Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin that can help make your breasts feel smaller, lighter and give them a better shape. With this procedure it is possible to achieve a breast size more in proportion with your body and to ease the discomfort associated with excessively large breasts. Men with conditions such as gynecomastia (in which male breasts are abnormally enlarged) may also have benefit from this procedure.
Disproportionately large breasts can cause both physical and emotional distress for patients. Furthermore, patients with excessively large breasts may experience physical discomfort resulting from the weight of their breasts. This on the other hand can make it challenging for some patients to perform common physical activities.
All of these symptoms can be a sign that your breasts are too heavy for you:
- Pressure on the shoulders caused by bra supporting too much weight.
- Severe back and neck pain.
- Numbness in your hands and fingers.
- Shortness of breath.
How is breast reduction performed?
Breast reduction surgery is carried out under general anesthetic. The operation takes 3-4 hours, depending on the extent of the breast reduction. An incision will be made around your nipple, then downward on your breast in a keyhole shape. The excess skin, tissue and fat are removed and your nipple is relocated and then the incisions are closed. The size of the areola also might be reduced. Drainage tubes will be used to help prevent fluid build-up. Your surgeon then sutures the incision and applies a dressing. You will also be required to wear a surgical bra.
Who are good candidates for breast reduction?
- You are physically healthy.
- You have realistic expectations.
- You don’t smoke.
- You are bothered by feeling that your breasts are too large.
- Your breasts limit your physical activity.
- Poor self-image related to large breasts
- You have nerve pain
- You experience back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
Benefits of the breast reduction procedure
- A well-proportioned body
- Better clothing fit
- Enjoyable Exercising
- Quick recovery time
- Improved self-esteem and quality of life
- Improved posture
Recovery and results
It can take up to 6 weeks to fully recover from the breast reduction surgery. Stretching, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for up to 6 weeks after the operation. A sports bra should be worn 24 hours a day for up to 3 months after breast surgery.
You’ll see results immediately; however, it can take months for the swelling to completely go down and the scars to fade. Satisfaction with your new image will continue to grow as you recover. Your new breast size swill help relieve the pain and physical limitations experienced prior to breast reduction. The final outcome is generally permanent although breast shape and size can change due to factors such as aging and weight gain or loss.
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