13 things I wish I'd known before my Breast Reduction/Lift surgery
Byon 18 Jan 2011
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 my posture was so good.
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 this 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 the Palmer’s Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil. It felt great and helped the extremely dry and flaky skin I had on the breasts. Go gently and be patient. I still to this day 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 J
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 were not 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.
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 it upsets them. Imagine his horror when he got a look at all the incisions, stitches in the nipples, bruised, bloody, swollen…yikes! I think he was worried they would never look normal again. It looks a little bit like something out of a horror movie.
9. Your breasts might look weird for a while. I did not realize pre-op that my breasts would look a little boxy for a while. 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 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 4 weeks post op with my doctor’s approval. I was able to exercise without any pain and I was absolutely excited.
11. You are 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. I woke up one morning with a bloody nightgown. I discovered that I had actually scratched the scabs right off. Boy did that hurt! So if you are finding they itch in the day try sleeping with sox on your hands to prevent this.
12. The 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 them. Have at least three on hand. The longer you wear this, the better your results will be. No underwire bras for at least 4 months.
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!