I have had such a huge response to my breast reduction story and wanted to address all of the questions which I have received. If you haven't had a chance to watch my story it's at the end of this blog for you.
Please please excuse me for this generic post. I really want to answer all emails personally but the video has has such a massive response that it would take weeks to answer all 500 + emails and I have to fly to America for work early tomorrow.
I have read all of them though and tried to incorporate answers to all of the questions asked here...
Finding a surgeon
Ask around, if you know any doctors then ask them to find a good surgeon for you.
Make contact with them and go with your gut. I contacted three surgeons and chose the female specialist because I felt that she would understand how much is meant to me.
You will most probably have to pay for the consultation whether you choose to use the consultant or not as it is their time.
The initial meeting will involve the surgeon looking at your breasts to determine your suitability for the operation and explaining the procedure, risks and cost.
There are always risks involved when undergoing general anaesthesia plus a breast reduction runs the added risk of losing nipple sensation or in some cases the nipple altogether. Also, there would be difficulty with breast feeding should I want anymore children (er….NOPE!) They will also explain that you will be left with extensive scarring.
As soon as I had decided to have the op I just wanted to do it immediately. One of the hardest parts was waiting the two months it took to have the space in my diary to fit it in. I could hardly be bothered to make an effort to get dressed because I was living for that moment. I even dreamt about it almost every night.
My surgeon had explained to me that I would need to take about a month off work, so I chose to have my op at the beginning of December as I could link it into the Christmas holidays.
I had to check in at the hospital for 7:00am. My surgeon Elaine Sassoon came to my room and drew on my breasts with a pen to mark out the incisions. I must say that it was all feeling pretty surreal at this point but I never once doubted my choice.
I was in theatre by 8:00am. I cannot fault Spire Hospital at all. They were brilliant from start to finish.
I'm going to go into details here…
Two porters wheeled me into the theatre where I met the rest of the team. I vaguely remember them telling me what drugs they we administering, one of which was Propofol. Clearly, reading a book on Michael Jacksons death the week leading up to my Op wasn’t the wisest choice of literature, as my final words before sleeping were “that’s the drug that killed Michael”
During surgery they cut the full length under each breast and upwards to the nipple and around it. The nipple is kept attached for blood supply but repositioned higher up on the chest to account for the new breast position. Tissue is removed from underneath and then the breast is put back together, Much is the same way as if you have ever made one of those paper angel Christmas tree toppers. The breast is then carefully stitched back together with one tube (drain) on either breast to drain any fluid.
I awoke in the recovery room, with zero recollection of anything that had just happened to me. I wasn’t in any pain at all. Elaine had added some pain blockers so I felt nothing!
I was then returned to my room, soon to be joined by my mum, Nic and my boyfriend Steff. They were all much more worried than I was.
As I mentioned, I had drains so when I needed to visit the bathroom a member of staff had to unhook me but this was the only thing that really reminded me of what I had just undergone.
The nurse bought me regular painkillers but at this stage I only felt a tightness in my chest and panic that I might rip my stitches when I moved too fast.
The cannula in my hand and the drains were the worst part of this.
At some point in the evening Elaine came to check that my nipples were pink and that the blood flow was ok.
I was released from hospital at 4pm the following day after my drains were removed which was by far the worst part of the whole process because I am a bit of a wimp. It didn’t hurt but the thought of pulling these tubes out of my skin made me feel queasy.
I was able to move around pretty freely almost immediately, however Elaine had warned me to take it really easy and to pretend I was 80 years old for the first week and 70 the second etc… and work backwards with the weeks until I reached my actual age. She had also given me two soft sports bras and I must wear one of these at ALL times for 6 weeks.
My breasts were currently bandaged so I could not see the stitches.
I cannot remember how long it was before the bandages were removed but it was 1-2 weeks.
At this point I looked in the mirror and saw the extent of the surgery. It really was very shocking. Imagine the Bride of Frankensteins boobs!
I will be honest, the scarring is extensive but not one part of me cares. It’s like having a tattoo. I’m proud of the journey. However, if you are really worried about the aesthetics then I would suggest not having this surgery. I chose scars instead of enormous boobs and I’m happy with that decision.
The stitches were dissolvable but would stay surgically taped for 6 weeks to minimise scarring.
I desperately wanted to go for a run to try out my new boobs but this would not be possible until about 10 weeks later. Light exercise would have been possible from about 6 weeks but avoid major stretching, lifting or anything strenuous.
I hope that this is useful and answers all your questions.
Thanks for the support as always,