Breast reduction is the most effective treatment for back, neck, shoulder pain, shoulder skin grooving, rashes beneath the breasts, and other problems associated with disproportionately large breasts. Bra straps tightened by heavy breasts dig painfully into the shoulders, and pull the shoulders constantly forward. This hour after hour day after day pulling causes slouched posture and severe musculoskeletal aching. Back muscles go into painful tight spasm from trying without success to resist the forward and downward burden of overweight, low hanging breasts. Frequent headaches related to muscle strain occur. Analgesics (pain medicine), massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, accupuncture, and other non-surgical attempts provide only temporary respite. Consider Consultation for Reduction Mammaplasty. Most women who present for breast reduction have endured years of discomfort, and after the procedure experience relief quickly.
Although the goals of breast reduction include pain relief and more beautiful, lifted, proportionate breasts, the procedure is most often reconstructive (NOT cosmetic surgery). As such, payment for the operation is included as a benefit of many health plans.
Several popular techniques for breast reduction surgery all accomplish the same general goals:
Diminished mass (size and weight) of breasts and lifting the breasts to a higher position on the chest. This is accomplished by removing breast tissue and reducing skin surface area of the breasts. The reduced breast volume is wrapped in a surgically reduced smaller skin envelope. The pattern for reduction is marked on breast skin in the standing position before surgery. This is done while you look in the mirror so you’ll agree on the planned change in advance. Skin markings guide removal of breast skin, but adjustments can be made during surgery depending on appearance of the developing result.
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) is accomplished under general anesthesia. After removing the epidermal (outer) layer of marked skin, the breast gland is entered. A portion of extra breast gland is sent to the laboratory as a precaution, and examined for any abnormal appearing cells. Removed breast tissue from each side is weighed for comparison to assure a symmetric outcome. Remaining breast tissue must contain sufficient blood vessels to assure nipple-areola viability (circulation), nerves to the nipple to maintain sensation, and ducts to the nipple for future breast feeding if this is a possibility. After adequate breast skin and volume are removed, the operating table shifts women into a sitting position for “tailor tacking” the breast with surgical clips to approximate a nice breast shape, size, and scar location.
The most beautiful possible approximated result is marked, and fixation clips are replaced with internal sutures that secure a stable aesthetic closure. Identical procedures are performed on both sides, or, if pre-surgical asymmetry existed, differential reductions are performed to improve symmetry based on pre-surgical planning, intra-operative progress, and comparative weights of right and left tissue removal (proportionately more breast tissue from the larger side is removed). At the conclusion of breast reduction, the result is evaluated in the sitting position, adjustments are made if indicated, and a support bra is applied over padded bandages. Anesthesia awakens you for a one to two hour recovery room stay.