For patients with large, heavy breasts, breast reduction is an ideal procedure to decrease breast size. Some women are unhappy about having large breasts because of the appearance and the disproportionate size relative to their body frame. Others would like to treat their symptoms, including:
- back, neck, and shoulder pain secondary to the heavy breast weight
- grooving in the shoulders from tight bra straps
- skin irritation and rashes underneath the breasts
- poor posture as a result of the weight of the breasts
During a breast reduction, Dr. Yau removes fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts. The resultant smaller breasts increase patient comfort and look more in proportion to the rest of the body. Ideal candidates for a breast reduction are women with oversized breasts that are causing medical problems, low self-esteem, and/or physical or social discomfort. Women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding are not candidates for this procedure.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
Reduction mammaplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure typically takes 2 to 3 hours to perform. Resultant scars are typically in the shape of an anchor: around the areola, down to the breast crease and extending transversely along the breast crease. Occasionally, depending on the size and shape of the breasts, surgery will result in a keyhole shape: around the areola and down to the breast crease only.
During the procedure, Dr. Yau removes excess skin, fat and glandular tissues from the breasts and reshapes them into a desired contour that is smaller and firmer. The nipple and areola will be re-sized in the process for a pleasing result.
Recovery From Reduction Mammaplasty
After reduction mammaplasty, patients typically experience soreness, swelling and bruising for several days. Bandages are removed after 3 to 4 days and replaced with a surgical bra. Physical activity should be limited for 1 to 2 weeks, while exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 4 weeks. The results of reduction mammaplasty are noticeable immediately after surgery. As swelling and bruising subside, the appearance of the breasts continues to improve. Scars fade with time, and usually, cannot be seen when a patient wears a bathing suit or low-cut top.