Breast Reduction Surgery
By means of this procedure we reduce and give shape to the breasts, removing the excess glandular tissue and skin.
Habitually we must reposition the areolas (the pinker or darker skin that surrounds the nipples), and reduce their diameter, as they might have been enlarged because of the breasts weight.
Patients require this type of surgery for different reasons. Commonly, they manifest difficulties to make physical activities, chronic irritation of the submammary crease, spine disorders, backaches or the psychological malaise that an excessive mammary volume can bring.
It is convenient to perform the surgery once the patient has developed her breasts completely. If the breasts don´t have a significant size and they only present sagging or stretched skin (like after prolonged breast-feeding or an important weight loss), a mastopexy or breast lift can be enough to obtain a suitable aesthetic result.
All patients must undergo pre-operative studies and the specific risk factors in each case are analyzed.
The anesthesia to be used is a decision we make together with the patient. Although we can provide general anesthesia with an in-patient stay for 24 hours, we usually use local anesthesia, plus a sedation provided by the anesthesiologist; and after a few hours of post-operative recovery the patient can go home (ambulatory surgery).
The surgery takes from 2 to 3 hours, depending on the magnitude of the procedure. The use of a bandage for 3 to 5 days after the intervention is common, that we soon replace with a support bra.
In the first 48 postoperative hours, it is probable to feel pain or discomfort in the area, which is handled with analgesics. Later, the evolution is well tolerated.
The patients retake their normal routine, depending on how they heal and how they feel in a lapse of 7 to 10 days. More time should be waited to retake sports, though.
After the surgery, scars will be left. Depending on the breasts size, they could be of different types:
Periareolar and vertical.
Cross-sectional periareolar, vertical and horizontal (an “inverted T”).
At first they will be red, but with time, it is expectable that their aspect improves and they will fade.
The possibility of complications is the common to any other surgical procedure: hematoma (bleeding, bruising), seroma (swelling), exaggerated or hypo/hyperpigmented scars, infection, etc. In some cases, after a breast reduction surgery, alterations in the sensitivity of the areola-niple set can occur, which may be temporal or definitive; and difficulties in breast-feeding might as well exist.
It is very advisable that the surgery is performed by a specialist in aesthetic plastic surgery. It is, with no doubt, the safest option to achieve a good result and to face any complications, in case they might occur.