Breast Reduction Surgery: The Real Deal

Quite possibly, some of you dear readers are dealing with monster tits. I know, that’s totally déclassé, but if you’ve got gigantic breasts, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

Monster tits are the kind of surplus mammary glands that cause pain, aggravation and discomfort, much like a literal monster – which makes no sense, because monsters aren’t real, but giant boobs are.

I was endowed with these very problematic breasts at a scary-young age, just 12 years old. I hated my breasts because no one else had them yet, they needed a really uncomfortable bra with poky-wires, girls and boys alike all stared at them (even some pervy men) and – boob sweat.
By fifteen I was rocking supersized double Ds. I did everything I could to minimize my ample bosom, including (but not limited to) wrapping the twins tightly in ace bandages in a pitiful attempt to flatten them.

I never learned to love my breasts, and so, at 25, when I discovered our health insurance covered reduction surgery – I jumped at the chance to have my boobies whacked. I had all these impossible fantasies about what my breasts could look like:

They’d be small and perky, like glowing orbs of sexual wonder.

I’d already had my children, did the whole breast feeding bit, and was ready to enter a new era where I loved the way I looked shirtless, and didn’t feel the need to wear a bra during intercourse.
Unfortunately, the fantasy is never, ever as good as reality. So, for all of you ladies out there considering this surgery, below is my (personal) list of the good and the bad of breast reduction. (Blah blah blah – I’m not a medical professional, get the advice of a doctor, blah blah.)
First – the good stuff:

1. You won’t have massive breasts anymore (maybe). Some women apparently have super-hero breasts that magically regenerate missing tissue. Thankfully, I didn’t have that problem, but it’s common enough that your plastic surgeon will warn you of the possibility. Assuming you have the surgery and it takes, you will no longer tote around the equivalent of two hurricane-ready sand bags in your bra.

2. Bras that double as hazmat-gear: gone. You’ll no longer be forced to wear bras that have the double-wide shoulder straps (sometimes with padding) nor the 3-prong back strap for extra support. Depending on the size you go down to, you may not even need underwire, and (I kid you not) sometimes, you may not even need to wear a bra at all. It’s a fucking revolution to walk out of the house with a shirt on and your tits free to bounce and breathe.

3. Pretty bras! If you do choose to wear a bra, a whole new section of the store opens up to you – bras with color, lace, and matching sexy panties are now your bras, too. I took me a year to realize I didn’t have to buy a beige or black bra.

4. Remember the neck, shoulder and back pain? You can kiss that goodbye post surgery. It’s a lot like taking off a heavy backpack that’s been digging into your shoulders for, I dunno, your entire post-puberty life. I had such large breasts for so long, that I didn’t even realize it could feel good to stand up or sit down.

5. Any damage done by your sweet offspring will vanish. If you’ve got what I lovingly call “pancake boobs,” aka the kind of breasts that have been stretched and deflated and left looking a bit downtrodden, never fear. Breast reduction surgery is the equivalent of a breast lift! I once had nipples that told everyone where my toes were, and now they function more like a really cool compass – always pointing straight ahead.

Of course, as I mentioned, there are some things about breast reduction surgery that aren’t so hot, and I feel it wouldn’t be fair if I only mentioned the stuff that was awesome. So, be warned, some of this is cringe-worthy.

1. Scars. Not everyone scars the same, but, you’re bound to have what is known as an “anchor scar” across your breasts. These scars begin on the outer side of each breast, under your armpits, and go around the entire underside of your breasts, ending in the center of your chest. The scar also goes directly up the center of your breast, from the bottom center to the bottom edge of your areola, looking a lot like a ship’s anchor – hence the name. If you opt to have your areolas resized (yes, they can do that, too) you will also have a scar around your newly-shaped areolas. Sometimes, I really don’t like the way my breasts look without clothes on because the scars are still so noticeable, even a decade later.

2. Loss of sensation. The doctor warned me about this, but in my day-dreamy haze, I didn’t hear a word he said. Listen, a surgeon cuts open your breasts and removes a large portion of the tissue, realistically – nerves will be damaged. Some women may heal perfectly and regain all the wonderful breast sensation they had before, but others, like me, will never recoup what was lost. To this day, my nipples and the undersides of my breasts have very little sensation. There is one spot on my right breast that has no sensation at all. Does it matter? Only you can decide.

3. Healing time and following instructions. Anytime a friend tells me they are having plastic surgery, I always say this (from my own bad experience): “Listen to everything your surgeon tells you about post-operative care, and do not do anything your surgeon hasn’t cleared you to do.” I did not follow this advice (I was the kid who had to touch the hot stove to see if it was indeed, hot) and two weeks after my surgery, when I was feeling like my old self and full of energy, I decided, against my surgeon’s advice, to help my husband pack up our house and move. I lifted heavy furniture, reached for and carried heavy boxes, and in the end, I paid a big price for that stupidity. Tissue takes time to heal completely and is fragile during the healing process. Just because I felt great, didn’t mean my breasts were fully mended. The heavy lifting caused the inner sides (near the center of my chest) of my breast tissue to tear and, brace yourself, collapse. Basically, because of my ignorance – I now have concave breasts that can only be repaired surgically, with implants. Recuperation can be painfully slow and boring. You aren’t supposed to lift anything, not even your sweet child, until the surgeon says so, and if you do, you risk having a complication like mine. You’ve been warned.

4. Breast feeding may never happen again. Thankfully, I was done having children when I opted to have this surgery, but, there was a time, about two years later, when my husband and I had baby fever and thought, maybe – just maybe, we will try for another child. Thankfully that bout of crazy passed, but I remember thinking about the possibility that I would not be able to nurse my child and that really bothered me. While some surgeons say you have a great chance of breast feeding a child after reduction surgery, the reality is that for some women, it just won’t happen because of structural damage from the operation. If you feel like breast feeding is an absolute must for you and your child, you may want to wait to have this surgery until you’ve weaned your last mini-me.

5. Armpit wings. I’ve now met enough women who have also had this surgery to feel confident that this phenomenon happens to many of us, and yet nobody will warn you about it. (You can thank me later.) Remember my description of the scars above? Well, the scar that starts under your armpit is a weird one, and, for reasons I’m sure a dermatologist could better explain, as it heals, it tightens, and causes the skin under your armpit (directly on the outside of each breast) to flair out like in an odd, obtuse point. I’ve taken to calling these points “wings” and – I really, really dislike them.

My surgeon told me, after the fact, that he should have done liposuction in that area during the operation. From what I’ve gathered, if you aren’t abnormally thin when you have this surgery, and have any form of fat in the aforementioned area, you are at risk of developing these pointers. So, tell your surgeon you’re worried about this happening and ask if he can perform liposuction on the outsides of your breasts to prevent it. You’re welcome.
There you have it. If you have monster tits and feel like surgery is the only option for you, at least you will have a little more information about what to expect than you did before. But, can I say something first? Try to love your boobs as they are, right now, and let go of the brightly-lit fantasy that you will have 70’s porn star tits one day. If you don’t like your boobs as they are, there’s a good chance you won’t like them post-surgery, either. It’s okay to have monster tits (maybe we should call worldly tits, instead?), really, it is.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and I truly wish I would have taken the time to love what I was naturally endowed with. Breasts come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and what’s most important is that you (and only you) like them. So, take stock of what you’ve got and love yourself for what you have, and make the best decision for you.

One more thing: I wrote this entire piece without wearing a bra. Yeah, that’s right. #FreeTheBoobs #LoveYourself

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