I’m a real advocate for breast reduction surgery as I totally know how grateful I am for having had my breast reduction. It’s nice to get up close and personal with people sharing their plastic surgery experiences. I have spoken with lots of plastic surgeons who love doing breast reductions for exactly that reason – patients seem to be so grateful and it’s really life changing for them. Today I get to speak with Lisa* about her breast reduction surgery with Dr Jeremy Hunt, one of Sydney’s leading Plastic Surgeons.
Trish: Oh. Good morning, podcasters. I’m here today with Lisa. And Lisa just recently had surgery with Dr Jeremy Hunt. We’re gonna find out about her experience today.
Thank you Lisa and welcome.
Lisa: Hi, thank you for having me.
Trish: Our pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time. So, Lisa you recently had surgery with Dr Jeremy Hunt.
Trish: I know you had a great experience. What did you have done?
Lisa: I had breast reduction surgery done. I went from a double E or maybe a bit bigger, to a C.
Trish: Wow. Wow. You’ve had big breasts most of your life, and it bothered you and-
Lisa: Yeah. I’ve got a very small frame. I’m just kind of short and small in that sense, and having such large breasts was such a hassle on everyday life. It brought a lot of pain, and you know shopping, I couldn’t shop for clothes. It was very uncomfortable. It really didn’t suit me at all.
Trish: I feel you because I’ve had exactly the same procedure, and it’s absolutely life changing, isn’t it?
Lisa: Yeah. It’s so great. I would never ever not recommend it to anyone. There’s been a few people that I know that have come up to me and asked, and I’m just so … I’ll tell them everything. Recommend Dr Hunt. Everyone’s gone there, actually.
Trish: Fantastic. Fantastic. Tell us about your experience. Did you see more than one surgeon, if you did without mentioning names, but did you see more than one surgeon when you decided to have this done, or how did you decide on Dr Jeremy Hunt?
Lisa: I had a friend whose older sister had breast reduction surgery with Dr Hunt when she was 16, and she had even larger breasts than I did, and she’s just as small as I am if not smaller. And she recommended Dr Hunt, and her whole family really recommended him quite well and often every time I brought it up. I kind of told my mum, and we went to the doctors, and they gave us a referral for someone else, but I just wanted to go to Dr Hunt anyway. We went to him. We were both happy with him, and I just, you know, we wanted to get it done and really happy, so just went with him.
Trish: Fantastic. Tell me about your experience, the before care, your consult. He went through everything with you?
Lisa: Yeah, we went there, and we had a lot of questions about scarring and sensation wise, and all of that. He talked us through everything and was very open and honest. He really gave us all the information quite easily and in a way that we could understand. We were very comfortable with all of that from even the first consultation.
Trish: Fantastic. How long did it take to get booked in for your surgery?
Lisa: I can’t exactly remember. It was maybe two years ago, but I think maybe a month or two.
Trish: Okay. So, you’d been thinking about it for a long time.
Lisa: Yeah, I’d been thinking about it, but I was never really certain except for I’d kind of have to run for the bus at school, and I’d have this heavy backpack, and both of my breasts would come out of the bra and my bag flying around, and my back was in pain, and I just went, “Mum, I need this done.”
Trish: So how old are you Lisa?
Lisa: I’m 19 now.
Trish: Okay. Okay. You’ve been thinking about it for a while.
Trish: Oh, fantastic. When you went and had surgery that day, how did you feel when you … Is this your first operation that you’ve ever had?
Lisa: It’s not my first operation that I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely the first one that I was kind of aware of. I’ve had other ones when I was younger, and I was definitely nervous on the day, but beforehand I was really as nervous. I was just excited and wanted to get it done already. But on the day, I was a bit scared.
Trish: Tell me, so you went in there, you have your surgery, and were you in the hospital just for a day, or did you stay in overnight, or a couple of days, or-
Lisa: Yes, I stayed in overnight, and I think that’s what Dr Hunt kind of said happens with most patients, like you’ll stay overnight, and if you need longer, you’ll stay longer. But I just needed that one night. It was quite comfortable. We were at St. Lukes. Yeah, I had my mum there with me. They just were very attentive to my needs. Dr Hunt came and checked in on me, and it was all fine.
Trish: Ah, fantastic. Tell me, with your experience in the hospital, because I know that some people do choose to stay longer. You were alright to leave the day after.
Lisa: Yeah. Well, my mum took time off work so that she could kind of care for me at home. I was happy to leave after they gave us all the prescriptions for pain killers, and told us some tips of what to do if I’m in pain, and how to relieve.
Trish: Yeah, yeah. How did you find your recovery? You got home. How long were you feeling crappy for?
Lisa: Maybe only like a week at most I was actually in pain. Other than that, it was kind of just really itchy. I think the worst part about it was not being able to shower properly, and that was only for a few days just while we had certain bandages on that couldn’t get wet. I only really felt pain in my chest, like above my breasts, where the kind of underarm muscles are. And sitting up and stuff would be a strain on those. Other than that, I didn’t have too much pain. It was really itchy, and I was quite tired and lethargic from the pain killers.
Trish: Where are your scars? Was there a technique that he used? Is there a name for the technique that he used? What sort of scars do you have?
Lisa: I’m not sure exactly on the technique, but he cut around the nipple, and line directly down from the bottom of the nipple to just underneath the breast, and then did a line from the middle where they join all the way around the bottom, all the way to the edge kind of underneath the underarm. And from what I can see now, there’s no scar left from the one that joins nipple to underneath the breast, if you know what I’m saying. The other two are kind of hidden, and not that noticeable.
Trish: Great. And did you get anything to put on afterwards for the scarring? Did he suggest anything?
Lisa: From what I can remember, he gave me a few silicone strips that you put on either at night or in the day and then take them off for the other. I can’t remember which was which. But we had them on for two weeks, and then they had a certain cream that had to go on each night. He recommended using I think it was vitamin E oil and the getting the pure capsules, and piercing a hole in them and using that, because that’s the purest form of the oil itself. Using that every night. And not to use moisturiser because that blocks it. Yeah, some really good advice that he gave. Honestly I haven’t been doing it that much. I wasn’t very consistent with it. The scars really aren’t’ that noticeable.
Trish: Wow. That’s great. So, you healed really nicely.
Trish: How long post surgery are you now?
Lisa: I think just over two years.
Trish: I suppose if there’s one piece of advice you’d give someone is get it done sooner rather than later. That was my advice, anyway. It was like I waited so long, and it was the best thing ever.
Trish: Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about the after service care from Dr Hunt. I know that he does provide exceptional service after care. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Lisa: There was a few post surgery followup appointments that we made with him. One that was kind of not too long after the surgery so they could check it out, and remove the bandages, and give us some other … I think they gave us the silicone strips to use at that point. Another one or two after that, so we could take after photos and really he can take another look at the work that he’s done, and see how we’re going.
Trish: And two years post op, because I do know that the nipple sensation is a thing, but can you actually feel your nipples now?
Lisa: Yeah, definitely. There no problem with nipple sensation at all.
Trish: Wow. So how has it changed your life? Because I know a young girl who had it done, I sent her to one of our doctors as well, and she was 14 when she wanted it, and she was 16 when she had it done. But similar to you, really nervous and all that, and she just, I don’t know if you feel the same, but she just blossomed into this other person because she was so much confident, because she felt really self conscious, because before anyone looked at her, the first thing they saw were her boobs, and they judged on her boobs, and all the perving on big boobs and stuff like that. She hated it. This girl came out of her shell unbelievably, so I’m wondering, was it a bit like that for you?
Lisa: Yeah. I definitely have to agree with that. I think that that would kind of be the same with anyone had this surgery. It definitely was for me. Aside from all the back pain, and kind of health issues, I couldn’t really wear anything that made me feel comfortable because if I wore high neck, my boobs kind of looked bigger. If I wore low neck, it was kind of considered like I was showing them off, and they still looked bigger. I couldn’t wear nice clothes that kind of had a low back or low side because I was always needing a big, ugly, I would say, supportive bra that just contradicted the features of the clothes that I wanted to wear. Going out was always like people were perving and looking. Even some of my friends when I said that I wanted to have the surgery, they would say to me, “You are your boobs.” I’m like, “No, I’m not.” I don’t want them. I don’t need them. So much better now that I don’t have them. I feel like I can wear anything that I want and be comfortable in it, and go out without getting weird looks and kind of treated like I’m a lot older than I actually am.
Trish: On that surgery, I feel you 100%. My mistake was I waited from a young age, I waited until I was in my 40s. I’m like all of those years, and I just could of gotten it done sooner. It was so much easier, although I had a hard recovery, but it was just such a change of life that I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
Lisa: I’m really glad that I got it done.
Trish: Yeah. That’s awesome. Now they say sometimes when you’ve had something done, it makes you want other things done. Do you feel like that?
Lisa: Well, I mean, me personally not really. I have never really been a big fan of kind of changing the way you look if it’s not for kind of health reasons or quality of life type reasons. I would say breast reduction, if you have breasts large enough, and you’re small, and they’re just so disproportioned, then it definitely is a health and quality of life thing. I wouldn’t really want to get, for example, a nose job, just because I don’t like the look of it now that I’ve had the surgery.
Trish: That’s good and reassuring to hear because people say sometimes, “Once you have something, you want to change everything about yourself.” But it’s so good that you feel really good about yourself in every other way, and that it was just something that was really debilitating, and you chose to do something about it.
Lisa: Yeah, definitely. I think that when people kind of get their first surgery in a reason to kind of change the way that they look, not for health reasons, then that may be the case. Maybe not.
Trish: And your mum, she must be stoked for you as well.
Lisa: Oh, yeah. She was more kind of scared than I was at first about all the side effects and scarring and all of that, and it was different for her because she doesn’t have such large breasts anymore. She did when she was younger, but she just didn’t realise how much I wanted it, and in the end didn’t care about the side effects. Now she’s just so admiring and loves them and is so happy for me.
Trish: Yep. Yep. That is so good. It just goes to show how important, because you said your mum took a couple of weeks off work, it’s really important to have that support person there. Did you have any ups and downs emotionally?
Lisa: Not really emotionally, just kind of need her to even in the first few days and first week when I was in pain, to help me sit up out of bed, because that uses those muscles I was talking about. Just having her to go and get me pain killers if I need.
Trish: Cook and do all those things that mum’s do.
Trish: Yeah. Awesome. That’s great. That’s been such a really good story, Lisa. I know it’s really life changing because as I said, I’ve been there myself before. But it’s so good to hear someone so young that’s had it done for the right reasons, and is really happy about it as well, because it’s not something that you take lightly, hey.
Lisa: Yeah. Definitely. I’ve referred quite a few people to Dr Hunt recently.
Trish: That’s great. That’s awesome. Fantastic. If you could give people one takeaway, like something that either you wish you’d known before, but that you found out afterwards, or there something you can tell people as a little bit of a takeaway for them if they are thinking of having the same thing done?
Lisa: I mean I think just if it’s affecting you that much, and you’re really thinking about it so often, then you should get it done straightaway, as soon as you can, sooner rather than later.
Trish: Yep. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Really good advice. I agree with you 100%. Thanks so much, Lisa. I know you’re really busy, and I really appreciate the time that you took to talk to us today.
Lisa: No worries. Thank you.
Trish: Lovely. So ladies if you’re out there and thinking about having breast reduction surgery, you can visit Dr Jeremy Hunt at his clinic in Sidney. You can look him up online or on the plastic surgery hub website, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. So thanks, Lisa.
Lisa: Thanks. Bye.