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 (1,300)

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Hi there. Does anyone know the major differences in a surgical bra and a sports bra? Is it just compression? Does it matter if you have sports bras over surgical bras? Thanks!
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The surgical bra was fitting well at all and my PS liked my sports bras better anyway so that is what I wore and it had great compression. Ibdid end up buying smaller ones eventually when the swelling went down
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Thanks Rlroyal. So compression is the key, I see. It is definitely a huge difference in the cost of both bras, too!
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What brand sports bra did you buy?
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I got mine at Walmart in a double pack. They just had hook & eyes up the front and it was Fruit of the Loom
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Thank you!
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I,m the same . It was the thing I was dreading but the pillows thing helped. I ended up lying half on my back side with a pillow under my side to relieve any pressure
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Kimmers25 your came out perfect! How did you get the scars to disappear? What product did you use? Please share your secret
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Thank you:)   The trick is doing a firm massage on all scars 2 times a day.  Do this using a combination of Bio Oil and Palmer's Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil.  I used this method with both the breast reduction and tummy tuck.  Doing this for 9-12 months will really help the scars.  
I did try the silicone strips but they did not work for me.  
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Thanks for all of your advice. I will definitely do it! Did your incisions ever look like flaps? For instance by the cleavage area closings, and the side breasts.
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I was puffy on the outer part of my breast under the arm out area. It was just swelling and went away.
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I never had them look like flaps.  
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I just had my breast reduction/lift 1 month ago. I feel like the side lacerations look like wings a bit. Does anyone have this problem. Will it smooth out? Heeeelllp
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Hello I wanted to know I really would like my breast to stay perky as they are 7 weeks out from my surgery. Do you think sleeping in my bra or sports bra will help? Thank you
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i am also 6 weeks post op, i asked my doctor how to keep them perky also and he said to sleep with my bra, its horrible, but i use a normal bra in the day and at night i wear a sports bra, coz after going tru so much, i mean the surgery i dont want them to sag even if they are small..... i hope they remain this way
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I am more than 5 mo's lost op and I still sleep in a sports bra and I find it very comfortable. I feel the same way, I want them to continue looking good for a long while. I figure I'll have them redone in 10 to 20 years depending on how they hold up and maybe by then there will be a painless recovery for the surgery :)
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My doctor asked me to stay in the surgical bra for up to 6 months.  I do believe this helped me with my results.  Mine are still perky after 5 years.
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Ok thank you very much ladies. ....I will be sleeping in my sports bra from now on..lol ;-)
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Thanks for the tip
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I had a breast reduction 5 weeks ago. The past few days I have noticed one of my breasts is swollen and hard, is this normal? Is there anything I should be doing? Thanks for any advice!
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yes it is normal. Mine felt hard for a couple of months. I don't know if your surgeon told you to rub vitamin e/ cocoa butter on them to help with the scaring, but you will notice the hardness slowly going away.
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Thank you so much! There is so much they don't tell you. This has been a great forum for help.
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I'm at 5 day post up. Stitches hurt and itch like hell. What can I do. Please comment. Thanks
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Use the pain medication prescribed. It just takes time. I still needed my pain meds a week post op. I was in a lot if pain but I didn't have the itching so I am not sure what is needed to help with that
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Take the pain meds. I'm 2 months out and was not a back sleeper either, but I did the pillow thing combined with my meds and slept in my bed from Day 1! I did have the itching for about 2 weeks and that about drove me crazy. I was on Benadryl 4 times a day. That didn't help much. It was the worst part of the surgery and lasted about 2 weeks. I got thru it and so will you. I just kept looking at my results and that helped me! I would go thru it again in a heartbeat!
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