This past Monday made 6 weeks since my breast reduction surgery. A week after my surgery, I shared my first week experience. I have now reached 6 weeks and after meeting with my doctor this past Tuesday, I’ve been cleared to resume normal activity. During my recovery I took a lot of photos as I wanted to document my healing process and had initially planned to share them, but have since decided against it. I just don’t know how comfortable I am with baring my girls to the world like that. HOWEVER, I am willing to answer any questions that anyone may have regarding my personal experience. Here are a few side by side before and after photos. What a difference!
I have also come up with a list of tips for anyone thinking about having the surgery, in the process of having it done or currently in recovery.
- Make sure that your choice to have the surgery is yours and yours alone. Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to have this surgery. For some it may be an aching back, neck or poor posture. And let’s be real, sometimes it may be simply cosmetic. You’re just trying to be cute in your life and having two heavy water balloons hanging from your chest, doesn’t fit in that plan! Whatever the reason, let it be yours. For me, it was a bit of all of the above. There are some people who undergo this type of surgery for other personal reasons. No need to beat around the bush. I’ll just put it out there! Some women have elected to have a procedure such as a breast reduction simply to keep a man or bring a man back! Hell, some are just trying to GET a man. Yeah… how about NO! Your decision needs to be solely FOR YOU, because at the end of the day it’s your body that you will have to live with afterwards and still love. It will be YOU that will have to recover. Just YOU.
- Search for a doctor who you feel comfortable with. I searched and I searched and I searched before deciding on a doctor that I would have to perform my surgery. Ultimately, it was through word of mouth that I was connected to Dr. Shoukas of Lake Mary Plastic Surgery. If I would have sat in his office and not felt comfortable with him as a surgeon, I would have continued looking until I found the surgeon who I felt fit the bill. Do your research. Schedule consultations and go with the professional who makes you feel comfortable. Remember, there is no rush.
- Ask questions. Think of any questions or concerns that you may have prior to meeting with potential surgeons and write them down. Trust me. Don’t depend on yourself to remember them, unless I’m the only person with a pretty serious short term memory problem! Remember! There is no stupid question. This is your body and you want to make sure that you have a very clear understanding of the procedure, all associated risks and the recovery process. If you are as lucky as I was, you’ll have a doctor that is very thorough and will answer all of your questions before the ever even leave your mouth.
- Trust your doctor. Remember, you took your time, vetted and chose your doctor carefully as the person you’d entrust with you surgery. Don’t start doubting now.
- Follow discharge instructions. Your doctor will supply you with his/her own pre & post-op instructructions. Remember, YOU TRUST YOUR DOCTOR. Your surgeon knows what he/she is doing and that’s why you enlisted them. Chances are they have performed hundreds of surgeries prior to you and based upon their experiences, have also worked out a routine that has yielded the best results for their patients.
- BUY EXTRA PILLOWS! – I had about 7 pillows in my bed that I REQUIRED in order to find enough comfort to find sleep each night.
- Stay off of google. After your surgery, you may find yourself concerned about your healing process. When the bandages come off and as days pass, you will notice changes that may bring upon concern. Scabs form, bruising may be present (though I didn’t have much bruising at all) and oozing fluid from incisions will have you self-diagnosing yourself. Don’t do it! If you have any concerns, call your doctor!
- Be patient. You’ve been cut and stitched back together. Your nipple was detached and then reattached. Now your body has to heal. Allow it to do so. Remember, time heals all wounds. That saying is just as true as it is cliche.
- Listen to your body. As you start to feel less pain, you may also feel that you can take on normal activities prematurely. Don’t. Refer to number 5. I decided at the end of week one that is was okay for me to drive. I learned very quickly that this was not a good idea. I paid for that little short drive for about a week and I didn’t drive again until week 5. Listen to your body.
- EAT WISELY! – Remember that while you’re recovering, you’re limited to what you’re able to do physically, which means you aren’t burning off any of those calories that you take in. At the end of your 6 weeks, you don’t want to be stuck with an extra unwanted few pounds that you need to get off… on top of what you already had! The struggle!!!
I want to end this post by thanking my doctor, Dr. Shoukas and his staff for making my experience a great one. From consult to my 6 week post-op appointment, he and his staff remained a pleasure to be around. Dr. Shoukas displayed a great show of professionalism while also remaining down to earth. During my time at the hospital, Dr. Shoukas made sure I was comfortable at all times. Breast surgeries are considered to be outpatient procedures and patients are sent home to recover immediately after surgery. Dr. Shoukas kept me overnight in the hospital to ensure 1). I was able to rest 2). I could be monitored by the hospital staff for any possible complications and 3). To make sure my pain was managed. At the end of my first week of surgery, I had to call him for a concern I’d had about one of my drains and he called me back immediately. It was very comforting to know that he was just a phone call away. He was very kind to my mom who came down to help me during my surgery. If I were to ever find myself in further need of his services, he would definitely be my first call. So to anyone reading this, that may be in the market for a plastic surgeon, call Dr. Shoukas.
Oh, and want to know how I feel? I feel very satisfied and more than anything, I feel much, MUCH lighter! Hey girl, Heeeyyy!!!