Breast reduction clients are some of the most gratified after their procedures. The procedure aims to not only decrease the size of a large breast, but to gain a favourable more youthful shape and size to the breast so that the person feels more confident and is able to physically do more and mentally feel great. A breast reduction therefore involves lifting the breast as well. The tradeoff of gaining shape and form is scarring. The incisions are placed in areas that are least noticeable and the cuts heal very well in most cases.
Suitable patients for the procedure range from ladies who are post pregnancy to young ladies who have breasts that are droopy or misshapen from puberty and are socially embarrassed and awkward with their body images.
Dr Patel will advise you as to what scars will be made in order to reshape the breast during the consultation. Remember you will have the choice of booking a second consultation for clearing up any vagaries.
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A breast reduction procedure is unique for every patient. Some may require more tissue to be removed, others more of a lift, and yet others may require an implant to achieve the desired result. A consultation with Dr Patel is therefore essential in determining the type of operation to be carried out. The size and shape of the breast are assessed as well as the quality of the skin. Your breast history is important in determining the need for preoperative investigations such as a mammogram or sonar of the breasts. Dr Patel will discuss with you the benefits of a breast reduction and will point out the expected outcomes. With a thorough history and examination, the ideal procedure for you is chosen.
Dr Patel will see you in the ward later that day. A dressing inspection and general check is done and if you are feeling fine, you may be discharged home. The option of staying the night is always available if you are not ready to go home. If drains are inserted into the breast (for excess fluid), these will be checked the next morning. Your next appointment will be between 3-5 days time. You will be able to shower with the dressings on. These will be changed at the first postoperative visit. You will then be shown how to take care of the scars (taping and ointments etc). Dr Patel prefers that you wear a brazziere postoperatively day and night for the first 4-6 weeks. Your new lingerie shopping spree can be scheduled at 6 weeks postop!
The advent of short scar or vertical scar reductions has been of great benefit to patients and surgeons alike. Not all patients who have breast reductions are candidates for this type of procedure, so a preoperative consultation is vital in order to determine whether this procedure is suitable for you. Essentially from the outside, it means that there will be no horizontal scar under the breast. The incision scar around the areolar and the vertical scar on the front of the breast will still be present. It is not a lesser procedure in any way and therefore the recovery times and complications are very much the same as that of a standard “Wise pattern” reduction.
For those patients in whom a mammogram is indicated, this will be performed preoperatively and postoperatively at about a year. Current techniques and advances in mammography and breast screening allow the differentiation of abnormal tissue from the scarred tissue within the breast. It is both safe and recommended. Mammograms can be done with implants as well in a gentle and non painful manner.
Your breast tissue that remains after a breast reduction is subject to the same hormonal influences and will therefore cause the breasts to increase in size during the pregnancy and the breasts will then involute (curl up) or become smaller after. Breast feeding will be affected in most cases. If the breasts lose a considerable amount of volume post pregnancy a lift procedure may be required. It is best to wait 6-9 months following a pregnancy to consider any revision surgery.
There is no specified age at which a breast reduction can be done. For girls who have not completed puberty and whose breasts are still growing, ie if your bra size has changed in the last 6 months, it would be wiser to wait for breast growth to stop. However in exceptional circumstances where the breasts are very large and hinder the individual (socially, or with sporting activities), a procedure can be considered sooner.
- Altered/Loss of sensation to the nipple and areolar
- Incision scars that take up to 18 months to heal completely
- The final shape of breast can be seen between 6-9 months postoperatively
- Smoking increases the chances of complications such as bleeding, poor wound healing and nipple necrosis. A breast reduction procedure can be done in smokers.
- Asymmetry : no two breasts are the same to begin with, thus postoperatively there will be some minor asymmetry, even though Dr Patel will make every effort to match them.
- Dr Patel does not promise you a particular cup size or bra size. A reduction procedure is one that is done to keep your breasts as much as possible in proportion to the rest of your body, taking your wishes into account.
In any breast rejuvenating procedure there is element of lifting. Not all breast lifts though require tissue to be removed. Some women have deflated breasts post pregnancy and these require lifting only. The scarring associated in lifts and reductions is similar.
Yes. In fact, it is quite common for a reduction procedure to include the placement of a breast implant. Although this may seem counter intuitive, the replacing of breast tissue, particularly post pregnancy can be achieved with an implant and the entire breast lifted at the same time. Dr Patel will assess your suitability for the correct procedure versus your desires and wishes at your consultation.