Let’s face it, big boobs can be a big pain.
There’s back pain, neck pain and sometimes rashes in the creases below your breasts. Not to mention how large breasts can impact your wardrobe choices. Exercise can also be painful unless you’re wearing more than one sports bra. And while some women don’t experience physical pain, they might be self-conscious about their breast size.
A huge proponent of embracing curves and body positivity, Amber Rose has always been open, showing us we’re not the only ones who have stretch marks, cellulite and more. Recently, she made big internet news when she shared her breast reduction.
It’s not surprising that Rose finally took the plunge. She’d been publicly contemplating breast reduction surgery since last summer.
“My boobs are stupid heavy, my back hurts, and I can’t wear cute lil’ shirts without a grandma bra,” Rose wrote on Instagram last summer when considering the surgery. She also asked for tips from people who’ve done it.
On RealSelf, breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a popular procedure with a 97 percent Worth It rating. In fact, more natural-looking breasts were one of the top trends doctors predicted for 2018.
“I enjoyed my breasts and believe that they were beautiful,” says a RealSelf reviewer. “However, for my sanity and health, it was time for me to go under the knife.”
Whether or not to reduce one’s breasts is a completely personal choice, but if you’re considering breast reduction surgery, here’s what you need to know.
Breast reduction is usually an outpatient procedure and done under general anesthesia (meaning you get to sleep through it). For a typical breast reduction procedure, it should take about two to three hours. Depending on your needs, you may have two incision options: Anchor (inverted-T) or lollipop (vertical).
If you have a very large chest, your surgeon may recommend anchor incisions. This involves three incisions: Around the areola, vertically between the areola and breast crease, and horizontally along the crease under the breast.
Lollipop incisions are often used with moderate reductions and require two incisions: Around the areola and vertically between the areola and breast crease.
Once incisions are made, your breast tissue will be reduced, lifted and shaped. “Most patients experience an immediate improvement in symptoms the day after surgery as the weight is literally lifted off their shoulders,” says Dr. William Bruno, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.
As with any surgery, there are always risks including bleeding, infection and a bad reaction to anesthesia. While the areola remains intact, there is still the possibility of lost sensation and/or the inability to breastfeed. Noticeable scars may also be a concern.
“Most patients are OK with the reduction/lift scars as most of the time they fade nicely,” says Dr. Thomas Trevisani, Sr., an Orlando plastic surgeon. “[This is] provided the patient doesn’t smoke, has a good healing capacity and follows post-op instructions carefully.”
Recovery times will vary by person, but most people take at least one to three weeks off work to recover, according to a RealSelf Q&A with doctors on this topic. Depending on your surgeon’s technique, you may have drains to care for after the procedure. You’ll be able to resume normal activities a few days after your breast reduction, but don’t plan on hitting the treadmill. Exercise will be restricted for at least two to three weeks, and you’ll need to wear a supportive bra — no underwire allowed.
A RealSelf reviewer offers this tip: “Rest and keeping your elbows by your side are key to the first two weeks of recovery. You may need help, especially if you have young children or pets.”
Ready to learn more? Find a breast reduction expert near you.