Breast Reduction Update – 1 Year on

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breast reduction surgeryOne year ago today I had what I all my “anti-boob job”, a breast reduction.  Now a year on I thought I’d share my experiences.

As most of you regular readers are aware, my weight has fluctuated.  In 2008 I was about 10kg larger than I am now, by April 2009 I was a pretty similar size to what I am now, the difference being, is I had much larger breasts, and one of the things I noticed, since I’ve had my breast reduction is that:

  • I never looked particularly slim
  • People comment on my slimness (never ever happened before)

Pre and Post Breast Reduction surgery

I had to wear much larger tops/jackets than I do now. I’ve gone from an XL/L to a M/S in sizing terms.  This makes shopping for clothes just so much easier.  It was always a nightmare finding clothes to fit my top half which is why I opted for so many garments with stretch as it made it a little easier.  A whole new world of possible shapes and styles has opened up to me now that I don’t have the extra-large breasts, which I love!

Now that my breasts have settled and all the swelling gone, I wear a 32E/10E bra size, down from a 34GG/H pre-operation.  Basically half my breast tissue is now gone, and I don’t miss it one bit! I had wanted to be a little smaller, but they can only take so much breast tissue out in one go, and I do look proportionate now, I’m not a tiny/petite person and I have reasonably broad shoulders so they look “normal” on me!

I can do things like run, that I could never do comfortably before, in fact I run 5km 4 times a week and have entered myself into my first 8km fun run on Mother’s Day!

As far as pain and the like, I really found that there was much less pain than I expected post-operatively. Sure for 3-4 months I’d get some weird tingling kind of pains in my breast as the nerves did their thing, but a bit of rubbing got rid of that pretty quickly.

I’ve been asked about nipple sensitivity, as one of the side-effects of the operation is that you can lose nipple sensitivity.  I found the opposite to be true (and this is also a common side-effect that they don’t warn you about).  My nipples are now twice as sensitive, but fortunately that’s now reducing some as time goes on.

Scarring is minimal.  The anchor scars have healed very well, the bottom disappear into the fold of my breasts on my chest wall, and the line up to my nipple and around them has faded to white, and honestly, my breasts are so covered in stretch marks already from being so large, you barely notice them!  I did tape my scars for 12 weeks post-surgery with paper-tape (micropore tape) and I believe this has made a big difference to my scarring as I had a mole removed on my back and didn’t tape that and it has developed a red-raised scar. I learned that scars become larger when they stretch so if you tape, it doesn’t give them a chance to stretch whilst they are healing so they become much less noticeable.

This dress is a true reflection of my style
On the beach at our illegal wedding in Thailand

The other aspect that it has changed my life, apart from clothes and running is my holiday options.  What? How can having a breast reduction change your holidays Imogen?  This was something I didn’t realise until I went on my pre-wedding honeymoon to Thailand in October, where I spent many hours lazing by the pool.  This was the first holiday I’d ever done this since I was a kid, before I grew my boobs.  I was never comfortable in swimwear as not only was it hard to find swimsuits that gave me any support, but also that actually fit my breasts in, without them spilling over the top.  I was always too self-conscious to spend time in  public in swimwear, if I did I was in and out in no time and completely covered up at all times as otherwise I tended to get looks from people who are wondering why I dress like a stripper, not enjoyable.  It meant that all my holidays were ‘city destinations’ where I kept my clothes on and spent a lot of time sightseeing, which I do enjoy.  But now I have other holiday options too!

Breast Reduction Surgery Journey

Why I went for a breast reduction

One Week Post Operative

Breast Reduction Recovery Guide – Two weeks post-op

Four Weeks Post Op

6 Weeks post breast reduction

3 Months post breast reduction operation

 

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35 Comments

  • I referred a friend of mine to your website because she was going to have a breast reduction surgery as well. She really appreciated how much information you gave those contemplating this surgery. You look slimmer to me but you always looked wonderful before! Is 10kg. about 25 lbs.?

  • You look lovely! Love your ‘wedding’ look.

    I have been considering breast reduction surgery for a while but I’m not very sure. I am not overtly big – a size 36E in India. I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere. But I do feel extremely conscious of my breasts and don’t often find low-cut necklines that aren’t too low. I can’t run or do high impact exercises either because it really hurts; I can’t find swimsuits easily either and hormonal fluctuations do get my breasts swollen and feeling heavier.

    I think I’m going to give it a more serious thought.

    • 36E is not small – maybe discuss it with a doctor. I do not regret my decision (which took me some time to decide upon with serious reflection) at all!

      • Yes, it’s not small at all! Looking at your pictures, I realise that reducing the size even to a D cup will definitely improve my shape, posture and self confidence. I have a broad bone structure but do have a nice defined waist, but apparently no one but me notices that. I guess I can’t blame people if my boobs are the FIRST and sometimes the only thing they notice. Rest of me dwarfs in comparison.

  • I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a downer, however comparing your photo from 2009 to 2015, the blonde hair has added 10 plus years to you. It really doesn’t suit you at all, you look tired, gaunt and unwell…not how a beautiful woman as yourself should. I know you’ve mentioned before you went blonde to combat the greys, but surely you could find a better color blonde that works with your skin tone? Id’ve thought that being a image/color consultant you could do better than this

    • There is no inbetween Jane. Interestingly people who see me in person all say that I look younger than my photos, and younger than I did look as a brunette. And I was 7 years younger in that photo too! This may not be the best photo but it certainly shows the difference in my body shape.

    • In my opinion that is just this photo, the facial expression as a blond Imogen is not that great, which distorts the image.

      I think you looked great with dark hair Imogen, but blonde hair equally suits you (in fact your eye-brows are not dark so it looks more natural- so odd, most people I know with natural dark hair and light eyes tend to have dark eyebrows too.)

      As for comparisons with previous and current looks, I seriously think it’s the weight. Let’s be honest here, yes size 0 is not good, as it’s too extreme, but slim v heavier, slim simply tends to look more attractive and youthful than heavy (plus it’s much healthier)

  • You look much happier and more comfortable in the “after” pictures! Thank you for sharing the step by step journey, which I am studying closely as I consider the same surgery. I was wondering how much weight you lost from the breast reduction, as I am trying to figure out how much extra weight I’m carrying (and what a difference the reduction would make in weight, not just appearance). I have had back and shoulder issues from the heaviness in my chest, and it impact exercise and posture, not to mention the unwanted attention, etc.

    • I lost about 10kg before the reduction and around 1kg from the reduction, then another 3-4 after. My family all has large breasts, no matter our size. I know for some people the first place they lose weight is bust. one of the conditions when I went for my surgery is that you had to have a healthy BMI – that way they know it’s not just going to go from losing weight.

  • We women come in all shapes & sizes, sometimes different shapes and sizes on the same body.
    You help so many women to do things to enhance the attributes they already possess, step out of their comfort zone & feel good about themselves. Now you have shared a very personal experience with other women through your website.
    Amazing what you have been through & thank you for sharing your experience in such a candid no nonsense fashion. Blond hair? Brown hair? Who gives a rats…. as long as it makes YOU happy.

  • Thanks for your reply! Huge busts and small frame runs in my family, too. I guess you lost about 4 kg from the breasts, or 10 pounds of extra strain off your shoulders and back. Thanks also for your emotional honesty. You helped me realize that I was trying to dress defensively because of unwanted attention, and that it is not an emotional problem to feel so uncomfortable with men staring, commenting, and winking. “Hey, babe, nice tits”… I’m 55 years old, professional, married, and don’t want to be treated as an object! (Never did, but it feels worse now, and the breast size just keeps increasing!) I also don’t want to have to hide behind jackets, jewelry, and beach coverups all the time. In fact, I’m defensive all the time. When I saw your before and after photos, I burst into tears. I see relief in your proportions and your body language! Now I have to get up the courage for the surgery!

  • I had reduction from ‘f’ to ‘b’ 4 weeks ago. It was covered by insurance in France as I have had a lot of neck/shoulder/back issues. Your posts gave me great info. Thank you. It was 1.1kg or over 2lbs (left was way bigger than right) and I am the only one in the family who grew huge boobs at 45+.
    I feel younger, look slimmer, (I always bought ‘petite’ when younger as I have a short waist and small frame but long legs)and now follow your style suggestions for my 8/h shape. I had no idea how to dress my boob heavy shape, everything just looked matronry and the shoulders fell off. I felt really old. I am interested in fashion again! I was avoiding tropical destinations, like Thailand which I used to love, because of the below boob sweating/rashes. I actually enjoy thinking about booking a holiday, shopping for clothes now, not just looking for stretchy fabric to cover them up! I am looking forward to my daughters wedding, I will be able to find something to fit my shoulders AND chest! thank you for your frank blogging on this issue. I am taping my scars and they look good!

    For anyone trying to decide… go for it! I wish I had done it 5 years ago. My posture was getting terrible, allready my husband has mentioned that I seem less hunched. I start Physio in 3 weeks as I have pre-existing shoulder inpingement/tendonitis and she will deal with the posture issues at the same time. My Chiropractor reccomended the surgery. Win win !

  • Just wanted to mention that you do NOT look older although you should. After all the comparison pic is from 2009. Thanks for all you do. Your sight seems to help clarify over confuse.

  • I think you look great as a blonde, like the dark haired Imogen’s sister. I have found the whole breast reduction posts and updates very interesting.

  • You look FANTASTIC in your after photo!! But more importantly, you feel that way. You seem to be on a positive trajectory and I’m glad you took the plunge to have surgery and are open enough to share your experience here to help other women face this difficult decision.

  • Hi Imogen,
    I have just read through the last 12 months of your journey – I too am a 34H and have been wondering about reduction for ages – I am about 5 feet tall so look huge – apart from how uncomfortable it is
    Like you I just grew from nothing – no training bras for me
    I guess I have been apprehensive about surgery as technically there is nothing wrong with me – I am not sick at all and am concerned about such invasive surgery purely for cosmetic reasons
    After reading all of this I think that maybe it is time that I took the plunge and seriously considered a reduction for myself
    Thank you for sharing

  • I think you look really good – but if you’re more comfortable that’s really the main thing. One comment – about post operative and scar car, over the last few years I’ve had surgery that initially resulted in several thick red scares, but after vitamin E cream, massage and bio oil, within 12 months they are all fine white lines. That may have happened anyway, over time, but the skin felt much better. (Incidentally both my hands were re-built with about 100 stitches each and one leg has a scar that’s about 18 inches long.)

  • Just wanted to voice my appreciation for your vulnerability. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am so glad you’re happier and more comfortable in your own skin. Go get em Tiger! 😀

  • Hi again Imogen. I just made a comment in your pre reduction post, which was quite long, so this will be shorter. Everything about you is lighter in these photos: hair, body, and energy. It’s obvious how happy you are now. I love the comment you’ve made about forgetting what it was like to have big boobs! Lol. I’ve also had a reduction, in the 80’s, and know exactly what you mean! – Who would have thought that it was possible to forget all those years of torture! 😀

  • Good for you!

    I had some mis-shaped teeth and last year I had them crowned. Despite having to have the dental work done 🙁 and some moderate discomfort as I got used to the crowns, they’ve made me very happy. When I look at myself in the mirror something that was a minor flaw is gone and it makes me feel good everything time I notice that.

    I had the money to do it, and after going through the whole thing I’m glad I made the effort. That money sitting in the bank (actually the stock market) didn’t make me nearly as happy as a nicer smile.

    Sometime we just have to do things for ourselves.

    • I’m really lucky that my parents spent money on my teeth as a kid and I had braces as they were so out of alignment. I’ve always been happy to smile. Yet I know lots of adults who don’t have straight teeth and they feel self-conscious smiling. This can’t make for a happy life – some of these appearance related things are really important and more than just cosmetic

  • I think you are setting a great example for your daughter which is, it is okay to take care of yourself. Whatever you do to yourself to feel better inside and out is a smart thing to do in my book. Your decisions are not based upon a whim but well thought out. This is what health is all about. I love how your blog covers not only fashion advice but good advice about taking care of yourself in this modern age. Thanks for posting about your journey, I continue to learn much from you. PS I like you both as a blonde and a brunette.

  • Hi Imogene…I know this post is a year old now, but I do not know anyone who has had breast reduction and I have a very specific question. My surgery is scheduled for 5/27/16 and my daughter is getting married 7/17/16. I really want to feel good for wedding showers and other activities coming up but especially for the wedding itself in July. Will I be able to wear a normal bra by then? The wedding is right at 7 weeks after the surgery. Can you give me your opinion? Thank you!!!! Sonya

    • I was allowed to wear a soft cup bra (no underwire) from around 10 days and then underwire bras from 6 weeks – so I’d think at 7 weeks you’d be completely fine! Really it was the first 3 weeks that were the worst. After that it was fine and in fact the surgery was nowhere near as painful as I’d expected (I only took the painkillers for the first week post surgery). Have a read about my experiences https://insideoutstyleblog.com/?s=breast+reduction and good luck with your surgery!

  • I am not quite sure what you meant when you said “By April 2009 I was a pretty similar size to what I am now, the difference being, is I had much larger breasts, and one of the things I noticed, since I’ve had my breast reduction is that:

    I never looked particularly slim
    People comment on my slimness (never ever happened before)”

    Do you mean you look slimmer because you had a boob reduction? I feel like I would look much slimmer if I had a breast reduction. However, some say a BR makes your tummy look bigger.

    • That was overall weight loss (not breasts) in 2009 – so no matter my weight – I still had huge boobs. I now look slimmer because I’ve had a breast reduction.

  • Hi Imogen,
    You look gorgeous at your illegal wedding. My mom wants to undergo breast reduction and I am going to show her your blog. I am so glad that I have found your story. I know that big breasts are more tyranny than a blessing but I can`t imagine adapting to new ones. Could you tell me more about your adapting – new clothes, feelings, morning in front of the mirror and what you were thinking first few weeks? Do you regret the surgery at some point? I would like to help my mom if she starts to do that. Thank you!

    • Hi Juis – I’ve never regretted my decision for even a second – best thing I ever did! Adapting was easy – it’s so much easier to be smaller than larger! I did have to buy a bunch of new clothes, as I no longer filled out the old ones – but I was fine with that! I still have a decent sized rack as they say – I’m by no means flat (which would be a lot harder to adapt to I’d think). I just felt much lighter – like a weight was lifted off me – it was liberating.

  • My doctor recommended  Dermalmd Scar Treatment Serum for use after my breast reduction. I’ve been using it for about 4 to 5 weeks now and so far so good!

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