Patients undergoing breast reduction often seek to remove the symptoms caused by the excess weight of the breasts. Reducing breasts normally can solve these problems, while improving their shape. Following your intervention, your breasts will be in harmony with the rest of your body and your clothes will fit you better.
You can benefit from this intervention if one of the following conditions is met: – Breasts that are too large in comparison to the rest of the body; – Large hanging breasts with nipple and areola pointing down; – A bigger breast than the other; – Back, neck and shoulder pain caused by excessive weight of the breasts; – Skin irritation under the breasts; – Straight traces of bra braces on shoulders; – Physical limitation of activities due to breast size or weight; – Lack of self-confidence and dissatisfaction with your breasts. Breast reduction can be done at any age but is indicated after the breasts have developed completely. Birth and breastfeeding can have an unpredictable effect on the shape and size of the breasts, and yet many women undergo breast surgeries before pregnancy. If you plan to breastfeed in the future, you should talk to your plastic surgeon. During the consultation, you will be asked about the desired size and any other issue that can be solved. This discussion will help the surgeon better understand your expectations and find out what can be done realistically.
HOW IS THE PATIENT EVALUATED? The surgeon will measure your breasts and take pictures for evidence of the clinical record. The size and shape of the breasts, the quality of the skin, the areola and the nipple position will be examined. You will come to the consultation, ready to discuss your medical history. This includes information about any medical problems, allergies, commonly used medications. It is important to provide complete information. You should tell your surgeon if you are going to lose weight especially if you have noticed a reduction in breast size after weight loss. Your surgeon will recommend you to stabilize your weight before surgery.
HOW IS THE surgery PERFORMED? The surgical technique is chosen according to the individual factors and personal preferences of the patient and the surgeon.
WHERE ARE THE INCISIONS MADE? Three incisions are made most of the time: one around the areola; another that descends vertically to the submammary ditch and the third to its natural curvature. After the surgeon has removed excess breast tissue, fat and skin, the mammary areola ascends to a higher elevation. The areola, which is usually stretched out in large breasts, will be reduced. The skin that was above the areola is cut and used to remodel the breast. Liposuction can be used as an adjuvant treatment for the alignment of adjacent areas (underarm, lateral part of the chest, etc.). Usually the areola remains attached to the underlying tissues, and this allows the preservation of sensitivity. Breastfeeding can be maintained, but there is no guarantee for that.
WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL OPTIONS? Depending on the size and shape of the breast, the amount of tissue that is removed, the desired technique can be chosen. In some cases, the vertical or horizontal incision can be excluded. Rarely, when the breasts are very large, it is necessary for the areola to detach completely from the surrounding tissues, in order to be repositioned. In such a case, you will have to decide if you want to sacrifice the sensitivity and the possibility of breastfeeding to achieve the desired appearance.
SURGERY RISKS Fortunately, complications are rare in breast reduction. Every year, many thousands of women successfully undergo the surgery without complications and are pleased with the outcome. And yet anyone who thinks about surgery needs to be aware at the same time of risks and benefits. Risks and possible complications should be personally discussed with a plastic surgeon. Complications include: haemorrhage, infection and reaction to anesthetics. Rarely, the patient requires transfusions during surgery. This one can be predicted, and the surgeon will tell sample your blood. After the reduction of the breasts, they may sometimes not be perfectly symmetrical, or areolas are not at the same height. If desired, corrections can be made later. Very rarely, sensitivity loss may occur. Correction of scars is sometimes beneficial. In rare cases where part or all of the areola is destroyed, reconstruction can be done using skin grafts. For more information, before or after surgery, you can consult your surgeon.
HOW DOES THE SURGERY GO AND HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR SURGERY? Depending on your age, or personal or family history (breast cancer), the surgeon will recommend a mammogram before surgery and one more a couple of months after. This will help detect changes in breast tissue. After your surgery you can examine yourself. Reducing breasts does not increase the risk of cancer. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to quit smoking before surgery. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs may increase your bleeding time, so you will have to refrain from taking them some time before surgery. The surgeon will provide you with the rest of the necessary information. Breast reduction can be performed both outpatient and hospitalized (depending on the extent of surgery). The hospitalization will generally last one night. If you will be discharged on surgery or next day, it will be necessary to have someone drive you home and stay with you for a day or two.
HOW WILL BE THE DAY OF THE SURGERY? Usually, general anesthesia is used, so you will sleep during surgery. When the surgery is completed, you will be monitored by qualified personnel until waking up permanently. In many cases, 2 drain tubes will be positioned to avoid fluid buildup. The breasts will be dressed with compresses and elastic bandages or medical bustier.
HOW WILL YOU FEEL AND LOOK LIKE AFTER SURGERY? The day after surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed. After a few days, you can move more comfortably. Avoid bending, lifting heavy objects, and lifting the arms, as these activities will cause an increase in edema and bleeding. You will be instructed to sleep on your back so you do not press your breasts. Any drainage will be suppressed within 1-2 days, during which time the dressing will be changed. You will be advised to wear a bustier for a few weeks until the edema disappears. The threads will be removed in 7-21 days. Sensitivity may be lower in the areola area. This is temporary. It will take weeks, months to 1 year before the sensitivity returns to normal. Breasts need more time to have a more normal form. Scars will be initially red or pink for several months post surgery.
WHEN WILL YOU GO BACK TO YOUR USUAL ACTIVITIES? After breast reduction you will resume work in a few weeks, depending on your job. You will often have to give up some activities that involve physical effort. Avoid sexual intercourse for at least a week, after which more care will be taken for at least 6 weeks.
RESULTS OF BREAST REDUCTION After surgery, you will have smaller and firmer breasts. Without being disturbed by the weight of the breasts, you can practice sports and physical activities. Postoperative scars will heal and discolour over time. However, it is important to know that the scars will be permanent and that some for some people are more visible. Fortunately, the incisions in this surgery are located in areas that are well covered, even in the case of a deep cleavage. Mammoplasty will dramatically change your appearance. For this reason it will take some time to adapt to the new look. The number of satisfied patients after this intervention is comparatively higher than in other procedures.
HOW LONG WILL THE OUTCOME LAST? Except for situations where you losing weight or breastfeeding, the breasts will remain the same. However, gravity and aging affect the size and shape of the breasts in all women. If after many years you are no longer satisfied with the shape of the breasts, you can have a lifting mammoplasty.
POST-SURGERY CONDUCT It is imperative that you regularly visit the surgeon, when the result is assessed in time.