Ever since I was a teenager, I had BIG boobs. Some might say “Embrace them and flaunt your stuff!” But that just wasn’t me.
I spent years trying to find clothes that made them LESS apparent. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work. Clothes either made my entire body look much bigger or were tight and made me look like I was trying to make my boobs the star of the show. Losing weight helped, but not enough. Even when I dropped loads of weight, I didn’t drop into a bra size that is readily available anywhere but a high-end bra store.
After 20 years of hating my body, I decided to take a step toward doing something about it by talking to my doctor. We chatted about why I wanted surgery and what I expected the outcomes might be. She asked my bra size and took down my weight and height. Then she sent in a referral to a plastic surgeon in town. Then came the hardest part of the entire journey: the wait. It took six months to get a consultation with my plastic surgeon.
On the day of my consultation, I drove across town, unsure of what to expect. I was asked to undress from the waist up and put on a short paper gown open to the front. My surgeon was training a medical student who accompanied him into the room. He used his hands to manipulate my breasts into the size and shape they might be after the surgery by hiding much of them beneath his hands. While he was squeezing and shaping, he was chatting non-stop with his student. I learned that I was lucky that my breast tissue was still full and dense enough to make for a pleasant breast shape after surgery. Having another person in the room was weird yet educational for me, since I got to listen to all his explanations for her.
He also explained that I could tell him the size I want by getting him to move his hands forward or back, but I couldn’t order a certain cup size. Surgeons can change breast size and shape, but they can’t make them exactly the cup size from your favourite bra store. While we discussed everything at the consultation, my decision on size would not be finalized until the day of my surgery, which would be nine months in the future.
I left excited, a little less scared and a little frustrated that I still had nine months to go.
The day of my surgery finally arrived. I called the day before to find out exactly what time I needed to be there to check in. My surgeon requires all his breast reduction patients stay in the hospital overnight. Not all surgeons require this, but I was happy that mine did. The idea of having major surgery and then going home the same day scared the hell out of me. I was a ball of nerves and a mess of what-ifs. Plus, I couldn’t figure out how to get my nose ring out, and I had myself convinced that this would be a huge issue that would result in the surgery being called off.
Why yes, I was borderline ridiculous.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was ensconced in a super-stylish hospital gown and told to wait. My husband sat and waited with me so he could help keep my anxiety at bay. The next thing I knew, they were ready for me. My surgeon and a different medical student came to talk to me in pre-op. We repeated the sizing exercise he did at his office. This time, once we agreed on a size that made me happy (because I asked for smaller than he suggested at first), he marked on my breasts with a permanent marker to show where incisions should be and the placement of my nipple after the surgery. I must admit that this part of the process felt ridiculous. He even had a nipple placement template!
Next, they wheeled me into the operating room. Everyone who was needed for the surgery had to be present and talk to me before I could be put under. This took a few minutes, as one would leave to find another, only to then have to wait on them to come back. Finally, everyone was ready, and they started the anesthesia. I can remember feeling very strange once it hit me and saying, “I don’t think I want to do this!” Then everything went black and I woke up in the recovery room.
I didn’t enjoy my evening in the hospital. Throughout my life, I have suffered from low blood pressure. Little did I know that this can make you quite sick when you go under anesthesia. I thanked my lucky stars that my primary care physician referred me to a surgeon who required me to stay in the hospital over night because I was so very sick. Thankfully, it was short lived and by the next morning I felt much, much better. I was ready to go home right after they removed my drains.
Within the week, I stopped taking the pain medication I was given post-surgery. My scars faded from angry red to flat and pink within a couple of weeks. I returned to my surgeon for a check up and was given a clean bill of health. (He laughed at me, though, because I hadn’t removed my surgical tape yet. No one told me I could!)
What was it like to have new boobs?
Truthfully, my breasts were a bit weird at first. They were super high up and pointed straight out. Not a true “breast” shape at all. That was due to the swelling.
As the weeks progressed, they softened and fell into a shape that was much more natural. My doctor recommended waiting for a few weeks after my appointment to get new bras. First, the swelling needed to go down, and second, an underwired bra on sutures would hurt!
Even all these months later, I still wear a non-underwire bra. I still don’t know what size my new breasts are. All I do know is that he took over 2 pounds out across my two breasts.
It has been six months now, and I have never regretted my decision to have surgery for one second. Is it right for you? You’ll have to decide. Personally, making the decision to have breast reduction surgery was something I did for myself, and I couldn’t be happier.