Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is an option open to women with overly large breasts. During the procedure, a surgeon will remove excess breast tissue and fat and re-shape the breast to the desired size.
Reasons to choose breast reduction surgery
There are many possible reasons why a woman may opt for breast reduction; and they cover both cosmetic and medical reasons. Many women experience back and neck pain due to the extra strain caused by heavier breasts. They can also suffer poor posture, rashes, sweating and even painful infections under the breasts. Women with large breasts may find it difficult to take part in sports or exercise due to painful movements or difficulty in finding a sports bra that is both big enough and which provides enough support.
This can lead to a woman feeling self-conscious and loosing self-esteem. Dr Ivo Pitanguy says that cosmetic surgery “aims for a balance that allows the individual to feel in harmony with his own image”. If this harmony is not achieved, a person can ultimately end up feeling depressed.
If you’re considering breast reduction surgery then first of all you need to find a reputable surgeon who you are comfortable with. Do your research and seek professional advice by speaking to an experienced and professional company.
Once you have chosen your surgeon, fully discuss your expectations and what you hope the results of the surgery will be. Your breast surgeon will be able to tell you if your expectations are realistic and will explain to you the procedure and recovery in full.
Procedure and recovery
Breast reduction surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will mark your breast before surgery and use these marks to guide where he makes his incisions. The surgeon will cut around the nipple, keeping it attached to the breast, and remove areas of excess breast and fatty tissue. He will then reshape the breast and reattach the nipple, giving a smaller and uplifted shape the breast. This procedure usually takes between 2-4 hours, but the time in theatre will depend on the amount of reduction each patient requires.
Once the surgery is complete, you will expect to spend 1 or 2 nights in hospital where trained staff will help with your pain management. Your breast will be swollen and tender so you may be in a bit of discomfort initially. Upon discharge, you will be fully informed about how to take care of yourself and a follow up appointment will be made to have any stitches removed. You are advised to wear a non-wired support bra to begin with and avoid exercise or heavy lifting for up to 6 weeks.
As with any surgery, breast reduction surgery carried risks such as infection, loss of sensation or inability tobreastfeed. Your surgeon will fully explain all the potential risks before your surgery.