Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Published on 01 August 2022
Breast reduction surgery is also called reduction mammoplasty and entails surgically removing some portion of the tissues, fat, and skin from the breasts to reduce and reshape them. This surgery will relieve any discomfort (both physical and mental) caused by very large breasts and provide a breast size proportionate to your body, giving a more natural appearance.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Breast reduction surgery may be recommended if you have very large breasts (macromastia) and the following conditions:
- Prolonged pain that will affect your quality of life. You could be experiencing headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain.
- Poor posture causes chronic nerve problems, which result in numbness in the arms.
- Cosmetic problems include persistent grooves formed by bra straps, scar-like lines on the skin, difficulty finding clothes that fit, and low self-esteem.
- Long-term rashes under your breasts.
- The unwanted attention that is making you feel uncomfortable.
- Unable to take part in sports
Before the Procedure
- The plastic surgeon will physically examine your breasts to evaluate the size and shape of breasts, breast skin, and the amount of fat in the breasts, as well as run a few tests to monitor your condition, such as an X-ray, pulmonary function test, echo test, blood tests, and urine test.
- A mammogram is taken to rule out breast cancer.
- It would help if you informed the doctor about your routine medicines. It is also important to discuss your expectations with the doctor.
- The doctor will take photographs of your breasts for medical records.
- You are usually not allowed to eat or drink for a few hours before the surgery.
During the Procedure
- You will be given general anaesthesia and operated on a table. The surgeon makes an incision on the breasts and surgically removes excess fat, glandular tissue and skin.
- Following the incision, the nipple connected to its original blood and nerve supply is repositioned. If necessary, the areola is decreased by excising skin around the perimeter.
- Breast tissue beneath the skin is reduced, lifted, and shaped. In rare cases, the nipple and areola are removed and shifted to another position (free nipple graft) on the breast for extremely large pendulous breasts.
- Liposuction may be used along with excision techniques to remove excess fat in some cases. If the breast size is primarily due to fatty tissues and excess skin is not the reason, liposuction alone may be used in the breast reduction procedure.
- The incisions are closed to reshape the now smaller breast. To support and create the newly shaped breasts, surgical sutures, skin adhesives, or surgical tape are used to close the wound. Sutures are layered deep inside the breast tissue. Incision lines are permanent, but they fade and improve significantly over time.
- The results of reduction mammoplasty are visible immediately. Swelling will decrease, and incision lines will fade.
After the surgery
- You will be shifted to the recovery room immediately following the operation.
- A tube may be placed under each arm to drain excess blood or fluid.
- The breasts will be wrapped with a gauze dressing or bandages. You can shift from the surgical bra to a sports bra when dressings are removed. Many patients prefer the added support of the surgical bra.
- There will be pain for the first few days, especially when moving around or coughing, and discomfort for a week or more.
- The doctor will give painkillers and antibiotics to alleviate pain and reduce the risk of infection.
- You will need a few days of hospital stay, and the drain tubes will be removed the next day.
- If the breast skin is dry after surgery, apply moisturiser but keep the area of sutures dry.
- Your breasts may swell and hurt during your first menstruation after surgery. For a few months, you may also experience shooting pains. Due to swelling after surgery, you can expect some loss of sensation in your nipples and breast skin. This usually goes away within six weeks. It may last a year or more in some patients.
- The breasts will feel firmer and in better proportion to your body.
- The operation will relieve neck, back, and shoulder pain and make breathing and exercising easier.
- The clothes will fit better, and you will feel more confident about your appearance.
Breast reduction complications are minimal and include those associated with surgery, such as infection, excessive bleeding, and anaesthesia risks. Risks associated with breast reduction surgery include:
- Reduced sensation of nipples
- Changes in breast or nipple sensation that are temporary or permanent
- Poor wound healing
- Contour and shape irregularities
- Skin discolouration, changes in pigmentation, swelling, and bruising
- Accumulation of fluid
- Decreased ability to breastfeed
Care at Medicover
Plastic surgery involves restoring, reconstructing, and altering the human body through surgical procedures. Medicover hospital offers a wide range of corrective and enhancement procedures that will help patients of all age groups, from children to adults. Medicover Hospitals, one of the best plastic surgery hospitals, is dedicated to providing excellent patient care through its multidisciplinary team of medical specialists for breast reduction surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Avoid lifting anything that will cause you to strain for about two weeks after surgery. This could include heavy grocery bags, a briefcase or backpack, a vacuum cleaner, or a child.
Breast reduction surgery is generally recommended for patients over the age of 18 or when their breasts have fully developed.
Breast reduction surgery, like any major surgery, carries risks such as infection, bleeding, and an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. Scarring, loss of sensation in the nipples and areolas, difficulty breastfeeding, and differences in the shape and size of the left and right breasts after surgery are risks associated with this surgery.
The tissues removed during the procedure are permanently removed. However, gaining weight can cause new fat to be deposited in the breasts and may increase their size significantly.
Breast reduction surgery that is successful may relieve pain in your upper back, neck, or shoulder and make you more physically active and boost self-esteem. So, it is worth the trouble for most women who choose to have this surgery.
Breastfeeding typically decreases following breast reduction surgery. As breast reduction surgery involves the removal of a portion of the breasts, it may also include mammary glands, which will affect your ability to breastfeed.
Normally, breasts do not enlarge following surgery. However, if you gain weight or become pregnant, the size of your breasts may increase again. Such increases, however, should be manageable.
General anaesthesia is used to perform breast reduction surgery.
Recovery from breast reduction can take anywhere from two to six weeks.
Women should avoid smoking well in advance of breast reduction surgery. Also, they should avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements because all these can lead to excessive bleeding.