Breast reduction is a very common procedure used to alleviate symptoms from large, heavy breasts known as macromastia. These symptoms include back, neck, and shoulder pain, shoulder grooving from brassiere indentions, difficulty fitting into or finding a nice fitting brassiere, difficulty exercising, sweating with rashes and irritation under the breasts, and difficulty sleeping due to weight compression on the chest. Some patients feel they cannot fit into a nice dress or find clothes that fit well and therefore become self-conscious. This procedure has one of the highest patient satisfactions, as they notice an immediate relief of symptoms due to the removal of weight and decrease in size. Many women state improved posture, ability to exercise, find well fitting clothes, and an overall better feeling due to a more positive self-image.
Depending on the size reduction, the surgery usually takes between 3-4 hours to complete and is performed under general anesthesia (fully asleep) in the adjacent surgicenter. There are several techniques in which a breast reduction can be performed, which include the way the breast tissue is rearranged, and the scar pattern. Due to the nature of this procedure, there is a need to remove breast tissue and skin, which will result in mild scarring but are well hidden.
The scar pattern is of two varieties, which are influenced by how much breast tissue needs to be removed. For a small to medium size reduction, a “lollipop” style incision (verticle pattern) can be used, which goes around the areola and continues vertically down the breast. For a larger type reduction, an “anchor” style (wise pattern) can be used which begins like the “lollipop” style, but has a horizontal extension at the breast fold which will be well hidden. With your goals and ideal size/shape in mind, Dr. Tsai will explain all available options to you in detail during your consultation and together, determine an individualized treatment plan that best fits your needs to provide you with the best possible result.
Patients return home the same day as the procedure so transportation will need to be arranged. Your first checkup will be the following day in clinic. Bandages are removed several days after the procedure and patients usually return to normal daily activities within one week. Pain is tolerated with prescribed oral pain medication. Exercise is resumed approximately 4-6 weeks after the procedure.