What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Reduction mammoplasty or breast reduction surgery is a clinical process wherein excess fats of the breast are removed surgically. Apart from fats, skin and glandular tissue are also removed to attain a proportionate breast size in comparison to your body. The main purpose of this procedure is to remove extra fats and make your breasts smaller in size.
Disproportionately large breasts may cause physical discomforts like back pain, neck pain, or any other problem. In such cases, it is recommended to go for breast reduction surgery. Extra tissue and skin of the breasts are removed to reshape and diminish the size of breasts. This procedure can also be employed to make the areola (dark skin around the nipple) smaller.
In this procedure, a surgeon will make one or more incisions in the breast. The excess skin and tissue will be removed and the cuts are patched with stitches. In some cases, the areola and nipple need to be repositioned.
Breast Reduction candidates
Overly disproportionate and large breasts can lead to emotional and health problems. It can cause not only self-image issues but can also be a source of physical discomfort and pain like back pain, neck pain, and so on.
The weight of surplus breast tissue and fats can hamper your ability to conduct an active life. The emotional disconcert and self-consciousness generally accompanied with large disproportionate breasts is an equally important problem as the bodily discomfort and pain.
The following symptoms may be an indication that you should go for breast reduction:
- Your breasts are out of proportion with your body.
- You experience physical discomforts like the neck, back, and shoulder pain due to heavy breasts.
- You have a poor posture owing to the large size of your breasts.
- Your breasts are significantly heavy and droopy along with nipples and areolas pointing in the downward direction.
- You have trouble while sleeping because of breast discomfort caused when you lie down.
- Inability to take part in athletic activities due to large breast size.
- You have self-image and self-consciousness issues because of your breasts.
- If you have grooves or indentations in shoulders as a result of tight bra straps, consider breast reduction.
- You have rashes or skin infection under the breast crease.
- If your breasts are not of the same size, that is, one is notably bigger than the other; you can opt for breast reduction.
Apart from these symptoms, you should be healthy and a non-smoker if you are considering for breast reduction. You must have realistic expectations from this procedure.
Breast Reduction recovery
After the surgery, your incisions will be draped with bandages or dressings. There is substantial pain experienced by most patients in the initial days post-operation. Your doctor will prescribe the suitable painkillers to alleviate your pain. Bruises and swelling last for longer time. It takes weeks for the inflammation to dissolve completely. To soothe the swelling, you need to wear supportive bras or elastic bandage. It will reduce the discomfort caused due to swelling and also support your breasts during the healing phase.
Occasionally, a surgical tube is placed under the skin of the breasts to drain excess fluids and blood. The stitches are removed after 7 to 15 days. You need full rest until you heal completely. Vigorous activities and exercises are strictly prohibited.
The scars of breast reduction do not disappear completely but they may fade over time. Do not miss follow-ups with your doctor. Inform him/her in the case of any abnormal pain or discomfort felt during the recovery process.
Breast Reduction Results
Breast reduction surgery generally has a long-lasting effect. Post-surgery, your new breast size should relieve you from the discomfort and pain that you experienced when you had bulky breasts. Your physical limitations to an active life will reduce significantly. Your self-image issues are likely to get minimized once you have better-proportioned body figure. You will also get a boost in self-confidence.
Keep in mind that this surgery does not transform your breast size permanently. Your breast size may change over time due to aging, hormonal factors, weight fluctuations, and gravity.
Breast Reduction is popularly known as reduction mammoplasty and it is a type of plastic surgery used for reduction in the size of large breasts. This is achieved with the help of removing the excessive amount of the fat, tissue glands, and extra skin of the breasts so that the required size in proportion is obtained. The main purpose for opting this surgery is because of many discomforts to the body like neck pain, severe pain in the back and many other physical symptoms.
Breast Reduction procedure steps
The breast reduction procedure is performed with the help of a wide variety of patterns and techniques related to the incision. Some of the procedures include the excess fat removal with the help of liposuction along with the excision techniques. The technique that suits a patient is determined by various factors like the size and shape of breasts, degree of the excess fat, amount of skin and its quality, etc. The sequence of the steps followed in the surgery are mentioned below.
- The first step for the patients undergoing this breast reduction surgery is the administration of anaesthesia which will be of two types Intravenous and Inhalational Anaesthesia. The cosmetic surgeries mostly are performed using the anaesthesia named Sevoflurane or Desflurane due to its high wash in and wash out periods.
- After the patient rests down, the incisions are made and it is a combination of the three stages named circular pattern present around the areola, inverted T shape or anchor-shaped incision and later key shaped or racquet-shaped incision on the vertical side of breasts.
- Immediately after the incisions are made, the tissue of breast is reduced and it is reshaped to improve the shape and firmness. The sensitive part nipple is repositioned to the proper height and excessive skin is removed near areola. In some cases of extremely large breasts, free nipple graft procedure needs to be performed to reposition the nipples and areola.
- The incisions are closed after these procedures where the sutures are deeply layered inside the tissues for the creation of support to breasts. These marks of incision will fade away with the time with significant improvement. The patients should follow the advice of the doctors in the selection of the incisions. The results are visible immediately after the surgery is performed.
Breast Reduction Risks and Safety
There are many risks associated with breast reduction surgery and these risks can bring the undesirable results to the people undergoing this surgery. Scars are the most common risk which leaves the marks that are visible and they depend on the surgery and varies from person to person. Another risk is with the loss of feeling in breasts, which is temporary in some patients and it becomes permanent in few patients. Some of the major risks are blood clots in veins, excessive bleeding, and other infections.
The people allergic to the inhalational anaesthesia used during the surgery can feel the problems of nausea, vomiting, headache, etc. Other types of risks are the breasts asymmetry after a certain duration, loss of sensitivity in the breast area, change in nipple sensation, affecting of milk ducts in the breasts, irregularities in the shape of breast contours, etc. The people undergoing this surgery should be aware of these potential risks and they need to be ready to take the utmost care to prevent these risks with the help of the proper medications and procedures suggested by surgeons. The type of surgery and the procedure followed should be selected by the doctor for avoiding the risks.
Preparing for Breast Reduction Surgery
The patient needs to be well prepared for breast reduction surgery to avoid the complications that occur with the surgery. The pre-medical examination needs to be performed for evaluation and later the prescribed medications need to be regularly taken before the surgery. The habits like smoking, taking tablets like aspirin, herbal supplements, and other drugs need to be immediately stopped as they affect the surgery in a various number of ways like increased bleeding, etc. The baseline mammogram needs to be performed before and after the surgery to get a clear picture of the condition of breasts.
These pre-surgical procedures need to be carefully performed as suggested by the doctors to avoid any complications or risks associated with the surgery. Later after the surgery is performed, the postoperative care must be taken by the patients.