Breast Reduction

1 What is a Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is also known as mammoplasty, is a procedure that is used to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts.

If you have large breasts, breast reduction surgery can be an option for you to ease discomfort or to achieve the breast size that is proportional to your body.

Breast reduction might also help in the improvement of self-image and further, self-confidence.

If you are considering breast reduction surgery, you must consult a board certified plastic surgeon, it is crucial to understand what breast reduction surgery entails, including possible risks and complications as well as set realistic expectations.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for a breast reduction surgery is specifically for women with large breasts and wants to solve the following issues:

  • Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.
  • Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts.
  • Deep grooves in the shoulders from bra strap pressure.
  • Restricted activity.
  • Poor self-image related to large breasts.
  • Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing.
  • Difficulty sleeping.

You can have breast reduction surgery at any age, even as a teenager. However, it is advisable to wait until your breasts are fully developed. If you have not started a family or your family is not yet complete, it is advisable to postpone breast reduction surgery until pregnancy is not an issue.

Changes to breast tissue during pregnancy could have an effect on your surgical results. Also, breastfeeding might be challenging after breast reduction surgery, although some research suggests that that breastfeeding difficulty after breast reduction surgery is related to lack of support or coaching rather than the surgery itself.

3 Potential Risks

Like any other major type of surgery, breast reduction surgery has risks like bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Other possible risks include:

  • Scarring.
  • Loss of sensation in the nipples and areolae.
  • Difficulty or inability to breast-feed.
  • Differences in the size, shape, and symmetry of the surgically altered left and right breasts, which may lead to further surgery to improve appearance.
  • The risk of poor wound healing seems to increase the amount of breast tissue removed. However, it is not clear that women with a higher body mass index are at higher risk complications from breast reduction surgery.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In order to prepare for the breast reduction surgery your plastic surgeon will likely do the following:

  • Evaluate our medical history and overall health.
  • Discuss your expectations for breast size and appearance after the surgery.
  • Provide a detailed description of the procedure risks and benefits, this includes likely scarring and possible loss of sensation.
  • Examine and measure your breasts.
  • Take photographs of your breasts for your medical record. 
  • Explain the type of anesthesia used during surgery.

Before breast reduction surgery, you may also be asked to do the following:

  • Complete various lab tests.
  • Get a baseline mammogram.
  • Stop smoking for a certain period of time before and after the surgery.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements to control bleeding during the surgery.
  • Ask your surgeon whether you will be capable of going home on the day of the surgery or whether you will have to spend the night in the hospital. In either case, make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery.

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia, it can be done in a hospital or an outpatient facility.

During the procedure. The exact technique applied, to reduce the size of your breasts may vary. Generally, the surgeon makes an incision around the areola and down the breast. Excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are then removed to reduce the size of your breast.

In most cases, the nipple and areola remain attached to the breast. If your breasts are very large and droopy, however, your nipple and areola might need to be removed and reattached at a higher position on your breast as a skin graft.

After the procedure. Your beasts will be covered up with a gauze dressing or bandages. A tube might be placed under each arm to drain any excess blood or other fluid. You surgeon will also prescribe medication for pain as well as antibiotics to reduce the possibility of infection.

For the initial days or week, you breasts will likely feel ender and sensitive. They might also be swollen and bruised. Your surgeon might recommend an elastic compression bra to protect the breasts during the initial stages.

You will need physical activity limitations for two to four weeks while the breasts heal. Your surgeon also may recommend avoiding underwire bras for a month after the surgery.

Scarring usually fades with time. You will need a follow-up visit with your with your surgeon to remove stitches and check your recovery.

6 Procedure Results

Although your results of breast reduction surgery are immediate, you must remember that it can take months for the swelling to completely go down and the surgical scars to fade.

The final result is generally permanent, although breast shape and size can change due to factors such as aging and weight gain or loss.

Successful breast reduction surgery can free you from pain in your upper back, neck and shoulders. It might also increase your ability to participate in physical activities and promote a more positive self-image.

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