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What Is A Breast Reduction?
By Wesley Hall Jr.

Technically termed as reduction mammoplasty, breast reduction is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess breast tissues. The surgery is primarily for women who have large and pendulous breasts, the weights of which often causing a number of medical problems such as neck and back pain, skin irritation, breathing problems, and skeletal deformities. Heavy and large breasts tend to appear disproportional, and this diminishes a woman's self-esteem and disrupts her from effectively performing normal activities enjoyed by most women such as clothes-shopping, playing sports, and the like. Breast reduction targets this problem via the removal of the glandular tissue, fat, and excess skin in order to make the breasts appear firmer, smaller, and lighter. The surgical procedure can also diminish the areola, the dark region surrounding the nipple. With breast reduction, the main goal is to contour large breasts to make them better-shaped and proportional to the rest of the woman's body.

Sometimes, insurance coverage is offered for this surgical procedure. Your eligibility will largely be determined by examining your insurance policy terms and the amount of the particular breast tissue to be taken out. Your insurance company may require you to submit a letter of predetermination before you undergo surgery. To know more details about this process, please don't hesitate to speak with our staff members.

How is breast reduction done?

The method to be used in the reduction of your breast size will be determined by looking at individual factors and your personal preferences. The breast reduction surgeon needs to have a good sense of it and most commonly, the surgery is done using a technique that includes creating an anchor-shaped incision around the areola, extending downward to follow the natural curve of your breast crease. Afterward, Drs. Hall and Wrye will be removing the excess fat, skin, and glandular tissue, and then repositioning the areola and nipple to a new spot. The skin from either side of the breast will then be brought down to surround the areola, resulting in a new breast contour. The removal of excess fat, particularly from the armpit area, may be done using liposuction.

Generally, the nerves and blood vessels attached to the nipples are retained. However, in cases where the breasts are too pendulous or large, the areolas and nipples may be totally removed and placed on a new, higher position. This displacement may likely cause the areolar tissue and nipples to lose sensation. Around the areola, a vertical lining of stitches is usually made to extend downward and run along the crease of the breast. There are other techniques that can be done in order to erase the scar's vertical portion, but in cases where only liposuction is done to reduce breast size, there will be no need to eliminate scars as liposuction generally leaves minimal scarring on the operated area.

Do I qualify for a breast reduction procedure?

Because breast reduction surgery involves reshaping the breasts to make them smaller and lighter, this procedure is done mainly to provide physical relief rather than aesthetic purposes. Women who opt for this surgery are those whose lives, daily activities, and physical comfort have been severely restricted due to their large breasts. Generally, breast reduction is done only on a woman's fully developed breasts, but it can also be performed on women of younger ages if their breast size is seriously causing physical discomfort. Women who are capable of fully understanding the process of how the surgery is done and who have realistic expectations about how they want the results to appear are ideal candidates for this procedure. Breast reduction is not recommended if you plan to breast-feed.

How will the breast reduction surgery proceed?

Breast reduction is normally performed in an outpatient surgery center, an office-based surgical suite, or a hospital. It normally takes around three to four hours for the surgery to be completed, but may extend in hours for some special cases. General anesthesia is used during the surgery, and this allows the patient to sleep through the duration of the operation.

What should I do during the recovery period?

Following the surgery, the operated area will be protected by gauze dressings, a surgical bra, or an elastic bandage. If there is a presence of excess fluids and blood, small tubes may be inserted in either breast for proper fluid drainage. Expect to feel some degree of pain for the first few days. This pain may intensify when you cough, sneeze, or move around, and may extend for another week. It is therefore important to follow the prescription medications to be required by Drs. Hall and Wrye in order for the pain and discomfort to go down to a comfortable, tolerable level. A day or two after post-surgery, your bandages will be taken off but you will continue to wear the surgical bra 24/7 for a couple of weeks more, or until the bruising and swelling on the area disappear. The breast skin may tend to become extremely dry after the surgery, so have a moisturizer ready for application several times in a day, leaving out the area where the sutures are located.

Also, expect to feel pain and experience swelling of your breasts during the first menstruation following your surgery. Every now and then, you may also feel shooting pains on the operated area. Over the next five to six weeks, you may notice a certain degree of loss of sensation on your breast skin and nipple - this is caused by the swelling that usually happens after surgery. This temporary loss of sensation may last until months after the surgery or, in very rare cases, may become permanent. Even though you can get up and walk about after one day following your surgery, extreme physical activity such as lifting, heavy exercise, pushing heavy objects, and strenuous chores must be avoided for three to four weeks.

In order for your recovery period to proceed smoothly, Drs. Hall and Wrye will be discussing with you a detailed list of instructions on how to ease back into your normal routine. If your day job requires little physical activity, you may be allowed to go back to work within one to two weeks. However, you will find that your stamina levels are low in the weeks following the surgery. Therefore, stick to very light exercises such as bending, stretching, and careful swimming until you regain your normal energy level. You will also need a sturdy athletic bra for full breast support. You may also be required to refrain from sexual activities and to avoid moderate to heavy contact with your breasts for about two weeks since arousal can result in the swelling of your incisions. It is entirely normal to notice a certain amount of draining fluid from your wounds. However, if you experience very severe pain or bleeding, don't hesitate to get in touch with Drs. Hall and Wrye or any of the other staff members.

What are the risks in getting a breast reduction surgery?

Generally, a breast reduction operation is not a simple and quick surgery, but risks are greatly reduced when the mammoplasty is performed by qualified plastic surgeons such as Drs. Hall and Wrye. But as in any form of surgery, there will always be possibilities for complications such as an allergic reaction to anesthesia, infection, and bleeding. Some patients notice a growth of tiny sores on the area around the nipples - these sores can easily be removed by applying antibiotic creams. Other patients may also experience permanent loss of sensation on their breasts or nipple area. There are also very rare occasions when the areola and the nipple may become cut off from their source of blood supply, causing these tissues to die. This can be remedied by performing skin graft procedures that usher in a new growth or rebuilding of areolas and nipples. Another effect of this surgery is the presence of permanent scars on the operated areas of the breasts, especially the horizontal and vertical scars. In the case of smokers, these scars tend to appear larger and rougher in texture since oxygen supply needed during the healing process is blocked by the smoking habit. These rare risks can be easily avoided thru careful and diligent following of the instructions that Drs. Hall and Wrye will be giving you.

What happens after recovery?

Majority of the bruising and swelling will be gone after a few weeks into the recovery period, but it may take around six months to one year for your breasts to take on their new shape. Natural hormonal shifts, changes in weight, and pregnancy may cause your breasts to fluctuate and vary in shape. Although Drs. Hall and Wrye are very skilled in hiding surgical scars, take note that breast reduction scarring is permanent and can be extensive. These scars may remain red and lumpy for a few months, gradually easing into thin lines. These scars will not hinder you from wearing low-cut tops.

Breast reduction is considered the plastic surgery procedure that delivers very quick changes in one's body image. The discomfort brought about by large breasts will instantly be gone, and your body will appear more proportional and better-looking. It may take time for you, your family, and friends to adjust to your new look. Patience with yourself is a must, especially during the recovery period, and always remember that after all the post-surgical pain and swelling diminish, you will eventually see the proportional and discomfort-free body you have always wanted. Dr. Hall and Dr. Wrye are experts in breast reduction surgery located in Reno, Nevada, Call us now for free consultation 775-284-8296.