1. You have to meet certain requirements to even be considered
The NHS is unlikely to give you a breast reduction if unless you’ve had a BMI of 25 or less for more than two years, you’ve already tried wearing a professionally fitted bra and seen a physiotherapist for your back pain, and you suffer from intertrigo, or redness and infection under your boobs – basically, only if you can prove you really need it, and have exhausted all other possible avenues. If you choose to go private, your surgeon will still aim to get a full understanding of why you want the surgery, and manage your expectations accordingly – it’s a serious procedure, and they need to make sure it’s the right move for you.
2. You won’t necessarily go down ‘alphabetically’
You probably imagine that your breast reduction surgery will drop a cup size – if you’re an D, you’ll go to a C, for instance – but apparently it’s not as simple as that. ‘Having an image in mind of what you want to look like and sharing the vision with your doctor is a good idea. But you’ll want to be flexible when you’re imagining your cup size, because the truth is it’s very difficult to predict the cup size you’ll end up with after a reduction,’ Simon Smith, Medical Director at The Harley Medical Group, explains. ‘Your cup size isn’t as important as making sure that your new breasts are symmetrical, balanced and complement your figure.’
3. It’s painful, but not unbearable
According to Simon, ‘you can expect to feel some soreness the first couple of days after your procedure but there won’t be severe pain’ – but remember that the after effects of surgery aren’t the end of it. Many patients say it’s the little things that catch you out – the feeling of having your stitches removed, for instance, or the itchiness of the scabbing on your scars, although they usually also say that’s it’s manageable, and they thought it was worth it in the end. Oh, and when you’re driving home, if there’s a route that’s less bumpy, take that one. Trust us.
4. You’ll need about six weeks to recover (and that’s not all)
‘Your surgeon will advise how much time you will require off work (this will be approximately between two to four weeks depending on your job), how long you will need to wear your post-surgery bra for and when you will be able commence normal activities,’ Simon says. ‘You will need someone to look after you to relieve you of your general chores, such as shopping, household duties and childcare. You’ll feel tired for the first few weeks following your breast reduction surgery and we advise to avoid exercise for 6 weeks after the surgery.’ You’ll also need to wear a post-surgery bra or sports bra for up to three months afterwards, day and night – there’s still a long road to travel after the operation is over.
5. You’re not getting it for your ‘dream’ boobs
Breast reductions are carried out to reduce back, neck and shoulder pain and improve your quality of life, rather than cosmetic reasons, and although lots of women are much happier with their boobs afterwards, every body is different, and you might not come out 100% thrilled with their appearance. The NHS warns that you will have scarring, and that a significant reduction can alter both the shape and look of your chest, and they’ll still have a tendency to droop over time. Plus, your breasts can still be affected by pregnancy and weight loss or gain, so it’s worth being aware that your boobs straight after surgery might not be the boobs you have forever.
6. You might lose nipple sensation
There are always risks associated with any kinds of surgery – infection, blot clots, an allergic reaction to anaesthetic – but breast reductions come with their own particular set of risk factors too, and one of these is losing some or all of the feeling in your nipples. Usually the loss of sensation is temporary, although in some rarer cases, it is permanent – you generally have to wait a year or two to be sure. Occasionally, you can get hyper-sensation, which is where there’s too much feeling; either way, it can have a big impact on your sex life, so it’s worth speaking to your doctor if you have any concerns.
7. It can impact your ability to breastfeed
‘This will depend upon the extent of the surgery, but breast reduction will influence breastfeeding,’ says Simon. ‘With breast reduction, usually there is breast tissue that is removed and the nipple and areola must be moved up. Where the tissue is divided, this means a reduction of milk ducts and of milk producing glands and in consequence a lower milk production.’ It’s this slowing down of milk that can make breastfeeding harder after a your surgery. Some women even choose to wait until they feel their family is complete before going under the knife.
Via Cosmopolitan UK