WHAT IS BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY?
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is an outpatient surgical procedure that involves the reduction in the size of breasts by excising fat, skin, and glandular tissue; it may also involve a procedure to counteract drooping of the breasts. As with breast augmentation, this procedure is typically performed on women, but it may also be performed on men afflicted by gynecomastia.
Breast reduction surgery typically restores confidence for both men and women. In fact, breast reduction patients are often said to be the happiest and most satisfied of all plastic surgery patients.
WHAT IS GYNECOMASTIA?
Men with the common condition of gynecomastia may feel embarrassed and upset with their enlarged male breasts that usually develop during adolescence. This surgery can help restore a man’s confidence. Gynecomastia is the term used for enlarged male breasts. Gynecomastia is a very common condition that affect a significant percentage of men. Although there are medical causes of gynecomastia, most commonly there is no known cause or any particular medical condition associated with male breast enlargement. Usually, male breast enlargement is due to excess fat in the male breasts, rather than actual breast tissue.
The surgical methods employed may vary depending on whether the breasts in the male patient are caused by adipose (fatty) or glandular tissue, and the degree to which any glandular tissue extends laterally along the sides of the torso.
IDEAL CANDIDATES FOR BREAST REDUCTION
Breast reduction surgery is oriented toward women with large, pendulous breasts, especially gigantomastia since the weight of their breasts may cause chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, in addition to circulation and breathing problems. The weight may also cause discomfort as a result of bra straps abrading or irritating the skin.
Even if physical discomfort is not a problem, some women feel awkward with the enormity of their breasts in proportion to the rest of their relatively smaller bodies. Except in unusual cases, this procedure is performed on individuals with fully-developed breasts, and it is not typically recommended for women who desire to breastfeed.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY?
When a woman has overly large natural breasts, they’ve likely been a physical and mental burden since high school. It’s hard for women with small or moderate breasts to fully relate to the issues caused by breasts that are simply too big.
Their weight alone can cause various problems, most of them related to dealing with that weight. Naturally, large breasts routinely create back and neck pain. This can also lead to nerve compression issues where the nerves exit the spine, particularly in the cervical spine. This can lead to tingling in the hands and serious pain. Some cases lead to migraine headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Even maintaining the correct posture is difficult. All of these problems are related to the body trying to compensate for the weight being carried on the upper chest, and all of these will improve when that weight is decreased.
After this surgery with Dr. Serebrakian, women have a new sense of self, without the self-consciousness that they continually felt before their procedure. They develop a much healthier body image. Buying clothes is fun, rather than an exercise in trying to cover up. Patients join exercise classes they formerly avoided. New sports suddenly become available. It’s truly as if a burden has been lifted by bringing the breasts into proportion with the rest of her figure.
IS BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY SAFE?
These procedures are very similar to a breast lift. Dr. Serebrakian simply removes more tissue to decrease the size of the breasts, in addition to removing the excess sagging skin. Breast lifts are a common surgical procedure and they don’t involve a lot of risk beyond the risks involved with any surgery.
The biggest potential side effect is the loss of nipple sensation and possible loss of the ability to breastfeed. Dr. Serebrakian does his best to mitigate these possibilities, but with the amount of tissue removal and repositioning some disturbance can occur.
When you consider the health issues caused by overly large breasts — back and neck pain, nerve damage, migraine headaches, and the like — not to mention the psychological toll, the rewards gained with breast reduction far outweigh any minimal risks.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS HAVE TO SAY
“I can’t say enough about all of the staff at Bay Area Laser. They are always professional and friendly. I always walk out of there feeling like a million bucks! I’ve been coming to see Edna for all of my cosmetic needs for the past 2 years! Thank you!!”
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR MY BREAST REDUCTION PROCEDURE?
To prepare for your breast reduction with Dr. Serebrakian, you’ll need to make the same physical preparations you would for any surgery: stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, stop taking most supplements, stop taking any blood-thinning medication, and stop smoking for at least two weeks prior to and after your surgery.
You really want to prepare for your recovery. You’ll need to get your recovery area ready, as you’ll need to take at least one week off work. You won’t be able to lift much, either, so plan on someone helping you around the house for the first week. This is no time to tough it out — your overall recovery often stems from how the first week goes. Fill your pain medication prescription beforehand and plan to need to lay low for a week or more. Have Netflix or a couple of good books ready. Make a nest for a comfortable recovery so you can crawl right in when you get home.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A REDUCTION MAMMOPLASTY
Breast reductions are always performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. During pre-operative visits, the doctor and patient may decide on new, usually higher, positions for the areolas and nipples.
HOW IS BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY PERFORMED?
Generally, the Dr. Serebrakian uses one of two options for incisions with this procedure: the traditional incision or the vertical incision. During your consultation, he will discuss which method he thinks would work best for your unique situation. This procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
TRADITIONAL INCISION METHOD
For women with extremely large breasts where a good deal of sagging skin and tissue need to be removed, the traditional incision allows the most access. The incision, also called the “anchor incision,” circles the areola, runs down to the breast crease, and then follows the breast crease a few inches in each direction.
VERTICAL INCISION METHOD
This incision follows the same path as the anchor incision, without extending along the breast crease. The shape of this incision is more like a lollipop. It can work for women with moderately large breasts.
In both methods, excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin are removed. The nipples and areolae are usually moved to a higher position on the chest. The areolae can also be reduced in size.
IS BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY PAINFUL?
There will be some pain during your recovery due to the length of the incisions required, the removal of tissue, and the repositioning of the nipple/areola complex. This is the most prevalent during the first two to three days, and then it begins to resolve quickly. You’ll likely want to take a full week off work, two if you can swing it.
While it’s not directly correlated to your pain, the most important part of recovery is wearing your surgical bra, then your support bra, and then a strong sports bra for 24 hours a day for at least one full month. This can seem tedious, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep from placing any stress on your incisions. Being diligent will help them heal better and become less noticeable more quickly.
BREAST REDUCTION RECOVERY
Patients may take a few weeks for their initial recovery, however, it may take six to twelve months for the body to adjust fully to the new breast size. In addition, some women experience some discomfort during their initial menstrual cycle after surgery due to breast swelling.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT FROM BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY?
Our breast reduction patients are thrilled with these procedures. Rather than the sagging, outsized breasts that were out of proportion with her figure, now the breasts are proportional and in line with the rest of the figure. Gone is the sagging skin and oversized nipple/areola complexes. After breast reduction, the patient’s breasts are higher on the chest, firm, and look great. Yes, there are incision scars, but these will fade with time. Plus, patients feel the scars are worth it just to be rid of their large, heavy, sagging breasts.
WHEN WILL I START TO SEE RESULTS AFTER A REDUCTION MAMMOPLASTY?
Reduction mammoplasty affords the recipient smaller, lighter, and firmer breasts. This may also reduce the size of and change the shape of the areola or nipples. Mammograms are often easier after breast reduction surgery; less breast tissue makes it easier for doctors to get and interpret the results of a mammogram.