When I started the post-lumpectomy reconstruction process (covered by insurance), they told me that it would be a series of 3-4 fat transfer procedures. I’ve done two so far, and I admit, I’m glad I did them.
I’d had a double breast reduction in 2011 (one of the best decisions I’ve made, making me so much happier — I just wish they’d found the cancer in the tissue they removed then). When they went into to do the lumpectomy in 2015, my surgeon had to deal with the way normal breast morphology had been affected by the reduction, and as a result, I ended up with much more scarring / puckering than normal.
(She was clearly somewhat personally offended by her surgical results on that front, and kept apologizing to me, even though I didn’t blame her at all. She got all the cancer out! With wide, clean margins! What more could a girl ask?)
So I wanted reconstruction, and after two procedures, the scarring / puckering is notably improved, and the breast has more fullness than it did. But it’s still not that close to a match for the other, and the lack of symmetry does bother me.
Mostly, in clothes, I don’t think it’s noticeable, but you can see it when I’m wearing swimsuits. I tried on a bandeau top the other day, and the difference was pretty obvious there. Not that I’m necessarily going to actually wear a bandeau top anytime soon, because I’m almost 46 and it feels a little scandalously bare, but I’d like to have the option.
On the other hand, surgery is a pain, recovery takes longer than I would like, it makes it hard to exercise for weeks afterwards, so I have to regain lost ground in fitness every time — all of which is irritating enough that I find myself a little paralyzed. I should be scheduling the next reconstruction surgery…but I’m not sure I actually want one.
And all of this is slightly complicated by the fact that I actually kind of prefer being a B-cup (on the left) to my surgically reduced C-cup (on the right). I’d originally, when doing the reduction, kind of wanted to go down to a B, but my plastic surgeon at the time had resisted it strongly — in retrospect, I really wish I’d pushed harder for that. With a B, I could skip wearing a bra much more often — now, if I go more than a few hours without one, my back starts to hurt. I could exercise with lighter bras, and just in general, shopping / dressing would be simpler. At this stage in my life, simplicity has a powerful appeal.
If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make them both B’s, remove the remaining scarring, and be done with it. But in the absence of magic, I’m just not sure additional surgery is worth the results. I suppose I’ll wait a while, see if I change my mind. One of the things the plastics guy said was that there was no rush — normally the fat transfers are done roughly three months apart, but I could space the procedures out years if I wanted to. So we’ll see.
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