Monday, October 7, 2013

Getting Super Personal : Boob Surgery

On November 26th, I will be having surgery. While the surgery itself wasn't a shock to me, the emotions and feelings associated with it are. For most people, with most surgeries, the anxieties are pretty standard; fear of the anesthesia, fear of pain, fear of death even. For me, my fear is different than others. I know the anesthesiologist. I know the surgeon. I know the resident even. What I don't know is how I will emotionally feel afterwards, because I am having a bilateral breast reduction, in which they are removing more than half of my breast on each side.

When I first scheduled the appointment to see the plastic surgeon, I figured this would be easy. Go in, chop chop, here's some pain meds, get out. Even the doctors made it seem that way. After awhile though, it started to get emotional, and stressful. Because of the stress and the emotions, I shut down on blogging for a bit, at least until I could get the mentality of it around me and get focused again.

So many people have so many questions about it. Some I've answered, some not. I want to answer a few of them now and in this blog post so that others can understand.

Q: If you feel like you need a reduction, what size are you, anyways?
A: I'm a 38 GG (or H, depending on where you buy). Not kidding, not lying. And the only store that USED to carry my size no longer does. If I want a bra, I'll have to go order a $200 one online. This isn't really a huge difference from before the baby, when I got married I was a 38 DDD.

Q: Haven't you tried to lose weight? That's where I lose weight first.
A: Yes, I have, and I lost 30 lbs this year. During that time I had a personal trainer who was doing bi-weekly measurements and we found that I was losing everywhere BUT my chest. The only benefit to working out more was gaining back and shoulder strength to hold these boulders up.

Notice the awkward hand of my son. He's trapped!
Q: What about breastfeeding with another baby?
A: After a long discussion with my primary care physician, my pediatrician, and my plastic surgeon, they all agreed that my inability to breastfeed my first could be completely because of breast size. They quoted that 85% of women can breastfeed after this surgery because they don't mess with the milk ducts or mammary glands. With me, they quoted me a 90% chance of breastfeeding afterwards.

Q: What size do you think you'll be afterwards?
A: Originally I asked for a "natural" looking size, leaving that up to the doctor. She quoted me a "full c" or a "small d", which I would be very happy with.

Q: Have you tried any other methods besides surgery?
A: Oh, yes. I see a chiropractor every three months. I work with a physical therapist who has been trying to help me get the correct posture part down (with no luck). I've done workouts for my chest to destroy fat and build muscle (and they only get bigger) and I've tried different bras to help. At this point, I will need my back fused by 30, or this surgery, at 25.

Q: Besides size, what other problems do you have because of it?
A: By the end of my work-day I have to lie down for a few moments because of my back.
Its impossible to wear some styles of clothing, and essentially if I want to wear trendy clothing, I have to go to the maternity section where the clothes will fit my waist but be comfortable enough for my bust.
My shoulders have become lose and dislocate. I had one repaired, but the other one needs it now, thanks to the weight from my bra straps.
I can never go without wearing a bra. Showers are cut short, tub time includes a sports bra, and at the gym I'm usually wearing two bras, just so I can get a half-assed workout in. I even sleep in a bra, which I've heard is a massive no-no, but not an option for me.
I am getting masses on my chest, sternum, etc. Each time, I have to go in, undergo a breast cancer eval, and have the mass excised and sent to pathology for testing. I've had three breast cancer screenings this year because of them.

Even a professional photographer couldn't photoshop
these babies out!
All my life I knew I'd eventually have a reduction. I always joked that I wanted to go in, have a hysterectomy, tummy tuck, and reduction all at once, once I was done having kiddos. Bubba always knew that that was a part of my life plan, but after three breast cancer scares this year, three mini surgeries to remove lumps and the struggles in my daily life, we decided we can't wait any longer. This needs to be done to improve the quality of our lives.

The emotional part to me is that I wonder if I will feel like less of a woman. I've always had an hourglass shape. I've always had curves and knew if I wanted to feel sexy, I could because of my bust. Now I question what I will feel like, or look like. I'm excited to have the procedure done, and I trust the doctor, but on one hand, she will have a male resident with her, thats GREAT! A guys opinion before they even suture me closed on if they look good or not...but at the same time...that makes me uneasy.

Now that I've bored you with all the nitty grittys and questions so far, I'm open to answering any other questions you may have, so feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Thank you for your understanding while I've been on this hiatus. I needed some time to think, to get my plan in order, to get the surgery scheduled, and to get back on track before the "big day". You guys are truly the best.


  1. I can't even begin to imagine what a burden breasts that size would be. I'm breastfeeding right now, so mine are a little bit larger than a DD, and the straps kill my shoulders and I hate going braless at any time, including while sleeping. After reading everything you've been through, I would totally do the same thing you're doing, but I also completely understand your worries. I think you will still look UNDENIABLY womanly with a full C or small D. Most women get breast implants to be that size. It's the comfortable hourglass figure I would say :) I wish you lots of luck, I really think it's one of those things that you will worry about up until the day it's done, and then once you see the results, you'll be so glad you did it.

    1. Thank you so much! I've always been very large busted, so much so that I can't even remember what it was like to be a D cup or smaller! With your straps and such, if I can give any advice... Lane Bryant has the MOST comfortable bras ever! I used their normal bras as a nursing bra with my son and loved it!
      Thank you so much for your support! You rock!

  2. My sister is the same size as you and she is very self-conscious about it! After seeing her frustrations shopping, not being able to breastfeed her son, etc. I totally understand why you would want this! I hope everything goes smoothly and that you are happy with how everything turns out! :)

    1. Oh my goodness, shopping is a job and a half! I'm so used to it being a chore I didn't even think that other people don't know about that. Thank you so much for your support!

  3. I think you will do great, look fabulous, and feel so much better afterwards. I see a real confidence boost heading your way. Just remember it can take several months before they fall into place, so give it time and enjoy all those cute tops and dresses!

    1. Great point! I don't think I thought about the total recovery time (I'm going back to work that following Monday). Spring is my favorite fashion season anyways, so by that time I'll be able to rock some new styles and fashions!
      Thank you so much for your kind words!

  4. You have thought this through and I believe that you will be great. Good luck to you through this time and the end will be wonderful!

  5. My mom had the same problems as you, but she also suffered from Fibromyalgia, and nerve damage from not getting an operation time for herniated disc (sorry, I don't know how to use english grammar when it comes to these terms). She, too, always had a huge bust, and so she decided she was tired of suffering. The weight basically made her have a lot of unnecessary pain.
    So I think your decision is a great one. A lot of people are curious about reductions in particular, probably thinking "Why would you want to GET RID of your boobs?". It's not really about getting rid of them, as you've probably realised.
    My mom also had to get checked for cancer allll the time, and it runs in the family.

    I don't think you should worry about feeling less of a woman. My mom got a lot happier after having her surgery. I hope everything goes well for you.

    1. It's so great to hear all these stories of people who have had it done, recovered well, and had unexpected benefits like no more back pain or confidence boosts! I'm so sorry your mom has to deal with Fibromyalgia and nerve damage, I have damage in my back so I can only imagine how horrible that must be! Thank you so much for your kind words!

  6. I am so glad that you are going to have some relief. My cousin had the procedure done when she was about 19 and she has felt so much better ever since! No more back pain. Hoping that you get exactly what you want out of this and that your back will feel so much better! ! :)

    1. Thank you so much! Its so crazy how many people have had this procedure done... when you start to plan for it or talk about it its nearly taboo, but after awhile so many people come out of the woodwork and share their stories. I really appreciate your support!

  7. I can relate. when I got married I was measured a 32 D and now I was recently measured a 40 DD or possibly a G or H. There was only one bra in the store that fit me and even that wasn't necessarily a perfect fit. I don't have the other problems that you mentioned but if I did I would definitely do the surgery. A C or D isn't going to make you not look sexy!! I hear that breast reductions are the plastic surgery with the highest satisfaction rate.

    1. Two words for you chica: LANE BRYANT. Its the ONLY place I can get bras anymore, and to top it off, they're decent. They're comfortable, some are cute, and some are wayy too much (a push up for my size? No thanks). But there's a real treat to be told here... they have a buy 2 get 2 free sale twice a year... you'll score 4 bras for $40! I hope you don't have to have one, its not much fun to have to play the insurance game!

  8. I have a very good friend who is currently a 38 DDD and she has been considering a deduction for quite some time now. She too feels the pain (both in her shoulders, and her wallet) when it comes to the size of her breasts. I think she's concluded that one day she will get them deducted, but after she's had children.

    I had no idea the size of a woman's breast can effect her ability to breast feed!

  9. I had one when I was 17 years old. I'm 31 now. We did it then because insurance would pay most of the cost. It was the summer before I became a senior. Boy were people surprised when I came back to school in the fall. I was just a little bigger than you and it was hurting so bad. I still have permanent damage in my back and shoulders. I was able to breastfeed (although I ended up having to stop for a whole other reason). The only thing I hate and still hate is the scars and the scar tissue. The surgeries today are much better with less scarring. Congrats on having this done!

  10. Good for you mama. I have had a breast reduction myself. While I was not as large as you are now it still was hard for me to face the fact that I had heavy boobs and I hated them. SO I made the decision to have a breast reduction. It was seven years ago and I'm so grateful that I did. I am rooting for you girl! And so brave for putting that out there!

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  11. Best of luck! As a large breasted girl myself, I completely understand, and may get a reduction myself someday. I look forward to hearing how your surgery goes.