Are you a good candidate for Breast Reduction?
- Posted on: Sep 11 2012
Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammaplasty, removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
Overly large breasts can cause some women to have both health and emotional problems. In addition to self image issues, you may also experience physical pain and discomfort. Large breasts can be an asset or a liability. Plastic surgeons describe the condition of having large breasts as “macromastia.” Some women and teens prefer large, while others suffer physical and emotional discomfort.
The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts is as important an issue to many women as the physical discomfort and pain. Neck and shoulder pain, low self-esteem, undesired attention and difficulty finding clothes that fit may all occur with large breasts. But there are women with large breasts that are happy. It may not easy to make a diagnosis of macromastia. A short woman with a “D” cup size bra may be miserable, while a taller woman may feel fine with the larger size. Macromastia may also occur because of weight problems. Two-thirds of teens with macromastia are overweight. However, weight reduction typically doesn’t resolve the breast-size problem.
Breast reduction surgery is not without risks. “Especially for those who are overweight, the risks include delayed wound healing, scarring and an unsatisfactory outcome.” Possible side effects include an inability to breast feed and short-term changes in nipple sensitivity. For those reasons, it makes sense to first encourage patients who are overweight to lose weight before having surgery. But that can be difficult, especially since macromastia can make it tough to exercise. In the case with breast reduction for teenagers, there is significant data proving that breast reduction during adolescence rather than waiting is safe and effective. According to Surgery.org, teenage girls with large breasts “are suffering. If you wait about three years after menarche, the breasts may grow slightly but not enough to necessitate waiting longer.”
Breast reduction is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You don’t smoke
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
- Your breasts limit your physical activity
- You experience back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- You have regular indentations from bra straps that support heavy, pendulous breasts
- You have skin irritation beneath the breast crease
- Your breasts hang low and have stretched skin
- Your nipples rest below the breast crease when your breasts are unsupported
- You have enlarged areolas caused by stretched skin
Breast reduction surgery is usually performed through incisions on your breasts with surgical removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin.
In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques described below. The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual condition, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, your personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice.
A keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease:
An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern:
The incision lines that remain are visible and permanent scars, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra.
After the incision is made, the nipple (which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply) is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary.
Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, for extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).
The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. When your breast reduction procedure is complete, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra may be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time
The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover.
The results of breast reduction surgery will be long-lasting. Your new breast size should help relieve you from the pain and physical limitations experienced prior to breast reduction. Your better proportioned figure will likely enhance your self image and boost your self-confidence. However, over time your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity.
For further information about breast reduction surgery, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and please call our office at (212)472-8700 to speak with Dr. Monasebian and schedule an appointment today.
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