Breast Reduction Surgery
Women with larger breasts can have some problems due to excess of weight. Breast reduction is an operation that is usually considered a reconstructive procedure and is some times covered by insurance plans. The surgery is performed to make the breasts smaller, as well as lift the breasts to a more youthful position. The purpose of the surgery is to alleviate back and neck pain as well as to aid in hygiene in the folds underneath the breasts.
Backaches, neck aches and hunchbacks. Rashes and skin irritation beneath breast folds. Painful grooves in the shoulders from heavy bra straps. Inability to exercise effectively or to participate in sports. Agony shopping for clothes that fit and look proportional. Unwanted attention!
These are just some of the torments that lead women with very large breasts to undergo Breast Reduction Surgery, or Reduction Mammoplasty. For many people, large breasts indicate femininity and beauty. This is not the case, however, for women who suffer the symptoms of having excessively large breasts, as described above.
Mammary Hypertrophy, or disproportionately large breasts, is indeed a disabling physical condition that is often overlooked in a culture that equates large breasts with attractiveness.
Is breast reduction suitable for me?
There are many women with very large and sagging breasts, some of them with medical problems associated to these physical conditions like backaches and nape of the neck, cutaneous irritation under the breasts, respiratory problems or bony deformations. A stature of excessively large breasts can cause in some woman or in adolescent an enormous lack of self-confidence.
If you are thinking of having more children probably it would be advisable that surgery is delayed until you have concluded this desire. Having children would affect and modify the results of your breast reduction due to the increase and reduction of volume that takes place during the pregnancy and the breast-feeding time.
Planning your Breast Reduction Surgery
During the first consultation your plastic surgeon will evaluate the size and firmness of the skin and your general state of health as well as the new best suitable breast shape. An exploration of the breasts will be completed at this meeting and in some cases a mammography study will be requested. The different surgical techniques will be explained to you, the size and the form of your new breasts and the options and combinations of procedures will be discussed.
You must set out your expectations in a sincere and frank way, so that the plastic surgeon understands your wishes and can evaluate and give you the realistic possibilities and alternatives available for your problem, informing you about the risks and limitations of the surgery. Further, the variations of anesthetic will be explained to you and type determine, according to your surgery.
It is important to us that you as patient ask any questions you may need answered to eliminate all doubts and concerns. It is an advantage if you are a non-smoker, however if you do smoke, we highly advice to stop smoking 2-3 weeks prior to the surgery. We will ask you for any medicine or vitamin intake, the number of previous pregnancies and if you are currently pregnant.
Instructions from your surgeon in preparing yourself for surgery will include the norms on food and liquid intake. We advise to have a relative or friend, collect you from the hospital.
The surgery of breast reduction is completed in an operating room within a clinic or hospital. You will only be in the hospital for one day being discharged on the following day of surgery. A breast reduction surgery can be between 2 to 4 hours.
Surgery is completed under general anesthesia.
Marks are made on the skin according to the type of reduction planned by the patient and the surgeon. This is usually performed before the patient is taken back to the operating room with the patient in a sitting or standing position.
Diverse techniques exist, but the incisions generally have an anchor form being placed around the areola, in a vertical line downwards from the areola and in a horizontal line in the furrow that is underneath the breast. Through these incisions skin, fat and breast tissue are removed, the areola is relocated in its new position; in some cases liposuction can be associated. In the majority of the cases nerves stay connected, maintaining the normal or almost normal sensation; nevertheless, in cases of great reductions it can be necessary to separate the areola completely and to locate it in his new position, losing the sensation. After the surgery water drains and a bandage are put in place around the breasts.
When can I return to normality?
A breast reduction is considered more extensive than an augmentation or lift. You may leave the surgery centre with suction tubes in your chest area. These help reduce swelling, bruising and blood clots. They are usually removed one to two days after surgery. Stitch removal is done 7 to 14 days post surgery. Patients are typically back to work in 10 to 21 days. Scars slowly fade over a 6 to 12 month period.
The majority of possible problems or discomfort can be controlled with the medication prescribed by the plastic surgeon, although the breasts can hurt for about two weeks; the first menstruation after a reduction can make the breasts swollen and painful. The bandage or the dressings will be removed within days, being replaced by a special bra that will be recommended by your surgeon. It is normal to have a sensation in the nipples during the two first weeks.
After the reduction it is normal to experience less sensation in the nipples; this situation is generally temporary, except in some reductions that can be permanent.
It is important to limit strong physical activities during early weeks. It is advisable to avoid sexual relations during the first to second week, since it will be uncomfortable and the incisions could become inflamed. Up until the 4th week gentle pressure and no intense physical contact of the breasts is advised.
The surgeon will be seeing you during the months following your surgery to see your progress. If you have any problems you must contact your surgeon immediately.
It is important to remember that after a reduction the scars are visible and permanent, although your plastic surgeon will do everything to make them as minimally visible as possible.
Relief from neck and back strain is immediate for most women. Full healing can take a year or more, and generally it takes several months for your breasts to take on their final shape.
After three to six months, most women find that their breasts are smaller, firmer, and with a natural look and feel.
Because of how quickly breast reduction resolves medical symptoms, it is often described as the surgery that results in the most dramatic change in your body image. As such, be prepared for friends, family – and yourself – to need time for adjustment!
- Do not raise your arms or lift any weight in the first few days.
- Do not bathe, swim or sunbathe until your surgeon says it’s ok to do so.
- Make sure you listen to and respect your surgeons’ advices for prior and after surgery.
Can I Have Breast Reduction Surgery if I Have Medical Conditions Besides Those Caused by Large Breasts?
Yes. However, your cosmetic surgeon will first require that your medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, be optimized prior to your surgery. Uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid, and immune disease can complicate your healing after surgery.
Can I Have Breast Surgery if I Plan to Lose Much Weight After the Surgery?
You should postpone Breast Reduction surgery until you have lost weight and your breast size and weight have stabilized. Excessive weight loss after reduction mammoplasty can cause dramatic sagging of your breast, requiring further surgery.
How Soon After Childbirth Can I Have a Breast Reduction?
You cannot undergo general anesthesia, or take any medications, while you are breastfeeding. Also, it takes about six weeks for your breasts to reach their stable size and weight after you stop breastfeeding. After this, you may undergo Breast Reduction. However, make sure that you are not planning further pregnancies in the near future.
Are There Options Besides Surgery for Breast Reduction?
Obese women who have large breasts may consider losing weight before embarking upon Breast Reduction. This initial weight loss will first reduce their risk for surgical complications; second it will make their recovery easier, and third will bring their breast to their stable weight and size before proceeding with reduction Mammoplasty. Also, women who have back and neck pain along with large breast should first try physical therapy and weight loss before considering surgery.