This post will be explaining my breast reduction consultation process as detailed as possible from what I remember. I hope this helps bring insight to women that may be looking into getting this procedure.
The decision process
This is mostly an emotional process of deciding to get the surgery and accepting everything that may come with it. I’ve been debating on getting a breast reduction for about ten years. There has always been a circumstance that prevented me of pursuing this process. But mostly, in the past I was not emotionally and financially ready as I am today.
I think I’ll dive deeper into all the history in another post or even a video, as I want this post to be focused on the consultation part.
Choosing a surgeon
Once I decided I was going through with the process, I spent a few months researching local plastic surgeons. My primary goal was to find surgeons with ample experience in breast procedures, especially breast reductions.
I found multiple surgeons with good reviews. I spent quite some time extensively reading feedback, reading their social media outlets and/or websites. It was important to me to find surgeons that were active in social media and posting consistently. The surgeon I chose met all of my criteria and was also recommended by a close friend, so I had a more context about my friend’s experience with that doctor, which was very positive.
Booking the consultation
Once the surgeon was chosen, I called their office to schedule a consultation visit. When calling, I was expecting to have a waiting time of minimum a few weeks for the consultation. To my surprise, they had an opening for the following week, and I immediately accepted. The sooner I could start the process, the better. I sent the payment for the consultation electronically and they proceeded to book me the spot.
After the consultation was booked, I received an email confirmation plus an additional email requesting that I sign up to their patient management software.
The patient management platform included all the forms that I needed to fill out prior to the consultation. Things like:
- Basic information
- Medical history
- The type of procedure I want to have
- My desired cup size
I filled everything out quickly and the waiting game began. The appointment was on May 16, 2023 at 10:30am.
Consultation day arrived. My appointment was scheduled for 10:30am so I got to the doctor’s office at around 10am. I am very demanding when it comes to punctuality so I always make sure to arrive to places early (more to calm my anxiety than anything else).
I went into the office, checked in and sat down to wait until my appointment. My husband accompanied me so we chatted while we waited, that eased my mind an enormous amount.
A little bit before 10:30am, they call me inside. The first step was to remove my shirt and bra and put a robe on, once that was done I was called to another room to take photos of my breasts. Pictures looking at the camera, facing the sides, and also facing diagonally in each side. I was extremely nervous to take my robe off for the photos but the staff was so friendly and made me feel at ease.
Once the pictures were taken, I was moved back to the room where I changed into the robe to wait for the doctor. My mind was racing at this point, and waiting felt like an eternity. During this moment it felt like time was standing still, yet it had only been like five minutes. The doctor came in, introduced himself and prompted me to tell him what I wanted. I told him the story of the development of my breasts, how much pain I was in and how long I’ve been contemplating having a breast reduction.
He asked me standard questions about my medical history and habits, and proceded to examine my breasts. This was such a nerve-wracking moment because I’m very shy but he was very respectful while he was examining and measuring. When the examination was completed, he told me I was the perfect candidate for a breast reduction, due to the big size and sagging.
I had written in my phone a list with questions beforehand that I went through with him. Things like: time off I would have to take from work, recovery time, limitations, etc. Make sure you go through every question you have.
One thing to note is that I mentioned to the doctor that I was in the process of losing weight so I could be better prepared for the surgery and obtain the best results possible. If you’re planning to lose weight before the surgery, if it’s anything more than 10 pounds you want to lose, make sure to set realistic expectations and talk to your doctor about it, especially timelines. Losing weight changes your skin and elasticity, and for the surgery to be successful, it’s ideal to be at the weight you desire and plan on sticking on. Any drastic change in weight after the surgery can definitely have an impact on your final results.
In my case, I already had lost around 20 pounds when I went in for the consultation, and explained that I wanted to lose about 20-30 more. At the time of writing this post, I have lost about 27 pounds total, so I have around 18 more pounds to go before surgery. If I can lose more than 18, even better.
Process explanation and procedure estimate
After talking to the doctor, we went to another room to talk to another staff member about the process and cost breakdown based on a fee estimate.
This procedure estimate listed associated fees with the procedure, which was divided in three parts:
- Pre-procedure fees
- Procedure fees
- Other fees
These fees include the medical evaluation of a doctor at the facilities where your operation during your hospital pre-admission. It also includes the cost for compression socks which will be required for surgery.
- SCDs (compression socks): $35.00
These fees include the cost of surgery, and also, the follow-up visits after the operation with the surgeon (1 week post-op, 3 months post-op, 6 months post-op and 1 year post-op). Plus, this includes cost of materials and equipment.
- Breast reduction with lateral breast liposuction: $6,500.00
- GalaFLEX (Internal breast bra) [Optional]: $1,200.00
- This is entirely optional, I looked into this before my consultation because I read that my doctor was one of the first to use GalaFLEX in Puerto Rico. I talked to the doctor about this and was very interested in including this during my procedure.
- Garments and Equipment: $200.00
Procedure / Consult Fees (including pre-procedure fees): $7,935.00
These are fees associated with the facility and anesthesia. There may be other costs incurred not listed here.
- Anesthesia fees – Breast reduction: $700.00
- Facility fees – Breast reduction: $1,000.00
Other Fees: $1,700.00
The total for the operation would be $9,635.00. Important to note that this may not include other fees or charges related to the surgery that could happen.
As you can read from the total price, this is a substantial amount of money and should be looked as an investment. Personally, the positive outcome of this operation outweighs any possible financial burden this procedure may cause. This surgery will change my life in so many ways, and I am hopeful for the future.
Evaluating estimate and booking operation
Usually, fee estimates have an expiration date of having that price guaranteed. In my case, my estimate expired after one month. After the consultation, I evaluated what to do financially to make this happen. I was already saving up some money for the operation but didn’t have the full amount. I had about half saved up.
Some of my family members offered to help me with a portion of the cost, which I’m truly grateful for. For the rest of the money, I created a monthly budget based on my income to be able to save up additional money. I also wanted to save extra because I knew that there would be more costs involved for the recovery process (clothing, medical supplies, food, etc) and be prepared for any unforeseen costs. My goal was not to create debt because of the surgery, and be able to pay it off in full without having a huge credit card bill or similar situation.
About a day before the fee estimate expiration date, I called the doctor’s office to agree to the fee estimate and book my surgery. As I was still in the process of losing weight, I wanted to see if there were dates farther out that would give me enough time to reach my goal before the operation. I called on June 15, 2023, hoping to find something during October 2023. This would give me enough time to reach my desired weight. Thankfully, they had a few openings during October and booked a date for the surgery and my pre-op appointment.
My breast reduction surgery will be on Thursday October 12, 2023. I had to pay a non-refundable deposit for the procedure booking and have until my pre-op appointment (October 2, 2023) to pay off the entire amount of the procedure / consult fees.
How do I feel?
I feel ecstatic, emotional, nervous and terrified – all at the same time -. This surgery will be a tremendous change in my life. Physically AND emotionally. I’m so glad I finally took this step that I’ve been wanting to do for years. I am looking forward to this much-needed change. I’m looking forward to no longer having back and neck pain, to take pictures of myself again without feeling self-conscious, to be able to wear other styles of clothing that I’ve wanted to wear but can’t because of the size of my breasts.
This is an emotionally heavy process, and I recommend you find all the necessary tools to make your journey the emotionally safest it can be. I am seeing a psychologist consistently to make sure I take care of my anxiety and overall mental wellbeing. Another very important part of this process is having the people around you support you and your decision. I can’t even begin to explain how much my husband has helped me through this process. His love, consideration and support has given me even more fuel to keep going. My family and closest friends have also been a huge help, they’re all so happy for me and are giving me tons of support.
I am exercising regularly and eating well. I want to lose the weight to reach my goal, but this has also given me a new perspective around being at your optimal state physically. Exercise is a pivotal part of that. I didn’t appreciate fitness and was too lazy to entertain the idea before this year. I always found an excuse to get out of it. But honestly, being so focused to take the necessary steps to be a better version of myself has caused a huge shift in my mentality this year.
I’m 33 years old. I’m not getting any younger, and I want to be able to enjoy my life the way I want to enjoy it. Not have any limitations that I have the capacity to eliminate.
And this is where I’m at. I feel happy, accomplished and hopeful for what life will bring after October 12, 2023. I know recovery won’t be easy, but it will bring me the life I’ve yearned for.
I am planning of documenting the entire process leading up to the surgery, and after. I’ve been recording some video clips here and there of me exercising, talking about certain things. I purchased a vlogging camera to be able to document more of the process visually, but I also want to accompany videos with written pieces in this blog of every step. If everything goes well, I should keep expanding on this process here at the blog and will let you know any other outlets where I may be documenting this.
Thank you for reading. This was an extremely hard post to write, but I’m hoping to be able to help anyone that’s been thinking about getting a breast reduction surgery or is curious about the process, and give you my insight.
PS. I will be publishing a Spanish version of this post very soon. Will update here when I do.