Breast Reduction Overview
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure performed in Houston by Dr. Aldona Spiegel that reshapes and reduces the size of the breasts. This is accomplished through the removal of excess tissue and skin. The procedure is often performed to relieve physical discomfort caused by the weight of the breasts, or to achieve breast symmetry.
Breast Reduction Procedure
There are various ways to perform this procedure. Dr. Spiegel will discuss with you at your consultation the surgical technique that is right for you. Typically, during a breast reduction procedure, your surgeon will first make one or more incisions in the breasts. Incision placement will be determined by the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. Often, great results can be achieved using a vertical or short scar reduction. With this technique, incisions are made around the areola and straight down. In patients requiring a greater amount of tissue removal, the surgeon will make an anchor-shaped incision around the areola straight down and then in the crease underneath the breast.
Once the incisions have been made, glandular tissue, fat and skin is then excised and the areola and nipple are repositioned. In most breast reduction surgeries, the nipples will remain attached to the nerves and blood vessels. In cases where the patient has extremely large, pendulous breasts however, the areolas and nipple may need to be removed completely and then repositioned. In some cases, liposuction may be utilized to remove any excess fat that remains around the armpit.
Reasons for Undergoing Breast Reduction Surgery
There are a number of different reasons why a woman may choose to undergo this type of procedure.
- Chronic Pain
When the breasts develop to a volume of more than a liter or so, they can quickly become a physical burden for the individual. The weight of oversized breasts can cause pain in the back, neck and shoulders. This strain can sometimes even lead to headaches.
- Nerve Problems
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.
- Skin Issues
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 breast. For women who live in
warm, humid climates, skin rashes and infections can be especially bothersome. Chaffing is another skin issue that women with over-developed 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.
- Restricted Activity
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 of 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.
Breast Reduction Recovery
After your breast reduction procedure has been completed, bandages or dressings will be applied to the incisions. An elastic bandage or special support bra may be worn post-op to reduce swelling and support the breasts as they heal. Additionally, a small, thin tube may be placed temporarily under the skin to drain any excess fluid if necessary.
You will be provided with specific instructions from your surgical team on how to care for the breasts during the recovery period. Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what to expect after breast reduction surgery.
Recovery time after a breast reduction procedure depends on many factors, including the extent of the surgery, the skill of the surgeon and post-surgery care. Most patients are able to return to work within 2 weeks. Strenuous upper body activities such as lifting should be avoided for 4 to 6 weeks post-operation.
To learn more about if you are a candidate for breast reduction with Dr. Spiegel, call 713-441-6102.