Breast reduction removes fat and glandular tissue from oversized breasts. It is an operation designed for women with excessively large breasts, which often cause problems like back pain, shoulder pain, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, difficulty exercising, and numbness in the hands. Oversized breasts can also cause emotional problems, especially in younger women. Breast reduction can be performed at any age after puberty. In breast reduction, the degree of scarring is unpredictable and it may take a year or more for scars to fade.
The surgeon will perform a breast examination. During this consultation, the potential positive and negative effects of the surgery will be discussed. There may be a loss of sensation in the nipples and breast skin. You may lose the ability to breast feed. The scar will be similar to the anchor shaped scar in breast lift surgery, which is a straight line under the areola and then curved along the inferior crease of each breast. The physical discomfort from the large breasts will be improved. Your body will look more proportional and your clothes will fit better.
How much breast tissue will be removed depends on the size of the breasts before surgery and what size the patient wants to be afterwards. Usually the nipple and areola can be left intact but moved in position. In unusually large breasts, the nipple and areola may have to be removed completely and replaced as a graft.
This a procedure that can usually be done as an outpatient, under general anesthesia. An anesthesiologist will put you to sleep before the operation and monitor your breathing and vital signs through the surgery, which usually takes two to three hours. There will be a period of recovery lasting about one hour after surgery. After that you can go home with someone driving you.
You will return the next day or two to have the dressings changed. You can shower on the third day after surgery. There are sutures that will be removed in seven to ten days. You can start driving after one week. We recommend taking one to two weeks off of work after surgery.