By Mankaleme Thema
Mina Karabo Malete (29) said she started noticing that her breasts were not the same as those of her peers at around 12 and 13 years. Malete said that she had always felt bullied and discriminated against due to her abnormally large breasts.
"I was never able to talk about it since the community did not accept how I looked" she said. People have called me with different names, Malete said they would use names that were hurtful to me “They often made comments on my appearance” she said. Working with teenagers was sometimes challenging because they can be nasty.
Many people do not realise that breasts can be associated with health risks such as back and other pains “I always had backache, neckache, chest pains and headache” she said. Malete was unable to participate in sports because of the size of her breasts, but it also had other impacts, "I couldn’t meet marking deadlines couldn’t sit down for a long time marking as this me cost so much pain".
Malete’s large breasts were also costly ‘’Having breasts of that size meant I couldn’t go to any clothing store to get bras, I had to go to boutiques and one bra costed me between R800-R1300, and they will only last for 2-3 months,” she said.
Breast reduction is available for those who can afford it. "Because my breasts were big, I had two operations," she said. The first surgery was performed on June 28, 2022 and cost her around R70 000 and the second one was done in August 2022, on which she spent R36 000. Two operations were needed “because I had breast tissue spread even in my armpits and my back," she said.
A source at the Cleveland Clinic who did the surgery said that it will take about three to five weeks to heal. A surgeon will make incision around the patient’s nipples then downward on the breast, in a keyhole shape.
Malete’s life had completely changed since the surgery, her chronic pain had disappeared, she did not feel self-conscious all the time.She was grateful to the medical staff that made it happen.