Breasts that are too large can cause both physical and emotional discomfort. Breast reduction surgery is a procedure performed by Dr. Spiegel that reshapes and reduces the size of the breasts. This is accomplished through the removal of excess tissue and skin. Breast reduction surgery is often performed to relieve physical discomfort caused by the weight of the breasts or to achieve breast symmetry. There are various ways to perform this procedure but Dr. Spiegel believes the vertical reduction technique achieves the best result with the least amount of scarring to the breast. Dr. Spiegel will discuss this surgical technique further during your consultation.
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. A lollipop incision is made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the nipple to where the breast meets the chest wall. After the incisions are made, skin, fat, and tissue are removed, and the nipples and areolas are repositioned. The nipple-areolar complexes usually remain attached to the nerves and blood vessels, but in some cases, they may need to be removed completely prior to repositioning. Liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat from the underarm area.
You may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery if you experience:
When the breasts develop to a volume of more than a liter or so, they can quickly become a physical burden. The weight of oversized breasts can cause pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. This strain can sometimes even lead to headaches.
Large breasts can also degrade your posture, causing the shoulders to roll forward. The poor body alignment of slouching can compress nerves and blood vessels near the thoracic outlet. This can lead to pain and numbness in the upper extremities. Many patients describe this sensation as an icy, tingling sensation in the hands and forearms and numbness in the shoulders.
For women with overly large breasts, it can be difficult to keep the area under the breasts dry. This can cause yeast infections, skin rashes, and other irritations to develop under the breasts. For women who live in warm, humid climates, skin rashes and infections can be especially bothersome. Chafing is another skin issue that women with overdeveloped breasts have to deal with. This often occurs due to side spillage because the bra cup is too small. The weight of the breasts also causes the breast skin to stretch over time, creating scar-like streaks known as stretch marks.
Over-developed breasts can cause some physical activities to be painful or uncomfortable. Large, pendulous breasts can obviously make certain exercises like running and jumping unpleasant for the individual. These physical limitations and the self-consciousness she may feel about exercising in public can cause many women with large breasts to miss out on the important psychological and physical benefits of regular exercise.
Emotional Health Issues
Overdeveloped breasts can often attract unwanted attention that makes the individual feel uncomfortable. Many women worry about being wrongly pigeonholed because of the way they look. Overly large breasts can also make finding appropriately fitting clothing options a difficult feat, and certain attire like swimsuits may cause her to feel self-conscious in social situations.
Candidates should be in good physical and mental health, as the recovery period requires patience. You should have realistic expectations about the results of your surgery.
Benefits of a breast reduction include:
- Reduced breast-related back, shoulder, neck, and chest pain
- Balanced body proportions
- Improved fit of clothing
- Reduced skin irritations and rashes
- Increased self-confidence
While breast reduction is a safe procedure, there are some risks involved with the surgery. These risks can include infection, changes in sensation of the breast or nipple, asymmetry, and possible effects on the ability to breastfeed in the future.
Once your surgery is complete, dressings or bandages may be placed over your incisions. You will be required to wear a post-surgical bra to support your breasts as they heal. Drains may also be placed to help eliminate any excess fluid. Dr. Spiegel will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions and drains, if placed.
You will experience some soreness, swelling, and bruising following your procedure. Recovery time can vary based on the amount of correction needed but most patients can return to work within two weeks. Strenuous activities such as lifting should be avoided for four to six weeks. Swelling should dissipate in a few weeks but can last up to a few months.
Your results will be long lasting as long as you do not experience any significant weight changes or become pregnant. Although breast reduction surgery offers many benefits, it cannot stop the natural aging process and overtime breasts will still age and be affected by gravity. In order to achieve optimal results and maintain these results, it is important to wear a supportive bra and maintain a stable weight.
Before & After Images