So upon turning 40 I felt now was the time, I’d made the decision and now all I had to do was find a great surgeon.
So like most people I started online. My first port of call was the BAAPS website as from my research I was told to ensure my surgeon was on this list. I chose some who mentioned breast reductions as specialities and undertook further research. I decided I would see three initially. I went online and researched what people said about each.
The first surgeon I seen was fantastic ( actually the one I went with in the end) and his team of nurses were lovely. He gave me a fantastic information pack, which had a CD – I was so surprised when I listened to it as it gave me so much information that I hadn't considered. Between this and the questions he’d asked me during my consult really helped me on my other appointments.
I saw two other surgeons – one I felt was a little too keen for me to book there and then and the other was a little patronizing and seemed to care more about what my partner thought then my concerns.
So I went back to see Mr Richards and we had a good chat about my procedure and the outcome. We didn't discuss size – he actually examined me first and said he thought that for my proportion I should be a generous C. I was really happy with this as I had a C in mind. I left reassured and excited and I booked into have my surgery in August. I wasn't at all nervous as he’d put my mind at ease. I was only concerned about afterwards , I have a toddler and was hoping I wouldn't have to lift him too much:))
The day of the procedure I checked into the hospital and went through all the usual pre-op routine. Mr Richards came to see me for a quick chat and then came back with a nurse later and took some pictures and did my markings. I was a little later than scheduled going down to theatre but I was enjoying the quiet time.
When I got to the theatre I explained to the anesthetist that I hated having the drip put in my hand, so he offered to put me out with some gas and air so as not to distress me - which was very kind and thoughtful. When I came around I felt really tired – I was surprised by this as normally I’m up and around very quickly after surgery – but I think this was due to all the running around I’d done the day before.
I did have a quick peak down but fell asleep very quickly. I woke up at 2:00 am and a nurse brought me some tea and toast which was lovely. I went to the toilet and made the mistake of having a good look and got myself in a right state. I just felt like I was really tiny and was concerned about my nipples and the scars. In hindsight, this was probably the anesthetic making me emotional, but I wish I’d listened to my friend who said don’t focus on the shape or the look as they change so rapidly.
I stayed in two nights and although I missed my family it was good to know that I was being well looked after as I don’t think I’d have been able to relax as much at home. When I was leaving the nurse gave me another support bra to take with me. I have to say this was brilliant and saved me so much money and time beforehand wondering what type of bra to bring in. It also meant that over the next few weeks I didn't have to think about it.
The following week I went for my check-up with the nurse, she changed all my bandages and said I looked great. I mentioned about the shape, scars and my concerns but she re-assured me that this was really normal and that I looked great. She gave me lots of new dressings, tape and scissors to take home.
After about three weeks I felt much better, but not as good as I hoped. I called the clinic and they booked me in straight away to see the lovely nurse Agi again and my surgeon Mr Richards. They agreed that I could remove the tape and that I should move to a sports bra and that this would make me feel much better. I had a great chat with the nurse and she told me that I really needed to rest more and that I’d been doing too much – this is why I didn't feel so good that I wasn't giving my body time to heal.
I left with the tape off and went and bought a sports bra. In the fitting the lady said I needed a 36 C. I was shocked I’d never been a 36 in my life – she explained that this was due to swelling but also that sports bra are a different fitting system. She said that she felt I would probably be a 34 D.
Over the next few weeks I felt more like my old self and I felt a dramatic change. I felt so much better without the tape and the sports bra was really comfortable. I had my six week check-up with Agi and Mr Richards. They both examined me and took some more pictures. We talked about my scars and I said I was concerned about the middle in between my breasts as it looked a little gathered and bumpy. He said this would go with massage and recommended an ointment.
We then had a chat about cup size – I explained that I’d had in my head that I wanted to be a C cup – and how I was probably a D cup. He mentioned about swelling how it was still early days, however, he said that most bra companies had changed their cup sizing. A bit like how most clothing brands have changed their size 12 to a 10 to make you believe you are smaller than you are – they've done the reverse with bra sizes. So what use to be a C is now a D. He also mentioned about the conversation we had about proportion and shape and how we agreed this was important.
He agreed it was hard not to focus on size, but to try and concentrate on how they look and feel. I had to agree, I’d been focused on achieving a size when actually I was very happy with how they looked and felt. I now looked in proportion and that was what I’d wanted.
So now three months later, my scars look great and I’m wearing under wired bras and feel very comfortable. I’m still wearing some support at night time as this is more comfortable for me, but I’m very happy.
In summary, here is my top tips...
• Research your procedure – know what all the options are in terms of scaring, lifting, final shape etc. check out this site for some great videos and information. http://www.aurora-clinics.co.uk/breast-surgery/breast-reduction-mammoplasty/
• Meet your surgeon and also important his team. . The nurses and I met four in total were absolutely lovely. Not just friendly, but really open and approachable, caring about your welfare not just before the operation
• Alarm bells should ring if they want you to book the procedure at the consultation!!
• Check what the aftercare is – how many times can you see your surgeon post-op and what costs are involved. My surgeon and his team were available to me after my surgery and this means if you have any issues you can pick up the phone and go see them. It’s great having forums but if you’re worried this makes a huge difference.
• Try not to do too much before your surgery – I know this sounds like common sense – but I was making dinners and cleaning like a lunatic the day before my surgery – which meant on the day I was wrecked!
• Focus on recovery - After the surgery don’t get caught up with how they look – you won’t believe how different they are in 2, 4, 6 weeks after the surgery. I got an awful shock and felt like they were tiny and the nipple looked awful and generally got myself all wound up by how awful I looked.
• Be prepared to be really tired for the first couple of weeks and rest as much as possible and do not do anything if you can?) This will make you heal quicker
• If in doubt do call your surgeon/clinic as they are the experts. They know you and everyone is different.
• Don’t focus on the bra size so much – but the shape and ultimately being in proportion to your body and having comfortable breast.
Please do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. Good luck it’s a decision you won’t regret. X
P.S. Will post some pictures shortly.