Breast reduction surgery, also referred to as reduction mammoplasty, reduces the size and improves the shape of the breasts. Typically, women who are candidates for this procedure have physical symptoms related to the weight or shape of their breasts. These symptoms include back pain, neck pain, and bra strap grooves in the shoulders. The incisions vary based on the breast size before the operation and the final post-operative size.
Dr. Ricardo Vega does an incision around the nipple and areola accompanied by a vertical incision below the areola with or without a horizontal incision made in the crease below the breast. Short scar techniques are frequently applied in breast reduction surgery and allow excellent reduction of size with improved shape while limiting the extent of the incisions.
For reduction of very large breasts, in some cases, the nipple and areola may need to be surgically removed and reapplied as a graft. Removing and reapplying the nipple/areola tissue will result in the loss of nipple sensation and the inability to breastfeed.
The procedure usually requires three to four hours of operating time depending on the technique chosen and the size of the breasts.
The procedure is typically performed under general IV sedation supplemented with local anesthesia. Smaller reductions can be performed under intravenous sedation without the need for general anesthesia.
Typically recovery requires one to two weeks. Most patients return to normal activities within that period of time. Strenuous physical activities are discouraged for six to twelve weeks after the surgery. Drains can be used and will remain for two to three days.
Most patients who undergo a reduction mammoplasty are pleased with the size and the shape of their breasts and are delighted with the improvement and lessening of the symptoms of pain and discomfort that they experienced due to the weight of their breasts. Breast reduction makes physical activities easier and patients enjoy their new appearance and ability to wear clothing that was uncomfortable or unattractive before the surgery was performed.
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