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Reduction Mammaplasty Breast Reduction

Large breasts can cause neck and back pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and lower self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two to three hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body. The breast is also lifted as part of the procedure.

Candidates for Breast Reduction

Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are women with oversized breasts that cause medical problems, low self-esteem, physical or social discomfort or frustrations with the size of their breasts. Women must not be pregnant or breastfeeding while undergoing this procedure.

It is important for patients to understand the details and risks associated with this procedure, and to have realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of their surgery.

Breast Reduction Procedure

The breast reduction procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about two to four hours, depending on the techniques used and each patient's individual case. There are several different types of incisions that may be used for this procedure. Your doctor will determine the best type for you after evaluating your breasts.

  • Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery - This technique involves an anchor-shaped incision and is ideal for women with extremely large breasts, although scarring is usually more apparent. Skin, fat and tissue can be removed from the lower breast and the nipples and areolas may be repositioned as well.
  • Vertical Incision Breast Reduction - Also known as short-scar, this technique involves incisions that extend around the areola and down to the breast crease for a lollipop shape. Vertical incision is ideal for women with moderately large breasts and creates shapelier results with less scarring for women who do not require extensive tissue removal.
  • Scarless Breast Reduction - Scarless breast reduction uses liposuction techniques to reduce the size of the breast with little to no scarring. Since liposuction only removes fatty tissue in the breast, patients should have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue. This technique is commonly used on men with enlarged breasts.

Recovery from Breast Reduction

After the breast reduction procedure, patients will likely experience soreness, swelling and bruising for several days. Bandages will be removed after two days and replaced with a surgical bra. Physical activity should be limited for one to two weeks, while exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for at least four weeks.

Patients will return to the doctor to have stitches removed after approximately two to three weeks, at which point most will be able to return to work and other regular activities. It is important to see your doctor for regular follow-up visits to ensure that your breasts are healing properly.

The results of the breast reduction procedure are noticeable immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside. Scars will continue to fade with time and can usually be concealed by a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top.

Risks of Breast Reduction

Although breast reduction is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks include loss of sensation, scarring and asymmetry, and well as general surgical risks such as infection, bleeding and reaction to anesthesia. Most patients undergo this procedure with no serious complications.

Your surgeon will discuss these and other risks with you prior to surgery, as well as answer any questions you may have to ensure that your procedure is performed as smoothly as possible.

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