A breast reduction surgery or mammoplasty is not always a personal choice to appear attractive. It is a solution to women struggling with overtly large breasts causing them shoulder, back & neck pain or those who are unhappy/self-conscious about their large breasts.
Unusually large breasts are a common problem faced by many women. It is usually due to family trait (hereditary) but could also be due to excessive weight gain, hormonal changes in the woman’s body, or simply due to natural ageing. Breast sagging can also be due to the poor toning up of the skin due to the break of the suspensory ligaments during pregnancy or lactation. Large breasts often droop under gravity, which could result in lower confidence due to poor physical appearance.
Some patients although having a normal breast volume, have an unattractive shape; their breasts either have sagged down or their skin is too loose.
The aim of the surgical correction is to create a breast that is proportionate to the width of the chest and the shoulders and the overall body form.
Good candidates for Breast Reduction are
- Women with very big breasts
- Women whose breasts droop or sag
- Women who experience shoulder and upper back pain due to heavy breasts
- Asymmetry between large breasts
- Get grooves in the shoulders caused by bra straps
- Get skin maceration in the sub-mammary area
- Have stretch marks due to heavy breasts
- Those who are unhappy and self-conscious about the large appearance of their breasts
Breast reduction is carried out under general anaesthesia. Depending on the breast, we employ different techniques customized to each case. The aim is to achieve a more proportionate and youthful contour of the breasts.
The surgery consists of decreasing the breast volume and bringing up the nipple-areola complex (NAC) to the correct place, using the most appropriate technique in each case. Post-surgery, a semi-compressive dressing is placed on the breasts as well as a drain if it is surgically indicated. After 2 days the dressing is changed to a support bra and the patient is discharged from the hospital, after removal of the drain, if any.
The incision and scar on the breast – the great matter of concern
We as plastic surgeons intend to satisfy our patients by concealing the scars as far as possible with clever placement of incision lines. We combine the technique of liposuction and latest technique of short scar supero-medial pedicle type along with special suturing techniques to further minimize the scar. Final scar is from areola going inferiorly into sub-mammary line or just falling short of it and is hidden underneath the breast. It gets better with time and camouflages with the rest of the breast by one year of time and to be barely noticeable.
- There may be some amount of swelling, bruising and discomfort in the first 24 – 48 hours, but you can do your daily chores, from the very next day.
- You may return to work 3 days post-surgery if you have a desk job that doesn’t require strenuous physical activity.
- You may start driving 10-14 days post op, but it has to be done wearing the support bra at all times (day & night).
- Most women feel normal, one month post-surgery as most of the bruising, discomfort and swelling subside by then.
- By 6-8 weeks, you can resume most of the physical activities again.
- The breasts will still continue to “settle” into their final position over the course of the next few months.
Please note that each person is different and so is their recovery timeline. The above is to be only interpreted as a general guideline, rather than a rule.
Some patients present an increase in the sensitivity of the nipple-areola, while others, a decrease. These alternations are usually temporary and resolved in a few months.
It is normal that during the first few months, an asymmetry could exist due to the fact that an inflammation is being resolved and not always both breasts can present the same level of inflammation. It is also normal that one breast is harder than the other one and all that is resolved eventually.
Patients who have undergone breast reduction surgeries are some of the happiest of plastic surgery patients! The procedure leads to dual benefits of improving your appearance while relieving the physical and emotional burden of having overtly large breasts.