View Full Version : Breast Reduction Surgery
04-01-2003, 02:48 PM
I've been looking into having this done for nearly a year now. I'm curious if anyone here has had it done (or personally knows someone who has), and what things to have around afterward to make life easier or tips/tricks, good things to know for afterward.
04-01-2003, 02:53 PM
Two of my sisters have had this done. Both have been very pleased with their results. One went from a DDD to a C, and the other from a E to a large C/small D. One thing to consider though, breasts are made up of mostly fatty tissue. If you gain weight, they can and will get big again. One sister had this problem, and while she's nowhere near the size she was to start with, she's also lost the "pertness" that came from the original reduction.
As for the recovery period--I'd say the best thing to have around would be a trusted loved one (someone has to help chang the bandages) who's willing to run hither and yon while you recuperate.
04-01-2003, 02:59 PM
Wife had this done. Went from F plus down to a DD.
Heavy scarring made her go in for scar revisions. My wife is in very good shape..very fit, but she'll shy away from some swimsuits and outfits because she has big "anchor" scars around each breast and nipple.
Need lots of TLC after wards from others and they need to not be frightened by having you look like a rag doll that's been stitched up.
Not trying to scare you, but you definitely have to lower your head and get thru with will and determination.
04-01-2003, 03:03 PM
How long was it until they felt more energetic? I realize approx 6 weeks or so before lifting restrictions are lifted, but I also realize it's <b>major</b> surgery.
04-01-2003, 09:37 PM
My ex had reduction from FFF to B.
She lost all sensation in her nipples and has huge scars.
She was out of action for about 8 weeks.
She had to wear special kinds of "compression bra" for ages as well.
04-02-2003, 01:02 PM
I had breast reduction 7 years ago. Insurance paid the whole cost and it was the best thing I ever did. I went from very large to a big D, small DD. Yes, the scars were big, but they have faded to almost nothing now. The recovery was much more than I had anticipated. I was not able to completely take care of myself for about 3 weeks. And, the pain and oozing and such lasted for about 6 months. All of that said, I would do it again in a heart beat. I am so much happier now. I did not lose sensitivity, in fact my nipples are much more sensitive now.
If you are seriously considering this, please only go to a plastic surgeon that is board certified. And try and find yourself a boob man. That will make a big difference in the end result.
Hey, feel free to email me, its in the profile, and I will answer any and all questions you have from a firsthand perspective, rather than turning this into a giant monologue.
04-02-2003, 01:23 PM
I had it done five years ago, going from a D/DD to an A. (I am VERY short. And I'm more on the line between an A and a B, but Bs are just a little too big.) I have some scarring, but it's largely faded. Anybody who sees them will be warned, anyway, and as my ex described them as "perfect" I don't think it's a problem.
I was just getting my energy back at two weeks post-surgery. That's a bit sooner than a lot of people, but I've always healed fast. I didn't have to wear any fancy compression-type bras, though I did have to wear a sports bra for six or eight weeks. As far as sensitivity goes, I lost it on the undersides of my breasts but only temporarily lost it in my nipples. For about six months only my right one would react to temperature changes and such...it was a bit weird. But they seem to work fine now. I wasn't so large that they had to actually take them off and reattatch them. And even if I HAD lost sensitivity it would have been worth it. I was very very careful with my breasts for about three months after; those first few showers after I could take off a bra for THAT long (about two weeks out) were WEIRD.
It's major surgery, and while I took a weekend trip (it had been scheduled, then they moved the surgery date...aaagh!) at the two week mark, I wasn't really back to full speed for three or four weeks.
It was WELL worth it. Best birthday present I ever got myself. Though arguing the insurance company into covering it wasn't much fun. My mom is good at that, thank God.
An intern at my job had this done and was very displeased with the result. The surgeon took off way too much and it did not help her back pain. She was not pleased with how she looked or felt after the surgery. If you do go with surgery, be sure to get a qualified surgeon that will listen to you and do what you want.
I have large breasts and this caused my back to hurt when I was 15. My back pain went away and never came back after I built up my back muscles carefully with weight training. The bras I need are expensive, but I have not regretted avoiding reduction surgery for one minute. I have had a doctor tell me I need it and say she could get it covered easily.
I am looking forward to nursing next month. I just hope I don't out grow my 48 L nursing bra that I bought. It is comfy and supportive, but the site doesn't sell a larger cup size.
04-02-2003, 01:55 PM
Well I'm looking at going from FF/G to a C. Our insurance has a clause saying they won't pay at all, but I still want it done. I've lost weight and not lost any of my breast size (just band size), and I don't remember what it's like to not have back pain. I also get massive headaches too.
So is there anything you would recommend to have on hand around the house to make life better/easier the first days/weeks after surgery? Besides helping hands.
04-02-2003, 03:54 PM
I have more time now, and will go into detail, since there is still an interest...
A good site is this. (http://www.smartbreastreduction.com/) As for your options... a surgeon can determine the ratio of breast to fat tissue. With fat tissue, you can do the scarless, but you will be suseptible to changes with weight gain, pregnancy etc. The traditional methods work for a high percentage of breast tissue. You have indicated with weight loss that they don't change size, so this is probably your situation. Within the traditional, there are two options. Both produce the same scars, but one they leave all the milk ducts and nerves attached. There is no guarantee with this of regaining all sensation and being able to breast feed, but if they disconnect, you will have only ghost sensitivity and no chance of breast feeding. That said, when they leave everything connected, they stretch your nipple out of the way while they remove tissue and skin, and then cram it all back in and sew the skin together. This is much more painful in the short term, because of nerve swelling, etc... I had this method. I know people who have had it done both ways and we all agree that this method is best, even though it is more painful. Long term results seem to be much more pleasing. I was on morphine for about a week. Then I was on percocet for another week, and high doses of ibuprofen for the next few months.
The first few days you will have drains in that will ooze and bleed. So, you will want shirts and sheets that you don't care about ruining. Also be prepared that the first week may be difficult to walk and get your balance because your center of gravity will have to adjust. You will need someone to wash your hair and help you with hygiene. At least the first week, you will not be able to lean forward at all because of tension on the incisions. The scars will be really red for about a year, and then begin to fade. At this point mine are almost non-existent. But, I never cared about that anyway! I was just happy that they were smaller.
For about three months I wore nothing but cotton sports bras that hook in the back. I still can't wear front closure bras because of irritation to the scar tissue. I had tingling and some shooting pains for a few months as the nerves healed. I also had some pretty amazing bruises as scar tissue developed and the tissue settled. It didn't really hurt, but it looked horrible.
My surgeon indicated to me that my breasts would probably not change size much in the future. It has been 7 years, and with weight fluctuation, I have never gained or lost more that 1/2 cup size, even though I have lost 45 pounds. Again, this is dependent on breast tissue to fat tissue ratio.
Find a good surgeon. Ask lots of questions and make sure that you understand what he is going to do, and that you are comfortable with him. And feel free to email me if you want at any point in this.
04-02-2003, 04:35 PM
That's a fantastic site, thank you. I'd been to BreastHealthOnline.com but hadn't found the site you posted. I've read several personal stories people have posted too. From what I understand about how I measure out there would be no need for a free nipple graft (thankfully!). And I've seen several type of scars. I guess my biggest concern is the recovery time and possible infection.
Thank you for all your input and the info Misery's Company :)
04-02-2003, 08:36 PM
Ok, specifics about recovery... :)
My doc said I would be up and about in a week. I was really glad that I had 2 weeks off, cause I didn't feel like doing anything the first two weeks. The meds are heavy duty and that in itself can take alot out of you. Also you are coming off of 4+ hours of a general. I ran a slight fever, but no infections for me.
If you are so inclined, there are a number of herbal things that will really help, and don't interfere with pain meds. It is a great idea to discuss this with your doc. I am not a doctor - this was recommended by my doc and helped alot. Activated Charcoal taken the first few days will help clean out the general. You will still be tired cause your body needs to heal, but it takes away the grogginess. Also, Traumeel, which is a homeopathic will really help with bruising. You can find it as a pill, and also a lotion. Don't use the lotion until the stiches are out and the incisions have closed. This one made a huge difference in the amount of swelling I had.
So, I was home the same day. I would sleep a few hours, flat on my back, wake up in pain, take morphine, puke and repeat the cycle. It was winter and I was roasting hot, and slept with the window open. That got better the next day. One of the things they don't always tell you is the massive amounts of bruising. I was black and blue on the underside of my arms down to my elbows, and black and blue up to my chin. I couldn't lift my arms enough to eat or brush my teeth. That got better the first week, but it was three weeks before I could really wash my hair by myself. The muscles that run into your arms, run under your breasts. I was very sore for a while.
Like I said before, my center of gravity was off, and walking was weird the first two weeks, partially due to the narcotics. Mostly I slept and watched tv for two weeks. After that, I could be up and about for a few hours at a time, but I got very tired. Driving was very hard, my car did not have power steering. I wore gauze and nursing pads under my bra for a month to help with the oozing. For about a year, I would occasionaly have a disolvable stitch, that didn't disolve, work it's way up, and I would have to dig it out.
But on the up side, I didn't have a single backache or headache from the time of the surgery. My neck no longer hurt. In the first 2 months I dropped 20 pounds. My doc said that was normal, as my body no longer had to support the weight of my chest. I could finally shop at Victoria's Secret! There were many good things. The surgery and recovery was the most painful thing I have ever been through, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I think the most important thing is to make sure you have time and support to recover fully. Don't underestimate what you are getting into. But it is SO worth it.
04-02-2003, 09:02 PM
It sounds like I wasn't in as much pain as some of you people. I guess I got lucky. Oh, it HURT, but I only had to use about a third of the Vicodin prescription I got. And I was taking a half dose of THAT from the start. It worked, but it made my head unpleasantly buzzy.
I would never assume somebody with really large breasts would automatically want the surgery. But for those who do, it can be a real lifesaver.
I ended up staying in the hospital overnight afterwards because I reacted fairly nastily to the anaesthetic. Nothing dangerous, but I couldn't keep ANYTHING down. By the next day I was okay.
I think looking at those incisions was about the worst part. They looked awful. But now they look great.
Again, it was very much worth it.
04-02-2003, 09:15 PM
Even having seen pictures, I agree with whiterabbit that the first look at the scars was somewhat traumatic. But they really do get better! I was so upset that my breasts were so small at first. They are now a big D/small DD, but on morphine I was just convinced that I had absolutely no tits left. I realize now how silly that is, but it was such a dramatic change, and when I first saw them, every thing was ace bandaged tightly to my chest.
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