I Had a Breast Reduction to Reduce A C Cup Breast to an A Cup
Hi, My name is KC, I'm 21 (19 when I had the surgery) and I'm from New York, NY. This is my experience with reconstruction/ breast reduction surgery.
I was born with asymmetrical breast sizes. My right breast was a C cup and my left breast was an A cup. This impacted my self-esteem and I wanted to have this fixed. I decided to visit Dr. Jeffrey Ascherman, a board certified plastic surgeon in New Your City.
When I arrived at Dr. Ascherman for my consultation, I was very nervous because I had seen another plastic surgeon months earlier and she very rudely denied me from coming in for a consultation because I was overweight due to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), despite my very healthy plant-based diet and frequent (4-5x/week) exercising. Before I went into the examination room, I was required to fill out medical forms that had Dr. Ascherman’s name on top and was specifically for his patients. The entire other side of the paper was a blank space reserved for his comments. When I got into the examination room, the first thing Dr. Ascherman did before he even looked at my breasts, was sit down and ask me what had brought me in and what about my breasts was bothering me. He listened to me talk about my insecurity with having asymmetrical breasts and just allowed me to vent for literally 25 minutes. He wrote down everything I was saying on the other side of the piece of paper and it was filled all the way to the bottom by the time I finished.
After my venting was over, he had me open my robe and looked at and touched my breasts. He told me that my breasts were tuberous and took out a measuring tape and held it to my jugular notch (part where the base of your neck meets the top of your chest) and then made marks on both of my breasts. He explained to me that the ideal breast symmetry is a 21-cm triangle from the jugular notch to each areola and the distance between both areolas. He explained to me that I could insert a small implant in my smaller breast, but it would not have the same shape as the right breast, as the right breast was droopy. Having done a significant amount of research on this, I brought up the suggestion of doing a reduction and lift on my larger breast to achieve symmetry and then inserting implants in both breasts to achieve the correct breast size to fit my body. Dr. Ascherman agreed and continued to take measurements and write things down. Not once did he mention my weight and even praised me for having such a healthy lifestyle and apologized for my previous bad experience. He told me he would be honored to do my surgery and told me to take all the time I needed to think about it. I was thrilled and so relieved that he was so kind and meticulous with my case. I was so comfortable with him, that I scheduled my surgery that same day. The plan was to reduce and reconstruct the right breast and try to make it look as close to the left breast as possible.
As a side note, the one thing about this doctor that I truly appreciated was his honesty. He was very blunt with me and told me that this would be a big operation and that I would have scarring and that my breasts would never look like the breasts of a person who hadn’t had surgery. He also told me that I would have a drainage tubes put in to collect the fluid that would build up in my right breast after the surgery. The drain would be inserted through a small incision on the side of my right breast.
Before my surgery, I began clearing things around my room and making sure everything would be at arm’s reach and accessible tome. I also had to get my blood drawn a week before to check my levels. A couple of days before my surgery date I received a call from his nurse saying that I could not eat or drink anything after 9pm the day before surgery and that I needed to get to the hospital at 8 am.
I arrived at the hospital at 9 am, registered and removed my facial piercings. I also had to sign papers that basically stated that if anything were to happen during the surgery and caused my death, my mom would be the one to make decisions regarding my body and how it would be taken care of. I also had to check whether I chose to be an organ donor, I chose yes. I changed into a hospital gown and was put in a room to get the IV placed on my wrist by the anesthesiologist. Dr. Ascherman then came in with a student and made markings on my breasts. The incision would be around the areola and down, commonly known as a lollipop incision. I've attached pictures from my surgery day. I was called into the operating room and was administered general anesthesia through an IV and a mask. It took 3.5 hours to remove the breast tissue necessary to make this surgery a success.
I woke up in recovery room inside the surgery center, not the room where I would be spending the night. I had a wireless bra on and was instructed to keep that bra on constantly during the next few weeks of recovery. The bra opened in the front and was kept together by velcro. I was also given an extra bra to wear when I was washing the original surgical bra. I was moved to a more traditional recovery room and a nurse would come in every couple of hours to give me anti-nausea meds and give me food. I was also having trouble peeing, which the nurse said was due to the catheter that had been put in during the surgery. The nurse also instructed me to keep a log of how many CCs were being collected in my drain every day. She said to call in whenever I reached 20CCs in a day, as that would be the right time to pull out the drain.
In terms of pain, I did not feel much pain but certainly experienced soreness. My chest was very sore, as was my back and neck. I was prescribed painkillers called Percocet and took 1 tablet every 2-4 hours, or whenever I felt extreme discomfort. The first couple of nights I was very restless, as I am a very active sleeper and was forced to sleep on my back. I was also instructed to not move my right arm, as that would pull the breast with it. In terms of showering, I would wash my body in the tub from the waist down and would use baby wipes to clean my body from the waist up. I also had to wear button-down shirts, because raising my arms to put on clothes was not an option.
A week later I went in to have my drainage tubes removed. Dr. Ascherman said that everything looked good and to continue changing the gauze to keep the area clean and dry. About a week later, I noticed some fluid draining and went in to see him. Turns out that part of the incision had opened. He decided that it needed a little more strengthening to keep it closed, so he injected my breast with local anesthesia and put in 6 staples. From then on, my incision got better and better and is now completely healed.
In summary, I definitely made the right decision to have a breast reduction. My health insurance (Medicaid and Healthfirst) covered the procedure, so this definitely helped makes things easier. I am also very happy I picked Dr. Ascherman. He was great throughout my entire experience. If you're considering a breast reduction, you should check to see if your insurance company covers the procedure and then do your research to find a great plastic surgeon. I wish you luck on your journey! Please post any questions you might have and I'll try to answer them.
See my video below for more information on my experience!