Breast Reduction

Many women suffer from excessively large breasts, which is a condition called “macromastia.”  Macromastia can be uncomfortable and end in extreme cases of debilitating physical problems, such as back and shoulder pain, bra strap grooving, finger numbness, as well not being to find clothes that fit appropriately.  Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing for women suffering from this condition.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, which is also called a “reduction mammoplasty,” is a surgical procedure where excess breast tissue is removed and tightened, and the nipple and areola are repositioned.  Breast reduction surgery can also include a full breast lift as well.  Excess tissue weighs breasts them down, but after the tissue is removed and the skin is tightened, the breasts become lighter and perkier.

There are two main types of breast reduction surgery: Vertical Reduction Mammoplasty and Anchor Incision Reduction Mammoplasty.

Dr. Landis performs the vertical breast reduction.  This approach minimizes scarring and produces a more forward projecting and perkier breast.  Also, it is less painful and has a quicker recovery.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

If you suffer from excessively large breasts that cause daily problems, you are probably a good candidate for a reduction mammoplasty.  These everyday problems can include:

  • Shoulder, back, and neck pain
  • Poorly fitting clothes
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Difficulty in finding a bra that will fit you
  • Discomfort from bra straps digging into the shoulders

You may be an ideal candidate for breast reduction if you:

  • Have large and sagging, heavy breasts
  • Would like to wear a smaller bra size
  • Are uncomfortable and self-conscious about your breast size

What to Expect from Your Breast Reduction Surgery

Reduction mammoplasty is one of the most satisfying surgeries for patients.  Back and neck pain improves, exercise becomes possible, clothes and bras will fit better, and your entire self-image can improve.  It is important to remember that all breasts have some degree of asymmetry.  Most breast reductions result in improvements symmetry

As with every surgery, there will be scarring.  Dr. Landis uses the most advanced techniques to minimize the amount of scarring possible including meticulous scar management.  Over time the scars do fade quite a bit and are very well camouflaged in all clothing.  Most patients consider the easily hidden scars an excellent trade-off for the vast improvement in their quality of life.

What is a Breast Reduction Surgery like?

The breast reduction surgery takes between two and two and a half hours to perform.  Most of the time, you will be asleep under general anesthesia, but some patients do prefer conscious sedation for this procedure.  There is no need to stay overnight, as most breast reductions are performed on an outpatient basis.  You will be able to go home as soon as you recover from the anesthesia and feel ready.

During the surgery, the nipple remains attached by the underlying blood vessels, nerves, and ducts so that you have the best chance of retaining function and sensation.  The nipples are never entirely removed during the procedure.  However, about 10-20% of patients do have some changes to nipple sensation.

Breast Reduction Postoperative Care

Following all of the postoperative care instructions is essential.  Every patient is unique, but you can expect the following:

  • Breasts will be gently wrapped in gauze and an Ace bandage
  • Drainage tubes are often used for one day. These will be removed in-office after one to two days.
  • The sutures are absorbable and may be trimmed at the two-week checkup.
  • There will be mild bruising and swelling
  • No exercise for one month
  • You can return to physical work within one to two weeks.
  • Sleeping on your back for three to four weeks

It often takes up to six months for all of the swelling to completely subside and for the breasts settle.  Don’t worry if breasts look strange for a few weeks; this is very normal.  As the tissue settles and the swelling diminishes over six months, you’ll notice an improvement in the shape of breasts.

Can I Combine Procedures?

Breast reduction surgery is often performed at the same time with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction or body lift.

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