3:04 pm - 10/24/2010

Breast Reduction- what DON'T they tell you?

Hi All,

After years of agonizing, I've finally decided to have a breast reduction to get my 28G boobs down to a size I feel will be more conducive to my active lifestyle and personal comfort. The surgery is booked for Dec 10th. My surgeon says that the best course of action for me is to have the lollipop incision, along with a lift and lipo. He asked me what size I wanted to be, and I said a B or a C. He said that realistically, he could only get me to a small D. I should have asked why at the time, and I do plan to call him and ask, but does anyone have any ideas as to why he may have said that? Anyway, I have a few questions for you ladies who have had breast reductions:

1) What size were you before/after surgery? Are you pleased with it?
2) I've read all the usual ' what to do after' info- but what does that leave out, based on your own experiences? What tips do you have to ensure a speedy recovery and to minimize scarring? What do you wish someone had told you before the surgery?
3) How long did it take you to get back to work? I work at starbucks, so while I could get away with not lifting heavy stuff for as long as I need, I would need to be able to move my arms enough to hand people change and to serve cups of coffee.

Thanks so much, everyone!
magicalsibylle 24th-Oct-2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
This post hits so close to home - I have my first appointment on December 2, I'm not sure when the surgery will be as they have loads of patients to deal with but I'm hoping as soon as possible.
I'm too determined to let anything stop me at this point and if not now when.

To answer your question, it might have to do with your body size - so as to have the breasts proportioned to the rest of the body. It could also have to do with the fact that there's probably so much he can remove, medically speaking. Did he show you a pic of what the result would be with a D cup?

I'll be stalking this post :)

Good luck with your surgery! :)
magicalsibylle 24th-Oct-2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
Ooo there's also this post and breastreduction to check out.
franticalities 24th-Oct-2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
thanks :) I did check out that post, but it didn't answer my questions about the lipo or the ' wish i knew xyz :)
What size are you now? My surgeon didn't show pics, but I didn't ask, either. I'd heard great things about him, so I just wanted to book the appt.. i also had a TON of other questions coz i have a heart condition, so i kind of forgot about all the other things I wanted to ask ( like, actually related to my boobs)
magicalsibylle 24th-Oct-2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
I can't be of much help as I haven't even had the first appointment yet :/ However, I can tell you I'm a D cup (I'm not too convinced about this because I feel my bras are actually a little small, it's very hard to find your actual bra size, I find, but I digress) and ideally I'd like to end up with a B cup. I'm 22 and I have very fair skin which I think might help with less noticeable scarring.

Perhaps the doctor can't go further precisely because of your heart condition? I might be talking rubbish, I feel I'm so out of my depth here and can only offer suggestion but it might be a possibility.

Do you think you can book another appointment before then? I'm sure he's super used to questions and won't be bothered at all if you have more!
fallconsmate 24th-Oct-2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
My SIL went from a DDD to a smallish C. She was THRILLED. She's active and can go bra-less if she wants. From a strictly esthetic position, she looks a bit unbalanced to me, she's straight-figured to a bit barrel shaped without the balance of the breast/hip ratio. (sez the apple-shaped broad with no waist to speak of with slender-ish arms and legs, heh)

My opinion is that the doctor may wish to keep you more proportioned, or that he wants to preserve your ability to breast feed if you aren't done having children.
calculatorhater 24th-Oct-2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm going to get a referral from my dr tomorrow for a breast reduction so what a coincedence on your post.
Did your insurance end up covering this? I'm worried about that whole ordeal but very ready to have one. What are you getting lipo on?
franticalities 24th-Oct-2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
I live in Canada, so our natinal healthcare is covering the reduction, but not the lift and lipo. I'm worried too, but sick enough of all the crap about having such heavy boobs that I feel ready. as for the lipo, I'm not entirely sure!!
calculatorhater 24th-Oct-2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I hear you! I'm sick of it too and very ready to get the process going.
copper_season 24th-Oct-2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
It's possible that the doctor is attempting to keep your breast size in proportion to your body shape. I was a GGG as well and when I got my reduction, the doctor told me that to keep everything in proportion that my cup size would have to be a D. I was fine with that since it was a lot smaller than I was. LOL.

When my incisions were healing, I put aloe vera and shea butter on them to help minimize my scarring. I do have scars, but they are not as noticeable and have faded in the few years since my surgery.

As for work, I have a job that doesn't require me to lift anything or putting my arms above my head so I was back to work in about a month. I also heal pretty quickly so that was a factor as well.

Good luck! *hugs*
franticalities 24th-Oct-2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
a month?? wow! My surgeon told me a week! Is he sugar coating??
in_pieces 24th-Oct-2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
a friend of mine had a reduction done (in part due to removing some cysts). She was out of work for a week exactly, and back the following week, although she couldn't lift anything, or really drive for that second week. I helped her open her water bottles and stuff too. So if you're doctor said a week - its probably a week, but you won't be able to do *everything* after that week
copper_season 24th-Oct-2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
He may not be. For me, even though I heal quickly my doctor told me a month to be safe. He had told me there were instances where women would wait a week and then try to lift things (a child or a tray possibly) and they would injure themselves and have to go back to the doctor to have staples removed and then redone.

thisandthat 24th-Oct-2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
For the third question: when I worked at Starbucks one of the partners had breast reduction surgery and took five or so weeks off. She did as light duty stuff as possible for the first few weeks after returning (I think they had her on the register primarily but our store was super busy so she was able to only stay on the register not run around to get drip coffee and pastries like sometimes happens at other stores).
cozmic_oceanz 25th-Oct-2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Hey, I haven't had this done myself but one of my housemates did. She is now a small size D and was a bit larger than a DD before. Also, she got back to school in a week or so. She has always been beautiful but she is really happy she did the surgery and is a lot more comfortable with her body now. Good luck :D
galaxy_soup 25th-Oct-2010 09:01 am (UTC)
I was also a 28G and my doctor took me to a 28B. I would definitely ask your doctor exactly why he feels you can't go smaller, and if a D is not ideal to you, ask for a second opinion. If you go for a D and still feel they're too big afterward, it's unlikely you'd get insurance to cover surgery to get smaller a second time.

I am so, so happy with the size I am now. I spent the night at the hospital and then laid around the house for a couple days, but I was up going to the mall and trying new clothes on within about 3 days. I experienced only minor soreness- it really was the easiest surgery possible for me. I think you could easily be back at work at Starbucks within a week :)

Do you know whether you'll have stitches, glue, and/or drains on the incisions yet? I had glue and no drains, and it was a very easy recovery process. The glue naturally peeled away once the incisions closed.

It's been exactly a year and three months, and my scars are nearly invisible (and I'm a bad patient and did nothing to help minimize them, honestly). It took about six months before I was comfortable wearing bras with underwires again, as the scars did have a tendency to get uncomfortable with something that hard sitting on them, but now I wear underwire bras every day with no problem.

If you have any more questions, feel free to reply or PM me! I think it was the best decision I ever made and I'm extremely pleased with my body now.
franticalities 25th-Oct-2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
My surgeon is only keeping me for 5 or so hours after the surgery.. grr! I'd rather stay longer coz of my heart condition, but he feels confident. I am gonna call and ask why I can't go smaller than a D. Did you have the lollipop or the anchor scar?

Apparently I'll be having drains... is that more difficult than glue? Did you get a choice about that?

Thanks so much!!
galaxy_soup 26th-Oct-2010 12:00 am (UTC)
I got the anchor scar. That's possibly why he feels you can't go smaller; my doctor said the lollipop scar allows less tissue to be taken out. If that's the issue and he's only going for the lollipop style to leave less scarring, talk to him about getting the anchor incision. Honestly, I feel like the anchor is just fine, I have no noticeable marks after a year.

I didn't get a choice in drains, it was up to my doctor's preference. I didn't have to do anything to care for the glue besides avoid scrubbing too hard in the shower. From what I've read, drains require more care, and I don't know if there's restrictions on washing and showering with them.

The first shower is the worst part just because of the sight of the bruising. It doesn't hurt at all, but if you're squeamish it might bother you a bit.
bernthewitch 25th-Oct-2010 10:30 am (UTC)
This is very interesting to me: I'm a 34 / 36 GG and my shoulders and neck are starting to develop The Hump. At age 27 I'm not happy about this. While I think the size of my breasts balance me out (I'm a UK size 18), I'm getting sick of the weight.

The only thing stopping me getting a breast reduction (apart from the money) is that I won't be able to breastfeed when the time comes. However, I'm reconsidering my priorities right now.

I can't help you with any of your questions, but I sincerely hope you'll update us with how it goes. Good luck!
franticalities 25th-Oct-2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
I will keep you guys posted! The breastfeeding thing doesn't worry me :P My mom didn't breast-feed me and I think I turned out okay :P
bernthewitch 26th-Oct-2010 05:43 am (UTC)
sure! It's just a personal choice for me :)
galeotti 25th-Oct-2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
I had my breast reduction May 14, 2009. I was 20 at the time, 22 now :).

1.) I was wearing a 40DDD prior to surgery, but it didn't fit. I now wear a 36D, though it's just now become a teeny bit too big, and I think I could probably fit into a C at this point. Initially I wanted to go down to a large B/small C, but my doctor said he thought a D would be a suitable size for me. I was skeptical at first - but he was right. I look completely proportional - any smaller would have been too awkward.

2.) To minimize scarring and recover more quickly - REST. Just because you can do something right after surgery, does not mean you should. It is a major surgical procedure. About a week after surgery, I was able to dress myself. My mother bathed me until about two weeks post-surgery, when I finally felt comfortable enough to very slowly do it myself. You will also tire very easily; about three weeks after surgery, I went out to an early movie and went to get take-out for dinner with a friend. By the end of the day (like, 7:00) I was wiped - totally overstimulated and sore.

3.) Give yourself plenty of time to recuperate. Like I said - you'll tire easily, even if you aren't lifting heavy stuff. I did my surgery after the semester ended, so I had plenty of time to recover, and my on-campus job didn't start again until August. I wouldn't suggest going back to work any earlier than 3-weeks post-op, especially at a place that tends to get busy, regardless of any weight-lifting restrictions :).

The process can be overwhelming but seriously, it was the best thing I ever did for myself!
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