Well developed breasts enhance woman’s beauty. But the same breasts sometimes grow disproportionately large and become a reason for chronic pain and embarrassment. Breast Implants surgery can bring large breasts to normal size. You may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Breasts are too large in proportion to your body frame.
- Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts.
- Skin irritation beneath your breasts.
- Grooving in your shoulders from tight bra straps.
- Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts.
- Heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward.
- One breast is much larger than the other.
- Dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about the largeness of your breasts.
- Inability to find bras that fit.
- Anaesthesia: General
- Duration of Surgery: 2-4 hours
- Hospital Stay: 1 Day
- Stitches: Self absorbable
- Recovery: Walking and dinner same day
Getting dressed, combing hair, eating: Day of surgery
Preparing tea, heating food: Next day
Cooking, dusting, light household work: 1 week
Driving, desk job: 1 week
Morning walk: 1 week
Treadmill/Yoga/Swimming: 1 month
Upper body weight lifting: 6 weeks
Handling the breasts: 6 weeks or more
- How is it Done: Individual factors and surgeon’s preferences will determine the specific technique selected to reduce the size of your breasts. Dr. Priti uses short vertical scar technique which results in a scar around nipple and going vertically down from it till the breast crease. Rarely the scar may be inverted T shaped if the breasts are too large.
One incision is made around the areola. Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. After the excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which in large breasts usually has been stretched, also is reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Liposuction may be used to improve the contour under the arm. Usually, the nipples and areolas remain attached to remaining breast tissue, and this allows for the preservation of sensation. The ability to breast-feed may also be preserved by this method, although this cannot be guaranteed. Rarely, if your breasts are extremely large, the nipples and areolas may need to be completely detached before they are shifted to a higher level. In such a case, you will need to have made the decision to sacrifice sensation and the possibility of breast-feeding in order to achieve your desired breast size.
Step One: Consultation
During the consultation, you can talk to Dr. Priti about your desired breast size as well as anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved.
You can see the representative clinical pictures of patients to satisfy yourself about the procedure and ask any questions regarding the results, and possible risks of the surgery.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications. It is important for you to provide complete information. You should tell if you plan to lose a significant amount of weight, particularly if you have noticed that your breasts become smaller with weight loss. It is recommended that you stabilize your weight before having surgery. Routine diagnostic tests will be ordered.
Step Two: Preoperative Evaluation
Once you have decided to undergo surgery, you will be evaluated for your fitness for anaesthesia and surgery by Dr. Priti or if necessary by the anesthesiologist. Your diagnostic test reports will be studied. Dr. Priti will examine your breasts, taking measurements and clinical photographs for your medical record. The size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and the placement of the nipples and areolas will be carefully evaluated. You will sign the consent forms and will be given detailed preoperative instructions in writing.
Step Three: Breast Lift Surgery
You report at the hospital on the morning of surgery. Before taking you inside operation room your breasts will be marked with you standing to shape them to desired size. Operation is under general or local anaesthesia and is pain free.
Step Four: After Surgery
You will wake up soon after surgery with bandage and bra on your chest. You can drink water after 4 hours and have some snacks afterwards. You walk and have dinner on same evening. Drains (tubes) are removed usually on next morning and you are ready to go home.
Step Five: Recovery
You will need some assistance initially. Many women start light work in a week’s time. By the end of one month usually you are feeling quite normal and ready to resume all normal activities. Breasts look big initially due to swelling but final size and shape is visible in 3-6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions – Breast Reduction
What is the right age for breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction can be performed at any age, but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped, usually by 18 years. Childbirth and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women have breast reduction done even in their teens if the symptoms are severe and causing health, social and psychological problems.
How is breast reduction performed? Where are the scars?
Individual factors and surgeon’s preferences will determine the specific technique selected to reduce the size of your breasts. Dr. Priti uses short vertical scar technique which results in a scar around nipple and going vertically down from it till the breast crease. Rarely the scar may be inverted T shaped if the breasts are too large.
One incision is made around the areola. Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. After the excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which in large breasts usually has been stretched, also is reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Liposuction may be used to improve the contour under the arm.
Usually, the nipples and areolas remain attached to remaining breast tissue, and this allows for the preservation of sensation. The ability to breast-feed may also be preserved by this method, although this cannot be guaranteed.
Rarely, if your breasts are extremely large, the nipples and areolas may need to be completely detached before they are shifted to a higher level. In such a case, you will need to make the decision to sacrifice sensation and the possibility of breast-feeding in order to achieve your desired breast size.
What are the risks involved with breast reduction surgery?
Fortunately, significant complications from breast reduction are infrequent. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and the risks.
Some of the potential complications include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Rarely, a patient may require a blood transfusion during the operation. This usually can be anticipated in advance, and blood of a known donor can be reserved for possible transfusion.
Following reduction, sometimes the breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical or the nipple height may vary slightly. If desired, minor adjustments can be made at a later time. Permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts may occur rarely. Reversionary surgery is sometimes helpful in certain instances where incisions may have healed poorly. In the unlikely event of injury to or loss of the nipple and areola, they usually can be satisfactorily reconstructed using skin grafts.
How will I look and feel after surgery?
The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. After several days, you will be able to move about more comfortably. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, however, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding. You may be instructed to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts.
Any surgical drains will be removed a day or two after surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed. You will be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminishes. Generally, stitches are self absorbable.
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. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery.
After breast reduction surgery, it is often possible to return to light work after a week or two, depending on your job. 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. Severe pain should be reported to your doctor.
Any sexual activity should be avoided for a minimum of one week, and your plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. After that, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next six weeks.
What results can I expect after breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery will make your breasts smaller and firmer and lighter. If you have suffered from back ache due to heavy breasts it will be relieved. Your posture will improve. The incisions from your breast reduction surgery will heal and fade over time. It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanently visible, more so in some individuals than others. Fortunately, the incisions for breast reduction are in locations easily concealed by clothing, even low-cut necklines.
How long will the results last?
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. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast “lifting” procedure to restore their more youthful contour.
How long do I need to see the doctor after surgery?
You will return to the clinic for follow-up care at prescribed intervals, usually 2 days, 2 weeks one month and 3 months later. At these visits your progress will be evaluated and minor problems are taken care of. Once the immediate postoperative follow-up is complete you come back for periodic checkups to observe and discuss the long-term results of surgery. You are not charged for follow-up visits after surgery till one year. Please remember that the relationship with your plastic surgeon does not end when you leave the operating room. If you have questions or concerns during your recovery, or need additional information at a later time, you should contact Dr. Priti.
Will I be able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?
The chances of breast feeding go down after breast reduction surgery because of removal of gland and ducts. Remaining gland can still produce milk and you can safely breastfeed if you are producing milk. A lot of women have breastfed after this surgery but there is no guarantee that you will be able to do so.
Do I need to inform my future husband about breast reduction surgery?
That is entirely up to you. Scars of the surgery tend to fade out but usually are visible on close examination permanently.
Is the breast gland that is removed sent for biopsy routinely?
It is recommended to have the tissue examined by pathologist to detect any coincidental tumor that is too small to be detected otherwise. If you are younger than 25 and have no history breast lump or family history of breast cancer, the biopsy is optional.
When can I buy new size bra and clothes after surgery?
As the swelling goes down the breast size continues to decrease after surgery till next 3 months. Majority of swelling is gone by one month so you should wait for at least one month before buying new clothes.
Does the breast enlarge once again after surgery?
Breasts do not enlarge again usually. They may enlarge to some extent if you gain weight, become pregnant or if you have got the surgery done while your breasts were still growing. If necessary the same procedure can be repeated.
Are there methods available to reduce the scarring?
Scars can be improved by creams, gels and taping for 3 to 6 months. Excessively prominent scars can be revised surgically after 6 months.
Click here to view article on how to minimize scars after surgery
Is there a way to do breast reduction surgery without scars?
Liposuction surgery can remove fat but not the gland part so breasts can be reduced to some extent by liposuction through small holes but big reduction is not possible by this method. Breasts also will sag after liposuction.
I am 30 kgs overweight and not able to exercise because of large breasts. If I have breast reduction done now and lose the weight later what will happen to my breast size?
Breast reduction surgery will help you to be active. Size will further reduce with weight loss. You may opt for a medium reduction. Also you may need breast lift to reduce the sagging after you have lost lots of weight.
I have had bariatric surgery done for morbid obesity and have lost 50 kgs . My breasts are sagging. Can I have breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction or lift is commonly required after massive weight loss. In your case the skin folds going to sides and arm folds also can be addressed.
One of my breasts is larger than the other one. Do I need breast reduction of the bigger one or enlargement of the smaller one?
That depends on your desires and surgeon’s assessment. Any of the above options may be chosen. At times surgery on both breasts may be required to reach the desired size and symmetry.
Is there a risk of breast cancer in future after breast reduction?
No, breast reduction surgery will not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Depending on your age, or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, your plastic surgeon may recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following breast reduction, you will still be able to perform breast self-examination.
Click here to view preventing breast cancer article.