Breast reduction surgery involves removing skin and tissue from the breast area in order to change the appearance of the breast and to reduce the size of the breast. It will make the breasts proportionate in relation to overall body size. It can provide symmetry if one breast is bigger than the other. Also, the darkened skin around the nipple, the areola, can also be reduced.
You will need to meet with the surgeon for the initial consultation before surgery. This will allow the surgeon to take pictures of your breasts to compare with post-surgery results. A mammogram may also be taken of your breasts to check for cancer or any abnormalities.
Breast reduction surgery requires general anesthesia which means you will be asleep during the surgery. The breast area consists of glandular and fatty tissues and skin all of which may be reduced as needed during surgery.
Before entering the operating room, the surgeon will ask you to sit up. The breast area will then be marked so that the correct incisions can be made during surgery when you are lying down. Once you are in surgery, the surgeon will make incisions and remove excess fat and glandular tissues and skin. The nipples will be moved in relation to the size of the breasts but will remain attached to nerves and blood vessels. However, if the breasts are very large, it is possible that the nipples will have to be moved completely. In this case, the nipple will be separated from underlying tissue causing you to lose feeling and sensation in the nipple and areola. Your surgeon will ensure that the nipple and areola are proportionately placed in relation to your new breast size.
Upon completion of the procedure, stitches will remain around the nipple and areola area. Your breast will be swollen, sore and bruised after surgery. A pain reliever may be prescribed by your doctor. You can expect to wear bandages for a few days following surgery. Activity should be limited for a few weeks after surgery. Stitches will be removed about three weeks following surgery.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved in breast reduction surgery. Infection and a negative reaction to anesthesia are common risks. These are usually prevented as your medical team will closely monitor you and thoroughly examine your medical history.
You should be aware of the possible side effects of breast reduction surgery. These do not always pose a threat, but just be aware that you could experience such side effects. Loss of breast and nipple sensation can be a side effect. This can be temporary or permanent. You may also lose the ability to breastfeed after surgery. You may have scarring where incisions were made. It is also possible that breast size and shape may not be symmetrical. You should discuss these possible side effects with your doctor before surgery.