At the moment, I'm not 100% sure what size my...
At the moment, I'm not 100% sure what size my breasts are. I'm a UK size 10 with a side of 'squished in boobs' in a lot of clothing. I have bras that range from 32ff to 34ff (some 34f's, 34e's). I'm not entirely convinced any of them fit me properly but the closest (34ff) digs in at the front of my arms, but otherwise is a near fit. After a very traumatising instance in my youth at a bra fitting I'm highly reluctant to give into any store sizing opportunity. I know precisely what makes a good-fitting bra, it's just that my breast asymmetry (and desire for straps that don't take up half my shoulders) make that extremely hard. Regardless they are large and I am tired and my back is tired and the constant need to try fix the constant pain in my back is wearing thin. I'm exhausted.
As far as 'the process' goes, I'm in the very early stages. I'm looking at costing and surgeons and trying to figure out the best way to pursue my goal of no longer being the girl with the big boobs. It's become a defining part of me and that's not something that makes me happy. Over the past couple of months I've been on real self religiously, reading stories, trying to figure out if this is really something I want to do. The answer is yes, so I guess my story begins here.
Still very, very pre-op.
12 Dec 2015
11 months pre
One of the precursors of me being able to have the surgery with financial support from my family was that I went to the doctors first to see if there were any other problems with my back. I'm in near constant discomfort. As often, there's outright pain. Per my family's wishes I've gone to the Doctors and have thus been referred for bloodwork and X-Rays. The doctor didn't suggest it could be my chest, but I suppose from a medical standpoint it's a process of elimination.
Meanwhile, I've been putting in enquiries. I'm trying to make sense of why there are companies like MyBreast and Harley Medical when they refer to hospitals that you can often contact directly. Does anyone have any experience with them? As I'm reluctant to go the NHS route (I haven't seen anyone with a good story about going that path that hasn't taken YEARS) I'm looking at private. My initial looks guessed at around £5500 for the surgery. The place I looked into has said 6250. It's relatively local and has glowing reviews.
The longer I go through this the more resentment I have at my body how it is. My breasts feel constantly in the way, heavy, irritating. I keep seeing myself in photos and videos and feeling as though my entire torso is boob. It's ridiculous because I know it isn't, but it's hard to change the way I'm wired.
I guess from here I have my bloods, get the X-Rays, then pursue meeting with a consultant. Once I know I'm definitely going ahead with the surgery, I'll put up some before photos. In the meantime I'm keeping up on many, many of your stories!
Finally adding a 'Before' Picture.
My last post was six months ago. After some things went a little awry at the start of the year, I've been waiting and working towards this goal.
As mentioned before, I don't know my bra size. As you can see there is a HUGE difference in size, and honestly I think this is the biggest source of my anxiety. I'm so self conscious all the time. My under-bust measurement is 30cm, I'm not a tiny person, but my boobs are definitely far, far, far too big for my frame. This photo actually makes me so sad, which is why it took me so long to post this up. I know from a previous cancer scare that my breast tissue is very dense, so these are heavy. I'm fairly confident which hospital I want to use, I'm just deciding between two surgeons, and given how much consultancy fees are, I want to be certain before i start any further progression.
One small silver lining is that saving is going well. My back still sucks, though.
Finally booked a consultation.
After months of sort of avoiding the issue I've just booked a consultation for next month with Dr Orla Austin, so I guess this is the first real step forwards. It's really hard to research local surgeons, so it took me a while to make a decision. I just hope I leave the meeting with the same confidence!
Finally... The Consultation
Today I finally had the consultation. The TL;DR version is that I've booked in for November, so there'll be no surgical updates until that date.
I met with Orla Austin at the Methley Park Spire Hospital in Yorkshire. Early on in the process, I decided I wanted to go with Spire. Something about it just felt right with me, and I tend to put a lot of faith in my instincts when it comes to things like that. I looked around at a few hotels, but just kept coming back to them. As it happens, more recently a friend of mine mentioned family had surgery (of other kinds) at the hospital and the level of support and service they received was second to none, so!
I chose Orla after reading up on a number of surgeons. Researching surgeons isn't as easy in the UK, but her history of working with reconstructions for patients who've dealt with cancer was a big motivator for me. Breast surgery seems to be quite a prominent part of what she does.
We actually got there a few minutes late; there was a problem on one of the roads. Ms Austin was fantastic about it though. She'd popped out in scrubs, greeted us briefly, then I had to fill in a quick form before I headed in.
My consultation opened with her asking me a few questions. Why are you here? How old are you? What bra size do you wear? There were also some questions about my medical history and of any problems with my breasts. She was quite thorough, which I appreciated, and there was no point where I felt she was putting words in my mouth.
After that, we went behind a curtain and she took some measurements. She used a tape measure to judge what the differences were, what changes would be made. She did suggest that if I wanted to, if I was happy with my left breast, we could do a singular reduction. However, at this stage, I'm confident I want to be substantially smaller overall. She asked what kind of sizing I was thinking of, and I said something closer to a C cup. She did suggest it might be more a C/D, but I do think I would be happy with that. She was very straight forwards and honest throughout the consultation.
My biggest problem - she said - would be the scars. I'm extremely pale (lightest foundation in any brand pale) and so my scars will likely be very pink and have a greater potential to be raised. Scar management has to be my big priority. I'm okay with that, and my intentions were as such regardless.
I'll be having the keyhole surgery with dissolving stitches. I'll spend a night in the hospital after surgery in the morning. The next morning drains will be removed and I'll be discharged. The operation is performed under General Anaesthetic. During aftercare I'll be expected to wear a soft-cup wireless bra with plenty of support (but not something binding). If anyone has had similar instructions and has recommendations, please let me know!
She was happy to facilitate some of my mum's questions as well - which were mainly centred around breastfeeding and whether I will need someone around for the first 24 hours (my mum is keen on me staying with them for the first day). I wrote a list of some questions but I didn't need to ask most of them. She was concise and somehow got everything in I could possibly ever need to have asked.
There likely won't be too much to update until November, but I'll let you know if there is any new information!