Breast Reduction Surgery
Reduction Mammoplasty, more commonly known as Breast Reduction, aims to reduce the breast size, including excess skin, breast glands, and fat. This surgery can help people with oversized breasts who experience discomforts such as neck pain, shoulder pain, difficulty in finding the right clothes and decreased confidence. Breast reduction can help address these issues and boost the body image.
Types of Breast Reduction
1. Keyhole-scar Breast Reduction
The incision is made around the areola and down towards the breast crease. This type of technique is performed on patients with breasts that aren’t too large.
2. Inverted T-scar Breast Reduction
In this technique, the surgeon makes an incision in the shape of an inverted T-scar to remove the excess fat, skin and breast tissue. The T-scar technique can be used on breasts of any size but it does leave a more noticeable scar, hence it is generally used in extreme cases where breasts are really saggy and of a big size.Breast Reduction surgery usually takes from 3 to 5 hours depending on the breast size. Before the surgery, the surgeon and the patient should agree on the desired results and expectations of this procedure.
Good Breast Reduction surgery candidates are:
- Patients who feel uncomfortable about their breasts size.
- Patients who have realistic surgical expectations
- Patients who are in good physical health.
- Patients who suffer from neck, shoulder, and back pain due to the weight of oversized breasts.
- Patients who suffer from bra strap shoulder indentations.
Breast Reduction Surgery Preparation
Prior to the Breast Reconstruction Surgery, patients should:
- Patients should have a consultation with the surgeon to assess the surgical goals. Labs and a medical evaluation is also required.
- Patients must stop smoking and drinking alcohol at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
- All blood-thinning medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, hormones, and some supplements must be stopped 2 weeks before the surgery.
Breast Reduction Surgery Procedure
The technique utilized for the Breast Reduction surgery, will be determined by the patient’s aesthetic needs and the amount of reduction that is required.
The steps of the surgery are the following:
- General anesthesia
- Incision (either keyhole or inverted T-scar as pre-determined with the surgeon)
- Removal of the fat, breast tissue and excess skin.
- Reshaping breast to ensure balance.
- Closing of the incision.
Breast reduction surgery post-operative care
To minimize discomfort after the surgery, patients are recommended to follow these steps:
- Wear a compression bra. This helps to keep the breast in the correct position and it prevents fluid accumulation and it helps in controlling the swelling.
- Slightly elevate the torso while sleeping to help control the swelling.
- A wound dressing will be placed on the stitched area for 7 days post-surgery.
- Take pain relievers only when needed
- Keep the incision dry and clean.
- Stitches will be removed 7 days after the operation.
- Avoid high-impact activities for a minimum of two weeks.
- Ensure you keep all the follow-up appointments with the surgeon.
Breast reduction risks/complications
Some potential complications include:
- Keloid scars from incisions
- Poor healing
- Shortness of breath
- A decrease in sensation or loss of sensation
- Potential infection (if patients feel any warmth or see any redness in the breast with fever, it may be a sign of infection and they should contact the surgeon right away)
- Capsular contracture if the Breast Lifting surgery is also done with a Breast Augmentation procedure (this may require another surgery)
Breast reduction surgery recovery
Recovery time is similar to that of the Breast Reduction surgery. There is usually minimal discomfort, although patients may experience pain, swelling, stiffness and bruising. It may take several weeks or even months for patients to see the final results and for everything to settle down, including potential numbness or tingling sensations around the incision site.