Over the years, public figures have made cosmetic surgery procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation popular – and while they may have done these procedures purely for the reason of enhancing/altering their looks – ordinary people are finding these procedures beneficial for their health too.
One such person is Cape Town resident, Asanda Munyu (29) who recently did a breast reduction surgery after suffering with the complications of having large breasts for years.
“I have struggled with my breasts since I was a young 12-year-old girl, that’s the last time I remember wearing a bra just because I could, let alone run without using my hands on my chest as protective gear. I spent so many years with oversized, heavy and large breasts that I developed chronic back problems and severe neck and shoulder pain that was quite hard and expensive to manage,” she tells TRUELOVE.
“My health is only just one of the problems. I could go on and on about my struggle with finding clothes and underwear that fit and how that affected my self-esteem from high school into my late 20s. The disproportioned body, unwanted cleavage that made me and other people uncomfortable, the comments - I have been in a mental and physical war with myself for years,” she continues.
But now, the PR and Influencer Campaign manager is happier than ever and looks forward to wearing outfits that her size 36E/F breasts previously hindered her from wearing.
“It’s honestly a life changing experience. I cannot wait to buy a sports bra that actually fits me, I don’t have to spend thousands on just a simple black bra. Girl, I am about to wear bare backs and round necks and most importantly I am hoping that this is the end of the road for the back and neck pains that have tortured me all my life,” she says.
However, getting her desired new breasts was not an easy journey. She had to use her life savings to pay for the total procedure after her medical aid refused to pay for the surgery due to it not being recognised as a medical procedure.
“Getting the procedure done is difficult if you don’t have the financial means to be honest. A lot of medical aids are coming to the party and recognising this as a medical procedure instead of a cosmetic one, however, most medical aids are still stubborn and refuse to help women. Clinics and public hospitals offer this surgery too, however, there are long waiting lists that require you to be patient and persistent,” she says.
Preparing for the surgery
After gathering all the funds that she thought would be enough for the procedure, Munyu then started preparing for it by doing a lot of research.
“I conducted extensive research on the topic [and] found a surgeon and went to consult with her," she says.
"The consultation was covered by my medical aid. The surgeon (Dr Meyer) and I clicked and she slowly took me through the process and all the other options that were available for me. The journey was long but I was patient. I had to gather motivations to be submitted to the medical aid by Dr Meyer, I received written motivations from my physiotherapist, family GP, MRI back scans which were submitted to the medical aid by Dr Meyer, together with her motivation and images she took of my bare breasts and shoulders. However, our efforts failed, and I was rejected by the medical aid."
But because she was adamant on doing the surgery and not entering her 30s with the same breasts struggles, Munyu then enquired about the cash option.
“I received the quote from hospital, the surgeon and the aesthetician. I then saved up some money and combined it with my savings. I received a date the minute the president announced that we were on level one and doctors would do elective surgeries. It took me a total of four months to prepare.”What the surgery entails
“My operation was at 10am and I was out of the theatre room by 2pm. I stayed at the hospital over night and was discharged the following day at 12pm,” Munyu says.
“Like all surgeries, pain is involved. However, you’re given medication to manage the pain. My pain score was roughly around 1/10 for the first two days. I had two drains and a vacuum machine which assisted with the closure of the wounds – this was painful, after that it has been more of a discomfort than pain. My personal experience right now is swollen breasts, some itching here and there, nipples are oversensitive and obviously the scarring. Staying in bed and doing minimal movement is essential because the pain does get worse as the weeks progress,” she adds.
Now, Asanda feels lighter, happier and more confident; she's ready to experience the world and life in a brand new way.
- Join the Breast Reduction Support Group on Facebook
- Do your research and consult in both private and public hospitals
- Have someone who will help you and nurse you at home for the first few days after your surgery
- Do it if you feel like you need it!