For some women large, heavy, sagging breasts may cause a variety of problems. Complications such as back, shoulder and neck pain are typical. Large breasts may also cause chronic skin irritation and infections under the breasts. Women who have large breasts may experience feelings of extreme self-consciousness and may find some physical activities restricted and exercise difficult. Younger women who have large breasts are usually encouraged to wait until the breasts have fully matured before having breast reduction surgery, although in unusual cases surgery may be performed before breast maturation has been reached. Although it is possible to breast feed following breast reduction surgery it is usually recommended to wait until after all breast feeding is completed.
There are many different procedures that can be used for breast reduction surgery and the best procedure will depend on your anatomy, size and esthetic considerations. This is a decision that is reached following a lengthy preoperative discussion with Dr. Brown. During this preoperative discussion, Dr. Brown will review the breast reduction procedure in detail including discussions of the possible complications, limitations of breast reduction surgery and locations of breast scars.
Breast reduction may be performed using liposuction. Liposuction has the benefit of very small incisions and minimal down time, however, it is only useful for relatively small reductions in breast size. The most commonly performed surgical procedure for breast reduction is the inverted-T operation. This surgery results in a scar around the nipple, a vertical scar going from the nipple to the crease beneath the breast and a horizontal scar that sits in the crease beneath the breast. During surgery, excessive skin, areola, breast fat and glandular tissue are removed. The nipple/areola is left attached to the chest wall so as to maintain blood supply and nerve sensation. This nipple/areola is moved higher on the chest wall and sutured into place. The remaining breast tissue is then brought together beneath the nipple to shape the new breast contour. Breast reduction is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Immediately following surgery most patients stay overnight in Dr. Brown’s accredited operating recovery room and are discharged home the next day. Discomfort is easily controlled with oral pain medication. The nipple sutures are removed on the fifth day after surgery and the remaining sutures are removed in two weeks time. The breast dressings are removed after several days and a sports type bra is worn continuously for several weeks by which time the bruising and swelling have subsided. Most women are able to return to work in one to two weeks’ time and resume full physical activity two weeks after having a breast reduction. The final result of surgery is usually not evident for several months as it takes time for the tissue to fully heal and the scars to mature, resulting in a smaller, firmer, more beautiful breast.
To learn more about breast reduction surgery in San Francisco, please contact the offices of Dr. Donald M. Brown today.