Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. Women with very large, pendulous breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight-from back and neck pain and skin irritation to skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave indentations in their shoulders. And unusually large breasts can make a woman-or a teenage girl-feel extremely self-conscious.
The procedure removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal is to give the woman smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body.
Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief rather than simply cosmetic improvement. Most women who have the surgery are troubled by very large, sagging breasts that restrict their activities and cause them physical discomfort.
In most cases, evansville breast reduction isn’t performed until a woman’s breasts are fully developed; however, it can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort.
Breast reduction is not a simple operation, but it’s normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. Breast reduction surgery has a risk of developing wounds at the incisions after surgery; these can be treated with antibiotic creams until they heal. You can reduce your risks by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery.
The procedure does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.) The procedure can also leave you with slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples. Some patients find that breast-feeding may not be enough to satiate the baby, but others are able to breastfeed without any problem. Some patients may experience a permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts. Rarely, the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. (The nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt, however, using skin from elsewhere.)
The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle. Be prepared to discuss why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome, as well as family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies.
Dr. Sholar will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations and making sure you understand the scarring that will result. She will also explain the anesthesia to be used, the facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs. Some insurance companies will pay for breast reduction if it’s medically necessary; however, they may require that a certain amount of breast tissue be removed.
Dr. Sholar may require you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery. You’ll also get specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Some surgeons suggest that their patients diet before the operation.
While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days if needed.
Breast reduction surgery may be performed in an outpatient surgery center. The surgery itself usually takes three to four hours, but may take longer in some cases.
Breast reduction is nearly always performed under general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep through the entire operation.
Techniques for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, and moves the nipple and areola into their new position. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the braline & armpit area.
In most cases, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves. However, if the breasts are very large or pendulous, the nipples and areolas may have to be completely removed and grafted into a higher position. (This will result in a loss of sensation in the nipple and areolar tissue.)
After surgery, you’ll be wrapped in an elastic bandage over gauze dressings. You will likely have an On-Q pain pump catheter inserted to help alleviate your pain after surgery. You may feel some pain for the first couple of days-especially when you move around or cough-and some discomfort for a week or more. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to lessen the pain.
Although you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks. Most women can return to work (if it’s not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks. But you’ll have much less stamina for several weeks, and should limit your exercises to stretching, bending, and swimming until your energy level returns. You’ll also need a good athletic bra for support.
Although much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, it may be six months to a year before your breasts settle into their new shape. Even then, their shape may fluctuate in response to your hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy.
Dr. Sholar will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it’s important to remember that breast reduction scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually fading to thin white lines. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that you can wear even low-cut tops.
Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes. You’ll be rid of the physical discomfort of large breasts, your body will look better proportioned, and clothes will fit you better.