Women with very large breasts may experience numerous emotional and physical problems resulting from the excessive weight of the breasts. The physical symptoms may include neck and back pain, deep shoulder strap grooving from bras. The emotional symptoms may include being self-conscious or have a negative body image.
Breast reduction surgery creates a smaller, lighter and firmer breast by removing skin, fat and glandular tissue. This creates a breast that is better shaped and proportioned to a woman’s body.
Patients on whom we have performed breast reductions have been invariably happy with the youthful appearance they get. The relief from the backache and shoulder ache and the absence of constant heaviness gives them the freedom to become involved in physical pursuits such as dancing and various sports and outdoor activities.
The scars from a breast reduction are usually peri-areolar, there will always be a vertical component and, most of the time, a horizontal component. This is because when the breasts have enlarged, they have gotten larger in both vertical and horizontal directions and tightening the skin will usually result in those scars.
There are specific landmarks that are used to set the breasts in the proper anatomic position, namely the clavicle and the inframammary fold. The inframammary fold is the fold between the chest and upper abdomen and the breast itself. The nipple should be located at or just slightly above that fold. Utmost care in marking the patient in the sitting or standing position is a key feature and ensures a positive outcome. It is done before the patient is taken to the operating room.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, frequently as an outpatient procedure. Many patients go home the same day, some stay overnight for “24 hours” stay and go home the day after. In the majority of cases no drains are placed allowing the patient to shower the morning after surgery.
The final shape of the breast looks great at around two months and as we have followed outpatients over the years, whatever the patient has at two months is what they will most than likely have for the coming few years. Gravity and stretching may still occur, but the initial improvement is rarely lost.
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