OVERVIEW OF BREAST REDUCTION:
Many women experience discomfort due to having large breasts. These symptoms include back, neck and shoulder pain, skin breakdown, shoulder grooving from bra straps and restriction of activities. Breast reduction surgery is often performed to decrease the size and weight of the breasts, and to improve their position and symmetry as well.
The goals of breast reduction surgery are to remove excess breast tissue, improve symmetry of the breasts and lift the breasts to a more youthful position with minimal visible scarring.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR THIS SURGERY:
The ideal candidate is a person with a healthy body weight who has breasts that are out of proportion to her body. I often advise heavier patients to reach a healthier weight before undergoing the surgery, as the results are always better once you have reached your target weight.
I offer two types of breast reduction surgery, a Wise Pattern (known as an anchor scar or inverted T scar) breast reduction, and a Vertical (known as a lollipop scar) breast reduction. These techniques differ only in the resulting scar, as the surgery on the underlying breast is the same in each. In both, there is a scar around the areola and a vertical scar extending from the bottom of the areola to the bottom of the breast. In the Wise pattern there is also a scar along the inframammary fold, where the breast takes off from the chest wall. I choose to add this horizontal scar along this fold for women with long breasts, who have significantly extra skin that needs to be removed.
You will spend a couple of hours in the recovery room at the surgery center or hospital before you go home. Depending on your medical history, many patients will stay one night in the hospital. If you go home the same day of surgery, you will need someone to pick you up from the center, and stay with you in your home overnight. You may have a drain in each breast which will be removed within a day or 2 in most patients. Over the first 7 – 10 days after your surgery, you will improve quickly, and begin move to around with more ease. However, it will be a full 6 weeks before you feel completely recovered from your surgery. No heavy lifting after surgery for 3 weeks. Do not wear an underwire bra for 6 weeks following surgery.
It is possible to have an undesirable result even if everything goes smoothly. Although every effort is made, it is impossible to create breasts that are perfectly symmetric in shape, size, and position. Breast reduction surgery also does not address the extra tissue that extends into the side beneath the arm. Because of this, patients often request liposuction of this area at the same time.
As with any surgery, there is a possibility that you will experience a complication. These include bleeding after the surgery (hematoma), undesirably thick scars, fluid collection beneath the skin (seroma), numbness in the breast or nipples, infection, blood clots and delayed wound healing. This surgery requires a general anesthetic, which carries some risk as well. Also, in women who are planning on having children in the future, breast reduction surgery can result in a decreased ability to breast feed.