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KSuzieW's Story

  • Breast Reduction

  • Mr. Lam UK, 9th April 2008

  • Pre-Surgery Breast Size: 36E 

  • Post-Surgery Breast Size: 36C/38B

I first had the idea of a breast reduction when my friend had a breast reduction about 10 years ago.  I have HATED my breasts since they arrived, so I didn't ever need to think twice!!  Funding was always the delay.  I used to trampoline, spring board dive and run - all induced incredible self-consciousness.              

The reasons I had the breast reduction were because I had mild upper back and neck pain, which I knew would get worse with age (especially since genetically I am doomed to have very large breasts due to family history).  I suffered discomfort during sports.  I used to enjoy spring board diving, but was put off after comments such as "they're great buoyancy aids".  It's also a sport that requires waiting in a queue for your turn, at the edge of the pool, and I was very self conscious.  Particularly since my boobs were heading south.  I also used to enjoy trampolining, well imagine that!  As for running, well let's talk friction burns. No pretty tops or bras for me, plus larger bras being hard to find and expensive.  Shopping trips were miserable.           

I set my New Year's Resolutions in January this year and I was just totally fed up with my breasts so I decided to approach my GP (I doubted he would refer me!).  He referred me to the funding body, which approved the breast reduction and I was ecstatic.  There was never any doubt I was going to have it done, so the decision was easy.  I worried most about what other people would think.   

When I told family and friends, I got various reactions.  My mum just asked "Why?".  I played the procedure down a lot so I didn't have any fuss.  A lot of people commented that I didn't look like I needed the procedure (oh yes, they were the ones with tiny breasts).  I found men disapproved the most, and they would, right??!!!    

I did very little research because I was having it done and that was that.  Don't get me wrong, I took it very seriously, knew it would be major surgery.  I had my breast reduction paid for by the National Health Service, so was referred to a specific plastic surgeon.  I probably could have been choosier, but I liked Mr. Lam immediately, as well as his before and after portfolio.  Later, I was put in touch with a lady who had the same procedure by Mr. Lam and she was thrilled to bits.  I spent a long time on the message boards here and one other elsewhere.  I have found them to be of tremendous support.  I would have been far more alone without them.  Who you going to take advice from?  Someone who has been there and experienced it or people who have no idea what you're about to embark on and therefore have no empathy!  I didn't imagine this would lead me to model my breasts online LOL.

My surgeon left me with the decision as to which incision I would have.  At the time I felt I'd get a larger reduction via the full anchor incision.  I wanted as much breast tissue removed as possible.   So that's what we went with, although I get the impression the lollipop incision also works well according to what I've read on the message boards.

In preparation for after the surgery I bought items from sports bras to Arnica pills (I chose not to take them, but my surgeon suggested them).  I made sure I had enough food in to last me for some time and had my groceries delivered to my home.  My housemate gave me a lift to and from the hospital.  It was important to let a couple of close friends know, so they could visit me. I had to let my employer know the plans in order to arrange sick leave and when I might possibly return, and what duties I would be able to do.  I bought a button up pair of pajamas, and a top to wear home (oh I wore bottoms too).  I had my hair done the day before.  To keep me busy in the few days before surgery I visited friends.  I also tidied the house so it was tip top and I wouldn't have to touch that for some time.   

The night before surgery I was strangely calm.  I had no doubts about the procedure so backing out was never an issue.  I knew I wouldn't sleep well, so was on the message boards to keep me busy.  I went to sleep at 2 am and slept really well until 6 am.  On arrival at the hospital I was kept waiting for 3 hours because there was concern about a shortage of beds.  I was nearly in tears, and was so prepared that I would have been really disappointed had it been cancelled.  Fortunately, they not only found me a bed, but I got a cubicle to myself, luxury.   In the OR I was scared and then terrified as I lay on the operating trolley. I will always remember the smell of the oxygen mask.

I live with my housemate, but I had no expectations of him helping, because I didn't think that would be fair.  He's great though and would have definitely helped if I'd asked.  Well, the recovery was been a bit of a ride and I had a very straightforward recovery.  I had 4 weeks off from work, which I needed.   When I first returned to full-time duties I struggled with stamina/fatigue.  I ached a lot, but I've never had any 'pain' as such, ever.  It's always been more of a nagging ache that lets me know I've done too much.  I therefore sought to revert to lesser duties.  I'm 5 months out, and have done tons of healing.  I'd guess I dropped and fluffed just recently. 


My mates on the forum here have been a huge help in justifying the care needed for healing.  For me, slotting into full time duties after 2 weeks was never ever going to happen.  I thought I'd be an exception (foolishly) and that I'd have magic new boobies on day one.  That made recovery a tiny bit more difficult mentally.  I had to admit to my colleagues I couldn't manage 'everything' at work, and that was hard.  Don't get the wrong message here, the new boobies are the most fantastic thing, I just mean girls, be realistic about your recovery, don't be hypercritical and heck we don't do this procedure for a laugh - my message is just that recovery takes time (yup, and PATIENCE)!!!  Ask for help, accept help.

Immediately post-op I had a pain pump, filling me with morphine at my request and I was HIGH.  I didn't feel pain, just dizzy and nauseas.  Side effects stopped once the narcotics stopped.  There was a post on the forum by another member that stated matter of factly, “why would you expect not to experience side effects - these pain killers are narcotics!!!”  At home I took the morphine based tablets (didn't need them, but was convinced I needed them to ensure no pain came).  Paracetamol and ibuprofen was the mainstay of pain relief, for only 5 days post-op.  I've only ever experienced discomfort, zingers (sharp, shooting pains of nerves healing).  Out of 10, the most pain I experienced was a score of 5.  With 10 being the highest (feeling like you have been hit by a truck), 5 wasn’t so bad.   I took great care for the first 4 weeks post-op.  Expect to be on 'Princess Duties' post op to ensure the best healing. 


My mind was in cuckoo-land as far as emotional, physical and mental respects are concerned.  Duh after all I just wanted small boobs, right?!!  I'm kicking myself for being so naive - this is MAJOR SURGERY (as reminded a hundred times by my fellow breast friends on the breast reduction forums and several kicks in the ass and a few hugs later I think I got it).  I was in denial the first 2 weeks because the wounds were covered with dressings, therefore no reality check for me.  Pain killers also mask the major healing that's going on too.  The hardest thing for me was that going back to work was less easy than I thought.  This has meant I had to fight my corner and request some further time off as well as extend the 'light duties only' rule, for longer. 


Again, I have to stress that every little bump is worth everything to have my smaller itty bitty titties and I know that with every day that passes, healing is occurring. The benefits 110% outweigh any setbacks.


  • Expect to rest for 3-4 weeks minimum (with a sensible build up in non-heavy/strenuous activities to ensure minimal loss of stamina/fitness). 


  • Buy a bra that has minimal seams in it - such as a surgical bra that is designed for the job if you're not willing to shop around a bit. 


  • Be sure to have a plan in your head about what duties at work you will be able to perform, and at the very least prepare your employers for the fact you may not be as fit as you thought you were! 


  • Ensure you are objective about what you need and have a firm, matter-of-fact plan so everyone knows what to expect.  You may think you don't need to do that because you are the exception, well it might well come back and bite you on your cute little bottom!!          


I told my colleagues I was having a breast reduction because I'm not very good at hiding things (I blush when I fib). I felt they needed to know, so that when I declined to lift something heavy or whatever, they would understand.  Where I worked, gossip like that spread like wildfire.  Many people were envious and started with the usual “what ifs”.  I have had lots of positive conversations about my breast reduction post-op – and this was surprising.  Men find smaller breasts a difficult idea to grasp!!!                     

I am so 110% over the moon, elated, thrilled - I am so lucky. I have shoulders back and head held high now!!  I've been wearing skirts having not worn one for 20 years!!!  I know that may be surprising, but I never felt feminine or attractive with larger boobs, as well as having problems finding nice tops.  With smaller boobies I can swing free or I can wear a bra.  I don't have to hoist my breasts up anymore so they're not pointing south.  Thoracic and neck discomfort has diminished.  I haven't tried sports yet, but I can already tell you that it's going to be better.  I enjoyed running pre-op and I am going to enjoy that activity after!  For the first time in my life, I can just grab a bunch of bras off the rail and try them on and I'll find too many that fit, but then have to realize I cannot afford them all.  No more ogling my boobs in the changing room mirrors and feeling tearful at having what I felt were unsightly, large breasts.  My posture has improved lots. They're just the most fantastic thing since sliced bread, in my opinion.            

In hindsight I would have had a plan in place regarding return to work duties that meant that there were no ifs, ands or buts, period.  I'd have told thousands of people instead of the handful I did.  In an ideal world I would have liked to have had children pre-breast reduction.  However, waiting for things in life is not always the best thing - since knowing when you might have kids is like 'How long is a piece of string?' and as a good friend on this forum said:  'life throws all sorts of curve-balls at you' so on that basis waiting and seeing is not always appropriate.     

What are you waiting for???  If you've read this far then you're serious - do it, and do it for you. RESEARCH it.  Not just the physical side, but the emotional effects, time off, impact on family just so you're prepared for the best recovery.  Do it, do it, do it!!!!                         

The breast reduction forum is just FANTASTIC. You can say and ask anything you want without feeling embarrassed (obviously within reason and following internet etiquette).  I've had a few good moans, got VAST amounts of support and advice (thanks Carolyn / Keri and every other single wonderful lady who has helped me when I needed it).  I had some laughs along the way.  I've made some of my “breastest friends” on these forums.



3 Months Breast Reduction                       5 Months Breast Reduction


                                           Pre-Op:  36E - Post Op: 36C/38B

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