My Breast Reduction: 2.3 pounds Removed From Each Breast (H to D Cup)
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
When I hit the age of 14, I started having back issues. I have scoliosis in my upper back and a herniated disc in my tailbone. My scoliosis makes it hard to do what I love, which is hair and makeup. Standing for 5 minutes would cause my right shoulder to go numb and hurt really bad. My doctor put me in physical therapy for almost a year once I was 17 and one of the therapists said I should get a breast reduction. I was very hesitant at first, because I would always joke about getting it done, but when this was actually presented to me, I was thrown off. I'm under CHOC medical and my first reaction was, “There's no way a children’s medical office is going to authorize this.” My physical therapy office notified my medical insurance that I should get breast reduction surgery done and the back specialist I go to also agreed. My medical insurance authorized me to go talk to a surgeon about what needed to be done.
In April of 2017 (right before my first ever appointment to see whether or not I was a candidate for a breast reduction), my shoulder went out on me and I was not able to move it for a while. I was head of makeup for my high-school theater show at the time, so I was very upset and just wanted my breasts off. Apparentl, I over worked the muscles between my spine and my right shoulder blade (where my scoliosis is) and the next day when I stretched, it caused my shoulder to become stuck, because the muscles and nerves got pinched. The surgeon I saw, told me that for a 17 year old I should not be having so much back and neck pain. He recommended that I go see his friend, who is also a plastic surgeon, and I would be able to get my surgery done within a few months. The surgeon's name was Dr. Windy Olaya.
Dr. Olaya’s office is right next to CHOC Hospital, which is very convenient, because when it comes to addresses, her office was easy to find. Dr. Olaya is super sweet. I love how positive she is and how much information she gave me to make sure I was safe and calm for this surgery.
During my first appointment with her, Dr. Olaya asked me what methods I'd used to try and get my back pain to go away. I explained that I was in physical therapy for almost a year and that I tried losing 20 pounds but nothing was helping. She took pictures of me from all angles and sent it to the medical insurance company. Within a month, I got a letter in the mail that I was authorized for my surgery, which I booked in June of 2017. I had a pre-op appointment, where she drew lines of where my incisions would be, so that I knew how she was going to remove the tissue and fat. She told me she'd take about 2 to 4 pounds off of each breast. She told me that I could not eat 12 hours prior to the surgery and that I needed to get a sports bra that opens from the front and fits to size around, not the cup because it would end up fitting me perfectly after the surgery (which is perfect because before this surgery, I was NEVER able to find a sports bra that would fit).
Then June came around and I went to CHOC Hospital in Orange, California, at 8am. The surgery (as they had told me) ended up being 3 hours and then I stayed for an extra 2 hours just so they could make sure I was okay. They took 2.3 pounds out of each breast, which took me from an H cup to a D cup. They were super nice to me the whole time and made sure to give me snacks for post-surgery because of the anesthesia.
They gave me Codeine for 7 days, but I only took it for 2 days, because I have a high pain tolerance and I was not in much pain after a while. I have heard of many people staying on the pills for the full week because of their pain though. The bigger the surgery, the more discharge there is, so I was wearing an open front sports bra for 6 weeks with literally period pads shoved in it to soak up all the discharge. Gross, I know, but it really helped. They had told me that with very big reductions, they will put tubes in to help drain the swelling from the surgical site for about 2 or 3 days after the surgery. I did not get the tubes put in, even though they told me they had thought about doing it, but decided against it.
It has now been almost 4 months since my surgery, and I don't have much back or neck pain. They did tell me that some women lose all sensation in their nipples and other women end up with hypersensitive nipples. I ended up losing all sensation in my left nipple for a while but I'm starting to get feeling back, but it's painful. That's another thing, the larger the reduction, the longer everything takes to heal. My surgeon told me that because I am getting painful feelings back in my nipples, that means my feeling will most likely come back fully. I guess it just takes a long time.
I have read that a lot of women cannot wear underwire sports bras, but I was able to wear underwire bras after 10 weeks, so this has to do with how you heal after the surgery. In all honesty, I love how I feel. My scoliosis still sucks, but instead of taking 5 minutes for my right shoulder to start hurting, it now takes an hour. I love my new body and I feel great. This breast reduction has given me more self-confidence about my body. I recommend this surgery to everyone who has upper back, neck and shoulder pain because of their large breasts.