Breast reduction (male dopers, say your "what?" and move on) TMI

I would like to hear from women who have gone through with reduction mammoplasty, both pro and con. I am heavy all over, and have been taking a med that increases my prolactin levels. Results - 38C ten years ago, 44 DD today.
I have problems with chronic back and shoulder pain, as well as heat rash and those skin growths that come with age. (yes, beckwall is an old woman)

I would like to know about these issues in particular - length of surgery, pain post op, recovery time, type of incision you had, pre op testing, relief from back pain and when did you first notice the relief, restrictions in activities, questions to ask MD during initial consultation, etc.

Mr. Beckwall is a video editor for a medical health program on TV, and he has done episodes on this procedure. He says it is pretty darn gruesome, but then he’s just a wimp. I went through 2 hip replacements, and (with the second one in particular) I had few if any complications and tolerated post op pain well. On my second hip surgery, I had a spinal anesthesia and heard the bone saw and hammer the whole time. Of course, they had me goofy on Versed, but still I think I am pretty tough when it comes to stuff like that.

Thanks in advance for any replies, my consultation is on Jan. 28th.

To be fair, most men are rather squeamish about the idea of breast reduction.

I’ll be moving on now.

To be fair, I knew a girl in high school who needed a reduction. I understood fully. Only an asshole would say “what?”


My wife had it done last year. She said the only thing she regrets about it was that she hadn’t done it sooner (she’s 29).
I was all for it.
I think the only guys that like really large boobs are horny senile 80 year old men.

All I am going to offer is that two of my friends had it done and both wish they had also done it sooner - they were happier, in no pain and one was able to start jogging (something she had been too “big” for before).

Good luck, this is an important surgery and I wish you all the best.


I saw a TV programme on this a while ago. Of the two women shown, who were J or K cup, one opted for a better bra - she’d never actually been properly fitted - and the other said she’d wait until after she’d had children. the latter consulted a friend and they showed the latter’s scars; it looked like they’d reduced her to a DD or so. Fine under clothing, but not nice up close.

I had it done nine years ago. It was the best decision of my adult life so far (though moving to where I am now is close to as good). I’m at work and don’t have time to write a huge long post about it but here’s a few things.

Be prepared to fight your insurance company. They do not want to pay for it, regardless of how medically justifiable it may be. It took quite a fight to get mine covered.

I had the traditional procedure with the anchor incisions, and therefore scars, but mine have faded more than I would have thought they would. The ones underneath the curve are long but they’re also tucked away where they aren’t too visible. I’ve never had anybody go “AAAAAGH!” at seeing them, though it’s not like I’ve had tons of people looking either. I don’t care, either. My breasts fit me a whole lot better now and I’m willing to deal.

Painwise, it wasn’t bad for me, except for the day when I decided to stop taking the Vicodin at least a day earlier than I should have. Pain meds are your friends. I was pretty much back to myself in a couple of weeks, though YMMV; it is major surgery.

It will take them a while to settle down into their new size and shape. As in six months to a year or even a bit more. Be patient.

The surgery itself took something like two and a half hours.

I’ve seen a TV show detailing it, and while it looked pretty gruesome, in the end for me it’s been awesome.

If you’ve got any specific questions feel free to ask, and I’ll answer the best I can.

I had breast reduction surgery when I was about thirty and it was the best thing ever. By the way, it has the highest satisfaction rate of any plastic surgery in America.
I completely recommend it.
When I did it I lived alone and had no kids, so I could lie around all day without any demands on me. (I was in the army, but on convalescent leave). If I remember right, I had a month off work. Your recovery might not be as pleasant if you’re still expected to do four people’s worth of laundry twice a week.
My scars are not very noticeable. Nothing I’m self-conscious about. The pain was negligible with the pain medication.
There was no down side. And walking around without a bra for the first time since I was a child was really fun.

A friend of mine had it done a couple of years ago, in her early 20s. The back pain relief she suffered was gone, nearly instantaneously. I never asked for too many details, but I do remember that she was up and about very quickly after. I think she didn’t have pain so much as tenderness for a long, long time, though. I don’t know if that was normal or not.

She did say something about likely having to have it done again when she was older. Is that likely?

I always say the same thing in breast reduction threads:

You MUST read through the Breast Health Online section on reduction. Absolutely every question you might have will be answered. Insurance, pre-op preparation, scar management, pain management, how to find a good doc, when you can have sex again, etc. It is by far the most informative, well done site I found on reduction.

I had to do the procedure twice. Went from a 38DDD to a 38C. If I could stress one thing to you, it is to review the info on the site about finding a doc. They recommend doing initial interviews with at least three (and give you the info you need on what to ask, what to find out). I didn’t do that, didn’t get a second opinion even, and I regret it to this day. It’s the whole reason why I had to do my surgery twice and why I’m less happy with my results than most women are. Finding a good surgeon who you are comfortable with is paramount.

I did my first surgery in a hospital, extended outpatient. Second time different doc, outpatient surgical center, went home that same day. I don’t know how long the surgeries were, but the second time they started me at 10:00 and I was home by 3:00? I strongly recommend outpatient and going home afterwards. I got no rest at the hospital.

The worst pain was immediately upon coming out of the anesthesia, but as soon as the post-op nurse realizes you’re awake, they pump you up with morphine pretty fast. I was on morphine all night at the hospital and it sucked. The second time at the outpatient center, as soon as I was able to be ambulatory, they called my sis to come get me with a shake, told me to suck it down followed by a hydrocodone. Man, I was feeling NO PAIN.

Post-op I was given big bottles of pain killers, but after the first day and a half, didn’t really need them. Switched to Tylenol 3 for a day, then regular OTC pain meds. I was amazed how quickly the serious post-op pain was over.

If your doc does lipo with the surgery, that will cause you the most pain, IMO.

First time I was back to work in three days. You can do that if you need to and your doc says it’s ok, but the second time I took a week to ten days. Just makes it easier on you. Breast reduction is major surgery. The pain passes quickly, but you’ll be sore, and more importantly you will tire quickly. Take the time off, your body will thank you.

I don’t remember what my incision type is called, but it’s the kind that goes all the way from your armpit to your breast bone along with up to the nipple and around the areola. I had a full nipple graft (FNG). This is where your nipple complex is removed. Talk with your doc about whether you have to do this. Not all women have to.

I don’t remember what pre-op testing I had, if any. I had just begun to suffer pain in my back, but the relief was immediate. The shoulder grooves from my bra straps went away pretty quick, too.

The biggest restriction I had was the amount I was allowed to lift. A gallon of milk was too heavy. I don’t remember how long the restriction was. Oh, and my first doc told me avoid becoming sexually aroused. :frowning: Well, having your breasts engorge with blood when they’re healing on the inside and the outside does hurt. Guess I wasn’t able to follow that restriction very well. But you very quickly become NOT sexually aroused when it feels like you’re being stabbed in the boobs with a million sharp knives! :eek:

Again, I cannot recommend the Breast Health Online site enough. Good luck! I love the fact that I can wear pretty bras now, or none at all if I don’t feel like it!

I’ve known two women who had it done, and both said the results were wonderful.

I was intimate with one of these women, who had had the surgery before I knew her, and when I asked her about the scars she told me a bit about it. In case you’re wondering (I didn’t see this covered in niblet_head’s link), she seemed to enjoy having them stimulated just as much as, if not more than, owners of non-altered breasts do. In my experience, of course.

Granted, I don’t know what she was like before the surgery; for all I know, the slightest touch to her pre-op breasts would have made her scream in ecstasy. But that’s my input, anyway.

Good luck! I hope it helps with your pain.

Just chiming in to say there’s no “what” from me - I know a lady at our local drama group who is moderately overweight all over, but not really any worse than that, and she’s toting around something about the size of a pair of bowling balls. I’d think they would be more encumbrance than either ornament or use, and if she got breast reduction I’d be the first to understand.


I had a college friend who had it done a few years ago, and like everybody else she says it was the bestest thing she ever did and she doesn’t know why she didn’t do it sooner. However, she had terrible post-op pain and she says the scarring is pretty bad (anchor incision). She’d never go back, though. Her back pain just disappeared, although she still has shoulder dents from her old bra straps.

A friend of mine had it done, went from a DDD to a C and was grateful. She said the most discomfort was a month post-op, but she also had an infected incision to contend with. She is still glad she had it done, it was one of those “wish I had done this sooner” type of things.

My girlfriend had this procedure (long before she met me), and has talked about this very thing.

She signed on with a surgeon after a single meeting, and without meeting any other prospects, solely due to a secondhand referral. She wasn’t particularly comfortable with the doctor, but it was a fairly strong recommendation, so she went with it.

Then, the day of the scheduled surgery happened to be the twelth of September, two thousand and one. In New York City. So she and her surgeon already weren’t on the same page, and then there was this massive emotional distraction to deal with.

In retrospect, she says, she should have postponed at the very least, or better yet put things off and found someone else. She’s not entirely happy with the results; the scarring is, well, noticeable, though not disfiguring; and her breasts are uneven, though not jarringly so. She has said many times that she needs to do better homework, and have her breasts adjusted.

So, yeah, based on her experience, the relationship with the doctor would be the paramount concern.
Me, I don’t really have a problem with her breasts. They’re appropriately sized for her body (I can’t imagine what they’d be like larger), they’re nicely shaped, and she lets me play with them. What more could a guy ask?

I totally blew off my gut feeling on my doc because I didn’t want to take any more time. And I was afraid to ask her for a referral for a second opinion (I’m not normally cowed by docs.) Plus my GP had recommended her. I felt she was pushing me too hard and not willing to listen to my questions. You want a confident plastic surgeon, sure, but she was arrogant. Shoulda ran then.

Three consultations, baby. Three!

The second doc I used I would recommend to anyone. He is the best breast man in Omaha, from what I hear. Also, I understand that if a doc is a skilled reconstructive surgeon (ie - post mastectomy work) he will be a good reduction surgeon (since it involves shaping the remaining breast tissue). YMMV.

Whiterabbit, did you have any complications due to your dwarfism?

Nope, no complications along those lines. It all went very smoothly. Anesthesia can be touchier in some people, but I’ve never had problems with it. Obviously I need to warn medical types up front that they need to be extra careful about some things.

We still don’t know where I got those huge breasts from; my two theories are that either I got recessive genes from both sides for ‘em, or that my body decided that if I wasn’t going to grow up, I was gonna grow out, dammit! Ignoring my body size, they weren’t nearly as big as some people’s in stories I’ve heard and read, but on me they were freakin’ huge. I’d been wanting the surgery since my mid-teens.

I’ve got one of my old bras around. I keep it for laughs. I can’t believe I actually wore that piece of armor! I now refuse to wear underwire bras. For some reason, it’s almost impossible to find them, even in a nice tame size like 36B. While they’re not as perky as they were the first few years, they’re still nice and up there and I do not need underwires dangit!