It is often said that women are so strong that they can carry the weight of the world. Of course, a statement like this is made figuratively, not meant to be taken literally. But for some women, it feels like a reality, when the weight they carry on account of large breasts interferes with their lifestyle and daily routine.
This does not have to remain a burden to bear. With the help of breast reduction procedure, women can bring about an ease and comfort in their life, physically.
What Is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction procedure is scientifically known as Reduction Mammoplasty, as opposed to breast augmentation, which is known as Mammoplasty. It entails reducing the breast volume and size. The purpose of undergoing this procedure is not just to move to a more aesthetic breast size, it is more functional as breasts which are too large may cause impediment in your routine work.
Women with excessively large breasts basically carry more than normal weight on their chest, and therefore often struggle with neck and back pain, in addition to feeling self-conscious about how they look. Larger breasts also tend to droop and sag more easily as well, which may lead to a drop in self-esteem as well.
These aesthetic and health issues can be corrected by performing a breast reduction procedure using the right set of techniques.
How Does Breast Reduction Help Me?
If we pose the following questions before you, do you answer yes to one or more?
- Are your breasts large (more so than what is considered normal)?
- Do you feel back and neck pain due to heavy breasts?
- Do your breasts look droopy or ptotic?
- Is one breast considerably larger than the other?
- Do you have stretch marks on your breasts in addition to them being heavy?
- Do you find it difficult to get the right bra size? Do the straps also cause deep furrows on your shoulders?
- Did your breast size increase heavily after pregnancy, and just did not go back to its original size?
- Do you feel conscious posing for the camera because your breasts appear to be too in-your-face?
Scientific advances today in the field of cosmetic surgery make sure that you do not have to suffer because of any of the above-mentioned problems. A breast reduction procedure can work wonders for you, while restoring ease in your daily workload, by addressing these issues. How does it work?
- It reduces the volume which causes excess weight on your chest.
- In case of asymmetrical breasts, the procedure restores symmetry.
- It works on making your body structure and contour more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing.
- It addresses the problem of shoulder and neck pain associated with heavy breasts.
- You need no longer spend the rest of your life feeling self-conscious.
You must keep in mind though, that this is not a miracle procedure – does not change your breasts’ natural shape or make them appear like they did before pregnancy or give you a new body structure altogether. Discuss your requirement and case in depth with your surgeon, and arm yourself with the relevant information about potential outcome and associated risks while taking a decision.
How Does Breast Reduction Surgery Work?
Breast reduction surgery is a four-part process in total. Each has its own place in the process flow, and there are rules and protocols to be followed in each part, for a successful and happy outcome.
The Decision-Making Process
Unlike other forms of cosmetic surgery like breast augmentation, it is important to understand that breast reduction has a more functional purpose to achieve – your breast size should not interfere with your routine and should not cause you physical distress.
Therefore, the decision-making process assumes great significance as personal choice is not the only deciding factor here. You need to understand the benefits which such a procedure brings and discuss your problems with your surgeon in depth so that they can offer the right solution.
How Do I Finalise the Centre and Surgeon?
Deciding to undergo such a procedure is a major life decision, and financial considerations should form only one part of the story. When it comes to choosing a centre and a surgeon, you should not cut corners or make compromises. World class infrastructure and equipment and techniques, along with experienced and certified surgeons come at a price. This price ensures that you are placing yourself in safe hands and need not worry about complications which may arise due to the use of wrong techniques or unsafe equipment or on account of the surgeon not knowing what they are doing.
Look for reviews of the surgeon and facility and read up as much as you can. Also remember to trust your instincts while meeting the surgeon. You need to be able to trust your surgeon before you go ahead with them.
Preparing for the Breast Reduction Surgery
Preparing for the surgery has two aspects –
- You are preparing for the surgery.
- Your surgeon is preparing for the surgery.
How does your surgeon prepare for the breast reduction surgery? A gold medalist plastic surgeon must meticulously plan every step of the procedure – what medication to prescribe, lifestyle changes to take care of, the exact dosage of the anaesthesia for the surgery, where and how to make an incision, how much of the breast tissue to remove, how to position the nipple and areola after the surgery, whether to go for sutures or adhesive tape, and follow up consultation after the surgery. While an experienced surgeon may need to think on the spot during the surgery as well, they try to plan ahead as much as possible.
This requires them to have accurate, and complete information from you during the planning and preparation stage – your routine, lifestyle choices, medical history, any medication you are currently taking, the problems you are facing functionally due to your breast size, how you envisage the outcome of the surgery are some among other details your surgeon may seek from you.
Please make sure to give an accurate representation of facts, this will ensure that you have a safe experience. Do not withhold any information, including if you drink or smoke or use recreational drugs.
How do you need to prepare for the surgery? Based on inputs from you, the surgeon will create the complete roadmap, which will include protocols to be followed by you. You may need to undergo some blood tests, your medication and dosage may require adjustment, you must stop smoking and taking drugs and avoid any non-prescription drugs and ensure to arrange for a driver to take you back home after the surgery – do not drive yourself. Please make sure to follow all the surgeon’s instructions meticulously.
The Actual Procedure
Breast reduction procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia. The latest techniques called superomedial pedicles are employed to give the dual benefit of breast reduction and breast contouring to give a more proportionate and youthful look.
The steps involved are as given below –
- Administration of general anaesthesia.
- Marking the area along the areola where excess tissue has to be removed from.
- Making an incision along the marking.
- Removal of excess breast skin and fat.
- Repositioning of nipple and areola.
- Re-contouring of the smaller breast by bringing the incisions together.
If indicated during the surgery, a semi-compressive dressing and drain is also placed on the breasts.
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Recovery Breast Reduction?
Every person is different, as is their body’s ability to recover, especially after an invasive procedure. However, as a rule of thumb, full recovery takes up to a few months, with the following steps.
- Swelling, bruising and discomfort for up to 48 hours after the surgery.
- Return to normal routine (minus any heavy movements) 3 days after the surgery.
- Return to driving a week after the surgery.
- Most patients feel normal physically about a month after the surgery. However, you should resume heavy physical activity including workouts only six to eight weeks after the surgery, that also after you get the green signal from your surgeon.
- It will take another couple of months for the breasts to fall into their final position and for the outcome to be visible.
It is important to understand that a smooth recovery process is dependent on you as the patient following all advisories given by the surgeon. This includes the use of compression garments for six weeks and wearing the right bra day and night. It also involves avoiding heavy physical movement till it is advised by the surgeon. When you and your surgeon work as a team in sync, the surgery is successful, and complications are avoided.
Dr Priya Bansal is a gold medalist female plastic surgeon who tunes in well with her patient’s needs. She charts out a personalized roadmap for each patient, after due consultation with them. She is backed by years of training which has built up her skillset and is highly trusted by all her patients.