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To want to get a breast reduction done privately?

(154 Posts)
basilbrush Tue 24-Sep-13 11:53:04

I am 35 and have breastfed 3DC for a year each. With the last baby, my boobs didn't shrink back like they did before. They were always big (D cup) but now they are a massive F cup. I am a size 10 on the bottom half so this makes me look even more out of proportion. I am a healthy BMI but I have been dieting in desperation to see if results in a cup size reduction. Although I lost 7lbs, my bra size has not changed one bit.

Shallow as it sounds, all this is making me very miserable. I have a cupboard full of clothes I can't wear and at work, I feel like my chest is the focus of the conversation, rather than anything else. I find myself in tears a couple of times a week as I try to get dressed... I am very proud of myself for breastfeeding my children but now don't feel like myself anymore.

I could afford just about to save up for a BR (breast reduction) over the next year and it is something I really want to do. My DH is dead set against it, however. He is wonderful and supportive in all other ways but this seems to really upset him. His main reasons are:

1. Risks of the operation / complications etc which are totally avoidable as it's not a vital procedure
2. I am being shallow / superficial and should just get a grip and learn to love myself. There are people with much bigger problems in the world etc
3. I am setting a negative example to my daughters about body image
4. I am selfishly wasting money (5-6K) that we need in our savings
5. I may have permanent scarring that he may find ugly and off-putting

I can see that he has very valid points apart from perhaps the last one...? AIBU?

MisselthwaiteManor Tue 24-Sep-13 11:56:54

Who gives a shit if he finds it ugly, it is your body.

Aside from that, I don't think it is shallow at all when it is affecting your day to day life and self esteem. I can't imagine how uncomfortable and heavy they must be too. If it is what you want then I would do it.

squoosh Tue 24-Sep-13 12:09:50

Obviously surgery carries risk of death so of course it's something you should discuss with your DH. I agrees with some of his points, mainly number 1. At the end of the day it is your body and you have to live with it day to day so your decision should be final.

1. Risks of the operation / complications etc which are totally avoidable as it's not a vital procedure

Totally valid point, surgery should never be taken lightly and a breast reduction is not a minor op.

2. I am being shallow / superficial and should just get a grip and learn to love myself. There are people with much bigger problems in the world etc

Yes people are dying in Syria but you are living in your body and if your body is causing you to be depressed you have a right to change it. You have given your breasts to your children for the past few years, you now want to reclaim them. Your body, your choice.

3. I am setting a negative example to my daughters about body image

You are not having your boobs inflated to dollybird proportions, creating a cartoon image of womanhood, you are having heavy and uncomfortable breasts reduced. Very different things.

4. I am selfishly wasting money (5-6K) that we need in our savings

This depends on your family finances, you say you can afford the operation by saving up over the coming year. If this is the case well then it sounds like it won't take too much of a toll on the family finances.

5. I may have permanent scarring that he may find ugly and off-putting

Who gives a fuck!

Bogeyface Tue 24-Sep-13 12:13:32

I had one and it changed my life. Yes there is scarring but mine has faded to almost nothing now.

The risks are mainly infection and the possibility of losing a nipple, which happened to a woman who was in when I was, but that is increasingly rare.

The main thing for me was the recovery time. It is major surgery (I was under for 6.5 hours) which takes some getting over, and it took about 3 months before I felt fully healed.

Would I do it if I had my time again? Yes, in a heartbeat.

Bogeyface Tue 24-Sep-13 12:14:44

Just had a thought, does he actually like your big boobs and the "selfishness" is actually him not wanting you to reduce them? If it is, tell him to get stuffed.

basilbrush Tue 24-Sep-13 12:20:25

Oh yes, he thinks they're great. He genuinely cannot comprehend why I don't love them. He says it's "all in my head". (I agree that I'm not a 42H and bent double as I try to walk down the street. BUT I do feel permanently self conscious, rightly or wrongly, and hunch my shoulders, wear baggy, tent tops etc)

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 24-Sep-13 12:21:34

I feel your pain.

Would this be of any interest to you?

basilbrush Tue 24-Sep-13 12:22:40

But I should stress the medical risks are his principal concern. Especially since he has actually SEEN a few breast reduction operations when he was researching in a hospital (many years ago now though)

DorisIsAPinkDragon Tue 24-Sep-13 12:24:13

I can see this from both sides I have large chest (32 H) It is a pain in the backside I can never find clothes to fit (it doesn't help that I'm short too). However...

I think the risks to the surgery are significant, and as a low income family I think my partner would (justifibly) be fed up if I spent all of our savings on me (just as I would if he spent it all on him making himself feel better).

I would also worry that sometimes boob jobs are not permanent and you can return to the size you were pre surgery (there are no guarantees for all the money spent).

I would also worry that if I 'fixed' this problem, what would I focus on next? would it be my thighs or my arms?

Personally I would rather put the money to counseling sessions and a new wardrobe that fits and makes me feel good about me.

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 12:27:20

He is right in the sense that there are risks, and you need to discuss them together. However, I understand all to well the hassle and annoyance of large breasts. I understand the annoyance of not being able to find clothes cut to even vaguely suit your shape (or fit at all!), the feeling of everyone looking at them, the frustration of people talking to your chest not your face, even when they're completely covered up, the physical pain they cause.

I have been researching this op and while its not financially viable to do right now I WILL be having it once we've bought our house. I admit the first time I saw photographs of the kind of scarring it leaves I sobbed my heart out at them. I felt so upset and angry that my choices seemed to be these hideous awful lumps of flesh, or smaller, more in proportion breasts covered in red ugly scars. I admit scarring is not exactly attractive but if it's the price to pay I am coming to terms with it.

At the end of the day you have to live in this body every day, and if the size of your breasts is affecting your confidence and restricting your life so much, if it's an option I can absolutely see why you would take it.

I am very concerned by his accusations of shallowness, wasting money, setting bad examples and how he will find the post-op result unattractive. There seems to be very little acceptance and understanding of how this issue is affecting you. "Darling you are beautiful and perfect as you are, I don't think you need surgery to change anything" is a better answer than "You need to get over it and deal with it".

treaclesoda Tue 24-Sep-13 12:28:49

I had breast reduction surgery and it was one of the best things I've ever done.

I suspect I'm going to be told here that I'm a hypocrite, but I do worry from your post that you might have a slightly skewed opinion of what your body looks like. An F cup on a slim frame (so presumably we're talking a 28 or 30 back size?) is not actually very big, maybe 35 inches round the bust? I'd imagine the surgeon would be limited in how much they would be able/willing to reduce your breasts by. You say you were always big before, but a D cup is very petite, not big at all.

Now, I realise that makes me a total hypocrite, as I have been in your position of literally being in tears every time I caught sight of myself in a mirror, so I do understand the psychological issues. But its a huge surgery, its painful, and I can see that its scary for your DH as well as for you.

Do you think there is any possibility at all that if you spent a bit of time and money on getting the best fitting bra you can manage, and some really flattering clothes you might feel more comfortable with your body?

badbride Tue 24-Sep-13 12:28:58

You poor thing--of course you are not being shallow. Having disproportionately large breasts can make life miserable. That said, surgery is often marketed as being a the ideal fix, when it might not be (and has risks and long-term effects).

But before resorting to surgery, I would (in your shoes) exhaust the reasonable alternatives first, with advice from a breast medical specialist who can perhaps explain WHY your breasts have stayed larger than normal. Don’t necessarily consult a cosmetic surgeon, who will have a financial interest in pushing you towards surgery.

I understand that you’ve tried dieting, but it may be that you need to follow a particular kind of diet, or follow an exercise regimen (e.g. one that involves lifting weights to boost your body’s insulin sensitivity/ metabolic rate) to make a noticeable difference.

Why not spend some of the money on a reputable personal trainer for 6-12 months? It’ll be cheaper than surgery and will surely work to some extent (I’m no medic, but AIUI, breast tissue contains a large amount of fat, some of which you could probably burn off). And if it doesn’t get you all the way there, you a) be brilliantly fit and b) have less breast tissue to remove if you do go for the op?

Best of luck with whatever you decide

treaclesoda Tue 24-Sep-13 12:31:39

oh yes, someone else made the point up thread, but my boobs are now back to the same size they were before I had the surgery. The difference is that 1) its much easier to get well fitting, and even attractive, bras in my size than it was many years ago before I had my surgery and 2) although I'm the same bra size, they are nowhere near as heavy and uncomfortable, so it was still worth it.

I know a few people who have had breast reduction, and none of them has found it to be a permanent thing, they have always grown back.

badbride Tue 24-Sep-13 12:33:15

And as a postcript to my previous message: make your DH walk round with a pair of oranges stuffed in his pants to mimic having enormous bollocks and so teach him some bloody empathy

StuntGirl Tue 24-Sep-13 12:35:06


But I should stress the medical risks are his principal concern. Especially since he has actually SEEN a few breast reduction operations when he was researching in a hospital (many years ago now though)

A-ha! I knew there would have to be some crux to his absolute resistance - I think this is it.

My late mother was a doctor. She point blank refused to let me have a navel piercing as a teenager due to the health risks. She repeatedly told me about all the infected ones she'd seen. I pointed out (and I still feel this is reasonable and valid even now!) that as a medical professional she only saw the ones that had gone wrong. No one goes to the doctors to say "Hey! Come look at this perfectly healthy thing". So her perception of the risks was far higher than the reality.

I think your husband has only seen this from the medical side, which is of course highly focussed on risk management, and so only has knowledge and awareness of that side of the procedure. He is unaware of the misery those women went through before choosing a serious medical procedure, he wasn't in the counsellors office hearing their misery and pain about it, the struggle to deal with the 'new body' having children has left you, he didn't see the day to day impact they had to deal with large breasts, nor deal with the practicalities (entire new wardrobe for example).

Do you think there's any way to engage him on those other points?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 24-Sep-13 12:36:57

I do think you should have a proper bra fitting urgently, and not with M&S.

I am a GG/H cup and now that I wear the correct bra size my breasts are completely in proportion with my frame and I can wear a much wider range of clothes.

Please do that before you undertake the reduction.

captainmummy Tue 24-Sep-13 12:43:25

treaclesoda ' D cup is very petite, not big at all. '

you what?

I'm 5'4, size 10 and a DD cup and I really really don't think of myself as anywhere in the region of 'petite'! I hate my boobs, always have. Can't wear strappy tops, vests, pretty bras... I am a bit on the old side to think about BR but wish I'd done it years ago. In fact I'd have the lot off.

Binkyridesagain Tue 24-Sep-13 12:45:32

I second alibaba. I hated my breasts, they were large cumbersome lumps of flesh, they restricted my choice of clothes, bras were uncomfortable, and I felt fat.

I have had a MN intervention and now wear the correct size bra, 32J, I now love my breasts, they suit me, they fit my frame, they sit on my chest not on my stomach or under my armpits.

treaclesoda Tue 24-Sep-13 12:51:11

captainmummy I really do think a D or DD is petite, on a small frame. If you have a 28 inch back (which if the OP is a size 10 she most likely has) then that equates to a 32 inch bust, a DD is only 33 inches. Surely that is petite? I mean, a difference of four inches between the under and over bust measurement really isn't a very big difference.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 24-Sep-13 12:52:54

captain a D cup is pretty small.

Check out the bra intervention threads and see whether you are wearing the correct size, and then see how you feel.

treaclesoda Tue 24-Sep-13 12:52:56

If you're a 42D or DD that's different though, as that would equate to a 28GG in cup size, so yes, in that case its not petite.

But I was basing it on the OP saying she had a small frame.

basilbrush Tue 24-Sep-13 12:56:31

I was a 32D and now after third child, I am a 34F. It's obviously only my bottom half that is relatively "petite"!

captainmummy Tue 24-Sep-13 12:58:38

I've had my bras fitted professionally - and I'm a size 10, but have 36DD bras. That's not petite. It's not small. It's not as big as some, but I think a C is medium.

That said, the link upthread about breast reduction by liposuction is interesting - still £5k though.

Binkyridesagain Tue 24-Sep-13 12:59:17

We can do an intervention if you want and find out if you are wearing the correct sized bra?

basilbrush Tue 24-Sep-13 13:02:57

Blimey - what's an intervention?!

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