Breast Reduction Surgery

Generally the breast reduction is regarded as one of the cosmetic surgeries performed to correct the female appearance. However, it may actually be categorized in reconstructive surgeries besides cosmetic ones.

Large and sagging breasts may give discomfort by causing neck and back pains, spinal curvature, numbness in the arm, rash and wounds under the breast, cavitation and pain on the shoulder due to the weight of the bra strap. Individuals with this problem may also have difficulty in breathing. Also, the repetitive friction between the breast skin and chest wall may cause rash and formation of wounds. Besides that, the patients may have social discomfort and psychological problems due to embarrassment and self-loathing. Breast reduction surgery helps patients feel comfortable in social life, and prevents above mentioned physiological problems caused by large breasts.  

The breast reduction surgery involves removing the excess tissue from the large breast in order to achieve a breast size in proportion to the body. Both the excess breast tissue and the skin covering it are removed. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and takes between 2,5 and 4 hours. Depending on the method, the surgery causes a scar around the nipple and another one in a straight or reverse T-shape down the lower edge of the nipple. Especially in the first 2-3 months, these scars are pink or even slightly swollen and they can be noticed. However, their colour starts to fade and they become hardly visible. The size and tone of scars change depending on the size of the breast and the surgical method. How prone one’s skin is to scar formation is another important factor. Also, scars become less noticeable on light skin.

The drains are generally removed within 2 to 3 days. The post-operative pain is not too severe. The patient is discharged from the hospital in 1-2 days. Wearing a special bra for 4-6 weeks is recommended. The patient may go back to her daily activities and work in one week but should avoid strenuous exercises for 3 months.

After the surgery, complications such as hematoma and infection may develop. Patients rarely experience stiffness due to fat necrosis in the breast. It makes it take more time for some areas on the breast skin or nipple to health completely. Frequent dressing change may be required.

It does not mean that you cannot breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, but you may face some difficulties. Hence, if you are planning on having a child and breastfeeding, you should discuss this with your doctor before undergoing a breast reduction surgery.