Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery is effective in eliminating many of the common problems that result from having overly large breasts. This includes symptoms such as back pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, skin irritation under the breasts, as well as generalized discomfort associated with large breast size. Clothing becomes more manageable and a better physical appearance results not only because the breasts are smaller but also because the accompanying lift lengthens the distance between the bottom of the breasts and the waist. This gives a slimmer and less matronly appearance. Swimwear becomes an option for many who previously would not consider it. Psychological benefits such as improved self confidence and emergence of a more extroverted personality commonly occur following breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction surgery removes both glandular tissue as well as stretched skin. At the same time the nipple is raised and the diameter of the areola is reduced. The method of breast reduction includes a scar around the areola, one extending vertically down to the crease under the breast, and a long scar in the crease itself.  It is not possible to guarantee a particular cup size as a result of surgery.  It is more important to create the best aesthetic shape taking into consideration chest dimensions as well as overall height and weight. 

A breast reduction by nature disturbs the glandular architecture and this may affect the ability to breast-feed.  Generally, the larger the reduction the more lactation is likely to be disturbed.  It is impossible to predict beforehand what breast function will be like after surgery. 

Removal of breast tissue may result in diminished nipple sensation.  This condition may be temporary but can take over a year to improve.  Recovery may not be complete.  As in the case of breast-feeding ability, larger reductions tend to disturb function more. Nipples sometimes can become unpleasantly hypersensitive after surgery.  This condition is more benign and eventually resolves.

Breast reduction is always performed under general anesthesia. The operation usually takes at least 2-3 hours. It will be necessary to wear a bra after breast reduction surgery.

Plastic drains placed under the skin are removed next day. This usually takes five minutes and is generally not a painful process.  Most of the stitches dissolve and do not require removal.  Most activities except lifting and carrying heavy items can be resumed after one week.  It is usually possible to return to work after one week. Activities that require heavy lifting should be avoided for at least six weeks.  Tennis, jogging, and most other sports may be resumed six weeks following surgery. Aerobic exercise that does not involve the upper body such as an exercise bike or fast walking can be resumed much sooner.

The most common complication following breast reduction surgery is hematoma, a collection of blood under the skin. This occurs in a very small percentage of patients and may require return to the operating room to remove it. Other unusual complications include infection, delayed healing of incisions, excessive scarring, and partial or complete loss of the nipple (very rare).

 
Breast Reduction
 
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