55 Revolutions Around the Sun, Happy Social Dancer, Busy School Teacher, Wife & Supporting Parent to 3 Young Adults - Mosman, AU

Like many other of you ladies, I remember having a...

Like many other of you ladies, I remember having a training bra at age 11, and from there onwards, it just snowballed. I was in high school in the early 70's, and already in a C-D cup. In those days, my mum and godmother used to supply me with these stiff thick white cotton bras with material straps, that gave me a very pointy shape like Madonna or 40's movie star. I was ogled and whistled at at school. But I always held perfect posture and was slim. But during my 20's, my breasts started enlarging. By 24yrs I was a DD. Then 3 babies came, and I breastfed my daughter for 2 years. My breasts function perfectly, as they should, however got larger and larger. By age 34yrs they were 36E. But being a young mum, I had neither the time or money to have a breast reduction. I started working, and even ten years later couldn't afford to have a reduction. By age 45 at size 38G, I just bought the tightest fitting, binding bras that I could, and over the next ten years, I finally had time in my life to do something fun in my life. I enrolled in dance classes to learn dancing. However I neede to tighten the straps on my bras so tight, to minimise my breast flopping up and dropping down heavily in the dance movements. When I hit 50 years, my breasts had yet grown to 40H cup. Then at age 52, I was diagnosed with early malignant ductal carcinoma breast cancer. I had a partial mastectomy and lymph gland removal.
So I was left with one breast at size 40H (and overflowing out of its cup) and the other was somewhat cut down, but now happily fitted into the 40-H cup neatly.
Well they told me to wait for 4 years in order to become even again.
Last Friday, I was finally, financial enough to afford having a breast reduction.
I live in Newcastle NSW, but my doctor operates in Sydney, so I had to travel.
I spent 48hours in hospital after my breast reduction procedure. My breasts were rock hard with swelling. My breasts used to be 53inches around my chest, now I measure 48inches, but I am very swollen.
By day 4, after the operation, I heard fluid swishing around inside my breast. Naturally I was so freaked out. It sounded like water splashing around in a plastic bag. My husband bundled me in the car and we arrived at the ED at 1am. The Medical Officer performed an ultrasound on my breasts with a small bedside ultrasound machine. She located several seromas inside my breasts. But she referred me to a radiology clinic to have a proper ultrasound done on a proper machine the next day. I was still so anxious and scared all that day. The radiologist explained to me that, because my breasts were so large, there are larger areas inside my breasts that are raw, cut flesh against raw cut flesh. He said, the body's way of helping these raw areas to rejoin, is to produce a fluid called seroma. This gathers in those spaces and forms pockets of fluid. Unfortunately, I had quite large pockets of fluid that everyone could easily hear the fluid swishing around as I moved around. Thank goodness, the radiologist, was able to calm me down with this explanation. I wish my PS had explained any possible complications that were likely to happen. The worst part was, that he was only reachable by phoning the hospital who would track him down. Or his secretary who relayed what he said, when I tried ringing him to say what was happening.
It is now day 7, my breasts are still super swollen, rock hard, hot, and have intermittent stabbing nerve pain. I have slept most of the last week, and have been mostly in bed.
The result looks good, at day 7, I'm beginning to feel like I actually am, living on planet earth. The first week was a bit rough with pain and needing to sleep most of the time. I am still taking an antibiotic every 6 hours , an anti inflammatory every 8 hours, and panadol when necessary for pain(every 6hrs usually). I can't do without it yet.
I have a post op appointment follow-up on day 12.

SuziB. 25 days post op.

Well, at 22 days post op, I am so glad that I took 4 weeks of my long service leave. There is no way that I could be at work at this stage in my recovery. Being a school teacher of music, dance and drama and an Assistant Principal of my school.
I have slept almost all day, every day since my breast reduction on the 3rd June, 2016. It is now 25 Th June and I feel like RipVan Winkle.
My breasts still hurts along all the suture lines. The plastic sticky tape that was covering my sutures is now beginning to peel off. I am still to afraid to peel it off where it is still stuck on hard. I feel like my breasts will fall apart if I peel the sticky tape off.
I have finished taking pain killers all the time, and only take them before sleeping at night. My sleeping pattern is totally disrupted, as I sleep through a lot of the day as well as the night. Because the front of my chest hurts, I am very reluctant to move very much. My breasts are still quite hard with swelling and the skin still feels stretched and sore. I have less than a week to return to my work. I go back, return to duty next Friday, just for one day. It is the last day of term thank goodness, and then, I will still have 2 weeks of school holiday to recuperate, before I return full time in 3 weeks.
I wonder how long it has taken other ladies with huge breast reductions, to get back to work?

Before my surgery at size 40-H on 3rd June 2016.

Dr. Frederick Clarke

Dr CLARKE was very pleasant and reassuring at my initial appointment. He promised me no overhang and between B or C cup results. The second time I met him was when he did the pre surgery marking up. He was reassuring and confident of a good result. He was concerned about the healing of my breast that had cancer and radiotherapy. But happy to proceed. The third time I met him, was the morning after the procedure, he checked the dressings, which was all ok. The third time was on day 2' when he did a quick check and said I could now go home. Next time I see him will be at the 12th day post op check. So far, so good, he has delivered, and I would say that he is a very competent, safe doctor to have surgery with. My breasts look better than they ever have, thanks to Dr Clarke's expertise, which will be life-changing for me.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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