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Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure resorted to by both men and women to cut down to size their bulky or large breasts. This procedure can also set right asymmetrical breasts.
Oversized breasts tend to create low-self esteem in people of both sexes. Women feel uncomfortable wearing certain types of attire and men feel too embarrassed to bare their chest in public. Breast reduction helps to relieve women of health problems caused by their excessive and pendulous bust. These problems include persistent pain in the neck, back or shoulder; deteriorating posture; regular bra strap indentations; skin irritation beneath the breasts; and sleep disruption. Older women whose breasts have grown in size due to postmenopausal changes or weight gain are also candidates for the procedure.
In men, the condition of unusually large breasts is called gynecomastia. For them, this surgery is a way to enhance their manly looks and carry themselves with more self confidence.
General anesthesia is commonly used for breast reductions. All breast reductions are done by Dr. Spero J Theodorou at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Prior to starting the surgery, the breasts would be measured. A detailed examination would also be done of their shape and size, and the position of the areolas and nipples.
The duration of a breast reduction procedure is usually one to three hours for each breast. A surgical breast lift is an important element of breast reduction surgery. The technique of breast reduction appropriate for a patient would depend on factors such as the nature of the problem, the extent of reduction needed, and breast composition.
The first and older technique leaves behind a wide anchor scar as a result of incisions made around the areola, vertically down to breast underside, and in the breast crease. Following the making of the incisions, the areola and nipple are repositioned to a place that's higher off on the breast. Surplus skin, if any, is removed and the incisions closed.
With the passage of time, this method is becoming less popular and is being increasingly replaced by the "lollipop" scar or Lejour technique. This technique is characterized by a lollipop incision - the incision goes round the nipple and then moves down vertically under it. This technique leaves no scar in the breast crease and achieves a conical and more favorable shape than the older method.
The third method of breast reduction is liposuction. In the case of women, this method would be suitable if the breasts are not that big and the skin has excellent elasticity. This method would be apt for a man if the chief reason for his gynecomastia is a surplus of fatty tissue. It involves extraction of the surplus fatty breast tissues using a vacant and slim tube called a cannula. The cannula is introduced into the breast by way of minute incisions.
Liposuction reduces to a certain extent the disadvantages associated with the traditional methods of breast reduction. It causes only minor scars and these are well-concealed beneath the fold of the breast. Since this surgical technique doesn't affect the nipple, nipple sensation and the woman's ability to breastfeed are less affected if liposuction is done.
A breast reduction surgery might unfavorably affect a woman's glandular structure. As such, it is better that any woman desirous of bearing a child either discuss the matter with the concerned plastic surgeon before considering the procedure or put it off to a time after the child is born. We brief our patients on these probable complications/risks and others such as hematoma, infection, bleeding, anesthesia reactions, and irregularities in breast shape and contour. Post-surgical pain may be severe, calling for a corrective surgical technique.
It is advisable that people wanting to lose a considerable number of kilos first steady their weight before getting a breast reduction done.
Following a breast reduction surgery, women would most probably have to wear a support surgical bra or elastic bandage that would secure the breasts to the body and support them during the healing process. It would also reduce swelling. A thin, small tube positioned beneath the skin provides an exit for excess fluids and blood from the site of the incisions. The use of the tube is only temporary. The tube would be removed after the initial few days. As a good majority of the stitches would dissolve, removal is mostly not necessary. If required, it would be done in about 7 to 14 days. The scars needn't be a source of concern as they would gradually fade.
Patients can usually recommence their duties the week following the surgery. At this time, women would also be able to wear regular bras with underwires. For a minimum period of three weeks to a month after the surgery, exercise and strenuous activities should best be avoided. During this period, no pushing or lifting of heavy items should be done. Care should be taken to handle the breasts gently for a month and a half. It may take the breasts anywhere from 6 months to 12 to adjust to their new contour.
Though factors such as aging, gravity, hormonal factors and weight changes can cause the breasts to get bigger; the results of the breast reduction generally do last for a good amount of time.