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Breast Reduction (Mammoplasty)

Overview

Mammoplasty is a procedure to remove excess fat tissues from under the breast in order to reshape often large and heavy breasts and resize them as per the weight of the individual’s body. Many women who have large breasts may suffer from neck, back pain and shoulder pain. In some cases, it may also be a reason for bad posture, resulting to diseases and body tenderness. Further, excessively large breasts can make body movement and therefore, physical activities hard and uncomfortable to perform. A breast reduction surgery or

Mammoplasty helps produce lighter weighing, improved breast shape that complements the rest of the body of the patient. A breast reduction surgery can help ease problems like back ache and other posture depleting problems. For some women, reducing the size of the breasts can also be a way to enhance their confidence and social self-esteem.

The Procedure

Breast reconstruction surgery, apart from an aesthetical use, is often performed in women who undergo mastectomy to treat breast cancer. Mammoplasty surgery is a straightforward operation wherein, the surgeons, with strategically planned steps reduce the amount of breast fatty tissues while enriching the breast tissue to form a normal looking breast just with an altered size.

  • The procedure starts with carefully planned and well measured incisions around the areola, along the mammary fold.
  • The surgeon then removes excess fat, skin and tissues from under the breast.
  • The final step involves replacing the nipple and the surrounding dark skin back to the centre of the breast.
  • In cases of excessively heavy breasts, the surgeon may need to place the nipple and areola on a higher position in form of graft skin.

Who should get a breast reduction?

Following a breast uplift surgery, patients may face some interference with breast feeding. Otherwise, breast reduction is mostly a safe procedure and may be really helpful for a person who faces embarrassment of physical difficulties due to enlarged breasts. Moreover, the incision lines are very discreet and looks like an anchor shaped scar running around the areola, along the mammary fold or the crease line under the breast. Here are some other reasons for why you can go for a breast reduction surgery:

  • If you are unhappy with the general appearance, size or/ and shape of your breasts.
  • If, due to heavy breast size, you have suffered from back, shoulder or neck pains.
  • If your breasts are uneven or asymmetrical.
  • If overly large breasts interfere with your regular activities and hinder your ability to exercise comfortably.
  • If you suffer from skin irritation, rashes or allergies due to heavily sagging breasts.
  • If you feel that your self-esteem or relationships are being affected by concerns regarding to your breast size.

Recovery from Breast Reduction surgery

Mammoplasty is a breast reduction surgery and therefore, needs good care and conscious healing efforts. The dressings are removed approximately 7-10 days prior to the surgery. Following this, doctors will ask you to keep your breasts well supported and preferably wear a stretchy cotton bra that is non-wired. The surgeon will see you for follow-up assessments, first after 6 weeks and then, regular intervals till the wounds heal.

FAQs

What is a mammoplasty surgery?

Reduction mammoplasty or breast reduction surgery is performed to remove excess skin, tissue, and fat from the breasts. If you have large breasts that cause you discomfort or hinder in your self-image or confidence, you can opt for a mammoplasty to achieve a breast size that is more proportionate to your body.

How does mammoplasty work?

A mammoplasty procedure involves surgically reducing the breast tissue and then restoring the contour with a series of excisions. It is a straightforward surgery that involves reducing the amount of breast and fat tissues and uplifting the remaining tissues at the same time. The restoration also includes the relocation of the nipple and the surrounding skin back to the center of the new breast shape.

Are there any surgery scars?

The incision lines made during the procedure are very discreet. There will however, be an anchor shaped scar that runs around the areola and along the mammary fold.

Who should opt for a breast reduction surgery?

There are a number of reasons for which a woman might opt for a breast reduction. Some of the reasons include:

  • Being unhappy with the general shape and size of the breasts
  • Suffering from asymmetrical breasts
  • Suffering from pain in the shoulder, neck, or back because of a heavy breast size
  • Not liking overly large breasts as they might be interfering in their daily routine
  • Suffering skin irritation from heavy breasts, especially during the hotter months
  • Feeling limited by the fashion restrictions caused by larger breasts
  • Feeling self-esteem, relationship, or confidence issues due to the breast size

Is a breast reduction permanent?

Yes, a breast reduction procedure always has permanent results. However, if you overeat and gain weight the remaining fat cells will enlarge. Other reasons behind an increasing breast size can include pregnancy, where the breast tissues will swell and store milk and the intake of synthetic or natural hormones. There is one exception to the permanency of breast reduction, which is virginal hyperplasia/hypertrophy, and the estrogen levels are high and breast development is still ongoing.

Is there any bruising or pain?

There is certain swelling after the procedure, which takes about a week and a half to subside. Bruising varies from patient to patient as some are more prone than others. If you feel any pain, you can take prescribed pain medication. If the pain gets severe, you should get in touch with your doctor.

How long will it be before I can return to work?

Mostly, patients are able to resume their work within 2 weeks from the procedure. The call to return is an individual choice and should be discussed with your surgeon. There are some activities, like bending over, lifting your arms high, or exercise, that will have to be avoided until told otherwise.

When will I be able to see the results of the procedure?

The difference in breast volume will be visible immediately. If you had been suffering from back pain before, the relief will also be immediate. After the subsiding of the swelling, you will be able to see the different compact appearance of your breasts. The final results however, will emerge after a few months.

What are the risks of a breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, like any other surgery, has some risks. These are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
  • Scarring
  • Loss of sensation in the nipples
  • Difficulty or inability in breast-feeding
  • Asymmetry
  • Poor wound healing

How long will I take to recover?

It depends on your general fitness and age, but generally, women need from two to six weeks of recovery time. The dressings will be removed based on the speed of healing of the wounds.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Before the surgery, your surgeon will most likely:

  • Evaluate your overall health and medical history
  • Discuss your expectations
  • Provide details of the procedure, and its risks and benefits
  • Examine your breasts
  • Take photographs of your breasts for the record
  • Explain about the type of anesthesia used

Some precautions that you might have to take before your breast reduction surgery:

  • Complete some lab tests
  • Get a baseline mammogram
  • Stop smoking some time before and after surgery
  • Avoid certain medications like aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, herbal supplements, etc.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Your breasts will be covered with bandages, and tubes may be placed to help drain excess fluids or blood. You will most likely be prescribed pain medication as well as antibiotics.
For the first week, your breasts can feel sensitive and tender. There might be certain swelling and bruising. You will have to limit your physical activity during the recovery period, and might have to avoid underwire bras for about a month. The scars will fade with time, but you will be needing follow up appointments with your surgeon to track the recovery.

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