I questioned whether it was vanity when I started my investigation into having a breast reduction. My family through the lineage of my grandmother have been very well endowed women and this has followed us through the generations. I spoke with my GP was referred to the QE Hospital Birmingham saw a Consultant and his team, was examined and was told “the bottom line is I qualify without a doubt for a breast reduction on the NHS but I had to lose 2st”!
At that time I was wearing a 38L. I did not pursue the weight loss but got on with my life. Over the years leading up to 2022 my breasts just seem to be continually growing and I found I was going through the bra cup size alphabet : D, DD, E, F, G, GG, H, J, JJ, K, KK and L and was told my true size was probably a M-cup. It was now that I could not find a bra that fitted comfortably as I was wearing a bra that did not fit properly.
During the second COVID lockdown things came to ahead where I was experiencing at random times during the day severe shooting pains within both my breasts and having excruciating pain under my breast where I was developing lumps and boils which in turn would blister and leak. I had to seek my GP’s advice on this matter who prescribed Hydrex Surgical Scrub and antiseptic cream to be used morning and night, antibiotics, when needed. I was using this for 7 months prior to my surgery.
July-October my GP wrote a letter to the Breast Department at the QE Hospital recommending a breast reduction for me which she gave her full support. The response from the QE Hospital was not good news nor was it bad news but I would have to lose 3st before I would even be seen by any Doctor/Consultant and would need to achieve a BMI of 30. My GP, as I am led to believe, tried and fought my case stating her patient needed to be seen before any weight loss. That is when I decided to go down the private route of surgery as the NHS was unable to help me. Prior to the decision given by the NHS, I already had a Plan B, I had sourced a surgeon on the internet who I believed, I could trust and could perform a breast reduction for me and that surgeon was Mr Naren Basu at the BMI Priory Hospital Birmingham.
August had a family wedding to attend and my dilemma was finding the perfect dress to wear, one that fitted properly and that I would be comfortable in. The problem through the years was finding clothes to fit me properly as my top half was way not in proportion to my bottom half. At the time of my operation I was wearing 24/26 dependent, on the cut of the garment, to accommodate my breast size whereby my bottom half was 18/20. A couple of days before the wedding and twenty dresses later I found the perfect dress, a lovely dress, unfortunately, the photographs told a different story as my breasts overtook the whole style of the dress. The photographs looked better from the shoulders up! A good job I was blessed with a pretty face.
My family in America have been very supportive and my younger cousin had a breast reduction 10 years ago and talking with her spurred me on to have my own breast reduction. Therefore, the thought of having a breast reduction was not taken lightly as I had been considering this since 2005 but following my discomfort with my breasts, problems with back pain, the wearing of a bra continually uncomfortable, which did not fit properly and digging into my shoulders this all came to ahead and I had to do something. The thought of approaching 60, in a couple of years, I had to reassess my life and what I wanted in the coming years was to get a breast reduction and regain my quality of life. I refused to purchase any further clothing in size 24/26. My husband had my back in my decision as he knew how frustrated I had become with the situation over the years.
October made my initial referral to Elizabeth Nelson, Mr Basu’s secretary and what I liked about the website was I did not need to be referred by my GP to see the Consultant. Within two hours I received a response from Elizabeth and I was offered an appointment within 5 days. Great customer service.
November my first consultation with Mr Naren Basu at BMI Priory Hospital armed with my notes from 2005 and my note pad. I explained very clearly what I wanted, he listened, he made his notes, then he explained the crisis and backlog within the NHS, whereby COVID had not helped and there was very sick women (and men) with breast cancer who now were priority. This I totally understood as I was not sick. Therefore, it would be highly unlikely I would be seen under the NHS with their new criteria for a breast reduction and realistically Mr Basu could not see me being seen until in 3/5 years. I was examined by Mr Basu and pointed out the scarring under my breasts from the burst boils and the lumps I could feel which he had detected and reassured me that these were cysts. Notwithstanding this, my request for a breast reduction, as explained by Mr Basu, was that my operation was not seen as “cosmetic surgery but for me to regain back my quality of life” … these were words to my ears and he took the words right out of my mouth. After asking the question could he perform the operation Mr Basu explained in very simplistic terms and drew a diagram in what form my operation would take, explained the risks and challenges of that any major surgery would involve, he confirmed he could do the operation for me. I asked when could he perform the operation, he said he would send me a letter of our appointment and conversation to give me a cooling off period, which I pointed out to him I did not need. Mr Basu’s response was he felt he would be seeing me very soon, I confirmed that he would. I had a confirmed date of 4 February 2022 …. I could not wait.
December-January 2022 COVID has not helped and unfortunately I caught COVID during Christmas and was a little anxious concerning my pending operation.
January had a further consultation with Mr Basu before my pending operation in February. I asked what cup size he was looking to give me and he responded that I definitely would not be a C/D-cup and that he could probably give me an E-cup which I was not happy with as I wanted a D-cup. We had an intense conversation about cup size as I was fixated on not having an E-cup and beyond …. already worn those cup sizes. Following our conversation and Mr Basu’s reassurance he would try his best to achieve the best outcome and the Breast Care Nurse advised that I purchase a D, E and F in a front fastening supportive bra. Mr Basu confirmed that this will be the biggest breast reduction him and his team will ever have undertaken. The challenge was on, I was up for it and what it was to be unique.
Day of Operation
February dropped off by my husband on the morning at the BMI Priory Hospital and was warmly welcomed at Reception. Escorted to my room by a member of staff and greeted by the nurses on shift then seen by the Anaesthetist who said he would look after me whilst I was in surgery as I have an underlying medical condition, Sickle Cell Trait. Then Mr Basu entered the room to sign off consent forms, explained the risks and challenges again, and made the necessary surgical markings with the help of his Registrar on my breast ready for my planned surgery. We discussed the plan of action which amounted to Plan A, B and C hoping for Plan A which was to remove the heaviness off my breasts and to reposition my nipples which was at least 48cm. I reiterated that I would like Plan A and I would leave it with him. I asked what number I was on his operating list and he informed me I was No.1 and the only one. Mr Basu had cleared his diary for the whole day to do my surgery as he did not want to be seen to be rushing and wanting to get it right …. I was blown away by this statement and felt very special, honoured and appreciative. In the words of Mr Basu my surgery was an extreme major surgical procedure.
Mr Basu confided in me following my operation and in discussion with his surgical team during my surgery that I was a prime candidate for a breast reduction on the NHS! To be told that I would need to reach a BMI of 30 would never have happened as in my case as my BMI was all in my breast. I would never have met this target however hard I tried, no amount of diet or exercise would have achieved this … it was unrealistic.
After the Operation
My surgery took 3.5 hours and Plan A was achieved. When I woke from my surgery I was very happy and when I looked down at my “new” chest I was elated. Just lying in the bed I could feel the lightness on my chest. My breasts looked smaller than what I had expected but I was indeed very pleased with the outcome and this was without a supportive bra on. I was assisted by the Breast Care Nurse to fit me into my 40F supportive bra which I needed to wear for 6 weeks. Late afternoon I was visited by Mr Basu who informed me everything went according to plan and he was very confident. He had removed over 50% of my breast tissue amounting to 7.5kg (nearly 1st) and the desired results were achieved. My breasts were not painful at all – just uncomfortable and swollen. Mr Basu assured me he was going to visit me the next morning.
Day 1 after Operation
True to his word Mr Basu made his morning visit and I allowed him to be the first to examine his good work which he was pleased with, then the three of us - Mr Basu, myself and the nurse – went to view my new breasts in the bathroom mirror – all I could do was give him thumbs up, no words spoken. I was advised to take my time in standing up as a huge weight had been removed off my chest. Mr Basu said due to the extreme size of my reduction they needed to look after me, the breasts will take time to settle down, no need to stay in bed, no showering, no lifting of heavy objects, don’t get the breasts wet, don’t drive and take gentle walks. I would be seen in Mr Basu’s clinic next week and I was discharged home on the afternoon and collected by my husband.
4 Days after Operation
Met Mr Basu in clinic and he advised I needed to get my posture right following the operation as the heavy weight I was previously carrying had pushed me forward. No need to remove the surgical strips. Mr Basu very pleased with the outcome of the surgery. Upon examination everything was to be left as it was and he would see me next Friday.
14 Days after Operation
Met Mr Basu in clinic explained everything going ok, slight leakage from both breasts/nipples and nipples still warm. The surgical removal of the breast tissue upon examination diagnosed no abnormalities. Advised to shower and the strips would fall off by themselves. Mr Basu remarked a clear improvement in my posture.
March received a personal telephone call from Mr Basu enquiring how I was doing and told me to enjoy my weekend and he would see me in 3 weeks. I was really touched and overwhelmed by the personal call as I was celebrating my birthday a couple of days later and attending an Award ceremony with my Son that weekend. Ordered my first new dress following my breast reduction which came in at a size 20 ... really chuffed and looked magnificent.
Six weeks after Operation
Noticed blood/yellow staining on gauze/bra under the crease of the right breast and continual aching. Telephoned the BMI Priory Hospital explained my situation and was advised to ring my GP and get antibiotics and the Sister said she would inform Mr Basu. Antibiotics prescribed by my GP for a course of 7 days and advised to take paracetamol for the aching. The blood was now bright red and running down my stomach rang the hospital the next morning who told me to come into Outpatients and that a Doctor/Nurse would examine my wound and they would inform Mr Basu of the outcome. Unbeknown to me the Doctor was Mr Basu who walked into Outpatient. Mr Basu confirms that I did nothing wrong, there was an infection, the remaining strips were removed, the wound was cleaned up and clean dressing applied to the wound and nipple area. Mr Basu said he would see me in 2 weeks before his Easter break. What Mr Basu had done was leave his post at the QE Hospital to come and sort me out because he said he had to and he went back to work!
Eight weeks after Operation and Discharge
After two courses of antibiotics the blood/infection had reduced significantly. Upon examination Mr Basu confirmed that the wound was healing better than he had expected and he confirmed he would not need to see me again … this was a positive thing he said. The breasts are feeling good, soft on top, still swollen under the breasts, around the armpits, back and the nipples were good. Celebrated Mother’s Day in another new dress, size 18/20 and felt a million dollars and feeling good. Thanked Mr Basu for all that he had done for me.
Mr Basu has delivered on all fronts with Plan A: reduced my breasts, nipples repositioned, scars are so thin, neat and blends into my skin.
Mr Basu has shown empathy with a caring attitude, compassion, very professional, a highly skilled surgeon, very knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, very thorough and highly recommended from the many reviews on his webpage.
I am truly grateful for what Mr Basu and his surgical team have done for me and I am totally indebted to them. I appreciate the support shown and I cannot fault the treatment I received throughout this process.
This breast reduction is life changing for me and would recommend Mr Basu, without hesitation, which I have already done.
I believe I chose very well, the best Consultant/Surgeon and that was Mr Basu, you are a true and real gentle gentleman. I wish you continued success and once again Thank you.
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