Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to decrease the size and reshape the breasts. There are several common reasons why individuals opt for breast reduction surgery:
Physical Discomfort: Women with overly large breasts often experience physical discomfort, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as bra strap indentations. Breast reduction surgery can alleviate these symptoms by reducing the weight and size of the breasts.
Emotional and Psychological Well-being: Large breasts can also have a significant impact on a person's self-esteem and body image. Breast reduction surgery can help improve body proportion and boost self-confidence.
Difficulty with Physical Activities: Women with large breasts may find it challenging to engage in physical activities or exercises. Breast reduction surgery can enhance mobility and allow for a more active lifestyle.
The primary goal of breast reduction surgery is to alleviate physical discomfort and improve the quality of life for individuals with excessively large breasts. This procedure aims to achieve the following:
Reduce Breast Size: Breast reduction surgery involves removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin to decrease the overall size and weight of the breasts.
Improve Breast Symmetry: The surgeon aims to create more symmetrical breasts by removing uneven amounts of tissue from each breast.
Lift and Reshape Breasts: Breast reduction surgery also involves lifting and reshaping the breasts to create a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Alleviate Physical Symptoms: By reducing breast size, the procedure can alleviate physical discomfort, such as back, neck, and shoulder pain, bra strap indentations, and limitations on physical activities.
Enhance Body Proportion: Breast reduction surgery aims to improve the overall body proportion by bringing the breasts into better harmony with the rest of the body.
Large breasts can lead to back pain, neck pain and headaches. They can reduce your freedom of movement and affect your posture. Or they can simply make you feel self-conscious and out of proportion.
What is the difference between a breast reduction and a breast lift or mastopexy?
Breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy and breast reduction surgery share some similarities but also have distinct differences:
During your initial consultation with a plastic surgeon, it is essential to have an open and honest discussion about your medical history and expectations. Here are some topics to address:
Allergies: Inform your surgeon about any known allergies, particularly to medications or materials used in surgical procedures.
Bleeding Issues: Discuss any bleeding disorders or conditions that may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.
Blood Clots: Inform your surgeon if you have a history of blood clots or a family history of clotting disorders.
Recent or Long-term Illnesses: Notify your surgeon of any recent illnesses or chronic medical conditions you may have.
Previous Surgery: Provide a comprehensive list of any previous surgeries you have undergone, including breast-related procedures.
Breast Cancer: Discuss your family history of breast cancer and any personal concerns regarding breast health.
Anesthesia: Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia, ensuring that you are completely asleep and pain-free during the procedure. typically the surgery takes from 2-3 hours on average.
Surgery Technique: The specific surgical technique used for breast reduction may vary based on individual circumstances. Commonly, our surgeons use techniques including the "anchor" or "inverted-T" incision, vertical incision, or a minimal incision technique. Your surgeon will determine the most suitable approach based on your breast size, shape, and desired outcome.
Your surgeon may place drains in each breast to reduce fluid buildup post- operatively. These are typically removed the next day.
General Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery:
Adverse reaction to anesthesia: Although rare, there is a risk of complications related to anesthesia, such as allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, or medication side effects.
Infection: Infections can occur at the surgical site, requiring antibiotic treatment. Following proper wound care instructions can help minimize the risk of infection.
Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery can lead to complications. Hemorrhage may require surgical intervention to control bleeding and, in severe cases, blood transfusion.
Poor wound healing: Some individuals may experience delayed wound healing or wound breakdown, leading to delayed recovery and potential scarring issues.
Scarring: Breast reduction surgery involves incisions, which will result in scars. Although efforts are made to minimize scarring, individual healing and scar formation can vary. Scars may be visible and can fade over time but may not completely disappear.
Changes in nipple or breast sensation: Temporary or permanent changes in nipple or breast sensation can occur after breast reduction surgery. This can include numbness, increased sensitivity, or loss of sensation in the nipple or breast area.
Specific Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery:
Hematoma: Accumulation of blood within the breast tissue, resulting in a painful, swollen area. Additional surgery may be required to drain the hematoma and control bleeding.
Seroma: Accumulation of fluid in the breast tissue, causing swelling and discomfort. In some cases, the fluid may need to be drained using a needle or by surgical intervention.
Nipple and areola complications: Specific risks related to the nipple and areola include changes in sensation, loss of nipple viability, uneven nipple position, or irregular areolar shape.
Asymmetry: Despite efforts to create symmetrical results, there is a risk of unevenness or asymmetry between the breasts in terms of shape, size, or nipple position.
Fat necrosis: The fatty tissue in the breast may experience inadequate blood supply, leading to fat necrosis. This can cause firm lumps in the breast, which may require further evaluation or treatment.
Difficulty with breastfeeding: Breast reduction surgery can potentially impact the ability to breastfeed due to changes in milk ducts and glandular tissue. While some women can still breastfeed, others may experience challenges or an inability to do so.
Delayed wound healing or skin necrosis: In rare cases, the skin around the incision sites may not heal properly, leading to delayed wound healing or skin necrosis (tissue death). This may require additional treatment or surgery to promote healing.
Unsatisfactory aesthetic outcome: While efforts are made to achieve the desired cosmetic result, there is a possibility that the outcome may not meet expectations in terms of breast size, shape, or symmetry.
It is important to have a thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon to understand the risks and potential complications associated with breast reduction surgery, as well as the steps taken to minimize these risks in your specific case.
Recovery and aftercare
After breast reduction surgery, a proper recovery period and adherence to post-operative care instructions are crucial for optimal healing and achieving desired results. Here are some general guidelines:
Hospital Stay: Breast reduction surgery can be performed as a day or overnight stay procedure, allowing you to return home the same day if preferred or stay overnight in hospital if required for observation.
Supportive Bra: Your surgeon will advise you to wear a supportive surgical bra or compression garment immediately after surgery. This helps minimize swelling, provides comfort, and supports the healing process. It is important to wear the bra as instructed by your surgeon.
Pain Management: You may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising in the days following surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe appropriate pain medications to manage any post-operative pain.
Wound Care: Proper care of surgical incisions is vital for minimizing the risk of infection and promoting healing. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions on how to clean and dress the incision sites. Follow these instructions diligently and report any signs of infection, such as increased redness, warmth, swelling, or drainage.
Physical Activity: It is essential to limit physical activity, including heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and vigorous arm movements, during the initial recovery period or first 4-6 weeks. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions regarding when it is safe to gradually resume normal activities.
Follow-Up Appointments: Your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and remove any drains, if necessary. Attend these appointments as scheduled and communicate any concerns or questions you may have.
Scarring: Breast reduction surgery leaves scars, which will initially appear red and raised but will fade over time. Follow your surgeon's scar care instructions, such as keeping the incision sites out of direct sunlight and applying scar creams or silicone sheets as recommended. It is important to note that individual healing and scarring patterns can vary.
Emotional Support: Breast reduction surgery can have a significant impact on body image and self-esteem. It is essential to have emotional support from loved ones or seek professional counseling if needed to address any psychological or emotional concerns that may arise during the recovery process.