Friday, February 25, 2011

Breast Reduction Surgery


I had a breast reduction about six months before my band surgery. My motivation for that surgery was complicated. I had chronic back pain which my chiropractor admitted could be related to my oversized breasts. And although I had once been proud of my breasts (big tits rather than a pretty face being my claim to fame) I had come to hate them. They hung down to my waist and I blamed them for my stooped, matronly appearance. I truly believed that if they were smaller and perkier, the rest of my body would look better too. Intellectually I knew I was too big all over my body, but emotionally I pinned the blame on my breasts. Aside from attracting the attention of unsuitable men, they had never done me any favors. I hadn't even nursed a baby. The aureole of the nipple on my left breast was grotesquely large - about 4" in diameter, and odd shaped, while the right one was disproportionately small. They were both badly scarred from vicious scratch injuries I had inflicted on myself during a particularly difficult phase of recovering from sexual abuse. When I had my first mammogram at age 40, the technician took one look at me, went to the door, and called down the hallway (which was open to the mammography waiting area) to her coworker, "Hey, Sharon, I'm gonna need the big plates for this one!"

So I was delighted to have that breast reduction even though my insurance company dictated how much tissue had to be removed from each breast and the recovery was slow and painful. I had been anesthetized so long for that procedure that I felt as if I'd been beaten with a baseball bat after being hit by a truck. I was kept in the hospital overnight but when I was discharged late the next morning, I felt as if I'd only just woken up in the recovery room. I had lateral incisions (about 12") each running from under my arms to the center of my chest, vertical incisioins running from the lateral ones up to my new (small) nipples, and circular incisions around the nipples. A true Bride-of-Frankenstein look. Some sections of the incisions just refused to heal, gaping open so that I had to pack themwith sterile gel and gauze every day. The incisions oozed and stained my clothing because I had a hard time keeping up with changing the bandages so often. Simple movements like reaching for something in a kitchen cabinet or turning over in bed were difficult. I toughed it out - after all, this was all my idea in the first place. The incisions finally healed, the bruises faded, the swelling subsided, and I was left with ridiculously small breasts on on obese body. Have you ever tried to find a 48A bra?

Before the breast reduction, my plastic surgeon said to me in a carefully offhand tone, "Are you planning to lose any weight in the future?" Talk about a loaded question. I mumbled something about wishing I could lose weight but not expecting to succeed. He warned me that if I did lose weight after the reduction, I might not be happy with the "aesthetic" result, especially in the area of the lateral incisions. Turns out he was right. After losing my excess weight, the skin under my arms drapes weirdly over those incisions. Fortunately it's not something that's obvious to others, and even I don't see it unless I lift my arms away from my torso.

Despite all of that (and I scared thoughts of breast surgery right out of you, so be it), I'm glad I had the breast reduction. Those small breasts don't look so ludicrous with my smaller body. In fact, they look just right to me. I wear a 38B bra now, which is a bit easier to find than the 48A. My girls are drooping a bit - not quite as perky as they were 2-1/2 years ago, but as I tell my bra customers every day, "Gravity gets the better of us sooner or later." Interestingly, I've talked to many customers who've had breast reductions that resulted in smaller breasts than they'd like, but every one of them syas she doesn't regret the surgery. Like me, these ladies think it's wonderful to wear buttoned blouses that don't gape open and form-fitting sweaters that don't make them look like a Dolly Parton Wannabe. They like not having to buy a bigger size dress just to be able to fit it over their bosom while the neckline slips off their shoulders and a family of Munchkins can camp under the skirt.

5 comments:

Mary Pat F said...

Yes.. I have tried to buy a 48A bra.. It is so hard... No matter how wide around I get, even when I was pregnant, I did not go bigger than an A... (I actually think it is 'almost A', but I say A)...

Glinda Cauthorne said...

Some women wish to have a big bust. But if you have bigger bust, it's quite hard to find the right bra size and do outdoor activities. That's why some women really want to undergo breast reduction. I hope you are alright now and having a good recovery.

Terry Bayer said...

Women should never have to substitute aesthetics for physical comfort. Undergoing breast reduction to help ease chronic back pain is one big decision, considering that the trend these days is for women to have a big bust.

Katelyn Betterton said...

Big breasts can hinder more than help, and I salute you for undergoing surgery. Not a lot of people would think breast reduction is empowering, but it is. It makes you feel lighter, more energetic, and allows you to accomplish more activities than before!

Kristy Martin said...

I'm recovering from a breast reduction procedure, which was performed in Toronto by Dr. Jerome Edelstein. A friend recommended him and he really did a great job. My recovery goes well, without any kind of problems and I'm happy that I will have smaller breasts... finally.