What is Reduction Mammoplasty?
Reduction mammoplasty is a breast reduction procedure which counteracts the healthcare problems associated with large, heavy breasts. Back, neck and shoulder pain, along with circulation and breathing problems can be caused by the weight of large breasts. Mostly carried out on women, breast reduction surgery is also performed on men with gynaecomastia (abnormally large mammary glands). Elective breast reduction procedures are also carried out on women who feel their breasts are too big and out of proportion to the rest for their bodies.
Breast Reduction: the Surgical Procedure
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthetic. The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision circling the areola, extending downward to follow the natural curve of the breast. Excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin are removed and the nipples and areola are moved to new positions. In extreme cases, the areola and nipple are removed and replaced as a skin graft. In these circumstances, sensation in the areola area will be lost. For the first couple of days, a small tube may be placed in the breasts to drain blood and fluids.
Healthcare: Pre- and Post-Reduction Mammoplasty
When planning a breast reduction procedure, a doctor and patient will discuss post-surgical issues, and x-rays of the breasts are required for future reference. Patients receive healthcare advice with regard to smoking, drinking, and avoiding certain medicines. Post-surgery, a surgical bra may be required and the doctor may recommend the application of moisturizer to dry skin. Normal activity can be resumed quite soon, but doctors advise against lifting heavy weights or intimate contact during the first few weeks.
Breast Reduction: Possible Complications
It can take six to twelve months for the body to adjust to the new breast size. Complications that may arise are: fluid retention; disproportion, drooping; delayed healing; changed nipple sensation; altered erogenous function; and scarring.