Breast Reduction Surgery | AHP Guest Post
Note From Amanda on AHP Guest Post: I have had the pleasure of knowing Sarah and her family for many years. Sarah was a member of my Model Team Class of 2017 and I have photographed her during various seasons of her life since then (check out this Boss Babe’s grad portraits from her master’s program)!
As a professional photographer, I see firsthand the power that confidence has in women of all ages. We all deserve to feel beautiful, whatever that means to us. This week I am so excited to share Sarah’s perspective and experience on a surgery that was incredibly impactful not only to her quality of life but also to her confidence and inner beauty. I am so happy Sarah was open to sharing her story and know that everyone in the AHP community is here to celebrate with her too!
Hi! I’m Sarah, and I’ve got the lowdown on breast reduction surgery that turned my life around – it comes with weird photo albums, lollipop scars, and a much smaller me!
Picture this: me, 20 years old, contemplating a life without the weight of 36L-sized boobs. It was like carrying two watermelons in my shirt – not the most convenient accessory. So, I decided it was time for a change. I was tired of back and shoulder pain and even occasional headaches. But mostly, I wanted to wear shirts and dresses that other girls my age wore. I was tired of my identity being tied to my breasts…aka “Sarah, with the big boobs.” Also, I wanted to do things like play basketball without my boobs bouncing around and having to strap them down with an industrial-strength sports bra. (I even had my own bra lady at Nordstrom, who knew me by name! Shout out to Kelly!) Most importantly, I was getting married and wanted to feel and look gorgeous in my wedding dress and in my new life with my husband.
The first step of this process was talking to my doctor to get a referral to the plastic surgeon. My doctor was able to look back in my records and note things such as back pain and skin irritations caused by large breasts. If you are thinking about breast reduction, start now by creating a medical trail of different ways that large breasts have impacted your general well-being. This is how insurance will pay for it. My procedure was approved!
I was excited the day I went to the surgeon’s office, ready for a life-altering discussion. He threw around terms like infection, scarring, and potential breastfeeding issues. I felt like I was signing up for a sci-fi adventure, but I was also very glad the surgeon was transparent about the whole process. The surgeon pulled out his metaphorical toolbox and explained the lollipop incisions. Vertical cuts, circular cuts…It got a little bit overwhelming with surgical terms. But then he pulled out a Snapfish scrapbook of before and after pictures. It felt a little weird looking at other women’s breasts, but it helped me understand the scarring and be encouraged by how life-changing this could be.
On surgery day, I walked in with excitement. It was the depth of Covid, so no one was allowed to join me at the hospital. Fortunately, I had knee and shoulder surgery before, so I was familiar with surgical procedures. The surgeon did his thing. Plastic surgeons are artists. He did a lollipop incision. This meant he started the incision at the bottom of my breast and went up and around my areola. This allowed him to remove four pounds of breast tissue from each breast. Then he “trimmed” my areola so that it looked proportional on my new, smaller breasts. Plus, I also got a little “lift.” I woke up with lots of bandages, swelling, and drains, but I was officially part of the “itty bitty titty society” I went from a 36L to a 34 D – did I mention four pounds off of each side!? (and if 34 D still sounds big, it was proportional to my frame. I would have looked strange with a B cup. I appreciate the surgeon’s guidance with that!)
The recovery period was all about Netflix and NO chill. No chill – means you can ice your breasts a little bit, but you don’t want ice directly on your nipples. Your nipples have lost nerve sensation, and icing too long or too cold could cause problems. Also, this might be TMI, but my nipples looked awful immediately after surgery. They looked like Frankenstein areolas. I also had drains that would collect drainage from the incision. This was the part I worried the most about before the surgery, but with my mom’s help, we were able to figure the drains out. But really, post-op was much easier than my other surgeries.
I was excited to buy new bras and swimsuits! That was one of my first outings. I had to run to my alteration lady and she worked her magic so I could look beautiful in my wedding dress with breasts that were not the centerpiece.
Three Years Later
Three years later, I’m living my best life. The lollipop scars are like badges of honor and are not very noticeable. I’m lighter, happier, and, dare I say it, perkier. Truthfully, the scars on my breasts are almost invisible. I do have some scarring on my sides, under my armpits, because yes… breast tissue is over there, too, and my scarring there is more noticeable. And… in case you are freaked out about that nipple thing, they have a sensation again.
I am very glad I had this surgery. I had thought about waiting until after I had children but decided that I also wanted to experience life without large breasts holding me back. Probably the biggest reason, over any physical complaint, was that I was tired of people looking at my boobs before my eyes. I was tired of being known as, “Sarah, with the big boobs.” My identity was more than my breasts and I wanted to be known for being kind, smart, and funny but often people didn’t look past my boobs. This surgery helped me remake who I was and I appreciate that people I meet now can not even imagine me with large breasts. They know me for my character and that is really nice.
At AHP, we are all about empowering women. If you want to schedule your very own portrait session or themed shoot dedicated to feeling and looking your best, send me an email! No matter what your vision is, I am excited to help bring it to life. You can reach out on Instagram or via our easy-to-use website. I can’t wait to hear from you!