What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction, medically known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size and weight of excessively large breasts. The primary objective is to alleviate physical discomforts such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder grooves, and skin irritation caused by the weight of heavy breasts. Additionally, breast reduction surgery can enhance body proportions, boost self-confidence, and improve overall quality of life.

Candidates For Breast Reduction

Candidates for breast reduction surgery typically include women who experience physical discomfort, emotional distress, or functional limitations due to the size and weight of their breasts. Ideal candidates generally meet the following criteria:

  • Physical discomfort: Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, shoulder grooves from bra straps, or skin irritation beneath the breasts.
  • Functional limitations: Difficulty engaging in physical activities due to breast size and weight.
  • Emotional distress: Feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, or negative body image.
  • Proportion and balance: Desire to improve overall body balance and proportions by reducing breast size.
  • Good general health: Absence of medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications.
  • Non-smokers: Non-smoking status or willingness to quit smoking before and after surgery.
  • Stable weight: Near ideal weight, as significant fluctuations can impact surgical results.

Consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to determine candidacy for breast reduction surgery. The surgeon will assess medical history, anatomy, and specific concerns to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Stages Of Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery typically involves the following stages:

  1. Anesthesia: The patient receives anesthesia, usually general anesthesia, to ensure comfort and pain control during the procedure.

  2. Incisions: The surgeon makes incisions on the breasts using chosen surgical techniques, such as anchor (inverted-T), vertical (lollipop), or periareolar incisions.

  3. Tissue removal and reshaping: Excess breast tissue and skin are removed, and breast tissue is reshaped to create smaller, more proportionate breasts. Nipple and areola may be repositioned and resized as needed.

  4. Closing the incisions: The surgeon closes incisions using sutures, adhesives, or surgical tape, minimizing visible scarring.

  5. Results: Final results of breast reduction surgery become fully visible over several weeks to months as swelling subsides, and breasts settle into their new shape.

Post-Breast Reduction Surgery Tips

Post-operative care is crucial for a smooth recovery after breast reduction surgery. Tips to support recovery include:

  • Pain and swelling management: Use prescribed pain medications and cold compresses to alleviate discomfort and swelling.
  • Supportive bra: Wear a surgical or supportive bra as recommended by your surgeon to provide support and minimize swelling.
  • Hygiene: Keep incision sites clean and dry, following surgeon’s instructions for bathing and wound care.
  • Avoid strenuous activities: Refrain from heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for 4-6 weeks post-surgery.
  • Sleep position: Sleep with the upper body slightly elevated to reduce swelling.
  • Hydration and nutrition: Stay hydrated and consume nutritious meals to support healing.
  • Smoking cessation: Avoid smoking or tobacco use, as it can hinder healing and increase complication risks.