At 34-G (swelling to a 34-H or I during lambing season as birthing hormones emitted by the sheep do something weird to my body) I have a pair of very large melons on my front. You wouldn't notice just how big they are as I hunch and choose clothes that don't show them off. Doctors have told me never to run or jog as this puts me at extreme risk of a broken clavicle.
34-inch ribcage is an indication that I have a very small frame which makes buying a bra with a big cup difficult. I have to special order or have custom made something that I won't spill out of. I stopped wearing bras a few years ago for a few reasons. At $600 a year, it ate up a huge chunk of my income. Also, the bra would try to distribute the weight between my ribcage (which caused stomach problems and constant hiccups) and my shoulders (causing nerve problems in my arms). But not wearing a bra has caused other health issues - different back problems, skin problems, self-image issues, different nerve issues in my neck... and so on.
The doctor says that breast reduction surgery is a very good idea and will reduce many of my health issues. This is the 12th doctor to tell me this in my adult life.
But the idea scares me. I don't like being cut up and I feel that I would be less of a person - less myself - if we start lopping bits off. I feel that my desire to have smaller breasts is purely cosmetic and not really needed. It's an extravagance. It's scary. It is major surgery.
R, you just indicated the health problems caused by your endowment, both with and without bra use. I don't think you can call it cosmetic. Twelve different medical opinions concur.
Nobody likes being cut up. Nobody likes nerve pain and the potential for progressive damage or back issues, or anything else you've mentioned either.
But the scary thing is the musculoskeletal and neurological impacts. Those progress over time. That's why this isn't cosmetic, or really even elective, looked at in the long-term. That's slightly hyperbolic, and what I mean to say is that the issues you're dealing with need to be addressed to avoid crippling yourself in the future, in my opinion.
My much better half is in a similar position, as is the female contingent of her family, so I know of some of the day-to-day pain and impediments.
The first step, in my opinion, is to do away with the idea that this is somehow cosmetic. Any benefit to the way you'd see yourself would be a happy byproduct of being able to stand taller and move more freely, and without causing yourself pain or injury. I think this is about mobility and long-term health.
I think if you start trying to think about it not as something you'd be doing to look differently, but rather as a necessary corrective and preventative measure, the cost/benefit analysis becomes clearer.
I hope this thread gives you the advice you're looking for. Take care of yourself, and good luck.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Given all the issues you've listed, obviously reduction surgery would not be purely cosmetic. As even if it was, so what? It's not good to worry too much about appearance, but people look at big boobs A LOT. I know from experience you're not being overly self conscious. When it's something that can have that much of an impact on your interactions with people and how you feel I think it's a justified concern. I shave my legs because I have thick dark hair and not shaving them turns into me making a public statement about female grooming rather than a simple it's time consuming and I just don't care. I don't have energy to be making that statement in the world every day so I just shave my legs (although sloppily ;p)
My mum had breast reduction/lift surgery maybe ten years ago. I haven't talked to her about it but I think she's very happy with results. She used to make her own bras, but can buy regular off the shelf ones now. She dresses in more revealing clothing (just cause she doesn't have to cover up a gigantic clunky bra) and seems more confident too.
In the meantime, if you can work on your core muscles it will really help with all kinds of physical issues you might have - maybe even some of the ones that seem totally unrelated. I just had a nerve seize kinda deal in my neck and could barely move for a week and I'm pretty sure it's cause I haven't been doing my crunches.
I should have clarified a bit in my first paragraph above. There's a point where cosmetic concerns become mental health concerns - legitimately, not because you're just vain and preoccupied with other people's opinions
Hello Fellow Left Coaster!
Are you guys getting the same extreme rain situation were getting down here? Pretty crazy.
Anywho, just wanted to pop in and give you some encouragement on your journey. I have a handful of friends who have gotten breast reduction surgery, and can accurately say that they are all 100 percent happy they did it. It was for the same health reasons that you stated above. I think some of the thinking also entailed somewhere along the lines of "when im much older and frailer, how in the world am i going to be able to lug these puppies around?" Which is also a legitimate concern. Back issues, bone issues. Just lots of "issues" created by sheer size and weight.
I hope you get some good advice, and that you are able to make a decision that is good for you and your situation, and that provides you with the most peace.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't; you're right"
I should also clarify that I don't think doing a few sit ups is going to fix all your physical issues. I've been blessed/cursed with a body like a power lifter and thus have managed to avoid a lot of the physical problems big boobs can cause. A little effort goes a long way for me. It might not do so much for someone else. But I also think most people could do with better core strength and that many underestimate what kind of effects an improvement in that area can have.
As a guy, I don't know how much my opinion matters; but my health history has resulted in needing surgeries to fix/remove some things and, at first, I absolutely felt like I had a part of me missing... But I quickly got over it when I saw the positive difference it made (physically & mentally), which helped me perform closer to my full potential in my life. I look at it as, yes, I lost a part of myself; but I've more than made up for it by being able to finally DO the things that I love and make up a huge part of my identity.
In regards to the reduction, my mother had it done several years ago. She was just a DDD, but at only 4'9", it really took a toll on her body. I remember she said she felt bad for a couple of weeks, while her body healed; and then it was like a switch was flipped and she felt more "natural," instead of feeling like she was constantly overburdened with the excess weight on her chest. Besides the back & shoulder pain relief, she was able to breathe better, which made her whole body feel better.
Honestly, I think it's ultimately up to the person considering the surgery to decide if it's worth it. Personally, I would have it done if I were in your situation, as you seem to have an active lifestyle, like I do, and the ability to get out and do the things you love without the burden may help you feel more "whole."
Best wishes in whichever direction you choose to go!
I've got a bit of a different spin on this problem. I'm not large (only a 34-D) but I've only got one due to a mastectomy. At the time I requested a double mastectomy, but back in those days it was unheard of. No surgeon would agree to it. I had several surgeons decline, so I had to live with the lopsidedness. Having reconstruction wasn't the best option because of the physical nature of my life...wrestling with large animals & livestock. Too much danger of rupturing the implant. In those days they weren't using a person's own fat as an option for reconstruction.
Anyway, for decades I've been lopsided. While I used to wear a prosthesis, it wasn't the same. Over time my neck and shoulders have been shifted out of position. My shoulder level is visually out of level. Now that I'm elderly, my neck and posture causes me constant problems. PT has helped, but the base cause never goes away-- the excess weight on one side. Due to the pain it causes, I haven't been able to wear a bra for quite a while. Wearing a support band that squishes things down helps, but it's not the answer either. The lopsided weight issue is still there.
For decades now I've cursed those male surgeons who refused my request. The funny thing is that I've worked in veterinary medicine all my life, so the idea of preventative and corrective surgery is not objectionable to me. But the idea on not doing preventative surgery and leaving the patient to future harm pisses me off.
In hindsight I should have looked into breast reduction surgery. I hadn't thought of it and nobody suggested it. A case of out of sight, out of mind. I bet I could have gotten a cosmetic surgeon to agree. If so, then I wouldn't be suffering with the nerve pain and posture related pain nowadays.
I'm fully supportive of you all if you opt for breast reduction. Even if it only makes a bit of difference for you now, it may very well make a very big difference by the time you are elderly. Remember also that breasts "fall south" with age. The weight will bring big ones at your waist at my age.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Whatever you choose, I'd be interested in learning about it because my niece is very large. I don't know a size but more than one basketball each. She is quite overweight and I suspect that much of it would go away if she got her weight under control.
You must be really good at choosing clothing, because I didn't notice anything when you and your father came to pick up lumber in 2016. Now I know why you carry things at arm's length or under your arm, instead of up front. If your doctor says it's something that eventually needs to happen, then it probably makes sense to do it sooner than later, so that you are able to enjoy greater mobility for a longer time.
I like how Su Ba characterized it as preventative maintenance. Your back, neck, feet and many other parts will be glad when it's done. My niece always looks like she's leaning backwards , and she gets a sore back. If she stood up straight I'm pretty sure she would fall forward.
For my next trick, I'll need the help of a tiny ad ...