Miss Lisa Sacks
25th January 2021
A year ago, I had a vertical breast reduction in Bristol, England.
The first time I considered having a breast reduction I was in my early twenties. I enjoyed an active life dancing, swimming and playing hockey, but my large breasts always got in the way. Ballet was especially difficult as the leotards and stage costumes were usually strappy, made for small breasted figures. People, especially men, commented regularly on the size of my breast too, which made me self-conscious. Being short at 160 cm, the size of my bust (36 E) was enhanced.
I married a wonderful man who totally loved me as I was. I decided against having a breast reduction as I felt it was important for me to breast feed my children; in the 1990s there was a strong probability of not being able to do this following a reduction. I had three lovely sons; life got busy and I did not think too much about a breast reduction. I continued an active lifestyle and instructed yoga alongside coaching age group swimmers. In my late thirties I started to gain weight, the majority of which seemed to accumulate around my breasts! I was still active, but the heftiness of my breasts meant that I required underwire bras with thick straps that were especially altered to fit my torso. In addition, I would wear quite tight-fitting tank tops when doing high impact activates just to keep my breasts somewhat still and supported. I spoke about having a breast reduction quite frequently with my husband but thinking about the possible complications of surgery whilst having a young family put me off. One day, my husband said that he had found a surgeon online. The surgeons name was Lisa Sacks, and she was based in Bristol, UK. I read online about the procedures she performed, and I watched the vertical breast reduction with much interest. At the age of 50, I decided to bite the bullet and do something that I had dreamed about for so long. My breast size was 40F, possibly bigger but I had given up measuring. I spoke to three friends who had had breast reductions; they said it was the best thing they had ever done. All three had experienced some problems with the healing under their breasts where horizontal incisions had been made. The procedure Dr Sacks performs does not require a horizontal cut under the breast; I liked the sound of that!
I travelled from Tanzania in Africa to Bristol to have the operation done. I felt very much at ease after my initial appointments and became increasingly excited as the operation day approached. I was well prepared for the operation, with information on what to expect, what to pack for hospital, what to do afterwards and so on. Certainly, I felt that I was in good hands. I had the operation and stayed overnight in hospital. The following day I was groggy, though not in a lot of pain. I went to the home of a family member for two weeks to recover and followed the instructions from the hospital closely. I did not experience a great deal of pain, just a little discomfort. Six weeks after the operation, I travelled back home to Tanzania. The two observations that had the greatest initial impact for me were that
1. I could see my ribcage when looking at myself in the mirror!
2. My shoulders felt lighter and my upper back felt easier.
It took a good six months for my breasts to heal. After six months, I started to swim, to walk and to build my yoga practice. After eight months, I decided to embark on a weight loss program. The first time I started running I felt elated! I was wearing a simple sports bra, yet I did not feel the incredible bounce and bust weight that I had always experienced in the past. I felt more natural. When practicing yoga, I could twist easily, and I could go upside down without feeling suffocated by my breasts. I could wear strappy tops too!
The shirts I wear now no longer gape at the breast as buttons strain to hold me in, and it looks like I have some shape; before my shirts and dresses ballooned from the breast down in a telly tubby fashion. Now, I can also wear swimsuits with confidence; in the past my breasts were such a dominating feature: I was always wrapping myself in a towel or baggy shirt to hide them. My bra size is now 38D. I still have a generous bust, but it is a huge improvement on where I was before.
The reduction was certainly worth the expense and the time required to heal. If anything, knowing the outcome now I would have done it much earlier. I believe it would have given me greater confidence in all spheres of life. Nevertheless, I am delighted with where I am. I have signed up for an online teacher training course this year. I am not concerned about what bra or shirt I will wear; this used to be high on my agenda of things to worry about when taking courses in the past. I am thankful. I have lost 6 kg and have 4 kg more to lose; I feel the weight loss will be worthwhile.