What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size more in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with excessively large breasts (macromastia).
Disproportionately large breasts can cause both physical and emotional distress for patients. Patients with macromastia may experience physical discomfort resulting from the weight of their breasts. The resulting pain can make it challenging for some patients to perform common physical activities. Along with the physical ailments of macromastia, some patients may suffer from emotional distress or more significant mental health problems as a result of their large breasts.
Although breast reduction is often performed to address medical issues, patients who do not have the symptoms of macromastia but are unhappy with the size of their breasts can still pursue breast reduction as an aesthetic procedure. Patients choosing to undergo breast reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons may cite any number of factors, including social stigmas and wardrobe concerns.
Who is a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Overly large breasts can cause health and emotional problems. In addition to self-image issues, you may also experience physical pain and discomfort. The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts can be as important an issue as the physical discomfort and pain.
You may be a candidate for breast reduction surgery if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You don’t smoke
- You are bothered by feeling that your breasts are too large
- You have breasts that limit your physical activity
- You experience back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- You have shoulder indentations from bra straps
- You have skin irritation beneath the breast crease
What should I expect during a consultation for breast reduction surgery?
The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure highly depend on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
During your breast reduction consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Previous surgeries
- Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies
Your plastic surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your breasts, and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, placement of your nipples and areolas
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of your breast reduction procedure and any risks or potential complications
- Discuss the use of anesthesia during your procedure for breast reduction
The success and safety of your Breast Reduction depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.