Breast Reduction Review 2018: Recovery, Side Effects, and Results
Before and afters
I’ve been wanting to get a breast reduction for about 20 years. I’d even gone in to learn more about them when I was younger, but I ultimately decided to wait until after I had kids. Now that I’m 41, my kids are a little bit older. Add to that the fact that my breast size and heaviness was kind of affecting my day-to-day life, and I knew it was time to go for it.
Why I Wanted a Reduction
My breasts weren’t overly large per se, and I didn’t experience any back pain; but they were heavy breasts, and they hung low. Gravity definitely took them way lower than they seemed like they were supposed to go, which contributed to their large appearance. As an extremely active person, I felt like they were always getting in the way, especially when I exercised. Plus, they definitely seemed to be disproportionately large breasts for my otherwise thin frame.
How I Found Dr. Breslow
I knew some people who had already been to Dr. Gary Breslow and spoke highly of him. Of course, there were a few other plastic surgeons that people recommended, but Dr. Breslow received the highest praise and from people that I trusted most. After that, it was easy. I went in to consult with him and liked him right away.
Office First Impressions
His office is extremely clean, bright, and happy. It makes you feel good when you walk in. That was the first thing that I noticed. I also noticed that there wasn’t much in the way of pushy marketing material. I felt like I was going to speak with a surgeon and not a salesman. I mean don’t get me wrong, there were pictures and all that, but it was understated and relaxing. I think that’s important.
The staff was also extremely friendly. After the first time I was there, the receptionist and all of the nurses knew my name. When I came in for future appointments, they’d already have me checked in and ready to go. They’d know what I was there for and everything. I honestly never had to wait. I’ve never been to a doctor like that.
The Consultation Process
I met with his nurse first. She made me very comfortable. She was also extremely calm and talked to me in a direct and comforting manner. When she started explaining the breast reduction surgery, she made it feel so natural. It didn’t feel weird to me at all what I was doing.
After I had some time to meet with the nurse, Dr. Breslow came in. He went over all of the options with me, of which there were many, and explained each one. He never attempted to sell me on anything or push me in any particular direction. He just gave me the info and told me that it was my decision.
Of course, it helps to have the surgeon’s guidance, and he did ask some very pointed questions to help me find the best option for what I wanted. Instead of just asking what size I wanted my breasts to be, he asked me how I wanted to feel. He also asked specific sizing questions like “would you rather be a large B or a small D?” Basically, shaping a breast is not an exact science and how a breast looks and feels depends on more than just the size. He really tried to get to the bottom of why I was there and what I really needed instead of just having me pick a size and move on.
Dr. Breslow’s nuanced approach to plastic surgery made me very comfortable that I was in good hands and would get the results that I wanted.
I had the surgery only a few weeks later. Prior to the breast reduction procedure, they printed out a list of what I could expect. They also showed me a video of what to expect, so I could really visualize it. Aside from that, there wasn’t much in the way of pre-operative instructions.
On the actual day, I was nervous, but everyone put me at ease. A nurse greeted me and explained everything in a calming voice. Then Dr. Breslow came in before the surgery to measure me. He was very serious and professional. It was clear that he was there to do a job, but he also had an excellent bedside manner. He talks to you in a way that makes you comfortable.
The actual cosmetic surgery took place at a surgical center in his building. I was put under for the procedure, so I have no memory of it. However, when I woke up, I was surprised by how little pain I was in. That worked for me. I’m not a big fan of pain medication, and I really didn’t need it.
Recovery and Side Effects
I went home with drainage tubes in me, largely as a precaution. Honestly, they made me pretty nervous. I mean I watched the video, and everyone at the office explained how the drains worked, but I’d never had them before.
When I noticed that not much was coming out of the drains, I became worried and contacted Dr. Breslow’s office. I got a call back not five minutes later from the nurse. She reinforced how the drains worked and explained that there was nothing to worry about.
Aside from the drains, the hardest part of breast reduction recovery for me was having to sleep on my back. I’m not a back sleeper, and I found it really uncomfortable. But it was important for proper healing. In general, I often experienced physical discomfort, but I was never in pain.
As for other physical symptoms and side effects, I never noticed any swelling or bruising. They wrapped me up in this compression garment that felt like a sports bra. The surgical bra really helped keep the swelling down. I did experience some extreme sensitivity in my nipples, which I was warned about. That has persisted to the present, but should go away eventually.
I was walking regularly again after maybe two weeks. At around six weeks, I graduated to a little more physical activity, like tennis. However, I still haven’t quite started running again or doing any really heavy lifting. It definitely takes time to fully heal, but I’m pleased with the experience.
My first post-operative follow-up was the very next day. That’s when I took the compression garments off for the first time, and I was honestly shocked at how good they looked after only one day.
I’ve had several more follow-ups since that first experience. Two days later, the drains were taken out. I then saw Dr. Breslow again one week, three weeks, and six weeks later. Every time, they were very gentle with me, answered all of my questions, and never made me feel rushed.
Now I’m several follow-ups in and the results are amazing. I’m 100% pleased. The scarring is minimal and there’s no more pain and only mild discomfort. On the whole. The experience has been thoroughly life-changing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Advice to Others
To be honest, I wish I’d known more about the drains going in, because they were a little freaky when you’ve never used them before. Of course, it’s possible that nothing can quite prepare you for that. I guess my advice would be to ask a lot of questions and try to go in as informed as possible.
It’s also important that you’re very clear with your intentions going into the procedure. Find a doctor that really wants to find the right solution for you and make sure you’re on the same page. It’s so important that you’re comfortable with the procedure and the person performing it. Take the time to do it right.