Weight off your chest - a note on breast reduction surgery
This past year, a few of my friends have had breast reduction surgery following years of back-pain, overall discomfort, and wanting to feel 100% comfortable in their own skin. Today, Michelle shares her story of making the decision for herself, the process, and tips for those who may be considering getting a little something off their chest.
Ever tried running with two giant watermelons attached to your chest? I was fourteen when I realized the size of my boobs were not 'normal' in comparison to the other girls around me. I was a size 34B at the time, and they just kept getting bigger and bigger. Starting high school, push up bras were all the rage, and every girl I knew had one. I remember feeling like I was missing out a bit because I had just moved up to a 34C. I was pretty happy about having bigger boobs and the attention I received so I can’t say I ever gave breast reduction any thought throughout high school.
It wasn’t until university that I started having back problems. I had/still have terrible posture and I was always sitting like the hunch back of Notre Dame in class. You don’t realize how much weight you hold in front of you when you have them. It really makes it difficult to do certain things and you just don’t realize the strain it has on your body. Someone close to me had a breast reduction at an early age, so the thought of it came to me in university. I was hesitant because it was just too much of a commitment for me. For the most part, I liked my chest size, and I enjoyed being 'that' girl.
Once I finished up at university, I started traveling and that’s when the size of my chest really started to affect the rest of my body. I was a 36DD and clothing didn’t fit me nicely anymore. I’d have to wear more than one sports bra if I’d be going to work out. Sometimes I wished I could just wrap tape around my chest area during workouts. Everything I wore, automatically made me look hypersexual. There was just soooo much cleavage. Even in a casual v-neck, I felt like they were just going to fall out at some point. Bathing suits were straining my neck, and it was nearly impossible to find cute bras that fit me. No fancy lacy bras, no bralettes, just huge plain and simple bras. It really started to take its toll on my body and my every-day life.
For those of you who may not know, breast reduction is covered by OHIP. The entire process from the first doctor's appointment to the end of my recovery took about 8 months. After I had gotten home from traveling, I was 100% sure I wanted it done. I had booked an appointment to see my family doctor in which she could give me a referral to the surgeon I had in mind. About a month later I had a consultation. The process was surprisingly quick in my experience but I've heard it takes much longer for others.
The morning of the surgery I was extremely nervous, and the moment I stepped into the prep room I started crying. Surgery is a scary thing, especially when you’ve never experienced it before. Nobody really prepares you for it. I was terrified that it would be like that movie ‘Awake’ and I'd feel the entire thing. Luckily that wasn’t the case. There was a cold feeling in my arm, and before I knew it I was out like a light. Two hours later, I woke up in the recovery room. My mom and sister picked me up and drove me home, and the drive home was a nightmare. I felt dizzy, nauseous and I was in a lot of pain. I got home, laid on the couch, put on the movie Moana and then puked a couple times.
When I looked down after surgery, I thought holy fuck they fucked everything up. I kept freaking out cause I thought they were too small, but I actually couldn’t see any of it, because of all the recovery padding and they were also very swollen. The moment I had taken those band-aids off I knew I had made the right decision for myself.
I do think there is some stigma around breast reduction surgery because it is technically a cosmetic surgery. I support body confidence and being happy and accepting towards ourselves with what we are born with. With that being said, I also believe everyone has a right to feel comfortable in their own skin. I wasn’t comfortable with the size of them anymore. I received ample support throughout the entire process from my family and friends and I think it was really important to the whole process.
Some people ask about the scars and how they make me feel. The scars run around the areola, then down the center and along the bottom, almost like an anchor/keyhole. If my partner were to have a problem with my scars, then that is their problem. They are a part of who I am now and I love how they look.
I am so happy with my decision, but it is a big choice to make. If it is one you are looking to make, my advice is to have a good support system. Friends and family. Don’t feel bad asking for all the help you need to assist you throughout the process. Do your research, and make sure you are going to a doctor you feel comfortable with. Ask as many questions as you need to, no matter how silly they may seem to you. I didn’t know this before my surgery, but getting this done, my doctor told me I probably wouldn’t be able to breastfeed if I decide to have children one day because of the surgery. This could be a dealbreaker to choose not to go through with it for some. Make sure you are making the decision for yourself and not for anyone else. Enjoy the experience. It's not every day random people get to draw on your boobs. Looking back, it's really not that bad and it’s kind of like a mini vacation with everyone catering to you.
You know what the breast part about this is? I can finally go braless without my boobs grazing the floor below me. Tata for now.
Thank you, Michelle!