A breast reduction is performed to reduce the size of the breasts due to back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and irritation in the skin crease due to moisture retention. Often, shoulder indentations from bra straps due to the weight of the breasts are also present. Reduction mammaplasty reduces the cup size along with the areola size and lifts the nipple to a natural place as the nipple often descend lower down with breast enlargement. The breasts are often asymmetrical and a breast reduction can be performed to minimize the asymmetry. Breast reduction can be a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure depending on the symptoms as well as the amount of tissue removed from each breast.
Your Breast Reduction Consultation
During a consultation for breast reduction surgery, also called reduction mammoplasty, we discuss present symptoms, medical history as well as expectations for the cup size following the surgery. Measurements and pictures are also taken at the time of consultation. The procedure along with any risks and potential complications are discussed at the time of the consultation. Smokers, diabetics, and history of radiation place one at high risk of wound healing problems.
The Reduction Mammaplasty Procedure and Recovery
The procedure is performed in the hospital under general anesthesia usually as an outpatient procedure. The breast reduction surgery takes about three to three and a half hours, depending on the size of the reduction. Larger reductions can take longer. All sutures are dissolving and drains may be used to remove extra fluid or blood from the area for the first few days.
Aspirin, ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn along with herbal medications and high dose vitamins are to be avoided for two weeks prior to surgery and can be resumed on the day after surgery. It is safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) during this time as it does not increase the risk of bleeding.
We will see you prior to the surgery to go through the steps and answer any questions. Prescriptions for pain medications and antibiotics are provided and these are taken after the surgery. Breast reduction is a moderately painful procedure and the initial recovery is about seven to ten days with restricted physical activity for the first 28 days. Significant improvement in back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain is usually noticed following the procedure. Any strenuous activity, heavy lifting (more than five pounds), or repetitive motion should be avoided as it can lead to increase the risk of bleeding, swelling, and muscle spasm.
A surgical bra is provided to help reduce the swelling after the procedure. A shower can be taken two days after the surgery. Scar massage is advised to reduce the scar tissue and reduce redness and swelling after the procedure. Often, complete results may take about six months for complete swelling to resolve, implants to drop and become symmetrical, as well as the scars to fade.