Breast reduction is one of the most common procedures performed in our practice. Women seeking breast reduction surgery most often complain of severe back and neck pain, deep grooving on the shoulders from the bra straps, as well as frequent rashes underneath the breasts. Apart from the pain and discomfort, disproportionately large breasts can make a woman feel very self-conscious, and finding clothes and bras that fit can be very difficult.
Breast Reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is designed to reduce the size of the breasts by removing excess skin, fat, and breast tissue, and then reshaping the breasts to give them a fuller and more youthful appearance. Breast reduction, therefore, not only improves one's appearance, but also immediately improves the symptoms of pain and discomfort. Most patients experience immediate relief of their back pain and usually say they wish they had the procedure earlier in their life.
The scars of a breast reduction usually is in the shape of an anchor, going around the areola, extending downward, and then following the natural curve of the crease underneath the breast. We have found, however, that in most women, but especially in women with pigmented skin, the incision underneath the breast is usually visible in the center of the chest, and often forms a bad scar that is noticeable. For this reason, we have perfected newer techniques that not only eliminate the horizontal scar underneath the breast, but also give the breast a much fuller appearance with much more projection than with older breast reduction techniques. Our technique of breast reduction leaves the patient with a scar in the shape of a "lollipop" going around the areola and then vertically. If it is necessary to make a horizontal scar, which sometimes happens in very large breasts, then it is very short and not noticeable.
During your first visit, you will undergo a complete examination, including breast measurements, which will assist you and the doctor in determining the amount of breast tissue that needs to be removed to relieve your symptoms and give you an excellent functional and aesthetic outcome.
As with any other surgical procedure, there are slight risks associated with breast reduction, such as bleeding, infection, or a reaction to the anesthetic. Some patients may experience decreased sensation around the nipple following surgery. This usually is temporary, and the sensation returns; however, in very rare cases, after very large breast reductions, the sensation loss may be permanent. All of the possible risks and complications will be discussed with you in detail at the time of the initial consultation.
Breast reduction surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. The breast reduction operation takes about three hours, and the majority of patients go home afterwards. It is very important for you to arrange for someone to accompany you after surgery, since you will not be able to operate a motor vehicle. After surgery, you will spend about 1-2 hours in the recovery area until the anesthetic wears off. There are usually two small drainage tubes placed to evacuate any oozing that may occur in the first day or two. You will go home with the drains that need to be emptied periodically, but they are easy to care for. You will be sent home with antibiotics and pain medication for the moderate discomfort that you may experience. You will be seen back in the office in 2 to 3 days, at which time the drains will be removed. You will then be able to shower.
For the first 4 weeks after breast reduction surgery, you will be asked to wear a comfortable bra without an underwire, such as a lycra sports bra. Although you will feel very well and be up and about on the second or third day after surgery, it is important for you to limit your physical activity for optimal recovery and healing. You should avoid any heavy lifting or exercise for at least 4 weeks.
If you are interested in breast reduction surgery or have any questions for New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Smith, call our toll free number shown below or use our online contact form.