- What Is It?
- Reasons to have
- Who Is Qualified?
- Recovery Time
Following breast reduction, most patients are usually discharged 24-48 hours later. The doctor provides medication and several supportive measures. Most patients can perform routine daily activities on their own after a week and resume light activities two weeks after surgery. Complete recovery after breast reduction usually takes around 8-12 weeks.
What is a breast reduction?
Breast reduction is also called reduction mammoplasty. It is performed by a plastic surgeon to reduce the size of large breasts. People who undergo reduction mammoplasty tend to be the most satisfied patients treated by plastic surgeons. It can be performed at any age following puberty. Patients, including older ones, tend to experience immediate relief from their neck, shoulder, and back pain. Scars that result from this procedure usually heal very well. Occasionally, some redundancy may be present that may require liposuction additionally.
Why is breast reduction done?
This procedure may prove useful for women with
- Large breasts, disproportionate to the body frame.
- Large, heavy breasts causing significant neck, back, and shoulder pain.
- Grooves in the shoulders from the weight of bra straps.
- Difficulty wearing and fitting in clothes.
- Breasts that interfere with sports and exercise.
- Skin irritation beneath their breasts.
- Asymmetrical breasts.
- Self-consciousness or aesthetic concerns.
Who should not undergo breast reduction?
Breast reduction and age:
- Patients may seek reduction mammoplasty starting at puberty. If reduction mammoplasty is performed at an early age, such as 14 years, patients may require an additional procedure.
- If breasts are significantly large, surgery can be performed in the teenage years.
- Patients should undergo a preoperative mammogram if they are older than 35 years.
How is breast reduction performed?
In breast reduction, the most important goal is re-establishing a functional breast with normal sensitivity and saving the nipple-areola complex (NAC), with the ability to breastfeed, which is proportionate in size to the woman's body.
There are several techniques to perform a breast reduction. One of the preferred techniques is the inferior pedicle technique. “Pedicle method” means the surgeon leaves an attached tissue graft (pedicle) with the nerves and blood vessels that supply the breast.
A pedicle can be superior, lateral, medial, inferior, or central. With the inferior pedicle technique, the blood supply to the nipple and areola remains generous. As a result, the inferior pedicle has proven sufficient to sustain NAC with good circulation, good sensation, and breastfeeding ability. In patients with extremely large breasts, the surgeon may consider a free nipple graft to avoid the loss of NAC.
During the procedure:
- The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
- Breast reduction reduces the skin envelope and volume of the breast tissue, and the nipple is repositioned.
- The breasts are not reduced to a standard size but to one that is compatible with the patient's body.
- The breast tissue is carefully preserved, marked, and protected so that each specimen from each breast can be evaluated by a pathologist to detect malignancy of the breasts.
- The incision is closed in layers, which heals with minimal scarring in most people.
- Some surgeons opt for surgical drain placement to drain excess blood or fluid accumulation.
How long does it take to recover from breast reduction?
The recovery process following breast reduction is as follows:
- Painkillers and antibiotics may be administered after surgery.
- Patients may be advised to wear a surgical bra to provide support and help to heal.
- They should rest upright with their back elevated.
- They can be discharged 24-48 hours after surgery.
- Swelling and bruising resolve in one or two weeks.
- Assistance with routine activities such as bathing and dressing may be required in the first week.
- The surgeon may advise certain exercises and self-massage techniques for the first two to three weeks.
- Light activities can be resumed after two weeks.
- Avoid rigorous exercises, sports, and lifting heavy objects for the first 8-12 weeks.
- After four to six weeks, patients can switch from surgical bras to bras of their choice.
- Patients can resume work depending on the nature and requirement of the job, their own comfort level, and the surgeon’s approval.
- The scars generally heal well and are barely visible with time.
- Regular follow-up with the surgeon is required to monitor healing.
What are the complications of breast reduction?
Some possible complications following breast reduction include:
- Hematoma (blood clot) formation
- Possible asymmetry
- Loss of sensation around the incision
- Problems with breastfeeding
- Keloid formation (scarring)
- Lack of fullness and poor projection
- Poor reaction to anesthesia
The most devastating potential complication is the total loss of the nipple-areolar complex (NAC). This is extremely rare.
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Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
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Breast Cancer Facts
Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer of American women, but it can also occur in men. Every year in the U.S., there are over 266,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer. A woman has a risk of one in eight for developing breast cancer at some point during her lifetime.
Breast Cancer TreatmentBreast cancer treatments depend upon the type of breast cancer that is present as well as the stage (extent of spread) of the tumor. Treatment for early breast cancer typically involves surgery to remove the tumor. After surgery, medical professionals may administer radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
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Breast Reconstruction Without ImplantsIf a woman doesn't want to have breast implants after a mastectomy, she may have her breast(s) reconstructed with her own body tissue. This is commonly known as a flap procedure. There are two methods of flap procedures: tunneling and free-flap. Side effects include pain, itching, numbness or tingling, and fluid collection under the wound.
Breast ReductionThis surgical procedure involves the removal of excess fat, skin, and tissue to reduce the size of the breasts. Complications and side effects of the procedure include breast pain, tiredness, scarring, and inadequate healing of the nipple area, which may require a skin graft. Serious potential side effects include fever, unusual discharge from the incision site, and sutures coming out before they are due to be removed.
Breast Cancer Treatment by Stage
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What Is an Inferior Pedicle Breast Reduction?The inferior pedicle technique is a surgical technique performed for breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty). “Pedicle method” means the surgeon leaves an attached tissue graft (pedicle) with nerves and blood vessels that supply the breast. Patients who undergo reduction mammoplasty tend to be the most satisfied patients treated by plastic surgeons.