Breast Reduction

Hiya.. I'm about to have breast reduction surgery and would like to speak to any runners who've had this done

Really just to see how you felt the first couple of weeks after and how the healing process works.. and then find out how it afected you trainig wise and what advise you might be able to share with me

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Comments

  • At a mere 34a it's not something I'll ever be able to speak from experience about Egglett, but my guess would be that like any surgery you're bound to be uncomfortable for a week or two while things heal and that you really should take it easy.

    Hope it all goes well.
  • Wont be able to do any kind of training for around 6 weeks I think.. well could do walking and mabey cycle from perhaps week 3-4.. thanks for the thoughts but really looking for someone who's been through this Op in paticular.. no offence - that sounds very rude!!
  • Cool

    They will fill me in on all the gen Monday at the hospital pre-Op but it is always nicer to talk to someone who's been through it

    Running wise I am nervous that I should not push too soon.. I know they will advise but most people I come across dont do the sort of miles I do so they dont quite get it - runners do
  • hi egglett

    not had it either
    but can imagine why it might be beneficial for some women

    good article here with a few things to watch out for
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1319106.stm

    presume you've already considered most of that and are just looking for some direct ex-patient experience

    i am sure there was at least one lady on the forum who'd had it done


  • Just a "after" word to this thread

    Came out from hospital today... feeling ok, sore obviously as it's only day 5 after op but already feel wonderfully relieved and "normal" for the first time in my adult life

    I'm finding that the pain is do-able but the tierdness is the worst aspect so just snoozing as need to

    If anyone else out there ever thought about having a reduction NHS or Private then my advise today is bloody go for it... I'm sort of annoyed that I left it this late in life because already I feel completly different about my body and the benefits are immediatly obvious... I even felt nice today in just casual clothes and had no issues of embarassment in pyjamas in hospital

    Running is going to be a wonderful experience now... I'm already looking at the 6 weeks break as a great time for me to get some quality rest (as had been overtraining pre-Op) and rethink my training to keep it smart

    I am allowed to do walking and also Ex-bike which means I can tick over but most important is that I am out the other side and feel wonderful about my body for the first ever time in my life
  • Egglett

    I've only just seen this as I've been away but I had a reduction almost two years ago now and it was the best thing I ever did.

    I took a year off from running (although the scars on the outside might be healed after six weeks, remember that the inside will still be healing for quite some time) and within a month of starting back had knocked off almost a minute per mile, such was the difference it made. I do know people who've gome back to running earlier though - you will know when it's right for you.

    Glad it all went well, it's the best feeling isn't it?
  • Egglett, glad it all went well. So, it's the start of your 'new' life hey?

    The break will fly by I'm sure.

    Take it easy and make the most of some 'you' time.

    ;o)
  • Recover strong, Egglett :o)

    Olive, great to see you back!

    I've referred loads of women for breast reduction surgery over the years, and never had one come back and say "I wish I hadn't had that done." And if I were disproportionately generously endowed in the pectoral protuberances, I wouldn't hesitate to have the operation myself.
  • Olive... why did you take so long as a break?

    I'm wanting to get out on the streets already... but know I must take it very easy

    Have got an exercise bike to do gentle rides on and will start walking a bit next week.. get some fresh air!!

    Kazzaaahhh - yep new life begins!

    Is a bit weird at the minute because the swelling has made them go bigger again - obviously not HUGE but it was a bit disturbing at first!! I though they were growing back (stupid I know!)

    I wish'd I had it done years ago... it's an amazing feeling to be "Normal" up top... I even sneaked a try on a "off the peg" bra's yesterday.. that was an amazing experience although too early at min to buy.. but nice to see all the things I can buy now

  • Hi Egglett

    I decided to take a year off as I'd read of the website that I mentioned in my email that I sent you that it takes about a year to fully heal from the operation. As I was on the NHS I knew that this was probably my only chance at the op (without paying!) so I didn't want to do anything that might jepordise the results! As it was I had a couple of 'spitting stitches' at 7 months post-op so I knew things were still healing then. I probably could have started up a couple of months after that but my running partner was pregnant so I decided to leave it for the full year until we were both able to go out running again. You'll find numerous women on the website that returned to high-impact exercise much earlier than I did - just do what feels right for you.

    Remember not to do too much too soon though, apparantly a common side effect is the 'three-week blues' when the initial high of the operation wears off and you suddenly really feel tired etc. This certainly happened to me and for quite a few weeks afterwards I could suddenly feel exhausted instantly and have to lie down. I think as your body has so much healing to do (as effectively, you've had two separate operations) coupled with the effects of the general aneasthetic means that the less you do for the next few weeks the better. For the first three weeks afterwards I literally sat on the couch watching DVDs and pottering on the internet.

    Feel free to ask anything else. I can go on and on about it for ages!
  • Just seen this......

    Going back a bit, but I had this op on the NHS in 1995 and it's the best thing I ever did too!!! I wasn't running at the time though, but general recovery for me took about 8 weeks in total. My first few weeks were spent in a sports bra 24/7 to make sure that my breasts were fully supported while they healed. The stitches also became very itchy and were quite painful when taken out, but the relief and healing after they were out was excellent.

    I think you'll know when YOU feel able to do more, and a good tip for scar recovery is to use good moisturiser like coconut oil etc, it not only lessens the itching but stop the scars drying out and flaking skin.

    As for post-op tiredness, that took a while too, so take plenty of rest and exercise little and often and gentle.

    Catherine x
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Please pardon the presence of a chap on this thread (not lurking and letching, honest!) but ...

    I raised the issue of man boobs with my GP raised recently and he mentioned surgery (blood tests were fine). Are the op and post-op considerations similar for blokes?

    Serious question btw.
  • Thanks cazie.. good to know about the itching - at the min I am paranoid about infection.. think everythings fine but cos of the itching and swelling this week I am relieved to be seeing the surgeon

    Couldnt get out for a walk today as had a visitor but want to start doing a small walk each day as of tomorrow and am aiming to do 20-30mins GENTLE on my exercise bike.. just something to get the blood moving a little bit - but guess not allowed to break a sweat yet.. mabey move into that week 4

    The swelling is a head game.. but I know what they looked like the first two days after surgery with the drains in so I know this look is temporary... but even with the swelling I already feel so much better about myself

    It's lovely to read other people pleased as well

    Mutley - quite possibly the same op.. but I imagine it might be easier for you as you will I guess be taken to more or less flat? I dont think you'll have to wear a sports bra ;) - lol - more bangages I would think

    I would say go for it - I feel wonderful about this Op... I feel privaledged to have had it done and it's already changed my life for the better
  • somehow i missed this thread before too - i had the op done 4 years ago and also wished i'd taken the plunge sooner and haven't looked back. and wait til you go back to work or see old friends... it's the funniest reaction ever :o)

    i think it was about 3 months before i returned to anything that could be considered high impact as i'd had quite a lot of problems with my stitches but certainly walking and gentle cycling were fine once i'd got over the exhaustion. the doc told me that the anaesthetic plays a big part in that as they actually have to knock you out for a long time so you get a fairly hefty dose.

    one problem i did have for a while that i hadn't thought about in advance was backache. because your muscles have adapted to having that weight at the top of your chest, when it's removed they have to readjust and they hurt in the process. for me it took a good couple of months but the surgeon reassured me that it wasn't nerve damage or anything and it would go away and so it did. mind you, they did remove almost 9lbs of "stuff" during the op so that could be why!!

    Muttley: i don't know what the male op would be like but presumably it's similar if a little less involved. i would guess that post-op is almost identical altho as Egglett says you could maybe dispense with the bra and just go for manly bandages or strapping. the only thing i could think of would be that your stitches might be a bit more vulnerable as you'd be left pretty flat. so your upper body movement might be pretty restricted for a while. but i'm no expert!!
  • More of a T.... very interesting info.. I'm like you - I wished I'd done this years ago, think pre-Op I was just plain scared about it all and thought the whole thing would be alot more horrific

    Had the dressings off today.. seeing the new boobs in full was very odd!

    My biggest issue at the minute is that they are swollen.. and to me that's caused a panic and a negative reaction.. I'm trying to deal with it and already put some work into body image.. I know that I need to wait a while longer before it's the final effect and hopefully the swelling will subside in a couple of weeks

    I've had a good chat with the surgeon about exercise so know what my limitations are.. going to start walking tomorrow - get some fresh air and out of the house for a while.. and get on that bike (Indoors!)

    All the info is brill to read.. thanks for posting!
  • congratulations! it must have taken some courage to do it, so it's great that it seems to have gone well. one of my cousins had it done and never regretted it for a moment. she said she finally felt normal.

    whenever I have had a general (nothing like the doses that you would have received for an op of that length) it takes me a while to feel mentally OK - i have always felt quite low for a few weeks. don't know if that is the anaesth or the stress of the body healing being just plain knackering.

    so take care of yourself. and look forward to all the lovely new things you can buy for the brand new you. :o)
  • Thanks Stumpy

    I had a couple of wibble days where I got my head all buggered up thinking they were still too big (irrational!) but have come to terms with that element - I do agree is probably down to knock on of general making me tierd and out of sorts.. but also I think something that I needed to talk out with friends (which I have) is simple that after spending all my adult life hating my boobs I've now got to learn to love them

    I'm in a much better place today and finally starting to click that what the surgeon has done is given me a freedom that is impossible to put into words

    Dropping the old habbits of self bashing can be done.. I look so much better and feel so much better in myself

    Normal is exactly the right word... freak, fat, ugly, stupid, wrong are all words I dont need in my "describe me" box now...

    It's wonderful
  • the swelling will go down Egglett but it may take some time for it all to disappear as it's not exactly a part of you that you can move to help it disperse ;o)

    i started the op a GG, came out of theatre a D and ended up a B to give you some idea but it was probably about 6 weeks before they were nearly at finished size

    the thing i couldn't get over was how little the whole thing hurt considering it's quite a big op.

    when you get to start buying your new underwear, you'll start to like the new ones i promise :o)
  • That's reassuring tortoise.. thanks for that

    I was a H originally but dropped to G after loosing the weight required ( a very saggy G!) and am in a C cup at the min, although when I tried some bra's on the other day D fitted better... in fact bordering on E which is what horrified me.. is a very very strange thing at first isnt it

    I've struggled with that bit where I felt dissapointed that they were still too big.. but having spent some time thinking and reading up I know I am panicking too quick and also that I am just reverting to old habbits of hating boobs

    I am going to do some work on loving them... as actually they are the right size now for my body and there's nothing at all wrong with them

    I'd have to agree to being shocked at how little pain I've had.. seems to be more a pinch every now and then and also tierd for me..

    Today's been a really nice day.. I went for a walk into the local town and back - probably about 2/3 miles and then did a bit on the exercise bike - had a long shower and then went to bed for a big lazy afternoon kip!! (MUSNT get into that habbit lol!)

    The surgeon told me not to buy any bra's till after she's seen me next which is another 6 weeks away - so I'm going to forget all that I've seen to date and just wait till then

    It's going to be amazing being able to buy off the peg!

    I thought today though that whilst I would be able to get cheap bra's it's likely that I will still invest in decent sports bra's.. I put a cheap one on today that I got for after op, and while it's ok for now I wouldnt like to run in it - doesnt feel as sturdy as the shock absorber one's

  • it absolutely amazed me how cheap bras were when you can just go into M&S and buy them (in the days before they started their plus range) - guess i'd be paying for the scaffolding before :o)

    definitely still wear v supportive sports bras, especially at the beginning while your muscles are still repairing and therefore not able to provide as much natural support. personally tho i still find it more comfortable to wear tough ones so there's no movement at all, it's just easier to find ones that fit now!

    the surgeon might make you wait even longer than that before wearing underwired bras in case it irritates anything but it's so worth the wait cos you don't want any problems at this stage.

    the tiredness is from the operation bit which doesn't make sense but what i mean is that you would be this tired no matter what you'd had done - your body is using it's energy to repair not make you energetic.
  • I did go and try some off the peg bra's on the other day - it was way to early for that but I'm gad I did.. just the knowledge taht you can go into M&S etc and pick a couple off the peg is brilliant

    Surgeon's said dont but anything yet..

    A question for you - one of the wounds at teh bottom from nipple down to the across cut (if you get what I mean) is still weeping a little bit.. teeny bit but because I changed into a white bra yesterday I noticed it... dont think it's infected but I am worried.. do you think I ought to see the Dr or just shove a dressing on it myself??

    Did you have anything like that??
  • no need to see Doc just yet, it's the hardest bit to heal cos of the way it pulls so will take longer than the other cuts. and you have to remember that the skin is pretty thin round there so it's not as easy as sticking stitches in a nice tough bit of arm or similar. just put a dressing on it yourself and see what happens over the next few days.

    signs of infection would be very red, painful, maybe hard and/or raised and the stuff you see on the dressing would likely be a nasty yellow colour and might smell.

    if you do get worried about it, make an appointment to see the nurse at your surgery as it's always easier to get to see them and they will be able to check for you and prescribe antibiotics if needed.

    i had quite a lot of problems with healing cos my surgeon wanted to use steri-strips rather than stitches but i'm allergic to them so he couldn't and then i got a bit of infection. so as a result, my downwards wound isn't a nice fine line it's quite a lot wider but it's still faded to dead pale so you can hardly see it. and i figure as i don't go around showing my boobs off generally it probably doesn't matter and it certainly doesn't take away from how big an improvement it is!!!

    you can mail me through my profile if you have any other specific questions that you'd rather not post :o)
  • i should maybe have referred to it as a scar rather than a wound as it's definitely healed up now!!
  • Cheers tortoise.. think it's going to be a pesky one.. dont think it is infected but have chatted to the NHS Direct people and decided with my Gp's (been bugging everyone!!!) that if I am still worried tomorrow morning I can go get it looked at

    I've put a dressing on now so see if that helps it.

    I know what you mean about the scars.. I'm the same as you already in that the scares dont worry me... mine wont get fresh air that often either - LOL!
  • it's good that they don't bother you cos once they've faded you're probably the only one who'll know they're there - no-one else who happens to be looking will notice them!!
  • Hi Egglett,

    I just saw this thread and thought I'd add my bit. I had the op nearly 11 years ago (2 weeks after my 18th birthday) and went from an F to a B by operation, then they settled at a C cup and have been that ever since.

    Lots have people have given you some excellent advice but here are some other bits that may help also (even if you're not bothered about scars!):

    * fine paper tape (can get it from Boots) over the scars after the stitches have come off will make sure the scars heal flat. I was told to use it for 6 months, 24 hours a day and now you can barely feel my scars.

    * vitamin e oil is the best thing to help reduce scarring. The capsules are the strongest and you just pop them with a pin and use the oil straight on. It helps to reduce the itching which drives you nuts, especially when wearing underwire bras.

    * massage and sunlight are excellent to speed up healing.

    * you might have to shop around for sports bras to find one that fits properly. Even though you're a 'normal' cup size they still bounce a lot differently to someone who is naturally that size. Go somewhere you can really run around in the changing rooms!

    * It took a few months for them to settle into my 'new' size so don't stress about the size just yet. When I first woke up from my op I looked down at my chest, saw all the bandages under my gown and burst into tears as I thought they hadn't removed anything.

    As you can probably tell, as an 18 year old my biggest worry was scarring, and after that was breast feeding (haven't had a chance to test that one yet).
    I did have a bit of a disaster after an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic but other than that I'm still a happy customer 11 years on.

    Well done for taking the leap and enjoy it!!
  • Thankyou redruth.. and that goes to everyone.. have to say that the responses have really helped me the past couple of weeks.. especially regards the infection and also the panic of thining "they are still the same size!"

    Funny on Friday I saw my best mate for the first time and we talked about how they dont necessarily look dramatically smaller (mine were mostly baggy saggy flesh stuffed in a bra and hoiked into position in the end after the wieght I lost) but that they are definatley "right"

    It's very hard rto accept a part of your body you spent so long hating and also to learn to love them and take them on as a "nice" even "sexy" part of your body isnt overnight

    But I am starting to "get" my boobs..LOL..

    When did you start putting the vitamin E oil on? My surgeon is adamant notto put anything near them at the moment

    Latest trick with them is that they get sore at the bottom overnight - think it's the band of the bra.. so might loosen it a bit at night.. I must swell overnight! LOL

    Think the trouble with size is that they didnt show me what a C or D actually looked like - I still think I would have said B or C had I known.. BUT mine arnt fully settled yet I must remember that

    Yesterday I had a nice day though - went shopping with my best friend - I got a very cute fashionable short dress that FIT over my boobs and a nice cord trench coat that is double breasted and DOESNT pull at the bust - I was ready to get jumping up and down with delight but cant do that at the min!!

    Seriously though - your posts are justso reassuring and have helped me loads.. thankyou so much
  • I'm so pleased it's working out for you.

    Start taking vitamin E capsules now then use the oil after the stitches are out and they're healing up. It's the rubbing it in that helps just as much so you need to wait until you can comfortably do that.

    The biggest adjustment for me was not being able to sleep on my tummy. I was very excited the first time afterwards that I could comfortably lie on my stomach although it was a long wait.

    Just wait until you can go nuts in the underwear section, it's such a good feeling. I still remember the first bra I bought, so sad!
  • LOL redruth.. I must admit in the hospital sleeping on my tummy was just vile.. I found it gave me back ache.. fairly quickly I was able to menouver myself into a kind of side position... been able to keep that going

    Last week I could get back into foetal sort of position and that was "bliss"...LOL.. like "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"!

    I'll try that Vit E then, I noticed my skins going quite dry without anything on it so it needs something to go on

    Bruising is out more this week but swelling is going down a bit more which feels nice

    I am already finding that the joys apres Op keep building.. buying underwear is going to be a magic moment indeed

    It's so cool reading everyone's comments
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