Having my breast reduction at age 49 has been a life long dream come
I started to wear a bra during the summer between 2nd & 3rd
grade, it was a 34C. By age 11 I was wearing a full 36C.
On the day of my reduction surgery my bra was an overflowing 42G.
All my life I have hated my breasts. I was always self
conscious of how I looked. I could not wear a lot of the
“cute” things other girls my age wore. I could not play sports
so I became a bookworm. My breasts drew unwanted attention.
I was stared at, teased and shunned by my peers. I even had a
friend that was not allowed to play with me because according to her
mom I must be letting the boys pull my breasts for them to be so
I now know how ignorant that mother was but at the time
I only knew the hurt her statement caused. Playing Truth or
Dare was a nightmare. The dare was always to let someone touch
my breasts. Feeling so alone and ashamed of my body I found a
friend in food and over the years developed a weight issue. I
ate to try and cover up my body.
I looked into having a breast reduction many years ago and was told
that I needed to be at a normal body weight in order to have the
surgery done. That was the start of my battle with trying to
lose weight. Over the years I lost a little and gained a lot.
Never able to reach that ever elusive goal weight and unable to have
the surgery I so desperately wanted.
Over the last few years the stress on my body from carrying my 42G
breasts started to take its toll. I had to stop exercising.
I even tried to wear 2 bras at once to help control the movement in
my breasts. I was getting constant headaches, back aches,
bruised shoulder divots, and a multitude of other symptoms. I
lived on over the counter pain meds. My doctor was so
concerned by the amount of OTC drugs I was taking he even ran extra
tests on my liver and kidneys to make sure they were ok.
physical in January 2008 my doctor questioned when was I going to
let him help me with getting my breasts reduced. Then about 3
months ago the pain in my body got so bad the over the counter drugs
stopped working. My doctor and I decided it was time that went
on prescription pain meds so I got prescription for Tramadol.
I took them at night so at least I could sleep enough to be able to
deal with the pain during the day. Again he questioned me,
when was I going to let him help me with getting a breast reduction.
I was now ready.
I was having a chat with my younger sister who had reduction surgery
years ago when the thought occurred to me that my process of trying
to lose weight and then have breast reduction surgery for what ever
reason was not working. So I began to wonder…What if I
approached this from the opposite point of view, have the breast
reduction surgery at my current weight. Maybe that would be what I
needed to help me to get healthy again. I would be able
to exercise and lose weight. Now I was ready!
I found my surgeon thru my insurance company. Before I went
for my initial consultation I researched the procedure and the
surgeon. Then I researched some more. I wanted to make
the most informed decision that I could possible make. When I
called to make the appointment I asked if the surgeon had experience
doing surgery on someone plus size and he did! I felt it was
important to have a surgeon that was familiar with my body type.
My initial surgical consult was in mid August 2008.
initial appointment the surgeon took measurements and advised me of
what would take place during surgery and informed me of all the
risks involved. I was a bit nervous when he explained that due
to the amount of tissue that would be removed I would need a free
nipple graph. This would involve totally removing my nipple
from the breast and reattaching it as a skin graph. It could
mean no feeling in my nipples and no nipple projection. He
assured me the risk of tissue rejection was very low and he felt
confident it would be a successful procedure for me. The
surgeon’s office staff took care of putting all the information
together to submit to my insurance company to verify that it was
medically necessary for me to have this done so the insurance
company cover the surgery. Within 2 weeks I was approved and
surgery was scheduled for September 15, 2008. My ladies would
now become girls!
When surgery day arrived I was more than ready. My friends and
family were behind me 100% and ready to help out with what ever I
needed while I healed.
Since my surgery I feel like I have been reborn. The surgery
process itself was a breeze. Surgery was performed at a local
surgical center attached to the hospital. I had prearranged to
stay overnight as a 23 hour outpatient with my husband staying in my
room with me. While waiting for the surgery to start my
darling husband read me poetry to help keep me calm. The last
thing I said to the surgeon as I was being moved to the operating
room was “Make them small, make them pretty!”
I woke up a few
hours later wrapped in an ace bandage with my drains. The
nurse was ready to administer paid meds as I needed them. The
highest my pain scale got was to a 4 and it was more discomfort than
pain. A couple hours later I asked to get up and go for a
walk. I slept thru the night and the next morning I was
The first couple days I did nothing but rest and more rest. I
really had no pain from the surgery. I had Percocet to take as
needed and I did take them for the first few days to help keep me
comfortable. By the end of the week I was not taking any pain
meds during the day at all. I was not in any pain just
discomfort. As the nerves came back there is a lot of tingling
happening but it is nothing I couldn’t handle. My husband
played nurse measuring the fluid levels and emptying the drains.
He doted on me and I loved it.
My first post-op appointment was two days after surgery. The
nurse took off all the wrappings and I got to see my new boobies for
the first time. I was so excited! They looked so small
but in a great way! I told the nurse I looked like I had man
boobs. I had a lot of swelling. There were also these funny
yellow looking pillow things that were stitched to my nipples
because of the nipple graphs. I saw some blistering around the
edge of the areolas but I was assured that was normal and would be
fine when I was all healed.
The nipple pads would come off a
couple days later. When the pads came off my nipples looked
severely bruised but this is normal. My drains were removed a
few days after surgery. I was having some trouble with the
drain tubes getting clogged so it was best to remove them early and
just let the drainage happen naturally. I was assured that my
new boobies would be beautiful and that it would take 6 months to
see the finished product. I am a work of art in progress.
They had removed 4.19 lbs. of tissue from my left breast and 4.38
lbs. of tissue from my right breast.
At about two weeks post-op I developed an infection on my left side
incision. It seems that the surgical tape somehow got jammed
into the incision and soap probably got caught up in the area and it
made for a nasty infection. That has been the most painful
part of this whole process so far. It was nothing that being
on antibiotics has not taken care of.
At this writing I am now 21 days post op. I still have not had
any real pain. I do experience some discomfort. At the
end of the day my incisions feel really tight. Imagine taking
your belt and placing it around your ribcage 1 notch tighter than
you would normally have it. That is the best way I can describe what
it feels like. My nipple graphs are healing nicely. They
get itchy and I do have to be extremely careful to not bump them
especially in the shower. I have to take my showers with my
back to the spray so I do not cause any damage to the nipple till it
is fully healed.
I am so happy that I had my reduction surgery. I would do this
again in a heart beat. The one regret I have is that I did not
do this sooner. What is more important is that I did do it and
I have the rest of my life to enjoy it.