Breast reduction removes excess breast skin and tissue to reduce the weight of the breast. Women who have large breasts may experience a variety of problems from the weight and size of their breasts, such as back, neck, and shoulder pain, and skin irritation. Breast reduction is usually performed for relief of these symptoms rather than to enhance the appearance of the breasts.
Indications: For Women who suffer from symptoms due to Breast Enlargement.
There are several common techniques that may be utilized during a breast reduction procedure. The size and shape of your breasts, size of your areolas, and the desired reduction amount of the patient are factors that will help your surgeon determine the best technique for you. Incisions may be made in one of three ways:
- Around the areola.
- Vertically downward from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast.
- Horizontal beneath the breast and follow the natural curve of the breast crease.
After the surgeon has removed excess breast tissue, fat and skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which in large breasts usually has been stretched, also is reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast.
Your surgeon will discuss beforehand with you which method to utilize for your desired outcome and individual circumstance.
- Breast Reduction takes around 2-3 hours.
- The procedure is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia.
- The incisions are around the areola, straight down to the crease of the breast, and underneath the breast, also known as the Inframammary Fold.
- The sutures are internal and dissolvable.
- Following the surgery the incisions are covered with Steri Strips. The Patient will wear a post-surgical bra following surgery. A soft cotton sports bra without molded cups or underwire can be worn.
- Drains will be placed.
Risk of the Procedure:
- Seroma: a fluid collection.
- Hematoma: a collection of blood that has to be removed by the surgeon.
- Change/Loss of Skin and Nipple Sensation
- Delayed Healing-most common in smokers
*Future Breast feeding may not be possible.
Preparing for Surgery:
- Arrangements should be made to have someone drive you to and from surgery, as well postoperative appointments.
- Pre-Testing (see attached sheet)
- Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Green Tea, and Herbal Extracts should be avoided for 2 weeks prior to surgery.
- Discomfort is Moderate to Mild. Pain Medication will be prescribed.
- There are restrictions post-surgery. You will have no restrictions at week 5.
- Scars are permanent and should fade over time.
- Avoid tanning incisions for one year.
After a breast reduction, your breasts will likely be covered with gauze and a surgical support bra. Small tubes might be placed at the incision sites in your breasts to drain any excess blood or fluid from the surgical sites. You will be able to move around normally; however, actions that involve lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise should be avoided until the breasts have completely healed. You may be instructed to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of infection. Sexual activity should be limited during the two weeks after surgery.
Any surgical drains will be removed within a few days of surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed. Generally, stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning about one week after surgery. You may be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for about two weeks. You’ll likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions, which will be red or pink for a few months. You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. Sensation loss is usually temporary and may take weeks, months or even more than a year to return to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape.
The breast reduction procedure will leave some scarring along the incision sites. While scars are permanent, they’ll soften and become thin and white within one to two years. The scarring will generally follow along the natural lines of the breast and can usually be hidden by bras and bathing suits. The extent of the scars will depend largely on your body’s ability to heal. Scarring is usually more extensive in smokers.
The results from a breast reduction should be long lasting. Once corrected, the breasts should remain relatively stable, assuming weight does not fluctuate greatly. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results. Over time skin inelasticity due to aging and gravity may make another procedure necessary to retain the desired results.