Breast Reduction for Women - Mammaplasty
A breast reduction (mammaplasty) is a cosmetic or reconstructive surgical procedure that is used to remove excess breast tissue, and reduce the size of the breasts. Women with large breasts may experience back and shoulder discomfort or pain, activity limitations, and self-consciousness. Overly large breasts can cause indentations in the shoulders from bra straps and skin irritation beneath the breast. Breast reduction can help reduce such symptoms as well as create a breast size that is in better proportion with a woman’s figure.
There are a few surgical methods for breast reduction. The procedures are similar in that they remove excess tissue and reshape the breast. The procedures differ in the specific incision patterns and techniques. Your doctor will determine the most appropriate breast reduction procedure based on your breast characteristics and personal preferences.
At your initial consultation, your doctor will help you decide which breast reduction method is right for you. Your doctor will evaluate your breast size, shape, and skin integrity. You should tell your doctor about your concerns and expectations. Your doctor will perform a general health evaluation, breast examination, and may recommend a pre-surgery mammogram. It is common for “before” photos to be taken for your medical records. Y ou will need to stop smoking several weeks before your surgery and your doctor will let you know if any of your medications should be temporarily discontinued as well.
Breast reduction is most frequently an outpatient procedure. You should plan to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the first night. Breast reduction may be performed at an accredited plastic surgeon’s outpatient surgical facility, hospital, or outpatient surgery center. You will receive general anesthesia or IV sedation for the procedure.
Your surgeon will use a pre-determined incision pattern. Incisions may be made around the colored skin surrounding the nipple (areola), around the areola and straight down to the breast crease, or in an anchor pattern around the areola if the nipple and areola are to be repositioned. The breast tissue is removed surgically, with liposuction, or by using both methods. Enlarged areolas may be reduced and repositioned higher on the breast. Deep layered sutures are used to create internal support.
At the end of the procedure, temporary drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluid and promote healing. The incisions in the skin are closed with stitches, tape, or surgical adhesive. The area is gently wrapped with bandages.
You will receive medication for post procedure pain and specific instructions for wound care. You will wear a surgical support bra or elastic bandage to support your breasts. Your stitches will be removed at several follow-up appointments. Your doctor will gradually increase your activity level. It may take time for swelling to resolve and several months for incision lines to fade. The results of your procedure are immediately visible.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.