Waiting for Breast Reduction Surgery - Victoria, BC

I'm 25 years old, and I've been considering a...

I'm 25 years old, and I've been considering a breast reduction since I was 17. I'm finally on a surgery wait list (I live in Canada) and hoping to have the surgery this summer.

Since I was 10, I've had huge boobs. I developed very quickly and was teased about it relentlessly for most of middle school. Luckily I went to a private school in high school where we wore uniforms that hid my figure, and the teasing mostly stopped. I've learned to dress to hide them, but I'm fairly active (running and yoga), so it has always bothered me.

I'm really excited to finally have smaller boobs, but also terrified of everything that could go wrong. My mom had breast cancer and a bilateral mastectomy. She has since had breast reconstruction, but during the whole process she endured lots of problems from pain to infection to being unhappy with the outcome. I'm terrified that I'll end up with a awful outcome and wishing that I'd never had the surgery.

My boobs are big, saggy and out of proportion with my body frame -- but is it worth it to have the surgery and risk all the potential complications? Infection, bad scarring, poor aesthetic result..?

I'm still undecided, but luckily I have a few months still before I'm expecting my surgery date to make my final decision.

I've had my initial consultation with the plastic surgeon, who has suggested the lollipop technique to reduce scarring and ensure optimal breast shape. I'll also be consulting with a general surgeon in a couple of weeks to discuss removal of axillary breast tissue in my armpit (AKA the armpit boob in my right armpit).

The two surgeons will be coordinating their OR time so that both procedures will be done under one anaesthesia.

I've been lurking on these message boards for years trying to decide if I want to go ahead with this procedure. Now that I'm on here, I can hardly believe it. I'm excited and terrified all at once. Looking forward to sharing my story and reading about yours as well! Thanks for reading.

So I saw the general surgeon today...

I had my consultation with the general surgeon today about the removal of the axillary breast tissue in my armpit. Bad news. She's basically 9 months pregnant and will be on maternity leave at the time my surgery is scheduled. So now I have to go back on the wait list to see another surgeon for the consultation. I'm just so frustrated now. I waited three months to see this surgeon! Why couldn't she have let my PS know when she received my referral letter that she wouldn't be able to take me on as a patient?! What a waste of time...

Before pics

Here are my before pictures. Hoping to get my surgery date this summer.

Finally close to getting a surgery date

After being promised a surgery date during spring/summer, and not hearing a word, it seems I'm finally one step closer. The surgeon's office told me today they're booking for September, so fingers crossed it actually happens.

Got a surgery date! T minus 66 days.

So I finally have my surgery date. It's going to be too complicated to try to find a general surgeon who is willing to do the armpit procedure during the same OR time as the plastic surgeon, so I've opted to have that done separately at a later date to avoid having to wait even longer for the BR itself. Of course, now my armpit lump is bigger and more tender than ever! Go figure.

Anyway, so now I'm booked! Sept. 17.

Eeek! I can't believe it's actually happening.

So, ladies, what do I need to be doing in the two-month countdown? Right now, I'm just focusing on carrying on with healthy eating and exercising so I'm at my optimal weight before surgery. I'd like to be a B cup after surgery. The smaller the better, really.

Second day post-op

It's been a while since I've updated, but I thought I'd share my progress now that I've finally had my surgery.

Yesterday was the big day! I had my surgery at 8:50 a.m. I was a little nervous going in, but more excited to finally be getting it over and done with. I've now waited two years for the surgery, so it was high time to get it finished!

Waiting to go into the OR is probably the hardest part. Three different nurses all asked me the same serious of questions. Luckily I'm young and healthy with no major health problems, so I was an easy patient. After two hours of waiting, I was eventually wheeled into the operating room, where I was introduced to the whole team and asked to slide over to the operating table. Then they hooked me up to the IV, placed the ECG monitors on my shoulders, and started giving me oxygen. I was then asked to announce my name and what type of procedure I was having to the whole room, which I was not expecting to do! Haha.

The anaesthetist then told me she was starting to inject the sleepy drugs, and they switched the oxygen to some other gas (I think nitrous oxide?) which made me start coughing like crazy. Luckily I quickly fell asleep soon after.

My first memory of waking up was seeing a nurse at my bedside telling me that I was OK, and that I was just waking up from the surgery. I remember feeling a little bit of pain and confusion, but it wasn't too bad. My surgeon was also beside my bed later on and told me that I did great and that the surgery went very well. I struggled to keep my eyes open and kept sleeping for a little while. In between dozing, I remember shaking uncontrollably. I felt extremely cold and they kept covering me with warm blankets to help with the shivering.

Eventually I was awake enough that they wheeled me out to the surgical daycare recovery area. There, I was given something for nausea and two pain pills (tramacet). That pretty much knocked me out, but I remember sneaking a peek at my boobs under the covers a couple of times and being surprised at how perky they were, but also at how large they still looked.

I slept quite deeply for about two hours but I could hear all the nurses still talking, so it was a very strange sleep. Eventually I started to wake up, and suddenly felt how full my bladder was (those IV fluids work wonders!). I called the nurse and she helped me get out of bed, secure my gown and connect my IV fluids to a pole with wheels.

I managed to walk from my bed to the bathroom and use the bathroom without a problem. When I walked back, I felt much more awake and suddenly realized how late in the day it was already. I remembered that my mom thought I would be ready to go home by noon, but it was already 1:30! I asked them if they could call her to let her know that I am OK at least, but they said they would only call her when I was ready to leave. That made me annoyed knowing that she was probably worried sick.

I told them I felt like I was ready to go home, and they said that I should stay for at least another half hour to be sure. I managed to get dressed by myself and by 2:30, I was in a wheelchair out of the hospital and down to the entrance where my mom was waiting.

Overall, recovery in the hospital was not bad. The anaesthesia definitely makes you feel pretty woozy and out of it, but the pain was not bad at all. When I got home, I felt great. I was able to walk around, use the washroom, socialize, watch TV, all with minimal pain. By evening, I was pretty tired and I tried to fall asleep around 10 p.m.

My slept the first night was pretty disruptive. I kept waking up every half hour or so, and then dozing again. I don't enjoy sleeping on my back, so it's difficult to get a good night's sleep in this position.

Day 2 was a little more painful than the first day. I didn't want to take the tramacet anymore because it makes me sleepy and makes my skin itchy. I managed to shower in the morning and get my first peek under the dressings. I was a little surprised by how full they look on top and the nipples seem a little low, but I'm hoping they will go up as the breasts drop over time. I had the vertical incision (lollipop technique).

Around noon, I felt like I needed a stronger painkiller than just regular tylenol, so I took another tramacet. I'm still pretty sleepy from it, but I think I will probably need the stronger painkillers for another day or two.

Anyway, that's about it so far. I'm happier with the size today (the swelling has gone down a lot and they are definitely smaller than I thought they would be yesterday). The nipple placement is slightly worrying, but I'm hoping that will fix itself once they settle into the new shape.

Has anyone had issues with nipples facing downwards or sideways with the vertical scar? Did they get better over time or did you require a revision?

I'm worried my results are not good.

I know it's early days but I'm worried my results are not good. I know they don't look great right now, but I'm only two days post op. My brother saw a photo of my lying in bed recovering and said me my boobs look bigger now than they did before. Another friend said I'm going to have "frankenboobs" for a few weeks. I've yet to have a comment on this site since updating my review. Do they look that bad?

Four days post-op

Today I'm four days post BR, and feeling much better. I'm completely off the heavy pain meds, and yesterday, I only took two advils.

I've yet to take an advil today, and I feel just fine without it. The shape is already changing and I'm becoming happier with the outcome as time passes. The underside of my breasts and my nipples are completely numb. No sensation whatsoever. It feels really weird, that numbness. But hopefully the sensation comes back.

I see the nurse on Tuesday to check on my healing, but so far so good. Unfortunately I won't see the surgeon for another six weeks, so I won't be able to ask her about the size of the right one for a while.
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Your completely off the pain meds OMG! I'm taking Benadryl my drains are itchy I can't scratch I'm miserable at day 2 for me!
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Hang in there! I only stopped my pain meds yesterday, and I didn't have drains so that must be why.
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The drains are doing what they are suppose to do I have no major swelling and no drainage my gauze remains clean and my boobs are soft and I have sensation in my left nipple but my rt nipple is a negative!
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The drains are good to have but they are a pain as well!
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Good to hear the drains are doing their job :) My nipples are a little less numb today, but still pretty numb along the vertical incisions. I've been having lots of shooting pains though, which is apparently the nerves recovering, so hopefully the sensation keeps coming back! How is your pain now?
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Trust the process. Trust the process. I go in on Tuesday, and I look forward to keeping up with your recovery!!!!
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Thanks! They are already looking better a couple days later. The one is definitely still bigger than I would like, but hopefully it will continue to improve over the next few months. Good luck to you! (My only advice is to start taking a stool softener the first day after your surgery and keep taking them. The anaesthesia and pain meds have given me terrible constipation - sorry for the TMI! Haha)
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Thank you! I was actually thinking of doing the stool softener the way you said, and was wondering if that would be wise!!!! Guess I'm on the right track :)
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Oh honey don't start worrying yet. Keep in mind they drop A LOT. I had a mini freak out shortly after my surgery because I thought they were too small. I was devastated. So sure that I was an A cup at best. I'm now a DD. My point being that your boobs are traumatized and surgery messes with your emotions. Cut yourself some slack. They appear to be quite swollen yet and it's way too early to know what they'll look like. I'm sorry you haven't had any supportive comments yet. Please tell your brother to shut up :) I remember how sensitive I felt and how little anyone commented to me after my surgery. I found that so hard because I couldn't tell what I looked like. Be as kind to yourself as possible during your recovery.
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Thanks! My parents have been very supportive, and my brother did end up apologizing and sending me flowers the next day. I think people don't know what to say sometimes and end up saying the complete wrong thing! I agree, the whole process definitely does mess with your emotions. I'm already feeling much better today, and they are looking better too I think.
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Hi, I am also from Victoria and have a breast reduction coming up soon. I was just wondering who your surgeon was?
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That's great news! I'm very excited for you. I'm 4 weeks post op and recovering well. Happy with my size, although the final size is not yet settled, it looks like it'll be a small C (I was DDD before). There are some asymmetry between them and my PS is assuring me that it'll settle. Seems like you're doing all the right things. My advice to you is not to panic if you see some weird sights after the op. It'll take some time to get used to your new breasts, especially that they'll look really weird initially. Think happy thoughts and be positive. You'll do great. All the best.
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Hi there. I am also in Canada (Halifax) and I waited almost 3 years for my initial consult. Once I had it, they sent my info in and I was approved within 3 weeks and had the surgery 6 weeks from the consult date. The last part all went very fast and here I am at 10 weeks post-op. I had a complication - a haematoma that required a second surgery - but even with that complication I would do it again in a heartbeat. Whatever decision you come to, I wish you the best!
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Hey, I'm in Canada too. Ontario though and my wait time was super short although I delayed it due to scheduling conflict. I would say that it looks as though most lollipop techniques recover faster but don't get down as small in size. I don't think I saw any lollipop reviews that had complications. My mom had breast cancer too which was partially a driver in my decision for surgery. Smaller boobs = easier detection. I had my first surgery booked at 26 but chickened out. Back then they were still pretty and somewhat perky. One month after the cancellation I discovered I was pregnant. Had I had the surgery then, my life would have gone much different. I was fortunate to get the chance to breast feed and I'm sooo happy with that. But it wasn't a driver in my decision to cancel. I think you just have to trust your instincts about what's best. Your moms journey would have been plagued with all kinds of other emotions and concerns due to her illness. You are healthy and active and the risks are super low. At 35, I decided I was ready for a change. I seem to be of the few that didn't notice any immediate relief, but then my pain wasn't so bad. I went from DD/DDD38 to C38. Roughly 3lbs removed. Apparently I had pretty dense tissue. No side boobage though lol. Good luck with your decision. It's a lot to think about.
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Good for you for starting this process. I totally know what you mean about the different outcomes and scary thoughts jumping around in your head. You can see from my review that I also dealt with problems for years and years. Luckily, I somehow got fast tracked through the program here in Saskatchewan and was three months from GP Consult to my surgery date. I am at one week post currently and I cannot even explain how amazing it was to get up the day after surgery and not feel that weight on my neck/back/shoulders. That alone was my personal moment of success. I've already experienced so many more in just this first week. I hope that things work out for your consults and that if you do decide to go forward with surgery that it is as fast as possible for you too!
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What is the typical wait time for MSP BR surgery? I have already waited 6 months for my consultation, but I heard some people had the consult in a couple of months and surgery soon after. Also, has anyone here had any experience with Dr Paul Oxley (in Surrey, BC)?
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I've been on a wait list for close to two years now. It sucks :( I saw the surgeon after about a year and six months. Now waiting for my surgery date, which is expected to be sometime this summer. That will bring my total wait time to 2 years.
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And I should add, I specifically requested a surgeon with the shortest wait list. The surgeon I wanted to go to had a wait list of 4+ years, and his office staff recommended that I not even bother because it would like be closer to 6 years before I would get a consultation.
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ok I dont understand why 2 surgeons.. my surgeon did the breast reduction and at the same time liposuction in the armpit to remove the breast tissue over there... as far for you to have the lollipop one I would not recommend it with the amount of tissue you want to have done.. did you consult with more than one surgeon?
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My plastic surgeon said that the general surgeon has more expertise in removing the tissue in my armpit because they have more experience navigating the lymph nodes and nerves in that region. I don't believe this is going to be liposuction in the armpit. It's breast tissue that is quite deep in my armpit, not fatty tissue. My plastic surgeon actually said I was an ideal candidate for the lollipop technique. She trained with Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay who actually popularized this technique. And I live in Canada, so I can't consult with more than one surgeon unless I have the surgery done privately. I've been on a wait list for two years to have a consultation with this surgeon so I would need to wait another two years if I wanted to see another surgeon. The cost of the surgery is about $8,000-$10,000 if done privately, but I've already qualified to have it paid for by MSP because it is medically necessary. I should clarify that my surgeon did seem confident in her abilities and I don't think she would intentionally botch the procedure. She said she has done many of these breast reductions and was able to list the risk and percentages of her patients who have developed any problems, like infection. I'm simply concerned that her fellowship training was in facial reconstructive surgery, and how much of a difference that makes when it comes to final results for the patient.
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Ohh I did not mean she will botch you I was just curious about the armpit thing and the lollipop procedure... I think you should go ahead and do it :) I am at week 10 and feeling sooo good and relieve :)
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I had my BR 2 weeks ago. I had put it off more than 10 years. Now I only think why did I wait so long and why was I so scared. I would definitely advise just do it! The fear I had was worse than the actual surgery and initial healing. I am happy I did it. I just need to finish the healing process. Ask allot of questions both of your surgeons and the wonderful ladies who post on this site. You will get allot of support and good advise from the ladies who are waiting for their surgery date and those who are post op and healing. Good luck!
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Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement! One of my biggest concerns is that my plastic surgeon's specialization is facial reconstruction. I live in Canada, so we don't really get a choice of surgeon. You just get a referral and go to the surgeon with the shortest wait list. I like her as a person and a surgeon -- she seemed very confident, has done many breast reduction surgeries and suggested the lollipop technique for me instead of the anchor. But I'm just not sure how important it is to go to a surgeon who specializes in breast reductions specifically.
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Ask to see her before and after pictures. Also, this site has reviews of doctor's that other ladies have used. Use the search bar on this page and put in your doctor's name. You should get some good reviews. Lastly, if you do find other ladies on this site that have had your doctor, write to them directly and ask how they felt about their results. I wish you all the best. I think for me, this was the best decision I made for myself and I am glad I went ahead and had my BR done.
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Thanks for the advice. I already checked. My doctor is not on here. Actually, only two of the plastic surgeons who work in my area are on here, and I live in a major metropolitan city -- this site is just much more American-based than Canadian.
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