Podcast #31 The Truth About Breast Reduction

Published on August 5th, 2020

Breast_Reduction_Natural_Plastic_Surgeon

Podcast #31 The Truth About Breast Reduction

On this episode of The Natural Plastic Surgeon

Dominique Olivetto: I’ve been in LA for two years. And obviously since I’ve lived out here, you know, you’re on the beach more.

Dr. Barrett: Right.

Dominique Olivetto: You know, I’m hiking a lot. And I was like, okay, this is, like, not just me having, like, bigger…it’s, like, they’re noticeably bigger than a lot of people. And then, you know, I’d be at the beach with friends and it was always comments and things that people would be making. And I was, like, all right, this isn’t fun. But you know, it was, like, to the point where I would see other girls who maybe were a little bit top-heavy and I was, like, there’s a noticeable difference between me and them.

You are listening to The Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Barrett, Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon located right here in Beverly Hills. I specialize in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. This podcast is dedicated to those deciding if plastic surgery is right for them and revealing all the latest beauty secrets. Let’s get started.

01:00 DOMINIQUE IS TODAY’S GUEST

Dr. Barrett: Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Barrett. We are here on podcast Natural Plastic Surgeon Episode Number 31. I’ve got a beautiful patient of mine, Dominique. She’s here today to talk about her journey. And her surgery that she had. I think it was probably in this room? Do you remember?

Dominique Olivetto: I think so. It was. Dr. Barrett: Okay. And you had a breast reduction?

Dominique Olivetto: I did. Dr. Barrett: So I get a lot of people that come to me, they want bigger breasts, and you came and said, hey, I want smaller breasts. So what’s going on? What happened with… tell us about you? And, and what, what led you down this road?

01:30 DOMINIQUE CONSIDERED BREAST REDUCTION FOR 5 YEARS

Dominique Olivetto: I mean, honestly, I, this is something I’ve been thinking about probably for five years. I’ve always been small.

Dr. Barrett: And you’re 30 years old.

Dominique Olivetto: 30 years old. Yes. Well, now 31.

Dr. Barrett: Okay.

01:50 DOMINIQUE HAD 3 HERNIATED DISCS

Dominique Olivetto: But I’ve always been smaller framed. I’m five two. And I had, what would, I think it was DD? I mean, big boobs. And I’m a very active person, so I love working out. Hiking, swimming, traveling, and it was just things that, you know, started to really act up. I had three herniated discs in my back. Two were bulging, one was herniated, all to the right side. And I would get epidural after epidural and I noticed that, you know, I, it was my large chest that was really aggravating a lot of it.

Dr. Barrett: Okay.

Dominique Olivetto: And I started to notice it way more, you know, within this last year. Especially because I work with cameras a lot, you know, so…

Dr. Barrett: What, tell me about this. So that you’re getting epidurals, right?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett:…were these doctors saying, hey, your boobs are too big or, like, what? When did you put, like, two and two together?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, only one actually did. And, you know, they, because I was thinking, like, you know, I want to have kids one day. I’m getting all these epidurals, like, at one point, is this even gonna work? And then back surgery for herniated discs.

Dr. Barrett: We’re talking epidurals in case you have a pregnancy? D. Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Okay, got it. Dominique Olivetto: And then…

Dr. Barrett: Well, not to mention, they’re sticking needles in your spinal cord.

03:00 ONE DOCTOR SUGGESTED THAT SHE WAS HEAVY-CHESTED

Dominique Olivetto: 100%. And then, the, the only time that people actually gave me an option is they were telling me about, like, different surgeries for my herniated discs. And I knew that that was a huge recovery. Only one doctor had said, hey, you know, you’re very heavy-chested. Like, this could be putting a lot of pressure on you. And I had a roommate at the time who actually got the procedure. And that was the first time that I had ever seen somebody who… Dr. Barrett: Your roommate got a breast reduction?

Dominique Olivetto: Yes. Dr. Barrett: Wow.

Dominique Olivetto: She did. Dr. Barrett: Was it my patient?

Dominique Olivetto: No, this was back in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Barrett: Okay, got it. All right, so you’re back in PA. Now, did you grow up out there? Or where did you…?

03:20 DOMINIQUE IS FROM WEST VIRGINIA

Dominique Olivetto: I grew up in West Virginia. Dr. Barrett: Okay. And then you found your way to Pennsylvania. And so I’m from Virginia. And, you know, for all you listeners out there, there’s a big difference between West Virginia and Virginia.

Dominique Olivetto: There is.

Dr. Barrett: They’re very different states, they’re both beautiful in different ways.

Dominique Olivetto: Yes. Dr. Barrett: But they’re not the same state.

Dominique Olivetto: Right. But anyway, you found yourself…so Pennsylvania. And what were you trying to do? I mean, like, you’re having all these back problems. Like, before the thought of surgery, getting a reductive surgery, like, was there stuff you were trying to do to, kind of, help alleviate this?

03:50 DOMINIQUE TRIED DIETING

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, I mean, crazy, like, I was, I felt like I was always dieting. And I was always doing, like, very cardio-heavy workouts. But at the same time, that was tough, because then it’s, like, I get home from the gym and I’m super sore. You know, and I couldn’t continue to keep that up. And I was trying to do, you know, a lot of, like, I tried the keto diet and different things where, you know, it was known to, you know, lose a lot of fat. And I would lose a little bit, but never to the point where I ever felt any release. I would almost lose weight from everywhere else but the area…

Dr. Barrett:…but your breasts. D. Yeah, where I wanted to. Dr. Barrett: And, and when did you notice that your breasts are like, hey, mine are, kind of, like, bigger than average, or like, this is kind of unusual?

04:30 DOMINIQUE NOTICED HER BREASTS WERE BIGGER THAN EVERYONE ELSE’S

Dominique Olivetto: I’d say the past, like, year-and-a-half. I’ve been in LA for two years. And obviously since I’ve lived out here, you know, you’re on the beach more. Dr. Barrett: Right.

Dominique Olivetto: You know, I’m hiking a lot. And I was like, okay, this is, like, not just me having, like, bigger…it’s, like, they’re noticeably bigger than a lot of people. And then, you know, I’d be at the beach with friends and it was always comments and things that people would be making. And I was, like, all right, this isn’t fun. But you know, it was, like, to the point where I would see other girls who maybe were a little bit top-heavy and I was, like, there’s a noticeable difference between me and them.

Dr. Barrett: Okay, and when you were in high school, everything was normal? It just was, it wasn’t till, like, a year-and-a-half that you, kind of, noticed them being bigger?

Dominique Olivetto: No, I’m, you know, I was always bigger. But you know, you don’t really notice it until, like, especially as I got more health conscious and I was losing weight from everywhere else. And it was, like, you know, everything is small, except for my tops had to be large, you know? And there was just different things. So it was like, it was, it was even hard to shop. Honestly…

Dr. Barrett: You know, it’s funny…clothes, unless you get custom-fitted clothes, nothing really fits right in, in this situation. And I, and I get the opposite situation, girls are have no chest, no breasts whatsoever. And they’re, like, my number one reason for being here is because I want to fit in clothes better.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: It’s a big deal.

Dominique Olivetto: It is a big deal.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Well, good. Well, so your roommate got it done in Pennsylvania. You came out here and people were, like, eyeing you down at the beach and you’re, like, what am I doing and I’ve gotten multiple bulging discs.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: What, what next? Like, did you do some online research? Or, like, tell us what happened?

06:05 DOMINIQUE DID INTERNET RESEARCH

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, I did. I mean, it was something where I think up until I found you, I was looking actively for probably about six months. Dr. Barrett: Okay.

Dominique Olivetto: You know, one was timing, you know, I wanted to find a good time to do it. So… Dr. Barrett: Right, because you’re a busy woman. You work, like, in production, which is never like a break…

Dominique Olivetto: Never stops…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

06:30 SHE CALLED 5 DIFFERENT DOCTORS

Dominique Olivetto: So I knew that there was a time to where I was going to be, kind of, transitioning a bit that I was, like, okay, around Thanksgiving, you know, is a good time. And then, you know, I started to just really look on Yelp and different things. And I had called probably, I’d say, about five different surgeons before finding you.

Dr. Barrett: Wow. Here in town, Los Angeles?

Dominique Olivetto: All here in town. A lot, you know, did a different type of procedure that I just didn’t feel like, you know, when I called, I felt like it was very transactional in a lot of them. Verse, like, really, kind of, talking to me about what I wanted. I had stumbled upon your page and I had loved, you know, what you did with just the method that you go into with surgery where I knew it was gonna be minimal scarring. You know, I spent a lot of time on your website. Not a lot of surgeons had before-and-after photos, which is something that was very important to me.

Dr. Barrett: Of course.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. And as soon as I called, it was, like, everybody was so nice. And I think I was on the phone with a receptionist for, like, 30 minutes. Dr. Barrett: Really?

Dominique Olivetto: The first time I had called. And I had heard everything that I wanted to hear and I was, like, okay. I called a couple other places. And then I was, like, no, this is where I want to go.

Dr. Barrett: Well, do you remember who you spoke to on the phone?

Dominique Olivetto: I don’t, maybe Cali?

07:40 DR. BARRETT’S OFFICE STAFF TREAT PEOPLE AS INDIVIDUALS

Dr. Barrett: Okay. Awesome. Yeah, I mean, well, so a number of things are going on. Like one, you know, we, kind of, do things differently. You know, we treat people as individuals. When you call us, like, we want to find out what’s really going on.

Dominique Olivetto: Right.

Dr. Barrett: What is it that’s important to you? A lot of times people have goals and objectives that we really can’t fulfill.

Dominique Olivetto: 100 percent.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, and so we always try to, kind of like, get a sense of really what’s motivating you, what’s driving you and everything. So I’m glad, that really, really makes me feel good that you had that experience. When it comes to breast reduction it’s, it’s, it’s such a, it’s such a challenging operation. This standard operation, and I think we talked about this during our consultation, is a inferior pedicle…do you know what that means?

Dominique Olivetto: Not really.

08:20 INFERIOR PEDICLE TECHNIQUE

Dr. Barrett: Okay, so there’s, the breast has blood supply from, you know, basically four different quadrants, right? You have blood supply from the top, from the side, from the medial and below. So the standard way, the traditional way that we all learn in residency, plastic surgery residency, is inferior pedicle, Weiss pattern. Weiss pattern is another name for that anchor scar, right? So the problem with that is the blood supply comes from the bottom part of the breast. It’s very reliable, that helps supply blood to the nipples and areola and that way you can debulk everything up and around, right? The problem is, is you’re creating a bottom-heavy breast. And you create scarring that goes way too far laterally. So what ends up happening is yes, you get a reduction in the breasts, but it ends up using the skin to kind of hold everything together and skin is not a good, like, retaining mechanism right? It doesn’t really last. It’s the same reason why we do a skin-only facelift, it only looks good for the first year. So not only that, but you don’t need to have scars that go horizontal. You, all we really need to do is do vertical, a lollipop incision, so an incision around the areola and a line going down.

09:25 VERTICAL LOLLIPOP

Dr. Barrett: Unfortunately, a lot of surgeons don’t know how to do that. There’s actually a female doctor–I give her 100% credit for this–her name is Dr. Elizabeth Hall Findley. She’s in Banff, Canada. Have you ever been to Banff? I recommend it, it’s a really beautiful place. I went there to go hiking with my family and I realized how small of a town it was. And I was, like where did this plastic surgeon come from? She just came out of the middle of nowhere. And I actually met her. And I went to some of her seminars to learn how to do this vertical lollipop, vertical pedicle or superior medial pedicle. So the blood supply comes from up here. So you’re debulking the bottom, the heavy part of the breast, and then you’re using the breast tissue to support itself, not the skin. So there’s a couple concepts that are really transformative in terms of how the result ends up looking. One, it doesn’t look flat and boxy, it looks more three dimensional and more lifted. Two, you have way less scarring. And three, combines liposuction, which I think, saves you from having that scar chasing all the way out onto your, onto your axilla. And that’s what we did for you.

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely. And I remember that my roommate had that scar. And that was actually something that, kind of, made me question if I wanted it. Because I was, like, that’s a huge scar, you know? And I know that she was definitely very uncomfortable. So, you know, most I’d say, out of the five people that I had called, at least three of them did it that way, which was something I didn’t want to, you know, I don’t want to go down that route.

Dr. Barrett: All right, so there were some others that were doing the, the lollipop or vertical.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Great. That’s good. That’s encouraging. Because I feel like not enough plastic surgeons, a lot of plastic surgeons out there that are used to doing what they’ve been used to the past 20 years.

Dominique Olivetto: Right. Dr. Barrett: And they don’t want to change. It works, yep, symptoms go away because we debulk the breast. But it’s just, like, breasts are such a defining characteristic of a woman’s body.

Dominique Olivetto: Right. Dr. Barrett: That I think we should, we should use the latest technique. I mean, if you can make the breast look better, not flat and boxy, and get rid of scarring? Scarring is the biggest limitation, I think, for people trying to get this operation…

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely. Yeah, and I’ve already been, I mean, what? We’re at the two-month…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto:…mark right now and I’m already just, like, amazed at how the scarring looks. Like…

Dr. Barrett: Well…

Dominique Olivetto: It looks really good. Dr. Barrett: Let’s back up. Let’s talk about. You’ve never had any surgery. Did you have any surgery before at all?

11:30 DOMINIQUE NEVER HAD COSMETIC SURGERY

Dominique Olivetto: No, I had my wisdom teeth. Actually. No, I did. I had the fibroadenoma.

Dr. Barrett: Okay. Dominique Olivetto: In my right breast.

Dr. Barrett: Okay.

Dominique Olivetto: Because I remember that was something, but it was, it was when I was younger. I think my sophomore year, yeah, of college, but other than that the only surgery I had was my wisdom teeth.

Dr. Barrett: Okay. And so what was the experience like coming into a plastic surgery office and, you know, you’re perfectly healthy, signing up to have…I know you’ve had epidurals before…

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett:…but like, signing up to have, like, a big operation like this.

12:00 DOMINIQUE WAS SCARED BEFORE THE SURGERY, BUT DR. BARRETT’S STAFF EASED HER WORRIES

Dominique Olivetto: I was definitely scared before, but again, like your office makes it so easy and friendly and fun. So I feel like I was just armed with information from the upfront. Like, you know, the first, from the first second where you’re meeting with Rachel, it’s like she, kind of, breaks everything down for you so you know what it’s gonna be. And, you know, this is obviously a voluntary surgery so I knew, like, I’m gonna go in there and, you know, I’m going to be put under, and this is going to be the process. But I was excited about it because I know that the results coming out were gonna be something that was gonna be life-changing. So I think up until I had met you all, I was scared and then I had come in twice prior to my surgery. So by the time I got here I…like, I remember before I was, like, streaming something on my phone. I was like, I’m ready to get this going. D

r. Barrett: So wait, we were taking up too much of your time then?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

12:50 PREPARATION IS KEY

Dr. Barrett: Well, that’s good. It’s better to have it that way than…

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett:…to feel, like, rushed. Oh, surgery’s now? Or, like, oh, you know, well what about this? Or what do I need to do and…

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely.

Dr. Barrett: You know, it’s better to be way more prepared and educated going into the procedure. And that’s, that’s what we’re all about. We really want to be increase the transparency. We want you, people to have clear expectations of what to expect and hey, if that’s not right for you, that’s totally fine. We don’t want you to come here. If you’re not, that’s not what you want? Totally fine. But I do think breast reduction is one of my favorite operations because patients are super happy afterwards. Both functionally and aesthetically, you know, clothes fit better. Back pain goes away, neck pain goes away, grooving in the shoulder goes away. And sometimes people have really bad, they get rashes underneath the breasts because of the extra skin folds.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: So, day of surgery, walking in. What was going through your head?

Dominique Olivetto: I was like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m finally gonna do this.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: My mom was with me. And I think she was more nervous.

Dr. Barrett: And she flew up from West Virginia, right?

Dominique Olivetto: She flew up from West Virginia. Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Which is awesome. I’ve never had anybody, actually, from West Virginia.

Dominique Olivetto: Really? Yes!

Dr. Barrett: I actually spent, growing up in Virginia, we spent a fair amount of time in West Virginia because there’s actually a lot more beautiful, wild and rugged, than Virginia is. Virginia is, like, West Virginia lite…

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: You know it’s, like, it’s got little rivers, little mountains. But then you go to West Virginia, you have bigger mountains, bigger rivers.

Dominique Olivetto: Yes.

Dr. Barrett: And its beauty is on a, on a bigger scale. So…

Dominique Olivetto: I like it out here, but it’s very beautiful, yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, no, me too. I mean that’s why, that’s why I’m here too.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: So she flew it all the way from West Virginia.

Dominique Olivetto: She flew out, yeah, and it was actually helpful because you’re so active on social and your website and things that…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

14:25 SOCIAL MEDIA HELPED

Dominique Olivetto:…you know, she and I both had just been following before. So I feel like, you know, actually seeing other procedures and, you know, being able to see your experience from just reading about it on the website was something super helpful. But she was definitely, her nerves were a little bit worse than mine in the morning. And I think the only time that I started to get super, super nervous was, like, right when we, you were, kind of, marking me up. I was like, wow, this is real.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: But then, you know, started talking to everybody and I got so much more excited because I knew, just coming out of it, it was gonna be something that I wanted for so long.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Well, I know, it’s, it kind of hits you when you’re there the day of surgery. You’re like, all right, I just battled ridiculous traffic and now I’m here. I’m like, oh wait, I’m about to have surgery. You know?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: And then I always see it on people, I always hug my, I always, I always give my patients a hug right before we go back. And, you know, we had, we have, use board-certified anesthesiologists, we make it extremely safe. And then you come back and then do you remember anything when you went to sleep or anything at all?

Dominique Olivetto: No I just remember I was, like, asking about music. I was talking to everybody.

15:25 SPECIAL MUSIC IN OPERATING ROOM

Dr. Barrett: Did we play any special music for you?

Dominique Olivetto: I think you played Drake. Or I was adamant about Drake.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah I think we tried to play that for you. Because my scrub tech, he likes Drake too. So I think we probably tried to play that a little bit.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: But sometimes we have problems with playlists on Spotify.

Dominique Olivetto: I remember, like, talking to the nurses as I was being wheeled back. And then the next thing I remember is waking up and my mom was, like, Dr. Barrett’s here. And I was, like, oh my gosh, and I was so out of it, but I immediately felt lighter and you had told me that.

Dr. Barrett: Did you really?

Dominique Olivetto: I was definitely super out of it. But I immediately was, like, okay, something’s different right now.

15:55 IMMEDIATE RELIEF

Dr. Barrett: That’s, that’s something that all my breast reduction patients tell me.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: And I, and I do share that with people because it’s, you know, sometimes when I do breast augmentation, there’s a little bit of stretching and soreness right after the augmentation. And people kind of feel that. With breast reduction it’s like the opposite. It’s just like (sigh of relief) you know? Even though you just got, you know, liposuction in your armpit, and sometimes I do a little extra to make it look nice. And you have all these stitches and you have had this anesthesia. There’s, there’s like a weight lifted. It’s weird. I’ve never had it, obviously. But that’s a lot of what my patients actually describe.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

16:30 DOMINIQUE HAD ASYMMETRY IN HER BREASTS

Dr. Barrett: And we did, we did for your surgery. I have the numbers here, we took off 103 grams off the right. 120 grams off the left, we did 300 cc, or actually 300 cc’s liposuction out of the left breast and 250 out of the right. So it’s kind of funny, your left breast was bigger than your right. So it kind of tilts you that way.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: Maybe that’s why the discs, kind of, went that way.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, that makes sense. Dr. Barrett: Yeah. And then, yeah, I mean, it sounds, like you know, it’s kind of crazy that insurance companies require you to take 500 grams to qualify for breast reduction, because people come in different sizes.

Dominique Olivetto: Right. Dr. Barrett: Like, you could be six-foot-three and have 500 grams no problem. Or you could be somebody your size and it’s, like, 500 grams? That’s your whole breast!

Dominique Olivetto: Exactly.

Dr. Barrett: And, but still, you need a reduction, you know? So it’s, it’s, it kind of blows my mind. I guess that’s a subject for a different podcast.

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: ‘Cause it felt like a lot. I mean…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, I mean, it kind of was. If you add up the fat from the liposuction and then the, the gland tissue removed. It’s a huge deal. Not only that, but it actually, kind of, lifts the breast.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Puts them in a more anatomic supported position. So there’s some, there’s some functional things there in terms of where we placed the breast during the reduction that are great. So all right, recovery, was it, so was it super painful, difficult?

17:40 RECOVERY PROCESS

Dominique Olivetto: Not nearly what I was expecting. I think I had a little bit more pain from the areas from liposuction verse anywhere else. I’d say after the first two days it really wasn’t bad. I mean, the first week I wanted to go out and do stuff. Like, I remember I went to the movies and I was, kind of, moving around.

Dr. Barrett: What movie did you see? Do you remember?

Dominique Olivetto: I saw the Mr. Rogers movie. It was really good. I cried.

Dr. Barrett: Oh, really?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: It’s a tear-jerker?

Dominique Olivetto: It’s a tear-jerker. It’s really good.

Dr. Barrett: Probably still had some anesthesia in your system.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, probably. But I remember that was, like, a big deal because I was, like, I’m leaving the house.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: This is, because that was the hardest thing. I’m not somebody who’s used to sitting still and I think I was, thought I was more ready to do things and then I’d start to move around. And it was, like, okay, body. Like, after my mom left I had a hard time, like, lifting things.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Was it nice to have mom come visit?

Dominique Olivetto: It was so nice. And then it was nice afterwards that friends would, like, come help me take my trash out and things. And I remember I was, like, man, I can’t get, can get away with this for much longer. Like it was, like, a couple weeks that I did that.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. That’s cute.

Dominique Olivetto: But it was, I mean, it was not anything like what I expected. And I, I’d say after…the first week was the hardest. And after that it was really, kind of, a breeze.

Dr. Barrett: Awesome.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: Wonderful. Well you’re two months out now. What’s, what, how do you feel about your results? And has anything changed in your life? How’s your pain? Tell us all about it.

19:10 DOMINIQUE’S POSTURE IS BETTER NOW

Dominique Olivetto: I feel amazing. Like, one, the confidence level is like something I haven’t felt, because that’s always something that, like, females, I don’t think, talk about enough. But like, that’s a huge sensitivity. And that was something that I was always really sensitive about. So I just immediately feel more confident. I feel like my posture is a lot better.

]Dr. Barrett: It is.

Dominique Olivetto: Running has been something that I’ve been doing.

Dr. Barrett: Did you, you ran for the first time, right?

19:30 DOMINIQUE STARTED RUNNING

Dominique Olivetto: I ran for the first time in four years.

Dr. Barrett: When was this?

Dominique Olivetto: This was two weeks ago?

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: And I ran for the first time in four years. I ran for two miles…

Dr. Barrett: Hell yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: And I, I, like, cried afterwards because I was, like, this is so great. And I didn’t have the pain. I mean, you know, there’s a little soreness, but it’s not like after anytime I would work out I would have a lot of pain. Because I hike a lot. I’m a, big into boxing, that’s my favorite workout.

Dr. Barrett: Yep.

Dominique Olivetto: I’m running. I want to eventually do a half-marathon.

Dr. Barrett: Hell, yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: I don’t think anytime soon, but in the next couple years, that’s something that I’m going to be working towards.

Dr. Barrett: Next couple years, let’s do it in the next few months. Let’s do it.

Dominique Olivetto: I mean, we’ll see. I made it two miles the first time I ran, so…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, do, were you sore after that? Were your legs sore?

Dominique Olivetto: A little sore. I mean, the pace I was going wasn’t anything to write home about, but I was proud.

Dr. Barrett: That’s great.

Dominique Olivetto: And I just, I feel like I’m starting to wear different clothes. And I’ve had a lot of friends say that they noticed something different about me which, clearly, but I think it’s just, you know…

Dr. Barrett: How you look in turn, or how you are, just your, your energy level? Or what was it, specifically?

Dominique Olivetto: I think both. And also, you know, again, like when I’m not producing photography is my side hustle. So it’s been so much easier to shoot without having that extra weight until, like, I really didn’t realize…

Dr. Barrett: Because you’ve got all that camera gear that you’ve got to carry around too, right?

20:50 THE DIFFERENCE IS OBVIOUS

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. And I couldn’t really see the difference. Obviously, I knew there was always gonna be something when I wanted this surgery. But now when I’m just engaging in some of these routines that I normally used to I’m, like, it’s night and day. Like, the la, I mean, I love waking up without excruciating back pain every day.

Dr. Barrett: Wow. So even when you, you were lying down flat, you were getting pain?

Dominique Olivetto: When I, and nighttime was the worst. Yeah. And it was always, like, I just felt so top-heavy. Like, sometimes sitting on the couch. It sounds crazy, but, like, I couldn’t even relax, like, watching TV, because I just would feel so top-heavy.

Dr. Barrett: Wow. Amazing.

Dominique Olivetto: So I’m a happy girl.

Dr. Barrett: Well, that’s, that’s, that’s really, I mean that, that really lights our fire here. I mean, I, this is why I love doing surgery. Because if I can make a difference like that, and one person, in your life, I’m, I feel completely fulfilled. I feel like I made the world a better place. And you’re such an amazing person. I’m just so happy that we could be a part of that for you.

Dominique Olivetto: Thank you and I appreciate it. Because you guys have been great and I would recommend that to anyone. And I would totally do it again. Like afterwards, I was like, okay, this wasn’t that bad.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Good. Well we try to do that. There’s a lot of things that we do. I inject a lot of numbing medicine for the surgery, so you wake up. It’s not like, you know? We use board-certified anesthesiologists and, you know, we, we, kind of, lighten the anesthesia. We try to use stuff that doesn’t linger in your system, make you feel like crap. We, we do a lot of scar management, the taping, the scar gel. Hopefully you’re still doing the scar gel.

Dominique Olivetto: I am.

22:30 MARATHON

Dr. Barrett: We use a product called Skinuva that I think is really good for, for scarring and healing. Hopefully you’re using it twice a day still. Dominique Olivetto: I am.

Dr. Barrett: Okay, good. But in terms of half-marathons, I just did one. I did the Pasadena half-marathon. I did it yesterday.

Dominique Olivetto: Oh my god.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. That is an amazing one to do.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Los Angeles has a marathon, which is in March, which I’m also going to do. That’s too soon for you. But I think, I think you should make the Pasadena halfmarathon your goal for next year.

Dominique Olivetto: I should. Dr. Barrett: Yeah. It gives you one year to, kind of, get there.

Dominique Olivetto: To train and do…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, ‘cause I’m surprised how much more I can do now.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. And you know what, that’s not a, you’re not alone. A lot of women, when, when I do breast reductions, also sometimes tummy tucks.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

23:00 TUMMY TUCK

Dr. Barrett: For people that have massive weight loss. They feel like their extra skin or their heavy breasts are getting in the way. And we, we take care of that. And they’re, they’re, like, at a next level.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Like, they’re like, I’m going out. I actually can get to these goals. I’m running, guess what? Now I’m running. And life just got that much easier. My weight’s coming off or I feel more energetic. I’ve, I’m been doing better at work, just because of these little fine-tuning things.

23:25 HEALTHY EATING

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely. And I’m even more inclined to eat healthier now. Because I’m, like, you know, I don’t want to ever get back to, you know, where I was. And it’s, like, you just, I feel lighter. I feel healthier. I feel happier.

Dr. Barrett: What are you doing to eat healthier?

Dominique Olivetto: I’m cutting down a lot more carbs than I did before. Like, not too crazy heavy, ‘cause I still need them for the amount, you know that I’m trying to work out but I’ve just tweaked that. Like, a lot leaner. I think, like, I just feel leaner, so I’m more inclined to eat less.

Dr. Barrett: Right.

Dominique Olivetto: And just change things up. I think it sparked a whole new journey with just my health, in general. Like, you know, you want to focus on, like, mind, body, spirit, everything.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Have you tried intermittent fasting yet?

Dominique Olivetto: I have. I’ve been doing it and it’s been working really well. Dr. Barrett: Oh good.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, I don’t, I usually, I stop eating at, like, eight or nine, depending on what I have to do after work. Dr. Barrett: Do you workout that late sometimes?

Dominique Olivetto: No, but I mean, I’m a creative. So it’s like, I’ll go to my day job. And then I’ll come home and you know, kind of, work on my photo website or different things. And, you know, I try to stay active in the community. So I’m usually doing something after work, and then I’ll eat and then I won’t eat again the next day until like, 11 or 12.

Dr. Barrett: Nice.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: That’s awesome. It’s hard to do at first.

Dominique Olivetto: It is but now I’m not even hungry in the morning.

Dr. Barrett: It’s great, right? Because, you know, it’s like, we get so used to this carb dependent mode and then it’s like, you shut off the carbs for just a few hours your body freaks out at first. It’s like, oh, my God, where’s my carbs? And then, believe it or not, you have this other fuel system in your body that’s like actually been meant to use on a regular basis. It’s called our fat, right?

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: And then when you tap into that, it’s hard for you to get used to that at first. But once you get used to it, it’s really great for your regulation, your hormones and everything. And so it’s like you may even still have the same amount of calories, but your weight will come down because your level of inflammation and your hormones are much more regulated. So…

Dominique Olivetto: And I like working out even before I eat too, sometimes. It’s like a good kickstart to the day.

Dr. Barrett: Fasted workouts.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

25:20 FASTED WORKOUTS

Dr. Barrett: That’s a, that’s a really nice thing to do. So you workout in a fasted state, you get a better hormonal regulation afterwards that stimulates weight loss and, and muscle growth, believe it or not. So I have a couple other questions here. What tips would you have for somebody who’s considering the same operation?

25:40 DO YOUR RESEARCH PRIOR TO SURGERY

Dominique Olivetto: Go to you guys. No, I’d say just do your research and homework. You know, I knew this was something I wanted to do for a while but I was very methodical about how and when. Don’t just go with the first person that you research. I mean, talk to other women. Like, I had reached out to friends who…’cause I had talked to my roommate, but I wanted to talk to other women who had gone through it. So I, kind of, had people put me in touch with other women. So even while, my recovery, I had somebody else to text just to, kind of, ask if things were normal too, instead of…

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: ‘Cause I think I called you guys a lot the first couple days with questions…

26:20 DR. BARRETT GETS A LOT OF PHONE CALLS

Dr. Barrett:…It’s not that much. It’s not that, we get, we get phone calls all the time. That’s totally fine. I answer them sometimes. And on the weekend, you know, we get back to people.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: Because it’s, like, I do this every day.

Dominique Olivetto: Right.

Dr. Barrett: Right? You don’t really do this surgery every day. So there’s a lot of unknowns that you don’t know.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: And our job is to, kind of, answer those questions for you. Yeah, and if there’s a problem, then we need to do something or hey, that’s completely normal, just rest and relax.

Dominique Olivetto: Right. Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: And that’s, the latter is what I got, you know, but it was nice to be able to call. And then just again, have other women who have gone through it. And then I kind of just like, I had a goal in mind. You know, I had different clothes that I wanted to wear. So I, kind of, just had this, like, almost vision board for what I wanted, you know, before I came in. So I, I felt like I was so confident after that first consultation that, you know, I knew what I wanted and I knew I was gonna be in good hands.

27:15 BREAST SIZE EXPECTATIONS

Dr. Barrett: So let’s dive into that. Let’s, let’s be real critical of your results right now. So of your expectations of what your breast size should be–because a lot of people make a mistake, they take too much or they take too little–and you can be completely honest with me, how are you in terms of your size results and how are things looking for you?

Dominique Olivetto: I feel great. I think they still look like you know full and they fit my body.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: But it, and at first I was like, oh, these are bigger than what I thought because they were still swollen. But now it’s, you know, things settled down. I’m like, oh, this is, you know, perfect. And it’s like, obviously, my size is gonna look different on me than it would somebody who’s six-three.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah.

Dominique Olivetto: So I’m very happy. I mean, the most I notice is my clothes. Like I still fill out clothes very nicely, but it’s not like busting, you know, at the seams. And I’m actually surprised some of the clothes I thought I was gonna want to give away, like, actually fit…

Dr. Barrett: Oh, cool.

Dominique Olivetto:…you know, just a lot better. But it, it feels right for my body. Like, that’s the best way that I can describe it. I think if it was smaller, I would feel like, okay, this is a little bit crazy, but it just feels right.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, it’s funny. I, I haven’t had a patient go through this, but there’s been some women that I’ve met who’ve got a breast reduction, haven’t been happy with, there was over-reduced, and then they come back and they get an implant. So it’s just like, it’s just like, you know, it’s like, what’s that fairy tale or that like, I forget, the porridge is too hot or it’s too short…

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: What is that one? Dominique Olivetto: Goldilocks.

Dr. Barrett: Goldilocks. It’s like when Goldilocks was when, like, it’s too big, it’s too small. It’s just like, you know, I think when, when I do this, I have you give me photos. And so I really, kind of, understand. I want to know exactly what size you’re, you’re trying to aiming for. And, and obviously, if it’s too drastic, we’re going to, we’re going to talk about it. We’re like, look, do you really want to do this kind of thing? Because some women just want absolutely nothing.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: But I think what you chose was, was very natural. And you’re right, there is a lot of swelling. And so I always, kind of, tailor that during the operation. I know that the liposuction is going to swell everything up at first and then it comes down. And by three months, you have a good idea of where you’re gonna be, what your final result is going to be.

Dominique Olivetto: Definitely, but I’m very happy. So.

Dr. Barrett: Good, good. Good. Intimacy, dating. Do you have a boyfriend? What’s going on?

29:20 DOMINIQUE IS FEELING MORE CONFIDENT

Dominique Olivetto: Single.

Dr. Barrett: All right.

Dominique Olivetto: But it’s helped me feel more confident. You know what I mean? That was something that, again, I think, you know, I didn’t realize how much it was messing with just my view of myself, you know? Because it was something that was always, like, the first comment that people would make sometimes. And I was like, that’s not what I want you to say. And, you know, I couldn’t wear anything that I felt, like, sexy in. I, you know, I can be honest in saying that. And now I feel like I’m actually ready for that. And, you know, I’ve had more, like, just a lot of people have said, you seem like you are just different. And I think it’s ‘cause you can tell that there’s just a little bit more confidence. Before I would, kind of, try to, like, hide, and I would wear very baggy, overweight things. Like you know, even the girls at the front have said what I’m wearing now, coming in, has been completely different.

Dr. Barrett: I know. I mean, you look fantastic. I saw you in the hallway and I was, like, you’re, like, a changed woman.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Dr. Barrett: And I give you a big hug. And you look fantastic.

Dominique Olivetto: Thank you. No, I feel great. So.

Dr. Barrett: Obviously you answered you, would you do it again? You said absolutely. Let’s talk about the research that you did. You, you said you, you looked online, was there any particular websites that you looked at? Or what was it that, kind of, helped you, helped guide you?

30:40 WEBSITE SEARCH

Dominique Olivetto: I did just, like, look at a couple websites. I looked first at my insurance websites, but they were sending me to people who weren’t specialists and that was, like, a first red flag. I was, like, this is absolutely not something I’m gonna go to…

Dr. Barrett: They’re factories. They’re probably not board-certified plastic surgeons and they’re like, they’re like factories.

Dominique Olivetto: Like, the first place I got sent to, I think it was just, like, a place that was specifically for breast reductions. But it felt like I was just getting sent into a number…like nobody, like, I remember I had asked the question, like, what, it, can I go to this certain size? And some people were, like, no. You know, we’ll only do, kind of, what we think is best. And that was…

Dr. Barrett: Or to make the insurance pay.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Which is, like, a massive reduction.

Dominique Olivetto: Right, which, you know, I don’t think I was ready for. I talked to a lot of friends, just even in different states who had thought about it and looked into it. And I would call some of the people that they talked to, and I was, like, this just isn’t right for me. And then I found you through Yelp, actually. And everybody was very happy. And then I spent a lot of time on the website, called. I think what was super helpful is what you have on social media and YouTube too. So I think that, to me, was big in research. It’s like, I don’t want to just, like, see a website or talk to people at the front desk. I want to actually, you know, see. And there was another girl who was actually on the podcast who was shaped kind of similar to me. I think her name is Nicole.

Dr. Barrett: Yep.

Dominique Olivetto: And that was like one thing that really was like, okay, this is, like, 100%. Because I, everything that she said, I was, like, oh my gosh, I feel the same exact way.

Dr. Barrett: That’s awesome.

Dominique Olivetto: Like, you know, from a young age, it’s something that you have even struggled with. So that was really helpful to me. It’s like, not just reading the testimonials, but like, watching and seeing.

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. It, it’s very powerful. I mean, it’s like, there’s so many doctors that, that just kind of forget that you’re operating on somebody’s body, you know, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s family member. And, you know, to me, it, it goes beyond, I mean obviously we have to run a business, and we, we have fees for stuff. But it’s just like, to me, it’s like, your underlying passion should be there and trying to give you, you know, figure out what it is your goals are, and get you as close to that as possible. Guide you through the process, make sure that you’re comfortable throughout it. Because it’s just, like, plastic surgery gets a bad name in so many ways. And you know, we’re really trying to change that. And that’s partly why we put a lot of this stuff out there. A lot of the videos out there, to be like, hey, this is what it is.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: This is more information about it. It’s not for everybody, which is fine. And here we are…

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett:…kind of thing. So.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, I mean, you’re never gonna question, like, if you needed to get your knee fixed. You know what I mean? And I hate to use the term fixed, but it was like that was, I feel healthier now.

Dr. Barrett: Right.

Dominique Olivetto: You know?

33:15 THE MOST SURPRISING THING

Dr. Barrett: What was the most surprising thing out of the whole process, to you? I know, we didn’t, we didn’t prepare you for this question. But I always like to ask it, it’s like, you know, oh, my gosh, I, like, I, they took me out the back door, and I was in this wheelchair, I don’t know, I felt like…I don’t know, something.

Dominique Olivetto: I think that just the quickness of, like, when I was done. Like, I remember just immediately going home and I was like, wow. Like, this is, ‘cause it’s such a major surgery. You know, going into it, I was like, this is a huge surgery. And one girl that I talked to actually said that she was in a ton of pain afterwards. So that had scared me and I was, like, surprised that I went home and I didn’t even sleep right after I was just, like, binging on Netflix and, like, walking around. So I…

Dr. Barrett: What was your go-to on Netflix, just curious.

Dominique Olivetto: What was…I was watching The Politician at the time.

Dr. Barrett: Oh yeah, you told me about that. I haven’t seen that yet.

Dominique Olivetto: It was a really good one. Dr. Barrett: Yeah?

Dominique Olivetto: And I like Ryan Murphy as a director. But that was what was surprising to me is just how, like, easy it was afterwards to go home. And, you know, I thought it was gonna be harder sleeping. I actually now sleep on my back a lot more because of how I had to sleep after this process. Yeah, I just I was surprised how quickly I was able to get back into things. I mean, working out was harder at first I feel like I’m a little bit more fatigued and my arm strength is down. But other than that, like, I really don’t feel like I had to take as many steps back as I thought I was gonna have to do.

Dr. Barrett: That’s awesome.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

34:50 POST-OPERATIVE PAIN

Dr. Barrett: That, that whole post operative pain thing is, is something that is very much preventable. That’s a lot of the pre-injection I do with the numbing medicine. Because even though your brain is asleep, your body still feels surgery, right? So that’s why I inject the whole breast with numbing medicine that lasts for six hours. So your spinal cord doesn’t feel it and everything just feels normal when you wake up.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Because if you do that surgery with no numbing medicine, your spinal cord, everything gets upregulated, every little thing hurts afterwards. So these are just little tips and tricks that I think everybody doing surgery should do, pre-inject with local.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, it was great. So…

Dr. Barrett: Is there anything that you’d like to share with, share with the audience about your experience? Or, like, expert tips or something you wish that you might have known going into this breast reduction surgery?

35:30 SCARRING CAN BE AN ISSUE

Dominique Olivetto: I wish I would have really known more about, like, how other surgeons do it with, like, the scarring was big. Like, when I heard you first talk about it, in my first consultation, that was when I was immediately, like, okay, I’m in the right place.

Dr. Barrett: So you didn’t know about that prior to that?

Dominique Olivetto:..at all. No, because, like I said, the only breast reduction that I had known personally, they had it so I remember the scar was just, like, all the way across. I think I’m happy that I had planned a time when I knew I didn’t have to really, like, dive back into things a lot more. And I think people, you know, just have an open line of communication with your doctor. Like, because I felt like I was always asking, like, I remember even going back to work, you know, you all were helpful with, like, well you should maybe only be working, you know, five hours when you first start again. So I think it’s like…

Dr. Barrett: That’s a hard part.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: You can’t go right back to, like, full-speed.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah. And making sure, like, that was a big thing for me. I’m like, if I had it now, I’m so busy now that I think I would have, like, because you can tell when you’re pushing your body, you know? So that was big for me. I think, like, really don’t just jump to it. Like, think about it, because if I hadn’t thought about it for as long as I did, I probably wouldn’t have ended up here.

Dr. Barrett: Right.

Dominique Olivetto: Which is ultimately the best.

Dr. Barrett: So do your research.

Dominique Olivetto: Do your research. Yeah.

Dr. Barrett: Awesome, Dominique. Well, thank you for being on the show today. And thank you for sharing your experience. I guarantee you, it’s gonna help somebody listening in, who is trying to make the right decision, just like Nicole helped you. And I think you’re an amazing, beautiful person and I’m so happy for you and I can’t wait to see your final result when you’re all fully healed.

Dominique Olivetto: Yeah, thank you guys so much. I appreciate it.

Dr. Barrett: Of course. Thank you for tuning into our podcast. If you liked today’s podcast, don’t forget to share, rate, review and subscribe. Also, find out if plastic surgery is right for you by using our virtual consultation at DrDanielBarrett.com/virtual-consultation. See you soon.

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