WHY I CHOSE TO HAVE A BREAST REDUCTION

In March 2003, I had a breast reduction. I had just turned 23 years old. Coco and I had been dating for two years, and it was about that time that I decided thet I was done carrying around the weight of my breasts- both literally and figuratively. No woman in my family had unbelievably large breasts. They were average; definitely not small but by no means massive. Heck, my mom had breast implants. So the fact that my breast grew to a 32F almost double F was surreal, hilarious, and confusing. Can you imagine 32F breasts on my build? I’ve always been thin, but when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was way thinner. I was weighing between 95-110lbs during those years and my breasts went from being in proportion to my body, to being completely mismatched. I felt like my breasts had overtaken the rest of me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love big boobs, and I loved mine a ton, until I didn’t. They went from being aesthetically pleasing and perky, to being cumbersome and a burden. They were a burden not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I used to describe my breasts as looking like I had a baby’s butt sitting on my chest, with the butt crack being the cleavage. My breasts reeked havoc on my back. They weighted so much, they would literally pull me forward. Forget cute bras. It was so hard to find bras that would fit me right and be able to support me, so most of my bras were corsets. Yep, like Vicorian Age-Marie Antoinette type of corsets, because it was the only thing that would support the weight. If I was lucky enough to find a bra that kind of fit, I would always have to take it to a seamstress to alter it. My breasts were so heavy, that they caused indentations on my shoulders when I would wear a bra. Don’t even get me started on taking off the bra. Releasing those puppies out of their cages was so painful! I would literally hold them and gently bring them down. Forget about wearing tube tops or spaghetti straps. That was non existent with these National geographic breasts. My friends and I used to joke and see how many objects I could hold under my breasts. Running was also painful so I never looked forward to that in high school.

Being restricted in what I could wear and what I could do was starting to become frustrating, especially with me being so young. I was so top heavy and every other part of me wasn’t, that I looked off. At times, it did affect my confidence because I knew people were always staring at my breasts. It didn’t matter what I wore, they were going to be in your face. I have no problem with boobs in your face, like I said, I love boobs, but this just felt porn starish and that wasn’t a look I was going for.

I don’t remember the exact moment that I said, “Alright, this is enough,” but it was some time in 2002 that I started to consider a breast reduction. The physical pain had become too much. The shoulder indentations were starting to get deeper, my back was constantly hurting from the weight of the breasts. My neck was also strained, and my shoulders felt like I was carrying boulders around. They were droopy and saggy and not at all cute or sexy. I didn’t want to wear corsets anymore, I wanted to be able to find a bathing suit in my size because finding a small bottom and like an xxxl top was an illusion , and I wanted to wear a freaking tube top (hey, it was the 2000s)!

I was already living in NY but I wanted to do my surgery in Miami so I could be with my grandma and she could take care of me. On one of my visits, I went to a consultation at Miami Plastic Surgery and saw Dr. Brad Hermann who was one of the head plastic surgeons there at the time, and also one of the best for breast surgery. I went in there with a list of questions- everything from, “will my back pain go away after surgery?” to “will they look perky and proportioned to my body?” And because I needed to travel back to NY and head back to school, I needed to know when I would be back up and running and what recovery was going to look like. I felt assured, confident, and excited about the idea of a breast reduction. Relief was on the way. I booked my surgery (scheduled during spring break), left the deposit, and headed back to start my official countdown.

Coco was very supportive and encouraged me to do whatever was going to make me happy, but of course, he’s a guy and was equally sad to see ‘his big jugs’ go! Big tatas were never an issue in the dating department, that’s for sure. I was already day dreaming on life with smaller, but still big breasts. Dr. Hermann felt that a C cup was going to be in proportion with my frame, height, and weight. Anything smaller would be too small, and anything larger than a C could still be too large and could eventually cause issues down the line. We would do a reduction and a lift to bring up the breasts. The surgery would be a couple of hours, and Dr. Hermann would make sort of like an anchor incision on the breast. An incision would be made around the areola (and mine were ginormous) and it would run down the breast. This incision would allow the doctor to remove the excess breast tissue and any fat or skin needed to get down to that C cup. The areola is reconstructed and repositioned to match the ‘new’ breast. For those women who want to breast feed, it was/is possible to do that after a breast reduction. I didn’t breast feed but my doctor still repositioned it to have that capability.

The day before my surgery I was a mess of emotions. I was beyond excited and eager for my new breasts but I was also nervous and scared, because surgery always brings a risk and this would be my first major surgery. I just kept thinking of that final product and finally being able to wear a regular bra and bathing suit. Who knew that could bring so much relief and joy.

Cue to the day of surgery and I was a hot mess of nerves. I got to the hospital and I remember waiting outside the OR for my turn. I was sitting there in a chair, looking at magazines and contemplating whether I should just bolt and go home and cancel this thing. All the what ifs popped into my head but I wasn’t going to let them control me. Next thing I knew, it was my turn and I was ready to go. In the moment they were administering the anesthesia, the anesthesiologist asked me what I wanted to have for dinner, and before I could finish answering (bistec empanizado arroz…..) I was out.

The next thing I remember is waking up, groggy, asking for a little morphine because I was in pain, and then going to sleep again. My aunt and grandma took me home, and for the next few days (after the next day follow up when Dr. Hermann removed the bandages), I spent my days in my grandfathers recliner watching TV and trying to stay as comfortable as possible. The pain wasn’t terrible. It felt like the most extreme soreness- like if you went to the gym and did the hardest workout of your life. It was more soreness than pain. I wasn’t big on taking painkillers so I took one or two the day after and that was it. What stood out the most for me was how ‘light’ I felt. Going from the ridiculously large breasts, to a C cup, felt like I was walking on air! It also felt like I went from having so much boob to no boobs, which was something I had to get used to. Dr. Hermann said that they removed 5lbs of breast tissue total! It was no fat and all breast!

A week to the day after my surgery, I was at the Youth Fair eating my way through all the food kiosks. Obviously I didn’t go on any rides, but the fact that I was out and about one week after a procedure was mind blowing to me. Two days after that, I was on a plane back to NY. My breasts were still swollen and a little bruised. The stitches had already dissolved. It would take months for them to settle to their final resting place (ha!), but overall, I was over the moon about the results. My indentations slowly went away, my shoulder and back pain were non existent, and I must have bought like 10 tube tops. Bathing suit shopping was fun again. I was able to wear a strapless and better yet, my breasts were so perky I didn’t have to wear a bra at all. I still have scars but they have lightened over time. To me, they are just a reminder of one of the best decisions I ever made.

Fast forward 15 years later, and my breasts have gone through two child births, minimal weight gain, weight loss, and natural growth. Yes! My breasts grew, can you believe that? I am now at a comfortable 34D and everyday I am thankful for that surgery. It improved my quality of life. I released a lot of anguish, and it made me more confident. No more National Geographic breasts for me! I love my girls, and how they make me feel! I finally felt like my body was mine and it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

I love sharing my stories with other women and I love answering any and all questions they may have. Whether you want breast implants or to remove your implants, or a breast reduction or a lift, do it for the right reasons- because it works for you and not for someone else. Do your research. Find a support group. Know that there will always be naysayers and you can’t control them- you can only control how you react. At the end of the day, your happiness and quality of life wins over anything else.

In Style,

Kathy