WHAT IS A BREAST REDUCTION?
A breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Breast reduction decreases the breasts’ size in women for whom overly large breasts are an impediment to lifestyle, health and/or self-image. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?
There are a variety of surgical techniques for breast reduction. The technique, along with surgical approach, will depend on your preferences, your anatomy and your surgeon’s recommendation. The goal is to give the woman smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body, which offers a tremendous quality of life enhancement. Post-surgery, lifestyle changes and increased activity tend to transform the entire body, resulting in a far greater degree of fitness.
WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
Breast reductions are typically performed under general anesthesia. Excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are meticulously removed according to the surgical plan. The nipple and remaining underlying tissue are then moved to a higher location and sutures are placed around the areola, extending down under breast crease to minimize scarring. The area is bandaged, and most patients stay in the recovery room for two to four hours before being released to go home. The procedure takes two to five hours.
HOW LONG IS RECOVERY AND WHEN CAN I RESUME MY NORMAL ACTIVITIES?
Sutures are normally removed between nine to 11 days (unless dissolvable). You can return to non-strenuous work within seven to 14 days. Most swelling, bruising, and soreness is gone within six to eight weeks. Bruising and swelling may last two to three weeks and some subtle swelling may last for up to three months. Heavy lifting and exertion should be restricted for the first six months following surgery. You can return to strenuous activities in eight weeks. Your final bra size can be determined within 10 to 12 weeks. Your scar will continue to fade for up to two years.