I am 58 years old, 5’1 and 125 pounds. I’ve been bothered by my breasts since I developed when I was 12. They were large, saggy, and had ugly purple stretch marks from the very beginning. I’ve always been very self-conscious about them. The older I’ve gotten, the bigger and more saggy they’ve gotten. At the time of my surgery, I was a 34 DDD. I was just measured at a 34D at about 6 weeks post-op.
I had gone back and forth about having a reduction for a few years. I’m not sure what made me go ahead and take the plunge. I do know one thing, though. If I had taken a picture of myself and looked at it objectively, I would have done it years ago. I think your mind kind of tricks you sometimes. I would look in the mirror and see what I wanted to see. I would think, “Well, they’re not too awful bad”. Up to the night before surgery I was having second thoughts. But when I took the “Before” pictures the night before surgery, all of my doubts left immediately! My boobs were much worse than I thought. I don’t know why looking at a picture was different from looking in the mirror, but it definitely was.
I was also worried about the anesthesia. I wish I had talked to my surgeon about it before the day of surgery because he immediately made me feel better. He said I had more of a chance of being hit by lightning or dying in a car accident on the way home than from the anesthesia.
I was also worried about the nipples. I’ve seen pictures where I thought the nipples looked too high. I spoke to him about it during my consultation and he said there is a template that is used by most doctors but that he also “eyeballs” it during surgery. He sits you up and visually estimates what would look normal, regardless of what the template may say. That really relieved a lot of my concern and worry.
I got to the surgical center at 9 and was home by 2. After reading many reviews, I went in prepared to be in a lot of pain and down and out for one to two weeks. But I have to tell you I had almost no pain. I never used the narcotics I had nor did I ever have to use OTC meds. I’ve had root canals that were worse! In fact, I was considering a different surgeon because they have surgical suites that they keep you for one night. I thought I might need that. I’m so glad I made my choice on the surgeon and not on the facility or overnight stays.
My surgeon called the night of surgery to see how I was and what I thought of my new breasts. I hadn’t looked yet because I was too afraid to see the result. He told me I had no reason to be afraid. After we hung up I looked at them and he was right. They looked much better than I expected and I could tell they were going to be beautiful…even with the scars. I think the nipple height and size is perfect. He took about 250 grams out of each one. That’s not a lot compared to some of you ladies. Perhaps that’s why my recovery was so easy?
Prior to surgery, I had asked him to err on the side of larger when we discussed breast size. He used the term “proportionate plus”. It is hard to get used to smaller breasts so if that is a real concern for you, make sure your surgeon knows your wishes. I know they don’t like to talk about cup size but that is how we as women are able to communicate our wishes. They say different cup sizes mean different things to different designers but in my experience the sizes are very close, no matter what bra you buy.
I’m used to walking about five miles a day and was worried that I wouldn’t feel like walking for a while. The day after surgery I walked two miles with no ill effects. I would have walked more but my husband kept telling me I needed to rest! I truly didn’t feel tired at all. My recovery was totally uneventful. My family teased me saying they didn’t think I’d had surgery at all because I was just fine. The truth is I didn’t feel like I’d had surgery either.
The most difficult thing for me was sleeping elevated and on my back for about two weeks. I used the 5 pillow method referred to by many of the reviewers on this site. After that, I went back to sleeping on my side. It took about three weeks before I could sleep on my stomach. My doctor put no restrictions on how to sleep, just to be elevated for the first week.
I started taking Arnica about a week before surgery. I also started Bromelain the day after surgery, thanks to recommendations from reviewers. I truly believe taking these two products helped me heal as fast as I have.
I take two stool softeners every morning but the day before surgery I upped it to two in the morning and two at night. I started on prune juice the day after surgery. As others have mentioned, the anesthesia and narcotics they give you during surgery will bind you up. There is no doubt about that. Even by increasing the stool softeners and drinking prune juice, the first bowel movement was very painful and didn’t happen till about three days after surgery. In retrospect, I would have supplemented with Metamucil or something similar. After the BM, things got back to normal pretty fast.
Bras. That was a tough one. From reading reviews, I bought a variety of bras like Bali, Fruit of the Loom, and Marena surgical bras. I was ready! If I had it to do over again, I would have just bought the Bali sports bras that comes in a 3 pack in small, medium, or large. I got mine at Sam’s Club. I bought both large and medium. I wore the large for the first couple weeks due to swelling and I’m now wearing medium. They’re very comfortable and they have a band that won’t irritate the under breast incisions. I also wore two bras during the day at first because two bras made me feel more secure. The Fruit of the Loom bras irritated the incision under the breasts because they don’t have the wider band that the Bali has. The Marena bras are center closure but they really irritated me for some reason. The large was too large and the medium was too small. If anyone out there wants them, especially those of you that have financial constraints, send me a message and I’ll mail them to you. I hate to see them go to waste. Let me know which brand and which size you want. First come, first served. I would just ask you pay it forward to someone else!
I bought a couple button down shirts but I had no trouble lifting my arms after surgery, nor was that a restriction in the post-surgical instructions. I really didn’t need to purchase those.
My breasts were numb along the bottom for the first month. Now they are getting better. I really don’t have nipple sensation but I never did anyway.
I started using Pro-Sil for the scars after most of the redness had disappeared. It gets great reviews on line but it’s too early for me to tell. I also purchased Mederma for stretch marks which I probably should have done years ago. The jury is still out on that one.
I’m about six weeks post-op and you can see most of the swelling is gone and my breasts have dropped a bit. There is still some asymmetry which will probably always be, just as I was asymmetrical prior to surgery.
For those of you going back and forth on your decision, please take a picture of yourself right now and look at it. That should help you decide. It certainly ended my indecision.