Female Breast Reconstruction After Weight Loss Surgery
By Kaye Bailey
In my pre-surgical consultation for gastric bypass weight loss surgery I remember asking my surgeon "will I lose
my breasts?" He assured me, yes indeed, I would lose my breasts. Nine months and 100 pounds later they were gone. I
was embarrassed by my after WLS breasts, now deflated skin balloons hanging low on my chest. My breasts – my sexual
pride and joy for so many years - were now ugly sloppy flaps of skin. I loathed my trimmed down naked boy-body.
Something had to be done.
First effort: I increased my exercise: bench presses and butterflies. That didn’t help. Any exercise that works
the pectoral muscles will help tone the chest, but not the breasts. Breasts are not muscle tissue, they are fatty
tissue, and therefore do not respond to weightlifting or resistance exercise of any type.
Second effort: I tried some rub-in creams ordered from the back of a fashion magazine. They promised to grow my
breasts by two cup sizes. The promise was a lie; don’t waste your money.
Last step: Consult with the plastic surgeon. He congratulated my weight loss, complimented my muscle tone (I
really did do a lot of resistance exercise) and then he suggested mammoplasty & augmentation. He would take my
deflated skin balloons, put them back front and center where they belonged and inflate them with implants. I was
about 18 months out of surgery and had maintained my weight loss for two or three months. I felt confident the time
was right to get on with the "finishing touches."
The surgery was done under general anesthesia in surgical suite at the plastic surgeon’s office. He removed
excess skin, lifted my nipples and repositioned them and inserted implants beneath the pectoral muscles. He closed
the area with surgical tape and bound me in a surgical support bra. After I was awake from the anesthesia my
husband took me home to rest and recover.
There was a great deal of pain from the muscles being lifted and moved in surgery. Also, the weight of the
implants seemed great on my chest. Sitting was the most comfortable position. Lying down or standing caused
discomfort. I took prescription pain medication for six days and then over-the-counter pain medicine for another
two weeks. At first the breasts didn’t look normal (what’s normal about implants?) and I had the equivalent of
breast postpartum sadness asking repeatedly "What have I done to my body?"
However, as the pain subsided so did my sadness or regret. My new breasts settled nicely onto my new small body
and to this day I do not regret the procedure. I feel like a sexy, curvaceous woman – the woman I never thought I’d
For a detailed explanation of breast augmentation I recommend this article by Kimberly A. Henry, MD and Penny S.
Heckaman WebMD Medical Reference from "The Plastic Surgery Sourcebook" found at www.webmd.com
"Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, has become one of the most frequently requested plastic
surgery procedures by women of all ages. It is most commonly performed to increase the size of small breasts,
correct a difference in size between the breasts, and for breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast
cancer. A breast implant is inserted either behind the breast tissue of each breast or behind the pectoralis major
muscle, the major muscle of the chest wall, thereby increasing the size of the breast."
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