About a year ago, I went into surgery to have a breast reduction (also referred to as a reduction mammoplasty). While I’ve received some criticism from women, who said that I shouldn’t go under the knife just because I want to look better, and men, who said that a woman should never reduce the size of their breasts, most people who knew I was having the surgery tended to understand that I didn’t do it just for looks. I did it for the physical and emotional way I felt. Almost every facet of my life was negatively impacted by the large size of my breasts.
Now that a year has passed, I realize that there are 2 things that I never knew about breast reduction even though I had researched it as much as I possibly could. If you’re considering breast reduction, and want to know what your research or your doctor didn’t tell you, you’ve landed on the right article.
You need more time off (and more physical help) then you think you do
Most doctors want you to believe that after three days, you can go back to work, and even though you’ll have to “take it easy”, you can still resume normal activity. This is not my experience.
I work at home and online so my work wasn’t much of a problem. However, my job as a mom of little ones was. Taking it easy wasn’t something I could do when I was home by myself with the kids. I didn’t realize that I would be making things worse on my breast reduction incisions by lifting my small children or even reaching that high shelf to bring down a puzzle for them to work on. My “taking it easy” was resting when the kids napped.
As a result of this, my scarring is more prominent than it would have been if I’d really been informed how it would effect me. By doing more than I should have too soon, I caused my incisions to open and my scars are now much wider then they should have been. Even after a year, my oversight is physically obvious. Also, if you have a nipple-graph during the surgery, you risk opening those spots as well.
If you can, prepare to take extra time off and/or make sure you heavily limit the use of your upper body (which means you can and should walk as often as possible). If you have small children, it would help if someone can stick around to help you with them.
No where did I read (nor did my doctor tell me) that I would have pockets of fat that resemble saddlebags on my sides along where the lower incisions ended. This is also the place where the drainage tubes were right after my surgery. When the tubes were removed and the incisions closed and began to heal, the saddlebags were obvious. Even a year later, they are still there. Weight loss helps make them less obvious but the only way to be rid of them is through a minor surgical procedure. And even that might not get rid of them completely.
But it’s up to you to decide how important it is. If you can live with that, that’s your choice. For me, they aren’t that big a deal, especially since I’m still continuing to lose weight. They don’t hurt and they don’t annoy me to any great length.
A year later: was a breast reduction worth it?
Yes. Despite these two things I didn’t know then, I still have to say that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I feel better physically; my back doesn’t hurt as often or as bad and I am able to be more physically active now. I feel better emotionally; I am no longer so self conscious about my appearance that I try to hide myself and I can now buy clothes that actually fit me instead of having to get a shirt two sizes too big just to accommodate my large chest.
If you would like to read up on my experience and the tips I have previously written on, click here to go to my profile page and type “breast reduction” into the search tab on the right side of the screen. You’ll see articles ranging from how to determine if insurance will help you pay to what to expect right after your breast reduction surgery.
Source: personal experience