What are the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery has a wide variety of potential benefits, ranging from self-esteem to physical health to lifestyle enhancement. Over 50,000 breast reduction procedures were performed in both women and men in the year 2020. Whether you have heard about breast reduction surgery from a friend, doctor, or some form of advertising, there are several factors that are worth taking into account as you make the decision to consider breast reduction surgery. Even if a breast reduction operation will improve your quality of life, there are several important things to know about the process of the reduction and recovery that will be covered here.
What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
The goal of a breast reduction operation is the removal of breast tissue, fat, and skin from the breasts. One of the most common motivations for undergoing the procedure include the relieving of chronic pain in the neck, shoulder, and back that results from large breasts. Physical irritations such as shoulder grooves from bra straps, difficulty fitting into bras and clothing, and chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts can also be relieved as a result of breast reduction surgery.
The procedure itself is conducted with the patient under general anesthesia, with a recovery time of four to six weeks. Breast reduction surgeries are typically conducted in either outpatien surgical centers or hospitals. Although the swelling and surgical scars will decrease and fade over a period of a few months, the positive results like improved self-image, greater ability to engage in physical activity, and relief from back and neck pain, can arrive even sooner.
Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction?
While breast reductions have been life-changing for many individuals, not everyone is advised to pursue this treatment option. If you want to avoid scars on your breasts, if you smoke, or if your breasts are not yet fully developed, breast reduction might not be the treatment for you. However, if those conditions do not apply and you’re looking for relief from chronic pain, poor self-image, and an inability to take part in physical activity, breast reduction could be the solution!
Other conditions that will make you a good candidate for breast reduction surgery include having realistic expectations about the results of the operation and being in good physical health. One example of realistic expectations about surgery results is the presence of a permanent scar. Although surgical technologies have advanced to the point where any necessary incisions fade significantly over time, there will still be a scar resulting from your breast reduction surgery. If aesthetics are a concern, talk with your doctor or plastic surgeon about weighing this with the benefits of breast reduction. With good physical health and realistic expectations, you could be a great candidate!
How Does Breast Reduction Surgery Work?
In discussing the breast reduction procedure itself, the first thing to understand is how best to prepare. The details of these preparations will be discussed in depth by your plastic surgeon, of course, but it’s still worthwhile to go into consultation with a general understanding. The first step is to ensure that your home is ready to be a place of comfort as you recover from the procedure. This will mean having plenty of ice and gauze on hand, as well as a stock of clean washcloths and towels. Shirts that are comfortable and loose-fitting will also make the recovery period more pleasant. It is also beneficial to have any surgeon-recommended ointments or creams on-hand in advance, as these can be beneficial for the incision sites.
The procedure itself is, as mentioned above, conducted in a hospital or outpatient surgery clinic. To get from the clinic back to your home, it will be necessary to have someone available to drive you. If you’re not staying in the hospital for the first night, it is also wise to have someone stay with you and take care of you for a brief period immediately after the surgery. The combined effects of the anesthesia wearing off and discomfort from the procedure itself make it difficult to complete regular tasks at first, and having a friend or family member on hand will start your recovery process on the right foot.
The breast reduction surgery, which typically takes from 2 to 5 hours, involves several incisions. The exact number and shape of the incisions varies based on what kind of reduction is warranted. For especially large reductions in breasts with a lot of sagging or unevenness, the method called inverted-T is typically used. This involves cuts around the areola’s edge, from the areola to the breast crease, and along the crease underneath the breast. Another option, typically used for patients seeking moderate breast reductions, is the vertical method. This alternative requires incisions around the areola and straight down from the areola to the crease beneath the breast.
What’s the Difference Between a Breast Reduction and a Breast Lift?
While breast reductions have improved quality of life and physical comfort for many patients, breast lift procedures have also been useful for many patients. Which one will be better for you? The most important distinction between breast reductions and breast lifts is that breast lift procedures do not remove any of the breast tissue in the process. A breast lift simply adjusts the location of the breasts and removes any excess skin that the repositioning causes. This removal of excess skin is not the same thing as removing the tissue within the breast.
If you are satisfied with the size of your breasts, and simply want to adjust their position, then a breast lift might be the option for you. The most common reasons that individuals pursue breast lift operations include breast unevenness, nipples that fall below the breast crease, and insecurity resulting from the sagging appearance of breasts. If these factors are combined with chronic pain or insecurity resulting from large breast size, a breast reduction could be the more productive treatment. Consult your doctor or plastic surgeon for help in making the final decision.
What are the Benefits of Breast Reduction?
In cases where the procedure is warranted and successful, breast reductions can be a big boost to comfort, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. Physical discomforts like back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as limitations on physical activity like sports and exercise, can be greatly reduced through breast reduction. A series of conversations with your doctor and plastic surgeon will prepare you for the operation and allow you to communicate what your goals are in pursuing treatment. Invest in yourself with breast reduction surgery!
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