If you’ve been living life with large and heavy breasts, you may be experiencing a wide range of physical symptoms including physical aches and chronic strain on your neck, back, and shoulders. You might also feel like your breasts are out of proportion with your body shape. If you’re ready to reduce the size of your breasts and give yourself a break from the stress of carrying the weight in your back and shoulders, you may want to consider having breast reduction surgery. Additionally, men who have gynecomastia (enlargement of breasts in the male body) may find a breast reduction can alleviate their symptoms.
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts in order to achieve a more proportional look for the body. The formal name for the procedure is reduction mammaplasty and it helps to successfully alleviate the pain associated with larger breasts.
Though the process of breast reduction is performed in the same way with most options (an incision around the nipple and down the front of the breast), you will have a say in how you want your breasts to look like after surgery. You’ll see pictures of surgeries before and after a breast reduction and the surgeon will discuss the looks available.
There are many reasons you might consider having breast reduction surgery, most of which involve reducing the breasts to ease pain and increase mobility.
Some of the conditions that can be treated with reduction mammaplasty include:
Macromastia: Also known as breast hypertrophy, characteristics include excess breast tissue, fat and take into account the breast positioning. If you have excessively large breasts that are getting in the way of living a normal daily life, you might consider breast reduction surgery to help reduce the size of your breasts to a more proportional size for your body.
Gynecomastia: This is a condition where the male body develops breasts and enlarged breast tissues. Breast reduction surgery can help alleviate these symptoms.
Physical Pain: Larger breasts can cause pain in the neck, back, and shoulders as your body have to strain to hold up the weight. Pain can also keep you from participating in activities that you love like exercise or some recreational activities. Your large breasts may also be giving you a chronic rash which has become bothersome to treat.
Aesthetic Choices: If you have larger breasts that you don’t like, you can choose to have a breast reduction surgery as a cosmetic procedure. Larger breasts have a greater tendency to droop and sag over time as well. Or you may just feel self-conscious about your large chest size or have trouble fitting into clothes you want to wear. Breast reduction surgery will help you craft the look you want to achieve while also reducing any pain you might feel having larger breasts on a small frame.
During your consultation, you’ll want to discuss the reasons why you’re unhappy with your breasts and what results you want to see from a breast reduction surgery. Your surgeon will talk about the best options available and show you what you can hope to expect from breast reduction surgery. Measurements will need to be taken and you’ll be shown before and after pictures.
If you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery, your surgeon may give you a list of things to do before your surgery, perhaps recommend a mammogram and avoid smoking or taking aspirin before your procedure. Make sure you bring a list of questions and worries to discuss with your surgeon. A list will help make sure you don’t forget to ask any important questions before your surgery day.
After your consultation, you’ll be given a surgery day and instructions to follow the day before your surgery. You’ll have your surgery in an outpatient surgery center. You’ll be able to go home the same day.
There are various steps that will take place during your procedure. First, you’ll be given anesthesia so that you will not feel any pain during surgery. Your surgeon will then make an incision around your nipple and down the front of your breast, usually called a keyhole incision. Next, your surgeon will remove excess fat, tissue, and skin (usually by means of liposuction) and reposition the breasts. Finally, the areola and the nipple will be repositioned and tightened when necessary. The last step will be to close your incision. After this, you’ll be taken to the recovery room. Your surgery should take around 1 to 3 hours depending on how large your breasts are and how much nipple reconstruction needs to take place.
In the recovery room, you’ll be monitored until you wake up from anesthesia and are able to go home. You will have to have someone drive you home from surgery and present for your recovery at home for at least the first 24 to 48 hours.
If your surgery goes as planned, you’ll notice the results of your breast surgery immediately and be thrilled to see your breasts at a reduced size. You’ll be sore after surgery for a few weeks and bruising and scarring won’t be complete for up to 3 months after surgery. You may have some perpetual scarring where the incision took place but the scars will fade over time and be completely covered by a bra or swimsuit.
You’ll want to make sure to follow-up with your doctor to make sure your healing is on track and that everything looks great with your results. Once you’re healed, you won’t need maintenance appointments unless you have any questions or problems with your surgery.
After your breast reduction surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze while they heal. You may have tubes or sutures that will help the breast drain. You’ll want to avoid activity for at least the first two to four weeks as you heal. You may want to schedule any time off of work and schedule for babysitters and caretakers ahead of your surgery.
During your recovery, you’ll want to keep your breasts wrapped with a bandage and supported with a special bra while you heal. Your doctor will give you exact instructions for your recovery time depending upon how your surgery went and how you’re healing.
After your procedure, you’ll be given instructions for your recovery which might include pain management, healing, and looking for the following side effects: