The Pros and Cons of a Breast Reduction

Sarah Scoop writer, Veronica shared her personal story on having a breast reduction.  Now, she is back with the pros and cons.

I had my breast reduction during the summer of 2015 when I was twenty-two years old. I had been battling myofascial pain syndrome for ten years and so I was ready to take a major step. I learned a lot during it and went through a lot too! (For reference, you can check out my article on my personal journey about my breast reduction.) More than 90,000 breast reductions are done in the United States every year! So, why don’t we ever talk about what it’s like to have one done? Here are my straightforward pros and cons to having the procedure done, as well as some tips and side effects information:

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PROS

More Comfortable in Your Own Skin: There are usually two reasons as to why you have a breast reduction done. One of those reasons includes not liking your large breasts. Most plastic surgeons are incredibly sympathetic towards what you want and will work with you to make it happen. If your doctor truly cares, he or she will help you get to where you want to be when it comes to size!

Less Pain: Women know that breasts can be a problem. Breasts sag, are difficult to deal with, and can cause a lot of pain! After a breast reduction, you will feel less pain. A lot of women even feel their pain even go away completely! Many surgeons give you a lift as well which helps a lot. I went from not being able to jump without pain, to being able to move around without a bra and feel perfectly fine.

Feeling Lighter: A lot of women say they lose weight after the surgery. For me, that wasn’t the case because I am smaller and the lift actually did more for me than the reduction itself. That being said, I no longer felt like I was carrying bags filled with sand around my neck after my surgery! I relate it to the feeling of having long hair, then cutting it short. There is that immediate reaction of feeling different, as though you’ve gotten rid of dead weight.

CONS

Medical Bras: The medical bra is like a granny bra on steroids. It’s actually really comfortable, but a bit bulky and something to get used to. You will only have to wear it for a small amount of time, but it’s a 24/7 thing. You wear it when you sleep and when you’re awake. The only time you take it off is to shower. Another downside is that it’s difficult to hide under clothes. I wore nothing but large sweaters after I got mine… and that was in the middle of August!

Sleeping: If you are a stomach sleeper, it’ll be hard to try and avoid that. Thankfully, pain medicine can make you sleepy, therefore making it easier for you to fall asleep. My doctor told me side sleeping was okay, so it really isn’t that big of a stretch. I personally just really enjoy getting a good night’s rest and was a bit cranky about it.

No Exercise: Don’t even try to jump! It’s a major surgery, so you’re going to be a bit fragile for a while. Would you go run a marathon two days after having back surgery? No, you wouldn’t! After some time, you’ll be able to start taking it slow. And then from there, you can get back to it without a problem.

HELPFUL TIPS

Your Doctor Matters: The first plastic surgeon I saw wasn’t the right fit for me. He didn’t seem to want to know why I wanted the surgery, only that he might have to do it. The doctor who did do my surgery was awesome! He went to Ivy League schools, is caring towards his patients, and would make time for me no matter what. He cares about his skill as much as he does about his patient. If there is a long wait time for a specific doctor, trust me… it’s for a reason! Wait for the best doctor.

Don’t Panic: The breasts you have right after the surgery are not going to be the breasts you have in a year. Swelling makes it seem as though nothing changed even though everything has totally changed! Your breasts will continue to change and “fall” to the right position after some time. Just don’t panic! Everything will be okay. And if you’re worried, just talk to your doctor afterwards. Always keep that line of communication open.

Stop Wearing Bras: The muscles around your breasts will be stronger due to the lift. Wearing a bra, especially an underwire one, actually causes breasts to sag. Don’t wear one once you are able to make that choice. Think about all you already went through! Just don’t do it. People who say you have to wear a bra with larger breasts… They’re wrong. After a breast reduction, you will have the strength to not wear one so just don’t do it!

SIDE EFFECTS

Falling, Air Bubbles, and Pointy Breasts: Your breasts will be lifted and look unnatural at first, then… the falling will begin. Your size will continue to change and the mild sagging will start to happen because it’s not as though you had implants! Your breasts will eventually go back to normal looking breasts! The unfortunate part is that this causes air bubbles to form. You will press spots in your breasts and then it will feel like nothing is actually in there. The next day, the air bubble spot will move. There is no feeling like it and can’t really be explained, but it will eventually figure itself out. During this time, your breasts will also go from pointy to not. Again, this is normal so just wait for it to pass!

Nipple Sensation: There are times where, post reduction, I know that my nipples are itching. But then, I’ll go to scratch it and feel nothing. It can take years to gain that sensation back! In some situations, it might not ever come back, at least not the way it was before. This is a strange side effect, but it’s not that big of a deal in the long run if your reasons for the reduction outweigh the side effects.

Scar Revisions: As your breasts fall, folds can occur. Just as well, scars can be large and sensitive. A lot of women, including myself, need at least one, if not two, sessions of scar revisions. This surgery is super minimal! I actually stayed awake during mine. It’s just a process because you will have to deal with being fragile again for a few weeks.

My breast reduction changed my life for the better. I haven’t once regretted it! If you truly want a breast reduction, whether for emotional reasons, physical reasons, or both… go for it. I always think that if you are thinking about it, there’s probably a reason as to why. There is no harm in taking the first step! A consultation can do so much. No woman should have to deal with stress simply over the size of her breasts. There is a stigma, but just forget that it’s there and do what is best for you!

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Veronica Vivona received her degree in creative writing and sociology from the University of North Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys watching animated movies while painting her nails. She is currently on the lookout for a hypoallergenic dog who needs to be adopted (and who also wouldn't mind having an overprotective mom).
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