Symptoms...Breasts are different sized or asymmetrical Areola too big or asymmetrical Breasts are too large
A woman’s breast size depends mostly on her genetic background. However, it varies greatly – even within the same family, one sister can have small breasts while the other sister has larger ones.
Breast size is also related to body weight – if body weight increases, the breasts will also grow larger owing to the increased fatty tissue deposited in the breasts; and vice-versa. In time and after breast-feeding, large breasts can sag.
Women who have heavy and sagging breasts often experience pain in their backs and shoulders or have chronic skin irritation under their breasts. Bra straps can often cut quite painfully into the shoulders. It becomes difficult to find suitable clothes to wear.
Beside the physical distress and hygiene problems, large breasts can also cause psychological and social discomforts.
Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery are generally adult women whose breasts have fully developed and who suffer from the above mentioned symptoms.
Surgical breast reduction helps to relieve or solve these worries.
About the operation
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and usually lasts 2 to 3 hours.
Excess breast tissue is removed, nipple areas are transplanted to a more suitable position, and then the breasts are formed into a suitable size and shape.
Recovery and post-surgical care
Special surgical bandages will be applied to the breasts after the operation. Small drains will be inserted into the wounds to let accumulated fluids out. These drains will be removed after couple of days and the wounds will be taped at the same time.
A shower can be taken 4 to 5 days after the operation.
The stitches will be removed approximately 7 to 10 days after the operation.
Your breasts will be swollen and sore for up to 2 weeks; intradermal haematomas can also be visible, which should regress after a couple of weeks. Painkillers can be taken to relieve any pain or soreness. Due to post-surgical swelling, you may feel some reduction of skin and nipple sensitivity. This usually passes after 6 weeks, though in some cases, the reduction of sensitivity can last a year or even longer and in very rare cases it can be permanent.
You can usually return to work a week or two after the operation. Sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least a week and objects should not be lifted over your head for three to four weeks.
Unfortunately, unavoidable scars accompany breast reduction surgery.
One of the most common surgical techniques leaves an anchor-shaped scar around the nipple area, below the nipple and in the skin fold under the breasts.
Possible side effects and risks
Every surgical procedure is an intrusion on the body’s complex functioning, and involves some degree of unpredictability and risk.
All surgery causes some degree of pain, swelling and oedema, wounds and the risk of infection and changes to skin sensitivity. It can also result in reactions to medicines and medical materials, and the possibility that the wound may heal slowly.
Operations performed by qualified and skilled surgeons very seldom give rise to complications and even then such complications are usually mild.
The patient can minimize the risks herself by following the doctor’s advice and instructions.
Haematomas can develop in the area of the operation after breast reduction surgery, not as a direct result of the surgical incisions. Smaller ones may be absorbed spontaneously, but larger haematomas might require simple additional procedures.
Asymmetry: The size and shape of your breasts and the location of your nipples can be a bit uneven after the operation. These differences are usually minimal and only seldom require additional correction.
Reduction of skin sensitivity
Nipples are often less sensitive in large-breasted women. Breast reduction causes a remarkable loss in skin sensitivity, but in time the condition usually reverts.
Visible scars: The body’s individual character and its tendency to scar are risk factors in regard to the cosmetic outcome of the surgery.
If the patient has problems with nipple retraction, the problem might exacerbate after surgery.
In very large-breasted patients whose nipples are formed using free skin grafting techniques, the recovery of the nipple area can take more time and in some rare cases the nipple can even necrotise.
Breast-feeding is either difficult or completely impossible after the breast reduction surgery.
Bad general health, chronic diseases and inflammations in the body, psychological instability, breast-feeding. The operation is not recommended if close relatives have had breast cancer.
Most patients will find relief from the pains in their neck and shoulders. Hygiene problems that are related to large breasts will also be a thing of the past.
The final cosmetic and aesthetic outcome depends on the extent of the patient’s problem and the experience and skill of the surgeon. Professional breast reduction surgery provides the patient with better well-being, self-confidence and improved quality of life.