EDITOR’S NOTE: I am so pleased to share Beautypendence’s first ever guest post, in three parts. Debbie is a dear, longtime friend who was so generous to share her personal story with you. I hope that you enjoy!
Fast forward a few years, I was still a 36G. Well, I hadn’t actually been measured again, and my breasts could have reached “Humongous” on the alphabet, but I was going to make them fit in my existing bras, having spent so much on them. Then, a friend had reduction surgery and had great results. Just her boobs, not the rest of her, took the Texas slogan to heart. So, at the ripe old age of 48, I decided reduction surgery was the right decision for me, too. I went for my consultation. Yes, I had back and neck pain; yes, I had bilateral grand canyons on my shoulders; and yes, with a few pictures (which would never get me a job if I were advertising my “wares” on the internet), I was approved for surgery by my insurance company.
I had a bilateral reduction mammoplasty (boob reduction) in 2006, and immediately, I felt the most relieving sense of “space” in front of me. I remember feeling amazing in the recovery room. Now, I am sure some of that was due to the drugs, but it was also because I had freedom in the front. I no longer had all that weight and pressure. A few of my girlfriends came to see me that evening in the hospital, and I am sure I made no sense at all, but I appreciated the visit. Thank you, ladies.
I did have some problems post-operatively. I lost some nipple sensation. I had to keep the drain in for a week (see my Do’s and Don’ts below). Worst of all, I had a rare complication called Mondor’s veins. This is a thrombophlebitis of the superficial veins of the breast and abdomen. For me, this meant I had strange rope-like things snaking down my abdomen that felt really weird. They are not dangerous, and there is no treatment other than warm compresses and Advil. Once I knew that, I was okay. Regarding the type of incision, I had Lollipop incisions rather than Anchor incisions.
They also found some abnormal cells, so I went to see a breast surgeon and an oncologist to decide what type of follow-up was needed. Since I was going to the oncologist, I thought I might as well have my million moles checked out. This was a real blessing as I had two moles that were abnormal, including one that was melanoma in situ. It was removed, and I still have regular check-ups with my dermatologist. If I hadn’t had the surgery and hadn’t had abnormal cells and hadn’t seen the oncologist, I might not have found the melanoma at such an early stage and might not have had a lot of time to enjoy the rewards of the surgery.
I don’t regret having the boob reduction for a minute. In some ways, I wish I had gone smaller as they still have a mind of their own and the propensity to listen to that motto again. The biggest regret I have is that I didn’t do it years ago and instead spent all that time carrying the weight around and not loving my breasts.
One really wonderful reminder of this experience resulted from a neat coincidence. One set of girlfriends who came to see me after surgery, from my previous job at a hospital, gave me a beautiful jade plant. A week after surgery, one of the girls from my current job brought me a present from the clinic – also a beautiful jade plant. Both plants were the same size, but like my boobs, they took the Texas motto to heart and have grown and grown. Both plants are three feet across, each, and I enjoy their flowering every year.
A word to anyone considering breast reduction surgery:
- Do it now, don’t wait.
- Pin the doctor down to the size he is going to reduce you to and make sure it is the size you want.
- Buy some front loading bras, preferably ones that do not have a seam where the incision is going to be.
- Don’t let your husband pick you up after surgery in a Subaru WRX or any vehicle with “firm” suspension.
- Invest in a seat belt adjuster that makes the seat belt go between your boobs and use it every trip.
- Learn to lever open the fridge door and don’t pull it open otherwise you will keep the drain in a lot longer. The pressure to pull the door open increases the pressure in the veins in the area. and you ooze.
- Have lots of pillows – you will have to sleep upright for a while.
- Learn the reduction hug – your right arm goes round the other person’s shoulders to hug them while your left hand is placed palm out below your, now considerably smaller, boobs so they don’t squash you.
- And finally, enjoy them, be proud of them and spend money to showcase them.
Images: Drew Barrymore, Deb’s boob cake – courtesy of Wendy