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Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)

 
 

What is it?

Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce the size of the breasts by removing fat, tissue, and skin. Patients who undergo breast reduction usually seek relief of physical pain caused by overly large breasts, rather than simple cosmetic improvement.

Breast reduction surgery can improve your life by alleviating pain in the back, neck, and shoulders; allowing you to wear a wider variety of clothing styles; and helping you feel less conscious about your breast size. If you are thinking about reduction mammaplasty, learn more about the steps to take before surgery, what the breast reduction procedure will entail, and what to expect after breast reduction surgery.

Women with very large breasts that cause physical discomfort are excellent candidates for breast reduction surgery. Most surgeons recommend that patients wait until their breasts have fully developed before undergoing surgery.

Some Uncertainty and Risk

Although reduction mammaplasty is generally a safe procedure, patients should be aware of the potential problems associated with the surgery. Breast reduction risks and complications include the chance of infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and uneven nipple height. However, most patients find that the potential benefits of breast reduction- less physical pain, better fitting clothing, and more confidence - outweigh the risks associated with the surgery. Learn more about possible breast reduction complications, breast reduction risks, and the benefits of breast reduction surgery.

Before the Surgery

Before your procedure, you will meet with your doctor to discuss your expectations for the surgery. During this consultation, your doctor will help you decide on a surgical technique for breast reduction, instruct you about the upcoming surgery, and tell you how to prepare in the days before the procedure. He or she should also highlight what you should expect during breast reduction surgery and after breast reduction surgery. These pre-operative discussions will help to ensure your surgery goes smoothly.

The Surgery

Breast reduction surgery generally takes a few hours, although the length of the surgery will vary depending on the patient’s case and whether the breast reduction is combined with another procedure, such as a breast lift. More information about what to expect during the surgery is provided below.

  • Before breast reduction surgery, your surgeon will place you under general anesthesia, which will allow you to sleep through the entire procedure. Although breast reduction surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis, some patients may opt to stay overnight.
  • In a standard breast reduction, the surgeon begins the procedure by making an incision around the areola, vertically down to the crease of the breast, and horizontally along the crease in an anchor shape. This traditional breast reduction surgery technique is often known as the anchor method.
  • newer procedure, called vertical incision breast reduction surgery, is less invasive, causes fewer scars, and holds up better over time; however, many doctors don’t offer this incision technique yet. If you are interested in this procedure, be sure to choose a breast reduction surgeon with the experience and abilities to perform the technique. Also known as the LeJour Technique, after the plastic surgeon who developed the procedure, the vertical incision technique involves making a “lollipop incision” around the areola and vertically down the breast. This type of incision does not leave a scar along the breast crease, which is one of the most difficult to heal.
  • third type of procedure, known as “scarless” breast reduction surgery, involves using liposuction to remove breast tissue through tiny incisions. Though this technique doesn’t completely eliminate scarring, the resulting scars are only three millimeters wide and are discreetly located in the crease of the breast or in the armpit.

There are several types of surgical incisions that can be utilized in breast reduction surgery. Talk to your doctor about which reduction mammaplasty method will be right for your breast size and shape. Learn more about the standard incision breast reduction surgery, the vertical incision breast reduction surgery, and “scarless” breast reduction surgery.

After Your Surgery

Most women will be able to return to work and other normal activities about two weeks after undergoing reduction mammaplasty. They will need to refrain from exercise and other strenuous activities for at least four weeks following the procedure. To ensure that the breasts are healing properly, breast reduction patients should attend follow-up appointments for several months after surgery. If you are considering reduction mammaplasty, learn more about the breast reduction recovery process.

After breast reduction surgery, your breasts will be smaller and lighter, resulting in less physical pain. Most patients are extremely pleased with the results of surgery. Reduction mammaplasty boasts some of the most satisfied patients among all plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about the reduction mammaplasty procedure and breast reduction results.

Your New Look

Breast reduction surgery has immediate and dramatic results, typically alleviating the physical discomfort and chronic pain that is often experienced by women with large, heavy breasts. Breasts will be much smaller after surgery and may appear lifted, even if a breast lift was not performed.

Breast reduction results in permanent scars which may appear lumpy and red for several months following surgery but will fade over time. These breast reduction scars can often be hidden by bras and bathing suits and many women see these scars as a fair trade for the improvement in physical discomfort caused by large breasts. Patients should be aware of the risk of permanent sensation loss in the breast skin or nipple after breast reduction surgery.

The type of breast reduction surgical method used often determines the outcome. Many patients report that the traditional breast reduction surgery method results in wide, flat breasts, whereas vertical incision breast reductions often result in more shapely breasts. However, wrinkles and lumps in the breasts are common for several months following a vertical incision reduction. In comparison, the traditional method often produces smooth results within a month. A “scarless” breast reduction typically does not reduce breast volume as much as other reduction methods, leading to less dramatic results.

 

 
 
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