Now, before this crazy breast growth, I was a very petite 100 pounds, was a 34B with no skin issues and no irregular periods. But I experimented with Depoprovera and various forms of the pill for birth control and my hormones began to change. Over the course of one year, my breasts grew a whopping 3 cup sizes and I did NOT experience weight gain in addition to this at first. But AFTER I became a 34DD, I had severe back spasms that would put me out of work for days at a time. I lived on medicines similar to oxycodone, trazedone, naproxen, flexeril, etc, all to help ease my pain. But I began to gain weight and of course, my breasts increased in size as well. I did not understand that treating my pain was not fixing my problem. I honestly thought it would eventually go away and I had NO CLUE that my back, neck and shoulder pain was due to my large breasts. I was very young and inexperienced to understand these things. I had no idea how the body works.
So, I finally had Dr. Vikram Zadoo perform my first breast reduction surgery in November of 1999 and I specifically requested to be a large A small B because of my lifestyle-I am very active but couldn't be due to all my pain. Well, he complied with a large B cup. Now here is something odd: I lost 20 pounds within one month of having my surgery. From that moment on, my periods were regular and light. My melasma and acne disappeared within one week of my surgery and I never experienced PMS for years after having my breasts reduced. I was recovering so understandably, I did NOT perform exercises. I did not go on a diet, because I lived in San Antonio at the time and I was addicted to Mexican food and chicken wings. I just lost the weight without even trying. Some doctors may argue and say I am lying, but I am absolutely NOT lying to you. As a matter of fact, I am hoping for and expecting similar results from this upcoming surgery.
What I learned when I researched these odd side-effects of my first breast reduction surgery was astonishing. I had no idea that there are different types of breast tissue-glandular and fat. Remember I stated that my breasts were very heavy. This is a sign of glandular tissue. Also recall that my breasts did not change when I gained or lost weight. This is another sign that my breasts were more glandularly composed.
Glandular breasts will not reduce size when you gain or lose weight. They are often heavier than breasts made of fat that are the same size. In addition, they are a sign of excess estrogen in the body. This would also explain my melasma, my severe cramping during my periods and my acne. I was informed that estrogen can be caused by an increase in cortisol. Then, the more cortisol you have, the more estrogen you produce...followed by increased cortisol and again with increased estrogen. It is a cycle and created a catch 22 of sorts for me. My doctor explained that this could be the reason why as soon as my breasts were reduced in size, my body noticed a significant reduction in estrogen-as it is present in breast tissue-and this decreased my cortisol levels thus reducing my weight and body fat composition.
After polling over 50 other women who have had breast reductions, I discovered 90% of my poll contained women who were aware that they had a lot of glandular tissue in their breasts. In addition, every single woman I spoke with-ALL 50-experienced weight loss in excess of 20 pounds after their reductions. And about 85% of them informed me that they also experienced several other changes such as skin pigmentation and their menstrual cycles normalized and were fraught with less cramping and bleeding.
This is just based on my personal research, though, and is not scientific per se, but I am obviously a scientific-minded individual, so, I feel confident in the results of my research:
1. that many of the women needing and having breast reductions in my poll had glandular tissue versus fat tissue in their breasts thus equalling what is called dense breasts.
2. that the reduction somehow caused a hormonal shift that resulted in the incorporation of a variety of positive side effects in skin, weight and menstrual experiences
So now you may ask why I am having a SECOND reduction just 16 years later. Well, I had a severe life trauma that caused me to go into a deep depression. I was placed on birth control at the same time that I commenced my anti-depressant medication. Then, my life trauma got worse and I experienced SEVERE anxiety causing me to require medication for that as well. Well, let me be honest, if I had been feeding myself the "good word"-going to church and healing myself the way I know I would deal with my stresses better-then I would not have needed all that medication. But I chose to react to my stress with medicine at the time because it was easier. This created a severe hormone shift immediately, where all my former excess estrogen symptoms returned: weight gain, skin issues, bad periods and gigantic breasts. None of these symptoms would go away even after I discontinued my meds and exercised 3 hours a day, ate healthy and taught yoga. (I am a CPT and a yoga teacher and studied nutrition-so I have a clue on how to handle things.)
So, here I am, back, neck and shoulder pain out of control AGAIN. I can't fit any of my clothes correctly because I am petite but I can't wear a small shirt that fits my arm and torso lengths because it won't wrap around my breasts without busting a button or ripping a seam. I can no longer do certain yoga poses because my boobs are in the way and if I wear a tank top I look like a slut with all my cleavage hanging out and, trust me, people take notice...out loud...with awful comments and gestures. I have had enough. My breasts do not change with weight loss or gain...except they do get bigger. So, I am at my wits end and now back to medicine to help my back spasms. It is time.
I am currently a 34DDD. I WAS 125 pounds about two months ago, but I have been on meds for my back again and I am now 134 pounds just two months after taking those meds. I am depressed like never before and it's all because of my breasts. They are all I think about, all I am depressed about and I can't wait to get a second reduction. My first one was covered by my military insurance and by the grace of God, this one is covered by my health insurance as well!
I have requested to go down to a size 34B. I have shown my doctor-Marc Fater in Hyannis-several pictures of my former breast surgery and the size they were then and he says he can get me down that size again. He was fabulous, supportive and informative with all I needed to know and expect. I have purchased a bra size 34B to take with me to my surgery so he can use it as a guide just in case because I would rather be safe and get down to the size I really want.
Many reviews on Real Self have people stating they wanted to go smaller but the doctor wouldn't do it because it wouldn't match their body. I was very clear with my doctor that this was MY body and I want the size I want, that I am an experienced breast reduction patient and I know what to expect as far as healing and how I could lose breast fullness if I lost weight after a reduction. (My breasts actually stayed the same as they were even though I lost 20 pounds with my first reduction-but remember, I have very glandular breasts.) So, I am determined to get the small size I desire. Luckily, my doctor is a very understanding man and I am confident he will satisfy what I have requested.
So, below are my pictures of how I am now. They are beautiful breasts in shape for sure! I wish I could manage them. Everyone thinks they are fake. They are full and round like tear drops and I don't mind the minimal scarring I have from my first surgery. (BTW, the scarring SIGNIFICANTLY responds to hydrocortisone injections! I was just too lazy to continue my treatments with a new doctor as I moved in the middle of these treatments-only had it done once to a test area and my scar disappeared!)
My breasts tend to grow from my armpits! This is their natural growth pattern. So I am always chaffing. This was the original growth pattern and shape before I ever had any reduction. I expect that you all will see a MUCH smaller and MUCH happier me after my second surgery on March 25th-just 21 days away!
I will explain my healing situation, what you can expect from the procedure and the recovery as well as inform you if my skin, period and weight issues change after the surgery.
My first surgery was easy as pie. I took NO medications to recover. I was not in a lot of pain either. I was, however, very afraid that if I sat up straight, I would bust my stitches open. So I was hunched over for a week. I had my husband and my mother-in-law handle things during this time. They also bathed me as I couldn't not reach above my head. I shaved my hair off entirely the night before my surgery, so I didn't have to worry about washing anything! (I know-crazy, huh?) I did not drive for a week and when I began driving, I could not go over bumps comfortably but it was manageable. I did not lift heavy things for about a month and a half. I was completely normal after a month and a half, though.
I tanned during my recovery because I didn't know that it could impede the skin's healing and the scarring was worse but really not that bad overall. So, don't tan after the surgery if you want your scars to heal well. I used nothing to heal my incisions, but I was young. Now, I will use cocoa butter gel and bio oil.
Wish me luck and I will post photos and update you with my results!