Breast Reduction Surgery – Procedure, Recovery, and Risks

What is a Breast Reduction?

A breast reduction, also known as Reduction Mammaplasty, is designed to remove excess skin and breast tissue in order to correct excessively large, sagging, pendulous breasts. Large breasts can interfere with normal activities, cause neck, back, and breast pain, deformities of the shoulders and back, and rashes under the breasts. Surgery is extremely successful for those patients with these symptoms.

The procedure also improves the shape of the breast. Breast Reduction surgery produces the greatest satisfaction of all procedures performed by plastic surgeons.

Procedure for Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is performed by making predefined incisions in the breasts to remove excess skin and tissue. The nipple is then elevated and the remaining tissue is redraped and closed. There is generally a vertical scar beneath the nipple, a horizontal scar under the breast where it meets the chest wall, and a scar surrounding the areola (the pigmented skin immediately surrounding the nipple).

Liposuction Surgery to Improve Contour

Liposuction of the chest may be performed in order to improve the contour. Other techniques may be performed depending on your anatomy or your surgeon’s preference.

Surgery Time and Place

The procedure requires a general anesthetic and is performed as an outpatient at the ambulatory surgery center. Surgical time is approximately 4 hours.

After the Surgery

After the operation, you will wear a soft bra for support. Activities are limited for the first few days. One can usually return to work in one week. Strenuous activity is limited for six weeks after surgery. Stitches are removed in ten to fourteen days.

Risks and Complications

After the surgery, you may experience a temporary change in nipple and breast sensation. This usually improves gradually. Swelling and discoloration may occur but will disappear.

Complications associated with this procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Inability to breast-feed.

Less common risks include:

  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Loss of tissue
  • Nipple necrosis requiring grafting or reconstruction.
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