my Breast Reduction. Without this website, I would have been lost. The support, information, and friendship is awsome. The moderators here are careful to not go against anyone Plastic Surgeons orders. They are a supportive website to come along side of you when you have any questions, concerns, or issues. BreatHealthOnline has single handedly helped me by giving me support with nutrition and encouraged me to eat much more healthy food. Thank you BreastHealthOnline..

  5. Breasthealthonline was probably one of the best sites I've ever found. When first deciding to get a BR i was very unsure about whether this was the right option for me but the wonderful women on BHO helped me to realise that this was what I wanted despite my fears. They talked me through numerous panicky moments, reassured me when I wasn't so sure, and generally made me feel like I had someone to talk to who understood what I was going through. I cannot recommend this site enough and I am not sure I would have coped without it! I would also greatly recommend the picture access part of the site as this really showed me what to expect when I woke up from surgery. Thankyou BHO, for giving me support and introducing me to many different like minded women who helped me through!

  6. Where do I begin. BreastHealthOnline (BHO) has been an invaluable resource. I am one of the fortunate ones that found it before my surgery. BHO helped me by properly preparing me for a healthy recovery and always there to answer questions, no matter how small or trivial. Annette and her volunteer staff are amazing and how they give of themselves so freely is inspirational. The members offer their personal stories that are such a huge help as well, an only words of support are offered. There is nothing like I have ever seen before on an online community. I learned so much, gained support thru unsettling times, and it prepared me for my own journey with a confidence that I SO needed.

    Without BHO I would have not learned the true importance of proper nutrition, especially before and after a major surgery. It may sound like it should be common sense, but I just had really never thought of it like that. Making healthier, educated choices where nutrition is concerned is a great lesson learned and one I will have with me for the rest of my life. I learned which foods were best for maximum healing as well as foods to stay away from. I learned about lemon tea and how it can help with swelling & pineapple to help with bruising. My surgeon's nurse even commented at my first follow up that I looked so good, hardly any sign of bruising and the swelling was not as bad as normally seen. I shared with her my BHO experience, and she sounded impressed.
    I was kind of surprised when she said she had not heard of BHO. I wish all surgeons could offer BHO info to their patients, it has been so helpful to myself. There is a great need to get the word out about BHO, so other woman can benefit from it's many lessons and go on to have healthy recoveries with minimal complications.

    Without BHO I would not have known the importance of giving my body proper rest that is essential for good healing. I would not have thought that daily tasks such as washing dishes, light vacuuming or laundry are not safe for you to do immediately after post op thru those first several weeks. I learned thru personal stores of the members, and the responses from the BHO staff, that complications could arise from such activities. Being told "If it hurts, don't do it" just is not good enough. I have seen posts from many many women on BHO who report they over did it and healing complications resulted. I learned thru reading their stories, and I believe the cautions and take them seriously.

    Because of BHO I learned not to panic, and that when the first red swollen bump appeared beneath my left breast appeared, I knew that it was likely a spitting stitch, something totally common, but I would not have known otherwise. Sure enough, out came a tiny sharp stitch and all was well by morning. Having the peace of mind was priceless.

    BHO offers support in many ways. Another is realizing that it is the job of your surgeon to be there for you, and not hesitate to contact their office because "I don't want to be a bother". I am one of those types but, last week, something felt off, not right. I thought should I call? Should I wait? I learned from BHO that if I had a concern, a concern that would make me want to post it online, that it was a big enough concern to call my personal surgeon about. I did just that and it ended up I had an infection. I was fortunate to catch it early, but I doubt I would have had I not found this amazing breast health community.

    The Members Photo Access is an excellent tool for those who are considering surgery, preparing for surgery or need post op advice. It was so nice to be able to see all the aspects of the surgery, before and after photos of real women, complications and success stories. To be able to see and learn what I could expect once post op. To be able to recognize what is normal and not normal during healing is still helping me today. I am so thankful for BHO!

  7. BreastHealthOnline has been an irreplaceable tool and support during my whole process of having a BR done. I found women and information there that has helped me through experience and advice over anything I could have received through my PS office. The office staff, PS and nurses were wonderful and answered any questions I had. The problem is no one ever goes in prepared with the right questions to ask. These I found on BHO.

    The before and afters picture forum is the best thing on the web. It both helps support the website and demonstrates what healing really looks like, and that coming back from this surgery in reality takes more than a couple weeks as most of us expected going in. This is not an "outpatient elective surgery" as the world believes. It is in fact invasive, medically necessary in most cases, and exhausts the body for equally as long as any other surgery. Some women go into this alone with no support system in their lives, some with unsupportive families. This is where the women of the website come in. Others who have wonderful support systems already can still find information on this website such as the healing diet, scar tips and insurance helps.

    I have made great friends with many women and have stuck around a year after my surgery to see what help I can be to others, and plan to continue to donate time and funds to this wonderful cause.

  8. Hmmm, it would be easier to list ways in which you have NOT helped me. I have learned so much in the four months since I joined BHO. I am still nervous about my upcoming surgery but feel prepared for it, both emotionally and physically. Armed with the Healing Diet, lemon tea, various medical aides that women have used with great success, I am left to simply wait until it's my turn.

    Without the support and advice of the hundreds of women who have gone before me I would probably have chickened out of this since there is a sad lack of information available to the public.

    Thanks so much to all the wonderful women of BHO, both staff and members! You have my gratitude. :-)

  9. I had breast reduction surgery last year. Not only was I nervous about the procedure to begin with, I had it done in a different continent!! BHO gave me the knowledge and support I needed to go through with the operation - which changed my life for the better. It's a wonderful site, and I'll always be grateful to both the site and it's wonderful members.

  10. I had breast reduction and liposuction last week. BHO helped me come to this very serious decision with full knowledge (good and bad. I would have been lost without the support of the BHO staffers and members all the weeks before the surgery and, especially now, after the surgery. Doctors don't tell you all the ins and outs, they don't show you photos of all types of results (immediate results) that I think are so necessary in preparing us emotionally and mentally for such a major surgery and life changing event. I can't stress how it changes you immediately, from the minute you are aware that the weight is gone from your chest. I am eternally grateful to BHO staffers for their commitment. THANK YOU!

  11. I don't know how I would have survived my breast reduction surgery without Breast Health Online. My plastic surgeon is experienced and knowledgeable; however, he and the staff at the surgery center sent me home with very little instruction on post op care. I probably would have followed their advice and rested for a few days and been back at full capacity at 30 days post op. I feel sure I would still be limping along with a healing issue. In addition to the general information provided by BHO, the ladies of this site (particularly Annette) have advised and counseled and guided me through my experience. I had some trouble managing The Healing Diet, but the ladies here (again, particularly Annette!) gave me one on one, step by step instructions on how to get the best nutrition and healing advantages from my meals and snacks. My surgeon has given a lot of his time and attention to my healing problem so I certainly haven't felt neglected by him. But if it hadn't been for BHO and The Healing I said...I feel sure I would still be struggling with a significant healing complication. I will forever be grateful!!

  12. BreastHealthOnline has helped me due to special circumstances. Yes I had breast cancer but due to the type I had, I did not need chemo or radiation. I opted for a mastectomy to avoid other treatment. I am kind of in the minority of breast cancer patients and I have not had too much luck finding a good fit with a support group.

    I found BreastHealthOnline after my cancer surgery and my tummy tuck surgery. I had been on a diet and had lost 55 pounds. I was very excited to find many people to chat with about the tummy tuck BUT even more excited to be able to switch back and forth to other boards to also talk about my cancer and many reconstructive surgeries.

    I really feel I fit in at BreastHealthOnline since I have had experience in so MANY of the categories. Other places are limited to one thing or another but BreastHealthOnline has them all! BreastHealthOnline has helped me in a very well rounded manner, all in one place.

  13. Being in my early twenties and not knowing anyone personally who has had a breast reduction surgery, finding this website was a crucial part of my decision making process and my healing process!

    Being able to talk to so many other women who have been through or are planning on going through the same thing changes everything. It gave me the confidence to feel good about making the decision to get my breast reduction surgery. I felt supported through every step.

    I'm so thankful for all the other ladies' pictures, especially. They gave me a good idea of what to expect at the different stages of healing, as well as got me super excited about what I had to look forward to prior to my procedure! It is a beautiful group of people we have here and I'm so grateful to be a part of it!

    Thanks, Annette and everyone else who contributes!

  14. I'm 38 and have wanted a breast reduction for many, many years. I found just before I went in for my initial consultation with my doctor. It was incredibly helpful and informative.

    I was able to go read the boards and find first-hand information on the surgery that I couldn't find elsewhere. I was able to make a list of questions to ask my surgeon, was able to see a wide variety of healing issues, and got a very good idea of the challenges and wonders that awaited me after my surgery.

    The support of all the women was the most wonderful part of my experience with BHO. If I was having a bad day, I could get support and encouragement, and if I was having a good day, I could give support to someone else who needed it. Everyone is just so helpful and encouraging.

    I have recommended BHO to a couple friends who are considering breast reductions, and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about a breast-related surgery.

  15. has been a huge help as I prepared for and recovered from my breast reduction. I got tons of information on the site and even though I had a number of complications I got so much support and help here I just don't know how I would have gotten through my recovery without it. Thank you!!!!

  16. BreastHealthOnline is a miraculous website for women looking in to breast surgery! The ample amount of testimonies, experiences, stories, advice, suggestions, and help from the BHO staff and members is exceptionally incredible! Without BHO, I would have NEVER had the courage to go through with my breast reduction.

    Due to all the information available on BHO, I was so much more knowledgeable and well-prepared for my surgery. While doctors do give some advice on post-op care, without BHO, I would have been lost with what to expect. From the healing diet, to the the top 25 FAQ's, Picture Boards, and personal shared experiences, BHO enlightened me to the point where I was sure a breast reduction was for me!

    I love BreastHealthOnline, Annette for her concern to create such a place that offers a wonderful support group and a wealth of information, and the staff and members who help make the site what it is. Thank you BHO!!!!!


  17. BreastHealthOnline has been an invaluable resource for me while planning for and recovering from breast reduction surgery. It has helped me in so many ways:

    From the information on BHO I was able to familiarize myself with the various types of breast reduction incisions and the terminology. I was able to compile a list of questions to ask potential plastic surgeons and when meeting with them I was able to understand exactly what they were talking about and I knew exactly what questions to ask! Without BHO I wouldn't have asked some very important questions, I would have been confused and I would have tried to remember unfamiliar terms so I could look them up on the internet after my consultations.

    I learned so much about how to plan for my recovery - what things to eat and drink, what I should do and what I shouldn't do after surgery as well as all the things to purchase prior to surgery to make my life easier afterwards. As much as I like my surgeon, I don't feel that I got the detail of information from him that I needed - but I did from BHO.

    I got picture access and I am so happy that I did. At first it was strange looking at before and after pictures of other women's breasts but in the end it was invaluable. Without picture access I wouldn't have had a clue what I would look like right after surgery or a week or two after surgery. I am certain that I would have been so shocked and thought that something went terribly wrong with my surgery! With picture access, I knew exactly what to expect and what I would look like so I was able to take care of myself without having a panic attack.

    BHO is a wonderful resource and I have recommended it to many women - some thinking of breast reductions and some who weren't. The staff is wonderful and helpful as well as all the brave women who post pictures and advice. I am happy every day that I found BHO. Thank you!


  18. I had breast reduction 9+ months ago and it was such a reasurance to me that I was NOT alone, that there were women who've experienced this and could prepare and help equp me with information and tips to heal well. My Dr. was quite impressed with how well I handled everything, I told him it was because I felt ready due to Breast Health Online! Thank you SO much for all you do to help women. ~Kay1

  19. What can I say, BHO helped me before, during and after my surgery.

    Before: It gave me far more advice than any surgeon did. The wealth of information is astounding, the love and support sometimes overwhelming, and the knowledge - amazing. I learned far more here about what to expect, and it gave me the confidence to go ahead.

    During: I knew what to expect, and was so calm just before my surgery that they almost checked the machine was working properly as my blood pressure was so low!

    After: I only had one check up with my surgeon, but only needed one. Any little query I had was raised here at BHO. I immediately got advice, support and friendship. Even though all of my questions had been asked 1000 times before, not once did anyone sigh, or get cross, but each and every question was answered with care and support.

    Even now, 14 months on, I return almost daily to get my BHO "fix" and, sometimes, to chime in on a question to help those earlier in their journeys.

    Without BHO, the journey would have been much more lonely and frightening. With BHO it's been a trip over the rainbow.

  20. BHO was the only resource I used besides the information from my PS office. Without this site and the vast amount of invaluable information provided by the staff and members of the site, I would have been woefully unprepared for my surgical experience. I never had a question that wasn't answered or a concern that wasn't addressed, and seeing other women go through the same worries and highs and lows was the best support I could possibly have. My husband and family were incredibly supportive but having others who knew what I was going through was absolutely key. Also having picture access was so reassuring - to know what I'd look like in the first few days was beyond helpful, as most photos online are the nice tidy "afters" from PS offices.

    Anyone who is contemplating a BR should get on this site, get picture access, and get the amazing benefits from this fantastic community. It doesn't get better than BHO for info, advice and wonderful women!

  21. When I went for my breast reduction I had to travel out of town. Not being close to my surgeon made me very nervous. The ladies here helped me so much to prepare for the trip and also afterwards in the recovery.
    Every little thing that worried me drove me to this site and helped me get through the worst of it.

    The photo access made a huge difference too. It showed me what to expect more or less. Without that I think I would have been horrified at some of the changes right at the beginning.

    I see so many people getting comfort and reassurance from this site. Thank you.

  22. BHO has helped me in many ways, however I will focus on three.

    I was encouraged to get three consultations. The first consultation with a plastic surgeon was a disaster. I was very dissapointed and I would have given up. The next two were great. I also knew what kind of questions to ask at the consultation.
    I was initially denied by my insurance company twice. The encouragement and information I received from BHO helped me to have a successful appeal.

    I feel I was much more prepared for surgery and what to expect. Reading the posts by members helped to prepare me. I bought supplies not on my plastic surgeons list. I stocked up on items on the healing diet, and had my recovery juice made the night before surgery. I drank the lemon tea also recommended by this site, and felt that made a huge difference.

    I am only four days post op, and very grateful I found this site. It has wonderful information. I have so much relief in my shoulders and in my back already. Thanks BHO

  23. I can not even say enough great things about BreastHealthOnline.

    1. I have been educated like no surgeon would ever educate any patient.

    2. I have been assisted and encouraged by many very patient women in the same position as me.

    3. I was given the tools to prepare myself for surgery, after surgery and prepared for the months to come.

    4. The most valuable thing I gained from the board are the pictures of before and afters. I am so grateful for woman that posted their photos to help others. I even got the courage to post mine, which I would have bet money I would never never do on the internet. But if I can help someone like they helped me, it is very worth it.

    I will tell anyone that I know about this site, if I think they should need it.



  24. I found this website months before having my surgery. I knew I always needed reduction surgery but because of what I have heard and what was done, I was too scared. Let me tell you I'm glad I went with my gut feeling and did the surgery. At 41 I was a little leery of having surgery like this - it's kind of like having children after 40. You girls were so supportive when I posted my surgery date. Even if we get on here and talk about life, things we are dealing with that doesn't have to do with our surgery, everyone is so supportive. My surgeon was awesome and I had heard I would really like him. It was kind of weird because the surgeon I had an appointment with was sick and out of the office and they rescheduled me with another doctor. I'm not sure I would of liked the first one any better. When my mom and I walked out of the consultation we both agreed it would be him. My mom and I are too much alike and generally don't agree so this was a huge bonus for me! The information you girls have on this website is really helpful. No matter what kind of question anyone posts there is always a adequate medical response. I spent one night in the hospital and the drains were out before I went home. That also was a relief we didn't have to do with them. It's been nearly a year since my surgery (OCT 17) and I had a great recovery with no problems. I am so Thankful for all the staff on this website I can't give you enough KUDOS for what you do.

  25. This site is helpful in so many ways. Without it, I dont think I ever would have gone through with the surgery. And post surgery, being the worrier I am, it is so nice to have somewhere to go with questions and get answers from women who have been through the same thing. So much worrying goes along with this recuperation and it is nice to have a place where you can get reasonable answers to a variety of questions. The people on here are so supportive and you really feel like you are not going through this alone. Kudos to those who run the site.

  26. The cancer support group at BreastHealthOnline has given me information and insights into the procedures that I was facing, as well as confirmation and validation that my fluctuating emotions were normal and expected in the highly emotional state that I found myself in. This wonderful site introduced me to other survivors that immediately made me feel welcomed and cared for. It has been a vital part of my recovery. God bless everyone at BreastHealthOnline.

  27. BreastHealthOnline has been instrumental in assisting me with my weight goals. I visit the Health and Fitness board regularly to write in my online journal and receive the support of other women who have had breast surgery and are interested in becoming more fit. In the beginning, BreastHealthOnline allowed me to share concerns regarding my recent breast reduction with women who were in the same position. I had already had my surgery and also wanted a place to share my joy at the discovery of living my life with my disfigurement corrected. It has been a place for me to celebrate and to share my experience with women who are about to undergo the same procedure as I did. I find value in being able to give input as well as knowing that there is a community of women I can turn to if I feel the need. I only wish BreastHealthOnline had been established prior to my surgery. It would have made the journey so much easier. Even though I am almost 10 months out past my surgical experience, I visit the reduction board on a regular basis, as well as checking in at the other boards. I really enjoy the fun stuff on the community boards and especially look forward to hearing the funny quotes from the members. The information boards are a great asset. I have bought books from the bookstore, cooked recipes from the recipe boards, and remember to perform my BSE monthly. BreastHealthOnline has become an integral part of my life. I can't remember what my days were like without it

  28. Breast Health Online has been an invaluable tool for me during both my breast reduction in 2009 and during my mammogram follow-up testing in 2011. Annette Bricca is the consummate professional constantly ensuring that the thousands of women on this website are given up-to-date, accurate information and support for their breast concerns, no matter what they are experiencing. In my humble opinion, the Komen foundation would be remiss if they didn't explore this valuable information source with an eye toward funding support. The synergies betweeen Breast Health Online and the Komen foundation are numerous.

    Sunnyone - San Diego

  29. Annette personally was an angel before, during and after my surgery. The people, their guidance and their posts were I think what pulled me through to the other side. I wish I had more time to devote to this site. I miss Annette and the wonderful people that post to it."

    Dr. Judi

  30. This site has been remarkable to my recovery. Here I am 4 days post op and feel ready to go back to work already. I took every suggestion, from when to stop taking certain supplements, to how to prepare your body for surgery to how to care for your body after surgery and most importantly, The Healing Diet! I read others experiences and researched how to avoid the problems they had, and I am doing great! Thank you so much I will continue using this site even after I'm all good to go!

  31. I found BreastHealthOnline in the early stages of my breast surgery. The support and the answers I received at BreastHealthOnline became an invaluable service to not only myself but to my husband and family as well. Although none of them are members of BreastHealthOnline they gained knowledge of my procedure and support from the staff and members at BreastHealthOnline. I had a fairly complication-free surgical procedure but for the minor complications BreastHealthOnline became a source of support. I was able to ask my questions and to voice my concerns with women who had gone through many of the same issues. Through their support I was able to become an encouragement to the women who had their procedures performed after mine. I personally commend the women at BreastHealthOnline for their wisdom and for their caring of other women. With the help of my plastic surgeon and the support and dedication of the BreastHealthOnline staff I am on my way to a full recovery and a fulfilled life!!

  32. I have had many questions that BreastHealthOnline members and staff have helped me answer. I also feel like I have a lot of support and people to turn to if I need help. I have found the picture board to be extremely helpful in educating myself about size, shape, and different techniques.

  33. It helped me to realize others were going through what I was going through. It also helped my surgeon. He didn't have to receive phone calls about every little problem, I could come here and ask others who knew the answers.