Breast Reduction


What Is a Breast Reduction?

A Breast Reduction, technically referred to as reduction mammaplasty, removes excess breast tissue and skin in order to achieve a breast size more proportionate to body size and to relieve women of pain and discomfort associated with the weight of breasts that are too large for their body.
Who should consider a Breast Reduction? If you are a woman over the age of 18 (in most cases) and if your breasts are causing you severe physical or psychological problems, then breast reduction surgery might be right for you.
Why would a woman choose to have a Breast Reduction? Discomfort and health issues are some of the main reasons women undergo breast reduction surgery; experiences of moderate to severe back, shoulder and/or neck pain and shoulder grooving from bra straps. The long-term effects of overly large breasts which are disproportionate to a woman’s body have been known to cause these health problems and occasional skin infections. Common problems associated with overly large breasts:

• Back, neck and shoulder pain
• Infections under the breasts
• Rashes and excessive sweating
• Poor posture
• Sores or deep groves made across the shoulders from your bra straps
• Skin problems
• Psychological distress due to unwanted attention
• Unable to take part in sport or other physical activity
• Difficult to find clothes that fit properly

Another common reason has to do with appearance. Large breasts can make a woman appear disproportionate and overweight, and while some women consider larger breasts to be attractive, others do not and elect surgery to correct the size.

Breast Reduction surgery provides you with smaller breasts; your clothes fit better, exercise becomes easier and you become comfortable with your appearance. As with any cosmetic surgery, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding the results that the surgery can help you achieve.

What are the risks? As with any cosmetic surgery, there are risks associated with Breast Reduction surgery. However, Breast Reduction surgery is a relatively safe, popular procedure to perform and, in our experience, creates the happiest patients!

Scarring; The very nature of this surgery requires many long scars and many hours of intricate work. A good surgeon will work very hard to make these scars as elegant as possible, but they will never be invisible. More than that, the patient’s ability to heal plays an equally important part in the resultant scars. Some women may have the misfortune to scar badly. Every body is different. The vast majority are extremely pleased with their outcomes. But healing takes time, a scar goes through a “curing” process. Six months to one year from your surgery, your scarring will be barely visible.

Potential healing risks of breast reduction surgery may be:
• Hematoma or seroma can cause delayed wound healing.
• Small sores around the nipples following surgery. These sores can be treated with antibiotic cream.
• Breasts that are slightly mismatched or nipples that are unevenly positioned.
• Inability to breast-feed.
• Permanent loss of feeling in the nipples or breasts.
• Loss of blood supply to the nipple and areola, which can lead to tissue death. This complication is rare and is sometimes seen in smokers which is why we don‘t do surgery until the cigarettes have been stopped. The nipple/areola complex can be rebuilt reconstructed should that become necessary, but it’s rarely needed.
• Infection, which in very rare cases can lead to death if it is not effectively treated.

What is the recovery period? You can go home immediately following surgery or choose to spend the night in the hospital. You will be wrapped and in a post op surgical bra upon your release. You will have drains that you will have to manage for 3-14 days. “Steri-strips” surgical tape will be placed over the suture lines and will fall off on their own over the course of the next 2 weeks. Some pain may continue for the first day or two after the procedure, and discomfort may last for about 2 weeks after surgery. Sudden movements and coughing might cause temporary discomfort as well. For months after the surgery you may continue to feel different points of sharp pains or discomforts due to nerve regeneration or deep scarring. Medication will be prescribed for the first several days after your surgery to help with any pain you might experience. The area around the nipple might feel different or numb as this very nerve-enriched area is greatly impacted by this procedure. Most unusual sensation typically dissipate within a couple of months. Occasionally small pieces of deeper support suture material may work its way up through the skin. We recommend finding a well-fitted Playtex-type of bra about 3 days after surgery to hold the breasts’ shape while healing.

How Long Until Full Recovery?

It might take up to six months for the swelling to recede and your breasts to achieve their final shape. That’s why the Playtex-type bra is important. The breasts may remain lumpy and the suture lines reddened for many months after surgery. Most scars will fade over time but there is nothing to keep you from enjoying new lingerie and bathing suits.