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Anne (Hohokam)

  • Breast Reduction

 

I have one major regret about my breast reduction (BR) surgery – that I did not do it years ago!

 

One night when I was 11 years old, I went to bed flat-chested.  The next morning I woke up and whoaaaaa!  I was a C cup.  No training bras for me; I went straight to the adult bra section in the store.  In my late teens and early twenties it was kind of fun to be big busted, because I frequently used them as date bait.

 

However, as the years rolled on, and my breasts became bigger, heavier, and saggier, it began to take a toll on my neck, shoulders and back, with continual pain.  I also had deep shoulder grooves from wearing industrial-strength bras.  And the under-boob rashes!  I don’t even want to think about those.  I could never find tops that fit properly, because of the big ‘girls’; I always had to buy tops that were 3 or 4 sizes too big. 

 

What really pushed me to finally get going was a picture taken of me at a party – I looked like one big boob blob from shoulders to hips.  I thought “I am finally going to do this for myself”.  So, in May 2007 I had an initial consult with a Plastic Surgeon (PS) recommended by my primary care physician.  He agreed that I definitely needed a Breast Reduction.  I gathered the mountain of paperwork that my insurance company required, gave it to my plastic surgeon, he submitted all the necessary materials; and then I waited for approval, with fingers crossed.  In a few weeks the approval came and surgery was scheduled for August 2007.

 

The weeks before the surgery were both an exciting and scary time, as I bounced back and forth between “yay, I’m finally getting smaller boobs” and “OMG, what am I doing to myself?”.   The big day finally arrived.  As soon as I got to the surgery check-in area, I became completely calm, I don’t know why but it happened.  Went through the last bit of paperwork, got undressed and into a hospital gown, put my belongings in a container the hospital provided (they keep it with you on your gurney).  A nurse came in and started the IV; she put it in my hand because she said if it were in my elbow area I wouldn’t be able to bend my arm.  My Plastic Surgeon came in and we talked a few moments.  The anesthesiologist visited and I told him I wanted to wake up afterward with my wits intact, and that absolutely no way did I want to be nauseous.  He said he would take care of both.  Then he injected Versed (the “happy drug”) into my IV line, and off we went to the operating room.  I literally fell asleep (or conked out) with my head in the OR and my feet still in the hallway!

 

That’s the last thing I remember until waking up in the recovery room.  First thing I noticed was a burning pain under my breasts.  The recovery room nurse immediately asked my pain level and I told her 8, so she injected some Demerol into my IV.  About 10 minutes later she asked me again; I said still 8, so she put some Dilaudid into the IV.  My oh my, that was good stuff!  In about 5 minutes I felt no pain and was quite cheerful.  No nausea either.    After a couple of hours in the recovery room I was wheeled to my hospital room – my plastic surgeon insists that all his patients stay overnight in the hospital.  The only bothersome part was my breasts were sore and uncomfortable, and the drains were – not painful, but annoying.   After an uneventful night, the Plastic Surgeon came to my room in the morning, removed the drains (no big deal) and I went home to recover.

 

My recovery, although uneventful, took longer than I expected.  I didn’t feel “myself” for about 2 months.  I had a couple of separations, which took a few weeks to heal. 

 

In March 2008 the plastic surgeon did a scar revision surgery on my dog-ears.  That was no big deal either.

 

Things I Would Have Done Differently:

  • Most Importantly:  I would have insisted that the PS make me the size I wanted to be, (within surgical safety limits) and not the size that he thought would be proportional for my body type.   I feel that, although he is an excellent surgeon, he left me too large.  I am currently looking into having a re-do/revision to get to a smaller size.

  • I would have left the steri-strips on longer.  The PS said I could take them off after 5 days, which I did.  I feel that if I had left them on at least a couple of weeks, that my scars would be thinner and lighter.

  • I would have used micropore tape on my incisions for at least a couple of months.  Again, I feel that if I had done this, my scars would be thinner.

That being said, I have never regretted having the surgery, and I would do it again in an instant, if I had to.





 

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