THE TRUTH ABOUT MY PLASTIC SURGERY
***graphic images warning
Boobs. Breasts. Tits. Watermelons. Headlights. I never really thought much about them. They were always a little bit present, as I have a picture burned into my mind that showed just how much I needed to start wearing a training bra. Why are boobs such a big deal? They are just another thing that become overly stigmatized and sexualized for literally no reason at all. They are boobs. Get over it. Bra strap showing? Great. I am guessing nobody would be surprised that I wear a bra as a 22 year old female. Showing cleavage? Good for you. There is nothing wrong with that.
I don’t really remember ever having an issue with my breasts besides the fact that I hated the size of them. I wanted them smaller. I wanted them to look nice. I wanted most of them gone. Did you know that it’s okay to want smaller boobs or any size other than your own for that matter? Well it is. It is okay to want something changed about yourself. While it is great to love yourself, you also have the ability to change some things. This is one great thing about 2019, but you also should not rely on the accessibility of ways to change your appearance. I did not consider a breast reduction to only make myself happy, although yes, it would make a difference in that area. I considered a reduction because I was being restricted in creating and living how I wanted to. I would like to be healthy, having so much excess weight on my chest made it very difficult to do activity. I wanted to wear cute tops and dresses. Oh the daydream of being able to purchase a bra by just walking into a store…I wanted these things to be a reality. Would being able to do these things suddenly make me happy and love every single thing about me? No, but I knew that going into it. Do not rely on a surgical procedure to make you happy. It will not.
I lived about two hours away from everything I knew and had recently started seeing a new doctor for my anxiety and medication after my previous one stopped caring about my mental health and needs. I casually brought up the idea of a breast reduction. I wasn’t sure if I was right for it, the process, insurance, or anything, just that the first step was talking to her for a possible referral, which you need for a consultation. I asked (already knowing) “how would you go about getting a referral for a boob job?” She very quickly responded, “Oh, you want a reduction? I don’t blame you. We have our own plastics unit and I can refer you there.” Easy peasy. Her response made me feel justified in my wanting a change, that is was a good thing to look further into.
Right after my appointment I ran up a floor to the plastics unit with my referral letter to start the process and make an appointment. There had been a recent cancelation, so I would be able to get in for a consultation in about two weeks, if that one didn’t work it would be a month. Of course I made that appointment work, if I pushed it out, I would most likely back out. When my consultation rolled around, it was more low-key than I had imagined it to be. The doctor took pictures of my breasts and took multiple measurements. All of this information was going to be sent to my insurance agency in hopes that they would deem it medically necessary. I personally did not have a problem with my boobs being right there for everyone, but if you are someone who is not as comfortable with that, you might not like this appointment as much. The appointment ended and the waiting game started.
We were hoping to hear back from insurance in around three weeks, I was surprised when I received word of the decision in less than two. I don’t answer calls if the caller is not in my contacts. When I went to listen to my message it was the doctor calling to say my surgery had been approved by insurance (yay). I got the call towards the end of September or the beginning of October, I believe. They were eager to schedule the surgery and had surgery openings at the hospital in two weeks, that’s quick! That was a little too fast. I had to do things like work, make arrangements for my time off, finish moving into my new apartment, reach a final decision regarding the surgery, worry. I decided I wanted to have the procedure and scheduled my surgical meeting with my doctor as well as my surgery (December 13, 2017). At this meeting we went over what to expect with the surgery, how long it would be, what they would be doing throughout the procedure, pre-op and post-op, and recovery. The meeting was very informational, helpful, and calming. I took a lot of notes during this meeting, something I highly recommend doing! Even if you think you’ll remember, you won’t. The only uncertainty I was left with is how my new size would be determined. I knew that I wanted smaller, did not want to look funny, but didn’t want to say anything during the meeting about my confusion, although I definitely should have. That was the time to do it! Next, I scheduled my pre-op. At the pre-op, they basically just made sure I was still healthy enough to go through a surgery.
The day was drawing closer and closer. It was now December 7, 2017. It was a Thursday and I received a call regarding my surgery. I was told that due to operating room availability my surgery had been moved up to Monday, December 11. You can imagine this made me a little uneasy. I was fully prepared and ready for my Wednesday surgery, but not for a Monday surgery. I was still planning on working on Monday and Tuesday, now all of a sudden I had to made new plans and be ready for a surgery in three days. I decided to go down to my parents house that weekend and stayed there before my surgery, they were going to be taking care of me following the operation. Monday rolled around and I rolled out of bed to head to the hospital. It was just under two hours to the hospital and we needed to be there at 6:00. The best part of that drive? I was in my surgery “groutfit” and I didn’t put a bra on.
All of the checks before surgery began and I changed into my surgical gown. We went over what would be happening during the surgery again and what would happen following the surgery. I said I wanted all that could be taken during the surgery to be taken, he said he would do his best to safely remove all that he could. He also had a minimum he had to take to cover insurance requirements, which was fine because I wanted more anyways. I cried at one point, I was getting anxious. I had only had one minor surgery previously; the removal of my tonsils in the sixth grade. This was an experience I didn’t know and it was a little scary. I went in to surgery and before I knew it I was back in my room in recovery. My parents were waiting in my room and I was ready to leave. My mom had to try to get my shoes on, I don’t recommend wearing Converse high-tops! As we headed out, wheelchair and all, we scheduled my post-op. I think I had appointments one week after surgery, three weeks, and then six weeks. I knew my swelling would take a long time to go down, they said I shouldn’t expect it to be fully down for six months.
I was totally out of it the next few days, the pain meds I was on were crazy strong and I was basically a nonfunctioning person until my parents quickly weaned me off of them. I was also on a high dosage of antibiotics, they tasted incredibly horrid. There was another pill I had to take for like the following day or two, but who knows what that was at this point. I had been told beforehand that the most painful part of the surgery and recovery would not be the reduction itself, but the liposuction they do to your sides. 100% true. My boobs weren’t the thing bruising beyond belief or causing me a lot of pain, it was where they did lipo. I am going to insert pictures of the bruising on my sides as they progressed, but be forewarned, they are bad bruises. All of my check ups were good and I was told that I was healing very well. The entire surgery consisted of a reduction, liposuction, a breast lift, and a nipple/areola reconstruction. What does all of that mean? I t means that they reduced the amount of boob I had, lifted everything up into the correct place, corrected the area/amount of areola, and removed excess fat on my sides (where your bra wraps around, most surgeons will consider this a part of your breast and include it, not all).
I was incredibly swollen for quite some time. Most of my swelling was in my sides and moved up into my armpits and top of my arm. If you touched my armpit, you could feel the swollen muscles popping out. I mainly iced and lounged. I was able to go to Christmas, but didn’t push it and did as my tolerance (which is very high) would allow. I did not wear the surgical bra forever, I had to for the first two weeks I think. After that, I was able to wear bra’s without wires. I hated sports bras (because they used to give me a uni-boob), but didn’t want to wear the ugly white zip-up surgical bra either. My mom found a nice v-neck “nursing” bra, it was great! I still wear it if I am not wanting to wear a wire bra or don’t need that much support. I will link it down below. It hurt to extend my arms upward and sit straight up for too long. I discovered a helpful trick while trying to ice. Take a roll of ACE bandage and two ice packs. Use the ACE bandage wrap to secure one ice pack to each side, so much easier than trying to ice your sides laying down and sitting up! The nursing bra was incredibly helpful when replacing and resetting gauze. I actually used nursing pads instead of gauze after the first couple of days because the gauze would get stuck in my stitches, the nursing pads were an amazing find! The recommended time for recovery is 2-6 weeks. I thought I would be able to go back after two and call it good. I was not approved to go back after that amount of time and was out for four weeks, they said the minimal they will do is four. Four was okay, five weeks would have been better! Going back to work was hard, especially as a preschool teacher. I had weight restrictions and couldn’t reach, you can imagine how hard this was in the classroom.
It is one year later now and and am completely healed. I am so happy that I had the reduction, but do still wish that they were smaller. I went down between 2-3 cup sizes. I have very minimal scarring at this point. I have a small scar around my new areola and a line leading from there to the bottom of my boob. That’s it. Very minimal, very light and continually fading. Great news too, I was able to wear my wedding dress without a bra and my boobs went nowhere! If you are considering a breast reduction, there is no harm in setting up a consultation to learn more information. I have never once regretted having the surgery and am so glad that I did and that I had my parents to take care of me. Please reach out if you want to chat about this, I am always open to it!
Bravado! Designs Nursing Bra- Amazon