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Breast Lift and Reduction Survival Guide

  • 3 years ago

After my breast lift and reduction, I decided to put together a Survival Guide for other women going through it, too. You can read my review here.
If you are considering this procedure that means you are probably fed up with the sore neck, back, shoulders and top heavy feeling. I really hated my breasts for years. And after childbirth, being more than 40, hormone replacement therapy, and just basic frustration with my breasts I finally took action.
By the time I finally got busy, my breasts were hanging to my waist. They were heavy, saggy, and uneven and the nipples pointed in two different directions…..UGH. A breast lift and reduction was something I had wanted for years but it took a while to find that “Perfect” doctor. Please take your time in doing your search for the proper physician. Check credentials, ask to see pictures of patients who have had the same procedure done, get at least two opinions and don’t get frustrated.
I was fortunate that my health insurance paid for everything. Had it not I would have still done the surgery but would have waited a while longer to save the funds. I am five foot one inch tall and was carrying around a size 40DDD. Yes it hurt and my boobs entered the room before I did. I was tired of that being the focal point of me. I wanted to end up a full B or small C and that is exactly what I got.
Really communicate with your doctor and let him know your expectations. A good physician will be honest with you and help you work through your expectations. I ended up with a C-cup immediately following surgery but now I am down to a full B. That happened because of my 70 pound weight loss since surgery. Go figure that prior to surgery I never lost a pound in the breasts. But after I then start to shrink in the breasts. I am completely fine with it though because I love the small and perky breasts. The weight is gone and I no longer have any neck, back or shoulder pain.
Also the bonus was having both nipples facing forward and in proper position. Or as my hubby says “the headlights are facing forward” and not shining the side of the road. All clothing fits on top and I am no longer self conscious about my breast size. I am extremely happy that I went through with this procedure. The surgery itself was very easy with minimal pain. You will have swelling with soreness and a tight feeling for a couple of weeks.
Oh yes and let’s not forget the beautiful colors of the rainbow you will witness for weeks. You will go from black and blue to green, yellow and everything in-between. Your nipples will also look a bit funny with all of the sutures. But don’t worry because this all turns normal-looking soon. They will also have a strange shape for a while but don’t panic. Gravity soon sets in, swelling goes down and you will have natural tear drop shaped breasts. It just takes a while for them to drop.
Questions to ask during your consult:
1. How soon can I exercise after surgery?
2. May I see pictures of previous patients' results?
3. How much breast tissue are you able to remove?
4. How long will I need to be off work?
5. What are my post-op restrictions and for how long?
6. Approximately what will my final cup size be?
7. Where will my incisions be placed?
8. What surgical technique do you use?
9. How soon may I shower after surgery?
10. May I speak to a previous patient of yours regarding their experience?
Just make sure to really communicate with your doctor about your expectations. You need to be realistic but also need to be on the same page as your doctor. Make it clear how big or small you would like to be after the procedure. They will let you know if it is possible. Make sure to have at least 2-3 opinions before choosing your doctor.
Supplies for after surgery:
1. Prescribed pain medication
2. Tylenol
3. Ice packs
4. Surgical bras – you will need at least 2-3 of these. Make sure you wear the bras 24/7 for the first few months. It will help in shaping your new breasts. Only remove to shower and then back on with a clean bra. They are very comfortable and you will be glad to have them.
5. Palmer’s Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil. To start using two weeks after surgery. This will help smooth and heal your scars. Massage them 2-3 times a day for months and your scars will be nearly invisible.
6. Gauze or cotton pads to place under your bra band and over your nipples. You will have some oozing for 7-14 days and this will help keep your bra dry and clean.
7. Stool softener….yes the surgery and pain meds do a number on your system. I started Milk of Magnesia the day after surgery and did so for five days.
8. Healthy protein, fruits and veggies. You need a healthy diet for proper healing. Also drink your water….
Feelings you will experience before and after surgery:
1. Excitement, you will love the new and perky breasts.
2. Anxiety about your final size and scars. With any surgery there are scars but these are mainly under the breast so hardly visible. The vertical scan and scar around the nipple will heal nicely and will end up a fine and faint white line.
3. You will have that pre-surgery power surge where you want to clean everything in your house. Go with it!
4. Urges to shop for new bras. Hold that thought and urge. Please do not buy any new bras until you are four months post-op. Your swelling will take a while to go down plus you really need to be wearing the surgical bra for as long as you can. It will help your healing and shape of the breast in the long run. And please do not wear any underwire bras for at least six months. They will rub on your incision under the breast and cause it to become thick and irritated.
5. If you have stitches in your nipples I have to say that it hurt like hell when they removed them. It smarts and is irritating.
6. The dreaded drains are a pain. They are not in very long so that is a good thing.
7. It takes the breasts about six months to have a great shape…you know that natural tear drop shape so don’t panic if they look a little odd at first.
8. The freaky looking nipples also tame down once the big black stitches are out. The first time I looked at them I was like what the #$&%. I am pretty sure my hubby had a panic attack when he looked at them. It really did look like something out of a horror movie.
9. My doctor used surgical glue over all my incisions which is really nice. It will slowly roll off over the next two weeks.
Surgery Day:
1. Wear loose and comfy clothes to the surgery center. This will just be more comfortable for the ride home. A zip up sweat shirt is the best.
2. They will give you happy pills and warm blankets…it doesn't get any better than that.
3. The doctor will come in and mark you up. Looks a little bit like a freak show when they are done sketching you up with the purple marker. My hubby enjoyed watching this take place. He kept making crazy jokes and trying to make me laugh.
4. Have your driver take the least bumpy route home. It hurts when you hit bumps and they are jerked around. OUCH..
5. Honestly you will feel pretty good the first day home. You are sore and swollen but not really in any horrible pain. You will feel some tightness but not bothersome.
6. You will be amazed at the perky new breasts. WOW they are right up there and look great.
You will feel so light and free of neck and shoulder pain. Enjoy your new perky rack! You will feel amazing and your confidence will be through the roof. And as usual let me know if you have any questions.

Comments (82)

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Thank you so much for your post. Very informative. I can relate to the funny-shaped and different colors. Mine were Black, blue, yellow, green, and purple for days after the surgery. I had my surgery on Feb 14. They are coming along.... still funny-shaped on top. They are very hard on top. I am doing the massage thing as much as I can. Are you massaging the scars too?? Or just the top? I ordered 4 new bras online. I took a chance and ordered a 36 C. It fits me fine!! I just got them today!! I am sooo happy that I am a C-cup. I feel so normal. What a relief! If my swelling goes down and I end up a B-cup, so I will just buy some more bras. I threw my surgical bra out on March 18 when I went for my one-month post -op appointment. I am wearing a sports bra at night, and I am going to wear the new regular C-cup bras for work. My doc said I can wear a regular bra during the day, just not and underwire bra. I just can't wait for the hardness and soreness to go away. It is going away very slowly.
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What is your recommendation for post surgery bras? The one they gave is making me itch. I have lots of allergies and I am itching along the top part of bra, and underneath the bra around the band area. I just switched to a different bra by Marena, hoping it gets rid of the itching...taking Benadryl too.
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The horrid itching is a part of the recovery, Ugh!

I also wore the Marena bras and loved them.  They were so soft and comfortable for me.  At one point I had to place some guaze squares under the bottom band of the bra.  I needed to protect the incisions under my breasts.  I had some irritation in that area for a while.
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what are Marena bras?
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What are Marena bras?
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I had my surgery on March 18. I was able to take a shower yesterday for the first time. I am wearing a Marena bra, but the band if irritating, so I am using gauze pads to help with it. The tightness across the top and a little bit of pain in my right underarm are the biggest issue. How long do you recommend taking the pain pills. I go about 7 hours now before I really need anything. I have a lot of issues with narcotic meds and not keeping them down, so would like to get off as soon as I can. Any recommendations? I haven't started the oil and massaging as the doc said, I'd do this about two weeks out.
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Definitely take the pain meds when you feel you need them.  Try eating toast with butter and milk 30 minutes before taking the pills.  That would coat your stomach well and help.   I know they are so rough on the system:(
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does the black and blue and swollenness go away? or should I call my doctor about it? I had my surgery last Friday. (5 days ago.) Thanks.
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I just had this surgery 5 days ago and today was the worst day. I had been with my husband the first 4 days but he had to return to work today. I experienced a completely new feeling. I woke up in a horrible mood, want in to go out and do something but the pain kept me in bed again. I was upset and kept imagining the pain was worsening..I began crying and couldn't stop. I am still really depressed and I cant explain it. My backside hurts from laying around these past 5 days. I feel like I am going to lose it. Am I the only one here to experience this?
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you are supposed to get up and walk around. Keep on your pain and anti-biotic medications. Stay around the house. Do simple chores - do not lift or bend. Do not lift heavy things - nothing over 10 lbs. Do lite chores like a little dusting. (try not to spread you arms high while doing it.) If u are on anti-depressants continue to take them. Go on computer, read a book, do a crossword puzzle - anything to get your mind off your surgery. Try knitting, or some other type of hobby. What ever you do, do not drive because you are on pain meds.
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Hi, I'm now 12 days post op. the surgery went well and my surgeon removed 3 kg off both breasts, I'm now a 40 B. I had a few post op issues because of my pre- existing medical condition but with the help of the Aneathetist the doctor got me back on track within 4 days. The new girls look weird but I know that it will take time before they look normal. I have yellow 'bruising' but that's going away already. The dressings were removed at day 9 and I can really appreciate his perfectionist eye as the stitches are not showing its just a line of where he cut, its beautiful. I remember thinking that the feeling in my breasts(strange creepy crawly ones) were only supposed to start later on, well they were there from the beginning. It amused me to no end to know that I was healing already and could feel it. I'm so grateful that you told me about the emotional rollercoster I was going to be on because when I woke up properly the day after surgery and found out that things weren't going so well with me, I burst into tears. I did this for basically everything new and I couldn't control it and I was happy with my new girls! I remember when they came and took of the bandages to put the surgical bra on I didn't want to look but curiosity got the better of me and I peeked, I saw a square nipple, the way he had put the plasters on was in a square and logic told me this but I saw a square and cried anyway that I had a square nipple! The nurses tried to console me and they took pictures for me to view properly later and it helped when I was a little more rational. So far i am as happy as I could possibly be, I have had no pain or headaches, my shoulders look great and I love my new girls. The strange feelings and shooting pains are part of the healing as well as the weird looking shape. The sleeping on my back, the no driving and the no proper shower are a little annoying but it's a small price to pay for my new happiness. I hope my story is able to help just 1 person, as that would be the cherry on the cake! Lots of love S
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Thank you for checking in Sarah28.  Glad to hear things are going better and that you are loving your results.  This does take time for all of the healing to take place.  Hang in there and keep your chin up girlie!

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Thanks so much for review!
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my weight yoyo'd over the years and in effect I ended up with a pair spaniels ears. I had to roll them up into a 34 GG bra - needless to say I had all the neck and shoulder pains as well as 2 permanent dents in my shoulders with the weight. I saved up and had them uplifted at the Noa Clinic in Poland. The surgeon has done a great job and hopefully I wont be left with any really noticeable scarring. the thing is, it is now 13 days into the healing and I am starting to get a yellowy green looking stuff around the scar tissue underneath. my main concern is some yukky infection developing. I shower in the morning, spray of savlon antiseptic then once dry put on dressings. I don't know if this is how the scar tissue heals normally. I can feel throbbing in these areas so am I fighting an infection. id have thought after 13 days the pain/uncomfortableness would start to lessen. your advice would be greatly appreciated. Paula/Scotland
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I would have it looked at with having the yellow/green stuff..could be a possible infection or fungus. Dont panic nothing some antibiotics won't cure.
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Make sure to get in and have the doctor check this out.  Better safe than sorry!!

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Cool thanks for that. I will keep a close eye on it. I feel that the burning sensation was a lot less this morning and more of a tickle making me want to scratch. Another 4 weeks of sleeping on my back omg. its driving me nuts lol.
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omg i need help! im balling my head off right now, i had a breast lift on monday, and keep crying asking myself wtf did i do, they look so wonky and disgusting! will they ever look nice?
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Yes they will heal and look normal. I had the same.fears and thoughts. Keep your head up..you will notice changes believed MD it all works out
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Hang on girlie!!  They will look strange for a while but they will take shape as you heal.  

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i guess a lot of praying is in need, you got see it. They look like torchered boobies, and why are they so tight, squished, and way out to the side. Not to mention so sqaure at the bottom?
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Thank you for your prompt response. I need the encouragement at this point. Today was actually a pain free day (8). Did i mention i has an augmentation 5 yrs ago that just went saggy, over time they went south. i guess i was expecting the same recovery looked great next morning out grocery shopping. this wiped me out, and then 4 day post op i had the first look. omg wtf are they, a little better day 8 but wow really. feeling like a freak show.
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Tudball. I'm expecting to be horrified and the Frankenstein boobs too. But if your read and look at the results most of the time everything turns out great after awhile. Hang in there.
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why you have not done this yet? and still want to?
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