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How Does a Breast Reduction Work?

Breast reduction surgery
Woman with smaller breast

A mammaplasty or breast reduction is a cosmetic procedure which removes the excess fat, skin and tissue from the breasts. A breast reduction is in order when a woman has unusually large breasts which cause her pain or discomfort. For those who are considering a breast reduction, it is important to speak to a plastic surgeon. Most of the time plastic surgeons in Short Hills will provide a free consultation to determine if the woman is indeed a good candidate for a breast reduction. The cosmetic surgeon can describe the procedure and its benefits along with the risks and possible complications that could occur. They can also help an individual set some realistic expectations concerning the procedure and its outcomes.

Why Have a Breast Reduction?

A breast reduction will change the size, firmness, shape and weight of the breasts. There can be several reasons why this type of surgery is pursued. When a woman has large breasts, they can be very heavy and cause chronic neck and back pain, posture problems and skin irritation. Over sized breasts can cause a constant pulling on the straps of the bra which leaves indentations across the shoulders. In most of the cases, a breast reduction surgery can alleviate these problems. Women who have larger breasts can have a difficult time participating in many sports or activities. The larger sized breasts can make the activity painful in many cases, and at best it can be very awkward for the woman; breast reduction solves these problems. Another reason to consider this type of cosmetic surgery is because of the desired changes in the appearance. It can be very embarrassing to have breasts which are large and out of proportion to the body’s height and weight. Younger women and teenage girls are particularly self conscious when they are wearing swimsuits and various other styles and types of clothing. An additional problem can be that it is difficult to find clothes that fit properly.

Overview of the Surgery

When a plastic surgeon performs a breast reduction they will remove some of the skin and tissue from the breasts so as to reshape them and reduce their size. They may also take the time to make the areola around the nipple smaller. The cosmetic surgeon will make incisions in the breasts through which the excess skin and tissue are removed. This can be a single incision or multiple ones depending on how much work is needed. Some circumstances require that the nipple and areola be removed and then repositioned properly. A breast reduction is usually performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center and only a general anesthesia is used. The actual surgery will take between 3 and 5 hours. In most cases, the patient will not need to stay overnight in the hospital. For instances which only require a small reduction, the surgery can be done using only local anesthesia.

Are there any risks involved?

Just like any other type of major surgery, breast reduction has some possible risks such as bleeding, adverse reactions to anesthesia or infection. Other risks may include things like losing sensation in the nipples or the areole. Loss of the areole or nipples is also a possibility. There is a risk of scarring and for women who have a higher BMI (body mass index) there is an increased risk of poorly healing wounds can be a problem. Some women have difficulty breast feeding following this type of cosmetic surgery and in some instances the shape, size, contour and position of the nipples or breasts can be off. This can lead to more surgeries to correct the problems.

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