18 answers

Seeking Insight on Breast Reduction Surgery/liposuction

I just found out my insurance will cover breast reduction surgery to take me from a DDD to a C cup. I've been having a lot of neck and upper back pain, arthritis, bulging disks, etc. that will probably improve with the surgery.

I'm worried about the recovery and the outcome. I have a 2.5 year old son who the surgeon says I won't be able to lift for at least 3 weeks, plus I'd like to avoid taking time off work. I'm also worried about not liking the outcome. As large as my breasts are, they're fairly well-shaped and attractive, so I'm worried that I'll end up not liking the results. I'm also afraid of the scarring.

I'm also considering asking the surgeon if he can do some lower abdominal lipo while I'm in the OR.

Does anyone have any personal experiences with either breast reduction surgery or lipo they'd like to share? I'm open to hearing about both positive and negative experiences.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone for your great input. I requested another consult with the surgeoon and brought up several of the issues that were raised through your responses. My surgery is scheduled for October 9th (gulp!) and I figured I might as well do a few "upkeep" things while I'm under, so I'm having full abdobminal lipo and under-chin lipo. Woohoo!

Featured Answers

I went from a G to a D. It was one of the best things I have ever done. Yes, there are scars, but they are better then the back and neck pain that seemed to go away over night once the breasts were gone. I would wait until you are done having children since we all know how pregnancy can affect the girls, plus many can not breast feed after a reduction. You will have to take a few days off work, but for me the pain was minimal. You will have drain tubs in for a couple of days and will need to take it easy for the first week. If you try to skip the recovery period you can easily split a stitch and that will lead to major scars. This happened to a girl I know and unlike my thin white lines, she has scars almost 1/2 inch think due to trying to exercise to early and tearing open her insicion.

More Answers

I had breast reduction surgery back in 1999 - and IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE!

My doctor told me to find a set of breasts that I liked, and he would try and make them look like that. Well, my husband was thrilled, how many husbands get to help pick out their wifes breasts!

We ended up brining in Playboy centerfold September 1984 (newer boobs were all fake - ick).

The surgery did hurt a little, but the scarring is so limited - and *never* visible outside a bra, or even skimpy bikini (if you are so brave).

I'm now 35, and my breasts are not sagging as much as my friends, and *definately* not as much as they would have been when I was a DDD (and only 5'0").

The three weeks before lifting goes quickly, and the pain is gone quickly. Make sure you go to all of the follow up appointments, and change the dressing often. Also, Mederma scar reducer is a great product to reduce the tiny scars even more.

Go for it! You will never regret it - It's been 9 years, and I love being able to sleep on my stomach, and fit into regular sized clothes, and my husband loves them :-)

Take care,

S.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi. I would go for it. I did it when I had two girls, 2 and 3 years old. It was the best thing I ever did. I was so large (an "I" cup), and was able to have my nipples stay attached - meaning they measure you and sometimes they have to detach the nerves from your nibbles. The do detach your nipples and reattach them during the surgery, but some aren't so lucky to still have the nerve sensation.

I spent 2 nights in the hospital and ended up about a "C" cup. I probably missed a week of work. It just depends on you, but it's major surgery and between the anesthesia, the discomfort, etc., you don't walk in one day and walk back to work the next day. I think I had mine on a Wednesday, went home Friday, had the weekend to recover, and went back to work the following Thursday, and was ready to rest again over the next weekend.

With a 2 year old, and if you have a husband or friend who can be around, you can get around it. You just explain to the child that "Mommy can't pick you up." It was easier than I thought. You also can't lift your arms above your shoulders for a little bit, and will wear a bra that hooks in the front after surgery (you'll be bound in gauze for about a week).

I have to say the one thing - and maybe it's changed, but when you have breast reduction you will end up being "wider" in the breast. It's not noticeable, and since you are smaller you'll have more choices of bras. My sister had it done also and we have found Playtex Secrets, Victoria's Secret, and Lane Bryant are good fits. I found the lower the front underwire was in front, the better the fit for me.

It's the best thing I ever did. To wear a shirt that buttoned in front, to lay on my stomach, to not have people take a double look at my chest when they'd realize how big I was, etc.

I didn't have an issue with the belly at that time. Since then, I've had five abdominal surgeries for endometriosis and I tried to talk to them about liposuction due to fat, scar tissue and trying to build up the muscles down there, but no luck!

You will also notice a great relief on your back and other things you can do that you didn't realize you may have been limited in before. Go for it!!

1 mom found this helpful

L.,

breast reduction is an outpatient surgery. I had it done December 1999...I followed all directions for recovery and had a great experience. However, it is a long recovery. No lifting your arms above your head for a week or two. No driving or lifting for about a month.

On top of that, I had to have my mom take care of me: I was sent home with drain tubes that had to be monitored, drained, and recorded for several days. I was on medication that kept me incoherent for 2-3 days. After, it was quick to wean to heavy Ibuprofen.

I have not regretted the time off work (6 weeks), the time spent not showering (1 week for sure), and the time at the mercy of my Mom who was an awesome nurse. My scars are almost non-existent now!! I do not have the pain I had before.
The surgery did alter my ability to breast feed my children (I did not have them yet).

The decision is a hard one; if you decide to go ahead with surgery, I would recommend following ALL directions by the doctor completely. Planning in advance will allow you to take the time you need, and get the care you require.

Good luck,
T.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a reduction in Feb of this year. I went from a G to a D. I can't even see the scar around my nipple and the scar from my nipple down is still visible but fading quickly. My surgeon didn't do the incision that some do that cuts under the breast - those kind do leave more scarring and can be painful because that is where the bra sits. I am very happy with my results, I am perky, way more proportioned and I don't have to special order bras!

My surgery was an out patient procedure and I was off work for 1 week. The older rules about not lifting aren't as strict as they used to be, my surgeon told me to listen to my body and not overdue it. I did have someone stay with me to help with my son but if my son needed a cuddle, I would just sit on the couch or floor and snuggle him that way. I had minimal pain - the worst being the site where the drains were but they got removed about 5 days after surgery then I felt no more pain.

My advice if you do this - don't expect perfect looking breasts on day one. It takes 3-4 months for the swelling to go down and for them to settle into place, it takes 6+ months for any loose skin to tighten back up and may take up to a year before the scarring is minimally visible.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister just had a breast reduction last month on July 9th. She had her breast reduced from a DDD to a C cup. She was in quite a bit of pain after the surgery and is still very sore. What concerns me is the fact that you have a 2.5 year old and that you would probably need someone around constantly to babysit him in the first couple of weeks. I had to help bathe my sister, help her get dressed, and drain the drains that she had. She was very out of it for at least two weeks. She just now went back to work and even the slightest lifting has caused her to bleed from her nipples again. I just want you to know that there is the possibility of being in a lot of pain that would make you unable to care for your child. My suggestion would be to wait a couple of years when your child maybe enters kindergarten and is a tad bit more independent from you before I would consider doing the surgery. Either way good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L., I have never had breast reductin surgery but would like to. My sister did have it done though, and she loves her new chest now. There is very l ittle scarring and it is under the breast so not many people see it. Her back, neck and shoulder pain is gone now. She is very happy that she did and wished that she had had it done much earlier.

1 mom found this helpful

hey L.,

I had a breast reduction at the age of 19. All my life I was well endowed. The fact that I always had to wear XL shirts to fit was frustrating!! I am SO glad I did have that surgery. Since then I have gained some weight and if I had not done the surgery I would be enormous!! All of my back pain went away. And I still felt attractive, and was relieved that men looked me in the eyes instead of my "girls".

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't had surgery, but I went from a D to an A over the course of 4 breastfed children (my mom says, our breasts get "more efficient"), and I totally LOVE being able to move around without the weight and bother in front.

However, I'm still coming to terms with not having a chest that screams 'squeeze me!' I didn't really like having a chest that screamed that (and never encouraged anyone except my husband to actually try them out ;) ), and the change was gradual, but it is still a pretty big mental adjustment to have to face the world without that (distracting: protective?) factor. A good thing ... but I now have to be aware that if men look at me, they actually often see _me_, whereas before, unless I purposely drew attention to (more of) me, I was mentally quick-filed as "an attractive pair of breasts--oh, and nice hips, too." Now no part of me sticks out (in their minds, I mean ;) ).

Dunno if that helps, but I thought it might be something non-medical to consider.

1 mom found this helpful

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