What is breast reduction?
A breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to remove fat, glandular tissue, and skin to decrease the size of the breasts. This can help patients who suffer from neck and back pain, headaches, poor posture, and other issues such as recurrent rashes.
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Am I a candidate for breast reduction?
Would I be a good candidate to have breast reduction?
Having overly large breasts, a condition clinically known as hypermastia, can be a burden both physically and psychologically. While women tire of the undue attention their breasts can attract, there are also many physical problems caused by overly large breasts. When patients come to Dr. Olack for help, these are the common health issues that often accompany a woman’s decision to have reduction surgery:
- Spine problems
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tingling hands
- Balance problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Headaches and migraines
An unfortunate side issue is that large breasts can make a woman pull back from areas of her life. She’ll often avoid sports and most types of exercise because her breasts are a hindrance to participation. They can come into play as a distraction in social and professional environments.
For women who had been burdened with overly large natural breasts, the decision to reduce them through surgery is one they’ve usually been grappling with for years, maybe even decades. The main issue for women considering reduction surgery should be how much your breasts are interfering with your health and your happiness.
How is breast reduction surgery performed?
Reduction mammaplasty is performed under general anesthesia. One of the following incisions is often used: a keyhole shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease; or an anchor shape, beginning in the breast crease, and extending up to and around the areola.
How long does it take to perform a reduction mammoplasty?
Depending on the technique used and the individual case, reduction mammaplasty takes from 2 to 5 hours to perform.
Breast Reduction Before & After
Results of Breast Reduction Surgery
The results of reduction mammaplasty are noticeable immediately after surgery. As swelling and bruising subside, the breasts’ appearance improves. Although reduction mammaplasty provides long-lasting results, breasts are still subject to the effects of aging, weight gain, and gravity. Dr. Olack will discuss what results you can achieve prior to surgery.
What is recovery like from reduction mammaplasty?
After the breast reduction procedure, patients typically experience soreness, bruising and swelling for a few days. Physical activity should be limited for 1 to 2 weeks, while strenuous activities and exercise should be avoided for at least 4 weeks.
What should I do to prepare for my breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery with Dr. Olack is major surgery, so you’ll need to make the usual preparations you would for any surgery: stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, blood thinning medication, and most supplements for one week prior to your surgery. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior to and following your procedure, as smoking constricts the blood vessels, and this impedes wound healing.
Your preparation should really focus on your recovery. You’ll want to fill your pain medication prescription prior to your surgery. And you’ll want to create a nice recovery nest to climb into as soon as you get home. You’ll need to take at least one week off work. You won’t be able to lift much, so plan on someone helping you around the house for the first week. This is no time to tough it out — your overall recovery often stems from how the first week goes. Just plan to completely lay low with Netflix and a couple good books waiting for you.
Is breast reduction recovery painful?
These are involved incisions with breast reduction. This is necessary to allow Dr. Olack to remove the amount of excess, sagging skin and fatty tissue needed to reduce your breasts. In virtually all cases, the nipple/areola complex needs to be moved upward to match the higher position of the reduced breasts on the chest. All of this will create some pain during your recovery. This is the most prevalent during the first two to three days, and then it begins to resolve quickly.
While it’s not directly correlated to your pain, the most important part of recovery is wearing your surgical bra, then your support bra, and then a strong sports bra for 24 hours a day for at least one full month. This can seem tedious, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep from placing any stress on your incisions. Being diligent will help them heal better and become less noticeable.
What will my scarring be like after my breast reduction?
There is no way around the scarring that results from this procedure. Incisions are long and incisions create scars. These are necessary to gain the access necessary to be able to remove as much breast tissue and skin as is needed. The scars will be pink for up to a year but will then begin to fade quite quickly.
Our breast reduction patients are so happy to be rid of the weight and baggage associated with their overly large natural breasts they feel the scarring involved is well worth it.
How small can I go with breast reduction surgery?
How much you’d like Dr. Olack to reduce your breasts is completely your decision; there isn’t a limit. Most of our patients from Show Lo and the surrounding areas opt to keep their breasts proportional with the rest of their figure. They want to reduce the burden and weight of their breasts, rather than focus on a specific size decrease. The goal is to make your breasts proportional, alleviating their negative impact on your life.
Some patients coming to us for this surgery are so sick of their oversized breasts that they talk about radically decreasing their size. They’ve spent a life dealing with their breasts and want to be done with them. But you also don’t want to regret downsizing your breasts too much later. After all, your body shape will change dramatically with this procedure. It’s a welcome change, but it will be an adjustment.
When you meet with Dr. Olack for your consultation, the two of your will discuss your goals and see how much you’d like to decrease your breasts. Most of our patients opt to reduce their breasts by one to two cup sizes.
Will a breast reduction make me look thinner?
Most of our patients feel their breast reduction made them feel thinner. While Dr. Olack will remove a few pounds of fatty tissue with this procedure, this isn’t about weight loss; it’s about removing sagging, excess skin and fatty breast tissue.
Still, not having very large, sagging breasts will make you appear thinner. Part of that could be the clothes you will now be able to wear. Most women with overly large natural breasts seek to hide them, so they wear loose-fitting clothing. They’re tired of the attention their breasts receive and they keep them covered. But after having reduction, you can now buy clothes that complement your new smaller chest. This will make you appear thinner.
Many of our breast reduction patients are so thrilled to be rid of their outsized breasts that they really change their lives. They join exercise classes and generally become more physically active because now they can…without pain.
All of this contributes to you feeling and looking thinner. How great is that? These are great procedures for women tired of the burden of their overly large natural breasts!
Can I combine breast reduction with other procedures?
These are involved procedures, and that needs to be taken into consideration when exploring whether Dr. Olack can combine another procedure with your reduction. If you choose to have some liposuction on an area such as the flanks or the lower abdomen, that would be an easy extension of your breast reduction. That’s because liposuction today does not require a difficult recovery.
Dr. Olack already performs mommy makeovers, which combine a tummy tuck, breast lift, and liposuction. Breast reduction is very similar to a breast lift, simply removing more tissue, so that is already a combination of surgeries.
During your consultation with Dr. Olack you can discuss your options for possibly combining procedures.
Are there any risks involved with breast reduction?
The main risk specific to this surgery is loss of nipple sensation or overall changes in breast sensation. This is because the nerves can be impacted by the relatively extensive changes in the breasts. Also, the ability to breastfeed can be impacted by this surgery. Dr. Olack works to avoid these issues, but they are possible.
Really, when considering the risks involved with breast reduction surgery, there is more risk to your health in not addressing your heavy, sagging breasts. Problems such as back and neck pain, nerve compression, posture issues, and the like will only worsen as you get older. Improving these issues by having this surgery will correct those. Plus, we’ve found this surgery gives patients a new impetus to engage in more exercise and outdoor activities because they don’t have to cart around their heavy breasts, and they no longer worry about undue attention. That’s good for your overall health moving forward.
What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, risks related to reduction mammaplasty, depending on the technique used, include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
- Loss of skin/tissue where incisions meet
Although breast reductions provide long-lasting results, breasts are still subject to the effects of aging and gravity.