I’ve been working on this post for about a week now because I wanted to make sure it was as comprehensive and helpful as possible. I also wanted to give my healing a couple weeks so that I would be better equipped to fully answer a lot of the questions, and to see how recovery went after the initial few days.
I’ve honestly been shocked with the number of conversations I’ve had with y’all, whether you’ve also had a reduction or are considering one. It was SO nice to be able to chat through everything with a few close friends and a bunch of you who had been through this before. I’ll try to cover everything below and I’ll update this post down the road once I’m fully healed.
Spoiler alert: I am incredibly happy with the decision to have this surgery!
Let me know any other questions.
LEADING UP TO THE SURGERY
I spent a good 6 months meeting with 3 different doctors, weighing my options, and making a decision on the surgery. I ended up going with Dr. Jason Potter who I can’t recommend enough if you live around Dallas. Once I decided on Dr. Potter, we had several consultations that made me feel confident going in (in terms of him as a doctor). Dr. Potter had me do a mammogram, chest x-ray, full blood panel and physical, before deciding I was a great candidate for the breast reduction/lift I was hoping for. One thing I found interesting that I wanted to share was Dr. Potter didn’t want to see my ‘inspo pictures’ of size/shape. He said that you often times don’t know what will happen in surgery based on your breast density and several other factors, and he didn’t want me to have unmet expectations. I fully trusted him and understood what he was saying.
I’ll save you too many emotions but I was incredibly nervous for the surgery. It’s the first elective surgery I’ve ever had (and other than that my other surgeries were both emergency C-sections where I didn’t have much time to stress) and the first time I was put under. That mixed with all the questions, like how bad the pain would be, would the surgery even work, etc. was a lot for me, not to mention the intense wife/mom guilt I felt. I knew I’d be relying on Austin and our families HEAVILY before and after the surgery and that got to me. I also wouldn’t be able to lift or help much with the boys for weeks, which added to the guilt. Austin and my family have been nothing but incredibly supportive, but if you’re a mom, you know that the guilt creeps in no matter what.
Once the morning of the surgery arrived and we had all the logistics of the kids taken care of, I actually felt pretty good and just so excited to get it over with.
It’s been a bit of a mix of feelings but I want to say that throughout the pain, everything has been worth how excited I am to have gone through with this.
Today, I’m 16 days post surgery. Obviously everyone is different but in my case, the pain has ebbed and flowed. Day 2 was definitely the most painful, as is the case with most surgeries, I hear. I was really sore across my chest, armpits and in my back, and very tired. I was also paranoid to do much in case I broke a suture or whatever. My doctor really stressed the importance of not lifting etc. The pain has never been sharp – more sore – and manageable with pain meds and rest. I actually stopped taking my pain meds on day 3 and just relied on Advil as needed.
Last week, I was feeling pretty great, like I was honestly ready to go back to the gym (to walk, more on that below), and the pain was very manageable. I even went to dinner with girlfriends…which I think led me to over-doing things and feeling worse this week. In general, this week feels like I’ve taken a step back in terms of pain and I’m pretty uncomfortable. Again, I’m assuming this is due to me overdoing it but I felt so good last week it was hard not to!
My main bandages were removed at my first post-op appt but I still have pads covering incisions. I’ve had a post-op consultation and he says everything looks great! I can’t fully tell my size yet since I’m still swollen but I can absolutely tell that they’re much, much smaller! Dr. Potter was able to take at least 1/2 lb out of each breast, which was the goal. I am really happy with everything.
Since it’s only been a couple weeks, I definitely have incisions right now, and don’t expect them to fully fade, but I know they’ll become less intense. I’ll cover this in the FAQ section but the scars are literally the LEAST of my concern and they always have been. I wanted to go as small as we could, no matter what type of scar I had…truthfully.
One of the hardest parts, at least mentally and especially last week when I was feeling good, has been the restrictions (which I now understand lol). I even asked Dr. Potter if I could go to the gym to walk since the pain was fading, but he said I need to stick to the plan of very limited movement because of internal incisions, etc etc. I’m not able to lift much over the next couple weeks and have limited mobility with my arms to follow doctor’s orders.
MY OVERALL THOUGHTS
+ Beyond happy with how things went!
+ Would recommend this to anyone who is a good candidate.
+ I wish I did this in my early 20s and planned to get a touch-up after kids, because it truly feels life-changing.
+ I’ve already started trying on clothes and almost cried being able to easily button up a shirt over my chest, without gapping or anything like that. I can’t wait to shop for bathing suits, more tops, strapless bras, etc!
+ Even though I was feeling pretty good a week after, I wish I rested more and took it easier to keep pain in check.
+ I’ve had a few products that have been lifesavers, including:
+ Post-Surgical Pillow: Obsessed! I’m a stomach/side sleeper which is obviously a no-go right now and this helps make me feel comfortable. I’ve also been wearing it around the house during the day for support.
+ Eby Bralettes: This one and this one specifically. Comfortable, supportive, simple.
+ Anything Skims: I’m honestly obsessed at this point. Everything, including bras, button-up PJs, and lounge are incredibly soft and comfortable during this process.
+ Stanley Tumbler: I was surprised to find that I actually couldn’t lift my typical Amazon water bottle because it was too heavy with water in it. I’ve been loving the Stanley by my bedside and LOTS of lemon water has helped with debloating and recovery.
+ Lap Desk: It was hard being in bed and not being able to work or do much (once I wasn’t on as many pain meds since they made me spacy) , so having the ability to work from my bed has been good for my mind.
These are some repeat questions I’ve received so figured they’d be helpful to cover.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: This can depend on insurance, where you live, and more but I got quotes for around 10K from the 3 doctors I went to.
Q: What does/did Austin think?
A: He’s 100% down for whatever I want to do, so I’m very very thankful for a supportive spouse. My decision wasn’t a surprise to him either since this was the plan since before we started dating. He’s been incredible throughout everything.
Q: What were your expectations going in, in terms of shape, size, etc?
A: I went into things with realistic expectations once Dr. Potter explained the potential variation. I was always hoping for a B/C cup but was prepared that they might be a D. I’m not sure of my actual size yet but we think it’s on the smaller size with a slight lift. I already feel a difference in my back and shoulders.
Q: How did you find your doctor? Did they approach you about working together for posting your results?
A: Word of mouth and friends recommendations. I went to 3 different consults. The one I chose had a strong medical professional history, board certified, works with top anesthesiologist group, surgery is at the hospital, loved his work and I have a friend that worked in his office and spoke very highly of him as a boss and surgeon. As for the second part of the question, definitely not. I don’t even think he has an IG (which I like).
Q: What did you wear to the hospital?
A: These Skims pajamas. I also packed some fuzzy socks/slippers…and that’s really it.
Q: Do you stay overnight at the hospital?
A: Nope. Surgery was at 7:30 a.m. and I was home by 5:30 p.m.
Q: Did you have drains?
Q: Are you taking pain meds?
A: There has been a blend of prescription pain meds and Advil depending on the level of pain. I stopped taking the prescription pain meds on day 3 and stuck to Advil. I will say the pain meds make me feel kinda blah so I’ve limited them as much as possible.
Q: Will you have scars?
A: Yes. The doctor told me this upfront. As I mentioned above though, this is the least of my concerns. I’ve heard from friends that depending on your type of procedure you can have scaring around the nipple and where incisions happened forever, but a lot of the darkness of the incisions fade. I can report back in a year or so!
Q: What is the typical recovery time?
A: About 8 weeks to be fully back to normal.
Q: Any advice for fellow moms with little kids who want to get this done?
A: If you can, try and schedule the surgery around a time where you can get help with childcare. I can’t lift anything over 5 lbs right now and eventually, 25 lbs and the thought of holding the kids is painful. Having an extra set of hands for dinner prep / bath / bed and transportation is advised. At least for the first couple of weeks. Also, as a side note to that, something that helped me with the guilt was knowing that this is something I’ve wanted FOREVER. And while it’s been a hard month, I know this will make me a better, more confident person, a more energetic mom, and I’m okay asking for help to give myself and my boys that.