What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure usually performed for breast hypertrophy, i.e. increase in the volume of and/or sagging of the soft breast tissue, which usually occurs as of puberty or pregnancies. It reduces the volume and weight, and at the same time, uplifts and reshapes the breast.
Who is a candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Theoretically, every patient who is over 18 years of age, has no problem in taking general anesthesia and has neck, shoulder or back pain, has pressure marks on bra straps, hygiene problems in folds, or cosmetically complaining about the size and sagging of the breasts could be appropriate for breast reduction operation. In some special cases, surgery can be planned before the age of 18 with parental consent in patients with very serious physical problems.
Does Breast Sagging Occur After Breast Reduction Surgery?
Macro sized breast tissue is always sagged and tissue quality is less than usual. During the surgery, we are not performing only reduction, but also the sagging nipple and breast tissue is lifted up. The lifted and tight breast tissue is going slightly downwards in a couple of weeks because of the effect of gravity and the poor quality of the breast tissue . However, it is never expected that a significant sagging will occur like before the operation.
Can Breasts be Reduced to the Desired Size by Breast Reduction Surgery?
Surgery has two purposes. The first is to reduce the breast volume, the second is to correct sagging. When the breast volume is reduced, the cup size of the breast is reduced and the chest wall diameter number remains theoretically the same. The ideal breast cup size can range from B to C depending on the chest wall diameter and shoulder width. After the surgery, the breast is reduced and lifted up to these natural dimensions. It is not correct to reduce it further to A cup size. Since A cup patients complain about small breasts, we perform breast augmentation surgery with silicone implant to A cup patients.
Does breast reduction surgery increase the risk of breast cancer?
Breast cancer can develop anywhere in the breast tissue. Therefore, all parts of the breast contain tissues with potential to develop cancer. Since the amount of tissue that has the potential to develop cancer is reduced during breast reduction surgery; theoretically, the likelihood of developing breast cancer after surgery clearly decreases, instead of increasing.
Is it suitable for those who have no history of childbirth?
In general, this surgery is primarily recommended for patients who do not intend to conceive in the future. As each pregnancy may cause sagging and deformity in the breasts, revision surgery might be needed after pregnancy. However, surgery might still be considered in patients who have major complaints.
How is Breast Reduction Surgery and Pregnancy Correlation?
In order to plan breast reduction surgery after pregnancy and delivery, it is necessary to stop breastfeeding at least six months in advance and not to have milk coming from the breast. There is no obstacle in the conception of patients after breast reduction surgery. Because of the nature of pregnancy, breast enlargement and regression will occur and deformity may develop again, but it is not often expected to experience any problems with breastfeeding.
Can you breastfeed after surgery?
The amount of milk secreting breast tissue decreases after breast reduction surgery, but most patients continue to produce enough milk for the baby. Very few patients experience insufficient milk production. Considering that some women who have never had this kind of surgery also experience the same issue, it can be said that the decrease caused by the operation itself is not very significant.
How to prepare before the surgery?
When planning this surgery, it should first be confirmed that there is no tumoral condition in either breast. Therefore, ultrasound and/or mammography is performed on patients and any condition that might be an obstacle to this operation is investigated. Apart from that, routine preoperative blood tests etc. are performed.
Does the surgery leave a scar on the breast?
The technique to be applied varies according to the size of the patient’s breast, the amount of excess tissue and skin. After choosing the most appropriate technique to resolve the patient’s complaint, it may be a vertical line extending from the nipple to the bottom line, or it may be necessary to apply a technique that causes an additional horizontal line, like an inverted T-shaped scar, at the level of the breast fold line. In all cases, these scars, which are slightly pink red in the early period, turn into skin color with scar creams used over time and become invisible.
Duration of the surgery and hospitalization period
Depending on the severity of the case, operation time is 2-3 hours on average, and the patient stays in hospital for 1 day.
Is the postoperative period painful? How to take care of yourself?
Breast reduction surgery is not an operation that causes very severe pain. Existing pain can be reduced with simple painkillers. After the first three days, the need for painkillers often decreases considerably. In the early period because of the edema, swelling and technique of surgery, a feeling of tension occurs in both breasts. This feeling of tension begins to reduce within a few days and the breast becomes natural in 4-6 weeks. Patients return to their daily lives within a few days and may start light exercises such as walking after the second week. Heavy exercises, especially those involving arms, should be avoided for about a month.
When is it allowed to take a shower or swim?
Patients can take a shower 3 days after the surgery and swim after a month, unless an additional problem is diagnosed.
In short, when breasts are too large and saggy, it causes psychosocial problems along with various physical limitations and pain. When the current technology and techniques are considered, operations are performed in a very safe and painless manner. Also counting the fact that patients return to their daily lives in a very short time after surgery, we can say there is no point in fearing or postponing the operation.