Breast Reduction Experience: Review, Photos and a Video!
Hello Everyone, My name is Alexa Golden and this is my experience getting a breast reduction surgery. I am currently, 21 but was 17 at the time of my breast reduction. I'm from Edmonton, Alberta and had my procedure done by plastic surgeon Dr. David Edwards at the Plastic and Cosmetic Laser Surgical Centre at Meadowlark. My procedure was covered by my insurance company.
After years of back and neck pain, uncomfortable bras leading to shoulder pain, and being self conscious of my large breasts, I finally made the decision to have plastic surgery and get a breast reduction the summer after I graduated from high school. My mom had had the procedure done when I was little for her heavy breasts and she told be about her experience and we decided I should go and see the same doctor that did her surgery. I went for a consultation with Dr. Edwards and he was super friendly and very informative. He made sure I didn’t leave with any questions and told me that he wanted to make sure I was a breast size that looked proportionate to my body, not too big or small.
My consult appointment was in March of 2013, and I planned to have my surgery that December when I would be on Christmas break from University. Surprisingly, I got a call in mid July from Dr. Edwards’s office informing me of a cancelation and was asked if I wanted to move my surgery up to August. I jumped at the chance and two weeks later, I went in for the procedure.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted by a nurse, who took me to private room, where I changed into a hospital gown. Then another nurse came in and explained the procedure to me. Then I laid on a gurney and was given a warm blanket. I was wheeled in to the pre-op room. My mom came with me to the pre-up room. It was a big room with a bunch of people in their gurneys waiting for their operations. The anesthesiologist and her resident came to speak with me and told me how the general anesthesia was going to work. The anesthesiologist was very nice and caring. Then another nurse came and took me to a side room and I said goodbye to my mom. At this point, I felt a bit nervous because I was all by myself. My surgeon came in and made his drawings on me. Then he left and the nurse took me to the operating room. This nurse was really nice and I was very thankful of her kindness. Then I was brought into the OR. They made me lay down on another table with compression bands. They stuck the heart monitor and a bunch of other things on me. The nurse inserted the IV into my hand and not too long after, I was complete knocked out by the general anesthesia. After I was knocked out, I think they put an oxygen mask on me.
After the procedure was over, I woke up in the post-op room. My eyelids were heavy and I felt tired. As soon as I woke up, I could feel a bit of a stinging pain (like when you cut yourself). There was other patients in the post-op room. A nurse brought me some water because my throat was so dry. I hung out in post-op for a little while and the nurse asked about my pain. I told her about the pain I had and she gave me some morphine through my IV. Oddly enough, my nurse told me my surgeon came in to the post-op room and spoke with me after the surgery, but I did not remember that at all.
After a while, a different nurse took me to a recovery room where my parents were. I laid there for a bit, slept and sipped on some ginger ale. The nurse told me about the medications I needed to take when I got home. I would need to take pain medication, antibiotics and a few other things. I felt like I had to pee and the nurse told me if I could get up and go to the bathroom and back on my own, I could go home. When I got up, I felt a bit nauseous. Then I had to lay back down and had more pain. The nurse gave me a shot of morphine through a needle and not my IV. She said this would make it last longer. The needle gave me some bruising on my hand, which the IV didn't. Not sure why that was the case.
I was then discharged, went home and slept for the rest of the day. I had a body pillow on my bed, because you can't lay perfectly flat. This would cause increased fluid collection, leading to more swelling and bruising. I had a wrap around my chest. It was a stretchy piece of fabric with velcro in the front. Under that was gauze and tape over the incisions. I also had a drain coming out from my breasts. There were two of them. Both were tubes with clear bulbs that collected the excess fluid and blood that came out of my breasts. This prevents fluid collection under the skin. You need to be propped up for them to drain properly.
The next day I had the drains removed at a follow up appointment. I only had them in for 24 hours. A resident doctor took out the tubes and then they gave me a post-surgery bra. A couple of days later, I went to a different hospital and had new tape placed on my incisions. This hurt a bit, but it wasn't terrible. I didn't have any sutures that needed to be removed, because mine were dissolvable.
I ended up flying across the country 10 days after my surgery, because my brother's team went to nationals in Toronto. The trip itself wasn't uncomfortable, but once I got there, I woke up in the middle of the morning covered in blood. The blood was everywhere, so I woke up my parents. They took me to the emergency room, but we ended up leaving and going to a private clinic because of the long wait (6 hours +). The doctor looked at me and said everything was fine. She said I shouldn't strain my body. There was a small amount of pus, but not much. The doc said if the pus went from yellow to brown or green, then I may have had an infection. After a week, the bleeding completely stopped. This was the only complication I had during the entire process.
10-14 days after surgery, I had some soreness inside of my breast. I used iced gel packs over my breasts to help with the soreness. The soreness lasted a few weeks. It caused some physical discomfort, but wasn't unbearable.
I worked at home for a few weeks because you can't lift your arms over your head for first 6 weeks after surgery. After a few more weeks, I returned to work.
Overall, the procedure went well and I had no major complications. I did not have any scar tissue formation, blood clots, or any of the other risks they warn you about prior to having surgery. All of the medical staff I encountered during this entire process was incredible throughout my experience. Healing was easier than I expected. The scarring has faded extremely well and is barely noticeable. This procedure changed my life because I could gain miles of self-confidence as I was finally comfortable with my body. Being young, getting to wear the clothes you want and buying cute bathing suits and bras has a huge impact on your self-esteem. I overall feel more comfortable as well and my back pain went away instantly after the surgery and I have not experienced the burning sensation in my mid-back even once since. I would not take back this decision for anything and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to find comfort and confidence in themselves.
I have a video of my experience getting breast reduction surgery in the comments below.