Erica - Breast Reduction Diary
Today my sister and myself found Mr Inglefield’s rooms and went through all of the important paperwork. Past medical and family histories were discussed and in my circumstance there was no medical history to report or any family history of breast cancer.
I was then required to bare my large breasts being that of a G cup for Mr Inglefield to measure for symmetry and examine for any lumps or abnormalities. He then took a series of photographs and explained what type of shaping he would do and the potential for liposuction underneath the arms.
He then proceeded to tell me about post operative pain, dressings, range of movement, exercise, clothing and dietary requirements.
Before the consult I was feeling rather anxious and scared. Having worked as a theatre nurse and having insider knowledge wasn’t the best. I had never had a procedure in the past nor had I ever had stitches or an intravenous cannula. I had only experienced these things from a nurses perspective. However Mr Inglefield had made me feel at ease and far better about the procedure which was scheduled the next morning.
My sister was present through the whole consult as my support person which also helped with setting mind at ease.
06/11/12 Day of Surgery
An early start to the day saw us (my sister and I) at the medical centre at 0700hrs. One of the theatre nurses took me through to a treatment room where she took my vital signs down and surprisingly my heart rate was still only 85. I got into a gown, Ted stockings, paper undies and some little blue booties. I was then put into a waiting room with a tv to await my turn. The anesthetist then came to see me to ask about any allergies and I promptly burst into tears! It seemed that the reality of it all was setting in. Next another theatre nurse came to give me some diazepam followed by the practice nurse with support/shock absorbing bras for me to try on for the post operative period. All the while I continued to cry, Mr Inglefield came to see me with a much needed shoulder rub and reassurance. Then another nurse sat and chatted with me until the anesthetist took me through to the operating room. Considering my vulnerable state the cannula was swiftly inserted and I was off to sleep in less than a minute.
Upon waking I felt a stinging pain all around my beasts that was bearable. I was in and out of dozing before lunch arrived. The pain had eased and my appetite had returned, within the next hour I was up and mobilizing to the bathroom. I had 2 drains in one in each breast, dressings and a bra on. About 4 hours after waking I had my first lot of pain relief and got into my normal clothes with the help of my sister. Arriving home we had dinner and prepared the bed with a big triangle pillow for support. I normally sleep on my stomach so to have to sleep on my back was not appealing. All tablets were consumed, pain relief, antibiotics and surgical remedy. Then a restless night followed.
07/11/12 day 1 post operative
After a restless night and some pain killers Mr Inglefield reviewed me and the drainage from my 1 remaining drain. He gave the ok for my sister to pull the drain (as she used to be a capable plastics nurse). The feeling when the drain is removed is weird, u can feel it pulling from behind the breast tissue and then a little sting as the drainage holes exit the skin. The overall feeling across my chest is heavy from the swelling. The main area that I feel uncomfortable is under the arms from the liposuction, I feel as if I’m a chicken with my wings hanging out. The incision line under my breast especially the left side grabs me at times when the bra gets into the crease.
A warm shower was indeed a god send with the aid of my sister to wash and dry my back. She helped me get comfortably back into my bra and clothes. A morning stroll down to the local Tesco went well but I found myself very weary when people came to close to me. The rest of the day was spent on the couch for some much needed rest and relaxation. At times though this wasn’t the best as u get all stiff and uncomfortable when having to move again. A better nights sleep was had as I had more movement and needed less pain relief 🙂
First week post reduction
Day 2 post the surgery I had an appointment with Petra for MDL. The massage was so relaxing and despite my concerns, didn’t hurt a bit. Mary came to see me and review my dressings which still remained intact.
The remainder of the first week, each day got better and better. I became more comfortable and was sleeping well. On the 1 week mark I returned to the clinic for another session of MDL. After the MDL I met with Mary again and had my dressings taken down. I was apprehensive to look in the mirror. I looked briefly and knowing full well that things will improve I still found it hard to see the dramatic change. It all looked so different with the dressings off. The dressings were replaced with micropore tape and the feeling was far different. It felt a if I was getting some shooting nerve pains that even made me jolt when relaxing, this only lasted about 2 days. Now at 9 days my swelling finally looks to be on the improve and things are feeling much better.
Almost at the beginning of the 6th week
At the 2 week mark I returned to the clinic for the tapes to be changed and for a review of how things were going. When the tapes were coming off it was the most tingling horrible feeling around the nipple area. My left nipple seems to be hypersensative and the right has lost all sensativity. All was looking good, suture lines were healing well and my tolerance at looking at myself in the mirror was improving. I had become very comfortable having the suture lines covered. I still had some swelling especially under the arms from where I had the liposuction. Despite the swelling though my movement was improving and I was finding that I was guarding my chest area less when out in public.
By the 3 week mark I was finding it hard to behave and do all the right things detailed by the team at LBPS. I would move to lift something and have to think twice, put my arms above my head and have to stop myself. At this point I thought ‘thats a good sign’. This means I’m getting better and better and trying to return to normality. At this point I was shopping for sports bras or anything that was supportive without underwire that I could wear for the next 2 months. I was also admiring swimmers in all hope that I could soon get into a new swimming top that I could purchase from a normal store rather than ordering online for extra large boobs! When I changed the tapes at the 3rd week I had some irritation from the tape. It was only superficial, like a graze. A good clean in the shower and laying inside with nothing on to let the irritated areas dry out before replacing the tapes was beneficial.
The 4th week saw me getting into trouble with those close to me for trying to do things that I wasn’t allowed to do. I certainly had some good minders. My sister and I went looking for my much needed new swimmers. This was the best part so far! Being able to find a top that fit me without any trouble.
At this point I’m starting to feel pretty normal. My close friends keep asking if I can feel an differece in my posture or my neck pains, to be honest I have been to focused on the wounds and new boobs themselves and not paying any attention to my posture. I’m sure that it will all improve with time. The suture lines at this point look fabulous and I have never been more open to showing my friends photos of my new and improved assests. I have before photos to compare too which gets a few gasps. The photos I have from the 4th week tape change show that my left breast is still more swollen than the right. The right side is sitting lovely but the left seems to still be an odd shape from continued swelling.
I am fast approching the start of the 6th week which means a return to work very soon. This I am not loking forward too. Everything is going really well, all the suture lines look great and there is no pain at all. I’m sleeping comfortably on my stomach and am almost back to complete normality apart from the heavy stuff like horse riding and jogging. The left nipple is still super sensitive and reacts when I’m cold, the right however is still numb and I’m not too sure about its reaction to cold. Looking forward to not having to sleep with a bra on 🙂
Have reached the 6 month mark post my breast reduction and I couldn’t be happier. I have lost 10kg + whatever was removed. I am running and doing high energy exercise that I was unable to do before with large breasts. I am confident in tight fitting clothes and bikinis now. The scars are fading well and at a glance in the mirror I don’t even notice them. The sensation is still a little sluggish in the right breast but almost normal in the left. Thank you London bridge plastic surgery and Chris Inglefield