(Please note this is a sponsored post but the words,opinions and give away are all mine, mine, mine)
I can still clearly remember my first bra: it was a soft cotton number with a small pink rose in the middle. I was in the fourth grade and it was probably the only bra I’ve ever had that didn’t have an underwire.
I was one of the first girls in my elementary school class to need a bra and I’ve always been a bit of a prodigy in the boob growth department. I was a solid D cup by ninth grade, which is was during the short-lived era of the bodysuit as a popular shirt option, so I basically spent most of high school with my arms folded over my chest. It was not a great look.
In college, my bra size crept up enough that I couldn’t shop at Victoria’s Secret any more (her secret is that she apparently hates girls with big boobies) and I entered the era of only being able to find bras in the matronly section of the department store, usually on racks labelled “minimizers” or “maximum support”. There is nothing sexy or cute about a bra that promises “extra side support” or “promotes cooling”.
I’m in my mid-thirties, done having babies, and have come to accept that fact that my bra size, currently sitting at an G or H cup, is likely not going to creep back down to the lower parts of the alphabet on its own.
So, yeah, I’m contemplating a breast reduction surgery.
Earlier this year I wrote a piece about plastic surgery on The Stir and since that piece I’ve been thinking more seriously about whether a breast reduction might be right for me. So, when I recently got the opportunity to interview Dr. Brian Reedy, a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast and body work, I knew I want to hit him up with some of my lingering questions.
One of the first things I wanted to know is how do you know if you are a good candidate for breast reduction. Dr. Reedy explained that there a number of factors to consider, but “in a nutshell, if your breasts feel too large for your frame, you are likely a candidate.” He went on to note that for a lot of women like me, large breasts can be associated with physical problems like poor posture, neck and back pain, rashes underneath the breast and deep groves in the skin from bras carrying a heavy load.
Enjoy that image, every dude with a big boob fetish.
Given that a breast reduction is “as much art as science”, Dr. Reedy recommends that women interested in the procedure consult with several doctors until they find one that they are comfortable with and that they request to see many before and after pictures to get a sense of what kind of work the doctor does. You can click here to see a gallery of before and afters from Dr. Reedy’s practice. Please note this is going to show you pictures of actual boobs, so NSFW … unless your work is super cool with boobs.
Please note this is also the only time I’ll ever likely include links to naked breasts on this blog, so sorry to disappoint any perverts who accidentally wandered on to this site.
One of the things that Dr. Reedy mentioned that I thought was interesting is that whether a woman is getting a reduction or an enhancement, the holy grail of final sizes is the full C, small D. The process of figuring what size I would end up with though is supposed to be collaborative between the patient and the doctor. An over-reduction can lead to breasts that are “flat” or “boxy” looking, neither of which sound like ideal adjectives to me. I’m not especially interested in going from “buxom” to “boxy”.
One of my other concerns in terms of considering plastic surgery is the aftermath. How long would I need to be out of work? When could I exercise and play with the kids again? What will the scar situation be like? And my poor nipples, what happens to the those guys?
According to Dr. Reedy, if I pursue the breast reduction, I can expect to be out of work for “four days to a week” and back to unlimited activity three weeks after surgery. He also notes that some scarring is to be expected after a reduction but that the doctor and patient should “collaborate to reduce the appearance of scars” with a post-surgery routine that could include different wound covers and ointment options. He also shared that although there is some risk of decreased nipple sensitivity, many patients report that their nipples are actually “more sensitive, in a good way” following surgery. So, I could get cuter bras and have more tingly bits? Um. Yes please!
While I am somewhat tempted by the idea of a “mommy makeover” ,which Dr. Reedy notes is an increasingly popular choice, I think I want to keep trying to up my activity level to get in better shape on my own first, as Dr. Reedy says that the ideal candidate is someone who is done having babies (CHECK!) and who is at a stable weight (um, not quite a check yet).
Now, given that I am still a nerdy grad student, I of course had to supplement my conversation with Dr. Reedy with some research on my own. In terms of findings, there were two major ones:
1. When looking up anything breast related, choose your Google terms wisely. Or else you will end up down some internet rabbit holes that, TRUST ME, you don’t want to go down.
2. Breast reduction surgery seems to rank highest in terms of plastic surgery procedures and patient satisfaction.
So, am I going to do it?
I don’t know yet. I do feel like a consultation with a plastic surgeon is in my future though.
Now, as a thank you for reading all the way through my boob related ditherings, I want to give you the chance to win a $50 gift card. All you need to do is leave a comment about your feelings about plastic surgery. Have you done it? Would you? What would you get done, if anything? Easy enough and I’ll choose a winner at on May 25th!