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Breast Reduction Surgery

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An Introduction

The procedure always performed under general anesthesia and takes 2-3 hours to be done. During your pre-operative visits, doctor will discuss with you the new, usually higher, positions for the areolas and nipples and the desired new size of breast. you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. Fortunately, significant complications from breast reduction are infrequent.

Breast Reduction Surgery

(Reduction Mammaplasty)

Breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty is a common surgical procedure which involves the reduction in the size of breasts by excising excess fat, skin and glandular tissue; it may also involve a procedure to counteract drooping of the breasts. If you have large breasts, you might choose to have breast reduction surgery to alleviate discomfort or to achieve a breast size proportionate to your body. Breast reduction surgery might also help improve your self-image and self-confidence, as well as your ability to participate in physical activities. Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery frequently are seeking relief from physical symptoms caused by the excessive weight of large breasts. Breast reduction usually can solve these problems as well as improve the size and shape of your breasts. Following breast reduction, your breasts will be more proportional to the rest of your body, and clothes will fit you better. This procedure is typically performed on women, but may also be performed on men afflicted by gynecomastia. The overall goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible. Every year, many thousands of women undergo successful breast reduction surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and the risks.

Are you a good candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction can be performed at any age, but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. You may be a good candidate for breast reduction if you have one or more of the following conditions :

  • Heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward
  • Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
  • Dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about the largeness of your breasts
  • Indentations in your shoulders from tight bra straps
  • Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts

The Procedure

There are variations in the techniques of breast reduction surgery depending on your size & shape of your breast as well as desired amount of reduction. The common techniques are-

The inferior pedicle technique, sometimes also known as a keyhole, inverted-T, or “Wise pattern” reduction, involves an anchor-shaped incision, which circles the areola. The incision extends downward, following the natural curve of the breast. Excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin are removed. Next, the nipple and areola are moved into their new higher position. A drawback of this technique is sometimes “square” looking breasts, but this is a common option for women with the largest, droopiest breasts. Inferior pedicle techniques can also be performed through shorter scar incisions in some patients.

The vertical scar techniques are gaining popularity in the United States as well as India due to their shorter scarring and projecting shape post-surgery. These types of procedures can involve the use of superior, inferior, medial or laterally based pedicles to the NAC. As compared to traditional incisions, they may have a limited or absent horizontal component. These procedures are best suited to smaller reductions with less excess skin to limit the scar length. Advantages include increased projection by the gathering of tissue medially, shorter scar length, and quicker surgery times. This technique keeps its results the best in the long term. The breast is reduced through removal of the lateral and inferior tissues, leaving the upper pole mostly untouched. We are performing breast reduction through this technique in most of our patients.

The liposuction-only technique is used for women with breasts that are not quite as large as with the other procedures or where there skin is not much hanging or in patients who are anesthesia risks for longer procedures. For the best outcomes, women who choose this procedure have fatty, non-dense breast tissue with good skin and little ptosis (droop). As few women with larger breasts possess those characteristics, the widespread use of this technique may be limited. The result is not as drastic as the other techniques, but it involves a quicker healing time and little scarring. This is the preferred technique for most of the un-married girls with heavy breasts.

The free nipple graft technique is used primarily for high-risk patients of ischemia to the NAC to reduce the chance of sloughing it postoperatively. Typical candidates would include diabetics, smokers, longer breasts approaching 20 cm from the IMF to the nipple, and breasts with significantly larger than normal resection requirements. In this procedure, the areola and nipple are completely removed for relocation and replaced as a skin graft higher on the breast. In these cases, sensation from the areola area will be lost and it eliminates the ability for lactation. This technique is sometimes used during surgery or postoperatively if the NAC viability is questionable. By eliminating the requirement for a pedicle, this procedure allows significantly greater amounts of tissue to be removed safely.

Your Recovery

You will be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminishes. Generally, stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning about one week after surgery. You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This usually is temporary. It may, however, take weeks, months or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal.

Expected Results

Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your breast size should remain fairly constant. However, gravity and the effects of aging will eventually alter the size and shape of virtually every woman’s breasts. Breast reduction surgery will make your breasts smaller and firmer. Without the excessive weight of large breasts, you may find greater enjoyment in playing sports and engaging in physical activity.


Ques.1: What major problems are associated with overly developed breasts?

Ans. Larger bust surely affects and inhibits women’s lifestyle and physical activities but what people don’t notice is psychological issues such as self consciousnesses due to unwelcomed attention to large breasts that make women feel embarrassed that they find it difficult to carry body-hugging dresses or participate in sports activities and sometimes, it becomes a big psychological issue during intimate relationships because women become overly conscious about their disproportionate figure.

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