It may seem strange to hear that big breasts are not desirable to some women, but for those who have them know that they can be a great burden. When breasts are too large in proportion to the rest of the body, they can cause chronic neck and back pain. This constant discomfort, as well as decreased self-confidence, leads many women to seek definitive relief. Large breasts can also lead to chronic rashes and infections under the breasts called intertrigo.
Fortunately, Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery offers an operation called breast reduction to help women with excessively large breasts alleviate their pain and intertrigo. Also known as reduction mammoplasty, this procedure can make breasts smaller and lighter by removing unwanted tissue. In addition to removing excess breast tissue, breast reduction also lifts the sagging breast to a more youthful location.
When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Andrews will take measurements of your breasts. Factors such as the size and shape of your breasts as well as the location of your nipples will help Dr. Andrews develop a surgical plan that helps meet your individual needs.
This consultation is also used to discuss any specific medical conditions you have, as well as any medications you are currently taking and any prior surgeries. We will also ask about any family history of breast cancer and evaluate the results of your prior mammograms. These pre-surgical requirements are essential in determining if you are an ideal candidate for a breast reduction.
During this initial visit, we encourage you to ask many questions so we can properly address your unique concerns. Finally, Dr. Andrews will thoroughly explain the breast reduction procedure to you to ensure you are informed and comfortable prior to surgery.
On the day of your surgery, Dr. Andrews will mark your breasts which guides the location of the incisions. The procedure is then performed under general anesthesia.
Typically, the breast reduction surgery takes between two to three hours to complete. The surgery will start by Dr. Andrews making incisions along the pre-marked drawings. Excess skin, fat and breast tissue is removed. He will then raise your nipples and areolas to a more appropriate location. Finally, your incisions will be closed with dissolvable sutures and you will be left with the smaller shapelier breasts you desire.
Depending on your individual needs, you may receive surgical drains in your breasts to prevent fluid build-up after the procedure. Surgical tape (Steri Strips) or skin glue is placed on the incisions and you will be placed in a compression bra to help support your newly-shaped breasts.
Patients who require breast reduction have a constellation of symptoms that are addressed by the reduction procedure. This characteristic group of symptoms is called symptomatic macromastia, which may be identified by the following symptoms:
- Pain in the shoulders and back
- Deep painful bra strap indentations
- Rashes and infections in the folds under the breasts
- Numbness in the hands and fingers
- Difficulty fitting into clothing
Additionally, a breast reduction may improve comfort with exercise. Women with large, heavy breasts may find it difficult to find a bra that is supportive enough. Jogging, running and jumping during a workout may be not only uncomfortable, but also embarrassing if you are around other people. Breast reduction will improve your ability to exercise and can dramatically improve a woman’s self-esteem.
Breast Reduction Recovery
A reduction mammoplasty is done on outpatient basis, so you can expect to return home the same day. As you heal, you can expect some mild-to-moderate swelling and bruising. These are normal and will subside over the next few days to weeks.
Prior to discharge, you will be given specific care instructions and pain medication to help manage any discomfort. If drains are placed, you will be taught how to manage the drains prior to discharge. In some instances, external sutures may be necessary in addition to dissolvable sutures. If this is the case, you will have them removed a week or two following the surgery.
As you allow your newly-shaped breasts time to recover, we suggest limiting any strenuous exercises and heavy lifting for several weeks. Generally, daily activities like working can be resumed within about two weeks. Over the next few months, you will see Dr. Andrews for postoperative visits where he will review your healing progress and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery today at 319-382-8230.