Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves reducing the size and the weight of your breasts. Macromastia is a condition where breasts are disproportionately large and it can cause both physical discomfort and emotional distress for patients. The weight of breasts can cause pain, making it challenging for some women to perform common physical activities.
While breast reduction surgery is often performed for medical purposes, it can also be performed on patients who are unhappy with the size of their breasts and wish to reduce them for aesthetic purposes.
In this article, we are going to explain how breast reduction surgery works, how you prepare for surgery and what you can expect after the procedure.
Breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery can help women with large breasts that cause health issues such as:
- Back, neck or shoulder pain
- Nerve pain
- Rash or skin irritation under the breasts
Moreover, women can experience:
- Limited activity due to the size and weight of the breasts
- Self-consciousness and insecurity related to large breasts
- Difficulty finding clothes and bra that fit
Reduction mammaplasty can help patients solve these issues and can be performed at any age; however, if your breasts aren’t fully developed yet, you might need to undergo an additional surgery later on.
Breast reduction surgery is not recommended if you’re planning to give birth, as this procedure may make it challenging to breastfeed. However, there are surgical techniques that can preserve your ability to breastfeed.
In addition, if you’re planning to lose a significant amount of weight, you might want to consider postponing the surgery: losing weight can often change the size of your breasts, so you can decide later if breast reduction is right for you.
How do you prepare for a breast reduction?
The first step of breast reduction surgery is to have an initial consultation with a doctor. You can get in touch with us at KCM Clinic anytime and we will be happy to advise you. One of our patient coordinators will contact you back to discuss your expectations, desires, and concerns. We will also need to know if you take any medications regularly, if you suffer from any disease, and if you have any allergies. Your medical history and any recent tests are also important for the doctor to get a better overview of your overall health. You will also be asked to undergo a mammography for an in-depth examination of your breasts.
Before the surgery, you should stop smoking for at least six week. On the day of surgery, you will be asked to wash your breasts and armpit area with antibacterial soap. Eating and drinking should be avoided for eight hours before the operation.
It is also advisable to get your home ready for recovery. Make sure you have plenty of ice, gauze, loose and comfortable clothes, as well as special creams for the incisions sites as prescribed by the doctor.
How does breast reduction surgery work?
Breast reduction surgery takes four to six hours, depending on each individual case. You will need to stay at the clinic for 1-2 days. Here’s a breakdown of what breast reduction surgery typically involves:
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, which means that you will sleep throughout the entire procedure.
The surgeon will make the incisions around the areolas and down each breast. Then, an inverted T or anchor shaped incision is made.
3. Excess fat is removed
Any excess fat, glandular tissue and skin is removed from your breasts. The amount that will be removed will directly influence the new size of your breasts.
4. Your nipples are repositioned
The surgeon will reposition the nipple and areola. In this stage, your breast is usually attached to a blood supply.
The remaining breast tissue is reshaped.
6. Finishing surgery
Incisions are closed and your chest is wrapped with bandages. The doctor may place small drains for one night to avoid any fluid buildup.
Are there any risks of side effects from a breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction can cause scars that will fade over time, but will never disappear completely. Take proper time to heal after surgery and avoid smoking to ensure that your wounds heal the best possible way.
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure and it has potential complications, just like any other surgical procedure. Although rare, it is important that you are aware of them. Risks and complications of a breast reduction include:
- Blood clots
- Loss of sensitivity in your breasts or nipples (can be a temporary side effect)
- Swelling and bruising
- Nerve damage
What can you expect after a breast reduction?
You will need to wear a special surgical bra for about seven weeks after surgery. You might experience breast pain and feel tired. This is normal, and you will be given painkillers to ease you through the first few days after surgery.
Consider you will be off your feet for one or two weeks (each patient recovers differently), so plan ahead how much time you need to take off from work.
Do not carry any weights and avoid intense physical exercise for about eight weeks. While most patients will heal in around eight weeks, the full results can take up to a year to show.
Breast reduction surgery has helped many patients find relief from a series of health issues, as well as boost their confidence if they were feeling self-conscious about how their breasts looked. If you have questions or are interested in knowing if the procedure is a viable option for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.