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Author Topic: Breast reduction - advice please.
Satsuma
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Member # 38368

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Right, in a nutshell I'm 16 and an English 32/34G, and still growing. I've had pain in my shoulder and back nearly every day this week and buying clothes (especially swimwear) is getting very awkward, so I'm doing a bit of research into having them reduced. Realistically, I wouldn't be having the actual procedure done for at the very least two years, seeing as I haven't finished growing yet and I don't want to miss school, but I want to know what options are available. I'm aware it would possibly be better to just learn to love them the way they are but I've always found physical pain difficult to learn to love.

The problem I've found so far is that all the methods I've seen leave you unable to breastfeed, and if/when I have children I know for a fact that I'd want to breastfeed. So, does anyone know of any permanent methods of reduction that wouldn't leave me unable to breastfeed?

Dieting hasn't worked, neither has the dunk-them-in-cold-water idea, and I haven't been able to find a sports bra that's:
a) Actually effective
b) Cheap enough that I can buy more than one
c) Comfortable.

Thanks for your help. I'm sorry if this topic has been brought up before but I checked the FAQ and I don't think it has.

Posts: 8 | From: Exeter, England | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
atm1
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First off, I can't tell you exactly what method it was, but I definitely know that my mom had reduction surgery when she was about your age (which was in the late 60's), and she totally breast fed two kids. So there are methods out there, and this is probably something you'd want to discuss directly with a surgeon. Different methods work for different body types, so it's hard for anyone to tell you what's possible without an in person consultation.
I'd also suggest documenting the pain associated with it, so that you can get insurance to cover the procedure once you've stopped growing.

That said, she totally got reduced from a 32DD to a 32C only to return permanently to a 32DD once she had kids.

In terms of sports bras, I know the company title nine makes some good sports bras for large breasted women, but most are in the 40+USD range, which might be a bit much.

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Satsuma
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I was going to book a doctor's appointment anyway to get this checked out but I just wanted to see if the answer would be a flat no, so hearing that it might not be is a big relief, let me tell you.

I hadn't actually thought of documenting the problems I'm having so I'll definately start doing that now. I haven't checked the criteria for having it done on the NHS but if I have to go private then I'd almost certainly need some sort of insurance cover.

I'll look up title nine tomorrow. Thank you!

Posts: 8 | From: Exeter, England | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beckylein
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I don't know if you've seen this website, but they have forums that may be helpful to you, insofar as being able to ask questions to women who have been there and are specifically trying to breastfeed after a reduction.

http://www.bfar.org/faq.shtml#possible

If it were me, I'd be looking for a doctor who is specifically knowledgeable about breastfeeding after a breast reduction, since most of success is dependant on whether or not they cut the ducts. I don't know a lot about breast reductions, though, or what is involved in them.

I have a friend who got one, though, and she is a THOUSAND times happier and feels so much better in her body (she was 19 when she got one). No kids yet, but she's so happy.

Two BIG thumbs up to you for a.) wanting to breastfeed and b.) for thinking ahead to what your future wants and needs may be [Smile] Good on you!

--------------------
"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

Posts: 59 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Satsuma
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I'd never seen that website before and I'll probably join it now, thanks.

From what I'd seen in a book I have, breast reductions involved removing your nipples then sewing them back on in a different place, which would obviously prevent you being able to feed a baby with them and also sounds really unpleasant. No other method was listed. I'm going to see my GP sometime this week and I'm sure she could refer me to someone with specialist knowledge if she thought it was appropriate.

It's also good to hear that your friend is happier having had a reduction. I've heard a few horror stories of people who've ended up losing their hands and feet etc which is (obviously) a bit off putting so it's good to hear from the other side of the coin I guess.

My mother has always been a big advocate of breastfeeding meaning I've had her telling me the benefits (and the downsides!) for years and I was breastfed myself until I was almost four (which I can actually remember) so I'd always assumed I'd breastfeed myself if I had kids. But then again, I also assumed I'd follow the family tradition of stopping growing at a B cup which didn't exactly work out but eh.

Posts: 8 | From: Exeter, England | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey Shokokashi,

In additon to the helpful suggestions that atm1 and Beckylein made, I also wanted to offer the perspective of someone who's very glad she *didn't* get a reduction. (The operation itself seemed scary and I heard some negative experiences... in addition to some good ones.) I'm a 34DD in US sizes, which isn't that 'big' per say but felt and looked a lot bigger on hormonal birth control and was pretty much painful everyday while going through puberty. (Like 13-18ish? for me.) I'm glad to hear you're weighing your options, speaking to doctors, and taking your time. I'm sure that whatever you decide will work out well for you. [Smile]

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orca
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And I think it's important to remember that stuff happens, even with breastfeeding. For example, my sister-in-law's sister wanted very much to breastfeed, but her daughter was born with a milk allergy, so all she could drink was a special (see: expensive) soy formula. Likewise, my sister-in-law had planned on breastfeeding, but she didn't produce an adequate amount of milk, and the whole experience became too emotionally difficult for her (imagine listening to your daughter cry for more food while you're breastfeeding her because not enough comes out).

Things can always happen. We hope for the best, but we have to make allowances for the less-than-ideal situations, too. That is to say, don't beat yourself up over it if you end up not breastfeeding. And to everyone reading this, it's not fair to pass judgment on mothers who don't breastfeed as it is a very individual choice that is based on a large set of circumstances.

Okay, I'm off my soap-box now. [Razz]

--------------------
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ergonautics
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Hi Shokokashi,

I actually went through reduction surgery this past November. I can not tell you what a relief it has been for me; my life is completely changed. There's no more back pain, no more sore shoulders, I can walk without feeling absolutely ridiculous, I can wear normal clothes, and even swimwear. The best part honestly though? Not having to wear two or three sports bras at a time. It's true that sports bras never really worked; I always hurt no matter what. So I started using 2 on normal days, and I put on a third when I had PE. Honestly, I was getting sick of it.
I'm only 16, but I had started considering it at age 13. It was a huge one, and it was terrifying.
But here I am, 6 and a half months later, and I'm incredibly happy with my decision.
There is no method of permanent breast reduction that leaves you able to breast feed. The key word here is permanent. I don't know how any of that hormone stuff works, and I couldn't explain to you how it could.
The reason why a women won't be able to breast feed is because they literally remove the nipple during surgery. This disconnects the tubes from the nipple, clearly making breast feeding impossible.
If you're going to consider reduction, I would recommend it. It's a very safe procedure; very commonplace; very routine. Just consider the loss of breastfeeding (which I didn't plan on using anyways), scarring, and potential loss of sensitivity. I will admit, recovery sucked. I missed two weeks of school, and for nearly two months after that, I had to be extra careful not to bump into anyone in the halls. I was drugged up on perkaset, and initially even moving my head side to side killed. I was unable to get in and out of bed by myself, and unable to even sit down. I was only able to start running again in early March after getting the surgery done in the start of November.
Also: if you do decide to go through with it, make sure to talk to your surgeon about dissolvable stitches. I had them, but ended up having an allergic reaction to them. This extended my recovery period, was more painful, and ultimately left some not so pretty scarring.
Now I'm sure that little explanation probably made you not want to get it, but after all that, my life has gotten so much better. It's made me happier with myself, and I guess that's all I can really ask for. Good luck, and do what will make you happy. Don't live with any regret.

--------------------
"Well, I'm sorry to say, but it seems your fish has drowned..."

Posts: 3 | From: Connecticut | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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