What is Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) ?
The size of women's breasts may be determined by several factors, such as inherited genes, body weight and hormonal influences. They can, therefore, be a problem to some women early in adolescence or may not become uncomfortable until middle age following the menopause or the use of HRT. The problem of large breasts, however, may cause similar problems at all ages and these are chiefly backache, neck pain, grooves in the shoulders from bra straps, rashes under the breasts and the feeling of self consciousness. Because of the sexual nature of breasts the undue prominence may attract unwanted attention from the opposite sex, comments and sexual innuendoes. These can cause psychological distress to many women. One of the commonest complaints of women with large breasts is that it is very difficult to wear fashionable clothes and indulge in active sports, particularly in the summer months.
Breast reduction surgery, also called reduction mammoplasty, is a type of plastic surgery performed to reduce the size, volume and weight of the breasts.
How is Breast Reduction performed?
The operation involves first lifting the nipple into a new position, keeping it attached, and so alive, on a ‘stalk’ of tissue (pedicle). Extra skin and breast tissue is then cut away. The skin and tissue that is left is reshaped into a smaller, higher breast and the nipple is put back in place.
There are several types of incision methods used for breast reduction which are ;Anchor type ( Inverted T reduction), Circular pattern around the areola and Keyhole ( racquet shape). The best type for you depends on the size of your breasts and how much of a reduction you want. The different types make different scars on the breasts. Whichever type of reduction you have, the scars should not be visible when you wear normal clothing, bras and bikini tops.
Who is the right candidate for Breast Reduction?
- Constant backache, neck pain and poor posture due to large and sagging breasts.
- Your breasts are limiting your physical activity.
- Feeling uncomfortable in your clothes.
- Feeling unattractive.
What to expect after the operation
Breast reduction surgery is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic (so you would be asleep) or a regional anaesthetic (where the whole area is numbed with injections). The operation usually takes about two hours. You might be given antibiotics to keep the wound clean. Also, you may have drainage tubes in the breast to drain away any fluid or blood. These tubes will be taken out when the fluid or blood has stopped draining, usually before you go home. You might go home the same day, or stay in hospital overnight. If you do go home on the same day, a responsible adult should stay with you for the night. Your chest will feel tight and your breasts and the ribs below your breasts will be sore. Simple painkillers should be enough to keep you comfortable.
You will have some dressings on your breasts. You will need to wear a well-fitting bra with no underwiring for six weeks after the operation.
Breast Reduction Recovery
You will be out of bed on the same day as your surgery, and doing light activities after two weeks. You should be back to normal exercise in six weeks. Most patients take at least two weeks off work after the operation, depending on their job. Your breasts will be sore and swollen for a few weeks after the operation. Do not lift heavy things for several weeks, and avoid sex for at least two weeks. With all activities, start gently.
Seeing the results
At first your breasts may seem too high and the skin too tight. It can take several months for the swelling to settle, and many months for the final result to appear. Most patients are pleased with the final result, but some find their new size and shape difficult to get used to. This may happen to you. You may have more or less sensation in your nipple, and this can change over time.
To protect your body and get the best result, look after yourself.
- Avoid vigorous activities after your operation.
- Protect your wounds as you are told to.
- Putting on weight or being pregnant will affect the results.
- Maintain a healthy weight and level of exercise.