Women with very large, pendulous breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight, from back and neck pain and skin irritation to skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave indentations in their shoulders, and unusually large breasts can make a woman or a teenage girl feel extremely self-conscious.
Breast reduction, technically known as reduction mammaplasty, is designed for such women. The procedure removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal is to give the woman smaller, better shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body.
Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief rather than simply cosmetic improvement. Most women who have the surgery are troubled by very large, sagging breasts that restrict their activities and cause them physical discomfort.
In most cases, breast reduction is not performed until a woman’s breasts are fully developed; however, it can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort. The best candidates are those who are mature enough to fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results. Breast reduction is not recommended for women who intend to breastfeed.
Techniques for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Fisher removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, and moves the nipple and areola into their new position. He then brings the skin from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the armpit area.
In most cases, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves. However, if the breasts are very large or pendulous, the nipples and areolas may have to be completely removed and grafted into a higher position. This will result in a loss of sensation in the nipple and areolar tissue. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downward, and along the lower crease of the breast.
After surgery, you will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off blood and fluids for the first day or two. You may feel some pain for the first couple of days, especially when you move around or cough and some discomfort may occur for a week or more. Dr. Fisher will prescribe medication to lessen the pain.
The bandages will be removed a day or two after surgery, although you will continue wearing the surgical bra around the clock for several weeks, until the swelling and bruising subside. Your stitches will be removed in one to three weeks.
Although you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks. Dr. Fisher will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities.
Breast Reduction Before and After Photos – Procedures performed by Dr. Fisher
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Breast Reduction #2
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Breast Reduction #2c