Scarless Breast Reduction
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Let's face it, overly large breasts can be a real pain in the neck. Literally. Big breasts are responsible for neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain. They create posture problems and limit the types of activities and sports women can do. They cause shopping problems, especially when what you want doesn't come in your size or requires you to buy two separate pieces: one size for the bottom half, another for the top. Socially, women who have overly large breasts can be faced with uncomfortable situations, like unwelcome stares and rude comments. For some women, the dream of having normal-sized breasts is one that they have thought about every day for many years.
Breast Reduction surgery doesn't have to be just a dream, though. It can be a real, viable solution. If you are a large breasted woman looking to eliminate discomfort and complications caused by this condition, Breast Reduction surgery can be the key to the active, healthy, pain-free life you've always wanted.
Are you a candidate for a Breast Reduction?
Let's be clear here. Breast Reduction is not for someone who is just looking for firmer breasts. A typical Breast Reduction candidate has back and neck pains, wears a size D or bigger bra and probably has the grooves on her shoulders from her bra straps to prove it. Some women may be so excited to have smaller breasts that they are looking at a large reduction, while others may just want to go down a cup size or two.
About Breast Reductions
The perfect time to discuss these goals and expectations is with Dr. Volshteyn at your initial consultation. You can talk about the size and shape you would like to be and your physician will take that into account along with your body size and frame. Most physicians recommend not going too small - it can make the rest of your body look out of proportion. You will also be able to discuss your medical history and medications.
For the actual Breast Reduction, there are a few different techniques offered. The amount of tissue you want removed as well as the need to lift the breast help to determine the correct procedure for you.
Traditional or Pedicle Breast Reductions
The Traditional Breast Reduction allows for the most tissue to be removed as well as more of a reshaping (lifting) of the breast. In most patients, an incision, which looks like an anchor, is made around the areola, then vertically down from the areola to the breast fold, and then horizontally along the breast fold. After the unwanted fat and breast tissue has been removed, the nipple is repositioned higher on the breast and sutures are put in place. This technique, while allowing for the greatest amount of reduction, does cause some scarring.
It is very rare to do the old fashioned Nipple graft technique. Even in very large breasts, in most cases the pedicle method is better.
Other Breast Reduction Methods don't cause quite as much scarring. Also, known as Pedicle Techniques, these use what is known as a lollypop incision which doesn't require the horizontal incision along the breast crease. Not as much tissue can be removed with these techniques, but the overall shape is very natural. With these methods, the excess skin along the vertical incision is pleated over itself instead of removed. While Pedicle Techniques result in fewer scars, the overall time to heal is longer because the pleated skin area needs time to "smooth out," which is accomplished by the elasticity of the skin.
Scarless breast reduction is a newer method that has the least amount of complications, takes the least amount of time and preserves the ability to breast feed the best. The doctor will make 1 or 2 very small (under 1/4") incisions under the brest or armpit and extra tissue is removed with liposuction cannulas. The recovery is the same but the scars are not visible.
Risks and Complications
All surgeries have the possibility of risks and complications. With Breast Reductions some of these include the possibility of bleeding, bruising, swelling, and scarring as well as asymmetry, numbness, loss of nipple sensation and the inability to breast feed. Dr. Volshteyn will discuss all of this with you in detail during your consultation. You can also help to minimize any complications by following all pre- and post-operative instructions you are given.
A Time to Heal
After a Breast Reduction you should expect to take about a week off before returning to work. It may be another 3-4 weeks or so after this before you can return to all of your normal or strenuous activities. While most Breast Reductions are performed on an out-patient basis you should have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours. You'll be given a surgical bra to wear for a few days and a compression garment to wear for the first few weeks after surgery. These will help minimize swelling as well as promote healing. Results are apparent more quickly with Traditional Breast Reductions, while you may have to wait about six months to see the final results with scarless technique.