Breast Reduction Surgery: Procedure and Recovery | PreferredMD
Plastic Surgery

Breast Reduction Surgery: Procedure and Recovery

Procedure • By Biraj Patel

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate physical discomfort and enhance a woman's confidence by reducing the size and reshaping the breasts. 

How to prepare for breast reduction surgery

What is the normal age for breast reduction?

There is no specific “normal” age for breast reduction surgery. The suitability for the procedure is assessed on an individual basis. Factors considered include breast development, physical discomfort, and emotional well-being. A plastic surgeon will help determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction.

Consultation and preoperative assessment

Before undergoing breast reduction surgery, it is essential to schedule a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this consultation, you will discuss your desired breast size, expectations, and potential risks. The surgeon will also perform a physical examination, which may include breast measurements, to determine the most appropriate surgical technique for your unique needs.

Preoperative instructions

Your surgeon will provide you with specific preoperative instructions to follow before your breast reduction surgery. These instructions may include refraining from smoking and certain medications, as they can interfere with the healing process. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating well and engaging in regular exercise can contribute to a smoother recovery.

Mental and emotional preparation

Undergoing breast reduction surgery is not only a physical transformation but also an emotional journey. It is common to have mixed emotions before the procedure. To help you cope with these emotions, support groups and counseling services are available, where you can connect with others who have undergone similar experiences.

Is breast reduction risky?

As with any surgical procedure, breast reduction surgery carries some risks. These risks can include infection, bleeding, scarring, changes in nipple sensation, or complications related to anesthesia. However, when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, the risks are generally low, and the procedure is considered safe.

Breast reduction procedure

Anesthesia and incision placement

Breast reduction surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make incisions based on the chosen surgical technique, which may include the anchor or lollipop incision. The incision pattern will depend on factors such as your breast size, shape, and the amount of tissue to be removed.

Removal of excess breast tissue and reshaping

Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will remove excess breast tissue, fat, and skin to achieve the desired breast size and shape. In some cases, liposuction may be used to further contour the breasts. The nipple and areola are often repositioned to a higher position for a more aesthetically pleasing outcome.

Breast reduction and lift

Many women who undergo breast reduction surgery also desire a breast lift to address sagging or drooping breasts. Combining a breast reduction with a breast lift allows for the removal of excess skin and reshaping of the breast tissue, resulting in a more youthful and lifted appearance.

Breast reduction recovery and follow-up care 

Immediate postoperative period

After the surgery, you will be monitored in a recovery area until the effects of anesthesia wear off. You may experience grogginess and some discomfort during this time. Surgical dressings and drains may be in place to collect excess fluid, and you may be provided with a supportive surgical bra.

Incision care

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for your incisions. This may include changing dressings, cleaning the incision sites, and applying topical ointments or creams. It is crucial to follow these instructions diligently to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of infection.
Managing discomfort and recovery time

It is normal to experience some pain, swelling, and discomfort in the first few days after surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help manage these symptoms. It is important to take the medications as directed and inform your surgeon if you have persistent or severe pain. The recovery time varies for each individual, but most patients can return to work and normal daily activities within a few weeks.

Do breast reduction scars go away?

Breast reduction surgery does result in scars; however, with time, they tend to fade significantly. While scars are permanent, several scar management techniques can help minimize their appearance. These techniques may include the use of silicone sheets or gels, as well as massaging the scars. It is essential to follow your surgeon's guidance on scar care to optimize healing.

Do breasts grow after reduction?

While breast reduction surgery aims to achieve a long-lasting reduction in breast size, it's essential to note that breasts may still change due to factors like weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, or pregnancy. However, the reduction achieved through surgery is typically significant and enduring.

Book an appointment with top-rated plastic surgeons on PreferredMD

Breast reduction surgery offers a way to alleviate physical discomfort and enhance self-confidence by reducing the size and reshaping the breasts. By following proper preparation, undergoing the procedure with an experienced surgeon, and adhering to postoperative care guidelines, you can achieve optimal results. 

If you are considering breast reduction surgery, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your specific needs and determine if this procedure is right for you.

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