Familial disposition, weight gain, hormonal changes, birth and breastfeeding are among the reasons that may cause overgrowth of the breast tissues.
Women with a large breast volume and the consequent sagging breasts may suffer from load on the chest area, which may lead to low back, shoulder and neck pain, perspiration and rash on the skin, skeletal disorders and respiratory problems as well as limitation of physical activity and difficulties in garment choice. Bra straps may lead to grooves, redness and marks on the shoulders.
Large breasts would look un-esthetic not only when naked but also when dressed, which would negatively influence the person's private life as well as work and social life, ability of movement and self-confidence.
Breast reduction surgery, which is medically termed “reduction mammoplasty” has been designed in such a way as to overcome the above-mentioned problems. With this surgery, the excessive skin, fat and mammary gland tissues are removed. This way, smaller, lighter, smoothly-shaped, symmetrical, firmer and tighter breasts can be achieved. It is possible with this surgery to downsize the nipple, as well.
Breast reduction surgery is generally performed not only for esthetic concerns but also for gaining physical comfort.
Since a part of the mammary glands would also be removed during breast reduction surgery, there may be a certain level of decrease in breastfeeding functions following pregnancy among people who have undergone this surgery.
Breast reduction and cancer
It is generally appropriate to have ultrasound and mammography studies performed before breast reduction surgery. These studies are intended to determine beforehand whether there is a risky lesion in the breast in the current situation. The tissues removed during breast reduction surgery may have removed any cells that bore the risk of having problems at a later stage. Furthermore, these tissues that are removed can be referred to pathological examination in order to be scanned for risky cells. For thee reasons, it could be claimed that this surgery either reduces the risk for breast cancer or least increase the chance for its identification. Additionally, it would be easier to conduct the routine examinations of breast tissue as it would be lighter and thinner after surgery.
Surgical scars that remain under the bra or briefs are unavoidable as a result of breast reduction surgery. Depending on the breast size and the surgical technique employed, surgical scars would consist of either a single perpendicular line or a line that is in the shape of an inverted “T”, “J” or ”L” around and under the nipple. These scars should heal and become less prominent over time. For smokers and diabetic patients, the scars may remain more prominent since wound healing may be more problematic. In very rare cases, it is possible that thick and reddish scars are formed that we term “hypertrophic scars” depending on the patient's wound healing characteristics. This is naturally not the desired result and a separate treatment is necessary to treat these scars.
What are the surgical steps?
Breast reduction is a surgery performed under general anesthesia, which may take approximately 3-4 hours. Various techniques have been described. After the removal of excessive skin, fat and mammary glands, the nipple is lifted and the remaining skin is wrapped around this nipple and fastened together underneath. In some cases, the surgery is combined with liposuction in order to remove the excess tissue on the armpits. Most of the time, the blood circulation and sensation on the nipple are maintained. However, in cases where the breast is extremely large, the nipple is moved to its new location by means of the skin transfer method.
What does the recovery period look like?
After surgery, a circumferential dressing is placed on the breasts. Drains can be placed at the spots closer to both armpits for two to four days. The pain that may occur is generally mild and can be suppressed with medicines. After a short while, the dressing is reduced and the patient begins to wear an elastic bra. The edemas that develop in breasts completely resolve in 3-4 weeks. The patient should refrain from lifting or pushing weight for 3-4 weeks. Unless the work requires really intensive physical strength, the patient can return to work in 10 days and resume any social activities. However, it may be ill-advised for the patient to undertake any heavy work and exercise before approximately 2 months have elapsed.
It is normal to have a small amount of fluid oozing from the suture spots or some scabbing after surgery.
At least 3-6 months should elapse before the breast can assume its planned shape.
After surgery, you will immediately be