WELCOME TO A NEW SERIES CALLED STORYTIME: REAL EXPERIENCES SHARED & WRITTEN BY PEOPLE IN MY LIFE.
Before we jump into our first story; here’s some background … I encourage everyone in my life to write more. It’s therapeutic, reflective, and increases awareness. I created Storytime so my inner circle could utilize Mindfully Sarah to share their stories.
OLIVIA is my first guest author. She’s sharing about her recent surgery undergoing a Breast Reduction – everything from the research to how she’s feeling today! I want to give her a huge round of applause for being vulnerable enough to share such a personal story. Enjoy!
WHAT GETTING A BREAST REDUCTION IS REALLY LIKE:
I struggled with very big breasts since the age of 12. While people were getting pretty bras from stores like Victoria’s Secret and Aerie, my mom was taking me to the “lady brassiere store”. By the time I was twenty, I wore a 36F. Tops never fit, my back and neck bothered me, doing anything intimate felt uncomfortable, and more than anything, I just felt so massive all the time. No one in my family had large breasts and whenever I complained about them, people dismissed or invalided my struggles saying I needed to lose weight and they’d shrink on their own or that I was lucky to be genetically blessed. I felt anything but lucky.
Fast forward seven years and fifty pound weight loss, my mom finally agreed to consider letting me get a breast reduction. Before I get into anything regarding my surgery or my opinions on the matter, I will say that I am not a doctor and my writing is solely based on my own experience:
Find a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction and body work. Dr. Nina Naidu of New York City who has a private practice on the Upper East Side performed my surgery. It is important to find a surgeon who makes patients feel comfortable and confident about their procedure. I personally wanted a female doctor, but I know there are many excellent male surgeons in the field. Both before and after surgery, both Dr. Naidu and her staff were lovely. They answered any questions I had and always made me feel validated and listened to- there were no such things as silly questions according to Jane her patient coordinator!
After the date was set for my surgery, they encouraged me to maintain my weight/ continue to lose and they were going to see my to take measurements and do blood work three weeks before surgery.
Doctors cannot guarantee a certain breast size. When getting a breast reduction, the doctor cannot promise a certain number or letter until they operate. I personally asked Dr. Naidu for a range, she said between a Full C cup and a D cup, and I asked her to go a “small as she could” while making me look proportional.
Surgeons either perform breast reductions in surgical centers or a hospital. Since my operation was outpatient, I had mine at a center conveniently two blocks from my house.
DAY OF SURGERY
On the day of surgery, the surgeon will draw all sorts of markings on your breasts. It is awkward. To district myself, I rambled about my college reunion. Doctors are used to this and she went along with me. I also meet with the anesthesiologist who will go over your medical history with you. I vividly remember walking into the OR and talking to the anesthesiologist. While he put my line in he asked about my nail polish and joked that he doesn’t know his colors and the rest was history.
When I woke up in recovery, all I felt was pain and I needed to use the bathroom so badly. I was also nauseated so they gave me apple juice and crackers. My breasts felt smaller already and they had drains in them that collected blood and fluid that needed to be emptied every few hours. I drifted in and out of sleep for about two hours before my mom and sister took me home. I remember Dr. Naidu petting my foot and telling me I did great. I also made a very incoherent phone call to my boss.
After going home and napping, I was able to keep some food down, pretzel roll and chicken soup, and watched some TV. The next day I had a full appetite and was not nauseated and took my pain pill every six hours and even set alarms at night so I would not wake up in pain, that really helped. I personally did not need a refill, but everyone is different!
I took three days off from work and didn’t feel very much pain at all except when I was tired. I returned to work very quickly- I had the operation on a Friday and returned on a Wednesday. My job is a rather sedentary desk job, but other professions are different. I work in hotel sales. The choice of when to go back to work is dependent on the health and recovery of the patient, the nature of their work, ultimately what the doctor recommends.
I personally saw results right away and the doctor said I would be getting smaller. These last few days I have flashed more women (my girlfriends, sister, mom) than men in my adult life.
I feel happy and confident. I am ten days post op and think this was the best decision I ever made. Again, this choice is personal and it is not a quick fix. I recommend for people to do their research and ask questions! Special thanks to Dr. Naidu, Marie, and Jane! You ladies are fantastic!