Understanding if Breast Reduction Surgery is Right For You

Advertisements about breast augmentation and the doctors who perform them are everywhere, but what about women who feel they need to reduce the size of their breasts? Can they successfully have surgery to get the results and body they desire?

Breast reductions procedures are performed for a number of reasons. Though some people may wonder why a woman blessed with large breasts would think of them as a burden, in many cases they are just that. Some women elect to reduce the size of their breasts because their current size has caused them a number of shoulder, back, and other problems. Some women get them reduced because they interfere with their ability to play sports. Other women have the reduction procedure performed for purely aesthetic reasons, preferring to have a sleeker and less pronounced look. No matter the reason, it is crucial to speak with a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with this type of surgery.

Breast reduction surgery begins with the incision, of which they are three main types. The first is the inverted-T, which is made at the crease of the breast and then upwards to the areola. The next type of incision is the peri-areola type, which is a circular incision made around the areola. The third type of incision is the lollipop or keyhole type, which is made around the areola, and then downward to the crease of the breasts.

After the incision is made, the surgeon will reposition the nipple while it remains connected to the nerves and the blood supply.  The surgeon will then remove the specified amount of breast tissue and reshape as necessary. The surgery usually takes between three to five hours, is done in an outpatient facility, and requires general anesthesia. The areola, which has been stretched on larger breasts, is usually smaller after the surgery. Because the areolas and nipples remain attached during surgery, sensation is preserved and the ability to breast feed usually remains intact.

Once the excess breast tissue, skin, and fat have been removed, the incision is closed up with sutures. It is important to have someone who can drive you home after surgery and stay with you the first night or two. Complications after surgery can include bleeding, infection, loss of sensation, and improperly healed incisions. Most complications are minor, though some may require a second surgery to fix the issue. However, complications are rare as minor complications such as bleeding and discomfort will go away after a short time. To minimize the risk of any major complications, follow all instructions provided by your surgeon. You may also wear a surgical bra for a few weeks to reduce swelling and bruising, and expedite the healing process. Scars are also a normal complication from any surgery; the scars will fade over time, but may not completely disappear.

In most instances, you will be able to return to work or daily activities after a week or two, unless it involves lifting or high levels of physical exertion. Light exercise can be resumed after three or four weeks and gradually increased in intensity. Most women who get breast reduction surgery are very satisfied with the results; they are amazed at their new look and happy to have made the decision to undergo breast reduction surgery.