Breast reduction surgery is a common procedure with patients experiencing physical discomfort due to macromastia, a condition which causes abnormally large breasts. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, the procedure removes excess fat and tissue from the breast to achieve a size more proportionate to the patient’s body, and in many cases provides significant relief of discomfort.
Today we’ll look at why some patients choose breast reduction surgery, and what to expect from the procedure itself and the results.
Patients who seek out breast reduction surgery often experience chronic pain in their neck, shoulders, and upper back due to the size of their breasts. The weight of the tissue can cause significant strain on a patient’s trapezius muscles, creating poor posture by pulling the shoulders forward and exacerbating any tension in the neck and upper back.
In less-serious cases, patients may choose the procedure to make it easier to participate in physical activities such as sport, or to help improve their self-image. As with any procedure, patients are encouraged to discuss the procedure at length with their surgeon beforehand. This ensures patients fully understand the procedure, associated risks, and recovery process, and establishes healthy expectations for the result.
Seeking out information about surgery can often feel like an isolating experience. As medical professionals, our job is to make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you may have on a procedure well before a decision is made.
Depending on the size of a patient’s breasts, the specific techniques used to reduce their size can vary – this might include surgery through varied incisions and techniques to remove the excess fat in your breasts.
The surgeon usually makes an incision around the areola and down each breast, then removes excess breast tissue, fat and skin to reduce the size of each breast. They will then reshape the breast and reposition the nipple and areola. The nipple and areola usually remain attached to the breast, although in rare cases might need to be removed and then reattached at a higher position as a skin graft.
As with any invasive procedure, breast reduction surgery carries a number of risks, including:
Your surgeon will try to achieve symmetry between your breasts, but some variation in breast size and shape might occur. Existing differences in the size, shape and symmetry of the left or right breasts might require further surgery to improve the result. In some cases, the size of the areola may also be reduced, and incision scars may fade but not disappear entirely.
The recovery process following surgery will primarily include rest and limited physical activity while a patient’s breasts heal.
Immediately following surgery, your breasts will be dressed tape and bandages and a tube may be used to drain any excess blood or fluid from beneath the arm. Medication is often prescribed both to reduce the pain immediately following surgery and to decrease a patient’s risk of infection.
During the first week of recovery, many patients will feel that their breasts are overly tender or sensitive, and may experience some swelling or bruising. This is perfectly normal during the first few days as your body begins to heal, though should the swelling and discomfort continue the first step is to inform your surgeon.
Patients are often advised to avoid sports and other physical activities until they are fully healed, though many patients are fully active between two to four weeks following surgery. Throughout this period, it’s still advised to limit physical activity and pay attention to any bruising and stitches to monitor the success of the recovery.
If you’re looking for further information on breast reduction surgery, speak to Bisson Plastic Surgery in Wellington today. We offer an initial consultation to meet with you and understand your concerns and reasons for wanting surgery, and always ensure our patients are fully informed and comfortable before recommending any procedure. If you’d like to speak with one of our team, call Bisson Plastic Surgery today.