AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BREAST REDUCTION?
In general, the best candidates for breast reduction are women:
1. 18 years of age or older
2. Mature enough to fully understand the procedure
3. Whose activities are limited due to large breasts
4. Experiencing physical discomfort due to large breasts
5. Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
6. Not intending to breastfeed in the future
7. In good physical and psychological health
8. Wanting to improve their appearance and/or comfort
9. Realistic in their expectations
Although techniques vary, the most common breast reduction procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, which extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Viral Desai will remove the excess glandular tissue, fat and skin, moving the nipple and areola to their new positions. He will then bring skin from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. The surgery lasts for about 2 to 4 hours. This procedure may be used in conjunction with liposuction to remove excess fat from the armpit area.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
2 – 6 WEEKS FOR BREAST TO SETTLE
It may take about 2-6 weeks for breasts to settle into their new shape; however, the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks. The operated area may ache for a couple of weeks
AVOID STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES
The patient should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for 3 to 4 weeks
2 WEEKS FOR RETURN TO NORMAL LIFE
The patient may return to work (if not too strenuous) and social activities in about 2 weeks
You should abstain from sexual activity for 1 week and from physical exercise for 3 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, the best candidates for breast reduction are women:
• 18 years of age or older
• Mature enough to fully understand the procedure
• Whose activities are limited due to large breasts
• Experiencing physical discomfort due to large breasts
• Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
• Not intending to breastfeed in the future
• In good physical and psychological health
• Wanting to improve their appearance and/or comfort
• Realistic in their expectations
The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your surgeon if you are an ideal candidate for breast reduction.
Breast reduction is quite successful at reducing the weight of very heavy breasts, making it easier to enjoy an active lifestyle. Many women find that this surgery relieves chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. The primary benefit of the operation is functional, but you also get a breast lift, which may enhance your appearance and improve your body image.
If you are in good health and you want a local anaesthetic, you may not need any special tests or X-rays. If you suffer from a serious illness, such as diabetes, your surgeon may order tests or suggest you see your treating physician. If you are going to have a general anaesthesia, the anaesthesiologist may order special tests to prepare for the anaesthesia. Most plastic surgeons take photographs before and after surgery. If you are over 35 years you should do a mammogram.
Although the surgical incision for this surgery is quite large, it is placed in areas of the breast that are not too sensitive. In addition, due to the fact that the nerves to the breast skin have been stretched out by the weight of the breasts over a long time, the skin is less sensitive. Thus, the pain after surgery is usually easily managed with oral pain medications. Initially, there is discomfort in walking, getting out of bed, and any activity that causes the breasts to move. You may continue to be sore for the first few days after surgery.
Although you may be up and about the next day, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything for three or four weeks. Most women can return to work (if it’s not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks. Avoid sex for a week or more, since sexual arousal can cause your incisions to swell, and avoid anything but gentle contact with your breasts for about six weeks.
Breast reduction is not a simple operation, but it’s normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to anaesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around their nipples after surgery; these can be treated with antibiotic creams. You can reduce your risks by closely following the written instructions we provide you before and after surgery. The procedure leaves noticeable, permanent scars, although your bra or bathing suit can cover them. Do note that poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. Less common but possible side effects include: slightly mismatched breasts, unevenly positioned nipples, not able to breast-feeding (since the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples), permanent loss of feeling in nipples or breasts. Rarely, the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die; the nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt using skin grafts from elsewhere on the body.
Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction has the most immediate dramatic results. The chronic physical discomfort is gone, the body is better proportioned, and clothes fit better. Some women find that as much as they have desired these changes, they need time to adjust to their new body image. After this adjustment period, most women are very happy with the results. Your surgeon will make the incisions as inconspicuous as possible, but the scarring from this surgery is fairly extensive and permanent. These scars are long, and they remain pink or brown for several years. For some women, the scars become wider; but for others, they fade and become less noticeable. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. Fortunately, the scars are placed in areas that are not seen unless you are topless, and can be hidden by most bathing suits. Future breast-feeding may not be possible, since the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples.
A major trend in the last few years is for patients to have more than one operation at the same time. This reduces cost and means you only have one period of recovery and pain. Except in rare cases, this does not significantly increase the risks of surgery.
After surgery, you’ll be wrapped in a surgical bra over gauze dressings. You may feel some discomfort for the first day especially when you move around or cough. We prescribe medication to lessen the pain.
You may be required to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery. Dr. Viral Desai will advise you on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, not smoking, and avoiding certain medications that affect your bleeding like aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs.