Breast reduction (mammary reduction)
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure which consists of reducing the breasts by removing the fat, the skin, and the mammary gland which is considered to be in excess. A person can feel uncomfortable and concerned of her image when she has huge breasts. Certain medical conditions, such as back and neck pain, breathing and circulation problems, may be associated with very large breasts. These women often have incorrect postures and do some physical activitieswith more difficulty. Men who choose surgery have bigger breasts and don’t feel comfortable with their bodies. A well-developed and and muscular chest is a sign of masculinity, and modifications of this ideal, especially in one with large breast, causes intense negative emotions. This situation can be caused by hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, or certain drugs. The difference between gynecomasty (breast augmentation in men) caused by fat or glandular tissues is significant.
It is very important to remember that breast reduction doesn’t increase or decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. It is recommended that after the surgery you perform self-examination regularly, as recommended to people of your age.
Am I the right candidate for it?
- My breasts are too big and I have difficulties breathing.
- Because of my breasts I have back and neck pains.
- One of my breasts is significantly larger than the other and I don’t wish to have a breast implant.
- My physical activities are difficult.
- The skin under the breast is painful and frequently I have a rash in this area.
- I am a male and my breasts should be much smaller than they are.
If your biggest concern is that your breasts are lowered, then the most appropriate procedure for you is breast lift.
The intervention of breast reduction can be performed at any age but it is recommended to be done after growth has stopped. If you wish to become pregnant and breast feed, please communicate this to your physician. If you wish to lose or gain weight, it will be advised to time your surgery after reaching the desired balance.
Before breast reduction surgery
You should stop smoking before surgery. As well, you should stop using aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and drugs which affect blood clotting. In some cases your surgeon will recommend performing a few investigations before surgery, for example mammography, beside the usual ones. You will get clear instructions about your diet for the day before surgery.
Breast reduction surgery
Usually the breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist. A whole team will work for you to benefit from a safe intervention with the best results. Smaller operations can be performed with intravenous sedation. The surgery takes around 2 hours. Although there are many surgery techniques,it usually requires 2 or 3 incisions. The first one is made around the areola (the darker skin around the nipple) and this incision extends vertically all the way below the breast. In some cases the incision can continue horizontally along the fold between the breast and the chest. Excess glandular tissue, fat and skin is removed. The nipple and areola are centered for the beauty of the breast. These are not separated from the tissues underneath them, so they will retain their function and feeling sensation. The operation can be completed with liposuction techniques. This may be the only intervention needed in cases when excess fat defines the volume of the big breasts. In this event, a small 2-3 mm incision will be made around the areola or in the axilla, into which is inserted a suction cannula. The plastic surgeon moves the cannula firmly to separate the fat tissues from the tissues underneath them. The tube is attached to a vacuum pump which will suck out the fat tissues.
Incision lines are closed with sutures and are covered with a sterile dressing. In some cases a bandage will be applied around your chest. The small tubes, left after the operation wre there to prevent the accumulation of blood and they will be removed the next day.
After breast reduction surgery
Please remember that breast reduction is a surgery. Usually after the surgery you will see swelling and bruising. The breast swelling can mask the excised breast tissue. The results of the intervention will be visible after the edema devolves. It is recommended to wear a medical bra for a few weeks after the operation to stimulate the devolvement of the edema and to protect the breasts. You will be encouraged to get out of bed and progressively do light activities; intense exercises are forbidden. The pain around the areola will transform in numbness but the feeling will return in time. Medications will be prescribed to make this period of recovery as comfortable as possible. Please follow exactly the instructions you will get.
More details about this intervention and post-surgery recommendations will be given at the examinations.