My BR Experience - Edmonton, AB

I was always a small, slender girl growing up. My...

I was always a small, slender girl growing up. My breasts developed normally, maybe even a little bit slower than everyone else's my age. I was most happy with my breast size in about Grade 9 or 10, when they were hovering between a full B/small C cup. I was about as tall as I would get, but my breasts were not done yet. Grade 11 saw them continue to grow and was the first time I remember feeling a little out of control and embarrassed of the chest situation. Not believing it was happening, I stayed in a C cup for about a year and kept moving up band sizes. I remember at one stage, when I was 16, wearing a 36C bra that did not fit at all.

At the end of that year, I broke up with my first serious boyfriend and took up running. It was hard (read: impossible) to find a bra that contained the girls enough to feel comfortable running. I too went through the double-bra-for-athletics stage and eventually found one in a sports store in a D/DD size that sort of did the trick. I remember paying what I thought was a whopping $50 for it, and when I showed it to my mom, her jaw dropped open and she said it looked like a surgical bra (how ironic). I'll never forget that.

In Grade 12, it was time to go grad dress shopping, and though I was about 5'5 and maybe 130lbs, I feared I'd not find a dress that fit my chest. The day I went dress shopping was the first day I ever got properly fitted for a bra...I was a 30F! While the new letter embarrassed me to no end, finally having my breasts separated, supported, and under control elated me, and I was so excited about all the clothes I could now wear (including a beautiful strapless gown I ended up wearing to my high school graduation).

Enter: the university years aka second puberty? Residence life, binge drinking, and eating greasy food caused me to gain the classic Freshman 15, but for every pound my body gained, it felt like my breasts gained 10. By the end of second year, I was fed up with feeling out of control of my breasts again and went in for another bra fitting. The verdict? 30H, and $100 for every bra I'd ever buy from then on.

I've since lost lots of the weight I gained during those first crazy years in post-secondary, but my breasts have stayed the same size (if not continued to grow). For the past two years, I've hovered between a 30-32 band and worn between a G-H cup. Too. Damn. Big.

I've been through it all, ladies, every #hugeboobproblem you can possibly think of. Disgustingly expensive, ill-fitting lingerie. Stretch marks on the girls. Constant aching back pain. Stabbing pains when standing for long periods. Embarrassment/self-conciousness during exercise. Shirts that never fit properly. Terrible posture. Looking WAY bigger than you actually are. Inappropriate remarks directed at the boobies. Size never carried in regular stores. Impossible to purchase bathing suits. Buttons popping open. Sagging, unattractive breast appearance. Chafing, bleeding, scarring on the ribcage. Irritation between the breasts. Industrial-looking, 4 hook bras. I'm not sure if this is common, but I've personally always felt self-conscious letting men anywhere near them (though no man has ever raised a concern...). Most importantly (to me), I am an avid runner (4x half marathon finisher) and outdoor enthusiast, and my breasts are impeding my ability to enjoy physical activity and stay fit and healthy the way I need to be. The list goes on, and I have a million stories to tell about how horrible it is to have breasts this size, but it's only now that I've decided to do something about it.

After many years (years!) of research and consideration, thinking and re-thinking, and trying to convince myself that I was meant to have these breasts and they were here to stay, I got fed up. A few weeks ago, I finally went to the drop-in clinic at my university (to a doctor I've seen before), to see what could be done about this. When I told him I had been experiencing chronic back pain since 11th grade, he didn't flinch. When I continued on to say that I think a breast reduction would alleviate these symptoms and many others, he looked shocked. "Are they really that big? Sit up straight...let me see...wow, they are enormous. What size do you wear? WHAT?! A 30G? Do they even make that?! Oh my god. Let's get you to a surgeon."

Needless to say, I cried my way through that visit...but all embarrassment aside, my doctor was very supportive and wrote a letter to a local PS making my case for me. I just received a call last week, and though my initial consultation isn't until Dec 4th, I wanted to get a head start on sharing my story here with fellow well-endowed women who might just understand.

And as a side note, if I have one more small-chested woman say "poor you" when I raise complaints about my large chest, I am going to lose it.

Consultation change

My consultation got moved from the 4th of December to the 17th of December. Apparently my Dr is operating on people that day! Still running, staying active, and biding my time until the consult rolls around.

Consultation change...again?

The consultation got pushed back another day to the 18th. I want to be mad, but if my surgeon is in the OR so often, that can mean nothing but good things for me, right? I am getting so so so excited to see how this all goes down. Thinking/dreaming about being free of this burden all the time lately. Will post pics soon!

Are they gone yet?

Finally took some photos to give people a better idea of what I'm dealing with- hoping someone out there will find it helpful! Hoping to get some photos of what I look like in clothing, too. My doctor told me (and I already knew) that my collarbones are swayed inward from the weight of my breasts and my shoulders/delts are waaay overdeveloped and rounded for the size of girl I am. I hope they flatten out when they no longer have no much work to do! Feeling those classic, sharp, tight shoulder pains as I type this. Way too fun! ...

Three weeks!

Just under three weeks til consult #1. So excited to find out when the big day is.

More (before!) pics

Trying to stay motivated during this long, long wait for the process to get moving.

Consultation

Finally got in for my consultation today and we are going ahead with the surgery as planned! I am still waiting to hear back from the office as to the exact date of the procedure, but it's expected to be sometime at the end of March as of right now. The office manager put me on a cancellation/extra operation day list as well in case something changes and I could go in on shorter notice. I have to admit that it's a longer wait than I was hoping for, but at the same time my consultation got pushed back TWICE due to extra operating days so a) I feel somewhat confident that it could get moved closer, b) I'm busy and the time will pass quickly, and c) I know I am one of the younger candidates for this surgery so I'm just happy to be in there at all.

The consultation itself was very painless. My surgeon was RIGHT ON TIME (this has never, ever happened to me in any medical setting before). He already knew my name and was familiar with my history (without looking at his chart). He asked me some questions about my symptoms, medical history, and goals for the operation. He looked at my breasts and took some measurements (for a grand total of

(continued)

(half of my last entry just disappeared?) :(. Anyway I'll paraphrase:

>60 seconds), and then explained the procedure to me in detail. He's young, but I'm confident he'll do a great job. My only concern is that he seems to lean toward wanting to leave women bigger rather than smaller. Because my reasons for having the operation are mostly centred around back/shoulder pain and improving my ability to be physically active, my priority is functionality, not aesthetics. I want to be able to strap these puppies down and will be very disappointed if I'm left with a size that still requires me to buy specialty bras. He said we will talk about it again on the day of surgery, and I'll make sure he knows how I feel. He did also mention that he's fairly confident that I will be required to formula feed any children I do decide to have in the future. This is one of the primary reasons I have put off scheduling a surgery for the past 4-5 years: I am very adamant about breastfeeding and always thought I could wait. It makes me feel sad and selfish that I would have this procedure knowing that it's not in the best interests of my (future) children. I've struggled with this for years now and will likely continue to struggle with it in years to come. Ultimately, though, this is the right thing to do for my health and happiness, and so I am continuing on with the procedure as planned albeit this feeling quite heartbreaking for me. With all that said, I'm VERY excited and can't wait to see how the rest of the journey unfolds.
Until next time!
Dr. Paul Schembri

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Comments (21)

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I just saw Dr. Schembri for a consultation and it went amazingly well. You will love him
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Great news! When's the big day?!
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Hi there, I just made an appt with Dr Schembri and just wondering and feed back
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Dr Schembri is great, I had 2 consultations with him and my mind is at ease. I was booked for surg a month and half after my first consult. My surgery is on Monday Dec 2
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Hey! I can completely understand what you went through and that you want to be free of this weight!.. I think every woman here shares the same feelings and we are a little "boobie" family :) Feel free to vent if you need to, we are all on the same journey! I had my first consultation in the middle of September and my surgery will be on the 24th of january.. So I have a lot time to wait too. But I guess you will now go through the boobie-obsession as almost everyone here and read tons of reviews.. That helps to get over the time!
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Thanks for your note! I am loving this community so much :-). I'm sure everyone says this and equally sure you don't believe it...but January will be here before you know it! So so very excited for you.
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Wishing you good luck for your upcoming consultation !!!
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Thank you!
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Good Lord you are tiny, and those boobs must be causing you horrible discomfort! It's a shame that your appt was moved but everything happens for a reason. It will be here before you know it!
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Thank you for your kind words. The support means so much...very few people truly understand!
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That's frustrating about your consultation being moved again! Hopefully it'll all be worth it though. It's taken me years to work up the courage to actually see a PS, and now that I've seen 2, I feel really prepared. Hang in there - I'm sure you'll get some great information and encouragement from your surgeon. And oh my god, if one more person tells me my boobs are huge, I'll lose it! I totally understand your feelings on having other people comment on your body. I can't think of anytime I ever told someone their boobs were tiny or big or anything...
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Couldn't agree more- will never understand how people can make something sooo deeply personal THEIR business. Especially since I find it really psychologically difficult to deal with being our size, too. It's just not something that should be commented on. Ever. Period. Congratulations on finally taking the step! I will be following your story :-)
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Maybe we'll be going in around the same time...Do you know the timeframe from between consultation and surgery yet? I'm hoping mid-January but it's not certain until my insurance company gives a go-ahead. Do you need pre-atuhorization on the national health system?
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I'm not sure! Someone else on here told me to expect it to move fairly quickly though...but I don't want to get my hopes up! Soooo excited for you. It feels like it can't come fast enough. We need to meet certain requirements (amount of tissue removed per breast), and outside of that I have no idea what the process is. They can take the whole thing as far as I'm concerned...haha! Hoping it's not an issue because no coverage = no surgery.
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Hi there, I'm a 36 K and am going for a consult with Dr Schembri as well this week...have you gone for your consult yet?
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No! It's not until December. Let me know how it goes for you!
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Hi! I had my consultation today...and I'm actually now booked for surgery on December 4, the day you have your consult:) . So, be aware when you go in that they will most likely book you for the near future, so gear up mentally.... Now that the actual surgery is booked I'm already full of anxiety, as I'm sure anyone would be. As far as the Dr, I had a good impression of him..he's very direct, professional and obviously knowledgable, but I was frightened a bit (a lot) by the graphic description of the procedure. He's very young, and has a quirky style, that has nothing to do with his surgical skills of course but it is funny :) I am confident that he'll do a good job. He was referred by my obstetrician, and I trust her very much. Like you I used to be an avid runner, I really am hoping I can return to that...right now the sheer heaviness and pain of my bouncing breasts (even with THREE heavy duty sports bars on) prevents me from running, and horse riding, my other passion. Good luck, I'll be following your story!
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Ps I hear you on comments by small chested women. Even worse are the comments from ignorant men.
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OMG that is exciting/scary, totally did not realize they'd be able to move the process along so quickly. I'm excited to meet him and get this show on the road. Keep in touch!
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Welcome to the community girlie!   I feel your pain and very happy you have joined us for your journey.  We are here for you and look forward to hearing all of the details as you begin this process.  Very soon you will feel and look like a new woman.

Make sure to visit the Breast Reduction Forums where you will find some amazing support.  

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OMG, I am so glad you started your story...and what a story teller you are. You've painted a picture that I know so many women live with day in and out. I also know the small chested ladies also think they are being gracious, but have NEVER had to worry about running in what feels like ace bandages b/c you have multiple bras on. Good for you for all you've done and your choice to have a breast reduction. I feel like I felt your embarrassment at the doctors office with you...but am so glad you ended up where you did with his recommendation. It's a journey and you've just set sail. Welcome and please do keep us posted!

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