What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is also known as reduction mammaplasty. Dr. Ryan Diederich at MidAmerica Plastic Surgery performs this procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to reduce the size of the breasts making them smaller and lighter.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery Right for Me?
Large breasts can cause a variety of health problems, including: neck and back pain, skin irritation and infections, postural problems, and breathing difficulties. If you have large breasts that are causing discomfort, you are uncomfortable with the size of your breasts, or would like your breasts smaller for cosmetic purposes; this may be the surgery for you.
Breast Reduction Surgery is a Good Option For You If:
- You are physically healthy.
- You have realistic expectations of surgical outcomes.
- You don’t smoke.
- Your breasts are too large and you would like them to be smaller.
- Your breasts limit some of your everyday activities.
- You have skin irritation/infections under your breasts.
- You are self-conscious about the size of your breasts.
Risks with Breast Reduction Surgery
- Unfavorable scarring
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
- Damage to deeper structures – such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs – can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Breast asymmetry
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive firmness of the breast
- Potential inability to breastfeed
- Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast where incisions meet each other
- Potential, partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Pain, which may persist
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents
- Fatty tissue deep in the skin could die (fat necrosis)
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Before Breast Reduction Surgery
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation, as needed.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications, as recommended.
- Get a baseline mammogram.
- Stop smoking well in advance of your breast reduction surgery.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding (If this is OK with your primary care physician. If you cannot stop taking these medications, please let us know).
- Get your pre- and post-surgery checklist.
The day of Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reduction surgery is usually on an outpatient basis. You will come to the hospital in the morning and be able to leave in the afternoon. You are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the day of your surgery. Please arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital on surgery day. You will also need someone to stay with you at home for the first 24 hours after surgery.
After Breast Reduction Surgery
After the surgery is completed, dressings will be applied to the incisions and a surgical bra placed. You will come to the office the day after your surgery for follow up, and we will remove the bandages for you. Recovery is patient dependent, but you may be sore for a few weeks. You may also experience slight swelling and bruising.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats.
Breast Reduction Results
Breast reduction surgery will make your breasts smaller, firmer, and lighter. Your new breast size should relieve discomfort caused by breast weight and help create better body proportions. In fact, most patients experience relief from back and neck discomfort almost immediately after surgery! It may take six months to a year for your breasts to round out and take final shape. Over time, the shape of your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, and gravity.
Dr. Ryan Diederich is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in a range of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures at Mid-America Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery in Glen Carbon, IL. If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon east of St. Louis, you can schedule a consultation online schedule a consultation online, or call us at (618) 288-7855 to schedule an appointment.
For more information see the American Society of Plastic Surgery topic “Breast Reduction”
*This article is intended as a guideline only. This is not intended as medical advice. There are no guarantees written or implied from the information presented here. Only a consultation can provide an appropriate evaluation and discussion regarding any procedure. Refer to your physician for medical decision making and advice.