Perhaps you read my other story of how breast surgery reduction changed my life ? Are you considering a breast reduction yourself? I personally will cheer you on. It took me so long to make a decision and to get the help I needed. My life wellness was suffering and I needed to gain my active lifestyle back and to be able to walk around without hunching over and without infections.
Knowing what to expect before you go through breast reduction surgery makes the whole thing so much easier. While I asked a lot of questions, there were several I missed and some of my healthcare provided never thought to mention.
No matter the reason you take are considering breast reduction surgery, you should have answers before the end process occurs. These are 11 things to know about breast reduction surgery. I want to help decrease your fear of a process that is harder than most will admit.
11 Things To Know About Breast Reduction Surgery
It is hard to imagine that Breast Reduction Surgery has so many unanswered questions, considering it is a procedure that is pretty standard in our world? There is so much that I did not know, not because I did not ask, but because I never thought to ask.
While I had a very informative Dr. and his Physician’s Assistant who had undergone the procedure, there are just things that slip through the cracks.
Expect A Battle With Your Insurance
After making the decision to have breast reduction surgery, and to seek help, I had no idea how tough insurance was going to be on me. It was not a reduction for vanity, rather a health necessity.
The reduction had nothing to do with cancer but had to do with an infection that just kept on brewing and the time passed slowly. I can tell you to Expect A Battle With Your Health Insurance or at least expect a small lifetime to pass before you are approved.
We had to wait months until insurance approved us, it was not just about the infection, but about the back pain and weight of the breasts. Finally, insurance approved it however, not all breast reductions are covered. You need to know this going in as it can be a financial undertaking.
While insurance varies, we still had copay’s, and blood test fees, and many other fees that cropped up along the way. Be prepared for these bills, especially if you are taking time off work and have not budgeted.
You, Will, Be In The Hospital At Least Overnight
Breast Reduction Surgery requires these things called ‘drains’ and they are oh so very painful. Just the thought that I had these in me was upsetting, but they drain all the excess fluids and help to move the healing procedure along.
I luckily had mine taken out 24 hours later, however, that is also incredibly tender and still very much in my present memories.
Also, you should have someone with you while you are in hospital. My husband stayed by my side round the clock, to take me to the bathroom (once, of course, I was able to get out of bed) and just to have to monitor you.
My surgery itself was 5 hours long, so you do want to have someone there to get updates and make sure all is well.
Shop Ahead Of Time For Surgical Bras
We were not advised to have bras on hand for post Breast Reduction Surgery, in fact, I had no idea what to expect or to even ask that question. I thought I just stayed wrapped up (silly).
While you are dropping cup sizes you are not going to change your size. If you are a 38, I would suggest a 40 and make sure you purchase a larger cup size (the DD you were) in order to be able to wrap up after you get cleaned.
We were provided 2 Surgical bras that velcro in the front, and on the shoulders, making them very easy and much less painful than a traditional bra.
The problem is at the beginning you are leaking bodily fluids and can’t shower. Truly the only way you might feel fresh is with a change of bra. Sports bras that function the same way will feel good. Do make sure to shop for them ahead, don’t try things on after you just had surgery, it hurts (been there done that).
Stock Up On Large Gauze Pads
The gauze will be packed across your chest and changed each day, and you want a fresh surgical bra to change into after because there are bodily fluids that leak out, period. Fresh is always better.
Your Dr. may send lots of gauze home with you, you will be tucking it under the seams of the bra, on the stitches, etc, but you can never have enough.
Think.. freshening up. We found Good Gauze online and when we could not come up with the 8×10’s we doubled the smaller ones that we easily found at large retailers.
Your craving for a shower will intensify as you come out of the comatose state of pain killers. The reality of not being able to shower initially, and sponge-bathing sucks, and then the reality of not being able to do anything for yourself is even worse.
My husband stepped up so far beyond my expectations, washing my hair, my body, towel drying gently (dabbing) that I could not have asked for anything more.
I was taken care of and I had to let it happen. While I am not used to anyone helping me with my personal shower time, this was so wonderful and something I counted on each day to feel refreshed.
Just a note, if you don’t want to wash your hair, we used Dry Shampoo in between as it serves as a great way to freshen up and is quite effective on removing those oils that just somehow accumulate when you sit around.
Pre Breast Reduction Surgery, I went out and bought many more pajama lounging pants and very large tees. Putting my arms into these tees was a whole other animal, I should have used button-down shirts, but I pushed myself without hurting myself and I am glad I did.
You Won’t Be Driving For At Least A Month
Our kids are in active sports and while my husband had time off, we had no idea the sudden Mr. Mom thing that was about to happen. I could drive nowhere. Honestly, I felt like crap, tired from surgery, learning my new body and learning what I could not yet do, all had me in a different zone.
Suddenly my husband had to do EVERYTHING from shopping to kid movement and it got difficult.
Consider Your Partner.
We have no one, so it was him and me and our kids so we made things work. For me, it was strange to never leave the house during the day. Alternatively, for him, it was coming home from work and shuffling kids all over, just totally crazy but we managed.
I did take rides with him, in my pajamas as he dropped off and picked up, just so I could re-enter the world, slowly in a capacity I wanted to. This was good for not getting depressed and for staying focused on the end result.
Additionally we would go to the grocery store for a 1/2 hour together to do the larger shopping, I just stood behind the cart, but it got me out of the house and of course, we got coffee or a meal while we were there, it was nice to do this.
Your Closet & The Mirror Will Be Your Frenemy
Let me set this out there for you: I love clothes and I have a beautiful walk-in closet, however, shirts, and tees always looked BAD. Why? Because of ‘the girls’ so my closet had not been my friend. When I was a tad better, I started the try-on game in my closet and suddenly was loving my new look, no bulging buttons, and tees that just fit me the way they always should have!
Then, of course, there is the terror of the belly below, and while not everyone has this issue, I am told by my Dr. that you never notice what lies beneath until he takes it off and let me tell you, I need to ‘work it’ to get it off.
Work It Out
As soon as the first checkup, a week later, I started walking and walking and by week two, he allowed me to begin light lifting (5-pound weights per hand) and I did. Week three he allowed me to increase the intensity and the weight just a tad and one month in I was exercising daily and moving my arms.
Now, this is all under MY Dr.’s orders, and each Dr. varies. I did not get liposuction and I had pocketed areas to work on. I wanted to get it all worked out.
While I won’t share these photos, I will tell you my chest area does look like it went through an autopsy, and while this might be a slight exaggeration, I was cut left to right, armpit to armpit and nipples too.
It freaked me out to look at first and thankfully my husband could make sure all was healing on a daily basis. Eventually, I came to terms with it. However, when the stitches began falling out that freaked me out!
It is not a small undertaking and the surgery is 5 hours plus. Recovery is pain-painstakingly long but the end result is worth it!
All I can say is that it is now your turn to go bra-less! Wear those camisoles with only shelf liners and indulge in those shirts that sport cleavage because YOU can.
I have never looked back, and I enjoy the days I can lounge in a camisole or wear a bra that has NO UNDERWIRE and of course how perky they are.
These are the 11 things to know about Breast Reduction Surgery and they have served me well.
My life is forever changed and I feel so much better. No more infections, no more heavyweights on my chest and certainly no excuses to stay active.
I am happy, and can not imagine why it took me so long to undertake this adventure. Push that pride out of the way, seek the help you need and lavishly live life out loud. ~ DANA
Affiliate links contained within. Based on my experience in my life. ~ Dana XO