Breast Reduction Surgery – My Story (by Lorna)
Following last week’s diary of a tummy tuck, we’re delighted to feature another personal account from one of our patients. This week, Lorna talks about her experience of breast reduction surgery with us – and shares some fantastic advice.
“My decision to have breast reduction surgery was an easy one….
I’ve had large breasts all my life, as do all the women in my family. My mum, my aunt and most recently my cousin have all had breast reductions. I’d seen the transformation they all went through and the positive impact it had on their lives.
I’m 5ft 6 tall with a slim build, and had a 30GG/32G bust. My goal had always been to have smaller breasts in proportion with my body.
Having recently turned 40, I felt the time was right. Now all I had to do was find a great surgeon.
Like most people I started online. My first port of call was the BAAPS website, as from my research I was told to ensure my surgeon was on this list. I chose a few who mentioned breast reduction surgery as specialities, and undertook further research.
I decided I would see three surgeons initially, and after drawing up my shortlist I spent time looking through what previous patients had said about each.
As I left he gave me a great information pack to take away, which included a breast reduction surgery CD. I was so surprised when I listened to it as it gave me so much information that I hadn’t considered. Between this and the questions he’d asked me during my consult, I felt really prepared going into my other appointments.
I had consultations with two other surgeons. The first I felt was a little too keen for me to book there and then, and the next was slightly patronising. He also seemed to care more about what my partner thought than my concerns!
So I went back to see Mr Richards, and we had a good chat about my procedure and the outcome. We didm’t discuss size - he actually examined me first and said he thought that for my proportion I should be a generous C. I was really happy with this as I had a C in mind. I left reassured and excited and I booked in to have my surgery in August.
I wasn’t at all nervous as he’d put my mind at ease. I was only concerned about the recovery, as I have a toddler and was hoping I wouldn’t have to lift him too much!
The day of the procedure, I checked into the hospital and went through all the usual pre-op routine.
Mr Richards came to see me for a quick chat and then came back with a nurse later and took some pictures and did my markings. I was a little later than scheduled going down to theatre but I was enjoying the quiet time.
When I got to the theatre I explained to the anaesthetist that I hated having the drip put in my hand, so he offered to put me out with some gas and air so as not to distress me – which was very kind and thoughtful.
When I came around I felt really tired. I was surprised by this as normally I’m up and around very quickly after surgery but I think this was due to all the running around I’d done the day before.
I did have a quick peek down but fell asleep very quickly. I woke up at 2:00 am and a nurse brought me some tea and toast which was lovely.
I went to the toilet and made the mistake of having a good look and got myself in a right state. I just felt like I was really tiny and was concerned about my nipples and the scars.
In hindsight, this was probably the anaesthetic making me emotional, but I wish I’d listened to my friend who said don’t focus on the shape or the look as they change so rapidly.
I stayed in two nights, and although I missed my family it was good to know that I was being well looked after – I don’t think I’d have been able to relax as much at home.
When I was leaving the nurse gave me another support bra to take with me. I have to say this was brilliant and saved me so much money and time beforehand wondering what type of bra to bring in. It also meant that over the next few weeks I didnt have to think about it.
Getting used to my new shape
The following week I went for my check-up with the nurse, where she changed all my bandages and said I looked great.
I mentioned about the shape, scars and my concerns but she reassured me that this was really normal and that I looked great. She gave me lots of new dressings, tape and scissors to take home.
After about three weeks I felt much better, but not as good as I hoped. I called the clinic and they booked me in straight away to see my surgeon Mr Richards and Aurora’s lovely Clinical Lead Aggie.
They agreed that I could remove the tape and that I should move to a sports bra and that this would make me feel much better.
I had a great chat with the nurse and she told me that I really needed to rest more and that I’d been doing too much. That was why I didnt feel so good – I wasn’t giving my body time to heal.
I left with the tape off and went and bought a sports bra. In the fitting the lady said I needed a 36C. I was shocked – I’d never been a 36 in my life. She explained that this was due to swelling but also that sports bras are a different fitting system. She said that she felt I would probably be a 34D when the swelling went down.
Over the next few weeks, I felt more like my old self and I felt a dramatic change. I felt so much better without the tape and the sports bra was really comfortable.
I had my six week check-up with Aggie and Mr Richards, where they both examined me and took some more pictures.
We talked about my scars and I said I was concerned about the middle in between my breasts as it looked a little gathered and bumpy. He said this would go with massage and recommended an ointment.
Keeping things in proportion…
We then had a chat about cup size. I explained that I’d had in my head that I wanted to be a C cup and how I was probably a D cup.
He mentioned about swelling and how it was still early days – however he did say that most bra companies had changed their cup sizing. A bit like how most clothing brands have changed their size 12 to a 10 to make you believe you’re smaller than you are – they’ve done the reverse with bra sizes! So what used to be a C is now a D.
He also mentioned about the conversation we had about proportion and shape and how we agreed this was important. He agreed it was hard not to focus on size, but to try and concentrate on how they look and feel.
I had to agree, I’d been focused on achieving a size when actually I was very happy with how they looked and felt. I now looked in proportion and that was what I’d wanted.
So now three months later, my scars look great and I’m wearing underwired bras and feel very comfortable. I’m still wearing some support at night time as this is more comfortable for me, but I’m very happy.”
My top 10 tips if you’re thinking about Breast Reduction surgery
1. Research your procedure carefully
Know what all the options are in terms of scarring, lifting, final shape, etc. Check out Aurora’s Breast Reduction surgery pages for some great videos and information.
2. Meet your surgeon AND his/her team
The nurses, and I met four in total, were absolutely lovely. Not just friendly, but really open and approachable, caring about your welfare throughout, not just before the operation.
3. Alarm bells should ring…
If they want you to book the procedure at the consultation!!
4. Check what aftercare you can expect
How many times can you see your surgeon post-op and what costs are involved? My surgeon and his team were available to me any time with no charge after my surgery and this means if you have any issues you can pick up the phone and go see them. It’s great having forums but if you’re worried this makes a huge difference.
5. Try not to do too much before your surgery
I know this sounds like common sense, but I was making dinners and cleaning like a lunatic the day before my surgery, which meant on the day I was wrecked!
6. Focus on recovery
After the surgery don’t get caught up with how they look – you won’t believe how different they are in 2, 4, 6 weeks after the surgery. I got an awful shock and felt like they were tiny, the nipples looked awful and generally got myself wound up by how dreadful I thought I looked.
7. Be prepared to be really tired….
For the first couple of weeks and rest as much as possible and don’t do anything if you don’t need to. This will make you heal quicker.
8. If you have any doubts or issues, call your surgeon/clinic
They are the experts. Everyone is different, but they know you.
9. Dont focus on the bra size…
But the shape and ultimately being in proportion to your body and having comfortable breasts.
10. And finally, good luck – and enjoy it
From my experience, I can say breast reduction surgery is a decision you won’t regret!
Get in touch
Have a question or comment about breast reduction surgery? Please feel free to leave a reply below. Alternatively, you can speak to us via our Facebook page or Twitter profile. For more information about breast reduction surgery, our surgeons or clinics, or to book a consultation close to you, call us on 01324 578290 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.