Thursday, March 12, 2009

BREAST REDUCTION - What to Expect?

A breast reduction is a wonderful procedure and is one of the MOST satisfying operations a Plastic Surgeon offers!

What is a breast reduction?
  • Breast reduction is also called "bilateral reduction mammaplasty" (BRM)

  • A breast reduction will relieve symptoms from excessive breast size and weight (hypermastia)

  • Following breast reduction, breasts are more proportional to the rest of the body, and clothes fit better

  • Breast reduction has tremendous psychological benefits!

What are the symptoms of hypermastia?
  • Breast pain

  • Back pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Shoulder grooving from bra straps

  • Rashes beneath breasts (intertrigo)

  • Poor posture

  • Inability to do sports or physical activities

  • Self-consciousness about breast size

  • Inability to fit into clothing

How is a breast reduction done?
  • Breast reduction surgery takes around 3 hours and is done in the hospital under general anesthesia (GA). An overnight stay is usually recommended.
  • During surgery, excess breast tissue, some skin and fat are removed. The nipple and areola are often reduced in size and are moved to a higher, more aesthetic position on the breast.
  • A good blood supply, nerve supply and ductal supply is maintained to the nipple so that it retains as much sensation as possible and to encourage the ability to breast feed in the future.
  • All stitches (sutures) are dissolving.

Who is a good candidate for a breast reduction?
  • Women who have breasts that are very large in proportion to the body frame

  • Heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward (breast “ptosis”)

  • One breast much larger than the other

  • Symptoms of hypermastia

  • Dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about breast size

What is the recovery like after breast reduction?

  • After surgery, avoid lifting more than around 5 pounds for 2-3 weeks. You can expect some swelling and bruising that will gradually resolve.
  • You will likely have IMMEDIATE relief of your symptoms of hypermastia! Most women feel immediately lighter and often exclaim, "Why did I wait so long?!"
  • You will have a temporary decrease in sensation that will take months to years to recover. You may not regain full sensation, depending on the amount of tissue removed and the original size ad shape of your breasts.
  • The incisions will initially be bumpy and raised, and flatten within 6 weeks. After this, they form scars that take up to a year or more to "mature".

What are some of the potential risks of breast reduction surgery?
  • Sensation change

  • Scars

  • Breast asymmetry

  • Ability to breast feed

Things to remember about breast reduction:
  1. Breast reduction will make your breasts smaller, lifted and firmer.
  2. Reduction of breast size often enables greater enjoyment in playing sports and engaging in physical activity.
  3. This procedure often makes a dramatic change in appearance. It can take some time to adjust to your new body image. Be patient and allow your body to heal for up to one year until you accept the results as 'final'.

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