I can’t believe I did it.
I have been wanting to do this for what feels like forever. I’m got a breast reduction & lift!
The first time I seriously looked into getting one was in college. I was starting to get into videography which meant I held a heavy camera and stabilizer and stood in uncomfortable positions for hours. I remember after one video gig, I was on the phone with my mom and started having the worst spasm feeling in my back. It was painful and uncomfortable and I couldn’t help to think it was because I was heavy chested. I heard that there was a chance to get a breast reduction surgery covered by insurance so I went to the doctor and complained about my back pains. The doctor told me to go see a back doctor and he took my X-rays. He told me that my back was fine and that my posture was just off so I should go to physical therapy.. I wonder why. I gave up going through insurance because it felt impossible.
If you all don’t know I am a photographer & videographer so I still do that kind of work. When I moved to Austin, I decided to try out wedding photography, but those 8 hour days were brutal. I would be driving home on the verge of tears from the pain I was in. So I decided to try again and see if I could get some of it covered by insurance. My mom helped me look for a place that took our insurance and we couldn’t find any in Austin or Atlanta. Later, I realized its not that they didn’t take MY insurance. It’s that some doctors limit the patients that are covered by insurance. So I gave up again.
This year, I had a goal set for myself. My favorite sessions are graduation shoots so I told myself if I got 60 grad shoots I would look into getting a breast reduction again without going through insurance. I manifested and worked my ass off and got over 60 grad shoots so it was time do some research. I called a bunch of offices to get price quotes, obviously they couldn’t give me an exact quote, but it was helpful to hear the ranges. Most plastic surgeon offices offered a consultation, but they all costed $200, that would be a deposit on your surgery. The office I went to offered a consultation with a trained specialist, not the surgeon, for free. I went in and got all of my questions answered and I actually got lucky and was able to meet the surgeon. In my mind, I was sold. I was ready to sign the papers, but I waited a couple of days just to make sure.
Everyone I have heard that has had this surgery done says it is the best thing they had ever done and that it is life changing. I got this surgery obviously to see if it helps my back pains, but I’m not going to lie I wanted to get it for aesthetic reasons too. I actually got a lift and a reduction. I’m SO happy that I’m able to fit into clothes better.
To be honest, I felt that being heavy chested became a part of my brand over the past few years so I almost felt guilty for wanting this surgery. I received DMs from other heavy chested girls asking for recommendations and I was always so happy that I was able to help them because I know its not only uncomfortable, but hard to find bras that work. I ended up deciding that I had to do this for myself and not that I have to justify this, but at the end of the day it could really help the quality of my life.
How much did the surgery cost?
My surgery was just under $10,000 and the anesthesia is included in the cost. When I originally called around to different offices, they quoted me between $10,000- $15,000. The lift was the expensive part, that was around $8000. If you wanted the reduction it was about $1000 more. They also offered lipo in my back area and armpit, but I opted out.
Where did you get the surgery done?
I went to the downtown location of Westlake Dermatology here in Austin, TX. My surgery was done by Doctor Chike-Obi.
What do I need to purchase before surgery?
- Zip Front Bras– They will give you one after your surgery, but I highly recommend to get a couple because you’ll be wearing these for awhile after your surgery
- Rinse Free Bath Sponge– Use this to bathe yourself since you can’t shower for a week
- Gauze and Tape- Highly recommend to change the dressing whenever your drains feel itchy
- 2-3 button down shirts- It’s difficult to raise your hands over your head the first week and they will ask you to come into surgery with one on
- Liquid IV– You’re going to want to fuel your body with the good stuff
- Bio Oil– The nurse recommended this oil to help heal the scars. I massage it in almost every night.
- Scar Away Bandaids– She also recommended these silicone bandaids and said they work wonders. I am starting to use these now.
On a scale of 1-10, how bad was the pain?
2, honestly I didn’t feel any pain, but it was just uncomfortable because of the drains.
How was recovery?
I took off a full week of work. I had the surgery Monday and by Saturday I was out and about around town, but still taking it slow. I was extremely emotional and cried a lot, not sure if that was an effect of the medicine I was on. I was so lucky to have my mom fly in to take care of me the whole week and I just chilled out the couch. I slept A LOT. You aren’t able to drive while taking medication so keep that in mind. Overall, I was shocked how fast recovery was!
Are the scars bad?
As I’m writing this, I’m about 6 weeks post surgery and the scars look SO much better than they did 1 week after. At me pre-op, they warned me that people with more melanin may have darker scars so I have been very adamant about taking care of them in hopes that they fade as fast as possible.
Shit they don’t tell you.
- Drains. The bane of my existence. Not every patient has them, but I was one of the lucky ones (totally being sarcastic). These were one of the worst things about recovery because if you bump it or it tugs a tiny bit, it will be uncomfortable since the tube is literally in your body. After about 3 days, I was about to rip my hair out because it was SO itchy. I called the doctor and they said that if it was really bad, I could take Benadryl, but I was already on so many meds so they didn’t recommend. They advised me to change the dressings first to see if that helped and it did! It made a world of a difference.
- When getting the anesthesia, they have to put a tube down your throat. They warned me that it’d be irritated so I thought like a day of having an itch in my throat. NOPE. My throat was extremely sore for about 5 days after surgery, almost as if I was sick with a cold.
- The anesthesia will also make you constipated so be warned!
- Once you finally get the drains out and the bandaids come off, it’s going to be weird seeing your breasts all stitched up. It took me awhile to get used to it whenever I’d take showers and I’m still not used to having smaller boobs! Just know, that the scars WILL fade if you are taking care of them.
If you’re wanting to find out about what you can’t do before & after surgery watch my pre-op vlog here.
If you’re interested to see the full recovery, head over to this vlog.
And last, but not least, here is my 6 weeks post op vlog.
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