Women with the large, pendulous breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight – from back and neck pain and skin irritation to skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave indentations in their shoulders. An unusually large breast can make women – or a teenage girl feel extremely self-conscious. Breast reduction is designed for these women. The procedures remove fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breast, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal is to give the woman smaller, better-shaped breast in proportion with the rest of her body.
Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief rather than simply cosmetic improvement. Very large, sagging breast restrict, activates and cause physical discomfort which drives most women to have the surgery.
In most cases, breast reduction isn’t performed until a women’s breast are fully developed; however, it can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort. The best candidates are those who are mature enough to fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results.
Breast Reduction FAQ’s
Breast reduction is not a simple operation, but it’s normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection or reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risk by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery. The procedure does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers).
In your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with us, and to listen to our opinion. Every patient as well as every physician has a different view of what is the desirable size and shape for the breast.
We will examine and measure your breast, and will probably photograph them for reference during surgery and afterwards. (The photograph may also be used in the processing of your insurance coverage.) We will discuss the variable that may affect the procedure such as your age, the size and shape of your breast, and the condition of your skin. You should also discuss where the nipples and areola will be positioned; they’ll be moved higher during the procedure, and should be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
We will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations and making sure that you understand the procedure.
Breast reduction is nearly always performed under general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep through the entire operation.
The techniques for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. We remove excess glandular tissue, fat and skin, and moves the nipple and areola into their new position. We then bring the skin from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. Liposuction may be used to remove the excess fat from the armpit area.
In most cases, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves. However, if the breasts are very large or pendulous, the nipples and areola may have to be completely removed and grafted into a higher position. (This will result in a loss of sensation in the nipple an areola tissue.)
Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downward, and along the lower creases of the breast. In some cases, techniques can be used that eliminates the vertical part of the scar. Occasionally, when only fat needs to be removed, liposuction alone can be used to reduce the breast size, leaving minimal scars.
After surgery, you’ll be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off the blood and fluids for the first day or two. You may feel some pain for the first couple of days especially when you move around or cough-and some discomfort for a week or more. We will prescribe medication to lessen the pain.
The bandages will be removed in a day or two after the surgery, though, you’ll continue wearing the surgical bra round the clock for several weeks. Your stitches will be removed in one to three weeks.
Your first menstruation following surgery may cause your breasts to swell and hurt. You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after the surgery. This usually fades over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.
Although, you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or rushing anything heavy for three or four weeks.
We will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. Most women can return to work (if it’s not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks. But you’ll have much less stamina for several weeks, and should limit your exercise to stretching, bending, and swimming until your energy level returns; you’ll also need a good athletic bra for support. You may be instructed to avoid sex for a week or more, since sexual arousal can cause your incisions to swell, and to avoid anything but gentle contact with your breast for about six weeks. A small amount of fluid draining from your surgical wound, or some crusting is normal.
Although, much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, it may take up to six months before your breasts to settle into their new shape. Even then, their shape may fluctuate in response to your hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy. We will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it is important to remember that breast reduction scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes, eventually fading to thin white lines. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that you can wear even low-cut tops. Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction result in the quickest body-image changes. You’ll be rid of the physical discomfort of large breasts, your body will look better proportioned, and clothes will fit you better.
However, as much as you may have desired these changes, you’ll need time to adjust to your new image as will your family and friends. Keep in mind why you had this surgery, and chances are that, like most women, you’ll be pleased with the results.
With smaller, better-proportioned breasts, you will feel more comfortable and your clothes will fit better.