Breast reduction, also known as ‘reduction mammoplasty’, is a procedure to reduce the size of large breasts and correct them in proportion to your body. The surgery is suitable for women having disproportionately large breasts that can cause physical discomfort like neck pain, back pain, etc. It helps in reducing the weight and size of such large breasts hence enabling them to feel confident and comfortable with their own self.
After the breast reduction procedure, patients can participate in physical activities at ease that was otherwise causing discomfort due to their large breasts. Surgeons also perform breast reduction surgery as a part of cosmetic surgery for women who are looking to reduce the size of their breasts for fuller, symmetric and proportionate breasts. This also helps in removing the issues of breast sagging problems because of ageing.
Who Can Go for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is generally advisable for women who:
• Have back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain due to their large breasts.
• Cannot perform certain physical activities as their breasts restrict the movements.
• Have difficulty finding proper clothes and bra to fit in.
Young women can also go for breast reduction surgery but the effects of the surgery will last longer with fully developed breasts. If not, then the patient may require another surgery later in their life after their breasts have developed. Men suffering with gynecomastia, which is the condition of unusually large breasts in men, can also opt for breast reduction surgery.
If you have any heart diseases or diabetes, then you should not go for breast reduction surgery. Also, if you are planning for pregnancy later in your life or have any idea of weight loss, then it is best to postpone your breast reduction procedure until after childbirth or weight loss.
Choosing The Right Surgeon
The right plastic surgeon can work wonders to your large breasts woes and therefore it is important to choose a surgeon who has extensive experience, especially in the field of breast reduction procedures.
• Ensure that the surgeon you have selected has due board certifications.
• He should hold a successful record of breast reduction procedures.
• You can request to see some sample photographs of the patients the surgeon had operated on.
• This will give you an idea of the expertise of the surgeon and will make you comfortable while going under the knife.
• The surgeon should not only accomplish the reduction in the size of your large breasts but he should also be able to free you from the pain you experience because of it.
• You can go through online reviews of the surgeons and their facilities. Ask around for recommendations from acquaintances. Make sure that you are completely confident and comfortable with the surgeon before finalizing.
Risks Associated with Breast Reduction
As with any other surgeries, breast reduction also has its own share of risks. Here are some of the common conditions experienced by patients after the breast reduction surgery.
• Bleeding and infection due to the lack of precautions taken.
• The adverse effect of the anesthesia like allergies.
• Sometimes, issues with breastfeeding may result in complete inability to breastfeed.
• Scars may develop because of the breast reduction surgery.
• Lack of sensitivity in the nipples and the skin around them.
• The breasts may become disproportionate to each other with respect to the size and the shape, which can result in the need for further surgeries for correction.
Options for Breast Reduction
Depending on the requirements, the reasons behind large breasts and realistic expectations, the patient can choose any of the different breast reduction surgery procedures.
Breast Reduction with Liposuction
Liposuction procedure removes the fat from under the skin, hence resulting in smaller and symmetric looking breasts. Notably, breast reduction through liposuction is effective on patients who need little to moderate reduction in their breast size. These patients should and possess good skin elasticity without sagging breasts.
Majorly, the ideal patient for breast reduction through liposuction should have large breasts due to the fatty tissues. If the patient has sagging breasts or needs a major reduction in the breast size, he cannot opt for liposuction.
This procedure doesn’t leave any noticeable scar on the breasts, thereby making it the foremost option for patients who need only a slight reduction in their breast size.
Vertical Breast Reduction
The vertical breast reduction procedure helps in reducing the size of the breasts and eliminating sagging. This procedure involves two incisions to remove the fatty tissues, skin and breast tissues to achieve a moderate reduction in the breast size. It lifts the breasts appreciably to achieve fuller, firmer and youthful looking shape. The surgeon can also reshape the breasts to make them look symmetrical with each other and proportionate to the body.
This procedure leaves a noticeable scar, generally beneath the nipples, which you can easily hide under a bra or a swimsuit.
Inverted-T Breast Reduction
This breast reduction procedure allows for a maximum reduction in breast size and weight. Therefore, it is suitable for patients who are looking to:
• Reduce and reshape the breast size
• Eliminate breast sagging,
• Correct the symmetry of the breasts
This requires the surgeon to make three incisions around the breasts allowing better access to remove the breast tissues, fats and the skin. This surgery will leave two scars
• One under the nipple, like the vertical breast reduction procedure
• Another under the breasts both of which are easy to hide under the bras.
The breast reduction procedure in India may cost anywhere around Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 depending on the type of surgery best suited for your condition and requirements. Apart from the surgical costs, several other expenditures for the medicines and consultations could increase the total amount you spend for the breast reduction procedure.
Preparation for Breast Reduction Procedure
Consultation with Surgeon: When you consult with the surgeon for the breast reduction surgery, the surgeon will suggest one of the three procedures mentioned above depending on your expectations and the condition of your breasts. He will ask for your entire medical history to check if there are any conflicts with the breast reduction procedure.
The surgeon will take photographs and measurements of your breasts and talk about your expectations. You need to clearly mention the kind of results you are looking for after the surgery and check with the surgeon if it is achievable.
Open Discussion: It is important to have realistic expectations to ensure that you attain satisfied results. Talk about the reasons why you are opting for breast reduction in the first place and convey the hardships, both physical and emotional, you have to go through because of the large breasts.
Prerequisites: The surgeon will ask you not to take aspirin or any anti-inflammatory drugs for at least four to six weeks before the surgery. If you are a smoker, he will advise you to quit smoking for about two months before the surgery.
Prep Your Home: Before you leave the home for the surgery, keep some loose fitting and easy to wear clothes in accessible areas. Keep the common things you see in easily reachable areas to avoid any strain on the breasts. Do not keep anything in the lower shelves as it is best not to bend for some days right after the surgery. Have plenty of ice ready when you get back along with some towels.
How Is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?
• The surgeon will administer general anesthesia or local anesthesia before the surgery.
• Depending on the method of surgery chosen after diagnostics, the surgeon will make incisions to remove the excess fat, skin and tissues to reduce the size and weight of breasts.
• The surgeon will move the nipple to correct sagging breasts and the incisions will be closed with sutures.
• Sometimes, the surgeon may use drainage tubes to alleviate swelling during the recovery period.
• He will cover the breasts with a surgical bra to support healing and fast recovery.
After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room and kept under observation. If you were given general anesthesia, you may take some time to come back to consciousness. You will require someone’s help to get back home as you may feel a bit disoriented.
Recovery and Post-Surgery Care
Don’ts After The Surgery
• The surgeon will advise you to limit any physical activities for at least one week after the surgery.
• You shouldn’t perform any exercises for at least one month. Before you engage in any heavy physical activities, please contact the surgeon.
• Do not engage in any household chores that put too much pressure on your breasts.
• Do not to shower for a week after the surgery unless otherwise the surgeon agreed.
Slowly ease into your transition with the new breasts by engaging in small chores a month after the surgery. Be careful with your breasts wherever you are.
Before you leave the facility after the surgery, the surgeon will give you instructions about how you should be in the next few weeks. Generally, he will suggest you to take leave from work for about one to two weeks after the surgery depending on the type of breast reduction surgery performed. You will have to wear special bras to support your breasts after the surgery. You can go walking to ensure that your legs do not swell up from the bed rest.
You may feel some tingling or swelling in the first few days. The swelling could last for a month after the procedure, which may give you the impression of a larger breast size than it actually is. Therefore, it is important to wait until the swelling reduces to actually see the change in size.
Results of the Surgery
Some feel immediate relief from back pain and neck pain after the surgery while for some, it is a gradual process due to the remnant effects of chronic pain experienced in the past years. It is important to wait for the results for a week or two after the surgery before judging the effects of it.
In case if you are under a lot of pain days after the surgery, consult the surgeon as soon as possible. If you see any bleeding or unusual feeling a month after the surgery, then it is advisable to go for an immediate check-up.
The information is being provided by PlasticSurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Tejinder Bhatti, Plastic Surgeon on: 20-JUN-2020
“Dr. Tejinder Bhatti is a cosmetic plastic surgeon by training but now completely dedicated to the art and science of minimally invasive hair restoration surgery. He also runs a hospital, the Five Rivers Hospital in Mohali, Chandigarh where junior plastic surgeons perform esthetic plastic surgery under the overall supervision of Dr. Kulwant S Bhangoo who is the Chairman of the Program. Dr. Bhangoo is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He is an internationally renowned top cosmetic surgeon and chief of Plastic Surgery in Buffalo NY, USA.”