Breast Reduction – Victoria
My name is Victoria, I’m 28 years old and I live in West London. Just over four months ago I had breast reduction surgery which was performed by Mr Adrian Richards at The Private Clinic and it has improved my life drastically.
Growing Up with Large Breasts
My large breasts started growing when I was very young, kids at school noticed and started shaming, harassing and sometimes even groping me. When I was 14 my mum took me to get my breasts measured as they had grown again and they had become an E cup. I remember crying in the changing rooms feeling so embarrassed that they had grown even more and that it would bring me even more unwanted attention.
They continued growing throughout my 20’s and I ended up as a 34HH. I started having severe body dysmorphia during my 20s and I couldn’t see my breasts as anything but disgusting burdens. They made me feel extremely insecure and I developed an eating disorder.
My Experience with the NHS
I knew I wanted to have a breast reduction as soon as I turned 18 but the NHS always told me I had to lose weight until one time when I was 24. I finally had a GP who actually took me seriously and put me in touch with a physiotherapist. I went for a few sessions and he agreed with me that I needed to have a breast reduction. Some months later, I moved to London with my partner and I had to sign up to a new GP. During my first check up with this Practice, I briefly brought up that I wanted a breast reduction which the doctor quickly responded by telling me that I should be grateful for my breasts, that they’re “lovely” and I shouldn’t get a breast reduction. It was then that I knew I had to consider going private in order to get surgery.
On the day of my breast reduction consultation with Mr Adrian Richards, I still didn’t believe it was really happening. I was worried I would be told they couldn’t do it for some reason and it would be ripped away from me. But everything went amazingly. I met Mr Richards, his Clinic Co-Ordinator, Melissa and my Patient Co-ordinator, Sarah who were all wonderful to me. They all made me feel completely safe and like I was in the hands of caring professionals.
Preparing For the Procedure
I spent a lot of my free time on Reddit, there is a subreddit called r/Reduction where women and non-binary people discuss their breast reductions. There was so much information on recovery tips, what can go wrong, before and after photos, etc. People were so comforting and supportive on the subreddit and reading their personal stories made me feel ready and prepared for my surgery.
With the tips from the subreddit and Adrian’s Instagram story highlights, I bought myself a V shape pillow, a back up post-surgery bra, scar sticks and treatments, Benadryl, and lots of pineapple juice.
I remember feeling excited and dancing in my living room but a huge part of me still didn’t think it was going to happen. Because of Coronavirus, sadly I had to go into The Private Clinic alone. I began to feel very anxious but luckily then Melissa came to greet me and take some before pictures. Melissa has such a warm and comforting energy, she helped to put all of my nerves at ease just by being herself.
Adrian came in later to draw the measurements on me, discuss size and I showed him some reference pictures. Then minutes after we were walking up to the theatre room and I was climbing onto the surgery table. The anaesthesiologist gave me something to help me feel calm (which it did really well) and I just remember giggling with Melissa and the team before falling asleep.
I could not believe how smooth my recovery was, after reading all the stories on r/Reduction, I was sure something would go wrong for me but nothing did. The only issue I had was when I removed the surgical tapes at six weeks for the final time and a few days after I got a reaction to the residual adhesive, which itself only lasted a few days.
I had little to no pain, I mostly spent the first week post op having lovely naps and drinking lots of pineapple juice (it’s supposed to help with inflammation and recovery in general). Every time I went for a check up the nurses would say how beautifully I was healing. Mr Richards and Melissa were also very pleased with my results when I saw them at nine weeks post op.
Emotional Support I Received
My mum also has large breasts and has witnessed how much mine affected me both mentally and physically, she was one of my biggest supporters and was so happy for me. She came to visit me a few weeks post op and brought me some gifts which included some new pyjamas for my smaller size.
My partner, Oscar, was also a big cheerleader for my breast reduction. He comforted me so many times when I cried and celebrated with me when I found out I was suitable for surgery. He took care of me while I was recovering and has been so sweet.
I had a lot of support and love from friends and online friends who had been following my journey. I actually couldn’t believe how many people messaged me to show support and cheer me on. I feel really grateful for them all.
How the Procedure has Helped
The procedure’s impact on mental health has been incredible. I feel so much more confident in who I am, what I wear, walking down the street. I don’t feel like people are staring or judging me. I used to have a constant thought of “I wonder if they think a certain way about me because I have large breasts” and now that thought has gone straight into the bin. I’ve noticed how much my body dysmorphia has calmed down now, I don’t have as many bad days with it and I feel so much love towards all my curves now that my small boobs are proportionate to them. I wish I could have felt this love towards myself before the procedure but with my body dysmorphia I couldn’t see my large breasts as anything but disfigured.
The impact on my physical health has been more subtle. I’ve had to relearn how to stand with a correct posture, some of which has been subconscious now that there’s not so much weight but sometimes I feel myself slipping into a bad stance and have to correct it. The lower back pain I had due to poor posture has definitely improved to the point I don’t remember when I last felt it. I’ve also noticed how on long walks my back doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much as it used too and that it’s much easier to carry food home from Tesco in my backpack.
What I was Most Excited For
I was most excited to feel the difference, to have those moments where I’d think “oh that’s new” like having a bath and not having my boobs floating so high above water, or getting in the way while I’m sleeping, or the weight dropping from taking a bra off after a long day. There’s been so many of those moments where I’ll feel the difference and it gives me pure joy.
Also I can’t deny that I have been loving buying new clothes and tiny little bralettes. I just feel so cute in everything I wear, I finally feel like I have the body I was always supposed to have.
Being a Patient of The Private Clinic
I felt so safe and validated being a patient of the Private Clinic, they were available throughout the weekdays to email or call if I had any questions. Whenever I visited the clinic the staff were always so wonderful to me, they all seemed cheery and the atmosphere was great. It was a pleasure whenever I had to visit The Private Clinic.
Surgical Experience with The Private Clinic
My surgical experience was wonderful, as I stated earlier Melissa was extremely comforting and as was the rest of the staff too. The nurses were lovely and I could tell the team really enjoyed working with each other by the way they could laugh with each other. It was a lovely experience to see how they worked as a team and even though surgery is meant to be scary, I am very fond of my memories just before I was put under anaesthetic.
I am extremely grateful for Mr Adrian Richards, he is so calm and so professional, I didn’t doubt for a second that he knew what he was doing. I have read horror stories of surgeons dismissing their patients’ wants and needs but Mr Richards always listened to what I wanted for my breast reduction and didn’t once try to pressure me into settling for a different size to the one I asked for.
I have MASSIVE love for my results! The size is perfectly proportionate to my body and the shape of them is so cute! I’m only four months post op and I won’t see the final results until I am six to twelve months post op, so they still have some developing to do but so far they look amazing.
I have recently noticed that one of my breasts is bigger than the other and though I do hope that with time they will get a little closer in size, I do understand that it’s very natural for breasts to be slightly different from each other. I have to remember that they’re sisters, not twins.
Advice to Others
Reddit! Go to r/Reduction and read everything! look at all the pictures; the before and afters; the gruesome infections; the weekly progressions; the scar updates. Inform yourself as much as you possibly can so when it comes to your surgery day, you’re prepared for everything.
If it’s something you really want, do not let anyone talk you out of it or make you second guess your decision. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me! No one is worth giving up your dreams, needs and wants. Put yourself first!
Take care of yourself with recovery, things take time. Don’t push yourself to do more than you can, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the rest! Don’t panic if they look really weird in the first few weeks, that’s normal. One of my boobs had a little butt for the first four weeks, it’s completely gone now. And if you are ever really worried, The Private Clinic will be there for you to answer any questions and soothe your thoughts.
To any future patients reading this, good luck with your journey!! I hope it’s as wonderful for you as mine has been for me.