What’s Involved in a Breast Reduction Procedure?

Breast reduction surgery is a plastic surgery performed by a surgeon to remove the excess fat, tissue, and skin to reshape and resize your breasts. Most people opt for this procedure because of some medical issues like chronic upper back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain or to achieve a breast size proportional to your body size. This procedure might help improve your self-image and your ability to participate in physical activities more.

Why It’s Done?

A breast reduction procedure is for women with large breasts suffering from issues such as:

  • Chronic back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain
  • Limited activity
  • Difficulty fitting into clothing and bras
  • Nerve pain
  • Skin irritation under the breasts
  • Poor self-image related to large breasts

You can get a breast reduction procedure at any time, even as a teenager. You might need a second surgery later in life if your breasts are not fully developed at the time of the procedure.

Consultation With a Surgeon

You should consult an experienced surgeon before considering a breast reduction procedure. The surgeon will ask you about your medical history and conditions, and also your family’s medical history.

Don’t hesitate to share your medical history or issues. Your surgeon will take photos of your breasts, measure their size, and talk about how much fat or tissue will need to be removed to achieve your desired look. The surgeon will also guide you about the procedure and recovery. A mammogram and breast exam are also done before the surgery.

You will be asked to stop smoking and to stop taking specific medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirins to ensure proper healing.

Preparing for a Breast Reduction Procedure

Follow the instructions provided by your surgeon. Maintain good physical shape to ensure proper healing. It would help if you got your home ready for your recovery before undergoing surgery. It would be best if you had these things on hand:

  • Gauze and washcloths or towels
  • Loose and comfortable T-shirts or blouses
  • Plenty of ice
  • Ointments recommended by your surgeon

You should call someone to drive you home and stay with you for some time if you’re staying in the hospital or a surgical center.

How Is Breast Reduction Surgery Done?

You will get general anesthesia, which means you will be unconscious during the whole procedure.

Generally, the following steps are involved in the procedure:

  • Moving the nipple to a new position while it’s still attached to the blood supply
  • Removal of unnecessary fat, glandular tissue and skin
  • Reshaping the remaining tissue

The whole procedure generally takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of the reduction. You will be admitted to the hospital for 1 or 2 nights.

In the end, your surgeon will stitch up the incisions, use drainage tubes, and carefully wrap the breasts in a special gauze.

After the Surgery

When the anesthesia wears off, and you wake up, your breasts will have a dressing and plastic tubes attached to them for blood drainage.

Tubes are removed after 1 or 2 days, and you will be allowed to go home. The surgeon will prescribe you some pain medication for the pain, swelling, and discomfort. The swelling may last for up to 3 months.

Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery

It is advised to take at least one week off from work or school after the procedure. Some people need more time. Your surgeon will guide you about follow-up appointments on when to remove the bandages and stitches. You’ll have to stop physical activities for at least a month.

Some surgeons advise wearing a sports bra for up to 3 months after the surgery. You might feel tired and have breast pain. This is normal. Avoid doing strenuous exercises or heavy lifting. Some people feel depressed after surgery. Tell your doctor about your concerns. You will probably have scars around your nipples, depending on your procedure. They usually stay red for six weeks and then fade over time. 

For women with huge breasts, a breast reduction procedure feels like a solution to their permanent chronic pains. It can relieve their back, neck and shoulder pains, difficulty exercising, and rashes on their breast, not to forget limited clothing options.

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