Breast reduction surgery has been something I knew would be a part of my life from the day I grew out of a DD bra and just kept going. After years of back pain and kyphosis, under-boob skin problems, squishing out of ugly grandma bras, and painful headaches, I FINALLY had the surgery a couple of months ago!
Queue the party music!
Now, I was expecting to have the surgery, have some pain for a few days, and then be back to normal after a couple of weeks. Boy did I get the wool pulled over my eyes! It was way more intense than I anticipated, and for anyone out there interested in getting breast reduction surgery, I just want to be the first to say you are NOT alone in experiencing some of these things!
Here are the things that no one warned me about with my breast reduction surgery:
You won’t be showering for a week.
They don’t tell you that until right before your surgery, so stock up on dry shampoo and deodorant.
The first time you shower, you’ll likely be lightheaded.
I totally didn’t expect this at all, but it’s like the smells from the surgical dressings or something were heightened and I honestly thought I was going to pass out. Just be prepared to maybe have some help or plan to sit down in the shower for a bit.
The swelling feels like you’re milk is coming in.
Only there is no relief of pumping or breastfeeding to get rid of it! Insert crying emoji. I found icing really helps out (try these awesome ice packs, their the perfect size!) and then I actually found lightly massaging helps. I use my jade roller on my boobs instead of my face haha.
Your nipples are going to peel.
Over and over and over again! Talk about gross! This might depend on the type of breast reduction surgery you have, I had a nipple graft, so when the casts were removed from my nipples they started to peel. The doctor said to expect it to happen several times over the coming months.
Nothing sexier than lizard skin nipples.
If you do have a nipple graft, plan on looking like Deadpool.
I really have no better comparison for what the skin on your nipples and around them looks like other than Deadpool skin. It’s freaking glamorous.
The incision feels like wearing the world’s sharpest underwire.
I thought it was maybe the tape they used, or the bolsters maybe. All I know is that it feels like you have the worst bra ever on and you can’t take it off!
No heat allowed!
This is probably a no brainer, but for swelling and pain they say you CAN’T use any kind of heat or heating pad because the skin is so sensitive it can burn easier. Only plan on using ice packs.
Your boobs are going to seem fake.
They are rock hard and super swollen. I’m almost 2 months out at the time of writing this and they still don’t move even a teeny, tiny bit! After doing some research and consulting with my doctor, I’ve learned that this will likely be the case for the first several months and up to the first year.
Don’t plan on wearing normal shirts.
Because you can’t lift your arms above your head. Duh. Stock up on zip-ups and button-ups.
Related: How to Know if Breast Reduction Surgery is Right for You
It’s a full year of healing.
The surgery might only take 6-12 weeks to heal before you can return to normal activity, but I found out afterward that it’s about a full year before your body really settles into your new look and you stop having random swelling and pain.
You will want to spend endless amounts of money on new bras.
And I see no reason to restrain yourself from doing it. Treat yo’ self!
O.M.G. the itching is the worst!
I expected pain. I expected some swelling. I expected to look like I had swapped boobs with Frankenstein’s wife. But the itching?No. I did not expect that. It’s like having thousands of mosquito bites all over the places you can’t scratch. And you really can’t use cream the first few weeks. And the top layer of skin that itches is also conveniently numb (someone tell me how that works?!), so when you scratch it does nothing.
You can’t lift your arms.
I wasn’t even allowed to move them for like a full week, although I’ve heard other people with different stories. My incisions happen to go all the way under my arm to my back because that is how far back my boobs extended, so they cut right through everything in that area and even though I’m allowed to move now, I still can’t lift my arm above my head without some difficulty. It’s very tight and painful.
Wanna reach for something? You can’t do that either.
No reaching! And no repetitive motions (like vacuuming back and forth, or dishes where you’re going back and forth from the sink to the dishwasher,etc.) You need your boobies to heal properly though, so follow the rules!
Expect emotional waves.
I’ve literally been looking forward to the day I lopped off the TaTas for years, so when I felt anxiety and sad over it all I was totally thrown off. Like… what? Why do I feel like this? It’s totally normal though. I asked my doctor. 😉 The first two weeks after surgery especially I felt really up and down in general.
Thankfully, I was way happier with my results than I could have expected, which helped me out of those blue moments.
Stretch marks might happen.
Yes. Stretch marks. This is something that completely threw me off, my boobs were getting smaller so why did I get stretch marks?! Because of the new position and all of the swelling, my skin had to stretch. I have very little elasticity in my skin naturally, meaning I get stretch marks really easy, so bam. A couple weeks after surgery, there they were. My brand-new tiger stripes to represent my fierce new boobs, ha!
Numbness is normal.
So this is something that I definitely did not expect in the slightest, but it actually makes sense. My doctor had told me I wouldn’t regain sensation in my nipples, but I also have total numbness around my incisions, particularly under my arms where my incision wraps around to my back. It’s really weird to not have any feeling on the skin right there.
Of course, it’s not uncomfortable or bad or anything, just a little weird!
The back pain relief is almost instantaneous.
I expected my back pain to take a while to feel better, I could not believe how quickly it was gone though! Again, this could just be my experience but I was overjoyed and feel like it’s worth sharing!
I’m sure there are more that I will get to experience as the healing process continues on and I’ll be sure to come back and update this page as I think of them! If you haven’t read all the details about my surgery, you can find that post here.