Breast reduction is a popular cosmetic procedure that reduces the size of the breasts to create a proportional appearance and often allows the patient to feel more comfortable overall. While aesthetics may sometimes be the reason for breast reduction, often women are also looking for a solution for neck and back pain caused by larger breasts.
Patients will start by having a consultation with their surgeon. At this time, you’ll discuss your goals as well as any concerns you may have. Your doctor will measure your breasts, take photographs, and discuss how much tissue will need to be removed in order to achieve your desired results.
If you are a smoker or take certain medications, you may have to stop those a few days before your scheduled surgery. The doctor will guide you on what you should do before your procedure. Do not stop taking medications unless you are instructed to do so.
Once the initial consultation is completed, and the doctor has a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with surgery, the next phase is preparing for surgery. At home, you’ll want to have plenty of ice on hand, comfortable clothing, medications, and supplies to take care of the incision site. You’ll also need to prepare to have someone drive you home from surgery and perhaps stay with you for a few hours afterward.
The procedure itself lasts between 2-5 hours, depending on the needs of the patient. Patients will be put under anesthesia, and then an incision will be made around the nipple and down the breast. Next, tissue and fat will be removed from the breast to achieve the agreed-upon size, and the nipple will be repositioned for optimal results. Finally, the incision site will be sewed up, and drainage tubes will be put in place along with gauze and tape. All of this is done to protect the incision site and hold the drainage tubes in place. Patients will also be given a surgical bra to wear for a determined period.
Recovery after Breast Reduction
Patients should be prepared to take one week off of work, but sometimes patients require at least two weeks of recovery. Even once you go back to work, you should expect to have at least one month off of regular physical activity and heavy lifting. You’ll likely be sore and swollen for several days following the surgery. You may also feel a sense of sadness and depression; this is incredibly common after this type of procedure. Please talk to your doctor about what you feel so he can offer you additional support through the transition.
Of course, scarring is a typical side effect of breast reduction. Over time, the scars will fade, but the look and feel of the scar will come down to a variety of factors such as your current skin condition, genetics, and whether or not you do any heavy lifting during the recovery. Heavy lifting can impact healing and could lead to more visible scarring. In rare instances, the nipple area does not heal properly, and skin grafts are needed to repair it. Please contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
· Discharge from the incision site
· Signs of infection such as swelling, redness, and fever
· If any of your stitches pop-out
Breast reduction surgery can give patients a new lease on life. If you’re unhappy with your current breast size, then this may be a solution for you. Please contact our office for more information and to learn if you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery. We look forward to helping you through this process!