Breast reduction is a surgical operation the purpose of which is to decrease the volume of breasts and correct their shape. Disproportionately large breasts can cause back and neck pain, and can be connected to shoulder deformations and chronic headaches. Overly large breasts can hinder exercising and make finding suitable clothing problematic. Breast reduction is a fitting method for women who wish to improve their quality of life by decreasing the volume of their breasts and by improving breast shape/appearance. Obtaining ideal symmetry of breasts is unlikely.
The patient’s expectations and possibilities to realise those wishes are established. Medical history of the patient is discussed, especially any illnesses related to breasts (individual and family anamnesis of breast cancer), informing the patient on breast changes related to pregnancy/breastfeeding, and weight changes is important; current usage of medications is discussed. The neccessity to conduct a pre-surgery breast examination (mammography) will be determined for every patient individually. It is advisable to stabilise the patient’s weight before the surgery.
During the examination of the patient, examination of the chest and mammary glands is performed (asymmetries, drooping of breasts, the range of drooping, the size and position of the nipple-areola complex), and the quality of the skin and glandular tissue is assessed. Patient’s breasts will be photographed for the case history. The breasts will be measured, the method of surgery planned, and the location of the later scars. It is important to discuss with your surgeon your latter wish to become pregnant and to breastfeed (the possibility of choosing the method of surgery to best preserve the mammary ducts, but that does not guarantee preserving the ability to breastfeed later on).
The surgery will be performed using general anesthesia and usually takes for 2-3 hours. The surgery is a combination of removing and replacing excess tissue with removing excess skin. The drainage tubes are usually left in the breasts.
Recovery is individual for every patient. Post-surgery pain relief is necessary on the first days, as there is swelling due to tissue trauma. The incisions have been covered with wound closure tape and bandages up to 2 weeks, after which scar care starts. It is necessary to wear a support bra at all times during the first 6 weeks and with compression another 4-6 weeks, but wearing a push-up bra after the surgery is definitely ill-advised. During the first weeks after the surgery, avoiding extraneous exercise is advised.
Immediately after the surgery, long-term swelling, discomfort, changes in sensitivity or loss of sensitivity of the nipple, and subdermal haematomas are possible. Repeat surgery might be necessary, if a haematoma develops in the breast. Inflammation is rare. More frequent are problems with healing of the incisions, which results in stretching of the scars. Asymmetry is common. Shrivelled tissue, including nipple tissue, non-satisfactory breast shape and size are possible.
* The examples given in the text are general and may vary in individual patients. For the most accurate information, please contact with doctor.