Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the weight and size of a woman’s breasts. It can also make breasts firmer and reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). The surgery is primarily performed to give physical relief, but it may also provide a cosmetic improvement by adjusting the proportion of your breasts to the rest of your body.
The most common breast reduction procedure involves removing a section of skin – along with excess fat and tissue – from the breast. The surgery also reshapes the contour of the breast and repositions the nipple and areola. Your doctor may use liposuction to remove excess fat from the armpit and outer chest area. Sutures are usually placed around the areola, in a vertical line extending from the areola to the base of the breast and along the lower crease.
Breast reduction surgery typically takes two to four hours. We generally perform it as an outpatient procedure in our fully accredited surgical facility or at one of the local hospitals where our doctors have privileges.
What Can I Expect?
You’ll feel pain the first few days after surgery and discomfort for another week or so. Your doctor will prescribe medication to reduce the pain. After surgery, you’ll wear gauze dressings covered with a surgical bra. A few days later, you’ll begin wearing a soft support bra, which you’ll wear intermittently for the next month for support. The doctor will remove your sutures after a couple of weeks.
You should be able to return to work after two weeks, possibly earlier, if your job isn’t too strenuous. However, you should limit your physical activity and avoid heavy lifting for several weeks. After that, you will gradually begin to feel stronger. It may take several months to adjust to your breasts’ new shape and size, but in the long run, you should be more comfortable.
Who Is A Candidate?
If you have disproportionately large, heavy breasts and experience any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for a breast reduction.
- Back and neck pain
- Skin irritation
- Shoulder indentations from bra straps
- Breathing difficulties
- Skeletal deformities
- Embarrassment or self-consciousness
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