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Breast Reduction

View Gallery Dissatisfaction with body image, physical pain, and discomfort are among some of the concerns that patients who desire a breast reduction express. In truth, many women feel that their ability to lead an active life is significantly impaired because of their large breast size and the weight associated with the excess breast tissue. In addition to the physical discomfort and pain, the emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large breasts is an extremely important issue for many women as well.

If you have large breasts that limit your physical activity and cause discomfort or pain, breast reduction may be right for you. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin and facilitates the achievement of a breast size that is in proportion with a woman's body; it also alleviates the discomforts associated with having large breasts. Breast reduction surgery, therefore, corrects the concerns associated with having large breasts and results in breasts that are more proportionally appropriate for a woman's figure. Dr. Golshani's patients who have had breast reduction not only express an enhancement of their body image and their feelings of self-confidence, but also experience significant improvement in their life-style and physical function.

When appropriately selected, patients who undergo breast reduction for macromastia or large breasts, experience partial or complete improvements in neck, back, or shoulder pains, shoulder notching or even bleeding and scaring secondary to bra straps, and breast rashes and/or infections secondary to excess sweating. Studies have also shown breast reduction to be influential in improving breathing and respiratory function in many cases. When medically indicated, health insurance companies offer coverage for breast reduction.

In some cases, patients are not bothered by the loss of volume and firmness in their breasts, but rather concerned with the heavy weight of their breasts or large, uneven breasts. The best option in this situation may be liposuction which gently removes extra fat from the breasts to reduce the size of large breasts or even them out. For breast liposuction surgery, the traditional large cuts are not needed and patients are usually left "scar-free." It is also an excellent option for patients with certain medical conditions who can not tolerate a more traditional, larger breast surgical procedure.

What is breast reduction?

Reduction mammaplasty, or breast reduction, improves breast size, shape, and the associated conditions of large breasts that include:
  • Back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of excess breast tissue
  • Shoulder discomfort and indentation from bra straps that support heavy breasts
  • Restricted physical activity due to breast size and the associated discomfort
  • Skin irritation beneath the breast crease
  • Sagging, stretched skin, and a low breast profile where, when unsupported, the nipple rests below the breast crease
  • An enlarged areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) caused by stretched skin

Breast reduction can be performed unilaterally (on one breast) or bilaterally (on both breasts). Generally considered a reconstructive procedure, breast reduction may be covered by health insurance when it is performed to alleviate medical symptoms. Good candidates for breast reduction are generally women who have a relatively normal and stable weight whose breast development is complete.

Where do I begin?

A consultation with beverly hills plastic surgeon Daniel Golshani, M.D. is your first step to learn how a breast reduction can improve the appearance of your breasts and relieve pain, discomfort, and any associated symptoms you may have resulting from large breasts. Dr. Golshani's consultations are designed to educate you about breast reduction and will include a discussion of your goals, the options available to you, the likely outcomes of breast reduction, any risks or potential complications, and the prescribed course of treatment most suitable for you.

Following Surgery

Once your procedure is complete, dressing or bandages will be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra should be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess fluid that may collect. Before being released, you and an accompanying family member, friend, or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include

  • How to care for the surgical site
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
  • When to follow-up with Dr. Golshani

Progress and Healing

Initial healing may include some swelling and discomfort which may be controlled with proper medication. A support bra may be recommended around the clock for the first few weeks. It is extremely important to keep the incision sites clean. You will be instructed to engage in light walking as soon as possible in an effort to minimize the potential for certain complications (e.g., blood clots).

All of Dr. Golshani's instructions should be followed carefully as they are essential to the success of your outcome. Usually within a few days of surgery, a return to light activity is possible for those patients who feel ready.

Sutures are removed within 10 days following surgery. Many patients are often ready to return to work and resume normal activity at this time. Patients shouldn't, however, engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise yet.

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and breast shape and position settle. Patients should continue to follow Dr. Golshani's instructions and attend all follow-up visits.

Results and Outlook

The final results of breast reduction will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle. Your new breast size should free you from the pain and physical limitations experienced prior to breast reduction surgery. Your feelings of self-image and self-confidence will likely be boosted by your better proportioned figure.

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