A breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, involves the removal of breast tissues. Many women who opt for a breast reduction have very large breasts and experience discomfort as a result of the excessive weight and low center of gravity of their breasts. Women with very large breasts, especially if they are out of proportion to the rest of their body, often complain of back and neck pain, and sometimes skin irritation or breathing problems.
Some women decide they would like a breast reduction after years of hassles that often go hand in hand with having large breasts, such as:.
- Exercise and sports may be difficult because of the pain experienced from moving quickly as it jostles the breasts and creates pain, even if a woman wears a sports bra.
- Fitting into certain types of clothing may be difficult. A woman with breasts out of proportion to the rest of her body may find it difficult to wear a dress, a button-down shirt, or anything with a lower neckline, without feeling self-conscious.
- Shopping for bras, as many stores do not have bras in stock that are bigger than a DD cup.
- Deep grooves in the shoulder area from the breasts weighing down on the bra straps.
- Chronic skin irritation or rash under the breasts.
- Poor posture, due to the weight of the breasts.
- General poor self-image and embarrassment of having very large breasts.
Am I a candidate for a breast reduction?
If you have very large breasts and feel they are a hindrance to your life, you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. Most candidates for breast surgery are seeking relief rather than looking for a better cosmetic outcome, although that is of course the goal, as well. Good candidates for the procedure are well-educated on what the procedure can and cannot do for them. It’s important to express your wishes to your surgeon about how your breasts will look in terms of shape and size after the surgery, as well as nipple placement and whether you’d like your areolas reduced during surgery. You should be aware that your desired results may not match up 100% with the results the surgeon can achieve if you are not realistic. For example, you will have visible scars from the procedure; however, these usually fade significantly over time until they are little more than thin white lines.
Although breast reduction is not technically considered cosmetic surgery, West Medical Plastic Surgeons attempt to make the breasts as pleasing as possible in terms of size, shape, “perkiness,” and general appearance.
Types of Breast Reduction
The pedicle method is most common type of breast reduction surgery because it reduces the size of the breast, but maintains the function and sensation of the nipples and breast. There are many different pedicle methods and all have unique incision and scar patterns, so it is best to talk with your doctor about which is right for you.
Free Nipple Graft
This procedure involves removing the nipple from the breast and then returning it to a new location through a skin graft. This is a more challenging surgery and is not normally necessary in most cases, but it can be an option for breast reduction surgery.
Stevens Laser Bra
This method is a recently created technique that uses an internal bra as a means of producing a permanent support system for the breast instead of discarding skin during surgery. A laser is used to tighten and firm the breast tissue while also creating smaller breast.
Breast Reduction Benefits
Women who are concerned about the size, weight, firmness and shape of their breasts may choose to have breast reduction surgery to address these issues. Women who have this procedure often are very satisfied with their results, especially when their lives change because of their breasts being smaller, firmer, lighter and better proportioned to the rest of the body. Reasons you may choose to have the surgery include:
- Relief from discomfort. Large breasts can lead to back or neck pain, in addition to skin irritation from bra straps digging into your shoulders, or the skin underneath the breasts. To offset the weight of heavy breasts, women may have poor posture. Breast reduction surgery can alleviate these concerns.
- Eliminate limitations imposed by large, heavy breasts, such as avoiding physical activity. Exercise may be difficult, painful or embarrassing for women who have large breasts that tend to get jostled around with certain activities.
- Improve your appearance. Very large breasts may be out of proportion with the rest of your body size, making you feel self-conscious while wearing bathing suits or tops which do not have a high neckline to cover any cleavage.
Breast Reduction Risks
Breasts reduction surgery carries similar risks to other major surgeries, and your surgeon will not advise you to undergo the procedure unless the expected benefits outweigh the associated risks. Risks may include bleeding, infection and adverse reaction to anesthesia. Other risks include a loss of sensation in the nipples and areola, the loss of nipples and areola, scarring, and difficulty breast-feeding. Complications for breast reduction include:
- Unattractive scarring, which may be conspicuous
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Delayed wound healing
- Skin discoloration
- Temporary or permanent damage to deeper structures (nerves, blood vessels, muscles or lungs)
- Asymmetrical results with unevenly positioned nipples, or breasts that are of different sizes and shapes
- Loss of sensations in nipples or breasts, which may be temporary or permanent
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessively firm breasts
- Pain, which may persist
- Possibility for revisional surgery
During your recovery, you will need to pamper yourself and rest for at least one week, maybe two, after breast reduction surgery. You’ll come in for follow up appointments to remove and change any bandages over your incisions, as well as taking out stitches. You should not engage in strenuous physical activities for at least a month after surgery, including heavy lifting.
After Breast Reduction
After breast reduction surgery, your breast will be wrapped up in gauze or bandages. A tube will be placed under each arm to help drain any excess blood or fluid. Antibiotics will be prescribe along with pain medication to help you after surgery. Your breasts will feel tender and sensitive and will most likely be swollen and bruised. It is important to be careful to avoid physical activity while you are healing. As you recover, there will be lingering pain in and around your breasts, along with numbness and itchiness. Note that scarring during the procedure is permanent but will fade over time.
Your New Look
After having breast reduction surgery, you will notice an immediate difference. Your upper body will feel lighter, and you will notice your breasts sit higher than they had before. It may take up to 6 months for the breasts to reach their final form, when all the swelling and most of the redness subsides. However, you should be satisfied with their general look and feel after the surgery. You should be prepared for scars under your breasts, as it is necessary to cut out skin from the breasts/or areolas to lift them to a new position. However, these scars will fade with time. You should be aware that you will have scarred breasts permanently, though.
Breast reductions are common and effective for both cosmetic and medical reasons. The procedure is quick and easy, and we ensure you'll be happy with the results.If you’re considering a breast reduction, please call us at (855) 690-0565 to schedule your first consultation. We look forward to hearing your story!
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