Breast Reduction & Breast Lift: 13 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My Surgeries

  • 3 years ago

Breast lift and breast reduction surgery photo results over time

Earlier this year I had breast reduction surgery and a lift. (See my story.) Here are 13 things I wish someone had told me before surgery.

1. 
I wish I would have known how wonderful I was going to feel after this surgery.
If I had, I would have done this years ago. All of my back, neck, and shoulder pain is gone forever. My confidence also went through the roof. When I woke up in recovery, I could instantly feel the difference and loved how perky my breasts were. My hubby commented on how good my posture was.

2. Communicate with your doctor to find out when your drains will be removed
The day after surgery I went to the clinic to see the doctor. He checked my drains and was able to remove one of them right away. This was nice and totally unexpected. If I had known they were going to pull it so soon I would have doubled up on the pain meds. And also do not watch while they pull a drain out. It smarts a little bit and made me woozy. It goes quickly, but please do not look! I was really out of it, had not eaten much, and was nauseous. I got really dizzy and had to sit down before I fainted. I blame most of that on all the meds and lack of food.

3. Stitch removal can hurt.
Two weeks post-op I had the stitches removed from my nipples. If I had known it was going to hurt like a bugger, I would have medicated myself heavily before this appointment as well. It felt like someone was pinching my nipples really hard… OUCH. I was about jumping off the table and had tears in my eyes. I was pretty hyper sensitive in that area.

4. Massage, massage, massage.
At two weeks post-op, I started massaging my breasts with Palmer’s Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil. It felt great and helped the extremely dry and flaky skin I had on my breasts. Go gently and be patient. To this day, I still use the oil on my entire body. My scars look awesome and are barely visible. No raised or red areas at all. I had all internal stitches with the exception of the nipples.

5. Take the smooth way home.
We should have driven home from the hospital on a less bumpy route (We drove through a heavy construction route). Oh my goodness! Every bump on the way home made me tense up in pain. You also need to have a pillow in the car to place under the seatbelt which goes across your chest — never thought of that prior to surgery!

6. Don't be shy, strike a pose.
Looking back, I should have taken a camera to the hospital to have some good "before" pictures taken. I took some at home, but they weren't great. It would have been fun to take pictures of the markings the doctor made before surgery.

7. Don't buy bras until later.
I purchased bras before surgery in what I thought would be my new size. Dumb idea because until you are healed and the swelling goes down you really have no idea of your final size. I donated the bras to a good cause so it turned out fine. Please wait a few weeks before shopping for sexy bras.

MORE: Who Is a Good Candidate For Breast Reduction? (VIDEO)

8. Prepare your significant other (if you have one) for what to expect immediately post-op.
I should have shown my hubby some pictures of breasts after a reduction. When he had the first look that evening I thought he would die. He tried not to react but it was so obvious he was freaked out. You really need to prep the men because their toys are not going to be pretty for a while, and that upsets them. Imagine his horror when he got a look at all the incisions and stitches in the nipples — bruised, bloody, swollen… Yikes! It's a little bit like something out of a horror movie. I think he was worried they would never look normal again. 

9. Your breasts might look weird for a while.
Before the surgery, I didn't realize that my breasts would look a little boxy for a while post-op. They needed time to settle and drop, but why did I not know this?! Guess I forgot to ask that question! They are all fine now (see photo above), but it took some time.

10. 
No heavy lifting.
Ok now ladies this is really important: DO NOT — and I repeat DO NOT — attempt any heavy lifting or exercise for the first month after surgery. I went back to the gym at four weeks post-op with my doctor’s approval. I was able to exercise without any pain and I was absolutely excited.

11. You're going to have scabs around your nipples that will itch something fierce.
Resist the urge to scratch! I discovered that I was actually scratching in my sleep, and woke up one morning with a bloody nightgown. I discovered that I had actually scratched the scabs right off. Boy, did that hurt! If you are finding they itch in the day, try sleeping with socks on your hands to prevent scratching in your sleep.

12. Surgical bras are very comfortable, so wear them around the clock for the first six months.
I woke up in one after the surgery, but wish I had thought to get a couple more right away. You need a clean one to wear while you wash the others, so have at least three on hand. The longer you wear them, the better your results will be. No underwire bras for at least 4 months!

MORE: 
What Is Recovery Like After Breast Lift Surgery? (VIDEO)

13. Do not try and sleep on your tummy for at least the first month.
I slept on the reclining sofa for the first few nights and that was comfy. When you do go back to your bed, have a pillow under each arm/elbow. It hurt to lay flat on my back with my arms falling to the mattress. You will need to raise them up a little bit.

Enjoy your new and perky rack! — Kimmers25

Want to know more? Read Kimmers25 transformative beauty journey here!

Comments (912)

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When going to doctor visit get long gowns with zippers in front, you don't want to mess with clothes. After pain pill you will get 600 mg, still eat or drink your prunes, both cause constipation . Watch what you eat protein fiber, I take omega 3 after 4 weeks, and I take turmeric drop all for my inflammation
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Okay 6 days post and I'm hurting like crazy where the lipo is, I'm so swollen right now going to have to get more ice for my iceman machine...OMG
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Hi, sorry you are so uncomfortable, have you tried taking bromelain 3-4 times a day between meals? It helped me a lot
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The lipo areas do hurt the very most.
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ave asymmetrical breast. My left side is DD my right is DDD. I was slightly devastated that my PS said he has to reduce my left side by half for insurance to cover but the size he is talking about scares me. I don't want to be a size B. It seems a bit too small. He said a full B, small C. I'm nervous about that!
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* I have
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Insurance people suck, we'll the ones that come up with rules. Stupid rules
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Congratulations or your great result. And that you for sharing so much helpful information. I strongly suggest that patients stay in our facility with two round the clock RN's the first night of surgery. We make it very comfortable for you and any questions are concerns are addressed on the spot. No uncomfortable ride home, no itching, etc. There is no additional fee for this service. This seems to provide peace of mind for patients and their families.
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Looking at your pre-op photo for me was like looking in the mirror at myself. You looked almost identical to me. I'm less than 24 hrs. Now from my surgery tomorrow , July 28th. I'm getting anxious for it to be over so I can begin recovery. I just can't imagine what I will look like without the uni-boob! I'm hoping and praying all goes well. BTW, I'm going from a 36J to a C cup!!!!!
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My boobs are still settling in and have mild swelling even at 12 weeks post op. I was sooo lucky I never had dry and itchy skin. My scars look great and are already fading. I am still not sure what siE my boobs will settle in at, probably a c/d depending on brand of bra. I have tried and for a C and a D. My right breast still has more swelling g than my right so it looks a little bigger to me, everyone else says no, but I can see it
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I have asymmetrical breast. My left side is DD my right is DDD. I was slightly devastated that my PS said he has to reduce my left side for insurance to cover but the size he is talking about scares me. I don't want to be a size B. It seems a bit too small. He said a full B, small C. I'm nervous about that!
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I would go for another opinion. You should not feel uncomfortable with your PS. You need to be confident that he will give you what you want.
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I feel comfortable with him. He says he will give me what I want but insurance won't cover that, he has to remove a certain amout for insurance to cover the surgery.
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I will most likely be paying for this surgery out of pocket. I just don't understand why I can't be reduced to a C, that's a pretty reasonable size considering that I'm a 36DD/36DDD
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Reduced with insurance covering the cost.
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Depends on your insurance company and your doctors scheduling. I had my consult on April 21st and my surgery on May 6th. I was lucky because the doctor had rescheduling and I was able to get that date, otherwise I would have been about a month out. Being that it was so quick I had to get my mammogram and lab work done all in one week and then my pre op appointments and arrange for my home care so that I was able to just lay around and heal without any responsibilities. It was worth it!
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Ladies! How long did you have to wear surgical bra before you could switch to a sports bra! Or could you even switch! I'm just wondering!
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I only wore the surgical bra home and then the next day at the surgeons he said my sports bra was better quality. It hooked in front and offered great compression.
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I had my surgery 7/11 and habe been wearing sports bras since the day after surgery... 42M or 40N to D or DD cup
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I only wore the surgical bra home and the next day at my doctors appointment I switched to my sports bra. Much better compression and better looking. Just a nice front closure sports bra.
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Okay! Great I was looking at some sports bras the other day & thought that may be more comfortable. Thanks
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I wore mine for about 3 months day and night. I did buy a marena bra that looked like a bra but with some compression.
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I am 3 mo post op and still prefer my sports bra. I did buy a sexy new bra and wore it a few times, but, it was really comfortable and I still had some swelling so it wasn't feeling quite right
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Just stay away from the underwire bras. Ive got so much swelling right now until it's not even funny. It's really bad under my arm.
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It's weird shopping for wireless bras, I had been in underwire bras for more than 25 years! I'll ask my doctor on my next appt when I can go back to underwire bras, I'm just more comfortable wearing one. Don't worry the swelling goes down a little every day.
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