I am 48, one child, 5’4” and currently about 145...
I am 48, one child, 5’4” and currently about 145 pounds. Unlike many here, I developed late and was small breasted and quite thin for a long time. That was my happy place, I was feeling “free”, my femininity was not defined by the size of my breasts and never had a problem with being small. I was quite active and not really a girly-girl, my frame was perfectly fitting my personality and lifestyle.
Fast forward a decade later - had my child, packed on about 45 pounds, half of them which never left me afterwards. My breasts grew from a large B to a heavy DDD overnight. I am small to medium built with narrow hips, even at my heaviest I was wearing a size M bottom but at least an XL top. I started developing really bad back and neck pains, headaches, pinched nerve and groves in my shoulders, sweat rashes… I no longer wanted to go out and stopped doing much physical activity. When weight started to add up again, I decided if I want to be there for my family and take my life back, something has to be done. Changed my diet and over the course of a year lost about 40 pounds. While I started to feel better physically and became more active, breast size barely decreased from DDD to DD and they also become saggy.
I started looking into breast reductions more than a year ago. I am in Canada, I knew about OHIP approving BR surgeries if they are deemed medically necessary – not being an extreme case, I was not sure I would qualify. I decided I was not even going to pursue it and will pay out of pocket. I did a lot of research, the information I found on this site helped me tremendously - made appointments with several well-rated, highly regarded plastic surgeons in the area. The lowest point was when one of them literally greeted me with ‘I don’t do OHIP surgeries’ when I really became discouraged with doctor’s attitude. This all changed when I found dr. Shortt.
Surgery was on Oct 6th – I am now 5 days post op and I can tell this is the single best thing I have ever done for myself. Off to my first post op now – will post an update later.
Dr. Shortt made me feel at ease right from the very first appointment a year ago. During my first consultation we went through my medical history, discussed options, pros & cons and level set expectations. I came in armed with a long list of questions and concerns – not only did he patiently answered all of them, but he really did listened to me. When I mentioned I did not even considered OHIP, he asked me why - I guess a lifetime of being thought to suck it up, don’t ask and don’t expect much does a number on you. Long story short, we ended up submitting my paperwork to OHIP and within a few weeks I was approved. How about that for a lesson …
Post op yesterday went really well – had the dressing removed and the tape replaced. I am to keep it on for another week then replace it myself. My next post op is in 2 weeks, have been told to call if anything changes in the meantime. I asked about the type of bra I should be wearing, the Fruit of the Loom I had on is not the best (too bad, it was really comfortable). Need to find something with more support rather than compression, so today I am trying some online shopping.
Incisions are healing nicely so far, there is a bit of a burning sensation but nothing too bad. I have the bad habit of doing everything by myself and not ask for help, I was literally out of breath at the end of the day yesterday. I have to remember it’s ok to let others take care of me for a while.
I only took pain pills for the first couple days - I did not have a lot of pain afterwards, more discomfort than anything else. My biggest 'pain' is coming from having to sleep on my back, I am not getting a lot of good sleep, although I have done everything I could to transform the bed into a comfortable “nest” (lots and lots of pillows). Next on the discomfort list is the belly bloating - it feels very much like when I was 9 months pregnant and I could eat very little before feeling so full I could not breathe. I know this is a side effect from the anaesthesia but I just can’t wait for it to go away.
10 days post op
Healing is going well - I am now able to sleep (partially) on my side and getting much better rest. Bruising is subsiding. I have been taking Arnica and Bromelain, not sure if it helped but there is not much bruising left.
I think right is slightly bigger and lower than left and nipples are a bit further apart than I would have expected - have been looking at all the post op pictures and it seems consistent. Shape seems to be the same, I do not believe I have much swelling so I may end up very close to what I see now. I do realise it is still very early … I will bring it up at my next appointment and see what doc thinks.
First time I see them without tape - I am supposed to replace it today. Incisions look good and they seem to be healing well. I have a stitch poking out from under left but I will leave it alone until my post op next week.
I love the fact that they are smaller and perkier, I feel soooo much better, haven’t had any back pain or headaches since the surgery. Shirts and dresses I bought and never wore actually fit now!
Right is definitely bigger, I will ask what can be done about it but for now I am just enjoying what I have gained so far.
Almost 3 weeks post op
I had my second my post op yesterday, the stitch that was poking out from under left was removed and I no longer need to tape. I have to start massaging the scars, especially the one on the left, to help it loosen up and help the left breast become closer in shape to the right. I have purchased silicone sheets and plan to only remove them when I shower. I have to continue wearing a bra at all times for another 3 weeks - I have no desire to remove it anyways, I feel ‘safer’ with it on. I bought several wire-free Bali and Wonderbra’s, they are so very comfortable … I hope to never ever have to buy underwire bras ever again! I am now a large B/small C, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since my surgery and I am unbelievably happy that I went through with it ! For me, the entire experience was much easier than I thought and was prepared for, which was quite a bonus. My next appointment is in 4 weeks, will see how the left breast progresses in the meantime.
4 weeks post op
4 weeks today, hard to believe … I am feeling great, back to normal and don’t really have any discomfort anymore. I am quite good at wearing the silicone sheets - I put them on at night, take them off in the morning. After a few days of wearing them around the clock, I decided to read the written-in-the-smallest-possible-font instructions … turned out they recommend max 12 hours/day … ooops ! Next time, read the instructions first ?! Luckily no harm was done, so moving on : massage the scars … well, this is where I am not so good, 5 min of massage feels like a veeery long time. I do not see any difference really in shape and size compared to couple weeks back. I continue to fit into wire free B cup and sometimes C depending on the brand, but I have not tried an underwire bra yet. I think in the back of my mind I am worried a B may not work as right spills a bit and I don’t want to think about that just yet.
A couple days ago I noticed another stitch under the left breast, it only comes out a bit, not enough to pull on it, which may not be a good idea anyways. I am going to keep an eye on it, if the incision continues to heal well I will wait until my next post op.
It’s been 6 weeks since the surgery, I have been completely back to normal for a while now. The stitch under the left breast disappeared and the shape of it is coming along nicely, the scar is stretching and the breast has softened and lowered.
I have tried a few underwire bras, but I did not buy any. I am a C in those, so I prefer to stay with the more stretchy wire free Bs I bought after the surgery. My next follow up is next week.