My Breast Reduction Experience - From Big Boobs to a Small B Cup

Overall doctor rating

Practice & Staff

  • 5 -
    Ease of scheduling an appointment
  • 5 -
    Office environment, cleanliness, comfort...
  • 5 -
    Staff friendliness and courteousness

Overall experience with the doctor

  • 5 -
    Level of trust in provider's decisions
  • 5 -
    How well provider explained procedure(s)
  • 5 -
    How well provider listens to and answers questions
  • 5 -
    Amount of time provider spent with you

Procedure specific satisfaction rating

Breast reduction

Performed 2016

Zwivel Rating
(5/5)

My name is Laura Fry, I am 23 years old but I was 20 years old when I got my breast reduction surgery done. I live in West Linn, Oregon but had my surgery done in Portland, Oregon. My doctor’s name was Dr. Samuel Bartholomew, a board certified plastic surgeon, who works at 5050 NE Hoyt St. Suite 422 Portland, OR 97213. I did not actually have to pay anything for my procedure, because I am on Oregon’s public healthcare plan. My entire procedure and all the extra appointments, hospital stay, etc. was 100% covered.

After hitting puberty at the semi-early age of 10-11, I quickly developed extremely large breasts. It seemed like my big boobs kept getting bigger as more and more breast tissue began to develop. Throughout high-school, my breast size continued to increase. By the time I had my surgery, I was wearing larger than an H cup. I had an entire credit card for bras alone, because they were so expensive in my size. I had severe back, shoulder, and neck pain and was consistently uncomfortable. I tried physical therapy for a long time before being referred to Dr. Bartholomew to show the insurance company that this was not a problem that would be fixed through physical therapy. Once I was referred to Dr. Bartholomew, he examined me and let me know that my case was one of the more severe that he had seen in his career, but I was a good candidate for the procedure. He submitted his request for surgery approval to my insurance board and I was approved a few months later. We scheduled my surgery and it was officially going to happen! Dr. Bartholomew explained to me that, due to the extreme nature of my case, he would have to do a more intense procedure. Normal breast reductions involve the T-shaped incision. However, if he were to do this process with my case he would barely be able to take any tissue out for extreme risk of my nipples dying. Because of this, he would have to sever the nipples from the body, take out tissue, and then reattach the nipples via skin grafts. This would involve a longer recovery process, but it would be well worth it as he would be able to extract a much larger amount of breast tissue and create a much better result. The morning of my surgery, as I was waiting to be anesthetized, Dr. Bartholomew came in to draw the incision marks on my skin and to go over a few things with me. I let him know a final time that I wanted to be somewhere around a large A cup or a small B cup. Then, I was wheeled off to surgery and my life was changed as I slept!

The surgery was expected to be two to three hours long, but it ended up being five hours. This wasn’t due to any complications, but purely the extreme extent of my case. When I awoke, I discovered the most difficult part of the entire process…not having been able to have water for 12 hours prior and waking up with an incredibly dry throat! Literally, my first words after waking up were “water!” Unfortunately, I was unable to have any right away due to my stomach not being ready. I ended up staying in the hospital one night, as planned, and almost had to stay a second night because I was vomiting and unable to keep food down. At the last moment, I could keep something down and was allowed to go home without staying a second night.

I can honestly say, that the most difficult part of my breast reduction surgery recovery was that I was unable to shower for upwards of two weeks. I felt very little pain from this entire process and didn't require any painkillers. I did, however, keep a very tight handle on my medication. I never missed a dose, and I’m not sure if that’s why I had so little pain or not. For the first week, I had drainage tubes attached to me on either side, that I (rather, my mother) had to record the amount of liquid in them and then empty them every few hours. After a week, we went into Dr. Bartholomew’s office and the drains were removed. I still was unable to shower, due to the skin grafts. If skin grafts become wet they will literally detach themselves from the skin. I was unable to move my arms out to the side or lift them much higher than mid-chest height. I wore a binding chest wrap and then transitioned to a full support, wireless surgical bra. Despite all of this, it was already obvious that I finally had the smaller breasts I had always wanted. My days of lugging around heavy breasts were over!

After two weeks or so, my grafts had healed enough and the stitches were removed. I continued to wear the full support bra for upwards of two months or so and then I was essentially fully healed!

This procedure changed my life in enormous ways. My self-esteem has greatly improved and I am able to feel comfortable in my body. I can wear things I couldn’t before, like smaller bras. I am able to run and exercise without any discomfort. I like my new body so much better; I feel that I’m able to be more confident. I am so happy every single day that I made this decision. The only thing I would change is that I wish I had done it sooner.

If you're considering having plastic surgery to reduce the size of your breasts, I would highly recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon. You can tell that a doctor is board certified by visiting The American Society For Plastic Surgery website and searching for their name. For me, having cosmetic surgery was absolutely the correct decision.

Dr. Samuel Bartholomew

Portland, OR - No reviews

Practice At 9155 Sw Barnes Rd Suite 532 - Portland (Oregon)