This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure to remove unwanted skin, fat and tissue in order to reduce breast size. During breast reduction surgery the surgeon cuts around the nipple, from the nipple down to the underside of the breast and across beneath the breast. After the fat and skin are taken away the nipple is often moved upwards.
Women with large breasts (macromastia) undertake breast reduction surgery to achieve pain reduction, improved self-image, improved confidence, or an increased ability to take part in physical activity.
Men may also undertake a breast reduction to correct gynecomastia (abnormal enlargement of the male breast).
Breast reduction is also known as reduction mammoplasty.
What surgeon performs Breast Reduction?
Your surgeon for a breast reduction procedure will usually be a cosmetic surgeon although general surgeons also perform this type of surgery.
How popular is this type of surgery?
Breast reduction is a reasonably common procedure and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approx. 90,000 American women had breast reduction surgery in 2008.
Duration of procedure/surgery:
The breast reduction operation will usually last between 2 and 5 hours.
After a breast reduction you will stay overnight in the hospital or clinic where your procedure took place. Some breast reduction surgeries require a hospital stay of between 2 and 4 days.
A breast reduction procedure is usually carried out under general anesthesia. If your breast reduction surgery is carried out under local anesthesia you will also receive drugs to relax the body.
- After your breast reduction surgery you will need at least one week of rest, away from work. Some people need two weeks.
- You can resume full physical activity after one month to six weeks.
- Swelling and bruising will ease after a few days.
- You will have follow-up appointments for the removal of stitches and bandages around two weeks after breast reduction surgery.
Common risks when having breast reduction surgery include:
- Decreased sensation in the nipple and surrounding area following the surgery.
- Difficulty with breastfeeding after the procedure. If you have a breast reduction which separates the nipple from the milk duct you will be unable to breast feed. If you are considering starting a family you may wish to schedule a breast reduction for after the pregnancy in order to avoid these problems.
- Scarring. Breast reduction surgery creates scars and these scars are permanent. However, the scars will fade after the first year and most surgeons will place incisions so as to minimize the impact of the scars.
- Uneven nipple position or difference between the two breast sizes.
- Unwanted skin between and at the side of the breasts, which may require another surgery for removal.
- Adverse reaction to the medicine or anesthesia.
- Bleeding inside the breast (hematoma) which causes swelling.
- Rarely, loss of the nipple.
- Your breasts will be protected by supportive dressings, a support bra or elastic bandages.
- Wear a soft bra after the first week, day and night for many weeks, and loose clothing.
- You may have tubes attached to the breasts to drain fluids, which will be removed after three to five days.
- Take prescribed pain and nausea medications. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to cut the risk of infection.
- Don’t lift heavy objects as this can make scars worse.
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