Results and Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery: Patient Experience/Case Study – Large 4.5 kg Breast Reduction/Reduction Mammoplasty. When you have heavy glandular tissues and pendulous, largish breasts, you are unlikely to feel comfortable exercising, clothes shopping or going to the beach in summer. Bra shopping becomes somewhat of an impossibility and you feel – and look – like you might topple over any minute. Such was the situation with recent Breast Reduction Surgery patient, Sue, whose sister helped her gain the courage to finally proceed with a Breast Reduction procedure she’d long thought about having done but “never thought would actually happen.”
Her surgery was performed by Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Breast Reduction expert, Dr Craig Rubinstein, a Plastic Surgeon her sister met during a Cosmetic Plastic Surgery presentation at a special Vogue magazine event at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne a year ago in October 2017.
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Patient Case Study: Reduction Mammoplasty – the 4.5 kg Breast Reduction
Here are highlights from two recent interviews by Michelle and Lyshai of a breast-reduction patient, Sue, and her sister Catherine.
Q: How did you find your Surgeon for your 4.5 kg Breast Reduction?
Sue: I didn’t find the Surgeon, my sister Catherine did. She rang me one night and told me she’d been to a Vogue magazine event at the Langham Hotel where Dr Rubinstein was speaking, and so she rang and said to me: “I’ve found your Breast Reduction Surgeon.”
Catherine: That’s right. I went to a Vogue magazine event last year and heard Dr Rubinstein’s presentation on Breast Surgery. I knew right away he was the right Surgeon for Sue, so I spoke with him that night. He was very approachable. Then I rang Sue that night and told her I had found her Surgeon.
Q: How did Sue respond?
Catherine: She wasn’t initially excited. (Both sisters laugh). She just went “oh…” – and not very enthusiastically.
Sue: That’s right. I just never really thought it would happen. I never thought I’d ever be able to afford it. But in the end, my father had promised to pay for my surgery. That really helped make it happen – plus there was early access to Super, and I hadn’t realised that was also an option. So even though it was 10 years since my father first promised to pay for surgery, [he’s since passed on], it was my family – my sister, my Mum and Dad – who helped this surgery to happen.
Catherine: After seeing her struggle at the beach the year before, I knew she really had to do something. She was so top-heavy and wouldn’t go in the water. She looked miserable and like she would topple over. She would avoid cameras and wouldn’t even go into the water. She had hardly any confidence – and it was so hot, but she wouldn’t go into the beach because she was embarrassed to wear a swimsuit.
Sue: That’s right, and it was impossible to find one that fits. Same with bras. There aren’t a lot of before pictures of me because I never faced the camera – I’d hide behind someone or avoid them altogether. Thankfully Catherine came just before my surgery and insisted on taking them so I could look back at them afterwards – but prior to that, I always hid in the background and shied away from cameras.
The BEFORE photo – before the Breast Lift/Reduction Surgery reducing the breast weight by 4.5 kg; before a subsequent weight change of 30 kg lost due to lifestyle changes and healthy eating after surgery.
Q: What was the surgery experience like?
Sue: It was a bit of a blur, especially afterwards. I think I was in denial it would actually ever happen after living for so many years with these breasts and talking about it for so long. But during surgery, they removed over 4.5 kilos from my breasts. I remember waking up after the surgery groggy, but looking down, and seeing my stomach for the first time in as long as I can remember. It had been “like a shelf” that had carried my breasts for so many years and I couldn’t see it when looking down.
Q: What was pain and recovery like for you?
Sue: I hear everyone is different. But I didn’t think it was that bad. I had bruising a bit and swelling. I had to take some time off from everything for a few weeks to recover. But I had good help at home, even though at first my husband was uncertain I was doing the right thing. Fortunately, my kids were in their teens (my youngest is now 15) so I could take some time off from running them around like I usually do. It might have been a lot harder if they were still young. If I HAD had this done, 10 years ago, for example, my youngest would have been only 5. My kids would have been younger, and I think it would have been a lot harder.
Q: What happened after your Breast Reduction Surgery?
Catherine: She became an entirely different person. More confident, more outgoing, more vibrant – she’s so alive now! She became herself again. She even wears a swimsuit now.
Sue: That’s right. But after I had the surgery, I saw my stomach for the first time in a long time. Although my breasts had always made me look a lot bigger than I actually was, I decided it was time to lose weight. I’d gone through the breast reduction surgery and had a good breast size now. So I wanted the rest of my body to match it a bit better, I wanted to lose my [belly]. So I started exercising – which I could do now – even walking, I remember how it was to start walking and running and thinking to myself – oh wow – I could never do that before. Anyway, I lost over 30 kilos since the reduction. I feel like a whole new person.
Catherine: She’s totally different now. So much more confident, vibrant and outgoing. I’m so proud of her!
Q: What about “Mother Guilt” and the cost of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Sue: It was really time for me now. My kids understand that. They see the difference. Plus, my Dad had always said he’s pay for the operation. Even so, it’s hard for most Mums to take time for themselves – to put themselves first. But it’s so important.
Q: What would you say to others who are contemplating breast surgery?
Sue: I’d say go and do it. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, for me (other than my kids). I had no idea how much of a difference it would make.
Catherine: I see people who look like they’re struggling, and after seeing what it did for my sister, I want to go up to them and tell them to do it! It’s life-changing. And there are so many women out there who look like they’re about to topple over. I don’t know how they live with it.
Q: Top 5 things you like about having reduced breast volume after your reduction surgery:
- Buying bras. I can buy bras now – they fit!
- Shopping for clothes, it’s amazing. I can go into regular stores. I can buy clothes and bras and even swimsuits in regular stores – there’s so much more to choose from.
- Exercising – feeling comfortable to walk or run without bouncing.
- Being able to drink out of a stemmed wine glass. I could never do that before! My breasts were too in the way. It’s funny, but this was something I hadn’t thought of and it’s one of the things I appreciate most since my surgery.
- Confidence. I talk to people now. I became more outgoing.
Photo of PRE-SURGERY, Shortly AFTER the operation and a few months later, with 30 additional kilos reduced through post-reduction lifestyle changes including being able to exercise more freely.
Q: Do you need more Surgery?
Sue: I’m thinking about a Tummy Tuck…and my nipple became inverted after surgery (so I need a re-operation or some minor reshaping), but I was told about that as being a risk given my reduction was so massive as an operation.
For more on Sue, attend an event (ask if she’ll be there) or find her story on the Plastic Surgery Hub.
For YOUR breast reduction consultation, phone 1300 264 811. We have several Breast Surgery experts in Reduction Mammoplasty and will provide you with a personal surgery plan and no-obligation quote so you can consider your options for Breast Reduction (Melbourne or Sydney Surgeons).
Costs and Risks of Surgery – get the Guide
Remember, however, that all patients are unique and experiences and surgery results will vary from patient to patient. Recovery and healing and scars are also different from patient to patient, and all surgery is invasive and carries risks.
Before and After Photos
See more before and after photographs of other Breast Reduction results from our Plastic Surgeons Group.