Breast Reduction Kirkland
Women who are unhappy about having large breasts and/or want to improve symptoms such as neck, back and shoulder pain, frequent rashes and poor posture, may benefit from reduction mammaplasty (breast reduction). This procedure involves the removal of fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts. The resultant smaller, “lifted” breasts increase patient comfort and look more in proportion to the rest of the body.
Ideal candidates for reduction mammaplasty are women with oversized breasts that are causing medical problems and/or physical or social discomfort. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not undergo reduction mammaplasty.
The Reduction Mammaplasty Procedure
Reduction mammaplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the technique used and the individual case, it takes from 2.5 to 4 hours to perform. One of the following incisions is often used:
- Two rings, one larger than the other, around the areola
- A keyhole shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease
- An anchor shape, beginning in the breast crease, and extending up to and around the areola
Liposuction is used as a means of contouring the tissue around the breasts. It can sometimes be used alone to reduce breast size. One advantage is that it leaves little-to-no scarring. However, because liposuction removes only fatty tissue, patients must have more fatty than glandular tissue in their breasts for this to be effective.
Liposuction is also often used on men whose breasts are enlarged.
Reduction Mammaplasty Recovery
After reduction mammaplasty, patients typically experience soreness, swelling and bruising for several days. An ACE wrap and initial bandages are removed after 2 days and replaced with a sports bra. Stitches dissolve on their own and do not need to be removed. Physical activity should be limited for 1 to 2 weeks, while exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 4 to 5 weeks. Most patients resume driving and return to work within 5-7 days.
The results of reduction mammaplasty are noticeable immediately after surgery. As swelling and bruising subside, the breasts’ appearance improves. Scars fade with time, and usually cannot be seen when a patient wears a bathing suit or low-cut top.
Reduction Mammaplasty Risks
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery (typically: pain, bleeding, infection and nausea after general anesthesia), the risks related to reduction mammaplasty (depending on the technique used) include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Unsightly scarring
- Excessive firmness
- Inability to breast-feed
- Loss of skin / tissue where incisions meet
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
Although reduction mammaplasty provides long-lasting results, breasts are still subject to the effects of aging, gravity and weight changes.