How long does it take to adjust to radical body changes?

So. In exactly one week, I will be having breast reduction surgery.

I’ve had extremely large breasts since puberty. I was a C-cup by 5th grade or so. I’ve gone through all of the body issues, teasing through grade and high school, difficulties in finding clothes that fit, awkwardness in exercising, etc. For the past 2 years or so, I’ve been living with chronic back pain that’s only partially managed with yoga and other exercise.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that getting insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery was easier than I thought. Apparently, the new trend is towards quantifiable approval methods (there has to be 500g of tissue removed from each breast in order to be automatically covered) rather than the old subjective methods (such as proving that you’ve had back pain, rashes, etc.). My doctor estimates that he’ll be removing at least 1000g from each breast, so I have no problems there. So, I scheduled this surgery I’ve thought about since I was about 14 or so (I’m now 33)…and a week from now, I’ll go from a DDD back down to a modest C.

In the past few weeks, however, I’ve been going through some weird head stuff. I’m having a really hard time imagining how my body will look and feel after the surgery. After wishing for so long to be a more managable size, all of a sudden, they don’t look so huge to me anymore. I mean, I know in the rational part of my head that they’re still as prominent as they’ve always been, but a part of me is saying “Feh…you’re overreacting…I can’t believe you’re going to do this to your body.”

Has anyone else been through this? Not just with breast reduction, but with any drastic body image change (breast enlargement, rapid weight loss, nose job, etc.)…how long did it take you to come to terms with your new look? I’m not having doubts about the surgery itself, and I’m not reconsidering…I’m just finding it unusual that now that I’m faced with the reality of the surgery, there’s a part of me that thinks that I’ve blown my “problem” out of proportion. It’s like there’s a part of me that’s sure that when I go back to work, no one will even notice the change. Does that make sense?

How have you handled the change in your perception of yourself? How did you manage questions from other people? Do you think people noticed the change outright, or was it more of an attitude change that people caught on to?

Sorry, hamsters keep eating my reply.

Of course you aren’t blowing it out of proportion. You have perfectly valid reasons for wanting to have this corrective surgery. First and foremost, not looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame within the next 5 years. Having second thoughts prior to be putting under general anesthetic and having your body changed surgically is perfectly normal…if you’ve never done something before, you’re going to be nervous about it.

People will notice, trust me. Whether they say anything or not will probably depend on how open you are about what kind of surgery you’ve had. If you’re close-mouthed about it, they will probably think you don’t want to talk about it, and not say anything in order to spare your feelings. This is obviously something you have thought about for a long time, and a subject that you’re more than a little sensitive about. I doubt they’re going to shout “Yo, Jadis, what happened to the boobs, chick???”

Give it a little time. Recovery encompasses your mental and emotional well being, as well as physical. But I promise, you’ll end up with a lot more self confidence and a lot less back pain after all is said and done. Good luck.

A woman just made her breast smaller?
** NOOOOOOooooo!!!11!!! **

Having both had significant weight loss and plastic surgery, I can empathize with your doubts. Before my surgery, I thought the kind of things you are saying, “Oh, it isn’t that bad” etc. In my case, after the surgery I was glad I did it, despite those doubts beforehand. I think it is just fear of the unknown. If you have been wanting this for years, my guess is that you will be very happy with the results.