Why a breast reduction?
This is one of the most rewarding surgeries in plastic surgery for the patients. There are multiple reasons why.
The most common reason is pain. Yes pain. Big breasts cause neck pain, back pain, shoulder strap pain and chest pain. The weight of the breasts is the culprit. They do to have to be really big to cause these symptoms. The body frame makes a difference too. More petit frames are more prone to these symptoms.
The amazing fact is that these symptoms will go away immediately after the surgery. This is why this operation has such a high degree of satisfaction.
Another reason is psychological. Breasts get so much emphasis in daily life. Many women especially young ones feel very self-conscious about having large breasts because they feel that’s the first part of them that people notice about them. Women who do so for such reasons also get relief and satisfaction after the surgery.
The results of a breast reduction last forever?
False. They do last a very long time. However a good breast reduction does not only reduce the weight. It also provides a breast lift too. Most good plastic surgeon would aim for that. The weight loss part may last forever except for some occasions where the breasts can continue to enlarge or patient gain considerable amount of weight.
The lift part will also last for many years just like we addressed in the lift part of the book section.
Can I have a breast augmentation after a breast reduction.
Yes. You can. However it is uncommon for someone to undergo a breast reduction and then have a breast augmentation. Some patients do change their minds though especially of they do not like their breasts very small.
Can I get smaller breasts by liposuction?
True. In some select cases that can happen. What are these cases? There are two main requirements for this. The breasts must be largely fatty. The breasts must not be very fibrous. Overly fibrous and therefore dense breasts contain little fat so liposuction is not an effective method for these breasts as a means of reduction. Then the breast skin must have very good elasticity so that way it may tighten after the procedure. Women with stretch marks on their breasts are not good candidates. This contraction is achieved by a two-fold mechanism. One is the scar tissue that is created by the surgery. All surgery causes scar tissue. Scar tissue is primarily collagen. Collagen has contractile properties. Furthermore liposuction causes injury to the Coopers ligaments. Coopers ligaments are also called suspensory ligaments of the breasts. They function as their name implies. They permeate throughout the whole breast and help suspend and give shape to the breasts. Injury to these ligaments causes them to contract and tighten. This tightening causes a slight reduction and lift.
I am afraid of getting a breast reduction because I do not want my nipples cut and then re-attached.
False. This is a very common misconception. Patients feel that we cut the nipple-areolar complexes and then re-attach them to the breast at the end of the surgery. Only in very rare cases this is done. Those rare cases pertain to a complication in the immediate post surgery period or in cases of extremely gigantic breasts.
There are many techniques of breast reduction surgery. Regardless of the technique employed by the plastic surgeon the nipple-areolar complexes are never detached during the duration of the operation. They are always attached to a segment of breast tissue that serves to maintain the blood supply and sensory innervation to the nipple-areolar complex. As plastic surgeons we strive to create new breasts with normal nipple-areolar function and look.
If I get a breast reduction and I gain or lose weight then will that ruin my breast shape?
False. A major goal of a breast reduction is to lift the breasts and provide a youthful perky shape. The other main reason off course is to reduce the weight. This total reshaping of the breasts is typically not lost by weight fluctuations due to diet. They may change due to conditions that affect the hormonal milieu as pregnancy. The changes of pregnancy are unpredictable.
Can I breast t feed after I get a breast reduction?
This is something that we have studied extensively. It appears that regardless the various techniques used to perform this operation 75%-85% of women who have had a breast reduction can still breast feed after the operation.
Can Breast reduction surgery cause breast cancer?
False. Breast reduction surgery does not cause breast cancer. The opposite is true. In scientific studies a lesser chance of developing breast cancer has been observed in women who have had breast reduction surgery compared to women who have not. The reason for that may have to do with the fact in a breast reduction operation a significant portion of the breast tissue is permanently removed.
Do I need to stay in the hospital after I have a breast reduction.
In the great majority of cases there is no medical need for patients to stay in the hospital after a breast reduction surgery. If for some reason the surgery takes a longer that expected time and there is significant blood loss then the patient should stay in the hospital for overnight observation. The great majority of patients go home the same day of the surgery.
Does it take a long time to recover after a breast reduction surgery?
False. In most cases the patient goes home the same day. The surgery is not painful. There is some chest swelling and chest discomfort. Patients wear a support bra for 2-3 weeks after surgery. They can return to work after a week of the surgery. They can return to their activities of daily living after 2-3 days from the day of surgery.
I am afraid of the pain, brushing and swelling after a breast reduction.
Do not be afraid please. Swelling is a normal response of the body to any operation. Swelling may cause some discomfort but begins to go away after a week. Brushing may occur as well to different degrees. Pain is unusual after breast reduction surgery.
Getting a breast reduction will help me get rid of the tattoos on my breasts.
False. Typically tattoos on the breasts are placed on the top/upper part of the breast. In the overwhelming majority of breast reduction techniques the upper skin of the breast is preserved and not removed with the surgery. What typically gets removed is the bottom part. So breast reduction and breast lift are not typically treatments for breast tattoos. Standard effective tattoo treatments are repeated laser treatments and/or direct surgical excision. When it comes to tattoo removal the hardest ink to effectively remove is yellow.
Can I take fat from my buttock and put it in my chest?
True. It can be done. We can take fat from any body area and use the fat to increase the breast mount. However this is a highly debatable procedure. The fat transfer to the breasts can create very beautiful breasts. However the fat may die or some of it may die. When fat dies t goes through a process called “liquefactive fat necrosis”. Essentially what that is the way the body breaks down fat. In simple terms some of the fat dies. In some occasions when fat does it can form calcifications or granulomas that may feel like masses. These lumps can cause major alert if they are felt in the breasts. Naturally a woman would be inclined to get a battery of tests and even surgery to remove them causing extra scars on the breasts and un-necessary stress. At this point the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is investigating this procedure. In the next few years we will know more about the safety and efficacy of this procedure.
My large nipples make me self-conscious but I am afraid to fix them because I will lose feeling.
False. Large nipple size makes many women self conscious due to their prominence. The operation to reduce nipple size is very simple can be easily be done in the office under local anesthetic. Although anything can be possible in life and in medicine typically there is no loss or reduction of feeling.