Learning More About Breast Reduction Surgery

A little while ago I wrote a post about doing something just for me.  Specifically, I announced to the world that I am seriously considering a breast reduction (and much to my surprise I also announced to the world my bra size.  Which by the way, I still cannot believe I did).

Since that post, my family doctor has referred me to three local plastic surgeons/cosmetic surgeons.  And, I’ve learned a whole heck of a lot of information about breast reductions in my part of the world.

  1. The cost to me for a private breast reduction is about $12,000 in Canadian dollars (about $9200 USD with the current exchange rate).  Initial consult is $100 CAD ($75 USD).
  2. The cost to me for a public system breast reduction is essentially free (if you don’t count the taxes we pay).
  3. The surgery can be done through the public health system or private health system.  Meaning, I can pay a private doctor or I can have the government pay as long as the doctor says that I qualify (which shouldn’t be a problem for me).  Doctors are not allowed to perform the same procedure within the public and private systems, so they must choose one or the other.  What this really means is that I cannot just choose the doctor I deem to be the best and have the government system pay for it.
  4. The wait times are very similar.  About 4 months for the initial consult and then 6-12 months until surgery.  Surprisingly, the private doctor appears to actually have the longest wait times.   Which is nothing like my experience in the USA with the private recurrent pregnancy loss specialist we saw within a few months.
  5. The big thing my family doctor stressed is that they all have to meet the same criteria and pass the same exams to be a plastic surgeon in Canada, therefore they are all fully qualified for the procedures they perform.
  6. The private doctor has better online reviews then the 2 public doctors.

So, here’s my plan.

  1. Mr. MPB will be involved in all the doctor appointments and the final decision.  First, I want a second opinion on each of the appointments.  Second, I kind of want to make sure he will like the final product. I am not saying it’s his choice what I do to my body, but I do think basic sexual attraction is kind of important to a marriage so I want his opinion.
  2. Mr. MPB & I will meet all the doctors.  The initial consult with the public system doctors is free, and the cost of the private doctor is $100.  We will talk with each one and ask a tonne of questions.  I will do my homework.
  3. We will listen to our gut reactions when we meet each doctor.
  4. Money is rather tight right now (thanks to our adoption bills).  But if we feel the private doctor is the best, then I’ll wait a few more years until I can afford to have the best surgeon.  This surgery (like all surgeries I suspect) isn’t a surgery that I want to have go wrong.
  5. I am going to proceed with all the consults and if an adoption happens before surgery then I will simply put off surgery until I feel the timing is right considering our child’s age.  By this I mean that I have no interest in having an elective surgery with a 2 month old baby at home, so I’ll wait until our child is a bit older.  I don’t want to put life on hold as we wait, but I also want to be practical about the logistics of having surgery with a child at home.
  6. I will lose the couple extra pounds that I’m still carrying around from the hell my body went through with 5 pregnancies and medically required lack of exercise for nearly 18 months of my life.  As much of my time has been dedicated to starting my business lately I haven’t been as active as I should be.  So, I want to make fitness a higher priority again.  I work out to feel good, not to know the number on the scale.   Like many, I could probably afford to lose a few pounds but nothing drastic nor concerning.  I generally eat a very healthy diet and I’m a generally active person hiking mountains, running and cycling regularly.  This all said, if I’m looking at having a surgery that will forever alter my appearance, I think it’s best that I get into a bit better shape because I am 100% positive that I don’t want to have the surgery, lose a few pounds and up with much tinier breasts then I ever wanted.

And so, I am still at least a few month away from my first initial consult, so I probably wont have much to say on the topic for a while, but I thought I’d share what I’ve learned in the last month and what my plan is going forward.

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31 Comments on “Learning More About Breast Reduction Surgery

  1. One of my favourite things about you is how organized you are, and how you really do your “homework” for everything. I’m glad you’re putting the wheels in motion to do this for yourself. And kudos to you for saying you’ll listen to your intuition about the doctors right off the bat!

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    • Thanks Lindsay! Listening to my gut is always a challenge for me, I’m much more of a fact and data person. But, ne thing ive really been learning is that I really do need to listen to my intuition and it has to count in decisions. So, in many ways this item is a reminder to myself. ☺

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      • I saw my ex’s breasts after she had the surgery (I think her surgery might have been in Toronto come to think of it) and…. Wow! She was only 5’2″ or so on a good day, and had severe back problems from the weight of her breasts as well as a bad car accident, and what a difference it made for her. Not only for her health/pain management, but also for being able to do more sports again, being able to for into regular clothing & bras again, not feeling self conscious anymore… And having breasts that actually looked their age! There were no draw backs in her experience.

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  2. I left a Twitter comment but I thought I’d post here too. I’m so excited for you. I know a few woman who have had the same surgery here in the US, one via military doctors and one via private doctors. Both woman have said it’s the best thing they have ever done for themselves. I so excited for you and proud of you. Good luck for whenever it happens.

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    • Thank you so much!! I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’m not always the quickest to respond on Twitter. 🙂
      I really do think it will be a good thing for me too, but I am a bit worried I’ll do all the research and then chicken out of actually having the surgery. I dunno, I guess time will tell. 🙂

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    • Neither did I! There are actually only 2 doctors in my area that will still do the procedures under the public system so I kind of suspect soon they will only be available privately.
      As an aside, I really love my family doctor and I appreciate that he takes the time to answer my questions on things like this.

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  3. Best of luck. As long as you don’t rush into anything (which you’re not) and you’re doing your homework (which you certainly are) then I am sure it will be the best decision for you. Definitely go with your gut instinct and the doctor that makes you feel most comfortable and answers all your questions. Good luck!x

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    • Thank you! I’m much happier when I can collect data, make lists and weigh technical information and so trusting my instincts is not something I’m always great at. In fact, trusting my instincts will take conscious effort for me.

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  4. Looks like you’ve found out a lot of info already, before even going in for the consults. I hope that it all works out for you, you find a great Dr that you feel comfortable with, and that it can fall around a convenient time as far as having a baby to take care of goes. Good luck with all of this!!

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    • Thank you my friend! I hate that we have no idea when an adoption will actually happen so with something like this scheduling will be a nightmare! But, it is what it is, so I’m not going to lose sleep over it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I so wish we had an actual public health system in the US! There’s a possibility that my insurance could cover it, but more than likely they won’t. They won’t even cover my chiropractor and I’ve had scoliosis since 9th grade and was in a bad car accident in 2005. Can’t wait to hear about your consults!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chiropractors, medications, etc.are also usually not covered by our public system either, but by our private medical benefits.
      The public system is a lot about medical procedures and doctors appointments. It is far from perfect, and in fact we did end up going to the USA for private treatment, but I will say in my experience our system is pretty decent when it comes to urgent medical needs. I just think RPL isn’t considered an urgent need here, and when you compare it to things like heart attacks and cancer, I get that. I am curious to see how private and public systems will co-mingle here…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good planning. I am sure you will make the right choicer. FYI I had a nose op when my little one was 18mths old. WORST timing ever as kids are quite rough about that age without realising it. You will prob need to wait until about 3ish before they can get the whole “mummy sore” thing. Just so you know and can factor that in. Xx

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  7. Mad props for you for doing your research! I think it’s wonderful your doing something for yourself. And I’m learning so much about the Canadain healthcare system.

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    • Thanks!! I too am learning a lot about our health care system through my research into this procedure and through our RPL experiences.
      I should point out that the systems are different in each province. For example in some provinces intralipids for RPL patients is commonly used, in mine it is not and RE’s don’t even seem to know what it is. So, there is variation.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that mr MPB is involved; he’ll be your emotional and physical support through the process and yes, he needs to like the final product! Exploring both private and public options sounds like a good idea. It’s amazing that you can possibly do it for free. I’m surprised at the four-month consultation wait though. Good luck, and don’t worry about sharing your bra size. Your blog should be a safe space where you can share whatever you need to!

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  9. Good luck! It’s really a life-changing, super positive experience once it’s all said and done. I will say that my only regret about my reduction was being *too* conservative and not going small enough. When you live with big boobs your whole life the thought of not still having big boobs is a little uncomfortable. I mean, you still want boobs, just not Dolly Partin-esque boobs. And of course the opinions/attraction of our significant others plays here, too. Plus, my doctor was on the conservative side and encouraged me to not go too small as well. But now with almost 6 years distance (and gaining a bit of weight, etc.) I wish I had gone just a little smaller. Just something to consider 🙂

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  10. I had a reduction 6 years ago & would do it again!! I have already told my hubs that I want another one after we are done having babies!!

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  11. I had to look up size J breasts because I had NO idea how large they could be. I stumbled across the following video: http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/10770-wow-check-out-woman-with-34-double-j-breasts-who-got-massive-reduction-surgery

    Anyway, many people think that a breast augmentation and a breast reduction are about the same in terms of recovery. NOPE. Breast reduction is much harder. I do not say that to scare you in any way. I am a nurse (of 20 yrs) and have dealt with numerous patients. So far, every woman I have spoken with has been glad she has gotten the reduction — the most frequent thing I hear is that many of them wish they had the surgery earlier.

    The only truly concerning complaint I see up there in your list is that you won’t be able to hold your dear baby … you will get through that! Can you imagine BOTH smaller ta tas AND a new baby! Holy sha bang bang you’d be smiling from ear to ear, and then need a smile reduction! Hope Mr. MPB will be around for that … unless he’s too busy holding that new baby! 😉

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  12. My sister had this surgery, as did my neighbor. They are both so happy they did it! I think the public system would be tough in a situation like this, because you’d want to pick the practitioner who’s physically modifying your body, but it’s a big price difference. Good luck deciding which route to go. Either way, I think you’ll be very happy!

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  13. I have no doubt you will do your homework, like you say, and pick the very best option for you. Everyone I know who has had the procedure has been thrilled with the results and I know you will be, too!

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