Breast Reduction Surgery Explained
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed and has been for decades. However for many women, bigger is not always better. There are many reasons why women (and in some cases men) undergo breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, most of them being for symptomatic reasons including troubling health concerns.
Women not happy with the size of their breasts who seek breast reduction surgery do so not only for appearance sake, but also to address bothersome medical concerns. Often times, depending on the size of their chest, women with enlarged breasts may not be able to shop in regular department stores for bras. They’ll usually need to resort to spending a lot more time and money seeking seamstresses who can customize fabric to their breast shape and size. This makes it incredibly frustrating to shop for clothes. Where some garments may fit a woman’s waist, it may at the same time appear too small to adequately and comfortably fit over the chest.
Many women in need of breast reduction surgery experience prolonged debilitating pain from the extra carried weight. This may result in neck spasms, back problems, sore muscles, hunched shoulders and skeletal imbalances, essentially impeding the patient’s quality of life. These women often also suffer from grooving bra straps that dig into their shoulders as a means of support to lift their breasts. Teenagers (especially) may feel their over-sized chest negatively impacts their self esteem, leaving them uncomfortable and shy about their bodies and avoiding attention as best they can. For these and various other reasons, many women undergo breast reduction surgery.
Ultimately, the goal of this procedure it to reduce the patient’s breast size for reasons of improving and alleviating their nagging physical symptoms, while also providing results that are aesthetically appealing. Breast reduction surgery is a very serious procedure, and should only be performed by an experienced, board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon. Patients are advised to do their research diligently to assure their surgeon understands their needs and goals while keeping the patient’s safety as utmost priority.
There are various methods to achieve breast reduction through surgery which should be discussed during the initial consultation, and later tailored to the candidate after reviewing any operative details. During this time measurements are typically made to help Dr. Adibfar best customize a method and surgery plan that’s individualized to the patient’s needs. These various surgical methods vary in scar placement, the way the tissue is removed, and/or treatment of the areola. While often times the patient’s nipple is kept intact, women whose breasts are larger than others undergoing breast reduction may need to have the areola removed and then reattached using a grafting technique before closing the final incision. Often times, patients undergoing breast reduction surgery also have the appearance of asymmetrical breasts, or one nipple which appears lower than the other, both conditions of which are addressed and corrected during the procedure as well.
The most common procedure is performed using an anchor-like incision which is made around the areola and curves down under the breast forming a similar shape to an anchor. The procedure length does vary however typically lasts approximately three hours. Once the excess tissue and/or skin is removed, the incision is closed using dissolvable stitches. The patient’s chest is then bandaged and wrapped using sterile dressings and a supportive surgical bra. The cosmetic plastic surgeon may also use drains to combat possible fluid retention or infection. The drains are removed at the first follow up appointment usually one week after surgery. During every breast reduction surgery, Dr. Adibfar incorporates breast lift techniques to make certain that the surgery not only leaves the patient feeling better physically, but that they are also happy with the look of their breasts. The volume, shape, look and size of each patient’s chest is appropriately suited to their individual figure.
Patients will experience swelling and bruising which will reduce within the first two weeks and continue to do so for up to six weeks. The breasts themselves will continue to form and settle into their new shape over the next six months to a year while the scars continue to lighten. It is important to note that incision lines will appear at their worst up to six weeks after surgery. They will then begin to change in colour and blend in with the surrounding skin.
Females fully recovered from breast reduction surgery are often the most satisfied surgical patients reporting an incredibly high rate of satisfaction. Not only are their physical symptoms lessened, if not completely alleviated, they no longer find clothes difficult to wear, they feel more comfortable in social situations, and generally just feel much better in their bodies. Whereas before their identity felt defined by their breast size, these satisfied women can now enjoy life more comfortably and confidently. Simple exercises that appeared incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes painful prior to surgery, are more easily integrated as normal daily activities, leaving patients with more opportunities to participate in all areas that life has to offer.
Click here to learn more about breast reduction surgery or to book a consultation with Elements’ board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr. Adibfar.